Power Rangers

Geeked Out Weight Loss Series: Power Rangers, Season 3 – I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger

Well, aside from the fact that the above title is probably the LONGEST blog title post I’ve ever written, this is going to be a different article. Today, I’m combining three things. My geeked out review of an old favorite, a Christmas episode, and weight loss. So I present to you… the fairly forced weight loss analogy found in the third season episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger.”

Alas, I do not know where you can watch this online other than to download it or use Netflix Watch Instantly. If you’d really like to see it, email me and I’ll see what I can do.

Plot

Power Rangers is definitely known for its complex, high-concept, deep plots, and this episode is no exception. Our episode starts off with Kimberly and Aisha (the Pink and Yellow Rangers) leading a group of children through the world’s longest Christmas carol (seriously, these kids sing for at least four hours – an impressive feat considering this is a 30 minute episode, with commercials) as we see various other Christmas-like activities going on.

Ernie (owner of the Youth Center and not a Power Ranger) gives Tommy (leader of the Power Rangers and not a youth center owner) the star to go on top of the Christmas tree (I guess because Tommy is tall), but Tommy seems a rather sad young girl who was just singing in the world’s longest Christmas carol just sitting around, looking sad. Tommy asks her if she would help him put the star on the tree, which is just silly, because she’s not a Power Ranger OR tall. I guess he’s hoping it would cheer her up.

Well, she smiles a little bit when he boosts her up to put the star on the tree.

In a different part of the Youth Center, Kimberly admits to Aisha that, while she is happy she gets to spend Christmas with Aisha and her family, she is sad she isn’t going to get to spend it with her mom. (In a previous episode, we learned that Kimberly’s mother let her move in with Aisha to finish out the school year while she went to France with her new husband.) Aisha hugs her and suggests Kimberly help her with the decorations.

Thanks, I don’t miss my mom at all now.

Thanks, I don’t miss my mom at all now.

Bulk and Skull show up. Quick note – the last time I reviewed a Power Ranger episode, it was early 1st season. This is late third season. So you should know, Bulk and Skull are no longer bullies. Now they are junior police officers. And they are going to be working the Christmas party on duty, although Bulk will be dressed up to play Santa.

Meanwhile, on the moon, Zedd is ranting about how much he hates the holidays. This year, in his attempt to take over the Earth, he is going to make Santa’s elves create a toy that will make any child who sees it instantly brainwashed. And no, it isn’t Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It’s a spinning top, that I assume uses magic. Any child who sees it will basically be under Lord Zedd’s control and able to do only his evil bidding.

And back at the Youth Center, Kimberly and Aisha are leading the kids through another practice before their big show. Becky, the same girl who Tommy helped put the star on the tree, is especially down. After the rehearsal, Aisha and Kimberly ask her why, and she says that there will be no one there to hear her sing.

At the North Pole, Santa is supervising his elves when Rito Revolto shows up, takes over, and orders the elves to make no other toys except for Zedd’s magic spinning top.

Kimberly has another heart-to-heart with Becky, who confides to her that her dad works too much and can’t spend any time with her. Kimberly suggests that Becky let her dad know how she feels. And inside, just as Tommy is about to get himself some Mistletoe Lovin’, Zordon pages the Rangers.

At the Command Center, the Rangers learn about Zedd’s evil Christmas toy plan. Of course the Rangers will help, but because of magic or the jet stream or something, their morphing powers won’t work at the North Pole. Of course, that doesn’t stop the Rangers, so they teleport to the North Pole to help out.

The Rangers see the monsters overrunning Santa’s workshop, so they come up with a plan to save Santa. Billy, resident genius, thinks that if their powers won’t work at the North Pole, then neither will the monster’s. Fortunately, they are correct. The Rangers proceed to fight the two gigantic warriors, armed with swords…

…with snowballs. And of course, snowballs > swords, so the Rangers win!

With the elves’ help, Rito, Goldar, and the Tengas are defeated, tied up with ribbon, and teleported back to the moon.

Is this over yet? No? Crap. Okay.

The head elf complains about the toy production being off schedule, but the Rangers help with teamwork or magic or power crystals or something.

With Christmas saved, the Ranger teens head back to Angel Grove, Becky’s dad shows up after all, the kids sing, Kimberly’s mother shows up from France after all, and Tommy finally gets to kiss Kimberly under the mistletoe.

Weight Loss Analogy

Hoo boy. This one is going to be tough. Uhm… Okay, we’ll call the bad guys the holiday temptations that we have to face. The high calorie treats. The parties. The deviations from our schedules that make regular exercise tough.

So, when faced with these temptations, what should we do? Give in? Let evil win.

No, we turn into Power Rangers, pelt them with metaphorical snowballs, and take back the healthy holidays.

Okay, that was weak. This one wasn’t quite as clear cut for me.

But hey, Power Rangers and the holidays. What’s better?

How about a trip to Vegas?! Tina and I are leaving for Vegas and we’ll be back on the 23rd. That means I won’t be weighing in for a bit.

My Vegas pledges? I’m going to enjoy myself, but I’m still going to eat as much real, healthy food as I can. We aren’t going to have a car, so we’ll be doing LOTS of walking. I’m going to take my heart rate monitor and make sure I get a good calorie burn in every day. I will also drink LOTS of water.

I’m still planning to be down to 369 by January 1st. I’m also not going to neglect this blog. I didn’t think to do this in enough time to get some guest posts, so instead, I’ve got a few blog posts scheduled to post while I’m in Sin City.

I’m going to post a few times about my Christmas ornaments. I’ve even got some that really are weight-loss themed. And of course, after Christmas, I’ll be sure to share photos of our eats, trips, sights, shows, and more.

If I don’t get to “speak” to you again before the holidays, have a Merry Christmas!

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Pink Ranger Dressing Recipe

Recently, I mentioned that I have discovered I like using Pink Ranger Dressing on my salad.

If you have no idea what Pink Ranger Dressing is, well, this post is for you.

Very quickly, why Pink Ranger Dressing? Am I such a Power Ranger geek that I would actually name random food after Power Rangers?

Well, yes, I am, probably, but that’s not what I call this dressing that. I call this dressing that because the actress Catherine Sutherland, who played the second Pink Ranger Katharine Hillard, now runs a blog called Homemade Lifestyle, about parenting and healthy recipes. Obviously, I started following it because… well, she’s the freaking Pink Ranger!

Put on your helmet, Kat! You're horrible at keeping your identity secret!

Put on your helmet, Kat! You're horrible at keeping your identity secret!

But she posted a recipe a few weeks back about how she makes oil and vinegar based dressings for her family.

There are two food substances that I hate.

The one I hate more than anything is ketchup. I think ketchup is the vilest of all the food stuffs. I don’t even know how it is considered food. It gags me. I would rather dip my French fries into mud. And I’m completely serious. I hate it. I hate smelling it. I hate seeing pictures of it. I hate that it exists. If I’m ever given three wishes, my second wish is to rid the world of ketchup. (The first wish is for ten trillion dollars, tax free, and the third wish is for a bigger penis wallet to keep my money in.)

Sorry, ketchup hate rant. My second most hated food stuff is vinegar. This one kind of makes me sad. Unlike ketchup which is full of sugar and evil and contains nothing good for the human body, I know that vinegar can actually be good for you.

As a result, when she shared a post about how she makes her own dressings, I decided to give it a try. It couldn’t be easier.

You need four ingredients. You need some type of oil (olive, sesame, walnut, et cetera), some type of vinegar (white, malt, rice, champagne, the sky is the limit), some type of sweetener (honey, brown sugar, agave, et cetera), and some type of binder (such as mustard, mayonnaise, avocado, and so forth – it basically just needs to be a flavor you like and kind of thick). An optional fifth ingredient, if your vinegar isn’t flavored, is flavoring, such as raspberries, garlic, shallots, orange…

Are you starting to get the picture that this is VERY versatile dressing?

For today’s mix, I chose walnut oil, raspberry flavored wine vinegar, amber agave, and honey mustard. Since the vinegar is flavored, I don’t need a fifth flavoring ingredient.

In a jar, carafe, or whatever container you choose to make your dressing in, add about ¼ cup or so (I didn’t measure) of the oil.

Add a similar amount of vinegar. You can add or more less, depending upon how you like your dressing. With this recipe, experimentation is truly key. Next, add about half a tablespoon or so of your sweetener. If you like your dressing really sweet, add more. If you like your dressing tart, add less. Finally, add your binder. I usually put in about half a tablespoon or so, but to be honest, I eyeball it.

At this point, put the lid on and shake (or get out your whisk and… well, whisk).

Viola! You’ve just made salad dressing. It keeps in the fridge wonderfully. You may need to remix it before you use it, but it tastes amazing. I’ve gotten to where I even like to splash a little of this dressing on a bowl of nothing more than spinach leaves. It’s a fantastic way for me to get my greens AND some healthy oils in me. And again, let’s not forget about the health benefits of vinegar, which include helping the body absorb calcium (which is present in the greens), can increase insulin sensitivity in those who are insulin resistant, and it is full of easily-assimilated vitamins!

I’ve also made batches that were savory instead of sweet. The previous batch to this one used spicy mustard, light agave, garlic infused vinegar, and olive oil. It was ridiculously good, too.

The best part about using this type of dressing is that you don’t need much. Because it isn’t thick, it pretty easily coats a salad without having to use tons.

I wish I could say the other Power Rangers had cooking blogs and I’ve gotten other health tips from them, but I haven’t. Until they do, I can only add Pink Ranger Dressing to my cooking arsenal, but hey, it’s already proven to be a great way for me to get greens AND healthy oils and vinegar in my diet. Win.

In my next Ranger-themed food post, we’ll talk about Yellow Ranger Hoagies!

(Note: there are no Yellow Ranger Hoagies.)

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Power Rangers: A Pressing Engagement

Busy summer.

I truly believed that by working at a university, I would have an easy summer. There aren’t many students here now, right? It’s got to be easier.

Yeah, right.

One of the busiest summers of my professional life ever. (I’ll be honest – I’m really looking forward to having next summer off. My new nine month contract starts in August! Woo hoo!)

But I wouldn’t change a second of it. It’s been awesome. I’ve made some extra money, paid down some credit card debt (still have a ways to go, but we’re working on it!), had some good times, and kept working out. My weight, as always, is giving me a little trouble, but I’m in charge here, and the numbers are dropping. I’m actually excited about weighing in tomorrow. I expect to post at least a two pound loss, so woo hoo for me.

The Run For Your Lives is in just a few months. Holy crap. I have to get cracking! Weights are good, weights are great. The weight room makes me happy. And weights are going to be crucial during this challenge, because the Run For Your Lives isn’t an ordinary 5K. They’ve only released two of the twelve obstacles we have to navigate during the race (while running from zombies), but one involves climbing a wall. Climbing a wall will take muscles. It would be nice if I was about two hundred pounds lighter, but I’ll just have to do the best I can. Fortunately, we’re allowed to skip obstacles if we just physically can’t do them, so I always have that in my back pocket. (This is not the best option, for two reasons. One, if you skip an obstacle, while you are allowed to finish, you automatically finish as a zombie, and I’m still hoping to finish the race as a survivor.)

So, in a change of pace, rather than lift weights this morning, we did cardio at the gym this morning. I’m still nowhere near ready to run a 5K, and given that I’m being CHASED through a 5K on October 22nd, I should get a move on. I feel confident in my ability to tear it up; I’ve still got time. I just have to start. So today we did.

It’s funny. If you take a break from exercise, you lose it. A few months ago, I actually jogged 1.55 miles without too terribly much effort. Today, three separate 1-minute jogs almost killed me. Oh well. I was there once; I’ll get there again. Tina and I are even talking about hitting the gym after work a few times, too, just to get in more cardio time. (We like weights in the morning.)

But this morning, I watched an episode of Power Rangers at the gym. I just put my iPad on the treadmill, signed on to WKU’s wireless internet, pulled up the Netflix ap, and got the 4th episode of the 1st season going. The pregnant lady next to me on the treadmill kept giving me looks out of the corner of her eye when the show started. I know she was just jealous she had to watch AM Kentucky while I was rocking out with Zordon and Alpha.

So yeah, I accidentally took a little hiatus from my dorkdom to work on work. Geeze, it’s like there are bills that have to be paid or something. And while I can’t promise how often I’ll post, I’m really going to try and do more than just my weekly weigh-ins.

Without further ado, I present to you the 4th episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, A Pressing Engagement.

Plot

Our episode starts with Jason in the Youth Center, trying to set the Angel Grove High Bench Press record. For most reps. The record to beat is 1,010. Not heaviest weight. Most reps.

Okay, I’ve never heard of such a weight lifting record, but whatever. Ernie loses count around 1,005, and Jason is afraid people will think he’s a quitter. Kimberly and Zack assure him that they will think no such thing.

Rita notices that Jason is distraught, but his friends make him feel better. Therefore, she will send a monster called King Sphinx down who can flap his wings, blow the other Rangers away, and make Jason be alone or something.

This should have been the episode they submitted for the Emmy nod.

Anyway, Jason, Zack, and Kimberly hear from Zordon about the monster, morph, and sure enough, Kimberly and Zack are blown away from the fight and into the Youth Center, demorphed.

Jason, of course, is alone, but the other four get together, Zordon tells them something about Power Crystals or Power Somethings, and the Ranger find them, throw them, or something, Jason finds them, and they turn into his friends.

I really was paying attention. But in the end, Jason is reunited with his friends, they defeat the monster, and he reattempts the bench press record, this time with Trini counting. And of course, he succeeds, with his friend’s help. Mostly because Trini can actually count above 1,000 without being distracted.

Cheering for Jason's victory... and Trini is levitating

Cheering for Jason's victory... and Trini is levitating

Weight Loss Analogy

Okay, I never claimed that every episode would be a winner. Part of the problem is that Power Rangers was adapted from footage of the Japanese show Kyoruu Sentai Zyuranger. Other than the appearance of the Ranger suits, very little stayed the same. It wasn’t a show about five teenagers fighting evil. It was about five ancient warriors fighting evil.

That made for some interesting fill-ins when the show was adapted for a US audience. The Power Crystals allegedly made more sense in the original footage. (The usage of Japanese footage is also why the Yellow Ranger looks masculine when morphed. Yellow was male in Japan.) But regardless, I’m going to disregard the Power Crystals or whatever other nonsense was going on and just focus on Jason.

Jason admitted that he needed his friends to help him out.

How perfect is that for weight loss and fitness? Whether you have a little to lose or almost 200 pounds to lose (or more), we don’t need to do it alone.

I’m not going to say that it can’t be done alone, but I know that I, for one, have no desire to attempt it alone.

I’m very lucky in that I am surrounded by people to help me out. Tina is my number one support. I have my coworkers, who always express an interest when I share any success I’ve had in the gym or on the scale. I have my Weight Watchers @Work group, who are likewise very encouraging and a great support system.

I’ve also got this blog and all of you. I love having a place where I can vent, share my dorkiness, and talk with others. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can leave comments and talk with people on their blogs. We’re all in this together, and collectively, we can accomplish more than we can alone.

Those are just some of the people I have in my corner, helping me in my weight loss fight. (And I’m including you in my corner, too. You’re a bigger help to me than you’ll ever realize.)

Who is helping you?

Related Posts:

Food Planning, Journaling, and Weight Loss Rewards

No nostalgia today, but I do have a bit of nostalgia news. Every episode of Power Rangers was released to Netflix streaming today! For a geek like myself, this is major good news. The other three episodes I blogged about were watched on YouTube. Hopefully, I’ll be able to capture some higher quality photos for my posts now. I’m very excited about it.

I didn’t weigh in this morning. I have an extremely “bad” right knee. I can only say “bad” because I don’t know what is wrong with it. I’m sure my weight affects it, but I don’t believe it is 100% weight, because my left knee NEVER hurts. I’m not making an excuse about my weight, because I’m sure it’ll improve when I am lighter.

On days when it rains or is threatening rain (such as today, when we have the threat of major storms looming over our head), my knee sometimes swells. Ridiculously so. It swells to the point that the excess fluid on it does cause me to weigh sometimes three to four pounds more than I would normally. It is very stiff, painful, and just awkward. It makes me feel like an old man and not a 33 year old.

I am in the midst of exploring my mental health relationships with food now, as always. At the moment, Tina and I are trying out hands again at eating intuitively. She is doing fantastically with it. I, not surprisingly, am struggling.

What I am about to do to help with my mental issues associated with eating is to fully plan out my day of meals. That is about as far from intuitive eating as one can get. However, it is just one step on the process that will hopefully take me to intuitive eating.

I am going to plan my meals, especially when I am at work, when it is much tougher, so that I have a full arsenal of healthy foods to eat. There is a vending machine just two floors down from my office. In that vending machine, they have brownies for seventy-five cents. It even has a little yellow flag beside it that says “Big Deal!”

I am not saying I will never eat another brownie. Aside from the fact that I know that is utterly ridiculous and unrealistic, I don’t want to. I like brownies. I want to eat one again for a treat. However, it needs to be that. A treat. An occasional indulgence. Not my 2 p.m. fix every day.

This is what I have planned for tomorrow. Yes, it is a lot of food, but the servings are relatively small and I am also at work ‘til about 6 p.m.

Breakfast (before I leave for work) – scrambled egg with green onions, spinach, ham, and cheddar on a spinach wrap
Mid-morning – egg salad (2 hard boiled eggs with a teaspoon of mayo and some mustard and spices)
Lunch – I’m going to a lunch meeting tomorrow, and I hope I can find something healthy there. If I can’t, I’ll skip eating (this is a particular meeting where it would be okay for me to not eat) and eat a healthy backup lunch when I’m done. It will be whole wheat linguini with a little pesto and ground turkey, ¼ cup of trail mix (which consists of raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut, and raisins)
Mid-afternoon #1 – Frozen berries and plain yogurt
Mid-afternoon #2 – baked potato with salsa, banana
Dinner – Homemade vegetable beef stew (all good, real ingredients)
Post-workout snack – Banana smoothie (banana, milk, one tablespoon of coffee creamer for flavor, ice)

I am hoping that by having my meals thoroughly planned, I’ll be much more likely to stick to healthy foods. These are all real foods that should give me energy, not suck energy out of me (like the brownie would).

I probably won’t plan my meals on here every day (unless people like that sort of thing, and if you do, let me know!). However, I am going to using my journal for more food tracking. I plan to track my mood and hunger level before I eat. I have such a screwed up view of food, I know it’s going to take some hardcore work on my part to get better. This is just step one.

I’m also a big fan of weight loss rewards. I haven’t gotten any in a LONG time. I’m going to change that starting now. Every time I reach a ten pound weight loss mark, I’m going to reward myself with something that is not food related.

I don’t have the entire list planned out by any means, but I do have two things in mind.

The first is what I’m going to reward myself with when I get to 360. At 360 pounds, I am going to buy myself an authentic, antique map. You can actually find some from hundreds of years ago on eBay for under ten bucks.

I’m fascinated by things that are old. My keychain is a shoe buckle that was found in the grounds around a German castle (I think – my memory is a little foggy. I’ve had it for about thirteen years now). It was dated to the 1500s. So I have a keychain over 500 years old. To me, that’s cool. Who knows – some part of me may be hoping that I’ll buy some ancient artifact that will give me super powers or something. You can’t prove it won’t happen, right?

Despite my love for old things, my ultimate goal weight reward is not old. It’s definitely geeky, though.

I’m buying an actual Blue Ranger helmet.

Not one of the strap-on or cheap plastic Halloween masks. A for-real Blue Ranger helmet.

It won’t be a cheap purchase; with shipping, today, it will cost me $300. There is a guy on eBay who sells them regularly. (His auction is where I got the above pic.) Hopefully, in the next few years when I reach goal weight, it won’t be much more expensive. I’m not saying I plan to ever get into cos-play. I just think this would look amazingly cool sitting on my book shelf. I’ll reward myself with the other Power Rangers helmets as I maintain my weight loss. Six months at goal and I get the Pink Ranger helmet.

And so on and so on until I have all six. (Yep, I’m a super-mega-major geek. Fortunately, Tina loves geeks, even if she doesn’t always share my geeky interests.)

At some point during this weight loss reward journey, I also plan to buy a Freddy Krueger glove, also for display. (No murdering, I promise.) I may get that when I get below 300.

I also like to collect movie and television show memorabilia, so those will show up in my rewards as well. I already have some. Back in 1997, I purchased a set of four face masks that were actually hanging on the juice bar set on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Those are still hanging in my bedroom at my parent’s house. Next time I visit, I’m bringing them to hang in my office at home. When I do, I’ll write a post about them.

Anyway, that’s my plan. I’m going to put a heavy emphasis on planning my food and eating real foods, and I’m going to reward myself with various geeky/old/memorabilia-like items as I lose weight.

What are your thoughts on weight loss rewards?


Related Posts:

Power Rangers: Teamwork

June 9, 2011
366.6 pounds
Change from June 1st = -8.7 pounds
Change from highest = -36.2 pounds

I am now weighing in every day. I may not do this forever, but I’m doing it now for a big reason. I think it is an integral part of the mental health process for me to strip the scale of its power. Weight fluctuates, daily. You can do everything right and see a slight increase on the scale from the day before. Many weight loss experts say you should avoid the scale daily for this very reason, as it can cause undue stress.

Well, I can’t necessarily control temporary water gain and fluctuations of a few pounds. But I can control my stress over it. That’s what I’m doing now. Yesterday, my weight went up a bit over a pound. No worries; I knew it would drop. Today it dropped, almost three pounds. What will it do tomorrow?

It doesn’t even matter, so long as the overall trend for June is downward. I may start using PhysicsDiet again, just to see that downward trend.

Again, do understand that this is a work in progress for me. I’m sure some day my weight will spike, I’ll be confused by it, and I’ll have to struggle not to binge. Ignoring the problem, however, will not make it go away. I can only fix this by addressing it head on, which is what I am currently doing.

After today’s episode of Power Rangers, I’m going to take a brief break from Angel Grove and head to Camp Anawana and Salute Your Shorts! Oh, and in case you don’t know where to find these nostalgic videos, I’m getting the mall from YouTube. It’s like someone took my childhood and put it online!

Teamwork
First aired September 8, 1993

Plot

Kim and Trini are trying to get signatures on a petition to shut down a dumpsite.

Little do they know, the dump is actually a trap created by Rita Repulsa. When they go to the dump site to deliver their petition, they are attacked by Putties. In addition, Rita also sends her newest creation, the Minotaur, to fight the Ranngers.

While the girls finish fighting the putties, the boys attack the Minotaur. Zordon has the team unite, because it is only as a whole team that they can defeat Rita’s monsters. This is the toughest battle the Rangers have had to face yet, so Zordon gives the team their Power Weapons.

Even more impressively, their weapons can combine to make the Power Blaster, and with this weapon, Rita’s Minotaur is history.

At the end of the day, the Rangers have learned they are best and strongest when functioning as a team.

Weight Loss Analogy

Zordon gave the Rangers their Power Weapons, which was just the edge they needed to defeat the monster.

We all should have our own secret weapons in our battle, too.

We all know what to do. We know how to count calories or points, work out, eat properly… all that is a given. So why aren’t we all thin? Things come up. Bad choices are easier to make.

However, if we properly equip ourselves, then it will be easier to make the good choices.

One of my Power Weapons is fruit. Aside from the fact that fruit is a zero point food on Weight Watchers, it tastes good, it is good for me, and it is filling. If I am craving something sweet, then fruit often does the trick. It’s currently summer (or at least close enough), and there are more fruits available than ever before. Right now, I have apples, peaches, cherries, watermelon, and cantaloupe in my fridge, with even more (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries) in my freezer. I’m eating several servings of fruit a day. It makes me feel amazing. I know I am fueling my body with something it needs, and it keeps me from eating things I do not need.

What are your Power Weapons on your weight loss quest?


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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)