Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MAXIMIZE what you eat!!!

I often get asked by others who are amazed at my weight loss and how I’ve done it if I miss any of the foods I used to eat. Well yeah, of course I do. We were at Chili’s having some dinner and the waiter, out of the goodness of his heart, brought us a platter of chips and salsa, free of charge. Now back in the day I would have been all over that platter, but now I equate that platter with the 12 points that it is. So I told my wife she could have what she wanted but I wasn’t touching them. Well the chips and salsa are about a foot away from my face the entire time, but I stood strong and resisted them. Wasn’t easy, but it was possible. So yeah, I miss foods and crave some foods when I smell them. That’ll probably always be there.

I’m then always asked, “What do you eat? Does it taste good?” So I’ve decided to post some of my own recipes that I use. I find them very flavorful and consider myself a food connoisseur. You know I didn’t get to be 400lbs eating crummy tasting food. I still like good tasting food and love to make it; it’s just now that food is good for me also.

My theme when it comes to food and points is “MAXIMIZE, MAXIMIZE, MAXIMIZE!” If you want to have a seven point Snickers bar go ahead. I’ll MAXIMIZE and have a two point Fiber 1 Oats and Chocolate bar to feed that chocolate craving and I’ll save five points and get 1/3 of my daily recommended fiber allowance doing so. Another example is the Weight Watcher 6oz. yogurt compared with the Yoplait Light 6oz. yogurts. They both have the same amount of calories—100, the same amount of fat—0 grams, but the Yoplait brand is two points and the WW yogurts are one point. Why? Because the WW yogurts have 3 grams of fiber and the Yoplait yogurts don’t have any at all. That 3 grams of fiber brings it down a point. Same great taste, same price at Walmart, but you MAXIMIZE with the WW brand.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

After pics

Well here are the after pics. I still have some skin around the middle but the doctor seems to think this will eventually shrink back. The excess skin on my arms and neck has done a nice job of returning to normal.

Monday, February 25, 2008

February 25th, 2007—the day I reach goal

I went to my weigh in tonight and this is what the scale said:

After almost nine months I am there. WOOHOOOOOOO!!!! It feels great and I know that I’ve added years to my life and have made a lifestyle change. I’ll post some after pics tomorrow. I’m excited about the maintaining stage now and have given it a lot of thought. I’ve got a plan for it, that’s for sure.

Thanks to my leaders Judy and Kay. They are awesome. Thanks to my group, they too are excellent to be around.

My weight loss chronicled

On September 17th, 2007 I visited my doctor and told him what I was doing to lose weight. I, and my leader at WW, wanted to make sure I was healthy and losing the weight in a healthy manner. He was amazed at my progress, the blood work and EKG were excellent, and he wrote me up a clean bill of health to take back to my WW leader. By this time I’d lost almost 100lbs in almost 4 months on WW.

On January 21st, 2008 I visited my doctor again to solidify a goal weight. Let me just mention here I read an email from WW today concerning BMI and how while it isn’t the perfect system for developing a goal weight for everybody it is pretty darn good. Well, my doctor thought WW’s goal of 211lbs for a guy of my stature and build was a little low. We came up with the goal of 225lbs. I would then have the opportunity to continue to develop lean muscle and he said it would better suit someone of my size and stature. Yay, I now had a goal to work towards! My blood pressure at this visit was 110 over 61, my doctor was very impressed with it and said if there was ever a correct model for proper weight loss I was it. That made me feel good. He sent me up for a blood test to make sure everything was still in order, like my vitamin D levels. The phlebotomist had no idea I was losing weight or what I was doing, but when she went to draw my blood she commented, " Your veins are easy to find, all there is here is lean muscle." That was about the best compliment I've ever received. Well, all was in order with my blood work. I'm healthy!

My weekly progress follows:

Starting weight: 393.6lbs
Week 1: Lost 14.8lbs
Week 2: Lost 8.8lbs
Week 3: Lost 7.6lbs
Week 4: Lost 8.8lbs
Week 5: Lost 2.8lbs
Week 6: Lost 6.2lbs
Week 7: Lost 6.4lbs
Week 8: Lost 6.8lbs
Week 9: Lost 4lbs
Week 10: Lost 1.2lbs
Week 11: Lost 6.6lbs
Week 12: Lost 4.6lbs
Week 13: Lost 9.8lbs
Week 14: Lost 2.4lbs
Week 15: Lost 4.4lbs
Week 16: Lost 4.4lbs
Week 17: Lost 3lbs
Week 18: Lost 5.2lbs
Week 19: Lost 5.8lbs
Week 20: Lost 1.6lbs
Week 21: Lost 8.2lbs
Week 22: Lost 1lb
Week 23: Lost 1.8lbs
Week 24: Lost 4.8lbs
Week 25: Lost 6.2lbs
Week 26: Gained 2.2lbs
Week 27: Lost 11.2lbs
Week 28: Gained 1.2lbs
Week 29: Lost 3.4lbs
Week 30: Lost 2.2lbs
Week 31: Gained 1.2lbs
Week 32: Lost 4.2lbs
Week 33: Lost 2.8lbs
Week 34: Lost 2.8lbs
Week 35: Lost 4lbs
Week 36: Gained .8lbs
Week 37: Lost 3.4lbs
Week 38: Lost 3.2lbs

I was really miffed at the end Week 26 when I gained weight, because I don’t cheat on the plan. I eat my assigned points only. I don’t eat my exercise points nor my 35 flex points. I realize now that your body has its own schedule and plan and adjusts itself accordingly as long as you’re treating it right. I was ticked though that night at weigh in.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thoughts while shopping…

Today was payday so my wife and I went shopping. It was funny pointing out all the stuff I’d used to buy and saying, “If I were fat John I’d be buying this or that tonight.” or “Remember when I would have bought this.” It’s amazing to me how after following the WW program for a mere 9 months that most of my old favorite things don’t even look appetizing. I look at food now as more of a fuel than food. Don’t get me wrong, I still like good tasting food and haven’t become a “Food Nazi” altogether. But I know and accept the fact that there are just some foods I will never eat again, more on that at a later date. Suffice it to say that it was an interesting evening shopping through Costco and another grocery store in my area and reflecting on the changes that have occurred in my mind concerning food.

The Fat Man Walks Alone

A friend gave me her copies of WW’s magazine before I ever joined and I’d look through them. I remember reading about an older guy, probably in his late 60’s or early 70’s, who walks three miles a day. I thought to myself, “If he can do it, then what’s my excuse?” So the night I joined WW, I drove around and mapped out a three mile course that I could walk. The next morning I woke up early and went walking.

Let me tell you I wasn’t shooting to do it in record time, but I wanted to work up a sweat. I made the three miles in under an hour. I also made the stupid mistake of not stretching and was amazed at how sore my shins were the next day. Of course my arthritis didn’t care for it at all and my ankle hurt the whole way. It would go on to hurt for the next month or two.

That’s something that I came to realize. When you let yourself go and then start working out, you’re gonna hurt. I knew that if I stopped then I wouldn’t want to start back up again. So I walked through the pain and I’m glad I did. Important lesson learned, “No pain, no gain (or should I say 'loss')!”

Monday through Friday I’d wake up and go walk my three mile loop. I’d take the weekends off from having a scheduled workout and still do. I’d walk my loop whether it was raining or blistering hot. I was determined.

I think walking is about one of the best things you can do. It’s free and easy to do. It’s easy on the joints and you can do it alone. I’ve never been a fan of gyms or clubs and when you’re huge who wants to work out in front of others anyways. Walking gives you the freedom to do it alone and work against yourself only. Plus it’s a good time to map out your day in your head as you go along, like what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it.

I’m also a firm believer in getting outside. There’s just something about fresh air and not the stale, sweaty gym smell.

I began to repeat a mantra as I'd walk. I'd repeat, "Leaner, Faster Stronger!" over and over again. I'd walk in rhythm to that as I'd say it time and again in my mind. It help keep me motivated and focused on my goal and the task at hand. When I played high school football our offensive line's motto was "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" so that's where the idea came from, slightly modified of course.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In the Beginning…

It seems like I have been fat or chubby for the majority of my life. Last year at my wife’s encouragement and my frustration with being fat, I decided to do something about it. On June 4, 2007 I joined Weight Watchers. I joined for a multitude of reasons, the main one being I didn’t want to die. I knew if I didn’t do something I’d end up having a massive coronary sometime before I turned 40 and let’s face it; I like life and love my wife. I want to spend as much time on earth with her as humanly possible. The way I was going that wasn’t going to be very long.

I work on my feet everyday on a concrete floor. In November of 2006 I found out I have osteo-arthritis in my left ankle. Needless to say my weight didn’t help with the pain. My ankle would throb at night and be sore in the morning. It hurt getting out of bed. I felt like an old man. I knew just taking a little bit of weight off would help my ankle immensely. So yet another reason for joining WW.

I don’t really know how heavy I ever got, only that I am 100% positive I was over 400lbs at times. I know that I’d just tell people I was 350lbs, even though I was much heavier. Yeah, guys fudge about their weight too—the truth hurts. In fact that’s what my driver’s license says, weight—350lbs. When I started WW these were my stats:

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 393.6lbs

Belly: 60”

Chest: 52.5”

Arm: 17.5”

Thigh: 30”

I’m not proud of the “before” pictures but here some are. I had really let myself go. I look like if you stuck a pin in me I'd pop like a balloon. I don’t know why somebody didn’t show some tough love with me and tell me I was so large. I guess that’s just part of our politically correct culture nowadays.