Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

At the beginning of this year, I weighed 340 pounds, partly as a result of getting injured in 2007, partly because I hadn’t done anything about it yet.

So I decided it was time to get off the couch, out of the chair, and do something about it.  I blogged about MyFitnessPal and Juicing earlier in the year, and since then I’ve lost 25 pounds.

I don’t juice much – basically, when I’d get done juicing stuff, I’d look in the ‘waste’ bin and think, ‘hmm, I like that stuff too,’  plus there was a lot of fiber being tossed by the wayside, so I’ve simply been exercising and eating just a bit smarter.

One of the tools I’ve found that worked very well for me was getting a better pair of shoes to use on the treadmill.   I had a physical therapist tell me once that the active life of a pair of exercise shoes is, at the maximum, six months.  The shoes I had been using on the treadmill were about three years old.  After 2-3 miles, my feet and shins hurt terribly.

I found a ‘buy one pair, get the second pair half price’ special on tennis shoes, and picked up a pair of New Balance for my every-day wear tennis shoes, and a pair of Sketcher’s GoRun shoes for the treadmill, sort of as an experiment.  I’d seen several articles over the years about ‘natural running,’ and recently about shoes that were closer to natural running, and these fit the bill nicely.

They’re fantastic.  I’ve done 3-6 miles, 4-6 days per week, since I picked these shoes up.  I will probably wear them out in another month or two, and won’t complain a bit, since at that point the shoes would have been worn for nearly 180 miles of walking.

So, I highly recommend these shoes: take a look at them if you’re in the market for running or walking shoes.

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Just after Christmas, I posted that I was going to start juicing.  I have been, somewhat, however when I see the amount of material I was adding to the compost heap, I kept thinking “but those bits are yummy too…” and really, I’ve just been eating more vegetables and fruit, and juicing now and then.  My wife, not a fresh-fruit or vegetable enthusiast, has discovered that she LOVES fresh apple and orange juice.

Then, in January, my daughter told me about an app for my phone called “My Fitness Pal.”   I am NOT a big cell phone app user – I have the WordPress app, Amazon Kindle App, FaceBook and Twitter apps, Angry Birds Star Wars, and now My Fitness Pal.

And I like it.

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Simply put, when you set the app up, you tell it what you weigh, and how much you want to lose per week, and it generates a caloric goal per day.  After that you enter the food you eat in the daily ‘diary,’ which is connected to a decent database of foods including nutritional information for some of the foods (it depends on what’s entered already) or you can enter the nutritional information yourself, from the back of the package.   There is also a bar code scanner, for pre-packaged foods.  As an example of the scanner, I usually take microwavable dinners to work on our midnight shifts, Lean Cuisine or other ‘healthy’ offerings depending on whats on sale that week.  Scanning the bar code on those meals has, so far, accurately brought up all the nutritional information: I cross checked several of the results from the back of the package.

You also enter exercise into the app, which offsets your calorie count for the day.  I have a treadmill with a 32″ flat screen TV/DVD combo in front of it, so I tend to watch NetFlix or DVDs while on the treadmill.  Yesterday I watched “Thor” again while on the treadmill, with a result of 4.6 miles over the one hour forty-eight minutes of the movie, incline 4-6, for 1,326 calories burned.

The app makes an interesting game out of what you eat and how you exercise.  Now, every time I open my mouth to put something in it, I think about that calorie count, along with if I’ll be able to hit the treadmill that day to offset the difference.

It’s working, too.  I lost 8 pounds in the first ten days.  It’s also changing how I think about foods, since the app tracks the nutritional content (if it’s provided when you enter your intake) of everything. For example, people might skip a Coke Zero because it has no calories.  Wrong. It has NUTRIENTS in it, so you should track it. Again, the bar code scanner works on every soft drink I’ve tried it on, and you’d be shocked how much SODIUM you end up taking in with diet drinks.  Sodium in moderation is necessary, but at the end of a week, if you look at your sodium intake on this app (if you’ve been honest about adding foods) it’s HUGE, way above what is needed.

Yesterday, I had me a bit of a weak moment and stopped at a local BBQ place for lunch. I had the beef plate with deep fried green beans and jalapeno poppers.  Not good, I felt like I swallowed half a bottle of deef frier fat all day.  One month ago, I WOULDN’T HAVE NOTICED.  Instead, after I got home, I hit the treadmill to make up the calorie difference.

I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

You learn, with this app, what’s filling without being high-calorie. You also start noticing exactly how many THOUSAND calories you can give up with fast food.

I want to see 250# again – and I want to see it soon, but in a way that I can SUSTAIN.  No yo-yo dieting for me, I like to do things in such a way that I don’t have to do them over and over again, so changing what I eat, how I track it, and how I pay for it with exercise is exactly the right way to do it.

Losing this weight will help with, well, everything. Better hunting, less cost (tree stands rated for Sasquatchoids are more expensive) in my equipment choices, CLOTHES WILL FIT AGAIN without having to ask folks “that come in man size?” (I messed with Scentlok at the ATA Show when the nice lady tried to sell me on their new jacket. “That come in man size?” I asked… she said “What size are you?”  “XXXL…”  “No, sorry, XXL is the largest…”)  Of course, losing weight isn’t going to make my SHOULDERS smaller, and I don’t quite fit through normal doors because of the width of my shoulders, but hey, less weight is still better.

I caught just a bit of a recipe on the television, oh, maybe five months ago, where the chef involved (I can’t even remember if it was Alton Brown or what) was ROASTING Brussels sprouts.

I love Brussels sprouts.  My mouth is watering writing about them.

So, the other day, I decided “time to try this out.”  I Googled a few recipes and, hey look, the common denominator was ‘roast them,’  go figure.

Image from Onceuponachef.com - click to see that site's 'roasted Brussels sprouts' recipe.

Image from Onceuponachef.com – click to see that site’s ‘roasted Brussels sprouts’ recipe.

The basics are very, very simple. Get fresh Brussels sprouts, trim the stem off along with any narsty looking leaves, cut them in half, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and anything else you want to toss them with (I added a bit of fresh minced garlic) and roast at 400′ for 35-45 minutes.

Other ideas would be – pine nuts, almond slivers, minced bacon, etc. etc.  Use your imagination!

In addition to being one of my favorite vegetables, Brussels sprouts are very healthy:

Health benefits of brussel sprouts (From Nutrition-and-you.com)

  • The sprouts are one of the low-glycemic nutritious vegetables that should be considered in weight reduction programs. 100 g brussel sprouts provide just 45 calories, nonetheless, contain 3.38 g of protein, 3.80 g of dietary fiber (10% of RDA) and zero cholesterol.
  • In fact, brussels sprouts are a storehouse of several flavonoid anti-oxidants like thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together, these phytochemicals offer protection from prostate, colon, prostate, and endometrial cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol is found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-γ” receptors.
  • In addition, brussel sprouts contain glucoside, sinigrin. Early laboratory studies suggest that sinigrin help protect from colon cancers by destroying pre-cancerous cells.
  • Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C; 100 g sprouts provide about 85 mg or 142% of RDA. Together with other antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A and E, it helps protect the body by trapping harmful free radicals.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in sprouts, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula-lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide anti-oxidant and protective light-filtering functions from UV rays. Thus, it helps prevent retinal damage, “age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD), in the elderly.
  • Sprouts are the good source of another anti-oxidant vitamin A, provides about 754 IU per 100g. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for acuity of vision. Foods rich in this vitamin have been found to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 177 µg or about 147% of RDA. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain and thereby, preventing or at least, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Further, the sprouts are notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for substrate metabolism inside the human body.
  • They are also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. 100 g fresh sprouts provide 25 mg (1.5% of RDA) sodium and 389 mg (8% of RDA) potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Brussels sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.

I’ve been interested in juicing for quite some time.  For one thing, I like fruit and vegetable juices, for another, I keep hearing about the ‘massive benefits’ of juicing.  One… enthusiast (being polite here, gimme a break) was ranting on the television the other day about how cooking destroys the good enzymes and juicing is the only way to get them.  I thought about that as I was nibbling on a raw carrot.  You know, juicing it. With my teeth.

The wife gave me a juicer for Christmas, and I’ve already been ribbed a few times about how I got her a Kimber Custom II and she got me a juicer, but I’ve been wanting one for quiet some time, so I’m happy. (Besides, I get to shoot and clean the Kimber, so it’s all good.)

juicer

I’ve started looking at recipes for the juicer, and quite a few of the ones I’ve read are fine and dandy EXCEPT for one ingredient.  Like ‘Apples, Mangoes, Oranges, Lemons, and spinach!’   Ok.  I like all of those. Except the thought of SPINACH juice combined with LEMONS AND MANGOES makes me want to nail my tongue to the back of garbage truck, because I think that would taste better.

As a quick test run this afternoon, I juiced one orange and one apple, and made several important discoveries.

  • No matter how splattered and opaque the top becomes, pulling the feeder tool out and looking down the feed chute to see if you need to add more fruit is both funny and rough on the glasses. *SPLAT*
  • It takes a whole orange, and a whole apple, to make enough juice for four or five gulps.  Which isn’t much in my book.
  • Orange seeds sound like the Mayan Apocalypse until they make their way to the waste chute.
  • Even my wife (not a vegetable or fruit fan) likes the apple/orange juice combo, though she says ‘it needs Vodka.’
  • Oranges are a pain in the ass, unless I’m missing something and I’m supposed to juice the peel too.
  • Black & Decker didn’t feel they should spend the $.30 to add even a single recipe or piece of advice in the juicer, just basic instructions.
  • I picked up apples, kale, celery, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes at the store today, juicing might just be more expensive than liposuction.

Wish me luck, or at least massively humorous failure, since I’ll be sure to share either one here.