Saturday, July 31, 2010

A new bike for the Meatball!

Just a quick post for an early Saturday evening because I got another new toy thanks to Craigslist yet again. I am always surfing through Craiglist looking for things, selling things and just browsing in general and this morning Wify asked me to post some books on there in the free section and when I was done I started looking around. Of course I go straight to the bikes and at the very top of the list is a freshly placed ad for a Specialized Hardrock, click, load and I fired off a quick email to the owner and was in the car 20 minutes later on my way to take a look. I am not sure what year the bike is but my best guess so far is early 90's perhaps late 80's but that's to be found out still as I haven't done a lot of research just yet. Bikes are quickly becoming an hobby for me as I am finding out that I enjoy finding great old bikes for little to no money and cleaning them up and riding them again makes the riding them that much more fun. The ad for this bike said that it was "rarely ridden" and after seeing it I completely believe it! have a look at my new toy.

You can see form these pictures that the condition is very good besides the dry rotted tires which are original to the bike, the images above are literally 5 minutes after I took it off of the bike rack on my car and is exactly how I got it. This is the second older Specialized mountain bike that I got from Craigslist this year, the first one was a 1988 Rockhopper that I did some work on and posted some pictures up Here and now this one is in line for the treatment. I have to say that before I changed the way that I eat and move this hobby wouldn't have been an option for me, I mean, I could have gotten the bikes and fixed them up but for who? where is the fun in doing something like this if I don't get to reap the benefits right? Two and a half years ago I literally thought to myself "who the hell would want to go for a walk just to go for a walk?" along with "why would anyone want to ride a bike when a car is so convenient?" and that was the bitter fat guys thoughts because now I want to bike everywhere!

I currently have four bikes where as I said not so long ago I wondered why anyone would enjoy riding a bike, I have ridden a bike more in the last year than in the last 20 years combined and am sorry that I ever stopped. My life has completely changed for the better on so many levels when I decided to do something about the weight that was holding me back and as I sit here typing this I know that I will be around a lot longer because of that choice. Eating better, moving more and finding healthy hobbies and interests to keep us busy may likely be the key to a long healthy and happy life, you can ask me in 40 years if I was right, that old heavier me would surely not be around that much longer but this version of myself is planning to surpass that time.

That's all I got for today, keep on keepin on.

As Ever

Friday, July 30, 2010

Suddenly tomato and some pictures.

Just another Friday and I am being over run by tomatoes! which isn't really a bad thing right? Last year I planted three lowly tomato plants and got a few decent sized tomatoes off of them before the blight hit so this year I figured try four plants to see if I could get a few more and boy have I! For the last week or two I have had to pick tomatoes almost daily and my wife's response was "thats ok you are the tomato fiend I am sure you will get em all" truth be told I have too many now! I daily get a handful of grape tomatoes and two to four better boys and I just can't keep up! perhaps I will make a tomato salad today because I have three left from Wednesday and this morning I picked another four along with the handful of grapes. My neighbor was happy when I dropped some off to him that were picked yesterday morning and I have a feeling that he will get some more over the weekend. This is much better than the blight stricken bunch from last year and I am going to try and talk wify into letting me expand my garden a little bit next year, to expand it means that I will encroach further into the front yard than I already am with my current set up.

Just a shot of some flowers in my yard.

My honeydew melons are starting to pop up in my little melon patch as well, I have two pretty good sized melons out there now and a bunch of smaller ones and since the melon patch was an experiment to see if I could grow them I am happy with whats out there. I only have three pepper plants and that is the reason that I want to expand the garden, I eat peppers pretty much daily and three plants just isn't holding me over, I eat loads of peppers. This all ties in with my better health program because hey! if I have a ton of free fresh veggies 30 feet from my front door it makes things easy in the getting them into my day thing. My daughter and I head out each morning to see what is ready to pick and bring it on in for the table, I have three eggplants out there right now that should be ready all about the same time so I will plan on perfecting that stuffed eggplant recipe from a couple posts ago when that happens.

This is today's pile O Maters fresh from the garden, literally 5 minutes off of the vine.

One of the three eggplants that is growing right now, yes yes, I do know that I need to weed around my eggplants!

One of the Honeydew melons from my tiny little patch, I am very curious to see if these turn out to be as big as the store bought melons.

My intake for Thursday came in at 1830 calories because of a skinny cow ice cream sandwich that I had with my daughter, 1830 is a little bit high but not so much that I am worried about it, especially because I got to the gym last night. Somehow I feel like I have focus again, staring through the things that would stand in my way and I can see that line in the sand with "300" carved next to it and I am aiming for that spot. Here is a look at my menu from yesterday, it was not the best of the best but I am just barely over on my calories so its a good one to me, and yes it says that I had a Coolata from Dunkin' donuts! A 16oz Coffee Coolata made with skim milk is 140 calories and Wify did get whipped cream on it so I added 30 for that but it falls within my caloric range so no worries, here is the whole menu.

8:00 AM
5 egg whites/1 whole egg 145
8oz red potato 200
Whole grain English muffin 100
smart balance/onions 50

12:30 PM
1 banana 105
1 T peanut butter 95

1:45 PM
1 tomato 25

3:45 PM
1oz Cheddar chips 140

4:30 PM
16oz Coffee Coolata 170

6:15 PM
4oz turkey burger 160
1oz American cheese 110
2 slices whole wheat bread 140
2oz Lays light chips 150
1 deli slim 100

7:00 PM
1 Skinny cow ice cream sandwich 140

I mentioned that I made it to the gym last night, this is not optimal but I figure going late and then being all energy before bed is better than not going so that's that. I also noticed that there were 7 comments from yesterdays post so that's 70 push ups that I owe you guys that left me the comments so they will be done today and I am going to do an extra 30 which is what I was going to do anyways for an even 100 push ups for today, wish me luck on that one. The past few days I have been trying to clear my head and I seem to be VERY motivated to keep this train rolling I'm looking for some good losses so that I can finally and once and for all bust through that 300 pound mark and finally see what the 200's feel like.

Thanks for following along with me as I go up and down learning what I need to do to take off and keep off the weight that has held me back long enough, the support is more than appreciated. If you read this all the way to here then you owe yourself a big ol glass of H2O so hop on up, go grab yourself a bottle or fill a glass in your sink and drink it up Johnny!

That's all I got.

As Ever

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Give me the forkanspoon! what did she say??

Its raining its pouring the old man is snoring, well I was anyways but now I am up and at em with breakfast down the hatch and a glass of green tea in front of me I am ready to get today going. This morning I am feeling somewhat run down and I am unsure whether its the stress of my father being in the hospital that's caught up to me or if I am coming down with something, whichever it is its going to have to step aside because I need to get rolling again. My intake for yesterday was a bit high coming in at 1820 total but it went high because of a mango that was calling to me so I am not too worried about it, I kind of LOVE Mangos when they are perfectly ripe like this one was so it was irresistible. Drinking is always on par except when I get into situations where I am stuck in a car all day so I am definitely hydrated right now and am still loving the iced tea maker that I got for my birthday as it is making my life easy with the keeping fresh brewed tea around.

Making sure that I am recording my intake has again become a priority which means that I can share with you what I ate each day as long as I am keeping up with that. I made some grilled salmon on Tuesday and had a couple small fillets left and I won't eat a reheated salmon fillet so I usually end up preparing it like you would tuna and it turns out pretty damn amazing if I do say so myself. I simply take some of the fillet and break it all up so that it looks like tuna, dice some red onion into it, a tiny bit of sweet relish, Miracle whip and a shake of black pepper later its done and I serve it on sandwich thins which are 100 calories each with some fresh from the garden tomato sliced on top, bamn! a very yummy lunch made from leftovers. Have a look at yesterdays complete menu, the meals are a little heavy so there was less snacking but that's ok as long as its not an all of the time habit.

7:30 AM
2 servings corn pops 240
1 cup 1% milk 110

12:15 PM
2 deli thins 200
3.5 oz grilled salmon 175
1 T miracle whip 50
onion/relish/tomato 35

3:00 PM
1 banana 105
1 T peanut butter 95

5:45 PM
5oz ground turkey (turkey burger) 200
hard roll 170
1 cup rice and beans 300
grilled onions 30

8:00 PM
1 mango 110

Not too shabby and that lunch really was good, I drank a gallon of green tea and just over a gallon of straight H2O for the day and am feeling fairly good about where I am headed this week. Remembering where I came from with my health and weight loss I have to keep in mind just how unhappy I was back when I was 200 plus pounds heavier and use that to push me through stressful times because without my health stress is something that I lived with on a daily and constant basis. I use to do challenges to myself and since I haven't had time to get to the gym I am going to post a little challenge for myself on today's post, for every unique comment that I get on THIS post by midnight tonight where the poster promises to drink an extra 16 oz of water today I will do 10 push ups tomorrow. Here is your chance to make a fat man sweat and not feel bad about it so let me know that you are drinkin' that extra H2O and I will pay for it with my sweat, so the bar tab is on me this time.

With that the end has come to this installment of as the fat guy turns and I am off to do my crunches for the day, drink some more H2O and try to get out for a bike ride when/if a clearing floats over me. I am trying to work something out with the boss lady that will allow me to get out to the gym later in the day but its going to take some doing so we shall see because I NEED to get back to regular cardio ifin' I'm going to win this fight and with the little animals home from school for the summer is making that task harder than it has been. That's all I got for today so keep on keepin on and all that good stuff but whatever you do never forget that You are the one controlling that fork at the end of your arm.

As Ever

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That hill over there? yeah thats my bitch...

Disaster averted? perhaps, perhaps not but lets pretend that it was anyways because I have a body to sculpt into that of a Greek yeah, lets just say that I have some work left to do. You may have noticed that I changed the layout of the blog a bit and that was mostly because of boredom but partially because I need to start working on me again and I thought a new look for my chicken scratch might go with that so there you have it. I have been working on other people for the last two months and suddenly I am reminded that the last time I paid myself no mind that it didn't end up so good for my hard body status, you know, that time where I ended up weighing 534 pounds? So onto me for a while, I mean, keeping things in focus for the other things is a must just because they are but that doesn't mean that I can't squeeze in some time for Me, Myself and I and with that it begins again.

Today as I type this at just after 6PM I am 1680 calories into my budget and as full as I ever want or need to be, I made some rice and beans with grilled turkey burgers or should I say burger because I only had one but either way I am where I should be with the calories. I am a little light on my fluids today compared to my usual, I have about a half gallon of green tea down the hatch along with just under three quarts or so of straight H2O but I do have a half gallon of tea in the fridge for when I am through with this post. Yesterday my calories were over by 2 yogurts a banana and a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream with some whipped cream and I honestly don't know what the calories for my side dish at dinner was as I made stuffed eggplant and did not figure what a serving would be on my excel sheet yet.

The dish turned out good and I winged a stuffing for it consisting of the guts from the eggplant, chopped red onions, green bell peppers, yellow summer squash and baby bella mushrooms sauteed and then coated with a light amount of panko bread crumbs and seasonings. A shake of Parm cheese some bruschetta and mozzarella later and it was pretty damn good for a "wingin' it" kind of recipe and sort of had an eggplant parm meets stuffed mushroom feel to it. I do need to adjust the recipe a bit with the next couple few eggplants that I have in the garden growing right now and when I do I will post a complete recipe and the steps that I took along with the calorie value for the dish.

Yesterday I was granted what some people call a "non scale victory" when I went for a ride on my bike, apparently all of that towing the little monster, er I mean darling around for the last few months has improved my strength on a bike. Let me start with a short description of the road that I live on, there is a very steep hill that is shorter than another hill that is twice as long but not as steep until the very top, one hill is on one side of a Y in the road and the other is down the opposite way. Last I want to say September or so I took a ride up that longer hill and was out of commission for a couple days because of it and I have since dubbed that hill evil and have not tried to ride it again. Now if you read this blog regularly you probably know that I rode my daughter to school in her trailer for the last several months since it was warm enough to do so and I needed to go up the shorter but steeper hill to get her there. Yesterday I decided to go out for a quick 6 mile ride and thought about that hill and frankly I was just bored with the other route so off I went.

The bottom of the hill looking up feels like it goes for a mile and I was quickly brought back to last year and the sore hips and arse from the previous time me my bike and that hill were acquainted but I stood onto the pedals and went for it. Hitting the top of the hill I was barely winded and thought "Ok here is a flat spot now for the run at the top, you can do this" but alas the stop sign that brings me into the turn down a really steep decline was right there in front of me. I looked back to make sure that there was a hill behind me because I really was not winded as much as I felt that I should be but there I was, at the top with nothing but a fast ride down to the next incline. This route is longer than the other one by just about a mile and I am going to start riding this way instead as it offers me a change of scenery and now that I made the hill my bitch I need it to remember it.... I need to remember it.

Making the best choices for my health has to be priority one and I need to keep that in mind somehow, as soon as tragedy strikes in another facet of my life I go straight into fix it mode and the focus on myself is out the window. This isn't going to be easy and it has never been easy but I have come so far along now and so many changes have happened that I am making it hard for myself to fail and I need to keep pushing as hard as I can because I have to, not because I want to, not for someone else, not so that I can wear my yellow polka dot speedo to the beach but because I must and that's how its going to be.

That's all I got..

As Ever

Monday, July 26, 2010

Flashback to 1985 for day 937

Lets take a step back in time to say somewhere around 1985 and see where some of these issues with being the fat kid came into the picture. I was in the boy scouts for more than a few years as a kid and we would hike, camp and do all kinds of stuff on our camping trips that was extremely fun even though we were kind of considered the misfit troop getting into trouble a lot of the time, good old troop 24. Sometimes we would participate in the Jamborees where all of the area troops would get together and show off our scout skills in the way of fire making, knot work and all kinds of other things that we were learning about back then but as I said we were kind of known as "the wild troop" for some of our antics . Each troop would set out on one big project and then do a sort of demo for the other troops showcasing our mad skillz yo, ok ok let me not get out of character because this is a reflection kind of thing going on here. The biggest Jamboree of the year we decided that we were going to shake that stigma and make the best suspended rope bridge that anyone ever did see because it was a big project and could include every one that was in our troop on some level of the construction between all of the knots and cutting of wood and rope not to mention if we pulled it off it would be pretty cool.

The Jamboree started and we all put everything that we had into this little rope bridge that could, I clearly remember working on it all day Saturday while we all took turns making knots and lashing the braces together. Dragging logs from the woods the whole of the troop was like a perfectly oiled machine all working together like the borg to get to a single point where this rope bridge was built and we were going to win that first place badge for our project if it killed us. I can remember being covered in sweat and wood chips, sore hands and feet from cutting and tying all day and by Saturday mid day we were almost complete. Off we went to get some food onto the table because there was a daily time limit on working on the projects so we were done for the day but went back to our lean to and literally discussed between the all of us how we were going to get up at first light and finish the bridge before the time limit was up so that we could enjoy some of the other things that were going on.

Sunday the first glimmer of light we wake up and off we went again working all morning, more than proud of what we were creating and confident that we would win the projects stage of the Jamboree. I can honestly say that it was one of the first times in my life that I can remember feeling a sense of pride about something that I did, we worked hard, I worked hard to make sure that our bridge was exactly how it needed to be in order to win the day. We all sat back covered in sweat, blood and little pieces of wood and rope just staring at the bridge, it was perfect and we made it that way, it was our bridge. Excitement set in and we were all going nuts because we wanted to of course test it out and have a little bit of fun with our new creation so into a line we filed and one at a time started crossing the bridge. Someone said "Hey don't let Tony try it out we don't want it to break" which was silly as I was still just a Husky lad at that point and no where near heavy enough to do any damage to the structure but alas I was indeed told not to cross the bridge. Standing on the side line I watched most of the others including a couple full grown men cross the bridge in victory while I felt like my heart was torn out because I literally put everything that I had into that silly rope bridge and now I was suspended from actually trying it out.

Everything that I felt because of the accomplishment was taken from me with a single sentence and a silly decision from a scoutmaster that probably didn't think about what he was doing by denying me the opportunity to experience what all of the others got to. I can honestly say that I wanted to cry and just go home, I lost interest in the entire Jamboree at that point and didn't care about whether we won or not. When it came time for the whole group of scouts to make the rounds and see what each troop did as a project I stayed in the lean to, you guessed it eating roasted marshmallows and chef boyardee straight from the can. I remember everyone coming back and declaring victory as we placed second for the projects but I didn't care. I worked as hard as anyone yet was not able to enjoy what we had done I just pretended that I didn't care either way about any of it but I did, I wanted to celebrate with the others but I was down and didn't want to let any of them know how hurt that I was so as far as anyone knew I just was not interested in any of the afterward. I got over it and life went on but looking back at it I can see now that it was definitely one of the stepping stones to an obese me, and just think, the project was meant to be a confidence reinforcement tool at its very root.

There are a lot of things that happen to a person that helps push them into the path of that moving train that is obesity and sometimes no one sees it happening at the time but it happens. I have plenty of stories like this one that I could write about or reflect back on where I remember feeling completely left out of situations and turning to food for comfort as a kid and even as an adult as a result. Now I don't blame this event for anything, its just one of the notches in my belt of growing up and becoming who I am today and we all have notches like this, fat thin, short or tall everyone has felt this way at some point in their lives, I like to look at it as I learned to have a little bit of compassion that day. Pile experiences like this one on top of one another and a person starts believing that its the only truth that is there for them, I can say that because I know first hand how it happens now that I can step back and examine some of the things that happened in my younger days.

To be continued..

As Ever

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 934, a weigh in update.

Its just your friendly neighborhood fat guy checkin' in with a weight update because I said that I would, this post will be short and sweet but in the interest of staying accountable and consistent here goes. This morning I woke up after a night of sleep that was less than enough but onto the scale I went and I am up 2 pounds from Last Friday BUT I was totally expecting an up after last weeks Giant number along with the fact that early in the week I know that I went over on the intake. Wednesday while at the gym I hurt my ankle while running on the treadmill because of a trip so I did not go to the gym Thursday as I want to give the ankle a rest but I have been doing crunches and push ups all week so hopefully some exercise is better than none come next Friday for me.

Some good news is that my garden is starting to produce veggies on a regular basis now so I am into some great fresh vegetables lately. Tonight for dinner I am making a baked Ziti but am replacing half of the pasta with grated up Zucchini to save some calories and as a side I am going to try and wing a garlic and veggie stuffed Eggplant as I picked a good sized Eggplant from the garden this morning. Perhaps I will post a recipe depending on how the eggplant turns out but as I am totally as I said winging it this may not go how I am planning, either way I am curious to try it out.

The excrement has made contact with the air circulation device in some non weight loss/health areas of my never not exciting life recently but I am staying as on track as I can in lieu of those distractions the best I can. I have to get down below 300 pounds as soon as possible just for that mental kick in the ass because with everything else that's buzzing around my head currently the win will be huge.

I'm running on 2 hours sleep and my day is getting ahead of me so with that the end has come to this installment of as the fat guy turns.

As Ever

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 932, 723 posts later randomness.

Alarm rings, dragging myself from bed is the last thing that I want to do today but I do. The morning progresses as normal besides forgetting to feed the tiny darling breakfast before school so a few small hand held food items come into the car with us for the short ride to school, she is dropped off and a goodbye kiss later I am off to the gym. Me and Christina ride into the gym together as I listen to her piano playing and nerve easing voice the ride goes by faster than usual, before I know it I am parked and gathering my things. Into the gym I walk, greeted with a forced smile and a hello, its not the regular girl at the counter I say "Hi" while B lining for "My" bike.

Unroll the headphones from my pocket, adjust the seat on the bike, place the cell phone/mp3 player into the holder in said bike and stretch my legs its time to get to business. Gia Farrel "Hit me up" in my ears I try to hit an average RPM of about 90 usually but the past two weeks I have been kicking it up a bit closer to 95 or so and now I want to hit an average of 100 so its on as soon as I start pedaling. Four minutes into my virtual ride she sits next to me, she blatantly stares over at the screen on my bike and then goes wild, apparently she thought we were racing. I can pedal at a high 90 RPM pace for a good while and when she looked over I was right there and did I mention that she went wild? I glanced over expecting to see an honest 125RPM on her display as she ferociously pedaled elbows thrashing and knees flailing but it was 91 which is pretty much where she stayed....for about 2 minutes. I finished my ride and I always stand there for a second before getting a towel to clean off the bike to see what the average was and today it was 95, not too shabby but I want to start averaging 100 so I quickly made that decision.

Onto the treadmill I went, 10% incline 2.8 MPH to start, a minute in we bump it to 3.5 MPH and pretty much stayed there for 20 minutes as my "Gym-2" play list kept me moving. Here is where I started analyzing some things including some of the other people in my immediate vicinity. I started thinking about how just two and a half years ago that I could only ride my stationary bike at home for 15 minutes before I wanted to weep soulfully into my hands which was very much less resistance than the bike I ride now at almost 100 RPM's is. Then my attention went to a girl that works at the gym who was cleaning some of the machines off, I never noticed just how amazing her legs are, she has what appears to be a 15 inch waist and very muscular legs and um.. while the top half of her could pass for a young boy, she rarely smiles but always seems to be paying attention to the music, now I wonder if she worked hard for those gams or if they are natural, yes I just used the word gams. I watched an older gentleman who walked in with a cane get on a recumbent bike and found myself smiling because he was doing what he was doing in lieu of the cane, I hope to make it to his age and still be on a bike some day.

At this point I started watching my heart rate and laps on the treadmill, Rob Base "It takes two" starts as I bumped the speed up to 3.7MPH just for kicks but as the two minute mark was approaching I felt a pang of pain in the front of my ankle so back to 3.5 I went. Upon getting onto the hamster wheel I noticed the same fella on the elliptical in front of me who was sweating pretty good and I have watched him all week, the man is a machine and watching the sweat stain on his back evolve like Rorschach's Mask is becoming a habit that I need to kick. I wish that I could figure out where Rorschach gets his push from because I need it right now and that's where my thoughts were this morning as I walked behind him. When I arrive he is on that elliptical, I ride the bike to completion and get on the treadmill and I leave before he does. I say that but the last two days I have been driven to that point and my daughters summer class schedule forces me to cut my workouts short for now, soon enough I shall return.

Covered in sweat undefeated the cool down cycle starts so I begin rolling up the headphones and packing it up which means stick my phone and headphones in my pocket and grab my water bottle. Walking out I noticed that Rorschach was standing triumphant next to the abused elliptical taking a victory sip off of his bottle, perhaps he is just a man, I nod to the old fella with the cane as I walk by and pick up a dropped spray bottle for the girl cleaning the machines finally getting to see a smile when she said thanks. The regular girl is at the front by the door now telling me to enjoy the rest of my day and out the door I go back to Christina who is waiting in the car, Covered in sweat and blissfully accepting that fact I drive home.

Welcome to my day..

As Ever

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 927 pounds a droppin' a weigh in post.

Today is Friday which I suppose is no news but it means that I am going to report the loss or gain that I had this week and its a crazy number I tell ya and a little amazing. True enough My start weight was at night before bed but that number did flash across the screen so its what I'm using, I am down 16 pounds from Sunday night and 10 pounds from Monday morning. I have a VERY strong feeling that I was extremely bloated from not eating right and indulging in one too many a slice of Tiramisu cake and or Carona as there were 3 birthday parties in the last two weeks that definitely contributed to the up. We are on the way back down to that 305 pound mark and I am going to push through it so that I can finally be done with these ever lasting "300's" that I have been stuck in for so long.

Staying hydrated and eating mostly whole foods this last week has once again fortified the fact that eating right and exercising regularly is the key. All week I have been going to the gym early in the morning compared to my "when the kids are in school" schedule and I was hating every second of it for the first couple of days but have adjusted nicely and a couple days ago I posted a blog titled Day 924, still NOT a morning person and I think I am changing my mind on that. This whole weight loss thang is a process and I never claimed to be perfect so of course there will be slips or spots in the program where things slow down to a crawl but as long as the general direction is that of nurturing good habits then I can't complain too much.

Yesterday I came in at 1795 calories and am still eating a vegetarian diet for the time being which is turning out to be a lot easier than I remember it being from when I did it back in the 90's. I am finding out that veggie burgers are freekin amazing if cooked right or in other words covered in sauteed onions and baby bella mushrooms with a touch of ketchup and a single slice of American cheese on a light bun and I can eat these often and not get tired of it. Drinking my tea every day has never been easier thanks to that iced tea maker that Wify got me and its getting used A LOT so we shall see how long before I need to buy a new one! Exercise has been daily and just under an hour of cardio per go all week and I am planning on a bike ride this weekend to show one of my daughters friends Dad around the lake on his bike so not hitting the gym today won't make me cry for too long, besides I got a 2 mile walk in last night carrying my 47 pound daughter for more than half of it so I made up for today a bit.

Over all its been a great week where my health is concerned and the plan is to keep the trend until I cross that elusive 300 pound line in the sand. I am coming to the conclusion that I really don't care what I weigh in the grand scheme as long as I am happy and healthy but with that said I really would like to see the other side of 267 pounds as soon as possible because its what I said I was going to do and being able to say that I dropped 50% of my total weight sounds cool on paper.

That's it, that's all I got and I bid you adieu until next time.

As Ever

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The man in the is he big!

When one day we look in the mirror and see 500 pounds staring back at us more than a few thoughts go through our heads, When did this happen? I wonder how much I really weigh? If I hold my head at this angle with that light twisted like this I don't look THAT big. I myself look back at how it came about to me getting that big and even retracing the steps can't figure it out exactly, I know that I was a big ol' fella to begin with and then back in about 2000 blew out my back and became perfectly sedentary and from there I gained and gained. Before I knew it I was bigger than I had ever been and was looking for a way out of being that big so I looked at the surgery option about seven years later but upon researching some of the procedures I found out that it was just a way to force me into not eating because of a tiny stomach, that's not something I was cool with. I decided to change the way that I was doing things and here I am two and a half years later doing just that and have literally changed my life completely from where I was at 500 plus pounds.

I am sitting here typing this out and thinking back to how things were compared to how they are now. Back when I was much heavier I would wake up as late as possible so that I could do whatever I needed to do to start my day but before anything downing a huge cup of coffee with way too much creamer in it was a must and then there was that second cup. Now I wake up and hit the ground running, instead of the coffee its a big glass of home brewed green tea and then its getting the kids ready for their day and off to school. After that my day kind of develops on its own and can range from a trip to the gym, a bike ride, some gardening (I just found my first eggplant out there this morning) or lots of other things and the previous situation is more like a prison sentence than a life.

Making the decision to do something about it was one of the best ideas that I have ever had and I am here today writing this to keep myself on track and for you to read and hopefully see that it can be done, that decision not so long ago in a galaxy not so far far away got me to this point. Things would be completely different today if I hadn't done what I did to get my health back, in fact I may not have even made it to this point of my life if I hadn't changed when I did, no one will ever know that and I am glad about that fact if I am being honest. If you find yourself looking at a reflection that just does not look like the you that you know is there do yourself a favor and decide that today will be the day that you do something about it, today will be the day that you start living again. If you found this blog chances are that you are considering doing something about your weight issues or are doing something about them or maybe you just stumbled here accidentally when you searched "sexy fat dudes", of course I am kidding on that last one but hey! who knows? however you got here just take a look at some of my before and after pictures if you think that it can't be done without surgery, pills or some expensive per month diet guru's plan because I used none of that and am down more than 200 pounds because of it and if those pictures don't do it for ya check out my man Harvey McDullardsonfengenden.

Now to some business, I have not done a weigh in and that's partially because of my absence in writing posts a week or two ago but partially because I have slipped slipped slipped back and have gone up in weight shame on me I know. I will still do a "weigh in" post of sorts tomorrow and until I get sub 300 pounds, the difference is that until I cross that threshold I'm not going to post what I weighed, instead of my weight I will post what I lost or gained that week and this week is a crazy number. When I hit 300 pounds on the nose or a sub 300 pound weight no matter what day it is I will post that actual weight and I am again thinking about doing a video blog perhaps for my weigh in days? or maybe just at that milestone? or making a recipe? I am not sure yet but I have been for a LONG time wanting to do one and I think that the time is coming sooner than later.

That's the end of this post and I need you to know that if you want to get healthy and drop a few or a lot of pounds that its all up to you, no one else eats for you and no one else's ass is going to grow because you ate that extra cannoli.

Thanks for reading along.

As Ever

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tortilla pizza recipe inside.

So I haven't posted a recipe in forever and since I'm always looking for low calorie alternatives to my favorite foods I thought that I would share how I get through a pizza craving with my tortilla pizza recipe. I call it tortilla because I use a tortilla wrap as the crust but I think that it falls into the flat bread pizza category ultimately and who wouldn't want a piled with veggies flat bread pizza for a mere 270 calories? When we are on a limited calorie budget getting creative with meals is a must and I think that this one fills a void that so many people have with pizza where the normal would be to go without, I say why go without? just adjust it around what we can have! so let me get right to it with the ingredients.

The ingredients are as follows

2 Tortillas/wraps I use Smart Delicious because they are only 100 calories each.
1/4 cup Spaghetti sauce
3 T Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
2oz Mozzarella cheese
1oz Green bell pepper
1oz Red onion
1oz Black olives
1oz Baby Bella mushrooms
Black pepper
Pinch of Splenda (optional)

Let me start by explaining some of my choices because most if not all of these ingredients can be customized to what you like, my choices are based on caloric value and price. The tortillas that I use are only 100 calories and there eight huge tortillas in the package so its a good bang for the buck in calories as well as price, besides that they taste really good and I use them for lots of other recipes too. I use Spaghetti sauce in place of pizza sauce mostly because its cheaper to buy a big jar of sauce rather than the smaller pizza sauce jars and again I use it for other things and with a tiny pinch of Splenda it tastes like pizza sauce which is something that I have been doing forever and that explains where the Splenda comes into play as well and also why its optional. All of my veggie choices are because they all lend huge flavor benefits while having a very low calorie value per ounce besides the olives so I can use them pretty much at will, the pepper came out of my garden so it was free of charge and that's always a plus for me too. The Mozzarella cheese is your run of the mill part skim milk Mozz and was chosen on price and calorie value, it happens to be stop and shop brand and has a very average 80 calories per ounce and I prefer it to the fat free or full skim milk variety because of flavor and the rest of the ingredients is just what I happened to have on hand.

Okay, at some point we will want to chop up the veggies and weigh the cheese out so that making the pizzas goes smoothly and the above photos show what I ended up with after that step. My daughter was my assistant and insisted on using her little cereal bowls when she saw me snapping pictures and in that second photo you can see the amount of Jalapeno that I used as well as what 2oz of Mozz cheese looks like on a saucer. This is how I assemble the pizzas and in what order the items go on.

1.) I start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees and spray a very light film of low calorie cooking spray onto the baking sheet while I create the pizzas.

2.) Lay the tortillas onto the sprayed cooking sheet and measure out 1/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce and split it equally onto the two tortillas spreading it around evenly followed by a couple pinches of Splenda on each one to give it that pizza sauce taste that I like.

3.) Shake 1/2 T Parmesan cheese over each sauce covered tortilla and add a shake of garlic powder and the Jalapeno at this point, I like the jalapeno under the Mozz but on top of the sauce because it seems to put the flavor into the sauce a bit more that way.

4.) Put 1oz of Mozzarella onto each of the pizzas and shake some black pepper on top of the cheese once its spread evenly over the sauce and jalapeno.

5.) Now add 1/2 oz each of the Bell pepper, Red onion, Black olives and Baby bella mushrooms to each of the pizzas and then shake 1oz of the Parm cheese onto each pizza and you should end up with something pretty close to the image below.

6.) Place the pan into the oven for 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven cooking time may vary a bit but I just keep an eye on them since the tortilla is pretty thin and can burn easy if not watched. I prefer mine slightly more crisp than my daughter does so hers was done in 10 minutes while mine took 12 minutes and you can see from the picture below the edges were beginning to darken up on mine and that's how they came out of the oven, perfect.

7.) The final step is to cut it up and enjoy! below is the finished product just seconds before it found its way onto my plate and into my gut, it was a mighty tasty little alternative to its high calorie cousin if I do say so myself.

My entire dinner which consisted of both of the pizzas that you see in the second to last image was only 542 total calories which is as I stated earlier only 270 calories per pizza. I was full when dinner was all said and done while my mouth was left with the flavor of some pretty good pizza in it all for a measly 542 calories, in my book that's one for the W column and us calorie counters. The next time that you crave some pizza give this recipe a try and I think you might just find that it hits the spot! The next time someone asks you how you lost all of your weight you can then reply with "by eating pizza of course!", but seriously don't think that you can't have your favorite meals just because you are "dieting" its all about how we make our food choices work for us because this is a lifestyle and eating well can and should be a part of it.

I hope that you enjoy it if you try it and please let me know if you do in the comments, if I get a good response I may just start posting my recipes regular like because I hardly say it but I love getting feedback from you who choose to read my chicken scratch each day.

That's all I got.

As Ever

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 924, still NOT a morning person.

The way its working out is that I am finding some time in the early AM to get to the gym for the past few days and never before in my life have I felt less like a morning person than right now. Par for the course usually means that I go to the gym and I am somehow energized to the point that nothing can stop me for a few hours and I buzz around with a feeling of ownership for the whole universe. Enter the AM work out, wake up, shower and pre-gym I am feeling great and ready to own the universe, into the car and off I go into my alone time a Rollins CD goes into the player and the aroma of win wafts around in the car. Fifteen minutes into my stationary bike ride a growl in my gut asking for something to eat and obviously we are in the wrong place for this so I tell it to pipe down and keep on pedaling, onto the treadmill we go and a twenty minute brisk paced walk on an incline not more than 5.0% feels like a hike on the Appalachian trail but I know that its in my head so I finish. Upon arriving home a nap is on my mind where usually right after the gym I am looking for my bike or a quick lunch before I head outside to do whatever in the yard and use up the excess energy but the last few days are like I am in some bizarro superman world and I can't catch a groove.

Wify had a response that was probably most accurate when she simply said "You're not a morning person" and I agree whole heartedly that I am not a morning person in any sense of the word but man! this is a whole new feeling for me. This AM schedule is throwing off my eating as well because I eat breakfast, go to the gym and come home hungry so I am eating again. Today I ate a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter on it after the gym which is not too bad but it didn't really do the trick so I am left with an emptiness in my stomach until lunch which is also something new for me. Since I started this trip to the half I haven't really experienced being especially hungry, even when I was off track and now that I am working out early in the morning (much earlier than I ever have) hunger enters stage left. I can guess and say that my body is using more energy than I have on board at that hour or the likes but why am I tired? why does it feel like I can just lay down and take a nap like right now as I type this even! Adjustment needed perhaps? my hiatus changed my metabolism a bit maybe and now I need to shift it back? Unsure I am I say in my best Yoda impression.

I can also come to the conclusion that all of the swimming that I have been doing lately can be effecting me more than I thought maybe, I have to admit that I am sore in places that I have not been in quite some time. The insides of my thighs for instance are very sore, my obliques right up into my arm pits are feeling it and for some odd reason the insides of my biceps are sore too. Is this the reason for the tired feeling? new muscles coming into play all while the program is changing up with the AM cardio? maybe I am just in need of some getting my ass kicked for a bit to get me back to where I was before I just don't know but I do know that the gym is not fun at this very moment.

So what do you do to combat being fatigued after an AM workout? is there a super breakfast that you eat that pulls you through the morning without double dipping thus boosting calories for the day?

That's all I got for today

As Ever

Monday, July 12, 2010

You could spend your time walking around coward, or you can get up!

Losing weight has changed my life in ways that I am unsure are describable in words on a computer screen written in a blog, I have found direction in more than one instance since deciding to get my shit together in the health department. People have told me that I am "amazing" and that I am "dedicated" right down to "holy shit you've lost how much? dude you are my hero" and yet I don't feel that I am any different from you or the next guy walking down the street. I am in the belief that anyone that finds themselves in a situation where their health is declining faster than our current presidents approval rating that they can make small changes and get decent sized results. January 2008 was a turning point for me and most of you that read my blog already know that but in the beginning I literally just limited my calories and exercised when I could and when I did it was usually 15 minutes or so at a time or a short walk around the block, that doesn't seem so drastic now does it? yet the results are stunning because I am more than 200 pounds lighter today because of those tiny steps in the beginning.

Circa 1995 pre back injury and more hair screwing around my brother asked me to make a "get the fuck away from me" face (I will spare him by not posting his image from that day) but this is probably the last time in my life where I felt unstoppable until recently so to remind me what it felt like I decided to pop it up here.

Evolving into something more every day my plan became something stronger than the baby steps that it started with, walking turned into running and that into biking onward to joining a gym and here I am today. Creating habits with my eating that I don't have to think about because its what feels natural now and is just how I am or should I say who I am now. I think that is pretty good considering where I started back in 2008 at 534 pounds unable to sustain a slow paced walk for even a quarter of a mile without feeling like I was going to grenade my lower back or have my heart beat right out of my chest only to explode on the sidewalk in front of me. I almost see it as being a coward, the older me that is because instead of taking life by the throat and making it what I wanted it to be there I was sitting idly by as it flew past my eyes at breakneck speeds as I grew more rotund. I always feel the need to give myself the tiniest bit of a pass because of the back injury that I got back then because it really was the pivot point from being a "big guy" to weighing more than 500 pounds but I can still look at it with unbiased eyes and call it an excuse at this point because of the fact that eating less is always an option no matter how much pain is involved, the two are unrelated.

So whats my point? "where are you going with this today man?" I actually don't have a point right now other than deciding that I needed to put into words something, anything because its what I need to do to get my ass back on the path. I've got no time to lose and If you think you got 1000 years to mess around....You're wrong! I got no time for addiction, no time for smoke and booze, too strong for a shortened life span, I've got no time to lose! It's time to shine, yeah, it's hero time.

Hero time starts right now.

As Ever

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 913 and a weigh in.

Getting right to things, this morning I was 320.4 pounds which is up from last Friday but I am all kinds of sore so I am not too worried that its up 2 pounds from last week. My guess is that I will be down come next Friday because there is no party planned mid week to muss the groove up this time around but as always its to be seen when it comes. My intake yesterday came in a tad over with a total of 1835 and I drank more than 2 gallons of fluid throughout the day. Exercise lacked partially because of the soreness but last night before bed I did some yoga stretches followed by 50 crunches and 50 side crunches on either side more just to stretch things out than anything else. Here is a look at my menu from Thursday which is nothing special but it got the job done.

7:15 AM
coffee creamer 75

8:00 AM
2 cups banana nut cereal 220
1 cup 1% milk 110

12:45 PM
1 can tuna 120
2 sandwich thins 200
1 T miracle whip 40

3:00 PM
2 slices whole wheat bread 140
1 T peanut butter 95
1 T strawberry preserves 35

6:30 PM
7oz grilled chicken breast 350
3/4 cup rice/beans 225
Grilled Zucchini 55

8:00 PM
2 oranges 170

I am planning on a bike ride this afternoon to get the blood flowing a bit and this weekend I am going to try and get to the gym for some weight lifting. I am noticing that since the weather got nice that I would prefer to ride my bike or do work in the yard rather than go to the gym but there is something about the atmosphere at the gym that gets me in the mood to workout so I will have to find a nice blend of the two. I am starting to feel like I am back into a groove a bit with the eating and drinking, now its time to get my exercise back to what it was before the kids were home from school all day because I am finding it harder and harder to find time for myself to get out to the gym and bike rides are dependent on things that are sometimes not in my control.

With all of that said, I am heading outside to wash, wax and detail Wifys car and then I am going to pop the kiddo into the trailer and take a ride to the playground so that will mark the end of today's installment of as the fat guy turns.

How do we make time for ourselves and our workouts when there is no time to do it? that's my question for the day.

As Ever

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 912 and an attack on me.

Wednesday went pretty good on all fronts of this war on blubber and you could imagine the shock and awe that my body experienced in the beginning when it was all brandy spankin' new and this morning my quads looked up at me with a whimper and said "no mas senior" not unlike back then. I woke up and my quads and shoulders are sore because of a bike ride that I took and the fact that I waxed my entire car yesterday afternoon, the bike ride was of course with daughter in tow but I hammered the entire ride both ways standing on the pedals for almost the entire cruise and I have to say that riding that way uses a slightly different muscle group than when sitting judging on the way I feel today. My intake was slightly over but well within my limits and I drank more than two gallons of fluid throughout the day, oh and I found out that I am NOT allergic to wasp stings when I was attacked during my bike ride and making green tea just got easier.

Deciding to take a ride over to a dam that's close by turned out to be more painful than I was expecting because of some small flying terrors. We roll up to the dam and hop off of the bike and head on over to look at some wild life and bamn! bamn!! BAMN! my right calf felt like it was burned and hit with a bat or something all at the same time I look down to see a small swarm of black wasps all around my leg. Looking up I told my daughter to run as I watched wasps in formation slip one after another out of the hand rail on the bridge so we took off down the dam and stayed about half way across until the cloud of attackers dissipated. I will very likely be heading back over to the dam later this afternoon with a can of wasp spray to exact my vengeance on the little fuggers as I am sitting here with 6 stings on my leg not feeling to awesome, here are a couple shots from our ride.

A shot of our chariot parked next to the dam, this was pre wasp attack.

We had a few visitors come over to see what we were doing out on the small pier near the dam.

A shot of the bridge over the dam taken from the pier.

Finally a look at the lake from the middle of the bridge.

For my birthday Wify got me the bestest gift that ever was! an ice tea maker! so now when I forget to make a gallon over night I can just plug in the old ice tea maker and bamn! 13 minutes later three quarts of fresh and ice cold green tea. The instructions says that it calls for filters but when using tea bags there is no reason to use any as the bags work just fine all alone and last night I brewed my first pitcher of the good stuff and to my amazement it was strong enough. I was expecting it to be weak because it brews the tea hot in a little catch thingy at the top and then drops it into the pitcher of ice thus making iced tea, I love this gift. I brewed a pot this morning so that I could take a couple pictures to post up and I timed it to see how long it would take and 13 minutes seems to be the magic number, here is a photo of the new toy and some tea that I made this morning which is darker than normal because of the black tea that I added.

Some tea plus that dandy tea maker plus a pitcher of ice and..

Bamn! 13 minutes later an ice cold pitcher of green tea! I used 3 green tea bags, 1 green tea/passion fruit bag and a black teabag in this batch but haven't tasted it yet so I will report how it came out tomorrow.

Over all my focus has returned and we seem to be getting it done again in the intake department while the exercise is starting to come along as well. Measuring every bite that goes into my mouth again to kick start some losses is my plan and I'm stickin' to it because like I said yesterday it works. Its time to head out and do a little weeding in the garden followed by a bike ride so for today that's all I got, Thanks for following and thanks for the support and remember that we are the ones controlling what goes into our mouths.

As Ever