Thursday, July 30, 2009

The hardest part about falling off the wagon is trying to catch back up to the damn thing.

You know, you wouldn't think that its hard to catch a wagon, but if you let it go for a month or more....all you see is dust. Actually, the dust has already cleared, all i see these days are a muddy, rutted trail that i can only imagine goes in the general direction of the fat wagon.

OK, i don't know where this is going, but my point is that it has been a long time and i need to go ahead and get back on track with my diet.

It's been a weird couple of months for me. Assorted health problems, vacations, holidays, and other general annoyances have all contributed to help me get off the aforementioned wagon. I need to find my conviction again.

In October, i attended (semi-reluctantly) Becky's 10yr high school reunion. I know that she wanted me to be there, not just to be with her as she reconnected with old friends, but to also appreciate all the hard work she put into organizing the event. At a conscious level i understand all of that, selfishly though, it was still hard for me to suck it up and attend knowing that i would probably be one of the targets of hushed comments and subtle elbow nudges, as I'm one of the ones who got really fat after high school. In fact, i said hi to a girl i knew pretty well back in the day, and all i got was a blank stare as she pushed passed me to get to the bathroom. In her defense she was pregnant and she has always been a little flaky, but still it kind of sucked. My self consciousness peaked later in the night as i was the only schmuck to throw up at the event. Luckily for me no one really saw me modify the handicap ramp except for my brother in law and a few assorted people on the back porch. That kind of topped the night for me, but as it turned out, i had the flu so it doesn't bother me as much as it might have.

After the flu, i was lucky enough to be stuck with not one, but two kidney stones. Three weeks of narcotic pain killers, and two surgeries later, I'm all clear, but i didn't feel like staying 0n a diet to say the least.

Then the family and i went on a cruise, and good luck sticking to a diet on one of those things. You have people breaking their necks to serve you over priced liquor, and there is food available pretty much everywhere so needless to say, any diet thoughts went overboard.

So here we are at the dawn of a new year and I'm still fat. And older. I'm 30 now and people have told me that once you hit 30, everything changes. Your body starts to slow down, and weight loss becomes much more of a chore. I really need to bear down and get on with it. So, my goal by this time next year is to have lost 50lbs. For those of you who have forgotten, my overall goal is to lose 100lbs from my initial scale reading way back in the spring of '09. So, if you add in the 25 that i lost initially, that will put me at 75% of my goal. Hold me to it people.

I have renewed my gym membership and I'm planning on going back in tomorrow. I'm kind of dreading it, but I'm kind of looking forward to it at the same time. I'm not looking forward to the constant soreness but i sure do enjoy the results when the lbs start to come off.

So there it is. There's my reason for being lax, and not holding up my end of the bargain. Ill be sure to keep you posted. If my time at the gym is anything like the last times i went, i should have some fun stuff to talk about with that as well.

Thanks again for all of your support

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How to feed the Beast

So, some folks have been asking me what I have been eating on my diet, so I'm happy to oblige. I should preface this blog by saying it wasn't the best week for me since at some point, some of the food I had at work was thrown out. Apparently pre-school rules apply to the fridge since I have to put my name on my stuff, and label it as something not to be thrown out. Seriously, if its not yours, don't touch it. I'm a fat guy, (albeit, a less fat guy now) and if you mess with my food, you take your life in your hands. I'm just sayin'. I also say it wasn't the best week, not because I didn't eat well, but because i didn't eat enough especially on Thursday and Friday. I need to get to the grocery store and get some food so I don't have to struggle with finding places to eat. Also, Kristen totally called me out and is asking me for a list of what I am eating, this is a decent representation of that. Imagine more shakes and bars, since I try to alternate a shake/bar in between real food.


breakfast sandwich with ham and cheese

EAS shake vanilla

EAS shake vanilla

chicken and brown rice


breakfast sandwich ham and cheese

EAS bar


chicken and rice


coffee and toast

turkey sandwich with raw carrots on the side

chicken sandwich with....carrots again

a handfull of baked Lay's bbq chips


bowl of cereal

chicken and rice

EAS shake


coffee and ham and cheese breakfast sandwich

EAS bar

burrito (tortilla, rice, black beans, grilled chicken, lettuce and yes, a little bit of cheese)

chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bagel with celery sticks

Something I feel i should point out here is, all of my bread products are whole wheat or whole grain, the rice I eat is a short grain brown rice and I am drinking a lot of water, or skim milk with these meals. Also, while I have cut back on my soda intake, I still have diet sodas on a pretty regular basis. I know I probably shouldn't but it helps with my caffiene addiction when I don't make coffee.

Update: since i started writing this, I have gone to the grocery store and have replenished my food stores. Again, this is kind of an unusual week for my eating since I was struggling to find stuff in the house, and not cheat either. Also, i have added a multi-vitamin into the mix since, as you can see, I don't eat a lot of vegetables.

Editors note: when I say I went to the grocery store, I really mean Becky went. I hate the grocery store, and I greatly appreciate her doing it.

So, there you have it. I am trying to be good and so far my eating has been responsible for most of my weight loss. Not too long till i hit the 25lb mark. Now, the next step is to get into more intense exercise.

Questions? Concerns? Let me know.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Call off the search party, I'm back.

Sorry it's been awhile, I had really planned on posting by now. I thought I would be back in the gym at this point, but as it turns out, this was a really tight month for me financially. My expensive membership will have to wait till the end of the month. I'm kind of in a holding pattern until the end of the month as far as my exercise program goes.

Guns like this don't come free people

In the mean time, I'm doing little exercise things at home, push up's, abs exercises on the stability ball, stuff like that. (btw, anyone who has suggestions on home exercises, im all ears.) So far the calisthenics that I have been doin', have been ok, but I am at a loss for a good sustained aerobic workout. There is only so much I can do in a 24 sqft space. So stay tuned.

Edit: upon reading this last paragraph, I realized that it sounds like i am avoiding going outside. That is completely true. It's hot. It's really freaking hot. It's like, slap yo' momma hot. Those of you who live here in Austin know what I mean. We have had 25 or 26 straight days of over 100 degree weather, so step off me for not going outside. I could go ride a bike, but I'm not sure that my life insurance policy wouldn't count that as suicide.

In other news, I have lost 22-23 lbs overall just by changing my eating habits. That's good I guess, considering my physical effort has been minimal. (For those of you playing the home game, keep in mind that my weight loss number is from that day in March when i went to the doctor and got on the scale there. See my previous posts for more info.) Overall, it hasn't been too bad really. I've really reduced my daily calorie count, I think I'm eating 1200-1800 calories on any given day. Compare that to the calorie-fest meals I was eating before and its pretty significant. In a way, it stinks that I can't go and grab a greasy cheeseburger or the econo-size nachos from Taco Cabana, but that's what my free day is for I suppose.

Bob knows when its my free day

Speaking of, on my first free day, Becky and I went to a favorite BBQ restaurant and chowed down on some good food there. If you happen to live in, or around, Cedar Park, Tx you owe it to yourself to check out J&J's. The barbecue is good, but the breakfasts are really where it's at. Great food, and its reasonably priced. They should be paying me for this.....

Mentally, the eating has been fine, I guess. Like I said before I am eating every few hours so just when I start to get hungry again, I get to eat. I haven't felt like I'm just starving all the time, or that I am actively restricting myself from things. It did suck though when someone at work brought in a boat load of cookies from a good bakery here in town and I couldn't touch them. Kristen, if you are reading this, its your scowling face in my mind that made me stay away. For those of you who don't know, trust me, a scowling Kristen is not something to be trifled with....

Anyway, that's about it for now. I didn't really want to post until i had something to post about, but my legions of adoring fans DEMANDED it from me. (When i say legions, i mostly mean one person who asked me what was up with not posting.) So, until next time, thanks again for all of your support. I greatly appreciate it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Like finding money in your underwear drawer


What's in your dresser?

Rejoice and raise your hands to the sky, today is day 1 of the Nick Gets Fit™ program. That's right people, I have seen the future and it is good. There is nothing to stand in my way, break my stride, or hold me down. Oh no. I've got to keep on movin'......

Sorry 'bout that, I'm actually in a good mood considering that i am starting one of the more daunting challenges of my life. For those of you who are new to this, i am starting a lifestyle change that will hopefully get me out of all of these unwanted pounds, and back to the body of a typical, healthy 29 year old male. My goal is to lose 100lbs and get into healthier eating habits while bringing all of you on the ride with me.

So why is Nick in a good mood when he is trying to lose 100 lbs? I'll get to that, but first let me drop some history on you. In March of this year, I was sick with what I thought could be the Swine Flu, or SARS, or maybe even necrotizing fasciitis, so I went to the doc's office to find out how bad it was. (As it turns out, it wasn't that bad.) Maybe this is a dumb question but, why is it that no matter what you go into the doctors office for, they have to put you on a scale? I mean, im all for a little public humiliation but if i have allergies, why is my weight important? And why do these scales all look like they were built in 1964? They can't have a little digital scale, no, its the one with the giant archaic sliding weights that make 6 times more noise then they should and look like they take an engineering degree to operate. Don't doctors make enough to get a digital scale? Even my Vet has a nice, simple digital scale. The scale is only half the problem though, recently I've had nurses who have had some rather impolite responses to the readings on the scale. Things like "I've never had to put the big slider all the way over." or "do you know how much you weigh? Our scale doesn't go that high." Yeah, that makes me feel awesome.

Yeah, she might be sexy, but she has no tact.

So, anyway, i watched the lady move around the weights and try to be nice about it and to be fair this time she was. The reading on the scale blew me away though. I seriously couldn't believe the number i was looking at. (BTW, I'm going to be omitting numbers for the time being. Cant decide if I'm scared of letting you know how big i really am, or if its going to be a big reveal type thing at the end.) It was then that i started to think about really, really losing the weight. Moving ahead, I got on the scale this past weekend for the first time in ages, and once again i was shocked. I had somehow actually LOST about 17 pounds from that reading in March. It was like finding a 20 dollar bill in my underwear drawer. I was close to completing a whopping 20% of my goal and didn't know it. Just to make sure that the scale wasn't lying, i made my wife and her friend get on the scale too, just to make sure that it was accurate. Turns out it was.
So, my program is off to a flying start. To tell the truth I'm a little annoyed that i have already lost the "easy" weight and didn't really get to enjoy seeing it come off, but at the same time its nice to know that I'm already well on my way.

I think that's it for now. I am keeping the exercise low key for right now and focusing on the eating. My exercise right now is consisting of yard work, and walking the dog for a half hour every morning. When i get in touch with my gym and find out how much more money they want for the privilege of working out there, i will step up the exercise.

I'm outta here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

losing weight is like golf...

1. The lower score/weight is always better

2. Both are 90% mental 10% physical propositions

3. By their nature, both activities can be extremely frustrating, and extremely satisfying

4. I will never be as good at golf as Tiger Woods, nor will i ever marry a swedish supermodel.

Mrs. Tiger Woods, or why being good at golf is awesome.

Ok, so clearly im a golf fan and i have been watching alot of golf lately. It occurred to me that playing golf and losing weight are kind of similar. They say that golf is 90% mental and 10% physical. I kind of think that losing weight is that way too.

I like to keep the pipe dream that if i had the resources and the time, that i too could play pro golf. Once reailty sets in, I realize that i lack something that elite pro golfers have. Mental discipline. If you watch Tiger or (to a lesser extent) Phil Mickelson, you have to marvel that they are able to play their game at such a high level with 1,000 crazy/drunk people standing just feet away from them. The focus that must take boggles my mind. In the world of golf, the thing that seperates a good golfer from a great one is their head. Weight loss, in my opinion is kind of the same thing.

Rocco Mediate showing his focus.
Courtesy: Associated Press

I have had success before on various programs, but i have never had the fortitude to stick with them. I find one excuse or another to jump ship. My last attempt was actually pretty successful, i managed to lose 25-30 pounds but when i changed jobs, i lost the focus and gained every bit of it back.
For me, the hardest part of committing to change my lifestyle is mentally preparing for it. As i have said previously, i am lazy. For the most part i enjoy laziness, i enjoy just hanging out with my wife, watching tv or playing some video games or whatever. So, its difficult for me to just change gears and hit the treadmill or lift weights overnight. If i approach it with out really being 100% mentally committed, it will just have been a waste of time.

So, for those of you who are wondering what i am going to do to start to lose the weight, ill try to break it down for you. Feel free to chime in with suggestions, or concerns, i would like to hear both at this point.

The best success iv'e ever had is with a program called Body for Life. I followed the program pretty closely and ended up losing 25-30 pounds. I will be doing this again, although it will be slightly modified so as to keep my sanity. It was good for me because it was easy to integrate into my schedule. (Before i get too much farther into this i just want to let you know that this is the program that worked for me, im not trying to preach or sell this to anyone else. Also, im not getting paid for the advertising that is about to follow. )For those of you who aren't going to click the link above here's the promised breakdown:

4-5 small meals a day. The program uses a grazing mechanism that is supposed to help incrcease my metabolism be getting my body out of its "starvation" mode. The way i understand it, by eating only once or twice a day, like i do now, slows all the processes in my body. My body slows the metabolism and essentially goes into a conservative mode because it doesnt know when it will get food again. By "grazing" i can take my body out of this mode and hopefully get back to normal. Unfortunately, if you read the book or look at the website, Body for Life kind of seems like an advertisement vehicle for EAS products. Maybe its true, but i happen to like the EAS shakes and bars and i use them in the program as reccommended. This also adds to the convenience for me since the shakes and bars are very portable and actually tasty, for the most part.

Portion Control. Since you are eating 4-5 meals a day, your portions are going to be alot smaller. As a rule of thumb, a serving size of anything solid is the size of your open palm. (sorry for all these hand measurements.) Most liquids are measured in cups.

this is kind of the idea...

Varied Menu. What i like about this particular program is that the menu is pretty extensive. Those of you who know me might wonder why i care since i have the palette of a 6 year old, but its nice to know that if i ever want a lot of veggies, i can have them. However, it also works for me since i can still have a burger or whatever as long as i am careful about the size and what i put with the burger. If you want to see a complete list of foods you can click here. Now, all that being said, there are foods im not going to skimp on; cheese and peanutbutter being the two i can think of off the top of my head. The lowfat versions of both of these suck, so im not doin it. Caffiene. Im still having coffee and drinking the occasional soft drink. I have to stay awake at work somehow. There might be other things as well, but these two are my big ones.

One Free day a week. I think this one works in two ways. First, its supposed to shock your metabolism to keep things from becoming stagnant. By eating whatever you want and however much you want keeps your body a little freaked out and keeps it on its toes. The other way i think it works is by keeping you sane. Its nice to know that if i want to order a pizza on my free day and polish off a pint of icecream i can totally do that. The other thing about this is that foods that are usually "prohibited" are that much more rewarding since you are still following the program.

Atleast 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is one part of the program that i have modified in the past, as 30 minutes isnt enough to make me feel like i am doing enough. The Body for life exercise program is probably sufficient for people who don't have the time to spend in the gym, but since i have all morning to be there i tend to alot more than the minimums they say you can get away with. In general, my workouts usually start with 15 mins of cardio followed by weights and ab work, followed by 30 more minutes of cardio. All of you fitter people who have great workouts, i am willing to listen since i am always looking for fun workouts.

So there you have it. Sorry this turned into a much longer post than i had anticipated. I have to say though, i am really looking forward to getting rid of my doobs. (thats dude boobs for those of you who don't know.)

thats all for now.
P.S. i borrowed the above images. Please don't sue me Tiger.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The hardest part about starting a journey is knowing what to pack

So for those of you who are my Facebook friends you may have seen my post about making a "life decision." Well, wait no longer friends, the huge payoff is upon you. Ok, maybe its not huge, but here it is. At the last physical i had, which admittedly was a while ago, my doc told me that i needed to lose about 100 pounds. So that what i am setting off to do. I'm not really ready to let all of the blogosphere know how big i am, but rest assured i will at some point. I don't know how smart it really is to make such a thing public about myself, but in my mind that's kind of the whole thing here.

Let me 'splain:

For those of you who know me and have been around me, you all know I'm fat. For those of you who know me and haven't seen me since high school, hey guess what, I'm fat now. Like, way bigger than you remember me. Not quite Chris Farley fat, but fat enough to make sweat pants seem appealing. Unfortunately this fact has kept me from wanting to see folks from my past. Frankly I'm ashamed about how i have really let myself go. My wife (god bless her) has been really tolerant and supportive of my future and past attempts to get my body back into some semblance of a healthy 29 year old. Thanks Bex, i love you. Anyway, I'm not getting any younger and i figured that i really need to grow up and handle my biz.

Since high school, i have been leading an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. I spend most of my day strapped to a keyboard at work. When i get home, i just want to crash on the couch and have a beer and listen to Becky snore on the couch while i watch Star Trek. On the weekends i just want to crash on the couch and have a beer and enjoy my time with my wife while she is conscious. It's not that i don't enjoy physical activity, its just that since i have become bigger, its so much harder. I actually enjoy golf and a lot of other competitive sports i just can't do them as long as i used to be able to. See, I'm a lazy person and try as i might, i don't think its gonna change anytime soon. (sorry mom and dad.) I just don't have the self discipline to maintain my weight. By the way, I just want to state that my laziness is completely my choice, my parents really did a good job at keeping me active and promoting healthy lifestyles when i was growing up, but my internal programming seems to have won. So, upon much reflection and self analysis, I have come to the realization that i won't lose weight for my health, i won't lose weight for myself, and as crappy as it sounds i won't lose weight for my wife. I wouldn't even lose weight if it meant i could reduce the number of run-on sentences in this blog. It's not that those aren't all worthy reasons to do it, its just that the attitude i have kept for a long time now is, 'if people have a problem with me or my appearance than screw 'em'. The problem with all of that is that I don't REALLY feel that way, i just use it as an excuse to justify my chronic selfishness/laziness. So, now I'm doing this for all of those reasons above, only I'm using you (all of you) as my motivation. And my crutch.

Fear of public failure can be a powerful motivator, and if do this on my own the only person I'm going to let down is me. I don't really care about letting myself down, I've been doing it for years. I am appalled by the prospect of putting myself out there and failing, so this is as good a motivation as i can get. So I'm asking all of you to help keep me honest and on track. In return i will try to be as honest as i can on here. Hopefully i can even entertain you so you continue to read this blog.

Ok, at the risk of going too much longer and losing you in a blizzard of self-pity and loathing i'll stop here. Sorry if the facebook tease was a bit of a let down, apparently some of you think i live a much more salacious and deviant life (alden, I'm looking at you here). So thanks for you support, July 5th is day one. Ill let you all know the details of how i plan on getting to the top of the fat mountain when i work it all out.

P.S. According to spell check, I suck at spelling and grammar. I apologize to any English teachers that i may have offended.