Friday, August 31, 2007

Vacation Time

Not from my new healthy lifestyle, but from work. Yes that's right ,it's that time of year again; time to head down to Cape Hatteras and enjoy the sun and beach for the next week.

Am I worried about maintaining my healthy lifestyle amid the cookouts, eating out, and beer? No, not really. When not tied down to a regular work schedule of slaving in front of my computer I'm actually a pretty active person. I hate to be bored and sitting in one place for too long.

Anyhow, here's my plan to keep it up:

  • I'm taking my scale with me so I can continue to monitor my progress.
  • I'm looking into a temporary gym down in OBX so I can continue my lifting routine. As a backup I'm also bringing a few sets of free weights.
  • I'm of course bringing my bike, and every morning I plan to go for a vigorous ride.
  • I'm packing some healthy food. We're renting a house for week and will be cooking a lot of meals at "home", so it won't be too hard to control what goes into my body. If I eat out i'll do the same thing I have been doing, and order the healthiest thing on the menu that I actually like.
  • I'm planning to try some new activities. My friend and I are talking about taking surfing lessons. At the very least we'll be body boarding.
  • I'm sure I'll be taking long walks on the beach with Liz and enjoying the evening sunshine...

I guess that's all I have planned for at this point. Vacations for me have never really been a time to lie around and do nothing anyway. I'll do nothing when I'm dead. This week I'll stay active and continue to lose this extra poundage so next year I wont have to worry about scaring all the women and children away at the beach.

p.s., I'll definitely still be posting my weight for the challenges, but aside from that I might not be posting quite as much, so don't think I've given up or forgot about the blogs.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

F.A.T. Forum?

There seems to be a wealth of information to be had from you guys, as well as a lot of questions. All I really have is questions...

Anyhow, I was thinking of setting up a F.A.T. forum on my personal web site so that we have an easier way to view/ask/search information instead of having to go to 10 different blogs to find it. I don't want this to take away from the blogs whatsoever, but instead give us another avenue to help us along in our quests.

I'd like to get everyone's opinions on weather you think this is a good idea or not. If you think it is, maybe I'll ask Billy to design a logo or something, and I can throw together an online forum in a few hours. If you don't think you'd use it, I wont waste my time.

So, what do you guys think?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Still Learning - enter Full Ass Mode

My numbers might look good (16 pounds weight loss in just over 5 weeks) but in some ways I'm still floating by in doing this thing right. I'll admit, I still don't really know that much about nutrition.

I've been meaning to pick up Metabolism Advantage by John Berardi on Billy's recommendation but both times’ I've been to the book store I've forgotten about it. Plus, why by a book when I can just ask Billy over IM? Ha!

No, the real answer is that I have some more learning to do.

For example: the past week I've felt sluggish come evening time. It might be because I'm not eating enough calories. I figure I'm consuming about 1800-2000 a day. I burn at least 360-400 of that every morning on the bike. I'm 6'3" and my weight at this moment is 275. So that's probably why I'm losing weight as fast as I have. It's also probably why I'm tired.

I'm eating well, as in low fat, not too crazy on the carbs and sugar, I'm just not eating enough.

And I know why. I'm not eating enough because if I don't know what the right thing to eat is I just don't eat at all.

Here's an example:
I ran out of breakfast foods I keep at my desk at work. All I have is this can of Bush's Best Vegetarian Baked Beans. It's a small can, although it says its three serving. If I open it I'll eat the entire thing. I'm still not sure how to exactly interpret "the numbers", so instead I just go hungry. Well, or I ask Billy over IM, but he's not always around, plus I'm sure he doesn't want to be my eating coach for the rest of my life :).

By the way, I need to eat the beans, because they're fine.

My point is that I need to make some adjustments. That would be easy if I knew what I was doing. I don't, so it's time to invest in some good 'ol learnin'.

It's easy to lose weight. But it's going to be just as easy to gain it back if I'm not an expert in my trade of nutrition/fitness.

I guess I'm typing this entry more as a note to myself. I need to stop half-assing the nutrition aspect of my lifestyle change if I'm going to be successful in the long run.

So … self? Get on it! Here I come F.A.M. (Full Ass Mode)!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Challenge # 5,456: Healthy Camping

While I can't say with a straight face that my weekend of camping was 100% healthy, I do feel mostly happy with the food choices I made. I did lovingly cradle a bottle of Single Malt Scotch with me for much of the evenings though.

Several Pringles also found there way into my gullet. Yes, about 10-12 of them. Afterwards I felt very guilty about this, as this was basically the first "unhealthy" thing I've eaten in over a month. It's OK though because it's not like I'm going to forgo every unhealthy vittle for the rest of my life. One of the major lessons of this exercise is to learn to moderate such things. So in that respect you could say I was a success.

This morning the scale informed me that my weight was exactly what it was when I left. Considering most of my work outs this weekend consisted of lifting a bottle, and I missed my cardio Friday morning, I was happy with that number.

Today I cranked the resistance meter up on the stationary bike and pushed a little harder, just to make myself feel a little better about any "discrepancies" I may have experienced over the weekend.

Anyhow, I also want to note that it was interesting to see Bill's friends' reactions to his knew look. I wondered if my friends will be saying the same things a year from now about me.

At first no one said anything. I can only assume they wondered to themselves where 25% off Billy had gone off to. Maybe they didn't want to be rude in case Bill had come down with a horrible disease that was slowly eating him away to nothing. Once someone finally first mentioned his new look everyone commented on it positively. I think one girl still wasnt convinved this was the same person she'd met a year ago. Perhaps she just hated him as many of us do..

Ahh, the spoils of all that hard work pay off, even in the of smallest ways.

I think people should be honest enough to make the same type of comments when we fall off the wagon too.

"Hey Brian! Haven't seen you in a while. You sure turned into a fat pig!"

"Brian? Is that you? I didn't recognize you with that tractor trailer tire you're smuggling under your t-shirt!"

"Brian? Is it Halloween already? Nice Jabba the Butt costume you lazy lard eating pathetic cow!!! So nice to see you, how's your Mom been?"

Yes, I really think it would help keep us from living in that alternate reality we live in when we can't admit to ourselves we're gaining weight.

Anyway, that's another post altogether.

Great weekend! Go Team Awesome!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Morning Cardio

I've been doing a lot of reading lately on the "morning" vs "any other time" cardio debate. I do my cardio in the morning only because it's most convenient, and because I have no choice if I'm going to be riding my bike to work. That said, I was interested in knowing if there really is any benefit to the time of day you do it.
I'm still not completely sold on one way or the other, and I have no intentions of changing up my routine anyway. However, this is by far the most informative and fairly unbiased article on the subject I've read.

My real weight

So I finally know my real weight according to a good doctors scale. 277.8 lbs. At the same time, my scale at home registers 283.5.

I'm still not really sure which weight I'm going to go by for blogging purposes, but either way the goals won't change. It's just nice to know what I REALLY weigh in case someone asks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Plans arent for fools, you big dummy.

As you may or may not have noticed by now, I've changed my header from my old "Plans Are for Fools!!!" text to something new. I feel this new header I threw together is a slightly better representation of what I'm doing here.

When I first started this blog (4 weeks ago today!) my intentions were to just throw the page up as fast as possible. I didn't want to put any time in the page that would delay me actually beginning the blog. I know myself, and sometimes I get carried away in the details instead of making real progress. The important thing here was to start with my "plan", not build a pretty blog. The sooner the blog was active the sooner I was on my way.

So, it's still not pretty (I'm no graphic designer)but the new title at least makes sense. By the way, "Plans are for fools!!!" is a quote from a cartoon called "Aqua Teen Hunger Force". When I was originally trying to come up with what to call my fat loss program and I could think of was "I need a plan". Then this quote would pop into my head right afterwards every time.

So, on to the task at hand. Last night I bought a book about men's health called
Men's Body Sculpting. For me, this is the first book that I feel really gives me all the details I need without being overwhelming. You see because, I dumb when it comes to fitnes and nutrition (although I'm learning). That said the book isn't so basic that it tells you a bunch of stuff you already know. It's aimed towards people who already exercise and diet regularly. So check if that sounds like something you'd be interested in, check it out.

In other news, I've decided to ALWAYS do my cardio routine in the AM first thing. Some days I'd get lazy and do it in the afternoon because I wanted to sleep in. Well, it's my understanding that you can burn more fat by doing it before you eat and first thing in the morning. I don't really know if this is definitely true, but it seems to make sense to me.

I'm also changing up my lifting routine a bit too. Right now I've been putting about 40% of my time towards building muscle and 60% towards burning fat. I'm going to change that to about 80/20 in favor of burning fat, but the time I put towards lifting is going to be more efficient. So far I'd only been working my chest and arms. I'm going to do more. I'll go more into that in a later post though.

That's it for now.I hope the F.A.T. Coalition is all doing well!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Business as Usual and an Apology

I feel like things are going well. I lost weight this past week at a slower rate than the week before, 1-2 pounds compared to the amazing 4.5 I did the week before. I'm not disappointed because I didn’t consider the 4.5 pound week to be the norm. As long as I'm losing weight at any rate I'm making progress, so that is good.

I still ride the stationary bike a minimum of 30 minutes every day m-f, and I commute on my real bike to work 2-3 days a week. I also did ride again on Saturday. We did 20 miles with some really nice hills in the middle. I also had three flat tires, including having to repair both front and rear tires before I even left the driveway...that was annoying.

Saturday night I had another 3 glasses of scotch, but other than that I've still not "cheated" in the food area at all in the past 4 weeks. Of course I’ve had some saturated fat here and there, but not often, and I'm in a caloric deficit every day.

I do have an apology to make though. I've found that I now read the labels on EVERYTHING as I must do so I know what I'm putting in my body. Often, I'm amazed at the numbers I see. It's no wonder I put the weight on I did over the past few years...

Anyway, my reaction when I see "the numbers" on something I'd often eat without thinking about before is often "Oh my god!", "That's horrible!" , "How could I have eaten this?!".

Well, I didn’t really think about how the people standing around me are eating those exact things. Some of them might have even tried and failed to go on "diets" and lose weight.

So, to those people, I apologize. I didn’t mean to be rude, and my comments were aimed towards myself, not you. I'm not judging you for your food choices. From now on, when I read a label I will keep my thoughts to myself. I will respect your lifestyle choices and you can respect mine.

That's all I have, talk to you all later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stupid Scales

I've been using a POS scale at home. It's consistent, so I know how much weight I've lost, but I think it's wrong. Yesterday, I went to Linens and Things looking for a real scale, like the kind you can sell drugs with. They didn't have those, but they did have a dozen or so other "electric" , and regular analog scales on display.

I took about a half dozen of them down and stood on them, and little to my surprise I found that my weight fluctuated as much as 6-7 pounds depending on which scale I stood on. Another note I made is that even the one that gave me the highest number was still a pound or so less then my scale at home.

So what does this mean?

It means they don't like it when you get naked to weigh yourself at Linens and Things.

It also means that I probably weigh less than I thought by up to 5 pounds.

What does it change? Nothing.

I'm still going to go by my home scale since it's at least consistent. If some day I do find an out of work pot dealer willing to part with his tool of the trade, I will just adjust my numbers accordingly. If the scale says I'm 5lbs lighter my goals will be adjusted by 5 lbs.

And in the overall picture, when will I decide to stop losing weight? It actually won't be when a scale says a certain number, but instead when I can look at myself in the mirror and can be 100% happy with what I see. I don't know what that number is so scales are just a measure of progress at this point.

I wonder if you have to be clothed to use the mirrors at Linens and Things? Only time, and the local Police Department will tell.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Whoa! Progress!

Wiegh-in today: 285.5

So in the last week I've apparently lost 4.5 pounds! I know thats a little bit more than normal, but I kind of makes sense to me. IN the last 10 days I've done the following:

-Biked a total of 242 miles on a real bike. (This includes 180 miles from last weekend’s trip, 40 miles this past Saturday riding the hills around my house, and the rest from commuting to work that I started last week.

-Stationary bike for 30 minutes every morning m-f (if I don’t commute in to work on the bike I ride the stationary at work for 30 minutes at a very brisk pace. I actually leave two sweat puddles on either side of the bike by the time I’m done, and it’s air-conditioned in the gym at work, gross.

- Lifted weights (still sticking to my plans to lift every t-th afternoon. I haven’t missed any days of this yet)

In the past 10 days I've only taken two days off with no moderate exercise. One of those days was the day after my trip to let my legs heal, and one was yesterday. Although, my gf and I cleaned out basement out yesterday, and someone I think carrying 35 heavy boxes up two flights of stairs and sweating my @#$ off might qualify as some type of exercise.

- I've not "cheated" once for three weeks, including last night at a birthday dinner where everyone had ice cream and chocolate pastry things for dessert. I think my caloric intake has been about 2000-2400 a day, even on the heavy exercise days when I've bikes for 4+ hours.
Sometimes I do get a little hungry when I don't get to eat all of my 5-7 small meals a day, but I wouldn’t go as far to say I'm starving myself.

So, tomorrow will be the end of the third full week since I've started this blog, and in the time, not including today I've lost 9 pounds. I'm happy with that, and I'm feeling confident I can get to my goal of 275 by Sept 15th (my birthday).

When I get to 12 pounds total loss I was going to post a new pic to see if there are any differences. With any luck, that could be later this week.

One other note, I stopped weighing myself EVERY day, and instead do it the same time of day, but every 3-5 days. Much like I cover up the time counter while doing cario in the gym, it's less like watching a pot boil and I feel mentally more like I'm seeing the changes. Works a little better for me.

Thats it for now, talk to you soon!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Doing the Math

So with my new push to "Get Serious" one of my plans is to start counting calories in an attempt to shore up the diet portion of my "get fit" routine.

I'm hoping that once I do this long enough, I'll just be able to know roughly what I can and can't eat, and what my intake is going to be. I really don't plan on counting calories every day for the rest of my life, but for learning purposes, and just so I know I'm doing the right things, I'm going to try it for now.

I registered at as some people here have suggested. First off, it called me "severely obese" based on my BMI which it calculated by the numbers I put in. Thanks a lot Calorie Count, I love you already :\.

It seems like it will really be helpful in aiding my in finding what the numbers are for certain foods. That said, I was really hoping it would have a tool where I could input my own intake and it would track it for me. Does it not? Am I missing something?
Can anyone else suggest any other sites that they've had success using? Also, based on my height of 6'3", being a large frame, and weighing 290 pounds at the moment, does a 2850 daily caloric intake seem right in order to lose 1.5-2 pounds a week? That is what the site told me. Does that take into account my daily exercise?

I guess I still have lots of questions and I'm going to keep reading and researching, but I thought you all might be able to help make sure I'm on the right track...

Until then, Later


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Let's get serious!

I'm a little annoyed with myself today for a few reasons. First of all, I took off yesterday from cardio just to give my legs a rest after the three days of biking. My plan today was to get back to my routine of coming to work an hour early and biking for 30 minutes. Well I overslept and didn't have time (Dope).

Not a big deal, I can ride the bike this afternoon sometime or during lunch. My next minor annoyance was my weigh-in this morning. Yesterday it was 190. Today, 191.

Now, my scale is an electronic POS. Sometimes it gives me different numbers during the same sitting. Very annoying. For all I know all of my numbers are incorrect. I need to spend the money and get a good scale. Any suggestions?

Then there is my goal of loosing 15 more pounds by sept 15th, 5.5 weeks away.
Is it too ambitious? I know my bike trip was a big accomplishment, but I feel like I need to step it up a bit here.

Aside from these things, I think I'm doing well in the food department. I just need to get more active in the physical department.

[arnold voice] Let's get serious![/arnold voice]

Monday, August 6, 2007

Tour De Delaware Bay

Myself, my friend Dan, and my father made it back mostly unscathed yesterday afternoon from our loaded bike trip. According to my dad's odometer this is what we rode mileage-wise:

8/3 66
8/4 74
8/5 42

The last day was actually cut short because I had a second flat tire 11 miles from the end that we initially thought we wouldn’t be able to fix. A fellow cyclist ended up driving me back to our car and I came back and picked up my ride-mates. In the meantime my dad was able to get my tire fixed. I was kind of disappointed we had to cut that part out early, but all in all I'm very happy with my own personal performance over the weekend. It was very hot, around 100 degrees and very humid the first two days. I was almost always in the lead and according to both other riders, the strongest rider. At no time did I "bonk" or lose steam and I really felt like I could embark on another cross country trip and although I know my body would need some adapting, I would be able to do it. In fact, I impressed myself enough that I'm planning on riding a one day Century (100 miles) this weekend. It shouldn’t be to bad considering I already did 74 miles in one day with an extra 40 pounds on the bike and felt like I could have done more.

I ate as healthy as possible during the entire trip, with the exception of 1.5 beers I had at the end of day 2. Aside from that my meals were something like this:

Day 1:
Breakfast: banana nut muffin, special k with skim milk
Late lunch: chicken teriyaki sub at subway with some baked lays
Other: half of a power bar
No dinner because of the late lunch. We usually only eat two main meals while biking.

Day 2:
-steak and eggs (which I ate less than half of because the place we landed for breakfast was really gross as was the food...)
-glass of orange juice
-protein bar
Late lunch:
-Steak with onions
-side of cucumber salad, apple sauce, and two shrimp my dad couldn’t eat.
As mentioned I also had 1.5 beers.

Day 3:
-Coffee with low-fat creamer and no sugar
-sesame seed bagel with low-fat cream cheese
Late lunch:
Another steak with Onions :)
House salad (no cheese or croutons)
Other: Large Deli style dill pickle.

Aside from all of these things I of course drank a LOT of water. I also had a few small bags of salted peanuts because salt helps you retain water, which we definitely needed. I tried to stay away from Gatorade as it has a lot of sugar in it, but I did manage to have one or two bottles.

The end result of the trip is that even though my quads are a little sore today, I feel strong, and I feel like I could continue riding 50-80 miles a day if I had the time. My plan is to use this trip as a springboard to continue riding as much as possible, especially since it makes losing weight all that much more fun. At very minimum I ride the bike in the gym every morning for 30 minutes.

I'm really hoping to be able to post an improved follow up pic to the one on the right soon. I was thinking I would after I've lost 10-15 pounds total. Hopefully that will be within two weeks.

That's it for now!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

174 Miles in 3 days

Tomorrow I leave on my bicycle/camping mini tour. I'm going to be carrying a few power bars and a protien bar I found at REI. Aside from that I also plan to pack a bag of mixed nuts and some bananas.

We eat our main meals at restaurants on the way, so we're basically stuck with whatever is close by when we're hungry. So I'm just going to try to eat as healthy as possible at those places. Steaks and Eggs for breakfast, salads for lunch, etc.

I've seen people eat salt because it helps with cramps. Anyone familiar with that? Anything else to add? Does anyone have any last minute suggestions for what to bring food-wise?

For anyone interersted, here's a map of where we're riding:

Day 1 - 52.7 Miles

Day 2 - 62.3 Miles

Day 3 - 59.1 Miles

Map of entire trip