Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 100 and the Longest Post Ever

Weigh-in: 246.2
weight loss to date: 50.5 lbs

So, it's just another day that happens to be the 100th day since I decided punishing treadmills and sparing 90% of the unhealthy food on Earth from my gullet. My "system of weight loss" has evolved a bit over the past few months, but here is a sample of what is working for me right now.

Typical Weekday:

-Morning Cardio. That is to say, I drive to work and run on the treadmill before eating anything. There is a debate as to weather you lose more weight by working out before eating. I don't really know the answer, but it's what's most convenient for me, so that is what I do. What I do is intervals. Usually 7-9 of them. Lately, I've been doing intervals of 1 minute maximum, 1 minute moderate. Usually that means I finish in 15 minutes, but I feel like I’m half assin' if by finishing that quickly so I normally walk or jog for another 10 minutes after that.

-I then have breakfast of black coffee and some kind of oatmeal or a yogurt. My main rules are to keep the calories pretty low, little to no saturated fat, little to no sugar, but if there is sugar it will be natural, not artificial. I still do sometimes have the fake stuff, but I'm trying to stay way from it.

- I work for a bit, and if I can I go for a short walk in the morning. We're talking 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I walk down to our other building at work which is down the street. I wear a pedometer usually 6-7 days a week and I try to get in 10,000 steps minimum, but over 13k is probably the norm for me. I don’t wear it while on the treadmill though, that’s cheating.

-Lunchtime comes and I have a salad, maybe with a bit of chicken or tuna. No-fat dressings, veggies, that sort of thing. Sometimes I'll have home made chili, or a healthy soup like split pea. I do keep a small fridge under my cube at work and a drawer full of healthy snacks. That helps a lot if I get hungry in the afternoon, or if I can't make it out for lunch. Got to be prepared so as to avoid mistakes.

-After lunch or at some point in the afternoon I normally go for another walk anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. If I can I walk after every meal, but especially if I overdid it a little bit and feel full. The benefits are that it burns calories, but it also helps with digestion and gets rid of that uncomfortable full feeling. I'm not saying you can over-eat if you walk after eating and I don't suggest it, I'm just saying it helps if that does happen.

-2 days a week during the afternoon I'll run back to the gym and do some weight training for about 20-30 minutes. I forgot to mention, I have a small gym at work that is at my disposal. I'm very lucky compared to others in that regard and I use it to my advantage.

-At dinner time I'll just try to eat sensibly. Ideally I'd like to have lunch at my biggest meal of the day, but that doesn't always happen. Anyhow, I do the best I can. I'll have baked chicken or pork, chili, salads, steamed veggies, things like that. I try not to eat too much, and I try to eat dinner as early as possible.

-If I can I'll try to go for another walk after dinner, or at least do some activity that requires being on your feet. Even walking around the mall or walking in your town to get coffee is better than sitting in front of the TV. Not that I don't sit in front of the TV, but that usually doesn't happen until after 9pm up until 11 or so when I go to bed.

Sometimes I weigh myself at night just because I can tell how good my morning weigh-in is going to be based on that. That said I almost always weigh the most at night. I think that's normal.

So that is basically my routine m-f. My general rule for weekends are to take at least one day and do some activity that I like doing that is strenuous, such as riding a bike, going for a hike, whatever. If I know I can't get that in either day and I'm either going to be in an abnormal eating situation, or sitting all the time, I'll squeeze in another cardio workout Saturday morning.

Sunday's are usually my day off and I spend it with my GF. It's the only day we're both off from work.

Here's a few rules/comments that I think are important and that I try to follow:

- No artificial anything. I shop at trader joe's or the natural food section at the food market. I was using artificial sweeteners for a while, but there is talk that they can cause cancer and just generally not be good for you. I'd rather not take any chances.

- Don't eat too late. I actually don't really know what the reason for this is, but it sounded like a good idea so I try to follow it.

- No calories from drinks. I only drink water or very low caloric drinks on occasion. Yes, there are nights when I drink alcohol, but I try to limit them and prepare for them by eating less and working out more. I stay away from beer and have mixed drinks with diet sodas. Yes, this is one of those times where I can't get away from artificial sweeteners.

- Stay active and do what you need to do to keep moving. The pedometer has been a huge tool for me to help me keep moving. On days when I forget to wear it I have noticeable less motivation to do my walks. I'm the kind of person who needs to see what they're doing. If you get one, wear it for a few days and see what your normal amount of steps are. Once you get a number, double it, triple it, make it over 10,000, whatever. The point here is to move more than you were before, so use it to show some improvement even if it is minimal at first.

- Counting calories - I don't do it. I know a lot of people do, and maybe at the beginning of your weight loss quest you mind find it helpful, but I find it annoying, and honestly a bit of a crutch. I have an idea of how many calories I eat based on what I'm consuming. I read every label. But I don't really know. My mindset however is that I must either walk, or run or jog, or lift weights, or do whatever to burn off what I consume, or as much as possible.

What I'm trying to say is this:
Let's say on some given day I eat 1200 calories. Not much right? Well I probably wouldn't be as motivated to burn as many calories because I didn't take in as many. My way, I always assume I'm eating too many and I do all that I can to burn them off. It might not work for everyone, but it does for me.

- My last thought/goal for the day is this. Your mindset should not be to lose weight. It should be to GET HEALTHY. Yes, one of the results of doing that is you will look better, but the real point is to get healthy. Your diet is part of that, but so is exercise. So is hardship. You're going to have to fight in order to be healthy and live longer and no one is going to hand it to you. I think once you realize that things actually get easier. Not that there still isn't pain, but now you have something else on your side; purpose.

I guess I have learned a few things in the past few months. There is however much more to know.

p.s. I mentioned yesterday I’d post new pics today. It didn’t happen because my digital camera is dead and almost all of my belongings are in storage (including the charger) until I move into the new house in a few weeks. I’ll hopefully be posting a few pics soon though.


Ripx180 said...

Lots of good thoughts and points in this blog Brian. Thanks for posting it. I think your success comes from following it to a T 99% of the time. Thats my downfall and I know it. Your doing awesome and frankly your progress amazes me. Keep doing what your doing.

kyle said...

Hey Brian-
Thanks for sharing "a day in the life of Brian". For someone just starting out, it helps to see the different tactics that people use to achieve their goals. I must say that I'm quite envious that you have the "built in" gym at work. I also appreciate you adding me to your page. I'm pumped to be part of this group. Congrats on the awesome progress!!


billy said...

man, I feel like it was only yesterday when you were asking the STUPIDEST weight loss questions... and now here you are, a big success!

Keep on truckin' bro...

Rob Tucker said...

Great post, man. You know, after I caught all that crap about weighing myself multiple times, I smiled when I read this:

Sometimes I weigh myself at night just because I can tell how good my morning weigh-in is going to be based on that. That said I almost always weigh the most at night. I think that's normal.

You and me are a lot alike - you're really setting some great examples. I can't believe that you're 100 days into this already. You're doing amazing. Just keep going.

GeneTheK said...

Awesome post Brian. Sounds like you've got it together.

I read somewhere that we should use the term "discard body fat" instead of "lose weight". Subconsciously, we want to find that which we "lose" and I know that's not true of the coalition. I know it sounds weird, but give it a try.