Monday, October 10, 2016

2016 100 Miles of Nowhere sign up

OK, I think I may have temporarily lost my mind as I've ridden less this year than any of the last 5 years, but I went ahead and signed up for Fat Cyclist's 100 Miles Of Nowhere ride this year.  He reduced the sign up fee and I just couldn't resist. I guess that means I really, really need to get on my bike and ride!

The official date of the ride this year is November 12.  That is the date I had been thinking of doing the Honor Ride, but I figure this might be a better choice.  Now I need to figure out where I am going to ride and who might ride with me.

You may recall that in 2013, I did the metric version (100 km of nowhere).  I had been shooting for the full 100 miles, but the lack of riding cut that short.  I hope do acquit myself nicely this year, but am not holding out high hopes for a long distance as my total distance on the bike for 2016 is only 48.1 miles. that is over 19 rides.  Certainly nothing near respectable so I will need to do some serious digging to get any kind of real distance this year.

Why not join me, either here or in your own neighborhood and do your version of this crazy ride.  It definitely benefits a great cause and you get a t-shirt!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dereliction of duties

I need to apologize for my lack of posts over the last couple of weeks.  It seems that With the move and then the trip back to Michigan, there has been little of note for me to write about in terms of the target content of this blog.  I have been doing very little over the last 2 weeks of note in terms of weight loss and fitness.  I haven't ridden my bike, I haven't had weight loss, I am basically stagnant.

My weight, as of Saturday, is 402 lbs.  I realize that is up a pound from my last reading but there are likely contributing factors, including a bit too much salt on restaurant food the day before (those sweet potato fries at Red Robin are great).  I realized this morning that my excuses are just that - excuses.  I will get my butt back on my bike and moving forward both literally and figuratively in terms  of fitness and weight loss.

There is an upcoming ride - the 2016 Honor Ride, that I am thinking about doing and I talked to my grandson before he left for the summer and he said he might like to do it as well.  this ride is scheduled for Saturday November 12 - Veteran's Day weekend.  There are 3 options 20, 40 and 60 mile routes and I am planning on the 20 mile route.  That means I have 2 1/2 months to get my butt in better shape to get out there and do the ride.  I could likely suffer through the 20 miles at the moment but I want to enjoy the ride so I need to get in much better cycling shape.

My riding partner will be home tomorrow and I think we can get ourselves into shape for the ride in the time we have.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mid-week update

I know with my posting schedule of late that this update will be a surprise to many.  My wife and I are heading out early tomorrow for a quick trip back home and I just wanted to share as it is close to the end of the challenge I had set for myself and I'm not sure I will be near a scale on the 6th.  as of this morning the scale said 401 lbs.  That is an overall loss of 57 lbs. for the challenge and I am happy with that.

What I'm even happier with is that this isn't the end of anything but a time frame.  I am not going to go out and pig out on ice cream and cake and nachos and chips.  This has been a lifestyle change for me and I plan on continuing it.  That's not to say that I won't enjoy an occasional treat, but they will be few and far between.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 25 update

It is amazing what 5 days of moving boxes and other items from one house to another will do for one's activity level. A few weeks ago I averaged 4496 steps per day.  Last week my average was 7046 steps per day - a definite increase in activity to say the least.  As a result the scale was favorable - 404 lbs for a total loss of 54 lbs. for the challenge. I am very happy with that after last week's number.

I had planned on riding my bike at least once over the weekend, but with moving and all the associated work, I just didn't feel like doing it.  I was and am still, tired.  I hope to get out soon and explore the new neighborhood and nearby parks, but it hasn't happened yet.  It likely won't happen this week,either as it is a short week followed by time away.  We will see, though.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 24

The scale was a little disappointing this morning - 409 lbs.  I was expecting it, though with the heat and increased liquid consumption along with the salty foods over the weekend.  I haven't gone crazy on the food front so I know that the increase is likely retained water and not an indication of eating gone wild.  Speaking of heat, we have been at 110+ for the last 4 days and are forecasting another 5 days in that range, with a 115 on Thursday.  Of course it will be the hottest day of the year on Thursday as that is the day we are moving.

We can't even put out there that it's a dry heat, since relatively speaking, the humidity levels are increasing all week leading to some likely thunderstorms this weekend.  I was hoping to be able to get a ride or two in at the new house, once we get settled, but it may wait another few days withthe heat and humidity.

Not much else going on with fitness for me at the moment.  I am hoping that a change in residence will help spur a resurgence in activity for me.  We will wait and see.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 23

Another week and down another pound.  I know I will not make the 80 pounds by 8/6 but I'm OK with that.  I will likely have lost 60+ pounds and that is significant.  Also my change in mindset about what I eat will be much better for me long term.  I will still struggle with temptation and wanting to eat much more than I need to, but I believe this is a struggle I can win on a daily basis.

Our move is less than 2 weeks away and I am greatly hoping that the move will help with my riding motivation.  I rode much more when the roads in my area were flatter and I think there will be flatter roads near the new house as well as less traffic on the roads.  Its time to let this new house e a new beginning on our journey to more active, fit lives.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Weeks 21 and 22

I realized this morning that with the holiday and the busy week last week, I had forgotten to post an update.  So this weeks covers the last 2 weeks.  Not that there is much to say.  Last week's weight was 409, a 1 lb. loss from the week before.  Not much but still movement in  the right direction. I am happy with that. This week I'm at 407, which is another 2 lbs. gone bringing my total so far to 51. At my current rate I don't think I will hit my 80 lbs. lost 4 weeks from now.  I'm OK with that, though.

I realize this is a lifestyle change and not just a temporary diet.  As such, I am just making sure I am making the right choices each and every day.  the next few weeks are getting crazier as well.  We are packing and moving and then have a trip back to Michigan for a reception and to see family.  All that makes making the right choices important.  As long as I keep on track and don't go off the rails, eating those things I know aren't good, I will be fine.  I'm not going to obsess over the number on the scale.

I'm also hoping the new location will be conducive to more riding as the streets are quieter and a bit fatter than around the current location.  It is amazing what a difference a couple of miles distance will make.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 20 Update

There has finally been some positive movement in terms of my weight.  It was stalled at 415 for a few weeks, but I got on the scale and it said 410!  That is a 5 lb. loss and I am happy with it.  That puts me down 48 lbs. so far.

On the movement front I didn't improve on my step average.  Last week I averaged only 4,496 steps per day.  That is below what I was aiming for by a large amount.  This week I will do better.  In terms of calories, I was much better.

Looking ahead it is going to be a busy time as we prepare to move into a new place.  The lease on our current place is expiring the end of July and they are wanting to raise our rent $50 per month.  On top of that we don't need that large of a house so we are looking for a new place and will end up moving in the next 5 weeks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Week 19

Time is flying by on this personal challenge.  I have been remiss in my duties in staying the course.  I am, again, at 415. This plateau seems to be a semi-permanent one.  I know what I need to do and I am working on it.  My eating has been more lax than it should be to meet my goal and the exercise has been fairly non-existent.  Sure I rode 2 days last week, but that is it - only 2 days.

As of yesterday I have re-focused my attention on my eating and am sticking with my hard limit of 1800 calories per day.  I am also going to up my activity and exercise game.  My average steps last week were only 4,694 per day.  That is less than half of where it really should be.  I need to work on increasing that number in order to have a positive impact on my weight loss.  I can and will do this.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 18 Update

My weight seems to be holding steady at the moment.  The scale said 415 again yesterday.  That motivated me to get my butt out of bed this morning and go for a ride.  It wasn't very far or very long at just 3.5 miles in just under 18 minutes, but it was a ride and got me moving more than I have been. I felt pretty good out there.

As for my eating, it hasn't been horrible, I've been staying away from the sugars and the grains and flour, etc. but I have been over my target number of daily calories.  I am going to be much more vigilant this week and that combined with riding every day should reap some results and get my weight once again moving in the right direction. I need to get serious if I'm going to hitmy goal of 378 in a mere 8 weeks from now.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 17 Update

No weight to report this week as I have been traveling back to Michigan to see family and celebrate with my nephew and his new bride. In fact I'm writing this as we fly along at 36,000 feet. It was great seeing family and friends I haven't seen in too long of a time.

Our trip was almost non-stop running from place to place to visit. We put almost 600 miles on the rental car in the 5 days we were there. It seemed each gathering involved some type of eating and drinking.  I must say that I stuck to my eating plan and didn't overindulge at all. There were temptations galore but I stayed resolute.

I  have a reason to not get on the scale right now. I feel like I've retained a good deal of fluids due to not taking all of my medication as I should have.  I know things will improve in a couple of days as I get back on schedule so to avoid feeling down at a possible higher number on the scale I will just forego this week's weigh in.

My plan is to really focus on getting in some exercise over the next 8 weeks before heading back to Michigan to celebrate again. It is time for me to get my buttons back on my bike on a consistent basis. 4:00 am and I are going to become reacquainted very quickly.

A non-scale victory this week was the fact I got the seat belt fastened on the plane without using the extender.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week 16 Update

I'm late this week but that's because of lots to do and so little time.  The good news is that this morning the scale was in a good mood as it showed 415 lbs.  Heading back in the correct direction but I have ground to make up to hit my goal my August 7th. Being very careful with my food has done the trick.  Looking ahead, though, next week might be a challenge in that I am traveling this weekend and it is a challenge to eat well while doing so, but I plan on it.

Things should calm down at home after this weekend as we are taking 3 of the four grandchildren to Michigan for the summer.  It will be quiet at home and I will be able to get back into a routine.  My riding has been non-existent for the last few weeks and the temps are topping out with daytime high in the triple digits so its time to get back to getting up early and enjoying the cool mornings.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 15

I didn't get on the scale this morning but as of a couple of days ago, things are static in terms of my weight.  I have been a slacker in the activity department and eating more than my goal, so my weight hasn't changed.  Yesterday I indulged in some cake for my Grandchildren's birthday party, but resisted the pizza and other foods.  I am not stressing about my weight this week and hope to have a good report next Tuesday.  The reason I'm not stressing is because I know what to do and I will do it.

In my mind over the last few days, I had planed on doing a couple of longer bike rides but never got out there.  The first day I didn't go was on Friday when we had winds gusting to 50 MPH.  I just didn't think it would be fun to be fighting a wind like that.  The second day I had hoped to get out was on Saturday, but ended up with little time once my grandchildren watching duties were over.  Yesterday there was everything to do with the party and I wasn't feeling the best with a headache (I think it was from tension from all the noise).  I recognize these for what they are - just excuses and I will do better this week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 14 Update

Well, the good news is I didn't gain any weight this week.  Of course that means the bad news I didn't lose any either.  I was expecting this, though since I pushed to get the scale down last Monday for the competition weigh out.  On a brighter note, I did ride 5 of the last 7 days which is good.  I had planned on 7 for 7 but it was just too blasted hot during the time I had to ride on both Friday and Saturday, we hit 99 and 97 respectively.

Yesterday we were cooler with only 92 for the high, but silly me, I went for a ride in the afternoon heat.  Made it up one hill and had hoped to go farther when I left but it just was way too hot out there.  I haven't acclimated at all to the warmer temperatures yet this year.  I know in a month or two, 92 will feel refreshing but right not it was just too hot.

One thing I have been fighting has been the temptation to eat everything in sight now that the Biggest Winner competition is over.  This is where I would normally fall of the diet wagon in the past but I am bound and determined to not have that happen this year.  I am going to stay strong and get to that 80 lb loss by August.  I'm also looking beyond that and towards the rest of my life as a healthier individual.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Week 13...Progress and Results

So, I am now 13 weeks into my personal challenge and also we've made it through the 10 weeks of the Biggest Winner competition which is part of the Las Vegas Corporate Challenge.  I certainly had hoped that I could report more progress, but some was made.  OK, I did lose 25 lbs. for the Biggest Winner competition.  According to their scale, I weighed in at 438 lbs. and weighed out at 413 lbs.  I am happy with that, but one of my teammates left me in the dust losing an impressive 41 lbs. over the competition - Well Done Glen!!!!

I would like to believe the scale as accurate, but my weight loss is measured against my personal scale at the house.  When I got home, I weighed myself and it showed 416 lbs.  I'll take it.  that means at the halfway point of my personal 6 month challenge I have lost 42 lbs.  Now I just need to follow through and keep losing more weight.  In the past, once the competition has ended I've reverted to bad eating habits.  I won't allow myself to do that any more.

On the cycling front, 9 days into the National Bike Challenge I have gotten in 9 rides.  Last night's was a late ride.  I realized at 9:00 pm that I had yet to ride, so I changed and headed out for a short ride.  Now, I will be honest here and admit that all of my rides have been short so far, but the important thing is that I am riding.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 12

So, another week has come and gone and I was hoping to report that I have lost all of the pounds gained last week and while that is not true, I have lost 1 lb.  I'm a bit perplexed as to the reason for this as my eating hasn't changed significantly from my successful routine of the initial 10 weeks of this journey.  All I can figure is that I've reached a plateau and I need to work through things and stay the course.  I know that changes will come.  The only disappointing thing is that Monday is the final weigh in for the Biggest Winner challenge and I feel bad that I am not performing better for my teammates.

On a positive note, I have gotten in a couple of short rides over the last 2 days for the National Bike Challenge.  I am very happy that I am out and riding.  Now I need to get into a steady routine and increase my daily mileage.  there is a bit of frustration associated with the challenge as they are having big issues reporting the data they are collecting for the challenge.  The post on the site yesterday says it may take up to 3 weeks for them to fix all of the issues.  Seems like a long time to me.  The good news is, though, it has given me the small boost I needed to get my butt on the bike.

My goal is to stay hyper-focused this week and see if I can't make a decent number on the scale for the weigh in on Monday.  I know putting some time in on the bike will certainly help in that regard.

Monday, May 2, 2016

And so it begins - National Bike Challenge 2016

Yesterday was the start of the National Bike challenge for 2016.  It runs from May 1 through September 30 and the goal is to ride as much as you can, either recreationally or to commute, during that time period. You earn points which can earn you prizes from national and local sponsors of the event.  I got my first ride for this year's challenge in yesterday morning.  It wasn't very long but I enjoyed it and to be honest, it didn't wipe me out as I had feared it would with my lack of riding.

I chose to ride a bit challenging of a route as it was uphill all the way to the turn around.  I spent most of the ride out in one of my lowest gears and just grinding away, but I made it and I enjoyed the downhill on the way back, if I was a bit timid.  I did max out at 24.4 mph but with a stop sign at the bottom of the hill, I wanted to make sure the brakes were going to work well so I used them a few times on the way down. :)

My plan is to get in a ride every day that I can and to do that some days I will be riding before work and some days after.  Today will be an after day as I will be helping my grandson get his tube fixed so he can accompany me on my ride this evening.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Week 11 Report

Ok, I'm late with this week's report.  I apologize.  You see I'm just not motivated to write it this week since it seems my consumption of salty foods has led to a small and temporary reversal on the scales.  This is also why I didn't put the word 'progress' in the title of this post.  The fact of the matter is that according to the scale there is no progress to report this week.  Rather it shows I gained 3 lbs.  I know it is temporary and that I can recover from this little bump, but it still makes me loathe to post about it.

On a different note, the national Bike Challenge starts on Sunday.  It runs from May 1 through September 30.  I made it my goal in 2014 to ride every single day during the challenge and I did.  Last year I didn't ride but a handful of times.  This year I hope to equal the frequency of ride that I accomplished in 2014, but I already know there will be some missed days as there is some travel planned in June and August which will preclude riding.  Those days aside, I will endeavor to surpass at least my mileage total for the 2014 challenge.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 10 progress

Posting a day late since my scale decided to give up on me. Got a new one and I'm happy to report the results. It said 418 lbs.  this morning which means I've lost 40 pounds in the last 10 weeks. I'm halfway to my 80 lb. goal.

I was actually surprised that I did well this week,as I've been home the last 5 days watching my grandsons and sitting at home is when I have a tendency to snack. Making the snacks healthy fruits a veggies makes a huge difference.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 9 Progress Report

It is amazing to me that NINE weeks have already elapsed in this personal challenge of mine.  Time  just seems to accelerate as you grow older.  I know that is not the case objectively, but subjectively I certainly believe it.  Anyway the good news is that I am another 3 lbs. lighter this week than I was last.  That brings my 9 week total to 35 lbs. lost.  The bad news is that this was done almost exclusively with diet since my activity level was very low.

What is encouraging to me is that I do continue to lose and I am not really feeling deprived of food.  Sure when everyone is eating donuts or cookies, I certainly would love to have one, but I know that would be sabotaging my health.  So I stay away and stay focused on eating healthy snacks like an orange or veggies.

I do need to get my butt more active though.  Too much time is still spent sitting on my rear-end on the computer or watching TV.  I did have at least a small excuse this week end as we actually had rain the last 3 days.  No it wasn't all day rain but it was significant for the area. Of course that is just what I said it was, an excuse.  I still could have done SOMETHING active, but I chose not to.  This will be changing and soon.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 8 Progress

It has been a good week.  I've been fairly good with my eating and have gotten in more steeps on a few of the days and I guess it all adds up.  I got on the scale yesterday and it read 426 lbs.  I am very happy with that.  That gives me a 32 lb. loss over the 8 weeks since I made my personal goal.  That is an average of 4 lbs. per week and that pace is right where I want to be.

While I am happy with my progress towards my weight goal, my activity level is still below where I think it should be.  I really need to get into a routine where I can increase my activity, both walking and on the bike, in order to start reaping even more benefits from the weight loss.  I am noticing a difference in my body and how my clothes are fitting but I need to start building the muscles as well as stamina.  I need to get my mind into an active lifestyle mindset where I am focusing more on doing things and less on just watching my diet.  The diet is still a priority but while it it is a major part of the equation, it is still just a part of it.

Looking ahead to May and the National Bike challenge, my goal for this year is to beat my 2014 total of 3,136 points and 336.5 miles.  I know that the only way to do this is through consistency and effort.  During the challenge in 2014, I rode every single day.  If I am going to beat my point total, I will need to do the same this year and increase the distance per ride.  Who will join me for the challenge?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 7 Progress

OK, I know I missed last week but that was because I was away at a conference for work.  I left on Sunday and returned on Wednesday evening.  The good news is that I wasn't totally derailed by the conference.  At times it was a challenge to find decent foods to eat following the Paleo diet, but I made it and didn't resort to awful food choices.  I weighed in this morning and the scale showed 431 lbs. That is a loss so far of 27 lbs. since starting this personal challenge 7 weeks ago.  I'm still on track to hit my goal as long as I maintain my progress.

My 2 toughest days during this time were heading to and from the conference as I spent about 6 hours int eh car each way.  I was so tempted to just grab fast food or other snacks to help occupy me while I was driving, but I didn't give into the temptation and made it through.  One highlight of the conference was a special event where we had dinner on the USS Midway which is set up as a living history museum.  While the food choices were scarce, seeing and touching the history was awesome.  I also got in my most steps for the week traipsing around the decks and it didn't feel like exercise at all.  Here is a peek at the flight deck:

With that over, it is now time to buckle down ans really make some progress.  A plus is that within our family we have also started our own competition wherein we are each putting up cash for the next 6 months and the person who loses the highest percentage of weight gets to take home the Prize.  Because of the format of weekly weigh-ins and exemptions for the weekly percentage winners, the purse will be a nice $390.  I'm planning on walking away with it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 5 progress

Another week has come and gone and I have lost another 2 lbs.  Not a great loss, but a loss, none the less.  I do need to get back on target to bump up the losses, though.  If I want to hit my goal, then I need to lose an average of at least 3 lbs per week over the next 21 weeks.  Hard to believe I'm already 5 weeks into this personal challenge.

Next week is going to be a big challenge.  I will be attending a conference for work and I'm hoping to get in a decent amount of walking but the food is what worries me.  Finding the best choices may be an issue.  I will do what I can to stay on track, though.  Of course I can worry about that next week. Now I need to focus on this week and eating as clean and healthy as I can.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 4 progress

To be honest there isn't a lot of progress this week.  I seem to be on a little plateau as my weight stood at 437 yesterday. Now don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic that I have lost 21 lbs. since I challenged myself, but I was hoping that I might have lost a bit more this week.  I was spoiled by the losses so far and was hoping that they would continue apace. No worries, though as I know that if I do the right thing with my diet I will lose weight.  I am planning on adding a bit more exercise as well just to bump up the losses.

I was bummed last night when I got home and looked at my FitBit page to see my total for the day.  It stood at just 44 steps.  It seems I left it sitting on the bed yesterday morning when I got dressed so all of yesterday's steps went uncounted. It was surprising how upsetting that little faux pas was.  Anyway, today I have it with me and I am back to accumulating steps and distance.

Speaking of accumulating distance, I did get an email from FitBit congratulating me on earning the Japan badge for walking more than 1869 miles.  While that seems like a fair distance, I think it has taken quite a while to get there.  I think my next lifetime distance badge comes at 1997 miles and hopefully that won't take too long to achieve.

So, the focus this week is to avoid salty foods and stay within my goals and hopefully next week there will be significant progress to report.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Biggest Winner 2016

So, here it is, the start of my 4th Biggest Winner weight loss competition as part of the City of Las Vegas' Corporate Challenge.  The weigh in was yesterday and their scale put me at 438 lbs.  I thought it might have been a couple of pounds light and when I got home and on my scale it showed 440 lbs.  So there it is.  Now this is actually a bit heavier than I was on Tuesday and that was a result of eating some salty foods and drinking a ton of liquids.  I expect that increase to disappear in the next day or two as I flush out my system.

What I find strange is that while we have medaled, taking the bronze last year, and I have lost weight in the competition, it obviously has not 'stuck'.  Let's look back just a single year to last year's competition.  I started the competition with a weight of  448 lbs. and ended at 420 lbs. for a loss of 28 lbs.  You will notice that that is significantly less than yesterday's weight and especially my weight of 458 lbs. back on 2/8 when I started my personal weight loss challenge.

What this tells me is that if I set my sights on a concrete goal, then I am actually pretty good at doing what I need to in order to lose weight, but when there is no target I let my eating slip way out of control.  I see that this is not just a short term change that I need to make in order to meet these short term goals, but it needs to be a lifetime change in my eating behavior. I am working to make that lifetime change a reality.

So, until I get to where I need to be, I am going to keep putting short term goals out there and then striving to meet them.  I have my 6 month goal of losing that 80 lbs. and I am going to hit it, no if's ands or buts, but then I am going to continue on until I reach my ultimate target goal of under 250 lbs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 3 progress

OK, here we are already 3 weeks into my personal 80 lbs. in six months challenge.  I was supposed to post yesterday but the time got away from me and frankly it wasn't a priority so I waited until today. the good news is that I did my weigh in Sunday morning and I was at 439 lbs.  That is 19 lbs. lighter than when I started this challenge and I am very happy with that.

In terms of activity and exercise its been all but non-existent this last week.  I got some steps in but nowhere near my modest goal of 7,000 steps per day.  I also squandered another week of nice weather and didn't get on my bike once.  Part of the reason is that I have been holding back pending tomorrow's weigh in for the start of the biggest winner competition.  I know it's a lame excuse (and really no excuse at all) but I wanted to save some of the weight loss for during the competition where it works for a dual purpose - a 2 in 1 loss as it were.  So after tomorrow I am removing that excuse from my head and will be getting back to it much more actively.

Not much else to report on this week, other than I am starting to see a difference in my body which is a good thing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The experts seem to be correct

I've been reading about weight loss and fitness for several years now. I have been, like many people, looking for the secret, the magic bullet as it were of weight loss. I was seriously hoping there was some small change that would let the weight melt away while letting  me eat what and as much as I want. Well, the is no such thing. So then I thought that maybe if I just exercised more, maybe that would do it.  I then worked out that I don't have the 5 or 6 hours each day to make up for poor diet. So that means that I just need to eat right.

Now, the question is what does that mean, 'I just need to eat right'?  What does eating right entail?  Is it merely watching a total caloric intake number and making sure I stay within it?  Does it mean I have to only eat certain foods?  For me, it seems that it means to set a fairly aggressive calorie target fr each day and to follow, what amounts to, a sensible diet.  Now for me, and I certainly can't speak for ANYONE else, that means I am targeting to eat 1800 calories per day.  Those calories are coming from mostly natural foods like fruits and vegetables and meats with very little dairy and no refined grains or sugars.

I have also been taking an EGCG supplement and an enzyme supplement every morning.  I don't know if these are making much, if any difference, since I started the clean eating of the paleo diet at the same time.  What I do know if that over the last 2 weeks, since I started my latest round of weight loss, I have lost 15 lbs.   I am astounded.  This is working better than it ever has.  The exciting thing is that I'm not really hungry and craving foods, like I have in the past when I've been on diets.  I really haven't increased my daily activity, either.   Sure I've gotten on my bike a few times, bu it's nothing consistent.

I am extremely happy with the progress I've made so far and I am excited that I will make my 80 lb. goal by August.  I am well on my way, for sure.

One other thing I want to note is that I will be captaining my organizations team for the Biggest winner competition in the Corporate Challenge.   The initial weigh in is on March second.  We then have until  May 9th to lose as much weight as we can.  Last year I lost 28 lbs.  As a team we lost 81 lbs. which got us the bronze medal.  I am excited that we may actually have a chance at the gold.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


It's been eight days since I restarted my weight loss journey and I'm happy to see my dedication paying off on the scale. Eight days ago my weight was 458 lbs. This morning the scale read 450 lbs. That is a loss of 8 lbs. in 8 days. It shows that my clean eating, following the Paleo diet and resisting all of the temptations of the weekend is worth it.

I'm sure that actual exercise, like getting back on my bike for a couple of short rides, hasn't hurt either. Sure, I've been tracking my steps and getting in a low number but its been usually many short little trips and no longer walks. Usually I would walk maybe 100-200 steps at a time and no more.  Sure I would do this many times a day, but I don't think it is as effective as a longer walk to get the same number of steps.

As a means of testing my theory, I set out to walk about 2,000 steps in one, single go.  Now, I wasn't going to leave the house to accomplish this.  You see, if I walk from the sliding door to the front door and back it is about 50 steps.  OK, depending on my stride and which foot I pivot on it is between 47 and 50.  Anyway, I determined to walk this 40 times in a row. Now that may not sound like much to a lot of people, but remember, The longest I have been walking is from my car to my desk at work, maybe 750 steps.

I do have to say that there is a difference.  I could definitely feel it in my legs and my back as I got past 20 trips.  I persevered and made it to 40, though.  When I looked at my FitBit once i was done, I saw that I had actually logged 1946 steps during the 15 minutes or so it took me to complete this.  I certainly felt it.  I was breathing harder than normal and there was a bit of burn in my legs.  Now, in the past if I had accomplished the same roughly 2000 steps, it would have been in at least 10 separate little walks and I would not have felt it like I did, so obviously intensity and duration are key.

OK, I know there are some people who are like 'DUH!', but this is something I had to once again experience for my self to get it more than intellectually.  Truthfully I knew this, but had forgotten it.  The interesting thing is that since I never left the house yesterday, I didn't hit my step target but I feel I got better exercise than if I had with all of the short trips.

So, it's a new week, or at least a new work week, and I am happy with my progress so far.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Starting is the hardest part

Finally got my butt back on the bike today and 3 things were immediately obvious to me:

1.  Not riding a bike for 8 months greatly reduces one's capacity to participate in this activity.

2.  There are no flat roads in my neighborhood.

3.  Riding my bike is fun and I need to do more of it.

Now the first point was actually something I knew intellectually.  It was the wheezing, lung burning, struggle to move that brought the true reality of this statement home.  I survived the ride but it was more work than it should have been.

The second point I sort of knew from driving through the area, but when experienced from the seat of a bike it is much more readily apparent.  Now Strava and Garmin say I only experienced 71 and 72 feet of elevation gain respectively over the ride, but it certainly felt like a whole lot more!

The last point is one I know and one I am reminded of every time I swing my leg over the bike and propel myself along.  I've said it before and I will certainly say it again - I would rather bike 5 times a distance than walk any day.

One other thing I noted on the ride, as I was huffing and puffing my way uphill on Gowan, was that there are other cyclists in the area.  I call them cyclists because they were decked out in matching jersey and riding not inexpensive bikes.  2 of the 3 riders, however were just.  Not a 'hello' or 'on you left' as they rode by me.  Sure I was on my hybrid, in jersey shorts and a t-shirt and I even went heltmetless, but I said hi to them between gasps as they passed.

Anyway this was my first ride of many to come and I enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Paleo Diet Food List

I was doing some research online about what I can and cannot eat as I am trying to follow a Paleo diet. I came across this list as part of a post over on

Paleo Diet Food List

  • Protein

    • Red Meat and PorkBeef, veal, lamb, bison, ostrich, sheep, caribou, goat, venison (deer), pork. Try to get grass-fed and organic if possible.
    • Cage-free Poultry: Chicken, duck, quail, goose, pheasant, pigeon, eggs from any of the birds just mentioned.
    • Wild Fish and Seafood: Salmon, tunatilapia, anchovy, herring, yellowtail, mahi-mahi (dorado), trout, bass, halibut, sole, haddock, turbot, walleye, cod, flatfish, grouper, mackerel, white fish, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels, sea urchin, lobster, scallops, crab.
    • Nuts: Cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (Pepita), pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, coconuts. Note: Peanut is not a nut, it’s a legume, thus it isn’t allowed on the Paleo diet.
  • Fat

    • Cooking Oil
      • Extra-virgin coconut oil: You never want to burn your oil when you cook and since coconut oil has a high heat index (making it harder to burn), it is the oil I recommend for cooking for most meals.
      • Bacon Fat (lard): Bacon fat can be used as a cooking oil. It’s delicious (who doesn’t bacon?) and can be easily harvested from the grease of rendered bacon fat.
      • Beef TallowTallow, much like bacon fat, is a rendered form of beef fat. I usually get my beef tallow from the fat that floats on top of my beef bone broth which I make once a week.
    • Salad Oil
      • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO): This is my oil of choice for most of my salads. EVOO is high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) so it’s very unstable under high heat and sun light, so I don’t recommend cooking with it and don’t leave it in direct sun light or storing it in a clear bottle. Keep it in a dark place and use a bottle that is tinted (similar to red wine bottles).
      • Sesame seed oil: Adds a great Asian flavor to any salad, I recommend only a teaspoon per salad.
    • Food with Good Fat: Avocados, butter (if you can eat diary), ghee (clarified butter), pork, beef, duck, veal, lamb, cold water fishes (sardines, mackerel, salmon, anchovies), walnuts, pistachios, pecans, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (Pepita), pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, coconuts.
  • Carbohydrates

    • Starchy Roots: Sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, potatoes, purple yams, sweet yams.
    • Nuts: Cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (Pepita), pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, coconuts. Note: Peanut is not a nut, it’s a legume, thus it isn’t allowed on the Paleo diet.
  • Sugars

  • Alcohols

    • None
  • Vegetables

    • Lettuce, butter lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, radish, artichokes, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, watercrest, onions, shallots, button mushroom, portabello, oyster mushroom, shiitake. Pretty much any green leafy vegetable. I also included mushrooms under vegetables even though it’s classified as a fungus, but most people usually cook mushrooms as if they were vegetables.
  • Spices and Herbs

    • Onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro (coriander), thyme, lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, curry powder, all spice, five spice, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla extract (make sure it’s 100% pure), cloves, nutmeg, star anise, mustard seeds, cumin.
  • Fruit

    • Apples, grapefruit, pomelos, oranges, pear, acorn squash, buttercup squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, yellow summer squash, zucchini,bananas, strawberries, raspberries, goji, cocoa, lemon, lime, tangerines, lychee, rumbatan, mangoes, grapes, papaya, plums, peaches, nectarines, blackberries, pineapples, pomegranates, cantaloupes, cherries, apricots, watermelon, honeydew.

Part of the list that felt even more important than what I can't eat, is what I can't eat.  It is a much shorter list and easier to remember, I think:

Food NOT allowed on the Paleo Diet

  • Refined carbohydrates: White bread, white flour
  • Grains: Wheat, oat, rye
  • Refined sugars: White table sugar, candy of all types,
  • Legumes: Soybean, pinto beans, peas, fava beans, black eyed peas, lima beans, peanuts.
  • Dairy: This is a point of controversy, as some people will say dairy is OK on the Paleo diet, while Paleo diet purist will argue otherwise. I say if you’re not lactose intolerant then eat dairy. But if you’re strict Paleo then stay away from the stuff! Dairy products: Cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, milk chocolate. Note: Ghee, clarified butter does not contain lactose nor casein, the proteins in dairy that causes harm to people who are intolerant to dairy. So enjoy ghee if you can afford it.
  • Processed food: Anything that is in a can or bag and doesn’t spoil for months or years. You can bet it contains preservatives.
  • All junk food: Chips, sweets, candy
  • Hydrogenated Oils and Trans Fat: Vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, hydrogenated soybean oil, hydrogenated corn oil, margarine, shortening.
  • Excitotoxins: Mono sodium-glutemate

Monday, February 8, 2016

Too much time gone by - time to start again...

I have been hemming and hawing around about what to post on here for quite some time.  This is, after all, supposed to be a blog about my journey to getting fit and healthy.  Unfortunately that has not been where I have been heading over the past several months Actually closer to a year.

When I finished the Biggest Winner competition last May, my ending weight was 423 lbs. As I stated then, that was a 28 lb. loss for the competition and should have been the beginning of a continued weight loss.  Well that didn't happen and by the end of August I was up to 455 lbs.  The next time I weighed in towards the middle of September I was up another 3 lbs. to 458.  I didn't step on the scale again until a couple of weeks ago when I was at 455 again.

The reason I bring this up is that I need to get my weight under control and I know the largest component of that is to watch my eating.  I need to stop just eating everything in sight and not eat for enjoyment.  I need to understand, fundamentally that fuel is fuel for my body and I only need a certain amount for it, not to over fuel it because that excess needs to go somewhere and it is going to fat.  I need to really get a handle on my eating.  If I do this, then I know I can get to where I need to be, where I can do the things I want to do and my weight is not holding me back.

My wife and daughter watch a TV show called My 600 lb. life.  It follows individuals who go to talk with a doctor in Texas and have gastric bypass surgery.  It shows their transformation over the course of a year or so.  These people are losing a good deal of weight.  I would say that on average about 200 lbs. over that year.  They have both been saying that I need to get that surgery.

This has been an eye opener for me - they are worried about me and are pushing me to get surgery because of their worry.  While I don't doubt that the surgery is an effective way to lose weight, I have seen the stories where over time, people who have ad the surgery have managed to expand their new, small stomachs and have gained back the weight in 3 to 5 years after losing it.  What I see is that there needs to be a fundamental shift in their relationship with food in order to become healthy and maintain the weight loss.

Yes, I understand that this can be a trigger to make the changes one needs to become healthy, but I think if I can make the changes myself, then I will be in a better position and not have to risk going through surgery.  Let's face it, while it is a lot safer than it used to be, anytime someone is put under anesthetic and surgery is performed there is risk.  That risk is increased for someone of my size.

So, what I have proposed to Michele, is that I will take the next 6 months to get my mind right and get moving towards a healthier, lighter me.  I have pledged that if I do not lose at least 80 lbs. over the next 6 months, then I will call the doctor and make an appointment to talk about the surgery. Towards that end, I got on the scale last night and it read 458 lbs.  That means by August 7 I need to weigh less than 378.  I know I can do this.  I need to focus on eating the right things in the right quantities and getting my butt moving more than it has been.

I plan on riding my bike and walking more than I have.  I plan on eating the right whole, natural foods, primarily following the Paleo Diet as it seems to be a good choice for me.  I will post updates of my progress at least weekly on here so that you can hold me accountable and follow my journey.

Here is to another new beginning, this time I am planning on making a significant, permanent change.