Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's been way too long... now I need to get back into the groove...

2011 has been a difficult year.

Yes, I know that is no excuse, but it's taken a lot out of me. Between work (the company I work for has been bought out by another major company... and the work has really just begun), my freelance design projects (I've been getting increased interest in my work and commissions), life in general, and the extended illness and subsequent death of my father have all taken their toll on me and my resolve.

But now I need to get things back on track.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my health and habits over the last few weeks. In that time, I've thought about my bad eating habits... my many bad eating habits. And my lack of exercise drive in recent months. As I've thought about this, a plan has been slowly forming.  Here's my thoughts:

Drinks and Liquid Refreshments: I like to drink... water, coffee, soft drinks, juices, etc. Taking I closer look at this habit, I was shocked and horrified to figure out just how much of my normal caloric intake is from these delightful drinks. On the order of magnitude of around 1000 to 1200 calories each day. Starting tomorrow, it all gets simplified... only water. No flavored drinks of any kind.

Food and Comfort: I am a comfort eater. Boredom, stress, annoyance, sadness, anger... all of these tend to make me reach for a little something to cram in my mouth... and the easier the better. This means vending machine snacks, fast food, and whatever else is at hand (which typically isn't anything all that good. Between overeating and eating the wrong stuff, I'm doing it all wrong. Starting tomorrow, no more fast food, no more vending machines, and pre-planning becomes the key.

Exercise and Sweating to the Oldies: For about a year I've been slacking big time in this department. 2010 was actually a very good year for exercise... I was working out every other day (at minimum), eating somewhat right, and was getting back down toward my fighting weight (I had lost between 30 and 35 lbs... which I have dutifully gained back since). But then I hurt my back and lost the drive. Once I get my eating and drinking habits back in line, I'll be putting my exercise routine back into motion... in a couple weeks.

2012 will become my years for getting back into the groove... just you wait and see.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Back Into The Groove... Gosh Darn It!

Well, it's been a rough couple of weeks and I've been slacking a bit.  Between my issues with my back, some personal stuff, and work stress, I've been more prone to comfort eating over the last 2 weeks... with the result being that I haven't been losing any additional weight.  But good thing is I haven't been gaining much either... kind of a plateau.

Gonna be working the rest of this week on getting back into the groove and getting back on my weight loss track.  My back is feeling better and the physical therapy is winding down, so I'll finally be able to get back into working out again... FINALLY.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend Round Up: Prelude to Sweet Sweet Sweat

Hello my friends!  It's been a couple days since I've been around, so let me catch y'all up on where I am.

I ended up heading to the doctor's office back on Monday (Feb 28th) to get my back checked out.  As I've mentioned before, I've had on-again-off-again issues with my back being thrown out several times a year for the last 15 years (ever since I messed it up in the Navy helping one of my 'mates carry a 300+ pound deck chipper down an almost vertical ladder).  So they took x-rays (which I've yet to hear back about), prescribed me pain pills and muscle relaxers (wow... let's treat the symptoms and not the cause, eh?), and set me up with an appointment for physical therapy (which I have to attend twice a week for the next four weeks).

Despite that fun and festivities, I've done ok in the eating realm... not great... but just ok.  Kind of middle of the road, but nothing major in either the good or bad realm.  I've been taking it kind of easy, giving my back some time to recover, but that also means that boredom also took its toll.

As of right now, my back feels pretty good.  So you know what that means...

I'm kicking off my workout regime this coming week to drop even more weight.  I'm actually looking forward to this quite a bit... it's been a while for me (a little over 6 months).  Gonna have to balance this with my PT for the next 4 weeks...

Well folks, this is it for the night. Hope you are enjoying your own journeys... stay strong and stay on the path.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Resources For Healthy Eating

I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting recommendations for eating and living healthy.  Menus, exercise routines, meditations, drinks, whatever... anything that increases our chances for getting and staying fit is worthwhile checking out.

Here's one that was recommended to me by a friend of mine (Thanks Vanessa!).  We're all familiar with the green movement that has gripped the nation and even the world over the last few years.  Everyone seems to be concerned (finally!) about their carbon footprint and the impact of themselves on the environment and vice versa. Now, that movement is extending into the dietary realm.

When we eat "unhealthy" food, we tend to be taking in and storing unhealthy nutrients and chemicals in our bodies, adding to our overall state of poor living and health. With all this garbage hanging out in your body, it becomes more difficult to achieve and maintain weight, energy, and just a general sense of well-being.

One way to reduce these toxins in your body is to de-toxify and change what you eat.  A great way to do this is with Green Smoothies.  According to Vanessa:

"Drink green smoothies for a gentle detox.  Right now I've been blending kale, oranges and ginger. I don't usually replace meals but I often feel much fuller after eating so many greens, You can add sources of protein and other fun things(flax, yogurt, whey, cocoa, kefir, chia seeds, coconut milk/water) in it too. They are a great way to give your body the nutrients it needs without having to eat a salad for every meal. I always feel so much better when I drink them regularly."

She recommends the following site for some great ideas on Green Smoothies and healthy raw eating.  I've looked through it and it has lots of great recommendations.  I'm going to give the basic green smoothie a try as an assistance for my dinner-time eating (which seems to be one of the worst meals of the day for me).

The main site ( looks like an interesting approach to eating right and getting healthy... with a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The End of the Tough First Two Weeks - Recap

Going into these first two weeks, I thought I knew what to expect.  Having been on this journey before, to certain extents, I knew some of the hurdles I would face: caffeine withdrawal, hunger, headaches, hunger, slippages in resolve, hunger, and... did I mention hunger?

Did I experience those?

Of course... more so this time around if anything.

But perhaps the toughest thing I've faced these last 14 days has been throwing out my back and the subsequent spasms for the last three days.  This situation has a tendency to put be flat on my back... and generates great amounts of boredom.

And we know what boredom causes... more desires for munchies.

So it's been a tough couple of days.  I've slipped a bit, but haven't had too much of a negative impact on my weight loss effort.  After two weeks of somewhat successful healthy eating I'm down 8.5 pounds.

Not too bad... not too bad at all.

So where do we go from here?  Well, for starters I'm going to keep eating the reduced calories... it seems to be working.  I want to get going on the exercise routine, but that may be on hold for a bit due to my back issues... but get there I will.

Despite my hurdles over the "Tough First Two Weeks" I'm as (if not more) inspired as I was at the beginning of my journey. I'm feeling good about the initial changes I've made and am looking forward to the next steps as I try to get my sorry butt into a shape other than round.

Stay strong on your own personal journeys, my friends.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Tough First Two Weeks: Day 13

What a crappy, crappy day.

Woke up this morning, tried to roll over in bed, and ended up pulling a muscle in my back again.  This little bit of fun is something that happens to me a couple times a year, for pretty much no reason, since around 1996 (when I hurt my back in the Navy).

I've been experiencing muscle spasms all day long, especially when I move suddenly.  And to make matters worse, I'm coming down with a massive head cold, so I'm sneezing up a storm... and pain storm.

Kind of disgruntled and crabby because of it.

Not much more to say.  Other than:

Stay strong people... and good luck on your journey.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Tough First Two Weeks: Day 12

Almost two weeks into my dietary and fitness journey and I've had my first real slippage in resolve.  was doing really well this morning... had my normal cereal with milk, yogurt, and a banana.  And then, out of nowhere, tragedy struck in the form of an evil that is almost impossible to avoid and ignore...

An invitation to eat Chinese for lunch.

I wanted to be good... I really did.  But all my co-workers were going and it just sounded too good to pass up.  So I did the evil and had some yummy Hot and Sour Soup, Pork Fried Rice, Chicken in Hot Sauce, and Chicken Wings.  And yes... I ate the whole meal, resulting in a pretty big spike in my calories for the day (see below).

Am I worried or upset that I strayed? No, not really... providing that I am back to my normal lower calorie intake tomorrow.  It isn't a bad thing to splurge a bit every once and a while, providing that it is infrequent. If I'm able to keep tomorrow's intake to around 1500 or less, my average intake for the week will still be reasonable.

That's all for tonight folks.  Stay strong on your journeys... and if you do stray, remember a reasonable amount of naughtiness is not a huge deal: just jump back on the path and keep trying.