Welcome to my Weight Loss journey. Travel with me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

4/2/12 Update - Things are about to get interesting Edition

Well, it's been a few weeks since the last post. True to form, body chemistry is slowly returning to normal. I anticipate another week or two before it's finally back to square one again. Luckily, that means my next cycle won't interfere with Easter, like it did last year.

I've been doing some good things in the time since my last post. As most of the readers know I've been playing indoor soccer since the beginning of the year, and finally the time has come for our team to go outside and play on the big field. Yes, I'm a goalkeeper, so I don't move around much comparatively, but believe me, it's a good workout. Especially the training drills. But back to my point. In preparation for the move to outdoor, since the end of the indoor season I've been doing a lot of walking, as well as going down to my old high school (just down the street) and doing some movement drills and some kicking practice. We'll be playing on a field the same size as a high school field, so I'm feeling good about my kicks. They'll get to mid-field or thereabouts from the 6-yard box, and my drop kicks aren't too shabby either.

One of the harder things about doing these practice sessions has been the fact I've been doing them by myself. It's hard to get proper training when you're a goalkeeper because you can't do a lot of footwork stuff (not your job), and once you kick a ball a good 45 yards or so you have to go retrieve the ball and come back to do it again. PLUS, since in indoor soccer it's a nice level field, walking around on the wet grass pitch, which is all choppy from the school teams, doesn't make for good walking. Calves and knees feel sore just walking around. And the keepers for the school teams make a giant mudhole in the center of the goal that really makes it hard to move around because your cleats get sucked into the mud when you try and move quickly. But I digress.

Our team, Northern Alliance FC (a Timbers Army FC member), had our first official practice this afternoon. Myself and a few others struck out to get to the practice field early, with most of the rest showing up at the scheduled time or a bit later. It was cold, windy, and it rained a little during the extra pre-practice session, and the thin fabric of my kit was pretty much not helping keep any warmth, but after things got moving the cold wasn't much of a factor. I put in (extra hour included) a total of two and a half hours of practice. I didn't dive or go 100% for my time in goal (due to condition of the field hampering some of my movement, concerns about injuring myself in practice, and in general knowing that this was practice and a lot of the stuff coming at me was unlikely to be a regular matchday occurence.), but still got in some good work.

We ended with a 6 on 6 scrimmage, and played it on a half-field in length but for some reason kept a full width. I wasn't the one calling the shots, so I can't explain it. My team did well. We "won" by a goal, possibly two, although we weren't really keeping score officially. Made a couple of reaction saves, but my best "half" was when I was keeping along the midfield line, where it wasn't as muddy.

One of the downsides of my sports background is that I approach a lot of shots coming at me in goal by trying to swat at them, like blocking a shot in basketball. In indoor, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, due to pace of play and small pitch size. In outdoor, I'm going to have to work on catching the ball more (and not like trying to catch a football, like I caught myself doing at one point as the ball came out of my gloves and bounced into the goal) and directing my defense on where they need to be as the ball works its way into my third.

On a final note, I have to admit, when we ordered our jerseys, the 3XL that I got (to be safe) seemed like it would be loose-fitting. Boy were we wrong. It's the same size as my XL Timbers jersey (replica, not authentic). These are both made by the same company, adidas. So what the heck? And I have two pairs of shorts. The actual soccer shorts fit fine, but I'll need some compression shorts to keep them from riding up. I also had a couple of issues with the band rolling it's way down during some of my movements. Not a great picture for the people who may be behind me lol! The 3/4 pants (read: longer shorts) would be great but they don't fit quite right, so I'm going to have to take them in and have them adjusted so that they fit right. They'll help pad my knees some, which combined with a good brace should help a lot.

Sorry if you think this post is too long. I'll get some photos up from the practice as soon as our team photographer (and reserve striker) gets them online.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week Seven Official Weigh-in

Week 7 - Official Weigh-in (post-diet week) 

Previous weight: 392.4
Current weight: 383.4

+/-: -9.0 lbs
Total weight-loss to date: 14.9 lbs

Not as great of results as I had hoped for, but any loss is a positive, and I'll gladly take it.

One thing that I think that I am going to do next time is only make a half-batch of the soup; I have about half of the full batch left over after the week. I just haven't been super hungry the entire week, and in the interest of not wasting the soup (which I will continue to snack on for a couple days, until it goes bad) I am going to only make about as much as I can eat in a week's time. If I need more, I can make more.

Thanks again for the support this week, everyone. It means a lot to me to have everyone rooting for me.


Day Seven - February 17th, 2012

Well, here it is, the last day of the cycle. And none too soon, too.

Woke up this morning and got my post done for yesterday, Day Six. I had to go in to work for a bit to take care of an unfinished project, so I had a quick bowl of soup and left.

I was at the office for about an extra hour longer than I intended, as I had promised to cover while our sales assistant went to lunch. After she returned, I caught her up on a couple things and then took off, and headed out back to the Hula Boy restaurant. Past experiences on this diet meant I knew that they offered a steamed veggie and brown rice bento lunch, which I enjoyed Kahuna sized, meaning extra veggies. Paired this with ice water, and as I do with every dish there, I coated it all with a light bit of teriyaki, then covered it 1/3 each in their hot sauces: Sweet chili, Jamaican Jerk, and a Habanero sauce; the latter, while spicy, isn't terribly spicy. It was absolutely delicious, although the Jerk went with the veggies and rice best.

I had an errand to run down into Portland, so that took most of my late afternoon/early evening. As I got back into my neck of the woods, I stopped at the store, picked up a small pouch of mixed veggies, some Jamaican Jerk marinade (can be used as a sauce too I guess), and some apple juice. I also picked up a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies (to be eaten over the course of many many weeks).

I made the rice on stovetop for a change, instead of microwaving it (still turned out the same, horribly not cooked and crunchy), and steamed the veggies while the rice cooked. The carrots weren't fully cooked though, but that's alright. For flavoring, a couple splashes of teriyaki, some sweet chili sauce, some of the Jerk sauce (which wasn't the same, sadly), and some Sriracha. It was ok, but I was full really fast and couldn't finish it all.

Well, it's now midnight, and time for the customary Mint Milanos. Another week is through.

Thanks for coming along for the ride everyone! Thanks for the support!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Day Six - February 16th, 2012

Well, I was a bit wiped last night from indoor so I waited til this morning to post.

Woke up yesterday, remembering fondly the most excellent steak from the night before. I wasn't going to have steak again, but I wanted to just honor it's memory one more time before I started my day. When I left for work, I yet again forgot my soup. I'm going to have to start leaving notes for myself taped to the door.

I didn't end up having lunch until 1pm, and when I did I went down to the Oriental Fast Bowl for a chicken and veggie bowl (essentially a chicken rice bowl, but without the rice and with extra veggies), and an extra portion of chicken. They offered to cut it up for me and put it with my entree, so I took advantage of that. As per my usual, I put a small bit of extra teriyaki over all of it, then slathered it with spicy teriyaki (heavy on chili peppers) and a bit of Sriracha sauce. This all soaked in on my way back to the office. Let me say, I may have added too much Sriracha because I wasn't even halfway through when the sweat started to pour.

I got off work, and after running a few errands I stopped at the store and grabbed a rotisserie chicken. When I got home, I carved off both drumsticks, a thigh, and a wing (which was pitifully small), and munched those. (Have I ever mentioned Day Six is my 2nd favorite day of this cycle? All-you-can-eat meat and veggies!). I also had some soup, when I came out and enjoyed the 2nd thigh and 2nd wing. Then, after letting it digest for a while, I went off to indoor.

Indoor went well, but because I was unable to fuel pregame and at the half with my Costco-branded Gatorade, I was a bit slow and we ended up losing 9-5, including a couple gaffes by yours truly (as keeper) which were completely my fault.

When I got home, I heated up my cast iron griddle, put a bit of extra-virgin olive oil on it, and pulled out some incredibly meaty crab cakes and heated them up. I also had another salad, with light Caesar dressing (but no chicken added this time), and had a late dinner. The crab cakes cooked up perfectly. I've never had them before, so I didn't know what to pair them with, but the salad was fine. I heard later maybe some tartar sauce or some sort of accompaniment would have been nice, but oh well.

That's the recap. I promise I'll get today's up tonight.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Days Four and Five - February 14th and 15th, 2012

Apologies again for not recapping Day Four on time. Was going to this morning, but didn't have enough time.

Day Four began on a happy note, because I got to eat something that tasted pleasant for breakfast: Bananas. Granted I only brought 5 to work with me (and no soup), so I could only have one. But believe me, it was awesome.

On the way home I stopped at the store, because I had no skim milk. I got just a quart, since a half gallon over 6 hours seemed like a lot. As it was, I only drank about half anyways. Had a bowl of soup, and 5 more bananas. Then I went to bed.

This morning I was excited, because I knew what today was: Steak day! I stopped on my way to work to pick up a 2 lbs. flat of grape tomatoes, because I really don't wanna do canned anymore, and eating whole fresh tomatoes seems a bit awkward (and messy). I ate about a half pound at work. I forgot my soup again at home, however.

After work, I stopped at the store and picked up the steak: a ribeye. Ate about a pound of the remaining tomatoes as I drove. I wasn't ready to cook it up yet when I got home, so I put it in the fridge, and went to take care of some things. When I was ready, I put one of my cast iron skillets in the oven @ 500 degrees for about 20-25 minutes to heat it, then when it was ready I pulled out the skillet, flipped the oven to broil, and opened the steak. I seasoned it lightly with some Johnny's seasoning salt and my Garlic Gourmay garlic mesquite rub on one side, and then put that side down on the skillet, seasoning the now top the same way, only a little heavier on both Johnny's and the rub. Then I stuck the skillet back in the oven for 7 minutes, flipped the steak, and broiled for another 2. Result? The PERFECT steak. Each bite seemed like it was melting in my mouth. Nice and reddish pink in the middle, but warm the whole way through. I really only had a couple pieces of fat to trim off, biggish ones but not too bad. A little bit of 57 on the side, and it was a great dinner!

Now to have some soup in a little bit and hopefully finish the last half pound of tomatoes too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Days Two and Three - February 12th and 13th, 2012

I was really tired last night after work, so I went to bed and didn't post. I apologize.

Yesterday I woke up, and wasn't hungry at all for a long time. Around 3pm I got called in to work early, and that's about when I started to feel hunger pangs. I grabbed a 1 lb. bag of baby carrots out of the fridge and headed off to work, snacking as I went. When I got there, I hit the road right away because the deliveries were backed up, and managed to finish off the bag of carrots before I got back from the first run. Aside from a few pieces of sandwich meats, I didn't eat anything else until my break, when I had my baked potato and some roasted (for lack of a better term for it) asparagus. I was intending to eat my other bowl of soup when I got off work, but the boss was in a rush so he was ready to leave about two minutes after I was done.

When I got home, I had a small bowl of soup and went to bed.

When I woke up this morning, I wasn't feeling hungry either. I went off to the library, taking a bag of carrots and pea pods with me to eat in the car. I ate some on the way, but didn't take it with me into the mall. I picked up my books and, not really wanting to go home, headed into work to wait for my paycheck. I read 4 books while I waited (not long ones, but fast reads). I finished off the bag of carrots and pea pods, and then had 2 small salads with fresh mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes, and a light drizzle of Italian dressing (for flavor). I also heated up the soup I'd left at work the night before and had that as well. Still hungry at around the time my check arrived, I grabbed one more salad, this time with a little bit of diced ham and no tomatoes, and a little splash of ranch dressing.

As I type I haven't had anything since, but I am starting to get hungry again. I have a flat of strawberries and the last grapefruit in the kitchen. I think I'll have the strawberries.

I weighed myself this morning before heading to the mall and I was down almost 8 lbs. for the week already. However, I don't want to make this a habit so I'll wait to weigh myself again until Saturday morning, at the official weigh-in.

Thanks for reading along, and sorry for the delay!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day One - February 11th, 2012

And the first day is in the books. Not really much to tell, honestly.

I woke up, went to pick up the battery for my scale, weighed myself, blogged about it, ate a couple grapefruits, ate a bowl of soup, went to work, ate an orange and a few pieces of meat (gotta keep up the protein right now, helps the muscles recover from rough soccer games), finished work, ate a bowl of soup, and came home.

Exciting, huh? Yeah, didn't think so.

So one thing I discovered whilst eating the grapefruits today was that they're a lot harder to peel than oranges are. The peel comes off easily enough, but the fuzz cover thing (yes, this is a technical term) isn't as easy to get rid of as it is on oranges. They also tend to burst easy while trying to separate pieces, getting juice all over.

I also discovered later that oranges that are kept in the fridge (or walk-in cooler, as the case was tonight) tend to be harder to peel, and the fuzz cover thing is as difficult as the ones on the grapefruits.

With the soup, the first bowl was some red Sriracha sauce, a sprinkle of sea salt, and some Garlic Gourmay Killer Cajun seasoning for flavoring, which was a great combination. The second bowl, however, was salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes, and was really not that pleasant to consume (but I did it anyways).

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, mostly for the baked potato. But I have some asparagus marinating right now in some teriyaki and garlic, and some baby carrots to snack on. Looking to "enjoy" more soup tomorrow.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11th, 2012 - Reflecting on the year that was

Well, it's hard to believe that it's been a year since I first started on my diet and weight loss journey. There's been a lot of hard work that's been put in, and also a lot of no work too. While waiting yesterday for the battery to arrive for my scale, I used a significant portion of that time to reflect on the past year.

I started this diet, and this blog, with some mighty big aspirations and goals. I wanted to cycle this diet with a couple buffer days between cycles, but one of the things I learned early was (at the time) financially it wasn't quite possible. Also, life gets in the way sometimes. Poor timing also affects things, such as being on banana and milk day on Easter, or attending a Timbers match during the cycle and having people offer me beer when I can't enjoy it.

One of the major things I learned though, after the rapid-fire (by comparison) pace at which the first several week cycles were completed was that while each cycle added to the weight loss total, each cycle produced less and less weight loss overall. A side affect was that my body started to become unbalanced nutrition-wise, and in the end if I kept up that pace it would cause more harm than good if I continued. Speaking with people with a bit more medical and physiological knowledge than myself, I found that I was throwing off my body chemistry, and that if I dialed back the amount of cycles in a given period, I would allow my body to re-adjust after a cycle, get back into balance. I've since completed two cycles, and am at the beginning of a third. The spacing of these cycles is something I am continuing to work on, and hope to get a better idea of how often my body will allow me to go through them.

As of this morning's weigh in, my total reported weight loss stands at 5.9 lbs. For as much as I've done in the past year, it doesn't seem like much. Some people lose that in a month. But any loss is a positive, and for the first time, probably in my entire life, I haven't gained any weight in a year. This is encouraging, to be sure. I have looked back over the past year and looked at my eating habits, which have changed quite a bit. I still have junk food from time to time, but I eat a lot of salads and veggies. I have drastically reduced the amount of soda I drink (which wasn't much to begin with) and alcoholic beverages as well (this despite discovering the local soccer team and the fans, as well as beginning homebrewing). I wasn't drinking a lot of alcohol before, but I definitely cut down off of that volume as well.

Other things that have contributed to that total of weight loss include gym time. I haven't been doing a lot of cardio (a goal of mine for year #2), but I have primarily been lifting weights. Several trainers over the years have told me that by adding more muscle I would burn more fat, and I've been working on building and toning my muscles, and I can tell a big difference over the past year. I noticed that my endurance has improved quite a bit, both running and biking. I'm also playing soccer now, indoor currently but will be moving to outdoor soon. I play keeper for indoor, and despite the fact I'm not running around a lot, I do use a lot of energy and get a great sweat going.

The weather is starting to improve (but then again, around here, it can change at the drop of a hat), and once it warms a bit I can start riding my bike more. During some of the hotter days of summer this past year I didn't ride when I could/should have, to avoid heat stroke (which I did suffer on one occasion), but hopefully nobody will blame me for that. I'm also doing a lot of walking, and as my cardio improves I'm hoping to do some light running as well.

Some hard facts about my weight loss:

  1. I dropped a pant size over the last year, possibly two. My old jeans were getting quite snug before I started my diet, and since then I dropped to the next size down.
  2. My shirts are fitting a bit more loosely. I have noticed that a couple of shirts that I bought new (and were quite snug at the time) are fitting more comfortably now. My custom Seahawks jersey, for example, now fits better than it did when I bought it in Dec. 2010. My Blazers "Rip City" hoodie fits more loosely than when I bought it. Several dress shirts that I have bought or been given now fit more loosely as well than when they were first worn (early 2010/fall 2010).
These two, alone, are enough to make me very happy. While I will never know the exact amount of my weight loss (thanks dead scale), I know that I've lost more than just 5.9 lbs in the last year, probably closer to 20, and that's great news. I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can do to improve on that this year.

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you who reads this blog. I know over the past several months I haven't kept up on it like I want to or should, but people continue to ask me about my diet regularly. I know some people have thought I have given up at times, but this is not true. I am figuring this out as I go along, and I appreciate everyone's encouragement and support throughout the journey to date, and I will continue to appreciate the same moving forward.

This past year really flew past, and not just in the diet sense. I really look forward to the year that's underway, and hope to have some more great reflections come next February.

Thank you again for all your support. I couldn't do this nearly as well without it.


February 11th, 2012 - Official Weigh-in (pre-diet week)

Well, after the fiasco yesterday, I have a new battery in the scale and I'm ready to go.

Without further adieu....

Previous weight: 375.4
Current weight: 392.4

+/-: +17.0 lbs.
Total weight loss to date: 5.9 lbs

Well, some of this I attribute to the heavy dinner I had last night which will still be in the system. But with two big holiday feasts to account for, I'd say that I'm not terribly surprised.

Some people might see this as a setback, which it undoubtedly is. However, I don't, and here's why: From Feb. 10th, 2011 to Feb. 11th, 2012, I LOST 6 lbs. This is the first year in I don't know how long where there wasn't weight gained. And, factoring in approx. 15 lbs lost that isn't measured in due to not having a starting weight on 2/10/11, I'm doing even better than just 6 lbs.

Well, time for breakfast. I have some ruby red grapefruits to eat, although it'll be difficult without a grapefruit spoon. I'll make due!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Slight setback - Feb. 10th, 2012

I regret to inform you all that, in almost an echo of my first diet week last year, that the battery on my scale has gone dead, so I have been unable to weigh in today. And it takes a special battery, which I have had to special order (three different stores, including a battery store, were out of stock). I will have it tomorrow, at which point the weigh-in and diet will commence.

Very depressing, but these things happen.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2/9/12 - Update (and diet tomorrow!)

My my, it has been a while. I apologize for not posting more often over the Holiday season. The holidays have come and gone, and I have been in one of those extremely busy modes for most of the past three months. However, I am pleased to announce that tomorrow, the one-year anniversary of my starting my weight loss journey, I will be beginning the cycle anew.

November was a good month, minus Thanksgiving (obviously), and December was a good month as well, subtracting Christmas dinner. These months were marked by smarter eating, attempts to actually eat breakfast (a notorious omission from my daily meals), and trips to the gym. December also saw me extra-timing my work schedule, adding on an additional 30-40 hours a week of seasonal employment to my current workload. This addition was a lot of walking and lifting, which was bad on my back but good for my activity levels. However, I was usually exhausted at the end of a very long workday that I slipped on my gym routine. I have returned to my regular 3-4 times a week routine, I am proud to say.

Other new happenings: I recently began playing indoor soccer, and will be playing outdoor soccer beginning in the next couple of months. This is good for many reasons. While I am mainly playing goalkeeper, you'd be surprised at how much activity I do, and at the level of exertion of energy too. We have played 4 matches already, and while we're 0-4 going into tonight's match, my performances, surprisingly good for someone who's never played before, have been getting better. I've also subbed as a field player, but to not much success.

As stated above, tomorrow (being the 1 year anniversary of my weight loss journey) I will be beginning my diet cycle once again. This will be the first time since the beginning of January. I'm anticipating some weight gain upon the weigh-in tomorrow morning, as there was the last time, but not as much. I have been eating better for the most part (there's been some binges) and I'm looking forward to this cycle. I will be buying my ingredients tonight after our match and post-game festivities (it's our rivalry match), and making the soup tomorrow. I have some fruit to eat while I cook, as well as to accompany my soup on day one, so that's a great start.

I'm looking forward to this. The last few weeks have been stressful due to some personal issues which I am moving past, and for the better. I hope that this will be one more motivation to drive me to my goal.

Wish me luck!