Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Secret to Weight Loss

Me on 4/28/07


I'm asked all the time, "How did you do it? What is your secret? What diet are you on? Are you following a particular plan?" And even, "Did you have the surgery?" So, how did I go from 315 pounds (or 306 - the difference being different scales, time of day, clothed vs. unclothed) to 193.8 in such a short time? I'll share my "secret" with you. I'll break it into five parts. All must work in unison. Ready? Here they are:

  • Motivation
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Consistency
  • Discipline.

How many of your looks of anticipation were just turned to frowns with an audible, "Oh, that's your secret?" Some of you probably thought, "Ya, ya, I've heard all that before." or "I can't do that." I completely understand. That was me. But the truth is, there is no miracle pill or quick fix. It is work. It does take time. It takes something to motivate you to start. In all seriousness, that was the hardest part for me. Once I got there, losing the weight was easy. No, I'm not kidding. Easy.

For those of you that know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you know my motivation. A health scare and becoming a father kicked me in the seat of my pants made me take action. Yours need not be so drastic. Just wanting to feel better, look better, or be healthy should be motivation enough.

I'm fortunate that I don't get bored with eating the same thing over and over. My diet has been more restrictive than it will need to be for most of you. Since my health scare had to do with diabetes, in addition to watching portion size and fat intake, I also had to watch carbs which means I greatly reduced or eliminated things like bread, rice, and potatoes. Most of you won't have to eliminate such foods, just watch your portion size. Here's a sample of a day's meal plan. With all meals, I use little to no oil. If you are wanting to lose weight, I suggest at least one meeting with a nutritionist to set up a meal plan based on your calorie-per-day needs.

1/3 cup of oatmeal with Splenda and cinnamon
Coffee with Splenda and Coffee-mate

CarbMaster yogurt (from Ralphs)

Chicken breast (with salsa or mustard/balsamic mixture or seasonings-no butter or oil)
Vegetables-enough to cover half the plate
Fruit (on occasion-only because of having to watch the extra carbs)

CarbMaster yogurt or half cucumber or sliced tomato

Baked tilapia with salsa or seasonings (no butter or oil)
Vegetables-enough to cover half the plate
1/4 cup brown rice (smaller portion only because of the affect on my blood sugar)

1/4 cup (before popping) air popped popcorn with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter spray, Splenda, and cinnamon...YUM

I recommend keeping a food log to keep track of what you eat for two reasons.
  1. It will help you see how much you really are eating. This was eye opening for me when I had been thinking, "I don't really eat that much."
  2. If you know you'll have to write down something that shouldn't be there, there's a chance you won't eat it.
I started by just walking during my lunch break. I then went to the gym and began using the treadmill. When I began at the gym, I did one hour at about 3.0 mph and a 5% incline. I worked up to 3.6 mph at a 15% incline. Now, I walk 10 minutes at the same settings, then run 5 minutes at 5.7 mph at a 2% incline and repeat that three more times to fill the hour. I've also added bicycling to my routine. I exercise 5 to 7 days per week.

The above have to become lifestyle change for me. I've lost weight before. Even though I have more weight to lose, I can't say, "I'm done" when I get there. I MUST continue eating well and exercising in order to maintain.

The motivation and consistency have helped me stay disciplined. As I mentioned, this has been easy up until recently. Only within the last two weeks have I felt temptation and have yielded a few times. On several occasions I have found myself overeating and eating things I should not eat. But I catch myself and make sure to work out as soon as possible. I have hit my first real plateau, which I knew would come. I put a few pounds back on but have since lost them over the past two weeks. This has actually been encouraging to me because in the past, I had not recovered until far too late.

I still have anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds to go. The hard part for me, based on past experience, is after that. The maintenance. The lifelong goal of staying healthy. The allowing myself to eat within moderation. To be able to eat certain things occasionally and sparingly rather than finding myself sitting in front of the TV going through a pint of Ben and Jerry's night after night. (Yes, I did that.)

I hope this was at least informative, and hopefully helpful too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lilybug in the Pumpkin Patch

We had been wanting to take Lily to a pumpkin patch but never got around to it. Pessimistic me thought we wouldn't find anything two weekends after Halloween because the Christmas tree lots are popping up everywhere. I was pleasantly proven wrong. We went to Underwood Family Farm in Moorpark and wow did they have pumpkins. But to our surprise, they also had animals. Lily showed minimal interest in them. She looked at them, made a little noise, and was ready to move on. I think her favorite part was riding on my shoulders...especially when I jumped up and down. I'm not sure how excited she was about the pumpkins, but she sure looks cute!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Incredible Show

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, a few weeks ago we went to a concert. We saw Bethany Dillon, Sanctus Real, and Steven Curtis Chapman. On top of that, we got to spend the evening with some dear friends, James and Allison. As you see I got some really good pictures from the show but I'm still kicking myself for not having someone take a picture of the four of us.

Bethany Dillon had a short set but she was amazing. I absolutely love her voice. I'm not too familiar with Sanctus Real They were good but didn't knock my socks off. And as usual, Steven Curtis Chapman put on a wonderful performance. I am hardly one to be star struck but he is someone I would like to meet sometime. If anything, just to tell him our story and thank him for his and his family's role in us having Lily.

Here are some shots from the show. Enjoy.

Bethany Dillon

Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven was joined on stage by his two sons, Caleb and Will Franklin, on guitar and drums.

Oh What a Night

I was tense, a bit anxious, and not to mention a little stressed. Conditions at work contributed to the latter. I hate to admit but I was awkwardly nervous about my night alone with Lily. I have not spent enough time with her lately which has evidenced itself by her not wanting to be with me but rather almost exclusively with her mommy. Lily had also not quite been herself due to her week in Palm Springs. Being out of her element seemed to phase her a bit. I did not join them until later in the week, and then was busy with my conference once there. So now that we are home I was anxious and yet hopeful for our time together last night while Julianne headed off to choir practice. When Julianne left it was dinner time. Lily ate well as usual. She typically tires of the baby food vegetables. Fortunately she was pleasantly distracted by the cap to her baby bottle enough to not notice she finished the entire tub of food. The grilled chicken breast, butternut squash, and mixed (real) veggies were more eagerly received.

After dinner we headed to the living room to play with her toys. Although the news was on when we left the living room to go eat, when we returned one of those tabloid shows was on. Lily and I were both caught gazing for moments at the screen. Neither of us could tell you what we were watching but we were both zoning out quite a bit. Off went the tv. Down went the bicycling magazines I've been perusing. I needed to simply be with her. And with her I was. We. Had. Fun. We played with her Little People Farm. We played chase around the kitchen island. She giggled a lot. She told me the chicken says, "Boc boc boc" and the cow says, "Ooooooo."

Our time was precious. After how I had been feeling, it was a true blessing.

The new song that opens my blog is called "Cinderella" (the internet only had it labeled as "Track 03") and is on Steven Curtis Chapman's new cd, This Moment. It's been in my head since we saw him in concert a couple of weekend's ago. The message is about how fast our kids grow up and not wanting to miss a single moment. A message I took to heart last night and will treasure.