Friday, April 30, 2010

Top 5 Friday - My Newest Songs

Here we are again, with a new Top 5 Friday list.  This time, I'll share my straight up list of the most recent songs I have purchased (via iTunes). 

So, I present to you My 5 Newest Songs (because I seem to be in a "late 80's" mood lately):
  1. Der Kommissar by After The Fire
  2. Hot Doggie by Colourbox
  3. Anne's Song by Faith No More
  4. We Care A Lot by Faith No More
  5. Feelin' Good (Ooh la La) by The DNC
Okay, what is the most recent music you have added to your playlist?

Also, tomorrow is May 1st, so please jump in tomorrow for our final post of The MayDay Challenge.  I will post a short intro, then the rest is up to all of you who have been working towards a goal.  Looking forward to it!

Rock on, fun people.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Italian Wisdom on Cycling?

(I am heading out of town for an overnight company event.  Fancy hotel, great food, and cookies at all of the seminar meetings.  And yet, I am guessing that I will overcome these temptations very well!  I guess we'll see soon enough.  Have a good few days everyone!)

I heard this great quote...okay actually, it was just a paraphrasing of a great quote that apparently is popular among Italian cyclists.  I am going to butcher it, but it goes something like this:

"It is easier to buy a lighter bike, than to become a lighter cyclist."

I thought of this quote while cycling in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains race last week.  Having not ridden my bike much recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much MORE I enjoyed this ride, given that I weighed about 25 pounds less than I had a two months earlier.  About six months ago, I had blogged about how my bike was too heavy, how it was a "commuter" bike that wasn't really built for speed and that maybe I had chosen the wrong model.  I was proving the Italians right.  Clearly, I was the one who was not "built for speed".

But now, I am a lighter cyclist (though still an impressively large-sized Clydesdale!) and the ride was better.  More fun!  It reminded me of how much I liked it...the whole cycling culture.  There were people there of all ages, shapes and abilities.  If the other cyclists were like me, they were just focused on turning the pedals and at the right moment, catching that person up ahead.

I am renewing my commitment here to get back to exercise.  My "nutrition-alone" method of weight loss has been great for the past two months.  It has been fun to see the weight come off and I have learned a lot.  I think I have actually transitioned from a "new diet" into a habit and a new lifestyle.

But I love cycling, even at my newbie level.  It is fun, challenging, I can do it with my family and can also compete enough to get my tail kicked now and then.  And now, I have friends and my family joining me in some upcoming races. 

Time to get back on the bike consistently and get some miles behind me. 

By Sunday night, I'll post new mileage goals that will begin in May.  Please follow along to see how I'm doing.

Keep riding everyone!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hey Dad, Let's Race!

familyThose four simple words have pretty much shamed me in the past..."hey Dad, let's race!".  When I hear that question from my playful, energetic boys, how do I respond that, I don't really run anymore?  Or that I can't really run anymore.

Last Friday night, our whole family went to the boys' school carnival.  It was very fun.  They had those big inflatable bouncy things that we never had when I was a kid.  Music was blaring, the warm Tucson evening felt great and everyone was just having a blast.  Given that we have three kids, my wife and I play more of a zone defense, not man-to-man.  So, she was staking out the cafe-gym-atorium with our two older kids and I was outside on the field with Joe and the bouncy things.

As we were walking, Joe was soooo happy and said "hey Dad, let's race" (over to the carnival games).  My mind went into hyper-speed as these thoughts ran through my head, in this order:
  1. Find a fast way to decline.  My usual line is "no, no...I'm tired.  You run on ahead."
  2. Calculating the was about 50 yards.  Hmmmm.
  3. I have lost some weight recently, so maybe...
So, I said "you're on" and we both took off.  I realize that I am still very overweight, but I ran hard to keep up with my speedy 9 year-old boy and I was amazed that I could actually run.  Granted, it was not too far and speed is relative, etc., etc., but when I was done, I was so happy that I could actually do this simple and fun thing with my boy (and not get all sweaty and heart-attacky after it)!

Officially, he beat me by maybe a foot, but when we did it again later in the night, I won that contest.  We each had a "win" that night and I bet that Joe thought that was pretty cool.  I definitely did.

If you've never been extremely overweight, this all might seem a bit trivial.  But I think that many of you know what I am talking about.  This was just another example of a small thing that I can now do (thanks to some weight loss) that was pretty much off of my list two months ago. 

As I lose more weight and become healthier, what other adventures (big and small) are in store for me and my family?

Now, your turn...please let me know if you are now able to do fun or activity things since you've become more active or healthy?

P.S.  Both of my boys decided this weekend that they will join me in El Tour de Tucson in November for the 35-mile race.  Crazy Jim, our buddy, is doing it too!  Good times.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weigh In - Week 8

Weight Change:  Gained 1 pound

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  21 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:  Surprised and a bit frustrated, but knew that this was bound to happen.

Here's what happened last week:

After a loss of 2 pounds last week, I committed to myself (and all of you) that I would strive for a 3 pound loss at today's weigh-in.  I even weighed-in on Saturday morning for the MayDay Challenge and found that I had lost those three pounds.  I ate well on Saturday and did a 28-mile bike race on Sunday, where I probably burned about 1,000 calories and had to eat the calorie shot-blocks during the race.  Maybe it somehow messed me up (or at least my digestion).  Anyway, I am up, which is a bummer, but I think it is a weird timing thing and I'll be back down within a day or two.   Any ideas or advice for me on this one???

Food:  I ate very well this week, averaging just under 1,700 calories per day, except for "Dark Monday" (see below). I had a great week for my nutrition and even stepped up my exercise.  Getting smarter (and faster and cheaper) at preparing my daily food, which is making all of this easier!  My diet involves a lot of fresh fruit and veggies, egg whites, grilled chicken and lunchmeat and even Subway sandwiches (no cheese, low-cal dressings), turkey jerky, soup, and rarely cereal or oatmeal.  I've also started having some sushi (pretty light in calories, surprisingly) and some sorbet.

Liquids: Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus. This keeps it all moving and energy levels up. Coffee everyday.  Will likely get some Grey Goose vodka this week, but I usually only have about 1 shot per week.

Exercise:  Twice this week, my wife suggested I just "walk home" from the nearby grocery store to help me get in some additional quick exercise.  Also, I raced in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains (see re-cap soon). 

Confessional: "Dark Monday".  See last week's weigh-in post to get more detail, but I have a habit of treating myself to some sloppy eating on Monday, after my weigh-in.  I tried to be a bit more reasonable this week with some Doritos and cheese...but had too much at one meal.  I think my body is no longer used to this food, because it just dragged me down for about two days, feeling like a brick in my belly.  I ate veggies and lean foods during those days and recovered, but learned the lesson that I just don't enjoy these foods as much anymore.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  My cycling jersey (yes, that spandex type) fit much better than it did during my two races earlier this year.  Someday, I may even feel decent wearing this tight thing.

My Goals for this Week:
  • Losing 5 pounds now by Saturday, to accomplish my goal for the MayDay Challenge.
  • Maintain a daily calorie budget of 1,700 or less
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week (walking or cycling).
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tour of the Tucson Mountains Re-Cap

On Sunday morning, my buddy Crazy Jim and I competed in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains in the "27-Mile" event, (which really clocked in at 28 miles for me).  Our total time was around 2 hrs, 10 mins which averages 13 mph.  This has been my average speed for pretty much all distances.  As you may have noticed, I have not been in training at all for this, but knew that I had the strength and stamina to get it done.  Crazy Jim had never ridden more than about 12 miles in a ride, so he was a bit anxious about it, but he did great.  We are pretty even in ability it seems, so we had a lot of fun together.

I will say that I "bonked" at about the 21 mile mark, because I hadn't eaten enough calories before the race or in the earlier part of the race.  A cycling coach told me later that he often tells cyclists to "eat early and eat often" during a ride.  I didn't eat much before the ride.  I had a banana and a heavy-protein bar (with 30 grams of protein) that has so much protein that it almost sacks the absorption rate of the protein.  Maybe that's good as a meal replacement, but not as a pre-race food, according to that coach.

So, at the 21 mile mark, I just got TIRED...legs wouldn't pedal fast at all.  I rallied during the last mile, but that was likely just some adrenalin that was going for a strong finish.  Crazy Jim came in 3 minutes before me, so he did awesome! 

When we finished the race and I got off my bike, I instantly felt dizzy.  Then, my vision started going I might pass out.  We slowly wandered around and got some water and a cookie, but I knew that the cookie wouldn't really do much for me, so I only had one.  More dizziness and feelings of passing out.  30 minutes after the race, we headed to Subway and I chomped on a foot long with tons of veggies and began to feel normal again. 

It was a good race, in that one year ago, I couldn't ride more than about 3 miles without having to stop to rest.  Yes, I was heavier, but VERY out of shape.  So, despite my less than stellar performance yesterday due to not eating enough, I still rode 28 miles in an athletic event!   And my efforts at cycling inspired Crazy Jim to buy a bike in January and he is now embarking on a healthier lifestyle as well.  Much to be thankful for.

Next race:  Bike the Bluff in Show Low, AZ in June. 

(Yes, it's me...Big Clyde, happy before the race)
(Crazy Jim, a bit nervous before his first race)
(the bling...still means a lot to this non-athlete!)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MayDay Challenge - 1 Week Left and Tour of the Tucson Mountains!

Hey everyone, we are down to our last week for the MayDay Challenge!  Next Saturday will be May 1st and it will be great to see if people come close to hitting their goals.  Please jump in today and comment as to your progress heading into this final week.

As for me, I am about 3 pounds away from hitting my 13 pound goal.  I think I'll make it, but will have to do well this week. 

I am looking forward to riding in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains this weekend.  I will be riding with my buddy, Crazy Jim, who will be in his first race ever (my fourth).  Good times.  Crazy Jim is a pretty fit guy, but new to cycling.  We will be doing the 27 mile route, which will be twice as long as he has ever ridden before, so we are just going to enjoy the time together and take our time.

Keep riding everyone and Control The Beast!

Big Clyde

Friday, April 23, 2010

What I Eat Now (My Healthy Choices)

Okay, I've had two long posts recently on food and this one will by my last on this topic for awhile...but it will also be long.  Consider this the final chapter in the Big Clyde's Food Trilogy.  Granted, some introspection is useful, but I'm ready to focus my time (and this blog) on more positive things, like my upcoming race this weekend (more on that later!).

So, since March 1st, this is a pretty accurate list of the types of food I eat every day.  When I am at a restaurant or friend's house, I just choose well (thanks to the nutritional information cards and the internet...just like you, Matty O!) and if need be, eat lighter on my next few meals.  Other than 1-2 times per week, I tend to stay right around 1,700 calories at least 5 days per week.  I think it is a good blend of fruits, veggies, egg whites, some cheese and turkey, chicken or ham and a little bit of bread.

If ANY of you have recommendations on specific types of foods that I might be missing, please let me know.

Breakfast (about 415 calories)

4 egg whites (70 calories)
mushrooms, asparagus, and/or jalapenos (40 calories)
grilled chicken or turkey pepperoni slices (85 calories)
1 serving of string cheese (80 calories)
1 banana or apple (90 calories)
Half and Half cream for my coffee (50 calories)
(Alternates:  3/4 cup of cereal with non-fat milk + banana)

Lunch (about 600 calories)

1 Subway foot-long Ham sandwich (580 calories)
(w/o cheese, but add tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, and fat free red wine vinegar dressing - 20 cal.)
(Alternates: homemade sandwich; 2 slices of Hawaiian thin-crust pizza)

Dinner (about 445 calories)

1 can of Campbell's Healthy Request Chicken Gumbo soup (280 cal.)
1 string cheese (80 cal.)
1 chicken or turkey pepperoni (85 cal.)

Snacks (about 265 calories)

1 apple - (85 cal.)
Rice Cakes - (80 cal.)
1 Yoplait fat-free yogurt (100 cal.)
(Alternates: 5 prunes; Turkey Jerky; sliced carrots, gelato)

Total = 1,725 calories

Some final comments:
  • I drink a lot of water and tea...and I drink a 4-shot espresso every day (and I have done this for about 12 years now). 
  • I am NEVER hungry, but never grossly bloated either.  It is awesome.
  • I LOVE eating fruit now (I never really have before).   Strange days indeed.
  • One key thing that keeps me on-track is that I track my daily foods on
  • Another key thing for me is to have the stuff I need at home, which means I tend to buy my groceries often.  I mostly buy fruit, vegetables, chicken, eggs and milk.  MY FOOD NOW IS SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN MY JUNK FOOD LIFESTYLE!
  • One way for me to speed up making that breakfast (almost every day) is to cut my veggies about twice a week and keep them in tupperware in the fridge.  That way, I can crack the eggs, throw the veggies in and have a huge, protein and vitamin-filled breakfast on my plate in about 5 minutes. 
  • I try to eat most of my calories at lunch.  Mostly, my plan is to have a lighter dinner and not eat anything after about 8pm at night.  I'd rather eat heavier during the day, when I can still burn calories just by moving.  To load up at dinner and at night means that it will just sit in my body when I am not even moving... not a good plan.
  • I know that all of this might make me seem like some unrealistic, Martha Stewart-type, prima-donna, type of guy.  Especially when I am blathering on about eating fruit and cutting my own veggies.  I understand if my enthusiasm seems a bit obnoxious, but I am being totally honest here.  I am a caveman and this IS my first rodeo in terms of eating healthy foods.  I am only two months in and have a long way to go, but I am not struggling and will likely keep going until I weigh as much as your little sister.
To my future self (Big Clyde of the Future):  if you, Big Clyde, are reading this in December of 2010 and have gained back all of your weight (plus 50 more pounds), then put the donut-burger down and read this post from top to bottom and get back to eating healthy foods.  You did it once, Big Boy, and it is pretty just have to start.  Go!

Thanks for the support everyone.  I would be 22 pounds heavier right now, if it weren't for all of you.

Big Clyde

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why I Ate What I Ate

(Today's post runs a bit long, but I hope it can be informative to others in some way.)

Okay, I sense that some of you are shocked at my food list yesterday, which showed the types of foods that I would often choose, prior to March 1st.  That is fine.  The total calories consumed at each meal was indeed huge (especially the lunch and dinner choices offered by most restaurants and fast-food places).  But please notice that my choices don't show 3 Big Macs, mutliple entrees, eating an entire plate of brownies, etc.   I don't judge people that have habits or food addictions that would cause them to order food this way.  It happens and we all have our struggles.  But that was never really my method of overeating. 

My method of over-eating was basically two-fold: 
  1. I was a member of what our mothers use to call the "Clean-Plate Club".  If I ordered a meal in a restaurant, I would finish it there.  At fast food places, I guess I grew up ordering the "combo meals" (burger, fries and a soft-drink).  Since we always drank diet soda in my family, that naturally gave us room to have ice cream or candy.  ;-)   At nicer restaurants, we would order the appetizer and entree...and I would finish the meal.  And often get dessert.  That just doesn't seem unreasonable at first glace, to think that someone would eat the food that is combined into a meal.  So, by choosing what they advertise, I would consume 1,600 - 1,700 for a lunch or dinner.  
  2. I would snack.   Because I love food (and we would always choose diet sodas), we would often have ice cream or candy as snacks.   Others in my family seemed to control this well and not eat excessively, I would even recently snack with ice cream or candy bars.  Again, never checking calorie content.  I just was used to snacking or desserts and they became part of my regular food choices, adding about 450-500 calories at a time.
Sure, I could rail against the fast food joints and the huge portions at restaurants (and yes, I do think that these corporations know exactly how their "combo meals" and menus get us hooked psychologically and physically).  I could rant about how their marketing campaigns tell us that the food is healthy and the portions normal (ever see fat people in fast food commercials?). 

But that is a futile exercise.  I really can't play the "victim" card here when I was the guy paying the money for the food and then putting it in my mouth.  Nutritional information cards have been available in most fast food joints for 10-20 years and all foods at the grocery stores display their nutritional content.  I just chose to ignore it.

 I've felt embarassed and defeated about my weight and health for a few decades now, but never really got serious enough to educate myself and work on this.  Certainly, I've tried gimmicky diets and pre-packaged meal plans from weight loss companies.  But I always knew that those weren't very reasonable or sustainable for long-term health.

I am not entirely without self-control.  I've chosen not to use illegal drugs.  I've chosen not to drink margaritas before I go to work in the morning.  I've chosen not to spend my entire paycheck on movies, toys and vacations.  Eventhough some of these might be fun in the short-term, they are not good for me in the big picture.  So, I exert some self-control and make good choices.   With food, it needs to be the same thing.

My point is this:  shame on me for making the bad choices and not being aware of what I was eating.  

I am awake now.  I am taking control of this and changing my habits, so that I will improve my health now and into the future.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I Used To Eat...Not That Long Ago

I have moments every day lately, where I find that I am just amazed at the changes in my life:  my recent and steady weight loss, my food choices, my increased energy and my belief that this will be a permanent change.

So, I thought I would take a glance backward and compare what I did then vs. what I am doing now.  Today, I want to list out what I might normally have eaten at different meals.  I listed mostly fast food, because I ate out a lot and these were typical foods for me.  However, I rarely would have hit all of these food choices in the same day (but I might have been at these levels for 2 out of 3 meals per day).

So, without exaggeration or judgement, here is a list of what I ate on a typical day, prior to March 1st of this year.

Breakfast (about 700-750 calories)
BIG Bowl of cereal, like Honey Bunches of Oats with non-fat milk (635 calories)
Half and Half cream for my coffee (50 calories)
- or -
McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg (450 calories)
w/McDonald's Breakfast Burrito (300 calories)

Lunch (about 1770 calories)
Arby's Turkey and Swiss Sandwich (720 calories)
Arby's Curley Fries - medium size (400 calories)
Arby's Jamocha Milkshake - large (650 calories)
- or -
McDonald's Double Cheeseburger (440)
McDonald's 3 Chocolate-Chip Cookies (480)
McDonald's large Strawberry Milkshake (840)

Dinner (about 1600 calories)
Pei Wei's Orange Chicken (1240)
- or -
Pizza Hut Meat Lover's Original Crust (1,960 for 4 slices)

Snack (about 500 calories)
Candy bars (420)
- or -
Baskin Robbins 2 scoops ice cream (550)

(Again, this doesn't represent an actual day, but it is pretty accurate for what I might have had at any given meal.  On some days, I might have these calorie levels.)

To be conservative, I would estimate that I ate approximately 4,000 calories per day.   It is shocking for me to see now, but I never measured it before and now measure my food daily.   No wonder might weight grew steadily every year.   Notice that I have almost no veggies or fruit and a tremendous amount of fat, calories and sugar.

I'm basically in shock now, so I'll sign off.  I'm a bit embarassed by this, but I realize that I am really feeling sad...for the choices I made.  I don't think it was because I was unhappy.  I simply love food and everything above was delicious.  But the excess weight, bloatedness, lack of flexibility and physical ability that it created was the horrible result of this love of food.  I am just choosing to love some new foods now (and less of them!).

In a day or so, I'll post what my daily food looks like since I started staying at a 1,700 daily calorie level. 

3...3...3...3...The Sequel

About two weeks ago, I was frustrated with a 2 pound loss (because I knew that I could have done better).  So, I committed to achieving a 3 pound loss for that week.  I was fortunate to exceed that 3 pound goal. 

I am doing that again.  I lost 2 pounds this past week and I certainly am pleased with that.  Since I began eating VERY healthy foods with a 1,700 daily calorie budget (with only two higher calorie days per week), I have been fortunate to lose weight every week since March 1st, totalling 22 pounds as of today.  But I want to do better this week.  So, I'd like to increase that total to 25 pounds as of next Monday, 4/26.

Since I have to psych myself up for these things and hope that you will help to keep me accountable, I am now committing to lose 3 pounds this week. 

My weigh-in will be Monday morning on 4/26.  And I'll be down three.

Thanks for your constant encouragement everyone.  I am slowly taking control of my health in a reasonable and sustainable way.  I think that this blogging experience will be the pivot-point that I'll look back on from old age, as the time when I was able to get control of my weight forever.  It is great that we are doing it together.

Big Clyde

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weigh In - Week 7

Weight Change:  Lost 2 pounds

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  22 pounds.

Today, I'm feeling:  Energized to keep this going!

Here's what happened last week:
I had a bad cold that sacked me from Monday and Tuesday.  Feeling better, I washed my truck on Tuesday night (is it wimpy for me to have worked up a good sweat doing this?).  As I was getting the car wash stuff down from a shelf in my garage, I harm done, until I felt the pain in the morning.  A trip to Urgent Care showed that I had sprained my foot which was pretty painful for the next few days.  Back to normal by Saturday morning, but lost some workout opptys this week.

Food: I ate very well this week, averaging just under 1,700 calories per day, except for "Dark Monday" (see below).   My diet involves a lot of fresh fruit and veggies, egg whites, grilled chicken and lunchmeat and even Subway sandwiches (no cheese, low-cal dressings), turkey jerky, soup, and rarely cereal or oatmeal.

Liquids: Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus. This keeps it all moving and energy levels up. Also, helps to curb my appetite.

Exercise:  I dragged out the punching bag and hung it again outside.  I beat on that thing a few times this week and lifted weights twice.  Otherwise, only the Grampa workouts of adding steps to my daily routine.

Confessional:  "Dark Monday".  It started innocently enough.  After my weigh-in on Week 2 of this weight loss journey, I celebrated by eating a bit more food that day.  And it was food that I had told myself was "off-limits".  Then, I was back on "plan" by Monday at dinner time.  I still saw a weight loss for the week, so on Monday of Week 3 (after weigh-in), I did it again only adding some ice cream to the secret menu.  It has continued a bit more each week.  This past Monday, it involved Pop-Tarts (okay, 2 packs) and other stuff.  Combine that with my cold and the sprained foot and I had 5 days of almost no loss at all.  I have tried to tell myself that "Mondays just don't really count", but that is ridiculous.  I will still allow myself to go above my 1,700 daily calories on two days per week, but need to reel in this "Dark Monday" practice.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  I am now wearing some clothes that I haven't worn for years.  They almost seem baggy.  It is hot here in AZ and I am now realizing that my jeans that I wore in February should probably be given away, because I won't be able to wear them once it gets cold again in October!

My Goals for this Week:
  • Hitting my "milestone" number...more on that, when I hit that goal.
  • Maintain a daily calorie budget of 1,700 or less
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week (walking or cycling)

Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, April 17, 2010

MayDay Challenge - 2 Weeks Left! Please Comment.

Okay, how's everyone doing?  Please comment below and let us know how much progress you've made, how much you have left, or whatever else we should know.

As for me, I had a cold at the beginning of the week, then sprained my foot.  By Friday morning, I was 95% back to normal and down 8 pounds out of my 13 pound goal.  So, I've got to shed 5 more pounds in the next two weeks.  Feeling good about it.

How about all of you?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Songs for the Starting Line

After a few weeks' absence, Top 5 Friday returns!  It's only fun if you comment and add your ideas to the list.

Today, I present my list of The Top 5 Songs that I would like to hear at the Starting Line.   A "starting line" might be the first step off your porch when you begin your Saturday morning run, or as you roll out of your driveway for a long ride on the bike, or the first minute of a long workout at the gym.  

My criteria?  Something with a fast or quickly-building tempo that will get my heart pumping, make me happy or get my game face on...also, something that hasn't been overplayed on radio, movies, etc.  Here's my list:
  1. 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago
  2. A Little Less Conversation by Elvis (JXL Mix edit)
  3. Creepin' Up the Backstairs by The Fratellis
  4. The Distance by Cake
  5. Roll To Me by Del Amitri
You get the idea:  what are your Top 5 Songs that would play at Your Starting Line to get you pumped for the workout ahead. Give me your list!

Keep riding, everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jungle Flames by The DNC

I heard this song while watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC.   I can't get it out of my head.

Regardless of your age, gender, or shape, try to listen to this and NOT shake your booty!  Impossible.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weigh In - Week 6

Weight Change:  Lost 5 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  20 pounds

Today, I'm feeling: ...stunned, but very happy with the number 5.  Reminds me of a song...

Here's what happened last week:

Food:  I ate very well this week, averaging just about 1,700 calories per day by eating very healthy foods.  I did deviate occasionally, but nothing that would have taken me above 2,100 calories.  When I'm hungry in between meals, I will have an apple, banana or prunes (don't knock it until you try it).  I also snack on Turkey Jerky sometimes or low-fat yogurt at night.  For the most part, I don't eat at night.  I am never very hungry.  Also, I try to have my biggest meal be lunch and afternoon, when I still have some time to burn it off.

Liquids:  Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus. This keeps it all moving and energy levels up. Also, helps to curb my appetite.

Exercise:  I'll call this a "Grampa workout" - this is where you park the car at the far end of the parking lot at work, the grocery store, etc. Nothing strenuous, nothing that breaks a sweat...just a few more calories burned each day, all week. I've intended to ride my bike more lately, but have had a bad cold for a few days.

Confessional:   Not much to confess for this week.  When I wanted some chocolate, I ate some  (2-4 Hershey's kisses, twice this week).  Not really a sin at 75 calories per kiss on a 1,700 calorie day.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  I came around a corner and my wife remarked "Oh my gosh, you can really see that you are losing."  It was special hearing that from my wife.  5 pounds left on the MayDay Challenge!

My Goals for this Week:

  • Maintain a daily calorie budget of 1,700 or less
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week (walking or cycling)
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, April 10, 2010

MayDay Challenge - Let's Hear From You!

Now, it's your turn to leave a comment below that will tell us how your week went and/or plans for next week.  We are one full week down and three to go!  

Can we celebrate your progress from last week?
Need some advice or a kick in the pants?
Are you on track for hitting your goal?


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's That Behind You?

What would you do if you were being chased by something that wanted to kill you?

Okay, the obvious answer would be RUN!!!  I was thinking about this when I read a note from Courtney (from  She wrote to me and said that it was rare for someone like me to choose to take up cycling to PREVENT getting diabetes. This made her happy.  If this is at all confusing, please read my post Diabetes and Ride to Remedy

I was thinking about this on a recent afternoon while riding my bike.  I didn't want to be riding, because I have not exercised much lately.  Since March 1st, I have been pretty diligent about watching my calories and eating better, but just could not get motivated to exercise.  Simply put, I've been feeling a bit lazy.

Then I got Courtney's message and it made me realize that I AM BEING CHASED by something that can kill me! 

The #1 cause of death in Americans is heart disease.  There are 8 simple things we all can do to prevent heart disease, but it boils down to this:  EAT HEALTHY, MOVE MORE.   (For more info, click 8 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease).

If you are feeling a bit lazy (like I have been), consider that there really is something out there that is chasing us that can kill us.  It might look like yummy food or laziness or "I'm-too-busy-to-exercise" syndrome or just procrastination, but it is very real and seems to somehow sneak up on us more than any other killer.

I guess this is another "Control The Beast" message, so I'll wrap it up.  I hope I can keep this feeling in mind as I fight off a cold and ramp up my exercise this week.

Keep Riding everyone and Control the Beast!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Easter candy and ice cream still roam this house after the holidays.  I'm starting to get a cold.  Busy schedule this week.   All reasons why it could be a tough one for me and why I am feeling weak in resisting the temptations.

But I have a goal to hit for the week, for MayDay and I have to get my head in the right place.  So, I now commit to lose 3 lbs this week.  Not every week, just this one.

Check my results on Monday will be a 3 pound loss.  

Big Clyde

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weigh In - Week 5

Weight Change: Lost 2 pounds

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 15 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:  Awesome!  Getting a handle on food choices and recovering from mistakes.

Here's what happened last week:
Food: I ate pretty well this week, averaging just under 1,700 calories per day, with only a couple of mess-ups.   By the way, NO MORE FAST FOOD!  I eat carefully at Subway and make more food at home.  Bye-bye, Ronald McDonald.

Liquids: Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus. This keeps it all moving and energy levels up.  Also, helps to curb my appetite.

Exercise:  I'll call this a "Grampa workout" - this is where you park the car at the far end of the parking lot at work, the grocery store, etc. Nothing strenuous, nothing that breaks a sweat...just a few more calories burned each day, all week. Also, did a pretty intense bike ride on Saturday (13 miles with a tough hill climb for me).

Confessional: Two mess-ups, the first was on Monday Night (Curse of the Mexican Food-Baby) and the second was a more mild case of dipping my hand into the easter candy.  Want to know how to recover from a heavy-calorie day?  My solution was just to mostly eat some light proteins (eggs and some cheese) and tons of fruits and veggies for the next few days.  Kept me healthy and very low in calories.  I think it worked.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week: Someone new asked me how much weight I'd lossed!  Also, I am feeling very comfortable in clothes that were tight a month ago.   Started the MayDay Challenge!

My Goals for this Week:
  • Maintain a daily calorie budget of 1,700 or less
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week (walking or cycling)
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Clydesdale Rides Again

For the month of March, I maintained a daily calorie average of approx 1,800 calories per day (with some higher and lower days).  I did this for about 5 days a week and likely went up to 2,100 calories on the other 2 days.  Aside from adding more steps into my daily activities, I didn't exercise too much.  And I lost 13 pounds!  Very happy.
But this blog is called The Clydesdale Project, because I need to be exercising and cycling is perfect for my neighborhood, it's fun and I can do it into a ripe old age.  Finally, the mantra on so many of your sites is "eat less, move more". 

So, I went out with my buddy, L-Train on Saturday and we went up this steep, but short, hill that has seemed pretty intimidating to me.  He is a strong cyclist (speed, hills, distance...he is comfortable with it all). 

We didn't cover a lot of miles, but I was breathing super hard while climbing that hill and went above my normal pace for the rest of the ride.  13 miles in one hour.  I was glad to be back on the HUCC-B (my bike).

April will be an important month for me in this weight loss thing.  I am within eyesight of a milestone number (I'll explain more when I get there).  After a solid month of weight loss with almost NO exercise, I'd like to see how I do with more cycling (which burns more calories than walking anyway).  I am also going to be doing a couple of major rides with friends this month.

As you can see by the listing on the right in yellow, I have not ridden at all since the beginning of March.  So, this Clydesdale will be out on the streets, enjoying how it feels to be cycling with 13 fewer pounds on his frame.   

Big Clyde

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The MayDay Challenge - Begins with 4 Weeks Remaining

Thanks to those who are joining in on our MayDay Challenge!  See the earlier post (MayDay Challenge! Who's In?) if you need some background.

The idea is that we all find a short-term goal to chase after and that we encourage each other along the way.  These goals will be published on this blog, but you define your goal however you want...just have it be a specific number that you will try to achieve.  Then, on May 1st (May Day), we can pretend like we're all sitting around the same picnic table celebrating our successes! 

My hope is that this will give each of us a new burst of energy toward some short-term event or goal.  Our goals might be different, but it will feel like we are all in it together.   I know it might sound corny, but I think it will be fun! 

Here are the people who have made a commitment to achieve some goal on May 1st:
  • Big Clyde (me) - commits to lose 13 pounds from my current weight, bringing my total weight loss to 26 pounds since March 1st.  This will be a milestone event for me.
  • Losing Harry - sets the bar high with a weight loss goal of 30 pounds from his current weight.   Aggressive, but he is determined!
  • Big Daddy Diesel - Will compete in a 12-hour endurance bike ride on that very day, May 1st.   That qualifies as a milestone event, definitely.  Diesel, keep us updated as to your training for it.
  • Massive Marcus - is also committing to lose 13 pounds!  Does Marcus ever back away from a challenge?
  • RockStar Tri - already at fighting weight, is going to lose another 10 pounds!
  • ZeusMeatball - another proven winner at weight loss is working for a new milestone be below 300 pounds on MayDay!
  • CactusFreek - commits to drop 10 pounds from Down Under.  She's getting her groove back!
  • Tricia Rules - is also in for 10 pounds!  And yes, the weight loss IS the prize!
  • Weegie89 - wiped the last cookie crumbs away and commits to a 10 pound drop!   Awesome.
  • Jennifer - is preparing to hike the Grand Canyon and will drop 10 pounds before MayDay!
  • Stages of Change - has thrown down the gauntlet with a 40 pound commitment (or am I reading it wrong?!)!  Regardless, he is a fan of Andre the Giant, which makes him solid in my book!
  • Mongo Dude - another successful guy at weight loss, he is committing to lose 6 pounds by the big day!
  • Sledge - will be dropping 13 pounds(!) on 4/29, in prep for some time under the knife on MayDay. 
  • Joe in KC - also likes to challenge himself and will drop 25 pounds by May 1st!
  • Born Squishy - is joining a few of us in losing 13 pounds...thanks for being my 30th follower!
  • Katy - also is going to pound out those 13 lbs!  Spread the word, Katy!
  • Sue - will be dropping 5 pounds.  Thanks, Katy for the asisst!
  • Sharon - on-board to leave 13 pounds behind.  Sharon, it's NOT unrealistic!   3 pounds per week can be done for most overweight people with tons of water, low-calories, and a 30 minute walk, every can do it too.
  • Anyone else? 
I will do a MayDay post once a week, where everyone should post a comment with their own progress/update...whatever you want.  It will be posted every Saturday, since May 1st is on a Saturday.  Any other suggestions as to how we should update each other on our progress?

Feel free to use this on your blogs as well, if you want and if you think of others that might want to join in, please let them know and we can add them in.  Also, if you want me to change how I have referred to you here, let me know that as well. 

Okay, game on.  Play hard!

Big Clyde

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Curse of the Mexican Food-Baby


"A bloated, enlarged, or extremely full abdominal region after having eaten an exorbitant amount of food. Food babies generally cause discomfort and possible gas or embarrassment, but are unavoidable on occasions such as Thanksgiving."

..or my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary on Monday night.  Yes, the same Monday that was a great Weigh-In day for me.  But that was Monday morning and at a party on Monday night, I found myself pregnant with a Mexican Food-Baby.  It might have been twins.

I had been so good at making nutritional choices for the prior 4 weeks.  Even when I messed-up, it was with small amounts of high-caloric food, putting me over my daily calorie budget.  So, I told myself that I can still go to the anniversary celebration and enjoy the fantastic food, in moderation.  Eventhough I knew that this would put me above my daily calorie budget. 

But the guacamole looked delicious and they had a TUB of mini-chimis and to not eat the 5-layer anniversary cake would have really been rude and...well, you get the idea.  I did not have a plan as to what I would do and consequently, I dove in.

Two heaping plates of Mexican's finest Americanized cuisine + 1 big piece of cake = my Mexican Food Baby.  I even drank 1/2 a bottle of beer, before pouring it out...could not drink another drop.  It seemed to be upsetting the baby.

(Yes, this might be a man with a  food-baby.  No, it is not me.)

By the time I got home and crawled into my La-Z-Boy DreamTime Reclina-Rocker, I knew that I was in trouble.  After weeks of reduced food intake, my stomach must have shrunk a bit and I had just massively stretched it back out by eating way too much.  I moaned.  I groaned.  I asked for ice chips. 

In a weird way, I actually remembered this feeling of being bloated after a huge meal.  It was a frequent feeling in my past, back before I was cycling or being intentional about what I ate.  I just enjoyed the food, so I kept shovelling it in.  I still love the food, but I realize now how much I hate that old familiar feeling of being stuffed, boated and gassy with food that I knew was going to do nothing healthy for my body.  It might seem cruel to you, but I hated my Mexican Food Baby.

Tuesday was a "return to healthy" day for me.  I ate mostly vegetables, some fruit and a small non-fat yogurt.  I drank tons of water and tea.  By Tuesday night, I felt a little better.   Much better on Wednesday after some exercise and another low-calorie day with veggies.  Need to move my tail this week to lose that baby weight.  Then, there's the Monday Weigh-In and the MayDay Challenge!  I'll recover and do fine.

Someone recently commented that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  I am surprised how this mistake of eating only two plates of food (I used to be able to do even more) would leave me feeling so horrible.  This is the opposite of how I now want to feel after a meal. 

I definitely prefer the way I have felt over recent weeks when I am eating smaller and healthier meals.  That is the plan and this painful Curse of the Mexican Food Baby helped me to see that.