Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fast Fifteen - DONE!

Week three of my Fast Fifteen Challenge was great.  This past week, I lost another 3 pounds.  That makes a total of 15 pounds since 8/9. 

I've also been exercising a bit with a 2.75 mile walk/run two nights ago, a bike ride and some evening walks.  More to come.

The reduced weight feels great.  Clothes already fit better, I'm more energetic and still very motivated to stay on track.  I am still very heavy, but less than I was last week, and the week before and the week before.

This is exactly the jump-start that I wanted.  Sparkpeople.com often has articles about the benefits of a fast-start to keep us motivated during the challenging first few days or weeks of any change.

So, if you happen to feel stuck in a rut, or embarrassed because you have lost some strength or gained back some weight, then give yourself a challenge...a TOUGH challenge.

A fellow blogger, the Great Patrick Mahoney, used to kick my tail when I would blog about a bad week.  He'd challenge me to put in "50 mile weekend".  It could be a run, walk, or bike ride...just as long as I got it done (or at least tried hard to get it done).   I don't remember if I ever actually hit that number, but I got the point.

When we set the short-term bar pretty high, we usually stretch to hit it.

So, I need to set some new goals for September.  Here are some thoughts:
  • Lose another 15 pounds by September 30th.  That is a slower pace than what I've been doing, but I knew that I would gradually increase some calories.
  • I've agreed to Alan's challenge at the Pounds Off Playoff, which is doing simply 26 minutes of fitness every day until U.S. Veteran's Day (Nov. 12th, 2012).  Seems easy, but how many people are really that consistent?!
  • ...but my cycling legs stink and our Arizona temps are going to actually become reasonable soon.   Maybe I'll do some cycling mileage challenges.   Hmm.
Do any of you have some big challenges ahead for the month of September?

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chicken, Waffles and Choices

For some reason, I have been able to stay very focused on a low-calorie diet for the past two weeks and I feel great.   I've had business lunches, eaten many meals away from home and yet continue to lose the pounds.

This morning, I met a friend for breakfast.   We met down by the University of Arizona and I had heard about a "chicken and waffles" place.   That made me smile because I remember this scene from the movie "Tapeheads" in 1988:


The place is called May's Counter and it was awesome.   My buddy Mike had the chicken and waffles.  I had a large egg-white omelette with diced ham, swiss cheese and jalapenos.   I also had half a piece of toast with jelly on it.  That totalled 359 calories.

My usual breakfast out on the road would be two McDonald's Sausage McMuffin w/Egg at 450 calories each, so 900 total for the meal. 

Making those choices is how I will continue to lose in the weeks and months ahead.

I also took a short 20-minute bike ride today (when it was 100 degrees) and my legs felt like cement.  Need to work on that too.

See you all on the way down, my friends!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fast Fifteen - Week 2 Results

I had another good weigh-in this week with a 5 pound loss!

Since August 9th, I have now lost 12 pounds.  I feel better and will keep going toward my near term goal of losing 15 by August 31st.  Each day, I am logging in my food into Sparkpeople.com and am eating well, lots of water and taking my vitamins, etc. 

I recently watched a video where a woman said that a quick rule of thumb for determining how many calories you should eat (to get to your ideal weight) is to add a zero to it.  So, if your goal is 175 pounds, then you should consume 1,750 cals per day.  She was not a doctor and was not talking about offsetting those food calories with calories burned from exercise.   To lose more aggressively, bring that number downward through less food or burn more through exercise.  It seems like a pretty good method to me. 

If you count calories, what is your number?

Big Clyde

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Couldn't You?...

About a month ago, I was talking with my wife and 16-year-old daughter.  They were playfully encouraging me to be more social with my friends (it's weird but most guys over 40 don't tend to have a lot of buddies that they go to the movies with, etc.).

Daughter & Wife:  How about Doug?

Me:  Nah, he's a beast.   He wouldn't go to the movies...he does stuff like the Tough Mudder

Daughter:  What's that?

Me:  It's a race that covers 12 miles of obstacles, electric shocks, wall climbs, barbed wire...stuff like that.  I can't do that.

Daughter:  Why couldn't you?

Me:  Well, it doesn't sound fun to me (true), but even if it did, I am way too heavy to do that.   I'd have to lose 50, maybe 75 pounds to do that.

Daughter:  (excited and smiling now)  You can do that!  Why couldn't you??

Mrs. Clyde is sitting back, smiling at this point.

Me:  (feeling embarrassed and backed into a corner...)  Sweetie, it's not just the weight...those events are for really strong guys, athletes.   I've never had much upper body strength.  I'd have to consistently get into a lifting routine to get much stronger.  That's never been my thing.

Daughter:  (nearly exasperated)  But you can do that!!  Why couldn't you?!?

And then it hit me...my daughter was still my little girl, possibly seeing her father as someone without any limitations. 

Or maybe it is the case that she is a very smart, young woman who knows that hard work and dedication can overcome the limitations that we put ON OURSELVES. 

A good friend of our's will often say this very simple phrase:  "You can do hard things."  My daughter embodies this phrase and was now using it on me.  As Mr. Miyagi said "if done correctly, no can defense".

Mrs. Clyde was enjoying the show.  They were both just sitting there looking at me, waiting to see if I would throw up another lame obstacle...another rationalization.

Me:  Well, the Tough Mudder is of no interest to me.................................but I think it would be awesome to run a half-marathon someday (voice trailing off as I realize how far I am from ever doing that).

Daughter:  (smiling, pleased with herself)  Great!!!  Then DO that!

A few weeks later, I got my act together and started eating better.  Now, I am down 11 pounds and looking at race schedules again.

But I still want to go see The Expendables 2.

What event or goal are you reaching for?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fast Fifteen - Week 1 Results

I weighed in today and am pleased to have lost 7 pounds in the last week!  I am very happy and will hope for a 3 pound loss next week.  I know that seems extreme, but it is in line with my goal of losing 15 pounds by August 31st.  I also ate more veggies, less fat and felt no hunger in the process.

The strong start (inspired by Sparkpeople.com) has kept me focused so far and has caused me to eat so much better than I've eaten in many months.

I went for two walks (less than 2 miles each).  Other than that, I lost it simply due to the changes in my food choices.

Even though I am still very overweight, I feel better already.  I feel optimistic and energetic.  It's amazing what a week of better choices can do.

Thanks for the support and encouragement, everyone!

Big Clyde

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Magic Trick

On this blog, I have written a few posts about my sporadic eating habits (click for the links):

Of course, slow and steady would be the smarter approach to weight loss or maintenance.  But if you are reading this blog, you very likely have also struggled with your weight in the past.  Childhood patterns, body type, genetics, emotional health and countless other issues play in to why we eat what we eat and how it affects our weight.

I grew up in a household where we had a sweet dessert virtually every night of my childhood.   It was either ice cream, a candy bar, or a 1/4 pound of M&M's (my parents would buy the 1 pound bag and divide it among the four of us).   In addition, I've never had any interest in athletics.  By early adulthood, I steadily gained weight each year to the present.

I eat "like an American".  Junk food is cheap, tasty and available everywhere.  Fast food restaurants offer "combo meals" and most other restaurants in America provide huge portions.   At home, packaged foods (cereal, chili, frozen foods) are pretty fattening.  And I eat it all, just as advertised.

My curse?  When I eat like an American, I gain weight.  

It is that simple.  I simply don't burn enough daily calories to burn off my intake when I eat what I want to eat.

But I know a magic trick!  A trick that catches people by surprise. 

My magic trick?  When I watch what I eat, I drop weight VERY quickly!    

How quick?  How much weight can I lose in a week?  It is all about calorie-deficits.  If I eat less than I burn, then I lose. 

I only burn about 3,000 calories per day just walking around, doing my job, etc.  So, if I choose to eat lots of veggies, some protein and very limited carbs and keep my calories below 3,000, then I will lose weight.

2,000 calories per day means a loss of approx 2 pounds per week.  1,500 calories per day means a loss of approx 3 pounds per week.

You can eat a lot of veggies, egg whites, yogurt and still have room for dairy, meat and some fats and be at 1,500 cals per day.  A foot long Subway sandwich (ham, no cheese, vinagrette dressing and veggies) is right around 500 calories and is very filling.   Is that a healthy combination of food groups and adequate volume to simply eat something like that 3x per day?  Definitely.

My doctor agrees.  LiveStrong.com agrees.  It is healthy as long as you are not also doing extensive exercise.

Exercise is important, but I MUST eat each day.  So, it is more convenient to control what I eat than to instantly carve out a daily exercise regimen...that will come in time.

We all can do this same magic trick.   When we choose our meals carefully, we will lose pounds.  At my weight, I want to do it quickly because the greater health risk is not rapid-weight loss, it is obesity.

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fast Fifteen

Okay, okay...maybe the half-marathon in December is a little ridiculous for me (see previous post).   It was kind of you not to say it.  My head is clear now.   But a respectable time at the El Tour de Tucson (42-mile leg) in November with my buddy Henry?   Yeah, I can definitely do that.

But first of all, I need to drop at least 15 pounds, quickly.   Just to keep my game face on (and to make my shirts fit better).

I weighed this morning.  Brutal.  I'll save my dignity here by not typing the number, but it was brutal.

So, my only short-term goal is to drop 15 pounds by August 31.   In 22 days.   Gimmicky?  Maybe a little.   But a balanced, low-cal diet of 1,500 calories for a guy of my size seems pretty healthy to me.   

I wonder if any of you know how to do the "calorie=pounds lost" formula to see if that 1,500 calories is a good target for me.   I'd appreciate any help or advice.

15 pounds lost
by the morning of August 31.
Weigh-in daily, updates on Fridays.

Feels good to be off the bench and back on the field.  Thanks for the encouragement.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeling Inspired

Last week, my pal Kevin sent me an e-mail, just checking in.  This morning, another pal Patrick commented on my last post from mid-May.   Finally, SusieTri left a comment this afternoon.   Very nice and much appreciated.

I know that I have been missing-in-action and it is great to know that so many of you are still out there doing so well.   I lurk from time to time and see bloggers that have consistently lost weight, signed up for races and enjoyed better lifestyles while on vacation.

I applaud you, but am not among you.  I have not been eating well and have not been working out.   I was distracted with work and family obligations and just wandered back into all of my old habits.

I have not even tried to work the dimmer switch.   I have just been in the "off" position.  (Read my last post to get that one).

However, I am ready to get back to work.  Here's a short list of things that have inspired me lately:
  • My college-buddy (spending more time together after a 25-year span) has been riding his bike a bit lately.   He consistently does a very hilly 6 mile ride.  I admire his diligence.  He wants me to help him do longer distances.  We've agreed to do El Tour de Tucson's 42-mile route this year together!  November 17.
  • In my recent prime, I could outrun my kids.   Somehow, a friendly challenge came up recently from my 13-year old son and I realized that running at any speed or distance would be VERY challenging for me now.   Got to fix that while that challenge is still in the air.
  • My friend with polio is beginning to rely more on a wheelchair and less on her crutches.   She must long to just go for a pleasant walk without pain...maybe even a run...or a bike ride.   Shame on me for neglecting that gift of being able to move with ease.
  • Most of my shirts are shrinking.  My cool leather jacket and my other cool grey/black cool jacket are probably much smaller too.   Got to fix that before autumn comes to the desert.
  • I think RockStar Tri just signed up for IMAZ.  I don't have that goal, but I have flirted with the idea of a half-marathon.  
  • The Tucson Half-Marathon is mostly downhill and is on December 9.  This is just 5 days after my 47th birthday.  The race starts at this cool place!   That might be too aggressive of a goal, but this race seems ideal for the half-mary goal and it only happens once a year.   Even if it is too aggressive, I still like to keep it on my radar.
  • Finally, my health is still great.  But at my age and weight, it is very likely that I will come down with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.  Ridiculous.   All from my love of junk food and poor will-power.   I am not a slave to my desires in other parts of my life.   So, it is time to combat these poor habits once again.
I'll get busy with better food, some activity and a short-term plan.   Back to you in a few days.  

Thanks for caring about me.

Big Clyde