Get off your fat ass already

Whatever you do, do not click this link. I use the linked photo, which you should not click on, as evidence of my rant today. I found a link today about an obese woman who filed a complaint about her doctor after he told her bluntly that her health problems were directly related to her weight. God forbid my doctor tell me I’m a fat ass. I’ll have to possibly beat him up or something along those lines.

Ask any doctor in the US what problem is approaching epidemic rates and most will tell you either childhood obesity or obesity as a whole. And, I’m sorry to tell you this, but if you are 50 or 100 pounds (that’s 22.67kg or 45.35kg for you Europeans who can’t use a calculator) overweight then you need to put the fucking foot long coney dog down. And when someone calls you fat don’t go and pick up another foot long coney dog.

I’ve battled a bulge for a few years now. I blame it on a combination of going from an active high school basketball player to a lazy college student with horrible eating habits (never mind my affection of dark beers). Last year I lost about 30 pounds which dropped me from 265 pounds to a fluctuating period between 235 and 240. For my height, 6’5” (195.58cm), I was still 40 pounds overweight. In July I started dieting and exercising again and am now down to a much more trim 220 pounds. I’m still about 20 pounds from where I need to be and I plan another round of dieting and exercise now that I’ve figured out a diet and exercise habit that works for me and keeps me at a level weight.

So, if you’re overweight and need a place to start I’ll give you my “secrets” to losing weight. Remember, I just lost 24 pounds in three weeks. Pay attention class, you don’t have to be fat anymore. Unless you’ve got some pituitary problem.

  1. Quit eating like an idiot. You know those cheese fries have 1,500 calories in them. Depending on your sex and body size you shouldn’t be eating over 2,500 calories a day.
  2. Quit eating refined sugar, refined flour (white bread, doughnuts, etc.) and “trans fats”. These things are processed shit. You might as well suck fat straight from Carnie Wilson’s ass.
  3. Evidently there are these things called fruits and vegetables. I know, I was shocked when I found out about these as well. Eat some every day.
  4. Get a gym membership and go every other day and do something. You’d be amazed how quickly your body remembers what it’s like to be active. I went from huffing and puffing my way through half a mile at 5.5 to handling 1.5 miles at 6.5 with relative ease.
  5. Switch to diet pop or juice. Better yet, drink lots of water.
  6. Low carb worked for me. If you’re a guy with relatively decent amounts of muscle this diet will work wonders for you. I do not recommend living life this way. I cycle this diet in whenever I feel like losing weight. When you’ve hit your target start introducing whole grain / whole wheat breads and cereals back into your diet.
  7. Allow yourself one cheat meal a week.
  8. Pick a goal and a prize to reward yourself when you reach that goal. If you can, find someone to diet with you and “compete” for a prize. Lauren told me if I hit 220 pounds I could by myself a PSP. It honestly helped during that last rep or that last half mile.

The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s not the doctor’s fault that I was fat or that this woman was fat. It was my fault. I was choosing to not lose weight. I’m working hard to retrain myself. I’m eating healthier and smaller portions, exercising on a much more regular basis and taking vitamins. It’s not easy, but I’m confident I’ll hit 200 pounds sometime in the near future. You can too, if you want some more input on my dieting experiences let me know. I can’t promise it will work for you, but I’m always open to sharing ideas.

I leave you with a quote I heard from someone who was talking about temptation and dieting that has stuck with me while I continue to try and lose weight.

I’d see people eating something I missed, like a doughnut or cheese burger, and remind myself that nothing tastes better than being thin.

Operation Fat Ass: Month 2

We have finished month 2 and are now entering the third month of Operation Fat Ass. The second month was spent mostly in limbo. I used the month to evaluated my next step. I’ve stuck steady in the mid to high 230’s as far as weight goes (238 this morning) so I’m still down about 20 pounds since new years. Mainly this last month has been spent learning how to gain muscle, burn fat and what types of exercises/foods will sufficiently help in obtaining those goals. Below are a few things that I’ve learned.

  1. You can either workout and diet to gain muscle or workout and diet to burn fat, but you can’t do both at the same time. The type of diet and exercise it takes to seriously put on muscle will not burn a lot of fat, while the type of diet/exercise to burn fat doesn’t put on muscle (and sometimes reduces your muscle mass).
  2. Eating many small meals each day instead of three large ones helps to speed up your metabolism. Anyone else get tired around mid afternoon? The problem with eating three large meals each day is two fold. First, it causes your insulin levels to shoot up and down in high highs and low lows, which is horrible (insulin levels is one of the main tenets of the Atkins diet). Second, by keeping your body consistently fueled your metabolism remains active throughout the day. What happens when you go long periods of time without eating (say 5 hours between lunch and dinner) your body thinks you can’t find food and both slows down the metabolism and hangs onto all the energy (fat) it can. I’ve actually increased my caloric intake, but reduced my weight over the last few days by eating every 2-3 hours.
  3. Calories aren’t necessarily your enemy. It all depends on where you are getting your calories from. Right now I try to take in most of my calories in protien with carbohydrates following in priority and finally a small portion coming from good fats (ie. Yogurt). I eat about 2000 calories a day and I lost a few pounds over the weekend not doing much of anything.

Over the last three days I’ve been keeping meticulous logs of what I eat. I eat every 2-3 hours and I can honestly say I don’t get lethargic during the day like I used to. I instantly noticed that I don’t yawn throughout the day and I’m generally more focused. Below is a rough outline of what my diet is now – though I must admit eating every two hours from 7am to 9pm is crappy. I’ll most likely start eating every 2.5-3 hours.

  1. 7am – Small bowl of cereal (1 cup cereal + 1 cup skim milk)
  2. 9am – Granola bar
  3. 11am – Meal replacement shake (large protein shake with bananas and such)
  4. 1pm – Baked chicken breast and a yogurt
  5. 3pm – 1/2 cup of Tuna and a granola bar
  6. 5pm – 6 inch turkey/ham sub from Subway
  7. 7pm – Yogurt and a granola bar
  8. 9pm – 1/2 cup of Tuna

I stick to fish and chicken throughout the day because they contain pretty much no fat, they taste decent and are loaded with protein (which your muscles love). On the days I workout I move the protein shake to 7pm, which is after I work out to help with recovery. It’s a lot of work and focus to eat this often, but after a few days I’m getting into the rhythm and it’s working out fine for now.

Operation Fat Ass: Month 1

As you all know I’ve been in a covert operation to lose weight. After speaking with the marketing personnel about possible uplifting and inspiring names I’ve decided to call this endeavor Operation Fat Ass. The Bushies would be proud. At any rate my diet progress is coming along. When Lauren and I weighed in at the beginning of our journey on December 29th of 2003 I was a rather hefty 257lbs. That put my BMI at about 30.5. According to that site my target weight is between 160 and 210. Talk about a wide range. My target weight when starting Operation Fat Ass was to get down to 220. Other goals included eating better, working out and, possibly, putting no some muscle mass. The following is a detailed breakdown of the last four weeks of my program. I only have four weeks because I only recently started using a workout log.

Exercise Week 1 Week 4 Increase
Leg Press 180lbs 250lbs 39%
Leg Curl 100lbs 140lbs 40%
Calf Raise 70lbs 135lbs 93%
Flat Bench 155lbs 165lbs 6.5%
Inclined Dumbell 40lbs 55lbs 37%
Dumbell Curl 20lbs 35lbs 75%
Tri Straight 55lbs 70lbs 27%
Tri Rope 40lbs 55lbs 37%

In addition to the above gains I’ve spent 2.5 hours on the bike (about 31 miles) and 1.7 hours on the treadmill (about 8 miles). I work out three days a week spending about 25 minutes on cardio and the rest with weights.

On to the weight loss. This morning I weighed in at 239lbs, which makes for a total of 18lbs in 7 weeks. The first 10lbs came off in about a week. The last 4 have been extremely stubborn and I only expect it to get tougher. The results, I’m sure, are skewed because of my weight lifting is most definitely putting on muscle. I know this because not only am I making steady gains in my workout, but my pants now fall off when I walk. I also fit into a pair of jeans that is two inches smaller than my normal pair with room to spare now. Not included in my workout logs is the fact that I spend 40 minutes every Sunday banging around “down low” with a bunch of high school hasbeens in a local rec basketball league. It’s a good time. Actually, it’s really fun now that I don’t die of lack of oxygen after each game.

Yup, Operation Fat Ass is in full swing. I plan on sticking with my current workout regime for another month, maybe two and then migrating to a more focused four day workout. The four day workout will allow me to more carefully pinpoint muscle groups as well as give me an excuse to do cardio more often. I’ll try and update once a month. Oh, and I’m taking pictures. Those may or may not find their way onto the site.

Refocusing on my Health

Lauren and I made a commitment to lose weight after the new year. It’s not an uncommon resolution by any means nor one that I hadn’t already been half-heartedly working on. As you may remember I had previously lost some weight towards the end of the summer. I was working out about 5 days a week and doing well on the diet.

Problems arose, however, with the diet. Mainly, I wasn’t getting enough fiber while on the Atkins diet. The result was some digestive problems that I couldn’t kick. Instead of adding some fiber and working through it I pretty much quit working out and dieting for about two months or so. What a dumb mistake. The result was that I gained all but 5 of the 23 pounds I had lost and much of the cardio gains I had made.

In the last 5 weeks I’ve lost 14.5 pounds and I’m back working out. The workouts aren’t as frequent as I’d like as I’ve been working a lot more than I’d like. However, last night I ran across a couple of websites that have caused me to refocus my workouts and my dieting. The first one is a site about a guy who lost a ton of weight and put on a bunch of muscle in about a year. I figure if he can do that in a year at 35 I should be able to obtain my much more modest goals as well. The second site is a vitamin site called http://www.animalpak.com. While I don’t plan nor wish to be as large as the guys on that site they do have some great info on the site. First off their workout logs and example workouts are great. Secondly, they make a kick ass vitamin pack that I’m now using. In just two days of using it I feel much more alert and awake, not to mention more intense workouts. For the record I’m running a slightly modified version of their introductory workout with both time on the bike and treadmill for cardio.

Those of you thinking about attacking your fat with the Atkins diet I give you one word of advice: find a low carb store near you. What people forget (including me) is that Atkins isn’t about cutting out carbs – just cutting out *bad* carbs. For instance, I have awesome whole weat wraps, soy milk and whole weat bread that is low carb and tastes great. What I’ve cut out are the sugars and starchy foods. You can find the bread and wraps at any low carb store. Hell, I even have granola bars and cereal. If you’re thinking you can’t live without ice cream or sweets go get some sugar free Jell-O or Breyer’s low carb ice cream. Also, you should seriously think of switching from red meat to chicken.

For those of you wishing for a good recipe for Atkins here is my aweseom chicken ranch wrap that will surely fill you up and satisfy your taste buds!

  • 1 whole weat low carb wrap
  • 1/2 cup of cooked and shreaded/chopped chicken (vegetarians substitute cucumbers and bell peppers)
  • A handful of shreaded lettuce
  • A couple strips of bacon (optional)
  • A handful of mild yellow peppers and/or jalepenios
  • A few black olives
  • A squirt of your favorite ranch dressing

If the thought of eating that thing doesn’t wet your appetite then I don’t know what will. In reality the only time I find myself wishing I was not on Atkins is when I go out to eat and that is only because you are limited in what you can eat. Although, Friday’s now has an aweseom Atkins menu – the salmon and broccoli is by far my favorite.

My final note in this entry will be on supplements. If you think you are going to lose a ton of weight and hit the gym hard without supplements you are kidding yourself. If nothing else, take a good multi-vitamin and some vitamin C. If you are doing weight lifting and find yourself sore the next day after workouts I highly recommend a protein shake with glutamin after your workouts (don’t plan on eating a big dinner after downing one of those puppies). My current supplements include an animal pak a half hour after lunch and a soy-mega whey protein-gulatmin shake after my workout.

All this talking about working out and dieting has suddenly made me want to hit the gym.

The perfect sandwich

I hide a dirty little secret: I’m a sandwich fanatic. I’m not sure Lauren even knows this. I’m constantly looking for the perfect cheese, topping, condiment, and meat. I think I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for all of these years.

After years of eating turkey and wheat I was turned onto rye bread by a fraternity brother. My next discovery came in the form of using chicken instead of turkey. There really isn’t a comparison between the two in my opinion, which, my opinion, is what this blog is all about.

No sandwich is complete with out pepper jack cheese, whose main ingredient is jalapenios. I think the cheese adds a little spice to any sandwich. Of course, no sandwich would be complete with out some sort of spicey mustard, although a good italian dressing is a decent substitute.

But my latest two finds are icing on the cake. On a whim I bought pumpernickle bread instead of rye. I also picked up a jar of straight up slice jalapenios. So, here it is, the perfect sandwich:

  • Two slices of rye or pumpernickle bread
  • Meat. I prefer Sara Lee’s chicken breast, maybe a slice of roast beef for flavor
  • Two slices of pepperjack cheese
  • As many jalapenio slices as you can handle on your sandwich
  • Spicey mustard (optional)

So there you have it. Throw in a few Wisconsin beef sticks, some cheese cubes, a yogurt and a glass of skim milk and you’ve got a great lunch! The only thing that could possibly make the meal better is Busch’s dill red skin potatoe salad.

The true meaning of pain

A friend of mine called today to play some hoops. I figured I could use a little work out so I said yes. We got there and played some half court 3 on 3. Not long after two more guys showed up, a short one and Godzilla himself (in reality a starting lineman for the college I attend). Since I was the tallest guy there I was elected to guard him. Two games later, four broken ribs, and a few slip disks, I walked away. I wasn’t really injured, but I got quite a beating down low – gracefully accepted considering we beat them both games. I’m just glad Mario was a nice guy – nothing worse than a big and mean guy.

Day 3

Some of you may know I’ve recently decided to give up caffiene. Being the major Mt. Dew freak that I am this has been a large undertaking. Saturday (my first day) I could hardly thing the headaches were so bad. I’m now recovering from Day 2 which was a lot easier going. I’ve found that the easy thing to do is drink Sprite (caffiene free) – it’s kind of like the Patch…