Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tracking the HOT Days

In a previous blog, I stated that I was making a run towards my goal weight of 160lbs. I started my run on Monday, May 16th and the finish line was Sunday, May 29th (Memorial Day Weekend). I think it makes it easier if you have a stop date out there and a special day like Memorial Day, Father's Day, July 4th etc. are good days to aim for.

In this article, I am giving you a snapshot of my weight loss during that time.

Monday, May 16th: 164.8
Tuesday, May 17th: 164.4

Wednesday, May 18th: 163.2
Thursday, May 19th: 163.2
Friday, May 20th: 163.4
Saturday, May 21:162.6
Sunday, May 22: 161.8
Monday, May 23: 161.4
Tuesday, May 24: 162.0
Wednesday, May 25: 162.4
Thursday, May 26: 161.4
Friday, May 27: 160.0 (GOAL WEIGHT!!!)
Saturday, May 28: 160.0 (Maintaining Goal Weight!)

As always there were obstacles along the way. For example, on Friday, May 20th we went to a movie at the drive-in. My wife bought a sack of hamburgers. I was going to put one on my double fibrous bread (FP/FC), but I forgot the bread! So, I improvised. I ate the meat off a hamburger and purchased 2 dill pickles! I was rewarded by a weight drop the next day!

On Sat. May 21 I traveled out of town so I ate a meal bar on the road. After the meeting, they served lunch which consisted of cokes, chips and subs on white bread!!! I excused myself from the lunch, looked up a local GNC and bought an Oh Yeah! meal bar and ate it. That night, there was a big "pig pull" dinner at the church. By the title, I knew that I needed a fibrous carb to accompany me if I was going to participate in the pig-pull! So I attended the dinner armed with double fiber bread.

There were some frustrations days in here too. If you notice I gained back a pound over two days; losing the ground I had gained. Why? On one day, I ate in uncharted territory: a Japanese restaurant. Although I tried to eat correctly (no rice)  I think the sauce got me. That evening I ate at a Mexican restaurant and I simply ate too much (Plus I had guacamole which contains avocados which is a "no no"). I paid for it by a little weight gain. I wanted to quit, but I buckled down and the weight came off.

As you can see, the weight came off quickly. In two days I dropped 2.4lbs! In addition, I stayed at my goal weight the next day.

There are a few observations I want to make:
1. Weight loss is not linear. It will not happen in a specific amount every day. Sometimes, it is irrational. You may have a "hot" day and gain a little weight! On the other hand, a slow loss may suddenly drop into a big loss. Even though it is uneven and sometimes defies explanation, at the end of the time frame the question is: did I lose weight? You may have not lost a lot, but if you lost weight-you lost weight!

2. Weight loss takes commitment. You will not lose weight from wishful thinking. You will not lose weight by reading books or going to classes. You will not lose weight by being "on diet" one day and "off diet" the next. You lose weight by making a commitment to eat healthy over a period of several days.

3. Weight loss takes time. You have to look at the big picture. Don't go day-to-day, but instead go from milepost to milepost. Set yourself a time frame of 1-2 weeks and stick to it. Don't quit even if your weight does something irrational like go up even when you have been eating correctly.

4. Set reasonable goals. My goal was to loss four pounds in two weeks. Over the last three months I have averaged 9-10 pounds of weight loss a month; therefore, a four pound loss over two weeks was reasonable. The reality is that you don't want to loss too much too fast.

 Now that I have hit my goal what is next? My next step is to lose five more pounds to give my self some "wiggle" room. My current plan is to make 160lb my ceiling weight. I want to go down to 155lb and have a 5lb room to fluctuate. How am I going to get to the last five pounds? You guessed it, another milestone. I am going to enjoy eating whatever I want (within reason) on Sunday and Memorial Day. Then I am going to go for another streak of hot days from May 31st until my wife's birthday on June 11th. That should get me close to the 155 mark. If I don't make it I'll make a run for it after her birthday to Father's Day. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Menu 5/27/2011

Breakfast (BF)
Oh Yeah Chocolate Almond Brownie Protein Bar (my favorite!)

Lunch (LP/FC/NC)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Add spices: Garlic, Onion Salt, Oregano
  • Add vegetables: Green Pepper, Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Onion (Sparingly)
  • Cook ground Veggie Sausage and add to sauce (LP)
  • Whole Wheat noodles (NC)
Garlic Toast (FC)
  • 1 Double Fiber Wheat Bread 
  • Add garlic and onion salt
  • Place under broiler until toasted
Green beans or any fibrous carb (FC)

Zone Chewy Pretzel Cashew Protein Bar

Supper (FP/FC)
Tortilla Pizza
  •  (I'm still perfecting this one so I'll give a better description next time)
96 oz Water

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu for 5/23

Breakfast (BF)

Seafood Burrito w/Soy Chips
"Oh Yeah" Almond Fudge Brownie (my favorite!)

Lunch (LP/FC/NC)

Seafood burrito
  • Imitation crab meat
  • Sauteed green peppers, mushrooms and onions
  • Spinach
  • White Sauce
    • 1 c Fat-free Half and Half
    • 1/4 fat -free Mazzorella Cheese
    • 4 tsp of Clam juice
    • 2 tsp of Chicken Broth
    • Salt and pepper to taste
Soy Chips

Adkins Carmel Double Crunch Bar

Spaghetti & Salad
Supper (LP/FC/NC)

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Sauteed green, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms and a little spinach
  • Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style Veggie Sausage
  • Whole Wheat angel hair pasta
Double Fiber Wheat Bread
  • Spray with 0 Calorie Butter Spray
  • Garlic
  • 2 pieces of Kraft Fat-Free Cheese Slice
  • Bake until melted
Side Salad

This Week's Poll Results

In this week's poll, I listed four combinations and asked which was the legal one. The first option was: Chicken, Baked Potato and Corn. This was a bad combination because it is a combination of a Lean Protein (Chicken) with two Natural Carbohydrates (Baked Potato and Corn).

The second option received the most votes, but it also was wrong. The second combination is the same as the first: Lean Protein (Chicken) with two Natural Carbohydrates (Sweet Potato and Peas). Note: if it were Snap Peas it would have worked. 

The third option was the correct combination. In this combination you have a Lean Protein (Chicken) with a Natural Carbohydrate (Baked Potato) and a fibrous Carbohydrate (squash). A natural carbohydrate must be combined with a fibrous protein and a lean protein. 

Thank you for participating in the poll. Stay tuned for the next poll. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Should We Expect God to Bless Our Food?

I pray before every meal. I thank God for the meal and then I conclude by saying "We pray that you will bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to Your service." It is a common prayer request I have heard many people make.

Recently, I was struck by the irony of that prayer request. Can we legitimately ask God to bless our food when we are praying over a plate filled with non-nutritious, carbohydrate-laden, fat-packing, sugar-raising food? I have done this for years not thinking about what I was asking. What are we expecting God to do? Turn the high-calorie food into low-calorie? Transform the cookies into fruit. Melt the fat off the Boston Butts?

When you think about it, we are asking God to do a nutritional miracle at most of our meals. It is like asking God to bless us as we go rob a bank or as we cheat on our income taxes, etc. If we keep gaining weight, get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., can we really be angry at God for failing to bless the food which, in many cases, has been a factor to our deteriorating health?

The next time we ask God to bless our food, we need to make sure that we can legitimately ask Him to bless it. If we ask God to enable the food to be used to the nourishment of our bodies, then make sure that it is a healthy, nutritional meal you are about to consume? If we are asking God to help us overcome some physical issues, make sure you are not hindering the process by consuming unhealthy food.

Before we ask God to bless our food, we need to make sure it is worth blessing!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Menu for 5/18

Breakfast (FP/FC)

Crustless Spinach Breakfast Quiche
Crustless Breakfast Quiche
  •  6 eggs
  •  2 slices double fiber wheat Bread
  •  2 c fat-free shredded cheese
  •  2 c of spinach (uncooked)
  •  1 small onion
  •  1/4 c mushrooms
  •  1/4 c of skim milk
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  •  1/8 tsp ground black pepper
 Sautee mushrooms, onion and spinach in MCT oil. Break bread into cubes. Mix eggs, cheese and bread. Spray a 9”pie pan with 0 calorie cooking spray. Add sautéed mixture in a small round . Cook on 350 for 30 minutes. (This meal can be reheated over several days)
Lunch (LP/FC/NC)
Slaw Dawg
Slaw Dawgs & Fried Okra
  • 98% fat-free hot dogs
  • Hormel Turkey Chili without beans
  • 2 slices double fiber wheat bread
  • Cabbage mixed with Walden Farms Coleslaw mix
Accompany with okra, breaded in double fiber bread crumbs and fried in MCT oil

Protein Bar

Supper (LP/FC/NC)
Grilled Chicken marinated in Walden Farms Creamy Ranch Dressing
Corn on the cob

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weight Loss Mile Markers

I've been hanging around the 165lbs mark for a week or so. I have had too many "cold" days sprinkled in between my hot days. My original weight lost goal was 160lbs. I want to go to 155lbs to give myself some fudge room (pun intended!). Being so close and yet so far is frustrating and I am ready to make a run for it.

I have found that giving myself mile markers is a good approach. For example, the next big date on the calendar is Memorial Day weekend. Being from Indiana that means Indy 500 time!  Memorial Day is fourteen days away. Can you imagine what fourteen "hot" days in a row cold mean? It could mean me hitting the 160lbs mark and getting into the 150's! I may not make 155lbs, but I can be close. So today I am shooting for fourteen straight hot days.

I will keep you posted on my progress.

If you can think in terms of mile markers, you will do better. Think M-F "hot" days or for longer stretches: Memorial Day to Father's Day or Father's Day to July 4th, etc. Whatever mile markers you set, push for your goal.

Is it going to be easy? No! I know this week there is a "pig pull" dinner for our carpenter's group, I am going to be out-of-town on one day, and we are having a going away staff lunch next week at a Japanese restaurant! It will not be easy-it never is-but I am going to do all I can to push through to Memorial Day. Hopefully, the 160's will be a memory for me by Memorial Day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

When You Can't Help but Mess it up!

I knew Thursday was going to be a challenge day for me. First, on Thursdays I eat breakfast with the pastors in our area. Usually, I bring a protein bar, but today I was the cook. I cooked the usual for the preachers-bacon, eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy, with powdered donuts for desert. Since I was the cook that day, I cooked egg beaters, toasted two pieces of double fiber bread, and I had a helping of the grits seasoned with Splenda (Grits are a natural carb). So my meal combination was a lean protein (Egg Beaters), fibrous carb (Double Fiber Wheat Bread) and a natural carb (grits). Oh yes, I topped my toast with Walden Farm's Apple Butter spread. Yummy!!

Next was lunch. Since it was our anniversary and since my wife had to work that night and I had been given comp tickets to attend a pro-life banquet in Etowah County, we knew the evening was out. So, she accompanied me to Gadsden to make a hospital visit. While in Gadsden, we stopped for lunch at Red Lobster. While I really wanted to cheat, I decided to stick to my plan. So I ordered broiled flounder, broccoli, and salad. I removed the croutons, They did not have a fat-free dressing so I used a little of the ranch dressing. (I should have brought my own dressing, but oh well.)

The evening was the big unknown. As I said, I had been invited to a banquet, but I had no idea what was on the menu. I managed to squeeze in 20 minutes on the Elliptical machine to burn a few calories. Plus, I drank a Celsius Green Tea, which is supposed to burn 100 calories! I planned to bring a protein bar with me to the banquet, but forgot.

When I arrived and saw the food I knew I was in trouble. I was sure they would have the standard fare, but they didn't. The buffet line consisted of Country Fried Steak, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes with Butter, Gravy, Green Beans, Coleslaw, rolls and an array of pies. Basically, the only thing I could eat guilt-free was the green beans (I didn't know what was in the coleslaw mix, but you can rest assured it was not overly healthy!)

I didn't feel like going my table with a plate of beans and water, so I decided to blow it!  I got the Country Fried Steak and topped it with the gravy, the mashed potatoes (but I skipped the gravy), lots of green beans (trying to slow down the digestion as much as possible so my body could burn off as much as the fat as possible), coleslaw and I finished it off with Coconut Cream pie.

I enjoyed every bite! The food was delicious. The banquet was phenomenal with great music and a very engaging and powerful speaker.

My wife had fixed some low-fat cupcakes for our anniversary. We calculated her recipe and determined that one cupcake could qualify as a snack. Since I had just blown it for the day, I decided to have a cupcake topped with low-fat cool whip when I got home that night. 

The next morning I got the on scales bracing myself for a 1-2lbs weight gain. Instead, I only gained .2lbs!!

Why did I gain so little? I am not completely sure, but I have a some possible explanations. First, I had eaten been eating healthy for several days in a row allowing my body to be in a fat-burning mode right up until that evening meal. Second, I had exercised hard for twenty minutes and burned more calories. Third, I had a Celsius drink trying to push my body to burn even more calories.

The downside is that it may take my body a good day or two to completely enter back into optimal fat-burning mode. Today, I am back on task. While it may be Sunday before I am in optimal fat-burning mode, I hope to at least lose that extra .2lbs I gained by tomorrow. (Remember, the rule to losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in. The menus I give you will cause you to go into optimal fat-burning mode within 48 hours if you drink water (1/2 your body weight in ounces), watch your portions and eat within 1 hour of waking, 3-6 hours between meals, and no more than 2 hours before bed.)

Here's to losing weight!!

Menu 5/12

1 slice Crustless Cheese and Spinach Quiche (FP/FC)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 c shim milk
  • 1 tsp Spike Seasoning
  • 2 pieces of Double Fiber Wheat Bread
  • 2 c No-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 bag Spinach
  • 1 small onion
  •  Mushrooms in MCT oil
Saute Spinach, onion and mushrooms in MCT oil
Mix eggs, milk, seasoning and cheese
Combine sauteed spinach, onions and mushrooms to mixture
Spray small round pan with 0 calorie cooking spray
Add mixture to pan
Cook at 350 for 30 minutes

Lunch (LP/FC/NC)
Broiled Flounder
Salad w/Walden Farms dressing
Great Value Sugar Free Chocolate Mousse
Coke Zero or Diet Coke

Chocolate and Cinnamon Swirl Bites

Supper (LP/FC/NC)
Smothered Chicken

  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • Peppers, onions, mushrooms
  • 1 fat-free mozzarella Cheese
Cook Chicken Breast. Saute Peppers, onions, mushrooms. Place sauteed mixture on chicken and cover with cheese. Microwave 30 seconds or so to melt cheese

Garlic twice baked potato
Steamed Broccoli

1/2 body weight in ounces of water + additional 16 ounces to make up for the coke!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Menu 5/11

Breakfast (BF)
1 1/2 c Special K Protein Plus Cereal
Skim Milk

Lunch (Leftovers!) (LP/FC/NC)
1 Tuna Patty
1 1/2 c Turkey Chili no beans
Stir Fry: Broccoli Cauliflower, Green Pepper, Kale and Carrots

Atkins Chocolate Coconut Protein Bar

Supper (LP/FC/NC)
Chicken Strips
Brown Rice

Sugar-Free Jello with du-lop of low-fat Whip Cream

96 oz of water

I lost .8lbs since yesterday! I am currently at my lowest weight to date.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Menu 5/10 and Poll Results

Breakfast (LP/FC/NC)
1 Oh Yeah! Vanilla Creme Protein Shake
2 pieces of Double Fiber Toast with Splenda, cinnamon, and 0 calorie butter spray
Sugar Free Apple Cinammon Oatmeal

Lunch (BF/FC)
Syntha 6 Cookies and Cream Protein Bar
1 c of Green Beans

Cashew Pretzel Protein Bar

Supper (LP/FC/NC)
2-Tuna Patties
1 small potato fried in MCT Oil
2 c of breaded Okra (Breaded in Double Fiber Bread Crumbs) fried in MCT Oil

Poll Result:
First, I need to say that the combinations were incomplete. Each one was supposed to have a fibrous carbohydrate (FC).

Curiously, no one got the pole right! In general, Turkey Bacon is not a Lean Protein nor a Fatty Protein (there is one exception I know of: Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon and it is in the Fatty protein category. It has about 25% calories from fat). Unless it is the Jennie-O brand, chances are that the Turkey Bacon is too fatty to be included in any combination.

The only bacon that works is Canadian Bacon. It is a fatty protein. However, you cannot combine a lean protein with a fatty protein. Thus Canadia Bacon with Egg Beaters is not a good combination.

Whole eggs are a fatty protein. As I understand it, you can combine a fatty protien with a fatty protein. Thus you can combine 1 slice of Canadian Bacon with 1 whole egg. Of course, you have to eat this with a fibrous carb such as Double Fiber Wheat Bread. So you can have bacon and eggs, just make sure it is Canadian Bacon.

I will make sure the next poll is complete.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Menu 5/9

Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar

Lunch (at local Resturaunt)
Grilled Chicken Strips
Sauteed Green Peppers/Onions
Green Beans
Small Salad with no fat Ranch dressing

Dark "Chokolat" Crunch Protein Bar

Herb Crusted Tilapia
Stir Fry Vegtables (Green Pepper, Kale, Carrots, Broccoli, and Cauliflower)
Small Salad with Double Fiber Crutons

Sugar-Free Grape Popsicle

80 oz water

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Menu 5/6

Breakfast (FP/FC)

French Toast
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Imitation Vanilla
  • A little water
  • 2 pieces Double Fibre Wheat Bread
  • Cinnamon 
  • Du-lop of low-fat whip cream 
  • Ms. Butter's Worth  Sugar-Free Syrup
Combine mixture of eggs, vanilla, and water
Soak bread in mixture
Cook in 0 calorie butter cooking spray
Add du-lop of low fat whip cream and sugar-free syrup

Lunch (FP/FC)

1 small hamburger
1 small pork chop (grilled)
Broccoli/Cali-flower mix

Dark Chocolate Protein Crunch Bar

Supper (LP/FC/NC)

Chicken Salsa Casserole
  • 1 Chicken breast
  • sprinkle with mixture of Cayenne pepper and white pepper
  • Sprinkle with shredded no-fat cheddar cheese
  • Top with salsa
  • Sprinkle salsa with onion poweder
  • Cover pan with foil
  • Cook at 350 for 45 minutes (or until done)
1 c of chili beans
Salad topped with Walden Farms creamy bacon dressing

64 oz water

Sugar-Free Jello

NEW ITEM: Weight lost today .8lbs (This is not a guarantee, but simply to let you know that weight will come off if you eat this way.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Menu for Today 5/5

Breakfast (BF)
Oh Yeah Almond Chocolate Protein Bar

Lunch (FP/FC)
Egg Sandwich

  • Boiled whole eggs
  • Celery
  • No fat Mayo
  • Speghetti Squash
  • 2 pieces of Double Fibre Wheat Bread toasted

Double Chocolate Crunch Protein bar

Supper (FP/FC)
Beef Burito
  • Lean Hamburger
  • Green Pepper
  • Spinach
  • Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa
  • 2 Extreme Fibre Tortillas
  • Fat Free Sour Cream

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Menu for 5/5/2011

Breakfast (FP/FC)
2 whole eggs scrambled
Sauteed green peppers, onions and mushrooms
1 kraft fat-free single
2 pieces of Double Fibre Wheat Bread

Lunch (BF)
Syntha 6 Cookies and Cream Protein bar

Supper (LP/FC/NC)
1 Chicken Breast
Green beans
Sugar-free Jello

Protein Plus Chocolate and Carmel Bar

96oz of water

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today's Menu 5/3/2011

Breakfast (LP/FC)
Egg Beaters
2 slices of 98% Oscar Mayer Fat Free Balogna
Kraft Fat-Free Mayonnaise
2 pieces of Double Fibre Wheat Bread

Lunch (FP/FC)
McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder
Replaced bun with 2 pieces of Double Fibre Wheat Bread

Pure Protein Chocolate Bar

Supper (FP/FC)
Grilled Pork Chop topped with mushrooms
1 c Broccoli and Cauliflower mix
1 c Boiled okra

96 oz water

Sugar-free Jello with 1 dulop of low-fat whipped cream

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Menu for Today 5/2/11

Breakfast (LP/FC/NC)
1 Protein Shake
1 Double Fibre Toast coated with 0 calorie butter spray, splenda and cinamon
1 bowl of sugar-free oatmeal

Lunch (LP/FC/NC)
Ate at a local Mexican restaurant

Shredded chicken
Lettuce and Tomato
Made two burritos with the above ingredients using Ole Extreme Fibre Tortillas
Gensoy Tortilla Chips with Salsa
Note: I had to bring my own chips and tortillas

Supper (FP/FC)
1 Pork Chop
Green Beans w/mushrooms seasoned with Basil and Seasoning Sal

Dark Chocolate Crunch Protein bar

96 oz water

Unplanned Cold Days

Last week I was determined to have 12 hot days in a row. I was hoping to hit my "ideal weight" (160lbs) by Mother's Day. I started at 169 (I had gained a couple pounds over the Easter weekend) so I knew it would be a stretch. The first two days started off great and I went down to 167 lbs and was on a roll, but then the storms hit. The worst tornados in Alabama in decades.

Fortunately, there was no loss of life in our county, but many people suffered property damage and there were a few injuries. Being a pastor, my life suddenly changed as I spent many hours on the phone working with various groups and church members trying to do what we could to help. Also, my family was faced with the aftermath of the storm: no electricity for days.

Although I could have kept having hot days, I ended up have cold days instead. Part of the reason was we started living out of our freezer. First on the menu was ham (too fatty). I ate the ham along with potatoes and brocolli we cooked on the grill. In addition we "saved" some pies from our church's freezer. We shared those with individuals who were helping in the efforts to get people temporary power. I gave in and ate the pies with them!

Today, after three cold days, I amazing weighed in at 166.4 lbs-my lowest to date!! Why and how I don't know, but I checked my weight three times and it was the same. One possible explanation was that I tried not to go overboard, and I had a few healthy meals in between the other meals. However, today was a cold day too and I am sure the weight will be higher tomorrow.

What should I do?

I think the only way to combat unplanned cold days is to determine to start another string of bad days. So, tommorrow is the beginning of another set of bad days. I am planning to have 6 hot days which will take me to Mother's Day (a planned cold day).

Will I make my goal weight by Mother's Day? Probably not. But I will be at the lightest so far. After Mother's Day is over, I plan to have another string of hot days. My new goal is to be at my ideal weight by my anniversary, which is 4 days later. We will see if I make it.

My point: Plan your hot days as well as your cold days. If you have unplanned cold days, don't give up. Set a date and start back. If you don't; you won't.