Friday, February 29, 2008

The Count: February 2008 Update

Happy Leap Day!

February is over which means it's time for another update on The Count, in which I pledged to begin some new habits in the new year. On to the update!

The Snooze: I'm still struggling with setting a regular time to turn in every evening, which does affect the Snooze count a little bit. I managed to only hit the snooze button twice this month though, which improves my year to date success rate to almost 92%. In March I'm going to try and work on my bed time so I'm not as tempted to hit that snooze in the morning.

Pushups: I've done incredibly well with my pushup regimen this month, increasing my daily count from from one set of 25 to two sets totaling 40 pushups (25/15), for over a thousand pushups this month and a year to date total of 1525. I've also continued with the squats and now it's time to shake things up a little more.

I'm starting to feel a little burned out with the pushups and it's been suggested by people I trust that I may need to give my shoulders a little "resting" time, especially after 60 straight days of pushups. So here's what I'm going to try. I'm going to throw crunches into the mix now, and I'm going to rotate between pushups, squats and crunches, doing two out of the three exercises every morning. That should give the muscles involved in each exercise a little break. I'll also rename the Pushups count to AM Exercise to reflect that. If it works, I'll continue with it, otherwise I'll try something else.

Original Count Post
January Update

I'm still in "Major Deadline Mode" for at least the next 10 days or so; after that I should be back to posting and commenting on a more regular basis. Play nice until I get back!

The Count: Snooze = +50, Push-Ups = +60

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life, The Universe And Almost Everything

These are the things that have been keeping me from posting lately. All is well, just incredibly jam-packed with lots of the things I talked about before, as well as another log or two to throw on the fire. Note to self: There is a wonderful word in the dictionary that comes in handy every now and then: NO!

Fortunately, my healthy eating habits and daily exercise, such that it is, are probably the only things that are keeping me sane right now. I make allowances when I need to, but for the most part I've been able to stay on the straight and narrow.

I can't make any promises about my posting/commenting schedule since the next 14 days are filled with deadlines, but I'll try to sneak in when I can. In the mean time, please take care of yourselves!

The Count: Snooze = +47, Push-Ups = +55

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Food, Glorious Food!

Valentine's day is all about your relationship with the one you love. What if the one you love is a cheesesteak smothered in mushrooms and fried onions? Or a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese with a large fry chaser? Or a large pizza piled high with pepperoni, the grease dripping down your arm as you bite into it?

We all have a relationship with food. Mine has changed drastically in the last two years, and that's an undeniable truth. I would always think about the next thing I was going to eat. There was nothing I wouldn't consume, no calorie that was left behind. Trans fats were my friend. I ate as though I was afraid someone were going to come by and take my food away from me, or that I wouldn't see another meal for days.

As with any relationship, my relationship with food had an emotional side to it. I ate when stressed, when bored, when sad, when happy, when frustrated, when celebrating, when mourning. There wasn't an occasion or emotion that wasn't made better with food.

When the time came to change my ways, I learned that food wasn't the lover, the comforter, the soul mate that I thought it was. I came to realize that the way I was abusing food was enabling me to ignore myself and ultimately shorten my life, thanks to multiple health problems with the potential of life-devastating complications.

As I established healthy eating habits I was amazed at the way my body responded. It was as though it craved these new things I was doing to it, wanting the fruits and vegetables and lean meats and whole foods I was now feeding it. I came not only to appreciate food, but to respect it.

Our relationship is much more mature now. I no longer lust after food. I appreciate it, respect it, savor it and enjoy it. In return, it is helping me reverse the damage I've done to my body over the years and helping me preserve it for the future. As with any relationship, it's not perfect. I still have the momentary lapse here and there, but I never stray too far or for too long. I'm in this relationship for the long haul.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Count: Snooze = +39, Push-Ups = +45

I just entered this post in a giveaway drawing that's running through February 21st over at Lifehack.org. It's a great blog, drop by to check it out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Results Are In!

The polls are closed on the first ever poll at Gotta Keep It Off! and the results have been tabulated. It what should be no surprise to some of you, Eating Out tallied the most votes with four people having difficulty staying on their plan when they're not eating at home.

Snacking came in second, followed by Portion Control and Other tied for third. Bringing up the rear were Exercise, Motivation and Sweet Tooth.

I was surprised that Exercise didn't get more votes, as that's one of the things I hear a lot of people not being able to fit in to their lives at any particular time. I know it's been one of my constant sticking points.

We talked about eating out the other day, and about snacking when you're not really hungry before that, so next we'll talk about how to handle snacking when you are hungry. What to eat, what to avoid, what to never bring in the house and all that good stuff.

Thanks again to everyone who voted!

The Count: Snooze = +38, Push-Ups = +44

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Suicide Food

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the weight game that we start taking things much too seriously. Thankfully, there are plenty of people out there who are determined to keep us laughing.

Blogger Ben from Seattle is one of those who knows right where your funny bone is. His blog, Suicide Food, is a hilarious look at all those denizens of the animal kingdom who can't wait to become our next meal.

From the chicken eager to sacrifice his own wings to the smiling pig who can't wait to jump into the BBQ pit with the "Apple of Death" already in its mouth, Ben takes us on a tour of restaurant signs and advertisements that showcase these poor animals who not only want us to eat them, but are willing to help us do them in!

Make sure you head on over to check it out soon before you wind up eating the next victim!

The Count: Snooze = +35, Push-Ups = +41

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How To Lose Weight While Eating Out

In the comments on Tuesday's post (There's still time to vote in the poll!), AndrewE and Dona agreed that eating out has been their toughest challenge in the weight loss game so far. I've found that eating away from home doesn't have to mean a weight gain. Let me share some of my strategies so that you don't have reservations the next time someone suggests making reservations.

The first thing I do when I know we're going out to eat is hit the web. I look up the restaurant to see if they have a web site. If they do, I look for two things - their menu and nutritional information. Between those two things I can usually build my meal before we go, confident that I've already made good choices before I've even walked through the door.

If there's no web site, or more commonly, if it doesn't have the information you're looking for, try to keep to some safe choices. Grilled chicken, broiled fish and lean cuts of meat are all decent selections. Watch out for creamy sauces and dressings as well.

Try to time your visit to the restaurant so that you aren't ravenously hungry. If you have to, have a little snack before you leave to take the edge off. You don't want to go to the restaurant hungry for the same reason you don't want to go to the supermarket hungry - you'll overdo it and wind up with too much! This tip has helped me out more than once, especially if we ran into a long wait before we got seated.

Now that you're seated at the table, when your server asks what you'd like to drink, there's always at least one good answer - water. Preferably a tall glass of water. With plenty of refills. Just make sure you know where the rest rooms are!

And don't be shy, either. Be assertive when ordering. Order what you want, how you want it, even if it isn't necessarily on the menu. Warn the server ahead of time that you're going to be high maintenance and that it will be reflected in the tip.

One of my favorite tips is to remember to feed the doggie first. As soon as your food comes to the table, ask for a doggie bag and pack up half you meal before you take your first bite. Most restaurant portions these days are actually two, three, or more normal servings of food, so there's no reason not to make two or three meals out of your order.

Build a list of restaurants that you know you can handle. After a few trips you'll know what to order and what to avoid.

Take a more active role in deciding where to go out to eat. You may not always be able to sway your companions to go where you'd like, but as our parents always liked to remind us, "Life isn't fair!"

Remember that the more you eat out, the less your chances of posting a weight loss for the week. Giving up occasional control of your meals to someone else may be a treat, but who has your best, healthy interests in mind, you or Chef Pierre?

I really hope these tips are helpful to anyone who has experienced the same trepidation towards eating out that Andrewe and Dona have. Make sure to leave any of you own eating out tips in the comments!

The Count: Snooze = +32, Push-Ups = +38

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Choose!

In honor of today's elections, I've set up a poll over in the right sidebar. The topic?

What has been the hardest part of your current weight loss journey?

I'll think I'll leave this poll up for a week. In the meantime, feel free to discuss your answers in the comments.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Musings

  • I liked the baby stock trader commercials.
  • Tom Petty's looking old.
  • The Giants won. Meh.
  • I really like my Wingless Hot Wings.
  • It's late, I'm tired, good night.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Count: January 2008 Update

After committing to begin some new habits on January 1st, I wanted to bring everyone up to date.

The Snooze: I actually managed to get out of bed and stay out of bed on the first ring of the alarm clock 28 times out of 31 in January for a 90% success rate. I've used the extra time in the mornings to help with the other component of the Count, and to get to work a little earlier so I have time to relax with my breakfast instead of rushing through it.

Pushups: I had a fantastic month staying on track with my pushup routine! I started the month doing 10 pushups a day as soon as I got out of bed. Now I'm up to 25 daily pushups, with a total of 505 pushups for the month. And I didn't miss a day!

February: I'm going to continue with the Count in February, with a goal of 100% compliance for the month. I'm also going to add squats to my morning routine, although I won't being tracking them in the Count. I think it's safe to say that if I'm doing the pushups, I'm also doing the squats.

The Count: Snooze = +26, Push-Ups = +32