Weekly Recap 8-20-12 to 8-26-12

Well, all in all not a bad week, did have to cut my Thursday run short, but did still get in some decent mileage.  Not much to say about this week, pretty uneventful.

Starting weight – 249.8
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 2 miles
Friday – Weight Lifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Run – 5 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 11 miles
Ending Weight – 249.6 (0.2 pounds lost)

Ok, so only a tiny loss this week, but that’s good.  For reasons I can’t explain the pattern in the past has been for me to have a slight uptick after a huge loss like last week, so I expected to gain 1-2 pounds this week and not really be too upset about it, so even the tiny loss, essentially “maintaining” the big loss from last week is great! Not upset about this at all.

I’m a fruitaholic…

“Hi my name is Eric and I’m a fruitaholic……”

Ok, so maybe it’s not quite that bad, but I love fruit, I always have (veggies on the other hand are more a love/hate relationship).  We always had fruit in the house growing up.  Bananas in Cheerios, banana and PB sandwhiches, apple slices with peanut butter, lots of grapes, fresh orchard peaches (although those went into an oh so healthy peach cobbler).

We had fresh fruit in the house, but we also had plenty of canned fruit and that’s what I grew up on, I love canned pears, canned peaches, fruit cocktail, apple sauce and so on and so forth.  But lately, I’ve steered away from the canned fruits and gotten back into fresh fruit.  Fruit is so easy to fit into any diet, it’s so low calorie.  Depending on size, an apple will range from 80-90 calories, a banana 75-110 calories, 2 cups of grapes (a bowlful) about 120 calories.  I eat at least one piece of fruit a day, but most days more than one.  Right now I have 4 kinds of fruit in my house, apples, bananas, grapes and nectarines.  I’m a little upset that half my nectarines are rotten and moldy, but that’s a story for a different time.  Today I had an apple with lunch, and a bowl of grapes as a snack  this afternoon before I hit the gym.  When my bananas ripen to my liking, I’ll start eating those in the morning with breakfast along with the apple for lunch.  So usually 2 fruits a day, minimum.

Surprisingly enough, there are constant debates on MFP and other dieting websites where a lot of people warn people not to eat fruit.  Besides being one of the bigger chunks of the food pyramid, or whatever passes for the food pyramid these days, common sense tells you this is crazy.  Why would you not eat fruit?  “FRUIT IS FULL OF SUGAR” they say…. well yes, this is true.  However, take into account that in total the caloric load of a piece of fruit is roughly 100 calories.  Even if those calories are 100% from sugar (which they are).  Carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram, so at the most your piece of fruit has 25 grams of carbs. Even with my lowered carb goal, my daily carb allowance is 225 grams, so that apple for lunch was 9% of my daily carb allowance.

Here’s what that piece of fruit has that goes beyond just 25 grams of sugar.  First and foremost fruits are mostly fiber.  Fiber helps regulate your blood sugar so you don’t really get a hard kick from all that “evil” fruit sugar.  Fiber also helps in plenty of other ways.  Like all things that grow in the ground, fruit is full of minerals, calcium, potassium, sodium and iron to name a few.  Fruit also is chock full of vitamins.  Mostly vitamin C in citrus fruits (and in smaller amounts in  firm flesh fruits like apples and pears), bananas contain several of the B vitamins.

So don’t listen to the haters… EAT your fruits!

Fad “diets”

I’ve been bouncing this around in my head for a while wanting to write about it, but the spark finally struck when my friend Dawn (over at No Patience for Small Talk) asked me a question about a specific one, and I figured if I was going to write back a 3000 word response to her, might as well put it on the blog for everyone and then toss in some of the other ones I wanted to talk about as well.  So here goes!

The one that Dawn asked me about is found here: http://www.truthaboutabs.com/fat-burning-kitchen.html

I hate to even link it, but there ya go.  Knock yourself out.  Of course it makes a lot of promises with very little content since (SURPRISE) dude is trying to sell a book.  I think he learned Marketing from “How to get People to Pay 50$ for a book”.

Ok.. well I just wasted 10+ minutes of my life by watching the video, which just repeats what’s on the website and tries to sell the book.  *sigh* so I can’t even give an opinion on it, since I’m sure as hell not buying the book, but here’s a few general tips.  First, he talks about a few foods you should NEVER eat.. of course he doesn’t say WHAT they are, but there is nothing out there (not even solid fat) that’s just going to totally destroy you, so there’s no foods you should really avoid.  Everything is ok in moderation, even fat.  All the low carb vs low fat vs high protein is all bogus.  It’s all about a balanced diet.  Next he mentions a way to lose weight without endless cardio.  Sure, there’s probably a way to do that… but cardio (like running and cycling) is the most efficient way to burn calories and thus lose weight.  Plus when you’re training for a marathon or a bike ride or an ironman you kinda need the hours and hours of cardio, but it’s not endless and mindless, it serves a purpose (well ok maybe it is mindless).  The one good point he makes is to stay away from the stimulant based supplements that are mis-represented as “fat burners” that are nothing but Caffiene/Guarana/Ginseng bombs… they jack you up to the moon and then drop you like a bad habit.. no thanks.  Now I don’t begrudge a guy for wanting to sell  a book.  Lots of people have books about dieting and exercise and weight loss that are GOOD and VALID, but the whole “OOOOOOoooooo secrets only I know and you can only find in MY book” bullshit is Snake oil sales at it’s finest.  Avoid at all costs.  The only weight you will lose is the 50$ that your wallet gets lightened by.  I can guarantee from the success stories that the people did whatever was in his book, along with a few other common sense suggestions  (like, eat less, move more) and it will make it seem like his plan really did work, when really it was just diet and exercise the whole time.

Ok.. so here is another one.. and this one is a DOOZY!  I apologize for the long copy and paste, but you have to see this one in ALL it’s insanity.

{You “MUST” drink 10 glasses of water each day

Day One

All fruits except bananas. Your first day will
consist of all the fruits you want. It is strongly
suggested that you consume lots of melons the
first day. Especially watermelon and a loupe.
If you limit your fruit consumption to melons,
your chances of losing three lbs. on first day
are Very Good.

Day Two

All vegetables. You are encouraged to eat until
you are stuffed with all the raw or cooked vegetables
of your choice. There is no limit on the amount or type.
For your complex carbohydrate, you will start day two
with a large baked potato for breakfast. You may top
the potato with one pat of butter.

Day Three

A mixture of fruits and vegetables of your choice. Any
amount, any quantity. No bananas yet. No potatoes today.

Day Four

Bananas and milk. Today you will eat as many as eight
(8) bananas and drink three (3) glasses of milk. This
will be combined with the special soup which may be
eaten in limited quantities.

Day Five

Today is feast day. You will eat beef and tomatoes.
Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef. Hamburger is
OKAY. Combine this with six whole tomatoes. On
day five you must increase your water intake by
one quart. This is to cleanse your system of the
uric acid you will be producing.

Day Six

Beef and vegetables. Today you may eat an unlimited
amount of beef and vegetables. Eat to your hearts content.

Day Seven

Today your food intake will consist of brown rice,
fruit juices and all the vegetables you care to consume.

Tomorrow morning you WILL be 10-17 lbs. lighter
than one week ago. }

OK.. first off, this is not a diet.  This is a PURGE.  I’m sure it works, but only for the 7 days you’re on it.  Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which is good for you, but “eat all you want” you can stuff yourself silly and still only be at like 600 calories which is not good.  Oh and day 5… “You will need to increase your water intake to flush out the Uric acid in your body”… Uric acid causes gout, so I think that’s you’re first sign this is not a healthy diet.  Like I said, this diet works, for the 7 days you do it, assuming it doesn’t kill you.  The first half of the week you starve yourself, the second half of the week you eat foods (including the special soup which is basically water + veggies) that, well to be delicate, keep you on the toilet ALL DAY LONG.  Yes you lose weight, mostly through dehydration.  NOT GOOD.

Most of the other fad diets work along these lines.  And there’s a name for this…. STARVATION.  I don’t care if they call it appetite suppression, all it is is malnutrition and starvation and sure as hell you lose weight, but you don’t learn how to eat a healthy balanced diet and as soon as you go back to your coke and mcdonalds you gain it all back and then some and all this does is further prolong the yo-yo dieting (and leads to serious eating disorders).

Here’s a few other examples.

“Right Size Smoothies”… basically full of fiber to keep you full.. again, appetite supression = starvation.  (Even Slim Fast fits in this category, but at least Slim Fast does condone a healthy diet and exercise rather than just “drink this and lose weight” you still gotta work for it).

Sensa – OK.. I don’t even know what this shit is.  I know you sprinkle it on your food and it makes you eat less.. for all I know it’s a sulfur compound that really tastes like shit and makes you not want to eat.  Sadly, it’s probably some bio-engineered chemical appetite suppressant that stop pathways and signals in your brain and well, that’s even worse.  Avoid this crap like that plague, hell avoid ANYTHING that says you can lose weight without exercise or changing what you eat.  Remember Kiddo’s if it sounds too good to be true, it surely is.

Alli – Prevents fat from being absorbed in the body.  Oh boy… how to be delicate with this.  This is one of those things that the side effect is worse than the affliction it’s designed to treat.  Remember Olestra potato chips? yeah.. Like that, only worse.  I won’t go into details.

ANYTHING in a pill bottle – Snake oil, pure and simple.  Sugar pills and placebos… “Take this pills with 10 glasses of water along with a healthy diet and exercise” …. Umm… yeah, ya know you can do the diet and exercise without the pill and get the same result…. just saying.

The key is to not diet.  “Diets” are a short term fix.  This may be just fine if you need to only lose 5 pounds.  But if you need to lose a lot, like I do, and you want to keep it off, you have to make an entire lifestyle change.  Bad news boys and girls, there is no end to this.  This is everyday for the rest of your life.  Yeah, that’s a serious commitment.  But 7 days is not going to solve all your problems.  In fact the 7 day purge listed above is more likely to kill you then make you healthy… think about that.  Make smart decisions and stick to them.  It’s not easy, God knows it’s not.  But slow and steady wins this race, now THAT is a promise you can live by.

Weekly Recap 8-13-12 to 8-19-12

Well this was a pretty good week, no missed workouts no crazy late night eating nothing like that.  In another couple of weeks it’s gonna be time to start training for the Raleigh half marathon and at that point it’s time to buckle down and get serious.  I’ve nixed the short races out of my schedule (as shown by my race post last week) and I’ve got an 8K and 2 10K’s in the time between now and the half.  It’s about to get serious. I’m keeping my midweek mileage up so I can just dive straight into the half training and I supplemented that with the long loop around Salem Lake, so big mileage this week.

Starting weight – 256.4
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 4 miles
Friday – Weight lifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Run – 7 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 15 miles
Finishing weight – 249.8 (6.6 pounds lost)

WOW.. what a huge loss.  Now that’s not totally accurate, since we were fairly sure that last weeks gain was merely water retention from all the salty food, but this is in line with what I hope is more like a 2 pound loss per week.  Two weeks ago was 254, 2 down (instead of 2 up) last week would have been 252 and then 2.2 more down this week to get to 249.8 but hey I’ll take it! This also puts me under 250 pounds! (Barely but it counts!)

I also took my measurements today (I do this about once a month) and my chest measurement is down a half inch from 45.5 to 45, belly (at my belly button) down a whooping 1.5 inches from 47.5 to 46 and my hips (or waist where I wear my pants rather than natural waist at my belly button) is down a half inch from 41.5 to 41, so good numbers all the way around!

Upcoming Race Schedule – Fall/Winter 2012

I was reading through my old blogs and came across one of my “seasonal” Race Calender updates and realized I hadn’t done one in a while, and my upcoming schedule is pretty much set in stone at this point.  So here goes! For the second half of 2012.

September 15th – Run for the Greenway 8K – Greensboro, NC
This race just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  This race falls on my second weekend of half marathon training which calls for a 5 mile run.  Well why not a 5 mile race? The race benefits a newly built greenway around downtown Greensboro.

September 29th – Salem Lake 10K/30K – Winston Salem, NC
Since I’m planning on doing all my Raleigh long runs at Salem Lake anyway (for the hills) and this race is put out by my fellow TCTC buddies over at Ultimate Race Management this is a must do.  It should be a great race.  Obviously I’ll be doing the 10K and not the 30K (18 miles! WOW).

October 20th – RHABA 10K – Rural Hall, NC
I’m divided on this race.  It’s rumored to be a flat and fast course, so I originally planned to set a 10K PR here, but since it’s 2 weeks before my half marathon and this is my half marathon “tune-up” I may have to hold back a little bit.  I don’t want to burn myself out or risk injury so close to the big race.  Although my 10K PR is right at a 12 minute mile pace, which now is my targeted half marathon pace, so if I’m slightly faster than that (for the shorter distance) I can set a PR without messing up my half marathon training.

November 4th – Rex Healthcare Half Marathon – Raleigh, NC
My second half marathon, this is a big race for several reasons.  First, this race has a 14 minute/mile (3 hour) pace/time limit.  If I want to have an “Official” finish at this race, I’ll have no choice to set a new PR and get under 3 hours, I think I can do this based on my current pacing and the pace I will attempt to train at.  Second, I lived in Raleigh for about 10 years during my two tours of duty at NC State, I love Raleigh, and the race starts and finishes at the NC State Memorial Bell Tower, so this will be a awesome and sentimental race for me.  I was trying to choose between Raleigh and Myrtle Beach and Raleigh won out. Last but certainly not least, my family will be there! My best friend Gray and his wife Katie (who may as well be family) will be there, and my sister and her bf as well as my parents are coming up for the weekend as well, so I will have a cheering squad and support crew with is very unusual for me, I’m used to running solo!

November 24th – Charlotte Checkers Charity 5K – Charlotte NC
Just recently got the email about this race from the Checkers (and 5 minutes later a forwarded version from my brother’s fiance) and it looks cool, and I also just discovered they are not running the Freisen 5K this year for the Hurricanes, so this will be my hockey race.  The registration includes a ticket to the game that night, so run a race, go to a hockey game and hang out with my brother and his fiance? Win win win!

December ?? – Mistletoe 5K – Winston Salem NC
I don’t know the exact date for this race yet, but this will be my December race, to make sure I run a race in each month of the year.  Put on by the local YMCA and I assume it benefit’s them and their charities.  Hope to run this one with my buddy Jen if her hip is healed up.

And that will finish up 2012 with 17 races including 10 5K’s, 2 8K’s, 3 10Ks and 2 Half Marathons. (85.8 racing miles).

Drastic Diet Change

Throughout this weight loss journey which includes losing 100 pounds, I’ve gotten off easy, MyFitnessPal opened my eyes to what my normal daily calorie consumption was like, which I quickly reduced and weight started melting off.  I have made a few changes to my diet, and there are certainly things I don’t eat anymore, but for the most part I eat a lot of the same stuff I used to, just less of it.  As I continue to struggle in this four month long plateau that I thought I had broken out of only to be dragged back to reality, that’s about to change.

MFP sets the default macro-nutrient values to get 55% of your calories from carbs, 15% from protein and 30% from fat.  It’s pretty much accepted across the board that this is way too low of a protein target, especially for those of us who are working out 7 days a week (not just weightlifters need protein).  I had never messed around with the values, but I didn’t worry if I “went over” on my protein goal.  Well today I finally decided to make an adjustment, in a way to force myself to change my eating habits and try to break out of this eternal slump.  It’s finally time to change WHAT I eat.

I increased my protein and in the process reduced the carbs by the same amount.  So my new targets are 45% carb, 25% protein, 30% fat.  I was going to switch to 40-30-30, but I have enough trouble hitting 15% protein, 25% is going to be a struggle.

Of course I decided to switch my numbers while I’m at work, my lunch is already packed, and based on what I have on hand at the house, dinner was pretty much decided in advance as well.  The hard part of changing your diet on a budget is using up what you already have on hand rather than just tossing it out, so this will be a bit of a rocky transition to say the least.

For today, I have 500 calories left for the day, but I’m already over my carb target 272/271.  My fat looks OK at 70/80.  I had peanut butter for lunch and a turkey burger for dinner, and yet my protein WAY under the target, 71 out of 151.  I’m about to mix up a double batch of my protein shake powder, which will add another 60 grams of protein (along with 340 cals and 16g carbs, pushing me further over on that macro) and I will STILL be under my goal.  Wow.. this is gonna take some adjustments for sure.

The first adjustment will probably be to add lean chicken and fish back into my diet so I can load up on protein without carbs and very little fat.  I’m not going 0 carb by any stretch, and 45% may not even be “low” but I will have to cut down on some things.  Less starches, less potatoes and certainly less sweets.

This should be fun……….

Weekly Recap 8-6-12 to 8-12-12

Not really a whole lot to say about this week.  Normal week, increased my mileage a little bit.  Not happy with the results.

Starting weight  – 254
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minute
Thursday – Run – 4 miles
Friday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Hash Run – 3.3 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total mileage – 11.3 miles
Ending Weight – 256.4 (2.4 pound gain)

Ok Seriously, what the fuck? I don’t understand this at all.  Yeah it’s probably water weight or whatever but how does this happen? I’m getting really sick of this lose 1 gain 2 bullshit.  Looking back at the last 3 months I’ve lost a grand total of 6 pounds.  6 pounds in 14 weeks for a shocking loss rate of 0.4 pounds a week.  And I keep having to lose the same 3 pounds over and over and over and over again and I’m tired of it.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.