Saturday, August 6, 2011

Two Weeks Later and I'm Still making Progress

Despite some incredibly long hours at the office, a trip to the Orange County Fair --on Food Truck Night mind you-- and far too many dinner out, I am still making progress towards my goals.  Hooray for me!

So about that progress.  I am down to 281 lbs.  That's 41 total pounds lost since May 9, 2011.  It seemed like I hovered in the high 30's forever but now that I have broken into the 40's I am inspired.  I am also on the edge of going below 280 which is also a good milestone that I hope to accomplish in the next week.  But the milestone I am looking forward to the most will hopefully be here by the end of August, and that's weighing 276 lbs.  276 is important because my weight loss goal will be less than 100 lbs left.  Going from triple digits to double digits will be awesome. 

Another exciting discovery I made in the last two weeks is that a lot of the clothes I was too fat to fit into a few months ago now fit well.  Some of them are even a little too loose.  I was a 46-inch waist in May and now the size 42 pants in my closet are in the wardrobe rotation.  I also had a lot of great XXL size shirts that were too tight.  Now I can wear them without them stretching too snug across my shoulders and my gut hanging out the bottom.  I love having new, old clothes!

The BodyMedia FIT armband is still working wonders for me.  I've lost 6 lbs since I began wearing it.  It also keeps me honest about what I am eating because I don't want to put down that I ate garbage.  Here are my stats for yesterday.

BodyMedia FIT stats for August 5, 2011
Calories Burned-3,271 | Calories Consumed-2,552 | Calories Deficit-719 | Moderate Activity 0:20 | Steps-5,091 | Sleep-7:10 | Sleep Efficiency-82%

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Food Trucks, a Celebrity Sighting, and Elvis

Just another typical Sunday in beautiful Orange County, CA.  Or to be more specific, a typical day in the Orange County Great Park.  Every Sunday the Great Park has a modest Farmers Market from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Now that I am eating healthier, going to a Farmers Market seems like a responsible thing to do.  Of course I still went to the Farmers Markets when I was eating everything in sight.  The main difference now is that I only get free samples from the fruit stands and try not to look at the cookie, cake, and ice cream vendors. 

Despite the less than stellar roster of produce merchants at the Great Park Farmers Market, there are some added attractions that makes this Farmers Market special.  FOOD TRUCKS!  And not just a couple but 8 to 10 depending on the weekend.  I love food trucks.  Being the food nerd that I am, I do not think I will ever grow tired of the creative fusion on flavors that you can only get from a kitchen on wheels. 

Eating healthy is not always the easiest thing to do when ordering off a food truck.  Lucky for me, the Seabirds truck was there.  Seabirds has a 100% plant based menu and they source their produce from local farmers.  In other words they're vegan. As much as I like to knock the vegan movement, I will save that rant for another time because the Seabirds truck knocked one out of the part this afternoon with their Grilled Watermelon Salad. 

Grilled Watermelon Salad from the Seabirds Truck.
This delightful summer treat was grilled watermelon with organic heirloom tomatoes, raw almond feta (which is just finely chopped almonds seasoned to have the flavor of feta cheese) fresh basil and sea salt.  It was served warm and was unbelievably refreshing. 

I knew the grilled watermelon was safe, even though I shouldn't be eating almonds on this phase of my diet.  However, I was willing to make a sacrifice.  One of the other food trucks was a little less forgiving with their offerings.  I shuddered when I saw one of my favorite food trucks, Bacon Mania.  This is the type of food truck I worship.  In my book, bacon is a sacred food.  In fact bacon might be my favorite food on the planet. 

But the good people at Bacon Mania weren't so cruel today because they had a bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich served on a whole wheat bun and decorated with chipotle mayo.  This sandwich was simply called B.L.A.T. on their menu.

The B.L.A.T. from Bacon Mania.
 I swear I only had a few bites of this sandwich but it was soooo good.  If you ever want a treat, follow Bacon Mania on Twitter and go to one of their stops.  Everything they make is legendary.

Besides the food trucks I did see a celebrity at the Great Park Farmers Market.  Or to be correct I had a celebrity pointed out to me who I had no idea who she was.  Apparently Peggy from the Real Housewives of Orange County was this thin woman with blonde hair wearing a fleur-de-lis baseball cap and giant sunglasses.  Since I don't watch any of the housewives shows I cannot say for certain it was her but everyone around me at the time was all a buzz that she was there.  Personally, I thought she looked old and frail.

And finally, the coolest part of the farmers market today was the Elvis impersonator who performed dressed in a full white jumpsuit in the afternoon sun.  This guy was really good and there were some older women there who got up and danced with the King.  OC Elvis even passed out signature scarves to some of his swooning fans. 

Yep, just another typical day in Orange County.

More Love for the Armband

I have to gush one more time about how much I am digging my BodyMedia Fit armband.  I swear I am not getting paid --yet-- to say all of these wonderful things about BobyMedia Fit.  I am just impressed that it can do everything it does.

Yesterday I had ever good intention of going out and getting a lot of walking in.  Instead I went to see a matinee showing of Friends With Benefits.  It was actually a fun movie.  Kind of a chick flick, but enjoyable none the less.  Having Mila Kunis as the leading lady in a movie never hurts either.

Next came dinner at a Peruvian Restaurant called Inka Mama's.  If you have never tried Peruvian food you are missing out.  They have this amazing green sauce called aji that you would swear has a bunch of calories from fat but it is mostly iceberg lettuce, Serrano chilies and garlic.  It's a dieter's dream sauce.

Anyway, before I knew it, it was almost 9:00 p.m. and I was about 2,500 step away from reaching my modest daily goal of 5,000 steps.  The BodyMedia Fit app for the iPhone has a workout feature where you can select a workout by the number of calories you want to burn, or for a certain length of time, or by the number of steps you want to take.  I set a 3,000 step workout goal and headed out the door.  It was a nice clear evening with temperatures in the mid 60's.  As I walked, the armband would update my iPhone every 10 seconds or so.  The display showed the number of steps I had taken in giant hot pink numbers.  (Sorry, I didn't take a screenshot of the display.)  After one loop around the neighborhood I was over 3,000 steps and went over my goal for the day.

BodyMedia Stats for July 23, 2011 (* denotes personal best)
Calories Burned-3,214* | Calories Consumed-1,921 | Calorie Deficit-1,293 | Physical Activity-0:36 minutes* | Steps Taken 5,498 | Sleep Duration-7:56 hours* | Sleep Efficiency 81%

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Progress, Progress, Progress

I don't know if this can all be attributed to the BodyMedia Fit armband but I have been kicking some serious booty this week.  I'm down 3.6 pounds on the week and am feeling great.  Logging my food, being able to see how many calories I have burned, and tracking how many steps I have taken is really making a difference in my day.

A few weeks ago I had to abandon a brown 46-inch belt because I ran out of holes.  Yesterday I think I fastened a 44-inch black belt for the last time.  I had been using the fifth and final hole on that belt for a few weeks and now it's too loose in the waist.  Luckily I have several black and brown belts in shorter lengths that I had to abandon as I have steadily gotten bigger over the years. 

But I think the biggest progress of all for me is taking my dress slacks for work to the tailor today to be brought in.  I have been planning to do this for a couple of weeks but didn't think any of my other dress pants would fit yet.  Yesterday I tired on my size 42 pants and they were loose!  Holy Cow!  It wasn't too long ago that I had to struggle to button those pants.  It's almost like I have a new wardrobe.

Besides going to the tailor, one of my goals for the day is to log some serious steps to see how far I actually walk when I am not tied to a desk all day.  I would really like to go to Disneyland because I know that would be the ultimate serious walking challenge.  But I don't think Disneyland is in the cards today because I have stuff to do around the house. Boo!  Maybe I can visit the mouse tomorrow.  I really need to walk through the new entrance at Disney's California Adventure Park. You know you are a serious Disney Parks geek when you get excited about the possibility of walking through a new set of turnstiles. [I can see you rolling your eyes]

BodyMedia Stats for July 22, 2011
Calories Burned-3,126 | Calories Consumed-1,275 | Calorie Deficit-1,851 | Physical Activity-0:11 minutes | Steps Taken-4,081 | Sleep Duration-7:07 hours | Sleep Efficiency-79%

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Beginning of the Armband Era

When I arrived home from work Tuesday night I had a box delivered by UPS waiting for me.  It was my the BodyMedia Fit armband that I ordered Saturday.

WOW! What a difference this thing is going to make in my life.  Being a numbers geek to begin with certainly helps.  But I love the fact that I can track everything I need in order to monitor my progress.  I am already down 1.2 pounds!

I do find that the medium armband that comes standard is a little tight so I ordered the large one this morning.  Other than that it has been a dream.  Plus, logging my food after every meal makes me think twice about what I am going to eat because I don't want to write down that I ate garbage.

Here are my stats for July 20, 2011:

Calories Burned-3,341 | Calories Consumed-1,155 | Calories Deficit-2,186 | Physical Activity-28 minutes | Steps Taken 6,868 | Sleep Duration 6:50 hrs | Sleep efficiency 93%

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Crazy Week

Boy am I glad to be finished with last week.  Work was crazy!  Logging 16-hour days can wreck healthy eating habits.  Luckily, my problem was not eating dinner three nights last week so it wasn't like I was shoveling fast food into my mouth as I drove home just before midnight.

My family's week at the beach came to an end last Saturday.  Like I said in a previous post, Balboa week is a real challenge to any diet.  I did cave last Friday and gave in to temptation.  A double scoop waffle cone of Dreyers Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream was a poor choice.  It wasn't worth the calories.

The other food challenge is the snacks.  After the walk into town to get ice cream the we always play games back at one of the houses.  Friday night we played a domino-based game called Mexican Train.  Snacks are always a fixture with the games.  That night there was a bowl of regular M&Ms, a bowl of Peanut M&Ms, a bowl of peanut butter filled pretzel bites and a bowl of mixed nuts.  These aren't small dainty bowls either.  There are large chili bowls that hold 2 to 3 cups of sinful snacks.  If the bowl is empty you just go to the 5-pound bag bought at Costco for a refill.  I don't even want to think how many Peanut M&Ms and pretzels I ate that night.

But the good news is I made two huge commitments to exercising more over the weekend.  Yesterday I picked up my bike at the bike shop.  I took it in a couple of weeks ago for a tune up and now it is ready to go.  I had a nice short liesurely 3-mile bike ride last night.  One thing is certain, I am a lot more out of shape than I thought I was.  I was gassed after just three short miles.

The second thing is I purchased a BodyMedia Fit armband to help track my fitness, calories and sleep patterns.  I have been researching it and decided that it was time to really start monitoring my progress.  It should be here tomorrow so I will be adding my progress to the bottom of my posts by the ed of the week.

I am anxious for tomorrow's weigh in.  I skipped last Saturday's weigh in because of the beach.  Hopefully I will still be on track and can add to the 35 pounds I have lost since Mother's Day.  Wish me luck. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Sunday Surprise

Yesterday was a good day.  I thought it would be because I had been watching my diet like a hawk.  The three pounds I had gained last weekend had officially came off when I weighed myself Saturday morning.  What a relief.

But yesterday had some serious challenges too.  I started the day by going to work to meet with some contractors.  We are painting our building so I had to confer with the architect and the painter to approve the colors.  After that was over I knew I needed to eat breakfast. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and also the most difficult meal for me to eat out because the temptations of pankcakes, waffles, doughnuts, bacon, hashbrowns, et al.  Turning those down are close to impossible. 

I ended up going to Orange Cafe in Orange, CA. This is a great little hole in the wall coffee shop that serves classic diner fare.  Their pankcakes are huge and one of their specialties is a strawberry pancake that comes with a vanilla bean cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  It is decadent and one of the most delicious concoctions I have ever sampled.

But I was good.  I ordered two scrambled eggs, a side of fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cubbed honey dew) and ice water.  The egg plate also came with whole wheat toast but I only had one half of a slice  (it was really good though...).

I did some chores around the house and then treated myself to a pedicure.  I know doing the pedicure is a female thing but I never mind being the only guy among all of those women as long as my feet are being pampered.  (Sidenote: If I ever become a billionaire, hiring someone to pamper my feet will be one of the luxuries I will indulge in daily.)  Plus I found a nail place where they only speak English. It is so nice being able to chat with the lovely woman working on my feet instead of wondering if the conversations in Mandarin among nail technicians is about how disgusting my toes are. 

After the pedicure I wanted to check out this new spice store I had heard about. The name of the shop is Savory Spice Shop and it is amazing.  For as much as I like to cook, I am often frustrated by the lack of selection and low quality of the spices sold in grocery stores.  Savory Spice Shop has everything I could imagine.  Plus they are exceptionally nice, very knowledgable and generous with the samples.  I ended up buying a 2 oz. jar each of sumacGaram masalaMexican oregano, and a Greek spice blend for seasoning chicken and seafood.  If I could find these things in a local supermarket I would have easily spent over $20.  I ended up spending a little over $13 and that included a $1 deposit on each bottle I purchased.  When I need refills they will just give me a two-ounce bag and I'll get a $1 discount on each spice.  How cool is that?

After a luxurious afternoon of a pedicure and shopping, I was faced with a delimma.  My parents rent a house for a week on Balboa Island, every summer.  This has been a family tradition since I was about 8 or 9.  There are also two other families that my family is close to, who rent their own houses the same week.  All of the kids, and now grand kids, are within a few years of each other.  So it's a lot of fun.  It's also a week of gluttonous eating and drinking.

I had the option to visit the island for dinner or eat on my own and come down for dessert.  I chose to eat on my own.  Just across the parking lot from Savory Spice Shop is Gulfstream.  Gulfstream is a Hillstone restaurant and they manange Houston's, Bandera, R+D, and several other great restaurants across the country.  It's a happening, pretty person place where the patrons are as attractive as the food is good. 

But I wasn't there to look at debutants and cougars, I was there to eat healthy.  I was in luck because one of the specials was wild Alaskan salmon.  I substituted roasted beets for mashed potatoes and had water with lemon to drink.  It was a little pricey, $40 after tip, but a nice healthy treat that made me feel like I wasn't being deprived of great food.

So off to the island I went.  They were just finishing up some MExican takeout (one of my biggest weaknesses) but I was content to sit on the couch knowing that I made the wiser choice for my dinner.  But then the next challenge came.  Every night on the island we walk into "town" for ice cream.  Balboa Island is famous for its Balboa Bars. A Balboa Bar is vanilla ice cream on a stick, dipped in choclate and then rolled in the topping of your choice.  A few shops sell them on the island, as well as other sinful delights such as cookies, doughnuts, hand-scooped ice cream and frozen bananas. 

Again I was strong and chose to go to Starbucks for a decaf Iced Caffe Americano.  It wasn't the same as a Balboa Bar but it was cold and something that I had never tried before.  Plus I am supposed to drink two servings of coffee or tea a day on the 17 Day Diet so I was technically following my plan.

I got home around 11:00 p.m., which is a little late for me, but slept in a few hours later than normal too.  Hey, it's Sunday and even God rested on Sunday, right?

I went to bed last night thinking that I needed a treat and that maybe today would be another free day because I had lost the weight I gained last weekend and I deserved a reward.  I decided that if I weighed myself this morning and lost a pound I could go to Silverado Cafe, one of my favorite breakfast spots, for pancakes and bacon.  So I pulled out the WiiFit balance board and weighed myself.  I didn't just lose a pound, I had lost 3.5 pounds since yesterday.  

My first thoughts were to how much food I could eat today and that I'd probably still be ahead of the game.  But then I thought to myself, why should I sabotage myself instead of building on this accomplishment?  So I drank my hot water with lemon, scrambled two egga and slices up a half cup of fresh strawberries.  I feel great and above all, guilt free.

I do plan to go back to Balboa Island tonight for dinner.  Each family takes turns cooking a dinner and tonight my family s making pulled pork.  It's not the healthiest form of protein but I think I can work around it without too much trouble.  We'll see how it goes.  If I fall down a little I know I can rebound from it.  I also know that one lap around Balboa Island is 2.6 miles.  If I walk it, I'll burn approximately 400 calories. 

Wish me luck!