Oct 29, 2011

The Journey: Diggin' Deep


Said the Little Red Rooster, “Believe me things are tough!
Seems the worms are getting scarcer and I cannot find enough.
What’s become of all those fat ones? It’s a mystery to me.
There were thousands through that rainy spell,
But now, where can they be?”

But the Old Black Hen who heard him didn’t grumble or complain,
She had lived through lots of dry spells;
She had lived through floods of rain.
She picked a new and undug spot, The ground was hard and firm,
“I must go to the worms,” she said. “The worms won’t come to me.”

The Rooster vainly spent his day,
Through habit, by the ways
Where fat round worms had passed in squads back in the rainy days.
When nightfall found him supperless, he growled in accents rough,
“I’m hungry as a fowl can be, conditions sure are tough.”

But the Old Black Hen hopped to her perch
And dropped her eyes to sleep
And murmured in a drowsy tone, “Young man, hear this and weep.
I’m full of worms and happy
For I’ve eaten like a pig.
The worms were there as always
But, boy I had to dig!”

I was going to just put the poem up for this blog post. But since it speaks to where I'm at right now, I need to give an update on The Journey. While on our trip to Hawaii in late April/early May I was at my lowest at 315 pounds. Coming off that trip, I completely lost momentum. I stopped going to the gym and wasn't weighing in regularly.
I stayed under 320 through May & June. In July I was up, but still under 325. I didn't weigh again until late September, when I was 329. By the time I started going back to the gym in mid October, I was up to 335 pounds. 

In the last 19 days, I've been to the gym on 16 of them. I initially lost 5 pounds, but have since held steady at about 330 (give or take a pound) for almost two weeks. It's VERY frustrating to put in an hour to an hour and a half every day and see no results.

To be very clear, I hate going to the gym. It's inconvenient. By the time I get home in the evenings it's 7pm or 8pm. By the time I make and eat dinner, it's time for bed. But it would all be worth it if I was seeing results.

But I'm not seeing results. So... I can whine & complain. I can give up. I can join the idiots at Occupy Wall Street and demand that skinny people get fat too so I'm normal. Or I can do like the Old Black Hen and keep digging. So dig I shall.

Oct 25, 2011

The Journey: Stuff You Can Eat

In the last few posts I've covered stuff you should avoid. Today I wanted to pass on a few things from the fine folks over at Eat This, Not That that actually isn't as unhealthy as they seem.

The fact is that sometimes it's not possible to solely dine on organic, all natural fruits, twigs & air. Sometimes you just gotta eat something good. So here's a few things that aren't going to kill you instantly: (Oh, and here's the link to the whole article)

The Super Roast Beef Sandwich at Arby's comes in at only 440 calories. A comparable hamburger would carry at least 600 calories.

Speaking of hamburgers; the BK Single Stacker from Burger King only has 380 calories. That's pretty light compared to the rest of their menu.

Or, if you are a fan of the Golden Arches, the McDouble only delivers 390 calories.

Looking for some upscale eatin'? The Steak Toscano at Olive Garden gives you a slug of protein for just 590 calories.

What about pizza? Two slices of The Works on original crust from Papa Johns has 460 calories, and two slices Hand Tossed Spicy Sicilian pizza from Pizza Hut has 480 calories.

Dairy Queen is known for their desserts, but they've got other stuff too. Their All Beef Chili Dog  has a mere 330 calories.

Speaking of desserts; hungry for some ice cream? Haagen-Daz's Five Milk Chocolate ice cream only has 220 calories for 1/2 cup. Or you can do a small Original Frosty from Wendy's for 250 calories.

So, for those times when you just want some good food, there's options. You can splurge & still not go nuts.

Oct 22, 2011

The Journey: Just Don't Eat These...

This is the second post (click here for the first one...) covering Eat This, Not That's 2012 list of worst foods in America.

As I've said, I'm not dieting as part of the Journey. And I'm not counting calories. But I am being more aware of what calories I'm eating and being more strategic about my calories. (See my "Tale of Two Meals" post...)

If you aren't careful, you can blow up a day's worth of calories in one meal. Remember, it's recommended that adults consume 2,000 calories a day. If you are a dockworker or coal miner, you can up that number. Take a look at four examples that could feed a dockworker AND a coal miner with a little left over for their tax guy:

With their Jalapeño Smokehouse Bacon Burger with Ranch, it's almost like Chili's was trying to see how many calories they could jam into one item. And at 2,210 calories, I'd say they did a pretty good job. Throw in the fries, soda, appetizer, & dessert and you can skip the next two or three meals. Oh, and the burger also has as much sodium as 6 pounds of McDonald's fries. (article link)

Speaking of appetizers... They aren't innocent either when it comes to the calorie count. Remember, appetizers were originally meant to be a small snack before the main meal. Well, there's nothing small about Applebee's Appetizer Sampler. It comes with chips, dip, wings & quesadillas. Oh, and there's celery sticks.... So, I guess it makes it healthy. Right? Well, at 2,430 calories, it's not healthy. Even if 4 people share this pile of food, it's still an extra 600 calories. That's a meal's worth of calories right there! (article link)

Ribs start off on shaky ground. The meat part of 'em are interlaced with fat. But that's no excuse for the 2,450 calories that come with the Caribbean Rockin' Reggae Ribs from TGI Friday's. But the sin here isn't the meat. It's the oily, sugary BBQ sauce that is layered onto it. (article link)

The 1,310 calories in the BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter from Burger King that I mentioned in the last post doesn't hold a candle to the Big Country Breakfast with Country Fried Steak & Country Gravy from IHOP. It packs 800 calories for every time they use the word "country" in it's name. That's over 2,400 calories total for those of you who don't like math. 2,440 calories to be exact. (article link)

To eat any one of these meals for a special occasion wouldn't be a big deal. But if you are eating stuff like this on a regular basis, the effects add up quickly. Let's say you start with breakfast at IHOP, lunch at TGI Friday's, and dinner at Chili's. That's almost 7000 calories for the day. Let's say you just splurge like that on Saturdays. Unless you exercise A LOT, you could easily pack on 50 pounds a year.

Looking at those numbers, I think I'm lucky that I only got up to 371 pounds. It could've been much, much worse.

Oct 18, 2011

The Journey: An Update

I was going to do a second part of my last post, covering more of the Eat This, Not That's list of worst meals for 2012.  But, I thought I would instead give you a quick update on where The Journey is at right now.

Last week I made it to the gym six days in a row. Sunday we had to go into Anchorage early, so I didn't get a chance to go then. Plus, I was hurtin' pretty good. I went last night (Monday) and the plan is go every night this week.

In the couple of months that I wasn't exercising, I went back up to 335 pounds. I'm not sure how it happened so fast, but it is what it is. I've managed to take back off 4 pounds already.

For now, I'll be working out 5 to 6 days a week. My goal is to be at 299 pounds by the end of the year. I don't want to start 2012 weighing over 300 pounds. March 24, 2012 will mark the two year anniversary of the beginning of the Journey and my goal is to be at 271 pounds by then, which will be 100 pounds lost.

For those who are just recently joining my Journey, you can go to my first post about it and then read forward. In a nutshell, though, on March 24th, 2010 I made the decision to cut out my 1,500 calories a day soda habit. I had hit 371 pounds and was only getting fatter each and every day. Just cutting out the soda helped me lose the first 30 pounds. I've also modified what I eat (but I don't diet) and have started working out regularly.

I've gotten as low as 316 pounds, a 55 pound loss. But then I had a month where I couldn't work out and it's been hard to get the momentum going again. But I think I may be back in the swing of it.

The sad thing is there's been 3 different times I've lost momentum. If I hadn't, I could've lost the 100 pounds in a year and I'd almost be at my goal weight by now. But, what's done is done. I can't undo what I've done; I can only do what I can do now.

What about you? What are you doing?

Oct 15, 2011

The Journey: Even more Eat This, Not That

The fine folks over at Eat This, Not That have released their list of the worst foods in America for 2012. Here are some of the highlights...

Does TGIF stand for Thank God It's Fattening? It might if you order up their Loaded Mashed Potatoes. It's only a side dish but packs an astounding 930 calories. Yeah, that's about 1/2 your calories for the entire day. (article link)

Speaking of half your calories for the day, you'll get that if you order the Veggie Sandwich at Quiznos. That's right... 1090 calories in a veggie sandwich. It sounds like it should be healthy, but it's not. Oh, and it also slams you with a day's worth of fat. (article link)

They say it's good to start each day with eating breakfast. But if it's the Burger King BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter, you'll need to follow it up with a 12 mile run to burn off the 1,310 calories. Hmm... I'm pretty sure it would take me the whole rest of the day to even run 12 miles. (article link)

No one expects chili cheese fries to be healthy. But the Texas Cheese Fries with Chili & Ranch from Chili's seems like it's design to kill you. It packs in 2,120 calories. That's 106% of your daily calories and a week's worth of sodium. (article link)

Still hungry? In the next blog post I'll have a few more dishes to fill you up....

Oct 11, 2011

The Journey: The Blog

When I lost my momentum on The Journey, I also floundered in putting up regular blog posts.
At it's height I had about thirty people who would read each post. Now that I'm blogging again, it's fallen to about half that.
So, in addition to getting serious about getting to the gym regularly, I'm also serious about doing my blog posts on Tuesdays & Saturdays. I can't guarantee they'll be interesting or entertaining, but I'll try.

Oct 8, 2011

The Journey: A Tale of Two Meals

I love KFC. You know, K-Fry. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yard bird. The Colonel's Cluckers.

Seriously. It's good stuff. You know in the Bible when the children of Israel came up out of Egypt & were travelin' through the desert? We all know that God fed them with manna. But here's what you may not know. If you do a proper exegesis on the original Hebrew word there from the original text, you'll see that the manna was actually KFC biscuits.  Really. And when God sent quail... Yep, it was actually KFC chicken. Original recipe. And when Moses struck the rock & water flowed out. That was actually KFC gravy.

Now, as I've said; I'm not doing any special diet while on the Journey. I have cut out sugar soda and try to limit the amount of junk food I eat. And I know fast food isn't the best for you. But life gets busy, and sometimes fast food is the only choice. So the key is to make smart choices in your fast food feasting.

For the purpose of today's example, we'll assume that you are on the road. I will admit that I've eaten chicken off the bone while driving. In a stick shift. Looking back the only way it could've been less safe is if I had been drunk. Or on the cell phone. Or on a drunk cell phone... But I digress. So, since we are looking to be responsible behind the wheel, we will keep to the boneless stuff.

Our first option is KFC's Crispy Chicken Strips. Those come with the Potato Wedges & a wonderfully fluffy biscuit. This option will deliver 860 calories, almost 1/2 of your daily allotment of 2,000 calories. Option two is the KFC Original Recipe Boneless Breast Fillet. We'll pair that with the Potatoes & Gravy and stick to the biscuit. What's our calorie count here? A mere 500 calories, for a savings of 360 calories. Michelle Obama probably still disapproves of it, but at least we are trying.

Now, I will grant you that eating mashed potatoes & gravy on the road isn't exactly convenient, but it's doable. You will need to use your cup holder. And you'll want to take small bites.

So you don't have to give up hittin' the drive through when you are yearnin' for some tasty vittles. You just have to visit the joint's website and do a little research ahead of time.

Now if you'll excuse me, I hear Fourth Meal calling my name...

Oct 4, 2011

The Journey: Not giving up...

It Tuesday. According to my self-imposed blogging schedule, it's time for a post on The Journey. Or maybe I should call it The Good Intentions To Be On A Journey But In Reality I'm Sitting On Bench Eating A Twinkie.
 Well, not really eating a Twinkie. I'm not a huge Twinkie fan. Oh sure, I'll have one if it's offered to me, but I haven't bought one of those yellow sponge cakes filled with cream in a long time. I'll tell you what I am craving though... An Orange Hostess Cupcake. Most of you have no idea what that is. You are probably familiar with Hostess's Chocolate Cupcake. Well, they also make an orange flavored one. It's so good. But they don't have them everywhere. I've found them in Oregon, Arizona & Hawaii. They don't normally carry them in Alaska, but last year Walmart had them for Halloween. I haven't had a chance to check and see if they have them this year...

Okay... Today's post was not suppose to be about orange deliciousness. That was just a distraction. This post is actually the 3rd one in a row that is on schedule after almost two months with no posts. And I probably wouldn't be posting now if I hadn't gotten an email from Tom. Tom is a great guy. He has an excellent blog and is a published author. I highly recommend giving his blog, Wilderness Blues, a read. Tom noticed that I hadn't blogged in a while, so he sent me an email, just checking up on me.

So, an update on the Journey... I made it to the gym a couple of times early last week. My weight has crept back up. At my lowest I was at 315. I'm now at 330. If I had lost what I've gained over the last 6 months, I'd almost be below 300 pounds for the first time in years. And if I had kept the momentum I had I'd be at about 270 pounds.

Looking at the numbers can be pretty depressing. But, as the blog title suggests... I'm not giving up. Not yet.

Oh, and I've checked at Walmart. The orange cupcakes are back. There's no way that this is going to go well...

Oct 1, 2011

The Journey: More Eat This, Not That

I mentioned in my last post I'm a big fan of the Eat This, Not That people. So I thought I'd share some more stuff from them.

Every one talks about how healthy green tea is, but not if there's a bunch of sugar in it. The SoBe Green Tea pictured below, for example, packs as much sugar as in 4 slices of Sarah Lee Cherry Pie. (article link)

 Are you running late, so you're just going to have a muffin for breakfast? If you grab a Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffin you are looking at 460 calories and 32 grams of sugar. That's the same sugar as a 3 1/2  Rice Krispies Treats. You are better off grabbing a Vitalicious Apple Berry Muffin which will only be 100 calories. (article link)

Are you looking for something easy for dinner, so you grab a Marie Callender's Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pot Pie to throw in the oven? You are looking at 1,060 calories, over half of what you should get in a day. Plus you get sodium equivalent of 8 small bags of potato chips and the fat equivalent of 23 strips of bacon. Instead you can grab a Marie Callender's Oven Baked Chicken and only consume 360 calories. (article link)

Are you thirsty and looking for something healthy? Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water sounds like it's a good choice. Except that it has 33 g sugars which is like eating 3 bowls of Honey Comb cereal. Your better choice is Dasani Plus Orange Tangerine Vitamin Enhanced Water. (article link)

Salads are healthy, right? Maybe some spinach, a little chicken? IHOP's Chicken and Spinach Salad contains a staggering 1,600 calories!! You could snarf down six pancake short stacks and still take in less fat. (article link)

Okay... One final comparison. Headed out to Chili's with your friends? You want something with some spicy so you order the Big Mouth Bites with Jalapeño Ranch. Those four little sliders will deliver 1,540 calories. And that's without the french fries. That's more calories than two Burger King Whoppers.

Bottom line: before you consume, take a look at the details behind what you are eating.