Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Treading Water

Last few weeks basically just been gaining and losing the same pound or two, I guess with it being the holidays this is sort of a victory. More soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hope All Had a Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break was overall nice and relaxing and, hey, I even lost a pound in there somewhere. Walked around enough with the wife on Black Friday to burn some of the calories I guess.
Eating, even on Thanksgiving Day itself, wasn't too horrible and the honey bourbon-glazed smoked turkey breasts and ham came out real nice. Still fighting to drink enough water, so have to rate most of my days as B/B- but as long as I'm losing a pound here and there, I won't stress about it.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break, avoided the pepper spray, and may you continue to have a great Holiday season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

B's and Sugar

I've yet to put together that perfect day where I eat just right, drink my fill of water, and get the proper exercise, but it's OK since I've dropped 3-4 pounds in the past couple weeks. Most days in the past week I would rate a B because I ate reasonably well and either drank plenty of water OR got at least form of exercise.

One thing though is that after meals, especially dinner, my body gets this a sugar craving for ice cream, candy, etc. So I let myself have just a little bit. I really shouldn't though because I'm not usually even hungry when the craving strikes, I just want the sugar. And not an orange or something, only legitimate 100% processed sugar will do. So I'd like to stop this habit, I just don't know how right now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Encouraging C+

Grade C+ and for same reasons as usual lately...lack of water and lack of exercise.

I actually find this C+ encouraging because I realize that since I resumed the habit of doing a quick blog post everyday I've pretty much cut out mindless eating, buffets, and overeating in general and really haven't missed any of it at all! And overeating is and has always been my biggest demon when it comes to gaining weight.With a little extra commitment, I can get that water drank and at least do some kind of exercise even if it's just walking around the building at work a few times a day. Those should be much easier adjustments than cutting out all the stupid amounts of eating has been.

I still eat whatever kind of food I want, pizza/fried chicken/ribs etc and I feel like checking in with you guys everyday is somewhat like an AA member staying in touch with their sponsor regularly, it keeps me honest about my goals. Thanks guys!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Tired, Very Short Post

C+ today. Eating was Ok, but no real exercise and not enough water. Too much salty food too.

Since I started the self-grading, my grades have been subpar, but the important thing is I'm thinking about this stuff again. It will come.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Shish Kebab

A+ for the grilling, B for the weight loss effort

Grilled some marinated shish kebab for lunch. I think it's reasonably healthy and it came out great!  Dinner included hot wings, but only 5, rather than the 15 I'm capable of putting down. Today could have been an A had I drank more water and exercised some more, I mean I raked leaves for 1/2 hour which counts for something, but still need to pick it up in that regard if I want to start dropping more pounds.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Busy Night

Today's grade is another B-. Started off pretty good but didn't finish well.

Up until workday was over, I was doing really well and headed for an A grade but tonight I let the circumstances of my busy night circumstances dictate what I ate (Krystal - 2 miniburgers and handful of fries) and also let it dictate that I didn't do any kind of exercise. I ciuld have done better, but I certainly could have done worse, so B-.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today was not stellar, but still a big improvement over the last two days. Fiber bar for breakfast and jerk chicken (white), bean and corn salad, and sweet potatoes at Calypso for lunch. Plenty of water throughout the day, and even a quick walk with the wife after dinner and Psych.

Slip-ups featured eating half a cupcake at work that I wasn't even hungry for and maybe being a little too much of my own best customer as I grilled out for the family tonight (mesquite smoked chicken, grilled onions, garlic bread, and green beans). I like to sample as I go to see how things are coming along and  and adjust seasonings if needed etc. This would be fine, except that those little samples do add up and when I finally do sit down and have a reasonable sized plate with the family it's almost lke I've already eaten a meal and now I'm having seconds. Of course, this is the kind of stuff that can be easy to rationalize away, but I was stuffed after dinner and it was obvious I ate too much. It's just a lesson learned I guess. From now on if I sample a fair bit during grilling I'll just have a super small portion at the sit-down dinner, and that will be fine.I need to start putting some pictures of what I grill on here too!

Would have graded B-, but bumped up to B since there was a good lesson learned on the grilling/sampling. Good night y'all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Day After

I did a little better the day after Halloween than I did yesterday, but not much. Too much grazing on yesterday's candy and I even felt the need the finish the last of the Boo Berry cereal after dinner when I wasn't hungry at all. Breakfast and lunch were reasonable at least, and I did drink a decent amount of water, but no exercise to speak of.

Call it a C-

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween all, definitely writing today off from the weight loss perspective. My company had a potluck lunch and brought in pizzas to boot. Combined with free candy that was absolutely everywhere I went today (home, work, the grocery store), this was a bad eating day. I'm going to throw down one more mini-Butterfinger, take my "F" grade for the day and get back to it tommorow.

Out of earning this "F" though, I have realized that I will start the everyday "A" through "F" grading on the blog again, even if it's just a sentence or two. It's an easy way to keep up with the blog and it tends to keep me more accountable to myself.

Happy Halloween all!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I tend to be one of those obsessive personalities who gets really fired up with something for awhile only to have my interest eventually fade away. Back in early 2010, weight loss was my day and night obsessession and I had a lot of success with it. Then my interests shifted over to programming smartphone "apps" and that was going prety well for a bit but life pressures got in the way and I just kind of abandoned it too. This year, I've bought a few charcoal smokers and have become fascinated with learning how to make great slow-smoked authentic barbeque...ribs, chicken, smoked turkey legs... and I'm smoking and reading about smoking in every spare moment.

The point is I want to find a way to escape this cycle of do one thing, burn out on it, move on to the next. I should be able to strike a balance that allows focus on weight loss, programming smartphone apps, improving my BBQ skills, and life/work/family. It's just going to take a little more organization and committment on my part to make it happen.

Hope everyone's weight loss journey is going well!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Started Smoking

Just seeing if anyone's listening....

I did start smoking but not in the way you might think. A few weeks ago, we met up with some friends at the park to grill out and I brought the little Char Griller smoker my wife had gotten me for Christmas and got all kinds of compliments on my baby back ribs from everyone, including my good friend who has won at barbeque competitions in Kansas City. Between that and watching a bunch of episodes of BBQ Pitmasters and my general love of cooking out, I've become obsessed with my new hobby of learning how to make killer barbeque. I've been reading nonstop about different techniques and the more I learn, the more hooked I am getting.

Last week, I bought a much larger scale smoker grill and today used it for the first time. It took over six hours till dinner was served, but the family really loved the spare ribs, and I even made them score me from 1-9 on appearance aroma, taste, and texture like the judges do on the TV show! I know I will improve, but I considered it a very good first attempt considering I was using a huge grill, in addition to different charcoal and wood chunks than I'd ever used in the past. Next time I think I'll pull some neighbors into the yard too and get their opinions.
Maybe this isn't the greatest hobby for someone with a weight loss blog, but I'm hooked so I'll just have to make it all balance out! Just need to use the same old portion control as always, though admittedly that can be difficult with a big rack of ribs in front of you. Good night y'all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

8 Glasses of Water Per Day

Thank you everyone for all the great tips on making it easier to drink 8 glasses of water a day. I followed Enz's advice to drink from a 1L bottle instead of trying to pound down a bunch of glasses one after another and somehow that seems to work, thanks Enz!

I had to laugh at myself though, after 2 days of drinking 8 glasses I had a conversation with the wife that went like this:

Matt: "This 8 glasses a day thing isn't working, I haven't lost any weight."

Wife: "And what did you have for lunch yesterday?"

Matt: "Well, the company brought in lunch for a long meeting."

Wife: "And what was it?"

Matt: "Uhh, Italian"

Wife: "And what'd you have?"

Matt: "Umm, Spaghetti, Eggplant parm, fettucini pasta, garlic bread, a piece of of cake with all the colors of the Italian flag (green, red, white)......"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jump Start

Haven't lost or gained any weight in last couple months. I'll admit that exercise habits haven't been great, but eating hasn't really been that bad other than when I went on vacation, and that was just temporary weight that came and went. So I'm looking for a jump start and the best and easiest idea I've heard so far has been from my wife - the good old 8 glasses of water a day.

Don't get me wrong, I love a nice glass of cold water. I just don't love 8 nice glasses of cold water. But I'm going to drink em' anyway and see what happens. Will update y'all soon when I find some time between bathroom trips.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red Lobster 1 - Matt 0

Uusally when wife and I go out to eat we choose places that at least have some reasonably healthy choices. but we were meeting up with some friends and they suggested Red Lobster. I guess what I ordered wasn't so bad in moderation - seafood pasta with New England clam chowder. I'm just a little annoyed with myself for letting some of the silly psychology that goes into overeating take hold of me and win...

Rationalizations like...."gotta have one of the cheese biscuits"...and before you know it you've eaten 3, maybe 4.

Or..."there's less than 1/2 the pasta left on the plate now, not enough for leftovers, plus seafood isn't that good the next day, might as well finish"...even though my stomach was clearly telling me I was done.

And "might as well have a few bites of chocolate cake too" since it came as part of some special my wife had ordered and I was way past full by then.

I've always said since I started this blog that I'm not "dieting" and that I'll eat the foods I like, but stick to common sense amounts and NEVER eat when I know I'm not hungry.  I lots tons of weight in 2010 sticking to those simple principles, and tonight I let the Red Lobster steer me away from them. I know that knowing is half the battle and recognizing your behavior is the key to changing it and so forth, but it still doesn't change the fact that the score is Red Lobster 1 - Matt 0.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hey All!

Thanks to all of you who've been checking in on me during my 3 months of not blogging. I have missed y'all and I really have appreciated hearing from everyone. And though I haven't been posting, I often wonder how things are going for each of you.

As for me, I have pretty much been in a holding pattern for months, not gaining much not not losing much either. Eating has been a little heavy, but not overly bad. Lack of exercise is the main culprit I think, got to get recommitted to that even if only for 20 minutes a day.

I will fess up about gaining 5 lb on a recent vacation of Boston. Many a visit to places such as this did not help. Thankfully I've lost a few of the pounds since returning from vacation, but I don't think I'd have a prayer if I lived in the North End of Boston!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Losing It

Finally starting to see some reasonable progress on the weight loss. Still got a ways to go, but I've pretty well gotten back to the point where I don't mindlessly eat anymore and I walk a least 7000+ steps a day. If I can keep that up, I'm confident I'll reach my goal in time.

One thing I think I did wrong in 2010 was to set my goal weight too low. I had lost 25 lb and was within 7-8 pounds of my goal but never could get there even though I was doing all the right things. I should have realized that I was already in the proper weight range, and just worked on maintaining. Instead I guess some frustration kicked in and I started slowly putting it back on. This year, I think I'll get it right.

Good night all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thought about WW

Everyone who keeps up with me on here knows I don't follow a "weight loss plan" but for the past few weeks I've been losing and gaining the same few pounds and not really progressing toward my goal weight and it's made me consider a WW approach. For whatever reasons, I haven't been able to recapture the same drive and motivation in 2011 that I had when I kicked off this blog on New Years Day 2010. I think this is partially because I have managed to consistently keep off 15 of the lbs I intially lost, and my subconscious is saying "oh well, close enough, you still fit into a lot of the smaller sized clothes you bought after losing 25 lb." But I sure don't fit into them as well as I did before. I've been thinking that maybe the discipline of points tracking for a few months would get me going in the right direction again. In reality, WW isn't much different from what I did when I lost all the weight last year, as it's a very "common sense" based approach.

I have no intention of following WW or any "plan" for the long haul because I defintiely don't want to be counting calories, fats, fibers etc for the rest of my life, but for the short term you may hear me quoting points and bonus points to see if I can can start making some progress.

Good night.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paranormal Activity 2

Watched Paranormal Activity 2 tonight and I'm really impressed with both films in the series. They lack the glitz, big name movie stars, and special effects we have come to expect in succcessful films thes days, but both make you feel jittery and keep you on edge almost the whole time. I can't really explain why the films work so well, but somehow simple things like a shot of an absolutely still swimming pool at night or someone standing in the same place for 3 hours manage to be really unnerving in the way they are presented. I grew up on the over-the-top horror movies of the 80s like the Nightmare on Elm Street series and I still love all those old classics, but there is something just really inspiring to me about the hard-hitting effectiveness that the low-budget simplicity of the Paranormal series delivers.

You might ask, how does any of this relate to a weight loss blog? Well, I think that the same simplicity that the Paranormal series uses so effectively can be applied to helping us achieve our goals as well. As a country, we spend millions (if not billions) of dollars a year on fancy weight loss programs, personal trainers, gym memberships, exercise equipment, pre-packaged diet food delivery services, mobile device apps, books, magazines, and 1000 other things that fall into this category. And all these things are great if they work for you.

I guess I'm just saying that when you distill down to the core all those things we spend so much time, effort, and money down, you are left with basically a few principles: staying as active as you can, not eating beyond your actual level of hunger, and making sure what you do eat somewhat resembles a decent balance of the food groups. So those of us who don't have the time, money, or inclination to pour ourselves in all these "program" type things can still succeed brilliantly if we stick to the basics like Paranormal Activity 1 & 2 did.

Good night all.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hands Haven't Bought in

Past couple weeks my shoulder blade started aching for whatever reason. Just felt tense and knotted and kept getting worse. I had tried every kind of fiery cream stuff you can put on your back sold when my wife finally happened to run across a nurse at the grocery store who recommended taking 4 ibuprofen at a time to kill off the inflammation. Sounded like a ton of pills to me but I took them and and between that and ice packs it sure has helped. Hopefully I am on the tail end of this now, I haven't been in a mood much for blogging since this started.

Pretty much have kept an even keel on the weight loss front. Not much progress. Eating has been a mixed bag. Honestly I'm still having trouble fully recommitting to my #1 principle that led to so much success in 2010 and that is simply ONLY EAT WHEN ACTUALLY HUNGRY. My head and heart are committed to the principle but my hands that grab up the food for no other reason than its there have apparently not bought in 100% yet.

I have not been binging or anything like that, just haven't been doing my best. I will get there though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lotta Lotta Pizza

Wife and I went to New York for a wedding for four days and I ate like a moron pretty much from the time I got there until the time I left. See, I have lived in the South for almost 20 years and one thing that is really hard to get here is great New York Pizza. Within an hour after getting off the plane, I was eating wonderful slices of cheese pizza and Silician pizza, followed by some amazing chocolately dessert. This pretty much set the trend for the rest of the trip, which ended with one last desperate stab at authentic pizza at MacArthur Airport on Long Island. Even that airport pizza kicked the butt of most of the pizza I can get in Tennessee.

That's about all I got for now, I gained a couple pounds, which I guess isn't bad for a long weekend/wedding. Gotta get serious now though, as my new pedometer cycle for 2011 begins next week. Gotta gotta earn that $$$$!

Good night y'all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow in Tennessee

We've actually had snow accumulation here in the past couple days, which is rare in these parts. Have had some fun playing in the snow, but weight loss and exercise have taken a back seat for the past couple days as a result of being snowed in, etc. Yesterday, I worked from home and noticed myself grabbing at food a lot more than usual just because it was there. I don't do that during the normal day at the office. I guess it's a good thing I don't telecommute every day!

However, I did finally stumble my way to Level 4 on my pedometer program tonight, so $175 is coming my way. When I reached Level 4, the website told me that if by Jan 26, I can earn only 11,900 more Health Miles (which is equivalent to about my past six months total of walking etc.), I will reach Level 5. Anyone got any ideas how I can do that?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Black Coffee

I have to work this afternoon/tonight, so I'm posting early today while I sip a cup of black coffee and I got to thinking about coffee. One thing I started up in early 2010 and have actually stuck to consistently is not loading up my coffee with sugar and creamers and flavoring. It seems like a silly way to me to add lots of fats and cals to the mix when I'd rather eat something like pizza or ribs or fried chicken or ice cream if I'm gonna have something bad to eat,

And I think it has made a difference. I've gained back some of the weight I lost in ealry 2010, but I think part of why didn't pile it all back on has to do with the coffee. See I drink 3-4 cups a day easily, so it really can add up. So if anyone is looking for an area to make easy cuts in fat intake, I highly recommend the black coffee route, if you can stomach it.

Good day y'all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Situation

So my goal is now to walk 12,000 pedometer steps 4x/week and 7000 steps 3x/week, so as to spread out the walking and make it more achievable than trying to commit to 10,000 every day. Heres the siutation:

I started this on Sunday and used my 3 alloted 7000 step days within the first 4 days. I got 12,000 today and will have to do so again to next 2 days in order to stick to the concept.  So the "spread out" idea really hasn't  panned out. The "I got all week to get in my 12,000s, why mess with it today" thought process has won out.

I'll get my 12,000s for the next two days, then actually try to spread it out better next week. Good night y'all!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Walking = Money

Early last year, my company started a Health Miles program where you wear a pedometer and eventually earn some cash when you walk enough steps. It's pretty easy to get to Level 2 and 3, and you get some cash for it, but  most of the money is attained by reaching Levels 4 & 5. Those levels takes a long time and a lot of walking. A few days from now, I will actually reach Level 4 and earn $175!

The cycle starts over again on Jan 26, and I'll be back at Level 1. One of my goals for 2011 is to get to Level 5, which I think I can actually do with enough consistency. The extra money will definitely be nice, but I'm hoping the real rewards show up on the scale and in my energy level.

Good night y'all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Everyday Goals?

I have been at this weight loss blog thing for a year now, and looking back at 2010 I think my general approach worked when I stuck to it. But I do think there were times when I set the bar a little too high, for example "I will walk at least 10,000 pedometer steps everyday, no excuse" was a goal of mine for a while last year and it just wasn't always possible to stick to that 7 days a week because happens and you can't always do it. And when I wasn't able to meet the 10,000 step goals everyday, I eventually stopped worrying about how many steps I had anymore and that was another goal down the tubes. But I think an important part of sticking with this long term, reaching our goal weight, and staying there is being able to succeed at the smaller intermediate goals. And I think part of that means being resonable when we set these goals. In my case it was pedometer steps, but I think if we try to commit to doing anything every single day, the chances are good we will eventually fail and get discouraged.

So this year my goal is at least 12,000 steps 4 days a week and 7000 steps for the other 3 days. It will be much easier to achieve and will result in the same amount of exercise as if I'd hit 10,000 daily. Just something to think about as we set these goals within the goals.

I apprecaite the new followers that have been coming my way, and will be catching up with you tomorrow. Gotta get some sleep for my first full work week in a while. Good night y'all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years

Just a quick entry tonight before New Years Day is over.

The wife prepared all the classic good luck New Years Day foods (fatback bacon, greens, and of course blackeyed peas) ate we had them for lunch and dinner for double luck in 2011. I wish the same good luck to all my blogger friends past, present, and future, as well as all those people out there who are just starting their weight loss blog today.

Good night all and hope you had a wonderful time ringing in 2011!