Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Sorry I've such a slacker about posting, but unfortunately there isn't much to report. I was stuck in a rut and not able to lose anything. But I've started a competition with my sister and that has put a fire under me. I've increased my weight training and scaled back my cardio. I've heard that can help stop the damn plateauing. I fucking hate the plateau!

I'll let you know how I do...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hunger Free Forever

To jump start this losing cycle I read Hunger Free Forever - Tame Your Appetite and Tune Your Metabolism for Lifelong Weight Control by Michael T. Murray, N.D. and Michael R. Lyon, M.D.

If they had just left out the product placement it would have been fine (eat right, exercise, eat lots of fiber) but it was ruined by them shilling PGX. It is essentially a fiber supplement to regulate blood sugar. It seems silly to spend an arm and a leg (this sucker ain't cheap) on a pill that will impede the absorption of nutrients so you have to take a vitamin as well.

I found a study done on rats that concluded it doesn't do any harm, but some of the makers of it have been charged with making false and unsubstantiated claims.

So other than that bit of annoyance, the parts of about diet and exercise were good, but nothing new.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to Work

My six weeks of maintaining are over so I need to get back to losing. My next goal is to hit 169 by November 27th. That is about a pound a week, so I feel confident I can do it. It also means I will be able to maintain over Christmas, which is nice.

Now for the progress, here are the pictures:

This is me, two years ago, September 2008:


It's like two different people.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


As I look ahead to losing these last 30 pounds, I realize that I should make some adaptations to my system.

I have decided that I am going to give myself 6 weeks to maintain, instead of the normal month. Also, instead of doing losing 10% again, I am going to lose 10 pounds three times. I think that will be the best for me. So I'm going to start losing again after Labor Day.

On another matter, I came across this great open letter to the Fat Acceptance movement. I could get behind the ideology if they were all as well-reasoned as her. It crazy what a little sense can do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Savage Love

I'm a big fan of Dan Savage's advice column so I while away the hours by reading the archives. I thought this column about a husband trying to deal with an overweight wife very interesting. Make sure to read the responses at the end.

Here is a follow up column.

And here is even more. Obviously it pushed a lot of buttons.

For the record, I am on the side of honesty.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It took me long enough, but I finally hit 179 (179.7 to precise). So I have now lost 120 pounds and according to my BMI I am no long obese.

I can now have sweets again while I maintain this weight for the next 30 days, while I consider my strategy for the remaining 30 pounds. (Only 30 pounds left! Un-fucking-believable!)

To celebrate a bought a cute LBD (That's Little Black Dress for the men out there).

Pictures to come...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat

I just finished reading Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. It was surprisingly good. It was grounded in common sense and had lots of useful information. I really liked what she said about junk food, "Giving up junk food is easier than you think. Whole, fresh food offers sensual delights that fast food could never match. If you think about it, it's junk food that's tasteless, requiring large amounts of salt, corn syrup, and trans fat to make it palatable. If you forget about the war between fats and carbs and focus instead on nutritional value, you'll have a diet than is not only healthier but more delicious."

There are a few of my pet peeves in there. As I believe I have bemoaned before - so many of the books written by someone who has lost weight have only lost less than 50 pounds. If you have 50 pounds to lose you are probably in the overweight/low obese range. It is different when someone is morbidly obese. The least of which the time it takes to do it. But that is a subject for another post.
She is also promoting her "Treat Yourself Diet". That always annoys me. If you have a name for it it's a diet - not a lifestyle.

Regardless, I'll still give it 4 stars.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Overdue Update

As I had feared the big loss was not permanent. I have learned through the past 100+ pounds that I have to lose every pound at least twice. It sucks, but I'd rather lose it twice than not at all. So I am back to the post-vacation 183 and now I hope and get to that elusive 179 (for the first time, at least).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vacation Results

I'm back from my vacation to Europe. The morning we left I was up at 190 (I blame the bachelorette party). During the vacation I drank beer and wine. I ate pizza, pasta, and gelato. The morning I got back I lost 6 pounds - because I walked. I walked about 8 hours a day. I walked uphill, downhill, upstairs, downstairs, uptown, and across town. That is one of the best things about Europe - you walk everywhere.

Even better, it's cranked my metabolism into overdrive. For several days I've lost a pound a day and I could tell when I did my weight training on my legs that they are stronger.

As of this morning I am at 181. So so close 179 and the end of obesity.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Slowing down

It's been really frustrating lately. I'm working really hard at the gym 6 days a week and eating well, but the scale has slowed down. I know it's because I've reached a plateau and I just have to work through it. I wanted to hit 179 by Valentines Day and not only did I not hit it, it's mid-April and I'm still 5 pounds away.

However, on the positive side I'm leaving for vacation soon so I'll be maintaining - that may knock me out of my groove. Also, I'll be walking practically everywhere (like one does in Europe) so that may help too.

I just hope something does.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Slogging Along

I don't really have much to report. I've hit 184, which means I've lost 115 pounds. (Yay). But I am still 5 pounds away from my current goal of 179. I really wanted to hit it by Easter. It's possible, but I'm not going to hold my breath... that doesn't burn a lot of calories.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fat Acceptance

I feel conflicted about the Fat Acceptance movement. On the surface I agree with it. I don't think fat should be a negative word. It is just a adjective to describe stature. It's not a synonym for ugly - as it is often used. Although it's also possible to be fat and healthy, it think it's rare.

However, I have many issues with Fat Acceptance. I think many people in the movement use it as an excuse to accept their less than healthy lifestyles. It also seems that many people in the movement make the mistake of blaming their genes: Actual obesity caused by a genetic disorder is extremely rare. It's more likely that you share the same lifestyle of your parents. But speaking of DNA, Stanford did a study with interesting ramifications. I need to point out that all of the diets involve reducing calories.

There also seems to be a lot of intolerance of people from the community towards those who are trying to lose weight. Many are holding onto the belief that changing ones diet won't effect ones weight - despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

I guess I believe that a person can accept themselves and still try and change for the better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goal Result

It was my goal to hit 179 by Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, I only got to 187. However, I decided that I didn't want to maintain until after Lent anyway. I decided to give up eating out. I love to eat out, but I realize that restaurant food is always going to be more caloric and have bigger portions that what I would make it at home. So my new and improved goal is to hit 174 by Easter. That also means that I will be maintaining during my trip to Europe - which is a big perk.

If you have a half an hour I would recommend watching this talk by Jamie Oliver (and by talk I mean rant)

He's not very articulate, but he is very passionate. He also has the advantage of being right.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I was recently asked, "I heard a teacher that I work with say the you couldn't (sic) drink water with your meals. She said that it causes the fat in your food to stay in your body. She said that you should drink a glass of water 1/2 hour before and after meals to flush out the fat. Is this as crazy as it sounds?????"

I say, listen to your bullshit detector when it goes off, it's probably right.

The Mayo Clinic says, "There's no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion. In fact, drinking water during or after a meal can actually improve digestion. Water and other liquids help break down the food in your stomach and keep your digestive system on track."

In my opinion, this is just another trick people use try to avoid doing real weight loss. Real weight loss is hard. You have to work at it. Rearrange how you are drinking your water is something to do if you feel guilty about not changing your calorie intake.

That is different from using water as a tool. Many people will try and drink a glass of water before a meal to make them feel fuller and so they eat fewer calories. Ta da! You're on the road to weight loss. Otherwise you're tricking yourself into believing that you can eat a higher calorie diet and still lose weight.

However, there is also a lot of misinformation about how much water a person should drink. I know we've all heard the 8 x 8 number (Eight 8-oz glasses). That is not true. I found the best explanation of the misinformation in Scienceagogo.com (love the name)

I copied the pertinent passage:

"The 8 x 8 rule is slavishly followed. Everywhere, people carry bottles of water, constantly sipping from them; it is acceptable to drink water anywhere, anytime. A pamphlet distributed at one southern California university even counsels its students to "carry a water bottle with you. Drink often while sitting in class..."

How did the obsession start? Is there any scientific evidence that supports the recommendation? Does the habit promote good health? Might it be harmful?

Valtin thinks the notion may have started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately "1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food," which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). Although in its next sentence, the Board stated "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods," that last sentence may have been missed, so that the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water one should drink each day."

The bottom line is to drink when you're thirsty, preferably water.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Toasted!

I've heard a lot about Taco Bell's new commercial about how you can lose weight on the "Drive-Thru Diet". That sound you hear in the distance is my brain exploding. Not having seen them I decided to check out them out on the ol' Internet. (What did we do as a species before YouTube?)

In the spirit of full disclosure I feel I should mention that I worked at Taco Bell for about three years right out of high school. I don't have any animosity about my time there. I learned a lot and enjoyed many aspects of the job. Really. Even before I started my weight loss I rarely ate at fast food places, but that is the subject of another post.

If you don't get the reference of the "It's Toasted" title, it is from the first episode of Mad Men. (What aren't you watching Mad Men!?!). In it the ad team is stymied on how they can market cigarettes with the new medical findings about the health impact of cigarettes. Their clients cigarettes are just as unhealthy as their competitors - and legally can't claim otherwise. Don has one of his flashes of brilliance and realizes that although they can't make any unique claims - they can capitalize on saying something all of the their competitors say. Hence they claim their tobacco is toasted, which it is, but so is the tobacco in all cigarettes.

This brings me back to the commercial. I'll spare you the need to pause it, here is the fine print that scrolls as the commercial airs:

  • Her exceptional experience based on average 1250 cal/day
  • 150-340 calories, Not a low calorie food
  • Her exceptional experience based on average 1250 cal/day. Average reduction of 500 cal/day over two years with sensible food choices.
  • Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight loss program. Pay attention to total calorie and fat intake and regular exercise.

I have three words for that No. Shit. Sherlock.

I can actually reduce that to two words. It's toasted.

Following those strictures anyone would lose weight! A body could have a hot fudge/french fry sundae diet and as long as they ate about 1250 calories a day and reduced their calories by 500 a day they would lose weight. Speaking of that since there are a 3500 calories in a pound, a reduction of 500 calories a day would mean it would take 7 days to lose a pound. (That's well within the healthy range. I can't complain about that). But that's about 50 pounds a year. So why did it take her two years? Maybe because she was eating fucking at Taco Bell! Jesus Christ!

I hate to judge (that's not true, I love to judge) and I hate to brag (also not true, I love to brag) but I've lost 54 pounds...twice...in less than two years.

I'm going to recommend an alternative to the "Drive-Thru Diet" it's called the "Walk Past Diet" and I won't need any small print.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The End of Overeating

I just read The End of Overeating by David Kessler, MD. In it he attempts to explain why so many people have problem with overeating. While I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, I didn't feel it was very cohesive. He seemed to jump around and I never really felt he was focused. However, I loved the last 1/3. Although it is not a diet book, I think he gives the best advice on how to approach weight loss (probably since I've been using many of the tools he suggests).

He addresses overeating as a conditioned response to various stimuli, which is of course different for everyone. To treat overeating he says that one has to recondition themselves. I have found that to be absolutely true. He writes:

"Planned eating calls upon you to replace chaos with structure... It tells you what is permissible and what is not, taking away the need to for you to make decisions about food at vulnerable moments... The rules that support that structure must be simple enough to fit with your busy life, but specific enough to remove uncertainly from the food equation."

That really resonated with me. I also like his quotes from Richard Rawson of UCLA who says;

"You're not helpless about this; you can make a decision, but you have to make a decision quickly." Kessler adds, "The more seconds you spend thinking about what to do in the face of an urge, the greater the chance that you'll ultimately give in to it. Once you begin the debate "Should I or shouldn't I?" you've lost the battle".

In my experience, that is 100% true. It's refreshing to read something like that. Therefore, I would have to recommend it.