Weight Loss Challenge – Day 171 | Doh!

I have no idea why I didn’t think of this sooner, but I believe I’ve figured out part of why I’ve been struggling to lose these last few pounds.

Ever since hockey ended for me, I’ve been doing a lot more rowing and elliptical for my workouts. This is great, but not the problem. The problem is I’ve been relying on the machines estimated calories burned, and it turns out, this is likely a bloated number.

At the start of this week I started getting suspicious of the numbers. I started swimming again and had to find a calorie calculator to help me figure out how I did. Somehow my swimming calories burned were considerably less than that of the rowing and elliptical. That led me to find a few other calculators that could calculate the rowing and elliptical workouts. Lo-and-behold, they were about 50% lower than what the machines have been showing me. I then went to the Internet to see if others are seeing the same and sure enough, there are plenty of articles that chronicle this.

All this time, I’ve been allowing myself to eat more because I likely had the wrong numbers to go off. As of yesterday, that is no longer the case. I’m now going to log my workouts in my Endomondo account, which seems to have a fairly accurate calculator.

I’m really hoping this will help me get back on track. I’ve already notice some improvement as I’m feeling much hungrier than before, and we all know, in order to lose weight, you need to be hungry all the time. Ha ha, just kidding, that is not true.

One question for my readers, what’s your take on friending your readers and others you don’t personally know on your Fitness/Health social networks like Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, etc? Do you do it? Why or why not? I’ve never done it before, but it seems like it could be a decent idea.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Weight Loss Challenge – Day 168 | Not What I Was Expecting

It was Holy Week and Easter last week and I thought I did great or at least well last week. Turns out my scale did not agree. Here’s what it had to say about my week.

Weight Loss this week: 0 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 43.2 lbs


I had noted that earlier in the week I was weighing in at almost 3 lbs lighter than what my end weight wound up being. I really felt I did well over the weekend too. There could be some things causing this. One of those could be my scale. The scale is acting a little funky. It started out showing nearly a 1 lb loss for the week, but then each subsequent attempt to weigh myself showed the zero loss. The other issue could be simply I’m actually eating more than I thought. Here’s my overall caloric intake for the last 90 days as well as the Calories burned over the last 90 days. I should be clear, I understand that calories in, calories out is not the only factor related to weight loss, but I do see a small trend in the amount of calories I’m consuming in the last month or so. There are more days that go up over 2,000 and even get close to 3,000.



I think the first thing I need to do is replace the battery in my scale to see if that makes the scale operate a little more consistently. Other than that, I’m going to try to establish a little more consistent calorie intake.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 143 | Losing Steam

It’s been nearly 5 months since starting this weight loss challenge and I’m noticing I’m running out of steam. Don’t let the majority of the positive notes trick you into thinking this has been an easy trip for me. I’m burning out and today more so than most. I know I get like this when our food stores are getting low in the house, but today feels different.

If I’m honest, this week I haven’t been hitting my 1,600 calories per day as planned. No, I’m not blowing my diet each day, but I’ve been taking liberties with some of my measurements and I’ve been putting in about 200-300 more calories per day without a corresponding workout to counter the extra calories. I’m hungry all the time. It’s pretty much all I think about. So, I need to find a motivator to get me through this challenge. The weight goal is not enough, it never really is. I need something else to motivate me. I don’t even think it’s about my appearance changing that will be enough. So, what can I use to motivate myself now to continuing losing so I can get to 170?

I think after this weekend is done, I think it’s time to increase my daily calorie intake to 1,800. That was the original plan and since I’m kindof doing that now anyway, might as well make it official. Perhaps that’ll mean then I’ll just add 200-300 more and be at 2k calories. I could also just start focusing more of my efforts on weight lifting, but the problem with that, is I may actually gain weight when I want to lose. I know, it’s not about the numbers, but when you have a goal like mine, I really would like to see my lowest weight ever. So the numbers are a big deal. It would mean in 34 years, this would be the first time I’ve seen 170 since I was in middle school. That’s pretty huge.

Well, I’ve done plenty of, whatever this was. It’s time for me to pull up my boot straps, slap myself in the face, and buck up and just get on with this challenge. I’m in the last leg, I’ve got 1 mile to go, can’t quit now, so time to tell my brain to shut up and just succeed. Good luck me, you’re gonna need it.

Good luck everyone with your own goals. If I can do it, you can too. Where are you at with your weight loss goals? Are things going well or are you struggling right now like I am?

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 106 | As Promised

I promised you yesterday in my Weight Loss Challenge – Day 105 post that I’d provide the results of how my day ended. I’m no liar, so here we go.

I wound up finishing the day 144 calories over my daily allotted 1,600. AHHH!!! Everybody PANIC!!!

No… No biggie. That’s why I’m at 1,600 per day. If I need to, I can go over my calories by 400 and still just be at a maintenance level or even still losing level. I really needed those extra calories for a beer that just had my name on it. 🙂 ha ha. Anyway, I finished the day off with 2 servings of tortilla chips and some pico de gallo salsa, then half a grilled cheese sandwich. It was great. It’s always such a great feeling to finish the day and know you succeeded.

Thus far this week, my workouts have not lived up to my expectations, but, in the end it’s been good to take it a bit easy. My foot has been hurting a lot lately so giving it a little rest is needed to ensure I don’t cripple myself.

Ok, well, not the cliff hanger you were expecting, but hey, you’re the one who got your hopes up, not me. 🙂

Have a great day everyone and good luck with your goals.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 100 | Keeping Up

I’m having a hard time keeping up with my commitment to posting a Weight Loss Challenge journal entry everyday. How do people who aren’t being paid to maintain a blog do it?

Anyway, thus far, this week has been going great, though I did cheat this morning and weighed myself. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. It showed now real movement. I know I shouldn’t have checked. Half a week really isn’t going to show much for progress, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow and keep oneself motivated to continue on with trying to lose weight.

I’m now working to purge that from my memory. I had a good workout today and thus far I’m on track for my calorie intake. Yesterday was even better for calories. Typically on Wednesdays I don’t get to the gym because I work from home, so I don’t usually get any additional activity calories. That puts me at a straight up 1,600 calories for the day. I managed to finish the day out with 29 calories left. I was so going to find a way of eating those last 29 calories too, possibly a few more because I was quite hungry, but then the 9 month old decided to wake up and thoroughly saturate his crib with puke. Awesome, no eating after that.

I’m confident this week will end on Sunday with a weigh in that is in the loss column, but I just don’t know how much. I’m not going to dwell on that little negative, but I will dwell on the positives I’ve been getting this week with my workouts. Again, todays workout went very well. I focused more on my upper body lifts than I did on the rowing, though that was a pretty intense workout as well.

How often do you weigh yourself and why?

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 86 | Water

I started this post this morning and got about 2/3 done… with the title and then ran out of things to say. So I saved the draft hoping to come back to it this afternoon after my workout with something to say. That sort of worked, I have something to say, though I have my doubts it’s very interesting. 🙂

Fact: Water is Important!

False: It is fun working out without water!

I took off for the gym about an hour ago ready to have the best workout of my life today, all to get there and find I forgot my water bottle. Now, I certainly could have walked the whole block away to go back to my desk and get my water bottle, but nay I say to you, that would have taken too much time. So, I went without. Of course, I still wanted to have my best workout ever.

Fact: You’re not likely going to have your best workout of your life if you forget your water bottle at your desk you Dolt!

There's my water bottle, all snug as a bug next to Mr. Coffee mug.

There’s my water bottle, all snug as a bug next to Mr. Coffee mug looking so smug, the jerk.

Ouch, that hurts, and so did my workout. Here’s the breakdown of my workout. (mind you,

there are plenty of people out there that have much more intense workouts than I do, so don’t go thinking you’re some atlantean god because your workouts are more advanced or difficult than mine. It just means you’re a dink for thinking that.

  • 30 Minutes Rowing Machine
    • 27 Minutes Alternate Medium to Hard
      • 2 Minutes – Medium (28-34 spm)
      • 1 Minute – Hard (34+ spm)
      • Repeat
    • 1 Minute – Medium (28-34 spm)
    • 2 Minutes – Hard (34+ spm)
  • 3 Sets of Cable Bicep Curls
  • 3 Sets of Cable Tricep Curls

According to my rowing machine, if I were a 150 pound man, the below number is how many calories I burned during the rowing workout. I am not a 150 pound man, but I feel no need to figure out exactly how many calories I truly did burn.

Total Calories Burned: 445

Total Distance Traveled (Virtually): 7,100 meters | 4.41 miles

I did this exact same workout on Tuesday and managed to row about 190 more meters on Tuesday and burned about 7 more calories roughly on Tuesday.

Fact: I had the best workout of my life… on Tuesday!

False: I am not allowed to gloat about it.

Lesson learned folks. Don’t forget your water bottle. When I was a youngster in my 20’s I could run 10 miles, without walking, and without a sip of water during the run. Now, just typing this post has made me thirsty. Getting older is no fun. I don’t even think I’m wiser. Bummer.

Have a great day everyone.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 51

I know I’m not the only one out there who is tired of the serving sizes food producers put on their packaging. It’s so exciting to see my favorite cereal with the little marshmallows is only 110 calories per serving. That is, until I see that I can only eat 3/4 of a Cup in order to keep myself at 110 calories. Who eats that little as a serving? NutritionLabel

For those interested, the FDA has an opinion similar to mine regarding serving sizes and the reality of what we eat as opposed to what is supposedly recommended.

Food Serving Sizes Getting a Reality Check

So why haven’t companies already made the changes? Why is it taking the FDA and First Lady Michelle Obama to get these labels changed?

My theory is simple and perhaps it’s obvious to others and I’m just late to the game, but food looks desirable if it appears the calories are low. Having a cereal that is just barely over 100 calories sure looks better than what I’m really eating which is closer to 300 calories and that’s not even including the calories from the milk. It also makes it seem that a box of cereal will last much longer when the servings per container are 16 instead of the paltry 8 or less. Perhaps we consumers would be less likely to fork over our $3.50 to $4.00 per box if we knew we’re really going to get 5-8 meals out of that box instead of the 16 claimed.

Am I being a bit petty here? Perhaps. It’s quite possible that everyone in the world knows better and knows that you need to calculate your actual consumption before you buy a box of cereal or whatever other food you’re buying, but I’m quite certain I’m not wrong. Too often I’ve bought a food solely because I saw the calories or fat were lower than their leading competitor all to find out, their serving size was slightly smaller, thus, they either equaled or even surpassed their competition in calories, fat, sugar or other not so positive nutritional items.

So as day 51 of my weight loss challenge comes and goes, I leave everyone with this bit of knowledge/advice. When you’re shopping for food, be realistic. Don’t go solely based on the label, but be honest, and determine how big your serving really is and will be. Trust me, if you’re literally going to only eat the recommended serving size for everything, you’re going to be at 1,000 calories per day like I was for a while and it’s not fun.

Tell me, what are some of the most deceiving nutrition labels you’ve come across? I find cereal labels to be some of the most deceiving.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 35

I’m back at work, though I wouldn’t say I’m 100% just yet. Last night was pretty much the worst night. I was up at 1:30am because the sinus pressure was so intense I thought my head might explode. I got that under control, and wouldn’t you know it, the instant my head hit the pillow, my baby boy (7 months) wakes up. No worries, I’m already away, I’ll get his nose cleared (he’s sick too), give him his tylenol, and then feed him and my wife won’t even know he woke up. Yeah, right. It took 2 loops around town (that’s right, I had to pack the kid into the van and go driving with him) before he finally gave in and fell asleep. That was at 4:15am. Luckily, I was able to catch the last bus at 7:40am which allows me to still be on time for work.

To say I’m functioning might be stretching the truth. I’m here. As far as my diet goes, I was planning on getting my first workout in after having been off for a week, but I think I’m going to hit the hot tub and steam room instead. See if I can clear my head a little more.

On another note, my suspicions I believe were right about my weight loss from last week. I weighed myself this morning and according to the scale I gained 2 lbs (*GASP!!*) No, I’m not sweating it. I had a pretty good feeling that at least half of the 4.4 lbs I lost from last week were water weight from being dehydrated etc due to the flu. I never thought I’d actually get under 200 lbs last week anyway. So, what is my goal for this week, knowing that going below 199 is probably not in the cards? Honestly, with Thanksgiving in a couple days, my goal is very simple. Don’t gain weight. No really I’m hoping for a 1-2 pound loss, but I’m really counting it from the previous weeks weigh in which was at 204. I know that’s not fully accurate, but this is just how I’m wrapping my head around it. The actual weigh ins haven’t been changed, I’m just setting my mental state to treat last week as though it didn’t happen.

Since I’ve mentioned Thanksgiving, I’m interested to know what your plans are to stick with your weight loss goals during the holiday. After all, this is the holiday in which we stuff our faces with some of the least healthy foods ever imagined, or we take healthy foods and turn them into the most unhealthy foods ever. How will you be sticking to your goals yet still enjoying the holiday? For those of you not from that U.S. I don’t mean to leave you out. I’m a selfish American who thinks everyone should know about our holidays. I’m kidding.

My plan, I’m going allow myself 2,000 calories on Thanksgiving day. WHAT!! Such a rebel. Well, considering for the past 35 days now, I’ve averaged about 1,100 calories daily, jumping to 2,000 is quite the indulgence.

I should reiterate, that my overall plan, is not to stay at my current calorie intake of 1,200 (I add more calories if I workout). In the next couple of weeks, I plan to increase to 1,400 calories per day. I understand that this low of calories, isn’t the recommended method for weight loss. I understand that much of the weight lost any given week, could be that of water or perhaps even something other than fat. I focus on weight loss, but truly, my focus is on rebooting my appetite. I got so used to taking seconds, even thirds of everything, that my idea of portion control, was just not mounding my bowl of cereal (instead I’d just make that my 3rd bowl). More than anything, I am trying to quickly re-train my brain and body to be satisfied with a smaller portion of food. I get that the health and fitness experts don’t agree with my methods, and I understand the health issues. I also understand the fact that not all my weight lost thus far, is true fat loss. I’m ok with that, because that isn’t my overall end game. I’m changing my lifestyle and lifestyle is more than just fat, or weight, or calories, or even health facts. For me that is. I DO NOT ever recommend anyone do what I’m doing as it is kind of dumb. If you can take anything positive from what I’m doing, it’s not a diet plan, it’s not an exercise routine, it might just be the power of self control. I’m re-learning what that means and it’s really exciting.

Anyway, I’m excited to see if anyone has any holiday diet plans they’d like to share, and if not, no worries. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of whatever this can be called.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 30

I decided last night, that it’s time to start increasing my food intake. My initial goal was to drop as much weight as quickly as I possibly could. Hence, the near starvation diet. Well, I’ve gotten to the point where I only lose about 3 pounds per week, so it seems now is as good a time as any to start increasing so I can slowly get up to my ideal food intake.

I’m not increasing by much. As far as my points go, I’m increasing by 2 points per day. This should increase my calorie intake by about 200 calories roughly. The hard part is, do I spread it out throughout all my meals, or do I save the extra calories for a single meal? I’m leaning towards spreading it out.

I initiated this change last night and I’ll be honest, I felt so guilty as I ate above 1,000 calories on purpose. I thought about it for a second and decided I should be able to interpret that feeling as a positive. It means that I have successfully created a habit. It may not be the most ideal eating habit of eating so little, but it’s the habit I wanted. I wanted to shrink my appetite quickly, which in turn, would help me to reboot my eating habits.

I don’t anticipate these extra 200 calories are going to make a huge difference in my day-to-day hunger, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my weight loss potentially were to increase (just a little). If nothing else, my weight loss shouldn’t decrease. In a few weeks, I might instate a “Flex Points” system. Which will give me a pool of extra points I can use weekly. I used to do 35 points per week. But that’s not for another few weeks. Let’s just see what this week does for us.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 9

It’s the end of day 9. Bet you thought I was going to miss today didn’t you? Today was a pretty bad day. Not because of diet or exercise. Work was overbearing. It started with an Implementation that didn’t get finished until 2:00am because my Internet went down at home at the most inopportune time.

So, I got up at 6:00am, to come to find our Office Web Apps service was not working. Long story short. By 2:00pm, I had that issue resolved, and low-and-behold, I hadn’t eaten lunch, and my breakfast was tiny.

Technically then, my diet was going great. I didn’t ever get to eat lunch today. I had a large supper, which filled me to the point of not being able to put anymore in me, and I was still 200 calories short of my daily allotted allowance of calories.

Bad work day, great challenge day. Time to look at the bright side. I see today as a win.