Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 31 | Not This Again

I’ve been MIA on my blog for about 10 days now. I haven’t posted anything about my ultimatum and I haven’t really been working at it either. Plenty of excuses and distractions and whatnot have gotten in the way. Nothing valid enough to warrant not eating right of course, but you know how it is. Anyway, it’s Friday and I’m back and looking forward to picking up where I left off.

Before I do that, I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been up to, because it wasn’t all bad. I took my family up north to the wonderful town of Two Harbors, MN. It’s about 20 miles north of Duluth, so yeah it snowed while we were there. It’s northern Minnesota in April, what else could you expect? Anyway, we stayed in a really cool hotel call the Northern Rail Traincar Hotel. It’s a hotel, made from old train cars. It was pretty cool. My oldest girls love the Boxcar Kids books so this was right up their alley.

The highlight of the trip was hiking around the Gooseberry Falls State Park, which I highly recommend taking your family if you’re ever in the northern Minnesota area. As always, the scenery was amazingly beautiful. We even had the fortune of seeing a River Otter. Not only that, we saw him catch a fish and eat it. I got a short video of it, but it wasn’t a very good one so there’s no point posting that up, but it was super fun.

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That was our adventure. It wasn’t warm or sunny much while we were there, but that’s ok, we had time with each other and got to see a lot of wonderful things.

Did you do anything over your spring break? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 21 | Eating Less Is Easy

That’s right, I’ve discovered the secret to eating less, and it’s so easy anybody can do it.

What’s the secret? How do I eat less?

Burn your food. Yup, it’s that easy. Just burn it all and you’ll lose your appetite really fast.

That’s what happened just 30 minutes ago for me. I was making some toast and had to flip the bread because it was a tall loaf. Shortly after pressing the lever, my almost 2 year old woke up, so I had to go get him out of his crib and change him. In that short amount of time, my wonderful toast went from perfectly toasted, to wonderfully burnt. Now, that didn’t stop me from eating said toast, but after each undelightful bite, my appetite waned until halfway through the 2nd slice, I was no longer hungry.

There you have it folks, to eat less is as easy as increasing cook times and boom, you’ll never overeat again.

Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 16 | Yup… It’s Still Minnesota!

Two days ago we had 50+ degree weather and zero snow. Fast forward to this morning and well… here you go.WP_20160324_13_56_55_Pro.jpg

I just took that picture so we’re already starting to melt away some of that snow, but I think we got nearly 12 inches of snow overnight. That closed the schools in my area and thus, allowed me to work from home today.

Working from home usually presents some interesting challenges to my eating. Today is no different. After missing breakfast because of a lack of time to run upstairs to grab something I had a good lunch that filled me up, but now I’m stricken with hunger again. I was going to grab a breakfast bar, but remembered at the last moment that we have some healthier options. Here’s what I’m choosing instead of the breakfast bar.


Not a bad alternative. Granted, it’s not going to quench my hunger nearly as much as the other stuff I wanna eat, but it’s totally better for me.

How do you  quench your afternoon snack urges?

Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 14 | If it were that easy…

Yesterday I had a comment on my last post asking if I’d considered just eating a healthy diet and not worrying so much about losing weight (I’m paraphrasing). I’ve been posed this before and my answer seems to always be the same.

If only it were that easy.

Yes, the right thing to do is to eat healthy. That’s what we all want in life, or at least most of us I guess. If it were that easy, however, I would already be doing that. It’s easy to say, “just eat healthy” it’s a completely different thing to actually do it.

Everybody has their own personal demons. Some of us struggle with similar demons, and others have inner demons so incredibly different from others. As much as I’d love to just eat better, there’s something inside me (mentally) that just doesn’t allow me to make that an easy en devour. I can go for long periods of time in which my discipline is quite remarkable, and I eat healthy and I maintain my weight. Then, something comes up, and I lose that discipline. Then I gain weight. The fact that I can recognize this and right the ship is what’s important. Some of my methods for losing weight aren’t the best; they don’t follow what nutritionists or fitness experts would recommend. The problem is, what the experts recommend, is often a cookie cutter approach that doesn’t truly address the underlying problem. All the plans in the world technically work or could work; they all revolve around reducing calories in some way and increasing activity. Very few weight loss or health plans really address the mental aspects of what’s causing us to overeat. Many diets claim that sugars and other non-natural ingredients cause us cravings, which in turn cause us to overeat. Possibly, but for me, it feels like it’s something much deeper than all of that.

I don’t have an addiction to food per say, but I do have something going on. Perhaps it’s how I deal with stress, or anxiety, but it’s not because I’m eating too much sugar. Do I feel better when I don’t eat junk food? Yes, and I’m not saying you should just eat garbage food. What I’m saying is we need to get to the true root of our weight issues. Perhaps then, it will be easy to just eat healthy without worrying about our weight.

If it works for you to eat healthy, awesome! Kudos to you and I recommend you continue with it. It’s never worked for me as a long term solution, because that’s not a solution for me. It’s simply a result of a deeper solution, that sometimes I’m on the right track with, and other times I’m not. So as much as I appreciate tips, tricks, recommendations etc. I really feel there’s a lot more to living healthy and more often than not, it has nothing to do with food for a lot of us. When I talk to friends and family about their own weight loss or health goals, I’m less likely to give them suggestions about what has worked for me, unless they ask. I typically ask questions that will go a little deeper to see if they understand what is causing them their issues. Some of us have never thought about why we overeat. Others are very aware. Being aware is probably the first step to becoming truly healthy.

Finally, don’t shy away from giving advice. When you give tips, if it’s done with respect and compassion, no matter the usefulness of the information, it is conveying support more than information, which is exactly what we all need. So I thank the commenter and I hope they understand, I felt supported by you and I hope you don’t feel contempt from me at all. That is not my intent. It sparked a thought in me that I thought I’d share with my 3 other followers (ha ha).

Good luck everyone on your goals. Keep up the good work, and always know, if you stumble, you can still pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and someone will be along to support you.



Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 3 |Smooth Sailing?

I forgot to write a day two post. Whoops! Oh well. Let’s get right into how Days 1 and 2 went.

I gotta say, the first two days went really well. I’m hungry most of the time, but I don’t feel starved, just hungry and that I think is fine. Tells me my body is going to just have to work on getting used to getting less food on a daily basis.

Day 1 I got off to a great start, I ate right and I had a great workout at the gym. I did 20 minutes on the rowing machine after I did about 10-15 minutes of stretching. It felt great.

Day 2, though it was a great day for eating (I ended the day on target for calories) I didn’t get to go to the gym. I had a funeral to go to for a friend of the family, so I’m not going to count the missed workout against me. I ate great, so kudos to me. 🙂

Today is Friday and that means for those of you Catholics and other denominations that observe Lent, no meat today. No problem, except we desperately need to go grocery shopping. So, today I will be eating yogurt for breakfast and for lunch. Not ideal, but it’ll work. I’ve also stopped buying granola and just crumble up a granola bar into my yogurt. It ensures I keep the portion the right size and I don’t have to worry about bringing a container home, because that’s such a difficult thing to do (insert sarcasm).

Alrighty, so I’m off to a good start. Day 3 seems to be the harder day for me, at least in the past it has, so hopefully we can breeze through this day quickly and with little issue.

Lastly, I’d love to hear about your fitness challenges. What are you working on today? Are you just getting started like me? Are you just getting started AGAIN like me? Have you been on your challenge for a while now? Are you reading this and eating a bag of chips and drinking a Coke (can I have some? Kidding, or maybe not, I’m still quite hungry). I’d love to hear from you. That’s what makes this whole thing bearable. Have a great day.

Day 80 Workout

Well then, I’ve been on vacation for a little while, which shouldn’t mean no working out and no food tracking, but, it most certainly did. I honestly didn’t care, though I’m feeling it now. I haven’t weighed myself yet, but I’m sure it’s not a pretty picture.

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. I decided since I ate so poorly, I need to focus on some cardio for now. So all of my workouts will be predominately cardio for a while so I can drop those extra pounds I acquired.

Here’s how my workout today went. I didn’t feel the intensity I would have liked, but I did it, and I got a pretty good sweat going. There you have it.

  • Rowing
    • 2.26 Miles @ 15 Minutes
  • Elliptical
    • 2.5 Miles @ 20 Minutes

What is your strategy for coming back from a vacation? Do you workout throughout your vacation no matter what?

Have a great day everyone!

MainPain Challenge: Day 72 | Binge Eating!

For some reason, I’ve been doing a bit of binge eating of the last week or so. I could not figure out why I was so “hungry” all the time. Turns out, I was getting sick. If I think back, whenever I get sick, I tend to overeat. Sometimes, I even overeat to the point of a binge. It’s not fun. Those of you who have experienced it, know how horrible it feels. The guilt, the sick feeling in your stomach because you’re just so full, the loss of will to continue on any fitness/health goals you once had.

It all culminated last night when I was making dinner for the kids. As I was preparing 2 large portions of food for myself, all the while knowing I should have only made 1. I realized I had a thought of fear going on in my head. A purely irrational and entirely stupid fear. “Will 1 portion really be enough? What if I’m still hungry when it’s gone?” Seriously? That’s what was going on in my head. I was worried I’d not have enough to eat. As if I couldn’t then just make another, or find something else to eat. That’s when I realized just how out of control I was allowing myself to get. That’s when I told myself, “you really do have an eating disorder.”

I don’t know what admitting that will do. I doubt it will help. But it was a good reality check. Now, I don’t believe my problem is nearly as severe as some have. I’m self-diagnosing myself, I understand there may not be a lot of validity to what I’m saying medically etc. And in no way am I trying to trivialize people’s plight with eating disorders. I assume I have a mild case, that is more so related to my mental well being at the time. It’s something I have more control over than many others do. Maybe I don’t.

I’m not sure what my point entirely is, other than, I’m saying something I’ve not said before about myself. It’s admitting a weakness that I’m working to overcome. Perhaps it’s getting myself closer to a permanent resolution, though I believe issues like this are never really resolved, they are maintained, controlled, but not defeated entirely. I feel much more empathy for those that don’t the support system I have, the resources I have, the whatever it is that is keeping me from falling into that pit of despair entirely.

Today was a great step away from this negative episode I’ve been in. I didn’t eat my lunch and breakfast all at the same time right away in the morning. I actually still have some of the food I brought that I can eat as a snack now. I went and worked out, and worked out pretty hard. I feel much happier today. I feel more in control. Let’s hope these binge weeks/episodes are few and far between, and I can recognize them sooner when they do happen.

Have a great day, and be thankful for what you have, even if it is a hardship.

MainPain Challenge – Day 30 | Chiropractor Scheduled

It seems every other day, my back will feel like I’m over the hump and getting better, then the very next day, my back just hurts like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t think I’m doing anything different on those good days. I’m still icing and heating my back. Still taking my meds (I’m down to just Tylenol and Ibuprofen) and I’m still wearing my back brace.

Since I’m having these swings back and forth, I’ve finally succumbed to my wife’s continued efforts to convince me to go to the chiropractor. I hate going to the chiro. It’s not that I don’t think it helps, well, actually, if I’m being honest, I’m skeptical. I know I’m going to take some heat for this, but I look at chiropractic as being similar to medicine. It’s not a cure, it’s simply managing symptoms. I’ll say that loosely, because I do think medicine is often much more damaging than say an adjustment. I’m also not basing it on any scientific proof and some of this is my own ignorance and probably laziness in scheduling an appointment, yadda yadda yadda.

Skepticism aside, I’ve got an appointment for tomorrow morning. Perhaps they’ll tell me something that will help that I haven’t already been doing to expedite my recovery.

As far as the challenge goes, I’m working now on the Maintain part of the challenge rather than the Weight Lifting portion. Yesterday was my first day back tracking my food. It went great. I set my daily calorie intake goal back down to 1,800 and managed to end the day at 1,772 total. I even had 139 exercise/activity calories I could have eaten if I wanted, though I didn’t feel like eating anything more. That’s a huge success.

Today I’m on target with my breakfast and lunch should be pretty easy. We’re having dinner with friends tonight, so that may pose a bit of a test for my will power. We’ll see.

That’s what I’ve got so far. Things are looking good diet wise, but are pretty lame on the fitness side of things. Oh well right? I guess I just gotta keep on keepin’ on. Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 224 | At least it’s not Monday

Yesterday and today have been much better days than I’ve had in a couple weeks. I actually worked out yesterday and today. That’s such progress. I didn’t entirely want to, but I pushed through it.

I did re-entry workouts. Monday was arms and today was legs and abs. Each day I ended with a short 10 minute row. It feels so good to actually accomplish something, even if it’s just so little.

My eating has even been pretty good. Though the eating hasn’t been the worst of my problems over the last couple weeks.

Tomorrow is my work from home day, so I need to decide if I’m going to go to the gym in the evening like I had been or do I just workout around the house (meaning do I just work on my diorama for my action figures). I should do the workout.

Good luck everybody. The day is almost over, but it’s not too late to make a dent in one of your goals. Keep on Keepin’ on.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 212 | That’s a Lot of Coffee

It’s nearly 10:30am and I’ve already drank nearly an entire pot of coffee. That’s right, I’m about 9 cups into a 10 cup pot of coffee. That, is not healthy. Not healthy at all. I think it’s time for a giant glass of water. Maybe two.

This week has been quite good in terms of my calorie intake goals. I’ve not gone too far over my calories any day this week. My workouts, though minimal, they have been still been more intense than last week (which was nothing if you recall). I don’t know if I’ll lose any weight this week, but I feel pretty good about how things have been going this week.

Yesterday I finally did a small amount of weight lifting. I had meant to lift some weights each day this week but never did. I started my workouts with my cardio and by the time I was done, I just didn’t have the energy. Yesterday I switched it up and started with the weights. Like I said, it was a pretty minimal amount of weight lifting, but it was a step in the right direction. I then was able to go do my rowing which was a pretty good intense 15 minutes. Yeah, 15 minutes is pretty short, but still it’s better than nothing right?

Slowly, I’m getting back into the swing of things. I fully expect by next week, my workouts will be back to normal.

How long does it take you to get back into the swing of things when you’ve been on vacation or an extended work trip? Apparently I’m at 2 weeks now.