Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Because you asked ...

Before: This was about 3 years ago .. and about the size I was when I began in August

After: This was taken today, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Hill .. revisited

Way back in September, when this walking thing was still new and in its infancy, I tackled a hill that caused me to question whether I was sane or not. Back then, walking over a mile in one trip was still new. This hill was long and steep. It was an uphill battle (literally.)

Today, four months into my walking habit, I tackled it again.

The last time, I thought my legs were going to revolt and find a new, less abusive body to which to be attached. This time, my legs never made a peep. They quietly went along for the walk.

Here are some shots I took on this trip:

This is at the bottom looking up the hill. I was going to be on that bridge crossing the street soon.

This is looking down the hill back toward the house. Take that, hill!

These are shot entering the cemetery and walking around it.

This is the back row of the left side of the cemetery looking into town (on the left side of the road)

This is from the top of the bridge seen crossing the road in the first picture. This is looking back toward the house.

This is a sign inside the cemetery

It was just a little over 2 miles to, around, and back from the cemetery, but it was a great walk. The air was crisp and clean. It was 16° and sunny. I loved it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another new size !!!

I guess I should be used to wearing new sizes, after all, I was often buying bigger sizes before. Since I changed my philosophy about eating, I have also saw a decrease in sizes as well. You would think the thrill would be gone, or at least somewhat diminished, but NO!

This morning while getting dressed, I notice a pair of khaki's that my daughter gave me. She found them while cleaning out some clothes at her house. I was wearing around a 50 waist at that time and these were 46's. She gave them to me instead of putting them in her donate or yard sale bag. I tried them on when she gave them to me and they were way too small.

A couple weeks ago, TJ and I were at a thrift store (great idea for shopping if you are changing sizes consistently) and she found a pair of pants that were 48's. I told her they would never fit, but she insisted I try them on. I did, just to amuse her. Oh my gosh, they fit.

well, as I said, this morning I noticed the size 46's while getting dressed and decided to see how far I needed to go to fit into them. To my shock and utter delight, they fit !!

The worst part of it was that I was the only one out of bed at the time and had to stifle my delight because I didn't want wake TJ up to tell her.

Rest assured, as soon as her eyes were open, I told her.

A new Size !!!!

August 8 ............. size 60
December 27 ...... size 46

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A new love for holiday eating

Before, the holidays were excuses (as if I needed one) to overeat. I would pile my plate full of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I would eat until I was more than full and then lapse into post holiday dinner coma.

Now, the holiday are just a part of my new eating philosophy. Having learned how to eat less (yes, it is a learned behavior,) I enjoy my dinners much more. I can still eat full and robust holiday meal and keep the calorie demon in check.

Eat more turkey than ham. Both have plenty of protein, but the turkey is lower in calories. Eat more green beans than mashed potatoes. Green beans are only 34 calories a cup. A good half cup serving is only 17 calories. Eat more corn then stuffing. Corn is only 40 calories per half cup. Go light on the bread and deviled eggs. Go small on the baked mac and cheese.

I stay away from the deserts, but if i were to eat some, it would be a small sliver of pie or cake. All my mouth wants is the taste, and I can get the taste with much less and slower eating.

My dinner at Christmas was 707 calories. My dinner at Thanksgiving was 692 calories. Both days, the total calories were under 1100.

I love eating my favorite holiday treats, much less and therefore, much more.

And .. easy to fix leftovers for lighter meals .. yesss !

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

surprisingly lower than I thought

TJ was running all over three towns yesterday and called me to tell me that if I planned on eating supper, I had better get busy cooking.

Cooking and I are well acquainted.

I went downstairs to the kitchen to rummage for cooking fodder. I found many frozen packs of chicken in the freezer, but I am more partial to pork. Further rummaging yielded the object of my search, pork tenderloin. I also found some frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, yellow and orange carrots.)

Then, it was off to the pantry to find other cooking fodder. I found a jar of diced sweet vidalia onions and peppers, balsamic vinegar, a can of diced tomatoes, and a jar of marinated mushrooms. Things are looking up.

I sprayed the casserole dish with canola cooking spray and added a dash of olive oil. I added the diced tomatoes and laid the sliced pork tenderloin on top of them. I sliced several of the mushrooms and added them to the top. Then I added part of the vidalia onions. Next, I diced up some green pepper slices and added that as well. i finished with a splash of the balsamic vinegar. I covered it and stuck it in the oven to bake (350° for 35 minutes.)

The frozen vegetables from the freezer were put in a microwave safe bowl; about 3 tablespoons of water were added; and it was put aside for a moment.

Out of the fridge, I produced a can of buttermilk biscuits. I added them to a glass dish. I melted margarine and added garlic powder to that. I spooned it over the unbaked biscuits just enough to wet the tops of the biscuits. Into the oven that went.

The vegetables went into the microwave for about 6 minutes.

The biscuits were just browning on the top when I took them out and spooned the rest of the garlic butter mixture over them and added some shredded cheese. They went back into the over for a few more minutes.

The vegetables in the microwave finished (ding!) The biscuits were done and the cheese was melted. The pork came out of the oven .

One 3 oz tenderloin, about three-quarter cup of the steamed vegetables, and one cheesy garlic biscuit, made the meal. It was a wonderful combination, each part complimented the other parts. And, it was under 400 calories for the meal.


And finished in time for us to make it to church for Bible Study (albeit 5 minutes late.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The weekend comes and goes

Here it is Monday again. The cycle continues.

The weekend was busier than others, possibly, but not as busy as some.

Schools had been closed for a couple days prior to the weekend. There was snow and ice to contend with. We didn’t do a lot of traveling, Thursday or Friday. For at least one of those days TJ’s oldest son and his wife and son were at the house. The water was frozen at their place. Thursday, I didn’t get to walk. Friday, I walked about a mile and a half.

Saturday arrives. I walk about a mile and a quarter in the cold, snow, and ice.

We have plans for Saturday evening. There was a meeting at a restaurant in the town where I graduated some 35 years ago for graduates of said high school (Woodford County High School.)
There was a reunion in July for all classmates graduating from 1970 to 1980. I was there, having graduated in 1975. I was there at 350 pounds and walking with a cane. Saturday, I weighed 275 and walked without the cane for some time now. Several of the attendees of the first reunion were going to be there and some of them keep up with me on Facebook®. One, in particular, said he wanted to see the new skinnier me.

We went to the restaurant after dropping the youngest boy off at the oldest boys house, where the water flows freely now. I was cautious about eating at restaurants that I didn’t know, but was also confident that I could eat a salad anywhere and be fine.

It was great seeing old friends that I had recently become reacquainted with and catching up on what I was doing, or not doing, as the case may be. I did eat chicken tenders and green beans. Although it is possible, it is hard to go wrong with green beans. Someone at the table said, “As long as they aren’t cooked in bacon fat or something like that.” I responded, “Oh, you mean, any green beans cooked in Kentucky.” Still, it was a good time and not as calorie filled as I feared. The food was good and the company was great.

Sunday was as busy as Sunday’s usually are. I, accidentally, slept in. I did get up before the alarm, but I usually get up a couple hours before the ‘Gotta Get Up’ alarm. I wake up early and go for my walk. The alarm is the get up and get ready for church alarm. So, there was no morning walk for Sunday. Being up later and feeling rushed caused me to walk out the door without grabbing my usual morning breakfast drink.

There was nowhere to stop and get one without pushing us farther behind schedule, so, no breakfast was the way. Church was good. Then we visited a bit and came on home. I had a salad for lunch, and then a grocery run. After that, I went to Lexington for church where my mother attends. It was also a good time and great to visit with mom and two of my four sisters. One was in Ohio and one was snowed in.

I was going to stop on my way home and grab a bite. However, everyplace seemed unappealing, so I made it home without stopping. I knew there were leftovers available at home.

Both days, Saturday and Sunday were low calories days. I mean ‘lower than I like’ calorie days. I know I need to take in a good amount of calories to make my body work right. I know I need to eat enough to convince my body to let loose of some fat. Saturday was only 739 calories, and Sunday was 884 calories, by virtue of the missing breakfast (190 calories.)
I must do better for my body and my health.

Monday has started well. I had a 2.35 mile walk this morning. I did my 180 calories breakfast drink (vanilla instead of chocolate, hence the 10 calorie difference.) My lunch was a salad @ 183 calories. A good supper and an apple for snack and I should be over 1000 calories for the day. My goal is a bit higher. I am working on finding more calorie rich foods that will not overfill me. If I get satisfied, I will stop.

My monthly average is 1005 calories a day right now. My average calories for the length of this ‘diet’ are about 1025 per day.

We will see what tomorrow will bring,

Oh, yes, I have lost 75 pounds now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A walk .. with pictures

It was another 3° walk this morning. I was bundled up well and had the important parts of my body covered to minimize wind exposure. (gloves, hat, scarf)

Here are some of the shot I took along my 1.75 mile walk:

About half to three quarter mile from the house

Another shot .. backed away a bit

Along the second half .. probably a half mile from home

Another shot .. looking down the bridge to town

From the bridge .. overlooking the creek

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fair trade

This morning I went for my usual morning walk. I say it is my usual walk except for the fact that my walk changes daily. I try to take different routes each day to keep the walking fresh. I do have several favorite routes that I repeat, but not generally day after day after day. This morning was the Locust St to Queen St, to Camargo Rd, to Locust St at Bank St, to Richmond Ave, turn and come back home route. It covered 2.35 miles and took me 47 minutes.

Then, Tammy had a follow up visit to the doctor to see how surgery helped or didn’t, and to see where to go from here. Afterwards, we went to a consignment shop, and then had lunch at the brand new Waffle House here in town. We had talked about it the day before. It just opened this week.

I had the 5 ounce strip steak, with eggs over medium, hash browns with onions and tomatoes, and toast. I had water to drink. As near as I can tell, by the internet info I gathered and the portions I ate, my lunch was 564 calories. This was in contrast to my usual lunches of 275 to 360 calories. It was somewhere between 200 to 300 calories more than my regular lunch fare.

After lunch, Tammy had to go to the hospital for x-rays. I stayed home and worked on some writing She told me she was going to stop by the library on her way home and wanted to know if I wanted her to come by and get me. I told her I had already planned to walk to the library while she was gone, so I would meet her there.

I decided to walk around the longer way to the library. The direct walk there is a half mile. I put my books to be returned in my backpack and headed out after a while. I walked past the library (truck was not there yet) and on down toward the bypass to a known turning point and back to the library. She was outside when I got there, so my timing was good. I returned my books and checked out a couple more. She was still browsing, so I told her I would walk on home. She pulled into the driveway as I crossed the street to the house.

The entire walk was 1.9 miles and took about 40 minutes of actual walking time. Between the two walk, I covered 4.25 miles and burned 574 calories.

So, I walked off 10 calories more than my lunch added.

Not a bad trade at all.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

On the border of CrazyTown

I am not sure I am only on the border anymore.

12° on my morning walk on Tuesday, and I still went for my walk. The wind chill was -6°.

7° on my morning walk on Wednesday, and, once again, I still go for my morning walk. I have no idea what the wind chill was, or even if there was one. It was a fairly calm morning.

12° this morning, and I am bundling up for another morning walk. Today's wind chill, according to the local weatherman is 4°.

I always knew I would go crazy one day, but I never knew I would be crazy about walking. I especially never figured I would be crazy enough to be out walking in this weather.

I have always worked in this weather. For most of my adult life I have worked in the construction industry and that generally required some outside work even in the harshest conditions. I recall working on a scaffold 30 feet in the air with the winds blowing off the river in Canton, Ohio, with the temperature being only -6°, but, that was for money.

This is different. No-one is paying me to be out there this morning.

Well, I guess that isn't exactly true. What drives me (or pays me if you prefer) is stepping on the scales after four months and seeing it read 72 pounds lighter. What pushes me out the door is the feeling of much more energy than I have had in a long long time. What moves me past the pain in my heels (tendonitis) is the near erasure of the constant pain in my back, knees, and ankles. There are as many reasons to go walking in this near zero cold weather as there are days I am adding to my life and the life I am adding to my days.

So, I am off to don the official uniform of a crazytown walker.

two pair of sweats .. check
two long sleeved t-shirts .. check
one pull over wind-breaker type jacket .. check
one pair of jersey cotton gloves .. check
one toboggan .. check
one muffler style scarf .. check
one pair of walking shoes .. check
cell phone for emergency .. check
Ipod for Bible or music listening .. check

crazy idea that this will change my life .. CHECK !


Didn't do my walk as intended .. had to run to son's place to fix electric and take his wife to appointment .. walked 2.2 miles in Winchester before working on his place .. Temp was almost up to 20° by then ..

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Question Answered

A friend asked me what I was doing to lose weight.

Why do people ask such questions and expect one line answers?

Ask me what I did to gain up to 350 pounds and the answer is not one line either.

Losing weight is simple. Burn more than you eat or eat less than you burn.

That is the short and simple answer.

What am I doing to lose weight? I am burning more than I eat or eating less than I burn.

Now, the nuts and bolts of how I am losing weight goes like this:

I started August 9th. I have lost 65 pounds in 16 weeks. Now, that is definitely not typical. Typical is about 2 pounds a week.

What I eat:
Breakfast is always a slim-fast chocolate drink: 190 calories, 10 grams of protein. I usually drink it after my morning walk of 2 or more miles

Lunch varies.
Sometimes it is a salad (usually in the 275 to 325 calorie range.) My salads consist of lettuce, broccoli, onion, radish, carrot, red and green peppers, boiled egg, shredded cheese, and a fat free Italian dressing.

Other times, it is a sub from subway: 350 to 360 calories. I get the turkey and ham, or chicken breast, or club, all with pepper jack cheese, includes everything except pickles.

Supper is anything I want, just in moderation. My suppers are usually in to 500 calorie range (which is a lot of food to me now, veggies=low calories) steak, pork tenderloin, chicken, fish, even pasta.

We never were big on frying things, fried chicken on occasion, but not much else.

Snacks consist of several things: fruit (apple is 81 calories, banana is around 80 to 100 depending on size .. peach and/or pear cups are 70 to 80 calories,) yogurt cup: 100 calories, baked chips and salsa (salsa is only 5 calories per tbsp.).

I also have a jug-o-fireballs. I have one of them about every third day or so, only 35 calories.

(The big Hershey’s chocolate bars are only 40 calories per square.)

The key to losing is to burn more calories or take in less, or a combination of both. For me, walking 2 miles in 40 minutes burns just over 300 calories. It would be more or less for others because of individual weight, higher or lower.

You burn about 10% of the calories you take in by chewing and digesting. Then you burn calories just by living, heart beating, lungs working, blood pumping, ect..

You can find out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - number of calories you burn by doing nothing) at Then you multiply your BMR by how active you are and it tells you how many calories to take in to maintain your current weight.

A pound is 3500 calories. Cut out 500 calories a day or burn 500 more calories a day, and you will lose 1 pound in one week.

My BMR is about 2344. Then my activity level brings the calorie count up to 3345 to 3633 calories a day. (You will find this using the Harris-Benedict Equation. The link is on the same page as the BMR calculator.) According to this, I should take in 3300 to 3600 calories a day to keep my weight where it is. I take in about 1100. Using the figures from this site, I should take in 23100 calories per week. I take in 7700, leaving a 13400 calories deficit. Divide that by 3500 and you get 4.4 pounds per weeks. 4.4 pounds times 16 weeks is 70 pounds. I have lost 65 pounds, so it is close.

That is the nuts and bolts.

What one line answer did you want?