Sometimes you want more, but there’s less ~ Dave

Rachel hates the commercial that that line is from.  She will probably kill me for using it.  I do see she just posted so I am actually posting this a day later than intended.  But the past few weeks seem noteworthy.

1) Not this past weigh in but the one before was in my eyes utter blah.  I had lost 0.8 pounds.  Yeah it was a still a loss, but I expect so much more from my body especially when I work so hard.  But I had worked late the night before and was all stressed out about multiple things.  (We got to meet Weird Al, my childhood hero, and the place was crowded.  Crowds freak me right the hell out.  I was already stressed from work so my body went into cortisol overdrive.)  It was not crushing just blah.  My goal is to lose 10% of my weight by Rachel’s birthday.  What better present than a skinnier, healthier, sexier husband.  Except maybe jewelry…

2) I worked just as hard and really stuck to everything and this past weigh in was 5.6 pounds down… BOOM!!  I am slowly but surely catching up to Rachel.  As I have lost 33.2 pounds and she has lost 44.  My goal is to catch her and pass her because I am a competitive person.  I am only 2.8 pounds from 10% lost of my WW starting weight.  All in all I have actually lost 66 pounds.

3) I am an addict for exercise now.  I go to the gym 5 days a week.  Sometimes I see my trainer once a week and some weeks I see her a second time with Rachel.  On top of that I walk at work daily, I walk the dogs in the morning three times a week, I walk around the outside of the dog park 4 days a week and finally on Sundays we go for a 2+ mile walk.  I am now doing things I thought impossible like a 700 rep workout in about 30 minutes which included squats, back rows, dead lifts, push ups, side crunches and penguins.  All of this is helping me get better in shape for the day I get my bike in about a month or two.

I think that is about all for the update.  Rachel is doing awesome and she looks fantabulous!  I look good, though my gut is barely shrinking and is actually holding me back from newer clothes.  But our motto goes “I accept myself unconditionally, right now!”

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Guess Who’s Back ~Rachel

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a long while since I posted…and Dave keeps nudging me to post something. So let this be my return to the blogosphere. I can’t promise regular postings, but I will try. I have lots of ideas of things to blog about, but you know what they say about best laid plans. After all, I am STILL dissertating 🙂

So, to catch you up on a few things:

  • I rejoined Weight Watchers at the beginning of February. I weighed in at the heaviest I’ve ever been: 283 point something. Like that point something means anything. I knew my weight had gotten out of control again. I wasn’t exercising. I was eating ridiculously large portions of things. I wasn’t even trying to lighten up recipes. And we ate out a lot. I was tired of feeling like crap. And looking like crap. And buying clothes in alarmingly high sizes.
  • This time feels different…I’m determined, sure. But I’m much more matter of fact and laid back about it all. It is what it is. Somehow, not making a big deal out of it makes it more real? Does that even make sense?
  • I will make a little bit of a big deal about something, though: Since i joined Weight Watchers, I’ve lost 44lbs.
  • I’ve been a little amazed at my body while losing the weight. My last big Weight Watchers adventure resulted in something like 56lbs lost and it seemed like the fat was coming off sort of evenly. This time, however? The weight is coming off of my butt (which is a slope now…it was a shelf) and it seems to be coming off of my thighs. The tire around my middle? It feels like it’s never going to get smaller. Dave insists it is getting smaller…and a friend at work has actually pointed out to me that my tummy looks smaller….but it sure doesn’t look it to me. It’s the part of my body I absolutely despise and get self-conscious about. Oh well. I know it takes time. And like we always say to ourselves in the mirror (seriously, the sign is hanging on our mirror), “I accept myself unconditionally right now.”
  • The eating part of my new healthy lifestyle is mostly a piece of cake. LOL. Sorry, I just said cake. I eat what I eat and I don’t get all whacked out of shape about higher point foods, especially when we are eating them in such moderation. My two favorite letters in the alphabet are D and Q. Believe me, we still go to DQ….at least a couple of times a month. I just get a small or medium sundae and I’m happy and satisfied. I can’t even imagine eating a large Blizzard. That kind of makes me want to throw up a little bit.
  • I still kind of hate exercise. I’m just trying to move more than I was. I now work (3) 10-hour days at the office (with a 45 minute commute each way). On those days, I get my ass up at 5:30am to walk the dogs with Dave. It’s only about 1.3 miles, and it only takes about 20 minutes or so, but it’s still something. And even though I DESPISE getting up at 5:30am (to do anything), it does set the day for me. I’m pushing myself to get to the gym on the other two weekdays. I do mostly cardio on the Arc Trainer/Elliptical/Rowing Machine but am starting to add some circuit training stuff to it. Every other Friday I train with Dave and his trainer Brandy. This past Friday, I did 600 reps in 30 minutes (side crunches one each side, deadlifts, pushups, squats, and straight rows). In the fall, I might add some personal training sessions with Brandy…maybe two a month or so.
  • I HATE HATE HATE pushups. Seriously. I *think* I would rather do burpees.
  • On the weekends, we walk the dogs before our Weight Watchers meeting and on Sunday mornings, we got for a couple mile hike at the nature park down the road. The hike is a lot of fun. Our furkids LOVE it. Darwin, especially likes to run around like a moron through the creek. We’ll have to get a video one Sunday so you can witness then two of them acting crazy.
  • In mental health news: I’ve FINALLY submitted paper #1 of my dissertation. It’s under review at a big epidemiology journal right now. I have to get my ass in gear for paper #2, which I want to knock out in a matter of 6 weeks, but the weight of paper #1 is off my shoulders for now.

There is a lot I want to blog about and I’m hoping to get back to it on a more regular basis:

  • What it means to eat REAL food. Propylene glycol is not real food. And it seems to be in EVERYTHING that is marketed as the “healthier” choice. I have some WW ice cream bars. I refer to them as my propylene glycol bars. I’m working on ridding my food of that kind of crap.
  • What the “foodie” world is currently talking about in terms of health and obesity. I’ve read a bunch of really awesome (and totally infuriating) articles recently. McDonald’s is not going to be the cure for obesity. You are probably saying, “No shit, Sherlock.” But let me tell, somebody out there thinks McDonald’s is the answer and the Atlantic made it their cover story recently. <facepalm>
  • Recipes
  • What my goals are in terms of body shape/size. I know I will  probably never look like this, but Gina Carano is hanging on my mirror in the bathroom:

263956-gina-carano-gina-9

  • What my fitness goals are. Hint: I used to do this:

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Well, I better get working on paper #2. I have to meet with Dave’s trainer at 11 for an “assessment.” She’s going to show me some things I can do that will help with my weird orthopedic issues like my terrible feet and the plica in my knee. I guess I will blog about those things, too 🙂

So I promised more ~ Dave

While we wait for Rachel to get her butt in gear and write a blog, I figured I could give an update on things going on in our life. Really not much has changed except for the fact Rachel has finished paper #1 of her dissertation. That was the hard part and I am sure she will expand on that much more when she posts.

Other items going on, I took a small promotion at work and do server and VM work now instead of desktop support. No change in hours but I deal with fewer users face to face so that is definitely a bonus.

Now onto why we are here. I am going to change the format of how I report my weight loss. In fact it will be more of a casual thing. I look back on what I had done in the past with the posts and the tracking and where it worked it was also a bit demoralizing to see it in so many places.

1) I have now been taking thyroid medicine since September of 2012. Since then I have dropped a lot of weight. To give you an idea I had hit a high weight which I had seen only once before. Since then I got serious and really started working on my weight loss.

2) I have joined Weight Watchers full time with Rachel. I go to meetings and everything and it really does help. So far I have been on the program for 2.5 months and it truly does help.

3) The gym. I am now on trainer #6, they keep leaving for better jobs. But this one has taken a different approach and I only do circuit training, no more weights till I lose enough. I also get to do deck of cards every month or so. It consists of 4 exercises each represented by a card suit. My trainer deals cards and I have to do x number of y exercise. It’s brutal and I tend to have to do crunches, squats, push-ups and burpees. On top of that I now go to the gym 5 times a week and on the weekends Rachel and I walk on Saturday before our WW meeting and then go on a 2.5 mile hike on Sundays with the puppies.

4) I am planning on getting a bike in September to help with weight loss. I loved bike riding when I was young and still spend 30 minutes of my daily gym time on the stationary bike. All I know for now is a mountain bike, so if you have suggestions let me know.

Since my initial journey of weight loss, I am now down 60 pounds total.  This does not include what I had lost previously on the blog as I had gone back up.  Since joining weight watchers 2.5 months ago I have lost 26.8 pounds of that 60.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Well that is all from me for now, let’s see how long ti takes for Rachel to post.

New posts incoming ~Dave

No freaking joke! Rachel finished paper #1 and can actually commit some time to posting again!!!!! And I have big news as well.

Now with more frequency ~Dave

So, I will try to keep things going on a semi regular basis until Rachel can get back into things.

My doctor is a prick.  Plain and simple.  I have to see him on a regular basis now to get my thyroid levels tested till my medication strength is stabilized.  it’s annoying and really sucks for a person who hates needles.  But I will do whatever it takes to get my weight figured out and GONE!

The scale has barely budged.  Granted in 6 weeks I lost 8 pounds according to the prick, but that is nowhere near what it should be.

Here is why I believe this.

1) Both Rachel and I are eating very healthy to the point that old foods I used to cherish are just not good to me anymore.  We go out once maybe twice per week and the rest of the time is eating healthy home cooked meals.

2) I exercise 3 – 5 times a week.  I go to the gym at least 3 days a week to do my routines which are getting progressivly more intense.  I try to go a 4th day and do 45 minutes of cardio.  On top of that I have been taking the dogs for a mile walk and jogging part of it another day.  So I am definitely not slouching there.

3) Hypothyroid medication should cause weight loss even when the dose is not quite right or being figured out.

So my doctor proceeds to tell me 1 – 2 pounds a week is healthy weight loss.  Yes for someone just doing diet and exercise that would be correct.  But even my trainer stated that this should be extremely different for the following reasons:
1) I am male
2) I eat very well
3) I exercise a lot and I exercise HARD
4) My liquids consist of tea, 96 oz water (both daily) and maybe 4 beers (consumed weekly) no more pop

None of it is making sense.  I lost a few pounds and put it right back on.  My ring goes from being snug to almost falling off.  I dread waking up and getting on the scale because it feels like every victory is closely followed by a defeat.

Speaking of scales Rachel and I are looking for suggestions for one that is not too expensive but can take large weight.  Anyone?

So I am having a hard time staying positive.  I am motivated, that is not a problem and hell I think I am doing awesome at the motivation.  But something has got to give.

Who the, what the, where the? ~ Dave

So this place has been silent since March 3rd. I am only here to fill in some small gaps for those of you that actually read this and are not spammers.

1) In blog news, I now require all comments get approved.  There were a few spam comments and I am trying to avoid that.

2) Rachel is still hard at work on her dissertation.  She has turned in the first draft of her fist article, now she just needs to fine tune it and submit it then begin her second and final article.  She is looking at being a PhD before the year is out. (Bout time.)  I feel like I will need a shirt that states “My wife finished her PhD and all I got was this lousy shirt.”

3) Weight loss has been null and void.  After the honeymoon and with things getting busy we both gained.  We had stopped weight watchers and tried things on our own.  This went okay except we, especially me, have no willpower.  So in an effort to fix things we have actually cleared out almost all processed food out of our house.  I am now doing protein shakes for breakfast, going to the gym 3 – 4 times a week and have started eating green things like lettuce and spinach.  Weird I know!  Rachel is trying her hardest to get moving again, but she got turf toe!  All she did was go to BodyFlow a few times and she got turf toe.  I knew I was marrying a gimp, but geez.

4) In going back through the blog, I noticed my weight loss was all over the place.  Small amounts, large amounts, up, down and stagnant.  Now we might know why.  Went to my doctor for a yearly physical and he made me do a blood test.  I HATE needles and acted like a 5 year old the whole time.  But two weeks later the tests came back and I have hypo-thyroidism.  So I am on a daily synthroid.  Last weekend I ate like “crap” due to a weird funk I was in and I lost 2.2 pounds over the weekend.  So I am excited to see what this does in the long run and how effective it might be.

5) On that same note I hate my doctor right now.  I found out via my pharmacy calling to tell me I had a perscription waiting that there was an issue with my Thyroid.  I called my doctor and left a voicemail for him and then an hour later I get the email with all of my test results.  That was a tad unprofessional to say the least.

6) My two year goal is to still run in the Run for Your Lives 5k or something like it.  MY one year or less goal is to get my bike and teach Darwin how to run next to it.  That way I can take him and go for longs rides.  I started jogging, which at 376lbs is not an easy thing on the shins and when I do jog, he LOVES it!  He gets real excited when I ask him if he is ready and his tail goes bonkers!  So I think biking will be good for him.

7) And finally, in breaking and shocking news, I LOVE QUINOA!

I might post more often than we have been.  I am not sure yet as it all depends on my free time and how I use it.  And who knows when Rachel will begin posting again, but she will when she finishes.  Then we can all call her PhD Ranch!

Simplify ~ Rachel

Greetings everyone!

I’m here to tell you that I am officially putting this blog on hiatus until my dissertation is done.

In order to just get that darn dissertation done (goal is to defend in September), I need to simplify my life. That means clearing the calendar. That means removing as many obligations as possible. I know the blog isn’t an obligation…but it does take time and I think it deserves more than a half-assed attempt at posting regularly.

Until I defend my dissertation, I am going to stop blogging.

I am also stopping personal training with Isaiah. The money was definitely a contributor but it also seemed silly to have personal training sessions at a time when I am not regularly and consistently going to the gym.

I am also stopping my Weight Watchers membership. Again, it seemed silly to pay a monthly fee when I rarely use the website and haven’t been very faithful to meetings. I have the knowledge and materials to still follow the program if I choose to do so.

I will miss all those things but here is what I am going to do until my dissertation is done:

(1) Eat right

(2) Move more

I think if I can just get back to eating right again (and tracking what I eat) and get to the gym at least a couple of times per week for a class (water zumba just started!), I will be fine. It’s all about being aware of what is going in to my body and getting in some exercise.

Other than that, I just need to chain myself to my computer so I can dissertate…every now and then coming up for air in the form of a social life.

I’ll still be around the blogosphere….I just won’t be contributing posts to it anytime soon.

Once I defend, though, look out!

I can get back to a real life where I have hobbies and interests and time that isn’t completely taken over by feelings of guilt that I’m not working on my dissertation.

Until then, be healthy 🙂

Climbing Everest ~Rachel

Lori over at Finding Radiance was just at Disney with her husband and is sharing her experiences and photos with all of us. She recently blogged about Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. While that coaster was not their favorite, Dave and I LOVED it! We actually went back to Animal Kingdom on our last morning, just to ride Everest before heading over to Epcot. Unfortunately, the ride wasn’t operational so we headed over to Epcot. We were disappointed but we did get to ride it 3 times in a row on a previous day. Anyways, I figured I would share a couple of pictures of us on Expedition Everest…we knew where the camera was and tried to ham it up when they snapped the photo:

High Five!

Rock on!

Right now, I feel like I’m climbing Everest…and base camp is still in my view. I think I maybe need to change my point of view so the summit is in view and base camp is far behind me. Between weight loss and the dissertation, I have a helluva climb ahead of me. I have the plans in place…executing them is a little tough. I’m still getting the hang of putting work aside after 10 hours per week so that I can focus solely on my dissertation. The OCD researcher in me is uncomfortable doing that. I’ve already had people respond to my auto-response to ask, with lots of sarcasm because it doesn’t work for them, how it’s working out…my auto response says I am checking email once per day and will respond within 3 business days. I definitely need to stick to that a little bit better! Right now, my email is always up…I tend to see all the emails I get, get overwhelmed and then ignore them for too long. Anyways, I’m going to work on my system this week!

Weight loss has been mostly easy lately. I was down 0.6lbs at weigh-in this week.

After that though? Good grief, I’ve been eating everything in sight since Thursday. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think you know what is coming but still…

So, this week, I’m going to do 2 things:

(1) Actually keep my email closed except for one two-hour period of time per day

(2) Stop the eating frenzy and get back to tracking everything.

I hope you all have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday! I hate the Patriots so I’ll be rooting for the Giants!

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms ~ Rachel

Have you all discovered the blog Skinnytaste yet? Gina hasn’t let me down yet with her recipes. The latest recipe that I tried is a definite keeper. Dave loved it so much that he was enthusiastic about eating leftovers. We had this for dinner one night…and he made tacos out of it the next day for lunch…and we finished it up at dinner that next day. I would say that’s a pretty good endorsement!

Rather than retype the entire recipe, I’ll just repost Gina’s picture with this link to her recipe. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

Homemade Applesauce ~ Rachel

Apples are in season right now in NC…not for much longer, but they are in season for several months in the late fall/early winter. I wanted to try my hand at making applesauce in the crock pot. I asked Lindsay at Savory Spice Shop how to do it. It’s a lot simpler than you could imagine. The pictures below are just grabbed from random places on the interwebs…every time I make applesauce, I forget to take pictures while I’m doing it.

Step 1: Buy some apples. I usually buy a 1/2 peck in order to fill my crock pot!

Step 2: Peel your apples. I use a paring knife to do this but I suppose you could use a potato peeler.

Step 3: Cut your apple into big chunks and throw them in the crock pot, dumping a bunch of cinnamon on top. You'll want to fill your crock pot to the top!

Step 4: Pour a little water over top of the apples...enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot (maybe about 1/2 cup). Cover crock pot and cook on low for 2.5-3 hours.

Step 5. Mash cooked apples in the crock pot after cooking...I like to use a potato masher.

Step 6. Enjoy your homemade applesauce.

Notice that your applesauce contains only apples, cinnamon and teeny tiny bit of water. No added sugar. You won’t need it, I promise.

So far I’ve made applesauce out of old timey wine sap apples, rustic red apples, and pink ladies. There are probably other varieties that I am forgetting. Try whatever you want!

You will never buy applesauce at the store again.

Now I have to figure out what to do when apples are no longer in season in NC. It’s going to be a lot more expensive to buy organic apples at the store. After all, a 1/2 peck of in-season apples in NC is only about $5!

If you come up with anything special to do to your applesauce, let me know!