Monday, November 29, 2010

There's Still Breath on the Mirror.

I wanted to post something to let folks know I still exist, kind of like the way I breathe onto the bathroom mirror in the mornings to prove to myself I'm still here. There's less of me here though - 21 lbs less, since I started serious food monitoring with help from my friends at Spark People about 6 weeks ago.

I'm about 1/2 way to my goal of 200 lbs, which is about my ideal weight for my height, according to various sources. Right now I wish I was about 6 inches taller, then I'd be at my ideal weight already.

Anyway, I made it through two Thanksgiving dinners, and actually lost 2 lbs last week, mainly by eating much smaller portions than I would have otherwise. The thing I like about the diet is that I'm not starving myself - I keep track of the amount of carbs, fats, and proteins using the Nutrition Page on Spark People. I'm consistently eating 2,000 calories per day, which coupled with regular exercise is erasing pounds. I've found that I get cranky (that's what my wife says anyway) if I don't eat on time. And the menu I follow is loaded with fresh fruits and veggies, which I like anyway.

I'm trying to not sound holier-than-thou, and I'm trying not to brag. I'm simply amazed that I've been able to lose this much weight after years of exercising until I can't move anymore, or going for days without eating much, only to give up and eat three Big Macs at once. But it's not about intensive, pain-inducing exertion or starving myself. I just didn't know how to eat.

I realize that in order to keep this weight off, I'll need to continue watching what I eat. Probably forever. But I feel better about this idea since I know more now about eating smaller meals at regular times. And I don't get uncomfortably hungry.

On a side note, I've been feeling better than I have in a long time. I'm playing the best disc golf I've ever played, and I even got a hole-in-one two weeks ago. I have loads of energy, even at the end of a long day of disc golf.

Still biking only 2 - 3 times per week, and not that exciting, with cold temps and wind and grey skies. I am enjoying reading all your bike blogs out there (even if I don't leave a comment) - keep up the good work!

Happy riding!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Bike, Snow Report, Eggshells, and Other Miscellany

In my previous post I said I was going to take a break from biking. And I did. For about a week, then I hopped back on the bike and have been riding regularly since then, albeit at a leisurely pace. I even commuted to work (20 miles each way), and I stopped to take this photo on Wednesday night.

For the past week we've had beautiful weather, with sunshine and highs in the 50's and 60's. Last Saturday we awoke to our first snow, but it was just a dusting which quickly melted. The snow in northern Wisco and Michigan that fell yesterday didn't get us, but we have abundant wind and cold air today. Will make for a cold, slow ride this afternoon.

Several weeks back, Myles blogged about using eggshells in his coffee. Last week, after I used a couple of eggs, I washed out the eggshells using my fingers to scrub away the membrane from the shell under running water. I let the shells dry overnight, then ground them up in my coffee grinder the next morning. You know that smell when the dentist drills your tooth to prepare for filling a cavity? That's the smell that emanated from the grinder.

I added those ground up shells to my freshly ground Meijer (a regional big box discount store) coffee, and made a pot of fresh coffee. I must say, I didn't like the coffee at all. I kept thinking of the dentist with every sip. I really like my dentist, but I don't want him messing around with my coffee. I think if I was making cowboy coffee, adding finely-broken eggshells would probably help settle the grounds and make the coffee taste better, but I don't recommend using a coffee grinder to process your eggshells.

On the weight-loss front, I've lost 17 lbs since early October by following the Spark People plan. I've used dieting to lose weight before, but I never knew what I should be eating. My previous diets were primarily lettuce salads, rice, and bananas. But the spark people plan gives a detailed menu each day, and lists the grams of carbs, fat, and protein for each menu item, so I can easily track how much I've eaten for each meal and each snack. In addition to the food plan, there is a fitness plan that is very helpful also. All this is free, which is the best deal I've had in a long time.

A couple of things I've learned is that I have been mistaking the empty stomach feeling for hunger, and that eating "healthy" food doesn't make up for eating crappy food. I'm learning that food should be treated as fuel for the body, not for an emotional treat to help me feel better.

Something I don't think I've mentioned much before is that I spend a great deal of time playing disc golf. Yesterday I got my first hole-in-one after seven years of playing. In addition, my disc golf buddy Paul and I tied the course record for best-disc doubles, so yesterday was a great day.

Happy riding!