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Posts Tagged ‘300 pounds’

100 Pounds Lost – Meaningfully Marking a Milestone

February 11, 2013 5 comments
Chad and Greta - February 2013

Chad and Greta – February 2013

This past Friday it finally happened, I stepped onto my scales, and I weighed in at 214.9 pounds.  A 100 pound weight loss!!!!!!!!!  Three years ago when I started seeing Rachel, my nutritionist, and I took my life back into my hands on my thirtieth birthday, I didn’t really think it possible that I’d end up here.  But the more I lost, the more I learned about nutrition, about my body, and about myself, losing 100 pounds became a more and more reachable goal.  I shed bad habits, and I shed the shackles of trying to be someone I wasn’t that caused me to cling a suit of

February 2013

February 2013 – Looking Slim!

armor – fat – for most of my adult life.  As I lost the weight, I embraced myself for who I really was.  For those who are wondering, yes, it involved coming out as a gay man, but it also involved just getting comfortable with me – on all levels.  And no longer needing to hide behind a physical barrier.  With that mental weight lifted, the physical weight followed.  I still have a ways to go, but the idea of losing 35 – 40 more pounds is really nothing at this point.

When I look at myself in photos from when I was well over 300 pounds, I recognize the man in the pictures, but I see a lot of pain.  When I look at me now, I see hope and confidence and freedom.  The highest I ever weighed on a

Christmas, likely 2006 or 2007, well over 300 pounds.

Christmas, likely 2006 or 2007, well over 300 pounds.

set of scales was about 304 pounds.  This was on an old set of scales that weighed me about 3-4 pounds lighter than my current scales, therefore the highest I weighed (when I began this journey on my thirtieth birthday) was about 307-308 pounds.  BUT – that weigh in was after a good month of trying hard to lose weight prior to even stepping on the scales, so I’m sure I had lost at least 7 or eight pounds when I weighed in then, which is how I estimate my highest weight to have been 315.  In all honesty, I think it’s likely it may have been higher than that. When I look at pictures

With Dad and Granddaddy for Law School Graduation - 2005 - between 280 and 290 pounds.

With Dad and Granddaddy for Law School Graduation – 2005 – between 280 and 290 pounds.

of myself from when I lived in Houston after law school, I’m almost certain 315 may be a conservative number for my highest weight.  I was not weighing at all for a period of years, and I think the likelihood I was much higher than that is great, but 315 is the number I’m comfortable marking – and saying confidently I’ve now lost 100 pounds.

 

So – being confident that I finally reached 100 pounds lost, some of the people in my life made me feel really special.  Rachel, a couple of co-workers, lots of Facebook friends and church friends, and on Saturday, my parents, when I went to visit them.  And it was during that visit that I ended up marking my 100 pound loss in a most unexpected, but incredibly meaningful way, having to do with a tangible connection to my grandparents.   Read more…

Doubling Down on Dedication…and Fiber…

January 30, 2013 1 comment

Wow – it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a blog post!  I kind of noticed the same pattern when I lost my first big chunk of weight back in 2010.  Once I got my weight down a good bit, the time I had devoted to blogging became devoted more and more to living life to the fullest!  And that’s happened this time around, too, to some extent.  My goal since July has really been to blog about once a week, as opposed to a few times a week, so blogging hasn’t really made that big of a dent in  my time.  Meaning, I really have no excuse to have been MIA for the past month.

Rest assured, I’ve been keeping up with my healthy diet!  Exercise has been trickier in the winter, though I’m starting to break through with that, too.  Details on all that and more, but first…  a quick primer to bring you up to date on my last few weeks’ weigh-ins.  When I weighed in on December 31, 2012 – the last time I posted to the blog, I was at 221.8, and I was thrilled!  But my loss has continued, even if the pace has slowed a bit.  Here are my weights from my weekly Friday weigh-ins this year, with the loss from the week before, and my total loss from 315, my estimated highest weight:

1/4/13:     220.5 / -3.9wk / -94.5tot

1/11/13:    217.4 / -3.1wk / -97.6tot

1/18/13:    218.5 / +1.1wk / -96.6tot

1/25/13:    217.8 / -0.7wk / -97.3tot

So you can see I had a significant loss at the beginning of the month, and that’s been followed by what I would describe as a plateau.  My weight since mid-month has really hovered within the 217.5-218.5 range.  That’s not bad at all, if I were looking to maintain that weight, but I still have more losing to do!!!  So what explains that plateau?  A couple of different things, I think.

First, I made a couple of changes to my diet.  I got a great deal on KIND bars, and I began to eat them as an afternoon snack in place of my typical apple and cheese.  I also heard about a new breakfast biscuit called Belvita.  It’s delicious, and I guess it’s a good option if you’re on the go and just need to grab something to tide you over.  But at 230 calories a packet, it’s pretty high calorie compared to my normal single packet of plain oatmeal and an apple.  I was combining it with an apple or banana, and a Danactive yogurt…  Lots more calories.  So I cut the fruit, and it was more in line with my calorie expectations for myself (and probably a little lower in sugar, too).

View from the top of Stone Mountain.  In the distance you can see the Atlanta skyline!

View from the top of Stone Mountain. In the distance you can see the Atlanta skyline!

But I think something else happened – without those fruits in my diet – I was losing a good bit of fiber.  I ended up – get ready – constipated.  I’m nothing if not honest.  And quite frankly I’ve been struggling with it for the past couple of weeks.  I haven’t been irregular since childhood, so this was a shock to my system.  The lack of exercise probably contributed, as well.  So I took matters into my own hands this week.  I’ve hit exercise hard.  I started by climbing Atlanta’s Stone Mountain for the past two weekends in a row (the view at the top, on the left, is spectacular)!  It feels awesome to be able to do this spur of the moment.  A few years ago, I couldn’t have.  I would’ve ended up having to be rescued as I clung to a rogue mountaintop pine tree, whimpering softly (okay maybe not that bad – but it would’ve been hell).  This week, I’ve also doubled down on my efforts at also getting in two weekday jogs at Piedmont Park!  One was after work yesterday (as it’s now staying light just long enough to do that without almost certainly being mugged), and another was today.  There was horrific weather here today (tornadoes in other parts of northern Georgia), but once that threat passed, I decided that since I had taken the day off work today anyway and didn’t need to look cute for anything, I’d go for a run in the rain.  I felt bad-ass!  That’s how I’m gonna bust this plateau, baby!!!  I actually felt great, but I guess my face tells on me being a little cold and wet (see below right).  Between that and modifying my diet to make sure I’m adding back in lots of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, you’ll be happy to know, the irregularity seems to be gone.  I know I’m happy.  🙂  And I’m hopeful that this week’s weigh-in may bring me back in line for a serious losing trend that will get me to 215 and 100 pounds lost soon!!!

A rainy run at Piedmont Park - sitting on the sidelines for a little rain isn't going to bust this plateau!

A rainy run at Piedmont Park – sitting on the sidelines for a little rain isn’t going to bust this plateau!

One other important development this month is that I had my annual physical.  My blood pressure has been normal since I started losing weight a couple of years ago, but last year, my cholesterol was borderline high (at 202), and my triglycerides were definitely high.  This year, my triglycerides were perfectly normal, and my cholesterol was a really healthy 158!  With HDL and LDL levels also being really good!!!  That was exciting to know.  And my insulin resistance that I was struggling with when I was over 300 is now completely resolved.  To the point we don’t even need to test my A1c levels again, according to my doctor!!!

So that’s a quick catch up from the past month.  I’m going to get back on board with weekly posts – I promise!  And this weekend, be on the lookout for a delish recipe for roasted butternut squash that I came up with this past week!  It’s a wonderful, easy source of fiber, and tastes like an absolute treat!

Top 10 Body Changes to Get Me Through the Holidays

December 29, 2012 Comments off

So I have a couple of weeks of catching up to do with regards to reporting my weigh-ins.  In order to do it, I’ve returned to the bestest coffee shop in all the land, which I’ve often blogged from and about before.  Ground zero for my studying for the bar exam (and hence making a major career change), coming out of the closet, and various other life events.  I couldn’t take a week’s vacation and note spend some time here!  The news is good overall, and I’m proud of getting through the holidays without a complete debacle or meltdown of efforts.  In fact, the way I’ve been handling this year’s holidays makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I’ve finally made the switch in my head from being on a diet/eating plan/program to living a healthier lifestyle.

All that said, the weeks surrounding Christmas have not been a time for continued weight loss, and perhaps that’s not what I should have expected this time of year.  On the Friday before Christmas, I weighed in at Read more…

Emotional Eating: How to Not Devour That Bag of Uneaten Candy Corn

November 27, 2012 2 comments

First things first, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in here.  It’s actually been a good couple of weeks on the weight loss front!  On Friday, November 16, I weighed in at 228.0 pounds, which was a 1.3 pound loss from the week prior.  Last week, I decided to move my weigh in up to Thanksgiving morning instead of Friday morning, so that I wouldn’t get discouraged by weighing in after the Thanksgiving meal.  That weigh in on Thursday, 11/22 was 227.1 pounds, which is .9 pounds less than the week before.  So 2.2 pounds lost over the last couple of weeks!  Not bad.

I’ll be honest, I don’t expect to post a loss this week.  Thanksgiving was a day of indulgence.  I wasn’t so bad with the meal, but our family sweet potato casserole recipe is like crack – and like the addict that I am, I ate way too much of it throughout the day.  I wish my body weren’t so sensitive to one day of high calorie eating, but it is.  I’m already up from last week (yes – I weigh every day, “official” weigh in day or not), and I threw my back out on Friday, so exercise, while I’ve tried to keep it up, has been lacking.  That concerns me a bit since exercise is already a struggle this time of year, but it is what it is.

And that leads me to tonight, sitting here after midnight, writing this blog while I drink a diet soda.  Why am I doing this?  Because frankly, this is what’s keeping me from burying my face in the leftover bag of candy corn from the fall holidays that’s in my pantry and hasn’t been eaten yet.  You see, I’m an emotional eater.  I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink to excess, and I don’t gamble.  The fact of the matter is, I’m not even the least bit tempted by those things, no matter how bad my day or how much stress I’m under.  BUT…  find me at home on a Monday evening after a stressful day returning to work after a holiday break, with my back hurting still from injuring it last week, and combine that with the butterflies and such that go along with the beginnings of a new, albeit seemingly fantastic, relationship, and I just want to inhale that damn candy corn like a human dustbuster.

Since re-starting my weight loss journey in July, I really haven’t been tempted to eat emotionally.  This is a huge sign of progress for me, since I used food to numb emotion for decades.  But as my night began to wind down tonight, I felt that familiar longing for the first time in a long while.  My new beau had been over for dinner and left to go home,and next thing I knew, my mind started wandering to how cruddy going back to work from the holiday had been, to how my back hurt when I moved, and to other various and sundry anxieties – both good and bad.  Emotional eaters use food like an alcoholic uses whiskey – to numb emotions, good and bad.  And all of a sudden, I really wanted to raid my pantry and fridge…particularly for that leftover bag of hardened, sugary candy corn.  So what’s the difference?  What stopped me? Read more…

Eff You, Metabolism!

September 24, 2012 2 comments

Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery – Location of my “Run Like Hell 5K” next month! And site of a beautiful early autumn walk I took yesterday.

So…  I’m still losing weight, but the rapidity with which the pounds are coming off has slowed.  I’m so pleased with my progress, and I’m not in any way about to give up, but the past couple of weeks have been a little frustrating.  This past Friday, I weighed in at 239.4 pounds.  That’s a .2 pound loss from the week before, 19.2 pounds down since I restarted in July, and about 76 pounds down from my estimated highest weight of 315 a few years ago.  Two-tenths of a pound.  Ho-hum.

As my nutritionist reminded me today, once the first 15-20 pounds come off, your metabolism gets nice and comfy cozy again.  Ugh.  And the solution?  To increase exercise to get the metabolism back in gear.  Double ugh.  If I’m being honest, I’d have to admit that Read more…

Creatively Cooking at Home

September 8, 2012 Comments off

Italian Barbecue Chicken Tacos on the Stove

I’m sitting here on a rainy Saturday in Atlanta, with the weather people promising this rain is leading to lovely fall temperatures, and I decided to take part of my day to cook what turned out to be a surprisingly delicious and healthy lunch.  I thought I’d try something I haven’t done on this blog in quite a while, and share my recipe with you, but first things first…my weekly progress report.

Yesterday was another great weekly weigh in!  I was at 241.0 pounds!!!  That’s a 1.9 pound loss from last week, a 17.6 pound loss since I restarted my efforts in July, and about 74 pounds down from my estimated highest weight of 315 pounds!  I’m extremely happy with my progress, and highly motivated to continue.  I really think meeting my first goal of 235 before my birthday in late October is within reach, and after that, my next goal will be to reach 215 – which will be a loss of 100 pounds!  It’s amazing to me that a 100-pound weight loss is now within my reach.  And I calculated last night, too, that at my height of 5 feet 10.5 inches, when I reach 212 pounds, I’ll no longer even be considered obese, but merely overweight according to the BMI charts!  That’s really a goal I want to reach.

So part of how I continued my loss this week was something that was a tad unintentional.  Late last week, I bought a plane ticket to take a trip to New York in early October (I can’t wait to spend some time in New York in the fall!), and I decided that I should cut back on my eating out a bit to help offset the expense.  I went grocery shopping, and I made a decision that buying fresh vegetables would help me stick to my plan to eat at home more, both because they’re much more appealing than frozen, and because I’d feel badly if I let them spoil without using them.

Turns out that was a great plan!  I enjoyed cooking healthily and enjoying the fresh flavors of what I made.  And the calories were well within what I needed to continue losing weight.  So today when I was deciding what to do for lunch, I decided to survey the refrigerator and pantry and see what I could throw together with what was left.  I use pasta fairly often, in very small quantities (using only about an ounce or two at a time as part of a mainly vegetable and protein based dish), but today, I wasn’t really feeling like pasta.

I had some flour tortillas in my pantry that weren’t going to last too much longer, and I had chicken breasts in the freezer.  I also had some fresh broccoli and carrots, and some canned tomatoes.  I started to think about some sort of taco with the chicken, and I wanted to do something a little different with the broccoli, so roasting came to mind.  I just got into the kitchen and started cooking with just the barest skeleton of a plan.  First the vegetables went into the oven to roast, and then I got started on the chicken filling for the tacos.  I didn’t really have the right

Italian Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Simple Roasted Vegetables

seasonings for something with a Mexican or Latin flavor, but I always have the right ingredients on hand for Italian flavors, and what I ended up with was actually pretty delicious.  At right is the finished plate, of what I came to call Italian Barbecue Chicken Tacos, with Simple Roasted Vegetables on the side.  If you’ve never had roasted broccoli, by the way, it is simply transcendant.  The tips of the florets transform into something light and crispy, while the stalks and stems take on a wonderful woodsy flavor.

If you don’t really cook much, go take a basic class to learn some techniques!  The food network is good for recipe ideas, but they’ve taken more of an edu-tainment route that doesn’t truly teach people how to cook anymore.  If you’ve got the basic techniques down, it’s great entertainment and a way to get new ideas, but if you need the basics, I highly recommend getting your hands on DVD’s of Julia Child’s PBS shows.  She actually wanted to teach us to understand why we do certain things in the kitchen.  Some of the PBS cooking shows today, though far outnumbered by Food Network, also still really try to teach, so check them out, as well.   And smelling your kitchen filled with the lovely scents of a good meal is very satisfying.  As Julia said best, “I like to smell something cooking; makes me feel at home!”  Give the recipes below a shot, and maybe this will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen, too!

Italian Barbecue Chicken Tacos

(Yields 4 Tacos – Serves 2)

  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 2T herbs/spices of your choice to season chicken breasts (I use Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic)
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, well-drained
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 1T balsamic vinegar jelly (or other savory jelly of your choice)
  • 1/4t garlic powder
  • 1/2T dried basil
  • 1/2T dried oregano
  • 4 small (fajita size) flour tortillas
  • 4t freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Rub chicken breasts with herbs/spices of your choice.  Heat a medium sautee pan over medium heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray, and then pan sautee the seasoned chicken breasts until cooked through, turning once during cooking and browning both sides.  Remove chicken breasts from pan, and let rest.  Drain the petite diced tomatoes well.  Add the olive oil to the hot pan, and add the drained tomatoes, along with the tomato paste.  Stir until combined and add basil, oregano, and garlic powder.  Lastly, add the balsamic or other savory jelly and let it melt into the sauce (I use a wonderful Balsamic Vinegar and Vidalia Onion jelly that I buy from a fantastic local Atlanta jelly maker called One Screw Loose – they also have an AH-MAZING orange cranberry pecan jelly that I love with roasted turkey or chicken.  Take a minute to visit their website by clicking here, or if you’re in Atlanta, look for them at local festivals and such).  Lower the heat and allow the tomato sauce to simmer while you slice the chicken breasts thinly and heat the tortillas in a dry skillet.  Add the chicken to the tomato mixture, combine well, and allow the entire mixture to heat and simmer for a few more minutes.  When the tortillas are warm, divide the chicken mixture evenly between the tortillas, and top each taco with 1t freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Simple Roasted Vegetables

(yield – approx. 1c – serves 1-2)

  • 1 stalk broccoli
  • 1/2c baby carrots
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1t coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • 1t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2t crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Cut the broccoli florets off the stalk, rinse and dry.  Peel the woody skin off the lower portion of the broccoli stalk, and then slice the stalk into medallions.  Slice the onion into fairly large pieces.  Place the cut broccoli, whole baby carrots, and sliced onions onto a shallow roasting/jelly roll pan with sides.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, and toss with clean hands until well-coated.  Roast in the oven on a middle rack until the broccoli has begun to brown, and the carrots and and onions are tender and somewhat caramelized.  Approximately 25-30 minutes.  The amounts in this recipe are somewhat unimportant.  Just use a larger pan for more vegetables and make sure you only have a single layer of vegetables so they can roast properly.  Also be careful to use just enough olive oil to barely coat the vegetables so you don’t burn excess oil in the oven – this can lead to a smokey kitchen!  Feel free to play with herbs and spices, as well, though I personally like just salt and pepper to allow the intensified flavor of the roasted vegetables to shine.  If the vegetables are a bit dry for your taste when done, toss with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and/or lemon juice.

BEFORE – Raw Vegetables Cut, Tossed in Oil and Seasonings, and Ready for the Oven

AFTER – Light and Crispy Broccoli Florets with Caramelized Carrots and Onions

Definition

August 26, 2012 Comments off

So I’ll start with the basics… Last week’s weigh in had been a little disappointing, with a .4 pound gain placing me at 249.3 pounds. I think it was an artificially high number that didn’t really reflect my actual progress, as I was having some digestion issues at the time. That was confirmed when I stepped on the scales Friday for this week’s weigh in. 245.6 pounds this week!!!!! That’s a 3.7 pound loss from last Friday, and a 13.0 pound loss since I restarted this journey in July! Overall, from my estimated highest weight of 315 pounds a few years back this is now a total loss of 69.4 pounds, and I’m only 10.4 pounds above my absolute lowest weight of 235.2 from a couple of years ago!!!

Needless to say, I’m very excited about my progress and feeling like I’m on track to potentially meet my next goal of getting to 235 before my birthday on October 30! I won’t lie; the numbers on the scale are important. However, there are other important things along this journey, too, that both motivate you to keep going and give you confidence in the here and now. For me, one of those things is when I begin to notice actual changes in my body.

I will never forget the morning a couple of years ago when I discovered my collar bones for the first time! This sounds so silly for a grown man to say, but

Read more…