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Posts Tagged ‘morbidly obese’

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!

‘Tis the Season: Five Tips for Taming Holiday Weight Gain

November 11, 2012 Comments off

I’m sitting here as I type watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.  Yes, it’s saccharin and laden with fantasy…and I love it.  These will become a weekend staple for the next six weeks or so.  And as the holidays are about to kick into high gear, it’s time to strategize for all the amazing, rich food that will be tempting us.  But first, an update on the last week…

A week ago, I weighed in at 232.1 pounds.  This was a gain over the week before, and honestly for the few weeks prior, I had kind of felt like I was at a bit of a plateau.  Exercise has definitely become more challenging with the time change, and I do plan to break down and join a gym soon.  But this week, I was back on track!  I weighed in at 229.3!!!  That’s a 2.8 pound loss from last week, and a 29.6 pound loss from when I re-started my weight loss efforts in July.  From my all time high of 315, it’s about an 86 pound loss now!  Being out of the 230’s is truly uncharted territory for me…  I think it’s been pre-high school since I’ve been this light!  That’s great motivation!!!

My goal is to reach 215 pounds by New Year’s.  That would be a 100 pound loss for me.  That’s about 14 more pounds in the next 7 weeks, or a two-pound a week loss.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas thrown in, along with my trip to New York in early December for the Cyndi Lauper Holiday concert, and the various parties I’ll be attending, I will NOT be beating myself up if I don’t reach my goal exactly on time.  However, I do want to ensure that I continue a downward trend, and certainly not gain any weight.  So here’s how I’m planning to do that – with my five tips for taming holiday weight gain: Read more…

True Colors: Overcoming Body Image and Non-Scale Victories!

October 27, 2012 Comments off

Writing this morning from my brand new, super speedy laptop!  Just call me flash.  Wait…I’m not sure I like the various connotations that could have…  Oh well, nevermind.  But it is so nice to be able to log in and write a blog entry without waiting 25 minutes for the computer to boot up…I probably should have replaced my seven year old dinosaur computer years ago.  The old one was so bad that I updated my blog from my iPhone the last two weeks, so those posts were short and to the point to say the least.  So let’s catch up a little bit.

First, yesterday was my weekly weigh in, and after a week of stasis, the loss is picking up again!  230.8 pounds this week!!!  That’s a 2.0 pound lost from a week ago, 27.8 pounds down from where I started this time around in July, and about 84 pounds from my estimated highest weight of 315 sometime in 2007-08.  I will say, loss has gotten a little more difficult lately.  My nutrition is still good, but I’m getting down to that point where exercise is becoming more and more important.  That’s been tricky with the sun going down earlier, and my being an evening exerciser.  I may end up having to join a gym soon, and that’s something that doesn’t really appeal to me, but I do want to keep up with my weight loss, so I’ll do what I have to when it gets to that.  My next goal is to reach 215 pounds, hopefully by New Year’s, which will mark 100 pounds lost.  It will be hard work, but I’m confident I can reach that goal.

So on various weight loss blogs and such, you’ll often hear the term “Non-Scale Victory” or NSV.  I think NSV’s represent the stuff of living, not just the numerical progress you’re making, but realizing the reasons why you’re working so hard to transform your life.  This past week, I’ve had a couple of significant NSV’s.  The most simple one was this morning.  I was Read more…

Reclaiming Swagger

September 17, 2012 2 comments

In my mind, it made me look like the Old Spice hottie…

Yesterday I realized on my way to the mall that I hadn’t put on deodorant. Not a good feeling – whatsoever. So I stopped by the Rite-Aid near my apartment and ran in to get a travel size deodorant instead of turning around to go back home. I was a little amused when the only travel size men’s deodorant they had was a little miniature Old Spice called “Swagger.”

I went ahead and bought it, put some on in the car, and went about my merry way. This trip to the mall had been coming all day. Why? You might ask. Because I woke up with a craving. I have no idea where it came from, and no, I’m not pregnant, but I woke up yesterday morning craving a jalapeno pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. I literally planned my day around it. My normal afternoon snack is an apple and 2 sticks of 2% cheddar cheese, less than 200 calories. The pretzel wasn’t a well-balanced healthy carb/protein snack, but I was going to have it, dammit, even though it was 330 calories.

I made a deal with myself, though. I didn’t want to go to the park for my jogs this weekend because of yet another arts festival there, so I decided if I allowed myself to have the pretzel, I would walk around the mall for no less than two hours (not senior citizen mall walking, mind you, but still walking with some purpose, allowing myself to browse a bit, without sitting down or totally stopping for two hours straight). I figured that would at least burn the excess calories, if not a bit more. So you can see why the deodorant stop was essential.

Walking around the mall, I made an observation about my journey and my

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

Weekly Weigh-In #44: Live Life Today!

August 28, 2010 13 comments

Okay, so this post is going to seem a bit all over the place, but it really all comes down to the same premise, so I’ll do my best to tie it all together.  First of all, today was my 44th weekly weigh in, and I came in at 235.2 pounds!!!  That’s a 2.9 pound loss from last week, and I’ve now lost 72.8 pounds total from my starting weight of 308 pounds on October 30th of last year.  Yay.  Woo-hoo.  Go me.  Now down to business.

Not that I’m minimizing my loss this week, but here’s the deal: I know how to lose weight.  I’ve been doing it consistently for nearly a year now.  This journey is about weight loss.  But it’s also about getting healthy and fit.  And exercise is a big part of that; it’s not all about nutrition.  While I was studying for the bar exam, I also ended up experiencing a layoff.  That’s something I haven’t yet talked about on this blog, but there you have it.  It’s pretty common, unfortunately, in this economy, and between that and trying to get on track for the bar exam, I completely lost my exercise mojo.  I’d get in a stray run every now and then – maybe once a week at most – but nothing consistent.  My awesome trainer and nutritionist started encouraging me after the bar to just get back into it, and it brought back the old Nike slogan, “Just Do It!,” which I love for all kinds of reasons.  In fact, I remembered this Nike commercial this past week as I was trying to get back into gear with exercise:

Don’t you love that?!?  Seriously, what was I waiting for?  I lost this weight for a reason – to be able to do things I couldn’t before, to be healthier, to be more confident, to enjoy my life more, to enjoy my family and friends more, to be the person I always knew I could be if I only had the confidence to move forward.  And by putting exercise on hold because of these other circumstances that had me stressed out, I’d done the new me (that had always been there, just waiting to get out) a disservice.

So yesterday, I began Read more…