Monday, July 30, 2012


5 months in, I've started to realize I only snack on a few things.  I have a few go to snacks (pretzels, reduced fat Pringles, granola bars), but I needed something else.  Part of my problem was I could have a huge snack right after I ate a big meal.  I am a computer geek, so I tend to spend hours in front of the screen doing god knows what.  I do work on sim racing projects (3D stuff), but outside of that its games, reading, or YouTube.  YouTube is like that Lay's commercial, "I bet you can't watch just 1?"  Due to my slight computer geekyness (that's a word now, its on the internet, its true), I created an excel spreadsheet of snacks.  I was just searching the forums at MFP and a few other sites, then writing down serving size, calories, etc.  A few new snacks that I just didn't think about was grapes, raisins, fruit roll-ups, pudding, jell-o, and popcorn.  With being Mr Mom, sometimes I just want to be able to grab and go.  While I might not be going anywhere, the kids will be on me like hawks if I keep the frig or pantry door open for to long.  I started to toss in some apples, rice crispy treats, Kroger yogurts, and even some Weight Watchers frozen stuff.  The Weight Watchers Strawberry Smoothie Low Fat Frozen Yogurt is a super long name for a product, plus only 60 calories, 1g of fat/fiber/protein, and DELICIOUS!

I don't like those fancy fruits and nuts just don't agree with me.  So here is my question to you all, HELP ME FIND NEW SNACKS!  I defiantly need to broaden my horizon when it comes to snacks.  I have enough calories to eat each day if my meals are normal size.  I have walked the isles at the store and still draw a blank on healthy snacks.  It's either I don't want to see it or just overlook possible snack ideas.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Retweet with Chris Powell

TIP: Women should never eat <1200 calories & men <1500 calories. Exercise creates the deficit needed 4 weight loss.

I normally wouldn't post a tweet but I think this is very informative.  From post on MFP and a few other places, I really feel sometimes people don't get this.

Month 4 and 5, Temptation Island

I look at November and December as "Temptation Island", Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I'm sure every family has their favorite dishes and mine is the same.  We have parties for both sides of the family to attend.  Double the fun!  All you have to say is sticky rolls and ears perk up like a hunting dog in my house.  Definition of a sticky roll: basic dinner roll cooked with stuff on top that is known to cause orgasms.  While I don't think those are the exact ingredients, they are just that good.  In my prime, 6-8 rolls would suffer a quick and painful death in my belly.  Normal dinner roll is +/- 100 cals, then add in the butter, brown sugar, 7 herbs and spices, and my guess it pushes each roll to around 140-150 cals a piece.  I love these things!  I would eat one or two or six while waiting in line to get my food, then put a few more on my plate for good measure.  We have these at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That's just the rolls, please don't get my started on my Great Aunt and Uncles cream candy.  The my Aunts Heavenly Hash with green jello, dear lord that is yummy!  I am gaining weight just talking about these things.  I will attempt to hunt down pics of these delicious holiday treats.

Both of these days roll around, and I can honestly say I was proud of myself.  Thanksgiving I only had I think 4 rolls.  I had 4 because there really wasn't much else I could eat other then turkey and pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is healthy?  Isn't it?  ;)  I managed the same thing at Christmas time.  It was painful to see all those rolls sit there with nowhere to go but I knew I had a bigger goal in store, another 40 lbs.

Will Power: 2
Sticky Rolls: 1

Well I did eat 4 each time so they at least scored 1 point for that.  lol  Rain and cold set in which slowed my exercise a bit.  I wasn't going to put my 2/1 yr olds in stroller in that weather.  My bike in the basement seat was so uncomfortable, that I hoped just staying under on calories would do the trick till the weather changed.  December was very mild and with the wife off school for winter break I was able to get some walks in.  Overall still pleased with the past 8 weeks results, 17.2 lbs for a total of 65.4.  Closing in on the 2nd 40 lb goal.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portion Control

Hands down my biggest hurdle when I started.  I always thought measuring cups were for making food not to eat it.  The first few time I used them to measure my food, my jaw hit the floor.  I could not believe the size of 1 cup of mashed mashed potatoes, corn, or how much 3 oz of meat really was.  Once I wrapped my head about this concept, it was more then clear how I got to 340+ lbs, I ate WAY to much.  I still might have only had 3 meals and a few snacks a day, but each meal was prob 1000+ calories.  I would not doubt when I ate french fries, I was prob in the 150-200 calories range in ketchup alone.  I wish I was kidding but its true.  My family thought I used to drink it.  Spaghetti was the biggest surprise for me.  I remember that mound of noodles and had them swimming in sauce.  Larosa's spaghetti sauce, YUM!  Needless to say we don't have that to often.

I would say I haven't completely eliminated some foods like spaghetti and pizza due to calories per serving.  Hows the saying go, "Everything in moderation."  If I eat Papa Johns pizza, its either a special occasion or a nice treat to myself for all my hard work.  It doesn't happen often so when I do eat something like that, I've found it taste so much better!  Those days I also don't go over my calories either.  Walk/bike/jog to make sure of that.  Prime example, today we ate lunch at Gold Star Chili.  It's a Cincinnati style chili place  that we have ate at all our lives. Since we look at that place the same as Papa Johns, we haven't had it in almost a year.   I would normally get 4 cheese coneys (chili, shredded cheddar cheese, hot dog, bun, mustard) which is 310 calories a pop, plus an order of fries with ketchup.  A meal easily 1500+ calories.  Today I got a Caesar Salad and 1 cheese coney.    700 delicious calories that was well worth the wait.

I borrowed this from the website Meals Matter,
  • Woman's fist or baseball -- a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
  • A rounded handful -- about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta – this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
  • Deck of cards -- a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don't count your fingers!) – for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
  • Golf ball or large egg -- one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
  • Tennis ball -- about one half cup of ice cream
  • Computer mouse -- about the size of a small baked potato
  • Compact disc -- about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
  • Thumb tip -- about one teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Six dice -- a serving of cheese
  • Check book -- a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chris Powell, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition

Where do you start with this guy?  I've watched most seasons of Biggest Loser and to be honest I do like his show a little better.  The competition side of BL takes away from the crazy amounts of weight these people lose.  Now, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition is 1 person vs themselves.  Watching this show, while they are given all the tools to hit their goals, just seems a little more real.  Chris Powell, a trainer that was made famous for helping a guy go from the size of an F-150 to a Smart Car.  He helped David Smith lose 401 lbs in 26 months.  That is not a typo, 401 lbs!  If you haven't watched this show before, and since your reading this blog I highly recommend it.  You can find the first 2 seasons on

Quick rundown of the show.  He takes a morbidly obese person and moves in with them for 3 months.  Sets an outrageous goal for them, sometimes upwards up 150 lbs.  They hit the goal, they get some reward.  He moves out then real life begins.  That would be just a snippet of whats going on, but you get the idea.  So other then talking up this show, why did I bring him up specifically?  This guy is no Bob Harper.  Other then his negative body fat %, he is an EXTREMELY positive person.  At first your like, COME ON! This guy can't be real.  After watching a few episodes you get used to it and then crazy enough I started to like him.  He is kinda like Nascar driver Jimmies Johnson.  He is good at what he does and always comes off as a nice guy.  When you think about it, how often does anyone have a person like that in their life?  Someone that 110% believes that they can do this.

I started to watch this show at a perfect time. I watched a few episodes last season while it was on but missed most of them. I was just hitting month 11 and knew my 100 lb goal in a year was going to be close.  While he is motivating these folks to lose crazy amounts of weight, it was motivating me.   One of those if they can do it, so could I.  I was talking with someone who I worked with for over 10 years.  She has seen my entire range of emotions.  My funny side, my serious side, my sad side, and my I have smoke coming out of ears rage side.  I was a big guy.  At 340+ lbs I could fit all those sides on me.  She said I can tell you have changed.  I told her, I've lost 100 lbs. lol  She said no, it was more that you seem happier.

You know what?  She's right...  I just lost 100 lbs without stepping 1 foot in a gym or taking a single Tom Cruise voodoo pill.  My confidence is off the chart and oddly enough I owe a small percentage of that to him.  It was just refreshing to see.  When you believe in yourself, you can achieve goals you used to think were untouchable.  That's what he does in the show.  Chris says, "If you say I can't do something, I will prove to you that you can."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Month 2 and 3 Review

After 4 great weeks, I kept the ball rolling for 8 more.  Week 10 it rained most of it as well as week 11 and 12.  I didn't realize Kentucky had a monsoon season.  We had a stationary bike but I thought I was doing good so figured I would just wait out the rain.  By week 13 I was wrong and the scale showed it.  I never went over on calories but obviously the exercise is what was helping me along.  Still, 26.6 lbs in 9 weeks was a great feeling!  I was out of the 300's and weighed in at 292.4 lbs.  Last time I weighed 292 was probably 1997-98.  Little slip up in month 3 but that's life. Can't control the weather but can control how much exercise I do.  It just showed me for the winter months I better come up with a plan if I want to keep moving in the right direction.  13 weeks straight with a loss, couldn't be more thrilled.  I thought I would be done after a month, now I've lost 48.2 lbs!  First 40 lbs lost goal met and 2nd 40 lb goal started.  It took me 11 weeks to lose 40 lbs, how hard could the next 40 be?  ...insert evil laugh here...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I found once I had a goal, I pushed myself a little harder to hit that goal.  My first goal was 40 lbs.  I started at 340 and just wanted to get out of the 300's.  That took 11 weeks to do.  I hit that goal but still wasn't happy with where I was at so set another 40 lbs goal.  Each goal while big, wasn't extremely hard to achieve.   Hard, yes, but not over the top.  I hear so many stories about folks wanting to lose 100 lbs or more.  Their only goal is 100, nothing else.  I also hear about how this is their ump-teenth time doing it.  Some folks can set huge goals and meet them.  I feel most folks need to set small goals at first to show themselves that they can do it.  It feels great to hit goals, trust me.  When I saw that scale hit 239.6, it was like that monkey is now off my back.  If you have dieted before and can't stick with it, I suggest starting off with a smaller goal.  25-30 lbs is a good starter.  Even if that's the only goal you hit, still 30 lbs is still a nice loss.  It's just a silly game we need to play with our mind.

Once you get that taste of success, its hard to get that flavor out of your mouth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Exercise and Heart Rate Monitors

Borrowed from the movie Field of Dreams, "If you do it, the weight loss will come."  While that's not always true, its sure not going to put weight on you.  I feel walking is the easiest thing to get started with.  No one is so busy they cant take 30 mins out of their day and go for a walk.  You only get a 15 min break at work, walk it.  Just do something to get your heart rate elevated a little.  No way I could have lost the weight I have without exercise.  If you ask any coach I've had my entire life, runner is not a word that would come out of their mouth.  I hit balls over 400 feet and still almost got thrown out.  I can honestly say I enjoy exercise.  I take my 2 boys out in the stroller and cruise the neighborhood.   Sometimes I even get to go for walks on my own!  Crazy I know!  It's just nice to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh smog, and burn off some stress.  I'm not saying go out and do a marathon, but 30 mins of walking can burn upwards of 175+ calories.  While pushing my boys when I was around 300 lbs, I could burn 300-350 calories in 30 mins.  I added a few hills in there from time to time to up the intensity.  How did I know it was 300-350?  I use a Heart Rate Monitor.

HRM for short can be a watch or a chest strap with a gizmo on it.  There are many designs but they are all intended to monitor your heart rate.  I use a Polar FT7 HRM with a chest strap.  It lets me know in real time what my current heart rate is and how many calories I'm burning (plus some other crap).  If you are serious about exercise, I highly recommend getting a HRM.  This way it takes all the guessing out of how many calories you burned.  I'm not going to go into details on them but they can get super fancy.  Some are Bluetooth ready where they can connect to your smart phone.  I purchased mine in month 2 and it made recording my burn 1000 times easier.  I purchased mine at Best Buy but I've seen them at Wal-Mart, Sears, Dicks Sporting Goods, etc.  You could probably get online and find a better deal then the store.  

Note:  I am not a doctor nor play one on TV.  These are my opinions and mine only so please use my advice with caution.  This might be the only blog that comes with a warning label.

Monday, July 16, 2012

First Month in Review

To be honest, I figured I would do this diet thing for a month or so, lose 10-15 lbs and then go back to normal life.  So when weigh in number 4 rolled around I lost 2.4 lbs.  Iin the first 4 weeks of my diet I've lost a total of 18.6 lbs!  I went from 340 to 321.4 lbs in just 4 weeks.  To me that was insane!  I figured lets give this another month or so and see where I end up.  Its been a few years since I weighed 320, I could only imagine what I would weigh in 2-3 months.  The first month was a HUGE learning experience.  It took about 2 weeks to really get a grip on what I was eating.  Bored and just wanted a snack had to go.  Self control is the name of the game.  Without it, you will struggle to succeed if you really need to lose weight.  Not saying you can't without it, but it just makes it hard when there are temptations around every corner.  You need some self control, some will power, and a little bit of confidence doesn't hurt either.  End of the day,  your losing this weight for you.  You can say its for my kids, my wife/husb, but if you weren't doing it for you then whats the point?  Here is a chart of my first month,

My goals set out were for 3x30 mins of exercise per week.  All 1347 mins of this was walking, nothing else. With 2 little ones and a tight budget, a gym membership is out of the question.  

Note to self:  If your 330 lbs, and try to jog for the first time since Moby Dick was a guppy, don't jog uphill on a huge hill.  Results will not be good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

About My Fitness Pal

You can download MFP for your Android, I-Anything, or just use it straight from the website.  Its free and takes all of 2 mins to sign up.  Once you sign up you need to fill out some stuff about yourself to get started.  Age/sex/activity level/how much you want to lose (I'm sure there's more).  How much you can lose ranges from .5 to 2 lbs.  When I signed up I was 340 lbs, desk job (sorta), and put I wanted to lose 2 lbs per week.  That started me out at 2250 calories a day.  It also ask how much exercise do you plan to do.  Whats nice about MFP is that when you go out and burn off 400 calories, you can eat some or all of them back and still stay within your goal range.  Since your 2250 is setup for 2lbs, that 400 calories was just an extra bonus.  I tend to eat no more then 50% of my calories back.  If you think about it, you go for a walk so you can eat more.  To me that is a win win situation!

Up to this point in my life I had no idea what a serving of anything was.  A serving of Pringles was the can and however many pretzel rods I could fit in my hand worked to.  I don't remember on the first day if I just ate normal or accidentally went over by 421 calories.  Either or it was a HUGE learning curve for me.  The first month of MFP you will either have to manually enter your food in or use the barcode scanner,  We shop at Kroger's mainly and there hasn't been much that's not in MFP database.  If its not in there, just find something similar.  There is a local pizza place we love that serves food just like a chain joint.  I asked the owner about nutritional info but she said they just never got around to doing it.  Just find a similar food till you can really narrow down what your eating.  After a few weeks to a month you will notice you tend to eat the same things often.  Those things will be in your quick menu in order of your choice.  Very handy since I only snack on a few things mainly and eat the hell out of Subway.  Need help with MFP, just ask or visit the sites own forum that is very active.  Its great for ideas on food, exercise, and if the person who post above you is hot or not.

Day 1

Its my little ones 1st birthday party.  I'm about 340 lbs give or take a piece of cake.  I know I need to lose some weight and I've thought about it before, just never had the motivation to do it.  At the party my brother/sister-in-law showed me an app that helped them lose weight called  I took the hint after about the 3rd time of showing me how to use the app.  JERKS! and thanks at the same time.  lol  They had me sign up online then install the app on my android phone.  MFP (what the cool kids call it) is free!  Can't beat that price.  It's very similar to another app called Lose it.  MFP is the same concept like Weight Watchers but without all the stupid points.  I lost 50 lbs using Weight Watchers, so I'm allowed to say the points are stupid!  There I got that off my chest, I feel better now.  You put the basics age/sex/weight/how active/how much you want to lose each week (which ranges from .5 to 2 lbs) and it will spit out how many calories you can eat each day.  TBH, it's as simple as that.  They had me signed up and ready to go within 5 mins.  Now, its up to me if I really want this to work or not.  I was thinking that if I lost 15-20 lbs at least my clothes would fit better.

Leading up to Day 1.

For any journey, there has to be a day 1 with events that lead to you starting said journey.  Well for me there was a few but nothing to major.  Dec of my 8th grade year, I was 5'10 150.  I had to be 150 to make the weight limit for football.  July before the start of my freshman year at Dixie, I tipped the scales at 200 and was now 6'1.  Yes, if it wasn't tied down I ate it.  That's basically what happened all through high school.  I grad in 96 6'3 255 lbs.  Spent all of 7 days at Morehead State University after I hurt my sciatic nerve again.  It took me 6 months to a year to get over that.  Fast forward to 2002 I joined a racing team.  I was a mechanic and over the wall crew member.  Plus part time body guard (few folks know exactly what I'm talking about).  Bought a racing gokart and started to race in Middletown.  I was in the Super Heavy class which was driver/kart 400+ lbs.  By this point I was around 310-320 then with kart I was over 500 lbs on the scale.  Needless to say that was a short lived career since I ended up flipping the kart.  I opened my eyes and saw sky thinking, "hey, I shouldn't be looking at that?"  I cracked my chest with that trick.  Another 6 months and some time in rehab to fix that mistake.  By this point I'm over 330 lbs.  Crew for hire was over when a few of the members got jobs in NASCAR (teams) so I really didn't have anything to do.  Fast forward now to summer 2011.  I have 2 little kids both under the age of 3.  I have a family history that its almost easier to just say what we haven't had.  To list some majors, diabetes, high/low blood pressure, kidney failure, heart issues, and cancer to just name a few.  My father, when he hit his 58th b-day became the oldest male in our family in a direct line (his dad, g-pa, gg-pa, ggg-pa).  Issue is I'm just a bigger version of him. Finally decided, I'm tired of following in his footsteps.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Welcome to my blog, Fat to 5K!

A lot has happened to me in the past year.  Aug 8th 2011 I stepped on the scale at 340 lbs.  As of July 9th 2012 I tipped the scales at 240.8 lbs.  A total of 99.2 lbs in 340 (ish) days.  My goal is 1 year 100 lbs and if I don't get it this week, come hell or high water I will get it next.  I don't think I went about my weight loss in the traditional Weight Watchers or Nutra System kinda way.  When folks hear how much I've lost, normally the first thing out of their mouth after, "WOW" is how? I figured it would be easier for me to write about my weight loss journey.  How I went from 340 lb to running my first 5K in 11 months only after 3 months of jogging.  I also plan to go into detail about the next chapter in my life, triathlons.  If this blog helps 1 person to start their own weight loss journey, then every keystroke is worth it.

Side note: This format might change once I learn exactly what I'm doing here, so please bare with me.