Monday, December 31, 2012

Weight Loss Update: 12/30/12

Short update!   Yesterdays 10 day average was 226.15, down 5.75 pounds from 2 weeks ago.   This exceeds my goals, but we're likely going to be slowing things up in the next weigh-in period.   Why?

Cuz my back is killing me!   I don't know what I've done but it's giving me fits.  I've eliminated walking and changed up my exercise routine hoping to speed it's recovery.   This will no doubt reflect on my next weigh-in, but that's okay!

Happy Eating!

-Norm  aka John Smith 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weight Loss Update: 12/16/12

 This morning the scale said I weighed 228.5 pounds, bringing my official Ten Day Average to 231.9 pounds.   This is down considerably from two weeks ago when I weighed 236.0 pounds and had a Ten Day Average of 240.3 pounds.  This is quite a bit more than 1% body weight per week, which is my long-term goal, and this pushes me a couple pounds in front of that long term goal.

 What's going on?  Just a few weeks ago the scale wasn't moving at all and I was left guessing as to the reasons why.  That's all I can do now is guess as to why it's not only moving again, but moving faster than planned.

 First and foremost, it's not a change in my diet.   Just as there was no big change in diet when the scale stopped moving, there is no big change in diet now that it's moving quickly again.  If anything, the past week I've eaten MORE food in an attempt to slow the rate of drop.

 My best guess is this....    All the hard work of the yoga and the pushups and the walking have built up enough muscle mass on me that I'm now burning more calories than I was before.   In case you didn't know, muscle burns more calories even while you're doing nothing, so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn even when you're just sitting or standing doing nothing at all.   

  Am I happy about all this?  You betcha!   I am well into uncharted territory with my weight loss.   I have never been here before.  Last time I was at this weight I wasn't even at my full height, so I have no reference point to go on.   I can tell you this...   I was expecting this point in my weight loss to be much more difficult than this.  It's not!   I simply eat as much as I want of foods I've come to love and my body rewards me with better and better health.

 Now is as good as time as any to update my "Volume Eating", or compulsive overeating problem.   I no longer have an issue with it.  I knew I was eating too much food.  I changed the amount of food I ate.  It was painful at first and the first weeks were difficult, but over time it's become a non-issue.  I am now fully satisfied at my new volume of food and I don't have to measure portions or even think about it.  Just eat till I've had my fill.    Can it really be that easy?   Apparently it can.

 So many people tell me how thrilled they are for my success but that they just couldn't do it themselves.  They just can't give up the foods they love.   Many of these people have known me for years and KNOW how much I loved those very same foods.   They KNOW how I slowly and painlessly transitioned away from those foods, and if they pay attention, they'd KNOW how I'm not missing those foods at all any more and actually enjoy the food I eat more than I've ever enjoyed food before.   To those people I once again urge to consider a move towards a whole-foods plant-based diet!

 Happy Eating!

 -Norm  aka  John Smith  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Green Tea For Me!

 I have avoided coffee, tea, and anything with caffeine in it for a very long time now because caffeine would spike my blood pressure significantly.   But my blood pressure has been normal for quite a while now and recently, back in October, I did a little "test" to see how it'd affect my blood pressure now.  I was at an early morning function, was tired, and there was plenty of coffee available.   So I had a cup.  Then two.  Then three.   Before long I was riding a caffeine buzz I hadn't experienced in years.   Then when I left, I drove to the pharmacy to check my blood pressure!   It was slightly elevated from what it normally is these days, but still well within normal acceptable range.   In comparison, years ago, even one cup of coffee would spike my blood pressure 20-25 points on top of my normal every day already too-high blood pressure.  

 So I decided I'd consider adding coffee back into my normal routine.    But is coffee healthy?   I've heard lots of pros and cons over the years.   Many insist coffee is a wonder drug.  Many insist it's straight from the devil.  Who to trust?    I trust Dr. McDougall, who's take on diet and nutrition have helped me lose over 250 pounds...    and you can read what he has to say about coffee in his July 2004 Newsletter.

Okay, so coffee was out.   But what about tea?   Apparently there is good news about tea!  Check out Dr. McDougall's October 2004 Newsletter. Tea is linked with all sorts of beneficial things, including longer life, cancer avoidance, and weight loss!

Real world application?    This is purely anecdotal, but as you know if you've been following my blog, I recently went through a period of time were my weight loss stalled and the scale would not budge.  The two things I changed up when the scale started moving again was to add back in walking to my routine, and to add in 2 cups of green tea every day.   The walking helped, which I knew it would, having had it as part of my routine for quite a while in the past.  But the scale has been moving much more dramatically than I'd have ever thought based upon my experience in the past.    Is the green tea helping with my weight loss?    I don't know!  It can't hurt.  There is evidence that suggests it might, and my weight loss kicked back up after adding in the green tea.    That's enough for me to keep with it, and to present it to you for your consideration!

 Happy Eating!

-Norm  aka  John Smith


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Half The Man

 There are three major milestones all close to each other, so we're going to celebrate them all at once, even though they're not all "official" yet!

The first...     at 243 pounds, half of what I weighed at my peak (486 pounds), I become Half The Man I used to be!

The second...  at 240 pounds I tie the lowest weight I've ever gotten to as an adult, and at 239 I weigh what I did in 10th grade.

 The third...  at 236 pounds I will have lost 250 pounds!!


 My "official" weight this morning, the one reported on my blog and weight graph, which is a running ten day average, is 240.3 pounds, so I've "officially" hit the first half of those goals.
 My "unofficial" weight, the actual weight of the scale this morning, was 236.0 pounds, so I've "unofficially" hit the other half!   It is fitting that we celebrate them all together!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  In some cases, a picture tells the whole story.  I think the two pictures below say more than any ten thousand words I could type, so I don't see the point in cluttering up this post with too many more words!

 The first is of me at my peak weight and me at my current weight:

480-ish Pounds                                        237 Pounds

And the second is of me at my current weight standing in one pants leg of the pants I wore at my largest weight.

What can I say that'll top that?   Not much.   So I'll spend the rest of this blog post listing off and thanking many of the people who've had an impact on my journey to better health.  I can't possibly list them all, but know that I am truly grateful for everyone's never ending encouragement.   A few people I'd like to mention by name are:

Chris and Emma are two good friends who are ethical vegans and who have shared with me over the years their reasons for eating as they do and who, although they didn't know it, planted some seeds that made it easier for me when I finally decided to change my diet.

Jerry is a friend from a local group we're both in.  Two years ago he invited us to come watch a video about diet and nutrition.   That video had an impact on me.  I wasn't even going to go watch it, but my friend Billy cared enough about me to call me and remind me about it and encourage me to go watch it.   Billy and his wife, because of their own diet and lifestyle, have also had an influence on my dietary decisions and weight loss.   

 Paula is a dear friend who was thrilled that I wanted to mill my own wheat and bake my own bread.    She kindly invited me into her home and spent an afternoon showing me how to bake bread!  She also gave me a book, titled Flour Power, which really had an impact on steering me away from processed foods of all kinds.

Diane, who was curious and supportive of my weight loss efforts was the one who told me about a book she was reading called The China Study, and suggested I read it and also look up someone else she found on the internet...    by the name of Dr. John McDougall.   Dr. McDougall has had more of an influence on my dietary changes than any other person.   His video The Starch Solution  brought everything I had been learning into focus and laid out a clear path for me to follow.   Once I got a grasp of a whole-foods starch-centered diet my journey kicked into overdrive and it's been a rocket ride ever since!  On his website is a forum where more people have been an inspiration to me than I could possibly list.

 Jeff Novick is a dietitian and nutritional guru.  His simple and clear explanation of Calorie Density has given me the single most powerful tool in my weigh loss arsenal.  

 Diamond Dallas Page, creator of DDP Yoga which I've been doing since June 2012, has been a real help.   If you're not familiar with DDP Yoga, check it out.

 But more than any other person on the planet, I owe more thanks to my wife, Lisa, who has not only loved and supported me every step of this journey, but who loved and supported me just as I was before I even began this journey.   The world is seeing an incredible transformation in me as I lose all this weight...   she saw the potential within me before I even started, and has been by my side encouraging me every step of the way.   I could not, and would not have done it without her love and support.   

Thank you All!

Happy Eating!

-Norm  aka John Smith