Tales of Diet and Exercise

What’s up Party People?!? What’s it been, two weeks? No Game of Thrones tonight so I shall endeavor to entertain you with tales of diet and exercise.

When I started this mess (I use that phrase a lot), I knew dinner was a problem. I don’t get out of work until 6 p.m. and my commute takes at least an hour. As much as I have cut down my caloric intake (food) dramatically I was still eating between 500 and 1,000 calories for dinner depending on the scope of the meal.

I have pretty much replaced dinner with protein shakes and the results have been remarkable. May 12 I weighed 215. I ticked back up a pound and a half by the 15th or so and that’s when I started the protein shake deal. I lost six pounds in a week. No more big meals at all. Breakfast and lunch are my biggest meals and I snack in-between to keep my metabolism moving and to prevent overeating. I lift weights from 9-9:45 p.m. or so and have a light snack after working out.

Shin splints or whatever you want to call it have kept me from walking/running during the day so I have been walking/running on the weekends. I recorded my best 5K time yet yesterday.

I am down to 209.8. I haven’t been under 210 in three years.

So, that’s in the range of 27 pounds lost.

It’s simple math loyal readers. So many people have been trying to tell me that. You must burn more than you consume in order to lose weight. You also have to consume the right things. Protein is a great help for fat burning.

My hair stylist (or whatever someone who works at Super Cuts is called) asked if it’s been easy for me to lose weight.

No.

This is hard work and it takes sacrifice, dedication and commitment. I wonder how active we must have been as children to not pack on the pounds. Even during the winters in New York we were outside playing in the snow. Granted, metabolism slows down as we age. How much of a lump had I become? How much of a glutton had I become?

Anyone who knows me knows I can be judgmental. I shouldn’t be, I am no better than anyone else. And I am still 19 pounds away from goal #1. However, yesterday I saw two very large women at the mall sidled up to the counter at Sbarro. Now, I have been known to get a slice from Sbarro from time to time, but I just kept thinking “your ass wouldn’t have its own gravitational pull if you didn’t eat that stuff.”

I miss certain things greatly. I am a chocolate fiend. I have been known to eat chocolate double-stuff Oreo cookies by the sleeve. I love Pringles and potato chips in general. I can kill a can of Pringles in one sitting. I guess I miss the idea of them greatly. The scale and my waistline don’t miss them at all. To be quite honest, I have gotten used to going without massive quantities of treats and I don’t miss it at all. I miss double-doubles at In and Out Burger. That’s what I miss.

Greek yogurt is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth most of the time. I now have one small piece of candy instead of half the bag. I have a short stack of multi-grain Pringles instead of the whole can of Lays BBQ Staxx. Just because it says “multi-grain” doesn’t mean they’re that much healthier, but they’re better than their cousins. I am also not going to deny myself some simple tasty pleasures every now and again.

I guess my point to this entry is there is no magic pill. There is no magic diet – South Beach, Atkins, pineapple, breakfast cereal. Bah. Humbug. Eat right and bust your ass. Find something that works for you. Walk, run, lift weights…get a gym membership, buy a weight set, get some resistance bands…something…anything.

I converted my office into a weight room with an inexpensive weight set and bench because I don’t have time to go to the gym. I gave up video game playing and TV time to lift weights at night.

Diet and exercise. No excuses. Period. There is nothing else.

Those words are going to guide me to my goal and guide me after I reach it. I don’t know if 236 was my actual heaviest ever. I think it was. As I started to creep toward 240, I thought that I was doomed to morbid obesity if I didn’t do something about it. I caved when I got to 200 pounds in 2010. I succumbed to laziness and largess when it came to food. I didn’t think about hidden calories in salad dressing, butter/margarine, alcoholic beverages or snacking. I used to talk myself out of exercising.

I don’t like counting calories. I have mentioned that before. It may work for you. If I was still sedentary, 2,500 calories is what I need as a 5’10”, 43-year-old man to maintain my current weight. That is not a lot. You get to 2,000 calories in a day quickly. For me to lose weight I need no more than 2,400 calories in a day if I am exercising every day (which I am). I try to stay under 2,000. I get to 600 calories or so with just breakfast and lunch, 300 more with my two snacks during the day. That’s 900 and I haven’t had dinner yet. Now you know why I switched to protein shakes for dinner. I really want to be under 200 pounds by my birthday June 29.

You may think, “that’s not a lot of food.” Too bad. Your body does not need as much as you think it does. I feel better than I have in a long time. I have more energy, I’m stronger, my mental acuity is sharper and I am not in as much discomfort.

You are not going to lose any weight parking your ass on the couch and wolfing down potato chips by the family-size bag. Trust me. I am living proof.

Now that my cholesterol and triglycerides are under control I am allowing myself a little culinary treat now and again. I indulged in a guilty pleasure today with Zweigle’s white hots on the grill. But you know what? I’ll be hitting the bricks on the shoe leather express in a bit to work them off.

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