Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the Wagon, Even at Home

I have spent the past week in Michigan, but that hasn't stopped me from exercising and (mostly) eating right. My dad has a membership to the local Planet Fitness -- an amazing gym for the price -- and his membership comes with guest privileges, so I have been working out hard every couple days. And I've been showing my family how to eat well, cooking them whole wheat spaghetti and making wild rice and Tofurky sausage and peppers -- ya know, all my classics. And they really like it! Eating healthy doesn't have to taste bad.

I have also started to train for the 10 Mile Cherry Blossom Run on April 1st. Just 92 days left (according to my nifty countdown app). It starts off slowly -- a minute of running, 90 seconds of walking, repeat 8 times -- but I have really been pushing it on the last couple minutes of running. Yesterday I pumped up the Aerosmith and pushed the treadmill up to 7, and then 7.5 mph! I kept that pace up for a whole minute and I felt totally exhilarated by the end.

Then I slept like a baby.

I will admit I've been eating more Thai food than is normal, and going out to eat with old friends. That will taper off soon and I plan to get right back to my healthy diet once I'm back in DC. And then... onward.

The Planet Fitness that has been keeping me sane this week.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Today I didn't eat so cleanly but I kept the calories low AND I started Couch to 5K.

I know it's silly but I already think my face looks a little thinner. I'm SO tired from all the exercising but I am also a lot more chipper!

  • Bagel with cream cheese (400), coffee/cream (100), 15g protein
  • Beefaroni (420, 16g)
  • [EXERCISE: C25K Day 1]
  • Grilled chicken with jasmine rice and butter (600, 35g)
  • Chocolate chip cookie (200)
  • Chickarina soup (260, 16g)
  • Syntha-6 (200, 22g)
TOTAL: ~2,200, 104g protein

Friday, December 23, 2011


My weight cannot be as bad as I think because today I wore pants that I bought 6.5 years ago, and they still fit perfectly. And they are not the kind of pants that would stretch over time. Sooo at least some of the weight gain has to be muscle mass.

HOWEVER, that changes nothing. My resolve is strong and I will succeed.

I would type more, but my chest, arms, and shoulders are incredibly sore -- Wednesday's workout has finally hit me, and it was almost impossible to put my jacket on tonight.

I can do this.


  • 10:30 am: 2 servings Syntha-6 chocolate protein powder, with 10 oz. of 1% milk (400 + 120 = 520, 54g)
  • 1:30 pm: Potbelly's: Big Wreck on Wheat, thin-cut (835, 42g) + Zapps chips (120, 1g) - half
  • 3:00 pm: Other half of Potbellys
  • 6:00 pm: 2 servings Syntha-6 chocolate protein powder, with 10 oz. of 1% milk (400 + 120 = 520, 54g)
  • [8:30 - LOWER BODY WORKOUT + 27 minutes on the recumbent bike]
  • 10:30 pm: Chicken breast with 1/3 cup of rice (400, 30g)
TOTAL: ~2400 calories, 181g protein

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No More Complacency


Looking over the other day's insane graph, three things jumped out at me:

1. When I pay NO attention whatsoever to my diet, and eat whatever the hell I want, I generally gain 1/2 to 1 pound per month.

2. When I vaguely pay attention to my weight, and generally try not to pig out, but allow myself a fair number of indulgences (regular pizza, Chinese, etc), I always gain 1/4 to 1/2 pound per month.

3. When I pay close attention to my weight, and choose my food wisely and with purpose, I always lose 1-2 pounds per WEEK.

That is not a typo. When I actually try, I lose up to two pounds a WEEK. And that's with diet alone. When I throw exercise in there, my numbers are even better.

In other words, complacency makes me fat. Luckily, that graph gave me a kick in my complacency. I simply cannot eat whatever I want anymore. I have to reverse the trend. If I do not, if I just amble through life vaguely paying attention, eating whatever I feel like, and not getting exercise, I will continue to gain 1/4 pound a month. That's 3 pounds a year. In 10 years, that's THIRTY POUNDS.

You may be thinking: Oh, come on, surely you'll notice and stop the trend before it goes that far. Well, I'd like to think so too, but the numbers speak for themselves. Go look at the graph. Yeah, in June of 2008 I started paying attention, and dropped 20 pounds over the next five months, but then I got complacent again and look what happened: The line started back up at a rate of over 1/4 pounds per month. The linear trend line from high school graduation to now is a perfect fit.

If I keep on my present course, then in 10 more years I will be pushing 250.

It's so easy to become complacent. Three pounds a year is nothing. "Oh, I'm almost the same as last year," I say to myself contently, every year, every year. After a decade, that becomes a pretty wide gulf.

I don't want to get back to my high school weight. I was a scrawny little twerp with absolutely no muscle. But I would love to get back to my pre-law school weight of <190, and even my post-Body for Life weight of <180. It's not just about looking better; it's about feeling better. I never had more energy than when I was working out six days a week and eating healthy. (And yes, I looked pretty damn good too!)

It took several false starts before I finally completed a Body for Life 12-week challenge. What caused me to succeed that last time? I finally realized that I had to make a big change. Well, it's time for another big change, and I think I'm finally realizing that.


FOOD LOG FOR DEC. 21, 2011
  1. Spinach florentine bagel with butter (400 + 200 = 600, 17g protein)
  2. Large turkey Italian wedding soup from Zoup, with sourdough roll (240 + 170 = 410, 10g protein)
  3. Random food at Lobby party: 3 veggie dumplings, 5 small meatballs, 2 meat pie things (600? 20g?)
  4. 2 servings Syntha-6 chocolate protein powder, with 10 oz. of 1% milk (400 + 120 = 520, 54g);  Radishes and hummus (100, 5g)
  5. 1 serving Syntha-6 chocolate protein powder with water (200, 22g)
  6. Pack of sliced deli chicken breast (275, 50g))
TOTAL: ~2700 calories, 178g protein
EXERCISE: Upper body work out (chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps; recumbent bike)

FOOD LOG FOR DEC. 22, 2011
  1. 1 serving Syntha-6 chocolate protein powder with water (200, 22g); 1/2 cup of Kashi GoLean Crunch with 1% milk (150, 8g)
  2. "Blackened chicken gyro" from Devon and Blakely (700? 50g?)
  3. Naked Protein Smoothie (450, 32g)
  4. Turkey sausage and 1/2 cup of Jasmati rice with tbsp butter (750, 34g); Radishes and hummus (50, 2g)
TOTAL: 2250 calories, 158g protein

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Observations on food to energy correlation

Today I ate:

* Soy crisps
* Coffee with cream and sugar
* A smoked salmon sandwich on multigrain
* Some Junior Mints
* Jasmati / wild / brown / red rice with canned chicken, and a bit of butter/salt/garlic/olive oil

And I have had tons of energy all day.

Note also that I started the day with a deeply discounted Bob Harper's "Smart Weight Loss" pills - basically some vitamins and caffeine.

So I've had a lot of caffeine today -- but none since about 2 pm.

Looking at the day, I see that I never pigged out (yet was never hungry), and had a lot of caffeine. The result? Lots of energy.

I'll be interested to see what happens going forward...