Friday, September 21, 2007

Check, check. this thing on?

So, Tony has asked me, the afore mentioned “lovely wife,” to become an actual contributor to his blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I tend to be a bit verbose, so I know this post is going to be long. My intent is not to take over my darling husband’s piece of the blogosphere, but I felt a little background info was in order.

I have lost and won countless battles in this seemingly never-ending war with the scale. When I was pregnant with twins, I was encouraged to eat (A LOT) because I was losing weight. I lost 15 pounds over the course of my pregnancy, before giving birth. It was fantastic! McDonald’s double cheeseburgers and milkshakes were finally an approved part of my diet and my nightly bowl of ice cream was practically prescribed.

Mid-March, when the girls were about 14 months old, I was the heaviest I had ever been and was staring down the barrel of my 35th birthday. I decided it was time to make a change.

I decided I didn’t want my two beautiful little girls to have to struggle with their weight and body image the same way I have throughout my life. I decided that I needed to lose weight in order to keep up with them and to be around for the long haul. I also decided I was sick and tired of having to shop the plus-sized clothing racks.

I joined Weight Watchers (WW) on March 9, 2007. I lost a few pounds here, gained a couple there, and would only show up at meetings once every three weeks or so. I lost a total of 11.8 pounds, but I was having a lot of trouble staying on track. Then Tony made his grand announcement to the world and got serious about his own weight loss. His unflagging discipline has been fantastic motivation for me.

I will admit, his streak of amazing losses has had me jealous some weeks (and occasionally downright bitter), but I'm very happy for him and just have to remind myself that men lose weight much differently than women do.

We have become comrades in the trenches in this war against the scale and it’s amazing how much easier it is to keep fighting when you’ve got someone fighting by your side. In my mind, this is the final battle and I am going to keep fighting until I win. If it means that I have to go to a WW meeting every Friday morning at 7:30 for the rest of my life, so be it. It’s worth it, and so am I.

So, in the spirit of Guess How Much I Weigh, I think it’s only fair that I provide full disclosure, too. When I stepped on the scale at my first WW meeting, I weighed (gulp!) 228.4 pounds. That’s a number I don’t ever want to see again.

Thanks to Tony for asking me to “weigh-in” with him every week. I will try to keep my posts shorter from here on out. My weekly update is below.

Have a fantastic weekend!
Laura (a.k.a., Elle Tee Jay)

03/09/2007: 228.6 pounds
09/21/2007: 202.0 pounds (a loss of 0.8 this week)
Total loss: 26.4 pounds
Next mini-goal: 199.9 by 10/15/2007; 2.1 pounds to go

(wouldn’t it be sweet to do it in one week?)

The Weigh-In Week 15

234.2! That's what it said on the scale this morning. Which makes this weeks total a gain of .2 lbs. Yes I said a gain. I know, it seemed like I could do no wrong but I have been bested. My conquering foe? Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese.

Can you believe it. I missed keeping the streak alive by a mere three tenths of a percent. I was totally resigned to having a gain this week but missing by such a small amount makes it a little harder to take.

I was pretty good last night. I had two beers and a lot of greasy fried food including the aforementioned deep fried mac and cheese, along with some hot wings, tatter tots and waffle fries.

Here is the major difference between last night and a year ago, and the reason I can say I did pretty good last night. Last night I stopped eating before all the plates were empty. Sure I ate a lot, but I didn't eat as much as I could have. Sadly that is a really big step for me. Like I have said before, up until 6 months ago if there was food around, I ate.

Today starts a new chapter in this weight loss journey. Lets see if I can beat the 14 week streak! Keeping a streak going could be a lot harder this time around as I have a feeling my losses are going to start slowing down now that I have lost so much.

The big winner this week is my Dad. He guessed that I would stay even. I have no clue what my Dad's prize will be. Luckily I have a little while to figure it out since my parents are heading off to Sunny Croatia this morning. Have a great trip guys.

I know you are all dying to know who our special guest is this week. I have asked my lovely wife Laura to join me for weigh-in Fridays. She has been on her own healthy lifestyle journey these past few months. I figured since she was already weighing-in in the comments section, why not make it an official part of the site. She has been doing amazing and deserves just as much support and praise as I do. Hopefully you will be hearing from her every Friday from here on out.

Have a great weekend everybody!

9/21: 234.2 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
14.2 lbs. to go

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guess How Much I Weigh Conest - Week 15

Here are a few things you should know before guessing this week.

1. I had a huge meal out on Saturday night. I cheated a little and stepped on the scale on Sunday morning. I had gained 3 lbs. from my weigh in last Friday.

2. I cheated a little more this morning and stepped on the scale again. This mornings weight makes it look like a loss is possible this week... but see fact number 3 before you get to excited.

3. Today I am heading off on a work sponsored bowling outing to a greasy little dive down the road called Elsie's. Many of you know it I am sure. There will be lots of beer and lots of good, greasy bar food. I have gone back and forth on this over the last couple of days. I could go and not worry about what I eat and have a good time or I can go and not eat or drink and have a slightly less good time.

Here is what I have decided. This is all about changing my lifestyle not just dieting to lose weight i.e. this is my diet not a diet. If I go out tonight and avoid food and beer just so I can have a weight loss tomorrow morning that is dieting. So I am going to go and have a good time. I will do my best to be responsible but I am going to enjoy some wings and fires and a beer or two. There is a very good chance this will jeopardize "The Streak". If it does, we'll see if we can beat the streak with a new one.

4. We will have a special guest joining us for weigh-in tomorrow morning. Don't Miss it!

Step right up, step right up.
Guess how much I weigh and win a fabulous prize.

To Recap:
Every Thursday I give you my stats for the week and you guess what you think the scale will say on Friday morning. The winner is the first person who guesses my weight / weight loss for the week without going over or the person who is closest without going over. Go ahead and click on comments at the bottom of this post and leave your guess.

I will post the winner when I post my weight on Fri. morning. If we get ten or more guesses I will have a prize for the winner.

Stats for the week of September 17th.

Walked / Ran: 12.8 miles

Calories Consumed: From Thursday morning through Wed. night I have consumed aprox. 15848 calories.

Calories Burned: From Thursday morning through Wed. night I have burned aprox. 27902 calories.

31% of my calories have come from fat.
9% of those calories came from Saturated Fats.

47% of my calories came from carbs.

18% of my calories came from protein.

Let the guessing begin. Good Luck!

9/20: 234 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
14 lbs. to go

p.s. Don't forget you can subscribe to the e-mail edition of Guess How Much I Weigh . Simply enter your e-mail address in the space to the right.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Recipe Wednesday Grilled Pork Fajitas

We are having Coconut Chicken Curry for dinner tonight! I am so excited. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

Today's recipe is another one that may take a few days to get to.

Grilled Pork Fajitas

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into strips
1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long
1 small onion, sliced
8 whole-wheat flour tortillas, about 8 inches in diameter, warmed in the microwave
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup salsa


1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, oregano, paprika, coriander and garlic powder. Dredge the pork pieces in the seasonings, coating completely.

2. Place the pork strips and onions in a cast-iron pan or grill basket. Grill or broil at medium-high heat, turning several times, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

3. To serve, spread an equal amount of pork strips and onions on each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese, about 2 tablespoons tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold in both sides of each tortilla up over the filling, then roll to close. Serve immediately.

Serving size: 1 fajita
Calories 234, Cholesterol 45 mg, Protein 18 g, Sodium 309 mg, Carbohydrate 23 g, Fiber 5 g, Total fat 8 g, Potassium 508 mg, Saturated fat 3 g, Calcium 115 mg, Monounsaturated fat 3 g

Recipe courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

38's And Still Overweight

I forgot to mention yesterday that I did hit the outlet mall this weekend. I bought 3 pair of new jeans and all 3 pair were size 38! I didn't even bother trying on size 40's, which is where I assumed I would be. So it is official, I have gone from a size 44 to a size 38. I also bought some large t-shirts at the Old Navy outlet. The t-shirts fit, but they are a little too revealing. I need to lose another ten pounds and slim up my side saddles before I can wear them.

The t-shirts got me thinking about how far I have come and how far I have left to go. In all my celebration lately I have forgotten that I am still severely overweight. least according to all of the charts. I am really proud of what I have accomplished, but the truth is I have a long way to go to be really healthy. I think it is good to keep reminding myself of that. It keeps the fire alive.

I've also been thinking a lot about my goal. My original goal was to get down to 220 pounds by my birthday next year. My birthday is still 254 days away. To get to my goal I would only need to lose 0.386 lb. I have decide to change things. I am leaving the weight the same but moving up the date.

My new goal is to reach 220 lbs by Christmas. Don't panic but Christmas is only 14 weeks away! I can't believe it either.

14 pounds in 14 weeks.

Over the past 4 months I have averaged a weekly loss of 2.5 lbs. If I can keep something even close to that average I may even be able to make my goal by Thanksgiving.

After I reach 220 I will set my next goal. 220 will leave me just a touch on the obese side of the scale. So my next goal will be to get down to "moderately overweight". I'll make it official in a few months but I think my next goal will be to lose 21 pounds and get under 200.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Wild Weekend ... at least as wild as I get!

I've got some making up to do this week. We had a rare night out with Friends on Saturday night; tons of fun and tons of food. I snuck a weigh-in on Sunday morning because I was curious and I was up 3 lbs. Here is the great thing. It's no big deal . I didn't freak out or get depressed. I had a great night out and an excellent meal and a few drinks and I am sure that with a few good workouts I'll be able to whittle away the excess. Like I said I'm not on a diet, I am changing my diet..... and part of that will be going a little crazy once and awhile. It's all part of settling in to this new life.

For some reason the initials BMR kept popping up last week in some research I was doing. For those of you, like me, who have no idea what BMR is I dug a little deeper. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, basically the amount of energy your body needs to burn each day. You can use BMR to determine how many calories you should be eating each day.

Here's the formula:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

So for me it would be 66 + (6.3 x 234) + (12.9 x 71) - (6.8 x 33) = 2231.7

Then you calculate for your level of activity.

Calculate Activity
Step two: In order to incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, do the following calculation:

* If you are sedentary : BMR x 20 percent

* If you are lightly active: BMR x 30 percent

* If you are moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent

* If you are very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent

* If you are extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent

Add this number to your BMR.

I consider myself to be moderately active. So 2231.7 x 40 Percent = 892.68

2231.7 + 892.68 = 3124.38

If I understand this correctly I can eat 3124 calories a day without gaining weight. To lose 2 pounds per week I need to eat less than 2415 calories a day. Right now I am averaging around 2000 calories a day.

According to the government's dietary guidelines a moderately active male between the ages of 31 and 50 should consume 2,400-2,600 calories. This was determined using the Institute of Medicine equation. Whatever the heck that is.

I just checked and my "crazy Saturday" calorie count was 3635. Way over my norm but not to far over the 3124 calories I could eat if I was maintaining.... And I did burn nearly 4500 calories between my 45 minute strength training, 3.5 mile walk and just breathing.

I have to reapologizes to my lovely wife. I had a hankering for some ice cream on the way home from our wild night out. Since DQ isn't open at 1am I decided I needed a Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich. She tried to convince me a Slim-a-Bear ice cream bar was the way to go, but I was stubborn. Sorry sweetie for leading you astray.

9/17: 234 lbs.
Goal: 220 lbs.
14 lbs. to go