Jun 29, 2011

Talk To Strangers

I love talking to strangers. I meet the most interesting people and have some great conversations. Today I was in line at the Wendy's by my work and this guy behind me in line kept reading my shirt then looking at me then shirt then me then .... I was wearing my "StartingAt500Pounds.com" shirt. I have had a few people mention it and have been able to share some nice conversations but this guy looked confused and a little distrought. After I sat down with my Chili and Side salad with Light Ranch, he sat down next to me and said,

Guy: "500 pounds hugh?"
Me: "Hugh, What? Oh Yea, it's a web site I write."
Guy: "What? Are you shooting for 600?"

I stopped for a second, confused then for a short moment I felt offended then I started to laugh.

Me: "No I started my weight loss at 524 pounds. I have lost 145 Pounds so far."
Guy: "Ooohhhh. That's great. I am about 30 pounds over myself. You know what helps me? I eat salads."

I hold up my side salad.

Guy: "There ya; go."

Guy then procedes to pull out a decent size burger and takes a bite. A good laugh and a chance to talk about my passion and my journey in a fast food joint. Awesome!

Go out of your way to talk to someone today. Something more than "Hi". You never know, maybe you will make a new friend or at least get a good laugh.

Jun 27, 2011

Anniversary Weekend and Regrouping After the Splurge

Me and Karlie at the Air Show

Our 6 year anniversary will be the 30th. Because my son was born one year to the day we were married, birthday celebrations end up on top of our anniversary so some years we have just passed it over. This year we made it a point to celebrate. I loved spending the weekend with my smokin' hot wife and can't imagine the past 6 years without her. She is my biggest support, my best friend and I am so lucky she is mine.

This last weekend we celebrated early and I took Karlie to Wendover, NV to go see Travis Tritt and to just get away from the kids and my work. It was short lived but awesome. As far as eating well, vacations and road-trips seem even harder for me than holidays.

Jun 24, 2011

Excuses, Fears & Worries

At the beginning of my journey, as I stared down the road I was about to embark on, there were some issues that I often thought about and made me nervous. Obviously there was anxiety about whether or not I would succeed and there was anger and frustration about the situation I had created for myself but I’m not talking about any of that. The issues I struggled with were the idea of changing my identity.

Did I want to be fat? No, but that is the only thing I knew how to be. I didn’t know how to be anything else. There are only a few memories from when I was a small child where I remember not being overweight. I grew up overweight and in a way my fat was part of my identity. I was “big Mike” to most and in almost every circle of friends I was token fat & funny guy. I was comfortable with that role because it’s what I knew. I didn’t know how to be anything else. Although I often hated not being able to break the persona, it is one I knew how to navigate. Losing the weight forever meant finding out who I was all over again.

Jun 23, 2011

I Want to Share My Story Locally

I received the t-shirts I ordered. I had them made to wear to work and the gym and stuff so people will feel more comfortable approaching me about my weight loss. I will be able to help more people locally so I think I am going to put something similar on my car too. I guess you could say I'm taken it to the streets.

I need some ideas to help other's locally. I hope by sharing my message I can help others who feel too far gone know there is hope. What are some things I could do to get the word out?

Jun 21, 2011

Eat Like Cookie Monster and Lose Weight!

I saw a shirt the other day that made me laugh:
by Tjost called  "The Binge"
It got me thinking about how cookie monster eats nothing but sweets yet never gains any weight. I mean, the guy eats almost anything he can find and has no self control. What is his secret? Well I think I figured it out...

Jun 20, 2011

Today I Caught a Glimps of Future Me

Some days I get discouraged. I put a progress ticker on the the left side of the blog and my first reaction was, "Even after all this time and all this hard work, I am still only half way there." I am a pessimist by nature but I have learned to always take a second look when the glass seems half empty. Don't get me wrong, I am stoked about my progress so far but the smaller losses at weigh in since I started lifting weights gets to me sometimes. At one point I was averaging 5 pounds a week of weight lost. It was exciting to see the scale go down each week.
The scale still goes down but at a much slower rate. I am constantly asking myself, "Should I forget the weights for a while and drop the pounds faster?"

Jun 17, 2011

Green Chili Chicken and Lime Soup

Every once in a while I get to go out to lunch with my coworkers on the company. In a previous time in my life, this would be when I ask the waitress to back up a garbage truck to my table and poor as much food as possible into my mouth. No so much any more. Actually, I kind of enjoy eating out now because I choose items based on calorie counts. I have found a whole new world of food I love that I never would have tried before. I found such a dish at Chili's that has now become a food staple in our house. It's a fabulous Green Chili Chicken and Lime Soup.

I am soooo into soups now because my cravings get satisfied without giving up those oh so precious calories.  After making it 10 times now, tweaking it each time, I think I can now call my own. Make it this weekend and you will be hooked. Recipe after the break...

Jun 16, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011 Norwegian style & You're Invited

I was lucky to marry into a family with a proud Norwegian heritage. Every year my father and mother in law put on a Norwegian style summer solstice festival at their house in Draper, UT. It's called Sankthansaften or Midsummer. We will have good food, live music, and there will be a fun chuck wagon photo back drop for fun, free family pictures. There will not be the traditional alcohol consumption but there will be a traditional bonfire at dusk!

Click "read more" for location time and what to bring.

Jun 14, 2011

How I Almost Died Getting In A Miata

About 5 yeas ago I worked at a car dealership. I was not at my peak fatness then but I was still not the svelte image of fitness I am striving for nowadays. No, I didn't wear the checkered golf pants and white shoes the stereotypical "Slick Willie" car salesman wears bit I did sell cars.When you are a portly man and you sell cars, you hope customers you get are interested in conversion vans, SUVs, full size cars and the like. Let me tell you the story of how I almost died getting into a car. Yea, getting into the car not getting into a car .... accident.

Let me start this story by informing the public that all cars are not one size fits all.

Jun 13, 2011

Blog Makeover - Before and After

For a long time I have been considering the switch from Blogger to Wordpress for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest motivators was that I wanted to feel like a big boy. Most the blog designs I envy are wordpress blogs. Any who, until I see more value in switching, I am sticking with what works for me. For now, I like the changes and hope you do too.

I want to get some opinions. Here is the old design:

Jun 10, 2011

How do you resist the cravings? I just P.A.S.S.

I am still thinking about cravings tonight. More often than not, it's the reason I detour from eating well. . It's the late night snack, the "just one more ...", the "well I can work it off later" that keeps me from achieving my goals as fast as I would like. What have I learned that has helped me be successful in losing weight this time? What didn't I know or have all the times I failed before in my efforts to lose weight?
I thought long and hard about the answers to these questions and came up with a list to share. When nothing seems better than stuffing my face with ooey gooey, salty, sweet, smothered goodness, I just P.A.S.S.

Jun 9, 2011

Cravings: Drive By ... Don't Drive Thru!

Every day I crave food. I recently came to the realization that it will NEVER change. Just because you start exercising and eating healthy doesn't make the foods you want any less tantalizing.
I have been working 4 x 10 hour shifts for the first time this week. I usually only get a 1/2 hour lunch break but with the longer shift, my lunch break is a full hour. With my extra time, I decided to go check out a part I need for my car during break yesterday and on the way back, I found myself in an old and dangerous mindset.

Jun 7, 2011

RE: "Big mom, Big kid"

On one of the blogs I frequent, the following question was posed:

“What do you think... what do you *honestly* think... when you see a very obese mother with her very obese young child? What do you think? Do you make any assumptions? How do you feel towards the mother? Towards the child?

What if they are at a buffet eating loads of fried chicken and French fries, or at McDonald's having Big Macs?” ~Lynn’s Post~
I started writing a comment on her blog and I had just way too much to say about it. Thank you for prompting me and others to think about these questions.
If I saw an obese mom and child at the buffet a year ago, I probably would have been worried about the fried chicken being gone than I did about the health of the 2 people.

Jun 3, 2011

Join the Resistance!

I am getting addicted to lifting weights. I don't know if it's a guy thing but picking up heavy objects makes me feel more manly. I used to be excited for the results that the gym would bring but now I am actually excited to work out. It was very apropos that the the song "Hurts So Good" by John Mellencamp came on at the end of my workout. It was perfect theme music for the end of my workout.

I have been thinking about WHY I love weight lifting. It's the resistance. When I lift, I go all out. It's an inner strength that gets that last rep up when your muscles say no. It's mind over body constantly. Resistance is manifested physically in exercise but even if you win the battle at the gym, the resistance war is far from over.

I am starting to think of food like I think of lifting weights. The boss brings a box of cookies to share. Eating the whole box is out of the question, easily possible, but I am far from that now. The idea of "maybe just one", to me, is like loading a barbell with weight I know I can easily lift. It's still better than not lifting just like one cookie is better than eating the whole box. When I see it that way, it's easy to see that I am robbing myself of results. Deciding that I will have NO cookies, even though they look awesome, is like adding a little more weight than I think I can really do then barely getting the last rep, grunting and struggling until the end. Resistance training in food is just as, if not more, important than resistance training at the gym.

Join the resistance! Great warriors of weight loss have gone before you. These are people who are not celebrity endorsed or part of a weight loss reality show. They are people who are banding together through blogs, facebook & twitter to no longer live under the tyranny of their own apathy, excuses and fat. You are not alone! 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese. 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight. You are REALLY not alone!

Join the resistance! Like Alan, Allan, Zeusmeatball , and Tony. Fight your way through the excuses like Sarah, Lyn and Tiff. Laugh in the face of the struggle before you like Jack and NoMoreBacon.

These people inspire me. While I am doing this for me and my family and my life, I am proud to fight in the resistance along side them. Join us and and the MANY other people fighting the good fight. We are not better than you, we are not smarter than you, we have just chosen to FIGHT!

Anyone CAN do this. The challenge is to do what anyone COULD do ... what everyone SHOULD do ... but most of us DON'T do.

Nobody can MAKE you fat. No one made me shove 8 tacos in one sitting down my pie hole. I did it. I chose to sit on my couch instead of living life. I chose apathy over health.

Now I choose resistance!

Jun 2, 2011

Nope, not advertising here

Got a comment I feel I needed to address.

"Your blog posts are like Protein Advertisements now. What happened?" - Anonymous

Sad. Nope I am not advertising any products. I do occasional posts about products I use like this, that's all it is. The last post is part of a series of posts I have been doing on supplements I researched and have started using to aid in my goals. I already did one on multivitamins, fish & flax seed oil & I have more more to go in the series so be warned:) In fact I even wrote a post mocking supplement advertisers.

I don't support any brand or product specifically. If I find a brand or something I think stands above the rest and want to get some $ for endorsing it in the future, I might. If I ever do accept $, free product or compensation though, I would would make it clear that I did. I hope pics that show specific products I use don't throw people off the reason why I do this here.

Nothin' but love. Keepin' it real as best I know how.

Jun 1, 2011

Protein Powder: Whey Good Stuff For Muscles

BILL: I am totally bummin' about my muscles bro.
TED: What's the problem dude?
BILL: Well ya' know how I have like, been, at the gym, liftin' weights n' all?
TED: Ya' dude, you spend more time pumpin' iron than I do playin' air guitar.
BILL:I know right? But bro, you can't even tell. I still couldn't snag a bodacious babe with these biceps.
TED: Dude, I totally know what you need?
BILL: No way!
TED: Whey!
BILL: Okay, whatcha got bro? Lay it on me.
TED: Whey dude!
BILL: Well come on bro, spew some knowledge on me!
TED: I'm tryin' dude. It's Whey!

First of all, why is protein important in building muscle?
Protein is made up of the nutrients needed to support muscle growth and strength after the muscles have been overexerted beyond their common use. For a better description, there is a great summery at LiveStrong.com.

Why protein powder?
"The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day—that's about 64 grams for a 160 pound adult. In the U.S., adults get an average of 15 percent of their calories from protein; for a person who requires a 2,000-calorie-per-day-diet, that's about 75 grams of protein." - Harvard School of Public Health

The idea behind protein shakes is to pack all the protein you could get from normal foods like fish, eggs & other meats without the added calories and fat content that is common in protein rich foods. Basically, it helps you build muscle effectively without destroying your caloric intake goals.

What makes up a good protein powder?
There are innumerable supplement companies that are pushing their protein shakes. In the end, here are the 3 things I am looking for in my protein shakes.
  1. Proven (hype free and highly recommended)
  2. Minimal calories for protein benefit
  3. Taste
  4. Cost
I have become familiar with EAS's Myoplex but their prices are dumb. I just picked up some Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Hydro Whey. I suggest finding a reputable brand with a track record of quality products and a flavor you like. While there are many opinions, the overall consensus from everything I have read is that whey protein is the most effective and popular form of powder but egg or soy based powders are legitimate alternatives.

Bottom line
You will build muscle faster and repair muscles more effectively than you could with a regular diet I have been using protein shakes as part of a 1500-1600 calorie diet and I have been able to have steady gains weekly at the gym. Heal faster, gain muscle....pretty much, you get Hulk powers without the gama-rays n' such.I have not noticed any change in how I feel other than I am able to lift more weight without getting super sore or fatigued. It's a "whey" awesome part of my supplement routine going forward.

FYI - GNC had a special on Optimum Nutrition so I picked these up at the store for $22 each. It was as good of a deal as any I could find online but without the shipping costs.

More info on protein:
Harvard School of Public Health: How much protein do I need?
LiveStrong.com: Benefits of Drinking a Protein Drink
Protein Toxicity Info