I’ve become a Fitocrat

A friend of mine posts his workouts on Facebook through a service called Fitocracy.

Fitocracy gamifies the whole exercise process. I can get achievements, keep track of personal records, and level up.

Pretty cool!  I’m actually motivated by such silly things.

I’ve already logged over 2 miles on the treadmill since yesterday, and am starting to do push-ups again.

Boycott Halloween?

Len Penzo posted a tongue-in-cheek list of thirteen yucky Halloween treats that kids hate.

My (semi) tongue-in-cheek response was that the solution to make sure that kids don’t get any treats that they don’t like was easy:

Don’t take the kids trick or treating.

Following that, I said this:

“Besides, most of that stuff is nearly [as] addicting as any hardcore drug that you can take. Predisposing kids for a lifetime of obesity isn’t being kind to them.”

Studies have indeed shown that sugar is as addictive as some pretty hard drugs.  Further, one of the most respected homeschooling curricula out there recommends that refined sugar be taken out of the children’s diet.  From the article:

“Be kind to any new babes, don’t let them have that first taste and they won’t have to break a bad habit, dare I say .. an addiction. I wish I had had this resolve when our children were very young. ”

Having been terribly addicted to carbs for most of my life, and seeing how my wife has dropped close to fifty pounds by cutting out the carbs (she had cut out refined sugar a while back) I can see the wisdom in not indulging in sweets, and not allowing children to indulge in them, either.

My wife controls my meals this month

My wife is a very persistent and patient woman.  She asked me to let her take over my diet for this month in an effort to help me get rid of my carbohydrate addiction.

She’s taken to a low-carb diet for the past six months to a year, and she’s dropped 35 pounds.

She’s making it pretty easy on me, though.  All she’s modifying this month is what I take in.  Not the amount.  Not how much exercise I get.  Just the particular foods.  That, and I’m not going as low-carb as she did.  She went down really low on the carbs the first month.  I’m going quite a bit lower than I have been, but not as low as she did.

I’ve substituted orange juice for milk, rice for low-carb bread in a sandwich.  I’m eating more salads.  I can eat at Chipotle, but I get a bowl rather than a burrito (no rice, no tortilla).  I take steamed broccoli instead of a baked potato for a side when I ate out with a friend yesterday.

How is it working?  I may have lost a little bit of weight, but I can say that I feel better.  At the very least, I felt the carb load of the pizza I had Saturday night really bad.  It really knocked me to sleep.  I’m going lower-carb, but for now, probably not lower-calorie.  I have a stash of raw almonds at work that I hit pretty hard during the day.

Anyway, I’ve been playing along with my wife’s experiment for a week and a half now, and it’s going pretty well!

Low-carb substitute for rice

I really adore my rice and beans because it’s something that I can eat day-in, day-out, cheaply, without getting sick of it.

Unfortunately, rice — even the somewhat lower glycemic index brown rice — is really high in carbohydrates.

My wife has gone really low-carb (as in around 40 grams per day) and she’s lost about 20 pounds over the past few months without even needing to count calories.  It’s really quite amazing.

So my wife did an experiment tonight.  She made some shrimp curry, but instead of putting the curry over rice, she put it over grated fried cauliflower — also known as cauliflower rice.  Instead of nearly 40 grams of carbs (net) per cup, the cauliflower rice only about 2.5 grams net carbs per cup.

She first grated the white part of a head of cauliflower into rice-sized chunks, and then fried it up with some oil and a little bit of seasoning.  One trick that she found was to not use extra water, because it makes the cauliflower rice mushy.  The water in the cauliflower is enough.

I was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted.  I hardly would have known the difference between the cauliflower rice and a small grain.

Our Journey to Zero wants Wii Fit to STHU

I met Travis Pizel of Our Journey to Zero at FinCon11 during a speed networking session the Friday night of the conference.

During that brief meeting, I had no idea Travis was such a colorful writer.  In checking out his site I saw that he is on a quest to have Wii Fit stop calling him overweight.  Some of his phrases are a hoot.

It’s a simple, well-defined goal, but like anything worth doing, it’s been hard work on his part.  He’s almost there, too — within 10 pounds.

I guess if you need an enemy, it might as well be an animated balance board telling you you’re fat!


Oh man

Man, I’ve been a bad boy.

Nothing like having your failure in front of the world, huh?  It’s not really the best thing to start a weight loss blog and end up gaining weight over the course of a couple of years!  Was hoping hot to reach 250, but there I am. 🙁

Weight gain brings other problems, too.  It’s probably aggravated my sleep apnea, and I’m on constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.  I guess if I give that a little bit of time, it may help to break into a cycle of tiredness and weight gain, because lack of sleep and obesity tend to reinforce one another.

Don’t really know what to say, except “it’s time to start over … again?!”

On again, off again

Since Budgets Are Sexy is running a PF Blogger Showdown later today, and since I mention Deflabbify over there, I suppose I should post what I’ve done here over the past three months, no? 😉

Anyway, this blog is a bit on again, off again — much like my weight, I suppose — but the good news is that I’m within only a couple of pounds of my goal for the end of 2009.  I just weighed myself in at 238 pounds.

NCN is off a little weight as well, which is a very good thing.  I can completely understand how busy he’s been because he, like myself, had a new house purchase on his plate.  Hopefully his went more smoothly than mine, but if it didn’t I’d be one of the first to give him some slack.  Buying a house, especially a foreclosure, can mean putting out fires and turning on a dime.

The one thing that has been keeping me plenty active has been the blizzards that have hit the East coast.  We have a long driveway that needs a lot of shoveling, so the unexpected work has also been good exercise.

So here’s to thawing out and getting back on track a bit. 😉

Wii Fit Plus is in da house, and it makes you think

My wife bought Wii Fit Plus at Costco earlier this week.  I think she bought it to encourage me some more.  I’ve been pretty good about watching what I eat very carefully and exercising for at least a half-hour each night on the Wii.

I talked about some of the Wii Fit Plus features over at Slimmify but the biggest overall difference is that this software makes you think.  It tests your memory, judgement, and the extent to which you can achieve mental disconnect between different parts of your body.  Some of the games are really, really tough, not necessarily in a physical sense but in a mental sense.

It’s like walking and chewing gum on steroids.

What’s the other half of the battle?

It’s likely that you’ve heard the phrase, “Well now you know, and knowing’s half the battle.”

OK, knowing is half the battle, but what’s the other half?

I asked this question over at Slimmify.com:

How do you combat the late-night munchies?

User “robulus” (who runs a website LiveAndMove.net) came up with this response.  Here’s an excerpt, with my emphasis:

I am constantly hungry, and I eat constantly. I snack in between my snacks. But I know that I don’t need to, that my body is designed to go longer periods without solid food. Water is of course a continual necessity. So, when it’s late at night, I do not let myself eat. To be honest, it doesn’t always work, but it is a process of mind over body. The battle is won in the mind. […] Knowing is half the battle… the other half is deciding. 🙂

Late at night, I can choose to throw down a bowl of mac and cheese, or I can have a glass of water, or some tea, to stave off the hunger.  It’s a decision. Each decision not to pig out at night makes the next decision not to pig out a little bit easier.  The last few nights I’ve managed to either drink water (with some sugar-free flavoring) or have low-calorie snacks like a fruitsicle or a few corn cakes (like rice cakes, but corn).

Here’s to battling and deciding!