Monday, March 19, 2012

The Final Weigh In

Well its over. Sorta, kinda over. The 60 day challenge has been completed and my final weigh in was on Tuesday. I was a bit nervous getting onto the scale. Had I plateau'd yet or would my progress continue. My wife has been going through some medical issues and that made eating on my regular routine impossible. Can you still lose weight without maintaining the same exercise and eating regimen? Well I'm happy to say yes, yes you can. I was down another 3 lbs. My total weightloss for the 60 days was just slightly more than 25lbs. It was actually a lot more than I thought it would be. If I were just dieting alone, my guess is that I would have lost probably only half that weight, but I'm not going to try and find out. Not exercising is partly the reason I ended up in such a mess to begin with. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to exercise. You don't need a gym or equipment either. If you are fat like me, your body becomes your equipment its that simple. All you have to do are the big 3 exercises. Pushups, squats and crunches. If you are only going to do one exercise, it has to be the pushup. I venture to say that most people do them wrong. I used to think oh if you put your arms out wider, you don't have to down as far and it will be easier. Its not. Its much easier for you to get in the plank position with your arms shoulder width apart. Keep your stomach tight, how tight. Imagine some is going to kick you in the stomach, brace it like you are about to be blasted. Keep your head up. Then lower yourself down to the ground until your chest almost touches, then push yourself up. That's one rep. Here is your challenge. It is a great one, given to me by Joshu Stephen Regman. He's an amateur kickboxing and Muay Thai champion. Here is his challenge. Do as many pushups as you can in one minute. The first time I did this, I could muster up about 8. After your minute has past, keep your position and hold for 1 minute rest. Then do half the amount you just did. The quicker you do them the more rest you get. When you complete your set, the rest of the minute you get to rest. When the new minute starts you do your next set. Do that for a total of 10 minutes, not including the initial set. You'll find yourself after a few weeks getting stronger and stronger. Joshu Regman does no weight training and I can tell you, that I hope to look as good as he does. Never get down on yourself. The first time I started doing pushups the right way, I could do maybe four or five before I gave out. Now I can 50-60 and pushing myself toward doing 100. Keep at it and it will get easier. There are modifications to the pushup, which you can look up online. There isn't much difference between the regular and modified pushup in terms of muscle usage, so its a good place to start. Keeping the plank position really helps the core. To fuel up for this endeavor, here is one of my favorite breakfasts. This can be done in a slowcooker, so its ready when you wake up.

Slow cooker Oatmeal

This is a great recipe because it doesn't require additional sweetner to be added.

2 cups steel cut oats or old fashioned oats (NOT QUICK COOKING)
6 cups water
a dash of salt (avoid tablesalt, use kosher or sea)
1/2 cup - 1 cup Assorted dried fruit - I love diced apricots, cranberries, cherries, dates etc. Whatever you like in a dried fruit add it in.

Okay so here is the tricky part. Combine everything in a slow cooker 4 quart size. If yours is larger you may want to add additional oats and water (3 to 1 ratio water to oats). Set on low heat for 5-6 hours. On high will cook in 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Serve warm. If its not sweet enough with the dried fruit add a scant teaspoon of brown sugar to the finished bowl. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Let Me Weigh In on this One

Last night was my second to last weigh in for the sixty day challenge. It went about as I expected. I was down about 6 tenths of a pound for the week. I'm not discouraged, but sometimes you feel like you do all the right things and you don't get results is aggravating to say the least. My first week I lost 10 pounds. My second week I gained back 4 pounds. My old self might have quit seeing that bounceback, but I continued on my path. One more week wouldn't hurt me. I lost 3 pounds. Ok, great I'm back on the right path again. I weighed in again, I gained a 1 pound. Ok, What the F%ck is going on. Still pushing myself hard physically, working out at Tiger Schulmann's MMA at least 3 times a week. That should be good for at least 1 pound a week. I feel better, I need to eat more frequently. I'm getting too hungry, waiting too long for my snacks. This is not a good thing. I have too many things in my fridge that are leftover from previous meals, yech. Don't want them, can't eat them again. OK, so what's your effin plan, Einstein. Brought in my leftovers to Tiger Schulmann. Who wants Moroccan Meatballs? Who wants Hot and Sour Soup? Who wants Chili? Great had a bunch of takers, now the fridge is clean. Cooking more meals and enjoy eating them. Next weigh in, down 4 pounds. Weigh in again down 4 more. Ok so 7 weeks in and I've lost almost 22 pounds. Thats well ahead of my personal goal of 1-2lbs per week. I figured it would take six months to lose all the weight that I had gained from not being able to workout. Its moving faster. Part of that is exercise. Bigger muscles means more calories burned resting. Building muscles revs up metabolism. Fueling that metabolism on a regular basis keeps the internal body combustion engine burning. Most people eat three times a day with some sort of snack in between. Its the way the three meals are constructed that is getting to be our downfall. Dinner portions are huge. Just go out to any restaurant and take a look. Case in point, TGI Friday's has a few calorie counts on their menu. These are for items that are less than 750 calories. Seriously, if its not marked its more! That's probably half your necessary daily intake of calories. Seeing stuff like that only proves that cooking dinners at home is the way to go. Here is a favorite of ours in this house.

Chicken with 40 cloves of Garlic

2 cups chopped onions
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 stalks celery, chopped large
6 bone in chicken thighs (skin removed)
6 drumsticks (skin removed)
1/2 cup white wine (do not use so called cooking wine, loaded with salt)
1 teaspoon of salt
fresh ground pepper
Dash of Nutmeg
40 cloves of garlic - unpeeled!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine first 4 ingredients in bottom of 4-6 quart casserole. Arrange chicken pieces over vegetable mix. Pour wine over chicken and sprinkle with salt, a good dose of pepper and the nutmeg. Place garlic cloves around chicken. Cover with foil and then top with the lid.

Bake for 1.5 hours or until chicken is done. Yields six servings one leg and one thigh. 1/3 cup vegetables and 6 clove garlic. I usually just cook thighs for this dish because I like them better than drumsticks. This recipe clocks in at 300 calories and about 10 grams of fat.

For a healthy side add a portion of Lemony Barley.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 lemon juiced and 1/2 teaspoon zest finely chopped

In a 2-3 quart pot gently heat oil (heating olive oil too high destroys its heart healthy properties) and saute garlic. 30-40 seconds should be enough. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Now add barley, swirl in pan, then add broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to low and let simmer 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. When water has been mostly absorbed add lemon zest and cook about 10 minutes more. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice. Start with half the juice and add to taste. You may or may not need the whole juice of the lemon.

1/6 of the recipe is approximately 145 calories, 2g fat and 7g fiber.

Add these two dishes together and you have 445 calories, 12g fat(3g saturated), 7g fiber, 38g protein.