Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Motivating others to overcome obesity?

I've been asked to talk to a fairly large group of college students on my personal struggles with overcoming obesity. It's my first of what I hope will be many gigs as a motivational speaker.

Description: Why is weight loss such an elusive mystery? We all know the formula – diet and exercise are the key to achieving a healthy weight and maintaining a fit physique. But with so many options for weight loss available today – from fad diets, diet pills and fat-fighting injections to bariatric surgery and an array of so-called non-invasive outpatient procedures – it’s nearly impossible to know where to start.

Well, what if the answer to the question weren’t “out there”, but rather “in here”, inside your own heart and your own mind? Truth is, you may never lose weight unless you first decide that you’re going to do it, and then believe that it’s possible.

Are you obese, or just overweight? Perhaps you know someone who is. Then this workshop is for you. Come hear the story of one obese man who is currently in the midst of the fight of his life – to recover from obesity by losing nearly half of his body weight, about 200 pounds, simply to be classed as “overweight”. You’ll learn how achieving your weight-loss goals might just come down to one snap decision.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Branding my diet - Ten foods I can't live without

I'm not much of a cook. Still, I've found that preparing my own meals at home and packing lunch, and sometimes dinner, is the only way to stay on track with my diet. And because eating out is especially expensive when you're trying to eat healthy, it's also the only way to stay on budget.

Here are the brands that have made losing more than 100 pounds over the last 10 months possible:

1. Ezekial 4:9 Golden Flax Sprouted Grain Cereal - A little bit of this stuff goes a long way. One box is kind of expensive (about $5 or $6), but it lasts for a couple of weeks. And it's very filling, so I don't use more than a quarter or half a cup per serving. With a bit of milk and a banana, this is an amazing breakfast that always starts me off on the right foot.

2. Eggland's Best organic, cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs - I can't live without eggs. Whether it's one scrambled with a tomato, some spinach or collard greens with a piece of toast for breakfast, a hard-boiled one packed for a snack on the go, or two in an omelette for dinner, eggs are a staple that gives me the proteien I need to build muscle as I'm losing fat.

3. Organic Girl Baby Spinach - I love this stuff raw between two slices of whole grain bread, with deli meat and a little mustard, or stirred into soup, or scrambled with my eggs. Maybe it's that I'm a Popeye fan, but I just feel this stuff fuels my body for whatever shenanigans Olive Oil or Bluto may bring my way.

4. Cabot Creamery's Greek-style Plain Lowfat Yogurt - I buy a big container of this stuff and break it out into to-go packs with some frozen fruit, and I'm ready for a nutritious mid-morning snack any day of the week.

5. Martin's Pennyslvania Dutch Whole Wheat Potoato Bread - I've only recently discoverd the whole grain version of my back-home favorite, potato bread. I like that I can treat myself to a healthy version of this great comfort food.

6. Organic Valley 1% Milk - Any organic milk would do, but I like that Organic Valley has a nice pour spout. It's also not the most expensive brand out there, even if it's not the cheapest either.

7. Boar's Head Salsalito Sliced Turkey - Any Boar's Head product is simply delicious, but I've found the high protein low calorie level of their turkey and chicken products is perfect to help me continue losing weight while I thoroughly enjoy my lunch!

8. Oh Yeah! Chocolate and Caramel Protein Bars (Grab n' Go size) - After a hard workout, or just as an afternoon snack, these bars satisfy like Snickers but also pack a much-needed protein punch.

9. Publix brand frozen fruits and vegetables - Frozen fruits and vegetables are versatile enough to be used in so many ways, and I've read that they're more nutritious than some fresh fruits and vegetables because they're flash frozen at their peak.

10. Baked Lays Barbecue Potato Crisps - Okay, so these aren't incredibly healthy, or maybe they're downright bad for me. But once a week I buy a small bag of these, sit at my desk, and just crunch away. Better than Calgon on a stressful afternoon, they don't mess with my glycemic levels the way some other convenience snacks do, and they certainly don't weigh me down like regular greasy chips do.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Setting new goals as I reach 282 pounds

It's the beginning of October and time for another weigh-in. As of this morning, I'm weighing in at 282 pounds, which represents a total loss of 135 pounds since starting this whole thing back in the winter of 2009.

Obviously I'm pleased with my progress - lately I've been losing about 1.5 pounds per week, which by all accounts is quite a healthy pace. Still, I think it's time to set some new goals. So here goes...

It's about three months to New Year's, so that seems like a good marker for a short-term weight-loss goal. I think that 20 pounds in that time period is do-able (considering my current pace), so my goal is to reach 265 pounds by January 1, 2011.

In the mid range, I would like to achieve 250 pounds by Valentine's Day. And then 230 pounds by Memorial Day. At this rate, I would be on target to achieve my long-range goal of 217 pounds by my birthday, in August.

I know this is going to be a tough challenge to remain focused, but I'm not really going to focus solely on the weight loss. Instead, these are really just markers. My true goals include continuing to progressively increase my level of fitness through daily exercise.

Lately I've been riding my bike about 10 miles, once per week. My goal in the short term is to double this to 10 miles twice weekly. In the mid range I would like to begin doing two additional shorter rides - about five miles - two mornings each week before work.

Well, that's it for now. More goals to come.