Monday, December 5, 2011

Hiking is an insane calorie burning activity!

Hiking is the most amazing fat-burning I've found. At my current weight of 264, I burn more than 1,000 calories during an 80-minute cross-country hike (and I hike three times that amount at least twice a week). That's insane. Yes, I realize those who do cardio machines at the gym may already be aware of how intense this calorie-burning thing works, but I could just never get into machines. Hiking hills close to home is the only way I'm going to be able to overcome obesity once and for all. Thirty-seven pounds to go!

If you're interested in calculated the number of calories you can burn by hiking, according to your current weight, check out the hiking fitness calculator at Self Magazine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hiking 101: Get started with this great aerobic activity

Hiking is a great way to get into shape and increase your fitness level over time. It is an excellent aerobic exercise, and according to the Mayo Clinic – the world-renown research hospital – it can help you increase your stamina, ward off viral illnesses, strengthen your heart, keep your arteries clear, boost your mood and even help you live longer.

But not only is hiking a great aerobic exercise, it also works a variety of muscles in your legs, core, and even your upper body, so hiking also helps you build fat-burning muscle – all while you have fun in the outdoors. (To find out how many calories you will burn while hiking, check out theCalories Burned Calculator at Self Magazine online.)

Before hitting the trails, though, it is important to evaluate your current fitness level and create a hiking fitness plan that works for you. Before starting any new exercise routine, it is best to consult a physician. Even then, it is best to start slow and increase your intensity over time.

If you are used to a sedentary lifestyle, the first step begins by walking out of your front door. Make your way down to the end of the block and back. Do this once a day for a few days, and then increase the distance incrementally until you are capable of walking a mile round trip with ease. It is best to stick to the sidewalk when you are first starting out. But if there is no sidewalk in your neighborhood, remember to walk on the left side of the street against traffic for safety.

You can figure out street distance by counting your steps – a mile is about 2,000 steps – or use a website like MapMyWalk or Mapquest. Once you can comfortably walk a mile along the street, it is time to look into suitable off-road walks. You can find these in local parks or conservation areas near your home. Do a Google search by typing in the name of your city or town and the words “local hikes”. Chances are there are other people in your community who have already done the work for you by posting the best places to hike, including distances, geographical features of the land and difficulty level.

For more on hiking, check out my Man of Merit blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Awakened by the splendor that is yet to come

The map and trail guide I bought for Albuquerque's Sandia Mountain came in the mail today. I'm so psyched! I've been hiking up a storm here in Massachusetts in preparation for when my partner and I move to New Mexico this winter. I've been hiking about 20 miles per week, and have hiked as much as six miles a day on some pretty rocky and hilly terrain - I have even scaled the 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire (as well as reached summits in many smaller ranges here in Massaschusetts and in the Green Mountains in Vermont) - but Sandia will be a challenge I'm chomping at the bit to overcome.

Khizer will be completing a didactic program in dietetics at University of New Mexico, to become a registered dietitian, while I work as a substitute teacher and look for a full time job in education. I have been toying with the idea of developing a non-profit aimed at empowering people to personally attack the obesity epidemic by making sound, healthy choices in their daily lives, healthy choices that include diet as well as physical activity. Whatever I do, it will involve helping people adopt healthy living habits through strengthening their personal connection with nature and the outdoors, which has become my life's strongest passion.

Taking to the trails has been crucial as I continue my personal battle. I'm inspired to walk and to hike because of nature. I'm in awe of all that the natural world is, and I realize I have spent far too much of my adult life with a broken connection to it. Although I knew walking was the number one way by far to get fit and stay fit, I never could become accustomed to walking in such a sterile environment, and so I didn't. It wasn't until I reconnected with my own natural love of outdoors play that I began to enjoy walking for exercise.

So as I pore over the trails on this map, and read their descriptions in the Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide, my inner child is awakened by the splendor that is yet to come. That child is finally ready to live the dreams that were never fully extinguished by the crush of urban life. I am confident I will make it the highest peak of that old watermelon on foot - from a base elevation of 6,559 feet to a top elevation of 10,378 feet - and I'll not stop trying until I do!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Losing weight, learning to live again

In my 20s, I was a pretty avid hiker and mountain biker. But two years ago this month, I was 38 years old and hadn't done either of my favorite activities in nearly a decade.

Yes, nearly a decade had passed since I broke the 300-pound mark. And what's worse, for the previous two years I was tipping the scales at well over 400 pounds. I could barely walk, and even if I could manage to find some balance, no bike could hold up under my crushing weight.

Outside of work, which was essentially desk-based, my primary daily activity was walking to my car, hitting the drive-thru of my favorite fast food joint (or two), then walking back inside my house to watch TV and snack. My fingers, elbow and jaw were the only joints that saw much action.

Though I knew I needed exercise - I even bought a $500 mountain bike in hopes I'd one day be able to ride again - I was afraid that by walking too far or doing anything strenuous I'd break my ankle or hurt my knees beyond repair. Plus, breathing, even while sitting on the couch, was becoming a problem.

In January of 2010, I finally decided I needed to do something about my weight. I began by journaling my food and getting my nutrition in order. I went from eating more than 4,000 calories in a typical day to a strict 1,800 calorie diet.
The feeling of personal victory

After losing my first 50 pounds or so, I began going to the gym. I decided to do resistance training instead of walking on a treadmill because my ankles and knees hurt, but my upper body felt stronger. And by lifting weights five times a week, by November of last year I had lost more than 140 pounds.

This past year has not been one of much weight loss. I got down to about 255 in May, a total 160-pound weight loss, but I steadily gained back 20 pounds to reach 275 over the summer. The weight training just wasn't helping me lose weight like it had before. My partner told me I needed to add cardio to the mix, but I still was opposed to treadmills.

Not concerned so much about hurting myself anymore, I decided to start going on short hikes close to home. I started by going a mile on the local streets, and then out on local trails. Then I began going two miles. And finally I was doing three mile hikes through pretty rocky and hilly terrain about three times a week.
Finally, last week, I began doing longer hikes of between five and six miles. I'm even climbing mountains. I couldn't be happier with my progress, and the weight is finally coming off again (I'm back down to 265).

I love being outdoors again, and I feel victorious, even though I still have about 40 pounds to lose to reach my goal. Still, I'm not focused on my weight goal anymore. My new life goal is to hike 20 miles per week. I've reached that goal in this my first week. And by this time next year I will have hiked more than 1,000 miles, God willing!

If anyone reading this blog is at that point where they're afraid they will never get outside and be active again, don't believe those lies in your head. All you need to do is get focused on your nutrition, get your weight down and exercise every chance you get. And if you don't know how to go about doing that, you can learn. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help!

Your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. Trust me, I know from experience. Two years ago I felt I was near death. Now, I'm forty, and I feel like I'm 25!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Face it: Skinny is an ugly word

I'm part of a weight loss support group on Facebook, and every Sunday the group's originator, who is an amazing and motivational woman by the way, posts that it's Skinny Sunday, time for public accountability of our personal weight loss goals. The term Skinny Sunday has kind of bugged me in the past. Today, I thought I'd say something about it.

I said, "Do you guys really want to be skinny? I find that word just as ugly as fat. Why not something like Shapely Sundays, or even Strong Sundays? I know, I'm being a pain, but I really find skinny a terrible word, and a terrible goal for anyone. Skinny is the down side of a rollercoaster diet. Sustainable fitness is really what we want, right?"

I got the feeling that I was outnumbered when a couple of group members said they weren't offended by the word skinny in the same way that I was. One even pointed out that she didn't really want to be skinny, and was just using the word "lightly".

I know her words were honest. We're all just looking to be fit. Still, I felt it was important to address even the light usage of this word.

I replied, "I really feel words are powerful. I could have never lost 160 pounds without banishing certain words from my mind. Looking in the mirror I still have that script that was ingrained in me over the years regarding my large size when compared to those other boys around me.

"I've come to embrace myself as I am. I'm a fit, firm 270 pounds, and I'm working on getting even more fit. Officially I need to lose 45 pounds just to be considered overweight instead of obese, but I refuse to let anyone else determine what size or weight I should be. My body is meant to be used, to live this life, not to 'look good' for others to objectify me."

She agreed, as I figured she would. And she said she appreciated me putting my perspective out there, which made me happy.

I'm never one to mince words, and sometimes my character has alienated others in groups I've been a part of. So I'm glad that I was able to express myself effectively in this case, and maybe I made a difference for someone who might have been looking in on the conversation.

That's all I really want to do - make things easier for those out there struggling with their weight and let them know that they shouldn't have to change their weight just because others want them to fit in. But perhaps they should change their fitness level so they can live a longer, fuller life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let's support health education and local farmers!

I'm an adjunct at a local community college. I haven't had health insurance since I was laid off from my full time job in 2008. Back then, I was an educator working with folks on welfare who didn't really want to get off in the first place. Our goal was to train them on how to get and keep a job, which is funny, because I rarely came across a client who actually shared that goal.

Ironically, I make too much money to qualify for healthcare assistance, but not enough to pay for even the basics of my own healthcare (like maybe a check up once a year). Meanwhile, my former clients keep getting free care at emergency rooms and neighborhood free clinics.

It's a good thing they can get care, though, because the crappy food they buy with their food stamps - mostly sugary and refined carbohydrates that are cheap and provide name-brand comfort - is sending many of them to the emergency room on a regular basis to be treated for hypertension, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems. My piddly wages, on the other hand, are spent not on doctors but on preventative measures - whole foods - in order to maintain my health and avoid costly medical bills and a life of chronic illness.

Don't you think there's something wrong with this?

Before, when I had health insurance, I weighed 420 pounds and was a ticking time bomb for many of the health issues mentioned above. But fortunately I read a book back then that was a wake up call. I learned from Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, that what I was doing to my body by maintaining a healthy diet. More importantly, I learned that by changing my diet I could reverse the damage I had already done.

What's my point? Instead of allowing politicians to fight a battle for more healthcare for poor people, we should be spending money on health education and supporting small farmers so they can provide good, whole foods at an affordable cost to local people. That's the only way to lighten the growing burden currently crushing our health system and robbing health care consumers who are able to pay for care.

Let's shift the conversation - we must do something about this crisis now, before more than 50 percent of our population is officially obese or otherwise chronically sick. If we do nothing, or continue on the path of building bigger hospitals to deal with more and more food related diseases, it will turn us into a third world country.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dance to Death

by Brian Schwarz

Dying things are all around
As soon as birth, then death abounds
Not just in the devil's touch
But God, through death, has taught us much

To love and care and fill our days
With life and laughs and curious ways
And all the time we've got is ours
Till finally we've marked the hours

So dance to death; fly, be free
March your way down to the sea
Then back again to mountain tops
Take on life with all you've got!

Passionate about hiking - and burning fat!

I'm so psyched to have found a new fitness passion - hiking - out on the trails of eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. On top of experiencing the sheer joy that comes from climbing to new heights and seeing the world from inside the woods, I'm thrilled to see how quickly I'm burning fat and building lean muscle. Playing outdoors beats working out in a crusty old gym any day of the week!

I live in Weston, which, like nearby towns like Lincoln, Lexington and Concord, is replete with conservation lands, some with hills, great for a moderate walks for fitness. My favorite close-to-home hill is Cat Rock. Also Misery Mountain is just up the road. I plan to check it out tomorrow.

In the greater Boston area I've been enjoying the hilly Middlesex Fells north of town and the even hillier Blue Hills to the South.

And at a two hours or so drive I've climbed Wachusett Mountain here in Massachusetts and Mount Monadnock just across the border in New Hampshire.

Before winter sets in, I still hope to get out to the Berskshires in western Mass., up to the Green Mountains of Vermont or the Whites in northern New Hampshire, and to Acadia, on the coast of Maine.

In the spring, I'll be heading out to New Mexico to hike Sandia, the Sangre de Cristo and others as I learn about them.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Flying at 420 Pounds

Just heard today that AirTran will join Southwest and begin charging extra for over sized passengers. The news dug up a lot of previously buried sentiment from me, and I'm sure it will do the same in many others, given that more than 20 percent of the population is now considered obese.

I used to be what you'd call super obese, and I remember flying at 420 pounds. I took American Airlines to Mexico in 2008. I sat next to a friend -  a big guy in his own right - who squished in the middle. And I used a seat belt extender; I'd snagged one of those model seat belts flight attendants use in their safety presentation that barely assisted in spanning my 64 inch middle section (I couldn't really call it a wast at that time, now could I?).

I was anxious and worried they'd kick me off the plane, and I tried my darnedest to keep my arm from blocking the bathroom traffic and service activity along the aisle for the entire trip to Mexico City. By the time I was on the puddle-jumper flight to Acapulco, I just let it all hang out, because once in Mexico, I was seen more as a curiosity I suppose and treated quite well by the single attendant on that final brief leg to the West Coast.

It was a horrifying experience, looking back. But at the time I let my joviality and apologies pave the way to not being treated too badly, though I know my form was inconveniencing to others in such a confined space as a jam-packed international flight.

I still have that extender. I kept it as a sort of souvenir from the old days, to remind myself of those feelings I'd buried even then so I can use my desire to avoid those feelings again as incentive to stay on my path of health, fitness and mental well-being.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Dad's" Fit Club

Heading into 40 I knew I'd fucked up. I'd gained 220 pounds since high school (180 of that since college), and my health was a ticking time bomb set to explode into diabetes, congestive heart failure, or god forbid, something worse. I decided to make a change, and by my 40th in August of this year I'd lost more than 150 pounds and had been holding steady for nearly a year.

In a holding pattern at 270 pounds, that's where I am now. I eat right, with an occasional ice cream or chocolaty protein bar to soothe my sweet tooth and a burger a month to make me feel like I'm still a man (albeit a man who substitutes real fries for sweet potato fries). And I exercise fairly strenuously at least 20 minutes to an hour a day.

Okay, so I realize I'm not hard core, though I think I was when I started this whole thing fitness regime two years ago. I mean, who wouldn't be? I was 420 pounds for fuck sake! If I weren't hard core I'd never have made a dent in my triple obesity let alone get myself to the point where I am now - still in Obese Town, but closer Overweightville really.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm in the same place the majority of the men in this country are in - acting like we care about physical fitness but probably in need of a little direction when it comes to figuring out the right diet and exercise plan for our goals in mid-life and beyond.

I think I want to start a "Dad's" Fit Club. I'd call it "Dad's" in quotes, because it's not really for dads per se, but for guys who are "dad's" age as we remember him in the time of our youth, when fitness came easy to us and we were still impressed by the strength our dads possessed, even while they were acutely aware that easy gains were no longer a given for them and that muscle didn't just grow while sitting on the couch playing video games.

I want to get together a bunch of middle aged guys like myself to challenge themselves in the woods. Hike, jump, sprint, climb, swim, track animals (well, I'm not sure about that, just an exercise in freewriting, folks), and whatever else it is we'd have to be doing if we were the first homo-sapiens "winning" the Neanderthals into extinction! I don't want to do CrossFit or anything, and I'm not going to do the paleo diet (at least not yet I'm not). I just want to have friends to get fit with!

Are you with me!!! If you're interested, or have a man in your life you think would benefit from joining the "Dad's" Fit Club - or have an idea for manly strength-building activities - shoot me an email at

Friday, August 12, 2011

No time for exercise? Pay now, or pay later

Sitting in Starbucks on posh Beacon Street in Brookline, Mass., I overhear two older gentleman embroiled in a discussion of politics and current events, which at some point turns to one of aging and health. One man tells the other that he has made a conscious decision not to exercise, because life is short, he says, and exercise is just too time consuming. The other, aghast, attempts to convince his friend to change his tune.

Both men, it turns out, are mid-sixties baby boomers, members of the much-talked-about generation poised to cripple our healthcare system over the next decade or so. And though it's impolite, I choose to listen intently as these men debate, because I know the choices they make - not just their political choices but also their personal health and fitness choices - will profoundly impact my own future for years to come.

The man who has chosen to be sedentary in his later life - who, by the way, appears to be decidedly older than his fitness-oriented counterpart - claims he is keeping his mind active so as to stave off alzheimers and early onset dimentia. Keeping up with his reading, travel and other intellectual pursuits, he says, doesn't leave time for much else. He also admits that he doesn't watch what he eats as much anymore, because he wants to "enjoy" the rest of his life.

The exercise apologist man retorts that his friend's logic is flawed, noting that diet and exercise are intrinsically linked to brain health - not to mention physical health - which would lead to a longer life, and more time to enjoy it. Nutrition and physical fitness, he said, are key not only to lengthening one's life but also to enhancing quality of life throughout as you age.

His argument came down to this - "Pay now, or pay later". Dedicate a few moments of your day now, or give up precious months or even years of your life later. The choice is up to you.

That's simple logic if you ask me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dad swears by yard work

I was speaking to my dad last week about some of my fitness goals, one of which is to begin training with a competitive local sports team. I chose rugby, and he scoffed. He implied I was too old, and that I'd get hurt. When I said to him I had no intention of getting old at 40 I told him I didn't recall him working out or participating in sports much once he hit middle age - a point which he denied wholeheartedly.

"I still play golf" he said.

"Golf? That's your workout?" I wasn't convinced.

First, let me mention that my dad is 70 years old and he beat stage 4 throat cancer a few years back. So it's AMAZING that he's as active as he is. I have to give major him props. But my contention isn't that he isn't working out now, but that he didn't really do it much in his 40s.

When I told him that I never saw him going to the gym or participating in any organized training of any kind after he turned 40, I asked him what he did to stay in shape. To that he said his best workouts have always been when he's doing work out in the yard.

My first instinct was to call him out - yardwork isn't exercise! But in his case, that may be true. My dad has several acres of beautifully manicured lawn, lots of flowering, fruit and pine trees, bushes, even a water feature. And when he gets out there in the same worn red t-shirt and shorts I've seen him wearing for this, his favorite activity, over the last 20 years, he really sweats!

So, I thought I'd try it out this weekend. I, unlike my dad, have a postage stamp of a back yard, but there was about 20 minutes worth of work to do and I really did feel like I got a bit of a workout in right there in my back yard.

I doubt this will replace my regular gym and home medicine ball workouts. But it sure was fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Medball Routine - the woodchopper

On a pretty regular basis I do elements of a medicine ball routine I found on the Men's Health website, called The Ultimate Medicine Ball Workout, a.k.a. The Tar Heels Workout. Staring with some of these basic moves, I'm going to be posting exercise videos periodically. This will also give me an opportunity to track my progress - hence the shirtlessness of it all!

This video is me doing the second exercise of between six and eight that I do as part of what I call my Medball Routine. The original routine I found on Men's Health has 10 elements, and I just don't do the ones I don't have time for and/or don't like.

Hope you all enjoy. Please give me feedback to let me know if you want more of these.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Phase 3 in full effect - Rugby anyone?

Phase 3 of my fitness plan is in full effect. For those of you who've read my blog since the beginning you may recall that I began Phase 1 of my fitness plan more than two years ago. Phase 1 was all about nutrition. After realizing on my 37th birthday in 2008 that I was tipping the scales at nearly 420 pounds, I decided I had to do something about my weight. It was then that I decided to move to New Mexico to be closer to my grandma Fay, and I started this blog in December of that year as I began planning out strategies for for what I knew would be a long and challenging process.

My first attempts at changing my diet got stalled (notice I didn't say I failed, because that experience was an integral part of this whole still-ongoing process), and I finally got the jump start I needed when I ordered Nutrisystem in January of 2010. I shed more than 70 pounds fairly quickly, and in May of 2010 I was ready to start Phase 2 - exercise.

I started walking about a half-mile a day and joined a gym to began resistance training. I committed to one hour at the gym five days-a-week, and it stuck. I continued losing about 10 pounds a month (sometimes more, sometimes less), and have continued with the gym until today, just more than a year later. I'm still committed to the same amount of time at the gym, though my workouts have become increasingly more intense.

Now, though, I'm looking for something more. I'm ready to begin Phase 3 - sport. I have been considering some of the different sports offered at local gyms - boxing, capoeira, krav maga, etc. But I just can't afford to pay as much as they're asking for something I'm not even sure that I'd like. Plus, I'm more interested in a team sport.

Well, as I look to move to Boston this August, I have been doing some research online about team sports for adults in the Boston area. And I found that there is a competitive rugby team called the Boston Ironsides that accepts and trains new members - even if you have no rugby-playing experience. So I'm going to give it a try. I think.

What do you think? I haven't played competitive sports since high school. And admittedly I don't enjoy dirt and mud and sweat, all key components of rugby. But I do want to challenge myself and take my fitness to a whole new level. I think this is the way to do it! Excited. Nervous. Doubtful. Hopeful. I'm feeling a range of emotions. But most of all, just happy that I am at the point in my life now where I can actually consider this as an option, whereas before it would have seemed like little more than a pipe dream.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Weight restrictions begone! Time to have fun!

I hadn't been to a water park in more than 25 years - until today. For the longest time I couldn't go. Besides the fact that a lot of the rides have weight limits, I just never felt confident enough to walk around with just a bathing suit on all day - and wearing a t-shirt seemed ridiculous. Besides, even with a cover-up, they wouldn't have let me on any of the rides, and what fun would that have been?

So today Khizer and I decided to head up to West Palm Beach to check out Rapids Water Park. I'm down to 255 pounds now, and even though I couldn't go on a few of the wilder rides because there was a 250-pound weight limit, I still had a blast. I even got lots of exercise.

I was treading water for a while in the deep end of the wave pool. And there were these pools with trails of buoys that moved out from under your feet when you stepped on them, forcing you to hold up your body weight and fling yourself monkey-style using your arms to stay up and your legs and core stabilized yourself on the course. Some of them were quite long and difficult to pass, but I did it! It was amazing fun, and so I don't feel I missed out on anything.

I did go on a bunch of the water slides, too, even ones with a weight restriction. They stopped some people and weighed them, telling them they couldn't ride. But no one said anything to me. *smile* Still, I didn't go on anything too wild because I was worried being overweight would cause me to go flying off the raft or something causing injury to myself or someone else.

So now I've set a new goal for soon as I'm down to, say, 245, I'll go back and do even the craziest rides with Khizer!

Life is good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Proud (enough to lotion in public)

I've been feeling so amazing lately as I shed fat and build muscle. But just like anyone who's lost the amount of weight I have - more than 160 pounds at this point - I sometimes look in the mirror and feel shame for the damage I've done to my skin. Fortunately, with good nutrition and hydration, and the daily application of lotion, I've been able to minimize the sag that inevitably comes after multiple cycles of weight gain and loss.

I lotion after every time I shower. I think this has been crucial in the progress I've been making with my skin. But when I'm at the gym, and others can see me as i shower and get ready for work in the morning, I've sometimes skipped the important hydration process. It's bad enough when they see my skin as I'm standing still let alone when I'm moving it about as I apply lotion.

Today, though, I stood directly in front of the mirror as I applied the lotion, and I didn't pay any attention to anyone else who may have been looking. And as I applied the lotion, first to my lower belly, then to my underarms and triceps areas, I noticed that I was looking much better than I had the first time I lotioned in public two months ago.

So now I'm feeling good about my skin for once, too. And not because it's 100 percent better. I mean, I still have too many stretch marks to count, and the skin is not taught as it should be. But I feel good. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and am learning to forgive myself for the damage - irreparable or otherwise - that I've done along the way.

These feelings inspired me to write this little poem. It's an affirmation, I suppose. And I'm going to remember this now every time I stand in front of the mirror and be proud of who I am.

Proud of my body
by Brian Schwarz

I'm proud of my body.
I'm proud of the flaws.
I'm proud of the work it's done.
I'm proud of the falls.
I'm proud of the way I'm created.
Proud of the fat I've deflated.
I'm just proud to be human.
Proud to live life as I'm doin'.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fitness 400: The Musical?

I've recently printed out a copy of my blog and have begun reading/editing it in hopes that I can put it together into some sort of self-help format to be published, and this morning while watching an exceptionally fantastic episode of Glee - the one where Rachel is on the verge of discovering her mom's true identity to the tune of Les Mis' "I dreamed a dream" - I began thinking...Fitness 400 would be make an awesome musical!

Don't laugh! I really think a story like mine would make entertaining, maybe even inspiring musical theater. Think about it - it's the story of one man's transformation from debilitating doubt to unbridled optimism, a man who battles demons that take on physical dimensions in the shape of a 200 pound weight gain, and then loses those pounds through a series of poignant and life-affirming adventures in his work life and social life, eventually falling in love (only after having found love for himself along the way).

Well, it's just a thought at this point, but an exciting one. Oh, the possibilities!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My eating regimen: A "typical" day

I've lost more than 150 pounds in a little over a year through making incremental lifestyle and diet changes. What I eat is pretty consistent these days, so I thought this would be a good time to give you a sample of my "typical" eating habits.

So, this is what I've eaten so far today:

Breakfast (7 a.m.)
1 organic egg, fried
1 whole wheat English muffin
¼ cup cereal, Ezekiel 4:9 with flax seeds
¼ cup organic milk, 1 percent
16 ounces water

Snack (9:30 a.m.)
1 banana
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
¾ cup organic mixed berries
1 tsp wheat germ

Snack (11 a.m.)
6 almonds
1 tbsp. shelled walnuts
1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds (in shell)
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds (shelled)
3 dried apricots
1 tbsp. raisins
16 ounces water

Lunch (1 p.m.)
1 cup cooked quinoa with fresh green peas
½ cup cooked yellow split peas with spices cooked with turmeric, fenugreek and red chili powder
¼ cup cooked spinach
3 stalks celery, raw
3 medium-sized carrots, raw
16 ounces water

Pre-WorkoutSnack 3 p.m.
1 red delicious apple
1 banana

Post-Workout Snack (4:30 p.m.)
Oh Yeah! Protein Bar

Dinner (5:15 p.m.)
1 cup cooked quinoa with fresh green peas
½ cup cooked yellow split peas with spices cooked with turmeric, fenugreek and red chili powder
¼ cup cooked spinach
16 ounces water
Some olive oil (A bit is drizzled on the batch of quinoa/peas/spinach mixture which is my daily staple food.)

Snack (8 p.m.)
1 tsp walnuts (shelled)
1/2 banana

That's it! It's a lot of food, huh? I have no idea how many calories it is, so I plan on doing a work up of that later. Any nutritionists out there? I'd appreciate your help.

Tonight when i get home I might have a few bites of my cold quinoa/peas/spinach mixture in the fridge, but that's it. Eating a lot of food and at frequent intervals throughout the day keeps me satisfied all night long.

Leave me a note and let me know what you think!