Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Re-tooling daily diet and exercise plan to fit new teaching schedule

As a teacher, you often don't have tons of time to eat during the day, so keeping on point with a 6-daily-eating-events "diet", like the one I found success with to overcome super obesity and lose some 165 pounds, can be a challenge. It may take some fanagling, but it can be done.

I recently took a job teaching middle school special education. I have five classes a day, one prep period and a 30-minute lunch. But I think I've found a balanced eating and exercise schedule that allows me to get out and get moving doing some heart-healthy cardio even during school hours so I can focus my off-hours exercise on building muscle.

Here's my new schedule:

  • 7 a.m. Eat breakfast of oatmeal with prunes and banana + 1 boiled egg + 1 slice toast

  • 7:30 a.m. Walk to 1/4-mile to bus stop
  • 8:15 a.m. Walk 1/4 mile to school from the bus snack
  • 10:15 a.m. Eat yogurt with berries
  • 12 noon Drink meal-replacement protein shake + 1 large carrot
  • 12:05 to 12:25 Walk briskly for 20 minutes around school track or adjacent neighborhood
  • 12:25 p.m. Eat 1 banana + 2 stalks of celery + a couple of almonds and 1 walnut
  • 3:45 Eat ½ PBJ (natural unsalted peanut butter and no sugar added fruit spread on Ezekial 4:9 bread) 
  • 4 p.m. Resistance training at the gym or home
  • 6 p.m. Eat dinner of curry, quinoa and beans or something similar with protein lots of greens and assorted vegetables (at least two servings of squash for example). Alternate plan is Subway turkey or turkey/ham 6" sub on whole wheat bread.
  • 8 p.m. Evening snack of some Weight Watchers ice cream bar or other 120-150 baked chips or something.
This should give me between 1,800 to 2,000 calories. And more importantly, this plan keeps me eating all day - and at key times - so I can avoid crashes and be strong enough to avoid the temptation to indulge in things I've not planned and chosen in advance as triggered by stress or other shifts in emotion throughout the day.

As always, I'm open to hear your comments on my plan and to read about my journey from the beginning here on MyFitLife2Day. Find my other blogs at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Single again - time to regain focus on my weight loss journey!

From its inception, I have regarded this blog as a place for me to track my personal journey from super obesity to fitness. I often measure my progress in pounds lost, but for the past two years, I have been struggling to continue losing weight and even, at times, to maintain my weight loss. I would love to say that I share my ups and downs equally, but that would be a lie. Still, sometimes I realize I must force myself to come clean about where I am when I'm down so I can continue on with my journey leading with my decisions rather than being led by my conditions.

See, for about 18 months at the beginning of my weight loss journey I was super focused on numbers - I lost 165 pounds, going from 420 to 255, dealing only with a few plateaus but never really seeing the numbers on the scale go up once they had gone down. During most of that time I was single, and so it was easy, because I had only to focus on myself. But once I reached 276 pounds I found myself falling in love, and slowly my focus shifted from my journey to my journey with this other person, and I decided I would rather focus on building my relationship with this person rather than continue to focus on losing weight as my primary objective.

While we were happily together, I somehow gained weight, stabilizing at the 276 mark, or what I weighed when we met. But the relationship was not always certain. We broke up or were separated at two points along the way. And during both of these break-ups I was able to lose weight again, getting back down into the 260s both times. Then, each time we we got back together I found I gained the weight back, even getting into the 280s.

Recently, we broke up for the third and - probably - final time. I'm once again losing weight and have lost 10 pounds in the two weeks since our separation. I'm realizing that until I reach my goal weight  of 225 pounds it would be best if I avoid romantic entanglements that will get me off track. This being said, I now find myself at the point where I need to come up with a new game plan. As such, I'm going back to the beginning and focusing on the three basic points that helped me achieve my intermediate goals in the first place. These are:
  1. Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day (walking, hiking, medicine ball, HIIT, etc.).
  2. Drink at least 8, 8 oz. glasses of water per day - plus two extra glasses of water to properly hydrate for my current weight and environment (I live in the high desert).
  3. Control portion size, eat 6 small meals and consume no more than 2,000 calories per day.
Once these three points are under control I will add more to my regimen, but for now these will suffice in helping me to lose at least 10 pounds per month and maintain my good health. My goal is to reach my goal weight of 225 pounds by June 1, 2013.