Friday, February 29, 2008

My Side of the Story

Well, I guess I should add my two cents to this blog. For me it was stepping on the scale and seeing how bad it really was. Grant is so motivating because he comes home so excited about how well he has done and it becomes addicting trying to compete. (We are NOT a competitive couple or anything!!)

For me the biggest motivation is realizing that I am winded after doing little things with Sam and I realized I need to change my life so we as a family can enjoy life. I want to be alive when she turns 20 or even maybe has kids of her own. But for now I just don't want to be tired when we go out to play. So I decided it was time for me to take control.

The first thing I did was let Grant do all the research and make the money (because it is a little more expensive to eat healthy {imagine that good foods cost extra money}, but worth it for health reasons), I scape goat out of the hard stuff, and then we together implemented it. I have a little note pad by our food scale and so it is easy to write down everything I eat. Then we tally it at night, but I always have an idea of where I am throughout the day so I know if I can have a fruit over a veggie snack since they seem to have more calories, duh they are sweet and anything sweet means more to the waistline.

It was motivating to me that the first day I lost 2 lbs, now I know that some of that is water weight and some is just the toxins that were in my body, but I continue to loose everyday and that is what is important and motivating. (even if it is by 0.2 lbs)

Well I am sure this is long enough for now, but hope that we can motivate others to join us. Thanks to those who made it seem possible by starting first (Allie, Jarom, Linds, Leroy, etc!) and being the examples.

For now we are setting goals for six months and if we reach those then we get our prizes. Mine is dropping 4 pant sizes and if I do (and if it is before six months) I get to get the Vinyl Cutter Machine to start my own business. Grant can share his goals and prizes with you.

If you want to compete with us let us know.


"So, what started it?"

That's the question I got from a co-worker yesterday while we were on our way to another employee's retirement party. (Yes, cake and punch were served and yes I did have some, but more on that later.) As we chatted, I realized that it would probably be a good idea to give a quick account of how we got started and how you probably can too.

Truth be told, this is something I have been thinking about for years, ever since I had stopped really running after getting married. I had been in pretty good shape at a couple of points in my life and now that I wasn't I lamented letting that slip away. Note, I say lamented, not regretted - I found that beating myself up for getting through school, working, becoming a dad, and generally being busy wasn't a good thing. ;) And it never is. So remember that.

The catalyst that finally got me moving was an article that I read on a website last week called A Calorie Counter. It had one piece of information that finally broke down my resistance to starting. It explained a very simple concept that I as an engineer instinctively understand. As an engineer with a background in thermodynamics, I would call it an energy balance. Every health professional and trainer calls it counting calories.

Basically, what comes in has to balance with what goes out and what gets stored. So, 3000 calories comes in and 2500 get used, where does the other 500 go? It gets stored, and in our bodies' case, that storage is called affectionately love handles, spare tires, baby fat, chubbiness, or honey-do-these-pants-make-me-look-fat depending on who you are or who you ask.

It gets stored as fat. Period. That's it. And the reverse is also true. If I only eat 2000 and burn 2500 through exercise, sitting, laughing, playing with my daughter, etc. where did that extra 500 come from? From storage. It has to! It's a physical law called the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. There's not other way around it. Plain, simple, easy. No plans, no books, no gym membership, no personal trainers required. You balance what you take in and you can control weight to have to go up, come down or stay the same.

As soon as I read and understood that, it all made sense! I could do this. It was just about book keeping, and I had gotten good doing that with personal finances over the previous months.

And I'd recommend starting in the same place. Start with A Calorie Counter's Nutrition Articles, particularly The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide. Start there, then keep going.

Now, I mentioned cake. Yes, I did have some at the party - one slice, a little smaller than what I normally eat, and I can tell you, by the time I was done, I was sick to my stomach. Sick physically and sick just knowing how many calories were in that not-very tasty piece of mass-produced cake. It was even worse that night when I got home to my favorite meal and had to worry the whole meal if I was going to eat too much and push myself over my calorie limit. Turns out I was okay because of my decisions not to snack earlier, but it really showed me how not desirable sweets were.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've started weight loss plans a couple of times before and while I usually did okay with them starting out, something would always come up to get in the way of my progress. I know lots of people who have had that same problem. In fact, for many, the physical requirements of eating better and getting exercise are not that hard - the mental aspect is the real progress killer in many instances.

When we started on all this business of loosing weight earlier in the week, we noticed that we were already doing a number of things that were taking us in the right direction toward fulfilling our goals. For me, that was a huge motivator to take the next step and move forward towards making real, meaningful gains. Here's just a few that really helped me to realize I could do more and the way they motivated me.
  • Eating healthy foods - We were buying and eating healthy things: whole grain breads and pastas, fruits, veggies, salad makings, low fat milk and cheese, super lean beef products, chicken, fish.
    • Motivator - We didn't have to change our diet, just the amounts we were eating.
  • Active lifestyle - When you have a baby, you can't help but be just a bit more active. You get up earlier, you move around more, you're constantly standing/holding/bouncing/rocking/singing/lifting with an extra 13 lbs in your arms and still have to move something else like groceries.
    • Motivator - It meant that getting more exercise in was easier than I thought; that you can count those calories burned towards you goal.
  • Mutual support - I didn't have to join a gym, get a personal trainer, or spend money on professional help. I had the support I needed right in my own home with a wife that I know loves me and will be honest with me.
    • Motivator - My wife doesn't sugar coat the obvious - I'm fat and out of shape. Yet, when she says it, I don't take offense because I'm secure, knowing she love me for who I am regardless. She just wants me to be better and always pushing towards a larger goal. It was never a judgment; it was a shot in the arm to keep going.
So, if you find that you need a little motivation, look to discover what you may already be doing to help get you going on the right path. And remind yourself that every little thing counts. Playing with a child counts as exercise just like jogging - though they may not be of the same quality, give yourself credit for what already do.

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It's a start, at least.

As we've started a bunch of new things in our life, we've decided to start something more. (Those of you who know us will understand that we are truly "gluttons for punishment.") We've decided that we're really needing to get in shape and loose weight. And so, to help report our progress and get feedback from others, we've decided to blog it.

This blog will document many different things for us. Among them: reporting and accountability, successes and inspiration, failings and difficulties. I think both of us have been inspired by the gains made by others in our family and among our friends. We've jumped on the band wagon and are looking get help from and give help to others.

So, if you should feel inspired to come with us on this new task, post a comment and come along! :)