Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ugh part 2.

I get home, and it was one of those days at home - it had been hard. My family asked for pizza. So we ordered pizza. Man, that stuff smells good.

I ate a salad.

I'm not kidding.

And I'm down another pound.

It was hard, driving home and smelling it, and then sitting there with my family while they ate it. But somehow I have to be able to make these hard decisions, these hard choices, if I'm going to make any lasting changes.

Off to work again. I'm hoping that the lunch for training today will be better. But even if not, I can do this.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Well, all is going just fine. And then today happens. I'm in training today at work. They brought in lunch. I partook of more than I should have.

It's not a huge setback - it's actually going to be well within my calories for the day - it's more the principle of the thing. I have to make sure that I'm in control of what I eat at all times. Otherwise, it will start to spiral out of control again.

I'm  thinking that tonight I need to get out and get some exercise in - which is easy, because I'm going to be clearing out some flower gardens in the front lawn and disposing of the extra dirt and stuff.

Then for dinner I'll see if I can pull a nice big salad with some sort of grilled chicken. That should put me where I want to be today.

I hate feeling out of control. So I'm going to ratchet the control down again.

Speaking of that - still no bar-shaped food since last week. That one was hard a few times over the weekend, but I'm sticking to that one.

I think I need to talk a bit about exercise. The next post.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another weigh in.

Not official, mind you, but down another 1.3 pounds since last Sunday. I'll take that and run with it.

Sometimes I sit in front of a blank blog post and words just seem to flow. Sometimes it's like today. I don't feel that I have anything earth-shattering enough.

Still, I want to try to keep some semblance of regularity and accountability. So here I am again.

Keeping up the good fight against the glorified candy bars. I'm finding that it's not even so much that they are so good - but it's more that they are so very convenient.

So not much today, but I'm here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Avoiding the bars, and small amounts of travel.

As exactly nobody reading this blog knows, I'm a teetotaler, so the bars I'm referring to are the ones from yesterday's post. When I got home from work, that stupid Nature Valley Candy Bar box was calling my name.

Sweet and Salty

Those are the ones that I'm talking about. There are 12 grams of sugar in there. I'm not talking carbohydrates. Sugar. In something that will do next to nothing to fill me up. It certainly does a lot to trigger certain responses in my brain, though.

Oh, I know - they are loved. If you love them and they work to help you - by all means, go ahead! My only point is that for me, these are an enormous mistake.

On three separate times, I found myself reaching into the box without thinking about it. All three times I remembered yesterday's vow to avoid food in bar form, and I put it back. But it's the fact that I grabbed it before I even realized what I was doing.


I missed breakfast altogether yesterday. That wasn't good. I'm a software engineer, and while it does lend itself to mindless munching if I let there be food at my desk, it also lends itself to being lost inside my code and inside my head, making hours pass before realizing where it went. That happened yesterday. By the time I looked up, it was 11:00, so I just waited the extra half hour for the cafeteria to open.

Indian butter chicken...mmmm...the calories on that aren't bad, if you eat a normal portion, by the way.

After work my wife and I went to support my oldest kid at a marching band competition. It was a lot of fun! Food avoidance was easy again. Except for the ladies next to us eating Cafe Rio something-or-other. HOLY COW it smelled good.

But my plan is slowly working. Slowly but surely. It's getting easier to say no, as long as I say on a roll and don't eat the crap that will bring the cravings back.

Now if only the scale would budge. I wonder if there's something wrong with it. ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alive and kickin'!

Weekends are notoriously bad for me to be able to blog - I'm usually just so dang busy with everything going on in my life. Take last Friday night/Saturday - I was out camping with a bunch boy Boy Scouts. (I'm a Scoutmaster). It was a fantastic time.

Eating, on campouts, is actually very easy for me. Low-fat hot dogs (skip the buns) and a bunch of fruit and I'm good to go. The kids enjoy some s'mores usually, but I'm not that enamored with them, so there you go.

Weight is down again - officially, I'm down over 22 pounds. Unofficially, it's probably more like 25-26. These are the times when I wish I WOULD have weighed and gotten the highest number. :) Still, I'm heading in the right direction and I don't have any intention of stopping.

I do need to take a bit of personal inventory about snacking. It's always hard to admit when things start going wrong - but I would rather start talking about it now when it's minor issues than later when it's a day of (and I'm not joking - this has happened in the past) 4 donuts, 2 bags of chips, 80 oz of full sugar soda, and a bag (the 1 lb bag) of peanut M & Ms.

So about yesterday...

I had some fruit for breakfast, due to bad planning, in that I didn't get any protein. That usually keeps me full for much longer. It was 80 calories of flavor grenades.

Lunch was good - some brown rice and asparagus with a small portion of homemade sweet & sour chicken. About 300 calories.

So when I get home from work, I've had less than 400 calories for the day. NOT optimal - I do much better when I spread my calories out better than that.

So there's this Costco-sized box of Nature Valley Peanut something-or-other granola bars. They are GOOD.

So over the evening, I had three.

With a light dinner and some moderate exercise for the day, I stayed well within my calorie goal for the day.

But there is something unsettling about going back for another granola bar (which is, let's face it, a glorified candy bar) even though you know you shouldn't.

What this means is that it's time to ratchet things down a bit further. Yet again. I'm not going to go "no refined carbs" again yet, but for the moment, all kinds of "bar" food - that is, food in bar form, is verboten. I have been doing VERY well without granola bars. I think that I'll be able to be just fine without them for the next, oh, say, month at least.

Actually, make that until November. If I can get through Halloween without eating any "bars", that will mean that no Halloween candy will have been consumed. And while I don't yet know what I want my attitude to be towards sugar for the long run, I do know that this year I really don't want to deal with candy.

So there you go. Personal inventory out there for everyone to see. Kinda glad I did it. Now to go find breakfast again. More Flavor Grenades, but this time with a cheese stick? Sounds good.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Anyone ever heard of a Flavor Grenade?

I think I mentioned them in my post on Tuesday, but forgot to get back to talking about them.

They are a variety of pluot - an incredibly sweet/tart combination of a plum and an apricot. Because of an apparently very short growing season, they are only available for about a month or so RIGHT NOW, and even then I've only ever found them at one farmer's market about 30 miles from my home. I'm obsessed with them.

Ate three of them just now. Can't think of a better breakfast while they're in season.

Seriously. They are that good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pizza, Cake, and cravings.

Well, all of our birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations around the Crutherton household appear to be done for a while. Yes, there's Halloween coming, but I don't see that as a hard one to get through. I do have a couple of short vacations - but with good planning, I'm hoping to be able to come through unscathed. Thanksgivings (both Canadian and American) are nearing as well, but Thanksgiving isn't traditionally hard for me to do well either. Christmas is a bit harder, but I've got time to further ingrain my habits before we get there.

But I did indulge in a total of two pieces of pizza and two (small) pieces of cake between Monday and Tuesday. Total. I have to say that I was a bit worried about what it was going to do to me. I worry about having my addiction to sugar start taking over again.

So far so good. I haven't had anything that I would call extra cravings. Other than really always wanting to eat copious amounts of terrible food. But I guess the difference is that for some reason, right now, I'm able to restrain myself.

Yes, I joined a 6-month dietbet. But I am not willing to say that this is what is keeping my motivation up. To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure what it is, other than I'm seeing a lot of good changes in how clothes fit, etc. Being down almost 25 pounds will do that.

What is the difference between now and three months ago? Three months ago I would come in to work with way too much crappy food that I had bought and started consuming on the drive to work, and then continue eating until I left to go home. Add to that heading out for food in between...it was bad stuff.

But now? It seems relatively easy.

This brings me right back to the sugar addiction thing. Is this really the game changer? I don't know. I do know that there were many times that I'd tell myself at night that I wasn't going to the store in the morning for more crap just to find myself walking out of the store already eating without having thought about it. Or making yet another justification as to why today wasn't the day to start. Just today. I'll do better tomorrow.

I'm talking myself into thinking that this just might be it.

Anyway, more introspection ahead. I need to keep on top of this if I want to make this change last.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quick update...

Been very busy with the weekend, my daughter's birthday yesterday, and then a ton of work today. But things are going well.

Had a couple of pieces of pizza yesterday, and a piece of cake. I did NOT go over calories, I ditched the ice cream, and ate a ton of Flavor Grenades (I'll talk about them later). I was pretty worried about my cravings today, but really, nothing. I'm pleased.

Down another pound or so. Not as fast as I would like, but it's going DOWN. Love that part.

I'll write more tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's a comfort, actually.

I know it's stupid. I know that I am not burning more calories or taking more steps now that I have a device back on my arm again. And yet, it is a comfort to me to have the numbers.

Slightly disappointing yesterday as well. I really should have taken way more steps. But see, that's exactly what kind of information I need to have all the time.

Have I mentioned that I love this fitbit?

I'm still not sure about the all-the-time-constantly-on-heart-rate. There are a lot of times when it seems dead-on accurate. Like right now, sitting here, I'm at 60 BPM. Feeling my pulse, that seems quite accurate. I have seen other times, though, when just sitting here it's up at about 110 BMP.

I'm fairly sure that it has something to do with how I'm wearing it. So I'll see what I can do to normalize where it sits on my arm, how tight, etc.

But for right now, I'm quite happy to have it back. I LOVE having the extra numbers.

Here's to hitting a step goal for today...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

It is here!

The new fitbit surge is here! It's on my wrist. I'll have to get up and walk around every so often now.

It wouldn't be a bad idea anyway. I haven't had anything for breakfast. I should get something from the break room. They've got big bins of fruit that are calling my name.

And yes, I can ignore the cereal. While I am adding back in some carbs, I still find those to be pure crap. I had a granola bar the other day. 100 calories. It did nothing to make my weight worse. But it DID make me crave more granola bars for several hours.

This particular monkey may never be off of my back. I just have to make sure that I stick to the point where I say no before I get back into the hold of addiction again.

Well, not enough steps today yet. Time to go get a few in.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's coming today!

At the beginning of the year I decided to try out a new wearable. I ended up buying the Fitbit Surge. It's good - I liked it a lot. I think if I had the chance to choose again I may have gone for the Charge HR, but hey, it's mine and I like it!

However, the charging port hasn't ever worked right. It was always just a little loose. And after several months of use, it would no longer charge.

I called the company and they promptly sent out a replacement charger. Even though I told them that it wasn't the case, they had to try it first.

Well, surprise surprise, it didn't work! So another phone call later they sent out a new unit!

It's arriving sometime today.

Let me tell you - I'm a numbers guy. I love numbers, metrics, measurements, everything about them. So having data on my calorie output is awesome.

I used to have an old Exerspy (think the Body Bugg from BodyMedia, but on Steriods). It was amazing - the data was VERY accurate. When I used its calorie output numbers along with my calorie intake numbers (from food logs), I could predict within 3% what weight I would be.

However...it started breaking down a bit. And with BodyMedia, you had to have a monthly subscription to their service for the exerspy to even work. Did NOT like.

So that's why the switch to the fitbit.

Anyway, here's to getting my numbers daily again...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I love me a long weekend...

When you get the chance to grill at a park with family, that is a good thing.

When you get to decide what goes on the grill, that's a better thing.

When you wrap up corn and put it on the coals just under the hot dogs, that's an awesome thing.

Some low-fat dogs, some corn, and a LOT of watermelon makes for a great meal.

Also did a lot of work in the yard yesterday - completely cleaned out the front garden spot, put in some weed/grass killer and a weed barrier, and some artificial wood chips. Looks great, and burned a ton of calories.

It's a lot of fun when things start clicking like this. Yes, I did turn down cupcakes. Yes, I could have eaten a ton more. But when my clothes are fitting better and I have a lot of energy, it finally starts becoming worth it.

Gotta get working, hopefully I'll be back later.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mini plateau

These things happen. It sucks when you're in the middle of one, but they happen. 5 days ago I was the same weight as I am today. 

And you know what? I'm not even sad. Because I can see how it is working in other ways. Especially the fit of my clothes. So it's all good. 

So I'm still 1.6 pounds away from the 270's, but I'm on my way. It will happen, and probably sooner rather than later. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The life of a Software Engineer

My computer is acting up. It won't finish rebooting. So with nothing else to do for the moment, I thought I'd write a post from my phone. 

I appear to be, for now, an all-or-nothing kind of guy. I can either go strict and lose weight, or I'm an all-out all-you-can-stuff-in-the-pie-hole type of guy. This sort of disturbs me. It says some things about my issues with food that frankly I don't really want to think about. And yet, I know that eventually I will. 

What does it mean long-term if I have truly serious addictions to food? What am I going to have to do/change/be to not let that particular demon take charge again?

I'm not yet ready to face it. But I know that I will have to. Soon I will start working on it. 

The steady process.

I had initially typed "the long, slow process." But I like the word steady better. It implies, at least to me, a slower process, but the steadiness also implies long term consistency. That's what I'm shooting for here.

I'm feeling a bit at peace right now in regards to weight. I don't often feel this much peace about it, so I will take it when I can get it.

Boss took us out to lunch today for my 4 year anniversary here at work. It was nice. I did get to choose, so we went to a soup/salad/sandwich place. I ended up getting out of there for about 600 calories. Feeling pretty good about it.

Nothing to earth shattering. Just slow, consistent work.

On the right path again.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Official weigh in

Today is the official diet bet first month weigh in. Here it is:

I am pretty pleased with it. I had to be at least 3% down. This is about 5%.

Not bad. Here's to winning next month as well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Feeling chatty today.

Also feeling a bit hungry, but as I've posted recently, that's no surprise.

I turned down a donut today. I don't feel bad about this. I didn't need it, I didn't want it. That is to say that to me, today, it was worth more for me to NOT eat the donut than to have the sugar rush. In fact, without sugar for about a month now, I'm kind of thinking that it would be too sweet.

It's not about the donut.

I took my family out for ice cream last night. I didn't have any. Again, I didn't need it, I didn't want it.

That's not true. Last night I wanted it. But it was still worth more to me to NOT eat it than to eat it.

I don't know what sort of balance I'm going to end up walking. Might I cut out sugar forever? It's very possible. I don't know. But I do know that sugar is a big problem for me.

More pondering to be done.

Workout successful.

Did 3 miles on a treadmill. I find that I'm able to watch my iPad while running. Right now I'm going through the entire X-Files series as I run. Walk. Plod slowly. Whatever.

I got a good sweat going but didn't push too hard. I'm happy with it.

Side note - I have a Fitbit Surge, but there is something wrong with the charging port. It won't charge at all. The good news is that it is within warranty, and they are sending me a new one. It should get here early next week. So while I have to wait, I'm going to be happy to have more information again about what my calorie output is.

But until then, I'll just have to enter exercise manually.

Until tomorrow...

Time to get some exercise.

The workout didn't happen yesterday. Turns out I left my gym bag at home. That doesn't help when I want to get some momentum going.

For today, then, I made sure as I left the house that I had everything that I'm going to need for today. At 11:00 I'm heading out. We'll see how it goes.

As for loss, down even further this morning. I'm somewhere between 7-8 pounds below where I needed to be for the dietbet weigh-in tomorrow. I'm not sure it would even be possible to weigh too much tomorrow. Without water loading or something.

Still - tomorrow's weigh-in is NOT the end goal. It's the first in what I am hoping turns into a very long series of successes.

Work is calling...