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I love California and I am not even a Democrat!

Cascades
The last time I was out west was in 1990. While I was visiting Death Valley, the Gulf War started in Iraq. I had no time constraints and I stayed as long as I needed enjoy the many wonderful sights!

Yesterday I drove from Redding to Redwoods National Park. I took the treacherous SR 299 through the Cascades. Because my internal clock is 3 hours off, I got up early and left before sunrise. The trip is about 4 hours. The road is well paved and the speed limit (for the manly) is 55. The switchbacks are pretty well banked; which is a good thing because the road is almost devoid of guard rails. I am not sure the white line on the outer edge would do much to keep your car from plummeting off the mountain side.

As I came down one mountain and readied to climb the next, the moon shown on Whiskytown Lake. After about an hour, I hadn’t seen a single car. The road was narrow and there were no shoulders. As I drove up the mountain, I started to think about what might happen if I had a flat, or worse, an accident… I flipped on the radio to see if I could find something interesting to listen to, nothing but static. My cell phone had long lost its signal.

Down another mountain and up the next… I decided to pray, it’s something that I like to do anyway. I only wished that I had brought music.

The minutes started to pass, and then in the valley there was fog, thick fog. I wondered if it would get worse. I wound my way forward. I felt peace. Once you have been near death, you don’t find as much drama in uncomfortable situations!

Then all of sudden I was above the clouds looking down at the valley I just crossed - the sun was just above the horizon. I pulled over at a turnout, and took some photos. I got back in the car longing for some music, and flipped on the radio again. I punched the scan button and on the radio was Chris Tomlin singing, “You Never Let Go”… as I walk through valley of the shadow of death; I will fear no evil… so I sat there for moment and savored the presence of the Almighty.

I drove the rest of the way to the coast through Shasta-Trinity National Forrest I started thinking about my continued blessings. The radio station faded and hit seek button again. This time it was Country station (I now some of you don’t think that is a blessing!) playing Joe Nichols “Gimme the Girl.” I missed my wife, wished that I could give her a call.

Life is good, really good. Don’t miss it!

NSVs and Snakes on a Plane

Well, I have finished the first leg of my journey to CA. I haven’t flown in over 5 years, and I almost want to say that I didn’t miss it. As a seriously unaware traveler and ex-travel writer, there is a battle going on in my brain. I have flown so much I would be hard pressed to count the times I have been in the air. Some of it is boring, and then I look out the window and see the Rockies from 30,000 feet!

It is probably unfair to chronicle a trip whilst in the air, but I have started to – I would hate for you to miss any sarcastic opportunities while they are still fresh.

It all started at 4:45 AM, I got up to get a coffee, checked MFP, Facebook and Twitter, and pulled myself together for a cold morning ride to the airport. My wife and youngest dropped me off in front of Terminal C; I was supposed to be at A. Thanks MBTA for your out of date web site. Call me that’s what I do for a living!

I got a comp shuttle to A from C, completing my algebraic introduction to the new age of “we charge for effing everything type flying”. Two bucks for the complimentary shuttle driver who squashed the foot of a passenger who was stupidly on foot - next time they will take the shuttle for $2. Then on to the check-in, another $25 for a piece of crap suitcase with all my clothes that no longer fit.

I sat and encouraged a few dozen MFP friend from my Android while I waited for security. I really liked John, one of the pre-screeners. If everyone in Boston was like that, Massachusetts would become a red state.

I didn’t get John. “Well David, we’d like to ask you a few security questions,” said the screener as he looked at my driver’s license. “Dang, you don’t look like you weigh 275, sir.”

“I don’t any longer.” I replied.

“Why does it say that on your license?” he asked.

“Well, I used to weigh that much, but I have lost weight.” I said with a 6 am smirk.

I was wondering if these were the security questions... and if he asks me how I did it, I going to say I had a kidney stone removed – actually it was a meteor that came though the ceiling one night.

“What’s your final destination, sir?” 

“Redding, California.”

“What are you going to do there”, he asked.

“I’m attending a conference.”

“How’d you lose all the weight?” He asked.

“MFP” I replied.

“Have a good day.”

“I got in the line to take off my shoes, and put my junk in a tub to be x–rayed. Can you take off your belt and put your laptop through separately?” said the attendant.

I froze. I thought, “I am going to end up with the FBI and the TSA grilling me in a dark little room.”

I uttered the words, “I can’t under my breath.” as I weighed the consequences of not complying. You see, I wore and old pair of jeans that are size 40s, and I am now a 34; I needed my belt.

I took it off, and placed it in the gray tub. I stepped into the full body scanner grasping a belt loop.

“Sir, can you place your hands on top of your head?” The screener asked.

“Oh God save me,” I whispered.

The little girl in line behind me asked her father, “what’s Calvin Klein, daddy?”

As I stood there waiting to get my belt back, I heard one the TSA agents says, “I think he’s got something in his rectum.”

I knew I shouldn’t have eaten Taboule!
 
Thanks for the votes and  comments. There'll be more soon.

Change is Not Switching Seats on the Titanic!

Even the Love Boat can sink! I don't know about you, but if I had not added some new foods to my diet (what I eat, not what I do), I would have been doomed to a life of fat failure. I could not have subsisted on a virtual conveyor belt of pizza, fried chicken, pasta, wings, large subs, steak tips, burgers, sweet treats and crispy chicken salad with Blue Cheese dressing.

Instead of quitting this and that, I recommend replacing it with a new food; or at least adding a new one to your monthly menu.

Fried Chicken - Sautéed is the new fried, and that isn't so great either. Fried chicken is loaded with calories, that's why it is finger lickin' good. Col. Sanders lived 'til he was 90, but trust me, that is not the norm.

Did you know there was a study that tried to prove that fat people hang out with fat people? It might be true; Col. Sanders hired Dave Thomas (Wendy's) to turn his business around! Dave, of course, had bypass surgery. Take it from me, being in the heart center is NO fun at all.

All I have to say is grill baby, grill. Replace your fried, sautéed and baked chicken with grilled chicken. You can eat more, and get more of the protein and low fat that chicken is best know for. And you can grill a bunch and freeze it!

Pasta - White pasta is another suicide mission, but it's a cheap one. I am not sure if you ever heard Billy Joel's "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant", but those folks lived in a dive. And the line "you lost weight; I didn't know", that is because Mama Leone (Movin' Out) chased him uptown and he had a heart attackackackackackack.

Instead of white pasta use whole wheat, but, I recommend replacing it with steamed veggies, brown rice or quinoa!

Wings - I looked up the nutritional value of Wings Over in my local area, and all they will tell you is to eat responsibly, and that a steady diet of fried food is not heart healthy. No kidding Einstein. So you get your fat, your sodium and your protein, and don't want to give up the taste? I am sure eagle's wings are much better for you, but they are tougher to catch because they can actually fly. Darwinism at it's best.

I suggest replacing them with bacon (pork or turkey) wrapped sea scallops or water chestnuts. You can skip the blue cheese, cut the sodium in half, and the water chestnuts are cheap. Drop them under the boiler for about 10 minutes and you'll be eating before the delivery man can find his car keys.

Large Sub Sandwiches - Portions people, portions! Size does matter! All the major sub chains have 1200 calorie sub sandwiches. At half the size you are at 600, and with some skillfully picked toppings you can get into 350-400 range.

Back in the 60's when Subway was not a franchise, they were located in Bridgeport, CT; the armpit of CT. By the 70s they were franchising them and offered a 6 foot sub - yes six feet of bread, lettuce and cold cuts. Since that time they have become a bunch of left-wing capitalists serving up health and green advertising, but still offering heart clogging combos that make some of Quisnos' menu look like hospital food.

All joking aside, order sandwiches when you need too, and know your ingredients!

Good replacements are things like hard-boiled eggs with hot sauce, Taboule Salad, Chick Pea salad, soups and home made vegetarian chili.

Hamburgers - Even the best hamburgers on earth aren't all that great. There are hundreds of fast food moguls that are 6 feet under! Even the world's best burgers: 5 Guys and White Castle are contenders for high-calorie, artery-clogging deliciousness. At about 600 calories or more with bacon and mayo, there are better choices.

If you want to know where the beef is, I found it at Whole Foods. The ground, grass fed beef is far lower in saturated fats. At least it is a better choice! And you can add a 100 calorie roll, some fresh onion, mushrooms or tomato, and then some mustard and a little ketchup and you are in business for about 350 calories. Add a slice of bacon and you are still at 425 net calories!

I suggest replacing beef hamburgers with Morning Star veggie burgers. Then come in a pretty wide variety, and I actually like them. They are lower in net calories and fat. Except for the sodium, it's a pretty good meal!

Crispy Chicken salad with Blue Cheese dressing - Crispy anything is of Satan! And blue cheese when surrounded by dressing is just one of his merry little band of demons.

Sure grilled chicken is good, and low-cal dressing is much better, but it isn't always filling. How about baked veggies, chic pea casseroles, and ratatouille?

Pizza - It's a killer at 240 to 800 calories per slice. It's the reason David by Michelangelo didn't look more like Buddha; he was on MFP and didn't eat much pizza (apparently he didn't take Viagara either).

I suggest replacing pizza night with spaghetti night - whole wheat spaghetti. You get the tomatoes (use the low sodium kind), and a little bit of cheese (less sodium - low-cal) along with your whole grains and even lean meat if you desire. Whole wheat pizza just ain't right, and it's easier to control spaghetti portions, and calories.

Sweet Treats - This is a tough one. Sugar rots your teeth, makes your kids hyper and causes cancer in laboratory rats. I know, I love it too.

I switched to fresh fruit with low-cal whipped topping.

Thanks for the votes and comments. I am still in awe of your support! Tell us what you have added to your diet since you started MFP, and what have you replaced?

Friend me if you like, but do leave a note with your invitation.

Snarky Comebacks to Inconsiderate Clods

Don't you just hate it when “no thank you” doesn’t work? Those inconsiderate clods continue to offer you food, suggest the worst restaurants, drinks and other deadly treats.

Well, here is an arsenal of snide remarks that should stop them in their tracks. Feel free to mix-n-match - gender options can be used as needed.

You should have a beer.
No thanks, I am going skydiving at lunch and don't want to splatter on the roof of your wife's mini-van/husband's BMW, it might scare the hell out of the kids.

Have another piece of cake.
So, I can look like you?

Let's stop at McDonald's.
You are what you eat, and I am not interested in being fat, cheap or passed out a window.

You should have some {Name of some food item that your MFP friends will delete you over.}.
I am allergic to sugar, fat and sodium, but thanks for asking.

Let's go to KFC.
I heard some one got a fried mouse there - pretty gross, right? 

Have a piece of pizza.
I just saw the {name of the person most disliked in the office} sneeze on it. It's hard to tell with the broccoli, I know.

How about a Margarita?
No thanks; I was looking for a José/Juanita about my age with ripped abs.

Try some banana nut bread.
I can't, I am fasting for my colonoscopy. Actually I need to run...

You are a vegetarian?
Yes, the only animals I eat are crackers.

It's good for you.
Let's see *picking up the package* Bleached Flour, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable and Animal Shortening, Dextrose. Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Yellow 5, and Red 40.

I think you are wrong.

You should eat another serving of turkey.
No, thanks, Mr./Mrs. Clause already got my man/woman.

You can go off your diet.
Think of it like this: I am speeding down a mountain road in Argentina; there are no guardrails. Would you tell me it was safe to go off the road?

You don't look like you weigh too much.
Not on a scale of 1 to 10, no.

Here try some pork.
Was that once a real pig? It looks like your ex.

We've got donuts in the break-room.
Is Michelle Obama on vacation this week?

Come on, you only live once.
And when I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.

Thanks for the votes and comments. You guys are amazing!

Friend me for wise cracks, sarcasm and support on your news feed.

It Will Never Happen to Me, A Real Life Drama

It was Saturday afternoon at the local YMCA as I worked my way past the 2.0 mile mark on the treadmill. My stomach was feeling a little sour, but I pressed on for the remainder of the hour. Workout Completed: 3.37 miles (5K) - not bad for a 52-year-old guy who weighs 245. I had been working out for about 3 months by that time and lost 31 pounds. In spite of what was going on in my stomach, the burn felt great as I fantasized about the good news Mr. Scale was going to give me at my next weigh in.
 
What a way to celebrate April Fool's Day 2011!

I took a shower and headed off to meet my daughter for a birthday dinner 90 miles away. I met her at work and we went to her favorite restaurant. I skipped the solid food and ordered some soup and iced tea; I wasn't feeling very good at all. I drove home and at 6 PM, I went to bed. I awoke sick to my stomach at about 11 that evening. "It's just a 24 hour bug, some of the folks at work and at church had it, and I’ll be fine,” I thought to myself.
 
A dozen trips on the ivory bus (ours is a stick shift), a little sleep, and some ginger ale and I will be over this.

Sunday was a blur and early Monday I called in sick to work; it was 6 am. At 9, I was able to get my doctor's office on the phone to ask what they thought I should do. "Come in at 3, or go to the Emergency Room," the receptionist said.

I phoned my wife to take me to the ER. I arrived about 11 doing all the normal stuff, well except for falling off the seat in the waiting area, which was not normal. They took me right in and went over my symptoms with me. "Tired, dizzy, vomiting, and pain here, here, here and here, other than that, I feel great!" I told the nurse.

"OK," said the nurse, after she introduced two student nurses. I guess she was trying to discourage them from the field by having a half-naked, smelly, fat man take off his T-shirt. They gave me an IV, and put some Kytril in there to calm my stomach. Man, I wish I had that when I was drinking! I would have marketed it under the trade name, Long Night! Next they took my vitals and hooked me up to an EKG.

"Ladies," the RN said to the students, “I need you to leave the room.” "M'am, I would like you to have a seat here," she said to my wife, pointing to the chair at the foot of the bed. “Sir, everything is going to be alright, but you are having congestive heart failure."

My field of focus narrowed, as they shoved my mouth full of aspirin, Plavix and nitro and hooked me up to oxygen.

There was a lot of medical talk as two doctors came in to look at me. BP 62/28, oxygen 59%... my thoughts trailed off momentarily. I looked over at my wife. She was just quiet as she sat there shouldering the weight of the unknown. After all, her mother was upstairs on the 4th floor recovering from a broken hip, and her dad was at another hospital having tests. 

"The paramedics will be here in a few minutes to transport you to the Heart Trauma Center."

The sirens wailed, and the paramedic talked to me about my family as we raced across the city. My wife followed behind in the family car. I still haven't been able to ask her what she was thinking that day. They slid me on to the operating table and began the catheterization surgery. The cardiologist said, yeah we'll get you stented up and probably have to take you to Beth Israel for a bypass..."

There was the flickering of a TV monitor just above my head. I had enough drugs where I was a little in-and-out. I tried not to think about the sharp surgical instruments so close to the family jewels.

"Well that is amazing, David. You have the arteries of a 17-year-old." I opened my eyes to see my wife standing there as the cardiologist gave the prognosis.

"Well, I would like to take them [my arteries] to Kentucky Fried Chicken and get them into their twenties," I replied, “and then we can go bar-hopping. I take them everywhere I go."

I love Fentanyl!

"You have what is known as a myocarditis and one chamber of your heart is virtually paralyzed. We are going to put you in ICU for a week or so until the virus subsides"

Twenty-four hours later I sat in bed talking to the cardiologist. I was on 12 liters of oxygen per hour and hadn't been able to eat anything since the soup 3 days earlier. "David, given the fact that you have one of the largest heart muscles I have ever seen, and the fact that, except for the infection, everything else is very healthy, you are lucky to be alive." (read that, exercise saved your life) He went on to say that my ejection fraction was about 20% and normal is around 60 to 70%. I really don't remember the rest, as the words "lucky to be alive" rang in my ears.
 
Thanks in advance for your votes and comments. Friend me if you like.
 
Many thanks to fitzie63 for help with the editing. Friend her too!

Can You Hear Me Now? Unfortunately Yes!

Gym goers are often annoying, and on occasion I would like to say, "Have a nice cup of shut the FRONT door!"

If you are serious about losing weight, you've probably gone to a gym, or possibly thought about joining one. Although most people have an iPod and mind their own business, there are still those that insist on old fashioned communication: mindless gum flapping. Evidently, they need more strenuous workouts.
 
Here are some things I have overheard; many, which I wish I didn't.

"I was wondering if I could bum a pair of headphones?" (Fat man to cute girl.)

"I just completed a marathon. CSI, yeah, I love Gil Grissom." (I think this was a pickup line!)

"Can I adjust your heart rate monitor, it looks a little low?" (I didn't dear look over my shoulder!)

"No kidding, you did that without human growth hormones?"

"Those are huge!"

"Tell me, does my backside make your car look small."

"I am not drooling; I forgot the cap to my water bottle."

"I think my arms are swollen."

"Now ladies lay on your backs."  (Trainers, right?)

"I know that all the other treadmills are empty, but this one has the best view."

"My trainer hates me, I don't groan, I scream."

"Now class, pick up your balls." (The same trainers!)

"For the next excruciating minute..."

"This is a kettle bell; no it doesn't ring, but if you drop it on your foot…"

"I swear invisible jump rope is harder than the real thing."

"Gentleman, these are treadmills, let's get it up."

"I am using the new video treadmill program but I don't like these people on the path, they slow me down."

"I didn't spit in the drinking fountain, I threw up." (First week of a new lifestyle.)

"I swear if that guy cracks a pose in front of the mirror one more time, I am going to throw a dumbbell at him!"

"Get off the floor, we are just getting started!"

"Pssst - Just because you have headphones on doesn't mean that people can't hear you fart."

Thanks in advance for the comments and votes, you guys are awesome! (And it is directly tied to my self esteem barometer.)

Friend me if you are low on wise guy support.

Why Men Lose Weight More Easily than Women, Really

I have seen a lot folks say that men lose weight more quickly than woman. That's not all they do more quickly; it is the micro-wave vs crockpot analogy.
 As usual, I have few thoughts that are shrouded in stupidity, and flavored with a dash of truth.

- Clothes: Men don't by clothes in sizes. If man goes from a size 12 to an 8, it is because he cut off his foot in a logging accident.

- Gastric Bypass (Flagellation): Men just fart more, sometimes significantly reducing their body mass and destroying meaningful conversation.

- Muscles Mass: Men have a few more places to put muscles. For example, the mouth. (Please refer to the anatomy chart below for additional locations).

- Unplanned Trips: These generally come in the form of bread and milk. However; they can be for diapers, baby formula - and when the woman are away, beer. Each trip is worth about 100 calories.

- 12 or 16 oz. Curls: This is a body building technique that most woman are unwilling to undertake because it requires the lack of small children, morals and brain power to accomplish. It comes in many forms, but most MFP-ers would call it Bud or Miller Lite. I think it is in the cardio search.

- Yelling: They yell at the TV more than woman. Politics, sports, and the Hunting Channel give you more to yell about than the Ellen, Lifetime and Disney. This is also in the cardio search.

- Scotch: It's a replacement for protein shakes. When used in excess, it not only keeps the male from eating, but in severe cases performing all but the most basic bodily functions including reverse peristalsis which counts as -10 calories consumed.

- Faster Metabolism: It is true, most men burn calories more quickly than woman, particularly around the time the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is published.

- Relating to Food: In general woman tend to be more emotional about food, where the majority of men are not willing to admit to having any emotions.

- Sex: When men think of romance, they are not thinking about food, going out to dinner etc. This is a huge calorie saver.

Thanks for voting, commenting and reading along. You guys and gals are great!

Friend me if you like, although you might be sorry you did. ;)

You Haven’t Tried Everything, So Don’t Lie!

I keep on seeing “I tried everything posts!” Oh yeah? I don’t believe it. What you are saying is everything YOU HAVE tried has failed. The fact is this, lots of folks get skinny and I am on my way to success too.

I am pretty sure that you haven’t eaten an ox from a box or a dog in the fog. And it’s doubtful that you have eaten an egg with your leg. Sorry, I was reading Dr. Seuss to my little one.

Here are some things I have tried.

-1 Instead of giving up everything, I just started to add good stuff to my diet (what I eat, not what I do). Today, for example, instead of having a hamburger for lunch which I do on occasion, I bought a package of Morning Star Chik’n patties. I made it with a bun, a slice of tomato, onion, and Swiss cheese topped with a ½ teaspoon of Honey Mustard. Score! Only 312 Calories, too.

-2 Do more things to burn calories. I really do park far from the door. I laugh my butt off at the YMCA watching displays of road-rage over the front row of parking spaces so they have a shorter walk to the treadmill. I always take the stairs (yes, I got stuck in an elevator once, but that is not why). I have a push lawn mower, I bike to the store for a few things, I stand and cut my veggies and fruit instead of buying them, and I dance with my kid instead of watching TV. It’s not pretty, I will admit that, but I am dressed.

-3 Shop smart! If you need to use an interior aisle in the grocery store or supermarket, it is probably processed (and the security cameras are aimed there too in case you are short on cash)! Fruits, veggies, fresh meat, fish, produce, dairy, and fresh bakery are just about always found on the perimeter aisles. Skip the canned foods, cereal, cookies and pet food aisles – you’ll be glad you did.

-4 Size matters, but no one ever talks about it. We are a family of two adults and one child. The older ones are now on their own and took the damn pretzels and Pepsi with them! It is hard to buy anything that is a good size for us. Me, I hate to have the same thing two days in a row if I can help it. So we freeze stuff: cold cuts, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, lunches, dinners, and one time even the cat, but that was an accident. We use lots of freezer bags. We also buy nuts in bulk and keep the plastic jars for other stuff like Barbie shoes.

We have small plates, and super small tubs for packing lunch in.

-5 Off limits eating. Only eat at the table; not while cooking, or sitting in the living room. And come on, not in the bedroom, someone is going to have to sleep on those cracker crumbs! Can’t you think of something else to do in your bedroom?

-6 TV Aerobics: If you watch an hour of TV a day, you get about 12 minutes of commercials. Instead of going to the kitchen for a snack during a commercial, do some squats, leg raises, push ups, sit up, planks or just stand up and walk around. If you watch 2, you can fit in a small cardio workout. And if you watch 3 hours a night, you should get a stationary bike or treadmill.

-7 Get a Dog that needs walking!
 
So tell us, other than weighing yourself after doing a #2, what have you tried to make the scale go down? 
 
Thanks in advance for the votes and comments! You guys and gals have been amazing!

Feel free to friend me. I'm not sure you'll be glad you did, but try it anyway - just be sure to send one with a message. :)

Why Losing Weight is Like a Marriage

It doesn't matter if you are married or not, serious relationships are very much like weight loss. Have you noticed something seems to change over time?
 
Here are a few of my twisted thoughts:

- You start off starry eyed, ready for the best...
 
- If you are not committed, you'll fail at it. 
 
- At first, you don't think you'll have to pay for every meal.
 
- You look forward to cheat days long before they happen.
 
- Before you started losing weight, you did anything you wanted to.
 
- A good relationship is one where you learn to keep your mouth shut.
 
- You fall in love at first sight, but should have looked twice.
 
- Losing weight is like a hot bath - once you get used to it, it’s not so hot.
 
- Losing weight has no guarantees, you are better off with a car battery.
 
- Food is created by God. But, then again, so are thunder, lightening, tornadoes and hail.
 
- All meals are happy occasions, it is the living together after that is the problem.
 
- Weight loss is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.
 
How is your relationship with weight loss going? 
 
Thanks in advance for the votes and comments!

Be sure to friend me - I need a lot of help err.. support!

I Used to Be Obese, Now I'm Sexy!

Most of us fantasized about being in a relationship with a famous movie or TV personality, a musician or sports figure - and it wasn't Roseanne Barr! That is what is wonderful thing about fantasy, it's free, but often not fulfilling, and after a long time, draining.

Losing inches and getting down to a healthy weight does not have to be a fantasy. You can do it! Lots of folks on MFP have done it. I read amazing success stories everyday about people like you and me that have lost literally tons of fat (without cutting off their heads). It can be done.

I don't know about you, but I get tired of skinny people telling me how to do it, are you with me? Just eat less, blah blah blah... Of course they can eat a 1/2 a freakin' pizza and down a liter of Coke; 1600 calories for lunch, and get away with it. But you and me, we are not like that. We eat one extra slice of pizza and grow another chin. Hell, we eat a big meal and have to loosen our belt or start responding to elephant mating calls.

Being fat sucks! It has few advantages save the invention of stretch waist pants which saved our lives.

Emotionally being large bodied can be brutal too. My 7-year-old was trying to be nice, "daddy I like you fat." Are you kidding?, I thought to myself. "I don't!", I snapped back. So much for teaching her to be positive.

So how does a Willy the whale become a flipin' errr Flipper the dolphin? It starts with what you think, and ends with what you do.

- If you don't really want to be thin, you won't be. Worse, you may just have decided that you'll always be fat, and you'd be right. Unless you can desire to be thin, it will never happen unless you're stranded on a tofu ranch.(I deleted the reference to being tied up...)

- If your life has no real schedule or structure, it's going to be tough, really tough. Losing weight requires doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over to get the desired result.

- You don't have to be perfect, but you have to be determined. In fact I was so bad at this, I bet I could have gotten Richard Simmons depressed and Jane Fonda to cry. If you want a date with your favorite entertainer, you need to be attractive enough to get in the game. Me, I just want to please me (and love dates with my wife!). Because I was once thin, that is the picture I have in my own mind. I'd like it to match the me in the mirror. If you've never been thin, get a role model here on MFP!

- Pick nonfood rewards for yourself when you reach short-term goals. If you lose 5 pounds you give yourself some new music. Lose 10, a new bike. And when you lose 25 or 50, ask your significant other for a new car and a week in Hawaii - well unless you already live there, then go to Alaska.

- Ask yourself this: If I was thin, what would my life look like? Would it be Charlie Sheen', Paris Hilton', Oprah Winfrey' or Bart Simpson'? Success aint' all it's cracked up to be. You can change your surroundings and make better food choices NOW. You only have to do it.

- Everyone has a time when we're most likely to overeat, whether it is the morning coffee break or when we first arrive back at the Bat Cave. You need to plan to handle them and stick to it.

- Surround yourself with people who want you to be healthy. Your fat, diabetic, grandmother - the one who pinches your cheek every time she sees you and gets the walking farts in the kitchen, she is probably not the person you want cooking  your meals and suggesting dishes for the holidays. Even our good friends can sabotage weight-loss attempts. Not everyone looks at a cookie as a death threat. For you and me, we need to weigh our options carefully, and choose people that are on the same page (to eat with)!

- Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods. If you are serious about losing weight, then you need to skip the high-calorie stuff or I will be in your face after looking at your food diary!

- Get a mirror, take pictures. Drop your dating profile from the Chubby Dates web site and make a YouTube video asking your fantasy date out - you never know!

Don't you already feel better?

Thanks in advance for your votes, your comments, and your support! If you need a wiseass friend, add me!

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