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Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Days 6 & 7

Weight Today was 194

The last two days (Fri & Sat) were terrible foodwise.  I've got to lock in tomorrow and refocus on avoiding fast food.  I tend to eat when stressed and fast food is my drug of choice.  Once I get a taste, I tend to binge.  However, I think I got a grip on it now.

For those who didn't see my posts today, my younger brother was sent to the emergecy room with symptoms of a heart attack.  He's 40 and a single father of two.  Scared the living daylights out of me (He's in Jersey.  I'm in Alabama).  Feeling helpless, I reached for my drug of choice.  Tried to make up for it by getting in 975 calories worth of yardwork.  Nevertheless, old habits die hard.  So I'll be avoiding fast food for the rest of my journey.  What has worked for me in the past is to keep a supply of fruit and nuts in the car while I'm on the road.  I packed some in the car today, so I'll be ready for the upcoming week.

Those who have been lambasting me about my food choices, please continue to do so.  I had a spring mix salad today and I definitely do need to bring in some additional fruit and veggies.  Despite my great progress in bringing my weight down, I've done it without a big change to my fruit and vegatable intake.  I've always been a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy.  I'm working on changing that.  So my TWO points of focus next week will be the incorporation of fruit and vegatables and the elimination of fast food.

My abs are somewhat emerging from the "witness protection program."  I can feel them and can see "something" when I look in the mirror.  It's not a six-pack, but it's not a "keg" either.  We'll keep striving.

Someone asked my about what happened to my plans to eat fish the other day.  I simply haven't gotten around to eating it yet.  I may have to get some more on Sunday and play with it while it's still moist.  My trainer in Miami showed me how to prepare it in a French style so I may get enough to try some French and some Cajun as originally planned.   I'll post the recipes when I get a chance.  The French recipe has a sauce (very low cal) that just melts in your mouth.  Looking forward to tasting some of that.  On the opposite side of the house, the Cajun recipe is so spicey that it knocks you out of your chair and slams you against the door!  I may need to get that kind of kick in so I can get my workouts off to a good start.  If I'm feeling some kind of way, I'll eat either or.  When dieting, variety is indeed the spice of life.

Anyway, enough venting for this week.  I learned a lot and will be making better food choices going into the upcoming week.  Let me know how you all are doing as well.

Kudos to my team this week for their help and support!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads!


Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 6

Weight 192

Thursday was a textbook example of what happens when you don't prepare for your day.  Woke up late and got to work late.  Typically I have a good nutritious breakfast right here in the office (I keep a file cabinet and fridge stocked with yogurt, fruit etc.).  However, as soon as I sat down, we went right into meetings.  So, no food and the Ol' Boy was starving!

Thursday was also the Army's 237th birthday.  Most of you know I work for the Army in a civilian capacity.  There was a big birthday celebration complete with hot dogs (my second vice next to pizza) and birthday cake.  Who DOESN'T celebrate someone's 237th birthday.  So I partook of a hot dog....or two....ok, three.  THREE!  Yeah, I know!  I've been cursed out already!  But that's why I have you guys around!

The whole day stayed hectic, so I didn't eat well at all.  I'll be back on track Friday.  Lesson learned:  Better plan your day.  Don't get distracted.  Always make time to eat well.  You hate to put in a ton of weekly effort to have it all cancelled out by a lousy meal! 

The best thing is, I still stayed under my allotted calories.  The bad part is that I don't get any points for doing it in style!

See ya Friday!

Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 5

Today's Weight:  193

Pretty ho-hum day on the fitness front today.  I focused on getting the majority of my calories in in the morning, then tapered off with a salad toward the evening.  I'm trying to limit the late evening heavy eating.  Hoping it will make a big impact on the scale.

Big shout out to Brattyworm who really has been busting my chops on a couple of dietary issues.  Made some great points that I'm going to have to incorporate.  Appreciate ya having my back.

Someone asked me about condiments (e.g. ketchup, salad dressing, etc).  For me personally, I don't track their intact because I don't use them much.  I will track salad dressing (one of the "processed" foods I allow myself) only because there are quite a few high in calories.  I try to duck those.  My condiment of choice for most things:  mustard.

Only had four meals today, but felt pretty good metabolically the whole day.  My morning protein drink I tend to nurse over several hours in the morning, so I keep a good smooth intake over time.

Need to get some fish back on the menu.  The last day and a half, I've had a taste for sea bass,  I tried to prepare it the other day and totally messed  it up.  Tried mixing it and complimenting it with some other things and it turned out disasterous.  Trusting that tomorrow things will be better on the fish.  I find you have to expose it completely and not be selfish on the spices if you want to bring out the full flavor.

Hoping to keep this fountain of knowledge flowing.  If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions, fire away.

Have a blessed day and remember that the world would not be the same without you!

Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 4

Today's Weight:  193 

Today is Tuesday and for over the last year or so has been my official "Cheat Day."  It's typically the day that I eat anything I want and if there's one day that I go WAY over calorically, it's usually Tuesday.  For those who have known me for a minute, know that my usual vice on Tuesday is pizza.  However, for this 30-day experiment, I ruled out having a "Cheat Day"--or so I thought.

I discovered two things about myself that made me laugh.  The first is that I am suffering from "Cheat Day Withdrawal."  I smelled pizza everywhere I went today.  The second  is the realization that eating food can me a very subconscous act, i.e. you don't always think about it; you just pick up a piece of food around you and eat.

Case in point.  Although I cancelled by Cheat Day, the kids still go out on Tuesday.  They were "pizza'd" out, so they wanted to go to Taco Bell.  I just finished a protein shake so I was fine.  So, I bought the family taco pack and headed home.  Got them all served up and was fine.

I ended up eating dinner after I returned from my son's T-Ball practice.  Had a great steak, but while it was cooking, do you know that I SUBCONSCIOUSLY reached for a soft taco and took a bite!  It didn't even cross my mind that Cheat Day was "verboten" this week.  The kids knew and screamed, "Dad no fast food!"  I burst out laughing and remarked at how it took so little thought to eat that taco.

Anyhow, it's listed in my food diary.  The Lesson Learned:  Let Momma buy fast food on Tuesdays!

Need to keep an eye on the sodium too.  The steak surprised me, but I'll buy fresh steaks in the future.  Part of the challenge is that you still have "old things" in the kitchen that need to be eaten vs thrown away.  I'm starting to keep a list of those processed foods I bought and look for some healthy substitutes. 

The other thing I need to be mindful of is the time that I eat.  With my workouts in the mid-afternoon now (as opposed to early mornings), I'm eating closer to 7 or 8 p.m.  My tentative plan is to make my meals after my workout (e.g. dinner) a little ligher calorically.  I'll try it and see what happens.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback and encouragement.  For those who are making changes with me, remember it takes about 21 days to establish a habit.  So keep striving!

God bless and remember that the world would not be the same without you!




Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 3

Today was a bit strange.  Got some really strong feedback from the team regarding my food choices from Monday.   What I definitely need to do is get a better grip on my definition of "processed foods."  Typically, I would define it as "anything that comes out of a package or wrapper", but I realized in the last two days how much of my food is actually "processed."  So I need to make some semi-radical changes to create a definition that is not too hard for me to ascribe to, but one that is challenging.

Today's meals were good.  Did pretty well until dinner.  I'm noticing that I have a weakness for bread/rolls.  I mean, what's spaghetti without a slice or two of Texas Toast?  So, although I was under (and happy about it), I have to get this bread fetish under control--if anything, at least get some whole wheat options.  Actually I think it all "balance out" since I did use whole wheat spaghetti noodles (LoL!). 

Came pretty close to my protein mark today.  I try to eat my goal weight in grams for protein (160).  I don't hit it daily, but if I can get in the neighborhood, I'm doing well.  For those doing protein supplementing, the two best times to max your protein is first thing in the morning and immediately following your workout. 

Water intake was also good today.  Any day above 10 glasses makes me smile.

My big temptations this week:  Ice cream and hot dogs!  LOL!  It's amazing what you get a taste for when you're trying to stay locked in!

Really do appreciate your comments and input.  Any tips you utilized to carve in the abs and add some definition are always welcome.  There is power in numbers!

Be blessed!


Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 2

Today's weight is 194 pounds.  I'm down two pounds from yesterday--primarily due to water weight.  Typically after a cardio day of 1000+ calorie burn, I lose a pound or two.  Blood sugar levels are down as well--two good indicators of forward momentum.

Feeling pretty decent about progress so far.  I've had to "think" a little harder about my food intake since fast food is not a option.  So I've been keeping my stock of healthy snacks in the car (e.g. nuts, fruit, etc) to stave off the urge to spend a little time at my red-headed ex-girlfriends "house" (Wendy's).  So far, so good, but if there is such a thing as an addiction to fast food, I'm feeling some slight withdrawals.

Also trying to maintain my max protein intake.  Didn't hit my protein numbers yesterday.  Will be trying harder today.

However, I'm more interested in seeing the changes that a 30-day concerted effort can bring.  I'm still locked in and focused.  Appreciate the "Lean Mean Dream Team's" support so far!

Semper Fidelis!

Holding Me Accountable Until 9 Jul 12 - Day 1

Wanted to thank the "Lean Mean Dream Team" that signed up to hold me accountable for the next 30 days to a few goals: 

JanHunter84, scapez, odditblue, beeka2ked, Tuskegee4, Brattyworm, Mirna_ayala0428, Abrowe313, Astroub, MsCharlie, FloraBass, Kcham817, TASoto, Tazzythemotivatormm Teazybabee and Shelleanie.

 The goals for the next 30 days are as follows:

1. Food and exercise diaries completed daily.

2. Minimal 8 glasses of water;

3. No other beverages to be consumed during the next 30 days.

4. No missed workouts

5. No fast food;

6. Stay within allotted calories; and

7. No processed food (with few exceptions).

For recording purposes, Day 1's weight is 197 pounds.

There's a few purposes behind this 30-Day experiment:

1.  I started adding a protein shake(s) to my daily food intake.  In about 2 months, my weight increased from 184 to 197.  By keeping the above strict regimen, I want to determine how much of the increase is true muscle versus fat.  I'm starting to see some size increase and definition as a result of the increased protein intake and my goal is to keep any additional weight attributable--as much as possible--to muscle.

2.  I'm looking to bring the abs out of the "Witness Protection Program" and I need to determine exactly how strict I need to be to achieve this.  I tend to believe in my case that revealing my abs is more tied to diet then exercise.  Although I've been on this fitness kick in times past, I've never gotten to the point of really bringing in the abs.  This summer I want to make that happen.

3.  I want to identify and destroy the "little foxes" (Song of Solomon 2:15) that are responsible for stopping me from going from "good" to "great."  Once fitness and nutrition become a true lifestyle for you, it's typically not major issues (e.g. not exercising or eating right) that stop us from going from "good" to "great."  It's usually a combination of "little things" that stop us.  I want to try and identify them.

Looking forward to working with my accountability team.  I'm going to try and  post my progress over the next 30 days via this blog.  Feel free to follow along, or better yet, take on some of the challenges yourself.  Let me know how you're progressing!

God bless and remember that the world would not be the same without you!



(PICS) Public Apology - My Wife Caught Me Cheating

Let me start by saying that I'm not one who is much into airing dirty laundry in public. Something like this has physical and emotional impacts. It's also a personal matter. However, I have quite a large number of friends on this site and people who read my blog posts religiously. They value my reputation and integrity. I value their feedback. So before anyone hears this through some other source, I felt obligated to my family and friends to speak the truth first, before the gossip and rumors make this unfortunate incident any larger or more damaging than it already is.

My wife caught me cheating with another woman. I'm telling this to you straight, no chaser. I'm not going to stand here, weepy-eyed, and sugar-coat it. I got busted. I got tempted and I fell. I have no excuse. To be quite honest, the girl caught my interest. I saw her in the break room just about every day at my office. She was really sweet and over time I just kind of developed a taste for her. It wasn't a big deal at first, but I really began to develop a bigger and bigger urge for her. Eventually, I wasn't just seeing her in the office break room. I would see her at the cafeteria downstairs and we would occasionally bump into each other at the locat supermarket. Every time I saw her, my desire for her increased. I honestly believed she felt the same way.

Eventually, things got to a point between us where I did something stupid. I decided to take her home with me. I don't know what I was thinking--sometimes your appetite just overwhelms common sense I guess. We went to my place during my lunch break (I'm about 10 minutes from the office). I figured my wife would be out of the house--I didn't see her car. So we went inside and got comfortable. All I wanted to do was unwrap her just like a Christmas present. And I did.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose. My wife opened the front door and caught me! I had my hands around her when she opened the door. I was so busted. What made it worse was that she whipped out her cell phone and started taking pictures. I guess she wanted evidence of my misdeeds. I didn't stay around long. I didn't say a word. I just dropped my head, got back in the car, and went back to work.

Do I feel bad about what happened? Sure. Was it idiotic? Absolutely. As I said earlier, I'm still physically and mentally impacted by what I did. So, I wanted to apologize publicly to my friends and family for cheating and letting everyone down. I'll make better choices in the future when faced with temptations like this.

By the way, here's the photo my wife took:

Little Debbie

I'll never eat another Little Debbie Snack Cake again!

APRIL FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Would love to know what food you've cheated with--that you absolutely can't resist. Drop me a Comment below and let me know.

Shawn's Quote of the Day: “It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.” ~ Michael Pollan

Have a blessed day and remember that the world would not be the same without you!

God Bless!



What I Look Like 365 Days Later

It took longer than I thought it would to decide whether I wanted to write this blog entry or not.  For the last few months, a lot of friends on MFP have asked for me to post some progress pics.  I kind of blew it off, primarily because I wanted an entire year to pass first.  I had a goal in mind and I didn't want to see "before & after" pictures side by side until I reached it.

Well, about two weeks ago, I reached the one year mark!  One of my primarily goals was to sign on to MFP every day for a year.  I achieved that goal and am proud of it.  It wasn't easy, but between international travel, one earthquake, one tornado and a week-long power outage, I somehow managed to get on here every day--even if long enough to sign in and sign back out.

My Beginning

I started on MFP in November 2010.  Here were my stats when I started:

  • Weight:  220
  • Waist:  40.5
  • Hips:  39
  • Fat %:  32.7%
  • A1c:  10

And here are the dreaded photos during that time:

fat man 3 fat man 1

Fat man

My Plan

I intitally started with a three-session per week workout schedule, set my allotted calories up in MFP, and set my goal to lose a pound per week.  That seemed to work for the majority of the year.  However, after about six weeks into the program, I increased my workout sessions to six times per week (3 cardio session and 3 weight training sessions) while maintaining the same caloric intake.  I made some slight calorie adjustments as the weight came off and rotated the type of cardio and weight training I did to incorporate some muscle confusion and to stop myself from getting too bored with one particular program.  I also had a "cheat day" in my weekly program so that I could enjoy a slice or two or three of my favorite vice--pizza.

There were challenges along the way.  You have your haters, your naysayers, your binge days, your stress days, days/weeks you plateau, and your missed workouts.  I took it all in stride fully realizing that what I'm doing is making a lifestyle change--not putting a band-aid on a few fat cells.  This journey was going to involve "weight" training and "wait" training.  The process for getting there is simple, but not easy.  If it were easy, the diet industry would be out of business.

365 Days Later

Well, a year later, here are my stats:

  • Weight: 185 lbs (Missed my goal weight by 5 pounds)
    • Total Pounds Lost:  35
  • Waist:  34
  • Fat %:  27
  • A1c:  6.8

Here's what I'm looking like these days:

front 2


Lats 1


vest 1

Non-Scale Victories (NSVs)

There were quite a few NSVs along the way that kept me motivated through the process:

  • Having to tighten up the HRM chest strap every few weeks because it was getting loose.
  • Pulling out clothes from "waaaaay back in the closet " that you promised you would get back into someday.
  • Being able to wear "fitted" dress shirts as opposed to "regular"
  • Running three miles non-stop for the first time.
  • Seeing the outline of a six-pack instead of sucking in my one-pack.
  • Seeing the looks on friends and families' faces who haven't seen me in awhile.
  • Getting through the afternoon without my head hitting the office desk.
  • All the compliments received from people like you.

The People That Make It Possible

None of this would have been possible without the continual support from my MFP family.  Fortunately, many of them have been with me through the entire journey, applying encouragement where necessary and a swift kick in the pants otherwise.  I put together a few "task forces" along the way as I neared specific goals ("Team 180" being the last one) which proved very effective in getting me over the bumps in the road.  There's no way I could begin to list individual names for fear of missing more than a few.  Suffice to say, that if you're still on my friend's list, your contribution, comments, compliments and encouragement have been extremely instrumental in my progress and I thank you sincerely.

In Closing

 The advice I'd give anyone who is either just starting this journey or has been on the road awhile:

  • Set smart achievable goals up front.  Where do you want to be in a month, three months, six months and a year in terms of weight, fitness level and/or inches.
  • Take pictures and measurements every thirty days.
  • You will not get to where you want to be if you don't hate where you are enough to do something about it.
  • Surround yourself with solid MFP friends for accountability
  • Log your exercise and calories
  • Have fun with it.  A 100% vegetable diet is not going to work for you if you don't like vegetables.
  • Switch exercise routines from time to time to break the monotany

Okay, I've said enough!  Have a fantastic weekend and remember that the world would not be the same without you.  Always keep Summers in your heart and Charity on your lips!

God Bless!




How to Eat What You Want on Thanksgiving and Maintain Your Weight

I always eat whatever I feel like eating on Thanksgiving and not feel guilty at all about it.  For those who have "friended" me on MFP, they know that I'm a strong advocate of eating what you want on special occasions (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) IF you eat sensibly and exercise throughout the rest of the year.  After all, if your nutrition and exercise routines are on point, eating whatever you like four or five days out of the year really isn't going to kill you.

 However, for those who are ultra-conscientious or simply don't want to lose their progress going into the holiday season (more people gain more weight between November and January than any other time of the year), I recommend incorporating the following suggestions:

 1.  Commit to a Daily Workout Between Now and Thanksgiving Day.  No "off days" and no "rest days."  That's seven full days of exercise.  Hey, you've got a piece of sweet potato pie that needs tending to next week.  And Momma is making it.

2.  Kick Up Your Daily Calorie Burn By 100-150 Calories.  Spend another 15-20 minutes on the elliptical per day.  Take one more walk around the block.  Triple your minutes of daily sexual activity from five to fifteen (You do wear your HRM, don't you?).

3.  Put the Bottle Down for Next Seven Days.  Substitute "bottle" for your beverage of choice, e.g. beer, wine, and sugary fruit juices.  And yes (thanks Nicole), that includes sodas.

 4.  Drown Yourself.  With water--and plenty of it--starting today.  At minimum, drink eight 12 ounce glasses if you're not already.  The rest of you water rats should be hitting twelve.  Like my doctor says,  "If it's yellow, drink more fellow." (Some of you will get this later).

 5.  Add Some Nutritious Components to the Thanksgiving Mix and Graze First.  On the big day, inhale the nutritious stuff first.  Pile your plate with a BIG salad first and get two big glasses of water in (16 ounces).  Don't forget the veggies (candied yams and sweet potatos with marshmallows don't count here).

 6.  Get to Eating.  Once you have grazed, you can gorge.  Unbutton the pants and enjoy.  However, rotate plates.  Get a plate of the turkey and trimmings, then go back and get a healthy plate.  Try to exercise some moderation.

 7.  Celebrate Thanksgiving ONCE.  After Thanksgiving, it's back to business as usual.  No fattening leftovers.  Start Friday with "drowning yourself" with water to start flushing out your system.  Conintue to burn the extra 100-150 calories the week after Thanksgiving as well.

 Hope this helps!  I'd appreciate hearing any comments or additonal suggestions/techniques you may have.

Have a fantastic weekend and remember that the world would not be the same without you!



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