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ABCs of Weight Loss, This is Stuff You Should Know!

A is for Attitude: You can do this! You are a skinny person in training.

B is for Burn: You need to burn more calories than you consume not light the cat on fire!

C is for Calories: You can eat them, burn them, but not all calories are created equal. It is proven fact that folks who ate the same amount of salmon calories compared to those that ate beef calories lost more weight. Chose them wisely.

D is for Diet: Diet is what you eat, not what you do. Diets are not lifestyle changes.

E is for Everyday: A lifestyle change is part of your everyday routine. Hit or miss diet days are similar to skipping work or school; too many and the results are not good.

F is for Fuel: You need to fuel your body. Starvation is not an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

G is for Grain: Whole grains. If you really want to lose weight, I would skip the white bread, the white rice and other processed grains. Whole grains are better than just grains!

H is for Hazards: Everyone has different circumstances that cause them to blow through calories like quarters at an arcade. For some it is having junk-food in the house, others going to certain restaurants, and for others, it is a certain time of day. Know your hazards, and prepare yourself.

I is for Investment: Invest in your success. Heart Rate Monitors, smaller dishes, food scales, new clothes that are too small, but will fit at your next goal, and anything else that causes you to think about your lifestyle change.

J is for Juice: Skip the soda - even diet soda and drink juice. Water it down, add some sparkling water to it, but drink fluids that have some value.

K is for Kickass: That is your job and your only job: to kick this old lifestyle where it counts!

L is for Logging: If you ate, you log it. In fact, if you thought it, it might be a good idea to log it. You might change your mind when you see that a muffin is 700 calories, and a McDonald's burger is 750. Then you can delete it.

M is for Meal Plans: How many posts do you see where folks says: "I don't know what I am having" for lunch, or for dinner? Getting caught off guard at Olive Garden can blow a whole days worth of calories. All chain restaurants have nutritional menus online; read them before you go! Plan for holidays, but stick to the plan!

N is for Nuts: Almonds, pistachios and cashews can really help stop hunger and they are good for you. These are good calories compared to many of the low-cal snack foods.

O is for Outside: Get off the couch and take a walk, ride a bike, walk the dog head to the beach, the mountains, or even go arounf the block. I know it is tough in the winter, but anything beats the couch!

P is for Protein: I am not a fan of high-protein diets, but I have noticed for weight loss, keeping the protein up seems to work for some people. This is especially true if you eat lots of junk carbs like pizza, chips and white bread.

Q is for Quinoa: This is pretty awesome whole grain and cooked in chicken broth can be better than rice and even couscous.

R is for Rest: You need to sleep, and to take breaks from working out. (I am the master at overuse injuries). Decent amounts of sleep will aid in your weight loss.

S is for Sweat: Regardless of what MFP says, if your heart rate isn't over 120, it is not considered cardio! You will burn calories, but cardio is upping the heart rate to exercise it and keep it healthy. If you don't sweat from exercising and need shower when you're done, try pushing it a little harder!

T is for Trainer: They can be jerks, and cost a lot of money, but some gyms have a weight loss class where you get 6-8 people working with a trainer for cheap ($5-$10 per session). I recommend it to learn exercises, proper form, and have someone pushing you a little bit.

U is for Underwear: If they're too small, they will fit sooner of later; just be sure to wash them.

V is for Veggies: I can't tell you how many diaries I read with low-cal versions of junk food including: chips, dip, pizza, soda, desserts and the like. Veggies are good for you, for your body and all that other stuff is not.

W is for Water: Drink as much water as you can. There is sparkling water, flavored water and good old fashioned tap water. There is debate on how many cups a day is good for you, but I assure you, the body won't mind it all.

X is for eXcuses: Just effing do it, OK?! Eat right, exercise a minimum of 3 times a week for 30 minutes and start living the dream!

Y is for "Y": Winter is here, and getting outside is not as easy, well lit, or even feasible in some cases. Buy yourself a Y membership or other suitable gym where you can put in the time to get healthy.

Z is for Zero: Zero your calories, no negative caloric intake!

Oh yeah, and have some fun!

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The Pictures on MFP - Psychoanalysis

Is it me, or are the profile pics on MFP sometimes not amusing? My 7-year-old looks at the computer screen and says, "Daddy, you are friends with a puppy, a monkey, a hockey player, an eyeball, and a lady with a gun. Can't you find a kitty cat to be friends with - or at least a tiger?"

As an armchair psychoanalyst, I have a few thoughts on why this is. Here are my diagnoses.

Blank Icons: You are not really a person. It is sort of like robo-calls to buy new insulated windows, you can't even tell them you'd like their number so you can call THEM back at dinner time. You are a conspiracy theorist, slightly paranoid, and concerned about big-brother telling your nutritionist what you really posted in your food log. Umm... or you don't know how to use MFP yet, in which case it is cool for like a few days.

Animal Pics: This could be a bad sign: multiple personalities. Cats and dogs? It is usually people that have coffee mugs the read "Everything tastes better with pet fur in it." or dinner plates with a cat rear end. Different dogs say different things about their owners. Cats, the more there are, the more nuts you are. The spitting camel, that's was an accident, right?

Kid Pics: Antisocial behavior. Shhh! You can't fool us, we know that's you, and that you are a child computer genius.  But we'll be cool, "is that is your aunt holding you up?" Maybe you should audition for an Etrade commercial!

Cartoon Pics: Juvenile, just totally childish. Did your parents force you to eat canned peas or something? We know that it is not really who you are - well until you hit your goal weight, then you can rent a costume Super Woman!!

Family Pics: Inferiority complex. We can tell that is you in the back row. Come out, come out, wherever you are! Look, you are on MFP, we know that you have given up on your body image. If you are going to make progress here, you gotta show the whole thing. And if that is your skinny ass in the front row, I am going cut you off in traffic the next chance I get!

Aerial Shots: Distant personality disorder. I dunno, but it is hard to tell if that is you, or the neighbors barn from so far away.

Tight Head Shot: You are always hiding something. May we could see ears for starters? It's like wearing spandex with eyes painted on the rear pockets. You are not alone, and we can handle it, we've been there.

Twisted Smile Pics: It's like a half game of fish lips. Save those for Facebook! MFP is for over-grown ups. ;)

Scenic Pics: Is this where you had your first kiss, or is symbolic of something else? I just don't understand, we you born in the Eiffel Tower? It is possibly the onset of a new and distant personality.

Sports Teams: This is the super ego disorder. Yeah, your teams suck unless you are from Boston, then it's the Celts, the Bruins, the Patriots and Sam Adams Lager; all champions! I was going to mention the Red Sox, but I won't; they suck this year too.

Poser Pics: Total psychopaths, all of you. Can't you just save those half naked ones for an escort web site? You are on MFP, ripped 6-packs are rare.... ok, I'm just kidding, flaunt it, you worked hard for it.

Why do you use the picture you have on your profile?
 
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Love the Exercise, Hate the Gym

It is getting cold here in New England. I awoke to frost on my pumpkin. My morning runs have disappeared into darkness, and the Canadian Geese have traded a cold Molsen Ale for a cup of hot chocolate.

I am not really worried about the Bermuda triangle (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's). Nope, I am most worried about getting to the gym. It takes 10 minutes each way, adding another 20 minutes to my already cluttered life.

I have a few pet peeves about the gym. Here is a short list.

Stupid People: These are the ones that stand chatting in front of the two membership card readers so you have to reach past their fat rear end to check in.

TV: There are 4 TVs. I don't get it, isn't that why you are here, too much CNN, Ellen and CSI? I can see your treadmill is set to 1 MPH; you are not fooling me. I think they should be playing Public Service Announcements of people having heart attacks, as well as having lippo suction and breast enhancement surgeries. Then you'd hear those treadmills humming!

Noise: The sign says NO CELL PHONES", and that means you genius. Plug in your iPod and sing in your head.

Velveteen Workout Suits: You are not dressing for the office, and I know you want to cover your self up. But let is all hang out and use the elliptical by the mirror; you'll be motivated instead of looking like and oversize cat toy. Richard Simmons may be on to something.

Boogers: Do I really need to explain this?

Posers: I now you worked hard on that body. Cracking a bicep pose does not negate the fact that you are 120 pounds overweight. I mean people are still going to see your belly.

Stretchers: Are you going to exercise or not? 45 minutes of stretching and walking past a row of exercise machines does not constitute cardiovascular exercise in which your heart rate needs to exceed 130.

Water Fountains: OK, so you needed to spit in there why?

Trainers: Well the ones that look like Attila the Hun and have that "I can break you in two look in their eye."

How about you, what do you dislike about the gym?

I post a few times a week, send me a friend request!

Epic Food Games for Eating Less

Let me be honest, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds make me hungry! I could get a chicken breast and slice of watermelon right now!

If you are on MFP you are totally board or overweight - well maybe both. If you have played one of the two aformetioned games, you need a life without a screen!

One of the tricks to losing weight is - are you ready for this? Don't eat too much. So what is the trick to not overeating? Finding ways to actually do it.

Here are a few games I play.

Shock Treatment: It may or may not cure your depression, but sticker shock works. When you buy food take a bold red Sharpie Marker and write down the calories for the whole package on the front. That's right, take the servings per package and multiply it times the amount of calories per serving. For example, Oreo Cookies. 2 cookies 160 calories. 1 package, 2400!

What Goes Up: When I was in college (yes, they had them way back then!) We used to flip peanuts or popcorn in the air and catch it with out mouth. I was pretty skillful - well until I had a few and nearly lost an eye. You should try it, whatever you can catch you eat; just do it for the whole meal. Caution: It does work so well with corn on the cob, and flaming pu pu platters!

Even Steven: This is a great game. You can eat anything you want up to the amount of calories you burn, but you have to do it while you are exercising. You can have Fritos while you ride a bike, candy corn while you are running, chocolate while skydiving, beer while you are swimming - you get the idea. Just make sure the calories consumed are equal to the calories burned.

Food Roulette: You put out one thing you like, and 5 things that you don't. You throw the dice and eat the one that corosponds to the number you rolled. 

Beat the Clock: It's an easy one. You set the timer for 30 seconds, and you can have whatever you can cook in that amount of time.

Child's Play: This is a great one. All you need to do is steal the neighbor kids tea set while they are in school (tip: usually on school days). Then you make yourself a meal that fits on the plates and eat it with the fork that comes with it.

Punkin Chunkin: All you do here is load whatever food you really love into a catapult and let it fly. Whatever you can find, you get to eat.

Movie Night: I have a hard time going to movies. The only rule for this one: you may have any food that you don't pay for.

How about you, what tricks do you use to eat less?

Don't Be a Fat Head! - Change Your Thinking

Can you believe the things that quickly become habits? It's like buying a dozen donuts, one bite and the box is gone. Overweight and obese people (like me) just think about food in strange ways - we fall in love with it, we talk to it, we romance it, and well for some, it's worse that.

I have to say I am pretty sane, and at the same time I can be seduced by the pink curves of a Hostess Sno-Ball; all while I was minding my own business being faithful to my food log! It is violent out there. I have been mugged by pancakes, lied to by "healthy" food labels, and was once attacked by a vicious key lime pie with 3000 MG of sodium per slice! Picture me pulling out a Baretta handgun in the frozen food aisle and narrowly escaping through the pet aisle of my local grocery store as I jump over a stock clerk. I am in a cold sweat until I get in to the car! Then my first through is maybe a box of Ho-Ho's wouldn't have been too bad if I ate just one a day.

I loved telling my older brother a few years back, "I may be fat but you are stupid and bald, and I can lose weight get a mullet!"

Well, now that I have been at this for awhile, believe it or not, my thinking has changed. It is still not straight, but it is much more weight conscious! Here's how:

- The Damn Label: It's like your parent's walking in on you while you are making out with the captain of the Cheerleading squad. 300 freakin' calories for one cookie, that's 2 miles walking at a brisk pace!

- Processed Foods: WTF, does everything that tastes good have to be filled with fat, sugar, salt, and carcinogens?! For God's sake I bought some grass fed beef for $20 a pound. UCK! I am just going to eat the grass myself. (Actually, with McCormack's Cajun spice I got it up to the level of Outback Steak House!)

- Low Cal:  What the heck does that mean? Really, they tried to fool us back in the 70's with diet bread; it was just half the thickness of un-diet bread so I ate 2 pieces. It seems that a daily habit of diet soda increases the risks of heart attack.

- Dairy Queen: I swear I just stopped there to a get a bubble with a kitty in it for my daughter, that's all!  And they don't have any dang kittens!

- Christmas Presents: I asked for a Bow-Flex, what the hell is happening to me? I could have 60" TV to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs!?

How about you, how has your thinking changed?

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