Day 39: Back to School

Today was my first day back to school. Let the weight loss begin!

For breakfast this morning I had a bowl of oatmeal and a mandarin orange. I took my son to school and my daughter to her Auntie’s house before making the one mile bike ride up to the UH Manoa campus.

Every Tuesday and Thursday I have back to back Religion classes. After class I walked through the Sustainability Courtyard on campus to see if the vegetarian restaurant had spicy garlic veggies but they didn’t. I decided to try the sauteed teriyaki sesame vegetables instead. They were good, but not great.

It was a one mile bike ride back home. I picked up my daughter first and we walked the last few blocks from her Auntie’s house on Lime St. to our Kalakaua Ave apartment. We had a nice, quiet, relaxing two hours together before Mom came home and before it was time to pick up my son from school.

At 4:30 this afternoon/evening I had a quick dinner. My usual turkey sandwich on wheat bread with some mixed greens. The plate looked kind of empty and I thought about adding some chips (yes I still have chips in the house) but I didn’t.

My last class of the day is Spanish 102. Part II of a IV part language requirement that I need to graduate with my bachelors degree. My Spanish class is at a different campus, Kapiolani Community College which is a two mile bike ride and what used to be a quarter mile bike push up a pretty steep incline.

I left the house at five and reached Kapiolani or KCC as it is known at about 5:30. I made the effort to actually bicycle up the incline that I usually end up walking and made it about half way before giving up. Class was good. The professor, Fernand Cortiguera is a really fun guy. He’s half Spanish and half French and grew up in Africa, Kenya I think.

After class (eight o’clock at night) I bicycled the two miles back home. It was dark and the roads were wet from some passing showers but I was prepared with my helmet and flashing lights. When I got home I was hungry, really hungry. Two mandarin oranges later and my hunger has subsided, for now.

It was a good day today. I bicycled six miles and ate pretty healthy. No other exercises going on right now. My ass, I mean gluts, are sore. It was the body weight squats and lunges from yesterdays attempt at the Dynamic Warm Up on Nerd Fitness. Well now that I think about it, I could do a quick home workout for my upper body tonight. Some curls and shoulder rolls, upright rows and close grip shoulder press. Yeah I can do that!

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Day 36: Climbing Stairs, Skipping Steps

I decided to climb the stairs today but with a little twist, skipping steps. So instead of the usual 134 steps to the top of the stairwell, I reached the top in only 66 steps. I could really feel the difference, not in my legs but in my chest. My heart was beating so hard and so fast that I had to take a short breather every two flights. After four trips up and down, I calculated that I had climbed 536 stairs in only 264 steps. In keeping with my desire to do a little more than before, I added a fifth trip to the the top. I was tired and sweaty and I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest but I managed to make it up one last time. It’s a great feeling when you realize that your body is capable of doing so much more than your brain believes is possible.

For breakfast this morning I had a bowl of oatmeal (100 calories). And for lunch I’m making myself a turkey sandwich with spinach and some dijon mustard on a whole wheat roll. Eating healthy is a lot easier when you have good foods in the house to keep you on track. I’m defrosting some chicken breasts and plan on making a nice salad for dinner.

I haven’t been focused so much on counting calories like before. Instead I’m just trying to stay focused on eating healthy, keeping my portions small and incorporating more vegetables and fruits into my meals.

As for exercise, I try to do something everyday whether it’s walking, riding my bike, climbing stairs or playing on the Wii. I just wish I had somebody to exercise with. I feel like putting up an ad on Craigslist for an exercise buddy. Sometimes I see guys running who are really fit and I want to ask if I can work out with them sometime.

Well for now, I’ll keep going it alone.

Day 30: A New Year – A New Start

It’s a new year and I’m back where I started. 250 pounds! The holidays really did a number on me. Well at least now I know how easy it is to lose that first ten pounds. If I did it once then I can do it again. So today I took a few baby steps forward to getting back on track again.

I started the new year by pulling the Wii balance board out of the closet and putting in some freshly charged AA alkaline batteries. I bought the Wii a few years ago in an attempt to get back in shape but the novelty of mixing home work outs with interactive video games was soon forgotten.

On the Wii today I reintroduced myself to the Wii Fit. Standing on the Wii balance board I did a body test which calculated my body mass index and measured my center of balance which was way off. It also tells me my weight (252 lbs). Yikes! It also gives you a Wii Fit age. I turned out to be forty, ten years older than I am in real life.

The Wii Fit has several categories to help you lose weight and stay active.

1. Yoga: I still haven’t tried this yet but I should.

2. Strength Training: This is exactly what I need. I tried a few today.

3. Aerobics: Hula Hoop is a lot of fun, and very effective.

4. Balance Games: Skiing, Snowboarding, Tightrope walking and more.

Today I did some Hula Hoop which was much harder than I thought. I also did some Strength Training and Soccer Heads. In the end I put eleven minutes in my Wii Fit piggy banks and unlocked one new game. I think the Wii will be a good tool to help me in my weight loss and it will at least keep things fun and interesting.

Tonight I went on a bike ride which I haven’t done in about two weeks since before my trip to Seattle. I strapped on my helmet and all of my blinking lights and set out for Waikiki. It was nice to be back on the bike and riding through traffic, pushing myself harder and faster.

When I got home I was tired and sweaty and began to strip down for a shower. There they were… my weights. Sitting against the wall in the bathroom where they’ve alway been, patiently waiting to be picked up and put to good use.

Curls (20 lb curl bar): 3 sets of 20 reps

Upright Rows (20 lb curl bar): 3 sets of 20 reps

Close Grip Shoulder Press (10 lb dumbbell): 3 sets of 20 reps

That was my day and tomorrow is another one.

Day 10 – Tomato Parmesan, and Merry Christmas!

It’s been a long day of studying and test taking. I had lunch on campus. It was a vegetarian Tomato Basil Parmesan with Eggplant. It was alright but definitely not my favorite. I don’t think I would ever order it again. I did a few miles of bike riding but that’s about it.

I walked with the kids to Ala Moana so they could have their picture taken with Santa. The photo didn’t come out too good. It never does. When I take their picture with my camera they always smile and the photos look wonderful. But their Santa photo always look terrible and I regret paying $35 for a package of “deer in the headlight” photos.

Oh well. Here is one of those great photos of the kids at home in front of the Christmas tree.

Day 8: Where is my motivation?

Is it possible that I’ve already run out of steam? Suddenly I have no desire to exercise and I see no reason to watch my calorie intake. Today was a lazy day, just like yesterday. I sat around the house watching television, playing on the computer and eating. I’m not really eating bad foods but they’re not good foods either.

Yesterday I cooked two quesadillas with chicken and pepper jack cheese. Today I had two Eggo waffles with butter and syrup, a corn dog that I baked in the oven and snacked on those grab bags of chips that usually go into my kids lunch boxes. I woke up at 2 am to use the bathroom and then found myself standing in the kitchen eating a cookie with my eyes closed.

This morning I had two slices of wheat toast and two eggs fried over easy. Maybe I’m just making up for all the food I haven’t been eating this week. Perhaps I should stop trying to eat less and just try to eat more foods that are healthy. I think I over did it this week, especially day 6 with the intense exercise and just wasn’t getting enough fuel to feed the fire.

Today I diced up a can of Spam and sauteed it in a frying pan with cayenne pepper. Then I made a plate of nachos with tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese, the seasoned Spam and baked them in the oven. Spam Nachos!? It sounds like something a stoner or a pregnant lady would eat.

It’s been raining a lot over the past two days so I haven’t been able to go walk, run or bicycle. It sounds like a great reason but it’s actually just a lousy excuse. I still have my weights in the bathroom and the stairs aren’t going anywhere. I need to get my motivation and determination back!

Day 6 – Part I and II: Spicy Veggies, Diamond Head, Subway

Today was a long day. It’s six o’clock pm and I’m just getting a chance to blog. Started off this morning with a single slice of dry wheat toast for breakfast (90 calories) and hurried out the door. It was the usual one mile bicycle ride from my apartment to UH Manoa. After class I walked past the sustainability courtyard and got a wonderful whiff of what I later found out was Spicy Garlic Vegetables. I ordered a plate and sat down with my camera to take a quick picture, shoot a short video and chow down. I don’t even know what kind of vegetables were in this plate but they were delicious. The garlic was light and didn’t overpower the dish and the spice was perfect, just enough to make me breath fire but not too hot that I couldn’t handle. By the way, I love spicy food!

After my Spicy Garlic Veggies I walked across campus to use the computer lab so I could print out the study guide for one of my class finals. Along my way I spotted this sticker and it made me laugh because the pig was so cute and I’ve been dabbling in vegetarianism lately. I like eating vegtables, at least what I’ve tried so far but I couldn’t see myself going full on vegetarian fanatic. I mean I love to eat the flesh of poor little animals, if only they didn’t go strait to my hips.

After the computer lab I got back on my bike and headed to another campus, Kapiolani Community College which was a two mile bike ride. I had to go to the testing center to do a written composition for my Spanish class. After that was done I suddenly realized that I had at least two free hours and that I was standing in the shadow of a very popular volcanic crater known as Diamond Head. If you have ever visited Hawaii, Oahu, Waikiki then you’ve probably hiked Diamond Head. It’s about a thirty to forty five minute hike depending on your stamina and the amount of foot traffic. So I pushed my bicycle up the hill, through the tunnel, into the crater, payed my $1 entrance fee and locked up my bike.

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Diamond Head (Leahi) is a 1.6 mile roundtrip and the elevation gain from the trail head to the top is 560 feet. I got to the top in 30 minutes and back down in 15 minutes. I  set the timer on my camera and took my own picture. In the background you can see the Ko’olau mountain range which has dozens of hiking trails ranging from two miles to twelve miles. Most of those trails require a full day or at least a half day to truely enjoy. Maybe once this semester is over I will be able to get back to some real hiking. But for today, Diamond Head was a perfect little starter hike to help get me back in shape.

After my Diamond Head hike I got back on my bike and headed 3 miles across town to yet another campus, Honolulu Community College where I had to take en extra credit exam for my Philosophy class. By the time I got there I was dog tired. Luckily the exam took me about an hour and a half  so I got to rest and munch on pretzel twists (120 calories). Once I was finished with the exam, and the pretzels, I got back on my bike and made the two mile ride to the McCully neighborhood where I picked up my son from school and headed home. I was exhausted but the day wasn’t over yet. After an hour of rest it’s another mile back to UH Manoa for my last class of the day, week, semester and year. 2011 is just about over.

After class I went to the campus center and had a six inch turkey and ham on wheat, toasted and topped with lettuce, tomato, jalapenos and peperoncinis. Remember I like it spicy! I was so hungry I forgot to even take a picture of my sandwhich. That’s okay, I took a shot of the Subway sign instead. After devouring my sandwhich I began to wipe my mouth with the napkin and noticed, what’s this? They did me a favor and printed the calories count of my sandwhich on my napkin. How considerate. 325 calories with 7.5 grams of fat. If I add in my wheat toast breakfast and afternoon pretzels I’m at about 545 calories plus whatever my Spicy Garlic Veggies and brown rice come out to… I’d say I’m still under 1000 calories so far.

Oh and I’ve bicycled 9 miles today, hiked 1.6 miles and I still have a 1 mile bike ride back home tonight.

Day 5: The Bicycle

This morning I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

1 cup of Honey Bunches of Oats is 170 calories, 20 from fat.

1 cup of Skim Milk is 90 calories, 0 from fat.

After taking the kids to school I came home and prepared to start my day via “The Bicycle.” I love my bike, it’s my bread and butter. It is my main mode of transportation, recreation, meditation and acceleration. Like I said in my intro video, I ride my bike at least 5 miles a day but without a healthy diet and other forms of exercise, it’s just not enough to lose these extra pounds.

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First I biked across town to Honolulu Community College in hopes of selling back a few text books, only to find out that the book buy back does not begin until NEXT week. So I biked back across town and up to UH Manoa to spend my day in the library, finishing my papers and writing my Strong Mind Healthy Body blog for the day. But the morning wasn’t a total waste since I got in a five mile ride before 10 am when 5 miles is usually my total for the entire day.

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This last video is me riding up University Ave. to UH Manoa with one hand while the other held the camera. The risks I take to document my weight loss for you people! Well I made it up the hill safely and with enough energy left to lockup my bike, walk across campus while eating a mandarin orange (35 calories) and perform by blogging responsibilities. Now onto that paper that I’ve been procrastinating about.

Day 4 – Part II: 10 lbs in 4 days? No Way!

Okay, 10 lbs in 4 days is just not possible. It must be water weight that I’ve lost. I guess that means it’s time to start working on the hard stuff. Fat!

Dec 3rd - 250 lbs

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I know my bathroom scale isn’t the most scientific of weight measuring devices but I made sure it was all balanced out both times before I weighed myself.

Dec 6th - 240 lbs

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Well I guess I only have 40 pounds to lose now. That makes things a bit easier or at least puts me somewhat closer to my goal weight of an even 200.

It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and I just finished my favorite snack of chips and salsa (280 calories). This morning I only consumed 70 calories from the two mandarin oranges and another 240 calories from the pretzel twists. Add that with my after school snack and I’m looking at 590 calories.

I’ve got a 6 PM Spanish class at the community college which requires a three mile bike ride and quarter mile uphill bicycle push since I’m still not able to peddle this steep incline. I just got to make sure I eat dinner before I head out the door at 5PM cause I won’t be back home until 8 and I got to really try and stop eating late at night.

Day 4: Discipline is Key!

It’s all about discipline. This morning I got the kids ready for school and was tempted to polish off the plate of Eggo waffles which my son hardly even touched. I didn’t. Instead I put two mandarin oranges in my backpack, filled up my water bottle and headed out the door.

After dropping off the kids, I made the two mile bike ride up to the campus where I dined al fresco (outside) on my nutritious breakfast of oranges and H2O. On the ride in I passed numerous fast food restaurants including McDonalds, Burger King and Jack In The Box. I just wanted one little bite of a breakfast sandwhich!

After my first class I’m back in the library munching on Utz honey wheat pretzel twists and trying to finish up my last paper of the semester. Tomorrow there is a retirement party for one of my professors and I will be in attendance. I tell myself that I’ll just have one “light” beer and hope there will be some healthy foods.

Last night I did pretty well with disciplining myself. I had two mandarin oranges and then snuck one of my kids chocolate chip cookies before bed. I added up my calories from yesterday and then guesstimated for the Egyptian Curry and figured I still came in at under 1400 calories for the day.

Today I’m debating what to eat for lunch. Another vegetarian dish on campus or go home and try to whip up something healthy on my own. I haven’t taken any pictures or shot any video today and I’m trying to think what food choice or activity can I document?

My blog has gotten a few likes and a few followers so that’s cool. At least I know I’m not talking to myself.