I was going to give myself a virtual high five for the catchy title, but the more I thought about it, a fifth grader could have come up with it. My apologies.
This is my before and after. In case you’re confused about which is the before, the one on the right was taken yesterday. My tits were never that big and if I ate in bed it would be the breast and not the leg. Take that as you will.
Before I get to the actual post, I have a funny story to share with you. Consider it the prequel to today’s post.
Wednesday my 14-year-old Drama Queen had finals and a short day, which meant she came home early and I had to drive her to tennis academy rather than her going straight from school. As we drove I was telling my daughter that someone we knew went from working for the CIA to working for Homeland Security. My daughter looked at me and asked why this person would go from the CIA to an alarm company.
When I stopped laughing I began to explain what Homeland Security was, but decided to have her Google it when we got home. What year of high school is American Government? She needs a crash course between now and then. To answer your next question, my daughter has red hair. Her mom is blond. Let’s move forward to the actual post.
If you follow the blog you most likely figure this is one of my whiny posts where I confess my lack of self confidence and lament my current health problems. If you think that, you’re wrong. Swear to God. This is a post about feeling better about ones self and whatever other random thoughts I end up expressing. If you’re new here, you need to understand that my posts generally start out with a destination but often I land someplace altogether different. This might be one of those posts.
For many years I was a complete fat ass. People told me I wasn’t but they were full of shit. It’s OK. Admitting it is the first step, right? The highest I ever weighed myself was 267, but I’m 1000% confident that I was in the 275-280 range at the peak of my sloth. For simplicity (and to help me feel a little better about myself) I’m going with “I was 275 at my heaviest.”
I told myself that I needed to get serious about losing weight and this time I vowed I would actually do it. I decided to start on Wednesday, November 2 and I was pumped about finally dropping some much needed gut. How did I prepare to shape the new and improved J.R.?
I did what any true fat ass would do two days before they once again embarked on a journey towards weight loss. I ate the shit outta the Halloween candy. If I could find it and I liked it, I ate it. I even went to Target first thing November 1 so I could have one last food orgy at half price. Why? Simple. Half-off candy tastes better than full price candy, though I doubt it has any less calories.
As I began my quest towards smaller pants I was hopeful but realistic. I figured it would end up the same way it always did. I would eat like a bird for a few days, then say, “F this” and order a large thing crust with sausage, pepperoni and roasted red peppers . Or maybe it would be wings. Most likely it would be a medium pizza and a dozen wings. There was no way I could finish all that in one regular sitting, but give me a whole football game or hockey game and I can assure you there would be no leftovers.
This time things seemed to be different. I didn’t completely deprive myself, but I watched what I ate and found that I kind of got into a routine of boysenberry granola, honey Greek yogurt and either blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. I ate chicken and other foods, but the granola, yogurt and berries were the staples of my diet at first.
Then something weird happened. After about two weeks I suddenly wasn’t as hungry as I once was. I attributed it partly to my eating habits and partially to the neurological stuff I’m going through, but mainly to my eating habits. That lasted for about three weeks before I got some appetite back.
My Muse (who said she digs my pudge, but wanted me to be happy) turned me on to a phone app called My Fitness Pal. It’s a free app and more than anything else , it helped me figure out how to eat things I enjoy while still losing weight.
I keyed in my weight, age, sex, height and how much I wanted to lose a week (anywhere from 1/2-2 pounds. I chose 1 1/2) and it calculated how many calories and how many carbs I should eat along with how much fat and protein I should eat. I decided to try the app and I’m totally glad I did.
To be clear, this is NOT an ad for the app. It’s simply the tool I used to lose weight. There are a lot of things that work for a lot of different people. Once I started, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I could still eat the foods I enjoy; I just have to modify them or cut back on portions.
The day after I downloaded the app, I was in the grocery store performing my new ritual of glancing at the nutrition label when I noticed something odd. I was looking at a box of some generic version of a healthy cereal and noticed it had 220 calories per one cup serving. “Damn,” I thought. “How many calories in the good stuff?”
I picked up a box of Chocolate Frosted Flakes and nearly dropped it. I was guessing if a healthy cereal had 220, this would definitely be in the threes somewhere. Imagine my shock when I saw a one cup serving of Chocolate Frosted Flakes has 110 calories!
That really made me think and from there on out I’ve looked closely at what I eat. That box of Chocolate Frosted Flakes showed me that just because something says “healthy” doesn’t mean it is. I went to the online version of the app and started punching in foods I like to eat and was surprised at what I found
I love Mexican food and tortas are a big weakness of mine. If you don’t know what a torta is, it’s a Mexican sandwich containing meat, guacamole, refried beans, cilantro, onions and salsa. Carne asada and al pastor are my favorites, but I like a good chicken torta too.
I looked up the ingredients and I was amazed that I could actually find a way to incorporate them into my diet and still lose weight? Think I’m wrong? Check this out. [Keep in mind that these every product is different and these are only the products I’m using]
A telera roll from the Mexican market near my house is 130 calories. Two tablespoons of guac is 45 and the same amount of chipotle salsa is 15 calories. Four ounces of chicken breast is around 100. Assuming I splurged and had 6 oz of chicken, that’s only 300-330 calories.
There are no calories for the cilantro or onion and I leave off the refried beans because while they taste good, I’s rather cut them out and have something better. Sixteen sour gummy bears are around 130 calories and frankly I’d rather skip the beans and have eight sour bears. Or no sour bears and I simply eat a few less calories.
If I don’t want that many calories, the same store has their house brand of baked tostada shells. Two shells are 45 calories (as opposed to the 150-160 in two normal shells) and I just pile the toppings on the shells rather than on the roll and cut it down to the low to mid 200s. If you think that sounds like a lot of calories, Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers – Chicken Margherita W.Balsamic is 320 calories for a serving. No offense to Healthy Choice, but my torta tastes better.
Want more proof you can eat what you want (to a point) and still lose? OK. As I write this I’m eating a bowl of Cap’n. Crunch peanut butter cereal at 10:30 PM. I’m also cranking Blink 182 through my headphones at a high level. Is the cereal a smart choice? No. Do I care? Not really. I exceeded my calories and fat today, but only by a few of each. I’m good with that.
I know I shouldn’t eat late at night, but in the whole realm of things, I’m down almost 50 pounds in slightly less than three months. I can totally deal with that. When I made the decision to eat the cereal I made myself a promise that I’ll make sure I don’t eat this late for a while and to try to stay a few calories under my goal on Thursday. If I don’t go under and keep eating the same amount of calories, in another week I’ll be a half pound less than I am now and I’ll be happier than if I was starving myself. I’m totally cool with that. Ya know?
Since I forgot it earlier, I’ll tell you that I’m down to 227 and my target is 220, but I’m perfectly fine if I stay in the range I am now. It’s pretty cool to step on the scale, see the numbers go down and realize you enjoyed what you’ve been eating. Actually, it’s all the way cool. According to the app, if I eat exactly as I did today in five weeks I will be 223. I’m down with that.
You see, what I really learned is that there is no one way to lose weight. You need to find what works for you and stick with it. I’m grateful that worked for me was taking a look at what I eat and how I fix it so I can eat what I enjoy and be happy. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that Happy J.R. is way better to have around than Grumpy J.R. To be honest, that guy’s kind of a dick and I hate having him around.
That’s my deal. What’s your deal? People have to have some cool (or at least funny) weight loss stories. Give me yours….
P.S.S. For the record, Blink 182 was a smart choice. So was Foo Fighters.