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About this blog

So, I've always been on the heavy side. I am certainly not as heavy as I use to be. I was in the 275-300 range when I got out of college. It's my goal to get down to 190 lbs by the start of the next golf season. Which in Ohio is April-ish. I plan on using this blog to track my progress. I plan on updated with workouts, food logs, recipes, and measurement updates.  

Current Measurements
Height: 72.5 inches
Waist: 39 inches
Weight: 230 lbs, my previous low was 198 lbs about 2 years ago. So I've been fluctuating a bit over the past two years. It's about time I really get my weight under control. 

Goal: Lose 40 lbs by April 1st, 2016

When I first lost the weight I went on a crazy 1500 calorie diet for about 6 months. It worked out to really get me started on losing most of the extreme obese weight I was carrying. Then I started just being more active, with golf and working out. I really got down in weight when I went on a paleo lifestyle for a year. My new plan is to try to get back to eating minimally processed foods and cutting back on the carbs. Luckily I like to cook. So part of this blog will probably be some recipes I come up with. I also enjoy working out. So I never really worry about my activity level. What I have a hard time doing is controlling my eating habits.

Losing weight is pretty much burning more calories than you take in give or take a few things like hormones and the way processed foods can have an effect on your body. I plan on eating more healthier foods so this gets a bit easy. Luckily I do not drink pop, soda, or coke (depending on where you live).

Leptin is a pretty tough hormone to beat. It's a hormone in the body that basically keeps us from starving. It stores information like how much fat we have and the hormone can cause to eat more if we lose too much fat too quickly. This is why people plateau when they try to lose weight or tend to always fall back to a typical weight range the body has become accustomed to. The goal is to get down to 190 and then re-establish a baseline there. First to get there I need to figure out my daily energy requirements. This is a good article I found about 3 years ago on how to do that. It gives a very easy way to give a person a starting point in how many calories it takes to maintain their weight and activity. 


To start out with the human body basically burns 11 calories per lb of weight a day resting for a male (it's 9-10 for a woman). If you are younger and have that lucky high metabolism then it might be higher like 12-13. If you are older then it might be lower like 9 or 10. Another aspect of this is actually the calories used to break down food. If you have a higher protein diet, it actually takes more energy to break down protein than it does carbs. This can typically range from 5-15%. 10% is a good number. The biggest impact is your overall activity level. This can increase that value from as little as 10-20% (sedentary lifestyle) to as much as 100% (heavily active). Another factor is just your overall body and hit's metabolic rate. This is nearly impossible to actually estimate and just should be considered in the fine tuning. If you are not losing enough weight, or you are losing too much too fast then adjust the calories as you go along. 

What I like to do is find out what my sedentary calorie intake is and then adjust that and bring in exercise. The goal is to never eat food to cover what I did exercising. This is a bad habit to form and can curb your weight loss gains. 

I found a good video last year. A interesting story on this is. The guy in this video went to highschool with me and was in my class. It's just strange how the internet can work like that. In his video he starts off with the same baseline as I found on that article I linked above. He breaks down how to find out how many macros you should be eating. By macros I mean Carbs, Protein, Fat. 


My Estimated Calorie Limit & Macros
Weight: 230 lbs
Resting Calorie Rate: 11 cal/lb
Adjusted Calorie Rate: 11 x 1.10 x 1.15 = 14 cal/lb per day for a sedentary lifestyle. 
Calories per day = 14 x 230 lbs = 3,220 calories (this value has matched similar values in the past when I've actually used a daily activity calculator and put in every minute of activity I did in a day. This method is a lot easier)

Now since I want to lose about 2 lbs per week. To lose 1 lb of fat you need to burn 3500 calories. Given that muscle gain and loss. As well as water loss or gain in the body can cause weight ins to not show the true nature of fat loss. If you stick to a good program than in the end you should see the fat loss over a longer period of time.  To lose 2 lbs per week I will need to burn 7000 calories per week in deficit, or 1000 calories per day.  

Calories per day = 3220 - 1000 = 2220 calories per day limit.

Of that 2220 calories per day I am going to try to hit these macros. 

Protein: 1.0 grams per lb = 230 grams = 920 calories
Fat: 0.35 grams per lb = 80 grams = 720 calories
Calories remaining = 580 = 145 grams of Carbs

Before I go into what I am going to identify as the type of food I want to eat. My philosophy on fat intake is that saturated fats are not bad as people think they are. You heard me right. There are plenty of threads on the forum that go on a lengthy debate on this subject. For those who have argued with me on this subject, do not start the argument here. In the end, I will probably eat a good amount of red meat. I will probably eat butter, bacon, avocados,and lots of eggs. I do eat a lot of lean meats as well.  

Like I said before I had success under the paleo diet. I plan on getting close to that again. Here is a list of things I am limiting myself on in terms of carbs allowed. This might expand as I do more research on recipes I want to try. 

Carbs Allowed: All vegetables, Steel Cut Oats, Brown Rice, Quinoa
Carbs Not Allowed: Any sort of sugar unless on a rare special treat. Processed breads or products with flour. 
Meats minimally allowed: Processed meats like hot dogs

Activity Plan
I am not a big fan of running. I never could get use to running outside. If I do run I tend to do HIIT training on a treadmill. I prefer to do complex weight lifting and circuit training. How much can I push myself in 30-45 minutes. By the end I want to make it very hard for me to want to get off the ground.

I find it fun because you can really mix it up. It also brings in weightlifting and cardio together. I plan to post my workouts. I don't know if I want to keep track of how much I can lift. I really don't do progressions. I am not really looking to increase how much I can lift, though I will increase the weight if it becomes too easy. 

My typical exercises have been around using Yoga, Circuit Training, Pilates, and typical weight lifting. I like to really focus on my core and hip area. I really work on my glutes, hip flexors & adductors, quads, and abdominals. For me golf is a full body action so I tend to do full body workout routines. This typically lends towards complex movements which also tend to push the heart rate as well and burn more calories than isolation exercises. 

I am hoping to work out 4-5 times a week, mostly during my lunch breaks at work. I also have a Planet Fitness membership where I can go on the weekends or after work if I wasn't able to work out during lunch. I might start working out before work as well as a change of pace. 

So that is about it. I hope I can make my goal in 5 months time. It's ambitious but it's something I need to do to better my life and to make me a better golfer. 


Entries in this blog


Looking at Game Golf Stats

It has been a while since I've looked at my Game Golf stats. Here is a run down.  Strokes Gained versus Scratch (Future Goal) and versus 5-handicap (current)
The major area of concern is my Short Game and Putting. I will say the downfall of Game Golf's strokes gained is that it doesn't take into account if you are behind a tree or in a difficult approach shot situation. I would suspect the "Off The Tee" stat is a tad higher, and the Approach is a tad lower. I had a situation the other evening where I hit a drive that put me on an uphill lie, about 25 yards behind a beat up pine tree, about 145 yards from the green. I proceeded to destroy a lower tree limb and my ball went only about 30 yards forward of the tree and to the right. I believe Game Golf puts that as strokes lost on the approach shot not the tee shot. The change might be a small number depending on how often you end up in a bad spot. 

Approach Shot Charts 
Game Golf's "Approach the Green" insight page shows percentage of shots that end up with in 15 yards of the pin. I kinda wish they allowed you to change that 15 yard number. Then I could get my average leave from the pin based on yardage from the pin. I took my stats from Game Golf and plugged them into excel.  The 125-175 being above 60% pretty solid. The drop off from 125-150 to 100-125 is concerning. 70% of the time from 50-75 yards is probably not that good. I need to really work on my feel with my wedge shots at all distances. As shown below I do not miss that 15 yard circle on the short side often. As the yardages get closer to the pin the more often I miss the shot long.   I find that I rarely miss a shot towards the left side of the green. I find that the longer the club the more rightward I will end up. Maybe the lie angles are off for me? Though i just had those checked a few months ago.  I wonder if it's related to over-swinging as well. I do need to start adjusting my aim now on my irons. It could be I am expecting more draw based results when I am hitting more fades now as well. It might be time to look at my shot zones as well. Even with missing the ball more rightward then leftward I still get the ball with in 15 yards over 60% of the time from 125-175 yards.  Shots with in 75 yards are compared at a 5 yard circle from the pin. From 25-50 yards I only get the ball with in 5 yards 33% of the time. From 0-25 yards I get the ball inside 5 yards 93% of the time. Clearly my short game is a struggle.  Conclusion
1. I need to work on my distance control with the shorter irons and wedges. The miss right and miss left are not high compared to the miss long. 
2. I need to adjust my shot zones for my mid and long irons.  
Driver Stats
Here are my driving stats. 32% fairway is not a good number, but on most courses it's serviceable with how far I hit the ball. Rough has never been a big problem for me. I equally miss the ball left and right. Its' pretty much equal probability the ball will go left, fairway, or right. I really would like to take one side of the course out of play. I would really like to get near 50% FIR sometime. I would like to change from the 33% across the board to something like 10% Left, 50% Fairway, 40% right. With right not being off the course right.  I hope this helped those who have Game Golf in a way they can look into trends of their own game. Hopefully others will look at Game Golf in the future as a tool that could hep their game. 




Not too bad

Just checking in. It's been a while.  I weighed myself this morning and I'm at 227. Which might be considered a victory over the Holidays. 😏 Time to get back into working towards my goal. I'm going to push for it even though it's now a pretty aggressive goal. 




Down to 224

Just a quick update, good news, I am down to 224 lbs. That is about 8 lbs of weight loss from when I started at 232. I got 34 lbs to go. Time to step it up a bit. I want to make it through the holidays unscathed ;)  I think it's a good time to set up an intermediate goal. I am going to go 2 weeks without have bad food when I go out to eat. I also want to work out at least 4 times a week. 




Slipping a Bit

The last 4 days have not been the best. Just looking at the calories per day, not near where I want it to be. I need to get back on track eating less food. 





It's Not a Diet it's a Lifestyle Change

It's Not a Diet it's a Life Change
I think this is a big key. I am not saying upend your whole life about this. Though in some cases people need to do that if they want to get away from morbid obesity. To lose weight and keep it off you need to not consider it a diet, but a lifestyle change. The primary reason being that diets are temporary. No one goes on a lifelong diet. This sort of thinking gives what you are doing meaning and staying power. 

Primarily why diets typically fail is because they are temporary. They are typically extreme measures people take thinking they can lose the weight fast and "hopefully" keep it off. When in fact their bodies are already preconditioned to oppose this action. Diets are OK if you want to fit in a smaller clothing size for an event like a wedding. The reason why diets fail is Leptin. As one doctor calls it, "Leptin is our starvation hormone".

"Leptin tells your brain that you have enough energy stored in your fat cells to engage in normal, relatively expensive metabolic processes," he says. "In other words, when leptin levels are at a certain threshold -- for each person, it's probably genetically set -- when your leptin level is above that threshold, your brain senses that you have energy sufficiency, which means you can burn energy at a normal rate, eat food at a normal amount, engage in exercise at a normal rate, and you can engage in expensive processes, like puberty and pregnancy"

So what does Leptin do when it senses you are starving. It tells the brain to activate a nerve in your body that controls hunger. If you extreme diet, you are more likely to want to eat more so you can go back to your Leptin balance point. If you are fat for a long time you have set your leptin levels to a certain level. This means your body wants to stay at that level, and revert back to that level. Also the body can become Leptin Resistant as well. Which is very similar to Insulin Resistance. 

So the question is how do you change that level? You need to stay at a lower fat level for an extended period of time so your body can be acclimated to that level. You need to do this in a non-extreme way to not shock your system. This is why I say you need to make a lifestyle change in how you eat and how active you are. 

So what are some tips for this?

Learn to cook. Seriously, learn to cook. If you cook you are your own quality control. It also forces you to buy healthier non-processed foods. If you want to learn to cook then recommend reading this book,

I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking, By Alton Brown. The primary reason Alton Brown says people fail at cooking is because they don't understand heat, and how to apply heat correctly. I tend to agree. Also people are just lazy. 

There is a ton of resources online to learn the basics of cooking. It's very hard in modern times to eat out healthy. Also cooking is cheaper. 

Stay away from processed foods. Food companies that make highly processed foods have food engineers that design these foods for people to crave. Carb + Fat + Additives = very satisfying to eat. Studies has shown that sugar activates pleasure receptors in your brain similar to cocaine.

Here are some great articles on why we eat. The guy who runs this website is a obesity researcher and neurobiologist. 
1. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html
2. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological_13.html
3. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html
4. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological_17.html
5. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological_27.html
6. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/12/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html
7. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html
8. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html

Track what you eat. This is VERY IMPORTANT. I would bet people highly underestimate the amount of calories they eat per day. Even for me who has done this before. I think I am eating OK when I am not. 

With modern food, a lot of what we eat is very calorie dense. To eat 1500 calories of broccoli you would need to eat about 9.6 lbs of broccoli. Go to Wendy's and get a #2 Medium Size with a Coke and you hit 1570 calories. Just saying you can get more bang for your buck if you learn to eat less processed foods.

Another issue is access to food. Nuts are a dangerous food now. Not because of their nutritional bad for you, though they a calorie dense. It is because they are readily available due to modern cultivation and collection. If you had to go out in nature and collect nuts and then break them open to get a small edible part you wouldn't eat as many as you would if you just reach your hand into a container. Nuts are good for you in small moderation. 

The difference between our ancestors and today in why today promotes eating food over balance,

*image from http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-do-we-eat-neurobiological.html

Today the scale is tilted way towards promoting eating. It just means we have that much more of an uphill battle to climb to eat healthy. 

For me the big ones are;
1. Effort/Resource Cost, how readily available food is.
2. Cognitive Restraint, eating due to emotions.
2. Reward/Palatability, food is designed for people to want to eat a lot. 

Become more active. Exercising changes your body for the better. When you are active you change the energy homeostasis system of your body. Your body fat levels decrease. Your muscle levels increase. Your energy level required increases. You are telling your body you require different eating habits than before. Alton Brown mentioned this on a podcast interview. When he lost his fat and gained muscle he started craving different foods than before. Your body wants to eat things to support what you are doing. 

Find your negative triggers. This goes into things like emotions. When you get stressed do you eat more? When you are feeling negative emotions you want something that makes you feel better. As I stated above, modern designed foods with high levels of sugars and fat feed your pleasure centers in your brain. People tend to eat calorie dense, very palatable foods. 

From the American Psychological Association, 43% of Americans overeat when stressed. If you know you eat when you get stressed then don't keep a horde of food you are going to be tempted to eat. Also find a different way to channel your stress. Take up exercise. Studies have shown people release Dopamine after exercising. 

Find the cravings you can live with and without. Everyone has their few things they can't live with out, but don't need to eat every day. I have a few. One is Pizza. I can go months with out eating pizza. Things like candy bars, I can go months having a candy bar a day. That is not good. Find out what you have to get rid of, but also find what you can keep. This way you can always reward yourself with that one or two things after going a long stretch of eating healthy. This is a good way to create a system where you reward good eating habits. Hey, if I eat healthy for the month on the last day I get to go out and have a pizza. You start training yourself that you get to have a thing you really like when you eat healthier. 

Don't go extreme for a long time. Don't do a massive calorie deficit for a long time. You are just asking to end up binge eating and rebounding backwards from all the success you had during that time. It's OK to go extreme at the start of you are very obese. Some people just need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. They need to couple that with a lifestyle change for the long run. If you are just overweight, then set a sustainable goal and work your way towards it. You don't need to hit your numbers every day on the number. 

Find out if you can handle carbs. Some people just don't handle carbs well. If you don't then maybe a more Paleo lifestyle is more in your area. This goes to finding out what works for you in the long run. I recommend people at more protein. It keeps you full longer. 

Don't weight yourself every day. First this is just a stupid idea. Water weight can fluctuate greatly daily. If you eat a lot of carbs one day you can increase water weight. I weight myself after having a semi-bad weekend eating and then 3 days later. I was 5 lbs lighter because I wasn't bloated from eating all those bad food. I recommend weighting yourself every 2-weeks. This way you are not chasing gains by doing extreme dieting.

I also recommend weighting yourself the same time after some same conditions. I try to weight myself after a few days of eating healthy and always in the morning before eating. This way I try to weed out some variables like variance a bit. 

Here are a few things that can cause a increase in weight not associated with fat gain;
1. Sodium intake. More sodium equals more water retention. 
2. Glycogen storage. More glycogen stored in the body equals more water retention. 

This is why when you have a day of eating highly processed foods you can feel bloated and weight a lot more than what you did the day previously.  

I think that covers most of what I wanted to talk about. Later! 




Update October 28th

Just an update on my neck first. It's getting better. There's less pain now. Really it's mostly just infrequent discomfort. 

Typically I like to update on Tuesdays. Here is my last 7 days calories consumed. 

I haven't done much exercising since I've been at an Engineering Conference the past two days. I at least was able to walk around for 30-40 minutes a few times during the conference when we had breaks to go look at the sponsor booths. 

I need to cut out about 300 calories from my daily intake. 

Besides that I like the process I've been doing. On my scale at home I had an initial weight in at 232 lbs. I am at 226 lbs now. I know my calorie range is at least at a decent deficit right now. 

I am going to get back on the work out train here. 




Hurt Neck/Back

I was working out today and I started to feel my upper back, more towards the center of the upper back, just inside my upper right shoulder blade get tight. Now it's very tight. I didn't hear a pop or felt a pop. So it isn't a tendon, ligament or muscle tear. I wasn't doing any heavy lifting. I think its more of a pinched nerve. 

The pain is more associated with the movement of my head. If I turn to the left I get no pain. I have limited movement and some pain (level 4-5) turning my head to the right. I have the same pain when bending my head forward or tilting it backwards. There very little pain when I move my shoulders or retract my shoulder blades. 

I am going to RICE it up a bit. Get the ice and heat going, pop some Alieve and see if this goes away quickly. Luckily it doesn't hurt when making a backswing :). 
  This probably has to do with my poor posture habits. 





October 19th Update

I probably still could lower my calorie intake a bit, but it's still a deficit. 

Here is my activity level for the week. I try to get at least 4-5 days of working out or going out to golf. I'm still trying to get back into the swing of working out. I am able to run much better now. Also my muscles don't want to kill me after lifting weights. I think it's time to start putting together a weight lifting routine to add to this blog.




Update October 12th

Just wanted to give this weekly update. Here are some numbers from MyFitnessPal

My Average Net Calories is 2250. 
My average Calorie intake was 2400
I like the Carb intake level. I think I can lower the fat and increase the protein. I could probably lower some of the calorie intake as well by a few hundred. My activity level will be increasing now that I don't feel pain in my legs. #RECOVERY!! 

Overall a good first week. Going to look to improve on these. I want to get the calorie intake down around 2200. 





Legs are Still Gone

Yep, legs are still sore. I figured as much. Today I just went down during lunch and stretched in the workout room. About 30 minutes. I plan on doing another round of stretching this evening. I plan on getting back to working out tomorrow. At least I can get on the treadmill for some incline HIIT even it's light jogging.  Today's Food
Still could eat a tad less, but not bad. 
Today's Workout
Stretching = 90 calories burned





Legs Are Destroyed

Food Totals for the day
To those who don't know this website, MyFitnessPal.com is an amazing tool for those who want to keep track of what they eat. The database it has is very extensive and you can add stuff in. You can also add in recipes you might use a lot so you don't have to keep trying to add everything again. Maybe you eat the same breakfast 4 days a week. Just create that as it's own recipe.  Today I did well. I am thinking of dumping the bagel in the morning. My main goal is to keep my foot intake from the morning and lunch to about 900-1200. At work food is less likely to be available. So hitting that range helps make sure I don't do something like 1800 by lunch then I am really tight in the evening. 

Today I destroyed my legs. Just a lot of bodyweight leg stuff in circuit. I should not have done that last set of walking lunges. Right my hip adductors are pissed off at me. My quads are pretty much toast. Moving slowly and relaxing tonight will be nice. I did about 30 minutes of circuit stuff. Going through leg work out to some upper body sets. Mixed in some planks and bosu ball crunches. Throw in the typical stretch routine and call it a day. I would say I was a tad under my 1000 deficit I wanted. 





Cupcake Temptation

It's Monday, start of a new week and start of me losing my weight. So I'm pumped to get started.
Fate decides to play its tricks on me today as I walk into work there are cupcakes in the kitchenette area.  That is just cruel. I am proud of myself, I resisted the cupcakes. Here is a summary of my day.  Food
Breakfast 3 eggs scrambled = 286 (22 fat, 20 protein) 3 slices turkey bacon = 90 calories (5 fat, 18 protein) 1 bagel w/ cream cheese = 330 (47 carbs, 9 fat, 10 protein) Medium Coffee = 70 (15 carbs, 2 fat, 1 protein) Lunch Cheeseburger, 1/3rd lb ground beef w/ cheddar cheese = 620 calories (29 carbs, 34 fat, 48 protein) Dinner Chipotle double chicken  bowl = 950 calories (94 carbs, 30 fat, 80.5 protein) Pumpkin Chai Ale = 185 calories (16 carbs, 6.5% Alc) Total - 2531 (200 carbs, 102 Fat, 177 protein) I was a little heavy on the carbs and fat and not enough on the protein. Not bad for the first day. I can probably cut back if I didn't do the rice in the Chipotle bowl. Also, the beer was probably not helping. It was my last one in the fridge.  I could probably ditch the bagel as well.  Exercise
Today I did 35 minutes of working out with 15 minutes of stretching. I found my legs are not really use to running anymore. My left shin and right calf were not very happy with me. I ended up doing mostly walking up an incline. Got to build back up to what I was able to do previously. 
Treadmill: 20 minutes, interval of running and walking on an increasing incline. 
Circuit Weight Lifting for 15 minutes Body Weight Squats, 25 w/ 30 second hold on the last 40 lb straight leg dead lift 90 lb pull down 25 lb each hand dumbbell chest press 20 lbs each arm shoulder raise 1 minute plank, 45 second side planks Side, Forward & Back leg lifts 15 minutes of stretching. I typically just start with the legs and work my way up.  Seated Groin Stretch Hamstring Stretch Hamstring Stretch leg straight ahead Quad stretch lying down Glute Stretch  Piriformis muscle stretch  Oblique Stretch Abdominal stretch  Hip flexor and groin stretch Back stretch Outer Thigh Stretch   It's hard to estimate how many calories I burned. The treadmill had me at 220 calories and the circuit stuff probably added another 70. I would say somewhere around 300 is a good estimated. Compared to sitting at a desk which probably burns 70 calories in that 45 minutes.  Then after work I went and played 7 holes, I skipped two because I would be stuck behind two groups and darkness is now making it harder to even fit 9 holes in. I probably burned like 200 calories.  Probably around a 325 more calories burned compared to a normal time of sitting around.  From the entry blog I had a sedentary calorie limit of 3220 + 325 = 3545 calories - 2530 = 1000 calorie deficit





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