Vegan Options at Aldi

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I am not a vegetarian, or vegan, which are apparently very different, but I am a mindful vegetarian in the sense that I feel bad when I do eat meat, so I try to eat vegan or vegetarian when I can to make myself feel better.

We recently drove by a shopping center and discovered a new store called Aldi had moved in, and I seem to recall seeing a post on Facebook about these new vegan burgers they were selling. I also saw a few videos by The Vegan Zombie twitter and No Egg Craig twitterabout these vegan options, so I wanted to give them a try.

The first time we went to Aldi, I didn’t see these vegan foods. I saw some other boxes of veggie burgers and chicken, but they were way more expensive than The Vegan Zombie said. He said the veggie burger box was $2.49 and the chicken burgers were $2.99. We went back and I finally found them and bought these 2 boxes you see in the picture above.

Yesterday I had the chicken for lunch and I really loved the taste and texture. I knew after the first bite that I would want to go back and buy many more boxes. Today I had the veggie burger for lunch and although it wasn’t as awesome as the chicken, it was still very good and I will definitely buy more.

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New Diet

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I’ve heard so many times that the word “diet” is a 4-letter bad word, and that you shouldn’t go on a diet, you’re supposed to change your eating habits so you are eating a healthy diet all the time. I know this, but I also know that I love the taste of potato chips, chicken sandwiches, ice cream, pizza, jelly beans, Whoppers (from burger king, not the candy) and you know, just general bad stuff. What it is with food that I know I shouldn’t eat, but I just can’t help myself? If only those bad foods were actually good for me…

I went on a diet a couple of years ago and lost 70lbs, and frankly I have no idea what I did right and why I can’t repeat it. I wanted to keep losing, but as soon as we started bragging about losing 70lbs, the weight just stopped and suddenly I felt stressed out and I was maintaining the weight for a month straight. Then gradually over the next couple years the weight has slowly come back. I’m not back to where I was, which was 262lbs, but I’m getting close. I recently weighed myself early in the morning and I was 238. The next day I weighed myself and I was 240. Then I weighed myself and I was 245. What the hell is happening? How can I gain weight that fast? It’s like I just look at food and bing bang boom 5lbs. What the heck?

What I did to lose 70lbs was we started buying Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners, and I said the word NO to everything else. When my partner asked if I wanted to go to Taco Bell I said no. When he suggested we go to Golden Corral I simply said no. Every time he said that he wanted to go somewhere, I said no. He started buying cookies for himself and he would hide them in his living space in the living room, which is a good thing, because I didn’t want to know it was even in the house. One time he left a bag of doughnuts on the counter next to the toaster oven and I put my hand in there and I grabbed a doughnut and I ate it.

I have already made a few steps to lose weight by buying a Fitbit Charge HR watch to help motivate me to exercise. I bought that Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle to ride to the gym, and of course the gym to be a place where I can go to exercise and to help me lose weight. I know I don’t need a gym to lose weight, but if I make a commitment to go to a gym, then I make it a habit, then I will do it. If I don’t have a commitment to go somewhere, then I won’t do anything. I’ll just sit on the edge of my bed playing video games all the time.

I have the tools to exercise, now I need to eat healthy and I know I will succeed if I put my mind to it. Wish me luck!

I’m going on my diet AGAIN

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Have you ever been in the situation where you are always struggling with your weight, but the person you live with can eat whatever, or decide they aren’t going to eat anything at all for days and end up losing tons of weight with little to no effort, but you are working your arse off to lose weight, but you end up gaining weight? Yeah, I’m there.

2 years ago I lost 70lbs with Noom and Weight Watchers frozen dinners. My partner was very supportive, and by supportive I mean he didn’t wave bags of potato chips or cookies in front of me and he didn’t constantly ask if I wanted to go to McDonald’s or Taco Bell. I felt like he was doing exactly the thing you are supposed to do when someone you live with is struggling with something.

Unfortunately, when the weight stopped coming off, he started wanting to go to certain restaurants and buy certain foods like cookies and chips and leaving them out in the open for me to eat. Sometimes he would try to hide food, but I would find it and end up eating it for him. I’m an addict. It’s like leaving bags of heroin on the coffee table for a drug addict, or stocking the fridge with nothing but alcohol for an alcoholic. He got sick of not being allowed to eat the foods he wanted to eat, so when I got down to a certain weight, he felt I was finished. I’m sorry, but when you have an addiction to something, it’s never over.

So here I am, having almost gained back every pound I had lost 2 years ago. We went to Food Maxx yesterday and bought 20 Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners. Tomorrow we are going back to the 99 cent store to buy 20 cans of Progresso soup. I can have a bowl of cheerios for breakfast with my almond and coconut Silk, a Slim Fast shake for my 10am snack, a bowl of Progresso Soup for lunch, another Slim Fast shake for my 3pm snack, a Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinner with extra veggies added to it for dinner, and then another Slim Fast shake to curb my appetite when I get hungry again late at night. Once my stomach shrinks again I can remove that late night shake.

I don’t feel comfortable being out in public because I feel ugly. When my face is thin and my neck is trimmed down, I actually feel good about myself and my self esteem goes through the roof, but when I see my big round fat face and no neck again, I feel worthless. It’s a terrible feeling when you look at yourself in the mirror and you can’t stand the person you are looking at. It’s an even worse feeling when you start to cry. Why can’t I just be happy with how I look? Some people actually look good when they are fat, but I don’t feel that way about myself. And here’s the thing, it’s not like I’m morbidly obese like the people you see on My 600lb Life. I’m not anywhere near that weight. I’m talking 260lbs and the only thing fat on me is my face, neck, chest and stomach. And my stomach is a typical guy gut, that’s it, but somehow I feel morbidly obese. I feel like I’m lucky that I’m not 600lbs by now. I’m telling you, if it weren’t for willpower, I probably would be that fat right now.

The nutritionist at the clinic told me not to deny myself anything. Like if I want some ice cream I can have some ice cream, I can eat 1 serving of ice cream even every day if I want to, but you know what the serving size of ice cream is right? Half of a cup! Seriously? A half of a cup? That’s like 2 bites for a fat arse like me. It doesn’t even put a dent into my stomach. But you know what? I would rather have half of a cup a day than no ice cream at all for the rest of my life. I can’t buy ice cream because there is no way I’m just having 1/2 a cup, I end up packing a 8oz coffee cup with ice cream at least 3 times a day lol. It’s cheaper to buy the big cartons of ice cream, but it’s better to just buy one of those little tiny cups that only cost $1. That way I get ice cream, and I don’t have that temptation waiting for me in the kitchen.

Anyway, enough of me rambling on about it. Talking about it isn’t going to make it happen, I have to actually work my ARSE off to make it happen. That means I have to get back on my bicycle, or walking, or both.  I have a lot of work to do and I intend on doing it. Enough talking, start doing.

Noom Week 1 Weigh In

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Today was my first weigh in for week 1. I restarted my weight loss program with Noom less than a week ago, but for some reason, Noom wants me to weigh in twice a week and today was the first weigh in. I started out at 238 and today I was 234.6. I was actually 240 before I began my weight loss program, but I had already dropped 2lbs by the time I started, but I can’t count that. So as it stands I have lost 3.4lbs.

That’s good enough as far as I am concerned. You are only supposed to lose 2lbs a week, so I’m happy with 3.4lbs. I have been dieting and exercising, except yesterday I didn’t because I follow a routine now. I eat lunch at 12, then wait about half an hour before getting on the bicycle, then I try to be finished by 1:45 so I can get in the shower so I can watch tv with my partner. He likes to watch TV with me from 2pm to 5pm because that gives us time together. If we don’t, then we never see each other because of my video game addiction lol. So there is a reason for a routine.

My nutritionist wants me to follow a specific diet where my plate has 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch and 1/2 vegetables. Here are the papers she gave me which shows the plate planner, and breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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They don’t seem to be too bad. They are actually what SparkPeople wanted me to do, but the thing is, sometimes I don’t want to eat a specific thing. I usually only eat a Weight Watchers frozen dinner which is green in the Noom app. Hey, I lost 70lbs with the weight watchers frozen dinners, so how can I go wrong?

I will do my best to eat a healthy diet, but I can’t promise I will be able to fill a plate since I usually just eat my food from a bowl. If I eat pasta or rice and meat and vegetables, I usually mix the entire amount and eat it in a bowl. I find it better to combine everything because it puts sauce on the veggies so I don’t have to use margarine or butter. Oh and I asked her about that, and she told me to use lemon in place of butter. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be the same thing lol.

Well, I can’t promise I will eat a 3 or 4 course meal, but I will promise to do the best that I can with what I can actually afford on my disability checks. So far the best option for me is 1 weight watchers frozen dinner for $2 at Food Maxx. It fills me up and it isn’t expensive.

I don’t know if I will continue to update my blog every week like I did 2 years ago.

Getting FAT

My partner and I went to the movies today. We saw Into the Woods, which by the way was a really good movie. I had to pee so bad by the time it ended, so I went to the restroom and well, took a piss lol. When I went to wash my hands, that’s when the realization hit me that I am right back to where I started 2 years ago when I started my diet when I lost 70lbs.

I had really bad sleep apnea back then, and when I had lost all that weight, I couldn’t use my BiPap machine anymore because the pressure was too high, and I actually didn’t even need to use it for the last 18 months. The CPAP company told me I could bring it in to have it readjusted to lower the pressure, but I had it in my head that I finally don’t need it anymore, so I never did anything with it.

The year that I had lost 70lbs, I stopped losing weight in July and I never could figure out why. I was doing everything the same, I was eating the same portions and the same calories, but the weight just stopped coming off. Actually, when I first began losing weight in January of that year, the weight was coming off really fast, but then gradually it went from say for example 5lbs a week down to 4lbs, then 3lbs, then 2lbs, then before you knew it I was only losing half a pound a week until there wasn’t any weight loss at all. The weight gradually started climbing back up and I could not understand why.

You know how when you plateau, then get so frustrated that you say screw it, I’m going to eat something bad. Then once a week you start eating junk, then twice a week, then 3 times, etc. Next thing you know, you are gaining the weight just as fast as you lost it. Sometimes you just need that “AHA” moment, and that was today.

After the movies, we went to the grocery store and my partner asked if I wanted some valentine’s candy, but that is the last thing I need right now.

I have the Dr. Phil 20/20 diet that I pre-ordered in December that arrived on my Nook last week. I have been meaning to read it, but with all the Minecraft and other video games taking up all of my time, I just haven’t been able to read it yet, but I think now is the best time to start reading.

So I guess what I am saying is, this is day 1… well, perhaps since the day is almost over, I will make it day 0, epiphany day, tomorrow can be day 1 lol.

I can always do something if I set my mind to it. I have the Noom app, the SparkPeople “The Spark” on my shoe to count my steps and cardio along with a SparkPeople workout DVD, bicycle trainer and the Dr. Phil diet book. I also have the PlayStation 4 which I will save the money for the camera so I can use it to dance with a dancing game lol. Hey, all I know is the cabbage patch, it would be awesome to know more than that, I mean, not that I really go out dancing.

I have been very lazy, but I need to discipline myself because I don’t want this sleep apnea and I don’t want this fat face again. I’m done with that, so wish me luck.

The Spark of Fire Under My Ass

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This new gadget that lives on the laces of my left shoe has really lit a fire under my ass. Now I know why it’s called The Spark. Every day since I’ve had it, I’ve been walking to the store and walking longer distances when walking the dog, and I’ve been riding my bicycle on my trainer in the patio. The first couple of times it was all I could do to stay on it without dying from the pain in my thighs, but since I’ve had the Spark, I’ve been using it for as long as I can. Yesterday I only got off of it because my show was coming on. Today I woke up early specifically so I could spend as much time on the bike as I could. I was only on it for 36 minutes, but I’m working my way up to a longer ride.

The goal they gave me for steps is 6000. The first day I barely made it to the goal, the 2nd day was basically the same, but the 3rd day, well, that you can see in the image above. Of course, that’s not all from walking, most of that was from the bicycle. You see, it doesn’t just log my cycling, it considers my pedaling to be steps. My nutritionist wanted me to walk 10,000 steps per day, well, here you go.

Sometimes I buy something and feel real good about my purchase, while other times I feel like I have made a huge mistake and regret it. I am so happy that I found this because it got me off my butt and made me think about how much time am I going to spend walking today, and how much time I’m going to ride the bike today.

IMAG0747SparkPeople also sent me a workout DVD called Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole. The exercises look pretty good. I haven’t started using the DVD yet, but I plan on soon. I want to buy the weights first. They have workouts that are beginners, intermediate and advanced. They also give you a week planner so you aren’t doing the same exact workout every time. The SparkPeople website even has these workouts available in the list of exercises so I know what to log. All I have to do is watch the video and then when I finish, log it with the exact amount of time I did it and I get the calorie credits. Cool, eh?

So I feel so much more motivation than I did before. If I ever get to the point where this DVD isn’t working, I mean when it becomes too easy and I plateau, then I will have to buy another one that is a bit more advanced. I will also have to step up my cardio as well. Perhaps I could do the 2 hour bike ride and then 2 hours of exercise DVD. Hmmmm… I better not count my chickens before they hatch lol. We will see how it goes, yes?

So… until then…

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.