New Diet

2018-07-29I have had major issues with my diet. I live with my life partner of 24 years. We are both overweight, although me more than him, but it’s been a struggle for me ever since I quit smoking in 1996. When I try to go on a diet, suddenly my life partner wants sweets or fast food, and he won’t accept anything else and he insists I eat the same thing as him. When he’s on a diet, I just want to eat whatever the heck I want because I’ve usually been working hard to eat healthy and I just want to be bad and eat food that actually tastes good. We are never on the same page at the same time.

My life partner (by the way, I have to keep saying “my life partner” because he does not want his name in my blog) called NutriSystem recently because he’s been very concerned with my weight. He wants me to lose weight, but he doesn’t realize that HE is the one who sabotages my diet every time he sees me making actual progress. So we had a little chat about my diet.

I told him look, I want to lose weight. I NEED to lose weight, but I can’t because every time I go on a diet, he decides now is the time that he wants to go to the buffet, or fast food or he has to have ice cream because it’s hot. He can’t expect me to lose weight if he keeps putting junk in my face. So I said the only way this is going to work is if he backs off and let’s me do my own thing. I told him if YOU want to go to Taco Bell, or McDonald’s, go for it, but don’t ask me if I want any junk. If I’m trying to lose weight, I will eat weight watchers and I will go to the gym and I will work my ass off to lose weight, but all it takes is one sabotage to turn it all around and all that hard work is out the window. I don’t want to waste any of my time or energy, if he’s just going to sabotage me every day. He agreed that he would leave me alone.

So… today we were at Albertson’s and I noticed they had the Weight Watchers Smart Ones on sale for $1.77 each if you buy 5, so we bought 10 meals. I get my check on Friday, so I have just enough food to last me from Tuesday until Friday. I bought 4 breakfast meals, 3 lunches and 3 dinners. I figure I will start on Tuesday, then Friday I’ll have a breakfast, then we can go to Target to buy more. I can only fit 40 of these meals in the freezer.

So on Tuesday morning I will install the Noom app on my phone and I will take all my measurements and weigh myself and I may even take a picture of myself just so I have a before picture, not shirtless lol. Then I will start going to Planet Fitness every day.

I lost 70lbs with Weight Watchers and the Noom app in 2013, so I really hope this works again because I hate being fat.

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Sabotaging My Weight Loss

junk food

Is it even possible after losing as much as 70lbs for a person to go back to their old eating habits after eating healthy for 7 months?  I guess the answer to that question is yes, if you let it happen.  Well, I don’t want to let it happen to me again, I refuse to even allow the thought to enter my head.

I am putting myself in a bad situation right now.  I was 264lbs when I started this weight loss journey in January and I had lost a whopping 70lbs thanks to the Noom weight loss coach.  It helped me lose weight by giving me articles and letting me scan bar codes of the foods that I ate and told me whether it was healthy or not by coloring coding everything with red, yellow or green.  I knew I was eating healthy when I was eating more greens than yellows and reds.  I had dropped down to 192lbs in 7 months because of it.  Although, the last 2 months have been very slow, but at least I was still losing weight and not gaining.

Lately however I seem to be in a bad plateau that I can’t get out of and I am slipping as a result of it.  I’ve been eating food and not logging it into the Noom app because I know it’s bad for me.  I feel like I’ve been sabotaging myself, and I am well aware that I am doing it too.  The food I’ve been eating has been graham crackers, handfuls of Wheat Thins at a time, before I was pouring the Wheat Thins into a bowl which was sitting on a food scale, but now I just grab handfuls and don’t even log it.  We’ve been eating Michelina’s frozen dinners instead of Weight Watchers because they are cheaper and I haven’t had the money for the Weight Watchers.

Lately my partner has been buying frozen pizzas and asking ME to bake them and then telling me that I need to eat the other half because he can’t possibly eat the whole thing.  Of course, knowing he would do that to me, I could cut half of the frozen pizza and only bake half for him, but instead I go ahead and cook the entire thing.  So I am not blaming him for that or for anything for that matter, because I knew what I was doing.

Last night he wanted to go to McDonald’s to buy himself a double cheeseburger and I  decided that I wanted to go with him because I thought to myself “I haven’t had a McChicken sandwich in such a long time and I miss it” so I made the decision to go along with him and not just get 1, but 2.  I thought I was being a good little boy by eating the chicken without the bun or mayo, but instead of throwing the buns away, I put them in the fridge and ended up eating them anyway within the hour.

One final thing.  I haven’t been riding my bicycle and I really have no excuse.  That is the only exercise I am comfortable doing because of my back problems which seem to be getting worse.  I am however waiting to hear from the physical therapist to find out if cycling is going to damage my back or not since I now know that I have scoliosis.  When I start going to physical therapy, then I am positive that I will start getting the exercise that I need to not only help my back, but to also help me lose weight.  Perhaps the physical therapist will give me home exercises that I can do on my home gym, my Weider Body Works 5000.

So I am done with sabotaging myself and I am done with this plateau.  I am going to get serious about this weight loss again because I really want to get down to my goal weight of 170lbs.  The doctor said to stop losing the weight because he is happy with where I am, but I feel that stopping to maintain is only going to encourage me to eat unhealthy.  So I will go back to my healthy eating habits so I can not only maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, but to also lose more weight and to lose this weight that I have regained.

I know I have enough money that I can go to Food Maxx and buy some more Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals.  I’m going to try to get back into the habit of eating those again to give me the boost that I need.  I am also going to cut out all crackers and replace them with fruits and vegetables.  Finally, I am going to start using the word “NO” again, and I am not going to let myself get back to 264.  Heck, I am not going to let myself get back to 200.  It’s just not going to happen.

Have I finally hit my plateau?

I have been very lucky that I have been consistent with my weight loss with Noom from January 5th until now.  In the beginning, I was losing anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds per week, but gradually slowing down to 2 or 3 pounds per week, then down to 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.  Of course lately it seems to be 1 to 1 1/2 pounds or less per week, but at least there was weight loss.  This week however, I don’t think there will be any weight loss at all.

Last week I was 196.6lbs and just a few days ago I was asked to weigh in and I weighed in at 196.4lbs.  Today I weighed 197lbs and I only have 2 more days before my next weigh in day, so I don’t think I’m going to make it to 194 or 195.  194.4 is my estimated weight, but I just don’t see that happening.  I mean, stranger things have happened and who knows, I might be 195, but I doubt it.  No, I think that after so many months I have finally just hit my plateau.

A plateau isn’t uncommon for people who are trying to lose weight.  What causes that?  Is it stress?  I haven’t been under too much stress.  Is it that my body has already lost 66lbs so it’s just harder to lose more weight because there isn’t a lot of fat left to lose?  Or maybe perhaps it is because I have been going for 2 or 3 mile walks a few times per week that might possibly be making me gain muscle weight.  That could actually be it.

In the past when I have hit my plateau, after so many weeks of not losing weight I start to think if I’m not losing weight, I might as well eat this food and that food because obviously the healthy foods aren’t helping me.  I might as well go back to eating the old crap that got me fat in the first place, and I end up gradually going back to my old eating habits.  Well, that just isn’t going to work for me this time because I am serious about losing this weight this time.  This time it WILL be different, I will continue eating healthy, even if that means that I will be 197 or somewhere in that vicinity for 2 months before the weight starts to come off again.  I will not let the plateau rule my life because I really want to succeed in my goals.

To be honest, I probably won’t plateau for too long, that is if I have even hit a plateau.  I still have 2 days and like I said before, stranger things have happened.  Who knows, I might end up being 195 by weigh in day, so I’m not going to start having a negative attitude about plateaus because I am not even sure that’s what will happen.

Of course negative thinking like this is a factor in halting the weight loss process.  I could be sabotaging myself by having a negative attitude.  Stress thinking and acting negatively can release a chemical in the brain called Cortisol which is actually what will put me in a plateau, so I need to stay positive because having a happy go lucky positive attitude will help me more than being a negative Nancy.

So let’s just see what happens in 2 days and I will go from there.

My Noom weight chart from the beginning

weight chart

I have been blogging about my weight loss over the last few months, and I have been updating my Noom page every week to show my current progress, but I thought I would share the full weight chart.  I have wanted to create this chart, but it took me a long time to figure out how I was going to do it because I had to take multiple screenshots on my phone and then blend them together layer by layer.  The thought bubbles were overlapping each other, so I had to erase them and put them back in, some upside down, and then manually type in the weight with the date (minus the day of the week for space issues).  I finally did it and here it is.

As you can see, I have not gone up throughout my entire process, it’s all down.  There were some weigh-in’s where I had only gone down maybe 1lb or 1.8lbs, but I didn’t mind that because at least I didn’t go up.

I started out at 263lbs on January 5th 2013 and my last weigh-in shows 212.6lbs in less than 4 months.  That’s 50.4lbs.  My first weigh in was on a Saturday, but the first week the app asked me to weigh in on a Wednesday, then again and for some reason I got confused and started weighing in on Wednesdays.  I decided after a few weeks that I wanted to go back to weighing in on Saturdays at the end of the week instead of the middle, so that’s why there are some oddities in the chart.

They say that bragging about something is going to make it stop, and normally I would agree, but I just can’t help it because I am so proud of myself.  I know it won’t stop because I am going to continue to work as hard as I have been to get this weight off of me.

I just have 12.6lbs to go to meet my goal of 200lbs, and then I will extend this goal so that I go down to 170lbs.  Once I reach that goal, I will continue this hard work to maintain my weight.  I would hate to work this hard to lose all that weight just to end up  back where I was by going back to my old eating habits.

This is a lifestyle change which I will continue because I don’t want to end up as fat as I was, or fatter.  For me it’s a health issue because I had sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes.  I say had because I am no longer at risk for diabetes and I am hoping that the weight loss will reverse or end my sleep apnea.  I’ll admit that I haven’t been wearing my bipap mask the whole night every night like I should, but the reason is because some nights I have trouble falling asleep with it on, so I will take it off after an hour.  I can usually go 2 days without it before I start waking up with acid reflux and then a few more days before I gasp for air, but I haven’t been going through that.  I think that I might be in the safe zone where I probably don’t have sleep apnea anymore, or it’s going away, but I’m not a doctor so I can’t say that for sure.  I will probably need to get a new sleep study to find out.

The responsible adult in me should warn that if you have sleep apnea, DO NOT go a single night without your mask, even if you can’t fall asleep.  Sleep apnea could cause death from heart attack or a stroke and is a serious matter, so make sure you wear your mask.

I remain positive because that is the only way to be successful.  I couldn’t be more happy with my progress and I look forward to my next weigh in on Saturday.

I’ve Lost 28lbs In 2 Months with the @Noom Android App

mid picture

I didn’t think it would be possible for me to be as happy about my body as I am right at this very moment.

My weight loss journey began on January 5th 2013.  I didn’t want to make a cheesy New Years Resolution because every time I do, I don’t keep it.  I was afraid of jinxing myself, so I decided that I wasn’t going to do it.  But then I started thinking about it and figured, what’s the harm in saying I want to lose weight, but not because I feel obligated to make a New Years Resolution, but because I want to lose weight and be healthy.  Not just go on a diet, but try to change my eating habits for good.

As I was looking for a new weight loss app, I found Noom right on the Google Play Store page on my new HTC One V from Virgin Mobile.  It was a free app so I figured what the heck, let’s install it and see what it looks like.  I fell in love with it right away because of all of the things it can do compared with some of the other diet apps I had installed.  I wanted the pro version, so instead of paying a monthly fee for it, I just paid for it for life.  I know, I should have played with it to see how it would work for at least a week or so, but I already knew it was going to help me lose weight, and well, here I am today.

This is only half of my weight loss journey though, not even half yet.  I want to lose 63lbs, so I still have a way to go.

I know people are going to ask what I did to lose 28.4lbs in 2 months.  Well, I logged everything I ate everyday in the Noom app.  They have Green foods, Yellow foods and Red foods.  So say you are eating vegetables like Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts, those are green.  The Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners are green, and that is what I ate for lunch and dinner every day for the last 2 months.  Basically, I’ve been trying to eat anything and everything that is green, but I have been eating a few yellows and reds here and there because you can have them, just not as much as the greens.

Just to note, I am not just going to eat healthy to help me lose weight.  I am changing the way I think about food and I do plan on continuing to eat healthy after I have lost all the weight because I want to stay healthy.  I do not want to gain the weight all over again.  I’ve also been learning what is in the food that I have been eating that made me fat and that is also my motivation to eat healthy.  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this old dog is learning new tricks everyday and will stick with it.

I have been making my own peanut butter and sugar-free strawberry jam and sugar-free applesauce and even making my own banana ice cream.  I have also been finding recipes for healthy treats like cookies made out of fruit and oatmeal.  Those are really good.  I made a recipes page on my website that I thought I’d share.  I’m still adding more when I find them.

The only thing I have not done yet to help me lose weight is exercise, and I have a very good reason.  I have tried to go for walks, and we went out a few times in the beginning, but I have degenerative disc disease in my lower spine which makes walking very painful.  I can ride the bike because I am sitting down, I just can’t walk for too long.  The back wheel on my bicycle kept deflating because the rim tape broke and I didn’t know it, but I have fabric rim tape on it now and the tube is filled with air so I can finally start riding again.  Thankfully my back doesn’t hurt when I’m on the bike.

So, like I said, I am only halfway there.  I just wanted to give an update of my current progress.  See you again when I have lost all 63lbs.

My Weight Loss Journey – Week 2

On January 5th, 2013, I was looking through the Google Play app store on my Android phone for an app to help me lose weight.  I had downloaded a few apps that would help record my walking and bike rides with GPS and would tell me everything my bicycle computer tells me and more, but they didn’t help me record my eating habits or tell me what to eat.  The front page of the app store had a featured app called Noom Coach.  I downloaded it and checked it out and it was way more than I was expecting in an app.  I had the free version with limitations and after only a few days decided that I had to purchase the pro version.  Yes, I was that confident in this app after only a few days.

I am only in my 2nd week with this app and I have already lost 8.4lbs.  I only expected to lose 2lbs a week, so this is quite surprising that I have lost more than double my goal each week.  Then again the first week or two are the easiest, I won’t count my chickens until the 3rd or 4th week.

week 2-1week 2-2

I am over 100lbs overweight and my goal is to just get down to 200lbs which means losing 63lbs.  I have tried to set goals to lose all of the weight before and becoming disappointed when it failed because my goal was set too high.  I have been told to set smaller goals because you reach smaller goals faster.  When the small goal is finished, then I can set another small goal.  Although, setting my goal for more than half of what I need to lose is not quite a small goal, I think that I can reach it because this app is motivating me to.  If it doesn’t then I will adjust my goal to make it easier.

We haven’t been exercising as much as we should.  I could give 2 excuses as to why, but what’s the point?  I mean, I hate to make excuses for why I can’t do something because excuses are why I fail.  These are good ones though.  It’s cold outside and we both have bad backs and it hurts to walk.  There, I said it.  The cold part is a BS excuse, but the back pain is legitimate.  With that said, we have been walking 2 or 3 days a week for maybe 1 mile or more each time.

Arctic Cooling P311 Bluetooth Sports Headset I have way more weight to lose than my partner does.  I was at 263lbs and he was around 200, so I have to do double the work which is why I bought myself a new pair of Arctic Cooling P311 Bluetooth Headset for Sports from Amazon for my HTC One V android phone so that I can ride my bicycle when it starts to get warm outside.  I can keep my phone in my camelbak which will have the Noom app recording my exercise while letting me listen to my music, and the bluetooth will allow me to accept phone calls at the push of a button on the headphones.  Although I’m not sure if it will accept the call automatically or if I have to push the button, I will find out soon enough.  I thought I read in a review that it automatically shuts off the music when a call comes in and resumes when you hang up.

The headphones that I bought aren’t the best, I mean, they didn’t get the best reviews, but they were $30 which is way more than I could afford.  The headphones that are in the $60’s-$100’s range are the best, so I am getting what I paid for.  I saw in one video review that the mic sucks for taking calls while you are on your bike or walking, but are amazing indoors.  I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter, so it’s the best I can do with what money I have available to me.  But it has been my experience that people who do reviews are spoiled with the more expensive products they test, so to them it might be a horrible pair of headphones, but perhaps it will be fine for me.  I can say that because my phone got horrible reviews and it’s way better than they gave it credit for.

Cycling seems to be the best exercise for me because I am sitting which doesn’t hurt my back.  Walking is fine if I walk 1 or 2 miles, but I can ride 23 miles a day on my bicycle which means I can burn more than a quarter of my days meals on the bicycle which will help me lose more weight and will get me to my goal faster.  Not that I want or need to rush anything, but it will help.  It’s too cold now, so I will get to it when it starts warming up in the Spring.  I bought the headphones now so that I could afford to fix my bike next month.  I can’t afford to do both in the same month.  I would also like to buy some bicycle shorts and a bicycle shirt to make riding more comfortable.

I am finally eating healthy and enjoying it.  We have been buying the Weight Watchers frozen dinners at Food Maxx for $1.88 each with a $2 coupon for 10, so we’re saving money on that.  We’re also eating more fruits and vegetables than before, which is a very good thing.  I don’t drink soda (diet or otherwise) very often, so that’s not an issue.  The fruit seems to satisfy my sweet tooth, for now.  I have been looking up recipes for cookies that use bananas and apples so that I can make a very low calorie sweet treat without compromising our diet.  I found a good banana oatmeal cookie recipe that uses applesauce in place of sugar, they even tell you how to make it with real apples.  I think I might try to make those today for our late night snack.  I also bought some bottles of Slim Fast specifically for when we have a chocolate craving, but I have a feeling those won’t last the week.

I know that 8.4lbs isn’t a lot to be blogging about so soon, but it’s a good start and I feel confident that I will keep it up this time.  I will keep this blog updated on my progress every week when I do my weigh-ins too.  Not that anyone really cares, but it will help me to talk about it, even if I am just talking to myself.

Noom Weight Loss Coach

Noom Logo

Okay so you might say that I am a bit excited about weight loss all of a sudden.  On New Years Eve/Day, I decided that I wasn’t going to make a New Years resolution.  I changed my mind when I had my picture taken at IHOP.  I decided that I would make one, but it isn’t to lose weight, but more to change my eating habits to live a healthier lifestyle which will help me lose weight in the long run.  I don’t want to look at it as a diet, but more of a lifestyle change.

I started looking on the Google Play App Store for weight loss apps and found a few that looked good, but they didn’t really do it for me.  I went to the App store and found Noom on the front page.  Since it was recommended, I figured what the heck, let’s give it a go and see how it works.

It’s a free app, but it has limitations because they want you to pay for the service of using the app.  It’s normally $10 a month to go pro, but they have a holiday special right now for only $2.99 a month, $15 a year or $30 forever.  I was going to do the $2.99 a month, but you know how that works, you pay $2.99 and the next month it goes back to it’s regular price of $10 a month.  I figured I’d probably only do this for 1 year, but you never know.  I just want the full version forever without having to worry about paying a monthly or yearly fee.  I figured the $30 price will go up if I don’t do it now, so I paid for it and I love it.

They don’t pressure you to do things you don’t want to do.  They don’t tell you that you can’t have certain foods because telling you what to eat makes people rebel and eat what they want to out of spite.  That’s just what I think, the app didn’t tell me that.  They do give you some good articles to read with very helpful hints and tips and you get points for everything you do.  I am level 4 now.

Here are a few of the features that I love about it.  When you enter your meals, you have the option of scanning the bar code on the box.  That way you don’t have to type it in.  You might think that is lazy, but not really because sometimes it can take a few minutes for the scanner to read the bar code, so I’m sitting there like a dufus holding the phone up against a bar code and it keeps trying to focus, but doesn’t do anything.  If I place the box on something and steady the phone on a flat surface so I’m not shaking it then it might work better.  But I digress.  You can also type in a word like Banana and it asks you if you are eating the size of a golf ball, a tennis ball, a baseball or a fist.  They don’t ask you how much it weighs, just how much food it is.

We have both really changed our eating habits.  We started buying Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners at Food Maxx for only $1.88 each.  That is a big help because they are nearly twice that at Albertson’s.  We also started buying more fruits and veggies.  I have actually been more motivated to eat fruits and vegetables from Noom.  I took this picture today.

fruit bowl

My problem is that I have a sweet tooth.  I will literally go out and buy candy because I want something sweet all the time.  These don’t compare to candy, but they are sweet and they really help and they are green foods in the Noom app, so they are better.

One of the features of Noom that I really love is the Pedometer.  If I keep my phone on me at all times, either in my hand or my pocket, it counts my steps whether I’m in the app or not.  My phone can be on standby in my pocket and it still counts my steps.  And it has an awesome mapping feature for when I exercise outdoors.  If I go for a walk or a bike ride, it uses the GPS to show me where I am going and it even marks my trail on a map so I know where I went.  That’s really cool.  And it tells me how fast I’m walking or cycling, how many miles and miles per hour and how many calories I’ve burned.  My bicycle computer does that, but what it doesn’t do is show me on the map.  I think when I start cycling again, I’m only going to bring my phone and not the bicycle computer.

Here are some screenshots so you can see what I’m talking about.  If you are looking to lose weight, I strongly recommend Noom.  It’s only available for the Android, sorry iPhone users.

coach logbook history yesterdays meals weight graph  map

Noom is not paying me to write this, I am just very excited about finally having a tool to help me lose weight that actually works without me having to go out of my way to use it.  You don’t have to pay for it, you can still use it for free, but you won’t get all the articles.  It’s a great app, you should try it.