Back On Weight Watchers with @Noom

smart-ones

I have been eating Weight Watchers Smart Ones and using the Noom Weight Loss Coach on my Android phone since January this year and have lost 70lbs, but then I stopped eating the Smart Ones because we couldn’t afford them anymore.  Naturally I hit a plateau and haven’t been able to get out of it.  Not only that, but I have gained 5lbs UGH!  I refuse to let that happen, so I printed out 2 coupons today and we went to Food Maxx and I bought some more Smart Ones frozen meals.

These meals scan as green in the Noom app and they have been proven to be effective, I mean hello, look at me, I’ve clearly lost a lot of weight.  Here are my official before and after pictures.

before and after morro bay

All I keep hearing is that I’ve done so good for such a long time and how it’s okay to eat junk every once in a while, but all of a sudden every once in a while is daily.  No, every once in a while is once or twice a month, I can’t eat a burrito at the Mexican restaurant, then a McChicken sandwich the next day at the McDonald’s and the next day a bag of chips or a few cookies.  That’s not how “every once in a while” works.  I refuse to go back to the way I was.  I have worked too freaking hard to go back now.

I could say no, but here’s the thing.  I’ve been saying no for more than 7 months.  I’ve been saying yes lately because I miss those foods.  You can’t eat something your entire life and then all of a sudden stop and not miss them.  You wouldn’t be human if you did.  It’s natural to want something that makes you feel good or happy, and junk food really does make me happy lol.  Don’t ask me how or why, it just does.  Everyone has their own happy trigger, this is mine.  Some people are happy with alcohol, some are happy with drugs while others are happy with cigarettes, I’m happy with junk food.  It’s my addiction and I am trying to get away from it.

I haven’t stopped logging my food, but I do skip logging the bad things because I know I’m not supposed to be eating them so I ignore those calories, but I can’t do that.  If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.  So I’m logging everything and eating only food that is good for me.  The Michelina’s were yellow in the Noom app, the Weight Watchers are green.  No more cookies or crackers, if I want a snack I’m going to eat a banana.  We just bought 2 bunches of bananas, so I’m going to slice 2 of them up and freeze them so I can make banana ice cream later tonight for my snack.

I also have my bike back so I can start exercising again.  I don’t have any excuse to not eat healthy or to not exercise.  I want to be healthy and it starts with me learning to say no.  NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!  There, I said it.

I know the weight loss won’t come as fast as it did when I was 264lbs, but I hope it isn’t as slow as it has been over the last few months.  I really do want to get back down to the weight I was, which was 192, but I really would love to get down to my new goal weight which is 170lbs.  I know I can do it, I just have to have a lot of will power.  No, a ton of it.  I only have this one body so I have to be good to it.

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Vaping and Weight Loss

ecigarettes and eliquid

I am constantly getting messages from people who have read my posts about vaping and weight loss asking me if it works, and not all stick around in the chat for me to respond properly.  Let me just say that it is not going to help you lose weight.  I have said many times in my posts that vaping is not a replacement for diet and exercise.  If you want to replace the sweet tooth with vaping that’s one thing, but unless you are eating a balanced diet, eating fruits and vegetables and watching your portions and exercising, you are not going to lose weight.

When I started vaping, it was with the understanding that it might help me lose weight, but I discovered that it didn’t do a damn thing.  The only thing it did was get me to stop snacking on candy and junk food, but I was still going to the buffets and still eating bad carbs and all that other bad stuff that you know you shouldn’t eat.  Vaping only replaced one thing for me, but it didn’t help me lose 1 ounce of fat.

From January 5th to today April 15th 2013, I have lost nearly 50lbs.  Want to know how?  Sure you do, that’s why you are here.  I downloaded the Noom app from the Google Play store for my Android phone.  I have been scanning food which are mostly all green items.  Here is a typical day for me.

  • Breakfast at 8 a.m.: Exactly 1 cup of Cheerios with Silk Soy Milk (not measured, I pour it until the cereal rises then I stop).
  • Morning Snack at 10 a.m.: Fruit, like a banana or an apple.
  • Lunch at 12 p.m.: A Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal or Lean Cuisine.
  • Afternoon Snack at 3 p.m.: Either fruit, steamed vegetables or Wheat Thins.
  • Dinner at 6 p.m.: A Weight Watcher  Smart Ones Meal or Lean Cuisine.
  • Evening Snack (Optional): Either Fruit, steamed vegetables, Wheat Thins or Jello.

I’d like to note that I buy the Weight Watchers Smart Ones at Food Maxx for $1.88 and I also get coupons for $3 off when you buy 10, so that is a very good deal for me since it is way more expensive at Albertson’s.  I only buy the Lean Cuisine when they are on sale for the same price which isn’t too often, but I like to have the variety when they are on sale.  Some people may have an issue with them, but they are good and they are real food despite some people saying they aren’t.  They are made with healthy ingredients.  You should give them a try, they might surprise you.

That’s basically my day and that is 1400 calories or less depending on what I decide to eat for my snacks.  I drink coffee in the morning until the pot is empty and then I drink Crystal Light the rest of the day.  I should say you should drink water, but we all know that water sucks.  I should be telling you to cut up a lemon or an orange and soak it in your water pitcher, but come on, Crystal Light tastes so much better lol.  Plus it’s like 50 cents a pitcher, or if you buy the generic version, half that per pitcher.

So that is how I lost nearly 50lbs in 3 1/2 months.  Not everyone agrees with my method, but it works for me.  I haven’t had 1 week where I didn’t lose weight.  Most every week I lose 3 to 4 pounds, but this week it was 1.8lbs.  Why?  I honestly don’t know, but I know that my next weigh in will make up for it.  I probably shouldn’t jinx myself by saying I have lost weight every week, but it’s true.  I normally plateau after the first month, but I’ve kept up the routine and it’s working so I’m going to continue to do that until I am at my goal weight.

I am still vaping from time to time to get the sweet taste in my mouth, but I really don’t need it as much as I did when I was still eating junk food.  I feel as though I have kicked the sweet tooth.  I have all the sweet flavors I need with the fruits and the crystal light.  I don’t even bake fruit cookies anymore to satisfy my sweet tooth because it’s practically gone.

To anyone who doesn’t smoke who thinks that vaping might help them lose weight I will just save you the time and money now by saying it does not.  If you want to lose weight, download the Noom app on your Android phone if you have one, iPhone coming soon.  If you don’t have an Android or iPhone, well what are you waiting for?  Get with the times, sheesh!

The most important thing I can tell you that if you want to lose weight you need to stop going to the buffet and the fast food restaurants and start eating healthy for goodness sake.  That’s your problem right there.  Even if you don’t go to the buffets or to the fast food places, if you are overeating the food you cook at home and not eating a balanced portion then that’s why you are overweight.  You have to look at the label on everything you make and eat the exact portion you are supposed to eat.  Like if you buy a box of Macaroni and Cheese, you can’t eat the whole box, that’s too many calories.  That’s like half of your day right there.  You have to be mindful of how many calories you are putting into your body because that’s why you can’t lose weight.

Also, no more ICE CREAM!  You know you don’t stop at half a cup, admit it.  You put 3-4 scoops in your bowl.  That’s too many calories and that was my big issue.  I have discovered that you can eat ice cream as long as it is made with natural healthy ingredients.  Like this Banana Ice Cream recipe.  It’s just a frozen banana pureed in a food processor with a tiny splash of milk, that’s it.  It’s frozen like soft serve so it tricks your brain into thinking you are eating actual ice cream, but it’s just a banana.  You can do that with any fruit you like.  I tried it with a cantaloupe and it was delicious.

I haven’t mentioned exercise yet.  Guess what?  I haven’t been exercising.  I know I should and I don’t mean to make excuses but I have to.  I have a spinal disease called Degenerative Disc Disease which is very extremely painful.  I can walk for maybe 5 minutes before the pain starts and after 20 it’s debilitating.  I can ride my bike, but guess what?  I started to ride my bike a month ago when the weather started to warm up and I broke my arm.  A broken arm means I can’t ride my bike.  So I have no more options until my arm is healed.  I’m not saying you should eat healthy and not exercise and lose nearly 50lbs in 3 1/2 months, but that worked for me.  I do plan on getting back on my bike when this heals in the next couple or few weeks, so I’m not trying to be lazy, I’m just in a lot of pain and you can’t ride a bike with one arm in a sling lol.

So anyway, I hope I’ve made my point about vaping and weight loss not being a good way to lose weight.  I do recommend that if you are a current smoker and you want to quit smoking cigarettes and start vaping that you should because it is way healthier for you than cigarettes are.  You can quit smoking if you switch to vaping because you can step down on your nicotine.  When you order your e-liquids from Zeus E-Juice (which I highly recommend) you can order as much or as little nicotine as you want with your e-juice for your eGo e-cigarette.  You get a lot of sweet flavors (my favorite is Banana Nut Bread) and you aren’t inhaling or exhaling smoke, it’s water vapor, so you aren’t harming yourself, spouse, children, friends, co-workers or pets.  It’s perfectly safe for everyone if you switch to vaping.

Good luck on your weight loss and I hope my suggestion helped you.

Are your goals unrealistic?

goal-weight-loss

I have been told in the past when discussing my true weight loss goal that I would love to be the same size I was way back when I was still skinny before I gained all of this weight.  Peoples responses have always been the same.  “And people in hell want ice water.” “You are never going to be the way you were.” or my favorite is “That’s just unrealistic.”  Is it unrealistic?  Because I don’t think it is.

Saying something is unrealistic is negative thinking, and we all know that it’s all a state of mind.  Negative thinking will give you negative results and positive thinking will give you positive results.  If you think you can do something, then it is possible.

When I decide to do something, I do it.  Like take my weight loss journey for example.  I have already lost (officially as of last Saturday) 46lbs, how did I do that?  I decided I was going to eat healthy and not snack on junk food.  I have been very faithful to my diet (not diet as in the dieting term, but diet as in the food I eat diet).  I told myself that I was going to eat healthy and so I am eating healthy.

I used to be 150lbs, so me saying that I want to be 150lbs again is unrealistic, and I only say that because I have packed on at least 20-30lbs of muscle in the gym, but 170-180 is not unrealistic.  I will have the thin stomach again and that is my goal.

When I was 12 years old, I wore a size 30/30 jeans, and when I was 26 years old I was still wearing the same size jeans, and then I quit smoking and the size of my jeans changed.  The last pair of jeans I bought were a 40/30.  That is a shocking number from 30 to 40.  But that wasn’t the size of my stomach, that was just the size of my hips.  My stomach was actually 50 inches.  My stomach is now 44 inches and I expect that it will go back down to 30.  I don’t think that is unrealistic.

Positive thinking brings positive results, so don’t let anyone sabotage you with negative thinking by telling you that you can’t do something.  You can do whatever you set your mind to.  We all can be the way we were if we work hard enough to get back there.

If I can lose 46lbs in 14 weeks, then I am positive that I can be a size 30 again, I just have to keep doing what I am doing and I will be back to the way I was.  I ignore negative thinking because I got to where I am by doing it my way, and I will be the one laughing when I am at my goal weight/size.

I have told people what I eat and what I drink and everyone has something negative to say. Like the weight watchers meals aren’t good for you, but in actuality they are.  They are low in calorie, they are made with healthy ingredients and they are filling.  I was told not to use creamer in my coffee because it’s too fattening and someone even told me that I will never lose weight as long as I use creamer in my coffee.  Um… 46lbs in 14 weeks.  I beg to differ.

I’ve been told not to drink Crystal Light or put artificial sweetener in my coffee because the sweetener is bad for you because it can make you eat more.  Well, I have been using sweetener since I was a teenager because I can’t stand sugar filled drinks.  Like I hate Coke and Pepsi, so I will drink Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi instead.  Those have artificial sweeteners which is what makes them have 0 calories.  I think I have built an immunity to whatever bad effects artificial sweeteners have because I am still alive after more than 25 years of using them.  One of the Noom articles said, and people in the Noom forums have said that artificial sweeteners will make you eat more, but I have not experienced that side effect, and I think it’s because I have built up an immunity to that.

I usually ignore negative thinking because I want to stay positive, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten the negative comments.  I just keep saying “46lbs in 14 weeks…”  The numbers don’t lie.  I have been eating the same way and drinking the same way since January and have lost weight, so I’m just going to keep doing it my way.

Before I tell you the next story, I have to mention that I went to the doctor’s office today and according to their scale I have lost 48lbs…

I got a free lunch bag from Lean Cuisine and it was too feminine for me, so I gave it to our tenants who are a mother and her 2 daughters.  Well, the mother told me that she noticed that I had lost a lot of weight and I said yeah, I’ve lost 48lbs and she had this worried look on her face, like she thought I was dying lol.  I said oh no it was on purpose and I laughed.  I told her what I was doing to lose the weight and then I explained that I had type-2 diabetes and sleep apnea as a result of my weight and that my doctor has been begging me for years to lose the weight.  That was a relief to her.

Isn’t it funny how some people see things?  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  Just because someone looks thinner, doesn’t mean something negative, it could mean they are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, which is what I am doing.

Until my next ranting…

Valentine’s Day is a legitimate cheat day

cupcakes

Since my diet (new healthy lifestyle) began, I have completely sworn off candy, cakes, ice cream, cookies and anything that has a lot of calories and sugar.  I have made adjustments though so I can eat certain sweets as long as they are made out of healthy ingredients like oatmeal, fruit and peanut butter.  I normally have to cover my peripheral vision when walking through the seasonal, ice cream and cookie aisles at the grocery store to avoid temptation, but I have a mental block in my mind that I simply don’t want to eat junk, so I can look at it and not care about it.

Valentine’s Day was yesterday and I went to the store with the intention of buying some junk food because one day is not going to ruin my weight loss progress.  I didn’t find anything that I liked, so I bought the Valentine’s Day disposable cupcake tins with cupcake paper cups with hearts on them and some cupcake sprinkles.  I went to the cake aisle and I was going to buy the sugar free cake mix and frosting, but they we’re both sweetened with Splenda.  Most people would grab those because they have less calories, but I didn’t because Splenda gives me mad cramps in my stomach and I just can’t handle that.  I bought the Duncan Hines white frosting with a packet of Strawberry Shortcake flavor to mix in and a box of Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix.  That made 24 cupcakes.  I gave 1 of the trays to our tenant because they have 3 people living there, so they each got 2 cupcakes.  They were thrilled.

Besides eating cupcakes all day long, which I only had 6 (YIKES I know, right?), I also ate some chocolate covered strawberries which I had to skewer and freeze so I could dip them into Magic Shell chocolate which hardens when it comes in contact with something as cold as ice cream or say frozen Strawberries.  Those were good.  We actually still have a bunch of them in the fridge.

Of course I wasn’t a bad boy all day, I had my regular healthy bowl of cheerio’s with 1 banana and some soy milk for breakfast and my weight watchers frozen dinners for lunch and dinner.  I am allowed to have 3 snacks throughout the day, so I exchanged my healthy snacks for the cupcakes and the chocolate covered strawberries.

My day wasn’t a total bust, I only went over my calorie budget by a little, so I technically still had a good day.  I weighed myself when I woke up and my weight didn’t go up, it actually went down.  Although it will probably take a day before the cupcakes kick in, so I will just have to be extra good until my next cheat day which will be my birthday.  I don’t plan on cheating at all during Easter since I don’t celebrate it despite how much I love Cadbury eggs lol.  I will resist temptation since I have a mental block on it.

Candy Corn e-Liquid from Zeus E-Juice

When I say that I have a sweet tooth, I’m not joking.  I look forward to October every year for the Candy Corn.  It is one of my guilty pleasures in life.  Some people think that Candy Corn is awful because it’s sickeningly sweet.  Everyone has different taste buds so one person might hate it, while someone else might love it.  I am the one that loves it.

Vaping was one of the ways that was supposed to allow me to indulge my sweet tooth without actually having to buy candy or any other junk food, and still be able to maintain my diet and not gain any weight.  It has worked so far.  This Candy Corn flavored e-liquid from Zeus e-Juice taste almost exactly like Candy Corn, but without the guilt.  You get a lot of flavor in your throat when you vape it.  You actually get flavor on your tongue when your tongue touches the tip, and when your tongue is near the tip as you are taking a drag.  You get the best of both worlds with every hit, without any of the sugar, calories and fat that comes with it.

I would definitely recommend this flavor to anyone who loves Candy Corn.  Just for October 2012, Zeus E-Juice is offering this and 3 other flavors in the 10ML sized bottle for only $3.99 while supplies last.  Don’t forget, if you are a new user, enter the coupon code “iget20” and you get 20% off your first order.  Also, when you are checking out, make sure you let them know that Mike McDonald aka @xanapus sent you.

I personally like 80%PG and 20%VG, the PG gives you more flavor.  I would get 100%PG, but I’ve heard of throat burn from that, so I’d just rather not have to experience that every time I vape.

Disclaimer: I am not a paid spokesperson for Zeus E-Juice, although the owners of the company are Twitter friends of mine and they have given me some of their e-liquid samples to taste.  I review them and tweet about them because I want to, not because they are paying me to.

Disclaimer: I don’t encourage smoking and/or vaping with nicotine, I vape with no nicotine so I am not addicted to anything.  Do not start smoking and do not start vaping if you are under the age of 18 as it is against the law.

If you are a smoker already and want to quit or you want to stop smoking poison and start vaping a healthier substitute, might I suggest heading over to www.Smoktek.com and buying a eGo battery, charger (that is compatible with the battery) and a Changeable Coil Clearomizer in your choice of color with some extra replacement coils.  These flavors are so much better in a Clearomizer than an atomizer with a cartridge.  I suggest you use Zeus E-Juice for all your e-liquids because they are simply the best because they add more flavor than their competitors and it’s the least expensive you can buy anywhere else.

Possible Weight Loss and Health Benefits With E-Cigarettes

I have been thinking about Vaping a lot lately.  Not just for the benefit of smoking an e-cigarette, but to help me lose weight.  What if you could lose weight simply by “vaping” with an electronic cigarette?  Here me out on this one because I’m really seriously wondering if it would help.

When I smoked cigarettes as a teenager and in my 20’s, I wasn’t always hungry because as we all know, cigarettes are an appetite suppressant.  Although I did still eat food, I just didn’t eat as much, I especially didn’t eat as many sweets as I do as an ex-smoker.  When I quit smoking in 1996, I gained 50lbs almost within the first few months because I had replaced the bad habit with another bad habit, ice cream, twinkies, donuts and sunflower seeds.  All of a sudden I had a craving for everything sweet that I denied myself when I smoked.  Here we are 16 years later and I am over 100lbs overweight and I can’t seem to lose weight at all.  I have been able to maintain it, but every so often it goes up a bit.

This company named Zeus E-Juice sells E-Liquid for your Ego E-cigarettes in many sweet flavors.  I was wondering if perhaps that might cure my sweet tooth so I’m not going to the store and buying junk food.  I try to stay away from junk food because I am diabetic now, so I’m not supposed to have any sugar, but that doesn’t stop me.  If I “Vaped” with sweet tasting E-Liquid, would that take away my cravings altogether so I can lose weight? I mean, I just want the sweet taste in my mouth, you know?  But we all know that I’m not going to chew on something sweet just for the taste and then spit it out into a napkin.

I did a Google search and I think I might have found my answer.  Someone asked the very same question in an e-cigarette forum.  Vaping to help with diet urges…  Here are a couple of short responses.

  • Some people have reported losing weight after starting to vape, some haven’t. It’s not really intended for that purpose. But to each their own.
  • Look up Steeljan on Youtube and shoot her a message. She actually started vaping as a way to curb sweet cravings and lose weight.  (I intend on asking her)
  • Since beginning vaping there have been no more trips to the snack machine at work or stopping at the convenience store for a snack while driving. That alone has helped and although I haven’t stepped on the scale the trousers are a little more comfortable.
  • I smoked (quit) about 30 years ago and have been dying for a cig ever since. Even dreaming I took up smoking again. Long story short, I heard about vaping about a month ago and bought them at a gas station for my smoker son. I started vaping too and LOVE it. Needless to say, I no longer buy them at the gas station!! I have also been dieting for a year and took off 30 pounds. I haven’t weighed myself in a while but I CAN tell you that vaping keeps me from snacking. btw…I also have asthma and I have no shortness of breath vaping. The best news is my son hasn’t had a cig since vaping either!

Those are certainly the responses I was hoping for.  The only problem now is, why would I want to start vaping if I don’t smoke and have no current urges to smoke?  Well, you can buy the e-liquid with NO nicotine and as far as I know there are no risks of addiction, but at the same time I don’t know that for a fact.  I mean, if I vape only when I have a craving, there is no harm in that, right?  I’m sure a puff or a toot, as I heard someone say on YouTube, a few times a day isn’t going to cause an addiction.  It’s just going to curb the cravings, right?

So this is my question if anyone will respond.  Is it a good or a bad idea for me to start vaping for this very reason?  Do you think it will actually help me lose weight?  Your responses are greatly appreciated.

Save the Dollar Menu

It has recently come to my attention (via a comment in my KFC Dollar Menu post) that there is a website out there claiming the dollar menu is going away. ”Save the Dollar Menu!” has names, addresses and phone numbers of McDonald’s executives. You can call them and beg them to keep the dollar menu.

After a little research, I have found out that this is false information. The “Dollar Menu” is not going anywhere.

I came across a news article in the Media Post news website saying McDonald’s Considers ‘Tweaking’ Dollar Menu. The problem is with the increasing prices of food ingredients, they are going to lose money so they will probably raise the price of everything in the dollar menu but they aren’t getting rid of it entirely. In fact, they are even keeping the name “Dollar Menu” even though it’s going to be more than $1.

I know I’m gonna get comments from people saying that I’m advocating junk food and I’m a fat slob blah blah blah. Well, I’m not. I’m just setting the record straight.

I think there is a pro and a con to having the dollar menu. Wanna hear them? Of course you don’t but I’m gonna tell you anyway.

Pro: Groceries are very expensive. Try going to the grocery store and buying all the ingredients just to make 1 double cheeseburger or 1 chicken sandwich. It’s expensive! If you go to McDonald’s it’s only $1. That’s what I like about the Dollar Menu, it’s inexpensive and very convenient. You don’t have to buy the ingredients for many and you don’t even have to dirty any dishes in the process. It saves time and money.

Con: The problem with the dollar menu is that people take advantage of it and end up overeating because it’s so cheap. You can buy more than just 1 double cheeseburger or chicken sandwich, you can buy 10 if you like and sit there in your car and binge on fast food. Then you get fatter and fatter. That’s a reason people are so fat but not the only reason but it’s a reason.

You can blame McDonald’s for getting fat but the only real person to blame is yourself. You don’t have to order more than 1 burger you know. The dollar menu isn’t a challenge, it’s there to help people who can’t afford to pay $4 for everything else in their menu.

So the dollar menu isn’t going anywhere any time soon. There’s no reason to panic people with stupid websites like the “Save the Dollar Menu!” website. I’m sure there are better things to do with your time than to put people in a mass fast food panic.