Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Unofficial weight loss update

As I mentioned previously, I usually jump on the scale every morning. This morning I got on and it said 207.0 lbs. The first day of my program it said 221.5 lbs. That means I'm unofficially down 14.5 lbs in 3 weeks. I'll get my official numbers this afternoon.

Blood pressure down?

I've been checking my BP at home recently, and it looks like it is getting better. Over two days, it averaged about 138/79. I know the top number is still high (it should be 120), but the bottom number is actually really good (it should be 80 or below).

I think I heard that the bottom number is more important to overall goodness than the top number, but I'm not sure if this is true. Either way, my BP at my health assessment was 145/107, so the trend is in the right direction.

One goal reached

I have gotten down to the weight I was at when I started running about 2 years ago. While I was running, I managed to lose about 18 lbs to get down to 190. Unfortunately, I didn't change my diet and when I got injured I put the weight back on. Now that I have a little more understanding of diet and how my body works, I hope to be able to survive and exercise setbacks without completely losing it.

While it's good to reach this weight again, it is a little depressing that I've had to work so hard just to get back to where I started before.

First group session

Last Thursday, I had my first group session. There were a lot of guys there, some focused entirely on weight loss, some on other health issues (bad blood chemistry, high blood pressure, etc.) Basically, this session was just an introduction to the group concept and introductions from the people in the session. Interestingly (but possibly not surprisingly) everyone was from Microsoft.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Circuit training

I tried circuit training for the first time today. It was really hard, but I made it through. I managed to do 80% of the exercises, which I felt was pretty good, considering how exhausting it was.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Week 3 update

I had my 3rd visit with the dietician today. At my weigh-in, I had lost another 2.4 lbs. My grand total so far is 11.8 lbs. I also got to add milk and yogurt to my diet, and drop one more shake. The dietician said it is very important to always eat a protein or fat along with a carbohydrate such as yogurt. My plan is to pair up yogurt and a serving of almonds to take the place of a shake. We'll see how it goes...

Back from Whistler

I got back from Whistler on Sunday night. We skied a day and a half and had a great time. I stayed on my diet, although I didn't track my meals immediately and I didn't keep under the daily fat limit (I was eating almonds on the slopes for energy). I didn't eat anything off the plan, so I was pretty proud of that.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Going to Whistler

I will probably not post over the weekend as I'm going skiing at Whistler.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Well, I've finished the first week of the program. As I mentioned in my previous post, I made it through pretty well. I worked hard during my session with the trainer. The lunge exercise that he has me do is unbelievably hard. I kept my heart rate monitor on throughout the entire workout session. When I was done, the HRM said I'd burned 1000 calories. I know this is probably way overestimated, but still it was pretty interesting.

When I got together with my dietician, I got bits of good news. First, I get to have vegetables now! This was really exciting! To celebrate after my appointment, I grabbed a Thai Beef Salad from the Bistro. It was really tasty!

The really exciting news is from my weigh-in. I got on the scales today and weighed 213.0 lbs. This means I lost 9.4 lbs. in 1 week! I was really shocked. I understand that next week I will probably lose much less than I lost this week, but even if I lose only a pound, this will still be an average of 5 lbs. a week.

I celebrated my successful week and Valentine's Day with my family at Applebee's. It was a good end to a pretty great day.

Ready for Week 2

I'm feeling good this morning (not that I haven't been previous mornings) and am ready for the start of Week 2. I meet with my trainer again at 12:00 and my dietician at 1:30 today. Here's the recap for the first week:

Monday, February 13, 2006


This morning I jumped on the scales at home and it said I was down another 0.5 lb. However, when I weighed myself at the club, it said I was up 1.4 lbs from last time. This was a bit disappointing...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hungry this morning

This morning I was much hungrier than I've ever been so far. I had my shake and peanut butter at 8:00, and by 9:00 I was getting hungry. I held out until 10:30 untill I had my snack shake, and that seemed to do the trick.

I'm starting to get excited over moving to the next stage of the diet. I'm not sure when this will happen, but I'm hoping it will be this week. If I'm reading the literature correctly, next thing will be to add certain vegetables. This will be very exciting! This is wierd because I've never been a big vegetable fan.

This may be why the diet doesn't allow "free" foods like many diets (things like cucumbers, peppers, celery, etc. that really don't have many calories). My wife asked me this yesterday and I didn't have an answer, but now I might. Perhaps the purpose of the shake-only thing is to get you so tired of eating the same thing over and over again, that you actually get excited about healthy foods that you'd normally only eat because they are on the plate. If this is the strategy, I can tell you that it's working...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

First Saturday session

I really worked hard this morning with my personal trainer. The hardest thing I had to do was the military press. I'd never done this with David before, and I think he set the weight too high.

While I was at the club, I ran up to the 20/20 offices and jumped on the scales. My number: 216.4 lbs. This means I've lost 6 pounds since I started on Tuesday! I know there is no way to keep this up, but I'll take it as long as I can. Losing a bunch of weight right at the beginning is certainly good for my motivation. I'm really excited to see just how well I can do on the diet...

David also checked my BP while I was there. It was 134/88, which is down 6 on the top number and 2 on the bottom number. Again, things are moving in the right direction.

I've still not gone off the diet at all, although I've not been anal about when I eat and drink my shakes. I've found that I'm full after eating my 6oz. of protein at lunch (chicken sausage cooked on the grill today!), so I hold off on the lunch shake until a little later. Same thing with my dinner shake.

Other observations:

Vital statistics:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quick update

Yesterday, I hit strength training hard for the first time with my trainer. As this was the first time, we had some issues where the weight was too light or too heavy, but in general, it went well. The hardest thing I had to do was lunges while holding a medicine ball. This was much harder than I would have expected. I could only do 5 on each side. In addition to the weights, I ran/walked 2.5 miles. Surprisingly, I was not as sore this morning as I expected to be.

The diet also continues to go well. I've got chicken and pork going now, and am going to add chicken sausage this weekend.

I got on the "Official" scales this morning before my cardio. The verdict: 217.6. This means I've lost 4.8 lbs in about 3 days! Woohoo!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Weight loss confirmed!

I jumped on the official scales today at the club. It is confirmed: I've lost 3.2 lbs. Not bad for less than 2 full days...

General observations after one day

Well, I've been at this coming up on two days, and I'd like to share some of my observations so far.

Anyway, so far, so good...

Can this be for real?!

I tend to jump on the scales as part of my morning ritual. On Tuesday morning (the day of my first 20/20 appointments) I weighed 221.5 lbs. I weighed myself this morning and was 217.0 lbs. According to my scales, I've lost 4.5 lbs. already!

I doubt this is entirely accurate, but it's certainly a good omen...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How to drink a 20/20 shake

First thing's first: I have not found a shake combination that tastes good yet. I've tried several combinations, mostly using the vanilla flavored shake, and they are pretty bad. I talked to an associate who did the plan, and he swore by a combination I've not tried yet: chocolate flavored mix with raspberries. I've got a chocolate packet and will try this combo later today.

In the meantime, I've got to get down a bunch of vanilla flavored shakes. Last night I discovered a technique that actually helps. The shakes are pretty thick, especially if you add ice to the mix. If you work it right, you can more or less pour the shake straight down your throat. This means little to no interaction with the taste buds!

I know that this is not a long term solution, but at least it can keep me going until I figure out a good tasting shake combination.

FYI: Jeff Newfeld's Palletable 20/20 Shake Recipe: Use 12 oz. water, 1/2 cup raspberries, and a chocolate shake mix. Do NOT add ice. Put it all in the blender and mix well. The breakfast version of the shake adds 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and 1 tsp. of fiber powder. Bon appetit!

Initial appointments

Well, yesterday was my first appointments with my personal trainer (David) and my dietician (Megan). Everything went pretty well, and I've survived the first day of the rest of my life. Here's the lowdown:

I met the personal trainer at 12:00. First, we had a conversation about my goals for the program. Next, because my blood sugar was high and I have high blood pressure, they measured both. My blood sugar test required 4 finger sticks for some reason, but my blood sugar was good (84). My BP was 140/90, which is not great but is a lot better than my BP during my fitness evaluation.

With that out of the way, I started on some cardio. David put me on the treadmill for a 25 minute run. I started at 5 mph and dropped down to 4.5 as my heart rate got too high. I was really happy to know that I could still run. I ran right around 2 miles, and burned about 300 calories (according to my heart rate monitor).

Next, we did some strength training, but because of the preliminary interview and blood stick fiasco, we only got in a set of chest presses and a set of lat pulldowns. We're going to work on muscular endurance, both for running and for bass drumming. This means more reps at lower weights.

Finally, we did a bit of stretching. I am not very flexible, especially my hamstrings. We did about 4 stretches before my time with the trainer was up. Before he left, David gave me a 10 lesson punch card for either circuit training or indoor cycling. I think I'll try out the circuit training at some point, but I want to get in better shape first!

Next, David handed me off to a different PRO Club guy for the video portion of my day. I watched an introductory video for about 15 minutes while I pedaled a recumbent bike. Not much new information, but a good review of the rules.

After I was done with my video, I had about 15 minutes until my dietician appointment. Basically, the dietician went over the meal replacement diet and all the things I need to do during the week. I drink 5 shakes a day, along with 12 oz. of very lean or lean protein daily. Add in a bit of fat here and there, and that's what I eat for the first week.

I was happy to find out that chicken was not the only thing on the menu. I can also eat pork, lean beef, etc. That was very exciting for me, as I like chicken just fine, but I would like a little variety.

Megan gave me a bunch of papers, a couple coupons to the bistro, and a coupon to take to the pro club to pick up all my other stuff. This stuff includes:
On the whole, it was very exciting to be finally moving forward!

Vital Statistics:

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day!

Tomorrow things take off: I've got my first appointment with my personal trainer and dietician. I'm already to go, having purchased the various equipment that I'll need, including a portable blender and a scale for weighing food. I've picked up some fish oil. I purchased a bunch of berries (that go in the protein shakes). I think I'm ready to go.

I just got a call from my trainer, David Sams. David is from Australia, if I recognize the accent. I'll know for sure tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Get ready... get set...

I've recently spent some time getting ready for the start of my program. I rummaged through my exercise stuff and found my heart rate monitor (a Polar S210 in case you're interested). I celebrated finding it by walking on the treadmill at the Pro Club for 35 minutes. According to my HRM, I burned 300 calories. According to the treadmill, I burned 400. I'm not sure which is right, but one thing's for sure: I burned some calories...

While I was at the club, I checked out the pro shop for the blenders that they sell (for blending shakes). They sell a Tribest blender for $60. I found the same blender on Amazon.com for $50, so I ordered it and a carrying case. I know this is pretty pricey, but I figure that I can sell it afterwards if we don't want it any more. It will sure beat carrying a traditional blender back and forth to work and home.

I also went by Costco and picked up fish oil capsules. Dr. Upton mentioned that he got his fish oil from Costco, and if they're good enough for him, they're good enough for me.

I still need to get a scale for weighing food portions. Beyond that, I think I'm ready to go. Six days to go and counting...

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