Category Archives: Weight Loss

a progression and blogging about my weight loss success and trails

A Little Slice of Pie

The magical world of pie! So many pies and so little time. Wait? There is more than just Apple Pie?  Of course!

  • Apple
  • Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Lemon Meringue
  • French Silk
  • Triple Berry
  • Pumpkin
  • Shepherds Pie
  • Pot Pie
  • Key Lime
  • Mince Meat
  • Pecan
  • Etc

However, this is not what this post is about; in regards to our health and weight loss, pie is our enemy.  But pie can teach us something important in getting towards our weight loss goal.

A Delicious Coincidence?

To all those that are math nerds, when you hear Pie or Pi this is what you think:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 (the first 100 digits of pi).

3.14 is a percentage, a fraction or piece of the whole. It is used to figure out the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. We can take this “coincidence” of pi being flipped to spell the word Pie to our advantage.  How you ask? Easily, by breaking up our regime or weight loss goal into more manageable parts.  Like a slice of Pie.

Just as the numbers of PI have no end so can our health and weight loss.  As we continue to eat right, work out, and get all around healthy, our numbers are constantly changing.  Just as PI does not have repetition in its numbers, so does our weight loss; after some time our goals hit a plateau, it is at this point that we must change up our routine to continue the journey.  Therefore, our weight loss journey is constantly changing.  After we reach our goal, now it is time to maintain, which means we change how we work out and what we eat to keep us at our goal.  Our habits and goals are always changing just like the never ending numbers of PI.

Slice of Pie

As many of you who read this blog know, I have been trying to get down to my goal weight for a number of years.  As of this past Monday, I weighed 294 lbs again, I have been fighting staying below 300 lbs for most of this year. Why?  Too much pie in my life, too much unhealthy and fattening things in my eating habits.

As Steve Kamb of Nerdfitness.com fame has written “You Can’t Outrun Your Fork.”  And that is the truth, you can work out all you want and if you still eat like crap you are never going to reach those goals.  And for too long have I given into my fork and remained where I am today, still overweight and no where closer to my physical goals.

However, something happened last week that gave me new perspective and resolve to reach my goals.  Taking the pie and cutting it up into slices.

Divide and Conquer

Have you ever seen anyone who has sat and consumed a whole pie in one sitting?  I know I haven’t.

As we cut up a pie into more manageable pieces to eat, so should we with our weight loss.  I good friend mentioned a while back about dividing up her weight loss to make it easier to get down to her goal weight. Internally I scoffed at the idea, thinking that that wasn’t an ideal idea for myself.

However, as I have begun spending more time dividing up my goals, passions, and ideas into bits to work towards one part and then take the next step towards another, I reevaluated my disdain at hacking up my weight loss.  For the longest time I have looked at the whole pie, the whole image and stuck my fork into it and taken a bite at a time and wondering why I have never achieved my goals.

It’s because I was going after the whole pie at once.

Now I have taken my weight loss and cut it up; instead of thinking that I want to get to my goal in a year and never evaluating how to do so, I have divided up the pie.  I now look at it from the math portion 3.14, or in this case 3.75, the amount of pounds I am gearing towards losing every week.

Small Bites, not Big Bites

Instead of taking the whole pie one bite at a time, I have cut out a slice and am going to devour that one bite at a time.  3.75 lbs a week is the goal.  This decision has also changed my focus, if I want to lose the 3.75 pounds this week what actions do I have to take to get there?  It has changed how I look at my food.  Is this meal hurting or helping my weight loss, do I really want those peanut m&ms after lunch, or a small cone from Chick-fil-a? The answer now is no, because those items are not beneficial to my weight loss.

3.75 lbs a week is totally doable instead of trying to do the whole thing at once and then getting discouraged because I have never gotten there.  Right now I am looking forward to this October for my brothers wedding and my overall goal is to lose 50 lbs by the wedding; by focusing on this small bite at a time I know I can surely get achieve this goal and ultimately reach my final goal of 185 lbs by my 30th birthday in February.

And to end this blog, for your viewing pleasure, a video of Pie.

Thanks for reading, go out and take a bite out of your goals today Nerds.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think, would love to talk with you. And don’t forget to check out my other blog jjconnell.wordpress.com

Pies
Pi
Slice

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Just 420 Seconds

I know that I was going to do a series following the book Minimalism: live a meaningful life. I will pick that blog series back up next when I introduce something new on here as well.  For your reading pleasure today, I give you some fresh content after a few weeks off.

420 seconds. It’s as simple as that. Often times I lament setting aside time to workout, I don’t want to take time out of my day to workout and see the man I want to be. Just like the picture above, sometimes you just have to get on the bull and go for a ride. I found a terrific app for my phone called 7 minute.  The app uses HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to increase cardiovascular function and aid weight loss.  I have used it three times this week and after the end of the 8 minutes (an extra minute is due to the short rests between each workout) I am dripping sweat and breathing hard. More so tonight than previously because I pushed myself harder.

This week I have finally gotten back into working out after taking time off for a couple months due to injury.  A few months ago, I had randomly injured my right shoulder muscles, that limited my range of motion to very minimal. At this time my plantar fasciitis also kicked back in which deterred my ability to exercise even more.

The app recommends doing the circuit at least 3 times.  I am doing the circuit once currently, as I do it more and get my body back into the groove of exercising, then I will amp it up to 2-3 circuits.  After being off for a few months, I cannot just jump into the 3 circuits and re-injure my body, I have to ease into it.  But I had to jump on the bull into working out again and quit putting it off.

Seven minutes is all it takes, I am not working out for an hour, or running a mile; I am dripping sweat from seven minutes.  It is pretty simple, start off with jumping jacks to get the heart rate going, then move into wall sit, squats, push ups, crunches, box steps, plank, lunges, push up with rotation, high knees, tricep dips, and side planks. In between each work out is a 10 second rest.

That’s it, so simple and I feel great afterwards. The hardest part, most of the time, is overcoming that mental barrier we have set up in our minds to prevent us from exercising. In this case it really is mind over matter, or mind over situation. Do I want to work out and get into the best shape of my life or would I rather continue catching up on my favorite TV shows?  Those shows will still be online when I get done; however I will never get to my goal weight if I continue to sit on my duff.

How can I not work out when it is only eight minutes of my time? Anyone can find 8 minutes to do HIIT and start getting into their summer shape. If I ever want to see my abs and no long be the round shape I have been for most of my life then I have to continue to do this and push myself more each time.  On top of this I also have to keep my eating habits in check.

Another app I have added is called ImQuit, which uses a timer that continuously counts up for how long you have resisted temptation.  I currently have four timers, two are private and the other two are fast food and sweets. At the writing of this post I have avoided fast food for 1d:2h:40m and Sweets for 2h:41m.  Let’s keep those timers going and keep up the good work.

Go out and feel the burn today nerds and would love to hear from you as to what you are doing to eat right, work out, and all around get into shape.

Bull
Burn
Round

Life is like…Instant Oatmeal?

Actually life isn’t at all like instant oatmeal.  Although we all wish it was, sadly this is not even remotely the case.  In actuality, life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  As much as we desire to see instant results from eating right for a week, working out for an hour etc it just isn’t going to happen.  It takes dedication and hard work to achieve the results we desire in any area of our lives.

What is change really like?

In reality, it is all about slow slicing success.  In his sermon of the same name, Pastor Levi Lusko discusses slow slicing success in regards to being a creature of habit or changing our habits. He discusses how the chinese used slicing or Lingchi to slowly cut a person to death. (Click the link to read the description of true Chinese Lingchi, rather gruesome.)  However, Pastor Lusko makes a great point, we need to use slow slicing success in our lives to make lasting and effective change.  We cannot expect to hack off large chunks and expect to see lasting change; it has to be done in slow slices, a bit at a time.

To really see change, this poster makes a great point.

day mo 77 Daily motivation (25 photos)

In our American culture of quick service, instant meals, fast food, express lanes, drive thru service etc we have come to expect the same of change in our lives.  We have become an impatient and inconsiderate society, wanting everything now and not have to wait.  With almost everything, we “Want it now!” (<- check out the video! a classic) And we don’t want to work for it.

“She was a bad egg.”

Just as Mr. Wonka states after Veruca falls down the chute. That is what becomes of us as we desire the reward without the effort.  We become bad eggs, selfish, self-seeking and impatient.  And I have to remind myself quite often that it is all about slow slicing success; if I want to see the change I have to stick it out, see it through and wait the weeks it will take to get to where I want to be. I cannot expect to “want it now.”

Slow cooking pot roast

And that is something that is so difficult, I want immediate results. I want to see the calories and inches just fall off after eating a healthy meal, or working out for an hour.  Unfortunately, life isn’t instant oatmeal.  Unfortunately, life is like a slow cooking pot roast, it has to sit and cook for ours in a broth to achieve culinary perfection.  And just like instant oatmeal, you may enjoy the quick results, but they aren’t lasting; instant oatmeal isn’t filling for a long time.  Pot roast is a filling and lasting meal, you are full for hours afterwards.

We need the same results from our eating, exercise, and weight loss habits.  Powders, supplements, and shakes are great as instant oatmeal; however you need to have real and lasting change.  That is why I am big on eating right without all the supplements, powders, shakes etc.  That is the direction I am taking in my life, finding natural and lasting options instead of using meal replacement shakes and all of the other “healthy” weight loss alternatives.  This options require you to continue their use after you reach your goal to maintain that achievement.  Why would I want to do that?  I would much rather achieve my goal through natural means and be able to easily maintain through continual eating right and exercising than continuing the use of shakes, supplements, and powders.

What point are you trying to make?

Good question. Let me sum up everything I am saying.  As much as we desire it, life is not like Instant Oatmeal.  Life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  It takes weeks of effort and dedication to reach our goals for change, weight loss, or any desire we may have.  We cannot expect everything to get better over night.  Look up success stories of people achieving their goals, none of them were overnight sensations.  For some, it took years, even decades to reach their lifelong dreams.  So I tell you this today, continue the effort and push forward.  It is all about the slow slicing success.  Take off little chunks at a time, little slices here and there and eventually you will reach that highly sought after achievement.

Let me know what slow slices you are currently making.

Oatmeal
Weeks
Pot Roast (also a recipe)

You know Nothing, Jon Snow!

Ah Ygrette, sarcastic, sassy Wildling.  And she speaks what I am feeling right now.  When it comes to knowing how to lose weight and eat right there are innumerable resources at my fingertips and yet no matter how much I read, I have no idea where to start.  Lately when it comes to thinking about how to get back on track to losing weight, what workouts to do, and what lifestyle change to make, my brain turns to fog.  I have so much information that I have consumed, watched, read etc that it is an overwhelming mass of noise that I don’t even know how to sift through it all.

It has been almost a year since I have posted a blog, last fall I was extremely busy with flying out of Colorado every week as a private contractor.  Our meals during the events were catered and it was very difficult to eat right when you had no choice in what to eat; we were working 16 hour days and when meals hit, you ate whatever they served just to get energy and food back into your system.  It was hard to try and lose, or even maintain any weight loss during those 4 months of travel even though I was putting in 30K+ steps daily.

Now that I am going to post again, I need to get my life back on track.  There are certain things that are coming up within the next 6 months to a year and I need to get down to my goal weight.  I need to buckle down and focus on weight loss, eating right, and working out.  I know that a large portion of why I continue to fail is what I eat on a regular basis. Food is so yummy and I honestly do not watch what I eat.  Okay I do, I watch it go into my mouth and then regret my decision after my meal.

I think the first step I am going to take is to go gluten and dairy free, well at least as much as I possibly can.  My house is already gluten free since my mother has a gluten allergy, among other things as well.  Because I already have inherited her allergy to eggs, it is probably safe to say that I may inherit her allergy to gluten as well.  Although the chances are small, I shouldn’t take the risk.

And I know I need to make my meals for the week instead of eating out for lunch at work every day.  I think it will also help my financial matters as well instead of paying $10-15 every day for food by eating out.  Along with going Gluten and Dairy free this leads into going Paleo. I know I have stated in the past that I was going Paleo, or wanted to go Paleo; but I failed, over and over again.  However, that is okay and there is no time like the present to get on the right path and do what I said I was going to do.  It is going to take some planning and dedication to eliminate the necessary things from my diet and stop chasing my fork and make a permanent lifestyle change. And I need to remember to give myself grace and that it is all about Slow Slicing Success to achieve anything and nothing is efficiently accomplished in giant hacks. So here we go, starting again, again, again, and again.

Let me know how your lifestyle changes, weightloss, eating habits etc are going.  Would love to know what has or hasn’t worked for you all.

Snow
Gluten

Munching like Pac-Man

You have picked back up working out and getting healthy just in time for that summer trip, working towards that sexy summer body.  Yet there is something holding you back and you can’t seem to figure out what that could possibly be. Answer= You are eating like Pac-Man.

You are being inhibited by your own desire to eat.  This can mean one of three things:

  • You are Hungry
  • Your emotional state is triggering your “need” to eat
  • You have a mental issue that is connected to eating

Firstly, if you think that you are hungry, try drinking a glass of water to start and wait five minutes to see if that solves the issue.  If after five minutes, you still find yourself hungry or even itching for something sweet, go for an apple.  Not only are you satisfying that desire to eat but you are getting something healthy into your system and scratching that sweet tooth with natural sugars. Also think, “When was the last time I ate?”  If it has been between 6-8 hours since your last meal, you should probably eat, unless you are doing intermittent fasting. (Nerd Fitness FTW)

Secondly, when you find yourself hungry and water hasn’t solved the issue and you really want to pull a chair into the pantry and consume everything in there; stop and evaluate that desire.

Thirdly, it could be a mental issue.  It could be a deep seated mental state that has caused eating to be associated with a traumatic experience in your past.  This isn’t something that can be easily shaken off or stabbed.  Unfortunately, this is something that requires professional help through a counselor, therapist or the like.

Granted there could be several other reasons for your desire to be an all consuming Pac-Man, however I am going to focus on the emotional state in this post.

This is something that is my issue, wanting to plop down in the pantry and munch away on everything in arms reach.  Now being 6 foot tall, that is everything.  As you are eating, look behind you and see what is chasing you, those proverbial ghosts that could be following you.  Fear, anger, depression, dissatisfaction etc.  You may have to eat that power up and chase those ghosts down and eat them in return.

You could be wrestling with a Sandworm and maybe need to do something to shake it off.  Stop and think about what you are feeling or experiencing that is triggering the desire to eat and eat.  It could be as easy as being bored or feeling lonely.  Once you recognize the worm following you, do something about it.  Don’t resort to grabbing that chair and opening that box of cereal and munching away.  Call a friend to go have coffee or go for a walk.  Do that workout you have been putting off all day, fold those clothes in the laundry basket, clean the living room or office etc.  Do something to overcome that emotion that is telling you to eat.

Most, if not all of the time it is boredom and loneliness that are my triggers to stuff my face and mainly it is late at night.  I need to constantly remind myself that when I am feeling this way to go to bed, not to keep watching boring late night tv that is prolonging my boredom; but to bite that bullet and shuffle off to dreamland.

This constant state of evaluating my desire to eat and then taking action is a process, not something that will happen magically overnight.  Although we all wish it could, sadly life doesn’t work in that fashion.

What is your biggest struggle in watching what you eat, or eating right?  I would love to hear your feedback.  And don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe for future blogs releasing every week.  Go out and eat the right things today Nerds and Nerdettes!

 

Pacman

Dare to Dream your Dreams

Last post was in September!  I am a slacker!  And I mean that, because from the time that I last posted till six weeks ago, I put back on the weight that I lost.  I was back up to 300 lbs and that is not, by any means, good.  However,  six weeks ago I began again, again. If you want to see my progress, check it out here Weight Loss Tracking. (my personal facebook page)  The progress is definitely slow and most days, very irritating.  I believe it stems from an american mindset of instant gratification.

And that is one of my downfalls to continuing and maintaining a workout regime; wanting to see instant and immediate results.

However, I have given myself more grace than in the past and taking it step by step and one day at a time.  I have been focusing more on chasing my fork and less on exercising.  One thing at a time to tackle, instead of several things at once like I have before.  It is difficult to remember that we all have limited willpower to accomplish tasks and that we should focus more on one task, strive towards the goal and then when it becomes habitual move a willpower point to another task.  Running on all cylinders is something, I think, we all tend to do from time to time and sooner or later we blow a piston and end up dead in the water.  This can be avoided by focusing on one or two things at a time.  For me, lately, it has been working to eat right and, as of Saturday, picking my acting dreams back up.

I have been a stage actor for the past 18-19 years, but it wasn’t until the past couple months that that passion has been highly renewed.  I often have told the people in my life to find what they enjoy doing and pursue it with all their heart, and no matter the pay or hours, if it is their passion they will enjoy doing it.  Alas, I choose not to follow my own advice and I realized that this past weekend after auditioning for AMTC (take the time to watch the video and see what they are all about and what I am being called to do).  Sunday morning I received a callback and I went and joined AMTC to take the chance, follow my dreams and the Lord and step out of the boat and see what will happen.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to go forth in pursuit of my dreams and passion, to get the opportunity to do what I attempted years ago but dropped the ball for lack of vision and dedication.

I am going to push forward with all my might to see this through, to use my willpower to eat right and see my dreams become reality.  Your support is greatly appreciated, so is your encouragement.  What would also be phenomenal, if you feel so led, is to help me make this all a reality by contributing to the cause and sharing this with those you know and get the word out!

I also highly encourage you to do the same, find what you love doing and pursue it no matter what.   Forget the naysayers, the doubters and the complainers and go forth in the direction of your dreams.  Some say that whatever positive energy and dreams you put out there the universe will do everything it can to make it a reality.  I firmly believe that God has put those dreams in your heart for a reason and when you take the step to see them become a reality, He will come alongside you and open and close doors that no man can touch.

Go out and pursue your dreams today Nerds and Nerdettes and I would love to hear what they are!

Igor, flip the switch!!

Young Frankenstein, a great movie and an instant classic.

“Roll, roll, roll in ze hay!!”  “Put ze candle back!”

Sorry I could quote the movie all day, but that won’t complete this post or even make it effective.  What does young frankenstein have to do with this post…nothing! I decided on the title while pondering what I was going to write today.  And that is triggers and switches that get us going or cause us to fail.  My biggest trigger for failure is food and/or comparing myself to others. Not to mention that it is REALLY easy for me to give up and not care. But I am praying and hoping that after today things are/will be permanently different.  I was reading today’s email from my favorite entrepreneur Dani Johnson about 9/11 (12 years ago today) and how when things get bad that they could always get worse.  And I thought about 9/11 and then my mind flashed to the movie Red Dawn where North Korea invades the west coast and that inner voice asked “What would you do if the enemy invaded America?”

Wow, what?!  What would I truly do?  In my  current state I would easily be killed.  I would be captured and put into a pen with the rest of us who didn’t follow rule #1 of Zombieland “Cardio!”  Kidding, but that would mostly be the reason for my failure; lack of dedication, pour health and no physical skills.  And finally, my lovely state of Colorado decided to descend into fall temperatures and rain and I think, finally, hopefully, that switch, that trigger was flicked.  I need to change who I am, I know I have said this DOZENS of times, but if our country were really to be invaded by North Korea or some other enemy country would I be able to survive?  If we transcended into a post-apocalyptic world would i live past a week?  And the true answer, by myself is “Haha Sucker!” If I got together with adventurous, outdoorsy people it would be longer, but not enough.  So something has got to change and that has to be with the skills I have, or lack thereof.  

It didn’t help that in my church I am one of four people capable of dancing in our production of Fiddler on the Roof which means I get to do the Russian Dance. (take a couple minutes and see for yourself what I have to learn to do) And in my current physical strength and weight most of this dance and the other dances are going to be physically impossible for me.  So that was another switch that went off, that I have to change, I have no choice, that i have to be able to perform the dances for the show and not to mention I am a perfectionist haha!

It was one of my goals to become proficient at archery this year, and when my ‘sister’ comes home from South Korea we are planning on taking archery lessons.  And then I can put the skills of Alec Lightwood in Archery (minus the gay part no offense anyone) into my bag and move onto knife skills, sword skills, gun lessons and as I get to my goal weight, Parkour (SO AMAZING!!).   Maybe I should just become a Shadowhunter Assassin?! Either way it is time to become a person who is capable of surviving if we were invaded or our country were to collapse.  And I need to remind myself, continually, that it is going to be a day by day thing and no matter how much I wish, hope and pray that it is never going to be instanteous results.  I am going to have to work hard at it and daily and diligently!  And eventually I will become that Parkour, bow & arrow wielding, Shadowhunter Assassin!

Ask yourself this question, if we were to be invaded by North Korea and had to fight for survival, would you survive? I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this question!

Go out and feel the Burn today Nerds and Nerdettes and get working towards your RPG Class!