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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lesser Man Project: Week 1

If you notice in the corner of the page, there is now a bar showing the progress I’ve made in my quest to become half the man I used to be… or am… still… whatever, it was a STP reference, deal with it. As of now, I’ve lost about two pounds and I just started last week, so that’s steady enough of a pace at the moment. After a few pounds, I’ll begin stepping up some activity. For now, my knees are the biggest reason for not going nuts with the exercising. I’ll explain in a bit. For now, here’s what I’ve done so far to help the process.

As I said, before, I’m not going crazy with exercise or counting calories or looking at labels and bargaining with the food Gods to allow me one Reese’s Cup, still sitting among the hundreds, left over from Halloween. Damn kids. They aren’t even trying anymore. While I’m not going to punish and starve myself, I’m simply moderating my intake. I cut down my breakfast to just a cup of cereal. This week, and probably the next few weeks, the choice for breakfast is LIFE. In the past, I was used to just pouring a bowl full and going to town. Now, I put in about a cup full and lightly douse with milk. I’ve been drinking skim milk now for about 17 years, so there’s not much more I can do there.

My lunches have gotten a little smaller, though I still take stuff like leftover Mac & Cheese or whatever we have had the night before. This week I had left over Velveeta Shells, twice, and Lo Mein, once. The portions are smaller than I am used to and the biggest change I’ve noticed is my alertness. I used to get real sleepy and unfocussed after lunch and lately, I’ve felt fine. I still accompany those dishes with a light yogurt and a Diet Pepsi. For the ride home, it’s a Gala apple.

I’ve cut out the afternoon snack. By the time I was getting home I was still hungry, even after my apple. Usually, I would get home and grab a glass of NesQuik made with 2% milk or a few handfuls of raisins/peanuts/choc. chips. Now, I skip the afternoon snack and I haven’t noticed a sense of hunger. I’m fine all the way until dinner.

Dinner is still my worst meal, but I’ve been cutting back on what I usually get. Yesterday, we went to Zackel’s in Claridge. I’m used to getting half of an Italian hoagie and onion rings. I switched to a chipotle BBQ grilled chicken wrap and no onion rings. I did munch on about five or six french fries from my daughter’s plate. She doesn’t eat them.

The worst part about my job is that I sit for eight hours. I drink around three cups of coffee, which is down from the six I used to drink last year. I only use three Splenda packets and a bit of the powdered Coffee Mate creamer which is only 0.5 grams of fat and 10 calories. However, the biggest change I’ve made involves the “Cake in the break room” snacks. I’ve been skipping those, although I had a handful of homemade chips and salsa today. I couldn’t resist. It comes from a group called Elegant Tents and they are awesome!

I still drink about eight cups of water a day or four bottles, I guess. Another change was the giving up of what little alcohol I drink. OK, I’m comfortable enough in my manliness to admit that I drink a wine cooler. Bartles & Jaymes makes a Strawberry Daiquiri that is pretty damn good and I will drink one, maybe three nights a week while my father-in-law are playing Call of Duty or any number of Cabela’s games. Well, those are definitely not good for you, so I stopped. Yes, I’ve taken off the skirt. Bite me.

This past weekend, I got out in the yard and worked on the leaves. That was the extent of the exercise. I used the mower/mulcher until the bag zipper broke and then switched to two different leaf blower/vacs. Several trips down over the hill to my compost pile, my knee was feeling it. I think I’m about to the point where there is no cartilage left in my knees because it always feels like my leg is just going to buckle. The extra 80 pounds cannot be helping that.

I remember, at my heaviest in college, I would get winded climbing the steps at Benedum Engineering Hall. If I recall, correctly, the amount of steps from Thackeray Avenue up to the entrances of the building was pretty good. After a few weeks of hiking those steps, my legs stopped hurting and I wasn’t so out of breath. Now, going up the stairs in my house is enough to get my knees hurting. That’s why I’m holding off on the real strenuous stuff until after I lose about ten pounds. I’ll still walk and do other stuff, but I’m not running on a treadmill until I lose some more weight.

That’s all I got this week. We’ll see how I’m doing next week. Hopefully that slider keeps going to the right.

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