Archive for » May, 2012 «

Friday, May 25th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s story time boys and girls! Here’s a brand spanking new serial that *may* get woven in between the ongoing episodes of “Trouble Gum” here on CF. Give this a read, if you’ve been around here for awhile, these faces may not be all together unfamiliar ;) .

Long Time Gone Part 1: Unfamiliar Faces

Clomp, clomp, scritch, scratch, the stout man and the burly dog at his side trudged in silence over distant hills. The man’s shoulders hung low with an unseen weight, his back bent into the pressing breeze, away from the sun that set behind. The dog walked with head slung low, nose pressed to the packed dirt beneath, its ears cocked forward as he snuffled away in concentration.

The duo spoke not a word, nor even spared each other a glance. Yet it was clear in their matching strides, the matching dour looks that rode upon their faces and the way they moved as one that the two belonged together. This man that stood just a hair over six foot tall and stared into the distance ahead with steel black eyes that saw forever would on occasion reach over to give the dog’s sagging ear a quick but gentle tug. The dog, standing nearly to the man’s waist with a chest as broad as a wine cask, thick black fur that stood patchy at best would pause in his nasal search to touch the mans hand with his nose. Nothing more passed between the two.

On and on they marched through the grasses and hills outside the Village Noble, their path always straight ahead and never straying. One foot in front of the other they marched, never pausing to gather their bearings or for a bit of respite and rest.

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Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

This looks pretty great! Up until now…there’s no way I’d be capable of doing something like this. Now? I may be able to pull it off for next year. Check out Seems like a good intro to something like Toughmudder.

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Thursday, May 17th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

This Guuuuuuuy…..

Down 37lbs, Down a shirt size, down possibly two pant sizes!

This week was a twisty one. Last week, I got stuck in to a cycle of over thinking everything on the weight loss and diet front and I was getting a little obsessed and stir crazy. Thankfully, my health coach was there and set me straight and it was pretty great! This week though, I slowed down a smidge (though I still lost around 2.5 lbs for the week), I was a bit ho-hum about the entire ordeal.

Fear not; I was never to the point of throwing in the towel. Just kinda….blue. I’m prone to that though. It’s easy to forget though that the magic number on the scale isn’t the only way to judge the loss. Measuring inches is pretty crucial as well. On a whim, I ran to the store last night and discovered that I now fit in a 2XLT shirt! This is pretty sweet as I’ve been wearing 3XLT trash bags for a few years now. So, that’s pretty awesome. I’m still doing the tall’s because…well, my gut’s still a bit big to wear my pants up where the should be, so I wear the low. I need the extra bit to cover it all up. Hence why I was in 3XLT’s before. The ole’ Tool Shed took a lot to cover.

I also tried on jeans…down one size to 44′s (from 46′s) and….they were freaking loose! However, I got too excited about the fact that 44′s were loose and forgot to try on 42′s while I was there just to see what happened. Next time though!

I’ve got 15lbs to my first MAJOR milestone and it’s so close, I can freaking taste it! I think I can do it in a month. If I don’t, I’m going to be damn close. All the same…still going to work my ass off!

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Monday, May 14th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Motivation can be a bitch some times when it comes to the exercise and dieting stuff. I’m not miserable by any means and I kind of enjoy all the exercise in general. Sometimes? Sometimes you just have one of those mornings when you wake up and you just don’t want to do it that day. Everybody does it, so I’m not really ashamed of it. So far, I’ve been successful on pushing through those moments and making myself do it regardless.

At times, the fix for these moments is as simple as looking where I’m at now and where I want to be and realizing that this guy isn’t going to lose itself. Other times, it’s just a matter of rote habit that makes me get up there and ride that bike at 6am. Sometimes, it helps just to look at the whole picture and see where I’ve been to get a feel on just how far I’ve come. Thankfully, since I log all my exercise in Fitocracy, these numbers are pretty easy to find.

This morning, I had no problem getting on the bike, but I slept for crap the night before so I was feeling kind of mopey about it all before heading off to work. (No worries, all is still well. I’m down 35lbs as of this morning’s weigh in!) With it being Monday and all, I figured it would be a good idea to check in on my total mileage on this little adventure to perk me up a bit.

Going through my logs, I can now verify that I started this whole journey on February of this year. February 8th to be exact. We had a crazy warm end to the winter with temps in the 80′s in mid March, so I was able to get out more then as well. Last Fall, I bought an exercise bike off of a neighbor for a mere $5 and getting it out of her house, so that’s been my weapon of choice this time around.

For the exercise bike, as of today I’ve covered 335.7 Miles! That one was pretty surprising to me, I honestly didn’t think it was quite *that* much! I also know from looking at the stats that I’ve gone from doing 5.2 miles in 25 minutes on the bike to 7.2 miles in 25 minutes on the bike every morning. This stat I knew was improved, but I wasn’t quite aware that it was 2 miles worth of improvement!

For the walking, I’ve covered 88.5 miles! This has all been outdoors as I don’t have access to a treadmill. (Yet.) I know that I’ve blown this figure out of the water in past years/bouts with weight loss as walking was my weapon of choice. This time around, I was getting a lot of aches and soreness in my hips and thighs, most likely due to my weight, but this is improving. I kind of prefer the bike though, because as I said last week….I get to watch TV! That’s kind of fun. I was walking at lunch every day here at work through February, March and April, but it’s getting too warm and nobody wants to sit next to me after I’ve been sweating for an hour.

So, this is my mental pick me up for the week, realizing just how far I’ve traversed since the beginning of February. While this may sound like bragging, it’s not so much. Yes, I am damn proud of the improvements I’ve made and such. But, sometimes everybody is going to need a motivational boost to keep going. If your’e taking a similar journey as myself, this is just sharing one method of how I keep myself pumped up to keep fighting the good fight.

Note: For anybody that’s wondering, I started weight training two weeks ago to go along with all this cardio. It’s fun, it hurts like a mofo. But, I’m doing it. I can detail that in another post if anybody’s interested.

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Friday, May 11th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

As you can see, I’ve been slacking off here on ye olde blog yet again, but for good reason this time. I’ve been making some pretty major changes and embarking on a long ass haul to lose weight. Some years ago, I went through some therapy to deal with a newly diagnosed anxiety disorder and it helped. Part of that therapy was choosing some problem areas that I myself identified and fixing them. The first of those problem areas? Smoking. I smoked a pack a day easily, so I tackled that first. That was a year and a half ago, so I’d say I definitely won that fight. I feel pretty great because of it! The problem with it though….I replaced the smoking when I felt nervous, agitated, etc….with food. So…a year and a half later, I found myself at 351 pounds and miserable again.

Here we arrive at change number two decided in those therapy sessions a few years back; it’s time to drop the weight. Around three and a half months ago now, I started exercising in the mornings and cutting out some of the bad stuff from my diet and it worked for the most part. It wasn’t on anything too strict or detailed diet wise though. Around a month after I started making some minor changes, we received a general bulletin at work that our in house clinic was starting a new weight loss program called F.U.S.E. and they were taking applications and surprising even myself…I didn’t hesitate. I applied on the spot and around a month later; I was in.

Once our group sessions started, I was assigned a weekly group meeting, a health coach for one on one session and regular nurse and dr. visits throughout the 10 week program to track progress and such. At first it was a bit intimidating, but I stuck with it. It was also a bit shocking at first too as when I met with my health coach the first time, the first thing she told me was, “I’m not going to give you a diet.” The catch is…this program wasn’t just a weight watchers clone or something like that. This program I found myself in was in fact much like therapy all over again. Their goals are to teach you how to deal with things like emotional eating, how to overcome barriers and set reasonable goals to keep yourself motivated. Once a realized that this was in fact what the F.U.S.E. program was aiming to do, it clicked for me and off I went.

Now, I’m down 33lbs so far and feeling pretty great. I still have a long way to go, like a bit over a hundred pounds to go as a matter of fact. But that’s okay. It’s a long haul and I’m getting my head on straight to be able to prepare for it. It’s still not easy, but I’m staying positive and I still have my health coach to turn to when staying positive starts to break down. Just yesterday, I found myself starting to worry over small stuff such as my calorie intake (I’m eating around 1800-1900 calories a day as opposed to the 2230 my tracker tells me I should eat) thinking that maybe I was eating too little and possibly hurting myself. Staying after group to talk to my coach for a bit cleared that right up. She simply said you’re eating enough, its working and you feel fine; stop over thinking it. Just like that, I had confirmation that I wasn’t hurting myself, so I was able to pull my head out of the fog of reading to much into every health blog I find and now I’m set to just keep on trucking as I’ve been doing!

So now, back to focusing on the positive stuff. As you can see in the picture above, I noticed getting dressed this morning that my belt has four distinct notches in it. That’s four times now I’ve had to tighten my belt! I’m starting to learn that sometimes when you don’t see the numbers drop on the scale, they’re starting to drop elsewhere, so don’t panic! This week, I had my mid-program checkup; I’ve dropped 3.5″ on all of my measurements (.5″ on my neck) and my BMI dropped by 3.5. Pretty shocking! So between the help of a coach and seeing positive trends like that, I feel like I can get back to normal life a bit such as my writing, reading and podcasting. The whole weight loss thing had kind of taken over my life and distracted me from these other things but now that I see that I was in fact over thinking it; I can just stick to the routine that I’ve built up because those 33 lbs are proof that it’s doign just fine.

In light of all this, I’ve had a number of people ask me how I’m doing it, so I’m happy to share. My writing’s been stagnant, but I’m kind of getting into a groove here, so blogging about this weight stuff is a good help to great the gears so to speak. Yah? Yah.

Anyways, I’ve upped my exercise significantly. I started out with cardio only, but as of last week, I started incorporating some weights as well. I’m pushing 40 and was living the life of a lazy nerd, so I’m not pushing a whole lot of weight. I make lifting those 15lb dumbbells sound like an Olympic event though! So now, the typical day looks like;

Roll out of bed! around 5:15am
Eat breakfast! This consists of two pieces of toast, two servings of egg beaters and cereal.
Ride the exercise bike! I stretch for five minutes first, then I do 25 minutes every morning and the bike is firmly planted directly in front of my computer monitor! Netflix is now my bestest early morning friend ever! So far, I’ve watched the second season of Supernatural, the first season of Breaking Bad, the first season of Sons of Anarchy, The first season of Star Trek Voyager, all of the second season of Game of Thrones so far and right now, I’m on the second season of Sons of Anarchy!
Shower/Get Dressed! I sweat like a mofo! It’s also cool cause I’m finding I can wear close stashed at the back of the closet again!
Eat some more! Before heading out for the day, I eat a Clif Bar to help recover from the bike while having another cup of coffee. I’ve always drank my coffee black, so I didn’t have to change anything there!
Grab my lunch and go! Here’s a big key moment, at least for me. I take my lunch, cause it’s easier to stick to the diet. The catch is; I pack it and log it the night before. I log all of my food at MyFitnessPal. This is highly important! It makes you accountable and it’s the only way you can be sure of your calorie intake! There are other sites for this too, they’re all handy so pick your fave. So, since I eat the same thing for breakfast every day and my lunch is already logged, I don’t even think about counting calories until I get home and get ready for dinner. So….doesn’t feel so much like a diet!
Snack time!I eat frequently. If I had a big workout the night before, I get hungry by the time I get to work. Discounting that, I always get hungry again around 10:30am or so. So, I eat! I’m big on Apples and Banannas right now, so that’s generally my snack. Sometimes one of each, sometimes just one. They’re fruit, so it’s all good! They *do* have calories, but I’ve already logged it, so who care? (See how that works?)
Lunch time!Lunch is generally good sized. Today, I have a turkey sandwich with light mayo, some Special K Sea Salt Cracker Chips (30 of those bad boys in one serving!), yogurt, cottage cheese and a ‘Nanner. Some days I eat this every day of the week, some days it gets switched up. I like cherry tomatoes a lot so sometimes those are in there. If I cook chicken for dinner the night before, I throw a couple extra on the grill for lunch instead of a ‘sammich. Once in the swing of this, this leaves me pretty stuffed.
Snack time! Again!I get a rumbly in my tumbly about 3-3:30ish. So, back to the crack fruit….er Apples! Sometimes, I crave something salty, so I go to the Smart Pop microwave popcorn. It’s aiight, though it’s no movie flavor butter. A full back is only ~200 calories though, so it’s cool. Due to the salt though, this isn’t an everyday thing.
Dinner!Dinner is a tossup. It’s almost always a meat and a veggie, sometimes pasta. It’s also almost always 400-450 calories too. Thankfully, Colleen is an awesome cook, so this is generally pretty tasty too!
More Exercise!if it’s not a weight day, I do extra cardio. It’s either another 25 minutes on the exercise bike or a three mile walk. It all depends on the weather and my own whimsy. I’m a fickle beast, what can I say!
8pm Cutoff!With my coaches urgings, I do my best to not eat after 8pm. If I’m hungry again post workout or something, I eat a light snack, usually an apple or bananna again, sometimes popcorn. As my coach and program teaches me, it’s best not to eat after 8pm but if you’re hungry…eat. Just eat right! And don’t beat yourself up over it, it’s not the end of the world.

So…that’s what I do. I’ve added in weights on Monday (arms) Tuesday (legs) and Friday (chest). On these days, I generally only do one cardio. In another post, I’ll detail what the weight routine looks like but if you’re curious, come join me on Fitocracy! (It’s fun, you get achievements for working out!) Generally, my calories break down to 550-600 for breakfast, 500-550 for lunch and 4-450 for dinner. The rest is snacks. The biggest thing I’ve learned and the coach had me share with the group yesterday is that shopping right is key! As you can see….I eat a lot! It’s just low calorie!

Again, I’m not fitness guru by any means. This is just showing what I’m doing that works. It’s also a way to break the ice and get my lazy arse writing again! I plan on blogging some more of the process here as it helps me to feel accountable and less likely to slack off. The positive reinforcement helps a ton too! For now, I’ve rambled on long enough, so enjoy and feel free to comment!

Until next time, if you touch my apple, I’ll break your fingers.
Also, I can’t spell banana.


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