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graindart - Tuesday Jan 16, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 181.3

Posting earlier today, might update later tonight.

Back a couple years ago, we switched-up our restaurant habits and amount of food kept at home.  

Prior to that time, we'd go out to eat at restaurants probably 5 or 6 times per week.  We also had the pantry completely full of stuff, along with a full refrigerator/freezer, and full standing deep freezer.

With the large amounts of stored food and eating out all of the time, we'd end up throwing away food every 6 months or so in the pantry due to being past expiration dates (more regularly for refrigerated food). 

Finally I got tired of it and we made a couple changes.  We stopped going out to eat at restaurants (mostly).  My wife cooks one week, I cook the next.  We go out to a restaurant late Wednesday night for "date night" and have a small meal, appetizer, or dessert.  Other than that, we might go out to a restaurant for a dinner or lunch a couple times per month.  It's gone from being the normal everyday thing, to being a special thing or last resort if something unexpected comes up.  We ate our way through the deep freezer and sold it a couple months later.  We ate our way through the fridge/freezer and pantry, trying to not replenish things for the most part.  Now I go shopping for our weekly food needs on Sunday evenings.  By that time each week, our fridge / freezer / pantry are looking pretty bare.  In reality there's probably enough stuff in there to tide us over for a week if we just ate weird stuff each meal (breakfast cereal, tomato paste, dry soup mix packet, flour, sugar, pancake mix, etc).  Occasionally I see us ending the week with more stuff than I'd like to see, so the next week ends up with some interesting meals made from whatever is still in the pantry / fridge / freezer.  That's what is happening this week.  I went to the store and bought some deli meat / cheese and a lot of vegetables.  Other than that, we're going to work on depleting the stuff we've still got in the house.  A couple turkey burger patties, a veggie burger patty, a hotdog or two, some chicken stock, packets of soup mix, leftover salsa, etc.  The girls can use the last remaining bread for sandwiches and when they run out, make wraps with the leftover tortillas.

Our 180 degree change in restaurants / food storage has helped in many ways.  We save money.  We eat healthier.  We don't waste much.  And the surprising thing I found is that we save time.  I always thought going out to eat was saving us time with our busy schedules.  In reality it seems to have been the exact opposite, other than when eating fast food in the car on our way to things.  Going out nightly cost us 15 minutes drive time going to the restaurant, 30-45 minutes average at the restaurant, 15 minutes drive time home or to wherever afterwards.  Nightly eating out with drive times was taking 60-75 minutes average (fast food obviously less, fancy obviously more).  What I didn't realize is that it was costing all 4 of us that same 60-75 minutes nightly.  With cooking at home now, it ends up costing the person cooking an average of 45 minutes nightly, but the other 3 people only have the rough cost of 15 minutes of actual eating time.  On weekdays, that extra saved time allows the 2 daughters to get their homework done sooner and the other parent to have some alone time to relax.  

The change at first was a bit difficult.  Going to restaurants nightly, every person got to choose whatever type food they desired.  Now everyone eats the same stuff, whatever the prepared meal is for the night.  The meals aren't typically as diverse as those found in restaurants.  The restaurant would typically have an entree, salad, bread, and couple of sides.  Prepped at home usually means the main entree and one or two sides, which might be a bagged salad / vegetable / etc.  There are nights that I put more time and effort into cooking a fancier meal, but the majority of meals are now more basic.  It was more difficult at first, but has now just become the new normal.

Progress as of today: 101.7 lbs lost so far, only 16.3 lbs to go!

innerpeace on 01/16/2018:
That sounds similar to my story as well, we ate out way to often. Now we take turns cooking and maybe eat out once a month plus a date night. My husband and I take turns cooking. I usually make a weekly menu and then we go shop for the ingredients we need. We have done pretty good.

Now I am planning meals around what is left in the freezer. I am hoping to clean that out and turn it off. I just hope we don't have some kind of apocalypse and actually need the food. We have however been eating meat once or twice a week, which I also really enjoy. Experimenting with different things is fun.

BearCountryGG on 01/16/2018:
Sounds like a good cost savings too.

Donkey on 01/16/2018:
We used to eat out a lot too. Then we cut down to 1x a week -- usually pizza night. Now we've cut that out too, which is so much healthier.

That's really interesting about how eating at home actually saves more time. I hadn't thought that through, but it makes total sense.

PS I find that when I want to keep eating, even though I'm full, it's usually because my meal lacked protein.

happy-1 on 01/17/2018:
Not eating at restaurants and doing this diet blog is the big change I made and I've really shrunk a lot.

horn_of_plenty on 01/17/2018:
That's an amazing 180 change - def hard at first but it sure is wonderful to make your own food often. A friend of mine is 57 and just started home cooking his food - and he watched cooking shows all his life so he's off to a good start

graindart - Monday Jan 15, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.1

Day 15 nearing the end and it will be another successful day under budget.

I seem to have developed pretty decent self control for the start of the day concerning food intake.  My problem is that once I start eating, I don't want to stop.  I rarely eat anything in the morning, choosing a light snack around lunch time or early afternoon.  

I just finished a huge dinner where my plate was completely full of mostly roasted vegetables.  It tasted good and fit into my calorie budget, but was too much bulk.  I'm now sitting here with a big tummy ache, feeling uncomfortably stuffed.  Even though I'm completely stuffed, I really want to keep eating / snacking.  It doesn't make sense, but once I start eating dinner I don't want to stop.  

It doesn't matter what meal it is either.  It's worse on the rare occasion that I eat breakfast.  After eating breakfast, it's a struggle for the rest of the day because I want to continue eating and end up dwelling on food thoughts until bedtime.  A light snack around lunch time seems to have become a habit, so it doesn't seem to put me into the same type of irrational talespin that a larger meal would.

On to day 16.....

Progress as of today: 100.9 lbs lost so far, only 17.1 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/16/2018:
I get that.....my system operates the same way...starve it...it's good...feed it....it doesn't want to stop eating....and I don't know the answer other than possibly over time...a new habit will replace the old.....moderation can escape me too. Since food is a necessity we need to keep working at finding a happy medium. You are probably half way there or more...supposedly 28 to 30 days of doing something creates a new habit. It's not easy for sure.

graindart on 01/16/2018:
I tend to be "all or nothing". If moderation were easily mastered by me, I wouldn't have been overweight for so much of my life.

innerpeace on 01/16/2018:
Our top for the Move meeting last week was portion control. I'm like, if I know its in there, I just want to eat it, not one piece but the entire thing. The psychologist went on to say that when we are babies we have the natural instinct to quit eating (nursing or sucking from a bottle) when we were full. However the instinct would get skewed whenever parents or someone would encourage us to eat one more bite or three more bits, also if you had to 'clean your plate' all the food pushing skewed our natural instinct to quit eating when we are food. And then of course, I swear my brain doesn't get the message (that supposedly takes 20 minutes) mind don't necessarily get that note for about an hour).

I must make a conscious effort and decision to actually push myself away from the table and quit eating.

And if I know something sweet (ice cream, cookies, cake, pie) is in the kitchen I will go back for seconds and sometimes thirds. Because of this lack of willpower I cannot keep it in the house. I must go out and buy exactly one serving of ice cream if I choose to eat it.

Good luck! If you figure out something that works, please share!

graindart on 01/16/2018:
Yeah, I've had to give up some foods because of my lack of control. Pizza is one of them. I don't want a slice, I want to eat the whole thing. Same thing with candy / chips / cookies. I don't want one, I want to eat the entire bag. Because of that, I've essentially banished those foods from the kitchen. The kids occasionally bring candy home (small amounts from school activities), but they know to keep it in their rooms if they don't want it getting thrown away.

happy-1 on 01/17/2018:
If you have to eat the whole pizza, look for the Jack's frozen ones. https://www.jackspizza.com/products/original/supreme/

graindart - Sunday Jan 14, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.1

Day 14 done and successfully below allotted calories.

Got my hopes up this morning when I stepped onto the digital scale.  It was registering 179 for a couple seconds, then climbed to 182.1.  The momentary 179 got me thinking that maybe skiing yesterday jumpstarted some magical fat loss. 

Skiing yesterday was mostly uneventful.  The wife, daughters, and I all spent a few hours on the mountain and they had a good time.  I love my family, but snow skiing has gotten boring for me over the past decade.  Even when we go to a different resort, it's still the same white snow we're skiing down.  It was much more enjoyable when I was a teenager, which is why my daughters probably enjoy it so much.  The wife wasn'r raised near skiing, so it's a treat for her still too.  I didn't get too much of a workout skiing, but did notice that it was easier to bend over / get up now that I'm 100 lbs lighter than the last time I went skiing (March 2017).

I didn't make any food plans for ski day.  The wife asked if she should make sandwiches to take for lunch, but I decided her and the girls would appreciate a hot meal from the resort instead.  I didn't know what I was going to do until I was in line at the cafeteria style eating area.  I quickly realized that there weren't any healthy offerings.  Burgers, dogs, pizza, fries, candy, energy drinks, tacos, etc.  My options became:  1. cheat day  2. eat a patty of hamburger meat with nothing else  3. have to skip dinner later in the day  4. eat nothing.  I did a quick analyis of myself and realized I wasn't physically hungry, so decided to just not eat lunch.  Since I rarely eat more than 350 calories during the day before lunch, it really ended up being a non-issue.  The wife and girls enjoyed their hamburgers and chips, then we hit the slopes again.

I'm ready for Winter to end and Spring to start.  My main hobby of choice is riding dirt bikes (motorized) in the forrested mountains around here.  I'm expecting the bike to feel more powerful with the drop in weight.  

On to day 15.....

Progress as of today: 100.9 lbs lost so far, only 17.1 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/15/2018:
It is empowering when we can admit we aren't hungry and just not eat out of habit....GOOD FOR YOU not eating when you weren't hungry!

horn_of_plenty on 01/15/2018:
I'm glad you continue to do well ! My appetite is huge compared To yours !

graindart - Saturday Jan 13, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.2

Day 12 went by and I remained under calories.  I was well below calorie allotment until right before bed.  Then I decided to have a before bed snack.  Then another, then another.  It started snowballing a bit, but I quit while I was still under my budget. 

Weighed this morning at a new low of 182.2.  Feeling good about that, can't weight to see the 170's.

Taking the family skiing today.  They're excited, but I'm not overly joyful about it.  One of the only things that I don't enjoy about being slimmer is that I feel cold a lot more now.  I used to be the guy walking around outside with shorts and a light jacket when it was 15 degrees F out.  Now I'm the guy with 3 layers of clothing, hats, gloves, etc and still shivering at 30 degrees F.  I wonder how Summer is going to feel now.  Will I feel generally hotter or cooler?  I'm guessing without the extra fat insulation I just feel more like whatever temperature it is outside.  So if it's in the 80's and low 90's, I'm guessing I'll feel a little cooler.  But if it's 100+, I'm guessing it's going to feel hotter than before.  

Progress as of today: 100.8 lbs lost so far, only 17.2 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/13/2018:
Congrats on the new low!!!!

Donkey on 01/13/2018:
WTG on the weigh-in!!!

I really noticed the cold this year. Started wearing my long puffy coat (looks like a sleeping bag) in November to help keep me warm. Couldn't figure out why I was so cold this year -- I actually thought that my coat was no longer working. Then I realized that it's because I weight about 30 pounds less from last winter, and 60 pounds less from 2 winters ago.

I noticed when I was visiting family in Vegas that the warm felt so good, and still sweated when I took a nap in the 80 degree sun.

Have fun skiing! Being in the cold weather burns more calories, BTW...

horn_of_plenty on 01/14/2018:
Dress warm so you don't get sick and layers are good :)

If you get too cold maybe take a break and go indoors ?

At least the energy you use while skiing should keep you warm ? This is what I remember from the one and only time I went i didn't feel the cold too much but also weighed like 20 lbs more!

I think being slimmer, you are more affected by the cold than heat.

When it's hot I get hot yes but the cold Is simply uncomfortable the most by far!

Summer will come and keep up the good work! When I get really hungry before bed I'm usually better having a small, dry snack like a small granola bar or chocolate - emphasis on small and can always drink seltzer with it or tea. This helps my blood sugar and I tend to sleep well after doing this - little carbs before bed if needed

graindart - Thursday Jan 11, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 183.0

Day 11 winding down and I'm below calorie allotment.  Feeling totally fine with being back on plan again.  The first few days after my big Christmas screwup week were a little "iffy" in how committed I was feeling, but now I'm 100% committed again.

Today I saw 183.0 again.  I've officially lost 100 lbs since I started this diet last April (2017).  It's kind of bittersweet stating that because I was actually down to 183 on December 13th.  So basically this past 30 days has been a waste (weight-wise) due to my choice of going off diet for a week.  I'm not feeling depressed about it, I just need to remember it for the next time I get tempted.  Next time I need to ask myself if I'm willing to work hard for 1 month in exchange for 1 week of excess?  My answer may be the same the next time, but at least I'll know what it will cost me.  When I decided to go off diet for the week, I was secretly hoping that I'd only gain 2 or 3 lbs total and have it off again within 3 or 4 days.  As if all of my weight issues had magically disappeared because I had lost 100 lbs this past year....... 

Anyways, on to new lows in 2018.  The lowest the scale registered prior to Christmas vacation was 182.4.  I'll hopefully see a new low on the scale sometime over the next week or two, which will be an encouragement.

To recap a temptation from a few days ago about the muffins:  I got curious and asked my wife what they were, secretly hoping apple nut so I wouldn't be as tempted.  They did turn out to be rhubarb, which I was somewhat craving.  Knowing that, I kind of expected that I was going to eat at least one and I did have the calorie budget to handle one.  I got busy and forgot about it that night.  Woke up the next morning as the wife & kids were heading out the door.  Went to the kitchen with muffins on the brain.........and they were all gone.  Instead of being disappointed, I was actually relieved.  Worst case scenario would have been to see 2 muffins sitting there.  I would've eaten one and the other would've been calling my name for the rest of the day.

On to Day 12, hoping to see 182.9 or lower on the scale in the morning.

Progress as of today: 100 lbs lost so far, only 18 lbs to go!

BearCountryGG on 01/12/2018:
The struggle is real....it's sad how the wt comes back on so easily and goes off so slowly...but you have the right frame of mind right now and that's the most difficult part. Congrats of getting things under control again.

happy-1 on 01/12/2018:
I feel you.

graindart - Wednesday Jan 10, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 183.9

Day 10 completed successfully. Not much new to report today. Remembered to do my push-ups and Pull-Ups.

On to day 11.

Progress as of today: 99.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/11/2018:
Well done! How many sets of push and pull ups do you do? I was doing 3 sets of 15 push-ups until I hurt my back a few months ago... I haven't gone back to putting them into my daily routine yet. :-/

graindart on 01/11/2018:
Pushups are starting off slow. I'm doing them the same number of times as the numerical day of the month. Today was Jan 11th, so I did 11. Tomorrow is the 12th, so I'll do 12. I'm doing it like that as more of a getting into the habit type thing. Assisted pullups I'm doing 5 sets nightly. When I'm able to do 10 reps for each set, I'll drop the amount of assistance by a band which will require more work and consequently drop the number of reps I can do. Then when I get up to 10 reps per set again, I'll drop the resistance bands again.

graindart - Tuesday Jan 09, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 184.7

Day 9 successfully under calorie budget.

Got the pullup helper bands in the mail today.  They're just what I was needing to be able to start using my pullup tower in my office.  They worked very similar to the assisted pullup machine in gyms, but since they're elastic, they actually help more at the bottom and less at the top which is good for me.  My main problem area with pullups is the initial dead-hang / getting started off the bottom.

Here's what I ordered:


And here's a Youtube video showing how they're used:


It allowed me to do a few sets of assisted pullups tonight.  I'm writing down the color bands and number of sets / reps that I do each time and will hopefully be able to progress over the next while until I can actually do an UNassisted pullup someday.

On to day 10.....

Progress as of today: 98.3 lbs lost so far, only 19.7 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/10/2018:
I watched the YouTube video - cool! I can see how they would help you with the pull-ups. Keeping a log of your progress is an excellent idea! Have fun!

graindart - Monday Jan 08, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 185.8

Day 8 done and successfully stayed below calorie allotment.  Feeling like I'm back in the groove again. 

Not eating the best stuff all of the time, but more veggies & less carbs than in the past.  Veggies are usually broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and lettuce mixes (salad).  Getting a little tired of some of them, so might see about some eggplant and spaghetti squash.

Amazon lied.....I didn't get my pullup helper bands today.  Now they're scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

One week off my diet and out of control resulted in a 16 lb gain on the scale.  One week back on my diet and not going over calorie allotment removed 13 of those lbs on the scale.  I'm sure there's all kinds of things that play into it like water, sodium, etc.  But just using the 3 lb differential, I guess I could surmise that being out of control for one week basically caused an effective gain of 3 lbs of fat.  That makes a lot more sense than just seeing the difference of 16 lbs from start of the week to end of the week of chaos.  Hoping I'll be back on track and seeing new lows again in another week or two. 


Progress as of today: 97.2 lbs lost so far, only 20.8 lbs to go!

happy-1 on 01/09/2018:
You're on the way!

horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2018:
Great job and good plan to switch up your veggies. I get sick of the same ones all the time also - also you can try different cooking methods like less steaming and adding more flavor by sautéing or roasting with a little olive oil salt and pepper - I cannot really eat plain steamed veggies anymore and when I do there's a little sauce added just a little and usually it a cream or Hesse based sauce bc those are high cal....

Sorry your equip is coming anday late this sometimes happens with MGM stuff too tho usually not

graindart on 01/09/2018:
I hate steamed vegetables. My are usually fried, roasted, seared, or lightly charred. Usually I like them in some type of oil/fat (olive, sesame, bacon fat), but have been cooking them without lately. Lowry's seasoning salt or a cajun blackened spice mixture have been my go-to sprinkles lately. All add some cheese to change things up at times also.

horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2018:
Yes agree that a week of eating whatever you want is a lot of extra cals ....I try to stay on track or only slightly off track now also even on vacation bc for me it's rough to know I have to once again remove More Than a few lbs

Donkey on 01/09/2018:
Hope the bands arrived today!

Your experience with weight fluctuation is exactly what I was experiencing during/after Thanksgiving, causing myself to ask, "What IS weight, exactly?" Especially when it seems that some pounds drop off so quickly and then other pounds stick like glue. What the heck?

graindart - Sunday Jan 07, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 186.7

Day 7 completed under calorie budget. 

Main meal (dinner) was a very large salad with low calorie dressing / malt vinegar on top of lettuce mix, cod, ham, bacos, tomato.  A few other snacks during the day including a couple of the 100 calorie microwave popcorn bags.

Wife and kids made some delicious looking muffins tonight (smell awesome too).  Not sure what they were because I figure if I don't know I might not be as tempted.  I technically have enough calories left over for today to eat one, but will probably pass for now.  They have a crumble on top of them, so I'm guessing apple nut or maybe rhubarb type muffins.  Apple nut I'd probably pass on, but if I knew they were rhubarb I'd probably eat one since they rarely get made.  I shouldn't have typed this paragraph, because now I'm really curious of they're rhubarb.

Seven pushups were pretty straight forward today, but was noticing a slowdown near the 7th.  I'm thinking I can probably max out at 10 currently........guess I'll find out in 3 days.

Progress as of today: 96.3 lbs lost so far, only 21.7 lbs to go!

happy-1 on 01/08/2018:
Costco has Birchbender Paleo Pancake mix and I'm using that as a base for muffins. Mix in flax and chia meal and you can get a treat with fiber to stop snacking.

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2018:
Omg wait I thought YOU were the wife !? I guess you aren't the female I was thinking of - I thought you were katalin??

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2018:
Those apple nut and also rubharb muffins sound so good !!!!! That sounds so awesome A rubharb muffin!

innerpeace on 01/08/2018:
OMG, I did too, think you were a female. I guess that's what I get for thinking. Let me apologize now for writing anything bad about men, when referring to my dear husband (DH). Also, I guess if I read your profile, I would have known.

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2018:
as far as popcorn:

my fave is orville redenbachers..however you spell it...it's around 200 cal per minibag but tastes AMAZING!

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2018:
If you are a member of a gym, you can do pull ups with the assisted pull-up machine, i love that one...the better you get, the less weight you use to assist you. it's like one of the only machines at the gym where the less weight you add, the HARDER it gets...

you have good goals!

sounds like you have a ton of knowledge about what to do....try not to do too much at once....so to make sure everything you do is attainable.

graindart on 01/08/2018:
Haven't joined a gym in a long while. Did try the assisted pullup machine a few years back, but it was when I was a lot heavier. As such, it required a large amount of counter weight. Either the large amount of counter weight or the machine itself was in less than optimal condition, because it wasn't overly smooth and didn't provide a good help for completing the pullups. The helper bands are supposed to be here today, so I should be able to try them out tonight.

horn_of_plenty on 01/08/2018:
Let us know how it works out - i haven't heard of helper bands !

graindart - Saturday Jan 06, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 186.8

Day 6 went okay and I remained under my calorie allowance.  Random rambling thoughts follow.

Had family over for dinner and nerf gun wars.  My sister is also on a diet & exercise plan, as we're all going on a cruise in June of this year.  My goal is to be down around 10%-15% bodyfat and able to do 10 pullups.  I think the bodyfat percentage is doable, but haven't started working towards the pullup goal at all.  The diet / weightloss has been going since April 2017 and my scale has gone from showing 45% bodyfat to currently hovering just below 20% (technically 19.8% this morning).  Another 5%-10% bodyfat loss should be easily attainable over the next 4 or 5 months as long as I don't get side-tracked. 

As for pullups........I don't ever remember a time in my life that I've ever been able to do one, let alone the 10 I'd like to be able to do.  I do have a pullup bar tower in my office that makes a nice coat rack.  My sister's goal by June is to be able to do 3 pullups and she's never been able to do 1 before either.  After supper she wanted to attempt one to see if she's made any progress with her exercise.  She wasn't able to get started.  I decided to give it a go and from a complete dead hang couldn't get started much at all.  However I started with just a little bend in my elbows and was able to do 1 chinup (chinup palms facing you, pullup palms facing away from you).  That's probably the closest I've been to completing one pullup or chinup before.  It's not from any exercising, but just from the fact that I now weigh less than I have for the majority of my adult life.  It kind of surprised me and gave me hope.  I ordered some pullup bands to help with getting started using the pullup tower and am looking forward to having them in a few days. 

I did also start an accountability type small workout goal with a friend a couple days ago.  It's not enough work to probably see any noticeable results, but is more of a daily choice / habit building decision.  I decided that January would be pushup month and we both agreed to check-in daily to verify that each of us had completed the number of pushups corresponding to the numerical day of the month.  January 5th, do 5 pushups.  January 6th, do 6 pushups.  And so on through the end of the month.  I'm not in good shape, but still had no issue with doing 6 decent form pushups this morning.  I'm guessing the middle of the month will get a bit harder and by the end of the month I'll be having to briefly rest between sets of 10-15 pushups at a time.  I don't expect to see results from the pushups, but just the thought of doing them daily has got me thinking more about weight lifting or other similar exercise.

While I'd like to be stronger and have more defined muscles, I'm not really all that interested in cardio.  I have never desired to run a few miles, but would love to be able to do some strength-based anaerobic activities.  I just have no desire to sit on a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill for 30+ minutes each day.  However, I'd love to be able to do some upper-body strength based things like walking on my hands or doing handstand pushups or something like that.

On to day 7 tomorrow......

Progress as of today: 96.2 lbs lost so far, only 21.8 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/07/2018:
Exercise will help you immensely. Not only in its own benefits, but may also help you keep your food in check. Might also help with drinking more water, which is essential to the weight loss process.

Go with what interests you -- doesn't have to be cardio! :-)

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