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07.31.09 Update

Here are my totals for the day's workout:

Calories burned on the elliptical: 0 ( I had the day off work, so I didn't have access to the gym...)
Sit-Ups: 50
Calf Raises: 100
2 minutes of jumping rope
1 2 mile walk

So far, I've done:
2613 Calories
260 Sit-Ups
550 Calf Raises
4 Walks around the park
5 minutes of jumping rope

That means, all I have left is:
-113 Calories
-90 Sit-Ups
-200 Calf Raises
Jump Rope for 55 Minutes

As Steve mentioned in a comment on my last post, the jumping rope thing kinda kicked my butt. My goal for next week will change dramatically.

I also was able to walk 4 times this week. 2 miles at a time. And my rate is about 17-18 minutes a mile--not too bad. I'm pretty proud about my sit-ups and calf raises. On Monday, the sit-ups kinda hurt my back, but now it feels much better--even though I'm doing much more sit ups each day. Just goes to show the benefit of actually using your dang muscles.

I'll be needing your prayers for this weekend, though, since it's my family reunion. There's always so much food out there and I'm there all day on both days, so it'll be tough. I'll be taking some grilled curry veggies that I can eat, and hopefully I'll be able to find some good things to eat.

Weigh in is tomorrow. We'll see how this goes.

07.30.09 Update

Here are my totals for the day's workout:

Calories burned on the elliptical: 587
Sit-Ups: 50
Calf Raises: 125
2 minutes of jumping rope

So far, I've done:
2613 Calories
210 Sit-Ups
450 Calf Raises
3 Walks around the park
3 minutes of jumping rope

That means, all I have left is:
-113 Calories
-40 Sit-Ups
-100 Calf Raises
Jump Rope for 57 Minutes

So, I've matched most of my goals. One big one, though, is the jumping rope. I still need to buy a jump rope. 10 minutes of jumping rope is hard, not sure how I'll do 30 minutes each day! Yikes!

I think I'm going to do my 2 mile walk today and/or tomorrow.

07.29.09 Update

Here are my totals for the day's workout:

Calories burned on the elliptical: 679
Sit-Ups: 60
Calf Raises: 125
1 Walk around the park

So far, I've done:
2026 Calories
160 Sit-Ups
325 Calf Raises
2 Walks around the park
1 minute of jumping rope (did this yesterday, but it turns out that a jump rope that is great for my 5' tall wife doesn't really work for my 6'2" body! Who woulda thought?) - I'll get a new rope for myself for today.

That means, all I have left is:
444 Calories
10 Sit-Ups
25 Calf Raises
Jump Rope for 59 Minutes (planning on 20 minutes today)

I'll update this post once I've finished my goals for the day.

07.28.09 Update

Here are my totals for the day's workout:

Calories burned on the elliptical: 677
Sit-Ups: 50
Calf Raises: 100

I've always been like this. In college, I would track my points total throughout the quarter to determine how well I needed to do on my final to get the grade I wanted. So, I would work my butt off to get 100% on all my homework/papers and mid-terms, so that I could "take it easy" on the final, only get 75%, and still end up with a 3.5 or so.

Same here.

So far, I've done:
1347 Calories
100 Sit-Ups
200 Calf Raises

That means, all I have left is:
1123 Calories
70 Sit-Ups
150 Calf Raises
Jump Rope for 60 Minutes
1 walk to the park and around the track

Of course, I could always just power through and see how much over I can do. If you can surpass your goal instead of hitting it, why not?

07.27.09 Update

Here are my totals for the day's workout:

Calories burned on the elliptical: 670
Sit-Ups: 50
Calf Raises: 100
Walk around park (walked around the park on Saturday, too--that makes 2 this week so far).

Why did I push myself so hard? Well, I do my workouts at work, and I realized that I'll be taking Friday off work--so I need to meet my goals in 4 days rather than 5!

My wife and I were also active on Sunday, but that will come in another post later this evening.

Week 16

Weight: 320.2

Weight lost in one week: 7.4
Total weight lost: 48.2
Average weekly weight loss: 3.01

Weight left to lose: 80.2
Weeks left at average loss: 26.65
Estimated total weeks: 42.5 (about 9.8 months)

This week's goal is going to look a little different. After being influenced by the advice of South Beach Steve, I'm looking to set exercise and activity goals. This helps to focus on the healthy lifestyle--if I'm focusing on that, the weight loss should follow. So, here are my goals:

  • Burn 2,500 Calories on the elliptical
  • Walk to the park and two laps around the track (a total of 2 miles) three days
  • Do 350 calf raises
  • Do 170 sit ups
  • Jump rope for 60 minutes

Please keep praying for my journey. And may God bless you all on your journeys.

The Journey Thus Far

So, I've now been on this journey for 15 weeks. It's been tough, but not as tough as I thought it would be, nor as tough as it should be! For a little bit of comparison, I wanted to show my first workout (04.06.09) and today's (07.24.09):

April 6, 2009:

July 24, 2009:

It's interesting to me that when I started, I was on level 5. Now I'm on level 17. When I started, it took me 45 minutes to burn 713.2 Calories. Now it takes me 25 minutes to burn 503.9 Calories. I used to burn an average of 15.85 Calories a minute. Now I burn an average of 20.15. That's an increase of 4.3 Calories a minute. If I ran on the elliptical for 45 minutes now, I would burn 906.75--a difference of almost 200 extra Calories!

Okay, now here are some kinda gross pictures, but ones that I love for some reason. They're the results of my workout sessions:

The Elliptical I run on:

(Please note the sweat that has pooled on the floor--sweat the ran down my arm, down the handles, down the bars, and onto the floor. Gross. But so cool!)

The shirt I wear:
(This shirt is actually light gray. You can tell if you look on the sides. Again, gross--but I'm kinda proud of it.)

Week 15

Weight: 327.6

Weight lost in one week: 1.4
Total weight lost: 40.8
Average weekly weight loss: 2.72

Weight left to lose: 87.6
Weeks left at average loss: 32.2
Estimated total weeks: 47 (about 10.5 months)

This week's goal is to lose at least 3.5 pounds. I need to bump up my average.

Turkey Chard Bake

Here's the latest and greatest recipe from work share ingredients.

2/3 pound ground turkey
2 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch chard (separate and chop leaves & stems)
1 bunch turnip tops (separate and chop leaves & stems)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4oz feta cheese

2 puff pastry sheets

egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp water)

Brown the turkey in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Remove the turkey from the pan and place in large mixing bowl. Add chard & turnip stems into the same pan with a splash of water. Cook until tender. Remove from pan and add to turkey. Submerge chopped leaves into pot of boiling water and cook until wilted. Drain leaves and wring out any liquid. Add to mixing bowl. Stir all ingredients together with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and feta cheese.

Place 1/2 mixture into center of each sheet of puff pastry. Fold puff pastry around the filling to make a loaf, place on baking sheet. Brush egg wash over the top of each loaf.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until browned and heated through.

Picture of finished product:

Making the Right Choices

I've now been doing this whole journey to sanctification thing for just over 3 months now, and I'm really starting to see how my decisions before were HORRIBLE! Like many of those out there, Chinese buffets used to be a downfall--Actually, ALL buffets used to cause me trouble! :) I would typically have 2 or 3 or 4 plates of food and a dessert. That's probably more food than I need in a couple days, much less one meal. I used to eat two frozen burritos as a snack! That's 600 calories of sin--before I topped it off with shredded cheese, sweet chili sauce, and sour cream. I feel gross just thinking about it now.

Last week, though, I had the most concrete revelation of the changes I've made. My friends and I love to go to Red Robin. Yum! But not always the best for you. Here's a picture of the nutritional info of what I used to order most times: A1 Peppercorn Burger with fries (and a refill) + sauces for the fries. Oh, and no soda; just water (like that does a lot of good!!):

Wow. That's more than a day's worth of Calories--and that would just be my dinner!! Sick, huh?

But with some more knowledge and a great interactive nutrition-burger building application, I now have a NEW favorite: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger with melon and an Ice Water. But with a couple of changes: I only get one piece of cheese (why does there need to be two??), I don't get the jerk seasoning (so much sodium), and melon on the side (instead of fries (not as good, but still so tasty!).

So, what's the difference?
Calories - 2140 less (25% of the old favorite)
Total Fat - 156g less (17% of the old favorite)
Sodium - 6130mg less (16% of the old favorite)
Carbs- 161g less (30% of the old favorite)
Dietary Fiber- 7g less (36% of the old favorite)
Protein- 26g less (62% of the old favorite)
Weight- 63g more (108% of the old favorite)

So, WAY WAY WAY better on the Calories, Fat, Sodium, and Carbs. Worse on the Dietary Fiber and the Protein (but I can get that other places). And More weight (which will help to make me feel fuller on less food).

The shocking thing for me is the change in the sodium. That's about a tablespoon's worth of salt.

Folks, grab a tablespoon; fill it up with salt; eat it. No, please don't! But just think, that's how much extra Sodium I was consuming. Now 1169mg is still a ton--almost 1/2 of the recommended daily allowance, but way better than before. And the fat. Wow, the fat. That's the equivalent of 17 KFC Extra Crispy Drumsticks! And the Calories would add an extra 7 pounds to my weight over the course of a year (if I only went once a month).

So glad my eyes have been opened!

So, folks, that's how big of a difference making informed decisions can make!

White Bean and Kale Soup

Recipe #2:

1/2 pound hot (spicy) sausage
1 large onion
1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1/4 cup white wine
1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
2 14oz cans chicken broth
6 cups water
1 tbsp celery salt

1 bunch kale (stalks removed, and cut in 1 inch squares)

Saute the sausage and onion in grapeseed oil with salt and pepper until onion is translucent.

Pour in white wine and reduce by 1/2. Add cannellini beans, chicken broth, water, and celery salt. Cook until beans are tender and hot--about 15 minutes. Stir in kale and cook until wilted.

We thought it was very tasty, but let me know what (any of) you thought!

Week 14

Weight: 329.0

Weight lost in one week: 4.6
Total weight lost: 39.4
Average weight lost: 2.81

Weight left to lose: 89.0
Weeks left at average loss: 32
Estimated total weeks: 46 (about 10.5 months!!!)

This week's goal is to lose at least 3 pounds--to keep me above my average. I think I can do it--I'll be doing more work in the yard, 4 hours at the farm, and won't be eating so poorly! I didn't eat so well, since my job has been stressful, and I keep forgetting to make my supplies for breakfast at work. We'll see if I can keep up this rate! Whoohoo!

Week 13

Weight: 333.6

Weight lost in one week: 5.6
Total weight lost: 34.8
Average weight lost: 2.68

Weight left to lose: 93.6
Weeks left at average loss: 35
Estimated total weeks: 48 (just under a year!!!)

This week's goal is to lose at least 2.7 pounds--to keep me above my average. I think I can do it. But it's going to take more activity and less eating.

Crustless Winter Greens Quiche

So, I've decided to start posting the recipes that Anna and I create while we learn to eat all of the amazing vegetables we're getting from our work share. Here's the first recipe (not the first one we've created, but the first one that we've actually written down!):

2 sweet onions, minced
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 small carton egg beaters
4 large eggs
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

olive oil

Sweat onions with olive oil and salt and pepper. Add kale, and cook with 1/4 cup water until wilted, pour in mixing bowl. Add more olive oil into the same pan, add Swiss chard, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup water; cook until wilted. Mix vegetables together. Pour contents into 13 x 9 baking dish.

In a second bowl, blend sour cream, milk, and flour with whisk. Mix in egg beaters and whole eggs. Stir in cheddar cheese. Pour mixture over the wilted greens.

Bake in 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 40 minutes). Let cool at least 5 minutes, and enjoy!

If any of you try the recipe, let me know what you think.