Saturday, June 5, 2010

A SMOOTHIE - 101 Day Challenge Diet Food, Really

There's a challenge going on.  Biz, from THE BIGGEST DIABETIC LOSER has issued a challenge and nearly 50 Bloggers and friends and families of bloggers have accepted the challenge.  Called the 101 Days of Summer, the challenge is simple... Decide ahead of time what you would like to accomplish in the 101 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Let Biz know what you have planned, maybe a little explanation of why and how you plan to do this and you are in the challenge.  Nothing directly competitive, just between you, your gods (or God) and the potentially millions of readers.  If you click the blue letters 101 Days of Summer, you will read the brief stories of the participants.  To get more of the story, you need to follow Biz's links to their individual sites.  If you want the whole story, you probably need to move next door to them... but I digress.

I have made no secret that I feel like my ass is the size of Rhode Island.  When I moved to the Virgin Islands a few months ago, they had to add a new zip code just to cover my ass.  If you read my blog, you may get the impression that I am not doing much to change the situation.  Well, in fact, for the last 11 and 1/2 months, I think I have been doing quite a bit.  I have a history with weight issues dating back decades.  But, I was able to maintain at 190 - 200 pounds up until 15 years ago (oddly enough, same year I met Jackie, but I don't really blame her).  But, due to many circumstances, I started a slow climb to 240 pounds.  Nothing drastic, just 3 pounds a year, every year.

Diets... Like everyone, I have been on em.  Lost 40 pounds with Adkins, 30 pounds with South Beach and a whopping 60 with Weight Watchers.  They all work great.  Within 1 year of losing the weight, it was all back (with friends).  Losing weight is not my problem.  Maintaining is my problem.

So, a year ago I started looking at what is wrong.  I made a few decisions... experiments.

As much as possible, stop eating pre-packaged processed food...  Read the ingredient list.  If you can not pronounce it, don't eat it.  This includes among other things, soda (yes, even diet pop) and all fast food.

Eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup...  This is nearly impossible, but I really believe there is a link to the TRIPPE-LING of obesity rates and the mass introduction of high fructose corn syrup to our diet.  It is in everything (well, most highly processed foods).

No "fake" food... I am trying to eliminate chemicals from my diet.  Meaning real sugar in my coffee, not Splenda.  I drink iced tea as a treat, and much more water and almost no soda.

Real Food... Make your food taste better with heavy cream if called for.  Sugar, Oils, Butter, etc.  Stop worrying about replacing quality ingredients with lower calorie alternatives.  While this seams counter intuitive, I believe that "diet" foods do indeed work to aid weight lose, but it also sets you up for the inevitable weight gain once you start eating "real" food.

Portion Control... If you want dessert, eat dessert.  If you want butter on your pancakes, eat butter on your pancakes.  But be sure you want everything you eat.  Eat slow, drink a glass of water with your meal, and stop eating when you are full.  A year ago, I would consciously leave 1/3rd of my plate uneaten.  Now, I bought smaller plates (so food looks bigger), and I am fine when I eat smaller portions.  I really believe that better tasting food (see above about "real food") leaves you more satisfied with smaller portions than larger portions of "diet" food.

Stop worrying about the scale... This is hard.  But I try to only weigh myself once a month.  But, during my forced exile in paradise, I don't even do that.  No scale here, and I certainly was not going to buy one.  If I did all of the above things during my year of blogging, and stayed exactly the same weight, did not gain 3 pounds, the experiment would be a success.  In fact, I know I have dropped more than 10 pounds in the year (as of February, last time I weighed myself).  But while a number on the scale is an easy way to measure success, how about this... A year ago, I was taking $35 a month worth of blood pressure medicine.  My Doc took me off of it completely last December (yes, with butter and cream galore, I lowered my BP).  While I never was medicated for high cholesterol, last December, my numbers were down 15% from a year ago and in a "safe" area.  The only medication I take is a daily asthma inhaler.  A year ago, I took 2 puffs twice a day. Now I take one puff every other day, and more than once, I forget and do not notice.

I think those numbers are a better measure of my health than a number on a scale.

But, back to Biz's challenge, we are supposed to give a measurable goal.  Since weight numbers is not a concern, and I do not know what I weigh, weight was not an option.  But, I do know the size of my ass (huge).  And there is an easily measured goal for dropping my ass to a less embarrassing size.  A year ago, I was a size 44 waist.  In February, when I was sentenced to my new life, I was in 42 inch waist pants.  Just a couple weeks ago, I got to buy a couple new pairs of shorts, size 40 waist. 

So, my goal...

38 inch waist line pants on Labor Day.

Biz gave us an option of doing before and after pictures...










Remember, the camera adds 10 pounds (makes you wonder just how many cameras are on it).

I do have one more tip for you, one more goal I set for myself... 4 servings of fruit and/or Vegetables each day.  Mostly I post dinner recipes I make.  But my day usually starts with a banana or an orange, and sometime during the day I have a fruit smoothie.  Here's a recipe that sounds suspiciously like the rum drink I made yesterday.  If you are making rum drinks for people, but you would like to try a virgin drink to avoid the booze, this Virgin Healthy Rummy Painkiller Smoothie would be a perfect substitute...

Tasty and good for you...

1 cup Yogurt (in this case, Vanilla)
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1 Banana
pinch of Nutmeg

Blend for 1 minute, sit out on your deck, drink slow, read a book, enjoy your life and feel good about the long term results.  I didn't grow my ass in a month, it will take awhile to get rid of it.  Find a lifestyle you can live with.  If it is Weight Watchers, great.  If it is running every day, also great.  If it is eating "real food", great.  The easy part is losing.  The hard part is the real life you will lead once you drop the weight.

So, mark your calender.  Come back on Labor Day for an after picture of my ass.


  1. Woot! Loved reading this post Dave - I have no question that you'll be in size 38 when you get back to Kansas City!!!

  2. I have gained and lost weight much like you have. Smaller portions, and eating slowly really helps.. I try to incorporate more fruits and veggies, cutting way back on sweets.

  3. Dave, I already think you look good, but I have no doubt that you can get back into a size 38. You seem like a very determined person.

  4. Good for you Dave! These are some awesome goals! And you are totally going about this the right way. For a while I was obsessed with lower calorie alternatives to everything and then. I gave it up. I'd rather have one really good cupcake than two mediocre cupcakes. And I truly don't believe it's homebaked goods that are making the world fat.

    this smoothie looks awesome! Perfect to keep you going on your way to a size 38!

  5. We will all be rooting for you, Dave. I completely agree that "diet" foods are worse for us than real foods. Moderation in all things is a good motto!

  6. I'll be rooting you on! You've set some great goals for yourself and it sounds like you are doing it the right way. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Smoothies are a great way to start the day - diet or NO diet. I'm rooting for you!

  8. Good luck to you. And for the record, your ass is only half the size of Rhode Island.

  9. Now I get to cheer you on Dave! Now move yer ass!