Tag Archives: Weight Loss

An Open Letter to Myself

Hello Geb,

You’ve lapsed, as a runner, a fitness aficionado and as a blogger. 2015 has been your least consistent year on the road and at the gym since you decided to run marathons in 2010. You’ve become substantially slower, substantially heavier and substantially weaker. You didn’t make fitness a priority this year and that is absolutely okay, it’s not optimum, but it’s okay.  It’s time to get back on the wagon and to do that, you need a goal and a plan.

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Looking Back at 2012, and Forward to 2013

A New Year is a lot like the starting line of a marathon.  You’re all rested and renewed, either by the holidays or your taper (though for some those things might make you feel weak and drained). You start full of plans, goals and expectations, some you will achieve and some you might not, but either way you are ready to try your damnedest to succeed.  Soon people fall back, maybe their goal was too ambitious, they didn’t prepare themselves or they don’t believe in themselves enough. Some who stumble early will drop out, others will find the strength inside to push and surpass what they set out to do. In the end just finishing another one (year or marathon) is reason to celebrate. I did not have the perfect 2012 when it came to my fitness and running goals. I don’t think I bit off more than I could chew,  but some unhealthy habits relapsed and held me back from full success. Even with the stumbles along the way, this was my best running year yet, and I learned some things that I can apply to make 2013 even better. Continue reading

Eating to Run!

Lately I’ve been on a push to lose a final few pounds and hopefully finally  get rid of my gut.  I’m 6’1″ and I was at 205lbs in late February (or Febtober as I like to call it in honor of SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy) cut about 10lbs by my Yakima River Canyon Marathon and I’m shooting for a goal of 180 by sometime this summer.  The hard part is, I’m running 60+ miles a week, and lifting weights at least twice each week so I don’t want to short myself on fuel.

In the past when trying to lose weight I’ve shot for a 1000 Calorie deficit a day,  whether through exercise or just eating less, so that I wound up losing ~2 pounds a week.  It always resulted in at least a little rebound weight in the end, because we just aren’t meant to run (pun kinda intended) on that kind of deficit, but I kept banging my head against that wall because I was not happy with my body.  Now I’m basically happy with my body as is,  I just want to drop the weight so I can be a bit faster and to conquer the gut I’ve had for 18 years or more (I was a chubby kid even at 10).  I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and even though I’m not elite, nor am I ever likely to be, I’m an athlete now! (If you’d asked me 5 years ago if I’d ever consider myself an athlete, I’d have laughed in your face.)  I no longer see food as my nemesis (which it really never was to begin with), or as something I need to control, but as my ally in crafting a healthy lifestyle.

Now I’m working with my food,  trying to cook and eat delicious healthy meals to get me to my 2500-3000 calories i need each day.   An average week day goes something like this:

Breakfast: Usually a protein shake/smoothie containing 3oz of berries, 8oz 1% milk and 2 scoops of Protein Powder (total 440 calories, 63g of protein), Sometimes it’s an Omelet or a bagel sandwich.

Morning Snacks at  the office: 1 serving Dried or fresh apples, Yoplait Light yogurt, 6oz Chicken Breast (total 400 – 410 calories, 40g protein) 

Lunch: 1 cup Beans (pinto or black usually), .5 cup brown rice (~350 cals, 16g fiber)

Afternoon Snacks: 2 fruits, (usually an orange and a banana) a can of tuna and a serving of potato chips (~420 cals, 26g protein)

Dinner: Here is where I have my fun! At least when I’m not doing a show, if I’m in rehearsals than this is usually more chicken breast, more rice, and more beans, just dressed differently. A few recent dinners:

Accidental Peanut Thai Soup: 2oz Rice Noodles (dry weight), 6oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Stir Fry Veggies, garlic, onions, green peppers. Homemade Peanut sauce (2/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, onion, sirracha, curry powder and lime juice to taste all blended together) (~700 cals, 50g protein)

Beef Fajitas: 1/3lb skirt steak, onions, garlic green peppers, fajita seasoning. 2 or 3 Corn Tortillas, 1 cup pinto beans

Various Whole wheat pasta, sauce, and meat or fish (favorite fishes: Seared Tuna Steak, Salmon Filet) combinations.

Evening Snack: Depends on what macro nutrients I’m short on,  there have  been occasions it’s just a tablespoon of peanut butter or extra virgin olive oil

I know my exact meal plan doesn’t work for everyone, I’m burning 10000 calories a week running and only trying to drop ~1lb a week. But the principles I’ve learned can work for anyone to change their lifestyle so they can achieve their fitness goals. The basic principles I follow can best be summed up as:

  1. Eat mostly whole foods (Fruit, Vegetables, legumes) and whole grains, avoid the processed stuff.
  2. Keep your protein, fiber and healthy fat intakes relatively high, and unhealthy (Saturated or Trans) fat intake low. 
  3. If you’re doing lots of cardio eat plenty of carbs (which you will eating whole grains and whole fruit/veggies)
  4. Don’t deprive yourself, moderation is your friend. You can have a treat, just keep in your calorie goal range for the day and you’ll be fine.
  5. If you make a mistake, accept it and move on, one mistake does not a failure make.

Soon I will hit my goal weight, and the calorie deficit will go out the window, but I will continue to follow those principles because they’re part of a healthy lifestyle, the athlete/runners lifestyle I want to be living far on into the future!

There Are At Least “100 Reasons You Should Work Out Today”

There is a great post on Sparkpeople.com (the site I use to keep track of my calories in vs. calories out btw) today to help light a fire under your arse on those days when you are lacking the motivation to workout.

Today was one of those days for me,  I woke up and my allergies were kicking me in the face, I was feeling dried out, my throat hurt from breathing through my mouth and my eyes were itching like crazy.  I procrastinated in bed for 20 minutes or more, but at about 5:15 I remembered that I run for me. I’m making the choice each day to run because I love it and because I love what it does for me. So, I dragged myself out of bed, and got myself on the road.

5 wonderful (if stuffy) miles and a 30 minute weight training session later, I got home and waiting in my inbox was 100 Reasons You Should Work Out Today.  Although some of them don’t really fit my reasons for working out, many of them ring true for me, and here are a few that particularly struck me:

2. Because it helps you get stronger

5. Because you have goals you want to reach

57. Because you want to shave time off your running pace

98. Because you want to be stronger than your excuses

100. Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip

Which ones in the list speak the most to you?

Beginnings are funny things.

Here goes nothing!… I’m making a new start at getting back in shape, eating healthy and taking care of my body after about 12 months of varying levels of mistreatment.   I’ve paid lip-service to staying/getting back in shape for 9 months or so, but I never really got back on the horse, and I think I know why.  Details are after the break.Summer 2009 I was where I wanted to be, running 30-50 miles a week, 175 lbs, lifting regularly and seemingly feeling better about myself and my body then I ever had before, I was tracking calories in vs calories out in order to make sure I was getting enough food to fuel my running, but it wasn’t a hassle, I was physically healthy for the first time since I was 7 or 8 when I first started getting overweight.  Little did I know that emotionally I was not very healthy and could easily be knocked off the rails.

What I didn’t realize is that I was in a horrendously co-dependent relationship that was (thankfully) crumbling and finally fell apart at the end of that summer. Although the end of that relationship was a good thing for both parties involved looking back at it, it certainly didn’t feel that way at the time.  I’d lost my self  in the plate tectonics of this co-dependent relationship, subducting my sense of worth below the continental shelf of the way this other person viewed me. When we parted ways, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I fell back on old habits: eating my feelings, and everything else that was edible.

I realized I was in a funk in January 2010 or so and rebuilt Geb, but in the interim I’d gained back between 15 and 25 lbs of my fat.  I was still fairly healthy in the low to mid 190s,  just not as healthy as I had been, and I was fine with that because I was now fine with myself.  I loved (and still do) myself for my weird dorky sense of humor, my love of acting, and my wonderful friends.  I was ready to suck the marrow out of life and so I did.

Everything would’ve been dandy if I’d stayed in the 185-195 range, but as life got busy thanks to my new, more confident nature I got complacent.  I made excuses not to monitor calories in, to skip runs/workouts rather than owning the fact I have issues with food.  That ends today.  210 lbs is a line I should have never been near again, let alone crossed, but I have crossed it and 211 I don’t think I want to get all the way back down to 175,  I look almost sickly in the pictures from that weight, but I want to be 180-185 and I want to stay there and the only way I’m going to achieve it is through hard work. I’ve created this new blog: Aspiration, Inspiration, Respiration, Perspiration! specifically to record that hard work and have a record of it to look at when I need some inspiration.  If others are inspired by it then so be it, but I am doing it for me. It’s not something I need to do for anyone but me. I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend, friends and family that love me exactly how I am, and I love me exactly how I am, but I like to challenge my body with long distance running, I’d love to try a Triathlon, and I can’t do those things if I don’t get in better shape.  So here we go… later this week THE PLAN!

And So it Begins…

Well here goes nothing! As of yesterday I am at 203 pounds, 23lbs from my goal. This is going to be interesting to say the least, since we’re starting this adventure before one of the biggest eating days of the year. Luckily, having done it before I know it can be done. Continue reading

Weight Loss Battle Royale (With Cheese!)

A few of my friends have decided we want to lose weight.  It’s not that any of us are obese, or even unhealthily overweight, we’re just not happy with the state of our beer bellies. We decided that the best way to reach our collective goals would be a little friendly competition.  The details are after the break: Continue reading