Diet by App – October 16

Using the Lose It!  iPhone app

What have I lost so far? Adult Jack Russell Terrier  weighs in at 18 pounds

What have I lost so far?
Adult Jack Russell Terrier
weighs in at 18 pounds

Starting weight:  236.6 lbs. (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1909 per day  (Started at 2020/day)

Projected Goal Achievement (Adjusted):  December 2 12  January 12

Weight on September 6:  220.8 lbs.

Weight today:  218.8 lbs. (down 17.8 lbs.)

Finally!

We broke the 220 mark this week!

The first time I have been below the 2-2-0 in at least a decade.  It’s been a lot of bouncing back a forth between 221 and 223, but I finally broke through with a little help from a sinus infection that made everything I ate taste like Nothing.

Confession Time 1:

Years ago – probably somewhere in the mid-1990s – I tried to lose a lot of weight fast because I was really concerned about my suddenly skin-tight pants.  Decided to try the Slim Fast route – the powdered drink of Dieting Champions! 

Worked well for a while, but the hunger never really subsides, which is predictable when you go from no-holds-barred eating to next-to-nothing.  But for roughly 10-14 days I was a faithful powdered drink dieter.

That is until one day my wife finds me sitting out in the yard, unable to get to my feet due to dizziness.  I had also noticed that day that my “droppings” had an unusual white color to them.  (This can indicate more serious health problems; but in my case it went away once I got back to a normal diet.) 

Carol – as wife, nurse and defacto protector of the family income stream – ordered me off the powder and into the kitchen for a load of high carb inputs.  She was dead on right; and I realized Quick and Sudden wasn’t the best route to a slimmer me.  

Confession Time  2:

I haven’t been as faithful to my good friend, the Lose It! app, lately. 

The app has helped me out a lot.  But by now – after 8 months of slow, semi-steady progress – I have sufficiently changed most of my bad eating habits, and can pretty accurately calculate where I am – calorie wise – without falling back on the app as a crutch.

I tend to use it more in the beginning of the day through lunchtime because it keeps me honest and allows me to plan my programmed calorie intake for the remainder of the day.  It also helps me keep track of my trade-offs on those days when I’m at the gym or will be burning big calories working around the house or playing golf (1000 calories for a typical 4-and-a-half-hour round in a cart according to Lose It!).

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Diet by App – September 6

Dear Readers:  Some followers of Cranky Man’s Lawn seem not all that enamored with such personal, mundane posts as this series on reducing Cranky Man’s physical presence in The Real World.  Yes, these status reports are more than a little self-serving and – maybe – not as gripping as my usual cutting edge opinions and humor. (Please don’t miss the HUMOR part of that last sentence.)

Anywho … It’s a PERSONAL blog!  Get used to it.

That being said, I will endeavor to make these a bit more interesting with a few stories or tidbits not normally worthy of my renown writing abilities.  (Humor … remember?)

And so without further ado …

Things that go Sock in the Night

That night was not a good night for sleeping.  For some reason my on-again/off-again snoring habit (She will claim it more On-all-the-Time.) had reared its noisy head.  I recall waking up several times with an admonishing voice in my ear and sharp pain radiating from the Her Side of my ribcage.

Yet at some point I was able to settle my snoring down and was sleeping rather fitfully.

It was still in the wee hours of that morning when I was nudged awake by my Better Half asking me to, ” … go downstairs and bring up the socks.”

“Huh …?”, I mumbled before realizing she was asleep and probably dreaming of some convoluted scenario where I was certain to do something not to her liking.

It never crossed my mind to ask what the damn socks were doing downstairs … in the dark … all by themselves.  Figuring she would simply go back to sleep I - not surprisingly - fell right into the Convoluted Scenario Trap.

I responded, “Sure, honey, I’ll get them.”  And I rolled over to get back to sleep … again.

I had been laying there for but a minute or two when I felt a sudden throwing back of the heavy quilt and my lovely wife’s legs swinging out over the edge of the bed.

“Where are you going?!?”, I asked groggily.

“Well, if you’re not going down to get the socks, I guess I’LL HAVE TO!

I briefly considered letting her go downstairs to stand in the middle of the living room wondering what she was doing there or – even better – “Who the hell broke in and stole the socks?!?”  But guilt and thoughts of costly medical bills from a fall down the steps in the pitch dark convinced me to – somewhat nicely – tell her to lay down; go back to sleep; she was dreaming …

She claims she doesn’t remember The Night of the Neglected Socks; but the laughs we’ve enjoyed since have been real enough.

       

Forty pairs of socks would weigh about 15.8 pounds.

630 pairs of socks would weigh
about 15.8 pounds.

Starting weight:  236.6 lbs. (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1913 per day  (Started at 2020/day)

Projected Goal Achievement (Adjusted):  December 2 12  

Weight on August 21:  222.0 lbs.

Weight today:  220.8 lbs. (15.8 down)

Diet by App – Hitting the Reset Button

What have I lost? Male red panda weighs up to 14 lbs.,  and he knows how to relax!

What have I lost?
Male red panda weighs up to 14 lbs.,
and he knows how to relax!

It’s been a rough Summer.

No, nothing tragic or disastrous happened, just six weeks of constant aggravation that – admittedly – wouldn’t have caused a stronger, more patient individual to blink. But sprinkle in enough mini-crises and social distractions (i.e. food-loaded events) and bye-bye Diet-by-App lifestyle.

But enough for my excuses …

The good news is that when I finally faced my non-compliance and hopped on the scale, I found that I had maintained exactly the same weight noted in my last Diet-by-App status report in June!

Apparently the new eating habits formed in my gung-ho happy months had taken hold, even my tendency to snack a bit more than I should hadn’t resulted in weight regression. My preference for a good salad - after a round of golf for example – instead of loading up on a bread-heavy sandwich – my usual menu choice – is one change in eating habits that seems to have helped a lot.

Bane of my existence ...  Can you hear it calling you?

Bane of my existence …
Can you hear it calling you?

Now I find myself avoiding sandwiches – both big and small – almost every time I have the choice in favor of lighter meals.

So here I am, hitting the Reset Button and trying to climb back on the Lose It! wagon!

So where are we?

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1921 per day  (Started at 2020/day)

Projected Goal Achievement:  December 2  

Weight on June 13:  222.0

Weight today:  222.0

I am rethinking my goal weight, believing that getting my weight down to 200-205 lbs. might be good enough to “declare victory”.  But I will endeavor to keep pushing for 200 for the time being.

Diet by App – June 13

The continuing saga of Better Living through the Lose It! iPhone app.

What have I lost? Male red panda weighs up to 14 lbs.,  and he knows how to relax!

What have I lost?
Male red panda weighs up to 14 lbs.,
and he knows how to relax!

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1925 per day  (Started at 2020/day)

Goal Achievement:  August 3 19 24 Sept 5 27

Weight on April 10:  224.0

Weight today:  222.0

Been a tough month … Had several distractions and events that waylaid the diet discipline and worse, precluded the ability to get my normal level of exercise.

On the other hand, it’s amazing what a few minor and seasonal health issues will do to your appetite and caloric intake.  Combine that with the usual, customary, and required activities of a lawn care nut job and suddenly you have progress … albeit on a delayed and meandering curve.

I have resolved not to bother my readers with updates that show no progress, so feel free to thank the blogging gods of Meaningless Post Minimization for your uncluttered read feed.

But that’s OK, since I am looking at this as a long-term project … on my own schedule … there will be plenty of almost-meaningless updates!

Apologies to Lose It!‘s desire that I stick to the program schedule.

Diet by App – May 13

The continuing saga of Better Living through the Lose It! iPhone app.

What have I lost?  Four-month old black bear cub weighs 12 pounds.

What have I lost?
Four-month old black bear cub weighs 12 pounds.

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1940 per day  (Started at 2020/day)

Goal Achievement:  August 3 19 24 Sept 5

Weight on April 10:  225.0

Weight today:  224.0

Another two weeks, another pound …

My only complaint so far about the Lose It! app is it’s overly optimistic calorie budgeting.  According to my original plan creation, I should be losing 1 1/2 pounds a week.  As I have been very faithful in my inputs – both food intake and caloric output – throughout the process, I can only assume metabolism is the variable.

I’m no saint, and might fall off the wagon once or twice a week; but not to the extent - calorie wise – that would limit my weight lose to 1/2 pound a week.  Usually these bouts of non-compliance have more to do with events and social occasions.  I might partake of added calories, but I generally keep it relatively healthy.

Even my night-time snacking has improved immensely.  And though it hasn’t disappeared completely, I have been able to limit it considerably and dutifully account for those calories in an effort to keep myself honest.

Pretty certain there’s a metabolic connection to the differences between the Plan and the Result.  Lose It! is after all a fairly simple calorie counting program.  There is no attempt to account for anything other than the straight caloric inputs and outputs one experiences during the day.

I’m pretty sure there has to be a difference between how a 50+ male and a 25 year-old male burn off calories or metabolize their food intake.  There are weeks where I feel as though I have burned a lot more calories than my progress demonstrates.

Yet I guess I can’t complain because I’m still losing.  It’s just taking longer than I expect.

If you take a look at the data presented at the beginning of each post, you can see where the goal achievement date has been pushed from early August into early September now.  This is automatically recalculated by Lose It! each weigh-in based on your progress-to-date.

I’m simply in for a longer haul than I had hoped.  But maybe this way the changes in behavior will last a lifetime.

Diet by App – April 30

What have I lost lately?  an African Penguin weighs 11 lbs.

What have I lost lately?
an African Penguin weighs 11 lbs.

The continuing saga of Better living through the Lose It! iPhone app.

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1940 (Started at 2020/day)

Goal Achievement:  August 3 19 24

Weight on April 10:  228.0

Weight today:  225.0

.

Have come to the realization this project is simply going to progress in fits and starts, often with absolutely no inkling which way I’m “progressing”.  There are times when I can feel I am making progress (or lack thereof) as confirmed by that flat little Judge Numeric, who hides rodent-like under the sink in the bathroom.

Have also learned that how I feel is not a reliable indicator of said progress (or lack thereof).  On some days – like today – when I expected the Scale Judge to weigh-in disapprovingly on my latest efforts, I am pleasantly surprised.  Judge Numeric and my self-conscience, Judge O’Self are smiling most approvingly at my lower Earth density value (down 3 lbs since April 10).

The white-fronted marmoset not only weighs 11 pounds, that face looks eerily familiar.

The white-fronted marmoset not only weighs 11 pounds, that face looks eerily familiar.

My best guess is the awakening Spring – particularly the yard work that begs of me – has much to do with my slightly tighter belt cinch.

No shocker to anyone, who regularly visits, that I am just a tad OCD about how the outside of the house looks, particularly that lush green magic carpet ride of which I sometimes write of here.  My anality over grassidity is a nagging impetus that requires quick attention … like so many other naggings in my life.  Though it’s really just a stimulant – as is a warming sun and the smells of Spring – to get into motion and throw off the cobwebs of Winter.

And it gets me out of the house.

Besides I had a list of lawn projects and treatments and cleanup and general landscape …

Yes, Virginia, it can ALWAYS look better!

But enough about that in other posts.

Diet by App – April 10

Two--week old lion cubs weigh about 8 pounds!

What have I lost so far? Two–week old lion cubs weigh about 8 pounds!

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1969 (Down from 2,020 at the start)

Goal Achievement:  August 3 19

Weight on March 19:  229.4

Weight today:  228.0

Confession time … again …

I skipped one week of my extremely popular Diet by App updates so as not to expose my vast audience to another episode of Creepy Coconut Crab.  In short, it hasn’t been a real good dieting period.

Truth is, on Good Friday I stood at 227 pounds, down 9 for The Diet.  Then Easter weekend hit.  The boys – all three of them – were home, along with Michael’s charming wife, Janelle.  It’s a certifiable Life Event when we can get everyone in one place at the same time!

Sockeye salmon (foreground) also weighs in at 8 pounds of good eating!

Sockeye salmon (foreground) also weighs in at 8 pounds of good eating!

So take that Life Event and add in Carol’s penchant for making sure EVERYONE enjoys a momentous Easter sugar rush, including those on a diet, and violà!  Diet disaster …

It’s the Peeps!  They made me do it!

So now it’s two weeks later, and I’m trying to get back to where I was.  Not sure why it’s taken this long, considering I have been significantly under calorie budget for the two weeks since; but it has.

I suspect I’m still playing too loose with my calorie budget; and definitely eating the wrong things … still … in the evening hours.  I’m trying to change – or at least moderate – my snacking habit.  Every time I’m disappointed in my lack of progress, I am at least re-evaluating what I am doing and trying to change what I’m doing poorly.

The good news is … The Coconut Crab is history!

Diet by App – March 26

What have I lost so far?  What the ...?!?

What have I lost so far?
The creepy, gigantic Coconut Crab – minus trash can – weighs 6.6.lbs.!

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1969 (Down from 2,020 at the start)

Goal Achievement:  August 3, 2013

Weight on March 19:  229.4

Weight today:  229.6

I’m stuck on Coconut Crab!  Damn you, Lose It!

This can be frustrating.  Now I’ll admit, I was a tad over-budget this week on calories. But in the overall scheme of things being only 120 calories over a weekly budget of 13,790 calories is barely “over budget”.

Isn’t it?

This diet thing is a bit perplexing.  Truth be told though, it didn’t feel like a good week.  But then again, neither did last week, when the Tale of the App showed a 3+ pound loss.  And that week I was 270 calories over budget!

I don’t get it.  I’m not surprised.  I just don’t get it.  Maybe it’s a cumulative penalty-type thing.

Or …

Perhaps it was that Friday afternoon Happy Hour, downing three Stella Artois (150 cal. per) and a bit of lunch (actually a sizeable roast pork sandwich) at the new Horsham Pub while catching the Temple University victory over NC State in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Who knows?  But you wouldn’t think that would be a huge culprit when you were still so close to budget.

Then again, I knew I had to exercise a bit more the rest of the weekend to work that off.  Maybe it’s not really all that hard to figure out.

Fact is, I still have a few bad habits I’m working through.  These I know, if I can control, will make a difference … or should.

So here’s to another week looking to vanquish that ugly Coconut Crab!

Diet by App – March 19

What have I lost so far?  What the ...?!?

What have I lost so far?
The creepy, gigantic Coconut Crab – minus trash can – weighs 6.6.lbs.!

Starting weight:  236 (Feb 18)

Goal Weight:  200

Plan:  Lose one-and-a-half pounds a week

Daily Calorie Budget:  1969 (Down from 2,020 at the start)

Goal Achievement:  August 3, 2013

Weight on March 11:  232.6

Weight today:  229.4

Two things popped into my head today while preparing this post.

The most obvious one was “What the fff … funnelcake is that creature?!?”, that resulted from my weekly Google image search to illustrate the weight I have shed (or haven’t).

That hideous looking Creature of God is the Coconut Crab, found in regions across the Indian Ocean and western Pacific where the much prettier coconut palm is indigenous .

Sorry, but that thing IS hideous; and I’m thrilled that I have shed it’s very creeping-me-out-now weight.

But the first thing that popped into my mind occurred this morning when I stepped on the scale and was shock at the number.  At that moment it became quite clear to me that I really do not have a clue how this diet thing works.

I actually put the weekly weigh-in off a day because I was certain that the news was not going to be good, or at least it was going to be roughly similar to last week’s measure, dropping only 0.6 lb.  When I saw that I had in fact lost 3.2 lbs. in ONE WEEK, I was flummoxed.

And so, for the first time in a while I am under the 230 mark!

This was not supposed to be a good week, even if I was 270+ calories UNDER budget for the week.  But that had been possible only after a sustained effort – over the weekend no less – to get back on program..

It certainly didn’t FEEL like a good week!  Thursday I over-indulged in the celebration of my son’s birthday – at Bonefish Grillagain.  Only this time we benefitted from a bad performance in the BFG kitchen; and we waited an extended period of time for our main entrees.

Normally, this would be a story about a crappy restaurant experience.  But that has not been the case at the Willow Grove version of the Bonefish Grill.  Unfortunately, my dieting effort would suffer a HUGE setback as the result of this Bone Fish error.

The management at this BFG always seems to be on top of the guest experience.  Almost as soon as we started wondering what had happened to our main course, the manager was at our table explaining the problem and ensuring a favorable outcome.  We only waited another 10 minutes for our food; yet in that short amount of time our manager had informed us that we would be comped our appetizers (Bang Bang Shrimp x2) and – dagger to the back of The Diet App – free deserts!

As a friend of mine is quite fond of saying, “If it’s free; it’s for me!”

“Lose It!” was not happy in the least.  Maybe it was my frantic touch-screen manipulations as I tried to determine which desert offering would do the LEAST amount of damage to the diet program.  Or it could have been what I eventually selected … the dreaded Chocolate Creme Brulee!

But if you listened closely, you could almost hear my diet app sighing.

If this wasn’t bad enough, the following day my wife of 27 years left me …

.

… for a cruise through the Caribbean!

Anxious and depressed, I celebr consoled myself in a guilt-filled bout of inappropriate snacking and mindless TV watching.  I was able to shake off the yearning and loneliness on Saturday and Sunday; getting some much-needed things done; and even squeezing in a bit of exercise in 40° wind chills between bouts of sleet and snow showers on Sunday.

That’s probably the biggest benefit of a diet app like “Lose It!”.  It gives you the opportunity to make up for short-sighted decisions by illustrating the damage done and then assisting you in determining what needs to done to get yourself back on track!

In any case, the results for the week just passed were simply surprising!

Diet by App (March 11)

What have I lost so far?  Appropriate given today's lesson!

Our “What have I lost?” picture is appropriate for the failures cited in this post!

This is the 200th post to appear on Cranky Man’s Lawn!  Thanks for reading! – Mike

A disappointing week …

Dropped only 0.6 lb., getting down to an even 232 from 232.6 on March 4.  Although this is a disappointment, at least I know it’s not the “Lose It!” app that failed. No, it was the definitely The App-ee!

I am playing a bit too coy and calculating with my calorie limit; thinking at times that I have “all these unused calories” to burn through, so why not enjoy a temptation or two.  As a result, I end up pushing up to the edge of the calorie limit, then beyond it in my over-exuberance to enjoy my over-abundance of under-utilized venial sin demerits.

(A word about our “What have I lost?” picture of the week … I was surprised to find out, what used to be a 5 lb bag of sugar has lost 20% of its weight!  When did this happen?  And did the PRICE come down 20% too?!? 

Yes, I’m being facetious!)

As a result, this past week showed me 350 calories over my calorie limit (1999 cal) for the week, where I had been between 150-800 calories under budget my previous 3 weeks.  The worst part is being over budget on 5 of the 7 days!

Not good …

Part of the trap here, I think, is the mind game you play when you rely on the exercise credits Lose it! allows.  You start bargaining with yourself.

“Hey, we’re 600 calories under for the week …”

“PARTY!!”

No, the “bargaining” didn’t take long at all.

An ostrich egg (right) also weighs in at about 4 lbs.

An ostrich egg (right) also weighs about 4 lbs.

This is still an education for me.  Even in failure you should learn something about yourself or about whatever it is you seek.

I’m still learning.

So, I will endeavor to maximize my under-budget calories whenever possible, even if it means eating fruit, nuts, and tree bark instead of the my usual guilty pleasures.  And now that the weather is turning for the better, get some exercise on days when I don’t hit the gym.

Here’s hoping for greater strength and a bit more progress!