Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Weight Loss Approach

First off let me just start off this blog post with giving you some information about myself.  I grew up as a teenager in high school working at McDonald's.  Since I was friends with some of the managers and worked there a lot I ate a lot of crap food.  This coupled with my lack of self control or attitude towards food (I'll always be big/overweight and as long as I don't die, that's fine with me) I gained weight to the tune of 265 lbs.  Now, I know that many of you may say that that is not overweight since I am so tall. However, that weight equates to a BMI (Body Mass Index) of just over 34.  You are considered obese when you have a BMI over 30, overweight if it is over 25.  I wanted to write this post to give those of you who have voiced a need for inspiration and those of you who I may never meet, some insight into our weight loss approach.  I by no means am saying that I am an expert in the field of weight loss; I can only give you tips and hints for what has worked for my wife and me.  So here goes, take what you want and I hope you are able to apply it in your lives.

As many people know you can lose weight by any number of ways: diet & exercise, fad diets, crazy diets, pills, etc.  I believe that the only one that actually works is the first grouping on that list: Diet & Exercise.  My thoughts on this are fad diets, crazy diets, and pills are ways to try and take the easy way out.  I am by no means putting anyone down who has tried these methods or who has had success with these methods I can only give you my opinion and tell you what has worked for me.  Another thought on the above mentioned diets and pills is that once you lose the weight you will either have to continue to take the pills/fad diet for the rest of your life or you will have to learn how to eat healthy, which would put you in the same boat as if you had started out with diet & exercise.

I can just hear some of you now, ok so how do I do this Mr. Smartypants since you think you're so good.  Well, first I am not Mr. Smartypants (just ask my wife and I am sure she will tell you that I am not always right, even if I somewhat think I am, it's a male trait and we all have it)!  Secondly, here are some tips to help you along in your (what I hope is) diet & exercise success:
  1. Working out with a partner seems to be the best idea - If you can find a partner to work out with that seems to help and keep both of you going.  There have been times that my wife or I have not wanted to either go to the gym or wanted to give up and cut our workout short and that other person has been there to root/challenge/coach the other person on so use the Buddy System, it's not just for little kids anymore!
  2. Start out small - I am not saying that you have to go out and start running 5-10 miles to start losing weight but you should start out small so that you can build up your endurance and your stamina to eventually be able to work out longer.  Also starting out small gives you the chance to work towards smaller goals that along the way will provide inspiration and support to you in your journey.  Just a walk around the block is a good start.
  3. Find workout regiments that you like - Don't go to the gym and go to spin class if you hate spinning.  Find something that you enjoy and chose that to do.  Myself, I like to run so that it what I do.  My goal is to run a 1/2 marathon by the end of the year and I am up to running 5 miles straight without stopping to walk/catch my breath.  Now I still have another 7 miles to go but hey you can't do this overnight!
  4. Find things that are inspirational and use them to help you further yourself along this journey - This one I added since it has seemed that over the past 4 months my wife and I have really gained motivation and strength from watch NBC's hit show The Biggest Loser.  So find that inspiration and use it.
I would like to provide some healthy eating tips as well.  I know there are some out there who know me that say, ha Greg is giving people diet tips, hello pot, this is kettle, you're black! However, I think that I have come a long way since that kid who worked at McDonald's and I would say that if you listen you would agree, too!
  1. Make sure to read labels of what you're eating - In the pictures to the right you can see some items that we have around the apartment: Diet Pepsi, Propel, Mixed Nuts, and Soy Crisps.  The reason I show these is because these are some healthy snacks that, when done in moderation can be a healthy alternative to a half a bag of chips, which I won't lie I could eat without even trying.  The Soy Crisps are 110 calories per serving and they have protein in them which helps you feel fuller longer (try the Ranch flavor first; I think they are the best).  The mixed nuts have protein in them as well but you have to watch how many you eat and make sure to measure out those servings.  The diet Pepsi and Propel are healthy alternatives to regular Pepsi and sports drinks like Power-Ade, which I love but you can drink 1 serving of Power-Aid and get 50 calories to 10 for the Propel.
  2. Pre-plan your meals for the week - This seems to be a key thing that I had no idea would impact how I eat as much as it did.  Melissa and I on Sunday's pre-make breakfast burritos for the week and freeze them.  This then gives us something to eat every morning, its good, only about 300 calories, and it keeps you full.  I won't even tell you what happened the one day we didn't have burrito's made, let's just say there was a small bag of chili cheese Fritos and WAY, WAY too many calories for breakfast.
  3. Also be careful of serving sizes - Look in the picture of mixed nuts to the right and tell me how many servings of mixed nuts that is. If you guessed 1/4 of a cup of nuts which equals 1 serving you are correct.  Now tell me how many calories are in that 1 serving?  200 Calories!!!  May not seem like a lot but think of how many "servings" of mixed nuts you could have without even trying: 1, 2, and 3 even?  Be careful of those serving sizes.
  4. Finally you will have an off day - I know everyone is going to say:  "You can't watch what you eat all the time!"  and you know what they are right.  You are going to have a day or two (hopefully only a few) where you slip up or you are celebrating someone's birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc... Just approach those days with an open mind, think before you eat and hey you can always eat anything you want but just remember that treadmill, stair master, bicycle in the gym may end up being your friend for a very long time the next day so just be smart about what you eat.
So I hope this has given you some guidance to our approach and you take the pieces that will work for you and use them on your weight loss journey.  Both Melissa & I will be here to answer any questions you may have and if we don't know it we loved to Google so we will try and find an answer for you.  Feel free to use the links below to help you on your journey.  Good luck and I wish you success.

Monday, April 27, 2009

This week will be a busy week!

This week started off by Melissa and me recovering from a long day on Saturday of exercising. Melissa and I went outside and took some pictures of the 3 of us since it was such a nice day. That's the city in the background and this is the view from our apartment complex. We also thought it would be nice to take a picture of us after our 4 months of exercising so that people could see how we look so that, as one of my friends on facebook said, you can still recognize us :-) The next couple of day Melissa & I will be doing light runs of 3.5 miles and on Thursday and Friday we will likely just walk the dog to prepare for the Flying Pig 5k on Saturday morning. We are also not going to the Kentucky Derby this year :-( I am said about that but we will have plenty of times to go in the future. We will make sure to post our times for the 5K and I can post my time from last year so that you can see if I improved (hopefully) or not. We will also be posting pictures next week Sunday from our canoe trip. Well time to sleep so I can do my 8 hours of photo editing tomorrow in preparation for our pending website redesign.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Breakfast Burritos

Since we've had some questions lately about some of the healthy meals we make we decided we would share some of our recipes. We decided to start this week with our breakfast burritos.


1 package whole wheat flour tortillas - room temperature (we prefer Meijer brand because they roll the best)
8 Banquet Brown 'n Serve Turkey Sausages
1 15 oz Southwestern Egg Beaters
8 slices Kraft 2% cheese slices

Cook the turkey sausages in the microwave per the package instructions. When prepared remove and slice in half and then into pieces as shown. (That extra one is for April!)

Spray a frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat begin scrambling egg beaters. When they begin to cook add the turkey pieces. Continue to scramble until eggs are cooked through.

Place tortilla and cheese slice on a waxed paper wrapper. Top with 1/8 of egg mixture. Roll burritos in wrappers. Yield 8 burritos. We make them on Sunday and freeze 6 for the week. We place the other 2 in the fridge and pull the burritos for the next day out each morning, this prevents the shells from hardening in the microwave when reheating. To heat place in the microwave for 45 seconds and add 5-10 secs additional as needed.

As you can see April enjoys watching Greg roll the burritos. I think this is because he sneaks her sausage bits. Plus, he is a primo burrito roller. I will rent him out for a price!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday - Exercising, enough said!

Melissa and I went to Loveland yesterday to do some bike riding and running.  Our day started out with a 2 mile run in the hot sun. This lead to some swearing on my part :-).  Next, we met Melissa's co-worker by coincidence and talked to him for a minute.  Then we hopped on our bikes and took off on a 12 mile bike ride to a pavilion we had passed before to have lunch.  Melissa packed a nice healthy lunch of ham sandwiches, fruit salad, and propel sports drink.  We ate lunch and then headed 12 miles back to our car.  The bike ride yesterday was tuff since the wind was against us the whole time.  Next week, we are going to be canoeing in Loveland and hopefully we will be able to take some pictures of our trip.  Our day concluded with a trip to Trader Joes for some salsa and burgers and then we had a dinner of Bison burgers, corn, and Grandma Brown's baked beans.  1 week till the Flying Pig 5k race!

Friday, April 24, 2009

1 Week till the Flying Pig 5k!

Well it happened this week.  Melissa and I ran 5 miles straight - which I would say classifies us as runners.  We have never ran 5 miles straight so I think that we will be ok for the Flying Pig which is next week and we have also decided to sign up for the Sunburst 10k and not the 5k as we had planned to.  Melissa and I have also added bike riding to our exercising regiment.  I have also continued reading the book "A Course Called Ireland".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BodyBugg Update

The BodyBugg arrived and is fully activated. I've been wearing it for a little more than 24 hours now and I have to say I love it so far. I was doing some workstation testing today at work and this involved quite a bit of walking around. There were also periods of time where I was sitting in meetings and not moving much at all. These were all reflected when I uploaded my data this afternoon. Also, you can see I took April for a walk this evening as well, this is indicated by the spike in activity at around 6. Stay tuned, more to come!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reading Greg!?!

A few weeks ago I was flipping through the ND Magazine and I saw a book review about a book by Tom Coyne called, "A Course Called Ireland. It's about a man's 4 month long trek around Ireland playing some 40+ golf courses.  Since my wife and I went on our honeymoon to Ireland and we both like golf, I thought this would be an interesting book to read.  Now anyone who knows me knows that I do not like/detest/hate to read.  However, this book has proven to be interesting, enjoyable, and very funny.  I had mentioned to my wife that I would like to play some of the courses mentioned in the book however I am not the best golfer and her response was, "Well, we are going in a few years when Notre Dame plays Navy in football, so you have a few years to practice and improve your game!"  I must start right away, after a few more chapters!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time to kick it up a notch

Well we have been fairly successful with our weight loss so far!!  However,  this month has led to a bit of a stall for Greg.  Everything we have accomplished so far has been via eating healthier and lots of exercise.  Since the past two weeks have been pretty hectic with all of the family we have had around it's no surprise things have slowed.  

So to kick it up a notch we've decided to count calories & we used part of our winnings from the apartment complex contest towards a Bodybugg!!!!  The Bodybugg arrived today and it will be activated tomorrow.  So from this point forward I will be tracking my calories burned and we will be tracking the calories we take in.  

Hopefully, kicking it up will help re-start the weight loss and we will reach our goals by the end of this year. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Healthy Packed Saturday

Melissa and I had an action packed Saturday yesterday. Melissa took April for a walk and I went down to the gym for a 4 mile run. We both came back and had 1/2 a roasted chicken sub from Subway and we then set out for a bike ride in Loveland, OH. We ended up biking for 25 miles total! On the way home, we picked up some Salmon for a nice and healthy dinner. We ended up going to bed around 9 PM since we had an action packed day we were tired and needed to get some sleep. Today is an uneventful day of cleaning our apartment, we really know how to have a good time :-)!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary - Tax Day for others!

Melissa & I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary day. Melissa and I have been together for 4 years and there have been many numbers on this journey:
  • 8 - Number of shots of Jameson Whiskey in total that Melissa & I have had, 1 each on our wedding anniversary.
  • 3 - Number of cities that we lived in while being married (Indianapolis, Buffalo, & Cincinnati).
  • 1 - Number of adorable, cute, lovable, clothes chewing Cock-A-Poo named April!
  • 7 - Number of cars we have owned while living together.
  • Infinite - Number of times I realize that I am lucky to have found a girl like Melissa to live out my life with.
Mental note: 16 year old Jameson Whiskey goes down real smooth!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4 Miles Finally!

This evening at the gym both my wife and I challeneged myself to run 4 miles straight. Melissa had done it the night before and I set my goal of this month to run 5 miles straight, so I felt that this was an achievable goal. The first 2 miles were pretty hard but I was able to push through and increase my speed and finish my run in under 50 minutes. I will be working on increasing my speed and stamina next. You can follow my training for a mini-marathon by following my updates on my new twitter page. Rest assure, that this page will still remain my blog while the twitter page will only be for running/training updates. Eyelids growing heavy, good night!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuesday - Back to Normal

Well after having dinner with my parents this evening it is back to the norm tomorrow. I am getting close to completing the intranet website at my work. My brother Nick has started blogging again, make sure to check out his blog by clicking on his image as my fan below. Tomorrow evening is an evening of cleaning, running, eating dinner, and hopefully selling our spare bed for some extra cash. Oh and the Opening Day Red's Posters that I sold on ebay are selling for about $5.00 per poster, NICE! Need sleep, night!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

My family is in town visiting for Easter so we had a busy day! It started with Easter mass this morning after our 3 mile run. Then we came back to the apartment and had a nice brunch that included a healthy breakfast casserole Melissa found in a Cooking Light magazine. Melissa then took April for a long walk to burn her excess puppy energy off. While they were gone, I watched The Masters where Phil Mickelson, my wife's favorite golfer, made a late run at his third green jacket and fell short. We then had a lovely Easter dinner where we unveiled our homemade Butter Lamb!!! This is a polish tradition (neither one of us is Polish, but hey it’s fun), you can get them in Buffalo at the Broadway Market for Easter. Check out the picture. That's all for now!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Well The Week Is Over

That means that the boys are going to be flying back home tomorrow.  They sometimes fight but all and all we have a blast when they are here.  In total we went to:
  1. Keeneland Race Track for horse racing.
  2. Cincinnati Reds Opening Day.
  3. A 16 mile bike ride.
  4. See the movie "Knowing" with them.
  5. A trip to Costco.
  6. A Picnic and hike at Big Bone Lick Park.
I will miss both of them and hope they get to come back for another week this summer to visit.

My parents are coming in to celebrate Easter with Melissa, April, and me.  I haven't seen them in a couple of months so it will be fun to see my family again.  Well talk to you l8r!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another call to poison control

This dog stresses me out more than you know. Tonight we had to place our second $60 call to the ASPCA poison control line. This time April ate half of the tube of clipper oil. Once again she will be fine, we just need to watch her for the next few hours to make sure nothing happens. The most frustrating part, she has no idea we are worried about her.

PS. This is a picture of April sleeping on Nick this morning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Picnic at Big Bone Lick State Park

Well the week of the boys visiting is almost up :-(. Yesterday we went bike riding in Loveland, OH and then had Pizza at a restaurant called "The Works." We biked for 16 miles and afterwords most of us were O.K. Today we took everyone for a picnic at Big Bone Lick park in Northern Kentucky. We walked around the park and saw the Bisons that live there. You can see some of the pictures from today here. All in all, we have had a fun filled week. I hope they come back again, just not soon as we still need time to recover from this trip :-).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weight Loss Competition

The weight loss competition for our apartment contest ended this past weekend. Greg and I weighed in Friday evening. We lost a combined total of 53 pounds and 9.8% of our body fat. I was not convinced either one of us would win but I was happy with our progress. Greg stopped in at the office on Saturday and asked when we would know and the answer was Monday. We didn't hear anything yesterday so I was beginning to think neither one of us won. However, today when I was out at the grocery store with Nick and Alex I missed a call from the apartment complex. I got a call from Greg a little while later and I found out he won!!!! This evening we went to run before dinner and Greg was ahead of me because I forgot my iPod and had to go back to the apartment. When I got there Greg was waiting for me and told me I needed to check in with Nicole because I never called her back. I told Greg that I knew he had talked to her so I figured it was because he won. So I went to talk to her and guess what? I won too!!!!! We won $400 for our efforts. This journey has been great because along the way we have had many small victories and it helps encourage us to keep trucking. We are more than 3 months in and still going strong!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

2009 Red's Opening Day!

Today was a great day! It started with me getting to install my cool new software package at work so I can make more powerful & interactive webpages. I overheard my boss being asked if he wanted 2 tickets to Red's Opening Day. It was cold and rainy here in Cincinnati, so the person who had the tickets was having trouble getting rid of them so I was able to get the tickets for my brother Nick and me. We went to the game and were greeted at the top of the elevator by an usher who said, your tickets are right this way sir. I showed my ticket to the usher who came up next and the lady with him said, "Oh you need a wristband." I said, that the tickets were given to me by a friend from work why do I need a wristband. She said, "This wristband gets you free food and soft drinks inside this heated bar/lounge!" I was so excited since baseball game food can get expensive. My brother and I had a great time even though the Reds loss we still had a blast! It was Opening Day Poster Give Away day at G.A.P. so we were able to pick up about 15, hello eBay! I'll tell you what they sell for. Check out the pictures below from our day. Oh, and Ken Griffey Jr. hit a homerun today, that's 1!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trip to Keeneland with the Boys!

Melissa at KeenelandToday we took the boys to Keeneland race track. As we approached the gate we were greeted by a older gate attendant who asked us how old Nick and Alex were. We told her their age and she said "Wow they look younger than that" and said she could get them in for free and took them over to a gate where they got right in. Both boys won on the first race that they bet on and then turned around and lost it on the second race, they are learning the ways of horse racing at a young age :-). Melissa and I were able to come up with an Exacta Box bet that paid $25.60! We walked around and took several pictures and had a great time. Tonight, we will be watching "The Amazing Race!" playing XBox and catching up on things. I have uploaded some pictures of our trip and you can see them in my Picasa Account here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 1 of the Boy's Spring Break!

Well both, Alex and Nick, are finally here in Cincinnati. Total we went to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast before heading to Cosco for our monthly trip for groceries there. After that we took April for a really long walk to tire her out prior to Nick arriving in the afternoon. I learned that I was able to keep up with my high school aged brother in a run during our walk. We then came back and had Salmon for dinner which was excellent. Nick and I played NCAA 2009 on his Xbox and be both won a game each. I posted some of the highlights from my first game with him. Tomorrow it's off to Keeneland for racing. Wish us luck as we try and make some money or at least have a fun day and come back with plenty of pictures!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Exciting Friday!

Well today's Gold Medal Products open house was fun. A lot of people came through to sample all the good food and treats that were available. I was not able to indulge since Melissa and I had to weigh in for our apartment complex's weight loss competition. We both lost weight I am believe that I lost approximately 30 lbs. I don't know what my change in body fat percentage is as that is how the competition is won/loss so we will let you know if we win.

I was able to set up the blog so that you can now reach it by typing in http://www.260oneilproductions.com. I hope I haven't lost too many people from my domain being down so long. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Melissa's brother Alex who is coming in from FL via JFK. He was supposed to be here around 7 PM this afternoon but due to the bad weather we had last night, which was hitting JFK this evening, he was delayed until approximately 2:15 PM (we hope he is just about to take off as I type this). More information and pictures from this weekend will be posted. Hope we all have fun!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Calm Before The Storm!!

Their coming, be afraid, be very afraid!

P.S. Happy Birthday Dad!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Goals

Well, April is going to be a pretty busy month for us. Alex & Nick arrive this weekend to spend Spring Break with us (no we do not live in Florida – I guess we are fun to hang with). Then Greg’s family is coming in next weekend to celebrate Easter with us. Throughout this time we plan to continue with our plans to remain fit. We plan on doing lots of fun, active tasks with the boys (biking, walking, etc). We are also planning a healthy but yummy Easter dinner.

We have set our April weight loss goals already and we have raised the bar on our fitness goals. By the end of April we will be down a few more pounds and able to run & bike 4 & 10 miles respectively. We are also thinking about heading down to Red River Gorge and doing some basic mountain climbing. Plus, don’t forget we are running the Flying Pig 5k the first weekend in May. We are definitely on target to run this and beyond. Do you think I could talk Greg into the 10k? I think we still have enough time to prep.