John is a 42-year-old occupational therapist from Fresno, where he helps kids who have developmental disabilities, injuries and motor coordination challenges. John knows that his own weight battle might make it tough for some clients to accept and trust his work and while he’s been successful in business, he has been very unsuccessful in weight loss.
John went on his first diet at age 10 and has tried nearly every diet around. At one point John seemed on the road to a healthy lifestyle when he lost 50 pounds. Gradually the weight came back on and now John is turning to Rhonda Murphy and the Four Weeks to Fitness Challenge for help.
John will work with Rhonda on his nutrition, radically changing what John eats, how much he eats, even when he is eating.
November 23, 2011
I am thankful I had the opportunity to participate in “4 Weeks to Fitness.” Being part of this program gave me the motivation and a jump start to success. After participating in this program for 22 days, I believe I have proven to myself that I can focus on weight loss in a healthy way (both mentally and physically). As most overweight individuals, I have tried most fad diets imaginable. However, the problem I experienced with these fad diets is that it really did not provide me with the tools to eat healthy once I went off the diet.
For me I have come to the conclusion that losing weight is not just eating less food, but it is combination of good habits that I needed to develop. I needed to change a variety of my daily habits to become successful, and “Redesign My Life.” I did this by:
I also have changed my routines by measuring or weighing all the food I eat (except for fruits and vegetables). For example, I know 1 cup of cooked pinto beans has 240 calories, 14 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fiber. Or 8 ounces of Orange Roughy Fish has 240 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 0 fiber.
Also I realize that losing weight is probably one of the hardest things to do. If it were easy we would not be a country of obese Americans. For me, I am trying to take it one day at a time. So I am trying to set realistic goals. I use to say, I want to lose 100 lbs. (which I really do want to do). But this is a huge and daunting number. Now I am trying to set daily goals, to change my habits. For example, I have a Goal to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) and I have already planned exactly what I am going to eat, and I am keeping my Thanksgiving Meal to 500 Calories versus the 4000 Calorie Thanksgiving Meal that the Average American Eats.
Wish me luck everyone. I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I am determined to do well. And good luck to all of you are trying hard to lose weight.
Taking it One Day at a Time
So I would say the weekends have been the most challenging days to eat right. I think during the week, with work my life is much more scheduled. So it is very easy to plan my day. However on weekends I have had my most cravings. Prior to starting this, on Saturday I usually would go out to friends, and we almost always go to a good restaurant. On Sundays I love watching football, and during football I would get a pizza.
So I have had to work really hard to fight the cravings on the weekend and avoid the bad habits I had in the past. I am happy to report that I have generally been very good on the weekends; and instead of ordering a pizza I will snack on some fruit during the game.
Since I started eating better on November 1st I have only eaten out on 2 occasions. Prior to starting this Lifestyle Change I would eat out for lunch almost every day and a few nights a week. Part of it was poor planning on my part, but also the social connection with family and friends when we eat out. So I have had to look for other things to do with friends instead of going to a restaurant.
Well this past Friday Night 8 family members had a “Goodbye Dinner” for my brother. We love Chinese food in my family so we went for Chinese. I will admit I was not perfect, but for me I think I did pretty darn good.
I ordered healthier food than I would have in the past, and I did not eat white rice (which I love). Also I ate only 1 plate of food. When I dipped up seconds I took 1 bite, and I thought to myself “dude you are full, put the fork down.” So I stopped eating. This is a big change for me to leave food on the plate, especially food that I tend to enjoy.
Rhonda has spoken to me about listening to my body. I think for me (and probably for a lot of overweight people) that we really don’t know what “Being Full” is. I think for me that I interpreted Stuffed as being full. Whereas, stuffed is over eating. So I need to realize “Full is Full” and “Stuffed is Bad.”
Friday November 18, 2011
Being on this eating plan has really motivated me with exercise. Rhonda has really focused on my nutrition, but she has also encouraged me to move more. I made it my goal this week to exercise 6 days. I have to admit, I really need to dig deep to go to the gym daily. If I have an appointment with Rhonda I will go. But working out on my own is kind of tough for me. I think I like “working out” but I really have not dedicated myself to making it a daily part of my life. Well this week I set a goal to do so.
I went to the gym Monday through Thursday. I also plan on hitting the gym today after work. Then over the weekend I plan to meet a friend to walk at Woodward Park. I have developed a “walking friend” and it is nice to go out, and chat with one another about work and our lives. We get together either Saturday or Sunday and walk for an hour. We have discovered a few walking trails and it has been fun for me to discover parts of Woodward Park that I didn’t know existed.
Two days ago, I cheated on my eating plan for the 1st time. I wasn’t going to tell Rhonda about it&but I confessed my lapse. I was watching TV, and in the past I would get on the exercise bike and ride the exercise bike. Well&I really wanted something sweet so I started going through the cupboards. Luckily I have got rid or all the snack foods I like. I decided if I have that “garbage” in my house I will eat it. So I found some peanut butter and got a big heaping teaspoon of Peanut Butter. I actually felt kind of guilty afterword&and I told myself I was not going to tell Rhonda. Well I confessed my lapse in judgment to Rhonda. She actually said&peanut butter is not that bad&and she helped me understand that a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter really is not that bad, and just encouraged me to keep working hard.
Prior to starting this fitness challenge I ate lunch out almost every day and I would eat out between 2 to 4 nights a week. Since starting I have only eaten out once, and I selected a very healthy choice. My youngest brother is a 4th year Medical Student and he has been in Fresno the past month doing a rotation in the Emergency Room. Well, he is heading back to the University of Utah this Sunday, so our family is taking him out to celebrate his accomplishments. I admit I am kind of nervous about eating out with my family. I sort of want a big steak, but I am committed to this process so I am going to make sure that we go somewhere that will enable me to make a healthy choice. I will let you all know how it goes.
Wednesday November 16, 2011
Working through the Plateau
It has been a while since I have Blogged. I guess I am not a very good blogger.
I continue to eat healthy but I am not losing the weight as quickly as I did during the first week. I lost 15 pounds very quickly, so I was expecting 7 to 10 pounds the second week. After I lost the 15 pounds, I hit a PLATEUA (ugh). I was kind of getting frustrated because in the first week I was averaging 2 pounds a day. Then I hit this wall. I think in the past, when I hit the Plateau Wall that I would have easily given up. However, I am really intent on making this lifestyle change. So I continued to eat how I am eating, and by the end of my second week I lost another 3 pounds.
In all honesty I felt frustrated by the 3 pounds. However, everyone I know keeps encouraging me and lets me know that typical weight loss is 2 to 3 pounds a week. I realize I spent years putting this weight on me, so I know it is going to take a long time of very hard work on my part to get to a healthy weight.
After 2 weeks of eating similar foods every day, I decided that I am going to start adding other foods into my diet. Last night I ate brown rice. I admit that I love white rice but it is a simple carbohydrate. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate which is full of fiber (fiber is great for us). Today I added a ˝ an avocado into my salad for lunch. Avocados have good fat in them, and also contain high fiber. Plus I love avocados, and to make this work long term I realize I need to eat foods that I love and are flavorful for me, and are good choices.
At work we started a weekly support group to learn to eat healthy. We have asked a lady from outside of our work to come in and work with us over a course of 8 weeks. I think I already know a lot about nutrition, but being in a support group with other people has given me additional support to put this knowledge into place. I am learning that losing weight is not only about the food I eat, but it truly is changing several aspects of my life to become a more overall healthy person. For example, drinking water instead of a diet soda, or walking around the block in the evening versus eating a bag of chips.
This upcoming week (before our last show next Wednesday), I have set a realistic goal of losing 3 to 5 pounds this week. If I lose more weight&. great, but I realize that I am making a lifestyle change and I need to focus on healthy eating and living over the long haul. Rhonda has said to me, if you lose 2 pounds a week that is 100 pounds in a year. Plus that will be a year of healthy living.
I would also encourage others to start exercising. I find when I exercise that the cravings I have go away. You may not be able to afford a gym membership but walking is free. Even if are only able to walk around the block it is a start. If you make the choice to eat right and walk I guarantee you will lose weight&if you stick to it.
Day 2 - 11/3/11
BEING PREPARED and PLAN:
I am focusing on being prepared. I have frequently been told “write down what you eat.” However, I have decided this does not work for me. Because writing down what I eat&after I eat it, does not set me up for success.
Rhonda told me, “John you need to Be Prepared and Plan your day the night before. You need to schedule everything you are going to put into your mouth the night before.”
So this week, in the evening I sit down at my computer and plan my meal for the next day. To keep things simple for me, I am keeping my breakfast and my snacks relatively the same. I sit down on my computer, and I use calorieking.com to help me figure out Calories, Protein, and Fiber in the food that I will be eating the next day. So when I wake up in the morning I know exactly what I am going to eat for the upcoming day, and I am eating quality food from all the food groups.
Being prepared also means for me waking up early. I am not a morning person, at all!!! However, I know if I don’t get up earlier I will not pack my lunch. If I don’t pack my lunch, I will probably eat something unhealthy.
Overall, I have been very satisfied with the food I am eating. However, I have a lifestyle that I would eat high fat and high calorie foods. I truly do believe I am a food addict, and my body is going through a “detox” as I am selecting healthy and quality food to eat. So yesterday I did have cravings for pizza, and the night before I was craving sugar. Also after work, I like to stop and get myself a Diet Pepsi (a huge NO).
Rhonda has stressed to me that I need to Be Prepared and have a Plan when I have these craving urges. So when I was having the sugar cravings I got on an exercise bike. When I was craving the pizza I ate kiwi. When I wanted a Diet Pepsi, I drank water.
Day 1 - 11/2/11
Talking with Rhonda, I have discovered that my previous diets have failed because I was not satisfied with the food I ate. Small portions and food that is not flavorful. I have done diets that come with pre-packaged meals, and in all honesty after a week I could barely swallow the food, because it is so gross.
Rhonda has stressed to me that I need to focus on “5 Areas for Fitness”:
We have also discussed my TABOO Items. The food I am to avoid, and which are really toxic for my body are:
She also is helping me understand, that I am not giving up the sweets I love for the rest of my life. Rhonda said to me “It is o.k. to have a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. But you don’t need to eat ˝ the pie and you don’t need to have something sweat every day.”
I started on Monday (Oct. 31), in my lifestyle change (not diet). I am eating a lot of food. More food than I can imagine. What is awesome is I like what I am eating. I am not feeling deprived. I am eating a lot of food, even when I am targeting 1600 to 1900 calories a day.
Last night, I wasn’t hungry, but I was feeling the typical sugar cravings I get. I tend to give into my snack cravings when I start watching TV. So this past week, I put in exercise bike in my family room. Instead of getting an unhealthy snack, I did 30 minutes of cardio on the exercise bike (while watching TV). When I was done, I had no desire to get the sugar I was craving 30 minutes earlier.
I am only on day 3 of my weight loss journey, but in the past I usually cheated by my 3rd day on a diet. Now I am on a Journey of Lifestyle Change, and if I do hit pitfalls (which I am sure I will). My goal is to develop the habits that I can say to myself “I screwed up but just continue to do what I have been doing.”