Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't Mess with Texas, y'all

The Don't Mess with Texas campaign has been running in Texas for over 20 years now with great success. My favorite tool of the effort is the Report A Litterer form that's available from the campaign website. If you're in Texas and see a vehicle with a Texas license plate litter, jot down the following info:
  • Texas license plate number (Texas plates only)
  • Make of vehicle
  • Time of day
  • Location
  • Date
  • Who tossed (driver, passenger or accidental)
  • What was tossed
You can then visit the form and report the violation. They won't get a ticket but they will get some awareness in the mail: The litterer will receive a Don't Mess with Texas litterbag along with a letter reminding them to keep their trash off of our roads.

If you're a Texan and want to display your support for this anti-litter effort, you can request a free litter bag and "Don't Mess with Texas" bumper sticker or window cling.

Monday, May 26, 2008

BFL Week 4 Update

Gained half a pound this week...I sure hope it's muscle! That puts my weight at the end of week four at 200 lbs. I did some research on average daily nutrition intake and this is what I figured out for an approximate day:
  • Calorie intake: 1700 - that's 85% of the USDA recommended 2000
  • Fat intake: 37.6 grams - that's 56% of the USDA recommended 67 grams
  • Carb intake: 225.9 grams - that's 78% of the USDA recommended 289 grams
  • Protein intake: 152.3 grams - that's 305% of the USDA recommended 50 grams
So you can see, this diet is attempting to replace a lot of the normal fat and carb calories with protein instead, which should be building lots of muscle given that we're lifting weights three times each week.

Something I was wondering about is how fiber factors into all of this. Of those ~ 230 grams of daily carbs we're intaking, around 38.5 of them are grams of fiber. But US nutrition labels don't include calories from fiber in their total calorie totals. However other countries, like Canada, do. So by Canadian standards, our total calorie count should be 154 calories higher. The argument for not including these calories is that we don't actually digest fiber. But that seems to apply only to insoluble fiber. We do apparently digest soluble fiber like that found in fruits and vegetables.

On the exercise side of things, my legs took a beating this week! We had two days of lower body lifting, three days of aerobics on the stationary bike and two nights of TKD. My legs were screaming for a break by the weekend. And in class, I was having a hard time keeping strong stances because my muscles just felt so weak. I also played softball on Wednesday and wasn't feeling at my best, a bit sluggish with all the crouching and standing but just running felt pretty good.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Donating my Hair to Locks of Love

After a few weeks and about four years after the last time, I did it: I got my ponytail chopped off and donated it to Locks of Love. I'll tell you, that 11" of hair doesn't look like so much once it's no longer attached to your head! My hair is still barely long enough to where I can pull it back into a tiny ponytail to keep it out of my face. (I really don't like the way it looks so much down.) But no matter, I will grow it out again and hope to donate it a few years.

RED holding her newly cut ponytail

BFL Week 3 Update

Bam! 21 days down, 63 to go. This week's weigh in was a little more promising with me dropping below the 200 mark with a reading of 199.5 pounds. And, I did something active every day this week. I played softball yesterday evening and actually felt good running around instead of sluggish and tired. I also made it into TKD twice and plan to keep going on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My welcome back on Tuesday included a broken board to the right eye and nice bruise, so that was fun. Sparring on Thursday was rusty but I didn't get overly tired or feel like I couldn't make it through class.

Food-wise, we're keeping steady on track every day. We did cheat on Monday evening and ate the four remaining chocolate-covered strawberries since they were expiring but I don't feel badly about that. The one funky thing that's happening is being able to get in all six meals on Saturday. This is the second week in a row we've missed one and it's really due to getting up later on Saturdays. We also ended up working out after we'd already eaten meal one. But I have been making notice of when I feel like eating something because it would make me feel better and I'm trying to be aware of those feelings and work on changing my behavior towards food specifically around that perceived need to eat. I rarely feel hungry!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

BFL Week 2 Update

I sure hope I'm in the "building muscle" phase already because I went from losing seven pounds last week to gaining one pound this week! That's right, my weight sits at 203.5 pounds after 13 days. I'm hoping, too, that it being my time of the month has something to do with it. And I should also note, I didn't even cheat on the diet part all week unless you count a single chocolate-covered strawberry at 12:01am of my free day (that's today).

Cost for food on this program is definitely less overall than eating out every day of the week and I'm sure the total cost is even less when you factor in electricity/time for cooking. It takes around 45 minutes to prep dinner and do the dishes afterwards. It takes about another 15 minutes to prepare all our daily meals the night before.

The exercise half is going well too. It hasn't been as horrible getting up at 7am every day as I anticipated. Sure, I feel tired and would love to go back to sleep but after about 10 minutes, I wake up. Once we start the day's exercise routine, it's all good from there. No serious injuries to date and the muscles all seem to be adapting well. Next week, the plan is to return to doing TKD on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

BFL Week 1 Update

Today is day 7 (and a free day) on the Body-for-LIFE program. We weighed in this morning and I've lost 7 pounds in week one, down to 202.5. It wasn't as hard to stay on track as I thought it might be. I had temptations, like a Friday happy hour, but I just drank iced tea and enjoyed the conversation.

We did decide to make an alteration to the rules: We're allowing ourselves to drink after 9PM on the day before a free day. So for example, free day this week is Sunday so we drank a couple of beers last night during a movie. If we were to only drink on the free day, we wouldn't really get to have a night out since we plan to have free day on Sunday whenever possible. However, since we are drinking the night before the free day, we also agreed to stop drinking by 9PM on the free day.

The dinners were really tasty and it was pretty easy cooking each night, although Wes has taken the lion's share of that responsibility mostly because he enjoys cooking.

I'm still trying to get used to the time constraints of the program: Getting up much earlier; going to bed earlier; getting all our food prepped the night before; figuring out how to fit dinner in and still have time to do other stuff in the evenings.

The working out part was very brutal the first couple of days; I was constantly in pain. But that seems to have passed as I get used to moving my muscles again. Next week, I think I'll start going to TKD again but we'll see. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.