Low Fat Feb: Finale!

I think I want to get a pizza tonight, but all I can think about is how much extra, unneeded fat that would introduce into my body. What this tells me is that I was successful in taking (roughly) thirty days to change a habit. I’m not saying that it will stick forever, but for now, it’s a part of who I am.

AAAAAAHHHH CHEAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!
AAAAAAHHHH CHEAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll still probably go for that pizza.

On the first of February I weighed 212 pounds, and this morning I came in at 205.5. Not quite the ten pound goal I set for myself, but I believe that the major goal was achieved, so a few pounds shy of some number doesn’t feel like defeat.

Plus, my personal illustration in facing adversity should be a valuable lesson to anyone that ever felt like giving up was a perfectly reasonable option. Even with the troubles I have been having with my legs, I pushed through, because that’s what I said I would do. As it turns out, I didn’t even take those few days off, as the medication they gave me totally works.

We’re convinced that things we are told to do, usually by our doctors, are mere suggestions. It’s easy to a a full life ahead of us from our position in the present, but the truth is that it’s not possible to see past the first bend in life’s road; we just don’t have that ability. Of course, we do have the power to make the road less bumpy, and that’s what this low fat event hoped to show.

Insert hindsight joke: would these guys have even tried to take on that job if they'd known how they'd look at the tale end of it?
Insert hindsight joke: would these guys have even tried to take on that job if they’d known how they’d look at the tale end of it? Fortunately, your doctor can help with your 8-year plan.

You don’t have to do much. I exercise very little, and see results. If you want to kick it into high gear after feeling the fun-filled burn of low-impact workouts, go right ahead and tackle one of those body molding routines that are available. I’ve seen people get insane results from both PX90 (weight loss) and Body Beast (sculpting). This kind of stuff is a little too hard core for me, but if you’re serious and want to put some money into it, I can attest that I have seen them both work, for strongly dedicated people.

Here is also some good news: as part of my neuropathic issues, I was sent to do a ten panel blood screen (4 vials!) and everything from lipids to potassium levels came back normal. I’m at that age where these kinds of tests are becoming important, but they can be scary. It all goes back to hearing but not listening. And sometimes we just don’t want to know.

When the budget store Tom Arnold doctor tells you the bad news, he's gonna be all, "If only you had come to me 25 years ago."
When the budget store Tom Arnold doctor tells you the bad news, he’s gonna be all, “If only you had come to me 25 years ago.”

One part of the test that freaked me out a little was the ALT, which deals with the liver and was the only test to come back out of range. We all know I can be a bit of a drinker, so this worried me extensively. As it turns out my numbers weren’t anywhere near even mildly dangerous, but it took me an hour of research to come to that conclusion. I was full ready to start using that new vodka bottle as a conversation piece.

The moral is: don’t be afraid to find out, and then ask questions. Not wanting to know is a silly fear, one that will only harm you, probably sooner and later. Even if my liver did have mild damage, there are easy ways to correct that level of degradation, and catching it early would have been the only way to save me from the unpleasantness of horrible pain and early death down the road.

So, suck it up. Keep exercising. Go in for a check up. Do what the doctor says.Treat pizza as a treat, not as a go to for lunch. Oooh, maybe I’ll get tacos. But after that, it’s back on my bike. What ever you gotta do to keep happy, healthy, and alive, make it so.

I hope you enjoyed my month-long event. After this, it’s back to philosophy music, so stay strapped in that booster seat, because the star ship is still pulling into space dock. (heh, nerd jokes)

Here’s to us: may we live long and prosper.

Low Fat Feb: Day 25

A bump in the road has appeared in front of my plans for a solid 29 days of exercise and healthy eating. No, I didn’t break down and buy a cheeseburger, but I did have to go to the doctor over concerns of pain in my legs.

I don’t think it’s as bad as it seems, but there are many tests to take, and currently more questions than answers. Something about neuropathic troubles, according to the doctor. I knew this kinds of thing was on the eventual horizon, thanks to my uneven leg lengths, but no one likes to admit that age is quick on their heels, myself included. Meanwhile, the pain is definitely there, and the doctor has given me some medication to try out; the same kind of stuff given to people to help with serious problems such as epilepsy and fibromyalgia.

Worst thing is: none of this medical science stuff is in the spell check system.

A big part of this seems to be making up words.
A big part of this seems to be making up words.

I’m still dedicated to my low fat efforts. While the doctor didn’t say specifically that I should avoid my exercising, I’m giving it a few days to see how the medication affects me. A week off from the bike? Boo-hoo…

I still plan to do my push ups, because I am beginning to like what I see. I’ve never been the pectoral muscle guy, but now that I’m working towards a goal that is showing moderate signs of achievement, no manner of leg pain is going to stop me. Because of my bursitis (another alien word!) I can’t do flat push ups, and instead do them inclined, on the kitchen counter. It seems to be working, so I’m not going to knock it.

The last guy told me the beach was this way, but why is there no sun?
The last guy told me the beach was this way, but why is there no sun?

Meal variety continues to be my biggest problem with weight reduction. I’ve gotten a bit burned out on cooking in general, now that I’m making meals three or four times a day, without any hope of that quick dip over to the Del Taco. Still, I am ever vigilant and on the lookout for new ways to eat well. I think that as March swings around, I’m going to start learning how to make new things. The only reason I haven’t done so already is because I’m usually very picky about foods, and tend to stick to my favorites. No use giving myself any excuses during Low Fat February. “Ah, dinner is ruined! Quick, to Pizza Hut!”

I did make a nice chicken and asparagus burrito the other day, with fat free refried beans. Refried is also not in the spell check system, what the heck? Anyhow, it was a nice departure from Asian everyday, although I didn’t take pics to turn it into a LFF recipe; in all honesty anything goes good in a burrito. Just do that.

With any luck, those little pills they gave me will have similar effects.

LFF Recipe: Fried Rice

When you think of things that are fried, are you jumping right to wire baskets submerged in ever-darkening oils, dripping with greasy nom-nom goodness? Well, let’s talk about the light fry, which uses so little oil that it’s worth sticking into a low fat blog.

Yes, cooking oils are high in fat, and while its the good kinds of fats that your body needs to help keep your blood tracks nice and clean, it can still add to your waistline storage system. This is why “vegan” doesn’t always mean “skinny”; a lot of nuts and oils used to keep the hardcore vegetarian fed, also keeps them fat.

But, back on topic. When you cook rice for dinner, do you always have extra and think: I really don’t like cold, day old rice? Fried rice can be an easy way to breathe life into those sad, colorless Tupperware insides . Pretty soon you’ll be like me, making extra rice on purpose.

Fried Rice

-Between 1 and 2 cups steamed rice, refrigerated
-3 tablespoons soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
-1 cup frozen peas and carrots, steamed
-1 fried rice season packet
(or a spice blend: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder)
-1 egg (low fat: 1/4 cup egg substitute)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil (or another of your choice)

I'm always talking about "seasoning blend" but never really put specifics. That part is up to you: you just have to make it to taste.
I’m always talking about “spice blend” but never really put specifics. That part is up to you: you just have to make it to taste.

You can steam the veggies using my microwave technique: put it in a bowl with a little water, cover with a paper towel and cook on high for two minutes. You may need to stir and cook for another minute, but its quick, easy, and effective.

In a large skillet, throw the rice on top of the oil, and get it crackling. Cook for about 5-7 minutes a side. Add the seasoning and the sauce, stir, and let cook for another couple of minutes.

Push the rice to one side of the skillet, and scramble the egg on the other. I like using the egg substitute because its faster and healthier. Once the egg is done, add the peas and carrots and mix it all together. Break out the soy sauce squirt bottle and enjoy!

The egg really makes fried rice, but it doesn't have to make it high in fat.
The egg really makes fried rice, but it doesn’t have to make it high in fat.

Fried rice is a staple of my healthy eating regimen. If you want to add a little more to it, dice a cook a chicken breast, then┬átoss those tasty pieces in the teriyaki sauce and add it all to the rice together. Sometimes I’ll make chicken and rice one day, make extra rice and an extra chicken breast, and then do the chicken fried rice the next day.

And seriously, don’t overdo it on the oil. Not only will you make it much higher in fat, but it’ll end up soggy and not nearly as good as if you would have stuck to the old adage: a little dab’ll do ya.