Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dave Lieberman’s Guilt Free Fettuccine Alfredo via the Dr. Oz Show

Dave Lieberman’s Guilt Free Fettuccine Alfredo via the Dr. Oz Show. I loved it!!!


Ingredients

Serves 2

1/2 lb cooked whole wheat pasta

1/2 head cauliflower, cored removed and broken into small florets

2 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, minced

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Salt and black pepper to taste



Directions

Steam the cauliflower for 20 minutes until very soft. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the shallots until soft and translucent, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes longer. Set aside to cool.



In a large blender, combine the cooked cauliflower and the shallot-chicken stock mixture and purée until silky smooth. Pour the puree into the sauce pan and heat over medium heat until steaming. Remove from the heat, toss in the cooked pasta and add the grated parmesan cheese.



Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide between 2 serving bowls. Top with more parmesan cheese.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sending your kids down a broken road....

PARENTS WAKE UP!!!!!! I look at kids today and see them eating themselves into a life of misery. Haven't you guys noticed the huge increase in obese guys in the last 10 years?? I am one of those obese kids. If you have read my previous posts then you know that I came from a broken home which resulted in me turning to food to heal my wounds. This behavior is debilitating, it only leads to ONE thing which is more pain!
So the purpose of this post is to discuss things that I see wrong in the world today when it comes to parents,kids,and food.

1. Parents if your kids have been through any kind of life changing experience such as divorce, death of a loved one, emotional abuse, or physical abuse then please realize that these things WILL affect your children. They might not act different, they might tell you they are OK, they might act as if nothing has happened at all, but its your duty to take the precautions anyway! My parents had a nasty divorce, it scarred me for life! It caused me to eat my way into a 480 pound body. Did my parents realize that I was gaining weight at an unhealthy rate? I am sure they did. Did they try to stop it? Yeah sure they did, they tried to feed me healthy foods from time to time. But they never tried to find the real reason why I was gaining weight. Maybe they were in denial? Maybe they knew but were scared of the guilt they would feel. I dunno why they didn't do the things they needed to do, but I do know that they didn't get me the help I needed. I urge all parents to please watch your kids! And I don't mean just watch what they eat, not all people turn to food for comfort, some will turn to drugs,sex,alcohol etc. If you notice something going on with your kids don't be afraid to step up and fight for them. Get them the help they need, even if it means exposing yourself as a parent. You are the only line of defense for your children, they need you even when they think they don't. Luckily I was strong enough to turn my life around on my own, but I can assure you that not everyone can do that.

2.Teach your kids to cook! At least the basics! Its pretty sad when I meet people my age who can barely make eggs. Of course when you don't know how to cook you would much rather prefer to eat take out, which will most likely be a plate filled with an extreme amount of bad calories. Start teaching them when they are young. You teach them how to brush their teeth, comb their hair, clean their rooms, tie their shoes and etc etc, all these things follow them the rest of their lives. Why not teach them how to make healthy food choices? Or how to cook some simple food items at home? Wouldn't it be to their advantage to carry these skills with them throughout their lives? Think about it people...

How being laid off was a blessing in disguise!

So last may I was laid off from a job that I loved. At the time I didn't agree with my lay off, they kept other engineers who I knew were not as good as me. My direct supervisors didn't agree either. They protested to the VP that they needed to keep me because I was a vital asset, they showed him all my performance reviews which were all flawless. But no dice, a VP who barely knew me decided that I was going to be laid off.

When my project manager called me into his office and broke the news to me I was initially crushed. He told me that I would finish our current project, which still had 2 months left of work and then we would part ways. Initially the VP didn't want want anyone to tell me that I was being laid off until I was finished with my project, but my project manager insisted that he be aloud to tell me immediately so that I could prepare myself for what was coming. Me and my PM had been working together for over a year and had become very good friends. I will always be thankful for all the things he did for me, by him convincing the VP to allow him to tell me the news early I was able to financially get myself ready to be laid off. Me and him are still great friends to this day.

So I finished my project and I packed up my things and went on my merry way. I weighed 480 pounds the day I left that job. Deep down inside I was pissed at myself for letting myself get to 480 pounds. Being overweight destroyed myself confidence and made me extremely self conscious. I had a terrible time giving presentations to coworkers at work because I knew they were staring and thinking wow he is OVERWEIGHT!
Now I am not saying I got laid off because I was overweight, but I am saying that although I was a good employee, I could of been an even better employee if I had the confidence that my weight took from me. I wanted to be able to say what I wanted to say and do things I wanted to do and not worry about what I looked like. This was rock bottom for me, its when I decided that I had to lose the weight if I wanted to accomplish the things I wanted out of life.

I didn't get serious about losing the weight until a few months later and that's when my journey started. So yes being laid off was an extreme blow to me, but at the same time it has saved my life. I have never in my life been so serious about changing my lifestyle. I am in a very good place physically and mentally, and the weight is coming off nicely. So I guess it true when they say things happen for a reason.



BTW: I am still looking for a job, if anyone has any leads please let me know. I have 2 years experience as a Project Engineer in the construction industry and am willing to relocate anywhere in the USA.

Also if you have job leads in industries other than construction please let me know also, I am willing to do anything at this point.

Email me with leads or for resume requests: sweating_it_off@hotmail.com

What sleep apnea ???

OK so here is the deal, last March I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I had snored loudly for years, I always just thought it was because I was sooooo tired. Last January I was working in Ohio on a project, I woke up one morning and was sick as a dog so I went to the local urgent care. Doctor said I had bronchitis and that he would prescribe some meds, then he asked if I snored at night. I was like I have been told that I do snore. Then he asked if I felt tired during the day, and I told him that I am always exhausted during the day time no matter how much I sleep. He told me he thinks I might have sleep apnea and that I should get a sleep study done. Now other than my weight I have no idea what would lead him to believe that I suffered from sleep apnea, for some reason he kept looking at my ankles! Anybody know what he was looking for??

Anyways I contacted a sleep center and scheduled the sleep study. The day came and I went in for my appointment in the early evening. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!! First of all they wired me up with a million wires!!!! They were connected everywhere! Honestly it was kind of scary! After the tech got me all wired up he said I could watch TV in the lounge room until I was ready for bed. So I watched TV for a bit and then felt kind of sleepy so I headed to my room. The tech hooked all the wires up to the machine and said good night!

So here I am laying in this strange bed with thin pillows. Oh and by the way the tech is watching me on a camera and can hear everything that goes on in the room, which also kinda felt weird. So I lay there and try to sleep, because of the wires I cant really get that comfy. I eventually fall asleep. About four hours later I woke up only to find somebody trying to force a mask on my face! I instantly jump up and push him off of me! Turns out it was just the tech, he was trying to get a cpap mask on me because he said I definitely have sleep apnea. Basically sleep apnea is when you stop breathing during your sleep. When this happens you never actually reach deep sleep because your brain keeps telling your body to wake up and breath without you knowing it. This happens all night and when you wake up in the morning you are extremely tired because you actually didn't get any solid sleep! Not to mention that you might stop breathing and not start back up! Scary stuff right???

So the tech put the cpap mask on me and left the room. I laid back down and tried to sleep. After about a minute I felt like the walls were closing in on me and ripped the mask off! Tech came running back into the room and was like whats wrong! I told him I cant wear this thing, I feel claustrophobic. He put another less evasive mask on me and left again. I laid back down but still felt extremely anxious. Honestly I was very scared. I laid there and tried to imagine that I was at home in my bed without anything on my face. I eventually fell asleep. Four hours later they woke me up and told me the test was done and I could go home.

Three days later I went back in for a follow up with the sleep study Doctor to go over my results. He told me I had an extreme case of apnea due to my weight and that I would have to get on a CPAP machine ASAP. I was so upset about the news. I did not want to use that evil machine! Two days later I picked up the machine and mask and took them home with me. 11 pm came around, bed time. I set the machine up, put the mask on and laid down. I laid there with this awful feeling of anxiety on my chest. Five minutes later I ripped the mask off and went to sleep without it. This continued for 2 weeks and eventually I just stopped trying.

May 9th comes around and I got laid off from my job. No job = No Insurance. Cpap machine people start calling for their money since insurance was no longer paying for it. I told them I don't use it and I am not paying for it. They said they would take it back since I didn't use it so I returned it back to them. ON MY OWN NOW!

Long story short, well this story as a whole has been long but its OK LOL May 9th was the day I decided to get my health back. Didn't actually get serious about that decision until September. I lost roughly around 70 pounds since September( HAVE A HUGE WEIGH IN ON MONDAY) and I am fairly certain I no longer have sleep apnea. I don't snore anymore, I don't wake up tired, I don't feel tired during the day, I don't feel like I am gonna pass out when I am driving. I feel none of those things. I have alot of energy during the day and I feel great. Now I cant say for certain say that I don't have it anymore because I am not a Doctor, but deep down inside I know its gone.

And thats just one step closer to getting my health back!!!!

Couch to 5K Update!

So I started the Couch to 5K running program! Well I started over after 1 week so my sister could catch up. I just finished week 1 of the program yesterday and I love it so far. For the FIRST time in my life I found the courage to run on the treadmill in the gym while people were around. Seems like a small win for most people, but for me it was huge! I finally told myself that I control my future and nobody else. If people want to stare in awe, then great! If they want to stare in shock, well then that's their problem! When I am on that treadmill running I feel like I am free, I don't feel like I am in a 400 lb body. I especially love when I get about half way through the program, I feel like that's when I hit my stride. I start to pick up the pace and push myself, and it feels like I find my stride. It is such an AMAZING feeling.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the program. Week 1 consisted of the following:

3 days - 30 min each day.

5 min walking to warm up
20 min of intervals: jogging for 60 sec and walking for 90 sec
5 min walking to cool down.

here is the website to the program: http://www.coolrunning.com/

I will update you guys again after week 2!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Emotional Day in Gym Today...

Today I was in the gym as usual, it was shoulders day. I was doing something similar to shoulder press but with the cables not the dumbbells, I had my Ipod on and a U2 song came on, not just any song, my Dads favorite song. I don't know what came over me but tears just started streaming down my face. Luckily my face was drenched in sweat so nobody could really tell that I was crying. I miss my dad so much, its been 10 years since he died but a day doesn't go by that I don't think of him. I think part of the reason I started crying was because my Dad always wanted me to lose weight,but he never got to see it happen. I wish he was here to see what I am doing, to see all the hard work I am putting into this journey.

My Dad raised me, after my parents divorced when I was young my mom originally had custody of me. But after a few years she told me she was getting remarried and I told her if you do then you have to let me go live with my Dad, and she did. We were best friends, we did everything and anything together. You know most guys out grow kissing their Dads but I never did, even when I got to high school I would always kiss him on the cheek when ever we met or parted ways. I remember my football teammates used to make fun of me for it lol But I didn't care. My Dad would always rub his stubbly cheek against mine, it was like our thing. I would do anything to feel that again.

Today my Dad pushed me in the gym, tears were in my eyes during the rest of my workout but in the end I shattering all my shoulder lifting records. It was a great feeling.

I love you Baba, I live my life by always doing what would make you proud and never doing anything that would make you ashamed of me.

Picture of my Dad and me when I was young :)





I will post some of my dads favorite U2 songs below, enjoy them :)





Stop dreaming and start running....

The other night I was on twitter and I tweeted that "it was my dream to run". A fellow tweeter responded with "Wake up and start living it" , which makes complete sense! That same night another fellow tweeter introduced me to the couch to 5k running program! That night I read over the program and found myself extremely excited! I couldn't wait to start it!

The next day I went to the gym as usual in the afternoon and planned on starting the program that night. I asked my sister who wants to lose about 20 lbs if she wanted to run the first night with me, she agreed but only if I would join her husband and her for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I reluctantly agreed, I figured I would find something healthy to eat at the restaurant.

Now trying to find healthy food at a Mexican restaurant is not easy!! Especially when all the bad stuff looks so good! But I didn't do to bad. I ordered chicken and shrimp fajitas. I told the waitress no cheese on the beans please and also do not cook my meat with any oil! NONE! She kinda looked at me weird and walked away lol. Few minutes later she came back over with the manager and he was like who ordered the fajitas. I was like me, he was like so what did you mean about the oil? I told him I want the meet cooked with no oil. Just throw it on the grill bare. He was like well we use butter, I was like no butter either!! He said are you sure, and I was like yes I am!

So the food came out and I ate half of the chicken and shrimp, i ate the little salad and guacamole that comes with it, and also ate the beans. I didn't touch the tortillas, sour cream, and rice. I was pretty proud of myself.

A few hours later me and my sister went outside and did Day 1 of the program, I had a side cramp the whole time but I fought thru. No way in hell was I gonna give up on the first night because of a cramp! I love the program so far, its only been one day but I really think I am going to enjoy it.

I urge everyone to at least take a look at it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Love this song!!

I could dance to this song for hours!

Spring Cleaning!

So yesterday I went through a bunch of my clothes and got ride of the ones that are way to big on me. What an amazing feeling! Most of the clothes were new also! You see when a big person shops for clothes its quite a mission, well at least for me it is. For example I used to only like a certain brand and style of pants because they fit me the best. So I knew that in the winter Big & Tall would have plenty of sizes and colors to choose from. But I also knew in the spring and summer the choices would dwindle. So I basically would buy a surplus of pants to makes sure I always had new ones if I needed them! I mean what would I do if it was in the middle of the summer and I needed new work pants and couldn't find my size?? I would be screwed!!! So instead of putting in myself in that position I prepared myself for the worse case scenario and just stocked up. So yesterday I ended up getting rid of a huge stack of new pants with the tags still on them!!! Kinda sucked but not really :)

Also another example of the hassles of clothing an overweight person. I used to buy these polo shirts because I loved the material and they fit me decently. One day while in the store I asked the lady who worked at casual male when they were getting some more in stock because they only had a few left. She informed me that they were discontinuing the item and would not be getting any more! My jaw dropped and panic set in! What the hell am I going to wear to work??? I tried on other shirts and brands but they looked like crap and had that cheap thin polyester feeling type material. So what did I do?? I bought all the ones she had left! Even if they were small on me I bought them because I knew I was planning to lose weight. I then drove to other store locations and bought them out! Sounds crazy huh? It was a pain in the ass but I didn't have any other options!

I cant wait until the day when I can walk into any store and buy any type of clothes I want. Soon Soon!!!!

:-)

I hate eating out as a overweight person!

So I really hate eating at sit down restaurants. First of all when I walk in I feel like everyone is looking at me, when in reality they are not, but its just that my social awkwardness that takes over! Also I loathe places that have those small ass booths! Its so embarrassing when the hostess walks you over to your table and the booth is just a little too small! I mean OK, its not the restaurants fault that I am a large person, but at the same time lots of people are large these days! Also hate restaurants that cement their booth tables into the ground! When you do that you cant move them to make a little more room for yourself! I am just ranting, I am glad my weight is coming down, soon I wont ever have to worry about where I sit in a restaurant.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fix the inside and the outside will follow!

How many of you can say you have lost 120 lbs? How many of you can say you gained all of it back plus 60 lbs? I CAN. I want to share my story with you on how this happened, I hope this helps everyone not make the same mistakes as me! I will basically briefly discuss some key points that lead me down my path and then I will talk about the weight loss and gain.

**Please note I am no Doctor or therapist, my conclusions are based on my own logic**



My weight gain started after my parents divorced, I was in the 2nd grade. I was just a kid who didn't know how to deal with what was going on around him. I can honestly say my parents divorce left a scar on me for life. This is where my battle where food began, food was my new best friend. By the time I was 19 I weighed a good 370 pounds.

March 5, 2000 was the worse day of my life. Me and my dad were at a home improvement store shopping for some landscaping items for our yard. We checked out and loaded the items in my jeep. I got in the drivers seat and my dad got in the passenger seat. I was looking to my left as i started my jeep and when I looked back to the right my dad was grabbing his chest as he slumped over in his seat. I ran around to the passenger side and picked him up and out of the seat and carried him to the front of the store and started screaming for someone to help me. My dad died in my arms in that parking lot, he was my best friend, he was all I had. Withing a year or two I ate my way up too 420 lbs.

I finally decided I wanted to lose weight so I joined a gym. I had no idea what I was doing, one day while walking around the gym trying to figure things out one of the trainers who worked there asked me if i needed any help. I told him I wanted to lose weight, so he said well come into my office and lets talk. We talked about my goals and how he could help me. He told me he was opening his own training center and that he would help me lose the weight If I wanted. Long story short 7 months later I weight 300 pounds! My trainer made my meals plans for me, and he worked my butt beyond exhaustion. Whatever he said , I did! He was a former bodybuilder so he definitely knew a thing or two about losing weight and building muscle.

This is what I looked like when I weighed in at 300 lbs:

(its a bad quality pic, but its the only scanned one that I have)




So after losing the 120 lbs I felt great! I was more confident, happy, social, just all around enjoying life alot more. But what I didn't realize was that to fix the outside I needed to fix the inside first. At this point I was in college studying engineering, which is a very stressful major! Slowly but surely I began to eat again. No matter what is was that was stressing me, whether it was school, family, financial issues, food was always there for me. 7 years later I weighed 480 pounds. I ate my pain away again. I couldn't believe I had done this to myself again. I was disgusted with myself, I hated myself, and honestly I wanted to just give up.

But I wont give up. For the first time in my life I recognize and admit that I eat when I am stressed or upset and I have found ways to control it. I channel my energy into other avenues. Now does that mean I never mess up? Of course not. It just means that I don't let one mess up turn into weeks and weeks of mess ups. Also I don't believe in the word DIET. That word equates into a temporary fix. I have changed my whole lifestyle.


What I want everyone to take away from this post is that you have to be honest with yourself. Admitting that you eat to heal your wounds takes alot! Especially admitting it to my friends and family,I felt so embarrassed. If your on a weight loss journey please don't forget to take care of the emotional side of the journey. I want all of you to be successful, don't make the same mistakes I did. Lets lose the weight and never let it back into our lives!