Friday, February 28, 2014

Traveling on Medifast!

We successfully navigated two travel days on Medifast. Thursday, we ate out L&G right before we left, and had Medifast meals on the road. Friday morning, we ate Medifast meals and drove the other half of the trip, and had L&G when we got in to Fairhope.

We spent the day prepping the float for a parade tomorrow, and then went to a parade. We caught tons of throws, had a bite of a moonpie (uh oh!) and I got about 4,000 steps on my FitBit.

I don't think I'll have any major blog posts while I'm here, not much time to hop on a computer... but I'll make sure to at least check in!

Mardi Gras!

I will try to post a real blog post later, but right now I'm at a Mardi Gras parade!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 6 Complete!

Well, we're in Week 7 now and I can say that Medifast is solidly into my routine now. I'll post some updated stats, but first... last night's workout in my Goalbusters Circuit training class


  • Passing medicine balls in a circle, 2 minutes
  • Jumping Jacks, 30 seconds
  • Split squat, 30 seconds each leg
  • Ankle mobility, 30 seconds
  • Push-ups, 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers, 30 seconds

Partner work (repeat 3 times)

  • Hold a wall squat while partner does 50 body weight squats
  • 50 body weight squats


  • TRX Squats, 1 minute
  • Triceps Extension with 30 lb Kettlebell, 1 minute
  • TRX pull-ups, 1 minute
  • Goblet Squats with a 25 lb kettlebell, 1 minute
  • Penguin walks, with Black Band attached to a wall anchor, 1 minute
  • Chest Presses, Blue and Red band doubled up and attached to a wall anchor, 1 minute
  • Alternating Biceps Curls, 15 lb dumbbell, 1 minute
  • Monster Walks in place, Blue Band, 1 minute
  • Dragging a 200 lb chain between cones, 1 minute (with partner)
  • Dragging a 200 lb chain the other direction, 1 minute (with partner)
  • Heavy Rope, alternating waves, 1 minute
  • Freestyle on the Heavy bag, 1 minute


  • Modified Jackknifes, 1 minute
  • 6-inches, 1 minute


That was a great workout, I really liked how fast we bounced between exercises.

Now, onto this week's progress. Here's my spreadsheets!

Click to embiggen!
Ok, first off, last week's 1.7 drop has bounced back remarkably. This week everything looks pretty solid. Sunday there was no workout to speak of, but it was a D&D day and I just didn't have time to get one in.

Monday we see a bad decision... I'd worked out hard that morning, and never really restored my protein from it, and after a late meeting I was feeling light-headed. I didn't bring a Medifast meal or a snack with me, and so stopped and got some buffalo chicken bites from a gas station. It didn't seem too out of whack, but they ended up being 360 calories and 16 grams of carbs. They spiked my sodium too. Ugh. Lesson learned... check nutrition FIRST, and bring a snack with you.

I recovered by drinking tons of water and doing a lot of cardio on Tuesday, and got a boost by having had big workouts Friday and Saturday as well. But still, bad decision and I'm glad it didn't have any big negative effects for me.

So how am I doing on my goal to 240? Let's look!

Click to embiggen!
Week 6 down, and I'm three weeks ahead of my most aggressive schedule, and 7 weeks ahead of my expected schedule. I still think I've got about 14-18 weeks to go, minimum, as I don't foresee me being able to keep this average up.

My plan is still to hit 240 lbs on Medifast and then get a Hydro static body fat analysis done, see exactly where I am, and go from there.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vacation Planning!

We're going to be going out of town for Mardi Gras, and that means a plan! On a vacation, we'll have travel days, where we are in the car, and destination days, where we are not at home.

Most of the planning will be on how to deal with these issues. Luckily, we've got supportive family so I don't see us getting sabotaged!

So... what is our plan?

Travel Days:
For these, most of the day is easy. You eat the ready to eat Medifast meals. Crunch Bars, Chewy Bars, BBQ Bites, Parmesan Puffs, Pretzels. We'll be travelling 3 days, two half days and one whole day.

My only real concern with these is the lack of a hearty meal replacement. I'm going to miss that Mac and Cheese when I'm eating an extra bar.

The next day we'll travel in the morning and be at my parents' house in time for dinner, so we'll get by with Medifast Meals.

On the way home on Sunday, though, we'll be in the car all day. We'll have to survive the kids eating fast food while we eat a bar. We'll need to stop somewhere that we can eat reasonably, which will probably be Subway.

Destination Days:
These really won't be any different than being at home. We'll bring Medifast meals, Laughing Cow, PB2, almond milk, and have all our normal meals. L&G will be prepared and we'll just make sure to stay on plan. There will be challenges, because there will likely be other food available (not to mention it's Mardi Gras... so king cakes and moon pies...)

But, I don't think we'll have any real issue staying on plan as long as we prepare for it ahead of time.

It will be a bit of a challenge overall, but I think we'll navigate it just fine!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FitBit Weekly Update

As I continue to use my FitBit Force daily, I'm very impressed with the tracking, and I love my weekly stats that I'm getting. Here, take a look!

Click to embiggen!

So, let's take a look at all of this....

Total steps isn't bad. I need to make a little bit more effort here... I want a 10,000 step day! that's the problem with a job where I sit all day, though. Total distance, that's cool to see too.

Total floors climbed... this is where the FitBit is *actually* helping me get in better shape. I've stopped taking the elevator while I wear it, and I wear it all the time. 

Now we get into Calories burned, Calories in and out, and weight change. This is a lot of voodoo, but let's see what we've got going on here.

First, calories eaten, I know is close to accurate, since I track everything in MFP, and while I probably miss a few calories here and there, it should be relatively close. In addition, weight change should be accurate as well, since I track that every day in MFP. So this says I've lost 5.2 lbs and have a calorie deficit of 8741+7000, or 15,741 calories. Doing some basic math, that calorie deficit should have caused me to lose 4.5 lbs.

Well then. I've lost a bit more than expected. I know I am not eating less calories than I post, so one of two things could be the culprit. It could be I'm underestimating my BMR, or I'm underestimating my calorie burn in most exercises. However, I'm not planning on changing anything at this time, because with water weight, swelling, and all the rest that goes into things, one week of data is not enough to make any decisions. It is however an interesting piece of data.

But wait! I then go into my spreadsheet and take a look at the 7 day period that FitBit is tracking...

Click me! Click me!
Ok, FitBit is tracking everything pretty properly. I've got myself as a 5.1 lb loss over the same time frame, I'll chalk that up to weird rounding.

Finally we have the sleep tracking information. I think this is extremely interesting, to see how much I sleep and how quickly I start sleeping, but I also know that this is more voodoo based on moving while sleeping. I'll keep tracking it, but I'm uncertain how accurate it really is.

After a couple weeks, I have to say I'm a huge fan of the device. the way it integrates almost completely seamlessly with my phone and MFP makes it a perfect fitness tracker for me. And the information it's tracking seems to be surprisingly accurate!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Another Monday workout!

Workout days are easy blogging days, since I can just talk about the workout! I got to class at 7:15 and we jumped right in to the warm up.

Warm-up (repeat 3x)

  • Kettlebell Swings (45 seconds, 30 pound Kettlebell)
  • TRX Reverse Lunges (60 seconds)
  • Wall Push 'mountain climbers' (60 seconds)

After we finished our warm-up, we went into our circuit. We had 6 stations, each station had two exercises. We did 30 seconds of each and then quick swapped to the second exercise, then repeated so we were at each station for two minutes of exercise, one minute each. Here was the order I did mine in:

Circuit (2 minutes each station, change exercises every 30 seconds)

Station 1:

  • Heavy rope in-and-out waves
  • Bicep Curls, Blue Band

Station 2:

  • Mountain Climbers against a stack of mats on glides
  • Dragging the chains in a circle, backwards

Station 3:

  • TRX Pectoral Fly pull-ups
  • TRX Triceps Extensions

Station 4:

  • Calf Raises on a step
  • TRX Squats

Station 5: 

  • Kayaking on mats, feet up, 15 pound body bar
  • Leg lifts on mats

Station 6: 

  • Chest Presses on the cable machine, 54 pounds
  • Freestyle on the Heavy Bag
Then we went onto partner work. One of us held a wall squat while the other did a farmer walk down and back the length of the gym, we swapped out when the walker got back. I added shoulder shrugs to my Farmer's Walk.

Partner Work (3 minutes total, alternating)
  • Wall Squat while holding a 10 lb medicine ball between your knees
  • Farmer Walk, 35 lb kettlebell in each hand
After that we did a quick stretch and then I drove to work and got a shower in our locker rooms. For breakfast I ate a few ounces of leftover chicken with my Medifast shake. Tonight I plan to go to the gym again and do a brief workout while my wife trains for her 5k, as well. I'm going to try to do more leg work, squats and dead lifts, but we'll see how I feel!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Good bye, Spring! Hello Trivia Night!

Just got back from running an errand to Trader Joe's, and it's cold again... around 30 degrees, after yesterday's 60s. Oh well.

Trivia last night was a lot of fun. The categories were based on superheroes, and while there was too much DC and not enough Marvel, it was a good time. Lots of people in cool costumes, tons of superhero T-shirts, and it was all for the Make-A-Wish foundation, so it was a great cause. We bought raffle tickets and did the balloon pop but didn't win anything this time... we also came in 7th place overall, a few points out of the money, due to musical categories and the Make-A-Wish category that were really hard!

In the past, Trivia nights have been buffet grazing zones with cookies, preserved meats, cheeses, and crackers. Tonight we brought a veggie tray and some Medifast snacks. Watching the rest of the table have Jimmy John's sandwiches and homemade blondies was actually a little bit harder than I expected it to be, but we both managed to avoid either temptation.

This got us thinking about the future of these types of events. Obviously, the key is to not let them be random grazing, but have a plan. Once we're at goal, there's no reason not to have some cheese, some crackers, and a blondie... we just need to track it and be reasonable, and make sure there's something healthy there to go with everything else. So, the veggie tray should be a staple, and then it's that plus a couple of other snacks and we should be good to go.

On the success front, this week has been crazy. Last week I was up .7, down 2.4, up .6, down .2, up 2.2, down 2.4... all that bouncing around and I ended up with a 1.7 lb loss. I realized late in the week I'd been sleeping less and drinking less water and I made an effort to correct both of those things, as well as continuing my exercise.

This week, I've seen losses of .6, 1.6, and 2.6. I'm sleeping better and drinking a ton more water and so far it's been steady drops. I'm not sure I can expect that to stick around, but my theory is that my body is getting used to my exercise intensity and finally letting go of some extra water... and me staying hydrated is probably helping.

In the land of NSV's, my favorite belt is honestly getting to be too big. I need to punch a new hole in it. I've moved 3-4 holes from when I started.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Taste of Spring!

It's been a hectic day and I'm squeezing in some time to blog before going to Trivia tonight. I don't want to miss my blog streak so this may end up being a little abbreviated and stream-of-consciousness-based.

First, I went to the gym last night and did a decent leg workout. I opened up with just under 30 minutes of EFX while I finished watching the Breaking Bad Season 1 finale. When that episode was over, I did a brief cool down and then hit the weights.

First up, I spotted Christy on the bench press for three sets, and then I hit bench presses for 95 lbs. I pushed out 4 sets and then did leg work... three sets each of squats (145 lbs) and dead-lifts (155 lbs). I was pretty happy with both of those, but don't see me increasing weight next time.

I woke up today and was down a pound and change, despite the workout! Drinking massive amounts of water and sleeping well are paying off.

Today, we've been running errands, cleaning, prepping for Trivia. I've not been as good about my water... but the day was so nice we actually opened the windows and let some fresh air in! Not only that, Christy and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. I know we're getting more snow and sub-freezing temperatures next week, but I'll take this while I can get it!

Now, time to go finish getting ready for Trivia. I'm bringing a couple of Medifast meals and we're bringing a veggie tray... no cheese and crackers and cookies and cakes and preserved meats for us tonight, ah well.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Organizing our Medifast meals

When doing Medifast for two people, you have a lot of food on hand. For Christy and me, the bulk of our daily food is in our first 4 meals, and we're taking these with us to work, so we need to have a system to manage all the different things we eat.

Inside our Pantry Door

First off are the ready to drink shakes... these are easy, they get placed on a shelf in the fridge. Spares are put in the pantry shelving.

Second there's the 'extra' boxes. We go through a LOT of pretzels, cereal, and mac and cheese. The extra boxes of these get put into our pantry shelving. In addition our 5th medifast meal (Brownies, Puddings, Chocolate Chip Cookies) all get placed into a large bin in the shelving unit.

But then there's the stuff we eat every day. We have a Pantry Door organizer that we got from the Container Store, it's a White Elfa Over the Door Rack unit. I'm considering adding a couple more shelf units now that it has gone from 'general storage' to 'almost everything we eat'. Especially since it's clear we have room for 1 if not two more and that would make things a little easier.

The top row is cereal, Cinnamon Crunch and Mixed Berry. We eat 1-2 of these a day (I prefer shakes in the morning, but cereal is a nice change of pace, while my wife prefers the cereal).

The second row is lesser-used items. Crunch Bites, Puffs, Sloppy Joe and Chili. We never have a ton of this stuff and they aren't daily items, but it's nice to keep an eye on them for potential re-orders.

Next up is Bars... Organized mostly by type, but there's some overlap... currently it's holding Caramel Crunch, S'Mores, Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon Roll, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars, as well as Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cookie Dough Chewy Bars. The bars are one of our favorite things, and we really like the variety, so we have a ton of these on hand. We use at least 2 and up to 4 of these a day.

Finally, in the bottom, we've got pretzels and Mac and Cheese. We eat both type of pretzel, cinnamon and honey mustard, so those are on either side of about a week's worth of Mac and Cheese. Both of us greatly prefer these to the other hearty meals and crunchy snacks, so we generally eat 4 of these a day between us.

By having this system it's really easy to grab your 4 meals for the work day, and it lets us keep track of what we're running out of, so we know what to make sure to order more of on our next order.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week 5 complete! 1/3 of the way there (in weight, not time)

Week 5 was a weird week. My weight bounced around a lot, and I lost less than expected.  I was also retaining a lot of water, and I think the culprit was me increasing intensity on my workouts. I plan to keep the workout intensity going strong though, so we'll see what happens in the next week.

Also, today I'm going to limit exercise to treadmill or elliptical, after last night's Goalbusters class, so that may lead to a large drop if my muscles let go of extra water in response. We'll see!

First, here was last night's Goalbusters Circuit:

Warm Up:

  • Group circle passing medicine balls, 1 minute (6, 8, 10, and 15 lb balls)
  • Jumping Jacks, 30 seconds
  • Ankle Mobility stretches, 30 seconds
  • Split Stance body weight Squats, 30 seconds each leg
  • Wall Push-ups, 30 seconds
  • Wall Mountain Climbers, 30 seconds

Partner warm-up, alternating 3x each:

  • Wall Squat
  • 40 body weight Squats

Circuit (repeat 2x, 1 minute each station)

  • Alternating Waves on the Heavy Rope while squatting into a chair
  • Alternate between these on the two circuits:
    • Hip Rotations with Glides from a raised push-up stance
    • 'Stir the Pot' with a Body Bar (18 lb) while balanced on a Bosu
  • TRX Triceps extensions
  • Squat Lunges with overhead arm pulls (Blue Band)
  • TRX pull-ups
  • Alternate between these on the two circuits:
    • Kettlebell Squat, Clean, and Press - right hand (35 lb)
    • Kettlebell Squat, Clean, and Press - left hand (35 lb)
  • Alternate between these on the two circuits:
    • Cable Machine Standing Chest Presses (60 lbs total weight)
    • Heavy Bag freestyle workout


That was it for the workout. I tried briefly doing 80 lb chest presses, but quickly realized there was no way I was going to hold out for a minute when it was the last exercise of the night, so I dropped it 10 lbs per side to finish off.

Now onto the Week 5 details... First, my progress Chart.

Click to embiggen!
Last week I ended at 301.2, and this week I finished off at 299.5... so with rounding, there's only a one pound difference when we look at my weekly progress chart. Even so, at week 5 I'm ahead of the game... matching week 8 at the aggressive 4/lb a week rate and week 10 at my target of 3/lb a week. Next week I should completely blow the 1/lb a week average off the chart... just 1/10th of a pound and I could have done that this week! I still fully expect to lower my average weight loss down to the 2-3 lbs a week range, so these numbers should start to flatten out soon.

Click to embiggen!

Now onto my detailed sheet. the first thing that jumps out at me here are the three gains this week, which I believe is entirely due to increased water retention from harder workouts. Also, this week I've incorporated FitBit calorie adjustments into my exercise. Here's how I'm tracking my exercise so far:

Circuit training: MyFitnessPal claims I earn over 800 calories. I cut this to 400 which I think might still be a little high.

Elliptical: I input age and weight and keep my hands on the HRM pads as much as possible, and use the amount declared by the machine.

Strength training: I log this in MFP with the cardio version as well as the strength details. I cut the calorie expenditure MFP declares by half, because I just don't believe it.

FitBit adjustment: I log all of my exercise in MFP with time stamps, so that the FitBit can know to adjust the calories it declares. On the day I did no gym work at all, this gave me a negative adjustment, which I'm ok with.

I feel like all of these exercise calories are likely a little inflated, but that's ok, because I know my calorie counting of food is also a little low. While it's easy to track the 5 Medifast meals, the lean and green is tougher... I don't track condiments well at all, and there's a lot of calories (and sodium!) there that isn't making it into my spreadsheet. 

That said, this is a new week starting tomorrow, and if I don't have a decent loss in the morning, I may make it a point to accurately track *everything* I cook, actually getting out the measuring cups, spoons, and scales and tracking it all. One week of that might be an interesting experiment, just to see if it makes a difference.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My wife is running in a 5K for Charity!

As part of our weight loss diet and exercise plan, my wife is starting to run, and is looking to do a couple of 5K's this spring. The first one is the Go! St. Louis 5K in April.

HavenHouse and GO! St. Louis

To this end, she's running to support HavenHouse, a local charity that provides food and an apartment for families that have children undergoing treatments at St. Louis Hospitals. This is a great charity and does a lot of good for people that want to be with their kids while they are in the hospital.

She's trying to raise at least $250 for HavenHouse, and would appreciate your help! The money is going to a great cause! I'm not running in the 5K, but will be volunteering at the HavenHouse tent.
Christy's Pledge Page! Help her get to $250!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Heavy workout day!

With my Monday morning Goalbusters class canceled due to the holiday, my wife and I made plans to go to the gym last night and workout. I was working from home due to the school closings and it ended up being a very hungry day for me overall, and I ate quite a bit of extra food in preparation for the gym that night.


Medifast Meal 1: 
  • 1 Medifast Ready to Drink Dutch Chocolate Shake
Medifast Meal 2:
  • 1 Medifast Caramel Crunch Bar (heated in the microwave for 10 seconds and rolled in some sea salt)
Medifast Meal 3:
  • 1 Medifast Vegetable Chili (that had been soaking all morning to soften the beans)
  • 2 oz of taco-seasoned 99% fat free ground turkey (leftovers)
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 10 Papa Johns Chicken Poppers 
Medifast Meal 4:
  • 1 Medifast Blueberry Muffin Soft Bake
  • 1 Laughing Cow Original Swiss Wedge
  • 15 Trader Joe's dry-roasted Wasabi Almonds

Lean and Green:
  • 6 oz of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup of no-salt added canned mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp House of Tsang Mandarin Marinade
  • 1 tbsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Lemon Peel
  • 1 tsp Mirin
  • 2 tsp Sriacha
  • .5 tbsp Olive Oil
Medifast Meal 5:
  • 1 Medifast Soft-bake Brownie
  • 2 tbsp PB2
So, if you look at this menu I had the following add-ons:

2 oz ground turkey, 1 laughing cow wedge, 15 almonds, 2tbsp PB2, and TEN FAST FOOD CHICKEN NUGGETS. Now, I ordered the chicken along with my daughter's pizza (she's not on Medifast with us and we hadn't ordered pizza in over a month... and she was home from school, I splurged) but I checked them ahead of time. The order of 10 was 200 calories and 4 grams of carbs... so I went with it.

Even with the add-ons, I hit just over 1200 calories pre-condiments. I rarely track the condiments I add, even though I know they are full of calories and sodium, it's just too much of a pain in the butt to get all that into MFP every single day, and I don't measure them religiously when cooking, it's a dash or a splash or 'enough to coat', or what have you. If I wasn't losing weight at all I might be convinced to get anal about it every day.


  • 20 minutes Elliptical - level 9
  • 10 minutes Elliptical - level 15

  • Bench Press, barbell - 3 sets of 5 repetitions, 95 lbs
  • Seated Row, machine - 2 sets of 10 repetitions, 135 lbs
  • Seated Row, machine - 1 set of 8 repetitions, 150 lbs
  • Squat, barbell - 3 sets of 5 repetitions, 95 lbs
  • Deadlift, barbell - 3 sets of 5 repetitions, 135 lbs
  • Seated Tricep Extensions, dumbbell - 2 sets of 5 repetitions, 60 lbs
  • Seated Biceps Curl, dumbell - 2 sets of 5 repetitions each arm, 35 lbs
  • Leg Press, machine - 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 300 lbs

Around 7 pm we went to the gym for our workout. I had planned to finish watching an episode of Breaking Bad on the elliptical, and then go lift weights. Unfortunately, though, Netflix was having issues on my phone so I ended up using the TV built into the elliptical and watched an episode of Family Guy. 

I did 20 minutes at level 9, and then the last 10 at level 15 to try and get a good sweat working, my heart rate topped out at 130! Two months ago it would have been yelling at me to decrease my effort to keep my heart rate down. I kept my hands on the HRM the entire workout and had entered  my weight and age, so I trusted the machine when it came back with a burn of 433 calories. 

After that I did a decent circuit, hitting arms chest and back with bench presses and rows, then legs with squats and deadlifts, back to arms for biceps and triceps, then finished off with leg presses. I did a lot more leg work than I have been doing, and the squats felt good, so I should incorporate those in more often.

I'm going to consider going back to Stronglifts 5x5, as well, although I can't do those at work, I have to go to the 'real gym' to get those workouts in. We'll see!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Snow Day...

My Monday morning workout class was canceled due to the holiday, but would have been canceled anyway since we have ANOTHER snow day. I'm going to go to the gym tonight and do cardio and weightlifting, though.

My weight finally dropped below 300 and stuck there for a day, so hooray! We had D&D last night, and I avoided the chocolates and the brownies, and we ate our Medifast meals while everyone else had chili. We've been doing this long enough now that it doesn't even really bother me anymore, although I am looking froward to getting into transition!

I got compliments on my weight loss last night, which was great!

We also just put in our next order of Medifast foods. We're pretty clearly getting into this... cereal, mac and cheese, crunch bars, chewy bars, pretzels, brownie bakes and pudding are our staples, and both of us are still happy with our system. I threw in some BBQ bites to see if I like them, but I still haven't found a savory crunchy snack better than the pretzels yet.

I need to be drinking more water, I did well Saturday, but Sunday and now Monday I've been slacking. I also haven't been walking enough the past two days! I need to step it up so I have a good loss this week!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gaming with friends!

We had friends come in from New York last night to hang out with us... it's been a while since we've had a group hangout like this. Normally we'd have a cheese plate, fruit, crackers, cookies, chips, dip, brownies or cake, chocolate candy, wine and beer, all sorts of things.

This time, though, we skipped the dinner out and had a simple veggie tray... broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and peppers, Veggie dip, some buffalo cauliflower (I had high hopes. It was heinous). We also set out a little candy and cookies for the people not dieting!

This worked really well. Our friends still had cookies from the bakery, but we had healthier stuff to nosh on. We played Cards Against Humanity and Rock Band, and had a blast.

Cards Against Humanity went well with 8 people, and I should have taken some pictures of the winning combinations to post here... unfortunately, I didn't think of it at the time. After an hour or so of that, we had a relatively short Rock Band session... Desh sang his standard playlist of Conventional Lover, Ace of Spades, Charlene (I'm Right Behind You), Skullcrusher Mountain, and Still Alive while Ezra played guitar, Zac on drums, and me on bass ... then I jumped in on vocals and sang California Über Alles, Cool for Cats, Drop it Like it's Hot, Du Hast, and It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine).

The more events like this we successfully navigate, where we get away from the food and just hang out with buddies, the better we'll be. I can totally see doing this in a few months and limiting myself to a couple cookies and not using it as a grazing buffet for four hours.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Dinner - On plan (almost!)

For Valentine's Day we normally do dinner, roses, and a big box of Godiva chocolates. However, this year we're really serious about losing weight and staying on plan, so we modified things.

First, the dinner plan: We did 5 Medifast meals, as usual, and the Lean and Green. The Lean and Green was the key though, to feeling like a Valentine's Day dinner.


  • 5 oz Filet Mignon, Medium Rare
  • 7 oz Saltwater Scallops, pan-seared


  • 2 cups French Cut green beans, steamed then lightly sauteed in a teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 cup sliced White Mushrooms, sauteed in gourmet steak sauce
  • 1 cup Romaine Lettuce with light Ranch Dressing.


  • 4 Dark Chocolate dipped Strawberries
2 Strawberries... 93 grams, for about 130 calories and 8g of carbs!

My wife had the salad, green beans, and filet, while I had the mushrooms, green beans, and scallops. We each had 2 strawberries.

Even with the off-plan strawberries, I came in under 100g of carbs and in a decent spot on calories, fat, and protein. Combined with an hour at the gym for 30 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of cardio, I think the day worked out well. I woke up this morning  down a couple of tenths of a pound, which is good enough considering it was a day after a strength workout.

Friday, February 14, 2014

So sick of the snow...

Looking out my window, despite it being above freezing and raining, there's still snow everywhere. A lot melted over the past 12 hours, but we're scheduled to get a little more.

It's finally melting...
However, next week is supposed to be in the 60's part of the time, and maybe we can get all the snow that isn't piled up from plowing melted, at least. I'm ready to be able to go outside and not moan about how cold and gross it is.
In other news, I had a low water day yesterday. I probably only drank 24-32 oz of water, and 16 oz of tea, and I could totally tell. I'm a little swollen, up about half a pound, and have dry mouth. I'll resolve that today and see how that works out for me.
Not much to say today, so I'll leave with a Medifast Snack Bar tip:
Caramel Crunch bars have a chewy odd texture, and are too sweet as-is. Toss them in the microwave for 5-9 seconds and then push them down into some coarse sea salt. You get a sea-salt caramel flavor that cuts the sweetness and is pretty delicious if you like salted caramel. 
And ugh... as I type this the rain splattering my office window has just transitioned to sleet.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

4 Weeks Done! 28 days on Medifast

Four weeks! I'm still going strong and have had quite a few victories that I did not expect:
Friday Bagels and Donuts: for years my company has provided bagels and donuts every Friday (along with unlimited sodas every day), and while I was able to cut out my Diet Dr Pepper habit after coming back from Mexico last year, the bagels and donuts were a big deal. I've avoided them though, and managed to not eat them. Now I can go into the break room on Friday for my water or tea and not even care.
Various office foods: currently, this is King Cake. None of the really good ones (the ones with rum-infused cream cheese filling) have shown up, but even so the normal ones are popping up and I'm turning them down. Same thing with cookies and candies.  I even have a couple of people at work telling me not to succumb to temptation!
Cooking every day! With a couple of exceptions, I've cooked something using meats and vegetables every day this month. We've gone out to eat twice, but other than that, cooking every night. Our groceries are almost all being bought on the 'edges' of the store, and not in the middle where all the processed foods are. If I can keep up this habit then that alone will make a huge difference by cutting out the massive amounts of fast food and take out and sit down meals we did, just because we didn't want to deal with cooking or going to the grocery store.
 Now on to the progress report, weeks 1-4:
Week 1:
  • Lost 14 lbs total
  • Biggest daily loss was 4.2 lbs
  • Smallest loss was a gain of 1.1 lbs
  • Average loss of 2.0 lbs/day  
 Week 2:
  • Lost 6.6 lbs total
  • Biggest daily loss was 4.1 lbs
  • Smallest loss was a gain of 0.1 lbs 
  • Average loss of 0.9 lbs/day  
 Week 3:
  • Lost 7.3 lbs total
  • Biggest daily loss was 1.8 lbs
  • Smallest loss was a gain of 0.3 lbs
  • Average loss of 1.0 lbs/day  
 Week 4:
  • Lost 2.9 lbs total
  • Biggest daily loss was 2.2 lbs
  • Smallest loss was a gain of 1.3 lbs 
  • Average loss of 0.4 lbs/day  
  • Loss of 30.8 lbs total
  • Average loss of 1.1 lbs/day 
I'm 1/3 of the way there, but obviously the next 60 lbs will slow down. I think the loss this week, 2.9 lbs, is probably much more likely to be the types of losses I will see from here out. At 3 lbs a week, that's 20 more weeks. But, 4 weeks in, I'm now certain I can do this.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Exercise regimen

It's getting harder to come up with something every day, so basically as soon as something pops into my head, that's what I write about. Today it's my goals for exercising 7 days a week, at least 30  minutes a day.
So here's my current exercise plan that I'm moving forward with: 
  • Monday: 7:15 AM -  'Goalbusters' class
  • Tuesday:  12:30 PM - Gym at the office
  • Wednesday: 7:15 PM - 'Goalbusters' class
  • Thursday: 12:30 PM - Gym at the office
  • Friday: 12:30 PM - Gym at the office
  • Saturday: Heavy bag at home
  • Sunday: Heavy bag at home 
Goalbusters is a 45-minute circuit training class, we have about 6 people on Mondays, and 14 on Wednesdays. I've been doing this class 2x a week for a while now, and I like the variations.
My gym at work has ellipticals, treadmills, a stationary bike, a stairclimber, a few weight machines, and a dumbbell rack. For now I'm doing 30 minutes of elliptical and then shoulder presses and seated rows, but I'm probably going to move to all dumbbell exercises either before or after my cardio.
While there's snow on the ground and below-freezing temperatures, I'll be staying inside and doing 15-20 minutes on the punching bag on weekends. I wouldn't mind getting to mix this up with some walking or swimming once things warm up.
The goal  is to get a minimum level of exercise every day and keep at it. I need to get into the habit of exercising more, and as I lose weight and get back in shape, I want to have the cardio necessary to get back into tennis and kendo.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Medifast Menu Choices

As we continue our Medifast diet, the options as to what we eat are settling in, and I definitely have some preferences starting to get 'hard coded' as to what I prefer to eat, and when.
Meal 1 - Breakfast: For this meal I always want one of three things... a Ready to Drink Chocolate Shake, or Cinnamon or Mixed Berry Cereal with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. I strongly associate shakes and cereal with breakfast and these are by far my favorite choices.  
Failed to make the cut: Pancakes, Blueberry Muffins. While both of these are ok, they aren't a go-to choice. I'm not sure how many of either of these I'll be ordering in the future... having a box of one or the other on hand is probably a good idea for variety, but they won't be a common choice.
Meal 2 - Snack: For this I almost always want a Crunch Bar. My favorite crunch bar is the chocolate peanut butter, followed up with Lemon Meringue and Cinnamon Roll. Caramel Crunch is ok but not great, but I'm hoping the application of some sea salt will transform this. I'll be trying that today. I also like the Chewy bars (Cookie Dough and Chocolate Peanut Butter), but they aren't as satisfying as the crunch bars.
Failed to make the cut: Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar. Not a fan. 
Meal 3 - Lunch: This is where I want something hot with more preparation. My go to here is by far the Macaroni and Cheese. Chili and Cream of Chicken soup are also good options. All three of these choices need to be doctored for me to enjoy them... 
  • Mac  & Cheese: Add a Laughing Cow wedge and a dash of Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
  • Chili: Add an ounce of ground turkey and a lot of chili powder.
  • Cream of chicken soup: add a drop of bullion and Cajun Seasoning, plus an ounce of finely diced chicken breast.
Because of the pain in adding an ounce of lean protein to the chili and the soup, they are less common.
Failed to make the cut: Sloppy Joe. This is far too tomato-y, and just didn't have a good flavor. I had to doctor it a lot to get it to where I liked it. Once I had, it was ok, but this will not be a staple, ever. 
Meal 4 - Snack: Here, the Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites are the clear winner. Cinnamon Pretzels are good too, but I prefer something more savory. Chili Nacho Puffs are a good change of pace. I want to try the BBQ bites next order, though.
Failed to make the cut: Parmesan Puffs and Cheese Pizza Bites. Neither of these have a flavor I really like. Both are inoffensive and edible, but why bother when I like the pretzels? 
Meal 5 - Dessert: Number one choice is the Soft Bake Brownie... once we learned how to make it awesome. Second choice is chocolate pudding. Finally, we just learned a new way to use the Chocolate Chip soft bake as well. When made in their 'normal' way, none of these really did it for me, but doctored? Oh man, these are good...
  • Brownie: mix a bit of extra water, pour half into a ramekin, drop 2 TBSP of PB2 onto the brownie mix, cover with remaining batter, bake at 350 for 15 minutes and then chill for 1-2 hours.
  • Chocolate Pudding: mix in a Ninja blender with 1 cup of ice, 1/2 cup of water, and some PB2 and Cocoa Powder for a dark chocolate peanut butter frosty.
  • Chocolate Chip: mix in the Ninja with water and ice, plus an ounce of cream cheese and a bit of cocoa powder for a cookie dough smoothie. 
  Failed to make the cut: Preparing any of these desserts by the directions!
Things we haven't tried yet:
There are still a lot of bars we haven't ordered, and most of those will likely get a one-box order now and then to add them.
I'm not interested in the other puddings or shakes, or the soft serves at all... I feel like the options I have now are sufficient, but it's possible we'll try them later.
Oatmeal and Eggs are both iffy. I'd rather use Egg Beaters than powdered eggs, and I've never liked oatmeal unless it was piled high with sugar.
The hot drinks hold absolutely no interest for me, either.
A couple of the other hearty choices (Ziti, Soups) are potential pick ups, but not until I start getting sick of Mac and Cheese.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Morning Workout

While getting up early to work out is tough, I have to say I like the morning workouts better than the night time ones. I'm not sure if it's because of time of day or the smaller class size, though. It may just be novelty, since we tend to do things differently in the smaller group.
I got to class a few minutes early but the doors were locked. We didn't get into the building until 7:15 so class ended up starting a few minutes late, but once it started we jumped right in: 
  • 45 Seconds Kettlebell Squats (35 lbs)
  • 45 seconds TRX Y-pulls 
  • 45 seconds walking high kicks
 We repeated the warm up three times and then moved on to the circuit.
  • 45 seconds TRX triceps extensions
  • 45 seconds Monster Waves on the heavy rope
  • 45 seconds Shoulder Pull-downs (40 lbs)
  • 45 seconds Imbalanced Squats (30 lbs Kettlebell )
  • 45 seconds Band Single-arm Shoulder Presses (Blue band)
  • 45 seconds Mountain Climbers on glides
  • 45 seconds Wall Slam with Jam Ball (4 lb)
 We repeated the circuit twice, changing arms on the imbalanced squats and shoulder presses on the second circuit. We then did a brief core workout.
  • 45 seconds Russian Twists passing a medicine ball (6 lbs)
  • 45 seconds Scissor Kicks
  • 45 seconds Russian Twists passing a medicine ball (6 lbs)
  • 45 seconds modified Jackknifes
 Then we stretched it out for the last couple of minutes.
I had a Medifast shake prior to workout, and then ate a can of low-sodium tuna after for the extra protein. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Finally getting into the groove with my punching bag

One of my favorite exercises in our circuit training class is working on the heavy bag. My wife got me a Century Wavemaster bag and some bag gloves for Christmas, and I finally got it set up and filled and have been using it. I want to get to where I can go full speed on it for 10 minute straight... not there yet.
I put 10 minutes in on it yesterday, and just did 20 minutes today. It's exhausting but a good workout for increasing endurance.
However, I need to find a way to stop it from sliding across the floor as I work on it! 
In other general updates... the Medifast diet is still going well. This week my weight loss has slowed down a lot, which was expected. I knew the massive losses from the first few weeks couldn't be sustained.
We tried some new foods this week... the Mixed Berry Cereal is surprisingly good. Caramel Crunch bars are a little chewy but decent, and the sloppy joe is very bland and tomato-y. I had to doctor it pretty heavily, and think I'll be sticking with Mac and Cheese and Chili for my hearty meals.
 I'm trying very hard to keep some semblance of normalcy on most meals... shake or cereal for my first meal, mac and cheese or chili for 'lunch' (generally meal 3), a bar and pretzels/puffs for the other two Medifast meals in the day, and then dessert (soft serve pudding or brownie). I think keeping this schedule, while not required, will make things easier during the eventual transition phase.
I've also not been shy about adding extra lean protein this past week. I should probably try to bring that down a little and only have it on heavy workout days. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fitbit Force thoughts

I first started using a personal fitness tracker in December of 2012. My wife had just gotten a FitBit One, and I loved the concept, hated the form factor. At the time, the Nike+ FuelBand was the clear winner for me, with its techy styling. And, they promised an Android app later in the month.
My FitBit Force
 Well, fast forward 14 months and Nike still chooses to ignore the Android market, and FitBit finally made the device I wanted... a One, in a wrist-based form factor.
I've had it for 24 hours and so far I'm very happy with it. It syncs great with my phone, wirelessly. It automatically updates MFP and my Walgreen's Rewards apps. It has built in alarms and will buzz on my wrist, it tracks more than the FuelBand as well.
The wrist strap is a little finicky, but once you get it to click, it is solid. It was comfortable to sleep in as well, and tracked my sleep fairly accurately. I also like both the website and mobile app features.
Overall, I think that the FitBit Force is clearly the best fitness tracker for Android users, and while it's not perfect, It'll be good enough until the technology matures more.
Now I just need an app that will track my food for me without me having to type it in! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Nike FuelBand vs Fitbit Force

I've been a user of the Nike FuelBand for well over a year. I am a big fan of its form factor and how it works in general... 
Unfortunately, the good people at Nike refuse to integrate the FuelBand with my Android phone, so I'm considering buying a Fitbit Force today. If the large fits my giant wrist, I'll buy it.
Nike is about to lose a customer due to their inability to get an Android app out in a reasonable time frame. When I purchased my Fuelband in December of 2012, an Android app was in development. Well, a year later and they still ignore me. So I'm out.
I looked at a few other bands... the Basis is really cool, but it's too early for me to adopt it. 
I'll post more about the Fitbit if I get it, but for now, I'm just a little sad that I'm considering giving up my Fuelband.  
UPDATE: Just picked up a Fitbit Force and have it set up and syncing with MFP. So far I like it.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Week 3 complete!

So I've completed week 3, and am still losing rapidly. I've added more exercise (both cardio and strength training) to my weekly regimen, and that is going well.
Another thing I've done is get my spreadsheet that I use for daily tracking nice and polished, with lots of automation in it. I thought for today's blog post I'd share a couple of screenshots of what my spreadsheet looks like.
 First there's the primary screen:
Click for full-size

On this page I input my weight every morning as soon as I wake up, and it does all the calculations (BMI, Loss today, total loss, avg, loss, and weekly total/avg losses). It even color codes the days I'm up. I input my food and exercise calories. I'm tracking all of this even though MyFitnessPal holds all this information, because I want to have more control over seeing trends.
Then I have a progress screen:
Click for full-size
This screen pulls in data from the previous sheet every week, grabbing the weight I was at on my end-of-week day (Thursdays). It also calculates out the 'average loss per week' for me, and then I highlight the week and where I am on the four schedules manually. This lets me see where I am now compared to where I want to be fairly easily.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Twenty days on Medifast!

After settling into the routine, I'm pretty sure that I can stick with this plan for the next few months and hit my goals. I don't have anything specific I want to go over today, so this will be stream-of-consciousness and just chatting about general thoughts so far now that I've got three weeks to look back.
First... the Medifast food. When I started I would look at my tiny portion of mac and cheese, or that tiny little crunch bar and go 'this is not enough food for anyone, much less a 330 lb guy'. But after the first few days something downright magical happened... the food was 'enough'. 8 oz shake? Enough. One crunch bar? Enough. Packet of Parmesan Puffs? Lasted 30 minutes to an hour. This carried over to my lean and green, as well... 7 oz of turkey and 1.5 cups of vegetables is a lot. Sometimes it is too much!
Secondly... my exercise. I was a little worried about the exercise, but after the first week back, it's fine. I eat extra protein on those days and don't worry about it, and I focus on form a little more than number of reps. I feel great on exercise days.
Thirdly... sleeping. Prior to being on Medifast, I had some insomnia. Now, I'm sleeping a lot better. I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom fairly often, because I'm finally drinking enough water, but I go right back to sleep. I wake up rested as well.
Fourthly... energy levels. I feel great. I have enough energy to get through the day and the 4 PM loginess doesn't hit me very often at all. 
Fifthly... cravings. Some days seeing my daughter eat a peanut butter-on-Hawaiian-bread sandwich or a pizza is pretty tough, but only in the 'I really want that' way and not 'now I must eat that'.  Also, going to the grocery store hungry is still a bad idea. If I'm having a really hungry time and it's not time for a Medifast meal, I tend to have a laughing cow wedge, some turkey or chicken, or some almonds. I don't stress it if I need the snack, I just grab it. As long as I'm losing 3+ lbs/week, I'm going to continue to not worry the snacks as long as they are sticking to plan. A couple of times I've eaten turkey jerky as a snack, and the sodium content is tanking me a bit, but I know it's just water. I've been tempted by things like deli counter dry-rub pub wings and pizza but manage to stick to things on plan.
Sixthly... food cost. Medifast looks and feels expensive, but I'm no longer spending $30-50 a week on lunch at work. We're not going out to 3+ dinners out a week, either. We're spending less money on groceries overall, since even though fresh meat and vegetables are expensive, we're not adding on cookies, chips, candy, freezer foods, etc. We haven't analyzed yet, but I think Medifast is probably saving us money.
Finally... worries? I'm worried I'm losing a little bit too fast, that I might be losing muscle mass. But honestly, if I have to lose some muscle to lose all this fat, then that's ok. Muscle can come back once I'm at a healthy weight.
And I'll leave you with a Medifast tip of the day... the Ready to Drink shakes make a horrid slurping sound when you stop sipping. Resolve this by poking a tiny hole in the top of the container after you've put the straw in. That hole will let air come in as you drink and you'll no longer get the gurgling slurp as air rushes in through the straw. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trying something new!

A very short blog post today, as I've got a ton to do and with the snow coming in possibly not a ton of time to do it all in.
First off, I'm up a tiny bit today... 0.3 lbs. Yet again, I had some Jerky as a protein-based snack and worked out before a gain. Not sure if the workout or the jerky is more to blame, but I woke up with my ring tight. I'll hit my water today and skip the jerky and resolve it.
Secondly,  I forgot to eat breakfast this morning. I got gas this morning and went inside and got a high-protein, low carb bar.  It's more calories and carbs than I'm supposed to have, but I felt it was better than skipping.
Thirdly, tonight I'm making spaghetti squash for the first time! I'm going to roast it with a touch of olive oil, some salt, pepper, and garlic, and serve it with Italian seasoned turkey breast. A month ago I wouldn't have even tried it, but I ate green beans and salad, some squash is nothing.
I hope it's good. Mushrooms are fine and all, but some variety in my 'green' will be nice. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Small class workout

Just got back from my Monday morning workout, we broke the class into three sections again today.
There were only five of us so we each had an individual station with mats against the wall, two kettlebells, and a band. In the middle of the workout room we had three heavy ropes stretched out.
I was using a blue (heavy) band and two 25-lb kettlebells.
We did one warm up circuit: 
  • 30 seconds - Kettlebell squat and snatch with one kettlebell (squat with kettlebell in one hand, come up, let go of the kettlebell and snatch with the other hand, back into a squat, repeat)
  • 45 seconds - TRX squat-into-pull-up  
  • 30 seconds - leg swings right leg
  • 30 seconds - leg swings left leg
 We repeated this circuit twice and then started our main circuit: 
  • 45 seconds - front squats with two kettlebells, butt on the mat then up
  • 45 seconds - step-ups right leg on the mat  first with both kettlebells
  • 45 seconds - step-ups left leg on the mat first with both kettlebells
  • 45 seconds - kick outs while standing on the band 
We then moved to the ropes, where one of us stood on one end while the other did the exercise: 
  • 15 seconds - vertical waves
  • 15 seconds - stand
  • 15 seconds - horizontal waves
  • 15 seconds - stand
  • 15 seconds - overhead rotations
  • 15 seconds - stand 
We repeated this circuit three times and went to the next circuit, using a band and a TRX:
  • 45 seconds - TRX  push-ups
  • 45 seconds - Band Triceps Extensions
  • 45 seconds - TRX pull-ups
  • 45 seconds - Band bicep curls 
Finally, we stretched it out using foam rollers on upper back, lower back, and sides.
To prep for the workout I had a Medifast shake and about 5 oz of turkey breast at 6:30. It's 9:00 a.m. now and I'm hitting 24 oz of water.  I seem to have made it safely through the weekend with no spike due to carbs, sodium, or lack of hydration!  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Navigating our fancy night out!

I just got back from the hotel after we finished up our charity ball. While I weighed in a little late (and after having water and a Medifast bar), I wanted to get it in anyway, just to see... and I'm down over a pound. We'll see if that weight loss sticks around 24 hours for the day after though!
Preceding the night out, I had standard Medifast meals but with extra protein, since I wasn't sure what dinner was going to be. My wife and I agreed that we'd try to stick as close to plan as possible, but we weren't going to be ridiculous about it.
Once we got to the hotel, I picked up chicken fingers for our daughter from the bar and then we went to the event. The cocktail reception was great, we got pictures, chatted, entered into the raffles... and I drank water and had one little cup of shredded pork with a white bean ragu.
For dinner I picked at a salad, eating some greens, some pecans, some figs, and some pumpkin seeds. There was a walnut vinaigrette on the salad that was ok. After a few bites, I called it and patently ignored the bread and butter.
The main course was a piece of steak, a piece of grouper with a tomato puree on top, green beans with mushrooms, and potatoes. I ignored the potato, gave my wife my steak and took her fish, and ate the fish, mushrooms, and most of the green beans.
I would like to point out at this time that both the salad and the green beans were 'edible'. Neither was amazing, but they weren't really offensive either. I count this as a triumph. I'm making a note here, huge success.
Dessert came out and was a key lime pie with blueberry compote and an ancho chili chocolate flour-less torte. I had one bite of each, the key lime pie wasn't worth it and the torte was. I put my napkin over the dessert plate after one bite though.
After dinner we danced for a couple hours, and hopefully I burned off all those carbs on the dance floor. When we got back to the room at 1 a.m. I was ravenous and ended up eating a leftover chicken finger, as I expected it had more protein and less carbs than an extra Medifast meal.
I think I navigated the dinner well enough, and we'll see how this affects things short term, see if I drop out of ketosis or feel extra hungry. either way, this is a once a year event and it was worth it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Detailed Analysis

One of the things I did when starting Medifast was to agree with myself that I would track every day. Exercise, food, weight. I tell myself these things a lot, but this time, to keep myself honest, I started two things other than just tracking.
 The first is this blog. By telling myself I'm going to write every day, I know I'll come to the site. And if I'm at the site, then I'll track. It doesn't hurt that tracking is so easy on Medifast, either.
The second thing I did was make myself a fancy spreadsheet that will track my weight, BMI, daily loss, weekly loss, average losses.  
 This has helped fairly immensely in my day to day... I had a workout night that I didn't drink anywhere near enough water, and I was up 1.1 lbs. I ate Turkey Jerky (off plan, but low carb and high protein!) and the sodium bloated me and I was up .1 lbs.
I drank a crazy amount of water and peed like a racehorse after one bloated weigh-in and lost 4 lbs the next day (after waking up 2x that night to pee). The next time I worked out I ate lower sodium, drank more water and high a mild loss after workout and then dumped the water the next day, and was down a little more.
In addition, I took initial measurements of Neck, Biceps (relaxed/flexed), Belly, and Thigh. I'll be tracking those numbers every two weeks.
All of this detail is probably overkill for some people, but I'm using it to organize and analyze and these things are keeping me on track much better than I would have expected. I'm also hoping that by holding myself accountable like this, that when I see a plateau or a gain, I'll be able to recognize why it happened and deal with it much more quickly.
Once I'm off Medifast and into transition and beyond, I think I'll continue to weigh and measure, if nothing else just to make sure I'm maintaining status quo and not starting to backslide.