Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Losing Weight as an RVer

Helen and I have been on a campaign for me to lose weight for several yearss now.

We took stock and started in earnest, shortly before we went on our trip to the Grand Canyon back in August, with our grandson.  We figured that, as he was only 12-years old, we would be limited in the type of restaurant/pub we frequented, as well as having early evening hours.  Although this limited us to a degree, we didn't mind, as we really looked forward to enjoying sharing the Grand Canyon, and the other sights with him and seeing  everything through his eyes.

The reason I mention this, is that we were able to start our management of my diet.  I will include a picture, but I had crossed 250 pounds one day, and I really did not like a lot of things about my size.

  • I had been really overweight most of my life, so I was used to that.
  • I had a car wreck in 2000, and, long story short, I ended up after 3 surgeries over 2 years. with some nice scars and no cartilage in my left ankle, so walking was painful to say the least.
  • I had been on Steriods since 1996, when I had a Kidney transplant, as part of my anti-rejection drugs, and they were eating my skeletal structure up slowly but surely.
  • I had 2 bad disks in my back that I could throw out very easily.
  • I had fallen into a Sedentary life-style, and had started breathing very hard.

I knew I had to do something, so we looked back at all of the diets we had tried, and rejected all of them.  I did remember what a professional trainer had once told me at the Gym I frequented before I had my transplant.  He said that {weight loss or gain really comes to CALORIES IN versus CALORIES BURNED."  He was a professional weight lifter, and he said all of his friends used this simple fact to place themselves in the appropriate weight category for upcoming competitions.

Lose It! - Weight Loss APP for iPhone

Also, at this time, and by chance, I had recently changed over to an Apple iPhone, and was enjoying all of the free APPs (applications) available to me.  I checked and there was a brand new APP called :Lose It!.  I loaded the APP, and checked it out.  It turned out to be the best tool I have ever seen, bar none.  Here is what we were able to do with LoseIt! :

  • Enter my age,
  • Enter my weight, 
  • Enter my lifestyle (Sedintary, Lightly Active, Active, and so on.
  • Enter my weight loss goal.
  • Then daily, I could enter my: Morning weight,  exercise type durung the day, calories burned while exercising, and foods eaten.
The real power of this APP, to myself and Helen is that I can enter my own custom recipes and foods.  I know you have seen software weight loss program, where you record your foods eaten, but this packaage lets me do 2 things that really streamline the process.

One, It allows the entry of personal recipes.  By that I mean, you define a recipe name, like Dons Ham and Cheese on Rye sandwich.  Then you find each ingredient in the foods list, and add the portion you used for the sandwich.

Two, if, for example you cannot find the low-fat cheddar cheese you used, you just get the food package, and add this as a new ingredient, includung nutrient values, into the new food section, and then add the new food to your sandwich.

Once you add the lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, and whatever you eat on your sandwich, then you go back and add this new recipe to your lunch meal.

Your daily data is updated, and you now have a recipe and a specific Cheese Food added that you can use again and again.  At the end of the day you have a summary of your CALORIC day, good of bad.

How I am losing;

Well, by using the Lose It! package I was aware of just how much we snacked, how large some of our  meals were, and we were able to see just which foods were the worst for me, and started making slow changes, such as;

  • Dropping the amount of  bread we ate.
  • Change to lower Calorie Breads, whcih were often as good as the old ones we just ate randomly.
  • Change to lower Calorie and Fat meats.  Less Red Meat, and more Chicken, Turkey, and Fish.
  • Change to a Low-Fat Mayonnaise, not Fat-Free, or tasteless varieties.
  • Use more Mustard on fods
  • Use Lower Calorie and Fat Salad Dressings, even making our own Balsamic Vinegarette.
  • Eat more salads, Chef Salads and Cobb Salads, and Salads with Chicken or Fish as an Entree'
  • Eat more Salsa dishes (with fresh vegetables and minimal oils), we have invented several.
  • Eat more seasonal vegetables and/or frozen, with canned vegetables as a last choice.
  • Eat more fruit.
  • Eat Healthy fruits for snacks between meals.
  • etc, etc. etc

To do the above, and minimize the costs, you have to become a savvy shopper. and know where and when the  best deals are.

I guess the pro f for me is the fact that right now I weigh 211 pounds, and feel great.  And of course,  I an continuing to stick to my plan, and adjust the CALORIES IN and CALORIES BURNED to reach my ultimate weight goal.

What does this have to do with RVing?  Well, traveling in an RV is a lifestyle, and your meals are an integral part of your travels as well as something that you need to manage to be healthier, have more energy, and enjoy the world outside your windshield.  Whenever we get me down to my target weight, we will go to what I call Phase-2, which is a maintain exercise and diet plan.

More on my progress and this personal weight loss plan in another Post later!