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MACSMOOTH's Recent Blog Entries

Return of the MAC - Week #7 Review

Monday, June 09, 2014

Good afternoon everyone! It was definitely my intention to turn this into a daily blog again, but I was super busy all last week so that didn't work out.

So let's talk about Week #7 (Day #43 - #49):

Well, the week started off pretty good. On Saturday, my wife and I hung out with my boy and his girlfriend. Since the weather was so nice, we went down to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. We started off on the paddle boats (picture above). Needless to say, it wasn't as much fun as we thought it would be. Instead of getting the typical paddleboat, we decided to go with the paddleboat shaped like a dragon. Probably not a good idea, I think those were more so geared toward kids and short people, because we we got in, I could barely extend my legs and neither could my friend Jason and we're both only 5'7" and 5'8", respectively. So it was an uncomfortable experience to say the least, our quads were on fire once we made it back to the dock. But at least we took a nice picture, lol. After that we all went and had dinner at Bubba Gump's Shrimp (yes, the restaurant was based on the Forrest Gump movie). The food was ok, but pretty overpriced. We still had a good time though.

So on Monday, I had my appointment with the foot and ankle doctor. Last week, I had some pretty substantial pain on the inside part of my ankle. Plus I wear custom orthotics and I knew it was time to get them replaced (they're three years old and have holes in them). So I met with the doctor and he diagnosed me with posterior tibial tendonitis. So I have to wear a Cam Walker Air Cast for two weeks (picture above). I also have to wear another boot to stretch my foot in the evening and I have to take some anti-inflammatory medicine. Kinda sucks, but it's only for two weeks. The bright side is it really shouldn't affect my exercising because I pretty much get in all my cardio on the elliptical trainer. That's fine because it's no/low impact; the exercise that I can't do is anything that puts pressure on my ankle (i.e. walking, running, treadmill, stair climber).

So in spite of the boots and medicine, I actually had a great week in terms of food and exercise. The only blip was on Wednesday. I think my body just needed a rest day (I had worked out the previous three days). Well, instead of having a rest day, I made it a rest/cheat day. lol, I had Dominos Pizza and Sweet Frog (frozen yogurt with all kinds of bad toppings). But I managed to close out the week strong.

So my starting weight for Week #7 was 289 pounds. By the end of the week, I was down to 287 pounds. So I lost 2 pounds and I'm now down 14 pounds from my starting weight of 301 pounds. I'm loving the fact that I'm still holding on to losing about 2 pounds per week.

Looking forward to Week #8 emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEWITCHED_26 6/10/2014 11:12AM

    Love the picture! You would never tell the boat was so small :P
Sorry about the foot but at least it is short term!

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SUGAR0814 6/9/2014 10:52PM

    emoticon on your 2lb weight loss! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 6/9/2014 6:09PM

    Great job, Mac! Hope your foot problems go away soon, they suck. But yes, the elliptical is a great way to get in the cardio without all the pounding of everything else. Keep it up, guy, you're doing great!

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Return of the MAC - Week #5-#6 Review

Monday, June 02, 2014

Hey Everybody! Sorry for the long gap since my last post, I'm still getting used to blogging again.

So let's talk about Week #5 (May 17 - May 23) and Week #6 (May 24 - May 30)...

Week #5 started off ok. I was feeling pretty good that I had a full month of good eating and good exercise under my belt and that I had lost 10 pounds. I was also feeling great that the results from my Wellness Screening were so much better than expected (see my last blog). So I was excited about Week #5...

All was going well up until Tuesday... To make sure I stay on top of my health, I decided to get myself a primary care physician (I hadn't had one since high school). So I went in for the appointment and the everything was going well... until the nurse said it was time for my tetanus shot.

Don't get me wrong, shots, needles and getting blood drawn doesn't bother me, but I always experience side effects after a tetanus shot. I got the shot Tuesday morning and aside from a little soreness in my arm, I was ok. I went to the gym that night and I cut the lawn at my parents house. After I cut the grass I went to the grocery store and that's when I got hit with Part 1 of the double whammy. I experienced a SHARP pain on the inside of the ankle. I finished up my shopping and got home so I could ice and elevate the ankle. Then later that night, I got hit with Part 2 of the double whammy. My arm swelled up around the tetanus shot area, became warm to the touch, I had a low grade fever and I just felt like crap overall. So needless to say, I felt pretty bad for the rest of the week and didn't make it to the gym. So for Week #5 I didn't lose ANY weight, but thankfully, I didn't gain any weight either.

Week #5 wasn't all bad though. My wife and I traveled down to Atlanta for Memorial Day and we got to spend time with family and friends. I also got to see both of my nieces, which was awesome (that's my younger niece in the picture above). So I had a blast in Atlanta. Didn't eat horribly, but I also didn't get any exercise in, it was too hot. But that's ok, I was on vacation emoticon

Week #6 was ok. I didn't work out for the first half (Sat-Tue) because I was on vacation and traveling back to Maryland. But I got great workouts in on Wednesday and Thursday. Tried to get one in on Friday as well, but I had an evening event that last 3 and a half hours. And since my LA Fitness closes an hour earlier on Fridays, I didn't have time to get a workout in.

So needless to say, I didn't expect to lose any weight during Week #6. To my surprise, I actually lost 2 pounds! So my total weight is now down to 289 pounds. I've lost 12 pounds over the past 6 weeks, which means I'm averaging 2 pounds a week (which I am definitely happy with).

So things have been good. My only concern now the ankle pain I experienced, I'm definitely going to get that checked out to make sure I didn't really injure myself. I shouldn't have gone to the gym and cut my parents yard on the same day... Doh!

Well, that's all for now. Take care everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 6/3/2014 8:54AM

    Your niece looks precious! Congrats on the 2 pounds a week -- that's perfect!! Keep up the good work!!!

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SUGAR0814 6/3/2014 12:35AM

    emoticon on the weight lost!!! Your niece is a cutie pie!

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Return of the MAC - Month #1 Review

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Well, once again, I took an extremely long break from Sparkpeople. This time I was gone for 124 days...

Here's what's been going on:

I FINALLY GOT A JOB! Part of the reason that I was gone from SparkPeople so long was because I was unemployed. I was out of work for six months (October - March). That was extremely difficult for me mentally and emotionally. So needless to say, I tried to exercise and eat right while I wasn't working, but it was really hard to stay motivated. I interviewed quite a bit in late January, February and early March, but nothing panned out. But at the end of March, I finally got a job offer and starting working on April 1. I took a huge paycut, but on the bright side, I now only work 4 miles away from my house and I'm working in a permanent position (not a contract position). It's a pretty big company, so hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities to advance.

I've also been exercising and eating well. I got back into my routine on Sat., April 19 after topping out at 301 pounds. The scary thing about being at 301 pounds is that I knew that's how much I actually weighed, it wasn't water weight, it wasn't my weight after eating a big meal. 301 is what the scale said first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Part of what contributed to me going back over the 300 pound mark was the second week of April. I was sent to New York as part of the training for my new job. They put me up in a nice hotel, but guess what? I didn't have a microwave. And I wasn't in a big city, so my food choices were limited. So I literally found a restaurant over the NY State Line in Pennsylvania and literally got lunch and dinner from there EVERY DAY except for the first day (I was in training for 5 days). It was an Italian restaurant, so for 4 straight days I had nothing but pizza, chicken parmesan, lasagna, spaghetti and spiedies.

But like I said, I've gotten back into my routine. In my first month, which ended a couple days ago, I've lost 10 pounds! So I'm down to 291 now.

I've also changed my exercise routine, largely because of my new job. As some of you may remember, at my last job, I generally went out walking during my hour lunch break. Working in DC was great, because it's very pedestrian friendly and there were no shortage of places to see. However, now I work in a suburban area, my lunch break is only 30 minutes long and there are NO SIDEWALKS (see the picture above). With that being the case, I now get the vast majority of my workouts by going to LA Fitness. It actually works out quite well, after work, I just head directly to LA Fitness. And since I don't have a 90 minute commute each way anymore, I don't feel like I'm losing time going to the gym. So I've been getting in a ton of time on the elliptical trainer and plenty of time strength training.

I've also gotten a lot better in terms of food. Very rarely do I eat out. At most I have one cheat meal a week (before I would have a whole cheat day). So for example, during the third week of May, my cheat meal, was going to an Italian restaurant with my mom on Mother's Day. I also have started eating a lot more vegetables. I've learned that I'm just now a raw vegetable type of person. But when they're cooked, I love them.

Also, I've focused going out and enjoying life. The picture above is one example, my wife and I were in Norfolk and we took a tour of the Naval Base. We also went hiking at one of our National Parks and will probably going kayaking again once the water temperature get a little warmer.

Ok, last one, since I know this blog is super long already. One of the other things that I decided to do is to start going to the doctor regularly again. I haven't really had a primary care physician since before I went to college. I pretty much stop seeing him after he said that I was "grossly, grossly overweight".

But I decided that I need to make my health a priority. So I had some bloodwork done a couple weeks ago and today I had my first doctor's appointment/routine physical in over 15 years. I was definitely nervous about my bloodwork results, but guess, what? Pretty much EVERYTHING came back as normal/good. There were only two readings that were outside of the normal range, my total cholesterol was 1 point above normal and my Vitamin D was low. I was so happy/relieved. The cholesterol level will improve with weight loss and I can take supplements to help my Vitamin D levels. So, aside from all of the extra weight I'm carry around, I'm a pretty healthy guy emoticon

Well, that's all, thanks for reading! I'm definitely back on SparkPeople, though I think I'll probably be blogging on a weekly basis now (not a daily basis like I use to). Have a great day everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 5/30/2014 8:16PM

    So glad you are back and MOTIVATED!!! Don't take your good health for granted; use your report as a motivation to STAY healthy. Congrats on the new job. In this economy, any job is a blessing...

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SUGAR0814 5/20/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon So glad you found a job! Spark on! emoticon

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JOHGLO2011 5/20/2014 4:50PM

    So glad you are back - missed reading your blogs!

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Gentlemen, We Can Rebuild Him... (Day #1)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Well, it's been a while. A very long while. In fact, this is my first time logging into SparkPeople in 6 months (183 days according to the website). It's been an interesting past 6 months to say the least, I had some great times and not so great times.

So the biggest development and the primary reason for my disappearance was that I lost my job. As some of you knew, I was a government contractor. Well, my contract ended on September 30. The bad part about it was that I was lead to believe up until September 26 that I was ok. I was told that either the contract was going to be extended or that I would be transitioned to a different contract within the same agency. Neither happened. So on September 30, I said my goodbyes to the people that I had worked with for 2 and a half years and I went home.

So here it is, the middle of January and I still haven't found anything. The last few months have been hard. I'm not even talking about hard financially, they've been hard mentally. Up until now, I had been continuously working since 2005. The only other time where I was unemployed this long was right after I graduated college in 2003.

So needless to say, being unemployed and battling the depression associated with that has taken it's toll on my weight. I gained the weight that I lost back over the summer and some additional weight. My weight topped out at 299 over the holidays. It was a mixture of eating poorly and not exercising. But I decided that I'm not going to let this job thing keep my down and unhealthy.

Over the past couple weeks, I've dropped a couple pounds by cutting out the fast food, ice cream and soda, so my starting weight for Day #1 was 295 pounds.

So let's talk about the exercise from Day #1, Wednesday, January 15:

5.0 miles of walking - Went for a walk around my neighborhood

15 minutes of Nike+ Kinect Training (Xbox 360)

So I finally got out of the house and went for a walk. I'm glad the extremely cold weather is gone. The temperature yesterday was in the upper 40s, so I didn't really need to bundle up to go outside. It was a good walk, I just had to dodge a few dozens kids on the sidewalk since my walk coincided with the end of the school day at my neighborhoods elementary school. So I did 5 miles (2.5 going and 2.5 coming back).

Later that evening I decided I would try the Nike+ Kinect game that I bought for a week ago. Needless to say it kicked my butt, which is why I only did about half of the workout (15 minutes). It's a pretty cool concept, you do a fitness assessment (I did that a couple days ago) and then they design a personalized workout program for you. The only problem is a lot of the exercises, especially the cardio ones are high impact and pretty difficult for me at my current weight. I may need to just play Dance Central and Kinect Sports for a little while until I lose some more weight, lol.

Well, that's all for now...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

X5X52000 1/23/2014 7:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUGAR0814 1/16/2014 10:49PM

    I'm praying for you! A job will come. emoticon

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PANFRIEDTROUT 1/16/2014 8:24PM

    I'm sorry that you lost your job & especially the *way* it happened. I also "get" your depression and turning to food as a way to address the hurt and uncertainty.

How awesome that you're back on Spark, have made some eating changes, and that you're moving and doing stuff. Just don't do too much too soon and end up hurt so that you get derailed.

emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon m

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TRAVELGRRL 1/16/2014 6:03PM

    Sorry about the job, that really does suck.

But you don't have to compound the suckiness by continuing to gain weight! That never helps anything. So kudos for you for starting to turn it around.

Keep logging in and blogging to keep yourself accountable. We'll be rooting for you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GARDENQE2 1/16/2014 4:46PM

    That was a good workout!

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SUZIPAM1 1/16/2014 1:25PM

    there are a few things that we can do to assist with the depression, one is exercise and diet - but real depression does not go away on its own you need help to get over it. is there anyway you could get to speak to a professional?

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CLESHER 1/16/2014 12:19PM

    Hi Buddy,

So glad you are sorry to hear about the job...that really company shut down for 3 weeks, but they let us use vacation and even borrow vacation to get paid if we did not have enought - really awesome of them) by October 21 we were all back in business....

We are opening a new facility in Chantilly, Virginia...please check out our job board...
reers/ we also have a crystal city location....let me know if you find anything and if you want to use me as a reference...

Don't give up....any company would be lucky to have you...remember that!!!!

Anyhow I am very glad you are back....let's make 2014 the best one ever!!!


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MJEFFERSON23 1/16/2014 12:00PM


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Week #13 Review and Weigh-In

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wednesday morning (7/17/13) was my 13th weigh-in. This week was about getting back on track after my vacation last week, where I gained .5 pounds. The challenge this week was getting in exercise since the ridiculously high temperatures hampered most of my outside walking.

Well I'm happy to report that when I stepped on the scale it was down 1.5 pounds. So I'm down from 277.5 pounds to 276 (16 pounds from when I started). My average weight loss per week is now 1.23 pounds per week. I definitely wish the average was closer to 2 pounds a week, but I'm still happy with my progress so far.

Looking back at Week #13, my exercise was ok, but it was definitely cut back by the heat. For Week #13, I walked 10.5 miles, did 60 minutes of spinning and spent 195 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I also got in 3 days of weight training, where I hit all of my major muscle groups (I think the only one I missed was my shoulders).

Week #13 food was pretty good. I remembered how much that I like asparagus. I just need to learn to start cooking fresh asparagus, because the frozen stuff is pretty expensive (over $3.00 for a frozen pack that has 2.5 servings where I can get a pack of frozen spinach with 2.5-3 servings for $1.25). Given the severe heat, I also need to up my water intake.

So overall, Week #13 was another good week.

Week #14 will be a tossup. With temperatures of 95-100 degrees (and heat indices of 105 - 110 degrees) along with high UV rays and code red air quality, it's a pretty bad idea to go out walking during the day. Exercise will once again be a challenge. We'll see how it goes...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLESHER 7/20/2013 9:55AM

    Great work.....really proud of you...

Cooking fresh

First of all do not cut the ends off the fresh asparagus...instead use your hands and let it snap apart where it wants to when you bend it....even if the end that snapped off is a bit long through it away as this part will be can roast aparagus in the oven 350 for about 30 minutes...or you can toss it in boiling water for about 7 minutes....both methods work great....

Hmmm...I love asparagus...


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CHERYLE51 7/19/2013 9:51PM

    Grilled asparagus, awesome. I only eat fresh spinach in a salad, so that would be the way I would handle that. It's been pretty miserable here in Pittsburgh, PA also. I just can't wait to go to the beach and try to get in some relaxation. I just hope it doesn't rain.

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TRAVELGRRL 7/19/2013 2:46PM

    Oh! And congrats on the weight loss! 16 pounds LOST is better than the alternative, right?? emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 7/19/2013 2:45PM

    I love how you blog about your week -- really keeps you accountable. I may have to do the same.

Your weight loss is sure and steady, which is how you know it is FAT and not water, so WTG on that!

A super-easy way to cook fresh asparagus? Roast it. Coat it with a little cooking spray and bake at high heat (400) in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Turn once. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving. The tips get crispy and nutty and it doesn't get all soggy. Delish!

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SUGAR0814 7/19/2013 11:24AM

    emoticon emoticon on the weight loss!!

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