Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Baldaufs Vs. Genetics — First Weigh-in

**Update: Added my dad’s weight and corrected the wrap-up**

Two weeks in. Time for the first weigh-in. To check-in, I asked my dad and uncle to answer the following questions:

  1. How do you think things have been going? Better or worse than you would like?
  2. What’s been the toughest thing so far? The easiest?
  3. Any adjustments going forward?

Bob (The Father) 

Still no picture, so the Barrel Man continues

1. “I haven’t looked at a scale since I weighed in, but I think I started out
pretty well. By later later in the week was drinking as much soda as before
and the second weekend was homecoming here, so everything went out the window(Mary Muellenbach cookies are hard to resist). I’m going to guess that when I weigh in my weight will not have changed much. I think I was down, but gained some back. I hope you and Dan have done better, it’ll force me to work harder.”

2. “I need to find a replacement for soda, something that would help the caffeine headache would be nice.”

3. “I still think portion control is the key to sustaining this for the long haul, but I’m wondering if I should try a more Atkins approach to kick start some weight loss.”

Starting Weight: 223 lbs
Current Weight: 218 lbs

% Change: -2.24% 

 Dan (The Uncle)

Also no picture yet. Might resort to increasingly unflattering pictures until I get something to use.

1. “Things were going very well, until I hit the first weekend, seemed like we had 3 “get togethers” that lead to either drinking or eating the wrong things. Back on track after this weekend, down 7lbs, slighly less than I wanted , but enough to continue to motivate.”

2. “Cooking is the toughest thing, time does not always offer itself, therefore ease of eating out takes over. Easiest has been walking, going pretty well. Lunches are very difficult on the road.”

3. “Leaving for Vegas on the 19th, sticking to no carbs until we leave, dealing with repercutions afterwards. Try to continue to walk daily, bike 2 times per week.”

Starting Weight: 268.8 lbs
Current Weight: 261.0 lbs
% Change: -2.91% 

Shane (Me) 

Me

1. “Things haven’t gone well at all. It started with problems with the scale I bought, which is a piece of shit. I think I have it figured out now. Anyways, I’ve been sickish so working out has really taken a backseat. Cooking took a little bit of a backseat too, especially with traveling for my interview.”

2. “Toughest thing has just been getting past this cold/allergies/hell. Not really any easiest yet.”

3. “Well, as soon as I feel better it’s back to the boxing gym. I have 2 weeks left on the membership there. Hopefully I’ll be playing some tennis with my brother (and if I lose again, the racquet probably isn’t surviving). I’d like to get back to the climbing gym soon. I miss going there but I could really use someone to go with so I can climb a couple full walls instead. Cooking should be back on track now. Trying to keep the carbs down a bit still and focusing on cutting down on the grazing throughout the day.”

Starting Weight: 196 lbs* (corrected)
Current Weight: 195 lbs
% Change: -0.51 %

So, not a great start for me. Dan and my dad are off to a good start though, but Dan’s trip to Vegas could give me a chance to get back into it. Regardless, I’ve got to pick up our game.

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OSS Days 3-4 — Biking and Badger Games

Wednesday went well. Really well. Plans of running on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday didn’t pan out with the girlfriend as she had to work, but we’re still working on a set routine. So I had to change things around a bit. I tried running with Olive, but I waited too long to go and she was a little to mellowed out for a run. So we switched it to a short walk and then I went for a bike ride.

I have always like riding my bike (especially know that I have my shitty road bike back) but I just haven’t ever gotten around to going for long rides for a workout. I made a rough plan of my ride and set off. And it was great. Much more enjoyable than running. I ended up doing a little over 7 miles, which turns out to be a little bit short for me. Still finding my limitations as I get back into working out. Next time I’ll probably shoot for 10 miles. It was a great route for a run, though, once I work up to that distance.

After the bike ride, I worked all evening. I successfully avoided all rogue fries (patting myself on the back) but I did give in at the end of my shift and at a few handfuls of popcorn. Post-work, dinner was half a steak and watermelon. One thing I’ve been trying to do is cut my meat portions in half for every meal. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. The sweets ban also survived through the first 3 days.

Thursday was a little bit off. I worked a very long/busy shift in the morning and afternoon as we got ready for the first Badger football game. It started off as a nightmare in terms of work, but things went quite well afterwards. However, the boss brought in donuts. This presented a dilemma. I would feel bad not eating one, as my boss went through the trouble of bringing them in. Additionally, when I worked for the football team the last five years, we would always have donuts on gameday, and I didn’t want to mess with a working system. Foolish justification? Absolutely. But I did limit myself to only one donut (and I was very hungry and needed a de-stressor), which was a minor achievement in itself. Avoided the rogue fries again and managed to avoid to popcorn, but that was partially due to how busy we were.

After work, I met up with a friend for a few drinks before the game and lucked into a couple of free tickets. That messed with the dinner plans, so the girlfriend and I grabbed a bite to eat at the stadium. One brat and half a pretzel (which was cold and a definite mistake) for dinner wasn’t too bad. After the game, we went out and I had a few more drinks. So overall on the day, I didn’t eat all that healthy (and drinking certainly isn’t going to help my cause) but I did manage to limit the amount that I ate. And I showed restraint in the face of sweets.

However, the sweets ban did only make it a meager 3 days. Which may or may not actually be an achievement. I have a terrible sweet tooth. This is representative of me and sweets. Also, I love Hyperbole and a Half. (Seriously, click on it. It’s amazing. DO IT.)

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Weekly Links #5 — Obesity again and goals

This week’s links are short and sweet. It’s been a busy week between work and the Badger game yesterday (Russell Wilson’s pretty good, turns out). Next week I’ll be back on top of things, scouring for those fatalistic genetics articles.

1. “Study: U.S. obesity rates projected to climb by 2030” This article caught my eye because of its relationship to last week’s articles. In particular, the war on fat article talked about the CDC scaling back obesity projections. This article contrasts with that, citing another study’s projections. Odds are, things will probably fall somewhere in the middle. I did find it interesting, however, that the study noted the problems that childhood obesity could cause with the overall populations obesity. I also liked that they noted some of the cultural problems behind the obesity projections.

2. “It’s Not a Goal, It’s a Reason” This article does a good idea of recognizing both the value and the problems with goals. Goals are great for short-term motivations (like fitting into a suit) but goals are also limited to smaller timeframes. A goal of living a healthy lifestyle is difficult to keep up as motivation for an extended period of time. You need a reason and you need to keep it in view. My reason for wanting to be healthy is to avoid the health problems much of my family has had. It’s about writing my own destiny and not just giving up because I will probably have lots of problems with my weight and health.

I’ll be back next week with more. OSS and Vegetarian Adventures will be coming in the next couple of days.

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Operation Suit Squeeze — Day 2

First of all, Operation Suit Squeeze will be shortened to OSS from now on. I don’t want to write it out every time. Additionally, this is a long post. Sorry. Just some necessary background info in this one.

Day one was okay. Woke up, then played a little fetch and chase at the dog park with the labradile. Fetch and chase is our primitive version of fetch where Olive will go get the object, come back halfway, and then make me chase her. It’s a nice little mini-workout, but I look forward to just being able to throw a ball.

After the dog park, the girlfriend and I went for a run(!). I hate running. I’ve been avoiding it all summer. But I can’t go to the student facilities anymore (stupid graduation) and I don’t have money for a gym membership. So I’m kind of out of options. My hatred of running stems straight from my genetics. Baldaufs do not run. It’s a fact of life.

This is a representation of a Baldauf running. Notice the flailing. I couldn't actually find a picture of any of us running, hence the representation. Also, it's my brother! The skinny one.

When I ran track in high school, this was brought up at many family outings. Turns out, I didn’t really run track so much either. One time, I lost a 100m dash by 15 meters. Another time, I ran 300m hurdles (my coach really didn’t know what to do with me) and I ended up doing the last 10 meters like a gorilla. Unintentionally of course. (For the record, I did make it to state for the 4×400 relay. As an alternate. I usually leave that part out). But us Baldaufs generally run like we’re hauling something behind us. Lot of motion, very little distance covered. Except my dad, whose sprint is really just an accelerated trot.

Additionally, I am allergic to running. Seriously. For reals. (It’s a serious problem, okay!?!) Every track season, I got sick. Any time I run, I phlegm up. For those of you with a weak stomach or about to eat, you might want to skip ahead a bit. I run, and my entire throat becomes clogged. I can’t breathe. I spend my entire run making that god-awful phlegm clearing noise (those of you who know phlegmy people know what I’m talking about). Needless to say, this really screws with my breathing.

Anyways, we ran almost 2 miles and walked the last mile. Not a great start, but it’s a work in progress. I was feeling pretty tight. Got home, ate a fried egg, ham, and cheese sandwich. And that was it for brunch. Ate a handful of walnuts and banana chips later in the day for a snack.

Dinner is where I ran into trouble, though. The girlfriend’s sister (and Shane vs Genetics follower Keighley–shoutout) was in town and there wasn’t time to cook dinner, so we went out. We ate at State Street Brats, where I work, and I ate WAY too much. Classic example of overeating. I’ll chalk it up as an exception due to the lack of time to cook dinner, but I do need to work on my eating habits when I eat out. I did hold out against ice cream, minus a couple of small bites from the girlfriend’s. So the ban on sweets is safe.

Day 2 sucked. A lot. I woke up, ate a yogurt, and went to work. Worst. Shift. Ever. People need to tip!!!! (Which is only a small fraction of the worst shift problems). I brought some trail mix stuff to snack on at work and some gum in an attempt to avoid grazing all day on the rogue fries or popcorn that has gotten the better of me all summer. Only managed to eat a mouthful of trail mix though, and then we were too busy to worry about eating. Had a couple of handfuls of popcorn at the end of the shift, but avoided the temptation of an arnold palmer or root beer. I’m a serious stress-eater or frustrated eater, caving in to unhealthy foods every time. Successfully avoided those today, which was no small feat.

Dinner was pork chops with a grilled-peach/ginger chutneyand a piece of bread.

It's not very much.

Got it off eatingwell.com (good site). Tasty, but I should have made a veggie side to go with it. Pretty hungry now. (Can’t lose weight without being hungry, right?) Hanging in there, though. Running in the morning. Fighting the chocolate bar that’s staring at me across the room. Hopefully the sweets ban is still in place by tomorrow.

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Operation Suit Squeeze

So here’s the situation. Last year, I cashed in my birthday and Christmas presents from my parents for a nice suit. My first and only suit. I needed it for medical school interviews.

Fast forward a year. I just finished all of my secondaries. Round two of interviews are coming up. Aaaand my suit doesn’t quite fit anymore. Awesome.

I know what you’re thinking–take the suit in and have them do some alterations. As I have nooo money, I’m going to try to avoid that. (Plus it makes for good motivation to get into better shape). The vest and coat fit okay still. The coat’s a little tight across the shoulders, but it’s more of a comfort thing than anything else. Besides, I don’t really think I can de-broaden my shoulders. I’ll alter it down the road.

The pants are the problem. Can’t get ’em on. At all. I need to lose at least a half inch off my waist. Maybe a full inch if I want to breath comfortably for the whole interview. So the time has come for drastic measure. I’m talking set-in-stone workout routine. Smarter eating. A complete ban on sweets (like I said, drastic measures).

I figure I’ve got 4-8 weeks before I really have to worry about interviews. The plans will get hammered out over the weekend. Everything will be chronicled under the Operation Suit Squeeze category. I’m going to breakdown what kind of things I need to look out for and avoid, how I’m going to eat, and what I’m doing to work out.

This better work. I’d really like to breathe during interviews.

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Weekly Links #3

It’s Thursday. And I’m actually doing my weekly links on time! So we’re going to celebrate with a long one. Of course, I’m behind on all my other posts for this week (they’re coming, I promise!). Didn’t have internet for awhile with the move.

So, I feel like I haven’t yet explained why I’m doing links every Thursday. Or more importantly, why a lot of them have to do with public health stuff. Part of it is that I’m very interested in public health and thinking about getting my MPH while I’m at med school. The other side of it is that public health ideas can have an influence on your life–by changing views, helping to understand how things work, or just for the general advice. Anyways, on to the articles!

1. “Why is it so Difficult for Doctors to Stay on Time?” A couple of weeks ago in my links, I posted an article talking about doctors running behind and what the patient can do about it. This is a great follow-up piece from a doctor’s perspective. I like how it shows the tension between trying to stay on time and giving each patient as much time as they need. I definitely saw this issue at the community health center where I spent some time. We were always behind, and it was solely due to making sure each patient had their questions or concerns satisfied (within reason).

2. “Do Calories Really Count?” Loved this article. And it certainly fits in with the Michael Pollan school of thinking on food. I think the best takeaway from this article is the statement about the body being a chemistry lab instead of a bank. All calories are not equal. Sound advice.

3. “New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection” This is just pretty cool. I’m interested to see what this could lead to.

4. “A Prescription for Fear” Fantastic article comparing WebMD and Mayo Clinics websites. I’ve thought for a long time that WebMD might be doing more harm than good (saving the explanation for a longer post in the future), but this article from the NY Times exposes just what’s wrong with it–namely, pharmaceutical backing. Something to keep in mind next time you’re checking stuff out online about your health.

5. “Just 15 Minutes of Exercise a Day Could Add Years to Your Life” Just doing anything can help! No excuses about not having enough time.

6. “Will a Healthy Lifestyle Prevent Illness” This is an article that is kind of against what I’m about. It’s not off-base, but I think it goes too far. Yes, auto-immune disorders and a number of other health problems ignores a healthy lifestyle. But just because there is no guarantees that a healthy lifestyle will improve many things doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it (which the article doesn’t claim, but argues strongly enough that I would consider it implied). Yes, ancestry and luck are a factor. But it is foolish to undercut the way a person lives as a factor. It might not be guaranteed, but I can guarantee that the risks are high without a healthy lifestyle.

7. “Genetics and Obesity” I’ll let this article finish off my argument. I love the end. “Genetics is Not Destiny”. Thank you! I also really enjoy the line about dealing with the genetic hand you are dealt.

If you find any interesting articles or suggestions, please(!) send them to me!

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6 Things to Keep in Mind When Getting Healthy

1. “Things do not happen, they are made to happen.” JFK
Losing weight or getting healthy does not just happen. You can sit around and wait all you want, but until they invent a magic pill to lose weight, it’s not going to do anything. You have to make the changes and stick with them. Being healthy is about perseverance and determination.

2. Losing weight hurts
Your body doesn’t necessarily want to lose weight. You can’t lose weight without either feeling hungry or burning enough calories to make up for what you eat. You will be sore. But eventually, it becomes empowering. Walking through the cookie aisle at the grocery store without getting anything is satisfying. And it gets easier. Once you’re at the weight you want, maintaining it and living healthy is just a matter of making the changes in your lifestyle a part of your routine.

3. Stuff happens, get back to it
Sometimes, things get in the way. Maybe it’s been a busy work week and you just don’t have energy for the gym. Or an injure stops you from working out. We can’t control most things and it is too easy to get knocked out of a routine. It’s important to be able to roll with the punches and not let problems build up. More importantly, though, is to get back to business after things are cleared up. A healthy lifestyle can be a slippery slope for a lot of people. When something knocks you off the path for a healthy lifestyle, you need to climb back up that slope instead of getting stuck in a rut.

4.  Set small goals, but think long-term
There is plenty of evidence to show that setting small, reasonable goals for the short-term is effective. This is a very useful tool, if not necessity. But there always needs to be a big picture too. Most diets work for awhile and then fail. Losing weight or being healthy can’t just be a short term goal. Being healthy needs to be a long-term thing. It’s not just a diet, it’s changing the way you eat or live. Small goals help to keep people focused and from feeling like they aren’t making progress. Keeping the long-term in sight helps changes stick and can help you be more resilient when stuff happens (#4).

5. Just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean its healthy!
Yes, organic is better for you. But my organic cinnamon toast crunch does not count as a healthy food, unfortunately. Neither do organic two-bite brownies or organic chocolate bars. (I know, I was devastated too.) Switching to organic or natural food can help with many potential health problems, but losing weight and being healthy still requires eating well. This means less sweets, cheap carbs, and more veggies (sadly).

6. Everyone is different
Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for you. Find what works best for you. If you aren’t hungry in the morning and feel fine until lunch, you don’t have to eat breakfast to be healthy. If you hate running (I hear ya), find a different workout that you enjoy (rock climbing?). It is a lot easier to stick to changes if you find something you like doing or eating.

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