Continuing on the Weight Loss Road

Another week has passed, and of course, that means that it is time for me to get on the scales to see what number awaits me there. This week, the scales say I weigh 331.6, a loss of 1.6 pounds.  Considering how my weight loss plans were waylaid on Friday, I’m considering this a win.  And it is the lowest I’ve weighed since I started this whole weight loss journey.

So, what nailed me? My boss. ^_^;

Last week, some of the guys I work with had been pestering our boss about buying us a free lunch. I guess he does that from time to time.  So, he agreed to do so for Thursday of the following week.  As such, I made arrangements so that the 5:2 Diet fast days would not be on Thursday. Unfortunately, Thursday came and not only did issues force my boss to cancel our weekly staff meeting, he also had to cancel the lunch and reschedule for Friday.  As Friday had already been designated a fast day for me, I was in a bind.

I decided to play it by ear and proceed as if it was a fast day.  As such, I had only a boiled egg for Friday’s breakfast (90 calories). The boss came by that morning and told us to get in our orders for Red Robin. That meant no fast day. Instead of a Royal Red Robin cheeseburger, which is what I would normally order, I decided to go with the Red Robin Arctic Cod Fish and Chips.

Red Robin Artic Cod Fish & Chips

I noted that a serving of fries were ~450 calories, but I also know from experience that sometimes, you can get a lot of extra fries and sometimes not as many. That being said, I thought that maybe I could get away with just eating the fries and still be mostly OK. Fries don’t reheat well at all. I’d save the fish for later.  However, as it turned out, when the fish and chips arrived, I realized that the fish wouldn’t really survive being taken home and reheated later. So I made the supreme sacrifice and ate the whole thing. Man, it was tasty fresh. ^_^

Still, that did leave me in a bad way.  I decided to use this as an experiment to see what would happen.  As such, when I came home Friday night, I just had a single boiled egg for dinner and waited to see the results, which turned out to be pretty decent, all things considered.  Had I done Friday as planned, I know I would have easily lost two pounds. ^_^

Doctor Who: Earthshock – My Introduction to Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Earthshock DVDSince this is the 50th anniversary for Doctor Who, I thought I might review the episode that was my introduction to the franchise — Doctor Who: Earthshock. I was in high school at the time and one Saturday night, the store I worked at was pretty dead, so the assistant manager in charge let a whole bunch of us go home early. Since there wasn’t much happening at the usual hangout spots, I did the unthinkable and decided to go home, planning to read a book. Instead, I found my siblings gathered to watch Doctor Who, which I was vaguely aware of, so I thought, “What the heck, I’ll watch too.”

Thus began my love for this long running, British sci-fi series. Back in the late 80’s, the FX weren’t any worse than the classic Star Trek being shown in syndication. And Earthshock is a very powerful episode to introduce one to the goodness of Doctor Who.

BTW, if you want to buy the DVD (and it has lots of extras on it), you can do so here:

***SPOILER SUMMARY***

01 Troopers prepare to searchA squad of military troopers there to rescue some scientists who’d been trapped underground, but there’s only one survivor. The squad heads down to investigate, where they encounter the Doctor and some of his companions, accusing them of causing the problems. An attack by two androids soon proves the Doctor’s innocence, but after destroying an android and forcing the other to retreat, the Doctor discovers what they were protecting — a massive bomb, being sent signals from somewhere in space.
02 Doctor takes on passengersAfter disarming the bomb, the Doctor reluctantly agrees to allow the surviving troopers and lone scientist to accompany him as he tracks the signal to a freighter bound for Earth. After materializing the TARDIS in the ship’s cargo hold, the Doctor and Adric set out to get noticed. Unfortunately, they come upon two dead security officers and are accused of murder. Despite the bullheaded ship’s captain not wanting to stop for anything, the real culprits are revealed — the Cybermen, who quickly overcome the ship’s security force and take over the ship.

03 Cyber Leader and the DoctorDespite having been thwarted when the Doctor deactivated their bomb, the Cybermen are moving forward with plan B, whereby the freighter crashes into Earth, killing delegates at a conference being held to address the Cybermen problem. With a cyber device in control of the freighter, Cyber Leader decides to have the Doctor take them to safety on the Tardis while the cyber forces activate and leave. Adric is left behind with the survivors of the ship’s crew, and he manages to overcome two of the three lockouts of the cyber device. This causes the freighter to shift back in time, causing Cyber Leader to force the Doctor to have the Tardis follow.

04 making plansLt. Scott and his few remaining troopers overcome the Cybermen guards to rescue Adric and the crew so they can escape. Adric, who was frustrated over not cracking the third lock of the cyber device, suddenly has a solution and returns to the bridge alone. However, his efforts are thwarted when a damaged Cyberman blasts the navigation console.  The freighter is now 65 million years in the past when it crashes and explodes on Earth, revealed to be the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Review:

The nice thing about viewing Earthshock on PBS back in the day is that all four parts of the episode were shown back-to-back. Thus, I didn’t have to wait week after week to see what would happen. Awesome.

x01 talking with Cyber Leader

As an entry point into the Doctor Who franchise back in the late 80’s, this was an excellent one to do so.  For starters, we have a classic Doctor Who foe in the Cybermen. Further to that, this episode has a montage to previous Doctors when the Cyber Leader briefs his lieutenant on what they are up against. Further, there were numerous reference to earlier episodes which gave the a glimpse of how huge this universe of Doctor Who truly is, but also piqued my curiosity to know about E-Space, Romana, and the like.  As I think back, I realize this was likely the point to where I began to prefer serial TV series rather than episodic TV series.

x02 Playing recording of first Doctor

The story is quite dark, much more than I had expected as a teenager, but I think that darkness is partially what has made it still such an enjoyable episode for me to this day. You have the scientific team having been wiped out with a lone survivor. You have a military squad sent underground to try to find out what happened and who was responsible. You have something stalking the team and killing some of its members in gruesome ways. Of course, the ending of the episode makes this one of the darkest (if not the darkest) Doctor Who episode ever made.  More on that in a bit.

x03 Androids attack

Part 1 sets up this false notion that the antagonist of this episode will be a couple of mysterious androids. So at the end of part 1 when it is revealed that the Cybermen are actually pulling the strings from a safe distance away from Earth, it is a nice surprise. Part 2 has the nice montage of the previous Doctors, but other than having to deactivate the bomb and get to the freighter, not a whole lot goes on here. Part 3 picks things up when the Cybermen reveal themselves to the Doctor and company and there’s a desperate fight to try to prevent them from taking over the ship. Part 4 then wraps things up nicely by having the Cybermen succeeding everywhere, only to have their plans thwarted by the freighter suddenly entering a time warp thanks to Adric’s intervention.

x04 Cybermen revealed

I liked this idea that the object that struck Earth and killed off the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago was in fact a freighter from the future, which had been turned into a flying bomb to try to destroy Earth of the future. The Cyber Leader was pleased when he heard that the freighter was traveling back in time because he’d be destroying Earth at an earlier point in its history, thus changing time, thus removing humans from thwarting Cybermen plans and making the Cybermen a more powerful force.  When Cyber Leader learns that all that’s going to happen is make sure history happens as it should, it was as if I could actually see the face of the Cyber Leader fall, a tribute to the acting skills of David Banks, who is the best Cyberman ever, even over the new Cybermen.  Yeah, I know Cybermen aren’t supposed to have emotions, but there’s just something about the way David played the role that I just loved and miss today.

x05 watching the freighter

Then there’s Adric. Although this was the first episode I’d watched for Doctor Who, it was obvious that Adric had been with the Doctor for quite some time.  He wasn’t some unnamed, “red shirt” dude waiting to be killed.  As such, there was no way I thought he was going to die. As I watched the episode, I thought, “What sort of last second thing will happen to save him? The Doctor does have a time machine, so maybe that’s what will happen.”  So I was in a state of disbelief when the freighter blew up, the Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan were acting as if they’d witnessed a horrific tragedy, and then the episode ends with no music and Adric’s broken badge against a black background.

x06 Adric

That really had an impact on how I viewed Doctor Who. Without a massive history of “The Doctor and his companions always come through OK,” every episode I watched afterward that took place after Earthshock had me wonder if the companion would be killed when their life became in danger. It was a brilliant move.

x07 Nyssa

While this episode is mostly very good in terms of story, action, and drama, there are elements that aren’t so good. The freighter captain, played by Beryl Reid, comes across as absolutely clueless and unbelievable. Even as a teenager, I wondered, “How’d this old lady get to be a ship’s captain anyway when she seems as dumb as rocks?”  (As an aside, I loved her character in the movie Yellowbeard.)

x08 Freighter captain

The other weak element was with the Cybermen and their activations. As I understood it, this freighter’s cargo was a legion (or however many) of Cybermen in their tubes. Yet even as the freighter is going on its way to a fiery death, Cyber Leader orders the activations to continue and Cybermen bust out of their containers. I remember thinking that once the ship had been taken over, all of the Cybermen should have been activated immediately, then evacuated. As it was, it seemed silly that Cybermen are being activated at the literal last moment.

x09 Cyber Leader and Doctor

I loved the joke made about the caverns in part 1 being lit when there were no lights around. It is one of those things that stuck with me from that day forward.  After all, when one goes underground, there’s no light, but obviously since the audience needs to see the characters, these caves are always mysteriously lit. Well, this episode gives an answer to how pitch black caves are lit up and a laugh to boot (at least for me).

x10 lights in the dark

For the DVD, there are some nice things here. The entire 4-part episode has commentary by Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), and Matthew Waterhouse (Adric).  There’s an information text option that has popup text blurbs to note trivia things or other things of interest, which I really liked. The featurette Putting the Shock Into Earthshock gives some great info on what went into making this episode, why Adric was forced to leave, and the like. There’s a humorous but short Claymation “episode 5” that suggests Adric actually survived the crash into Earth, only to meet his end by another means. There are other extras as well, but these were the best of the lot.

x11 Adric tries to unlock controls

Doctor Who: Earthshock was a great episode to introduce me to the world of Doctor Who, which I have remained a fan of ever since. It also made Peter Davison “my Doctor”, which is why the 2007 Time Crash special mini-episode is so awesome to me. When David Tennant’s Doctor said, “You were my Doctor,” I was right there with him. ^_^

x12 Fifth Doctor

Weight Loss Journey – 5:2 Diet + One New Element

It is a new week in my long, weight loss journey, and as always, it is time to see what progress, if any, I have made over the past week. Fortunately, there is good news to report as I checked in with the scales at 333.2 pounds, which is a 2.8 pound loss.  Good news for sure. ^_^

As witnessed with the post title change (and some category/tag modifications) and as mentioned last week, I decided to add a new element to the 5:2 Diet scheme to assist me in my weight loss. When I was working 12 hour shifts, the 5:2 Diet worked OK, though I had major problems with overeating on the day after a fast day. Once I shifted to a “normal” 9 hour work day, I discovered that while the 5:2 Diet had good uses, I was killing my efforts in other areas and I needed to fix that asap.

The solution I came up with was the Carb Addicts diet. Several years ago, I was on this diet and went from 330 pounds to 285 pounds, with less issues of setbacks than I had with the 5:2 Diet. However, I went on vacation, got off the diet, then didn’t want to get back on it. I did make an attempt, but there were issues I had with the diet, especially working 12 hour shifts.  More on that in a bit.

Basically, the Carb Addicts Diet works in two ways. First, it applies a discipline element in that one can only eat a single carb meal a day, and that within a small window (I’m basing my info from the book that was produced by Drs. Rachael and Richard Heller several years ago so I don’t know if they’ve changed a lot since then). The other two meals are basically carb free, meaning no more than four net carbs per meal. So, even if I do buy some chips or snack cakes, I don’t touch them unless it is in that tiny window (it was an hour window, but I usually make it 30 minutes).  It really makes a difference and since I’ve proven that I can keep discipline on my fast days for the 5:2 Diet, then I know I can (and will) keep discipline and not do carbs outside the window.

Secondly, the Carb Addicts Diet works on the body chemistry, which helps with appetite suppression. As I understand it, when one eats, the body detects this and immediately sends insulin into the body to deal with carbs that are being consumed.  The amount of insulin released is based on the amount of carbs consumed previously. About an hour later, the body does a second insulin release if needed. If you have consumed no carbs (or less than four net carbs) but only protein, then that second insulin release is not triggered, as I understand it.

What this does is make it so that you stop craving carbs, not to be confused with not wanting carbs. By craving, I mean that deep feeling that one generally succumbs to of, “Man, I’ve got to have some Twinkies and a big bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos dipped in a tub of sour cream right now!”  By wanting carbs, I mean a feeling of, “You know, I think I’ll grab a few Doritos with my carb meal today and maybe a Little Debbie Swiss Roll because it sounds tasty.”

SONY DSC

It does work because the ultimate test for me is a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. Under the 5:2 Diet alone, I probably would have scarfed an entire box over the course of the day after a fast day, assuming I had them in the house. With the Carb Addicts Diet, they lasted for well over a week, that with eating one nearly every non-fast day over the past past nine days.  The discipline helps, but in addition, the massive craving just isn’t there, which is why I even skipped a day.  I even have a bag of Doritos that I’ve had for nine days that haven’t even been opened, something that would NOT have happened on a strictly 5:2 Diet plan.

So now, when I eat a carb meal, I find I eat less, even if I do consume a Little Debbie snack cake or the like. I still have to be careful though as I was reminded the other day when I brought in the last of my left over spaghetti to work the other day, which was a bit more than usual. After I ate, I was OK and even still a little peckish, but then a little later, the full feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t quite the same as when one has seriously overeaten, but it was a feeling of, “You really ate too much.” Therefor, I am going to be more cautious about how much I pack (which is good).

The other area I have to be careful with is still dinner. Even going carb free there, because it is the meal after my carb meal, there can be a bit of a temptation to think, “Well, since it is carb free, I can eat a bit more” which would boost the calorie count, something I need to avoid.

As to why the Carb Addicts Diet was so difficult when I worked 12 hour shifts, that was because I had to bring in two meals. Frankly, especially when I went into a period of working a lot of overtime, trying to figure out what to bring in for a low carb or carb free meal was difficult and often what I would choose would be unappealing to me at work. That resulted in me pushing the four net carb limit, which I would often break and that breaks the whole system. So I just stopped trying.  Now that I do my no carb meals at home, I don’t have that problem. I can just do whatever strikes my fancy, and it is fresh, which makes a HUGE difference.

If you are wondering why I don’t just give up the 5:2 Diet aspect, at the moment, I think I need the one-two punch that the 5:2 Diet and the Carb Addicts Diet bring to the table. Since I’m following the Carb Addicts Diet rules on the 5:2 Diet fast day (I usually have a boiled egg in the morning of 90 calories, a carb meal of either 210 calories or 260 calories for lunch, and a couple of boiled eggs that night for 180 calories, with maybe a couple of bites of cottage cheese, keeping me under the 600 calories for the day marker), they work quite well together. Plus, I’ve discovered that the Carb Addicts Diet has made the 5:2 Diet fast days a bit easier as the small carb meal at lunch feels like it goes further than it used to, though I’m still hungry that night. However, on the day after a fast, I’m not sucking down food like a famished person, which is a major difference thanks to the Carb Addicts Diet aspect.

If I start losing more than three pounds a week routinely, I may drop the 5:2 Diet part and keep it in reserve. However, for 2-3 pounds a week, I’ll keep it in place so that Lord willing, in two weeks, I’ll FINALLY be below 330 pounds.

Fussa Japan in 1989 and 2013

Tokyo 5 recently posted an image of when he first came to Japan in 1990.  It reminded me of my own time in Fussa, Japan from 1989 to 1991. A friend of mine in Japan, K-chan, took some photos earlier this year of Fussa, which is outside of Yokota Air Base. She used some photos I had taken from 1989 and took similar shots from January 2013 to show how things have changed.

Since Tokyo 5 was interested in seeing these shots, I thought I’d just make a blog entry and share them.  The photos on the left side are obviously mine and on the right, K-chan’s.

Fussa Japan 1989 to 2013

Fussa Japan 1989 to 2013 (02)I’m told that Dunkin’ Donuts is no longer at the Seiyu building (some other donut shop is there now…I think).

Also, it was surprising to me that KFC was no longer there, since the Colonel is pretty popular in Japan.  That place was my first experience with the multi-storied fast food places in Japan. Also, that was my first experience of being treated like a king in a fast food joint.  The doors slid open and two high school girls where there to greet me with a smile and a bow. Then, everyone behind the counter was bowing and greeting me. I think I spent a little extra, just because of all that. *lol*

Good times.  I really do want to go back to Japan some time and visit all of my old haunts.

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 11

Week 11 of the 5:2 Diet has completed, so it is time to face judgement on the scales of doom.  Drum roll please.  And the scales say that I weigh 336.0, a drop of 2 pounds.  So, a good week.

Since I’ve not been doing well at all in losing weight since I started working days, I’ve been pondering what to do.  Having an analytical mind, whenever there’s a problem, I have to solve it.  Obviously, the simplest solution is to eat less. Unfortunately, what looks simple on paper is sometimes not to simple to accomplish in reality, which is how things are with the whole weight lost with me.

As such, I’ve added a new element to the 5:2 Diet scheme. I won’t discuss what that is at this point until at least another positive week has passed. After that, I’ll go into it with more detail.

Regardless, this new element will add another level of discipline to my eating lifestyle.  For example, on Thursday, my contract company’s account rep brought in breakfast from Santiago’s for us. My boss insisted I take two breakfast burritos, and since they are pretty good, I said, “Sure.” Normally, free food and I are a bad mix as I go right off the wagon.  But this time, I saved my burritos, put them into my cooler, and since they reheat pretty nicely in the microwave, I’ll have them for a lunch Monday.

Santiago's Breakfast BurritoI’d nearly forgotten about it, but on Wednesday, some rep came to sign up folks for either Sam’s Club or Costco. Contractor scum like myself weren’t invited (bastards), but they brought goodies, the leftovers of which I was invited to partake in. So, I grabbed a large, chocolate muffin and a bunch of cookies. I still haven’t eaten them. ^_^

Anyway, as I said, if I have another good week, which I think I will, then I’ll talk more about this second element I’m adding to make things right.  (I may talk about it even if I don’t have such a good week, but we’ll see what happens.)

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 10

Another week, another weigh in for the 5:2 Diet. The scales report that I’m at 338.0, an insignificant drop of 0.2 pounds.

I have to say that I was really surprised by this lack of weigh loss. I didn’t have my normal failures that cause this, like picking up some hideous desert or the like (though I did have a couple of chocolate chip cookies at work one day and a couple of donuts another day at work, thanks to evil people bringing them in). So, I had to sit down and think about what the heck I did that thwarted me this week.

One change I made this week was that to try to save more money, I stopped going to McDonald’s to get either a Sausage Egg Biscuit or one of their Bacon Egg Cheese Biscuits. I was only buying one for breakfast, which is not too bad, though a single sandwich clocks in at 510 calories (and to be honest, I could easily eat two or even three).

Mcdonalds-Sausage-Biscuit-with-Egg

When I started fixing myself breakfast at home, I just made whatever I wanted and ate it, whether it was grits and eggs, sausage-egg scramble, etc.  I probably had nearly double the amount of calories vs. the single McDonald’s breakfast sandwich as I think back on things.  It is easy to get carried away when one is home and has a pantry, fridge, and freezer full of foods.

What this means is that I’m really going to have to be conscious of what I’m doing when I make breakfast and not just throw a bunch of stuff together because it sounds good.  Even if I don’t make as much, I have to avoid thinking things like, “I’m still feeling peckish. Maybe a couple of slices of cheese will help fill the corners.”

Still, if there’s a positive to take out of the week, it is that I didn’t go and buy some pie, cake, or the like. I want to keep that up for sure.

 

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 09

Once again, I’m running behind on my reporting, but I did weigh in on Saturday like normal. I checked in at 338.2 pounds, only a 0.8 pound drop.

My failure for the week were the Kraft Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Mallows. I hadn’t had marshmallows in who knows how long, and I thought these would have a pumpkin flavor, so I bought a bag. I realized it was a mistake to leave them at work, so on Wednesday, my fast day , I brought them to work. Sadly, on Thursday, I ended up scarfing a ton, which is what killed what would have been another good week in weight loss. *_*

Kraft Jet-Puffed Jumbo Pumpkin Mallows

I didn’t pay attention to that small blurb at the bottom of the bag, which clearly indicates these marshmallows are just the normal ones, cut in the shape of a pumpkin, colored orange, and in giant form.

As I’ve said before, I have really got to avoid temptation and that means not buying stuff like this.

OK, here’s to what I hope will be a better 5:2 Diet week.

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 08

It is a new week on the 5:2 Diet and time to check on how last week went.  According to the scales, I’m at 339.0, a 2.2 pound drop from last week.  It is nice to see the number back into the 330 range but I really have to keep buckled down.

I thought I may have blown the week when on one of my fast days, my contract company account rep for Company B brought in a big box of Einstein Bros bagel sandwiches and wraps. Because Company B does a fair amount of business with her, I guess this is her way of saying thanks.  Plus, free food always makes a person more acceptable.

Regardless, since I just couldn’t turn down free food, I did grab a Turkey Sausage and Cheddar Egg Bagel. It was only labeled as “sausage” by the wrapping in the box, so I just presumed it was pork sausage since I’ve never eaten at Einstein Bros, namely because I’d never eaten a bagel before (not that I recall at least).  While eating this bagel sandwich, which was OK, I kept thinking, “Man, I wish people would do sausage properly.” Then it hit me — since Einstein Bros is not only an expensive place, but somewhat of a niche place, they might not be using pork sausage.”

Eignstein Bros Turkey Sausage & Cheddar Egg Bagel

So, I checked the website and sure enough, it was turkey sausage. No wonder if was only just OK. However, that made me think that there was an outside chance that I was still good for the fast day.  Upon further investigation, I saw that Einstein Bros says this sandwich is 540 calories (give or take a few,mind you).  Seeing that, I just didn’t eat anything else for the day save for a very few Cool Ranch Doritos.

I still need to work on not giving into temptation, but thankfully, this time it didn’t harm me. ^_^;

 

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 07

I’m running late this week again, but I’m here now to report on how the week went on the 5:2 Diet. It was a bad week as I checked in at 341.2, a one pound gain.

What was the cause? A Red Velvet & Cheesecake from Schwan’s. *_*

red velvet cheesecakeA Schwan’s rep comes by Company B every couple of weeks or so. I remember seeing their trucks many years ago, and I guess I assumed they were an ice cream company since it was clear that these trucks had cold storage compartments.  I never really bothered checking into them back then, and until they came by last week, I hadn’t thought of them in years.

Regardless, the rep comes by and we get an early e-mail announcement from the receptionist, letting us know this will be happening in the afternoon and giving a link to their website. So for the heck of it, I clicked the link, looked around a bit, but when I saw this Red Velvet & Cheesecake thing, I just had to try it and it was good, though I prefer my red velvet cake and cheesecake to be separate. It went downhill from there, but fortunately the thing is gone now. Ugh.

I think my next report will be better. Sadly, sometimes it takes bad news (this time, learning my contract company lied to me about some things), so I’m shifting my financial focus to be a bit more cost conscious, thus no more spontaneous splurges like this.

5:2 Diet Anew – Week 06

Time for my weekly check-in on the weight loss progress with the 5:2 Diet. Not much to report this week as I only had a .8 pound drop from last week, my weight now being 340.2. This didn’t surprise me because last week was somewhat troublesome for me, and I just ended up eating more than I should on my non-fast days.

I really have to work on my weaknesses, namely getting nervous or worried about things I shouldn’t get nervous or worried about, more so because if I do believe in God like I claim, then everything will work out as it should.  Still, after the stressful, emergency HOA meeting on Monday, the highly negative attitude of some of my co-workers at my new job, and the insane rains causing flooding and such had me not thinking about what I was shoving into my pie-hole. ^_^;  Gotta stop that.

This week, I’ve just got to “man up” as it were, and do what needs to be done and not give into what this girl is doing in the image below.  Ah, cheeseburgers. ^_^;

[Happiness] SHIKIMORI Ibuki cheeseburger