Monday, July 30, 2007

What's going on?

I'm certainly not the only one who has noticed that Al's blog entries have slowed down condsiderably as of late. Why could this be???

Well, I have done a bit of research and I have strong reason (and evidence) to believe that in an effort to win the FIW competition and blind side his competitors, Al has been at the Birchcreek Retreat (a health and weight loss retreat) in Shandaken, New York for the past few weeks. Here is link.:

"The evidence?" you ask. The proof is in the pictures. In the first image, that's Al on the far right holding the blue pool noodle (you can only see his right shoulder). In the second image, that's Al, again on the right, wearing the purple sweatshirt and black sweat pants.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Did Tom's love of Beer make me fat?

The El Cubano Gordo experiment is good evidence that community and friendship make weight loss easier, but is the reverse also true? Can Tom, Pete, Steve and Noah make me fat? NEJM published some research this week that says YES. "Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, researchers are reporting today. When one person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight, too." I'm not sure how I feel about the research. It strikes me a bit like saying everyone who is dead drank water, so drinking water leads to death" but decide for yourself...

Click here for full story

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

FIW Update

The big weigh in happens in just a week and a half. Tom is doping with Dexatrim and I'm just a good case of food poisoning away from 220.

Congrats to Mary this week who lost 2 pounds and to Colleen who didn't gain any weight.

Beer Can Chicken

A few weekends ago we went to a family BBQ that featured a Beer Can Chicken as the main entree. Upon my arrival our host stuffed a beer can up the chickens wazoo, turned the heat down to 200 degrees and smoked the little guy for four hours. After allowing it to cool we feasted on a perfectly moist chicken. For those FIWers still in the hunt this is a great way to add some healthy flavor to your weekend BBQ.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Steve, is that a Booya Sponge Bob shirt you're rocking in the photo? Where can I get one of those?

Monday, July 16, 2007

El Jamaican Flaco

Vitals: Steve, 31, Miami, Florida

Occupation: Computer Programmer
Height: 6ft
Weight Before: 235 (2005), 205 (April 2007)
Current Weight: Less than last week.
Goal Weight: 180
Secret Weight Loss Weapon: 3 a day work outs and small frequent meals (every 3 hours).
How did you put the weight on? 3 pregnancies and frequent visits to my favorite fast food dining establishments.
The Change: What have you done differently over the last 3 months? The first thing I did was to stop eating at the favorite dining establishments above. I also changed my eating habits and adopted more natural foods like more fruits for snacks instead of chips. I also believe I have been very consistent with my exercising. I don't get a chance to do 3 a days everyday but I make sure to at least get 2 work outs in. I always try to make sure one of the workouts is fun. My example of fun is playing basketball at lunch or playing 2 hours of volleyball on the beach at night. You have to keep it interesting to not burn yourself out.
Plan of attack for the last 3 weeks? For the last three weeks, I plan on using my kids as wrist weights and my wife and baby as ankle weights. We couldn't get the wife and baby in the picture because the cat doesn't know how to hold the camera properly. Please see photo above. The rest is a secret and I really can't share anything more.

Fat Is Wack Tracker

Everyone, as we approach the last three weeks of El Cubano Gordo we have decided to stop posting our individual weights. With the weigh in just around the corner we feel it best to keep each other in the dark about our weekly progress. From here on out we will all work towards dethroning Steve who has a formidable lead going into the final push.

However, we will continue to monitor the progress of Mary (Steve's wife), Colleen and Ian (Steve's brother) whose weights are all posted in the tracking chart below. Click on the chart to enlarge the image and make it readable.

Mac and Cheese Calories

Each week, The "selects a classic New York eatery item and examines its nutritional info with a little help from Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, founder of Creative Nutrition Solutions. Then they reveal how much exercise you’ll need to do to balance out what you’ve just consumed."

This week’s selection: Macaroni and Cheese at the City Bakery

Between the carbs and the cheese, the stats on this Flatiron joint’s signature item are, well, belt-popping.

The Damage:
865 calories;
46 grams of fat;
69 grams of carbs;
43 grams of protein.

Balance it with: An hour and 15 minutes of beach volleyball. Come on, it’s summer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Winning strategy

Al recently sent around an email asking us for our countdown strategies for victory. I've come up with a surefire way to win. Please, all readers send Steve gift certificates to McDonalds as a way of rewarding him for his dominance thus far. Steve, please post your address as a comment to this post

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Love the Watermelon

I had Watermelon for the first time this summer last weekend while at a BBQ. I fell in love with it all over again. Truly, it felt great on my lips after a long day in the sun. Mark Twain said the following about watermelon: "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 14 Update

Weights are in for the week. Congrats to Steve who continues to dominate the competition. Click on the chart to enlarge the numbers.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

9 years ago I weighed what?

Mary, First, let me apologize for wearing that horrible tie to your engagement party. When is paisley ever a good fashion choice for a 22 year old?

I remember that summer well. Steve had just graduated from B.C. and I had just returned from a summer in Juarez, Mexico where I had busted my now very large Cuban butt working 18 hour days as a volunteer on a construction site.

I weighed 180 lbs when this photo was taken and still have that suit in my closet. It was the first real suit I ever owned and have a very clear memory of buying it at the Brooks Brothers Outlet in St. Augustine, Florida. Today, after seeing the photo you posted I blew the dust off those old front pleated Brooksease trousers and tried to gently insert my left leg into the pants. Lets just say that I felt like the Incredible Hulk trying on a pair of Bruce Banner's trousers. Annie took this photo of me shortly after I tore the inner seam of the pants.

When Al was skinnier than Steve

I came across a photo album from my engagement party - August 29th, 1998. A lot has changed in 9 years! First most impressive thing I noticed when I looked at the pictures - 3 of my closest friends are now divorced (or getting divorced) from their significant other. Second most impressive - SKINNY AL! Al - (and I can only say this because you, Steve, and Annie know me well enough to not take it in any bad way...) You look HOT! AND you are skinnier than Steve. What do you think? Does this motivate you?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Weighing in on weigh ins

I think the answer to your conundrum Al and Ian is to not weigh in every day. I think as a general rule weighing in once a week (at the same time of day, preferably with as little on as possible) is the best option. If you have to check in more frequently than that, twice a week is the tops I would go. This way you can preserve your own sanity and also hold yourself more accountable for the time between weigh ins.

Al, I too have fallen prey to the "I lost a lb from yesterday and will now eat burgers" thinking (except in my case it was cheese sauce at Dave and Buster's, who I have recently discovered are definitely not my friends). By only giving yourself the option to gloat or sulk once or twice a week, you eliminate those urges.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

When Strawberry Shortcake Turns Evil

Ian, I think everyone has a different answer. I love watching the numbers on the scale plunge. But I hate it when they creep up after a July 4th celebration filled with dogs and burgers. The rising scale always makes me feel weak and undisciplined. Regardless I have a daily confession with my scale because it refocuses me when I'm performing poorly.

I weighed in on Monday at 228. Proud of my 1.5 pound weight loss I celebrated with a cheeseburger, onion rings and a shared Strawberry Short Cake dessert at Ted's Montana Grill. I followed that up with an Independence Day celebration that included 3 hot dogs, 1 cheeseburger, a pound of tortilla chips, and some novel invention called a cookie cake. This morning the scale laughed out a 231.

Curious about the dramatic three pound weight gain I took a closer look at the calories.

Burger: 340 calories
Bun: 300 calories
Onion Rings: 1,000 K for 10 rings
Strawberry Shortcake: 1,500 calories
Cookie Cake: No idea but at least 400 calories

The numbers don't lie. My lunch on Monday deposited 1,700 calories into my belly and my July 4th feast added an extra 2,200. So I say weigh yourself everyday because it can help prevent a one or two day slip up from becoming a "Jeez, how did I gain 25 pounds this year"

Water weight? WTF!

I'm currently taking suggestions for solid practices on weigh-ins. Does everyone elses weight fluctuate like crazy? I weighed in this morning 4.5lbs HEAVIER than I did yesterday! I quickly checked behind me for any sneaky b-tches stepping on the scale but no one was there. I'm quite sure I wasn't involved in any competitive eating contests on the prior day so I'm a little perplexed.

I'm thinking about weighing in twice a day and taking the average?

Monday, July 2, 2007

It's on in July

Please click on image to enlarge numbers.

Fat Is Wackers:

It seems as though we are suffering from some participant fatigue and that our group weight is starting to plateau. We've been at this now for 90 days and have lost an impressive 67 pounds and picked up 3 guest Fat Is Wackers.

Those facts sound great but when you look closely at the numbers by month you see a disturbing trend that shows a dramatic slow down in weight loss.

FIW Weight Loss By Month
April (-24 lbs)
May (-28 lbs)
June (-11 lbs)

I can only hope that we are all reinvigorated and inspired by the effort being put forth by new Fat Is Wackers Colleen, Ian and Mary and recommit ourselves in July to a combination of exercise and healthy eating.