To anyone who may stumble across my blog, I apologize but I’m no longer living in Kansas City, at least for the time being.
There was a good two day period where I just couldn’t get over the phrase “Wicked Pissah’”; a rare phrase only ever used or heard of in Maine. Alissa finally understood what it meant after I lost my footing on a slippery rock and fell into Sebago Lake with my camera. That…was a wicked pissah’! Aside from my little accident, our trip to Maine was great. Everything about Maine is fresh; the air, the water, everything. With Maine, I think of lobsters, blueberries, apple cider, Sebago lake, Amato’s Ham Italians, Whoopie Pies, Pizza by Alex, pine trees, family and friends. If you’ve never been, you need to go at least once in your life. Here are a few of my favorites from our 2011 trip.
You can see more photos of our family, taken by our friend Susan Mullen (<— Click) who also happens to be a fantastic wedding photographer! I wish we lived closer or had a lot of destination wedding clients to tackle!
Since my last post on March 9th, so much has happened! Little did I know then, we would be meeting our son Reid, only 6 days later. He’s been a blessing to our family, despite some lost sleep, mainly on Alissa’s part. I remember standing in the kitchen talking with Alissa when she took a phonecall from one of her nurse friends asking if we wanted to come in and have a baby! Crazy right? Yes, we declined but we opted to induce labor just a few days later. Without even an epidural, we had a baby in a matter of 4 hours. There was no way I was going to let this event take place without capturing some shots so aside from plenty of hand holding and encouragement, I did have my camera with me and captured as much as a supportive husband could.
For starters…I’ll introduce my son Reid. The second, happiest day of our lives. (Choose 720HD)
Today I start a new chapter in my life as I make my way to Fort Rucker, Alabama to attend U.S. Army Warrant Officer Candidate School for the next 5 weeks. It will be a bummer to be away from my family but the sacrifice and investment will pay dividends later in life. Amidst packing and getting ready to head to school, we did spend a couple of good quality days together as a family. Also, I’m happy to say Alissa is getting better with the camera and our family albums can now include photos of me as well! Here’s a couple from the morning we spent at the Nelson Atkins and Kaufman Memorial Gardens.
Since March, I’ve lost another 13 lbs, bringing me to an overall loss of 65 lbs since April 1st, 2010. What’s more is I haven’t seen my weight this low since high school. I’ve invested quite a bit of time into it and gotten great results, not to mention I feel great! To all of you who are reading this and who have families, we all know how precious our free time is. Since 2008, most of that free time was spent on photography, however my shift in focus towards my fitness level has caused me to refocus most of that free time. Earlier this spring I did have one opportunity to second shoot for Sarah Dickerson, one of my favorite KC wedding photographers. I had a blast and didn’t want to let a couple of my favorite images go un-blogged, see below. This is probably going to be my only opportunity to photograph a wedding this year and likely one of my last weddings in Kansas City as next summer we’re moving to San Antonio, Texas.
And a couple from the wedding.
April 2nd, 2010 my wife and I took a 10 day vacation to the French Polynesian Islands. I was just back from 6 months of schooling in Washington, DC so what a better way to reconnect with each other. At the time I tipped the scales at 292 lbs; the heaviest I’ve ever been in all of my life. I had to make some changes for my overall health.
I’d done it before in ’01 – ’02 so I had the knowledge of how to do it, I just needed to stop making excuses and do it. The moment I was back from the beaches of Tahiti, I hit the pavement, one foot in front of the other.. over and over again. I can attest that it was not enjoyable at 290+ pounds. I didn’t put much thought into changing my diet at the time, I just needed to make small lifestyle changes, something I could sustain for a while until exercise became enjoyable again. And by the way, I’m referring to ‘nutritional intake’ when using the word ‘diet’, since dieting can be interpreted in a few different ways.
Weight loss was slow, that is, until I started taking a more mathematical/scientific approach to it. I spent time educating myself, trying to learn more about my body and how it reacts to exercise and diet. I determined my BMR which gave me a fairly close estimate of how many calories my body required in a day, simply to exist. I purchased a heart rate monitor to track my calories burned during my workouts and set myself on a limited calorie diet and over time cleaned my diet up in my quest to regain my health.
You might be asking yourself exactly how limited? Not that limited. First off I set a realistic goal of a 1.5 lb weight loss per week, which meant I needed a 750 calorie deficit each day. I calculated my BMR, accounted for my calories burned from exercise and ensured I had a 750 calorie deficit. Sure enough, I was losing 1.5lbs per week religiously. I counted calories using www.myfitnesspal.com (they also have an awesome app for both iPhone and Droid). It’s free and it simplified the entire process. Check it out sometime.
Jumping ahead to 9 March, I’ve gradually dropped 50 lbs over the past 11 months with the most success happening since Thanksgiving. At my current weight of 240, my workouts are becoming enjoyable, my clothes are fitting better if not to the point where I need to replace a few items and best of all, I’m feeling healthier.
My pointers (because someone always asks) are rather practical and straight forward.
1. Get it the mentality that this is going to be a slow process. Your excess weight didn’t just show up on your doorstep one morning and refuse to go away. It took years of poor nutrition, little to no activity… likely both.
2. Go through your pantry and throw away the junk.
3. Learn about your body and what it means to ‘eat clean’. Determine your BMR and what it takes to lose a pound of fat. Begin to make small changes in your life; ones you can sustain for a long period of time.
4. Make a plan based on your findings in step 2. Hint: www.myfitnesspal.com (and use it religiously)
5. Get active!
6. Be accountable. Tell someone about your plan, post your workouts on Facebook using cardio tracker, and/or get involved in an online weight loss community.
A post wouldn’t be complete without a couple of photos (after all it is a photography blog) so here are a couple from tonight along with the recipe and nutritional information.
G’s Energy Snack
1/2 cup almonds (unroasted, unsalted)
1/2 cup walnuts (unroasted, unsalted)
1/2 cup pecans (unroasted, unsalted)
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate 100% whey protein powder
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
4 tbsp. sweet coconut shavings
Finely chop the nuts and combine all ingredients in a bowl. Separate into 12 even sized pieces, form into a ball and refrigerate / freeze.
Makes: 12 balls
Serving size: 1 ball
Fat per: 17g (you want this fat!)
If you do a little research on the ingredients themselves you’ll find out these little guys are nutritional powerhouses! Did you know that almonds, pecans and other tree nuts (not peanuts) do not cause spikes to your insulin levels, which means they are great for controlling hunger and losing weight. Great for snacks between meals or pre workout. Like any decent cook…I tried them and yes…they are awesome tasting!
Grapefruit! With it’s low glycemic load and high fiber content Grapefruit is another food that’s great for breakfast. Give this a try sometime, it’s a great way to spruce up the ole’ grapefruit and sugar.
Broiled Grapefruit with Blueberry Sauce
1 ruby red grapefruit (Halved)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 package blueberries
3 tbsp. agave syrup (or regular sugar if you want)
1/8 cup water
1.5 tsp cornstarch
Blueberry Sauce: Rinse blueberries, removing any stem pieces. Combine blueberries and Agave Syrup in a small sauce pan on medium low heat, bring to a simmer while stirring frequently. I usually crush about half of the blueberries, leaving some for texture / appearance in your final sauce. Combine the cornstarch and water separately and a add to the blueberries while stirring. Let simmer for a few minutes, on low heat. Remove from heat and set aside. The sauce should not be too thick, but not too runny either. If too thick, just add a little bit of water to thin it out. You can easily prepare this ahead of time as it will keep in the refrigerator.
Grapefruit: Halve the grapefruit, section and remove any visible seeds. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar atop each grapefruit half. Place them on a sheet pan and on the middle rack and broil for approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes and the grapefruit begins to sweat, be careful you don’t burn the sugar. You will definitely know if you burn it.
Serving: Place the grapefruit in a bowl, spoon the blueberry sauce over the top. Garnish if serving for guests!
Serving size: Grapefruit half
Calories per serving: 211
Carbs per serving: 55g
Fat per serving: 0g
Protien per serving: 2g
About half of these calories come from the agave nectar (or sugar). The above recipe is how I’d serve it to guests, but if it’s just for you and you want to save a few calories, I would suggest reducing the agave syrup by half. This will save you 45 calories per serving and about 11g of carbs.
1:37 am…that is all.