Back in the day

Posted: June 16, 2012 in Bariatric surgery, Exercise, Physical activity, Weight loss

With my current situation, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much thinner I was back in the day, especially compared to now. I was so active in my high school years that I didn’t have time to work on my Jabba the Hutt physique. One of the surprising activities that helped keep me in shape was marching band. We had a band director who wasn’t real fond of marching, but knew it had to be done. He was much more of a jazz nut. So, we marched in three parades a year, unless there was something special in town. We also marched for the football games. You never quite realize how much lung capacity you need to march and play at the same time, I tell you what.

The Management will often quote the line from American Pie… “I am a band geek. I just never joined the band.”

It’s amazing how much that HS band stuff sticks with you. Choir, too. When we go to see the Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World every December, I still remember every word and every note of the bass part in the Hallelujah Chorus. It’s been 23 years.

Regardless, I don’t think you can discount the value of being physically active. I’m not advocating giving up exercise, but rather the use of physical activity to help keep you in shape. During his talk the other day, exercise physiologist Ryan said you have to do both to be a successful bariatric patient. I’ve at least upped the physical activity part of my daily routine. See, my place of employment is located near what is known in the biz as a “retail power center”. Or, as everyone else likes to call it, a shopping center. Basically, it’s a strip mall with big box stores. I’ve made it my mission to walk every day and try to go a little farther each day during my allotted break. One day, I walked to Home Depot and back; the next day, HomeGoods and back. My goal will be able to go all the way around the perimeter of the shopping center in 30 minutes. Hope I get there.

So, Monday brings a visit to the regular doc’s office. This is all part of my bariatric program. I must have my weight monitored by a regular doc for six months. Then I could go on to have surgery done. I’m hoping for good news… my last visit there wound up with me weighing in at an immense 374 pounds. I’ve been trying to eat right and get my physical activity in… I’m hoping it reflects in the number on the livestock scale. It’s really scary that the number has gotten so high as I was as low as 270 last January. I guess the wheels don’t fall off as much as just disintegrate. That’s the main reason I haven’t been giving a weight update… our home scale doesn’t go that high.

Oh, and the chili I made the other night has been given the seal of approval by The Management. As such, I’ll post my recipe here:

Brian’s Beef, Bean and Beer Chili

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (might as well get the Omega-3)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cluster fresh garlic, smashed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz of fresh black beans, soaked and boiled
  • 1 cup of beer (I use Sam Adams Boston Lager)
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    * If you are short on time or don’t want to mess with a real chipotle, just dump in Tabasco Chipotle sauce to taste
  1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking it apart as is cooks, drain any grease and set the beef aside.
  3. Add the oil in the pan, add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powders and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes, beef, beans, broth, chipotle and oregano, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-50 minutes. I then put it in a crock pot on low for 4-5 hours to really saturate the flavors
  6. If you want to make things healthier, use leaner beef. I will use 96% lean beef. It also makes for less grease to drain

If you are feeling like a big batch, double up on the ingredients, use a full bottle of beer and perhaps a can of beef broth or a packet of flavor enhancer. For those who like their chili with more heat, add hot sauce to taste.

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