Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 25 - 6/29/10

It is hot! Orlando has been getting near record highs everyday the past week. It certainly does make my walks through the parks a little unbearable, coupled with the fact that the summer crowds are in full swing, so it's hard to walk around without bumping into others or getting caught in a large crowd. Though once I'm done walking and get back to the apartment and start swimming, it definitely is a refreshing experience. Ahhh!

I've stopped doing the Slim Fast plan. Been reading a lot of comments here that that is not the best way to go. A lot of you have been suggesting new methods, and trust me, I've been reading every one of them. Trying to decide what I'll do, but for the moment, I'm just watching what I eat and how much I eat.

Seems like this blog is getting more and more attention everyday. I was contacted by Jimmy Kimmel Live about my story, but ultimately they decided it wouldn't be right for the show, which I understand. It's still a big honor just to be considered. I'm actually talking to someone right now from one of the major cable news networks, but I'll give more info on that when I can.

If you go to my website, www.bankslee.com, and click the Blog section, you can see some of the many websites that have written/mentioned me and my blog. Like I've said in the previous posts, I love all the supports and kind words I've been getting. You are helping me to continue and not give up!

As you may or may not know, I work for an online Disney fan site called WDW News Today (www.wdwnewstoday.com), where I am one of the co-hosts for their podcast. Tomorrow night I will actually be a guest on their online talk show See Ya Real Late with Tom Corless. It is a late night Disney talk show over at www.wdwntunes.com, and it starts at 11 PM EST. I will be talking about this blog, and also be talking about another online Disney audio show that I co-host with Brandon Struve called the Super Obscure Show. Be sure to tune in at 11 PM EST over at www.wdwntunes.com!

Question of the day: For those who have visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which do you like better; regular Butterbeer or frozen Butterbeer?


  1. Hey Banks! I know what you mean about it being so hot. Here in the mountains of SC it has been in the mid 90's. We're not supposed to get that warm until August. We haven't been able to swim the past few days due to the thunderstorms we've been having. It's good that you're able to get as much swimming in that you can. It's such a great aerobic exercise, plus it can help keep you from injury. You also have a great time swimming with friends! Keep up the good work Banks! I'm pulling for you!

  2. I recommend Weight Watchers. It is easy to follow and becomes a lifestyle not a diet. They have an online version that does not involve going to the meetings. It costs about $5 per week.


  3. Frozen for sure!

  4. What worked for me is mainly three things, (1) portion control, (2) avoinging fast food, and (3) not frying anything. My plan may not bee for you, but for what it is worth here is what I do. An egg sandwich and bannanna in the morning, a turkey sandwich and yogurt for lunch, and a grilled piece of protien with a starch like rice (1/2 cup) and some veggies. Be carefull of butter and sauces and be very careful of what you drink, one Starbucks can throw the whole thing off.

    After 6 months and 72 pounds, I am heading back to Disney's California Adventure soon to ride the Maliboomer now that I will fit. I attempted to contact Disney to see if they wanted to cover it but no response yet. I am amazed at how much attention your blog is getting. What is your secret?


  5. Hey Banks! What has worked for me is eating real food - if I can pronounce I don't eat it! I'm also signed up for $4/week with Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser show. She sends daily newsletter, menu (which is adjustable) and workouts. I too have the goal of fitting on the Forbidden Journey ride.

    As far as the Butterbeer...I didn't try the frozen...but I couldn't get enough of the regular! My daughter didn't like it so I was more than happy to finish hers. Brought home 4 bottles of Pumpkin Juice - wish I could've brought some Butterbeer back to Michigan!

    Thank you for your inspiration, it is helping me.

  6. Frozen, for sure!!!

  7. Hi.....I suggest Weight watchers too......I lost 105 pounds and it does become a lifestyle. Its not fast but it works and you can eat anything you want......just in smaller portions!! BTW I had tried Jenny Craig, Optifast, T-zone, High protein, slim fast, vegan, raw diets, Juicing, and a few more I cant remember.......and weight watchers is the best!!

  8. I've heard wonderful things about weight watchers as well. My big change was making time to work out daily--no matter what. Whether I was tired or grumpy or thought I had too much to do, I'd hop on the tredmill for at least 20-30 minutes. It took a while, but all of a sudden...wow! and after a while, I learned to look forward to that time! another big thing i found that worked was changing foods that i like. I'm a sucker for bread, chips, cereal, and anything salty. However, I discovered I have an equal love for non-fat greek yogurt with a little honey, red peppers, huge salads, egg beaters with salsa and carrots with hummus (not together! haha). Also, try to revise your definition of full. I know I used to have difficulty feeling full until I was absolutely stuffed. Now I've learned to sloooow down my eating (which was hard), and let it get to a point where you feel just barley satasfied....and don't worry, your stomach will catch up. Also, if you go for a little snack, make sure you pair a protein with a carb, for example, an apple with peanutbutter, a small handful of trail mix with some almonds mixed in, a banana and a piece of string cheese. The protein is harder for your body to digest and makes you feel fuller longer (foods high in fiber are good too!). at the end of the day, weight loss happens when the calories you take in, are less than the calories you burn up in a day. So portion control and what you eat are obviously important, but this does not necessarily mean that you should buy everything in a "diet" version. Often the "full fat" versions leave you feeling more full and satisfied with less of the product, so you intake less calories in the long run. There are also free websites (such as www.myfitnesspal.com) where you can log your exercise and food for the day. The other thing that really helps is to have a weight loss parter, someone to hold you accountable. Weigh in together, call him or her when you have a really bad craving (not that cravings are bad.. a piece of pizza now and then are a-okay! just remember the keywords.. a piece...and now and then)

    good luck! you can do it!!!

  9. also, good call on the slim fast..supposedly they put a chemical in there that a) makes you hungry and b) keeps the weight from coming off. which makes sense..if you weren't overweight you wouldn't be buying it now would you?

    also remember that stress leads to a buildup of cortisol in our body..which is a hormone that tells our body to store fat in times of distress. (thanks caveman genetics!) so getting regular sleep and maybe taking some time for yourself and things which you enjoy and help you relax is just as important as burning calories:)

  10. It's hot in TN too!!

    I prefer the frozen butterbeer..so yummy!

  11. Hey Banks!
    Best thing i can recommend is working out in the morning, especially walking. The sun is still low, or not up at all so it'd definitely be cooler, not to mention you'd have less people to deal with. I make it a point of excercising by no later then 8:30 am, sometimes as early as 7, to start my day off right. Then generally a banana with a yogurt and some water, make sure to drink plenty of that.
    In the end you always have to remember, what you are doing is not dieting, but finding a healthier lifestyle that will help you lose weight, feel better and get you to the life you've always wanted. I'm fighting the good fight too, so don't think you're all alone.
    I wish you the best!

  12. I have the same problem Banks. I live about 2.5 hours south of you in West Palm Beach and the heat just gets worse everyday. I finally joined a gym the other day because I know I need to get my workouts in and I've been using the excessive heat as an excuse far too much lately. If you don't want to try utilizing a gym, maybe try walking first thing in the morning or in the later evening when it's cooled off a bit?

    As for diet plans, I keep odd hours because my husband works later hours. Finding time in the day to fit in 3 meals was a bit difficult for me. I take Alli capsules to help with my weight loss, in addition to a low-fat/low-calorie diet. I use my slim fast shakes for 2 reasons - 1) a fast meal on the run (it's better than nothing) and 2) a re-energizer after a gym workout. Other than that, the slim fast plan wasn't helpful for me at all.

    I think you're doing great! Keep up the good work!

  13. Hi Banks! I'm enjoying your blog. You are a very good writer and your story is probably something everybody can relate to.

    My suggestion: A 2,200 calorie per day plan that you make up yourself based on your favorite foods, including some foods from the parks (once you find out their exact calorie counts). It would be fun to know what you are eating each day and we can imagine we are there with you eating these foods.

    Have fun and keep up this great blog!

    Donna (in Virginia)

  14. "A lot of you have been suggesting new methods, and trust me, I've been reading every one of them. Trying to decide what I'll do, but for the moment, I'm just watching what I eat and how much I eat." Smart boy!! You don't need to follow a certain method. Just keep going in the direction you're already going in by eating right & exercising and you'll reap the rewards in time. Believe me and everybody else who tell you that you'll succeed in your campaign to lose weight & get fit. Weight loss is never easy, so don't you even believe those scams that tell you that you can achieve it with a pill or a special diet that ignores an essential component (protein, carns, etc.) You'll get there...you're smart and determined and all us HP nutters will see you on that theme park ride real soon!!

    Plenty of fresh fruits & veggies (don't even touch salad dressing!) are a good way to eat this summer. I will post a chicken salad recipe on my blog if you're interested in tasty healthy food. My mum makes it for me often. The salad doesn't have ANY mayo or oil of any kind. It has chicken (that's obvious!), plenty of tasty, fresh fruit & veggies and nonfat Greek yoghurt. It's a recipe by Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) that she modified to suit my taste. It's amazing! So let me know if you want the recipe...I'll be more than happy to give it to you! Keep up the great work!!

  15. If you do decide to try Weight Watchers, I'd watch out for the sodium content. They usually have a lot. Just remember FRESH is ALWAYS better! Though, you can use frozen fruit, greek yoghurt, honey and a little bit of flaxseed to make a smoothie. I'd use medium banana, yoghurt (nonfat) & a little milk (1% or skim) as the base to which you can then mix in any frozen fruit you likem then a spoonful of honey & some flaxseed. Blend and pour into a large glass & enjoy!

  16. I just read about your story on Consumerist.com. I think it's very admirable. I know I had an issue on a ride. I was able to squeeze in, but boy was it a rude awakening for me!

    I have been doing Weight Watchers since February and have lost 20 pounds and 2 sizes. I have no idea what mithu is taking about when he/she refers to watching sodium content. On WW you eat whatever you want as long as you count the points. It's not like Jenny Craig where you eat frozen food all day long. There are also good health guidelines so that you are encouraged to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, get in whole grains, etc. It's a really good plan because it's so flexible and teaches you how to eat in the real world. It's not a diet where once you stop you gain the weight back. It's teaching you how to think about food differently, and more healthfully.

    If you decide to do it, I highly recommend doing the meetings in person because it adds a level of support. If you want to go online, please consider becoming a regular on the messageboards. It really helps to have the support of people who know what you're going through, are going through the same issues, and have experience with it. It's really a good experience. For me, it's been the best change I've ever made. I don't feel as if I'm on a diet, but I'm losing weight.

    Good luck with your weight loss!

  17. Banks,
    My suggestion is for you to go vegetarian and low fat diest...I find that it was the easiest and fast way to get the lbs. off.(I lost 100 pounds this way). I am not a very athletic person so the exercise I chose (and still choose) is walking...start slowly (about 15 minutes) and you can work up too a great pace very quickly.
    Good luck and I hope to see you at Universal very soon!

  18. Just wanted to add my two cents: I didn't want to pay to follow a program, so I've been doing my own thing for about 8 months now. At first I was counting calories and trying not to exceed 1200-1500 a day, but that became tedious. After a while, I decided that the best thing for me was to just attempt to make healthier choices with every meal. If I wanted a hamburger, I ate one...just without mayo, bacon, etc. If I wanted a baked potato, I used less butter than I had previously. If I wanted some sweet tea (my LOVE!), then I would ask for half sweet / half unsweet tea. I barely notice the difference now!

    I didn't exercise at all, cheated a bunch of times, and even had weeks where I felt like I couldn't eat another healthy thing...and I've still lost over 30 pounds. Allow yourself to have what you crave! Just keep some limits :)

    Now that I've started exercising, I am finally beginning to notice the changes and I'm dropping sizes. It's surprising to actually see myself succeed at something. If you're already exercising at this point, you're well on your way!!

    Thanks for this blog; it's very inspiring to me! I will be trying that test seat in a month. I know I won't fit and I'm a little nervous, but having that goal is making me literally work my butt off lol. GOOD LUCK, I know you can do it! :)

  19. Also -- salad without dressing is BORING! try getting the dressing on the side and dipping your fork in it with each bite. It seems like such a small amount because it is...but I promise that eventually you won't even miss it! I feel silly when I eat salad this way, but then I see people drenching their salads with dressing and it turns my stomach lol. And that used to be me, believe me! If you're a big salad eater, this will help a lot :)

  20. The library has books you can borrow on nutrition and dieting. I would suggest anything by Dr. Oz (including his advice on the Oprah website).

    There are also some good websites where you can look up calorie counts of restaurant food. All of your favorite restaurants probably have nutrition pages online. I was shocked to see how many calories were in a caramel flavored coffee drink I got one time. So, I'd say it is good to know the calorie counts and not just guess at it. Good luck, Banks!

  21. Your journey is encouraging me! Thank you for sharing. Here is a great website....no matter what program you choose to continue your weight loss! You can track your food intake and it will give you your daily intake of calories PLUS your daily intake of nutrition. AND IT'S FREE! Its important to have a balanced diet during weight loss and this will help you achieve it.

  22. You are an encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing. Here is a website that might be helpful to you, no matter which weight loss program you choose. You can track your daily intake of food and it gives you your daily intake of calories PLUS your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. AND IT'S FREE! When you are restricting your calories it's important to have a balanced Diet!. Go to: www.caloriecount.com.

    Good luck to you as you continue your weight loss.

  23. One more thing. As far as diet goes, the important thing is to listen to all advice but know that you don't have to heed all of it. Find what works for you and eating habits you can carry with you throught the rest of your life. The inherent problem with diets like Slimfast is that it a a temporay fix to a lifelong issue. I have had all sorts of advice on my journey from a beet diet to a vegan style meal plan. None of those would have worked for me and I just developed eating habits that can carry thoughout my life.

    Keep it up!

    -Travis C

  24. It seems to me like what you're doing now is probably the best way to go with the diet. If you make it too strict you will just make things needlessly hard on yourself. Just eat reasonably and keep exercising :) You're are doing a great job and have a very inspirational spirit!

    ...and the non-frozen is definitely better. Although, I liked pumpkin juice the best, it's so refreshing!

  25. Hi Banks! I'm so proud of your decision! There are many other people who either would go home with their tail between their legs or sue the park for larger seats! Congrats on taking charge of your life! And, yes, the smart way to do it is with real food! If you need a fairly easy way to track your intake and calories burned try www.sparkpeople.com. It's a FREE site where you plug in how much weight you want to lose and by when. They then give you a daily calorie range and suggested workout plan. You can either follow their plan exactly how it's written or you can adjust it yourself. I'm a picky eater so I don't eat the meal plans they have written. I plug in my own food. It shows how much carbs, fat, protein, and calories I've eaten. I can also have it show specific other nutrients such as sodium, fiber, and iron. The workout plans can be adjusted as well and they have a bunch of exercise demos. If you have any questions they also have a ton of articles about various health conditions, nutrition, motivation, etc.
    Just a suggestion!

  26. The best diet, I've found, is to eat real food. Become a food snob. Choose food that is the least processed that you can find like fresh veggies and fruit, whole grains, lean protein. Work up to 40-60 mins of cardio 5 or 6 days a week, and find a support system like Overeaters' Anonymous. Weight watchers is okay, and I know they like to use that "lifestyle change" mantra. The problem with relying on fake food like the WW prepackaged meals and on programs is that when you are on your own again, you don't know how to eat. Teach yourself about calories, fat, protein, fiber. Weight Watchers keeps members dependent its programs. I was a WW member off an on for years, and I always gained the weight back. Seven years ago, when I finally gave up programs and decided to educate myself, I took off the extra weight and kept it off, even through being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It takes a lot of discipline and self-awareness, but you can do it. There are plenty of books to help you. All you need is a library card.

  27. Hey Banks,

    How did they weight in go? Looking forward to your update. I also started dieting about a month ago, but wasn't brave enough to weight myself then. I gave myself a goal that I would weight in on July 1st. I still have four more weeks til my trip to Orlando and I gave myself a goal of loosing at least 10 more pounds by then.

    I'm just watching what I'm eating, eating smaller portions, making sure to have my three meals a day and two to three snacks a day, plus drinking lots of water. I bought a little stepper machine for home (can only do about 3 minutes on it so far - working on bringing in up to 5) and then after I do other soft cardio exercise for about 15 more minutes. I have tried all sorts of diets before, and usually the ones that work best for me are the ones I design myself based on my likes and dislikes. Good luck, we are all cheering you!

  28. Frozen Butterbeer, for sure! :)

  29. This blog post made something 'click' for me. Somehow it always seemed to me that you had to choose one dieting strategy and stick with it until the weight was lost or until the motivation to diet burned out. Trying out different dieting plans somehow just never occurred to me! Cue a eureka sound effect.