Hi HMR blog... it's me, Steven

A year and some months since I last posted anything.  I quit the HMR program, again.  I'm weak, I know.  I couldn't stand the fellow dieters any longer, lord they could complain.  And the needles started causing some damage to the veins in my hands.  I know, excuses, excuses.  I tried Medi-fast for a month or so and had some decent results but the food and shakes did not appeal to me.  They didn't taste right to me.

So instead of eating like a normal person, I decided to eat like an idiot and gain a bazillion pounds.  I'm pushing 315 now.  Not good.  It sucks.  I'm breaking a sweat as I type this.  I'm tired.  I'm cranky.  The last straw that put me over the edge was my recent plane trip to Chicago.  I got lucky and upgraded to first class, so the seat was able to contain my wide girth.  I was even able to buckle the seat belt, barely.  The trip back was horrible.  Stuck in coach, the seat belt did not buckle.  I hid the belt and buckle underneath my belly.  Either I'm good at hiding things or the flight attendants felt sorry for me.  So I decided it is time to lose weight again. 

This will be my 5th serious attempt to losing weight.  What is different about this time?  Aside from the fact I weight more than I have ever weighed before, not much.  A little less busy with school.  A little less busy with work.  Way motivated though.  I want to travel more and I can't afford to upgrade seats all the time.  I want to fit comfortably in a coach seat.  I want to sleep without snoring.  I want to type without sweating.  Sure, I want love and a successful career, but right now I just want to be able to get on a plane and buckle the seat belt.

I ordered the HMR800 shakes and various other HMR products.  They arrive Friday.  I start Saturday.  I am not doing the medically supervised plan.  I can't do the blood draws anymore and I can't do the meetings.  5 shakes a day minimum, maybe a veggie here or there, maybe an entree here or there.

Current weight: 315.00
Start Date: 06/23/2012
Goal Weight: 150
End Date: May 1 (314 days)
Total to Lose:  165lbs
Average rate of weight loss: .53 lbs/day (3.68 lbs/week)

This should be interesting.  More posts to follow... I swear... honest.

Mouse - Moose - Mousse

I bought a food processor last night.

When I got home I unpacked it, washed it, and made a butterscotch mousse.  It was phenomenal.  I actually made a double butterscotch mousse.  It was way more than I anticipated food than I anticipated.  I followed the mousse recipe in the HMR cook book.  I'll post it bellow.  I think I'll start using more mousses.  I've heard of people freezing the mousses to get an ice cream type texture. Tonight, I'll try the pistachio mousse

Butterscotch mousse:
8 ice cubes
4-12 oz water
1 HMR 500 vanilla
2tbsp butterscotch sugar free pudding mix

place ice in food processor with a little bit of water.  blend until ice is crushed, think slightly coarser than snow cones.  Stop blending and scrap sides of bowl with spatula.  Add HMR 500 packet, butterscotch and a bit more water.  blend until desired consistency, adding water as necessary.

Coffee Pudding?

Yup, coffee pudding...

2 packets 70+ Vanilla
1packet sweetener
1-2 Tbsp instant coffee

Mix 2 packets Vanilla 70+ with a tablespoon or two of instant coffee, add enough water to make a pudding.  Add sweetener to taste.

I know it sounds not so appetizing but it really isn't that bad.  Reminds me of coffee flavored ice cream.  If you want an ice cream out of this, just freeze the pudding.  Careful to freeze in a plastic bowl as ceramic and glass bowls might break.  You could also use 70+ chocolate for a mocha type shake, though I would add powdered cocoa as the coffee flavor can be a bit overpowering.

human pin cushion part 1

I'm on the HMR decision free diet.  Basically this entails consuming a minimum of 5 HMR shakes per day... but you can have more if you'd like... more is better!  It is medically supervised, I see a doctor every week.  They review weight loss, physical activity calories, make sure all your digestive processes are function as well as can be expected (you know, cause you are only eating shakes), and review blood work.

Blood work... Oh, how I loathe thee.

My blood work is fine for the most part.  But lately, my blood has gone on strike.  Uric acid is high, Phosphorous is low, liver enzymes are high.  I don't mind addressing these problems, just keep losing weight, eat more shakes, and drink more water  But the method by which the blood is collected is beginning to annoy me.  Venous blood collection, A phlebotomist inserts a needle into a vein and collects 1-2 vials of blood.  No big deal right?

Wrong, it's a big deal if you have veins like mine... non existent.  I'll tell the story of my first visit to the phlebotomist for HMR.

Back in 2007, I was fat.  So my folks told me about the HMR program.  I signed up and had my induction lab work done.  This particular program was run out of a University.  The vampires' lair lab, was a training ground for future blood suckers phlebotomists.

I signed in, sat in the chair and the blood suckers phlebotomist in training started feeling around the inside of my elbow for some veins on which to feed, skewer, take a blood sample.  She felt around and around but could not find any veins.  Thankfully, the phlebotomist in training new her limitations and didn't stick me.  She called her instructor over for help.  Unfortunately the head vampire Instructor just HAAAAAAAD to show the student how it was done.  She stuck the needle in my arm, certain of the location of the vein... nothing.  She start moving the needle around in my arm in search of the illusive vein... still nothing.  Convinced I had no veins in my left arm, she felt up my right arm and plunge the needle deep, convinced again of the location of a vein... nothing.  She pulled the needle in and out, side to side... yet more nothing. 

The torturer instructor, completely flumoxed by her inability draw blood in any meaningful amount turned to my hands.  First the left.  I have a big juicy vein that rides on top of one of the tendons in my hand.  Great vein, only problem is that it moves around a lot.  I let the instructor know this before she stuck me with her needle.  She brushed aside my warning and the needle plunged into my hand, and she missed the vein... again a whole lot of nothing.  Again, she dug around my hand with her needle.  She gave up and finally went after a semi-decent vein in my right hand.  Eureka!  blood final began to fill the vial, however slowly.  Three vials and 4 band-aids later, I walked out of the torture chamber lab.  I thought that was the last time I'd have to endure the agony of blood draws... but it wasn't... to be continued

In which I explain my absence

The last 2 weeks have been insanely busy.  Work and school obligations have kept me out of trouble and in the box.  Lost 3.6 pounds this week.  My PA calories suffered as a result and the lack of sleep hasn't help.  Still a good loss but not as much as I expected on the fourth week.  I foresee more shakes and more PA in my future.  Things should be settling down.  Spring break can't some soon enough.  I'd like to sleep more than 4 hours a night.

PS: character types are on the way, first one will be posted Saturday night.


I'm tired.  dropped 4.8 pounds this week.  Yay me!  More later.

HMR Recipes - Muffin Frosting

The HMR muffin recipe is pretty good by itself.  They are dense, moist, and chewy.

I miss putting butter on my muffins.  That's where making a pudding comes in handy.  A pudding is a good substitute for frosting and, to a lesser extent, butter.  I'm sure you all know how to make the vanilla or chocolate pudding using the HMR 70 shakes.  For those that don't, here's a link to the HMR 70 page.  Simple recipe as follows:
  • 1 packet HMR 70
  • +/- 1/4 cup water
  • Flavorings (explained below)
  • add packet and water into bowl and whisk.  add or subtract water for desired thickness.
That's it.  You can spread the pudding on top of the muffins OR you can dip the muffins in the pudding.  You can also dress up the frosting anyway you'd like, add sweetener, spices,  flavorings, etc.  My favorite flavoring to add is the Jello Sugar free cheesecake pudding.  Add 1 TB of this stuff and it makes for an excellent frosting.  AND by using the frosting, you get an extra shake in.

In which I explain my procrastination

Yeah, still no update for the characters roles in HMR.  I'll probably get to it this weekend.  In the meantime, a story and a warning...

In an effort to try out new recipes, I figured I'd try a black cherry vanilla pudding.  2 packets HMR 70 vanilla and couple tablespoons black cherry jello... YUCK!

Granted the jello had expired almost a year ago, but that wasn't it.  It just tasted horrible!  wasn't smooth, somewhat gritty, cherry overload.  I tried to let it sit to thicken up and perhaps lose some of the grittiness.  Nope, nothing doing, still tasted like black cherry crap.

No more jello in HMR.

still trucking

yeah I promised to expound on the HMR character types, but that will have to wait.  Had a very stressful weekend.  I almost cheated, but I didn't.  Still losing weight.  Trying to stay employed


After having gone through the HMR program twice, and starting my third program last week.  I have noticed a certain pattern of characters among the dieters.  In class today it seemed as though all of them were on display.  I actually wrote them down, but since I have been up since 3am, I don;t remember them right now.  When I get home, I copy my notes.  So I'm a judgmental ass, deal with it.  I certainly don't exclude myself from any of these criticism, why would I excuse anyone else?  Besides, they're pretty funny, I swear.

Oh yeah, and I lost 10 pounds :P

I like entree's

or is it entrees, entrees'... whatever.  I think I'll do one entree a day.  Sort of takes the edge off. 

I've been plagiarized!

I was looking for other HMR blogs to follow or link too.  There are surprisingly few blogs chronicling the dieting endeavors of people on the HMR diet.  In my search I came across an older blog, HMR Girl.  It's old, the last post being Nov 20009, but I found an entry that looked familiar: http://www.blogtolose.com/profiles/blogs/hrm-recipe-cereal-muffins

Yup, that's my muffin recipe.  Nothing paraphrased, lifted with a few paragraphs and sentences removed, with no attributions.  On the one hand I'm not very pleased, someone posting my work as their own.  On the other, I think it is really cool.  I hope the recipe helped her and whoever else read her blog.  I would have just appreciated a track back link or something.  Well I'm not going to be too hard on her, it seems like she quit blogging after a week.  I hope she didn't quit the diet.

EDIT: While we're on the subject of recipes, here are a couple sites with some great ideas:

Hackley Health Management

HMR Official page

Double EDIT:  HMR Girl commented on my recipe.   If you are still following HMR Girl, I hope your diet worked out for you.

so far so good

5 days in... headaches still, though they are subsiding.  Made my first midweek call.  Went fine.  Doing it again, I find the attitudes of the nurses and educators more subdued.  Maybe it is because they feel like they failed, though I suspect it is because they think I'll fail again... I'll show them :P

And so it begins...

For me anyway.  We're not supposed to start the diet until tomorrow, but since I didn't have any breakfast, and since I was told it starts today, My diet is starting today.  I weighed in at a respectable 299.4.  I can proudly say that, even at my heaviest, I never broke 300 pounds :P

Crawling back...

...with my tail between my legs.  So I gained all the weight back and then some.  No excuse really.  I just didn't care after a while.  Frankly, I just didn't have the discipline anymore.  So I got big, again.  So I called the HMR people and was admitted into the program, again. So I have asked myself all sorts of questions:
  • What's different about this time? 
    • I'm older, wiser, know I have a problem with food, know I can't lose weight and keep it off by myself. 
    • Neck deep in grad school.  This will either really work in my favor or really work against me.
    • I have larger goals outside of getting laid.  Yeah yeah yeah, it's vulgar but really, my only motivation for losing weight the first couple rounds was to improve my prospects with the ladies.  Well, I've since learned that you don't have to be skinny to get lucky.  Sure it's a bit easier, but not necessary.
      • My goal now is to get skinny so I can get better jobs.  It's Science!
      • So I can earn my private pilots license.  The less you weigh the more gas you can carry
      • Avoid the diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, etc.
      • Get laid, OK well not laid exactly, but certainly pursue a healthy, long-term relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
    • Are my priorities screwed up?  Perhaps, but these are good goals I think.
  • What are you going to do different from before?
    • Shakes only until 200, transition to healthy solutions at 199.  I think I made my goals too large.  Breaking the goals down to smaller, more manageable pieces.
    • No Cheating, do what I'm told.
    • Attempt to be less judgmental of the other people who whine and complain in class... maybe... probably not
    • I'm throwing away my scale:  I wrestled throughout high school.  I learned all sorts of tricks to drop a quick 2 or 3 pounds in an hour or so.  I used some of these tricks to come in under weight for my HMR weigh ins.  Not the best idea.  By throwing away my scale, I will not know my weight, ergo, cannot utilize tricks to drop a couple pounds in a pinch, thus keeping me honest.
So that's the plan.  I'll amend this post as necessary. I'm not using this to track weight loss, rather this will be where I bitch and whine about the the people who bitch and whine.  Names and locations will be change to protect the innocent :P

Never Surrender, Never Say Die

And so it goes,

Been a long while since I posted on here. It partially accounts for the limited success I have had over the past several months. I finally hit a low point and have decided to quit going to the doctors and health educators and classes. There's only so much a man can take of the incessant whining and bitching. I've heard it all before and I'm tired of hearing it. I'm striking out on my own and this is the only form of accountability I'll have. This blog will be my record keeper. Starting today, I'm losing weight.

HMR Recipes - Oatmeal Cookie Dough

I heard some mention of this in a couple of classes but never got specific recipes. I made this one up.

1 packet HMR cereal
2 packets HMR 70+
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon (apple pie spice)
1 tsp Splenda brown sugar
1/4 - 3/4 cups water

Combine dry ingredients with whisk. Add water and mix. Add more water to achieve desired consistency.

This recipe is REALLY good. I have had it every night for the past week. Great way to get 3 meal replacements. I have not tried this yet with any other HMR shakes. the HMR 70+ makes it a true cookie dough like consistency. I'm considering actually making cookies out of this.

HMR Recipes - Chicken Soup Sauce

I think I've discovered one of the best things ever. HMR Chicken Soup Sauce!

1 packet HMR chicken soup
hot water

Mix chicken soup and only a small amount of water (if I had to guess, maybe a quarter of cup or less). Use just enough water to make the 'soup' a sauce like consistency. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

You can add it to ANYTHING where you are looking for a creamy sauce like texture. Be sure to taste the sauce before you add it to anything to get a feel for the salt level, chickeny flavor. Think of it as gravy.

I added to a chicken pasta parmigiana entree and it was just like macaroni and cheese! It was utterly amazing. I'm going to try this with other entrees (lasagna, savory chicken, five bean, risotto) and when I can start eating vegetables I will use it regularly. I wonder how this will affect my salt intake?

HMR Recipes - Coffee and Shake

I have heard this one related in class often, just never tried it. Didn't need to, I'm not a coffee drinker. When I do drink coffe, I load it up with sugar, milk, cream, coffee mate hazel-machada-frenchy-rasp-irish cream. But yesterday I was really dragging my feet after having spent the night NOT sleeping. By 2pm I was a zombie (mmm brains). So I poured some coffee and added a shake. It wasn't bad at all. In fact I like it so much, I decided to do it again today. So even though it is simple, it is being added to the recipes.

Coffee and Cream
HMR 100 shake (vanilla (latte?))
brewed Coffee

mix the shake, add to coffee to taste. enjoy

I found that using less water to make a thicker shake intensifies the shake (vanilla) flavor and acts more like a creamer.

Another Coffee + Shake recipe is the mocha!

HMR 100 Shake (chocolate)
Instant Coffee (for shame!)

combine the shake and 1-2 tbsp of instant coffee (to taste).
add water, mix throughly. heat or enjoy cold

I hate instant coffee, but the intense coffee flavor helps the shake taste better. It works best with chocolate shakes, not so good with vanilla. I think the chocolate does a better job of masking the instant in instant coffee. Likewise, I don't think the chocolate shake goes well with the first recipe.

HMR Recipes - Chicken Soup

There are many ways to dress up the otherwise bland HMR chicken soup. My favorites are as follows:

Chicken Soup
1 cube chicken bullion
1 packet HMR chicken soup
hot water

that's it... melt the bullion cube in the hot water (typically 1.5 - 2 cups, depending on your taste and how salty and thick you like your soup). The Chicken bllion adds a wonderful salty chicken soupy flavor that the hmr chicken soup alone can't match.

If you want something a little spicy or you can't have salt, try using Salsa. Again, add as much or as little as you want and depending on the Salsa and your tolerance for spicy.

I have started experimenting with different spices and flavoring packets. I tried taco seasoning once, not so good. I'm going to try chicken taco seasoning next time to see if it works any better. I have also tried it with ranch dressing (powder only). It was ok, but nothing special. It did thicken it up a bit though which was nice. The packet spices tend to add about 10 - 15 calories but be sure to read labels carefully. Some packet spices have as much as 80 calories per serving (1tsp) DRY!