Saturday, August 25, 2012


This is it OK it is time to finally get in shape and loose the weight. No more beating around the bush or kinda half-assing it. Alan this week posed a challenge to all who might be interested. It is a diet challenge of 1200 calories. Restrictive? yes but I've done it before and seen great results and it is just what I need right now. I'm starting Monday at 290 and would like to get down to a healthy 170-180 range.That's well over a hundred pounds to loose. I know that I'm in this for the long haul and wont be able to loose all my weight in just 12 weeks. But hopefully I'll get a good start finally. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


A couple of weeks ago Melody and I went to the coast to spend some time with family. While  in Lincoln City we decided we would do some activity and the 3mi hike to Drift Creek Falls seemed to just fit the bill.

Drift Creek falls is one of those places that has to be seen to believed. A beautiful hike through Pacific rain forest flanked on both sides by old growth trees, ferns, and elder the hike alone was worth the trip. But the  big reward at the end of this beautiful hike the sight of a majestic waterfall from a 250 foot suspension bridge.  Here are some photos of our trip

Melody and Zach
Zach and I emerging from a log
Creek hidden in dense undergrowth
 Drift Creek Falls
Suspension Bridge
Falls and the Bridge Through the Trees
Crossing the Bridge 'Scary"

Yes the bridge bounced, and scenes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom "Bridge Scene" Kept running through my mind

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stop the World I Want Off

This world is full of stupid people.  I was at work today and was reading an article from "Fitbie" that just about made me toss my cookies. The article discussed the new K-E diet. Of all the most extreme ways to loose weight this one just about takes the cake.

Yes behold the feeding tube diet............... Oh Lordy......

I can just see it now legions of soccer moms with tubes up their noses and food bags at their sides. The article quoted a woman saying "I don't have time to work out"...... I was thinking um yeah right! But you do have time to go to several doctor appointments and follow-ups for this hair brained fad. And how much do people pay to have a tube give them what amounts to "Ensure Drink"  pumped in through their noses 1,500.00 for for the 10 day procedure. And the weight loss, get this up to 20 pounds. This just seems like a business designed to separate people from their money. After all if you really wanted to do this just sip on two Ensure drinks throughout the day mixed with enough water for hydration and that would approximate the diet. Although that would require the pesky time consuming process of eating and drinking actual food. Oh for about 40 dollars in dietary drink you too could have this diet. Some people are too stupid for their own good. Let's hope this stupidity goes the way of the pet rock, troll dolls, and beanie babies.

My diet though while not perfect is a hell of a lot more healthy as I am eating real food. I am currently eating 1,200 - 1,500 calories per day with a dietary spread of 40-30-30. That is 40 percent Carbs,  30 percent lean protein, and 30 percent healthy fats. On some days I am allowing myself a  little bit of leeway for BBQ's etc but all in all not bad. And I've lost 2 pounds this last week so I'm on my way to where I need to be.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Momma Said

My momma always said if you don't have anything nice to say don't say nothing at all. Well I know that the silence of the last few months has been speaking volumes about my resolve to get healthy. I am enjoying my new life with my wife and diet and exercise have been so hard to fit in. Melody and I love to cook and so much of our social lives center around our table and our friends tables. Well for the last few months I have been socializing so much that I have been neglecting my health forkful by forkful. I've gained 10 pounds and I am fed up.... This is it... I'm putting down the fork now and excusing myself from the table of excess. Now is my time to finally drop the extra pounds. The good news is that I have a willing partner who also will be taking her own journey to fitness in my new wife Melody.

During the last few months I have been tackling a partly weight related health issue. Shortly after getting married Melody noticed that I stop breathing at night.... actually she shook me awake because she was afraid I had died. After spending a few nights scaring Melody into fits of insomnia I made an appointment with a sleep doctor to see what was going on. The doctor decided that I should have a sleep study it was determined that I have a condition called sleep apnea (I thought that was something old men got). Actually I have extreme sleep apnea  and stop breathing 98 times per hour. I did not even know it but every night my blood was literally turning blue as my blood oxygen levels would drop to and hover around 70%. The sleep technician who did my sleep study said that it was hard to watch me struggle to breathe so much. Severe sleep apnea can lead to stroke, high blood pressure, and yes even death. Scary.

The standard treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine which is a mask attached to a box you wear at night that pressurizes the air coming into your airway. It's a simple if somewhat inelegant treatment but it works. With CPAP I have now been sleeping and feeling much better. My energy levels feel better than they ever have and I am not downing as much coffee as before. My local Starbucks Batista's probably are missing me. Seriously though daytime sleepiness was becoming a real problem, I  now realize that a 6 hour Sunday nap, and falling asleep at my work desk might not have been so normal after all. For many people sleep apnea will go away with weight loss but unfortunately for me weight loss likely will not improve things enough to ever make it go away. Oh well I feel so much better now I don't really mind the mask all that much. Thanks to Melody I can confidently say that marriage has saved my life.

Back to weight loss. The running from couch to 5 K was killing my knees and . I realize that Melody and I may need to shed some pounds to make running a safe and viable exercise in the future. So I have been looking around for some low impact alternatives and thought I found it in P90X. Its a DVD series with lots of indoor exercise push ups pull ups cruncnhes cardio kickboxing etc... It looked like a great option that is until I looked at the entry level fit test and realized that there were things on the fit test I could not even do yet so back to the drawing board. Fortunately I did not have to look far P90X stands for Power 90 Extreme and was actually the sequel to Power 90. After a few clicks on the interwebs I realized that this was what I was looking for a basic program that included calisthenics and Cardio workouts yeah! I'm kind of a balls-to-the-walls kind of guy so I do like the boot camp style to this series but was not yet ready for P90X.   

We picked up a copy of the series and Melody and I started off on the exercise routines yesterday. I have really enjoyed the thorough butt kicking that Tony Horton dishes out on those DVDs Oh I'm sore but not dead and that is a good thing. Lighter skinnier healthier Todd I'm coming for you....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back In the Game

OK the honeymoon is over and I am going to be getting back into the swing of things over the next few days. I hope to start running again perhaps as soon as Saturday.

I have decided to do a bit more than last time in the area of exercise. Running just a few times a week was not helping me loose weight after the initial loss. I still plan on doing the Couch to 5K but I am also planning on doing some cross training  hiking, walking, swimming, Resistance Bands, etc.. on the in between days to take it up to 6 days a week of 30 - 60 min of activity. That should to the trick to loose the weight along with the needed dietary changes.

I don't have a lot of clever things to say right now but will be posting some measurements and new photos etc over the next few days. With any luck I will be getting back to the swing of things ASAP.


Monday, March 5, 2012


OK just a brief update;  I have been so busy the past couple of weeks with my wedding plans that I have not been able to keep up with my eating or exercise routines.  Melody and I are getting married on the 17th Saint Patricks Day so my time has been in short supply lately. Planning and cooking healthy meals and taking extra time for fitness had to be pushed to the back burner.

I cannot believe that just over a year ago I was single lonely guy unhappily eating my way into the grave. I actually can see a future and that includes getting healthy with the woman I love. I know that the next couple of weeks or so will fly by faster than lighting and I plan on enjoying them with my new wife.

Melody and I are both ready to lose weight and will be right back into the swing of things sooner rather than later after our brief honeymoon. WE WILL BE HEALTHY PERIOD! My friends have told me I will gain 20 lbs after marriage and I just don't see that happening.  Melody and I want to loose weight and when the wedding is not consuming all of our time that will happen soon enough. Part of our life plans together are to become fit enough to compete in a triathlon so the belly must go eventually.

I will try to keep you updated over the next few weeks; And then I will be back with a vengeance. Peace


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Still Here

Not motivated right now....... My mojo is off. I think I want to exercise and eat healthy but I just can't get going. I will  spend a few days and re-evaluate what I am doing. I'm not going in the right direction and that sucks I know that much. I need to set myself up for success but I am finding that really difficult right now.  This is just me hanging some thoughts out there. I'm pissed off at me. I don't need encouragement I need a drill sargent.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Busy

The weekend was so very busy I did not have much time to do anything but scramble. On Sunday I did get to weigh in and my new weight was 278.5 so yeah down for the week. I look forward to having more time tonight or tomorrow to post. about everything that is going on.... It is good.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Chance Workout

OK admittedly I am a Biggest Loser fan I've posted about it before. I try to DVR each week so that I can watch it all without the commercials (Is there any show with as many commercials?). I love watching the successes and failures of the contestants it's a really fun show to watch. But recently, now that I am on my own journey of fitness I am watching this show with a different eye.

I 've noticed there are several consistencies during the show the contestants eat well, exercise, and weigh in at the end of each week. But there is one part of the show that has always intrigued me the "Last Chance Workout". The reason I'm so intrigued is I wonder it really possible to drop weight during a single workout?  I guess furiously exercising before a weigh in seems like it might help drop as much as a couple of pounds to my logic. Yes I know that a lot of that is water weight, but an intense workout does burn the calories so presumably it is possible to drop.

This week I did cheat a bit in the food area especially with that pork centric meal midweek.  But for the most part, I have eaten pretty healthy, or so I thought. I jumped the gun a bit and did a (pre) weigh in yesterday and it looks like I've gained a pound. My muscles have been sore and I know that it is possible I am retaining some water there. UGH! This is not where I want to be or to end this week. I am going to attempt my own version sometime tomorrow of a "Last Chance Workout". I am not sure what I am going to do but I will figure it out. With any luck and a lot of sweat perhaps I can walk off a pound and a half and still have a loss for the week.


Couch to 5K Week 1 Day 2 - C25K W1D2 Revenge of the Runners

This week I feel as if I am taking it back lost ground. What does it take to make me a runner? I really already know the answer, it's continued progress day by day. Yesterday was was one of those days where everything just clicked and fell into place real progress.

If you are new to my blog welcome. For those that missed yesterdays post I am on a schedule of daily blogging at least 2 times as part of my personal accountability structure. Yes it  may get old but I reserve the right just to post a photo. So I actually believe that it will be a fun way of keeping this roller coaster ride on track.

So yesterday I ate very "cleanly" all day. I did not have the grilled chicken as I had planned but did have a great dinner. I had a garden salad, broccoli soup, and some cheese and crackers. It was really good soup, I forgot that I really do like broccoli soup. When did that happen? I hated it as a child. Oh no I am becoming my parents Ahhhhhhhhhh! Oh well there are worse things both of my parents are lovely people.

Yesterday I ate 1834 calories with  a nutrition spread of  25/22/53 Fat/Protein/Carbohydrates. Damn I should not have eaten that 100 calorie peanut cluster thingy, It was so not worth it. Oh well I was still overall pretty close overall  to where I want to be so I am not going to cry over it.

Wednesday both Melody and I were feeling kind of sore so we held off the running for one day. So yesterday Thursday was the next day of the Couch to 5K. This is week one day 2. The Scheduled run was 5 minutes warm up followed by intervals of 1 minute running followed by 90 second walking for 20 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down.

We pulled up to the school in my car it was cold 38 degrees but we were dressed warmly and were ready to go. Melody and I got our phones out apps ready to go and started off. I knew as soon as my foot hit the bark that I was stronger. On Monday I had gotten quite winded and was nursing a side stitch for the latter half of the run although it really was not as bad as my first day of running back before the move sickness etc. On this run though I was able to power through each of the segments without too much problem. I did encounter one problem. I forgot to reset my app and it thinks I should be doing week 2 day 1 still. I did not notice until melody stopped running and I kept going. I thought why did she stop. then I look at my phone an it says run 86 seconds oops! I did not even notice that I had run so long. It took me a few moments to get things reset to the proper day but I was able to get there without too much problem.

I enjoyed each of the segments and mentioned to melody "I could enjoy running for the rest of my life if it feels this good". As I rounded the track  the last time my Ipod started playing "These Foolish Things" by Nat King Cole. I thought to myself running may seem foolish to the uninitiated but when you get your mind into it you really start to understand how good it really is.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Came We Ran We Conquered C25K W1D2

Before Running

After Running

How I Eat

I need a kick in the butt sometimes and I think I've found it. I was visiting  Dr. Fat to Fit blog earlier today. She has decided to take on a challenge. I think it sounds like so much fun so I will do it too. Allen's challenge is to post 2X daily as a no nonsense way to keep things in check. Check!

So this is entry one for the day about what a typical day of good solid healthy eating looks like for me.

Today breakfast consisted of 1 cup of Raisin Bran 1/2 cup of skim milk black coffee and a cup of grape juice. My mid morning snack was an orange and a reduced fat mozzarella cheese stick. My lunch was some carrot sticks two slices of whole wheat bread and a can of tuna. My afternoon snack today is a banana. For dinner I will most likely have a grilled chicken breast, salad with regular Italian style dressing, and some brown rice.

Normally my breakfast consists of a few options. Cereal of any type is a good for me with skim milk. If I have a little bit more time I'll make a simple breakfast sandwich of an egg fried in nonstick spray, cheese, and toast. Occasionally if I'm tired of cold cereal I will make oatmeal with skim milk and drizzle some peanut butter in it for extra protein. On Saturdays when I am being "good". I may have an omelet with veggies and reduced fat cheese. If I think about it sometimes I take a few yolks out of the omelet if I want to use meat or whole milk cheese.

When It comes to snacks I say YES. Diet experts used to say NO! but have since backpedaled a bit on that. The truth is if you are not snacking you are at risk of binging. Snacks have the added benefit of  maintaining glucose levels and supporting healthy metabolic function. They keep me from gorging on junk and to spare me the cravings that come from being ravenously hungry. I almost always combine carbohydrate and protein. The reason I do this is that I've learned long ago that when combined the two complement each other to keep you fuller longer. Some good choices are: veggies and hummus, Pretzels with a small amount of peanut butter, a hard boiled egg and some crackers, a banana, low fat string cheese and fruit, plain yogurt and mixed in fruit, some crackers and cheese.

For me to be successful on lunch I must pack one. If I get to the fast food counter I buy junk that I did not intend at least 75% of the time. A good Lunch for me is one that I brought from home, if I make it I will eat it. My best choices are: a sandwich made with lean lunch meat whole wheat bread and mustard with a piece of fruit, a cup of soup some crackers and fruit, a single serving of leftover whatever and a piece of fruit. See the trend... a piece of fruit. Why? Fruit has fiber, water, and will help keep you full. Even the government gets it the USDA recommends 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Doh!

Dinner can be a challenge. Part of the difficulty is being able to plan healthy satisfying meals that will not only be good for me but will keep others in the household happy. I find success most when I save a few hundred extra calories for dinner. I have a bit more wiggle room to figure out what is going to work. Some meals I've found that work are: soups or stews with bread and salad, grilled chicken rice and salad, chicken and veggie stir fry with brown rice, pasta with marinara and chicken sausage and a salad or veggie, Fajitas. I find giving the non dieters the option of adding more food if they like but still being a nutritionally sound choice for me is best.

Some non written rules I almost always follow or at least try. I eat whole grains whenever possible (whole grain pasta, bread, crackers etc.). I try to take a multivitamin, I'm reducing my calories and I don't want to be deficient on my nutrients. I eat full fat dressing, peanut butter, and use olive oil in my cooking. Why? A little fat in the diet is absolutely necessary for good nutrition. Generally I try to maintain my total fat to  not more than 20% of my overall caloric intake. I avoid anything labeled diet because there are too many chemicals or tricky labeling i.e. way more sugar etc. I generally take no caloric beverages soda, punch, sweetener, they are just empty calories that leave me with an empty belly.

Well that is it for me this is how I will be eating for the foreseeable future. What tricks keep you on the road to success? How does your diet differ?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

This post is not about diet exercise fitness or guilt it is about my dinner. Last night Melody and I had one of the coolest singular dining experiences I've ever had. We went to a supper club (underground restaurant or pop up restaurant). For those unfamiliar with the concept a supper club is in effect a restaurant in a weird place, many of them take place as a paying dinner party. This one in particular is run monthly at The Raffins house by Nate Rafn and his wife Rochelle. Nate is a talented chief and the food was great! Melody used to work with Rochelle and it was nice to meet her.

Dinner at the Rafn's features many local and regional farmers and producers. The farm to table menu offers a varied rotation of many awesome seasonal items. I knew going in this would not be diet friendly. Last nights menu did not disappoint. The featured ingredient was this guy.

Red Waddle Pig
That's right Pork, Pork, Pork, and more Pork! More specifically the heritage breed known at the "Red Waddle Pig" this critically endangered American livestock breed known for the red coloration of its fur was tender and delicious. The historic breed was rediscovered in Texas in the 1970's and have since been preserved and raised on several farms throughout the US.

Each course of the four course meal featured in some way this yummy porker. For starters it was a pork pate and mustard green salad with bacon.This was followed by a buttercup soup made with pork stock. The main entree was a pork ragout and the meal was finished with a brownie made in part with pork lard.

The pork pate was both creamy and savory at the same time. Melody commented that it was not too livery (is that a real word?). Melody is not a pate fan even though I adore the stuff I finished off hers too. The salad had a nice piquant bite and the pork fat from the bacon cut through this nicely. The soup a buttercup squash was one of the highlights of the evening. I've never eaten buttercup squash before and will be seeking this out at the market. The main was a delicious stewed pork in a delicate pasta yummy and filling with a nice Italian touch to the seasonings. In the dessert The presence of pork fat revealed itself to me in the brownie even though melody could not detect it. The brownie was accompanied by an espresso mousse and candied walnuts the whole concoction was yumo and was a super finish to a great meal. Along with the meal we were serenaded by some music from Rochelle and their roommate.

Today I feel like a true locavore (at least for a day). What's next for me veaganism? One word, bacon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

C25K W1D1 Couch to 5K Part Deux

The clouds have parted. After many false starts, bad weather and other delay tactics yesterday was it. I could drag my heels no longer. The day finally had arrived. I made up my mind to start running... again. Yes it is a redo but I am OK with that. It is what it is, it's where I'm at and I had start sometime sooner than later. 
As you know I had planned on running Sunday but it was gusty, 50 mph winds so I made it another excuse and decided not to try and run in that. Actually it worked out to my benefit because I really needed to clean my house and being inside all afternoon gave me an excuse to get it done. I also had a small nap so I probably could have run but, alas.
Yesterday Melody was in Portland all day saying her goodbye to a good friend that is moving to Russia on Wednesday. Me? I went to work. Work was busy all day namely because of the storms. I work insurance claims so the winter storm season brings much busyness. As I talked with clients I kept thinking to myself "this is the day" and  "I run tonight". I was doing my best to phyc my self up and to insure I would not fall of off the wagon I just set myself on.
I tracked my food intake, every single bite yesterday. I did not pack a lunch. I did not want to eat junk so I stopped by Subway. I had a 6" Chicken Teryiaki Sub and some baked Lays not a bad lunch at 540 Calories. For dinner I made some homemade turkey Chili which I did not have high hopes for. I was so wrong this turkey chili totally rocked and I was impressed by how good and easy it was. The chili is going into regular rotation as it was way better than I thought it could be.  Here is what I came up with my own recipe.
Turkey Chili - Todd Swanson
2 Dried Ancho Chili Peppers
2 Dried New Mexico Chili Peppers
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey
1 Tbs Beef Base
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Medium onion chopped
1 Green Bell pepper Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic Minced or Pressed through a Garlic Press
2 Tbs Commercially Prepared Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Chipotle Chili in Adobo minced
1 Can 28oz crushed tomatoes
1 Can 28oz diced tomatoes
3 Can 16oz Pinto Beans Drained
3 Cups water
1/4 -1/2 Cup Masa Harina or Corn Meal
Begin by lightly roasting the dried peppers in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet. Roast just until fragrant and spotty but not darkened. Cool and tear apart the dried peppers with your fingers disposing of any stems and seeds. Place the dried peppers in a coffee grinder and grind into a powder, set aside. 
Mix the turkey and beef base together and set aside.
Heat the oil a large dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the Onion, Bell Pepper, and Turkey Mixture to the pot and cook until the Onion has softened and the meat is cooked 10 min approxametly.
Add the reserved ground Chilies, Garlic, Commercially Prepared Chili Powder, Black Pepper and Chipotle Chili. Cook stirring contently until fragrant approximately 30 seconds. 
Add the canned Tomatoes, beans, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 min.
Add enough of the Masa Harina or Corn Meal to thicken the Chili to desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as necessary
Serve with shredded cheese, avocados, chopped tomatoes, onion, or light sour cream.
My food intake was 1730 Calories right on point with 32/42/25 Fat/Carbs/Protein. The nutrition spread could have been better but I feel really good about it. This is nutritionally really where I want to be.  

Look at that I'm a runner
After work and dinner was finished Melody Came over and we got into our running gear. It was 38 degrees and a little bit foggy. The ground is still pretty saturated and squishy from the recent heavy rains. The softness is kind of and nice on the knees so no complaints about the track conditions.
We arrived at the track at around 9:00 PM ready to go. Melody and I both held up our phones and hit start simultaneously. I had this strange sense of deja vu as we bounded around the track. Melody and I kept catching up with each other it was a lot of fun.
Cat and Mouse
About mid way through the run I developed a side stitch on my right side. I was able to work through it though by focusing my exhalations on the down step of the foot of the opposite side. So I was able to finish strong. I went home tired but happy with my accomplishment. Yes I am a happy runner, again.
“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
― John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

Monday, January 23, 2012

1st Run

1st run done. I will blog more about it tomorrow.

Happy Runner Yeah!

What A Week - Weigh In

Last week was crazy flooding, snowing, ice. I hope all are safe as I hear there are tornadoes and hail storms hitting the middle and southern parts of the country today. Many of our local rivers are very high and have swollen over the banks. Several of my friends homes were flooded but all of them are safe and are staying with family.

My friend from work that fell on the ice last week is back today but has a lot of pain and bruising. She is sitting on one of those funny inflatable doughnuts as I type this, she says it is not really helping. She is a very active equestrian and I'm sure her horses are wanting to be with her soon.

My diet last week was OK. I ate slightly better last week than the previous week but did not track the way I was supposed to. My new weight is 268.5 a loss if 1.5 Lbs. I know if I start tracking this weight will melt off more quickly than a pound and a half per week, but a loss is a loss so I can't really complain too loudly.

On a different topic, Has anyone been following this season of Biggest Loser? Bob is so moody what's up?  I find myself so motivated and encouraged in my own progress by watching others success. If you haven't caught this show you should DVR it  it s a great show.

OK after much delay and false starts I reboot my C25K Couch to 5K tonight. Melody is exited and rairn' to go.  My clothes are laid out and ready, I set up my I pod play list and charged the phone, I cleared my schedule I am prepaired just like a good scout. Apart from the second coming of Christ I am running tonight... no excuses. I am a bit nervous again I don't know why, perhaps fear of failure. I keep telling myself I will meet with more success than last time. Success follows the prepared.

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
-Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crazy Weather

OK this winter has had some weird weather but now it is getting downright dangerous. Normally we would have some wetness with a few cold days and possibly a skiff of snow. But this is ridiculous what has been going on lately

In December our normal lows are around 40. We had some unseasonably cold temperatures and it hovered into the 20's for several weeks. In January we've been dumped on with snow with several inches of the white stuff falling just this week. Now that the snow has melted we have a new problem. It has rained several inches over the last 24 hours and we have some major flooding.

On my way to work the sewers were overflowing into the street eww. I had to drive around storm drains that were going in reverse. Renee one of my coworkers has a normal 1/2 drive to work but because of the flooded roads she had to re-route several times and her commute took her more than 2 hours. She said there is road flooding, downed trees, and mudslides everywhere. My coworker who fell on Monday is still out she has a major concussion and has been on bed rest all week.

The red cross is asking for volunteers and has began to set up shelters for those who are displaced by the water. I just heard our local school district have asked parents to come and pick up their kids early so that everyone can get to their homes safely. Weather forcasters are predicitng major rain over the next 10 days please keep the Pacific Nortwest in your prayers.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Off the Couch

Remember that movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray about a weather forecaster who keeps repeating his day over and over again. Today feels like that for me. After moving, sickness, and Storm I feel like I've faced every kind of setback to running possible. Today I am finally getting to restart everything over again. I'm dejavu on my Couch to 5K (C25K) with week 1 day 1 haven't I done that before. Every thing is in place, the ice has melted, the birds are chirping (well not really as it is windy and stormy today) I am ready to go. My App is reset and I am fired up.

Last night I ate pizza, I know not diet friendly, but I wanted it so I had it. Today all food choices have been just fine and I am still on track to loose weight for this week so all is OK . One of my fellow bloggers Kyle Gershman wrote a funny piece on Running Grief it's so timely for me I had to share it thanks Kyle. Today I fall in the "acceptance" category and I'm ready to go.

Aww Cute
The Tortoise and the Hare - Aesop
The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me."
     The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."
     "That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."
     "Keep your boasting till you've won," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"
     So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race.
     Then the Tortoise said: "Slow but steady progress wins the race."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day!

Look at this view off of my neighbors front porch last night.
Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on my exercise routine the snow has accumulated to several inches. I know you mid-westerners will probably laugh hysterically; but snow like this is causing our city to literally grind to a halt. Several inches would be totally manageable for a city that normally gets snow but not here. In our neck of the woods snow like this only occurs every couple of years, it's so rare an occurrence that our city lacks the proper snow removal equipment to get around to it in a timely manner. It is usually more than 24-48 hours before our steep neighborhood gets plowed. I was able to make it to work by sledding my car down the driveway and out to the main roads, so here I am looking out at the white stuff from my desk at work. It's a beautiful day of snow and ice that I cannot really enjoy.

Yesterday Melody and I went to a friends house for dinner. They served us chicken fajitas, yummy and a nice garden salad. Don't worry I was good and as far as I know my calories were within my limits give or take approximately 100 or so. Melody had a lot of fun playing with their kids and I had a hoot playing with their antique organ (60's era), they got it on a whim a few weeks ago. Honestly there was a button on the organ labeled I kid you not "Fun Bass". In no time I was pooping out tunes worthy of the "Napoleon Dynamite" soundtrack. I guess the key was labeled correctly "fun" because it made me smile, but for all of the wrong reasons. 

Seriously "Fun Bass"

My coworker that fell  and hit her head yesterday did not make it into work today, I hope she is feeling better soon.  The weather forecasters in our area are predicting this will taper off tonight to our normal rainy/wet cycle. I am enjoying looking at it fall from the sky it while it lasts but, I'm looking forward to being able to get to exercising again ASAP.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I have been silent on my blog for a few days. My silence is not because I have fallen off the face of the planet or because I have been abducted by aliens. I am not sure why but I just have not been feeling into this "healthy new way of life". My heart is jut not 100% in it this week. I want to be! I find my self eating good for part of the day and then completely tanking it on a single meal or snack by eating junk. I've been cheating a little bit here and there everyday throughout the week. I know that need to be "on" all the time but have not been as motivated as I started out to be in December. I've been so discouraged by sickness and exhaustion and uncontrollable setbacks I feel held back.

Saturday Melody and I took engagement photos the whole process was a lot of fun. Our photographer has a good sense of humor and put up with a lot of our shenanigans and my cornball use of the word "Anchovies" as an ice breaker. That night Melody and I made dinner as our photographer snapped photos it was a hilarious diversion from the normal way we cook. I felt like awkward like I was posing or something. Unfortunately when Melody was pouring some water out of a pot she scalded her hand, poor baby. I felt so bad. She thought she had hurt herself terribly but was actually just a light burn. Her step dad being a doctor looked at it right away and it was not that bad. But there were a few tense moments it sure was nice having a doctor in the house .

Yesterday I finally pressed rewind. I resolved to get everything back to where I want it to be, the calories, the exercise, and  the nutrition. With the last of the cold behind me, yes I was sick for the better part of 2 weeks and still am occasionally coughing up phlegm (ewww gross), and my fridge stocked with reasonably healthy food,  and Couch to 5 K App reset to day One I was ready to go (my gawd was that a run on sentience or what?). My plan was to take my first run on Sunday, then it hit a freak snow and ice storm, out of nowhere.

Ouch! @#$%^
 In this process of getting better I feel like I am having a lot of setbacks..... I decided not to run in the ice but, I was tempted. I was thinking about running this afternoon but I've since changed my mind. When I got to work one of my coworkers slipped and fell on the ice in the parking lot and bumped her head against the concrete so she is off to the emergency room. I can only imagine how the force of running might have made a fall like that life threatening. So no running until the ice is gone. With snow and ice scheduled through this week I may not be able to run until Wednesday and the forecasters are predicting freezing rain this next weekend. I am getting so very upset with these setbacks! I WILL NOT GIVE UP!

My weight went up this last week to 270 I shouldn't be surprised. I would like to be successful this week. On Sunday I ate 1776 calories which includes two cocktails. As I type this the snow has begun to fall again. Here is to a more successful week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Food Glorious Food

If you've tried posting to my comments sorry. I'm not sure if the folks that run Blogger have their heads screwed on right implementing changes that have not been thoroughly tested seems less than smart. Aside from all of the problems I've been having with Blogger today I have been doing well with food and eating.

Yesterday was however a different story. Melody and I went out on a date night to a little French Bistro (The Crooked House Bistro) not smart... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SAVE ME BUTTER EVERYWHERE. I ate some overly rich food lamb chops, risotto in butter, and wine. Oh and I had desert yes creme brule.  I had a great time but feel really regretful about it today. Bad boy. No excuses just bad eating.

Today I am doing much better and am eating more sanely and sensibly.  Here is hoping I can look at my challenges and face them head on instead of giving in. "Butter you don't control me anymore!"


I sure wish they would fix the embedded comments issue.  I've had to turn off the embedded comments for now so that you all can access my blog. Hopefully Google will fix this soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finally Feeling Better

Cough cough, choke, choke, snort, snort that has been me for a week. I've used more Vicks VapoRub, Halls cough drops, And Dayquill in the last week than I think I have in my entire life. Being sick and in bed is no fun.

Finally today the cloud of sickness is lifting I can breathe and I am feeling noticeably better. I feel a renewed drive to get all the pieces of my food and exercise plan together. I have been eating semi poorly and not tracking my food intake over the last few days and have been way more sedentary than I would like for more than a week.

So here is my exercise plan I will be walking daily at least 1 hour until Sunday. On Sunday my plan is to restart the full Couch to 5K program with Week 1 Day 1. Melody who also had been fighting this nasty cold will also be joining me on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

My food intake goals haven't changed I am shooting for 1744 calories. The nutrition I am shooting for is 20% protein, 20% fat, and 60% complex carbohydrates. To get there I need to avoid carrot cake, and other unhealthful foods I let my self scarf down when I was sick.

OK I have a confession already today I had a breakfast sub from Subway and I looked up the calories. Nutrition wise it was actually good but calorically speaking not good and at over 1000 calories. Oh well I will only have a piece of fruit for lunch, I guess it is my trade off.

Here is to good health.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ode to a Slice of Carrot Cake

Thou still silent carrot shred of deliciousness!
Thou glistening raisin of yesterday.

Ravishing confection, who canst thus express
A floury tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What piping bag legend haunts about thy shape
Of delicacies or morsels, or of both,
In house or the car of small cafe?
What Twinkies or perfection? What self loath?
What maddening torture? What struggle to consume?
What layer and frosting? What wild eating?

Hard frosting is sweet, but those un-hard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye swift fork, eat on;
Not to the sensual taste bud but, more uneaten,
Fork to the soft layers of sweet cream.

Bold Layer, not eating itself,
Blue prize winning baked good near the mouth – yet, do not grieve;
Cakes cannot speak, simply behold thy bliss,
For ever I wilt thou love, and eat thy layer!

For ever bakery, and for ever lightness;
All breathing human passion for a slice,
That leaves a tongue high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue for cup of coffee.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what bakery counter, O mysterious feast,
look at the cow coming mooing at the pies,
And all the butt cheeks with size extra extra extra large thighs?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its fork, this sad sad morn?
And, little bakery, thy platters for evermore
Will empty be; and not a morsel left to tell
Why thou art no cake, can e'er return.

O bulbous shape! Fairly large! with fat
Of marble shaped men and maidens overweight,
With forest benches that brake and the trodden weeds that get smashed;
Thou, slimmer form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternally a cold pastry!

Whenever shall this generation waist be slimmer?
A cake I  remain, in midst of  udder gluttony
Than me a carrot cake, a friend to man, to whom thou cravest,
"Beauty is truth, cakes are fattening," – that is all
Ye need to know about cakes, I'll forever live on your waist.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Part of progress is realizing change is necessary to continue moving in the direction you have been going. So far I have lost 12 lbs in just 2 weeks. That is huge. But with this loss I loose some more calories. I am adjusting my calories to 1744 to continue moving in the right direction. Oh well I guess this is progress.


It has been almost 1 week with this stupid chest cold and I am getting angry at not being able to exercise. Curse you sickness. But being sick has not changed my resolve to move forward with my new lifestyle and I am doing my best to eat properly and continue moving forward. I know that this temporary setback is just that temporary and soon I will be able to get back to my journey the way I intended. I did not get this way overnight and it is going to take a long time to get around this mountain.

This weekend offered a few challenges. I am just not felling well and my food has not been 100 percent where I want it to be. This weekend I had Jambalaya, and some other foods I probably should not have and my tracking was not happening. I have not had the energy to pursue my diet the way I want to.

My plan to start running on Sunday went by the wayside and I'm not sure if I will be well enough on Tuesday to begin running. I am doing OK with the eating and that is continuing the weight loss. My new weight as of Sunday was 268 a loss of 4.5 Lbs this week a total loss of 12 lbs since I started. I will be back to tracking today and hopefully for at least a few more weeks as I still need the benefit that tracking offers.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sick Daze

OK, I've been trying to ignore this cold for a while but it is finally gotten the better of me. Yesterday I went to work thinking I could make it but, alas nope. I went home sick around 9:00 AM and went off to bed. Around 2:00 I woke up and ate some pasta and tea. Melody came over last night and I had a few drinks and some pizza, (I did not want to eat healthy) I just wanted to be comfortable.

Forever Lazy
It is amazing how good a "Snuggie" or "Forever Lazy" looks when you are sick at home "I never thought I would say that". Oh well I am a sucker for bad marketing and I already own a pair of full size pj's so I can lounge around the house any time I want. Needless to say food tracking and running did not happen yesterday so I am off track for this week of running.

I think I'm on the mend so the the food is back onto healthy eating today (Friday) but my running schedule is too screwed up. I don't want the cold to settle into my chest so I am going to take a couple more days off of the running to avoid Bronchitis or worse yet Pneumonia. My plan right now is to just to get well and eat healthfully. When I am feeling well enough I will just restart my C25K with W1 Day 1 on hopefully Sunday. I'm not happy about this redo but I think it is necessary as I've lost too much progress in not running, oh well.  Here's hoping the 2nd time is a charm.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Still Moving C25K W2 Day (?)

OK. I am not superman. I have a cold, and I have to move. So I put my Tuesday run on hold. I know that I am still burning calories by moving stuff but this sucks, as I really still wanted to get a work out. Melody and I are still packing my stuff and should be done by this Wednesday night so I am still on for my normal Thursday run. I hope to make up my missed run on either Sunday or Monday of this next week, that will get me back on track for the 9 weeks C25K.

Pad King
Last night neither of us were feeling up to cooking so Melody and I decided to go out to eat, both of my nemeses Mexican food and Five Guys did come up in the discussion. We settled on Thai were I knew that I could get something healthy.

At a Thai restaurant normally I would get green curry, but I know that it is made with coconut milk and is to rich for me right now.  My eyes went over to the stir fry section and I had a beef and vegetable stir fry with Ginger Pad King and some rice actually it was quite good and thankfully was not swimming in grease. Melody had Massaman Curry.  I only ate 1/2 of my entree a little bit over 1 cup the rest went into a to go container for lunch. Melody only ate 1/4 of her entree so she is also doing pretty good.

Even with going out yesterday I still consumed less calories than I needed to but was much closer. I ate 1744 calories with a nutrition spread 25/24/51 fat/protein/carbs. I'm sure my sodium intake from the Thai food is through the roof but that should be OK as I don't weigh in until Sunday.

Tonight is the my last night of moving and I will be glad to be done with that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Moving Sucks

Yesterday was dominated by the move. I packed boxes lifted furniture, boy I am tired. I started in moving after work at around 6:00 PM and didn't stop until around 11:00 PM. Tonight I will still be packing boxes and moving some additional stuff  but all of the big furniture items are moved now. I hope to get my run in with Melody sometime later tonight so I hope the weather holds out.

For Food yesterday I had  1728 calories so a little bit under my total goal of 1768 but still a pretty good food day. The nutrition part looked pretty good 23/20/57 fat/protein/carbs.

Judging by my soreness I'm getting quite a workout. I probably burned several hundred calories and my arms are toast.

 I looked it up Moving can be quite a workout. 140-pound person burns per hour:
  • 222 calories packing and unpacking boxes;
  • 381 calories moving furniture;
  • 191 calories moving household items; and
  • 572 calories moving boxes/furniture up stairs.
I am out for today to tired to think well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 1 Results

OK, actually it's not quite a full week yet, but my plan is to do my weigh-in on Sunday afternoons each week. This makes this first week a little bit shorter than every other week to follow. Also my stated plan is to update measurements and pictures on a monthly basis. Hopefully within no time at all the difference will start to show soon enough in photographs, and inches.

So how am I doing this first week? Well even with the holiday I lost significant weight my new weight is 272.5 down from 280. The loss makes this a first week loss of 7.5 Lbs Woo Hoo! That is a newborn child that I am no longer carrying around attached to my belly. Or at least an fat alien like those from the so named Ridley Scott film. This is real progress, Yes.

Progress means change in so many ways and for me to maintain an 8 pound a month weight loss I will need to reduce my caloric intake slightly to adjust for the loss. My new intake will be 1768 this week. Other than that I am not making any adjustments just yet. However, if my weight loss doesn't seem to level off over the next few weeks I will probably adjust my calories upwards to account for my exercise and so that My weight loss is maintained closer to a more healthy 2 lbs a week, I will see in a couple of weeks if this is necessary.

Food wise yesterday I did much better calorically speaking. I ate 1742 calories yesterday. However nutrition spread was way way off I don't know how that happened, I thought I was eating healthfully but, I guess not. My spread was 47/24/29 fat/protein/carbs. I just looked at my log  "ham", oh damn "ham", I had ham. I guess it is just too much calories from fat, I will have to eat it much more sparingly in the future to avoid skewing my food balance. I want to be healthy not "skinny fat". Wish me luck. Week 2 here I come.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

C25K - W1 Day 3 Progress

New Years Eve was um, interesting I ate and drank a lot of excess calories. I knew going in to this that I was not going to be able to follow my healthy way of eating for every day of the year. And I planned on enjoying New Years Eve with friends not fretting over calories for an evening. Holidays happen. So I enjoyed the time with friends. I hope all of you had a safe and happy New Years Eve.

I am still making plans for my move and have begun the process of going through all of my stuff and packing boxes. Yesterday Melody was feeling slightly better from her cold and decided to come over around noon for our run. The weather was overcast, 39 degrees, cold but not raining. It has rained a lot lately  around here and the river is high over flooding the banks in some of the low lying places. Melody and I got into our running gear synced up our phones and bounced out the door over the soggy ground.

I don't know if it was the weather or just my attitude but I felt noticeably stronger today. I was able to power through each of the run segments without over stressing myself. Don't get me wrong it was still challenging but, I did not feel like I was going to die. Melody said the run was challenging to her. Hopefully over the next few runs I will continue to see this progress. I'm felling better about my ability to complete this running program.

Near as I've figured out there are 10 or 11 of the holidays spread throughout the year that may include some type of celebrations with food. My plan is to enjoy each one of them them as I would. Being mindful not to stretch them beyond their appointed day. This will ensure I am right were I need to be. My new life is not about deprivation, It is about changing from my old patterns. Celebrations are worth celebrating, even with food. I's not the single day of eating that determines the bulk of my food it is every other day of the year the 350 or so other days.

For the sake of honesty I consumed roughly 3618 calories yesterday 39/25/37 fat/protein/carbs. My food was way over my 1809 goal but I knew that would happen. Some of the food items I enjoyed yesterday, Pot Stickers, Meat balls, cocktail wienies, popcorn, and 4 cocktails. That was yesterday today is today and I'm right back onto healthy eating. Happy new years, happy new you.
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