Pushing A Little Too Hard

So, I tried to step up to the 20 pound dumbbells. And, had I stopped and went back to the 15 pound weights after the first set – like I’d planned to do – it would probably have worked out. But I got overambitious and tried the second set as well.

Mistake, that.

No, it’s not too bad. I was smart enough to stop before I actually hurt myself. But, wow. I had to stop before I did do myself an injury.

So, tomorrow, I’ll try one set at 20 lbs and two at 15 pounds. Maybe if I stop when I should, it’ll work better.


Watch What You Eat

I just saw this image on a Vox article yesterday:

The point here is not to scare anyone, or to launch into one of my “doughnuts are dessert, not breakfast” rants (although you can probably fill in the details on that last one). No, the point is a far more important one for healthy eating (and, yes, weight loss): be aware of what you’re eating.

See, as far as I’ve been able to work out, there’s no “magic bullet” or “one size fits all” diet and nutrition program that will make everyone healthy. Some people can skip breakfast, have a cup of coffee, and be fine until noon. Other people need a small meal every couple of hours to maintain blood sugar. Some rare people can eat everything in sight all day, and not gain an ounce.

Me? I’m sort of in the “every few hours camp”. During the work day, when I’m paying attention to my calorie budget, I have breakfast at 5 am and second breakfast about 8 am. Then a light lunch between 10:30 and 11, and a snack (usually fruit) about 2. Dinner is between 4 and 5 and then, sometimes, more fruit around 6:30 or 7. That last depends on the day, of course. As I eat I usually just focus on calories, but I’ve been trying to branch out and eat a variety of things – hence my experiments with spinach carrot berry smoothies.

Simple, right?

Well, yes. It is. But “simple” doesn’t always mean “easy”, especially in a world of 24/7 drive-throughs. Eating in moderation is simple, but it takes planning and preparation. You have to make food in advance, and then take it with you. Hitting fast food is easier, because it’s right there, but if you’re trying to eat reasonably it’s nothing like “easy”. If you don’t believe me, just go into a fast food restaurant and try to figure out a filling 450 calorie meal.

So, plan to eat wisely and then follow through, and you’ll feel better. Oh, and can we all just accept that doughnuts really are just a socially acceptable excuse to eat a slice of cake for breakfast?

Where I’m At

Over on the right side of this blog, if you read it in a browser on a desktop or laptop computer, is a WordPress widget with the title “Where I’m At”. It’s something I’ve mostly forgotten about, since I’ve been writing these updates on my phone and the iPhone browser doesn’t show it. As a result, it was last updated on August 17, 2017. It is, needless to say, out of date.

Still, I should be checking i more regularly on my weight. I mean, sure, this blog is about my efforts to improve my health and get into shape, and I need to focus on that and stay positive. But, being realistic, weight loss is part of improving my health. I weighed 420 pounds when I starts, after all, and I really should weigh around 220 to be at my optimal weight.

(Yes, if you’re reading this Dr. Allnut, I know you said I should be at 200. But like I said, we can bicker about those last 20 pounds when I’ve lost almost half my body weight. 😁. But I digress.)

So, I was at 336.2 pounds on February 25. Two weeks later, after struggling to get all of my exercises in on schedule and struggling o stay within my calorie budget, I weigh… drumroll please… 330.1.

So I’ve still got a ways to go before I get back to where I was in August of 2017. And I’ve got 110.1 pounds to go to hit my target weight. But – and this is the important part – I’m making progress once more!

Yes, I know that health is a journey and not a destination. But damn it feels good to be losing a little weight once more!

Now to keep it up!

Make It Fun

Well, despite my assertions yesterday I pretty solidly failed at meeting my calorie budget. You win some, you lose some. But that’s not what I’m writing about. Instead, I’m going to write about having some company when I went to work out.

See, I didn’t get up to work out this morning because I was feeling lazy. Instead, I went after dinner. As I was getting ready, I asked my son if he wanted to come with me or stay and watch television. And, to be honest, I thought he’d stay. Instead, he enthusiastically said he wanted to go.

So, he went. And he took my tablet, so I figured he’d chill out and play video games while I exercised.

That’s not what he did.

While I went through my workout, he tried the elliptical out. Then he got in the treadmill, after I showed him how th start it and clip the emergency off cord to his shirt.m, and tried seeing how fast he could go. Then he was back to the elliptical, and back to the treadmill, then video games and treadmill and elliptical again. And all the time chatting with me and with the lady using the reclining bike.

He had a blast.

So did I. And it reminded need me of something: exercise really should be fun. So often, I treat it like a chore. Like something I have to do, and get through, and that is necessary but that I don’t really want to do. But my favorite exercises, the ones I could do for hours, aren’t like that. I walk because it’s gorgeous outside and I enjoy exploring my neighborhood. I practice contact staff flow arts because it lets me pretend to be a Jedi Knight. I swear m because I love being in the water and playing with my son.

Heck, with my son there, even the weights felt fun.

So, that’s what I (re)learned thanks to a seven-year-old who wanted to hang out with his dad and play on the cool exercise toys. Make it fun.

Danger, Danger!

Sometimes, the trick to being at all successful with a diet and exercise program is to recognize the signs of impending trouble. Sadly, they don’t all come in the form of 1950s cinematic robots shrieking “danger, danger”. But, with practice, they become recognizable.

Case in point: I didn’t get up to go exercise this morning because I was tired and had a headache (which could have been caffeine withdrawal or, based on the way my mouth and throat felt, dehydration). And then I discovered I was nearly out of gas and had to drive all over creation looking for an open station at 5 am because the two 24-hour stations near my house were closed. So I grabbed breakfast at a drive-through and arrived at work utterly frazzled. And going through my mind was the thought “Well, my calorie budget is off to a bad start, so I may as well buy some M&Ms.”

Now, I didn’t buy them. Because I don’t need them in the slightest. But I had to argue with myself, and point out to myself that while I dented my calorie budget, it’s still recoverable. And even if I go over a little, I don’t need to go big bag of Peanut M&Ms over.

The temptation still lurks, if course. But this time I recognized it for what it was, and didn’t give into the impulse. Now all I have to do is remain aware, and be conscious of my decisions for the rest of the day.

Oh, and get to the gym after work. I still need to do that.

Thoughts On The Day Off

It’s Wednesday, which means I get my mid-week break from the dumbbell workout I’ve been doing. In an ideal world I would have still gotten up and gone walked my. After all, doing some cardio exercises n the down time is still a good idea. But I didn’t.

Why? Partly because I’ve still got a half-healed broken toe, which ached a little after the 5.12 miles I walked yesterday running errands. Partly because 3 am is early, and I didn’t want to get out of bed. And partly because of this nonsense:

That is my car (envy me my sweet ride) dusted with snow. I was walking around without a coat yesterday, and today there’s snow. Not a lot, honestly, but that’s not the point.

In other news, I noticed an interesting thing for the future of my work with the dumbbells. The set in my clubhouse goes escalates the pounds as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, and then a whopping one 50 pound dumbbells. So, yeah. That escalated rapidly. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I look forward to the day I’m doing my routine with the 40 pound weights. But that’s going to take some doing.

Smooth, Baby

I need to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Simple fact, that, and I suspect that most of us do. So, as an experiment, I’m trying out smoothies. And last night was my first stab at trying out something more than just a bag of fruit in a blender. The results?

(Image from Tyler Capp’s Cooking Comically. Go check it out.)

I exaggerate a little, but my creation really was pretty good. Here’s what I did:


  • 8 oz frozen strawberries – 80 calories (10 per ounce)
  • 3 oz carrot – 40 calories
  • 3 oz spinach – 20 calories (6.6 per ounce)
  • 16 oz apple juice – 226 calories
  • 1 oz vanilla protein powder – 120 calories


  1. Put everything in a blender
  2. Blend until smooth.

I ended up with 31 ounces of beverage, and drinks by all of it would be 486 calories. That works out to, let me do some math, about 16 calories per ounce. And I could probably cut that by reducing the strawberries and apple juice and increasing the carrot and spinach – the apple juice, for instance, makes it taste almost too sweet.

What do I do with it? Well, to start with, it’s not a meal replacement. I’m trying to change my eating and exercise habits, after all, not simply be on a diet. Instead, I’m using it as an after-exercise drink. See, I get up to exercise around 3 am but I generally don’t eat breakfast until 5 am. So, the idea is that the smoothie will give me one nutrients to recover with.

Also, it tastes good. Did I mention that? If not, it does – and that’s important. Health or not, there’s no way I’d try and gag down 10 ounces of spinach juice at 4 am.