Archive | August, 2011

1 Month Mark

31 Aug

As of today, I’ve been on this weight loss kick for one month.  My goal was for me to try to lose five lbs a month, but so far I’ve lost fifteen.  I’ve moved from 226 to 211.  Nobody is more surprised about this than me, especially with all that I eat.  But, I have to give myself some credit.  If you only knew about all of the things that I want to eat but don’t, you would be amazed.

Tonight, I bought a new shirt and wore it in a crowded area.  Kathy did not know I bought the shirt and didn’t recognize me from behind because of the weight I’ve lost.  I certainly want her to recognize me, but I think I’d rather do it from her looking at my face.

Thanks for all of your encouragement, support, and advice.  I have a few more ideas that you all have shared with me along the way.  Thanks for reading and for sharing.  Let me know if you have any other tips that might help me.

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

1 General Mills apple breakfast bar (I know, it wasn’t a protein bar)

1 breakfast burrito (Even bigger mistake)

2 mini Babybel Cheese portions (Someone told me they were healthy)

3 servings of watermelon

1 cup of lowfat strawberry yogurt

1 ham sandwich on whole-wheat sandwich thins with lettuce and tomato

1 Chic Fil-A sandwich

1 serving of green beans

1 serving of mixed vegetables

1 serving of black beans

72 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 Fish Oil Pill

1 Multi Vitamin


30 minute early morning walk

Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookies

30 Aug

This is the first time I’ve written my blog using my phone. It’s been an interesting day. I’ve been on a staff retreat at a state park in Mandeville, LA without WiFi. It’s been lots of fun, but also lots of hard work. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my fellow ministers in a different type setting. There was even one point today when our lead pastor cried out, “There’s a deer!” It was a beautiful sight to someone who lives in a condo in the city,

Another beautiful sight was the chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven. I resisted for a long time, until our lead pastor asked if I wanted to split one. I did. In fact, I split two more before the day was over.

Here’s what I’ve had to eat today:

1 Snackwell’s Protein Meal Bar
1 Serving of Fruit (apples, grapes, watermelon)
1 Ham and Turkey sandwich on half sliced whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato
1 1/2 chocolate chip cookies
2 large salads with lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, and a small amount of dressing
2 servings of Shrimp Lacombe
99 oz of water

Sorry, I forgot my vitamins and didn’t get any exercise. I’m fortunate (and so are the others) that I remembered my toothbrush.

Taco Bell’s Healthy Fresco Menu?

29 Aug

Having just declined a delicious looking birthday cupcake, I was hungry for lunch.  I walked down the hall toward my office to grab my wallet and car keys when I smelled it:  the undeniable, unmistakable, odor of Taco Bell food.  Instantly, I wanted several Meximelts in front of me.  I wanted to eat them slowly, savoring every bite.  Then, I wanted to top it off with two chocolate empanadas.  Of course, an extra large Dr. Pepper would be a necessity.  I ran to my car and quickly drove to the nearest Taco Bell Restaurant.

Knowing that I would not be able to resist had I entered the store, I opted for the drive through.  I was just about to place my unhealthy order when I saw the Fresco menu blaring defiantly at me.  Frowning all the way to my inner core, I decided that it was probably the healthier choice for me.

My ordering experience went something like this:

Loudspeaker:  Welcome to Taco Bell, May I take your order?

Me:  Yes, I’ll take a Fresco Chicken Soft Taco and a Fresco Steak Soft Taco.

Loudspeaker:  Is that it?

Me:  That’s the whole kit n caboodle!

Loudspeaker:  What?

Me:  Uh, yeah, that’s it.

Loudspeaker:  You want a drink?

Me:  No thanks, I am good to go.

Loudspeaker:  What?

Me:  No, thank you.

Loudspeaker:  You sure you want it fresco?  You know there’s no cheese on it, no dairy products at all.

Me:  Yes, please.  I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.

Loudspeaker:  What?

Anyway, you get it.  It did make me wonder how the Fresco Menu stacks up to the Regular Menu.

*Fresco Chicken Soft Taco – 150 calories, 3.5 fat grams, 18 carbs, 12 protein grams

*Fresco Steak Soft Taco – 150 calories, 4 fat grams, 19 carbs, 9 protein grams

*Regular Chicken Soft Taco – 180 calories, 6 fat grams, 18 carbs, 14 protein grams

*Regular Steak Soft Taco – 250 calories, 14 fat grams, 19 carbs, 11 protein grams

Steak difference is pretty significant.  Chicken difference is not too impressive.  Still, I did make the better choice.

Just for laughs, I also looked up the nutritional information on the Chocolate Empanada.  It wasn’t listed (let us give thanks) but the information on the Apple Empanada was.  Here it is:

Apple Empanada – 310 calories, 15 fat grams, 39 carbs, 3 protein grams (I’m certain that the chocolate one is healthier for you.  They might as well put it on the Fresco Menu)

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

1 Snackwell’s Protein Meal Bar

1 Fresco Chicken Soft Taco (No Cheese, extra tomatoes)

1 Fresco Steak Soft Taco (No Cheese, extra tomatoes)

1 medium sized salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, crushed almonds, and light ranch dressing

1 serving of broccoli

1 serving of Chicken and Potato Casserole

1 serving of mixed vegetables

1 serving of Rainbow Sherbet

80 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 fish oil pill

1 multivitamin


58 minute walk with Kathy in the neighborhood


*All nutrition info from

I’ve Lost 40 Lbs!

28 Aug

“I can’t believe it!  I’ve lost 40 lbs!”  Those were the words that came out of mouth as I stepped off of the scale.  Kathy stood beside me with her mouth wide open.

It was January of 1994.  Kathy and I had lived in the village of Almalibak, Kazakhstan for the previous five months.  We’d been walking through the snow there since early October.  Our diet had seriously changed because of the food that was available at that time in Kazakhstan.  When we arrived in the country, I weighed 200 lbs.  After living there for two months, I weighed and discovered that I had lost 22 lbs.  Three months later, I had lost 18 more, which meant that I was down to 160 lbs.

Here’s a picture of what I looked like at 160 lbs.  Kathy and our friend Karen Roudkovski is with me in the picture.

Here are some of the main reasons we lost weight in Kazakhstan:

  1. We didn’t own a car.  This meant that we had to walk a whole lot more than we ever had before.  For those first few months, the snow was thick and we often wore heavy snow boots.
  2. Fast Food wasn’t readily available.  At the time, there was only one fast food joint in the entire country.  It was called Shaggies.  Even though the country could have been carpeted with potatoes, they never did have fries.  They did have hamburgers, if you could call them that.  The first one I ordered came to me as a bun filled with cabbage.
  3. Our sugar intake was severely reduced.  So much of what we eat in the United States is incredibly sweet.  Kathy and I had been connoisseurs of sweet snacks and sodas before moving to Kazakhstan and those foods were no longer an option for us.

After living in Kazakhstan for one year, we returned to the United States.  Within 10 ten days, I was back up to 175 lbs.

Hopefully, this time, I will remember the weight loss lessons I learned while living in Kazakhstan.

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

1 Kashi Protein Meal Bar (Not as tasty as Special K)

1 serving of cucumber and tomato salad

1 serving of barbeque chicken

1 serving of green beans

1 serving of black beans

2 large slices of supreme pizza

2 servings of Rainbow Sherbet (For 42 years, I’ve called this “Sherbert” but spellcheck and the container today taught me otherwise)

75 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 fish oil pill

1 multivitamin


50 minute walk with Kathy in and around our neighborhood.

10 minute swim following the walk

Medium Chick Fil-A Waffle Fries vs. 1 Red Delicious Apple

27 Aug

Tonight, as I stepped into the car, I suddenly had a craving for French fries.  And it wasn’t just any fries that I wanted.  I had a ravenous longing for Chick Fil-A Waffle Fries.

But then I called my wife Kathy.  Our conversation went something like this:

Kathy:  Hello.

Me:  I’d really like some waffle fries from Chick Fil-A!

Kathy:  Who is this?

Me:  Very funny.  I’m thinking about going to buy a whole bunch of them.  Would you like some?

Kathy:  Why don’t you come home and have a yummy apple instead?

Me:  An apple?

Kathy:  Yeah.  I’ve got a nice Red Delicious right here.

Me:  But I wanted Waffle Fries!

Kathy:  It will be just like eating Waffle Fries.

Me:  What?  No, you’re wrong.  An apple doesn’t taste anything like Waffle Fries.

Kathy:  Well, maybe not, but you can certainly pretend like they do.

Me:  What?  Pretend?  Uh.  I take it you don’t want me to have Waffle Fries.

Kathy:  Come have a delicious apple!  Mmmm.

Me:  I see what’s going on here!

I drove home and ate the apple, along with some other healthy things.  It turns out it was the best choice for me.  Check it out:

1 medium Chick Fil-A Waffle Fries has 340 calories, 21 grams of fat, 41 carbs, and 105 mg of sodium.  I couldn’t find the sugar information.*

1 medium Red Delicious Apple has 80 calories, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 22 carbs, and 17 sugar grams.**

Okay, so the apple probably has more sugar grams.  I still think it’s the better choice.

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

2 scrambled eggs

2 pieces of whole wheat toast with fat free apple butter

2 grilled chicken tacos with lettuce and tomato on corn tortillas

1 serving of black beans

1 serving of fat free vanilla frozen yogurt

1 serving of fresh blueberries

1 serving of green beans

1 serving of chicken and vegetable wrap

1 red delicious apple

1 ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with fat free cheese

72 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 fish oil pill

1 multivitamin


30 minute swim in our condo pool



4th Weigh In

26 Aug

The past few days have been strange for me.  My clothes felt loose on me, but I wondered for several days if it was just my mind playing tricks on me.  I was anxious to weigh in this week but I was nervous about what the results would be at the same time.

I walked slowly to the gym and was thankful that it was empty.  (It always looks a little funny when a guy takes a picture of himself while standing on a scale)  I stepped on the scale and this is what I saw:

I was blown away.  I’ve lost seven pounds since last week.  Since July 31st, I’ve lost fifteen.

For a long time, years maybe, I’ve hovered between 210 and 219.  Even though my driver’s license says that I weigh 200, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been there.  But I’m on my way.  I plan to pass it briefly on my way to 175.

Thanks everyone, for the encouragement and accountability.  It’s meant a lot to me.

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

1 Special K Protein Breakfast Bar

1 Serving of Chicken Teriyaki

1 boiled egg

1 Serving Honey Chicken

½ Serving Pepper Steak

1 small Caesar Salad

3 servings of fruit (grapes, green melon, orange, pineapple)

1 medium sized salad with cucumbers, lettuce and McCormick’s salad toppers

2 servings of chicken wraps

2 servings of fat free vanilla frozen yogurt

75 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 fish oil pill

1 multivitamin


2 mile walk with Kathy at Lafraniere Park

10 crunches on the ab weight machine (minimal weight setting)

10 times on the chest muscle machine (minimal weight setting)

Pecan Pie topped with Pumpkin Pie topped with whip cream sprinkled with walnuts

25 Aug

The email popped up on my screen.  It said that everyone but me was invited to share in the special dessert in the break room.  Of course, the sender knew that I was trying to lose weight, right?  Surely she was looking out for my well being.  She had been so considerate that I simply had no choice but to seek her out and to thank her for her consideration.  I immediately stood from my desk and went straight to the break room.  I went to thank her, not to see what dessert might be there for everyone to share.  Yeah, that’s it.

When I walked through the doors to the break room, the room was empty, but I found this on the table:

Later, when I found the creator of the dish, I learned that it was Pecan Pie topped with pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream and walnuts.  It looked and smelled amazing.  For a moment, I thought about eating the whole thing and telling everyone that it had been carried away by an angry deacon’s wife.  But, then this blog came to mind and I remembered that I had one more day before it was time for me to weigh in.  So, I pulled out my phone, took a picture, and headed for the water fountain.

Here’s what I’ve eaten today:

1 Snackwells Protein Breakfast Bar

1 six inch ham and turkey sub on whole wheat with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and green pepper.

½ club salad with a very small amount of ranch dressing

½ Hawaiian chicken wrap with lettuce and tomato

7 Ruffles potato chips

½ serving of Ranch flavored rice cakes

80 oz of water

Supplements I’ve taken today

1 fish oil pill

1 multivitamin


1 hour of walking (20 minutes at lunch, 40 minutes with Kathy after dinner)