A Pleasant Day

Yesterday was a solid day on the eating and exercise fronts.

I was at the even number of 1,200 calories for the day. There was the Slim Fast shakes for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, there was a Chipotle and Cheddar chopped salad with chucked chicken. The salad was from a kit and the chicken from a can. I’m not a chef. Nor am I a cook of any degree. But I can open a bag of chopped lettuce and other salad stuff and open a can of chunk chicken!

There was a Zombie Dust. Oh, was that so very good.

For the exercise, I walked two miles during my lunch break and three miles after work. It was such a pleasant day. I believe the air temperature was in the high 60’s with partly cloudy skies. I listened to a podcast on Calvinism and Arminianism during the walk.

I’m trying to take advantage of the pleasant weather for outdoor exercise. I know there will come a day when I can’t exercise outdoors due to the weather, as it is still Winter in central Indiana!

However, yesterday evening, the sky was so very pleasant, very abstract.

Evening sky, looking south west from Freedom Park in Greenwood, Indiana. Photo taken on February 20, 2017.

Evening sky, looking south-west from Freedom Park in Greenwood, Indiana. Photo taken on February 20, 2017.

Blood Pressure

This morning, the blood pressure was 119/75  with a resting heart rate of 65. Seems on the high side to me.



Another view of the Junkyard north of Freedom Park in Greenwood Indiana. Photo taken on February 19, 2017.


Ever since I noticed the poor red VW Beetle on top of a pile of junk cars I can’t stop but notice the junkyard now. Before, I couldn’t see it as it was hidden by a fence and trees and a hill. But now, I can see it, even though the fence and trees and hill are still there!

Now, on every lap around the Fitness Trail I spot the junk yard and notice the other junk cars.

Strange that I hardly noticed it before. Now, I can’t help but notice it.

Van Dwelling


A van … possible van dweller?


I spotted this van in a Lowes parking lot. It is reasonable to assume that this van is used by a construction crew as it was parked in a Lowes parking lot. But, for some reason it excited my desire to van dwell.

Not that I can van dwell anytime soon. Still have too much debt to pay off so I need the job to do that. But, maybe one day.

But on these very pleasant mid February days, when the sun is bright and the air temperature is warm, the warmth and sun excites a desire to fly away to some western state and explore national parks, canyons, mountains, valleys, cities and towns, museums; to camp out under the stars, have campfires, see things I haven’t seen.

Van dwelling is a sub segment of the Tiny House movement where minimalism and personal freedom are common denominators. It is attractive to me. Maybe it is just a pipe dream but still a dream.

A friend suggested that after paying off the debt that I take a year off from the career and van dwell full time while roaming around and exploring the western states. That might be a good idea.


Well, wishing everyone a great day !!

7th Week Review

179.5 … a weight loss. I lost 1.6 pounds from last week. Yay! This is a real blessing as week number seven was not my best eating or exercise week.

I’ve lost 20.3 pounds since January 1, 2017. My average weekly weight loss is down to 2.9 pounds. Even though it wasn’t may best eating or exercise week, I’m still blessed with the weight loss.

I have a mini milestone of 25 pounds yet to strive for. Hopefully I will reach that sometime in mid March, if I keep on this trend.

Calories for February 13 – 19, 2017

  • Monday 2/13 : 1,181
  • Tuesday 2/14 : 1,450
  • Wednesday 2/15 : 1,325
  • Thursday 2/16 : 1,905
  • Friday 2/17 : 2,019
  • Saturday 2/18 : 880
  • Sunday 2/19 : 1,040

Total calories for the week : 9,800. Average per day : 1,400.

At least I was under the 1,610 daily target. But, the high days of Thursday (1,905) and Friday  (2,019) had the chance to derail the effort. On those days I felt a binge coming on.

The low day of Saturday (880 calories) helped to keep the daily average low. I intentionally kept the calories low on that day, having only two slices of pizza and a Zombie dust. Sunday was almost normal with a large dinner salad. Of course, I drank a lot of water during the day.

Friday night was a social event with dinner at an Italian restaurant in Greenwood. I had an entrée of spaghetti carbonara, which oh was so oh very good. I could only eat half at the restaurant but ate the other half later that night. There were two pale ale beers at that dinner as well and some bread.

My beer consumption for the week was four bottles. I believe that puts my total consumption for the month at six bottles. So, I already surpassed my consumption during January in the three weeks of February. Hopefully, this is not an emerging trend. Although, I will secretly admit that I do enjoyed the four bottles of beer this week.

Body Mass Index

My BMI is 29.0, which is in high end of the overweight range. Even with the 1.6 pound loss this week, I still have a long way to go. I still need to lose 25.5 pounds to get into the normal range of the BMI scale. If I lose on average 1.6 pounds a week, I may expect to enter the normal BMI range in 16 weeks.


My exercise was down this week to only 21 miles. I was able to exercise only on five of the seven days. The days that I couldn’t exercise was due to social obligations.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. I believe the high was in the low 70’s, which is unbelievable for mid February in central Indiana. I walked on the fitness path at a local park. It was crowded. People were out on the trail, the basketball courts, the playground. It was great to see all those people.

There were several runners on the fitness trail. I had to fight back the urge to break into a run. Soon I will begin again the C25K program.

The north side of the park is bordered by a junk yard. The casual observer on the trail would not really notice as there are trees, hills and a wooden fence hiding it. But, this poor VW Beetle caught my eye. I had to ‘hike’ close to the fence to take a photo of the poor thing.

Poor Red VW Beetle on a pile of junk cars. Photo taken on Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Greenwood, Indiana.

Poor Red VW Beetle on a pile of junk cars. Photo taken on Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Greenwood, Indiana. Junk yard borders the north of Freedom park.

Non Scale Victories

I don’t really have any new non scale victories today. Unless, maintaining the victories I am already enjoying count.

  • I’m still on the fourth notch on the belt
  • I can still fit into my hiking pants – which I wore on Sunday to walk (hike) on the fitness trail.
  • My clothes are loose and fit better.
  • I have more energy to get me through the day.
  • My beer consumption is way down.
  • I am more aware of what I eat and how much I eat.
  • My blood pressure is down.
  • Digestion and prior stomach ills have all but disappeared.

Blood Pressure

This morning, my blood pressure was 117/81 with a resting heart rate of 64. The diastolic number is a little high for some reason.


I hope everyone has a great day and a great week. 🙂

Living and Learning

Yesterday was not a good eating day. I ended the day at 1,905 calories. That is 295 calories over my target.

Thursday evening is set aside for “Family Night” where all the kids come over and we go out to eat somewhere. It is usually easy to eat something healthy and within my calorie limit if we go out to a restaurant where I can order a salad. However, last night, I was dog sitting for my ex-wife and the kids brought over their puppies as well, so it was easier for everyone to stay in and order Papa Johns pizza and bread sticks.

I tracked all the pizza and bread stick calories. That alone was 1,465 calories. That is a ‘normal’ day of calories.

And it is not as though I binged on the pizza. I had two slices of traditional crust sausage pizza, three bacon and cheese bread sticks and three traditional bread sticks. I could have eaten more.

Maybe that is a binge?

But, that is how the cookie crumbled yesterday. I’m not happy about it. Maybe pizza and bread sticks on a Family Night is be my undoing?

Although, now as I think about it, I did have a salad kit and a can of chucked chicken in the fridge. I could have eaten my normal chicken salad for dinner at a little less than 700 calories instead of the 1,465 calories of the pizza and bread sticks.

“Live and learn” as they say.


There was not much opportunity to exercise yesterday. I wasn’t able to walk my two miles at lunchtime. And, I could only squeeze a 20 minute walk after work. That walk was with the dog. I wanted to walk more but the kids were coming in as I finished the mile.

Today (Friday 2/17/17) there will be no opportunity to exercise. To many social events today.

Walking the puppy, Sam, on Thursday evening, February 16, 2017.

Walking with Sam, a golden retriever, on Thursday evening, February 16, 2017.

Wishing everyone a great day!!

Calories of Love & NYC

I made a mistake in my tracking on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. I added two Slim Fast shake mixes to my breakfast count. I did not discover the mistake until this morning (Thursday).

So, I thought I was at 1,435 for the Wednesday when in reality I was at 1,325. The Slim Fast High Protein mix has 110 calories in one scoop.

Had I known that my calories were actually lower than I believed, I would have had an extra Yoplait Whips (Orange Creme flavor) for a bed time snack last night.

At least there was some strength to stop eating as I neared the 1,610 target, even though my tracking was skewed.

Forty-Four Calories of Love

One of the ladies here at work gave me a Reese’s Valentines Heart. She gave everyone a heart so it is not like there’s ‘something’ going on between us.

I looked up the calorie content of the Heart. It has about 44 calories. I haven’t eaten it after two days. It sits on my desk and stares at me inviting me to taste its goodness.

I then became interested in the calorie content of ‘hearts’ in general. Not that I eat hearts, candy or otherwise now that I’m trying to lose weight. Nor do I eat livers or other organ meat. I didn’t eat that kind of food when I wasn’t trying to lose weight.

But, just curious for the sake of curiosity.

  • Calories in pig heart : 33 per ounce (source).
  • Calories in chicken heart : 43 per ounce (source).
  • Calories in venison heart : 31 per ounce (source).

Well, that’s enough love heart calories for now.


I gathered 496 calories of exercise for Wednesday, February 15. That equates to 5.5 miles of walking. There was the two miles of lunch time walking and the three miles of evening walking. I added a half mile to the evening walk via an adjacent trail to the primary fitness trail I’ve been walking on. I thought I would clock it to see how long it takes me to walk it. It took 10 minutes, which is about a half mile.

New York City 

I was truly inspired by this post by The Strong Chick. She wrote about canyons in terms of metaphors and reality. Her post really spoke to my heart.

I’ve had a similar metaphor swirling in my head for years. Instead of a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike as she desires and works toward, I want a New York City museum-to-museum hike.

Her goal is much more concrete and will take more effort to achieve. As she says that she needs to get in great shape to achieve her goal. In contrast, I could Uber from museum to museum and just walk into the museums. Or take the subway, bus or cab. There could be little or no walking in my goal. She, however, would have to walk every step, downhill and uphill, with a backpack of supplies to survive a hike in the Grand Canyon to achieve her goal. There is much more effort in a rim-to-rim canyon hike than a museum-to-museum hike.

Even if it involves less walking, what I really want is to do is to go to New York as a thinner man, a man who is in control of his eating, who has a normal BMI. Being thinner would make the walking from museum to museum much easier. I could walk longer, further and maybe faster. I would feel better about myself when I wasn’t following my stomach around the streets of NYC. I would look better in any selfie, too.

I’ve thought about this trip to New York City to visit the art museums for years. I’ve always said that once I lose the weight to a normal BMI then I would go. It never seemed possible in the past as my eating and weight were out-of-control. Now, however, it seems possible as I’ve finally seem to have the control to persist to a normal weight.

Let’s all cheer on the Strong Chick!

Wishing everyone a great day !!

I Make It a Good Day or a Bad Bay


It was a good Valentines day (2/14/2017). For eating, I was at 1,450 total calories. For exercise, I was at 451 calories for the five miles that I walked on the fitness trail.

I had a Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, there was a cup of chicken fried rice and a spinach salad. There was a protein shake for a bedtime snack.

I was 160 calories from the target of 1,610. I thought about having a beer with dinner. I’m thankful that I passed on that because it would have sent me over the target, as the beer has 190 calories in the bottle. But, I so love the beer!

With the unseasonable February warmth the fitness trail at Freedom Park in Greenwood, Indiana is becoming crowded. There are many runners, dog walkers, and walkers (like myself). I’m inspired to start running again every time a runner passes by.

Heart Attack

A colleague had a heart attack over the weekend. He had blockage in 90% of an artery. The doctors put in a stint. He came back to work today and he is really a new man. He says it is amazing how much better he feels.

He said doctor advised him to walk 30 minutes a day. My colleague is not much of an exerciser and never had an interest in exercising before now. But, as he says, walking will become a daily part of his life now.

He also said that he walks a lot at work. And he does. He is a receiving admin and is constantly on the move. However, he said that the ‘walking exercise’ needs to come beyond the walking done at work. He repeated what the cardiologist said, the steady, swift and constant act of walking will do wonders for the heart.

As we are the same age. He has motivated me to stay the course with my own walking exercise. Eventually, I want to start running again. But for the short term, I will do more walking.

My Bibliomania

Ah so … I bought two new books.

Ever since I read the “Man Who Loved Books Too Much” by Heather Allison Bartlett I’ve been itching  to buy books. And it is ironic, maybe, that I borrowed the Bartlett book from the public library yet it has triggered an impulse to buy books.


Amazon makes it easy to buy books. The two books I placed on order :

Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods by Blaize Sun. She is full time van dweller and I subscribe to her Rubber Tramp Artist blog.

The Louvre: All the Paintings by Vincent Pomade. One item on my bucket list is to spend a few days at the Louvre. Although I have no plans to go in the immediate future I thought I would get to know every thing I can about the Louvre before I do have the opportunity to go. It is an expensive book. Yet, I could have furthered my bibliomania for rare books by buying a signed first printing for about $195. I passed and bought a fresh copy but not a first edition for about $50. 
To avoid shipping expenses and to get free two day shipping on this order, I signed up for the Amazon Prime. I don’t know if it will pay for itself. Several people say it’s a good thing. In addition to books, maybe I will start buying Angel Soft from Amazon!

Wishing everyone a great day !!


Happy Valentines Day

I made it through Monday February 13, 2017. It was a typical day. Working 9+ hours, sitting at a desk programing web sites, photoshopping images, wishing for Friday night, fighting the afternoon headache, listening the three office narcissists rag about world politics, dams in California, climate change.

My calories for the day totaled 1,181. This is far below my target of 1,610. My exercise calories totaled 451, which accumulated from the five walking miles. I kept the eating in tight control with a Slim Fast shake for breakfast and dinner and a large chucked chicken, bacon and blue cheese salad for dinner.

I stopped at The Flying Cupcake to pick up Valentines cupcakes for my ex-wife and her partner and son. Instead of gift cards this year I thought cupcakes would be cute. It was somewhat difficult to resist the urge to consume a flying cupcake myself. Thankfully, I was  strong enough and delivered the box of four cupcakes to say “Happy Valentines Day”.

A Narcissist Conversion

Narcissist #2 tells the story of his neighbors. The neighbors are somewhat reclusive, polite but prefer to stay indoors and to themselves. They maintain their house and yard to make it presentable as does the other neighbors. But as Narcissist #2 says, they don’t ‘enjoy’ the outdoors and hang with the neighbors like he does. As Narcissist #2 says, over the beautiful warm weekend the parents, who have three kids, emerged from their home with a fourth bundle of joy.

Narcissist #1 says to Narcissist #2, “Two letters, B and C”.

Narcissist #1, who is a one-and-done parent, says the B & C statement (birth control) as though all families should be like his, one father, one mother and one child. This is the solution to all of societies’ woes. Less population to feed or house, cloth or care for. Remove those whose quality of life is insufficient to his own. Deny basic rights to those whose IQ is inferior to his own.

Narcissist #1, who I regard as the king of all narcissists, is non apologetic about his point-of-view. Even if he judges those, like me, who has four kids.

Wishing everyone a happy Valentines Day !!


Sixth Week Review

181.1  There was a 1.2 pound weight loss this week. I feel blessed and lucky to have any kind of weight loss this week as it wasn’t my best eating week since I started this weight loss effort.

I’ve lost 18.7 pounds since January 1, 2017. Even with the low loss this week, my weekly average is 3.11 pounds. I guess that isn’t too bad. To double-check: I started on January 1 at 199.8 pounds. Now I weight 181.1 pounds. That is a loss of 18.7 pounds, 199.8 – 181.1. I’ve been at this for six weeks, 18.7 / 6 = 3.11.

My original intent was to lose only 1 pound per week on average. The current average is 3.11 pounds. I’m encouraged by that. And, far ahead of my original plan.

Calories for the Week of February 6 – 12, 2017.

  • Monday 2/6 : 1,536
  • Tuesday 2/7 : 1,195
  • Wednesday 2/8 : 1,412
  • Thursday 2/9 : 1,535
  • Friday 2/10 : 2,557
  • Saturday 2/11 : 1,654
  • Sunday 2/12 : 1,005

Total Calories : 10,804. The daily averages was 1,543.

The was two days (Friday & Saturday) I went over the target of 1,610. Friday was a mega overload with 947 calories beyond the target. On that night, there was a dinner of a fried crispy chicken sandwich and tater tots and two slices of sausage pizza. Plus a lunch of a cashew chicken salad. It was a heavy eating day. I had some stomach issues after the pizza. After all that eating I felt a binge coming on late Friday night. Thankfully, I feel asleep before I could wreck even further the calorie count.

Saturday was a little better. However, there was a giant cupcake waiting for me at the end of the day, which I could not resist. The cupcake, which was so good threw me over the target.

Most of the week was spent near the target. Monday and Thursday eating was close enough. There was birthday cake and ice cream on Thursday.

Sunday was the lowest day with only 1,005 calories. But I intentionally limited the eating as to not unduly influence the weigh in number this morning.

Exercise for the Week of February 6 – 12, 2017.

I exercised six days of the week. Friday was the only day I wasn’t able to exercise. I walked 23 miles over the week. I guess that is not too bad. However, I only climbed onto the Max Trainer once. And, I did not run at all. I did not even attempt to run at all this week.

The highlight of the week in regards to exercise came on Saturday, 2/11. It was such a warm day for mid February in central Indiana with temperatures in the low 70’s. I took advantage of this unseasonable warmth and drove to the Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

Other people had the same idea as the park was crowded with hikers, walkers, runners and cyclists. There was even a long line at the gate to get into the park. And there was even a longer line at the gate when I left. I hiked the Lawrence Creek trail for about 3.7 miles. It was a muddy trail. But, otherwise, it was a good time to be outside.

Walnut Trailhead of the Lawrence Creek Trail.

Walnut Trailhead of the Lawrence Creek Trail. Photo taken on February 11, 2017.

Non Scale Victories

There were two NSVs this week.

The first was when I was able to comfortably move to a tighter notch on the belt. That means there has been some loss of circumference around the mid section.

The second was when I tried on a pair of hiking pants. I bought this pair almost two years ago. I bought them for my June 2015 trip to Colorado. The pants were too tight when I bought them. I could squeeze into them. It was uncomfortable but bearable. The pair was a large size but the extra large was too big. Even though the pair was too tight, I bought them anyways. I only wore the pant once during the trip. They have been in the closet ever since.

When I decided to drive to the park on Saturday afternoon to hike I tried on the hiking pants to see if I could fit into them. And, I could. And, I could comfortably. Wow. What a rush of satisfaction.

Other Things

This morning, my blood pressure was 113/75 with a resting heart rate of 60. Wow. That is a great number for me.

I had only two beers last week. One on Monday 2/6 and one on Friday 2/11. That brings my total to 3 beers for the month.

On Sunday afternoon, I worked on stretching my final painting. Now, all the paintings I’ve done since August 2016 are now stretched and ready to hang or give away. I also built two frames for future paintings. During the time I spent in the workshop I really wanted to drink some beer. In the past, a Sunday afternoon would have been spent working in the workshop and drinking beer. However, since I am trying to lose weight, drinking beer in the same quantities as before is just not conducive. It was hard to say no, especially when I had already believed I’ve wrecked the weight loss effort for the week with all the overeating on Friday and Saturday. Thankfully, I stayed the course and did not have any beer.

Wishing everyone a great day and a great week.