Still Here

Still here … depressed … unmotivated … is that normal?


A Better Day in Regards to Calories

Monday, March 6, was a better day. I kept my calories to 1,326 for the day. And, I didn’t drink any beer. I was 284 calories below my 1,610 target. I was able to get in 5 miles of walking for 436 calories. I didn’t cash in the exercise calories.

I had the usual Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch. I had a chunk chicken chopped salad for dinner and a Yoplait yogurt for a snack.

Need to Tighten the Belt

As I tighten my calorie belt I also need to tighten my financial belt. I try to pay cash for my daily needs such as groceries, eating out, books, gas, clothes and the countless other things any person needs on a daily basis. But the water heater was an unexpected expense. In addition to the water heater, I recently loaned out some money. Those two expenses have caused my comfort dollar balance to sink into the red zone.

Other than taking people out to eat, I lead a relativity frugal life. I don’t have many vices. Although at one point in my life I drank too much. And, other than the drinking over this past weekend, I don’t spend much money on beer. Whereas, before January 1, 2017, I commonly spent $50+ a week on beer. Even my food expense (other than the eating out with friends and family) has dropped since I only drink Slim Fast and water, and eat chunk chicken salad at home and yogurt.

However, I do have some expenses that could be considered frivolous. I do buy paint and other home improvement stuff on a regular basis. This includes furring strips that I use in my canvas stretcher frames, wood glue, screws, clamps. I don’t know if I can stop doing that as it is one of the few things that I sincerely enjoy. But, I could scale back.

So, I will need to outline a better spending plan. But some of things I can do immediately are

  • Delay the purchase of the Nikon A-900 camera.
  • Delay the purchase of the Garmin or Fitbit.
  • Cancel the subscription to the Apple music service.
  • Cancel the cable tv. I only have basic cable package that offers only the local channels. But, according to some people, I can get more local channels from the air than I can from cable.
  • Don’t loan out any more money.
  • Instead of doubling up on the kid’s student loans, maybe I will just pay the minimum for a while.
  • Stop buying books on Amazon until I’ve read all the books I’ve already bought.

Thankfully, I’m current on all the my loan and utility payments. Hopefully I won’t have any major car expenses in the near future. In 2016, there was about $2,000 in car repair and maintenance expenses. I drive a 2000 Honda Civic, I hear they last forever, so there is no need for a new car in the near future. Although, I can still dream.

It will take a while to climb out of the red zone as I have several large expenses (property taxes and auto and home insurance) coming up later this month and in April. I really should start saving money each month for these expenses as they are rather large one-time payments.

Blood Pressure

The blood pressure was high this morning at 123/77 with a resting heart rate of 62. Maybe I was tense because of the money issues … maybe

Random Photo

Hopefully the sky from today’s lunch time two mile walk is not an indicator of things to come. There has been a lot of rain and storms tracking through central Indiana. It is supposed to dip into the 30’s with possibility of snow this weekend. Winter still has a grip.

Storm clouds over Freedom Park, Greenwood Indiana. Photo taken about 11:50 am. View is looking southwest. The Water Springs water park is in the foreground.

Storm clouds over Freedom Park, Greenwood Indiana. Photo taken about 11:50 am. View is looking southwest. The Water Springs water park is in the foreground.

Wishing everyone a great day.


A Hard Day

Yesterday was a hard day. It was a good day to eat my emotions. It was a good day to crawl in bed and sleep.


I finished the day at 1,265 calories. Which is 345 calories below my 1,610 target. I had the usual Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch and the chunk chicken salad for dinner. A container of Yoplait French Vanilla yogurt ended the day.

There was no beer. Although I wanted to drink one or two maybe three. Usually, when I encounter a rough emotional day I would drink a few beers until the world became a better place. But, last night, I didn’t drink any beer. Instead, I read a book and fell asleep.


I was able to get in two miles during lunch and three miles after work. A total of 5 miles for 447 calories. The walking was great. I found it peaceful in spite of the turmoil of the day.

I’ve walked 10 miles so far this week.

Blood Pressure

Strange. Maybe? My blood pressure was 125/77 with a resting heart rate of 63. Higher than the ‘norm’ of the last few weeks. I would believe it to be higher due to yesterday’s stress. Maybe?


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 !!


Another Birthday Party

I’ve noticed that people have birthdays. And, birthday parties. Why have I never noticed this before?

Of course I know people have birthdays. I have one myself. But when you are trying to lose weight, count calories, exercise more and watch the number on the scale, birthdays and birthday parties are something to be concerned about.

Last night I went to a birthday party and had a slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream. It was the polite thing to do. The host had gone to great lengths to make it a special occasion. I was given a corner piece birthday cake! I ate all the cake but was careful to cut out most of the icing. And it was so very good. Very good. Thankfully, there was a reserve of will power to not help myself to seconds. And, there was mega reserve of will power to resist the beer that was offered.

Calories for Thursday February 9, 2017

Even with the slice of birthday cake and ice cream, my calories totaled 1,535 for the day. I had Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch, the birthday cake and ice cream at the party and then a salad from Steak N Shake after the party. I didn’t snack so no snacking calories.

The 1,535 calorie total is just below my 1,610 target. I’m thankful that I was under the target with the birthday party calories included in the total.

Exercise for Thursday February 9, 2017

I was afraid that I would not be able to exercise on Thursday 2/9. The winter weather was almost too cold for outside walking. So I thought I would bail out of the lunch time walking. Yet, at noon, the sun was bright and it seemed surprisingly warm and inviting.

However, that was deceptive as the air temperature was only 19°F and the stiff gusty wind created a deep wind chill. Even so, I managed to walk two miles during lunch. And, oh my, it was cold.

The birthday party was scheduled for 6:30 pm. My shift at the office ends at 5:15 pm. So, there was enough time to get at least two walking miles before the party. The wind had died done by the time I started the evening walk. But, it was still very cold, maybe 23°F. As a bonus for being out in the cold, I squeezed in three miles of evening walking.

So, I totaled five walking miles for the day. According to MFP the file miles of walking burnt 453 calories.

The total walking miles for this week is 16, so far. Unfortunately, I will not be able to walk or exercise in any capacity today (Friday 2/10). The Lunch Club meets today and I have a date this evening, so there won’t be any opportunity to exercise.

Wishing everyone a great day !!

Zombie Dust and the Reality of Calorie Counting

A friend brought me two six packs of Zombie Dust.

Zombie Dust is a rugged pale ale brewed by the Three Floyds in Munster, Indiana. I’ve searched high and low for a bottle. The Dust is hard to come by. Never been able to grab one. Been close a few times. Went to the brewery to get a bottle but they were sold out. What !!?

Last night I had my first bottle.

It wasn’t quite orgasmic … but very close.

Of course, I wondered what the calories were in the bottle. How many floated in the pale ale? I looked up the calories in MFP. The listing estimated the calories at 190 calories per 100 ml. This web site estimates a bottle at 186 calories. I entered 190 calories in my day’s total.

The Reality of Calorie Counting

You never really know how my calories you are eating, do you?

I can look up every food, measure everything but still not know the exact calorie count. It is all an estimation.

Yet, when I estimate the calories, as in the bottle of Zombie Dust, even though slightly inaccurate, probably inaccurate, I know that it’s a close guess.

190 calories is a good estimate for Zombie Dust. One bottle at 190 calories is acceptable. Two bottles at 380 calories is ok in some circumstances. Three bottles at 570 is pushing the limit and four bottles at 760 calories has become a meal.

760 empty calories from the goodness of Zombie Dust in one episode is not acceptable if I want to get thin. Yet, not too long ago, that is how I drank beer.

So, the reality of calorie counting, although probably inaccurate to the ninth calorie, is that it leads to portion control, which leads to weight loss.

Zombie Dust ... estimated 190 calories per bottle.

Zombie Dust … estimated 190 calories per bottle.

Calories for Monday, January 23, 2017

My total calories for yesterday was 1,625. That is 15 calories over my target of 1,610. And, those 15 calories came from the bottle of Zombie Dust.


My ex-wife sends a text. She wants me to search for a photo taken in 2004 during our trip to Washington DC. During that trip I snapped a photo of her with the Washington Monument in the background. The photo was well exposed and sharp in focus. And, it was a great photo of her as she was at her lowest weight.

We were both on Weight Watchers at the time and lost significant amount weight, tracking points and exercising. She lost over 70 pounds and we almost got to our life time goals. She was so very pretty, and young, vibrant, cute, sexy. I miss those days.

Yet, life moves on. We went off Weight Watchers and gained back the weight. She fell in love with someone else and left.

She is now focused on losing weight and joined the local YMCA. She wanted a photo of her at her lowest weight so she could have a visual goal. She said she would hang the photo on the refrigerant to remind her of how she once looked. I wish her the best. I know it can happen.

I was at my lowest weight at that time as well. I believe it was about 140 pounds. I plan to get back ‘down there’. I didn’t enjoy looking at the photos of myself during that trip as it brought guilt for having gained the weight back.

Blood Pressure

I’ll close this post with my morning blood pressure reading … 116/82 with a resting heart rate of 71.