Saturday, February 28, 2015


Slipping Away is a beautiful song that closes out The Rolling Stones 1989 release, Steel Wheels. The song is sung by Keith Richards in a style that is perfect for the tune. It is true that I have had great fun these past few weeks watching my weight slipping away each and every week.
Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) singing 'Slipping Away' during '14 on Fire' Tour 2014.  Keith Richards has been 'slipping away' away for a few decades - still a great performer and I can be counted as one of his millions of fans.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Saturday February 28 means that I have completed 66 days on my new program, which I have named the 'Rabbi Hillel Diet.'  Since I began this journey on December 24, 2014 my weight has been steadily slipping away.  Today begins Day 67. Saturday is the day to weigh myself so I can gauge my progress.  It is my favorite day of the week.

252.1 lbs

I weigh 252.1 lbs.
I lost 2.4 lbs this week.
I lost 56.9 lbs in 66 days. Today begins Day 67.
I have lost nearly 7 inches on my waist. 
(I can just about squeeze into a size 42" waist slacks, although they are tight - 66 days ago I was wearing size 50" waist slacks - and they were starting to get tight!) 
I am still at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 252.1 lbs. (66 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 18.4% of my weight since Dec 24.
I have lost nearly 1% of my weight since last Saturday!
I have had an another successful week losing 2.4 lbs.
I have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 33.72 (still Class I obesity)
I had a 42.0 BMI on December 24, 59 days ago (Class III obesity)
I will 'graduate' from Class I obesity into simply 'overweight' in a few weeks (224 lbs)
I have three words to describe how I feel right now - I feel good.
...I know how to begin this week... 

breakfast  one cup OATMEAL w/one prune,  2 poached eggs, 2 strips turkey 'bacon' 355 calories
lunch        Bobak's sausage w/mustard, 3 cups Spring Mix salad, Chicken Broth        260 calories
dinner      Chicken Tortilla Soup, Spring Mix Salad, Salmon Burger                           280 calories

total calories consumed  895 calories

9AM   ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 62 minutes         805 calories
6PM    ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 32 minutes         440 calories

total calories burned  1245 CALORIES


Friday morning exercise: home elliptical machine, 62 minutes, 805 CALORIES
Lunch: 3 cups Spring Mix Salad, sausage w/horseradish mustard, chicken broth    260 CALORIES

Friday, February 27, 2015


In 1979, Frank Zappa unleashed upon the world his best selling album, Sheik Yerbouti.  (He appeared looking like an Arab Sheik, the album title was pronounced SHAKE YOUR BOOTY, which was the title of a 1976 disco hit from KC and the Sunshine Band)  I couldn't resist taking a 'selfie' while enjoying a sauna at the YMCA.  A good way to get punched in the face is whipping out a camera phone in a public sauna - as I was alone - it seemed OK.

Sheik Yerbouti, 1979

The photo on the left is Frank Zappa, as Sheik Yerbouti, 1979.   The photo on the right, is my version of Sheik Yerbouti, 2015.   This trip to the Detroit area was the first time that I had the opportunity to take advantage of my new YMCA membership.   The facility in Royal Oak, Michigan is very modern.   I had the chance to visit three times this week.   I went the first time after my work day had concluded on Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday I started my day at the YMCA. OK, I admit it.  It is a great feeling to work out, use a sauna, take a shower and get dressed and then start the day.  I can get used to this lifestyle.  

I finally figured out how best to use the elliptical machine on my third day. This time I set the controls for an 'interval' workout. I completed a 1 hour workout.  I was able to make more than 8000 strides in one hour on that machine with the 'resistance' set to '10' and the 'incline' set to '10.' It seems somewhat ironic that I had so much difficulty walking up one flight of stairs to the locker room afterwards.



breakfast   STARBUCKS Bacon & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich                     350 CALORIES
lunch         PANERA Soba Noodle Bowl w/Chicken                                       390 CALORIES
dinner        JIMMY JOHN'S Bootlegger Club Unwich w/Provolone              280 CALORIES

total calories consumed    1020 CALORIES

9AM    YMCA Elliptical 60 minutes                    735 CALORIES
9PM     home elliptical machine  31 minutes        400 CALORIES

total calories burned   1135 CALORIES


Thursday, February 26, 2015


I am not a big coffee drinker. Starbucks was not a place that I visited too often. Until now. In my continuing quest to find places that serve healthy low calorie food - Starbucks has now become a new favorite place.

Two days ago, I ordered, for the first time, a Blueberry Whole-Grain Oatmeal which is only 220 calories. Yesterday, I returned and ordered a Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap which is only 290 calories.

This morning, Thursday, I tried the Bacon & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich (350 calories)
I will continue to not drink Starbucks Coffee - but Starbucks is now one of my favorite breakfast stops when I am on the road.

Starbucks Blueberry Whole-Grain Oatmeal 220 CALORIES

breakfast   Starbuck Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap                        290 CALORIES
lunch         Jimmy John's Bootlegger Club Unwich w/Provolone      280 CALORIES
dinner       Applebee's Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad & an Apple     450 CALORIES

total calories consumed   1020 CALORIES

9AM YMCA Royal Oak, Michigan Elliptical 880 CALORIES
9PM  Days Inn Stairmaster 40 minutes            400 CALORIES

total calories burned  1380 calories


Starbucks Bacon & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich 350 CALORIES

Starbucks Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap 290 CALORIES

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Sometimes I actually feel silly admitting the things that I admit on this blog.  After achieving the milestone of 57 years last November, I have now discovered that I like mustard. All my life, I have NEVER purposely put mustard on anything, ever.  I put ketchup on hamburgers. I put ketchup on hot dogs. I have put ketchup (and mayonnaise) on roast beef sandwiches. When I was much younger, I put ketchup on corn.

Now that I am really trying to cut back on calories every which way I can, I have been looking for alternatives for ketchup and mayonnaise.  As a result, I have discovered mustard. I had a Jimmy John's UNWICH (lettuce wrap sandwich) on Sunday evening and I ASKED FOR MUSTARD.  It was delicious.   I officially like mustard.  

Starting this week, I consider myself a person who likes mustard.

I think that my tastes have been changing over the past few weeks.  No longer is the taste of sugar, and chocolate permanently coating my tastebuds.

Although most mustard is NOT zero calories, most of the mustards that I checked out at the supermarket were 5 calories for one TSP.

Ketchup, has around 20 calories for 1 TBSP.   Who knows how much ketchup I drowned my french fries in or slathered on a burger.  Ketchup also has one thing that one won't find in mustard - SUGARS.   Mustard is clearly the healthier choice.   And there are hundreds of different mustards in the marketplace to try.   I just purchased a bottle of HORSERADISH MUSTARD and a bottle of WASABI MUSTARD.  I am looking forward to trying these. 

breakfast   STARBUCKS Blueberry Whole-Grain Oatmeal               220 CALORIES
lunch          Jimmy John's Bootlegger Club Unwich w/Provolone       280 CALORIES
dinner        Applebee's Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad w/o dressing     370 CALORIES

total calories consumed   870 CALORIES

calories burned
6AM    Days Inn Stairmaster 40 minutes                                              400 CALORIES
930PM  YMCA Royal Oak, Michigan ELLIPTICA  60 MINUTES   660 CALORIES

total calories burned   1160 CALORIES


Last evening at the YMCA (Royal Oak, Michigan) I spent an hour on the elliptical machine. The settings were completely different from my elliptical at home.  I never did figure out how to increase the 'resistance.'   Still, I spent one full hour on the machine, burned 660 calories and the machine calculated that I took 8398 'strides'.   I have nothing to compare that to - it just does seem like a rather large number.   I will be back today, Wednesday, so it might be interesting how different my next session will be.   

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


During my initial 'wellness' visit, December 24, 2014, my blood was tested.   I will confess that I was concerned when the results indicated that my glucose levels were elevated.   The report that I received from my doctor last December had my 'fasting glucose' level at 114 mg/dL.   The initial report came with the advice to visit for more information.   If I was not officially pre-diabetic, I was on the wrong track and headed in that direction.

Two months later, after I had dropped more than 50 lbs, my blood was tested again.   I was most interested in this glucose level.    This time the reading was 74 mg/dL   (normal range is 70-99)

I am no longer speeding down the tracks headed into a diabetes or pre-diabetes.   I successfully switched tracks.

I was speeding  straight towards pre-diabetes, my efforts
over the past two months, had me 'switch tracks' and now
I am on a very different path headed in a new direction.

However, my blood tests, show a new minor problem, 'Mild Anemia.'   All of a sudden my Vitamin D level is 'insufficient.'  (Maybe McDonald's McChickens, Burger King hamburgers, Hershey's chocolate milk and Klondike ice-cream have lots of Vitamin D!)   The recommendation is to eat foods rich in Vitamin D, or foods fortified with Vitamin D or increase Sun Exposure.   Sun Exposure might be problematical while it is 10 degrees outside.   Considering what was going on with my body and by body chemistry two months ago - this report was very satisfying.

I consulted the 'Vitamin D Council' website to find out why people might not be getting enough Vitamin D

For a number of reasons, many people aren’t getting enough vitamin D to stay healthy. This is called vitamin D deficiency. You may not get enough vitamin D if:
  • You don’t get enough sunlight. Your body is usually able to get all the vitamin D it needs if you regularly expose enough bare skin to the sun. However, many people don’t get enough sunlight because they spend a lot of time inside and because they use sunscreen. It’s also difficult for some people to get enough vitamin D from the sun during the winter.
  • You don’t take supplements. It’s very difficult to get enough vitamin D from the foods you eat alone.
  • Your body needs more vitamin D than usual, for example if you’re obese or pregnant.
I can see that getting enough sunlight might have been a problem for the past few wintry months in Chicago.   I had recently been taking a Vitamin D supplement.  I have now increased the amount from 1000 IU to 2000 IU.  I am still considered obese although I am nearly certain that I am not pregnant.

Next thing to do was get a list of foods rich in Vitamin D - so I know what foods to add to my menu.
I consulted
Foods that provide vitamin D include:
  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Beef liver
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks
To get vitamin D from food, fish is a good option. Six ounces of cooked salmon has more than 600 international units (IU).

breakfast  2 poached eggs, 2 slices turkey 'bacon' cup OAT MEAL, 1 prune          355 CALORIES
lunch        Jimmy John's #14 Bootlegger Club UNWICH w/provolone cheese       280 CALORIES
dinner       APPLEBEE'S Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (no dressing)                    370 CALORIES



6AM    elliptical machine 32 minutes             440 calories
7PM     DAYS INN Stairmaster 30 minutes   400 calories

total calories burned     840 calories



Monday, February 23, 2015


Right after my appointment with my doctor on Friday, my wife and I drove to our local 'Y' to re-activate our family membership.   We had an active membership for a number of years which we cancelled a couple of years ago.  Many years ago, our daughter went to 'Y' day camp for one summer, and prior to that she was enrolled in some pre-school programs.  Nearly a decade ago, when I lost also lost weight I made use of the 'Y' membership to visit out-of-town locations. Recently, I have been booking hotel rooms with 'fitness rooms' which are not always in good shape. (I am remembering that there have been more than one occasion when my head was nearly bumping up on the ceiling while on an elliptical machine - and I promise that I am not exaggerating.)   I will have much more flexibililty in the hotels that I can book if I have a nearby 'Y' as an option.

The 'Y' that we joined that is closest to our home is at 3333 N Marshfield Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Apparently it has been there for quite some time. With some quick searching on the internet, I found this picture of a postcard that was postmarked 1931. The outside of the building looks pretty much the same today as it did 75 years ago. The inside of the building was recently renovated, as I am sure it has been at least a couple of times over its 75 year lifetime.

The back of this postcard has this information:  'This is the newest department of the Y.M.C.A. of Chicago.  The building was dedicated October 7, 1928.  It contains residence accommodations for 253 men, 2 gymnasiums, swimming pool, 4 hand-ball courts, special exercise rooms and a cafeteria...'

The very first thing that I am going to use the 'Y' for is a FITNESS CONSULTATION.  I expect that this will happen next weekend as I have already called to request an appointment.   This will be a good opportunity for me to learn about other exercises I should be considering aside from the elliptical.  I don't know anything about weight training, so that will be a good place for me to increase my knowledge.   I am looking forward to this experience.  I have never spoken with a trained professional regarding my exercise routine.

lunch        3.5 oz Salmon Filet, asparagus spears, Chicken Noodle Soup 330 CALORIES
dinner      Jimmy John's Bootlegger Club Unwich, Pumpkin Soup         380 CALORIES

total calories 885 CALORIES

7AM   elliptical 32 minutes       440 calories
3PM   elliptical 60 minutes        800 calories

total calories burned  1240 CALORIES


My week which begins on Saturday is off to a roaring start.   So far, with two days now history, my net caloric consumption (CALORIES CONSUMED MINUS CALORIES BURNED) is NEGATIVE 220.   It is now Monday morning, time to drive to the Detroit area in Michigan for a week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

my fit FOODS

My latest 'discovery' is 'my fit FOODS'  
This is a wonderful place to pick up a prepared lunch or dinner,  ready to eat.

This establishment opened in my neighborhood nearly two years ago. Up until now I had no particular reason to visit.  Things are different now.  On Friday, my wife and I went into this store for the first time and discovered an establishment that stocks 60 different nutritious meals each with detailed nutritional information printed right on the packages.  Virtually every meal looked delicious.   All the meals are packed ready to go.   The place also has an ample amount of tables for those who want to eat right there. We have tried two meals so far, and each was both low calorie and vey tasty.  The person who assisted us at the store said that all of the meals on display are made in the kitchen right on the premises. This chain has locations in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, California and my home state of Illinois.  

Yesterday for lunch, my wife and I split the 'Lean Lemon Turkey.' It was much spicier that I had expected - but very tasty.  On Friday, right after my appointment with the doctor we split the 'Asian Flat Iron.'   The Asian Flat Iron tasted like a gourmet meal that one could have been served at any fine restaurant.
Lean Lemon Turkey All natural lean ground turkey seasoned with garlic, onions and citrus, served with parboiled rice and asparagus. ($8.50)
Asian Flat Iron Asian spiced flat-iron steak with broccoli strings, carrots and broccolini. ($9.50)

Now that I have discovered 'my fit FOODS' it occurs to me that their must be similar businesses throughout the country that I need to discover.   The more that I learn about the healthy food options available to me, the easier and easier it becomes to eat healthy when traveling. 


breakfast  cup oat meaL, prune, 2 poached eggs, two strips turkey 'bacon'           355 CALORIES
lunch         1/2 container myfitFOODS LEAN LEMON TURKEY, chicken broth 270 CALORIES
dinner        3.5 oz. salmon, spinach, ginger dressing, chicken soup, asparagus      365 CALORIES                                                                               

total calories consumed 990 CALORIES


6M   elliptical machine  30 minutes 425 calories
3PM elliptical machine  30 minutes 430 calories

total calories burned 855 CALORIES


LUNCH: Honestly, I don't think my photograph properly captured this very tasty lunch
(half container of 'my fit FOODS' Lean Lemon Turkey) and CHICKEN BROTH
BREAKFAST: Following my doctor's advice: adding oat meal & a prune to my diet 
(It won't be hard, the steel cut oat meal was something I'd never had before, I liked it)

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Hello everyone.  If you were interested in hearing about my follow-up appointment with my doctor that took place yesterday, Friday morning, I simply could not wait to blog about it.   Yesterday, I had two separate blog posts.   I talked all about my visit with my doctor on the post titled: "There's always another meal six hours away."  It is the blog post directly preceding this one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the biggest hits from the legendary rock band, Aerosmith, was Walk this Way, released in 1975.   Since December 24, 2014,  I have chosen a new path, and I encourage others to walk this way with me.   The rules are very simple.  The philosophy of the Rabbi Hillel Diet can be explained in a few short words: "What is unhealthy for you, do not eat.  That is the whole plan. The rest is commentary - go and have lunch!"  Those that internalize these thoughts will walk this way with me.   For the past seven years, and for most of my life I had been walking another way.  This path that I am on now, is the right way.  I now know that with every dietary fiber of my being!

Saturday February 21 means that I have completed 59 days on my new program, which I have named the 'Rabbi Hillel Diet.'  Since I began this journey on December 24, 2014 I have been walking a different way.  Today begins Day 60. Saturday is the day to weigh myself so I can gauge my progress.  It is my favorite day of the week.

254.5 lbs

I weigh 254.5 lbs.
I lost 8.1 lbs this week.
I lost 54.5 lbs in 59 days. Today begins Day 60.
I have lost 6+ inches on my waist.  
I am still at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 254.5 lbs. (59 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 17.6% of my weight since Dec 24.
I have lost 2.6% of my weight since last Saturday!
I have had an extremely successful week losing 8.1 lbs.
I have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 34.04 (still Class I obesity)
I had a 42.0 BMI on December 24, 59 days ago (Class III obesity)
I will 'graduate' from Class I obesity into simply 'overweight' in a few weeks (224 lbs)
I have two words to describe how I feel right now - super euphoric
...I know how to begin this week... 

breakfast   (NONE) I needed to fast in order for my blood to be tested yesterday
lunch         MY FIT FOODS ASIAN FLAT IRON, carrot ginger soup                     355 calories
dinner        7 oz. SALMON, spring mix salad, ginger dressing, pumpkin soup        480 calories

total calories consumed  835 calories

6AM   ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 32 minutes         435 calories
6PM    ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 60 minutes         805 calories

total calories burned  1240 CALORIES


my fit FOODS: ASIAN FLAT IRON (prepared meal) w/Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque Soup  
dinner: 7 oz. salmon fillet, 50/50 Spring Mix Salad w/Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing, Pumpkin Soup

Friday, February 20, 2015


On December 24, 2014, these words, "There's always another meal in six hours" changed my life.  I asked permission from my doctor today if I could use him name in my blog and he said that was perfectly fine.

I met Dr. John Tenhundfeld (Lincoln Park Family Physicians, 1317 West Diversey Parkway, Chicago) on two separate occasions prior to my December 24, 2014 'wellness' exam.   I immediately liked everything about him. This man is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. He has a great personality and I find that I can speak with him with complete honesty. He is simply the best of the best.  Eight weeks ago, when I was a 309 lb blob sitting in the examination room we were discussing weight loss. He casually said that the thing with eating is..."there's always another meal in six hours."  He added that we just need to eat enough to survive until the next meal.  These ideas changed my life.  

It is these ideas that have propelled me into a fat-burning, muscle-building machine over these past few weeks.  I made sure to tell Dr. Tenhunfeld that it was these words there were so instrumental to my new way of thinking.  Expressing gratitude to someone who has been so helpful is a great thing to do.

My doctor was somewhat stunned today.  He was impressed with my success and my attitude. Honestly, the whole experience was very emotional for me. 

We discussed all the issues that I wanted to clarify.

He did say that a 1000 calorie per day cap on my eating was very aggressive. He added that as long as I am eating a balanced diet I could continue to do this. He added that I could easily bump that up to 1200 or 1300 when I am ready to do so.

My blood pressure which was elevated two months ago is now completely healthy.  
Blood pressure is 123/75.   (two months ago 158/82)

Resting pulse today was 67   (two months ago 75)

One recommendation made was to increase the fiber that I am eating.  His suggestions included adding to my diet: prunes, raisins, whole grains, and steel cut oatmeal with wheat germ.  I will follow this advice.

We discussed the Zero Calorie Sparkling Water that I drink.  While not as healthy as water,  Dr. Tenhundfeld said that as long as I drink some water during the day, I should be OK.  I do drink water exclusively with my lunches and dinners.  The 6 cup per day minimum that we all read about virtually everywhere is a false fact without scientific merit.   

Another blood test was taken, and the doctor expects that my glucose levels should have receded to a normal level.

Dr. Tenhunfeld said that I "made his day."  It really meant something to him, that I took to heart his advice 8 weeks ago.   He said that in his career he had never seen anyone lose so much weight so quickly.  Although, he said that the speed of my weight loss was way outside what could reasonably be expected, my attitude and the fact that I am not starving myself do not indicate any trouble.

I think he got a kick out of the fact that I started my weight loss program on December 24th.  Not too many people start their new diets or lifestyle changes on Christmas Eve.   Since I am Jewish, for me, December 24th was simply a Tuesday.  Even so, not too many people start their new diets or lifestyle changes so close before New Year's Day.  Apparently I am not like everyone else.   I never have been.  Likely I never will be.

And lastly, right as he left the exam room, he said something that I will never forget.  Before he entered the exam room, naturally he looked at my chart.  He wondered who had weighed me as the weight looked ridiculously wrong.  The scale that I was weighed on cost him around $2000.  On December 24, 2014 his scale indicated that I weighed 313 lbs (with clothes on).  That very same scale, today registered 252.8 lbs. From his perspective, it was simply not possible that a patient could weigh 60 lbs less in 8 weeks.  Even my home scale showed a little less weight loss.  I will continue to report my weight from my own scale just to be consistent.

No wonder the nurse taking my blood pressure could not understand when I said the purpose of my visit was "obesity"    I must admit, although my BMI still has me classified as obese - I do not look obese sitting here in the chair getting my blood pressure reading.

My wife, Jennifer did a good job of documenting my doctor visit today.  Here I am  being weighed.
252.8 lbs  (I weighed myself at home this morning and my scale indicated 255 lbs and I and could barely believe it)  I will contine to use my home scale to calculate my progress just for consistency.   Tomorrow, Saturday is the 'official' day to record my weight loss progress.

And the last thing that I can think of that was memorable today was that the nurse who took my blood pressure, temperature and weight measurements asked my why I was seeing the doctor today.   I said "obesity."   She looked at me funny.   Although I was not trying to be funny - I admit, when I look at the photos that my wife took of me today - I do not see an obese person.

Never before has a visit to the doctor been so much fun!

I will repeat one more time.  Dr. Tenhundfeld, you changed my life.   Thank you.  


Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches  
I travel a lot for my job.  It is common for me to be away from home Monday thru Friday.   I am always on the lookout for places to eat that will offer some nutritious and tasty food that will not bust my calorie budget.  On Wednesday evening, my friend, Jack told me about another good option, Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwich shops.   This is another chain that is all over the United States.   All of their sandwiches can be ordered as an UNWICH (which is their name for a sandwich wrapped in lettuce - no bread)   Once I learned about this option I was eager to try one.   Yesterday for lunch, between two appointments, I found a Jimmy Johns and ordered my first UNWICH.   It was delicious. I have now learned that if I had ordered it with 'light' mayonnaise I could have saved even more calories.   Even so, the TURKEY TOM UNWICH that I did order had only had 230 CALORIES.   It is great to know that there is another nutritious and tasty lunch/dinner option available to me.   Thank you, Jack.

I often write my blog posts either a couple of days before or the night before.  I tweak them right before I 'publish' them to the internet in the early morning.   I am publishing this post early on Friday morning.   In about 3 hours I have my first follow-up appointment with my Doctor.   The last time I visited my doctor, on December 24, for my 'wellness' checkup I was not well.  I had not exercised in a number of years and my weight was 309 lbs.  I did not look well, I did not feel well and I was not well.    Fast forward,  58 days later and I have shed at least 50 lbs.   I exercise every day.  My stamina continues to increase.   I look in the mirror and I see someone who looks well and feels well.  My BMI still indicates that I am obese.  That may be true.  In fact, it is true.  Nevertheless, I am 'weller' than I was 58 days ago! (I am aware that 'weller' is not an actual word.)

I have a few questions for my doctor this morning:
How long can I continue to consume 1000 calories per day, without causing any harm to myself?
If I cannot medically limit myself to 1000 calories, what should be my calorie per day goal?
I have a question regarding the vitamin D supplement I am taking.  Is 1000 IU enough?
I would like his opinion on what my ultimate target weight should be.
I know that it is important to hydrate oneself with water.  I drink zero calorie sparkling flavored water during the day.  Is this an acceptable substitute for water?  (It is my biggest remaining dietary vice)
I would like to know how necessary it is to have my blood work done again to check my glycogen.
Whatever my blood pressure is today, will it continue to dramatically improve as I shed weight?

My next post will be Saturday morning.   That is the day that I weigh myself.   I will also be reporting on my visit with the doctor.   See you tomorrow!

breakfast      three poached eggs, two strips of turkey 'bacon'                                  280 CALORIES
lunch            Jimmy Johns Turkey Tom Unwich                                                      230 CALORIES
dinner           10 oz Lamb Stew, Spring Mix Salad, Ginger dressing, Ginger soup  470 CALORIES


6AM   elliptical 31 minutes     415 calories
7PM    elliptical 31 minutes     430 calories

total calories burned 845 calories


Jimmy Johns 'Turkey Tom' Unwich    230 CALORIES (As you eat this, you peel away the wrapper)

DINNER: 10 oz. Irish Lamb Stew, 50/50 Spring Mix & Spinach Salad w/ one Tbsp Ginger dressing, Cup of Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque Soup   470 CALORIES

Thursday, February 19, 2015


I was driving to an appointment in Chicago to sell some buttons when I passed a billboard touting McDonald's newest creation - TRIPLE CHEESEBURGER.  I think I might have missed my calling in life.  Back when I was 17 years old and working at Burger King, (earning the minimum wage of $1.85 per hour) there was a deduction on my pay for each day worked as it was assumed that we would be eating our meals during our breaks at the restaurant.  We were allowed to have anything we wanted.  I used my creativity.  It was nearly 40 years ago that I thought that I had invented the TRIPLE CHEESEBURGER.   As I recall, even back then, I always had two of them.  When I look at the calorie count of this recent introduction by McDonald's I see that one of these triple cheeseburgers has more than half the calories that I have had in a typical day since I changed the course of my nutritional life.  It will be a long, long time before I get the urge to eat one of these things.  Never seems like an appropriate time frame.  (Just for laughs, someday if you ever order one of these things, take good look at it - I promise it will not look anything like you you see in this picture!)

McDonald's Triple Cheeseburger
FAT 27g

I need to remember to thank God that I have the health that I do.  I think I will pass on the opportunity to eat this menu item offered by McDonald's.  (That should not be too difficult as I am avoiding everything at McDonald's.)  This triple cheeseburger is the type of food that can lead to something called a triple bypass.  I don't really know what that completely means - and I am not anxious to find out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I made an effort to cut back a little bit on my breakfast, lunch and dinner so that I could have some calories to spare that I could 'spend' on some 'L'chaims' at the Farbrengen last evening.

breakfast   three poached eggs                                             220 calories
lunch         Jason's Deli Cup of Spicy Seafood Gumbo       200 calories
dinner       5 oz Irish Lamb Stew, Chicken Tortilla Soup    280 calories

FARBRENGEN  6 'L'chaims' (shots of whiskey)               420 calories

TOTAL CALORIES (including breakfast, lunch, dinner and 6 'L'chaims' was 1120.  (This was the first day since December 24, 2014 that I consumed more than 1000 calories in a single day.  It was a good streak while it lasted.  The streak was broken for a good cause - the birthday farbrengen of my dear friend, Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun)  I had anticipated the possibility that I might overindulge a bit - therefore I worked out for three sessions yesterday.  Even after my meals and 'L'chaims' were tallied up - my caloric intake yesterday still came out to a deficit of 130.

calories burned
6AM   elliptical 31 minutes      415 calories
6PM    elliptical 31 minutes      415 calories
8PM    elliptical 31 minutes      420 calories

net caloric deficit   -130 calories

My good friend, neighbor and Rabbi - Meir Chai Benhiyoun, whose birthday we celebrated last evening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This week, Jews around the world will usher in the month of Adar.  Adar is the month when Jews are commanded to experience joy.  There will be great joy in my neighborhood as our beloved Rabbi and friend celebrates his birthday this evening.  Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun who with this wife, Rivka, are the directors of the Chabad House just two doors down from my own home will host a farbrengen this evening.  When a Chabad Rabbi celebrates a birthday, he doesn't exactly have a birthday party - he has a farbrengen.  Here I (mostly) duplicated a definition from
Farbrengen (/fɑrbrɛnɡɛn/, from the Yiddish פארברענגען, meaning "joyous gathering"; German verbringen "to spend [time/solidarity/festivity together]") is a Chasidic gathering. This term is used by Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim. It may consist of explanations of general Torah subjects, with an emphasis on Chasidic philosophy, relating of Chasidic stories, and lively Chasidic melodies, with refreshments being served. It is regarded as a time of great holiness. Farbrengens are public events open to non-Chasidim as well.
I am not a Chabadnik (Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidic Jew) - I have amazing friends who are Chabadniks.  I always enjoy spending time with my Chabadnik friends.  Chabadniks are the happiest people that I know.  Their  joy for life is extremely contagious.

An important part of a farbrengen is wishing L'chaim to one another.  I again consulted for a definition.
All attending wish L'chaim, blessings of life, to one another. The reason for the L'chaim is to open the hearts of the participants to be inspired to want to change, and internalize what is being spoken at the farbrengen.... However, (alcohol) is only meant to be drunk sparingly, as the Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson forbade drinking more than four shot glasses of alcohol ("L'chaims") for anyone, especially those under the age of 40.
In my experiences with my Chabadnik friends, this (limitation  of four L'chaims) restriction is much more of a guideline than a strict rule! 

Tonight, I will see many friends that I have not seen for about two months.   And in those two months, I have lost nearly 50 lbs.   It should be great fun to see everyone again.   I will be 'armed' with my new 'Rabbi Hillel Diet' business cards should anyone want to learn about my eating/dieting philosophy.    And I will be careful to drink my 'L'chaims' sparingly.  

I may sacrifice the volume of liquor that I enjoy, but I will not sacrifice the joyousness of the occasion.

breakfast   three poached eggs, two strips turkey 'bacon'                                               280 calories
lunch         Salmon burger, Sirloin Burger Soup, Organic Salad, balsamic, asparagus    327 calories
dinner       turkey burger, sirloin soup, organic salad, balsamic, artichoke hearts            382 calories

total consumption  989 CALORIES

calories burned
6AM    elliptical machine  31 minutes    410 calories
6PM     elliptical machine  31 minutes    430 calories
8PM     elliptical machine  30 minutes    405 calories

total calories burned    1245 calories burned


LUNCH: Salmon burger, Sirloin Burger Soup, Organic Salad w/balsamic dressing, asparagus    327 calories

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


When I weighed myself this past Saturday, I thought that there was an outside chance that I might slip into a new obesity category.  CLASS I OBESITY.  I was still 1.6 lbs away.

Today is Tuesday morning, by the end of the day, which will be four days after my last weigh in - I can reasonably assume that I will have lost the 1.6 lbs to be officially in the class I obesity.   I am aware that most people aren't screaming from the rooftops about such a dubious achievement.   Considering where I started from, you might forgive me for being happy about this.

Obesity classes are determined by BMI (Body Mass Index)

On December 24, 2014 I weighed 309 lbs and my BMI was 41.3  (Obese Class III)
On January 17, 2015 I weighted 284.7 lbs and my BMI was 38.08 (Obese Class II)

I will assume that by days end today, Tuesday,  I will be right around 261 lbs or slightly less and my BMI would then 34.9 which would squeeze me into the Obese Class I category.   

The next stop on this chart would be to be considered 'only' overweight.   In order to be only overweight, I will need get my BMI down to 29.9.  This will translate to a weight of 224 lbs.
So, I will have a quite a few weeks to go before I get there.
        < 18.5    underweight
   18.5–24.9    normal weight
   25.0–29.9    overweight
   30.0–34.9    class I obesity
   35.0–39.9    class II obesity
         ≥ 40.0      class III obesity  


breakfast   three poached eggs, two strips turkey 'bacon'      280 CALORIES
lunch         Panera Bread Turkey Chili Bowl                         280 CALORIES
dinner       5 oz Mahi Mahi, Mixed Veggies, Potato Pancake
                 Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque Soup       435 CALORIES

total consumption    995 CALORIES

calories burned
6AM    Elliptical Machine  31 minutes           410 calories
5PM     Elliptical Machine  30 minutes           400 calories

total calories burned    810 calories

net caloric consumption    185 CALORIES

dinner: 5 oz Mahi Mahi, 2/3 cup mixed vegetables, potato pancake, Carrot Ginger Bisque Soup  435 CALORIES