Monday, August 31, 2015


T MINUS 30.  Thirty days from now I will be on an airplane headed to San Francisco.  Thirty one days from now I will be in a van with 6 other guys headed to Half Dome in Yosemite Park.  Thirty two days from now I will be at the base of Half Dome galvanizing the willpower to ascend to its top.

While this hike is looming in one month, I have re-discovered a new hobby within the past week.  I only rescued my bike one week ago.  I practically forgot that I owned a bicycle for the past three years as it hung unused in a bike locker.  This past weekend, I used it Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Yesterday, I took by bicycle to my local YMCA (3.5 miles from home)   I made arrangements to meet my family at 5:00PM at Whole Foods for dinner.   My daughter snapped this photo of me from the car as we were heading home.

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 Sunday MENU
breakfast  steel cup oatmeal, bacon, poached eggs                      570 calories
lunch        granola, mango, ginger                                                574 calories
dinner       Salad Bar, whitefish, string beans                               792 calories
SNACK   wasabi, granola, ginger                                                720 calories

total calories consumed 2656 calories

calories burned
elliptical machine 125 minutes, 4:3 interval,  level 20              1590 calories

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Saturday net calories 1066 calories
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Sunday, August 30, 2015


One more final thing to say about CRITICAL MASS on Friday night.  Since I am the only one in the family who owns a bike, my wife and daughter rented bicycles near Navy Pier on Friday.  I met them at the bike shop.  It had only been one week since my bicycle was 'rescued' from 'mothballs.'   I had inflated the tires to a level that seemed appropriate - but I did not know how much to inflate them.   I was sure that they were still under-inflated.  I used the opportunity at the bike repair/rental shop to ask about my tires. An extremely helpful guy said the tires should be inflated to 75 psi and that I could use their hand pump.   I gratefully accepted this advice and inflated my tires to the proper pressure.

As the transaction for my wife and daughter continued about 5 minutes after inflating my tires - There was a loud explosion in the bike shop. My tire exploded. My first inclination was to blame the guy who told me to inflate the tires to 75 psi.  The explanation came that perhaps their was some bubble between the rim and tube that caused the explosion.  I also remembered that the tires had been uninflected for three years.  The guy in the shop offered to fix the tire without charging for labor and simply charged me $6.95 for a new tube.  Within 10 minutes, I was back up and running (riding.)   This explosion of my tube would have been far more problematical had it occurred along the 15+ mile bike route that we took.  I was very grateful to have this particular setback right in the bike shop.

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 Saturday MENU

breakfast  apples                                                                          144 calories
lunch        salad bar, wasabi, mango                                           1399 calories
dinner      apples, rice cake, granola, mango, wasabi, almonds 1483 calories

total calories consumed 3026 calories

calories burned
elliptical machine 92 minutes, manual, level 20              2064 calories

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Saturday net calories 962 calories
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Saturday, August 29, 2015


CRITICAL MASS. CHICAGO. The last Friday of the month. I was not sure what to expect. My family arrived at Daley Plaza in Chicago at 5:30PM.  Over the next hour, hundreds of bikes (and their owners) arrived.  There was some some wild looking bikes congregating on the Plaza.  One guy rode a replica 1900's bicycle with the giant oversize front wheel.  Other bikes were decorated so that they looked like the bicycle Pee Wee Herman rode in 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure."  I was pleased so see Police Officers (on bikes) at the Plaza. There would be Police Escorts along the entire route.  The Police helped keep riders on the right side of the roads and control traffic.  The ride traversed perhaps 15 miles of Chicago streets.   It was like a bicycle parade.  All night long, the bicyclists shouted out "Happy Friday" to pedestrians and to folks stuck in their cars. I may have noticed some drivers annoyed at being stuck in a sea of bikers, but they were in the minority.  It was much more common to see giant smiles on the faces of people as a thousand bicyclists passed them by.  It seemed that everyone was shooting video of us on their cellphones. It was a great freedom to ride bikes in the streets and not have to stop for a stop sign or a traffic light.  The ride lasted from 6:30PM until about 8:45PM.  It was truly an amazing experience.  I will definitely do this again.  Meanwhile back on the scale, I am personally approaching critical mass.   There is no way that I want to pop up over 230 lbs.

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226.6 lbs

I weigh 226.6 lbs.
I gained 2.8 lbs this week
I have lost 82.4 lbs in 248 days. Today begins Day 251.
I will always be at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 226.6 (248 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 26.6% of my weight since Dec 24.
I have a BMI, body mass index of 30.31 
I had a 42.0 BMI on Dec 24 just 234 days ago (Class III obesity)

I have nine words of wisdom for myself today: ONE CAN NOT EXERCISE ENOUGH TO COMPENSATE FOR OVEREATING.

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breakfast    oatmeal, bacon, poached eggs, cherry vanilla granola   834 calories
lunch          baby spinach, asparagus, apples                                     376 calories
dinner        turkey, sausage, date pieces, granola, ginger                 1089 calories
SNACK     ginger chews, No Cow Bar Mint, toasted coconut          830 calories

total calories consumed 3129 calories

calories burned

Friday net calories 1955 calories
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still 30 minutes to go before the start of the ride... Daley Plaza, Chicago

Friday, August 28, 2015


What is Critical Mass as it relates to bicycles and Chicago?   This was lifted directly from the website:

Critical Mass is a bike ride plain and simple. The ride takes place on the Last Friday Of Every Month (in Chicago anyway). A Critical Mass is created when the group of riders comes together for those few hours to take back the streets of our city. The right of the people to assemble is guaranteed in the Constitution, and Critical Mass helps people remember that right. The Mass itself has no political agenda, though, no more than the people of any other community do. Critical Mass is open to all, and it welcomes all riders to join in a celebration of riding bicycles. Why? Because bikes are fun! 
Sure, as with any community, you'll see people of all types. Some people see Critical Mass as a forum for grassroots political change. Some people see it as a protest against cars. Some people just like to ride. The Mass, however, is just that...a bunch of bike riders. You can drive a car the whole month and ride in the Mass. You can be an anarchist and ride in the Mass. The point of the Mass is the Mass, nothing more. Critical Mass has no leadership. It is a ride where no one is in charge. At any time, riders are free to leave, stay, stop, or even help out. Everyone is responsible for themselves and the Mass. Learn how to get involved! Once you realize that, you're free to enjoy the exhilaration that is a large bike ride. It's quite a sight to be parading down Michigan Avenue with thousands of fellow riders, wishing pedestrians and drivers a "Happy Friday!" Chicago Critical Mass is a community, yet it's also part of a worldwide Critical Mass community as a whole. Critical Mass rides take place all over the world each month, and Chicago is proud to join in to proclaim our love of bicycles. If you love bikes, and you want to show others how you feel about cycling, come join us!

I will admit that I have been driving through Chicago on a Friday evening when I bumped up against Critical Mass and I remember not being too pleased about having too wait an extra long time for the bicycle riders to thin out before I could proceed in my car.  Tonight, our family will be part of the bike riders.  I am thinking that this will be a fun experience to experience once. Maybe I am wrong, and it will be the greatest experience ever.  It should be somewhat memorable - I am sure of that.

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 Thursday MENU

breakfast  granola, apple                                                                           672 calories
lunch        Subway spinach salad, ginger, granola, mango, corn snack  1460 calories
dinner      Mariano's spinach salad, kale crunch                                      1110 calories
SNACK    cocoa wafers, ginger chews                                                      333 calories

total calories consumed 3575 calories

calories burned
elliptical machine 65 minutes, level 20              822 calories
stairmaster  60 minutes                                      1124 calories


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Wednesday net calories 1629 calories

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I returned home to Chicago on Thursday and I used my bicycle to travel from home to my local YMCA.  My local YMCA is 3.5 miles from home.  This trip can take nearly one half hour of travel time via car with all the traffic and traffic lights that need to be navigated.  My trip on two wheels only took 19 minutes. It was a very rewarding experience. At the YMCA I spent one hour on the elliptical machine and one hour on the stairmaster. After riding home - I realized that my legs had not been challenged quite so intensely in a long, long tine.  This is probably good as a bigger challenge awaits my legs in about one month in Yosemite Park.

I must admit that until now I have not had warm feelings for all the bicycle paths painted on the streets of Chicago.   In some places, the bicycle path has been more than painted and it actually separated from the auto traffic.  My appreciation of these bicycle paths has increased rather dramatically now that I am a bike rider.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


After my three hour workout on Tuesday, I didn't have much 'gas' for my workout on Wednesday.   I found myself back in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I know that the YMCA there has a stairmaster.  I did figure that it might be a good time to do something a bit different after a few consecutive weeks pounding the elliptical machine.

I managed to spend one hour on the stairmaster and the calories burned that the machine reported were only 629.  I feel that this is a low estimate.  I was drenched in sweat after just one hour and although it sometimes seems like I can take my strides on an elliptical machine in my sleep - the stairmaster requires full concentration or else you can actually fall of the neverending stairs.   When the workout was complete, the machine recorded that I had 'climbed' 234 floors.  I like to remind myself that I used to be unbelievably out-of-breath climbing the twelve flights of stairs to my apartment that few times that I tried to skip the elevator.

I am going to carefully monitor my workouts as the trek up Half Dome (Yosemite) is no longer in the far distant future.   My flight to California to rendezvous with the members of the 'expedition' is just a little more than one month away.  My time on the stairmaster assured me that my legs were capable of moving and gaining altitude.

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 Wednesday MENU

breakfast   oatmeal                                                                          450 calories
lunch         Panera BBQ chicken flatbread, onion soup, baguette
                  apple, oat n' honey granola bar                                     1081 calories
dinner       spinach salad                                                                   750 calories
SNACKS  vegetable chips, banana chips, almonds                        1108 calories

total calories consumed 3389 calories

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Fort Wayne YMCA Stairmaster 60 minutes, 234 floors  629 calories

Wednesday net calories 2760 calories

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Intellectually I know that one cannot 'erase' the calories of over-eating with the calories 'burned' by over-exercising.  Nevertheless, I do take great pride in the commitment that I have made to my exercise regiment over the past few months.  My hike up Half Dome (Yosemite National Park) with my brother and four other guys is now just about one month away.  I continue to believe that I am in the best physical shape of my life.

Yesterday, I visited a new YMCA in North Royalton, Ohio that opened about 3 years ago.  I hopped onto a PRECOR EFX ELLIPTICAL machine.  This is the same machine that I use at my hometown 'Y' in Chicago. At my Chicago 'Y' I often spend two hours on this machine.   In North Royalton, the machine would not let me set the time past 90 minutes.  I decided to complete two workouts - each 90 minutes.  This meant that my workout was Three Hours. 

I personally found it interesting that my second workout was more effective than the first workout.  This is counter-intuitive as one would think that I would have been more physically spent.  It appears that the first workout serves to get me limbered up a bit.  I will admit that when I stepped off the machine after two consecutive 90 minute workouts - I was exhausted.  It was an exhaustion that felt good.  After working out, I checked into my hotel and made use of the hot tub in the pool area which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I do not aspire to have three hour workouts on a regular basis.  I am just pleased that I was physically able to do it.  A three hour workout would have been unimaginable just a few months ago.  Last year, I don't think that I could have lasted 10 minutes on an elliptical machine with these settings.

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 Tuesday MENU

breakfast  oatmeal                                                                                  390 calories
lunch        Pumpkin flatbreads, Salad Bar                                            1200 calories
dinner       Pumpkin flatbreads                                                                800 calories
SNACK   ginger, radiant raspberry granola, papaya, dates, wasabi      897 calories

total calories consumed 3287 calories

calories burned

#1 PRECOR EFX elliptical machine, 4:3 INTEVAL, level 20, 95 minutes                       1106
#2 PRECOR EFX elliptical machine, 4:3 INTEVAL, level 20, 95 minutes                       1226

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Tuesday net calories  955 calories

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015


In the past few months I have visited and discovered some fabulous regional grocery stores around the country.  In my old lifestyle I almost never visited a grocery store.  Yesterday, I visited a store that had a what I thought was a catchy name.  I ended up buying some flavored waters and when I checked out I couldn't figure out why my credit card was not being accepted.  It turns out that this particular chain accepts cash, checks or Discover Card only.  One must admit that that is a bit odd.

On my current trip to Ohio, I specifically selected a hotel that purported to have a fitness room.   Upon arrival at this Howard Johnson's (which turned out to be re-branded Baymont Inn) I was advised that the Fitness Room was closed.  Although I had not pre-checked to see if any YMCA's were close by - I did find one within 4 miles of my hotel.   I was able to fit in a 95 minute session on an elliptical machine in the evening.

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 Tuesday MENU

breakfast  oatmeal, poached eggs, bacon, rice cakes                       386 calories
lunch        salad bar, oat n' honey bar                                               690 calories
dinner       peas, papaya, chewy ginger, sesame crunch, veg chips  938 calories
SNACK   rice cakes, apples                                                             706 calories
total calories consumed 3171 calories

calories burned

YMCA elliptical machine 95 minutes, level 20 resistance, level 20 incline,  1238 calories


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Tuesday net calories 1933 calories

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Monday, August 24, 2015


BICYCLE RACE is a weird, fun and terrific song from QUEEN originally released in 1978, on their album, Jazz.  The lyrics start like this:

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

Yesterday, I 'rescued' by bicycle from 'mothballs' where it was being kept in the bike room in the garage of my building.  I have not used my bicycle in more than 3 years.  Our family is going to be part of the Chicago 'Critical Mass' bike ride this Friday - so it was time to see if my bike was in working order.  After dusting if off a bit and pumping some air into the tires I was back on the roads again.  I don't think that I actually forgot how much fun bike riding can be.  It was NOT fun when I was 300+ pounds.  It WAS fun yesterday.  I think I am going to be biking around town much more these days.  What a great way to get to my local YMCA - rather than driving the car.  Yep, I am a bike rider again!

My set of wheels: DIAMONDBACK 
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 Sunday MENU
breakfast  steel cup oatmeal, rice cakes                                               545 calories
lunch       spinach, hearts palm, clam chowder, kale crunch                626 calories
dinner      spinach, hearts palm, chowder, salmon fillet, rice cakes     851 calories  
SNACK   mango, wasabi peas, granola, kahuna trail mix                  770 calories

total calories consumed 2792 calories

calories burned
elliptical machine 92 minutes, manual, level 20              2191 calories

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Saturday net calories 601 calories
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Sunday, August 23, 2015


The results of a recent study claim that it might be more effective to cut fat in order to lose weight. I am aware that I know very little about nutrition.  Nevertheless, I find the carbs or fat cutting option to be a false choice. I firmly believe that moderation is the answer.  In fact, I still believe that CUTTING CALORIES is the answer. The body needs carbohydrates AND the body needs FAT. My 85 pound weight loss came from cutting carbs and fat. My claim is that the weight loss resulted from consciously cutting calories. If one cuts calories - one will likely be cutting carbs and fat.  It reminds me about the one line joke in real estate.  What is the single most important factor in selling a property?  Answer: location, location, location.  I believe that this joke has a corollary in weight loss.  What is the single most important thing to cut for successful weight loss? Answer: calories, calories, calories.  

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 Saturday MENU
breakfast  apple, kale crunch, rice cakes                                               537 calories
lunch        baby spinach, hearts of palm, clam chowder, oyster crackers
                kale crunch, rice cakes                                                         1151 calories
dinner      salad bar, granola, mango, rice cakes                                  1033 calories

total calories consumed 2721 calories

calories burned
elliptical machine 92 minutes, manual, level 20              2042 calories

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Saturday net calories 679 calories
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from U.S. News & World Report....

What's Better for Weight-Loss: Cutting Carbs or Fat?

A new study crowns one approach the winner. 


Lately, it seems everyone is riding the low-carb bandwagon – ditching pasta, forgoing fruits and eating their sandwiches as lettuce wraps. But according to a new Cell Metabolism study, opting for a low-fat diet might actually lead to better fat-loss results.
For the study, researchers with the National Institutes of Health examined the effects of low-carb and low-fat, calorie-controlled diets on 19 obese men and women, none of whom had diabetes. During the study, the participants stayed at the NIH’s metabolic unit around the clock, so researchers could regulate and record everything they did – and what they ate. Each group cut their overall caloric intake by 30 percent, half of them by cutting carbs and half of them by cutting fat.
While the reduced-carb dieters lowered their levels of insulin as well as lost slightly more weight than those who cut fat, the reduced-fat dieters actually lost more body fat than the carb-cutters.
“The reason this happened relates to the balance between how much fat is eaten and burned by the body,” explains lead author Kevin Hall, a senior investigator with the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. On the low-fat diet, participants experienced a greater difference in the amount of fat they were eating and the amount of fat their bodies were burning compared to those who cut carbs.
The Low-Carb Controversy
“There is a popular theory that claims low-carb diets are particularly effective for fat loss because they decrease levels of the hormone insulin, thereby increasing the amount of fat that’s released from fat tissue. Some people even claim that without reducing insulin it is not possible to reduce body fat,” Hall says. “The results of our study run counter to this theory and suggest there is not a metabolic advantage of a low-carb diet.”
However, past research has largely pointed to low-carb diets as the better fat-burner, a fact that critics of the study are quick to mention. For example, one 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine study of 148 obese men and women found that participants who ate a low-carb diet for one year lost 7.7 pounds more than those who had been eating less fat. However, Hall points out that in these longer studies, researchers can’t really be sure of what the participants were and weren’t eating over the course of the  study.
“As evidenced from multiple recent meta-analyses, studies consistently show that on average a low-carbohydrate diet does better than a low-fat diet in terms of weight loss and fat loss, and several cardio-metabolic markers,” says low-carb advocate Jeff Volek, a registered dietitian and professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. “A major reason people have better results with low-carb diets is because they promote greater satiety and people eat less.” He also notes that low-carb diets are especially beneficial to people who are insulin resistant, meaning their blood sugar level excessively rise in response to carbohydrate consumption. “In reality, each person has a level of carbohydrate tolerance, and staying under that level is an effective method to maintain good health,” Volek says.
Pam Bede, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics with Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition, also notes that low-carb diets have been shown to help control diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. They also improve HDL cholesterol and triglyceride values better than moderate-carb diets do.
“However, low-carb dieters must understand that carbs give your body fuel to function, especially when you’re working out. Anyone who is moderately to highly active should include some carbs in their diet to stay energized,” Bede adds. “If you work out regularly or are staying active to facilitate weight loss, eating too few carbs from a low-carb diet can cause fatigue and decrease your athletic performance. Carbs are a primary source of fuel for your workout – if you run out of steam quickly at the gym, you may head home early and therefore do yourself and your weight loss a disservice. You may opt to do fewer reps, run for a shorter period of time or pay less attention to safe exercise form because your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs to continue.”
She recommends that even those dieters who are following a low-carb eating plan consume carb-containing foods such as fruit, yogurt or trail mix before hitting the gym to get the greatest weight-loss benefit from their workouts.
Cutting Through the Fat
Meanwhile, although consuming some fat is anything but unhealthy – unsaturated fat promotes healthy metabolic functioning, and a recent Annals of Internal Medicine meta-analysis of 512,420 people concludes that eating more saturated fat may not increase your risk of heart disease – slightly reducing your overall fat intake can cut calories much more easily than can cutting carbs. One gram of carbohydrates contains four calories, while 1 gram of fat contains nine.
“Low-fat diets might be your best route if you want to eat a variety of foods in moderation. A low-fat diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins like lean meat and fish,” Bede says. It really just reduces your intake of high-fat animal products like steak (although grass-fed beef contains less fat), cream, cheese and butter.
“Low-fat dieters need to remember the body requires some healthy fats to maintain the immune system, regulate vital organs and keep good cholesterol levels up. They also help regulate insulin levels, which make you feel more satisfied after a meal than consuming protein and carbs alone,” Bede says. She recommends that, even when on a low-fat diet, men and women consume at least 26 grams of unsaturated fat per day.
Which Would You Rather Cut?
Meantime, a recent review of 59 studies on the low-carb, low-fat debate published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that while both diets led to significant weight loss, the low-carb diet led to moderately more pounds shed. Still, the researchers concluded that the effect was small enough that dieters are best off following the strategy that best fits their lifestyle.
After all, to some people, cutting carbs is painless and easy to do over the long term. To others, the thought of forgoing regular pasta nights is almost too much to bear, Hall says. To others, low-fat is synonymous with low-flavor. Maybe they can reduce their fat intake for a couple of weeks or months, but to lose the weight and keep it off, the change has to endure.
“Low-carb diets vs. low-fat diets fuel a constant debate in the nutrition community,” Bede says. “Each has their own pros and cons, but when it comes to effectiveness, one stands out over the other: whichever diet you can personally sustain.” 

Saturday, August 22, 2015


After too many weeks of income incremental weight gain - I now feel that things are going my way again.

I think I am beginning to turn the corner. (again)

I am beginning to recapture the the control of my appetite. It seems so long ago that I was managing on 1000 calories per day.  I have certainly lost the desire to be anywhere near that program.  In the past eight months, I have done a good job of maintaining a vigorous workout schedule - and one does need the proper fuel keep up that intensity.  Each day is a challenge. Although I am approximately ten pounds above the low weight that I originally reached - I remain proud of myself as I have kept my weight within a ten pound 'window' since April.  The enjoyment and sense of satisfaction that I get from exercising has been consistent.  I really have changed my lifestyle.  I still have changes to make.  It is a cliche' - but there is a reason why a cliche' should exist.  They are true.  This truly is the journey that never ends.

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223.8 lbs

I weigh 223.8 lbs.
I lost 2.5 lbs this week
I have lost 85.2 lbs in 241 days. Today begins Day 242.
I will always be at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 223.8 (241 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 27.6% of my weight since Dec 24.
I have a BMI, body mass index of 29.94 
I had a 42.0 BMI on Dec 24 just 234 days ago (Class III obesity)

I have two words of advice for myself today: STAY FOCUSED

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breakfast    oatmeal, poached eggs, bacon, apple, mango, wasabi peas   880 calories
lunch          Hoki Fish Fillet, Zucchini Saute, granola                              414 calories
dinner         rice cakes, figs, mango, granola                                           1090 calories
SNACK     goji, glad corn                                                                         400 calories

total calories consumed 2785 calories

calories burned

Friday net calories 520 calories

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stay focused

stay focused on the road ahead, avoid getting sidetracked

Friday, August 21, 2015


Two different articles that I found on the internet just yesterday provide further proof that BIG GOVERNMENT is a monster threatening the well-being of Americans everywhere.  The first article that I read earlier in the day was how federal policies were 'forcing' OREO COOKIES to abandon Chicago and head south to Mexico.   Does anyone else see the irony here?  We import uneducated, low-skilled workers FROM MEXICO and we export HIGH PAYING JOBS TO MEXICO.   Does this make any sense?  Is it any wonder that this signature issue from Mr. Donald Trump has him riding high in the polls for the Republican nomination for President?

After reading how Chicago, my home city, is now slated to lose 600 jobs - the 'good news' kept on coming. My wife sent me an article detailing how a Chicago Alderman is proposing a tax on sugary drinks in Chicago.  This tax would generate money for some kind of 'Chicago Wellness Fund.'   This is ridiculous.   BIG GOVERNMENT cannot legislate health.  BIG GOVERNMENT cannot legislate WEIGHT LOSS.  BIG GOVERNMENT does one thing extremely well - BIG GOVERNMENT REDUCES FREEDOM.

This is the effect of a 2 cent per ounce tax proposed in Philadelphia.
What am I complaining about - In Chicago, the proposal is 'only' for one cent per ounce!
And if the one cent tax became law, how long before it was increased to two cents? 

If someone wants to lose weight, I would heartily suggest that they cut back or completely delete sugary drinks from their diet.   No one will successfully lose weight because BIG GOVERNMENT increases the tax on a can of Coca Cola.   It will never happen.

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 Thursday MENU

breakfast Brad's Raw Crunchy Kale, center cut bacon                                 330 calories
lunch       Sirloin Burger Vegetable Soup, cucumber salad, oyster crackers 396 calories
dinner      Huge Spinach Salad, mango, dark chocolate coconut chews      750 calories
SNACKS medjool dates, granola, wasabi peas, mango slices                      600 calories

total calories consumed 2194 calories

calories burned
home elliptical machine 92 minutes, level 20              2067 calories

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Wednesday net calories 127 calories

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this article is reproduced from
by Austin Berg
The Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have taken aim at a proposed penny-an-ounce sales tax on soft drinks sold in Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times
“Chicago restaurants and small businesses, like consumers, are once again starting to thrive after experiencing one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history,” Illinois Restaurant Association CEO Sam Toia was quoted as saying in a press release.
“The last thing we need is to implement discriminatory policies that will slow growth, drive business out of the city and force businesses to raise prices where it hurts the most: in Chicago families’ wallets.” 
The new soda tax, proposed by 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, would be the third city-level tax imposed on the sale of soft drinks, and would hike the cost of a $4 12-pack of Coca-Cola to $5.44 – a $1.44, 36-percent increase. Chicago already levies a 9-percent tax on fountain drinks and a 3-percent soft-drink tax on cans and bottles. Revenue from the proposed tax wouldn’t go to the city’s general operating fund – it would flow to a newly established “Chicago Wellness Fund,” the primary purpose of which is to “support the prevention of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as oral health improvement.” 
Cardenas’ tax would apply to syrups, powders, and canned and bottled soft drinks. He estimates it would generate $134 million a year. “The money spent fighting obesity is just ungodly,” Cardenas told the Sun-Times in July. “We could save billions of dollars if we bring down these numbers. 
That may be true, but one of the many problems with Cardenas’ proposed sugary-drink tax is that such a tax has never been proven to cause a decrease in obesity. Sugary-drink taxes have proved, however, to disproportionately affect the poor and less educated
Minority business owners can also expect to take a hit, according to Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Omer Duque. 
“The regressive beverage tax being proposed by the Chicago City Council will hit many of these minority-owned businesses and their hard-working employees right where it hurts: their bottom lines,” said Duque in a press release. 
“My members already face enough headwinds while striving to build and maintain successful businesses and meet payroll for their employees. The last thing they need is the government piling on with another job-killing tax.” 
Tone-deaf tax increases like the soda tax are one of the reasons why Cook County is facing a serious taxpayer-exodus problem. If Chicago is to avoid bankruptcy, city leaders need to spend less time pushing tax schemes aimed at fighting obesity and more time thinking of ways to trim bloated city spending.
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and this is from

How US Sugar Policies Just Helped America Lose 600 Jobs 
by Bryan Riley 
The manufacturer of Oreo cookies recently announced plans to move production of Oreos from Chicago to Mexico, resulting in a loss of 600 U.S. jobs.
This should be a wake-up call to defenders of the U.S. sugar program and other job-destroying trade barriers. 
The leading ingredient in Oreos is sugar, and U.S. trade barriers currently require Americans to pay twice the average world prices for sugar. 
Sugar-using industries now have a big incentive to relocate from the United States to countries where access to their primary ingredient is not restricted.
If the government wants people making Oreo cookies and similar products to keep their jobs, a logical starting point would be to eliminate the U.S. sugar program, including barriers to imported sugar. 
This obvious connection between the lost jobs and sugar quotas was missed by many observers. According to one online commenter: “This is why tariff[s] on products coming to U.S must be raised.” 
That’s backwards. When protectionist policies like the U.S. sugar program lead to offshoring, the response shouldn’t be to pass new laws to discourage such offshoring or to raise tariffs even higher. The response should be to eliminate government policies that encourage offshoring in the first place.
The loss of Oreo cookie jobs should reinforce a lesson on the job-destroying aspect of protectionist trade policies. 
According to a 2006 report from the government’s International Trade Administration: “Chicago, one of the largest U.S. cities for confectionery manufacturing, has lost nearly one-third of its SCP (supply chain planning) manufacturing jobs over the last 13 years. These losses are attributed, in part, to high U.S. sugar prices.” That lesson appears to be lost on unions that are supposed to represent the workers losing their jobs in Chicago. 
For example, The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union consistently has opposed free trade agreements with sugar-producing countries like AustraliaBrazil, and Mexico—the kind of trade deals that just might protect their members’ jobs. 
So that’s how the cookie crumbles.