I wanted to put something up with Lorena’s new teeth, but she liked this other picture of her teeth that has nothing to do with all the pain and suffering she endured to finally have these things. The upshot is that we comprised. She DOES have a nice smile, even if you cannot see her new teeth.
Yesterday, Lorena’s Valentine’s Day gift to me was this jar of Vlasick mini-pickles. Christian and I LOVE those things and they are perfect for my diet. Lorena pulled my pickle fork and holster out of storage and installed it on the jar–two of the very best gifts I have ever received. To make things even better, the scale showed 200.0 lbs. when I weighed myself this morning. That is exactly half way to my stated goal. That means I have lost 31 pounds since I started and have 31 to go. I am not sure I will stop there, but will weight to see how I feel when I get to that point, God willing.
Lorena drove up to Seattle to get our very sick daughter on Friday. We have been vegging out all weekend long. Notice all the medication on the bookshelf. Kiwi the surviving twin cat sister even got in on the act, devoting almost the entire time to sleeping on the hide-a-bed with Kelly. I preached the benefits of building one’s immune system by fighting one’s way through a case of the flu every now and then, but that is pretty weak broth when your right in the middle of it. Kelly’s face is not normally that pale. There is something else going on there.
Lorena drove down to Oregon Health Sciences University this morning to start the final stages of what started with some impacted and infected wisdom teeth, followed up by jaw surgery at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina that included cadaver bone and titanium. This final pass is the installation of her new teeth to accompany the other new stuff in her mouth. Hopefully, she will only have a couple of follow-up appointments just to assure everything is OK and then she is done!
Today marks a small milestone on the weight loss program my buddy Jon and I are on. I am over 22 lbs or 10 kgs down and about a third of the way to my goal. Jon is right there, too, although it is harder for him because he infrequently has access to a consistent scale and is “on the road” all the time. I am amazed he is in about the same level of weight loss as I in such an uncontrolled environment. To butcher a phrase–onward and downward!
The other thing that arrived today is my new diet Logitech H800 Bluetooth/Wireless headset. It allows me to connect it to my computer with their little custom wireless dongle and to my telephone via Bluetooth. The reason it is a diet headset is that it allows me to not be tethered to my desk while I am talking on the phone or via skype. That is a FINE thing because I get in extra steps and it allows me to either eat more or drop weight more or both.
After a month of upheaval, we have to admit we spent most of the weekend just trying to catch our breath and start in again. Now, though, Lorena is back in the game with her rowing. I think this has to be her personal best on the Concept II rowing machine down at Anytime Fitness. Only 400 more meters and she will have hit the goal she has worked on for over seven years now–12,000 meters in one hour. Kelly is on her game, too. She ran five miles on Saturday with plans to run six next Saturday on the way to a half marathon sometime in February. Last night, we called Christian, but he could not talk because he was at the gym. This is all good and well, but it is making me look pretty bad. I am still typing furiously most of the day, but have not lifted a finger to do anything other than to go on some medium distance (4-5 mile) walks and even that is awhile ago. I still have about 15 lbs. to lose on my current trajectory, but hope to be in the gym again before spring.
We have been slammed since the first of the year so I have gotten behind on blogging and fell off the wagon on my diet at least a couple of times. Now however, the holidays are over, our annual church special meetings for the year are over, annual sales meeting up in Canada at my day job is complete so I will not have to try to lose weight on restaurant food or on big meals Lorena prepares for visitors. I actually did better than I usually do and currently at my lowest weight since I started the diet-16.5 lbs. lost. Only 44.5 lbs. to go.
In addition to the diet thing and my day job, I have a couple of side projects (a development project with my buddy Gene I plan to chronicle quite a bit more and a, believe or not, real estate project with my buddy Mark P.), and a three or four more remodel projects. So, I plan to write on all this until one of the side projects turns into a business and/or I retire and continue to try to find a work from home business. Over the next couple of days I will talk about the development stuff Gene and I are doing and the business idea/model behind it.
Life is getting back to normal in the Chapman household. I guess I should make the caveat that it is about as normal as is possible based on adherence to the recently adopted New Year’s resolution to which I hope to stick. Lorena does not really have that first of the year resolution life modification thing because she sticks to what she is doing through thick and thin. Nevertheless, after one pretty big fall from the wagon and a brief smaller one, both due to visits and special circumstances, I am back in the game and hit a new “this diet” low in my quest to lose over sixty pounds.
My work is back in full swing with a trip to Canada and tentative trips to China and North Carolina in the works. I work on stuff that is of great interest to me and that is a gift. It is enough of a gift that I actually work on it as a hobby, too. Hopefully, within the next few months, I will be able to write about the hobby project some more because it is something that could have a fairly high level of interest for those in certain small businesses and maybe even for those with serious coffee snobbery. More on that when we (my buddy Gene and I) have more to show.
In the meantime, we continue with our home improvement projects. The entry to the house now looks less like an overgrown vacant lot, but only a little bit less like that. This month there is some good chance we will have all the new floors installed in our house, but that will depend on how often I have to travel and/or am stuck at home by myself while Lorena visits her mom in Mexico.
Lorena has had a long term goal of rowing 12k meters in an hour on a Concept II rowing machine. She is very close to meeting that goal. This is the snapshot she took at the end of her workout on January first. She thinks she should be able to make it within a month or so. She continues to row faithfully and has done so for over ten years now. It took her several years to get to the point where she could row for sixty minutes without stopping, but she does that two or three times per week these days and then works the elliptical machine for one or two additional days. She puts me to shame. We are going to celebrate when she hits 12k.
Today, I was down just a little over ten pounds from my highest weight. Just wanted to mark the event.
After a few days of experimentation (and actual usage), I finally have the treadmill set up in a way that works for me. Bob helped me move the treadmill downstairs, then I futzed with a way to read my Kindle for three days before I got something that actually works. I used a suction pad from the base of a cell phone holder to hold the Kindle in exactly the right place to read when I walk. Now all I need is some decent new books to read. I am about a quarter of the way through a good one and I have another good one coming in January, but I am going to need a lot more if I stick to this. It is helping my weight-loss plan quite a lot, too. This combined with the Fitbit allows me to keep my calorie output well above my calorie intake by quite a bit.
I got my new Fitbit a week or so ago. Now that I am six months into my new job and have time to breath again, I have engaged again in an effort to lead a more healthy life. Bob and Gena lent me an industrial strength treadmill. Lorena is helping me eat healthier food in lower quantities. I have no more excuses. I have set my self a long term goal to get down sixty pounds and have posted (as is my wont) a graph of my weight progress. This time, though, I have also posted a graph of my daily step count and calorie deficit (calories out – calories in). Everyone tells me I should not way every day, but I am keeping track of everything else every day so I cannot help myself.
Here is the link to the permanent page for the 2017-2018 Weight Chart.
I keep breaking my “I have never weighed this much before” record and have decided to try to do something about it. I used the Fitbit Charge Kelly and Christian got for me quite successfully when I we lived in both Wilsonville and Lewisville so I decided to get another one. The problem was that it had a pretty lousy band that was not replaceable. My buddy, Dan in Texas used his Fitbit successfully, but ran into the same kinds of problems.
I ordered a Fitbit Blaze this afternoon to kickstart my new health and fitness plan. The other thing I am going to do when Christian is here is move the treadmill Bob lent us down to the bottom floor of the house from the garage where it is now getting too cold to use.
Sadly, I no longer have any excuses for avoiding exercise. Bob and Gena invited us over for dinner (of course) last Sunday and during the course of the conversation Bob tells me has a treadmill he is not using. Bob gets plenty of exercise at their property and he works out at the pool so he has no plans to use the treadmill for awhile. Honestly, these people are too good for us.
At any rate, not only does he offer to let me use it, the next Monday, he throws the thing in his van and brings it over. I have NO idea how he idea he did that. The thing is a true industrial strength treadmill and a marvel of engineering. He told me Gena helped him, but that makes it even more amazing. I helped him unload the thing into the garage and it took about all we had to do that. Those Northern California logger, Montana/Wyoming people are just made of sterner stuff than the rest of us.
So, as I was saying, I am now out of excuses. Today is the day I plug it in, turn it on and get started. Honestly, I am very grateful for the machine and it is going to be a big help. I will keep you posted on how it goes.
I saw on Facebook a friend had started using the program described in the book The Obesity Code. It is another one of those book that is more a way of eating than a diet book. It looked pretty interesting when I read the reviews and the blurbs about it, especially in terms of my current state in life and the philosophy what I know works best for me. So, I wrote my friend and email. He has been using the program for awhile now and getting really good results, not just in weight loss, but in also with his diabetes.
I ordered the book and plan to read through it and figure out what I think about it, but I am also going to stay in touch with my buddy to see how “sticky” the diet is. That is important to me because a lot of these diets are easy to maintain during weight loss, but motivation drops when you have to stay with something painful with no immediate positive feedback (weight loss) because the weight has been lost and the food was only good and interesting the first few weeks of the program. My friend seems to have good success with it for quite awhile now, so I have hope it might be good for me, too. I will keep you posted.
I got up early and walked to work where I spent several hours figuring out the technology we have available on our project will not allow us to do what we want to do. Lorena and I had a late breakfast and I walked back to the apartment to work on the sickle cell diagnosis project for CWRU. We are at the point where we need to start testing our system in the field to be continue to receive grant money. That means I am on a strict time schedule with a fairly continuous stream of small, but important short term deliveries. It is a little bit of a challenge right now with my day job, the house purchase and the move, but all I have to do is survive for three months of this and I actually might have done something good for humanity–Africa and India in particular. Of course, lots of people have the skills to do this kind of thing, so I am grateful to get the chance to do it.
That in addition to having lots of technical help from Kiwi.
I have been wearing the Fitbit Kelly and Christian got for me for a present a couple of years back and my miles/steps are pretty good during the week. I kind of fall off the wagon a little on the weekends because of volunteer programming and church, but I am going to try to remedy that starting tomorrow. I have not been so great on the diet end of things–that self denial thing is not nearly as fun as getting outside and getting some fresh air. Still, I am down about ten pounds from my high and going the right direction. My buddy Lyle W. and I are competing a little with the steps thing over the Internet, so that is a good thing too.
Down 7.4 of 60
After things started to settle down a little in our lives since the funeral, I had been trying to figure out what to do next. The folks were gone and the kids are on their own and are way too low maintenance for our taste (still going through withdrawal from their going off to college three years ago). Fortunately, I was recently selected to help a group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University and a company named HemexHealth develop a product with an incredible social mission. I really do not know much about how it all works (after all, I type for a living), but the product is designed to rapidly and inexpensively diagnosis sickle cell disease. I DO know how to do my part of the product and am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to such a noble endeavor.
It is going to be a ton of work, but this is exactly the type of project I love. If this is not a good hobby project, I do not know what is. The other thing it will do is take up enough time that maybe Lorena will fill some modicum of guilt about browbeating me into exercising so much. “It’s for a good cause honey and you know I program better with a belly full of biscuits and gravy!”
Down 7.4 of 60
I noticed something from one of the photos taken over the weekend of Grandpa Milo’s and Grandma Sarah’s funeral. I am WAY fat right now. There is really no excuse. So, at Lorena’s urging, I broke out the old fitbit and have set a goal again to lose 55 pounds (ouch). The good part of the whole deal is that we are moving this weekend to an apartment that is exactly one mile from work. There is a grocery store that is also one mile from work. If I can walk to work and back every day and also walk to the grocery store for lunch every day (I am doing that now), I will have put in four miles and reduced my gas bill. No down side to that.
My hope is that I can get back down to my weight when I left Oregon in a couple of months then spend until August losing the additional thirty pounds. It might be too ambitious because I love to eat too much. Still, I would rather walk a little more than back off on the food, so there is a modicum of hope that I can do this. I will keep you posted.