To The Edge of the Caloric Universe

My calories for the day (Monday, February 27) was 1,513. Which is 97 calories below my target of 1,610. I was cutting it close to the edge. My exercise afforded an additional 438 calories but I didn’t (and usually don’t) take advantage of those calories.

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

However, I did celebrate last week’s weight loss with beer.

Should I choose the Zombie Dust or the Space Dust?

Should I choose the Zombie Dust or the Space Dust?

Should I choose the Zombie Dust or the Space Dust. The Zombie Dust bottle has 197 calories whereas the Space Dust has 247 calories.

I selected the Space Dust. I had not enjoyed the Space Dust before and wanted to try it. However, it was almost too hoppy for my taste (if that is possible). I’ll need another bottle to adequately judge the taste. I’m not sure it was worth 247 calories when the Zombie Dust has 50 fewer calories.

Even so, the Space Dust pushed me almost to the edge of my caloric universe. Thankfully, I didn’t fall over as I stopped at one bottle of the 247 calories.

Blood Pressure

This morning I saw the lowest blood pressure reading I’ve seen in a very, very long time and maybe since my teenage years … 109/68 with a resting heart rate of 66. I don’t believe that I’ve seen that low of a number since I weight lifted in high school. Maybe my blood pressure was lower because I was young and weight lifting? And now, because I’m old and don’t lift weights the number is high? Maybe. But, I do know that it has always been high during my adult years.

I recall this one episode in my teenage years that involved my blood pressure. I must have been 18 years old and had lost a significant amount of weight and was actually thin during my senior year. I lifted weights at the local YMCA almost everyday and eat a low carb diet to lose the weight.

This was in the 1981 or so. Anyways, my grandparents had one of those blood pressure monitors not too dissimilar to what I have now. I recall that my dad took his reading and it was high, as did my mom and grandparents. Even my brother’s reading was high. When it was my turn, dad mocked me saying that my pressure would be sky high because all I did for exercise was weight lifting. He was not a fan of bodybuilding or weigh lifting. However, my reading was low enough that he didn’t even make a comment. I said, out loud, that weight lifting is the ticket to low blood pressure. I was probably too proud of myself at that moment.

Hopefully my blood pressure will go even lower.

Thank You

Thank you for everyone’s concern for my mom, who had a stroke last weekend. She was released from the hospital today. Her vision is slowly returning to normal. She has a long road to recovery but everyone seems certain she will make a full recovery.

Wishing Everyone a Great Day !!


To Begin the Week

176.1. Yay, I was blessed with weight loss this week. My eating was bad enough on Sunday (2/26) that I expected a mega gain. Instead, a loss. A true blessing. The total weight loss so far is 23.7 pounds since January 1, 2017. I have been at this effort for 8 weeks so my average is 2.96 pounds a week.

I’m glad to begin this fresh week. Things were a bit scrambled over this past weekend and I felt and sort of gave into a minor binge Sunday evening. This new and fresh week is opportunity to reset and regroup.

In past weight loss efforts I’ve floundered after about 8 weeks into the program. It’s time to strengthen resolve and effort to stay on track.

Sunday Dinner

I went out with my … first ex-wife … for a late lunch – early dinner on Sunday 2/26. Isn’t that strange? We remained friendly after the divorce in 1999. She married a good man and he’s fun to be around. They were in the neighborhood to drop off some stuff for our son, who still lives with me, and invited me to go with them. So cool.

We went to the Outback. I ordered the Alice Springs chicken and fries. It was so good but cost over eleven hundred calories. My eating wasn’t too good on that day with popcorn (air-popped) and handfuls of Spanish peanuts and yogurt.

I ended the day at 2,384 calories, which is 774 calories over my target of 1,610. And, there was no exercise that day to offset any calories.

That is why I feel blessed for the weight loss this week.

Calories for the week

  • Monday 2/20 : 1,200
  • Tuesday 2/21 : 1,295
  • Wednesday 2/22 : 1,160
  • Thursday 2/23 : 1,764
  • Friday 2/24 : 1,275
  • Saturday 2/25 : 1,351
  • Sunday 2/26 : 2,384

The total was 10,429 calories for the week. That averages to 1,490 a day. I was over the target on two days.

Exercise for the Week

I exercised on five days of the seven day week. I walked 25 miles for the week. On Friday 2/24 I was able to get in a C25K workout within the miles. It was the Week One Day One workout and it was enough for me. I did that workout on the treadmills at Planet Fitness, so I was able to ‘exercise’ my membership and get in a C25K work out at the same time.

Van Dwelling In the Hospital Parking Lot

My Mom had a series of small strokes on Saturday morning 2/25. She was taken to the hospital and clots were discovered after a series of MRI and CT scans. I spent most of the day on Saturday at the hospital, as did my siblings. The doctors say she will make a good recovery but the recovery will take time and there will be time spent in rehab.

While at the hospital I came upon this van. It looks like a van dweller van. There is a Honda generator mounted on the back of the van with an air conditioner in the penthouse top. The is also a Fan-Tastic fan mounted on the penthouse top as well.

Hospital parking lots are a popular safe place for van dwellers to park overnight. But this van did not move the entire weekend, so maybe it is used by a doctor, nurse or resident?

Possible Van Dweller in the hospital parking lot. Discovered on Sunday February 26, 2017.

Possible Van Dweller in the hospital parking lot. Discovered on Sunday February 26, 2017.

Wishing everyone a great week.


Not My Best Eating Day

Yesterday … February 23, 2017 was not my best eating day this week, so far. My calories rang up to 1,764 with no exercise.

The Friday lunch club meet yesterday, instead of today – Friday. The other members of the Lunch Club travel for their positions with the company and they are traveling today. So, we moved the Club meeting up a day so we can get in our office gossip for the week. We went to a local Mexican restaurant where I ordered an Arroz Con Pollo. I ate only have and estimated the calories at 514. It was really an order of grilled chicken with a cheese sauce.

And, it was Family Night for my family, where the kids come over for dinner and to hang out. Although I had a salad for dinner, there were fried onion rings on the table and I helped myself to a few.

Of course I tracked everything. I was 154 calories over my 1,610 target. I stopped eating once I surpassed the target with that last onion ring. Had I not been tracking I would have eaten more.

Exercise Today

I plan on getting some walking miles today. I may even try to run through a C25K workout. I intend to walk two miles during lunch and at least three miles after work. I do hear the weather is supposed to change from a high in the 60’s this morning to low’s in the 30’s this evening. So, I should get in two lunch miles in warm weather and three after work miles in cold weather. Should be interesting.

Blood Pressure

The blood pressure was high again this morning … 126/78 with a resting heart rate of 61. I’m happy about the resting heart rate … the lower the better. But, not sure why the blood pressure is higher. Although there was some anxiety creeping around my psyche this morning. Don’t know where that was coming from.

A Bonsai Tree

I know this is a strange connection … but ever since I got caught up in that Amazon site and found how easy it is to buy books to excite my bibliomania, I ‘discovered’ Bonsai and how easy it is to order a tree and have it shipped to my house.

Silly, isn’t it?

Anyways, I thought a Bonsai tree would look cute hanging out in the kitchen and so I ordered one. It came in the mail the other day.

My first Bonsai Tree ... photo taken February 23, 2017.

My first Bonsai Tree … photo taken February 23, 2017.

Wishing everyone a great Friday and even greater weekend … !

Better Day

Yesterday was a better day. I wasn’t tangled in an emotional cloud that offered to derail my weight loss effort. Instead, it was a rather normal day, other than the lingering raw emotions of the day before.


Yesterday, I ended the day at 1,160 calories. There was the usual Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch, chunk chicken salad for dinner and a Yoplait french vanilla yogurt for a bed time snack. I was 450 calories below my target of 1,610. By the time I was done eating the yogurt before bed I was full.


Yesterday, I was able to get in a two mile walk during lunch. And was able to get in a three mile walk after work. It was such a pleasant day to walk on the fitness path. There were several people running, some running with dogs. One day I will run but probably not with a dog. Right now, however, I’m enjoying just the walking. But I realize that I need to graduate to the next level and run.

Sunset on February 22, 2017. Photo taken from Freedom Park in Greenwood, Indiana.

Sunset on February 22, 2017. Photo taken from Freedom Park in Greenwood, Indiana.

The Friday lunch club meets today since most everyone (except for me) will be out on Friday. So, I won’t be able to get in my two mile walk during lunch today. And, it’s Family night so all the kids are coming over for dinner. So, there won’t be time to walk this evening either.

Homework & Taxes

Last night was kind of strange. I had ‘homework’. Interesting concept to bring work home to finish. I realize that many people do it. And, in my early years as a graphic artist and web developer I would bring work home every night and on weekends. But, now, I hardly bring work home as I can finished everything at the office. Occasionally I will stay late to complete a project but usually everything gets done.

However, I’m crushed on a tight deadline and needed the extra time at home to record a narration for a video presentation due on Monday 2/27. In a production like this, the narration is the first element to be complete as it is the foundation on which the entire production is built on. So it had to be as quickly as possible.

On top of the homework, I needed to gather all my tax documents to give to the accountant  today. I try to keep all my tax papers in a single file for quick gathering at tax time. But, somehow, that never seems to work out as I envision. So, there was a lot of scrambling looking for this and that document. Eventually, I found everything. Thankfully.

Blood Pressure

This morning the blood pressure was 116/76 with a resting heart rate of 64. Strange. Yesterday it was about 10 points higher. I know I was stressed about the confrontations I had on Tuesday. I would have thought that homework and taxes would push the blood pressure even higher due to the related stress. But, apparently not. Strange.

Random Photo

This is a detail of one of my drip/splatter paintings. In the center of the frame is, what appears to be, a whale leaping over a green fence. The whale is wearing a small white cap and has a small beady black eye.

Totally random splatter and drip. So cool that randomly dripping and splattering paint formed this little picture within a larger painting.

Andry whaleLooks like an angry whale wearing a white cap with beady black eye is leaping over a green fence in this detail of one of my drip/splatter paintings.

Looks like an angry whale wearing a white cap with beady black eye is leaping over a green fence in this detail of one of my drip/splatter paintings.

Wishing everyone a great Thursday !!

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?


A Pleasant Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blood Pressure

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



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


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

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

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

Van Dwelling


A van … possible van dweller?


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

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

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

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

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


Well, wishing everyone a great day !!

7th Week Review

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

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

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

Calories for February 13 – 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Body Mass Index

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Non Scale Victories

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

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

Blood Pressure

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


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

Living and Learning

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

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

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

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

Maybe that is a binge?

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

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

“Live and learn” as they say.


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

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

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

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

Wishing everyone a great day!!

Calories of Love & NYC

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

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

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

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

Forty-Four Calories of Love

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

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

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

But, just curious for the sake of curiosity.

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

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


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

New York City 

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all cheer on the Strong Chick!

Wishing everyone a great day !!

I Make It a Good Day or a Bad Bay


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

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

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

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

Heart Attack

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

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

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

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

My Bibliomania

Ah so … I bought two new books.

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


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

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

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

Wishing everyone a great day !!