End of March

Ah … the last day of March. There have been 90 days so far this year. From January 1 – March 31. Have they been good days? Yes, for the most part. A couple of days were spent down with the flu. Some days were bitterly cold but otherwise the winter has been mild. The few days of Spring have been chilled and wet.

I had goals for this month. They were :

  • Lose 6 pounds.
  • Complete the first week of the C25K program.
  • Continue to track calories everyday.
  • Blog at least 5 times a week.

Lose 6 Pounds

I entered March weighing 176.1 pounds. At least my last weigh-in was on February 27. My last weight-in of March was on March 27 at 169.0. 176.1 – 169.0 = 7.1. So, I lost 7.1 pounds during March.

Complete the First Week of the C25K Program

I did the first workout in the C25K program on March 10. The second workout was on March 12. The third workout was on March 14. So, I did complete the first week of the C25K program. As a bonus, I also completed the second week of the program.

Continue to Track Calories Everyday

I did, in fact, track calories everyday, including today. I’ve tracked my 190 calories Slim Fast breakfast shake. Will track whatever my lunch and dinner count is.

Blog At Least 5 Times a Week

With the inclusion of this blog post, there are 21 posts for the month of March. And, that is dependent on if I counted right as I haven’t come across an easily seen WordPress stat for blog posts in a month – I’m sure there is – I just haven’t come across it. Since there are 4 weeks in the month, 21 / 4 = 5.25 blog posts a week. So, I blogged at least 5 times a week.


I met all four goals. I lost 7.1 pounds, completed the first week of the C25K, tracked calories everyday and blogged 5 times a week.


Am I happy? Yes, of course. I set measurable, specific goals with a reasonable time frame. And, I met all goals. I am happy.

However, I could have done better.

  • I should have lost more weight. But, due to my beer consumption, which I faithfully tracked, I didn’t lose as much weight as I did in January and February.
  • I did exceed the C25K goal by completing the second week.
  • Could have blogged more. Blogging helps with my internal monologue and helps refine my thinking. I usually blog when I’m at work and in front of a computer. I hardly sit in front of a computer on the weekends so I usually don’t blog during the weekends. Could have.
  • I did track calories everyday so there is not much more I could have done there.

Overall, I believe I did ok. Could have lost more weight and run more and blogged more but I will be happy with these results.

Random Photo

I was looking through old photos and came across this photo of a photographer taking pictures of a young couple, which is out of the frame. The setting was the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Museum on a beautiful November day in 2015.

Captured this photographer as she was taking photos of a couple, probably engagement photos.

Captured this photographer as she was taking photos of a couple, probably engagement photos. Photo taken on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Photo taken on November 1, 2015.

Wishing everyone a great day!!

Moving On Thursday

I woke up at 4:45 am this morning. After a quick mental debate I decided to get up and take a walk. So, I walked three miles around the neighborhood. It was very pleasant with temperatures in the low 50s.

I’ve completed my five miles today as I was able to get out and walk two miles during lunch. A thunderstorm has passed through mid morning and I wasn’t certain if the weather would allow a lunch time walk. Thankfully, it did.

So, for today, I have 420 exercise calories on the books. My eating calories are at 390 so far. That includes a Slim Fast shake at 190 calories for breakfast and a protein bar for lunch at 200 calories.

So, at this moment, I have a deficit of 30 calories for the day. My total calories for the day will be normal, as it is the weekly Thursday night Family Night and we will probably go out to diner somewhere.

Calories for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

For yesterday, my eating calorie total was 1,496. That is 114 calories below my target. I ran the same eating plan as the day before. A Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, two beers before dinner and a chunk chicken salad for dinner. The beer came from the New Glarus Brewery in Wisconsin. Recently, a friend traveled through Wisconsin and picked up a sampler case for me.

Sampler case of New Glarus Brewing Company, one of my favorite breweries.

Sampler case of New Glarus Brewing Company, one of my favorite breweries.

The two beers totaled 300 calories. So, it wasn’t a huge hit on the budget. To compare, a tall Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee from Starbucks is 230 calories with low fat milk and now whip. Add whole milk and whip the calories ring in at 340 calories (according to this web site).

I choose the beer. About the same calories.

My exercise calories for the day was 420 for the five mile walk, three in the morning and two at lunch.

I did not count the calories from the hour that I was walking around the yard pushing a drop spreader. It is time to apply weed control and fertilizer to the yard and yesterday was a great day to do so.

Blood Pressure

This morning, the blood pressure was 101/67 with a resting heart rate of 66. Wow. Could be the lowest reading in recent memory.

Wishing everyone a great day.

Lost The Auction

Yesterday, I shared how I stumbled onto an original oil painting that I needed to own. It was selling on eBay and I placed a bid and eventually won the auction. I also tuned into two other original paintings created by the same artist that I also wanted to own. So I placed bids in those auctions.

The euphoria from winning the first auction was a pleasant rush. And so, I wanted to feel that rush again and win the next two auctions.

However, I was outbid in both auctions.

Since I wasn’t monitoring in real time I didn’t realize I was outbid in both auctions until I turned on the computer this morning and read the emails. By then the auctions had ended.


This could be a learning experience. If I continue with eBay auction, maybe I should download the eBay app and monitor auctions over the phone when I’m not in front of a computer.  Or maybe I should have a better ‘maximum bid’ strategy. Or maybe I shouldn’t get all worked up for the resulting rush of winning an auction.

Googly Pet

I did receive a package in the mail yesterday. It was a Googly Pet. I bought this happy little creature from Amazon. How can you not smile with this squishy hairy lion!

A Googly Pet arrived in the mail on March 28, 2017, from Amazon.

A Googly Pet arrived in the mail on March 28, 2017, from Amazon.

Calories for Tuesday March 28, 2017

I ended the day at 1,851 calories. That is 241 calories above my 1,610 calorie target. I had the usual Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, a rather large glass of Samuel Adams Rebel IPA (on tap) and a rather large grilled chicken salad for dinner.

The beer was 396 calories for its 24 ounces of mental and hoppy goodness. If I only had 12 ounces of the Rebel IPA the calories would have been only 198. Even so, I still would have been over my daily target. In this case, the only way I could have stayed under the daily target would to have cut out the beer entirely and choose a calorie free soft drink or water.

I did have 421 calories of exercise (from 100 minutes of walking) that could offset the 1,851 eating calories. Had I applied the exercise calories to the eating calories I would have been under the daily target by 180 calories. However, I choose not to ‘eat’ my exercise calories.

I did drink the beer, though.

Exercising This Morning

I started walking at 5:05 am (Wednesday 3/29). I walked a mile (one lap around the neighborhood) and then started the Week 2 Day 3 of the C25K program. I finished the ‘run’ (actually a run 90 seconds – walk 90 seconds – 3x) with an average pace of 14:14 with a total distance of 1.95 miles.

It was an enjoyable time. Quiet, warm at 54°F. Sort of gave me an energetic morning boost.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can run a 5K again.

Wishing everyone a great and happy day !!

Highest Bidder

I recently stumbled into ebay. Of course, I’ve known about eBay since it’s inception so long ago. Yet, I’ve never felt the need or desire to buy or bid.

Until recently my only experience with eBay was about 14 years ago. I placed a rather high bid on an old Wollensak tape recorded. I was going to buy it and give it to my dad as a Christmas gift. He had a Wollensak when he was a kid.

The bid was high. High enough that no one else would probably want to pay that price. Yet, as I learn later, the ability to ‘snipe’ was aggressive on that auction. While I watched the final seconds tick away my bid was outplayed by a $.05 higher bid. There was no time to place another bid. I was devastated as my unique Christmas gift to my Dad was bought by someone else.

I never returned to eBay after that experience.

Of course, I was naive. And, I was not willing to spend the time or money, nor did I have the desire to learn how to successfully move through an eBay auction. My only connection to eBay afterwards was Weird Al’s eBay song from his Poodle Hat CD.

Yet, I recently stumbled onto a painting that I wanted to buy. It was selling on an eBay auction. Even with my long past bad experience, I thought I would take another plunge into the world of eBay and so I placed a bid. I placed what I consider to be a fair bid, the money I was willing to spend on this painting. It was a small abstract. It fit my mood and depression at the time. That is why I was eager to own it.

Bad screen shot of a painting that I purchased from an eBay auction. Painting by Claire McElveen.

Bad screen shot of a painting that I purchased from an eBay auction. Painting by Claire McElveen. Her web site is http://www.mcelveenstudioart.com.

The auction was ending a few hours after I placed my bid. Later that evening I received a confirmation email that I was the ‘winner’. I did a happy dance.

The painting should arrive in the mail this week.

Calories for Monday, March 27, 2017

I ended the day at 1,491 calories. That is slightly below my 1,610 target by 119 calories. Although, it wasn’t my best eating day. I had a Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, two Zombie Dust bottles of beer for ‘cocktail’ hour and a chucked chicken salad for dinner. I suppose the two bottles of Zombie Dust (2 x 190 = 360 calories) wasn’t the best choice but they were so good.

Exercise for Monday, March 27, 2017

I was able to exercise. I believe it was the first time in five days that I felt energetic enough to do some exercise. I walked a total of four miles. During the for miles I was able to get in a C25K session, Week 2 Day 2. So, I walked and ran, although the running was about 6 minutes spread over 28 minutes. Yet, it was enough for me at the moment.

Wishing everyone a great day !!

How Many Calories?

In a Halls Triple Action Menthol Drop? According to the Halls web site there is 15 calories in each drop.

Other than a Slim Fast shake for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, another protein bar for an afternoon snack, and some air-popped popcorn for diner, I’ve been living on these red little Halls drops in the last 36 hours.

My total calories for Wednesday, March 22, 2017 were 910. I didn’t feel like eating a salad last night so I opted for popcorn. After popcorn, I was fast asleep.

And, I didn’t count all the Halls Triple Action Menthol drops I’ve consumed. Maybe I should?


Halls Triple Action Menthol Drop. Had 15 calories of soothing throat and sinus clearing goodness.

The flu/cold/yuk bug continues. I don’t feel any energy, any motivation, any desire. Other than to sleep. I haven’t exercised in the last two days. Office mates and friends have similar bugs. The Health People say something is going around.

Just in case anyone is wondering, the parent company of Halls Triple Action Menthol Drops (at 15 calories each) and the Halls product family brand is Mondelez International, headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey. They are listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker MDLZ and currently trading at $44.18 per share.  Disclosure … I don’t own any MDLZ shares. However, I may look into buying a few. I’m not giving any market or financial advice – just saying I am consuming a good quantity of their Halls Triple Action Menthol Drops.

Wishing everyone a healthy bug free day!


I thought I was over this flu – yuk bug. But, apparently not. Yesterday afternoon I felt it coming back on. It started with a few body aches. Then it moved into a sore throat that grew worse as the afternoon developed. I was wiped out by the moment I got home. A quick dinner and I was out.

I overslept this morning by forty-five minutes. I was late to work by thirty minutes. I’m feeling somewhat better this morning. Hopefully this Yuk bug will quickly fly away.

Several people in the office have this Bug. Some even stayed home for a few days. I wanted to stay home today. While I was wrestling with my left brain about staying home, all I could see is my dad whipping me into submission saying “get up and get to work – you are not as sick as you feel”.

That has been my driving force for my entire working career. Only a few times have I stayed home due to illness since 1986 when I entered the work force after college.

And, so, I made it to work today. I was late but still made it in. Of course, I left my DayQuil at home. So, I’ll need to run to the store to buy some more to make it through the day.

And, of course, I’ll need to skip the walking workouts today. I’ll skip the lunch time walk and most likely the evening walk. I don’t have the energy.

My calories for yesterday, March 21, 2017 were 1,071. Typical Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch. Typical chopped salad and chicken for dinner. I didn’t have the energy to eat more after the salad. I was asleep shortly afterwards.

Fortunately, I was able to walk my typical five miles yesterday. There was a three mile walk in the morning before work and a two mile walk at lunch. I felt great after the morning walk. Although the lunch time walk was somewhat windy and cold. I started feeling ill after that walk. Maybe I ruffled the Yuk’s feathers.


New Hikers

I was up at 4:45 am this morning and out the door at 5:05 am for a 60 minute walk around the dark, foggy but slightly warm neighborhood. For that effort, I burned 256 early morning calories.

As I walked, I thought that maybe I should run. Or at least attempt to run. But, instead, I enjoyed the walk, listening to a John MacArthur sermon and then switching over to some music by Phil Wickman. I also heard early morning song birds, a sign of Spring.

Maybe I will try a run this evening. My next C25K workout is Week 2 Day 2.

Calories for Monday March 20, 2017

I ended the first day of Spring 2017 with 1,261 calories. That is 349 calories below my daily target. There was the usual Slim Fast shake for lunch and breakfast. And, a large salad with chunk chicken for dinner. I also indulged in a beer, a Zombie Dust pale ale. The beer added 190 calories to the board.

For exercise, I walked five miles; three in the evening after work and two during my lunch break. The effort burnt 426 calories.

New Hikers

I wear ‘hiking’ shoes at work. They go well with my khakis. Some people in the office wear typical dress shoes, some people where sneakers. Since I usually walk during lunch and after work, I walk in my ‘office hikers’. I don’t take a pair of running or walking shoes to change into when I do my walking.

Anyways, with all the walking I’ve done since January 1 the hiking shoes finally wore out. The tread was worn off, the uppers were dirty and it was time to buy a new pair.

So, I go to the local Shoe Carnival, where I bought my last pair of hikers. I quickly find a new pair of the same hikers, a Columbia brand, “Lakeview” model (YM-5143-231) for about $55. Actually, I got this pair for $28 since I also bought a pair of Merril Yokota Trail Ventilator hikers for about $75. I also bought some new socks to go along with the new hikers.

These hikers will be fine for my needs, in the office and walking around the fitness trail during lunch and after work.

Fresh pair of Columbia Lakeview Hikers bought on March 20, 2017 from Shoe Carnival.

Fresh pair of Columbia Lakeview Hikers bought on March 20, 2017 from Shoe Carnival.




A Little Sad

I am little sad today. Just a mild sadness. Thankfully. I don’t believe it is depression. I’ve been depressed and I fight depression almost every day. But now, I just feel sad. There is a difference between sadness and depression. But, hopefully,  this sadness will not evolve into a depression. It could. It has before. But, I’m working hard to avoid that.

I am sad because my ex-wife is upset with me. Isn’t that strange? My ex-wife is upset with me and I’m sad.

A mutual friend was slapped around and beaten by her boyfriend last week. She left him. She called me as a last resort. She stayed on the couch for a night. She wanted to rent the spare bedroom for a short time to reset. I agreed.

My ex-wife was not happy. She and our mutual friend had a falling out some years ago.

What was I suppose to do? Leave her on the street? Let her go somewhere else? At least in my home there is the peace, quiet and safety she needs.

I’ve been divorced for almost 2½ years but sorely miss ex-wife. We keep a good relationship even though we are divorced. I’m friends with her new love. I help them when they need help. I try to do what I can to support her and help her when needed.

But I still feel sad when I disappoint her.


171.2. There was only a loss of 0.6 pounds. This is well below the weekly average loss of 2.9 pounds. My total weight loss since January 1, 2017 is 28.6 pounds. My average weekly weight loss has fallen to 2.6 pounds.

So what happen?

I can think of a few things.

  • I had the flu for most of the week. It crept up last Monday (3/13) and lingered until Saturday (3/18). I dosed on DayQuil and NyQuil all week to get to work and stay at work.
  • My exercise was way down at only 17 miles of walking. Although I did manage to work through two C25K workouts.
  • I drank gallons of Diet Mountain Dew through the week. My water consumption was way down.
  • Had a generous serving of ice cream on Friday, on St. Patrick’s Day, which was my high calorie day for the week at 2,340 calories, which was 730 calories over my daily target of 1,610. Also, on that day, I had a healthy (?) Mac Daddy Burger from Between the Bun.

My total calories for the week was 10,275. That is a daily average of 1,467 calories. So, my calories were not whacked out in general. Just Friday’s calories were.

So, exercise is down, Diet Mountain Dew consumption is up. Weight loss is lower than normal. Not my best week but it’s my reality.

However, there are a few victories …

  • I was able to comfortably tighten the belt to the fifth notch.
  • I completed the Second Week Day 1 workout of the C25K program.
  • Only had one bottle of beer during the week.
  • Worked in the yard on a beautiful Sunday (3/19) afternoon

Hopefully the weight loss number will be better next week.

New Spring

This is the first day of Spring. Hopefully the new season will bring new hope and new sunshine.

Wishing everyone a happy Spring.





Feeling Better

I’m feeling better, thankfully. Last night I went to bed the moment I got home from work. I slept about 11 hours. Hopefully, the worst is over.

This is the second flu that I’ve had this year. The first was at the New Year and extended into the first week of the year. These two flu experiences were about 10 weeks apart.

Since I was not feeling well yesterday, I didn’t work out at all. So, my exercise calories was zero for the day. My eating calories for the day were normal, about 1,396.

Am I Losing Weight Too Fast

Someone said that maybe my immune system is weak because I am restricting calories and exercising too much. Is that possible? Exercise too much and eat too little?

I know it can happen. But, in my case, I believe I just picked up some kind of virus from someone or somewhere. And, maybe the weather has something to do with it as it has been warm and then cold and warm again. And, the latest cold snap was really cold with ambient temperatures in the high teens.

They also said that I’m losing weight too fast. Really? Can you lose weight too fast? How about not fast enough?

Currently, my average weekly weight loss is about 2.8 pounds. I’ve read the medical web sites that say a 1-2 pound loss is healthy and sustainable. Some sites extend the range to 1-3 pounds. So, I believe I’m ok with the 2.8 pounds a week. It might be on the high end of the range.

Other than this flu, I’m feeling great. I seem to have more energy (mental and physical) than I did before. I’ve cut back the amount of beer that I’m drinking since I count calories and beer has a lot of calories.

My blood pressure is way down. It hovered about 140/110 before. Now, it hovers below 120/80 on average.

They brought up the “S” word … starvation. They implied that I was starving myself.

I don’t believe so. I usually eat on a schedule. But I do eat. I’m not afraid to eat. I just want to eat less. And, I don’t restrict any kind of food. I’ve had beer, ice cream, cake, nuts, burgers, hot dogs, brats, salad, cheese, soft drinks and the list goes on. Seems like a normal diet to me.

And, I’m not a gym rat. Although I would like to be. In fact, I would like to get into strength training more seriously than I am. I might walk a lot (30 miles last week). But that is not unusual. Some people walk more. Some people walk across the United States.


Spring is on the schedule for Monday, March 20, 2017 at 6:29 A.M. EDT. Not a bad way to start a Monday.

Non Scale Victory

I have moved to the fifth and final notch on the belt. I was on the second notch when I started this weight loss effort on January 1, 2017. This means that I’ve lost an inch or two around my waist. Woo-Yoo !!

What will I do when the fifth notch become too loose? I believe I will poke a new, sixth hole in the belt. No need to buy a new belt. The one I have is a good leather belt. It can take a new hole.

Wishing everyone a great day, great weekend and a great Spring.

The Way I Roll

The topic of office conversation this morning is ‘left lane drivers’. And, of course, the conclusion, or condemnation, is that people who drive slower in the left lane are idiots, reckless and endanger the lives of those who drive faster in the left lane.

Like most people, I’ve driven my share of interstates. But, I’m the conservative driver that uses the posted speed limit as a measure of safety and thus keep my speed near that limit and usually under. So, I usually drive in the right lane.

At times, and as rare as they are, I need to pass a slower car or truck. So, I change to the left lane and pass the slower vehicle. Yet, I don’t speed up to do so. I stay at or near the speed limit.

It’s just the way I roll.

Oh, the criticism and condemnation.

Before I attempt to pass a slower driver I wait until the left land is clear as far as the eye can see, usually miles behind. This allows ample time to make the lane change and pass the slower vehicle.

Inevitable, while making the passing maneuver in the left land, a faster car, usually a truck or SUV, emerges from nowhere and rides my tail until I pass the slower car and the change back to the right lane. Then, I always hear the explosion of acceleration exhaust as the faster vehicle surges past, as though the driver is chastising me for being in the left lane and slowing him or her down.

When I voice my belief that left lane drivers use their speed and massive late modeled vehicles to bully slower drivers in small older cars, I’m usually assaulted with criticism and condemnation and advice to ‘just’ stay off the streets since I don’t know how to drive

Isn’t excessive speed the root cause of most accidents? Of course not, they say. It’s driver error. Usually the slower driver’s error.

Calories for Wednesday March 15, 2017

I wasn’t feeling all that great yesterday. I was so very cold no matter what I did to stay warm. It didn’t help that there was a 90 minute meeting in the shop where it is not heated well. Sitting in a cold metal chair did not help keep me warm.

I had my usual Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was a chopped salad and chunk chicken. After dinner I went immediately to sleep, so there was no bed time snack. So, I needed the day at 1,176 calories. That is 434 calories below the daily target of 1,610 calories.

Do you starve a cold and feed a flu? I’m not sure what I have, if anything. Maybe it is just in my head?

Exercise for Wednesday March 15, 2017

I did get out of bed and walk in the early morning. 60 minutes in the snow, the little there was. A wonderful walk. But, I wonder if it was why I started to feel dragged down and ragged. I started to feel as such immediately after the walk. So, the three miles in the morning is all that I mustered up for the day as exercise. There wasn’t a typical lunch period yesterday to get in a two mile lunch walk, as I was sitting in a metal chair on the cold shop floor.

Total miles for this week so far : 13.

I probably won’t add any miles to the tally today.

Total exercise calories for March 15, 2017 was 257,

I’m taking DayQuil to give myself a boost to make it through the day. Hopefully that will help until I get home and able to go back to bed. Chasing it with Diet Mountain Dew.

Not sure if this is the best idea ... but Diet Mountain Dew and DayQuil to help me through the day. Photo taken with the macro setting of the Camera+ app on the iPhone 7.

Not sure if this is the best idea … Diet Mountain Dew and DayQuil to help me through the day since I’m not feeling all that great. Photo taken with the macro setting of the Camera+ app on the iPhone 7.

Wishing everyone a great, illness free day !!