Wonderful Euphoria

So … yesterday was a good eating day.

  • Slim Fast shake for breakfast (180 calories)
  • Slim Fast shake for lunch (180 calories)
  • Salad kit with canned chicken (800 calories)

I know the Slim Fast is 180 calories per shake. But, I didn’t examine the numbers for the bag of salad and can of chicken. I just mixed it together and stirred it around. It was a salad and it was good enough.

Yesterday, I noticed a bit of euphoria. Maybe it was more ‘mania’ than euphoria but for some reason the world seemed to be a brighter place.

For context, I haven’t felt any kind of mania or euphoria or much of any enthusiasm for (maybe) several years. I had a duration of extreme sadness for about six months in 2017. That ended when the doctor adjusted the depression meds. However, there really wasn’t any high points after the med adjustment. Everything has been neutral to me for a very long time.

But for some reason, yesterday, I felt mania, enthusiasm, some happiness, some excitement.

I suspect that (maybe) it could be from the calorie restriction of the past 13 days. I’ve read that restricting calories can cause euphoria. A quick google search revealed a few explanations from increased cortisol levels to better blood sugar regulation to improvements in brain functioning.

Another explanation could be that I conceived of a road trip to the Four Corners, stopping at the Preston Monument and the 3 Points on the southern Colorado border, with a stop at the Wichita Art Museum and time to poke around Dodge City in Kansas.

I even went as far as to schedule dates in late July, calculated mileage, checked into possible accommodations including hotels and campgrounds, even scoped Wal-Mart parking lots to overnight in. Looked up flights to Denver and Wichita and rental car prices.

I don’t suspect I will actually take the trip. I’m known for planning road trips to the nth degree but never embarking.

If the euphoria is a result of restricting calories or conceiving a road trip, it is wonderful.

Looking west on I-70 to the snow covered mountain peaks. Photos taken by Dave O in June 2015.

Looking west on I-70 to the snow covered Gore Range. Photos taken by Dave O in June 2015.




No Title For This Post #001

So … I am on the third day of my new No-Beer streak. It’s only been three days for this streak starting June 10 but the previous streak was eight days, starting June 1. I had two beers on June 9. So, in the past eleven days, I have had only two beers.

Go me.

Which is significant as two beers was a daily consumption and usually it was more than two beers.

But, since I’m now on an “eat less move more” kick, which really is an “eat fewer calories and burn more calories” kick, I decided to limit the beer calories.

I haven’t officially started to count calories but I am mindful of calories. So, today, I had a Slim Fast shake (180 calories) for breakfast and one for lunch (180 calories). For a snack, I had a McDonald’s breakfast burrito (290 calories) that someone gave me this morning and I just ate as a snack.

So, so far today my calorie count is 670, which is 41% of 1,600 calories, if I was limiting to 1,600 calories.

This evening, I will have a salad with canned chicken for about 800 calories.

Another photo from the Indy Pride Festival, 2018. Love this photo with the girl's expression and the reflections in her glasses.

Another photo from the Indy Pride Festival, 2018. Love this photo with the girl’s expression and the reflections in her glasses. Photo by me.

A friend asked if there was a correlation between the lack of fruits and vegetables in my diet and the depression I suffer from. I suppose it would be an easy connection as he isn’t depressed and eats a lot of fruits and vegetables. Since I don’t and I have depression, there must be some sort of connection.

C’Est La Vie.

A Better Day in Regards to Calories

Monday, March 6, was a better day. I kept my calories to 1,326 for the day. And, I didn’t drink any beer. I was 284 calories below my 1,610 target. I was able to get in 5 miles of walking for 436 calories. I didn’t cash in the exercise calories.

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

Need to Tighten the Belt

As I tighten my calorie belt I also need to tighten my financial belt. I try to pay cash for my daily needs such as groceries, eating out, books, gas, clothes and the countless other things any person needs on a daily basis. But the water heater was an unexpected expense. In addition to the water heater, I recently loaned out some money. Those two expenses have caused my comfort dollar balance to sink into the red zone.

Other than taking people out to eat, I lead a relativity frugal life. I don’t have many vices. Although at one point in my life I drank too much. And, other than the drinking over this past weekend, I don’t spend much money on beer. Whereas, before January 1, 2017, I commonly spent $50+ a week on beer. Even my food expense (other than the eating out with friends and family) has dropped since I only drink Slim Fast and water, and eat chunk chicken salad at home and yogurt.

However, I do have some expenses that could be considered frivolous. I do buy paint and other home improvement stuff on a regular basis. This includes furring strips that I use in my canvas stretcher frames, wood glue, screws, clamps. I don’t know if I can stop doing that as it is one of the few things that I sincerely enjoy. But, I could scale back.

So, I will need to outline a better spending plan. But some of things I can do immediately are

  • Delay the purchase of the Nikon A-900 camera.
  • Delay the purchase of the Garmin or Fitbit.
  • Cancel the subscription to the Apple music service.
  • Cancel the cable tv. I only have basic cable package that offers only the local channels. But, according to some people, I can get more local channels from the air than I can from cable.
  • Don’t loan out any more money.
  • Instead of doubling up on the kid’s student loans, maybe I will just pay the minimum for a while.
  • Stop buying books on Amazon until I’ve read all the books I’ve already bought.

Thankfully, I’m current on all the my loan and utility payments. Hopefully I won’t have any major car expenses in the near future. In 2016, there was about $2,000 in car repair and maintenance expenses. I drive a 2000 Honda Civic, I hear they last forever, so there is no need for a new car in the near future. Although, I can still dream.

It will take a while to climb out of the red zone as I have several large expenses (property taxes and auto and home insurance) coming up later this month and in April. I really should start saving money each month for these expenses as they are rather large one-time payments.

Blood Pressure

The blood pressure was high this morning at 123/77 with a resting heart rate of 62. Maybe I was tense because of the money issues … maybe

Random Photo

Hopefully the sky from today’s lunch time two mile walk is not an indicator of things to come. There has been a lot of rain and storms tracking through central Indiana. It is supposed to dip into the 30’s with possibility of snow this weekend. Winter still has a grip.

Storm clouds over Freedom Park, Greenwood Indiana. Photo taken about 11:50 am. View is looking southwest. The Water Springs water park is in the foreground.

Storm clouds over Freedom Park, Greenwood Indiana. Photo taken about 11:50 am. View is looking southwest. The Water Springs water park is in the foreground.

Wishing everyone a great day.


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?


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 !!


Another Birthday Party

I’ve noticed that people have birthdays. And, birthday parties. Why have I never noticed this before?

Of course I know people have birthdays. I have one myself. But when you are trying to lose weight, count calories, exercise more and watch the number on the scale, birthdays and birthday parties are something to be concerned about.

Last night I went to a birthday party and had a slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream. It was the polite thing to do. The host had gone to great lengths to make it a special occasion. I was given a corner piece birthday cake! I ate all the cake but was careful to cut out most of the icing. And it was so very good. Very good. Thankfully, there was a reserve of will power to not help myself to seconds. And, there was mega reserve of will power to resist the beer that was offered.

Calories for Thursday February 9, 2017

Even with the slice of birthday cake and ice cream, my calories totaled 1,535 for the day. I had Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch, the birthday cake and ice cream at the party and then a salad from Steak N Shake after the party. I didn’t snack so no snacking calories.

The 1,535 calorie total is just below my 1,610 target. I’m thankful that I was under the target with the birthday party calories included in the total.

Exercise for Thursday February 9, 2017

I was afraid that I would not be able to exercise on Thursday 2/9. The winter weather was almost too cold for outside walking. So I thought I would bail out of the lunch time walking. Yet, at noon, the sun was bright and it seemed surprisingly warm and inviting.

However, that was deceptive as the air temperature was only 19°F and the stiff gusty wind created a deep wind chill. Even so, I managed to walk two miles during lunch. And, oh my, it was cold.

The birthday party was scheduled for 6:30 pm. My shift at the office ends at 5:15 pm. So, there was enough time to get at least two walking miles before the party. The wind had died done by the time I started the evening walk. But, it was still very cold, maybe 23°F. As a bonus for being out in the cold, I squeezed in three miles of evening walking.

So, I totaled five walking miles for the day. According to MFP the file miles of walking burnt 453 calories.

The total walking miles for this week is 16, so far. Unfortunately, I will not be able to walk or exercise in any capacity today (Friday 2/10). The Lunch Club meets today and I have a date this evening, so there won’t be any opportunity to exercise.

Wishing everyone a great day !!

Zombie Dust and the Reality of Calorie Counting

A friend brought me two six packs of Zombie Dust.

Zombie Dust is a rugged pale ale brewed by the Three Floyds in Munster, Indiana. I’ve searched high and low for a bottle. The Dust is hard to come by. Never been able to grab one. Been close a few times. Went to the brewery to get a bottle but they were sold out. What !!?

Last night I had my first bottle.

It wasn’t quite orgasmic … but very close.

Of course, I wondered what the calories were in the bottle. How many floated in the pale ale? I looked up the calories in MFP. The listing estimated the calories at 190 calories per 100 ml. This web site estimates a bottle at 186 calories. I entered 190 calories in my day’s total.

The Reality of Calorie Counting

You never really know how my calories you are eating, do you?

I can look up every food, measure everything but still not know the exact calorie count. It is all an estimation.

Yet, when I estimate the calories, as in the bottle of Zombie Dust, even though slightly inaccurate, probably inaccurate, I know that it’s a close guess.

190 calories is a good estimate for Zombie Dust. One bottle at 190 calories is acceptable. Two bottles at 380 calories is ok in some circumstances. Three bottles at 570 is pushing the limit and four bottles at 760 calories has become a meal.

760 empty calories from the goodness of Zombie Dust in one episode is not acceptable if I want to get thin. Yet, not too long ago, that is how I drank beer.

So, the reality of calorie counting, although probably inaccurate to the ninth calorie, is that it leads to portion control, which leads to weight loss.

Zombie Dust ... estimated 190 calories per bottle.

Zombie Dust … estimated 190 calories per bottle.

Calories for Monday, January 23, 2017

My total calories for yesterday was 1,625. That is 15 calories over my target of 1,610. And, those 15 calories came from the bottle of Zombie Dust.


My ex-wife sends a text. She wants me to search for a photo taken in 2004 during our trip to Washington DC. During that trip I snapped a photo of her with the Washington Monument in the background. The photo was well exposed and sharp in focus. And, it was a great photo of her as she was at her lowest weight.

We were both on Weight Watchers at the time and lost significant amount weight, tracking points and exercising. She lost over 70 pounds and we almost got to our life time goals. She was so very pretty, and young, vibrant, cute, sexy. I miss those days.

Yet, life moves on. We went off Weight Watchers and gained back the weight. She fell in love with someone else and left.

She is now focused on losing weight and joined the local YMCA. She wanted a photo of her at her lowest weight so she could have a visual goal. She said she would hang the photo on the refrigerant to remind her of how she once looked. I wish her the best. I know it can happen.

I was at my lowest weight at that time as well. I believe it was about 140 pounds. I plan to get back ‘down there’. I didn’t enjoy looking at the photos of myself during that trip as it brought guilt for having gained the weight back.

Blood Pressure

I’ll close this post with my morning blood pressure reading … 116/82 with a resting heart rate of 71.


Bad Eating but a Small Victory

Yesterday, Tuesday January 10, 2017 was a bad eating day. I was 132 calories over my 1,610 goal. And, no exercise to offset the overload of calories.

I was hungry for most of the day. And a little dizzy. Just tired, feeling ragged. I had the usual Slim Fast shakes for breakfast and lunch. But, I added an Atkins protein bar to lunch because I was so hungry. After work, I quickly ate a small salad before I had to be at a dinner/birthday party. There was no time to eat a grilled chicken dinner like I would have wanted to do. There was pizza and salad, ice cream and birthday cake at the dinner/birthday party. I ate small portions of everything.

Even though my eating wasn’t the best, I did see a slight victory. That is, my portions were small and in control at the dinner/birthday party. Just two slices of pizza, a small salad, one scoop of ice cream and a small slice of cake. And, I drank a bottle of water.

Usually, at events like this, I would eat until I was totally stuffed. At least four or five slices of pizza and more and more ice cream and cake. And, at least a few beers.

But last night, I felt like I was in control of my eating, even though it wasn’t the kind of eating I want to do now that I’m trying to lose weight.

Plus, there was no time to exercise. Although I wouldn’t have walked outside around the neighborhood since a strange thunderstorm was passing over central Indiana. So strange to see lightning in the sky during January. It felt more like mid April than early January. Although I could have jumped on the Max Trainer. But I was so tired that I just went to bed the moment I got home.

Blood Pressure

Wow. 108/78 with a resting heart rate of 69. Wow. I believe that is ‘normal’. Wow. I haven’t seen a normal reading in a very long time. I did take my blood pressure meds just before taking the reading. I’m sure that had an effect. But still, normal blood pressure after 11 days on the program … wow.

How Many Calories In …

According to the Hersey web site, there are 200 calories in 11 of the Reese’s Mini Cups. So, each one has about 19 calories. The Calorie King website reports there are 220 calories in 5 of the mini cups at 44 calories each.

According to the Calorie King website, a single Hershey Milk Chocolate Kiss has 22 calories of goodness. I couldn’t find any calorie information on the Kiss on the Hershey website.

Wow. I’ve eating a lot of these candies over the years. At least I know now what I was eating and how many calories.

And, I did not eat these two delicious candies even though they called out to me. I just took their photo.


A Hershey Kiss and Reese Mini Peanut Butter Cup