Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I used to be better at this

I've found myself in some weird head space the last couple of days.  Along with half of America I'm sure.

For those of you reading this in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Trump administration, It's been a week since the election.  I've been doing a fair amount of eating my feelings.  I'm getting hungrier and hungrier, and I'm not even trying to monitor my intake or exercise.

I'm also in a weird place at work.  Each week I plan 25 unique lessons for 15 different groups of students.  I'm stretched to my absolute limit and feel like this is unsustainable.  I never feel ready for my next class, I just always feel like I'm surviving.

At home, life can best be described by three words.  Stuff keeps breaking.  I've been biking and taking the bus a lot lately because my car has been acting up.  This is good for my health, but bad for my motivation.  A ten minute commute takes, at a minimum, thirty minutes now.  Our dishwasher and furnace both started acting up at the same time.  Oh, and we're at the beginning end of a basement remodel.  This weekend was installing an egress window.  Holy crap was that exhausting.

So thanks for reading my rant.  Since you stuck around I'll tell you why I'm really back here.


Every day Facebook tells me everything I said on that particular date.  Six years ago I linked to this post from my blog.  I weighed 238.6 pounds.  Over the course of about a year, I was able to lose about 60 pounds.  I felt good.  I was focused.  I was proud. 

Then I gained it all back.  And then gained some more.

I need to quit doing this to myself.  I achieved something once.  Maybe I can do it again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Back Slide

Seems like I just got started again and I'm already backsliding.  Okay, not much.  Tomorrow I'll tell you what the scale says this week. 

Claire was sick with whatever I had this whole week.  I'm a caretaker by nature, and when my sweetheart wanted ice cream, I got her ice cream.  Also, I got myself ice cream. 

Friday it was cookies, Saturday was trifle, Sunday was ice cream.  I feel pretty gross just writing it all down.  Monday morning I felt legitimately hung over. 

I think I need to treat sugar the way I treat alcohol.  Once in a while is fine, but if I have a lot of it every day I have a problem.

With the cookies in particular, I noticed I couldn't make myself feel satiated with whatever I ate afterward.  I could not feel full.  I felt stuffed.  I felt bloated.  But I still felt hungry.

The rest of this week I'm going to do my best to eat healthy.  Sweets in moderation, lots of water, lots of protein and fiber.  Then I'm going to England.  I'm not going to deprive myself while I'm there, but I know what sugar does to me, so I'm going to be careful with what I eat.

When I get back, I'm going to kick off a new 21-day Challenge.  No sweets for 21 days.  I'll still allow myself hidden sugar and other carbs, just no sweets.  They totally hijack my system and I don't need that crap in my body.

From there hopefully I can clean up the rest of my diet and get back into a consistent exercise regiment.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Delicious Dinner

Last night I made a really tasty dinner.  I'm so proud of it I'm going to share it with you.

It was grilled chicken with pico de gallo and cilantro lime quinoa.

Here are the parts:

About an hour before cooking, marinate four chicken breasts in equal parts lime juice and olive oil.  Dump in some salt and a tablespoon of garlic.

Grill until done (took me about 15 minutes on the gas grill)

Cilantro Lime Quinoa
Prepare your quinoa using the instructions on the package.  You can swap out chicken stock for water if you want to make it tastier.  Add the juice of one lime, half a bunch of cilantro, and sea salt to taste.

Pico de Gallo (make this while your other stuff is cooking)
Chop one onion, two tomatoes, two jalepeno peppers (throw away the seeds), the other half of that bunch of cilantro, and mix them together.  Add the juice of one lime and sea salt to taste. 

I like to serve it on the bed of quinoa with the pico on top.  Feel free to add tortilla chips, but be careful, they're not great for you.

In conclusion, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ankle Update

I went to the chiropractor yesterday.  I go every few months or if my back is hurting.  I talked to my chiropractor about my ankle.  She told me the spot that in pain probably wasn't in an area that could be adjusted, but she worked on it with the ultrasound.  I thought ultrasound was for imaging, but apparently there's another use.  She rubbed some kind of device on my ankle for maybe ten minutes and it felt like nothing was happening.  By the time I paid my co-pay my ankle felt like I'd just had an internal application of Icy-Hot.  It was weird.  I'm not a big fan of the sensation Icy-Hot causes.  It lasted for maybe an hour.  I've felt hardly any pain in my ankle since.  Hopefully, it stays relatively pain free.

She also suggested I wrap my ankle if I'm going to be on it and to ice it again.

I'm wishing I had gone to see the doctor about it when it happened.  I don't think there's any long-term damage, but looking back, it was kind of stupid to try to power through it.

Hindsight, Andrew.  Hindsight.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Weigh-In Results

I have been sick this week.  It's the kind of sick where for the most part my body has felt fine, but my lungs and throat decided they're trying to kill me.  It's sidelined my exercise ambitions a little, but I've been eating pretty okay.  Well... with the exception of THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.

Thursday was my birthday.  We went to a barbecue my realtor put on.  By the way, if anyone is looking to buy a house in the Twin Cities area, I can't recommend Becky Christensen enough.

I ate okay.  The worst thing I had was the sugar in the ketchup and the white bread in the buns I ate.  My kid, on the other hand, ate so much sugar she literally puked.  All over her mother.  Normally she eats pretty healthy, but it was a special occasion so she got fruit snacks and a juice box.  And YARK.

On Friday we had an electrician over and our power was out so we went out to Noodles and Company.  Holy carbohydrates!  Saturday my family took me out for my birthday at Sen Yai Sen Lek.  If you haven't been, go (if you're in Minnesota)!  So good!  I think pretty healthy too.  I got the Laab.  It looks like this and tastes like heaven.

Sunday we went to a Mexican restaurant for my wife's cousin's birthday.  The food was equally amazing and it filled my tummy.

I also had some cake and various other sweets my wife brought back from a baby shower.

I make no apologies.  I didn't eat the best, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  Instead, I'm going to hop on the scale and keep moving forward.

So what's the number?


I lost 2.8 pounds this week and 8 pounds total.

I actually weighed myself on Thursday at almost 2 pounds lighter than this, but my weekend of eating cost me 2 pounds.  I'm going to say it was worth it.  I didn't deprive myself and I'm ready for another week of healthy eating.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Where I'm Going

So I told you where I've been, and where I am.  It's time to tell you where I'm going.

If you recall from yesterday's post, I've been banking my posts.  This one will be published on Thursday.  "What's Thursday?"  You might ask.

To which I'll respond, "The day after Wednesday, named after the Norse god Thor."

"Wow, that's cool!  I didn't know that.  But what's so special about this Thursday?"

This Thursday is my birthday.  I'm turning 33.  So far I haven't had any major baggage with this birthday.  It's not a big milestone like the birthdays divisible by 10.  I'm still relatively young and healthy (other than my weight).  I like even numbers a little more than odd ones, but this one is divisible by 11 which is cool.  I'll take two threes in a row.  That seems lucky.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Sorry, let's get back to our regular programming.

I've already lost 5.4 pounds since I started blogging again.  I wish every week I could post as big of losses as the first week of eating right.  And do it without some biggest loser level scandal or major surgery.

I want to lose 1-2 pounds a week over the summer. I'm going to lose 1-2 pounds per week over the summer.  My overall goal this summer is to lose 30 pounds.  That would put me at 262.2 pounds by September.   Here's how I'm going to do it.

Last summer I cut sugar out of my diet almost entirely for a couple weeks.  Very few carbs, no sweets.  I waged war on anything carbohydrate.  This summer I'm taking a slightly different approach.

No sweets on a regular basis.

I'll eat less flour and hidden sugar as I can, but I'm not going to beat myself up for it.  The key is to keep as much sweet stuff out of my diet and hopefully my hunger level will go down at the same time.

I'm going to start exercising more too.  Step one there is to bike to work every day.  I biked once last week and my damn chain broke.  If that happens again, I'm ready.

After that, I'm going to try to get my exercise level up in other ways.  Claire has been doing kettle bell workouts.  Maybe I'll join her.

So that's my big secret.  Exercise and eat better.

That's not to say I won't indulge from time to time.  I'll probably eat something just awful for me tonight.

It is my birthday after all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Weigh In Results

Are you ready for a WEIGH IN?

Kind of?

I can't hear you!


This is how much I weighed as of Monday morning.  I've been banking my posts lately, as I get inspired on three or four different topics at once and I don't want to post them all at the same time or in the same post.

So this one is a little delayed, which means by the time I post this, I'll be even skinnier.  Hear that fat Andrew?  By the time this post hits the interwebs, you won't exist anymore.  In your place will be slightly less fat Andew.  I'm vanishing like the family in the photo in back to the future.  Just very slowly and only if I'm diligent.

So clearly I'm a little goofy right now.  Let's get down to the number.


I've lost 5.4 pounds so far!

So what did I do?

I'll be discussing that in my third installment tomorrow.  Where I'm going.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Where I Am

So I told you where I've been.  Today I'm going to talk about where I am.

I'm at Franklin Middle School in Minneapolis teaching drum line.  It's fun, but it's definitely harder than the guitar class I taught the last two years.  It's summer though and I've just gone from working 50+ hours a week to 24.  Not bad at all.  I get time with family and time to focus on my health.

I'm also at 292.2 on the scale as of last Monday.  I'll do a new weigh-in tomorrow when I talk about where I'm going.

I'm happy with 292.2 as a starting point.  Last summer I started at 312 pounds.  I'm still down 20 from that so even though I've gained back 10 from last summer's low, I'm treating it as a win.

Finally, I'm ready.  Ready to change my diet.  Ready to change my exercise.  Ready to be healthy.  Let's see how far I can go this summer!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh No!

So H has taken to saying "Oh No!" every time she drops something/spills something/sees something fall/something goes wrong/is sitting peacefully in her crib by herself.  Usually accompanied by hands on cheeks Home Alone style.  It's become the default expletive in our household.  Claire drops a spoon on the floor?  "Oh, No!" H shuts off the TV while playing with the remote? "Oh No!" I miss when throwing my clothes in the hamper? "Oh No!"

I had an Oh No! moment on Wednesday.  I biked to work.  That is to say I biked most of the way to work.  About 4 miles into my 5 mile commute, I broke the chain on my bike. 

Okay, Andrew.  You've got about a mile to go and you have a non-functioning bicycle.  What should you do?

I pondered this question for a couple minutes and formulated a plan.  I would push my bike up the hills, ride my bike down the hills, and stand on one pedal and treat my bike like a scooter on level ground.  I realized several things.

1.  My ankle does not like it when I put all my weight on it and ride my bike like a scooter. 
2.  I desperately needed air in my tires.  When every second counts, you realize quickly what's slowing you down.
3. I need a chain tool to carry around on my bike.

By some miracle I was only 5 minutes late to work.  I teach drum line at summer school.  The class next door is doing bike repair.  I know, awesome, right?  All the classes at my summer program are awesome.  So over lunch I ask the bike repair teacher if he has a chain breaker.  He doesn't.  But he should.  So over prep I borrow another teacher's car and drive home, get my own chain breaker, drive back, and repair my chain.

With about two minutes to spare, I run down to the staff bathroom with possibly the greasiest hands I've ever had and destroy the sink.  I try to wipe it down the best I can with paper towels, but I think I have to do something nice for the building engineers now.  I'm sorry.

I run back up, teach my final class of the day, fill up my tires with a pump from the bike repair class, and bike home without incident.  Other than running into two former students skateboarding down the bike path and chatting a while.  Sometimes Minneapolis feels more like a small town than a big city.

Here's the moral of my rambling story.  Whether you drive, walk, bike, skateboard, or blimp to work, something could happen to you.  Be prepared.

I just ordered one of these:
Crank Brothers Multi Bicycle Tool (19-Function, Gold)
I still burned over a thousand calories!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Where I've Been

With the exception of one quick post, I've been absent from my blog since the fall.  I'm starting to think that blogs aren't a thing anymore.  But this isn't about what's trending.  This is about what works for me, and the blog format is one that seems to work.

A lot's happened since the fall.  I finished up another school year and started teaching summer school.  Claire and I bought a house.  H is 18 months old.  And I gained 10 pounds.

This school year was a doozie.  Typically after the spring concert, things wind down a little for me.  Not so this year.  Every day was go go go.  Ending a school year is kind of like crash landing a plane.  There were grades to get done and students to test for band next year. It seemed there wasn't enough time to do everything that needed to get done.  Until it was all done.  Then I started training for summer school the next day.

I sprained my ankle pretty bad about six weeks ago.  I had some gnarly bruising.  I can't seem to find a picture to gross you out with though.  You're loss I guess.

I was barely mobile for about a week.  Limping all over the place.  Finally the swelling went down and most of the pain went away.  The ankle still hurts, but I can do almost everything I could before on it.  I'm planning on seeing my chiro about it soon.

My feet still ache overall, but they're so much better than they were last year.

H is 18 months old and AMAZING!  She's walking and talking and generally being awesome! 

We bought a house!  We put in the offer in February and Closed in April.  For about a month after close things were pretty nutty.  The process of painting, moving, and unpacking was insane.  We were up late working on things almost every night for about a month trying to make this house we bought feel like home.  Now it does.  However, home ownership is an ongoing process and we've got a series of larger projects to set our sights on now.

And I gained ten pounds.

I see it as a victory.  I lost about 30 last summer.  A backslide of 10 is easy enough to recover from.

I'm ready.  Let's do this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Summer is finally here!  To celebrate, I'm going to get back into blogging.  I don't have much time this minute but I wanted to get a quick post out.

I plan on filling you in with three posts: Where I've been, Where I am, and where I'm going.  Stay tuned!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Probably time to get back at this

I'm in the home stretch of my school year.  Things are nutty at work right now, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

I'm going to stay paying here again because I need to stay focusing on my health again.

Last summer I lost about 30 pounds.  I haven't weighed myself in a while but I know I've gained at least done of it back.

Stay tuned.