DENNIS48's SparkPeople Blog DENNIS48's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Inching along I've begun tracking my actual waist size - it's 42 inches. My pant size is still probably around 38 but is inching closer to 36. I'm gonna buy a pair of size 36 jeans soon to celebrate! <BR> <BR> Weight loss is now up to six pounds. Next marker there will be 10, or 224. You'll find the 5 lb achievement marker on my page. <BR> <BR> Gay bowling is fun. Today will mark my third week. Last week I improved my average 10 points - up to 95. Everyone there is better than me, but it's about fun. I... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 07:08:59 EST I've reached the 5 lb mark! I'm now weighing in at 229, the first of many mini-milestones and psychological markers in my weight loss journey - except I'm hesitant to use the word "journey" because half of you are so damn literal you'll ask me what town I'm going to! (Speaking of which, "foggy day in London town" is just an old expression - I was going to Olympia, Washington from Portland, Oregon.). ;-) Next stop is 10 lbs. <BR> <BR> I've begun measuring my waist and am reeling from the difference between pant waist s... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 11:36:30 EST 4 pounds lighter So far so good. One pound per week. I seem to have already lost some around the waist, but at this point I could be just imagining it! I certainly feel better. I continue to make good nutritional and exercise choices. The walking really seems to be working! Sat, 28 Dec 2013 13:52:25 EST Heading back home And saying no to a Dove bar for dessert and cake at the Lacey train station(?). I treated myself to a one candy treat today and decided that was ample. :-) train leaves in five minutes. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 21:47:56 EST I'll tumble for ya! Played Clue, charades, sang carols, went out to the Olive Garden, opened gifts. I've been making making sensible food decisions this whole visit - even at the restaurant. My sister bought me mixed fresh fruit to snack on - an unexpected treat! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I found out last night via Facebook that I won a tumbler set much like this one at our holiday drawing at work! They'll be giving away prizes through next Tuesday. <BR... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 13:30:53 EST All Aboard! <img src=""> <BR> A foggy day in London Town. Heading North to Olympia for an early Christmas with family. Can't see a damn thing! (Sorry about the pic - can't fix it on mobile. Wait. I might be able to reverse the root image and outsmart it. Let me try. No such luck. Smartphone is too smart for me!) <BR> <em>334</em> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:43:56 EST Moderation over an early Christmas I'm headed up to Olympia tomorrow for an early Xmas with my family (both my sister and I have to work on Christmas - she's in health care and I'm in travel). My main challenge is not to overindulge, of course. Equal time will be my guideline: healthy calories for goodies. Also, rather than constant caloric consumption, I'll think in terms of treats. I don't need to eat an entire 900 calorie giant Special bar when a few pieces will do - or better yet, share it around the room! <BR> <BR> In al... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:52:36 EST Take that, zealots! Under 600 c balanced lunch at McDonalds for $3.50: <BR> <BR> Buffalo chicken sandwich <BR> Side salad w/balsamic vinaigrette <BR> Diet Dr. Pepper <BR> Chocolate chip cookie Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:47:22 EST Bifocals under the wire Got a nice back up pair of glasses before my insurance changes over. We're getting new insurance at the start of the year, so this allows me to get both glasses and new supply of contacts. I was unemployed for the longest time, and insurance is definitely something I don't take for granted! Mon, 16 Dec 2013 14:17:42 EST Good shopping yesterday Healthy groceries plus some nice walking shoes. <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:49:00 EST 3 hours later....1 lb gone? 5:30 a.m. 234. 9 a.m. 233? Maybe I really was retaining Coulee Dam. Oh well. Sat, 14 Dec 2013 12:45:49 EST What am I retaining? Grand Coulee Dam? Second "dam" weigh-in with no change this morning, although my scale is being passive-aggressive. When I cheated during the week it showed I'd lost the intended pound, but now that I 'm on record, it put it back. Thanks a heap. <BR> <BR> I'm getting a tape measure today - that should confirm my suspicion that my waistline is already slimming. As to retaining water, that was just a joke - I have no idea. But I do think muscle mass is part of it. I also have to bear in mind that I'm fighting ... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 08:59:54 EST Walking to work is working Intentional exercise is working for me! I've been walking to work pretty much every day and sometimes even walking home! The walk is an extra mile and a half to the transit center near my job. I already walk a mile and a half to my bus stop so this makes for 3 miles a day. Watching calories adds up to a powerful combination. <BR> <BR> I've managed to not sneak weigh myself since Tuesday, and my regular weigh-in is tomorrow morning. Losing that second pound would be nice, but I agree with y... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:42:44 EST Scarfing down the cold snap <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My coworker Morjenna knitted me this beautiful scarf for my birthday. It's great for keeping me motivated to walk to work on cold, non-inclement days. Freezing rain is forecast for this morning, so these boots may not be made for walking. When that happens, I do a caloric compensation. <BR> <BR> I'm doing a relatively good job of not overweighing. I did sneak a peak on Sunday and again on Tuesday and found that ... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 09:49:09 EST Birthday party was a hit <img src=""> <BR> Glowing greens is a one-of-a-kind place: Blacklight, 3D, pirate miniature golf! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> We had a great time. The party didn't go off without a hitch, and things were a little rushed, but everyone had a great time and that's what's counts. A generous birthday gift from from my sister, aunt and mother covered the entire cost of the party - so I got to ... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 22:40:29 EST Birthday Party Moderation Today I'm having a party at <link> </link> , Portland's blacklight 3D pirate mini-golf course. It's my favorite thing to do in town! We're having gourmet pizza and chocolate cake, so my challenge is to treat myself without giving into "It's your birthday" overindulgence. I'm going for a limit of two slices of pizza and one piece of cake. To compensate, I'm eating a smaller breakfast. I can't bring myself to do just one slice - but I can easily stop myself from scarfing dow... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 10:26:35 EST Musclectomy - instant weight loss! Why weigh yourself down with heavy, disappointing muscle? My doctor removed 20 lbs of unsightly arm and leg muscle for only $200 per pound! You can't put a price tag on self-esteem. Now when I hobble over to my scale, I gaze in wonder at his handiwork. Only 14 lbs to go! wonder if he takes out unused grey matter... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 08:40:21 EST Well, that birthday present backfired.... I decided to weigh myself a day early so I could be thrilled that I lost not one but several pounds over the course of the week. <BR> <em>192</em> <BR> Much to my chagrin, I'm exactly the same as last week: 234. So unless I'm right on the cusp, I probably won't see 233 tomorrow. That's quite a disappointment. But given that I'm walking 2 miles more every day, I can probably chalk some of that up to increased muscle mass. And I can take some solace in the fact that I didn't gain anything.... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 13:51:35 EST 48 and going strong <em>383</em> <BR> Today I turn 48 - I updated my handle from Dennis43 to reflect that, but it's still me. <BR> The world mourns Nelson Mandela today - a giant among men. Fri, 6 Dec 2013 08:19:21 EST Realistic Expectations One pound is the goal. If that's all I've shed on Saturday, I'm right on target. Thu, 5 Dec 2013 12:33:42 EST Are you a zealot? There is a tendency among Sparklers and many weight loss enthusiasts toward black-and-white thinking (fast food bad - home cooked good, diet soda bad - water good). I ran across this numerous times four years ago and don't really care to run across it again. I realize people's hearts are in the right place but one size doesn't fit all. My lifestyle isn't conducive to home-cooked meals, and I agree with the experts - the nutritionists - who say that it depends on what you buy at fast food. I g... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 09:25:01 EST Resisting the urge to overweigh It is sooooo hard to only weigh myself once a week! I'm dying to see if I've already lost my damn pound! I've been walking that extra mile and a half and reducing the calories, so barring increase in muscle mass, the scale should be my friend. Four years ago, I got to the point where I would weigh myself several times a day. That really was obsessive. It's good that I can stay off the fool thing even days at a time, let alone a whole week! Saturday is my weigh-in. <BR> <em>334</em> Wed, 4 Dec 2013 13:24:51 EST You can't eat what you don't buy That's something I'll want to keep in mind as I pass the cookie aisle next week.... <BR> <BR> I am doing a good job of choosing low calorie, healthy snacks like vegetables - but I counteracted that by choosing a high calorie hummus dip (just because it says "hummus" doesn't give it a free pass!). <BR> <BR> Went to the dentist grudgingly today and finished out my deep cleaning and polishing. I'm now current! A prior dentist was so alarmist that she had me thinking I was literally about to lo... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 01:24:18 EST These boots are made for walkin' Taking a different bus to work - one that requires a mile and a half walk - seems to be working. Of course, it brings a substantial temptation - it drops me off right in front of Mc Donald's. Common sense factors hugely here: not eating breakfast twice, limiting myself to about 500 calories at McDonald's, skipping McD's all together, popping in for a smoothie or low calorie drink only (I have researched diet soda and found it to be a useful tool - the biggest problem we have is OVERCOMPENSATI... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 14:14:02 EST Hi folks! The penguin's back! My job offered a wellness check for a substantial decrease on my health insurance premium. It was more like a wellness wake-up call. My scale battery had long since died and my medication is notorious for weight gain. I was 15 pounds over my highest estimate! I set a goal of losing 1 pound a week and getting under 200 pounds by my two year work anniversary which is June 11 of next year (2014). I'm currently at 236. <BR> <BR> I noticed in my last blog entry I was just starting my job. I'm ... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 02:35:50 EST Stress Management There are at least two purposes to a blog. One is to seek support as you record your journey. The other is to offer suggestions that you, the reader, might find helpful. I'm primarily motivated by the latter, not the former. <BR> <BR> Because I'm starting a new job, I have to be careful not to bite off more than I can chew. So instead of setting a weight loss goal at this time, I'm just going to commit to making good decisions (see previous blog). It won't stress me out to choose a trail mi... Sat, 9 Jun 2012 16:25:36 EST YES to 7-11 but NO to glazed donuts Dear Gang, <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I took my first steps toward getting back to the zone of my target weight. I might choose to do this without a scale and use the belt method instead (hitting myself whenever I give in to ice cream). But seriously, since my scale needs batteries, this might be time to use a different measurement. <BR> <BR> When it comes to food, I've opted to make different choices rather than ban myself from 7-11, Dairy Queen and McDonalds. When it comes to 7-11, I'm saying n... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 12:42:08 EST The penguin has returned! Dear Gang: <BR> <BR> I'm flattered to be Motivator of the Day, and I suspect it has something to do with the Zone atop my page - so I'll keep that there for the time being. <BR> <BR> A lot has happened over the past two years. <BR> <BR> Job - it's been a long, rough patch that is coming to end next Monday! I'll be providing customer support for with the Xerox corporation! There is tremendous room for advancement if I play my cards right. <BR> <BR> Home - I moved out of the apa... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 14:42:49 EST I got a job! <em>248</em> <em>100</em> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Yob, yob, yob! After sixteen months of unemployment - not counting an unpleasant month of caregiving last summer - I finally landed a job. I'll be providing technical support for a well known gaming console. This will start late May, and I was so happy to finally get a job that I almost started crying! <BR> <BR> The training lasts for a full five weeks, which speaks well of the company. They're a domestic outsourcer, so they have many... Tue, 27 Apr 2010 18:35:55 EST Just checking in... Howdy, gang! Here's a quick update: <BR> <BR> --The endless job hunt goes on. Lucky for me, unemployment goes on as well. I've actually got another eight months before I completely exhaust all Unemployment Insurance benefits. I don't think it will get to that point, but I'm very grateful. Things really could be far worse. <BR> <BR> --I have a support group sponsored by my Unitarian Church called "Sucks to be you". Not really, it's called "We're all in this together." I'm making it a ... Thu, 8 Apr 2010 16:43:04 EST The penguin goes over the mountain Hey Gang, <BR> <BR> I'm headed back up to the cabin (see last year's entry entitled "the bear went over the mountain"). I'm looking forward to some time of quiet reflection, as the cabin is a very healing, centering place. I spent my earliest years there, and although we sold it over fifteen years ago, the new owners are incredibly gracious to give us an open invitation. Kinda hard to beat that, huh! <BR> <BR> Job hunt continues to be frustrating. Got rejected by Netflix call center wit... Wed, 17 Mar 2010 20:16:16 EST Guess who? Hi Gang: <BR> <BR> Yeah, I'm dead. There's quite a waiting list up here to use the internet. But at least I ended up in heaven. If you want to call it that. There's nothing to do. Three guesses where all the partying happens? I only ended up here because I didn't drink, smoke or chase girls. Oh, the irony. <BR> <BR> No, I'm still alive. I've just been doing other things. No longer doing stand up, but I have created a fun thing on youtube called the OnionTrollsAlliance. It's satire ... Wed, 3 Feb 2010 16:10:56 EST Still not dead yet. Howdy! Rumors of my death have, in fact, not been greatly exaggerated. But one problem with heaven is lack of computer access. <BR> <BR> PURGIES HAVE MORE FUN: The only computers available are in purgatory, so St. Gabriel gave me a weekend pass. Purgatory is where are the cool people are. Hell is actually reserved just for the really, really bad, such as Charles Manson, Hitler, Stalin and telemarketers. (Side note: Stalin and the Telemarketers would be a great name for a punk rock ban... Thu, 29 Oct 2009 16:35:38 EST Not dead yet! Howdy Gang! Here's another quick update: <BR> <BR> Still waiting to hear from Portland Public Schools' sub office, but I'm getting more skeptical of my chances of being hired on this year. They said they'd get back to all of us in three weeks, and I'm afraid I'm going to the very end of that time limit. Keep your fingers crossed! <BR> <BR> I'm enjoying church, choir and Toastmasters - in fact, my toastmasters meeting starts in about 45 minutes! I'll be singing with my choir for our firs... Sun, 4 Oct 2009 18:20:34 EST A good deed rewarded Here's a true story, but you have to choose the correct ending: <BR> <BR> Facts: I found someone's detailed Morgan Stanley quarterly investment statement downtown and mailed it to her right away. She sent me a thank you card and a check for $50! <BR> <BR> Choose what happened next: <BR> <BR> A. I sent her back a note pointing out that since her investment income is $421,376, she could easily have afforded ten times that, and unless she coughs it up, I will publish her detailed finances... Tue, 22 Sep 2009 16:07:54 EST I'm heaving on a jet plane... Well, not really, but my bags are packed and I'm ready to go. My friend has a truck and trailer and is incredibly kind enough to help me. On Saturday morning, I'll be officially out of there. <BR> <BR> I don't know whether Dave really has a "professional caregiver" moving in or not, but my sense is that he made the whole thing up to spare my feelings. All the signals that would signal someone else moving in are either wrong or missing, but it's nothing I can pin down or quantify. And IT ... Thu, 17 Sep 2009 16:27:14 EST I made it through the rain Hey gang! Only have 22 minutes to update, and there's so much to say! <BR> <BR> NEW DIGS: I got an incredible deal on an executive suite (aka extended stay hotel aka very small but with a full kitchen, bathroom etc) in exchange for a 30-day commitment. I'm in the nearby suburb of Beaverton, Oregon, right next door to the apartments I lived in five years ago. I can renew this at the same rate, which includes cable, phone, air conditioning,heat and even weekly maid service! I won't tell you... Tue, 15 Sep 2009 15:21:43 EST Cue the West Side Story soundtrack <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Could it be, yes it could <BR> somethin's comin', somethin' good <BR> If I can wait... <BR> <BR> Somethin's comin', I don't what it is, <BR> but it is gonna be great... <BR> <BR> Yeah, right. It could also be something perfectly dreadful, like being hit by a busload of nuns. Everybody would rush to the wounded sisters rather than tend to my "now even thinner" body splayed across the road. That reminds me: What's black and wh... Tue, 8 Sep 2009 17:39:38 EST ch-ch-ch-changes Well, my roommate Dave has decided to get a new, official caregiver. He was nice enough in telling me this, confiding that it was too hard for me to provide that role because of our friendship, and that he wanted someone with more experience. Good luck. He's gonna need that experience. Dave has no idea how difficult he is to live with. Mind you, I'm not exactly a prince either, but he seems to think he's the bee's knees. He's more like the stinger. <BR> <BR> He is such a passive-aggres... Tue, 1 Sep 2009 21:28:47 EST ZOE "I'm in the zone!" proclaims my status message and the headline of my sparkpage! But what's the zone? <BR> <BR> If you've read my sparkpage, you already know. I've created a Zone of Optimal Energy, or ZOE for short, which is a BMI from 23-27. It's a combination of BMI, medical studies on risk reduction and frame size. I initially called it the Zone of Optimal Health, but I wanted a catchier acronym. :) <BR> <BR> Let me reprint what I wrote on my sparkpage for those of you who can't affo... Wed, 26 Aug 2009 14:57:12 EST Bloom Where You're Planted Well, phooey. <BR> <BR> I've only got 13 minutes left of my daily computer time at the library to update y'all on my life. <BR> <BR> I'm making the transition from caregiver to teacher - I'm taking the homecare workshops I've already signed up for this week and next week, then moving on to bigger and better things. I've decided to throw two hats in the ring - one with Portland public schools and the other for the nearby suburb of Hillsboro. Portland's applications, as I've said, will be... Mon, 24 Aug 2009 19:05:26 EST Greetings from Mt. Hood! I found a computer at the local library in Welches, just three miles down the highway from the cabin in Rhododendron. I decided to make a spontaneous trip up here while I still can, because I anticipate I'll be on call as a substitute M-F starting in mid-September. Starting September 8th, they'll be reviewing applications and interviewing. It might behoove me to put some eggs in other baskets, but I don't want to end up subbing in multiple districts. We'll see. <BR> <BR> I'm doing my jou... Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:19:47 EST !Hola a todos mis amigos! Hola! Voy a escribir mi blog en español, pero no te preocupes - lo he traducido al fondo. Esto me dará otra oportunidad para practicar. Acabo de unirme al grupo Spark de hispano-hablantes. !Qué divertido! <BR> <BR> Cuando la gente me pregunta cómo aprender otro idioma, siempre digo que hay que sentir tonto. Tienes que cometer muchos errores, y tienes que sentir como niño de seis años. Muchas veces es necesario expresar un pensamiento en términos bastante sencillos aunque se preferiría comun... Mon, 17 Aug 2009 13:48:59 EST This penguin's made for walking Howdy, Gang! I only have 20 minutes left on my computer time today, so here goes! <BR> <BR> WALKING LIKE A MADMAN: I walked 12 and 13.5 miles respectively Monday and Tuesday. I've been exploring the Springwater Corridor Trail, which you can Google at your leisure. It's absolutely beautiful. I've been taking the walking at a leisurely pace, with plenty of breaks, water and healthy snacks. <BR> <BR> DOWN TO 178: My bi-weekly weigh in made my drop below 180 official - I've now lost 56 ... Fri, 14 Aug 2009 15:18:50 EST One giant step for Brett IN THE MAIL: Well, I just sent in my application to renew my teaching license. Now it's just a matter of time - about five or six weeks. Fortunately, schools allow for this, so I can likely get all my ducks in a row and begin work the day my application clears. I doubt they'll let me into a classroom without that clearance, and it would worry me if that's the case. Though it is a possibility. Statistically, if you've already had a license once you're unlikely to have become a serial ars... Mon, 10 Aug 2009 14:31:20 EST Don't fear the reaper REAPER: The funniest part of Tom's birthday is when one of the kids dressed up in his Scream mask and the others ran away in mock terror. "It's the Green Reaper!", one of them shouted. What does he do, kill you if you don't recycle? <BR> <BR> MY PAL JOEY: I have my doubts about Thomas. We played Farmer in the Dell, and when it was his turn to take a wife, he picked his friend Joey. <BR> <BR> CUPCAKES FROM HELL: I treated myself to two cupcakes today, and after the fact realized those suc... Sat, 8 Aug 2009 20:49:28 EST Oh, deer. I saved the life of a deer friend. Several actually. And some human friends as well. <BR> <BR> JOHN DEER: Early this morning I was walking down Terwilliger Blvd, which runs through a beautifully woodsy area, and a deer popped out of nowhere on to the road. I saw a car coming around the curve so I shouted "deer!" and pointed right at it. <BR> <BR> Imagine my surprise when she pointed her right hoof at me and shouted "human!". No, but the car stopped in time, and the doe bounded back in... Sat, 8 Aug 2009 01:07:10 EST I killed my computer and lived to tell the tale. IT'S DEAD, JIM: My computer gave up the ghost - not really the whole ghost - it's a problem I've had before that any of a number of my geek friends could fix with minimal effort. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT (Sometimes, my well-meaning friends send me sparkmails and comments that utterly miss the point of my blogs. If you offer me computer advice, that would be you.) <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> THE POINT: One thing I learned from my reflective experience at the cabin was the importance of simplifyi... Tue, 4 Aug 2009 21:33:16 EST 10 self-checks for your august body "You don't belong in this August body." (Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill chastising his colleagues on the importance of voting for what's right instead of what's politically expedient. He pronounced it like the month August instead of "auGUST".) <BR> =================================== <BR> <BR> So, my friends and fiends, what are your goals for this new month? Are they realistic and bite-sized, or are you setting yourself up to fail? Here are mine, along with ten self-checks tha... Sat, 1 Aug 2009 11:37:23 EST Does your guinea pig suffer from low self-esteem? <img src=""> <BR> Then take him or her to see this movie. It's awesome in 3-D - and this is not your parents' 3D. Even the glasses are nicer. So nice you can't even keep them. <BR> <BR> I've been to four movies in as many days - it's my preferred way to beat the heat. I saw Harry Potter as well as G-Force in Sandy - about 20 miles from my cabin getaway. And yesterday I saw Adventureland - a must see for anyone who was not wearing diap... Fri, 31 Jul 2009 12:39:50 EST