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UPDATE March 2013: Well, so much for "embracing the winter"--it was a total failure! I really think I just need to move south to warmer climates! Ha!

So now spring and summer are here and I plan to give it my all! I'm eager to see where it will take me!

If you want to know more of the basics about me, just read below. Thanks for your interest!)


I'm a 59 year old, young at heart guy. I'm single and sorta happy that way--sorta not. As a Christian, my faith in God is very important to me.

I became a Vegan (diet-wise only) in October of 2010, so I've been one just 2 years. I became vegan because of high cholesterol and blood pressure and also after reading "The Engine 2 Diet" (which makes becoming vegan seem like a very "manly" thing to do!)

I never lost any weight the first year as a vegan, because I was eating too much junk food (yes, you can be a junk food vegan!) Vegan Pizzas and burgers and high calorie vegan desserts and not many veggies WILL result in no weight loss!!

And I've not had a stellar year this year of 2012. At present I'm trying to get on track again and back to the principals that had me losing last summer (I did great last summer: followed a strict vegan diet and exercise and was losing...then winter came! Oh dear!)

Here are some of those principals I went by:

1. Overindulgence is a symptom of a spiritual problem, too (trying to fill that empty space in our hearts with food). I must get back in touch with God again by having a daily devotional and prayer time (which I usually did after eating breakfast).

2. I must eat a balanced diet with lots of vegetables and not rely on sandwiches, pizzas and other "bready stuff" to be the center of my meals...I must make veggies the basis of my meal. (Those things are still allowed to be eaten now and then, but the "bulk" of my meal should be veggies.)

3. I must exercise regularly (especially since I'm over 30 years old) to speed up my metabolism.

4. I must watch my calorie intake...just like any other dieter on the face of the planet. Being vegan does not make me "special". A calorie is a calorie is a since I'm not Mr. Athletic Olympian, then I have to watch those calories!!!

5. I must use my secret word to help me: that word is TAPS. This secret word helps curb the "addictive" side of food for me, when I follow each part of TAPS. TAPS is short for:

Time-- When is the right TIME to eat? Breakfast, lunch or supper, of course! If I'm eating any other time, then I'm probably just bingeing? Eat at the right time! (An exception is allowed for "scheduled" snacks, such as a daily 4 p.m. , 100 calorie or so snack.)

Amount--What is the right AMOUNT to eat? It's the amount that will help me lose weight. I know the right calorie amounts for me to lose, so I need to stick to eating the right amounts! Portion control is the key to weight loss.

Place---Where is the right PLACE to eat? The right place to eat is the dining table! Not in front of the TV! This is the hardest rule for me to adhere to, but when I try, I can do it. For centuries man has eaten at the dining table, but in this modern age some of us sit in front of the TV and eat and so our meals become like "popcorn"! We wolf them down while watching the adventures on TV and want more! (I do allow myself to eat air popped popcorn in front of the TV if I want, but avoid eating a meal in front of TV, because meal-type food is much more calorie dense than a serving of air popped popcorn!)

Stuff--What is the right STUFF to eat? The right stuff to eat is the kind of food that helps me lose weight. There's lots of good diet books about this. It's usually low fat and lower calorie foods. So if I'm chowing down on cheesecake, then I'm probably not eating the right stuff!!!

(TAPS is taken from "Taming the Feast Beast" by Lois Trimpey--a book I highly recommend for folks who have had issues with binge eating.)

When I abide by these rules--rules I set for myself and nobody else--I do so much better.

I wrote the part below last summer. It's a reminder to me that I actually CAN lose weight and was doing so well last summer and I can do well again:


WANT TO KNOW A SECRET? I've learned the key to weight loss: it's a calorie controlled diet and weight lifting! Those two things will get you there. I do believe it's really all you need...but if you want an even trimmer waist, then adding aerobics in between weight sessions is the key.

But make no mistake about it: calorie counting and weight lifting IS the key to weight loss! I've seen it for myself. (After years of having a pot belly that I just assumed was a permanent condition and just "who I am", I quickly learned this statement to be true:

"Fat is like butter; if you turn up the heat, it WILL melt off!"

I was watching in disbelief as my fat was melting off! You can to...just watch your calories and lift weights! (No weights? Then just use your body just the same!)

And you don't have to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger! Heck, he would LAUGH at the weight amount I was lifting! I was lifting only "grocery bag" levels of weight...but it was making the pounds come off. All the body needs to know and feel is like it's "working" at doing something, and that triggers the weight loss.


So I was on the right track last summer---time to get back on the right track again! That's what I'm doing this winter. Wish me luck! I hope you'll join me and we will all try to get that "superhero body" by next year! Take care and God bless!

Terry, the Gentle Viking

Member Since: 2/11/2010

Fitness Minutes: 0

My Goals:
I'm trying to lose weight in order to overcome acid reflux--that's probably a big main goal. So health is a number one reason. And like most folks, I'd like to look better in a pair of jeans!

My Program:
At this time I'm using Richard Simmon's "Food Mover" gadget to keep track of my portions. (Best invention since peanut butter! I prefer it to using the Spark People food log.) I'm using the diet program from the book "The Engine 2 Diet". I'm lifting weights twice a week and walking most of the other days. (Now that it's cold outside, I'm sometimes replacing walking with using Tony Little's "Rock and Roll Stepper"--a mini machine I recently got and just love!)

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