Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 105 - Book It: 20 in 30 !

Anyone here listen to Yes? Back in the 70's & 80's I sure did. They had great album art when such art was appreciated. Relayer was my favorite album, Fragile was great too. I had a healthy album collection until an unfortunate fire wiped out my collection when I was a sophomore. The album you see here, Open Your Eyes, I never owned but I borrowed & wore out a friends cassette in the late 90's. I thought of it today while exercising.

Yes, this is an exercise post; not a music tribute. My son & I went to Stanton Hill yesterday looking to it to make amends for the few food slips on vacation. Last time I did 19 laps up and down in 30 minutes, missing the 20 laps mark by 3 seconds...THREE SECONDS!

Whoa, the first ten laps were rough, my head was down, eyes wandering and the path I was cutting was as crooked as a government budget. Concentration which I have touted as key to performance, it was absent, I may as well have been walking with my eyes closed.

No reason for me to believe 20 would happen. My son was about 1/4 lap ahead of me, then 3/8's at the 15 minute mark. At that rate, by the end, he'd finish a full 1/2 lap or more ahead of me. But still, I was exercising, that alone is enough to feel good about, right?

The Hungry-Demon (remember him) popped in briefly with a quick affirmation, "Nope, no need big boy in needlessly pushing for anything more than gett'n this done & go'n home," he swiftly muttered. That said, he vanished; probably figuring my mind was set to do just that.

"Um, you going to take that?", sqwauked the Healthy-Alien from inside me. Not sure if he was referring to the Demon's words or my son's growing lead, but my thought was 'No' either way.

Kicking it in gear was more easily thought of than achieved, but slowly I opened my eyes and got kick'n. One at a time I dropped nickles into the hat at the end of each lap. With 5 nickles left it was back to 1/4 lap deficit... then with 2 left it was 1/8... then he noticed I was catching up and got jetted forward from his own boost of pride. That 1/8 lap was as close as I'd get to him, but that didn't matter even though it would have been cool to beat him. What did matter is we did 20 laps in 29:43... We did 20 in 30 - can I get an Oh Yeah!

Twenty has been the goal for this exercise. Each visit to the hill, I chipped away. Now Twenty is in the books, it is history, my history!

That done; time to look for a new challenge.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 104 - Miles & Fillets

Home again and that means the hard work has resumed in earnest.

My son Andrew & I were going to go tackle Stanton Hill yesterday but the soccer team was using the field adjacent to is so it didn't seem like the right time. So we went off to Grant Forest Preserve instead. That preserve is divided into two loops, a north & south. Each loop in itself is a good workout. There is also a trail that connects the two loops. Combined the total distance is 5.6 miles. Since I was looking to replace the challenge of the hill workout we walked them both and covered that distance in 84:19 minutes. A great walk and time spent with my son.

Eating was dialed in yesterday as well. First day back so we had to hit the stores and stock up. Enjoyed some fresh fruit during the day and some grilled halibut for dinner. Eating out is fun, trying new restaurants is something we look forward to especially when we travel, but cooking at home is hard to beat at times.

Halibut is an awesome fish, I've never caught one on my own, hope to make it up to Alaska someday for that pleasure. Hey, did you know, The largest Alaskan halibut ever caught while sport fishing was 459 lbs? A mighty big grill would be needed for that catch.

Just a great tasting fish and one that is very versatile for cooking with. It stands up to grilling, bakes well without disintegrating, absorbs flavors well or tastes great on its own. Oh and cats, cats will flock to you when you bring it inside from the grill to set it on the table. If cats like it then it must be good; no?

Last night I made two fillets, one was rubbed in a buttermilk-ranch powder which I picked up at Williams-Sonoma as an impulse buy, one of my better unplanned grabs. The other was dusted in a spicier concoction - so sorry I didn't take any pictures; that why you get that Native American tribal art picture of a halibut instead.

Walleye is my favorite fish to eat by far, but I think Halibut is a close second. Third, probably tuna (not in the can silly) which I like raw or with just a quick sear.

What is your favorite fish and how do you like it?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 103 - Kodak Moments

A quick post with a handful of pictures from vacation. It has been fun a fun trip checking out the colleges and enjoying some family time. The exercise has been there, sure, not as intense as it is when back home but I have gotten it in. The eating on the other hand has been so-so. Not a train wreck as vacations of the old me, but I have taken a few more liberties with food than I had planned this week. When I hit the scale on Sunday I do not expect to be horrified, not at all. But I may see progress has slowed or stalled. We'll see on Sunday.

Ok, on to the pictures and then back to the family fun...

You met 'Altidore' yesterday. Here he is enjoying the ride to Decatur with my wife. Want an big-fluffy racoon? We picked up while in Iowa here in Iowa. I don't see him or the other big-round plush animals like him on their site here. But the have contact info on the site, drop them an email & I bet you could ask about the animal you want & they'd sell/ship it to you. last year my daughter got a big-round chicken. There were a half-dozen other animals there too.

In Decatur we stopped in for lunch at Garcia's Pizza before heading on to Millikin for the college visit. Cool pizza shop. Here is a picture of one of the tables, the top is a bunch of Star Wars cards set into the table. All of the tables there were this way but different cards, one was Simpsons, another Trivia Pursuit cards (which was a bummer as the answer side could not be seen), and so on. The pizza, not bad.

Hot Sauce, if you have followed me for a while here you may recall that I collect hot sauce. These are my recent additions picked up in KC, KS from our stop at the Original Juan factory store. Oh I could have spent all of the kids college fund money there, but stopped spending at what you see here.

Millikin banner nearby where we ate pizza...

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Say Hi to Altidore

A big wool Racoon we picked up yesterday at the Amana Colonies. No, we didn't let him drive.

Day 102 - Pumped In Peoria

How has your week been so far? Been reading your blogs but on the road from my handheld browser I cannot post comments; which sucks! Friday I'll be back to doing that. Thankfully I can send posts to my blog via email for now & can see your comments, thanks as always for your thoughts!

Yesterday we had a great visit @ Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. Today we are back in IL to visit Bradley U. & Milliken. Both will be hard pressed to beat what Coe is offering our daughter but we'll reserve further judgment until we've met with them.

The picture there is my son Andrew & I in the hotel fitness center last night. I'm not sure what you call that weighted ball but we had a fun workout moving that thing around. We also made use of their nice set of dumbbells & treadmills.

I have worked out three of the four days we've been on the road so far. Monday evening just my wife & I went down to the hotel pool & whirlpool to relax and forget we had kids for an hour. Too much time sitting in the car or at restaurants or where ever we've been for me to feel the exercise is equaling the eating challenges thus far. Two more days of this, we get back home late Thursday. Friday, Saturday, Sunday I will make up for slowed intensity. Promise!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 101 - Iowa's 10.1

Yesterday we enjoyed Kansas City a bit more before making our way
north into Iowa. We hit Des Moines for lupper (late lunch/early
supper) and checked out Drake University. Not sure how to explain the
college selection criteria of the teenage mind. But they unanimously
crossed Drake off their lists.

From Des Moines we headed east to Cedar Rapids to spend the night. We have an morning appointment at nearby Coe College. Only our daughter has any interest in vetting out Coe further, this is her 2nd visit. It is also Iowa's last chance to get any tuition dollars from our clan. Iowa, who out there has lived in, visited or just driven through Iowa?

Being from Illinois I've had my share of opportunities to visit. Here is a list of the 10.1 interesting tidbits I've picked up from my time in Iowa...
1 - According to the brochure Iowa became the first state to have more than 10% of its total generated electricity come from wind power. Hmm, and they call Chicago the 'windy city'.

2 - I have been told by several Iowan's that "Iowa" is the only state name that begins with two vowels. Does Vanna White know this?

3 - Des Moines is home to the reigning National Texting Champion. OMG

4 - Corn, One-Fifth of the worlds corn is produced in Iowa. It's true, says the waitress proudly at the Des Moines Machine Shed restaurant.

5 - Make the mistake of telling an Iowan that Iowa is land-locked and chances are you too will be promptly corrected that Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are completely bordered by water,
albeit rivers.

6 - The current world record deer (white tail) was taken in Iowa, by a 15 year old. Being an avid hunter, I am so jealous.

7 - A joke I told a buddy from Iowa once, "Why did the Hawkeye cross the road?.... He didn't. He backed into it, the same way Iowa got into its last college bowl game".

8 - A joke that same buddy told me in return, "How do you get a University of Iowa graduate off your porch?..... Pay him for the pizza.

9 - John Wayne is from Iowa. In the early 90s while at a bar in Ames I mentioned that to the bar tender who obviously knew this. Being a bar tender he engaged the lame out-of-towner, me, and added, "When the
Duke heard he had six months to live, he moved to Minnesota, where it seems like a decade". My initial reply, "Really"! Yeah, not one of my genius moments.

10 - At the Amana Colonies, a German religious commune since the 1800's, there is an elderly gift shop clerk that likes to joke she used to make the Amana ovens. When you show her interest in the notion
she adds that she has recently moved up to refrigerator assembly. Jay Leno would steal that if he heard it.

10.1 - My all time favorite Iowa story... Again in the 90s while driving at 80+ mph I passed a pick-up truck going a slow 60-something. As I went by I caught enough of a glimpse to be certain what I had seen; a couple in the uncovered pick-up bed 'enjoying' the ride. Oh, the best part, the pick-ups bumper sticker read, "Iowa, Home of the Brave"! Yeah, I guess you could call those two brave.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Me sweat'n my bum off @ game y'day (the pic I couldn't get to load w/ my day-100 post)

Day 100 - Monday

Well, has it been 100 days already? Assuming I know how to count the answer is yes. Since I am on vacation there was no weigh in for me yesterday so I am not certain just where I stand at the century mark.
If 100 days ago you told me that I would weigh 41+ less in 100 days I'd have laughed at you out of one side of my mouth & prayed for your words out of the other.

Next up is the next 100 days, where will I be on day 200 which is sometime in November? That seems so far away. But, we all know it will be here in the blink of a Stooges eye. Not a moment to waste in getting after them days. I am typing this post out on my blackberry while warming up on this awesome hotel treadmill. Vacations can be healthy ;-)

In Kansas City yesterday for some of the best BBQ on earth & to attend the Manchester United vs. Kansas City Wizards game. Anne, it is a soccer game, soccer I left that detail out yesterday; I had issues
loading pics today so I didn't, bummer as I had a good one of me sporting my new commemorative t-shirt & the 1 lite beer I allowed myself to cool the heat.

Kristen, Blue & my other soccer / ManU loving friends here sorry but ManU came up short in the USA this day~ which surprised all in attendance.

Allan & my other BBQ loving friends, Arthur Bryants was everything we've it was hyped up to be on BBQ Paradise. It was my one day of indulgence on this trip; BBQ Burnt Ends, Slaw & BBQ Beans. Treadmill, remember I am on a treadmill right now!

Ok, gotta post & run. Some young college kid just got on the treadmill next to me & is making me look bad, real bad. Gotta go make a better showing for prides sake.

Wishing all a great week!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

At Arrowhead for the Manchester United tour ~ Go KC!

Kansas City @ Arthur Bryants, kids gettin ribs (I went w/ end n slaw)

Day 99 - Cozy Motor'n

Odd drive yesterday; sun, rain, cloudy, more rain, wind, sun shower,
lightning, rain, dark, moon, whew. Six of us in my Ford Expedition. We fit into it with more luxurious feel when the kids were seven years younger, smaller and slept more.

Today, they are mid-teens & tall & not much for sleeping. Myself, being 40+ less pounds is oh so nice for this driving trip. We stopped in Springfield IL yesterday for food and paid a visit to Cozy Dog; home of the corn dog. Naturally, I chose the pork tenerloin sandwich vs the corn dog. Four corn dogs did get enjoyed at our table though. We wanted to go to a place called D'Arcys Pint, but the wait was near 2 hours so we opted for corn dogging.

Family is still asleep. Off I go to the hotel fitness center. Vacation; a time when I have historically ignored the need to make healthy choices. Who says you cannot re-write history?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Turned 130k on the Expedition today (not easy getting still shot @ 85 mph)

Day 98 - Gett'n Gone

Tofu for dinner yesterday; sauteed with tomatoes and spices, very
nice. Kicking myself for not taking a photo for you. What I did take a picture of was me getting the last Rainer Cherry before the kids woke up and got it ~ bhwaahahahaha!

We head out for vacation today. A trip with our teenage kids to check
out colleges in the Midwest. Fun fun fun, or so we hope. Every hotel has a gym and a pool, and every campus has lots of room to walk. So no excuses to be accepted for exercise missed. I will make my posts this week via my cell phone; I can email a post to my blog from my cell browser but I cannot reply to posts on my blog or others.

That sucks! After blogging hard for nearly 100 days the thought of not posting on your blogs for a week is not setting well with me.

So college, or high school... what did you like most about your school years that you don't enjoy today?
Myself, hmmm... should have thought about my own question before writing it... I know, not caring about what I ate. I didn't, and at the younger age I didn't have an issue getting fat so fast.  That changed in my late 20's, oh to be 20-something again. I also miss the end of semester meal. A group of guys I hung with would go to a real mexican diner (no not taco bell!) and get burritos to celebrate another semester in the books. They were cheap, huge and so good.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 97 - Playing Favorites

Food has been on my mind this week, so, lets stay there. I've come to learn you have to eat healthy; have to. Otherwise you aint healthy, it is that simple; no?.

That said, where is it said that you can't ever eat the unhealthy stuff you like? You know what you like, right? And you know then know if it is healthy or not & how much and often you can eat it, right? I would assume the answer to those questions is yes for most. If you don't ponder and research. Or lets us know what food it is you are unsure of, plenty of folks here willing to share their thoughts on it I bet.

Whatever anyone says, don't ever just completely never eat something you like just because it is unhealthy.

So what are your favorite foods that are not the healthiest for you but you still enjoy from time to time?

Myself, well here are some of mine...

Breakfast: Four-egg omelets stuffed with four cheeses, four meats accompanied by four slices of rye toast, I used to call this the 4x4-Squared Delight. I do still eat omelets, but, it will be a while before I eat this behemoth again.

Lunch: Bacon Double Cheese Burger w/ fries, a simple all-American favorite. Not just any burger but you have to get one of these at a tavern; do that and it is twice as awesome'licious. Is that a word? If so, how many calories are in that word??

Snacks: Candy Bars, especially Snickers, Kit Kat's, Reece's PB Cups and Almond Joy. I used to get all four, sometimes two of each, and eat them all on one thirty-minute drive. Super sad, I know. Candy bars still have a place in my diet, but one or two a month at most.

Dinner: Fried Chicken & Dumplings, easily a 3,000 calories feast before adding side dishes. And yes, I used to have seconds, and thirds on the dumplings. How many servings of dumplings can you pack in at one sitting? My tops, FIVE!

Dessert: Chess Pie, omg my Great-Grandma made the best-est pies ever made. She made pies from scratch at the Maid-Rite in Christopher, IL for years and years. People would pay her to make them pies on the weekends from her tiny apartment kitchen. Whatever it took to survive the depression doldrums she used to say. Pie can be easily worked into your diet as you can control the size of the slice, right?

Late Night Snacks: Taco Bell drive thu. Especially if too many adult beverages had been consumed, this was the place to feast on the worst food on the planet while ones taste buds were numb and dumb. So fast food, I have committed to no more fast food and have no intention of doing any anytime soon. But if i were to open my mind to fast food again I'd say treat it like candy bars, once or twice a month. Not once or twice a day which I have done before.

Ok, I must go get some breakfast now; oatmeal and fruit awaits me!

Enjoy whatever it is you eat today and remember it is Ok to enjoy the unhealthy foods you really like once in a while.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 96 - What's In A Name

Recently I was asked why I named my blog Responsibility 199. Naturally I had a quick answer, "Did you read the introduction at the top of my blog titles 'Responsibility 199, what is it?', it explains it there". Nope, she hadn't read it and instead of going on to read it and leaving me be to enjoy my apple she chose to comment that it just seems like a name that doesn't catch the eye, doesn't draw you in. Really, huh; I wondered for a second before dismissinmg any second guessing on my part. The purpose of the title is not popularity or even advertisement but just simply a super-duper-short summary of me and what I am doing. That's my take anyhow, maybe you see it different with your blog names.

All that said, when I was setting up this blog I did struggle with what to name it and I recall some of the ideas that came to mind at the time. Thought it would be fun to share them...

  • Waisted No More (Had potential until I realized I am fat in places other than my waistline)
  • This Is It (So boring I was afraid it would bore me from wanting to visit my own site)
  • Mission Not Impossible (Gave this serious consideration)
  • I Am Getting Healthy, Or Am I (Figured a dose of doubt might somehow inspire)
  • Blog Be Gone (Sounded like a pesticide that might repel any interest including my own)
  • I Can Do It (The chance of being seriously considered related to the Waterboy were too great to accept)
  • Pounding Myself Off (um, for obvious reasons I left this one for someone else braver than I)

That's all I got today blog fans. Oh, before I go a quote to inspire, "Captain Insano shows no mercy"
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 95 - Attitude Maturation (Food)

I've chatted up my recent exercise a good deal & I feel real good about it. The new PR's are nice, but those are just numbers really. The importance of them is not having set new PR's but rather the fact that I have gotten out there and not only exercised but pushed myself. That's the real PR, the fact that I have moved my butt one more time than I had before. Hey, I steal nothing; that attitude about PR's is one I learned from someone who has been with me my entire journey here & whom I respect; Kyle.

Oh I do talk about PR's like they mean the world to me perhaps, but know that I do so only to motivate myself. No matter how much I may talk of PR's understand I know that what matters is the exercise getting done - period!

Food, food is really what I want to talk about today. Others have done reviews of their changes in eating habits comparing their before meals to their after starting to get healthy meals. I think of this as more than just changing how you eat, but adopting a new attitude towards how you approach food as a whole. So now it is my turn, a reflection of my old attitude of food vs. my new attitude.

Breakfast @ 615 a.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Apple Fritter & Sausage Biscuit
(Oh how I love apple fritters! Someday I will treat myself to one but no longer are they typical breakfast fare for me)

NEW ATTITUDE: Greek Yogurt w/ Fruit & dash of Granola
(I thought of this post idea right after breakfast, so I had to surf for a similar dish; this is quite close)

Snack @ 845 a.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Snickers Bar
(I miss these; the best candy bar ever!)

NEW ATTITUDE: Carton of Skim Milk (Moo...)

Lunch @ 1145 a.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Burrito, Rice & Refried Beans
(I like my refried beans triple refried, and I wondered for so long why I am obese)

NEW ATTITUDE: Garden Salad (salad bar) w/ Tuna (canned) & Sesame Oil

Snack @ 245 p.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Rice Krispie Treat
(Perhaps the best 'tasting' energy bar sold in our cafeteria for a mid-afternoon boost to the finish line)


Dinner @ 645 p.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Steak & Potatoes

NEW ATTITUDE: Grilled Chicken Breast, Fried Rice w/ Veggies & Fruit Salad
(I forgot to take a picture of my actual dinner so I had to surf and whack a similar dish together)

Dessert @ 745 p.m...
OLD ATTITUDE: Ice Cream Cone

(When I have a dessert which is now rare) 

Tale of the Scale
OLD ATTITUDE: 4,200 calories (40% fat, 40% carbs, 20% protein)
NEW ATTITUDE: 1,700 calories (30% fat, 40% carbs, 30% protein)
(calculated using a FitDay account I use for reference when needed)

Huh? Would you look at that. I've said it a few times since starting my blog that I do not count calories and certainly not the energy breakdown. I did it just for this one post, and I am somewhat surprised at what I see there.

I would have thought my diet change would have seen my fat & carb intake drop and protein rise. I didn't expect to see carbs stay the same. Perspective, let me keep perspective. This is just one days eating, so I wont analyze this too much. I am eating more fruit than ever before so maybe that is why my carb intake is the same. Hopefully the carbs I am taking in are better than before. And I am eating better proteins so that should account for the rise in protein and drop in fat intake.

You can analyze the numbers until you have a brain freeze. The part of this comparison that takes just seconds to tag as cause for my losing weight is the calories themselves. Roughly 40% the caloric intake of the old gluttonous me, that is the core of my overall new food attitude which has me on my way here.

How is your attitude today?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 94 - Concentration Redux

Hope you enjoyed the riddle :-) Some excellent guesses you had. From cake, to car hoods & workout equipment to a fancy hanky. And perhaps My favorite, silver overalls - LOL. 

There you see the answer to yesterday's riddle: Bleachers.

Aluminum bleachers more specifically. I snapped these shots last week while watching my son play a soccer game. Why I took them at the time, who knows. Seems that I found a fun use for these useless photos however.

Good exercise day yesterday. Came home and got after the home gym routine. Felt good overall. Struggled a bit at first, figured I hadn't warmed up or got my mind right before I started. But after a few reps I was there. After dinner I wasn't interested in sitting still,certainly not watching television. Yep, you guessed it, I went for a walk.

Overall it was about 2.25-2.5 miles, just a walk through the sub-divisions without any real course in mind. My body was warm and ready from the earlier workout so I was walking at a good clip. As I came to the point where I knew I was exactly 1-mile from home I said why not, lets see if I can beat that best time set yesterday of 16:15 minutes. so as I came to the exact point I started the stop watch and kicked it into 5th gear.

Concentration, remember my posts on concentration? No, HERE they are, the first one was Day 75. My concentration was razor sharp on this walk. At one point I was focused on a parked car a hundred yards away, eyes locked on the shiny rear hub cap. Then, fifty yards to go, someone came out and started the car. Hey, that's my hub cap, I'm not done with it yet! I felt my steps extend just a bit more for a bit as kept that hub cap in sight until the car backed out and drove off.

My concentration fixed on a bicycle until I caught up to it; then on a tree a kid was climbing; then on the fire hydrant, and then on my garage door which is my finish line. It was seventy-five yards away, then fifty, then twenty, ten, done; 15:50 minutes! Setting a new PR by 25 seconds. Oh Yeah!

What are you concentrating on today?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 93 - Could It Be...

Another week is underway. I'm committing to a very good week of eating & exercise. Sure, I have tried to make the past thirteen good ones and they have been. This week is no different really with one exception; it is the week before the family & I go on vacation.

We all know the challenges and risks that vacations bring to us who are trying to lose weight and get healthy. I intend to be healthy on vacation, but I also know there will be some indulgence and I am Ok with that. I just figure I owe it to myself to have a solid week pre-vacation. I'll share more about our vacation plans later in the week.

Saturday I got in some good exercise while in Wisconsin. We walked all over a 60 acre property of farm land, fields and woods. We came to terms on the sale so now we order the survey, involve the the lawyer and hopefully we'll own it in a couple of months just in time for deer hunting season.

Plenty of steep hills and challenging terrain to make the legs tired by end of day, and they were Saturday. Yesterday I got in a good 3.6 mile walk on my Neighborhood Loop II, that walk was a challenge just due to the 92F degree heat. When the walk was over all I wanted was water and lots of it. A liter and an hour later I got around to looking at the watch and discovered the new PR for a one mile time of 16:15 minutes, shaving 14 seconds off my last one mile best. I didn't come close to my PR for the whole loop however.

The picture up there, could it be... I took that shot last week and almost forgot about it. Last week I listed out a few riddles for your pondering pleasure and I think we had fun with them. This week we'll try a visual riddle.

Any idea what it is?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 92 - 34% Progress

Later today I'll be back from my trip to Wisconsin. Quick post on progress now and then this evening I'll start getting caught upon your blogs.

I have now shed 34% of the weight I want to shed. Thus 41.5 pounds have been shed in the past THIRTEEN weeks; 1.5 of them this past week. Today I weighed in at 278.5 pounds. Oh Yeah!

A good Sunday to all! 

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 91 - Nickle Dropping

This weekend I am up in Vernon County, WI looking at hunting land so my post here will be brief and I likely won't get to read/reply to your blogs until later on Sunday. But I will get to them, promise!

As I promised Jody yesterday I did my workout on Stanton Hill. How many times can go up & down in 30 minutes. Last time I did 18. Yesterday I did 19, excellent. Actually, I did 20 times in 30:03 minutes. Missed getting 20 trips in by THREE seconds. Ok, I'm good with that. Nineteen is still a new PR for me and next time I just have to be 3 seconds better for another new PR. Until next time Stanton, until next time.

Nickles, why did I give you a picture of a hat with nickles in it? Well, them are my counting nickles for when I go up & down Stanton Hill. The first time I did this hill I realized I was going to lose count of the number of trips. Around the third or forth trip up I was gasping, clawing for air, and counting I had no energy for. So that time I used my blackberry phone, I keep it with me when I workout in case I vapor lock and drop so hopefully someone can call for help; each time I got back down I updated a note in the blackberry. It worked for that time, but fumbling with the keys while also navigating the walking on rippled terrain was not fun. Plus it broke my concentration; not good.

Enter the nickles. Each time since I have taken 20 nickles with me, they fit nicely in one hand. Every time I get back down from a trip up I drop one in the hat. When i have dropped all 20, I am done. Works like a champ. Well, almost. Yesterday I missed with the hat with one of the nickles and kicked
it with my foot. It landed some 10 yards away on the soccer field. Finding it was 'fun' when I was all done, but find it I did.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 90 - Versatile Blogger Award

Good morning everyone. Let's see if I can pull this post together quickly. I've been pushed by Jody to go tackle Stanton Hill often and this morning she is getting her wish; this one's for you Jody! Many of you may know Jody, but some may not. She is a very popular and accomplished blogger and I highly recommend reading what she has to say. Actually, I would suggest you start with her post HERE from yesterday re: The 2010 Team Sarcoma Initiative. Great cause and amazing job she is doing in leading the fight on this rare form of the beast. But I don't recommend her post from today, oh no. It is about pancakes,yes PANCAKES! The pictures she has there; amazingly! Be warned, they are so inviting - you don't want to be like me and actually start sniffing the pc screen in hopes for just a small whiff. I said sniff people, not lick or nibble! What do you think I am goofy? Seriously, check out all of her posts, sniff the screen, and join her cause if you can,and say Hi.

Thank you to my friend at First Steps for honoring me with this Versatile Blogger Award!

Rules, the rules for the award are as follows:
1. Thank the person giving the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

So let me play by the rules now...
1. THANK YOU once again! If you are not following First Steps, you should!

2. Seven things huh. So far I have shared 17 unknown facts with you with past awards, and I don't want to give you any duplicates; thinking... Ok, here are my 7 for this award...

  1. I have dyed my hair light brown for about 8 or so years now. If I didn't I would be all grey. I don't mind grey hair, but I went grey in my late 20's and that was just too young for me. So in my mid-thirties I learned to dye in and do so once a month.
  2. My wife does most of the work on the bills. She is an accountant/financial management type and it all comes natural to her. Oh how I love my wife!
  3. My favorite band is Chevelle, hands down! 
  4. I believe what comes out of Hollywood has never been as anywhere near as good as it was when John Wayne was alive. 
  5. I grill our dinners outside 80% of the time; cooking indoors pales to cooking outdoors. 
  6. I have stared down the barrel of a gun and into the eyes of the man willing to pull the trigger and talked my way out of a bad ending.  
  7. I bond with my kids while playing darts; the more we play the more talk. The more we talk the more I am involved, I know, I understand and thus the more I can influence their making better choices.
3. For nominating 15 newly discovered blogs, I am not sure 'what newly discovered' means really. Newly discovered by me I suppose, not new to blogging necessarily. That's my interpretation. My 15 here are mostly newly discovered by me, some not as new as others but hey I have only been here 90 days now - In no order of anything here they are...
  1. Kristen-Conversations With My Inner Skinny Chick
  2. Luke-The Super Fatlete
  3. Christine-Phoenix Revolution
  4. Michelle-The Garlic Chronicles
  5. Seth-Fit WIth A Purpose
  6. Dan-At Darwin's Table
  7. Going For 96
  8. Lisa-In Weigh Over My Head
  9. Allan-Almost Gastric Bypass
  10. Debbie-Weigh Down
  11. Michael-Free The Wolf
  12. Vickie-Vickie's Voice
  13. Rick-Fat Bastard
  14. Lynda-Taking Less Space
  15. Grace-Grace's Fat Chance
 4. On my way to do that now... enjoy the award folks, my pleasure to honor you. I could have honored so many many more too!

Go gett'em this Friday!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 89 - Doctor Please

Annual physical for our youngest yesterday. Waiting room time was 45 minutes, not terrible but longer than usual. What I found interesting was three health care sales people came in during our wait and were seen right away. Therefore I asked, "Can I be seen on the spot if I show up with a rolling briefcase and samples to give up?"

What is the phrase; ask a silly question and get a answer? The assistant's reply, "You can but the co-pay won't be pretty". Gotta love people who can come back at ya on a dime.

Last week I had my annual physical, I have one every year around my birthday (also last week). While there I asked for, and received, my blood work results. But they were incomplete, not all test results were on the copy I received. So I await the Doc to call me with the scoop. Planning to give these numbers as much importance as I am the scale & the tape measure. Otherwise when I was there my blood pressure was good, he was pleased at my weight loss, and all else checked out Ok. Just waiting on the blood work now.

What credence do you put in your doctor's opinions and advice?

I ask the question because I know a few folks that do not respect the advice of doctors beyond the problem they are there to see them about. Especially topics like nutrition, weight loss and exercise. Their belief is that doctors know medicine and how to check the body and repair whats sick or broke, that's it. For help with being healthy nutritionists, therapists, trainers know more about what gets & keeps a body healthy than do doctors according to them.

Agree or Disagree? 

Myself I tend to listen a good deal to the doctor I have. He has earned my respect for the medicine and has proved to me that he knows more than just sniffles and drips. Do I accept every thing he says, no, but in general I give him my full attention. But, I have had doctors in the past who had not earned my respect for knowing their craft and I didn't waste time dusting them to the side.

Overall I don't buy the completeness of the notion that doctors lag greatly on the topic of being healthy. However my sense is that when looking for serious depth of knowledge in the areas of diet & exercise, that is when you need to add the help of nutritionists, therapists, & trainers on top of that your doctor.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 88 - Red, White & Brown

Wednesday, Wednesday - Did you know today is Wednesday?

Here are the answers to yesterday's Sam riddles...
1- ANSWER - Meat
2- ANSWER - Pour two pancakes and brown the first side. After the first side is done, flip one, take the second off, and pour the third pancake. After another minute, take the first one off, flip the third one, and put the second one back on. Cook both pancakes until finished.
3- ANSWER - An egg

Hope you enjoyed the riddles. Luke's brain got these unraveled pretty quick, well done. His first try at #3 was a caterpillar, which I got a chuckle from... don't caterpillar's have meat? :-) If I had offered a prize for first to the answers it would have been a shiny new car, but, I forgot to offer a prize. Maybe next time.

Rice, I like rice; I love wild rice. I haven't eat allot of rice recently as I've tried to keep carbs in check a bit. No, I wouldn't say I am on a low carb diet, or any diet plan. My old eating habits were a display in carb overload. Today I keep them in check better while replacing much of the bad carbs I used to eat with fruit, veggies and better protein choices.

There you see a picture of a box of wild rice I bought recently. Unfortunately I have not been able to enjoy it yet. The other night I was going to make this rice as a side dish, that is, until my kids saw the box and let me have it. They love rice, but only, and I mean ONLY white rice. And more specifically they greatly prefer short grain rice cooked in the rice steamer over long grain versions. Bottom line, they love white sticky rice, and that is the only rice that exists in their minds.

Debate on - I countered that there are tens-of-thousands of  varieties of rice on this rock we call home and that we ought to try a few of them. Red, White & Brown, all sorts of rice colors, shapes and sizes to explore and adore! Silly me, I am talking to teenagers. They have all the answers and know it all, right? On that day I relented and put the wild rice back on the shelf. Simply I was not in the mood to make it, watch nobody else have desire to eat it but have plenty of desire to complain about it. That fun will we'll have on another day.

When you have six mouths in the house you will frequently encounter these challenges where some like an item and others don't. Fish and veggies are constantly being debated here. Rice not so much as we usually just go sticky. But now that my wife & I are working on getting healthier I am finding myself a little less tolerant to unwillingness to broaden palate horizons. As we are adding healthier options and trying new things we too would like to see them be a bit more desirous of doing so.

That said, I am a firm believer in not needing to ever eat a food you don't enjoy. Brussel sprouts, an absolutely hideous food according to my palate. You can pound out the health benefits of brussel sprouts in bronze and I won't capitulate to eating them. So then who am I to suggest, let alone insist, they take a left turn from sticky rice to a dish of wild rice? I mean, they are still eating rice, a healthy choice, right? It is not like they insist on having a side of gummy-bears with the chicken.
What foods do enjoy that you wish your family shared your desire for?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 87 - Riddle Me This

A good Tuesday to one and all. The picture there is a recent sunset near home. I was waiting for my son to finish soccer practice and watched the sun fall behind this cloud and give us this cool shot. Not the coolest sunset picture ever, but, in Illinois we don't get many cool sunset pictures. Sunrises over Lake Michigan can be very cool, but sunsets, not so much.

I'm going to lighten things up today here. My past several posts have been a bit on the serious side although for good reason. Don't get me wrong this getting-healthy is serious stuff; but every so often you just have to look in another direction for a bit.

So, I have some questions for you, lets see if you or any of those around you got answers for me...

1- Sam is a butcher, no not the one from the Brady Bunch. Anyhow he is six feet - two inches tall, wears size 11 shoes, has a 38 inch waist, and wears a size 7-1/2 hat... What does he weigh?

2- Sam doesn't diet mainly because he is addicted to pancakes. He owns a single frying pan in which he can cook two pancakes at once. He uses a timer to cook his pancakes for one minute on each side, very meticulous he is. How can Sam cook three pancakes in just three minutes?

3- Sam goes for a walk in a nearby field and finds something he likes to eat. It has no bones, it has no meat. He puts it in his pocket, takes it home, puts it on the counter and forgets about it. Three day's later, he notices it walking away. What was it?

Enjoy this day!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 86 - Da Numbering

Yesterday was time to get away from the neighborhood for my walk so we went to the Rollins Savannah and it's 3.6 mile loop. My wife is nursing a bum leg and couldn't join me but two of the kids did in her place. There you see Cameron & Ashley by the trail map before we got to it.

They are both soccer players so their keeping up with me was not in question. It had been nearly a month since I walked the Savannah for time and then I set my best time of just over 62 minutes. Today with Cam & Ash pushing me I crushed that time and registered an awesome 58:18 minutes. Oh Yeah!, Thanks kids.

As promised yesterday I got the tape measure out and measured myself as part of my celebration for hitting 33% of my weight loss goal.

My Measurements~
0% Progress on April 18, 2010
Weight:... 320 lbs.
Chest:... 56-1/2"
Upper Arms:... 18-1/2"
Girth:... 58-1/4"
Waist:... 55-3/4"
Hips:... 51-1/2"
Upper Thighs:... 30"
Calfs:... 17-3/4"
Forehead:... 22-3/4"

33% Progress on July 11, 2010
Weight:... 280 lbs. (down 40 #)
Neck:...19-3/4" (down 3/4")
Chest:... 52-1/2" (down 4")
Upper Arms:... 19" (up 1/2")
Girth:... 55" (down 3-1/4")
Waist:... 54-1/2" (down 1-1/4") 
Hips:... 49" (down 2-1/2") 
Upper Thighs:... 28-1/2" (down 1-1/2")
Calfs:... 17-1/2" (down 1/4")
Forehead:... 22-3/4" (no change)

If I did my math right, and that 'if' should not be taken for granted; but if I did then I have reduced 13" off my apple shaped body so far. Hhmmm, sure; why not - Oh Yeah!

The upper arm measurement confuses me. Either I measured it poorly when took the initial measurement in April, or, the weight/strength training has been more friendly to my upper arms that I could have imagined. Not sure which really.

Another oddity I find in these results is the relationship of the girth, waist and hips measurement. The waist, where I wear my belt, was the considerably smallest loss of the trio. The girth is no surprise as the leader of this trio as it is measure across the widest mass of fat around my gut. Hips, allot of bone involved in the hip measurement but some upper butt fat too I suppose so no question for that loss. Hey, just an oddity as I said, I'll take these numbers!

Oh, forehead. So it didn't move but my progress sure has it feeling rather swelled at the moment.

How big is your Forehead?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 85 - 33% Progress

Stanton Hill was calling me yesterday. So, I listened and chose it for my morning cardio. I believe what I like about the hill is that I attack it with a time limit; 30 minutes in which I try to achieve a number of laps (trips up & down). Versus my walks which all have a distance I try to achieve in a time. It's that little bit of variety that helps make exercise desired vs. dreaded. That hill gets my breathing pounding like nothing else. Not even the 1 block jog I've taken up gets me sucking in wind like that hill. Last time I went to the hill I did 17 trips up and down in 30 minutes; yesterday I did 18!...

What exercise is it that you do that gets your heart & lungs working their hardest?

In the evening after dinner I didn't feel much like sitting around so I went for a walk. I didn't plan to make this walk for time, just some distance; the Neighborhood-II Loop of 3.6 miles. Just something casual to end the day with. But on the way back as I neared one mile to go I figured why not try and get a PR for the one mile best time. My body was warm and my stride was string so the challenge was on. Shazam! 16:29, shaved 7 seconds of the previous best set the day before.

So a couple of Oh Yeah!'s for those PR's. Now onto the scale...

My goal for this weeks weigh-in was 282.5... I had doubts at the beginning of the week whether I'd have a loss for this weigh-in. I was exercising and eating fairly well, but I just felt heavy coming off of the holiday weekend. It wasn't until Thursday that the heaviness started to fade and the fire rise.

As of today I have dropped 33% of the weight I want to drop. That comes out to 40 pounds dropped in the past TWELVE weeks; 4 of them this past week. Today I weighed in at 280 pounds.

Nothing else to say about making it to 40 pounds lost other than Oh Yeah!

Body Measurements, Kyle  recommended early on in my mission to measure and track those as part of my progress. I then promptly measured them back in April when I started and told myself I would check them at 33%, 66% & 100% progress. Ok, 33% is here (WHooHoo) so I will get out the tape measure later today & share them tomorrow...

Hey, Go Gett'em Today!
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 84 - Looking Up Dan

How many of you know & follow Dan of "At Darwin's Table"? Dan & I crossed blogs a few weeks back and I've enjoyed his writing on food and recipes, on diet and the science behind it, and on off the cuff stuff too (Go Netherlands!). Check him out if you have not yet met each other, I think you'll like Dan.

Here is what Dan did for me yesterday, he posted his post I link above titled "The Aquatic Ape".  I knew I was going to exercise later when I got home before I read that post. The neighborhood loop walk awaited me, I was looking forward to it but I was not on the edge of my seat waiting for the clock to tick off to the time I could get exercising. But after I read that post, I was ready to push away from my desk and get after it.

What put a tiger in my tank about Dan's post was that he found something there that we all desire, enjoyment & excitement from the exercise we do. For Dan it was a new experience with swimming that has him hungry for more. Enjoyment, Excitement, Hunger for exercise?

Hmmm, I already knew I enjoyed walking that loop and challenging myself to perform better on it. Opportunity to do just that was just hours away. Opportunity to not just get after it but also finish it with the same enjoyment & excitement that had Dan saying, "I loved, and I mean LOVED, every minute of it. It didn’t feel like exercise at all...". I wanted to have that feeling!

The time came and off I went, the 2 mile neighborhood loop. As I was walking I was stoked, looking up and determined to enjoy the success that awaited me. Above there you see a picture of me looking up; see I really was looking up, from start to finish. Previous best was 33:51 minutes with a best 1 mile time of 16:49... last night with Dan by my side, helping me concentrate all the way; I walked it in 33:46 minutes with a best 1 mile time of 16:36... Oh Yeah!

As good as that felt I wanted more. And more I would have. The one block jog, not easy for me and not what I've considered enjoyable the two times I've attempted it previously. Perhaps that's an attitude issue for me to address in time. Away I went and jogged with all I had. It felt good, I felt strong, I could tell I was performing and I was loving the challenge. Imagine my excitement when I replaced my previous best time of 4:15 minutes with a new PR of 3:53... how about another Oh Yeah!

Thanks Dan!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 83 - Pix 4 U

Slightly different kind of post today for me, one based in pictures...

Food, I have to have food in a pic right. There on the upper-left you see lunch from yesterday, Whitefish Salad, from the South Gate Cafe where my Mom took me for my birthday. Not sure why the pic came out looking so blusih. It was excellent! What is your take on fish skin? I don't care for it much unless it is cooked up to a crunch. Like poultry skin it does allot to add flavor to the meat but I find unlike poultry the fish skin itself is not a savory and this I usually strip it off after cooking and discard.

Below is my oldest son Andrew. Wednesday night we went to see a minor league baseball game. Anyone else here like minor league baseball? The Lake County Fielders are a new single-A team that is owned by Kevin Costner which he founded for Lake County. A great idea and we went to support them. The problem, well look at Andrew. He is all wet. Minutes after buying our tickets and getting our peanuts and drinks the skies opened up in a big way. Here we are standing under a concessions canopy waiting it out. But the game was cancelled. So we will go back another day with our rain checks.

Below is a fruit stand where I like to get locally grown fruit & veggies. The day I took that picture I hauled away a steal of a deal on bing cherries. Who here doesn't like cherries?

Below is a picture of our oldest Ashley taking a chomp out of a buffalo wing. Wings, is there a better bar food? This past Tuesday I worked from home and we had a power outage. Now outages always occur at the worst time of day tight?Yep, minutes before the start of the World Cup game between Uruguay & Spain. So, power out means internet out means I can't work; perfect! Off we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game and eat some wings. I was good, I only ate 3 of her 12 wings and I ate all of the celery.

Below is a picture of the middle son Ryan. Here he is hamming up a shot for me to send to his mom. Why I felt the need to send her this shot I am not sure, just having fun I suppose. Subway in hand, he wasn't in as good of a mood as the picture suggests. This was last week and he had tweaked his back at wrestling camp. We were waiting for CVS to fill his script for muscle relaxers so we thought we'd stop in for lunch at the Subway next door. The Subway Diet, a joke or something to consider?

Last but not least... Click here to see my fresh off the press 30% progress pictures.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 82 - Forty Five

So far this week has been good for exercise and eating forgetting about Sunday and July 4th eating if you will. Monday my wife & I walked the Rollins Savannah 3.5 mile loop and yesterday my son & I walked the Lake Andrea 2.25 mile loop. Tuesday morning I did my dumbbell routine. More exercise will be had by the time I weigh-in this coming Sunday.

Speaking of weigh-ins, last Sunday I posted I had hit that 30% milestone but chose not to speak much about it since it was July 4th. But hit it I did and if I have not gone backwards on the scale this coming Sunday I will get to cash in on that 30% reward I have noted on My Numbers page.

This week I turn 45. Man, seems like just yesterday I was playing pinners in the school yard and collecting baseball cards as if it was the only thing that was of any importance. Well when I was 8, it was all that mattered.

One thing I know about turning 45 that is different than when I turned 44; I feel a heck of allot better. What my weight was exactly last July I am not certain but it is a safe guess it was between 310-320. The scale read 284 as I entered into this week. When you look at those two numbers they are both huge, both obese, both ugly; but they are night and day when it comes down to how I feel. When I turn 46, what will the number be? How much better will I feel then??

When YOU hit your next birthday, what will the number be?
How much better will YOU feel then vs. your last cake candle blowing?

Followers, I am up to 50 followers I see. When I started this blog 82 days ago I didn't think much about followers. Probably because I didn't figure too many people would be interested in following along with a guys efforts to lose weight. I mean, just how exciting can that be?

Well, I proved myself wrong with the latter part of that soon after arriving as I soon found it exciting to follow others in their efforts to get fit. Not only is it exciting but it is beneficial to my efforts, so much more than just cool reading. And we can never have enough friends in life and I feel I've added some new friends along the way as well. That makes it all worth it all on its own.

Myself I am following 70 other blogs now and that number should go up and up as I add a handful each week. True, some blogs on my list are not very active, but most are at least weekly posters and many are daily. Who knows how many I'll be following in a year from now, or how many will follow me. The number is really irrelevant. Whether it is 5 or 50 or more the relevance is that we enjoy the exchange, gain from it mutually, and form respectful friendships from our time here. If we do that, we'll all be so much more healthy in a years time.

Whew, sorry if that sounded a bit sappy. Being this rough and tumble sort of guy that I am this diversion is a bit out of character for me, I think. Perhaps birthday's do that to you. But hey, now you know what blogging, and what you, mean to me.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 81 - Josh Harris

Part of my mission to get healthier is not just to lose weight and get in better shape physically. Oh that is a BIG part of it but it is also about getting into a better place mentally. When we think of the mental aspect of fitness we usually are referring to attitude, confidence, etc.. In addition to that I insist on including having-fun as a characteristic of a sound mental approach to being healthy. That means identifying the things I/we enjoy and finding the time/resource to do them.

Who here likes crab? I like crab. I like most seafood, but many of you likely know that from all of the fish dish pictures I have shared with you. Well last night was another day of enjoying seafood, but it was more than just eating some. It came with a good dose of fun.

We heard that Josh Harris was going to be at one of our favorite seafood houses, Bob Chinn's. Do you know who Josh is? He is one of the crab fisherman from the reality TV show Deadliest Catch.

Our family being a fan of the show figured why not go to Chinn's for dinner and meet Josh. So we did. Up there you see a picture of Josh and I, and below is a picture of Josh and my wife.

He is quite a friendly sort, very personable and likes to talk. He spent about 5 minutes chatting with us before getting down to the business of signing autographs and taking pictures. His sense of humor was evident too and also came out in his autographing, for the poster he signed for me he did so as follows,"Patrick, Big Balls = Money. Josh Harris". Hmm, did I learn something there?

If you watch the show which is nearing the end of its current season now, then you would know that Josh and his brother Jake lost their father, Phil, on the show this past winter while filming the season that is airing now. Talking to Josh, he is grieving for sure, but he is using the loss to find new focus on what it is he wants to do in life. One thing is to quit smoking and get healthy. In short order he's turned his pain into effort and is now touring promoting an alternative to smoking cigarettes as part of a plan to quit the habit. If you are a smoker and part of your mission to get healthy includes quitting, perhaps Josh can help, read more about his effort here.

Oh, back to Bob Chinn's... Chicago has several seafood houses but Bob Chinn’s in Wheeling is hands down the best of the best whether it be for crab or fish. Here is the Sockeye Salmon I had. Oh, my wife gets a giggle out of me taking pictures of my food and played with my green beans first, guess she is saying HI to all of you...

Have a great Wednesday!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!