Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 395-Weigh-in Day: 294.6lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 296.4
Current Weight: 294.6
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1.8lbs
Total Weight Loss: 70.8lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 0
Total Miles Biked: 2206.86
Miles to Go: 5293.14

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1493 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

This Week’s Workout
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Walked 3 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Life isn’t very fun in a cast. The doc did another x-ray to check on progress and things are good. I’ll go see him in 3 more weeks and hopefully get out of the cast. I think this injury is a bigger set back than I realize. Doc doesn’t want me riding a road bike right now and putting pressure on the wrist. So I will stay off…but this week I will jump back into the gym, and start racking up the miles. It’s hard to see cyclist out biking, and I’m not. I will make up for it in the gym and at home. I am at the 5-month mark right now in counting down to “The Ride.” I am so anxious to start riding! I’ve got to be patient.

This week I didn’t do any workouts except for a nice long walk…but again I continued to stay on track with eating. I had a “free-meal” on Tuesday evening. I was feeling sick and was craving a double bacon cheese-burger down at the Amber Restaurant. So I ate one with onion rings, and a hot fudge sundae. It was perfect and I woke up feeling better.

There is another side to this experience that I haven’t been sharing. You’re only seeing what I’m doing to lose weight. However, there is quite another story going on behind the scenes in how I am getting this Japan trip pulled off. The bottom line is that I don’t have the money right now to get me and my family to Japan, along with a camera crew, a bike, pay for meals, some accommodations, and all the extra things that must be done. I have some of it.

That is the other part of this story that I am keeping fairly quiet about as when it’s all over I will include that as part of the documentary. The story on the surface is about weight loss, but what it’s really about is how one goes after a seemingly impossible dream.

It’s also about getting a second chance to go after your dreams. I’m 48 years old, and in some ways I feel that my best years are behind me. But in other ways I am discovering that my best years are in front of me. Have you ever felt that you wish you could have taken a big risk and gone after something? If you’re young, you may not totally understand what that feels like until you get down the road in life a little bit. There are a lot of regrets. A lot of: Why did I get fat…I should have gotten into biking years ago…I should have done this or that.

I was having a pity party a few nights ago while laying in bed next to my wife. I was thinking about all the money it is going to take to get me to Fuji. I then started thinking that nobody really cares about what I’m doing but me. I’m an old guy that is still pretty much a beginner on a bike. I’ve asked various bike companies to sponsor me. What bike company really cares about sponsoring some fat guy in his late 40’s? They don't! Blah, blah, blah…it went on and on and I truly felt sad. But the next day I snapped out of it.

I have 5 months left ‘til the ride, and I am going to surprise a lot of you by what I am going to do. The story is not over, and the best is yet to come.

There have been some bummer-type things happen in my life recently. They have made me angry and have caused me to not look at the real problem…myself. A little voice inside me has been whispering that I am wasting energy worrying and being angry about things I can’t change---that I should waste time focusing on them. I think I understood something at an even deeper level this week that I’ve already known, but for some reason it really made sense to me. You and I know that we’re the captains of our ships. It’s easy, and even sometimes feels good to blame. But again, something clicked this week that made me want to take my life to an even more accountable level. Read this quote that Stephen Covey made:

Well I’m off to a free day. Don’t forget what this weekend and tomorrow are really all about! Happy Easter!

Keep up your stuff and hopefully your left arm is working!!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 388-Weigh-in Day: 296.4lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 299.6
Current Weight: 296.4
This Week’s Weight Loss: 3.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 68.8lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 0
Total Miles Biked: 2206.86
Miles to Go: 5293.14

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1493 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

This Week’s Workout
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Well, my scale is still a little skitty wompus, however, after recalibrating and reweighing a few times, I weighed in at 296.4. If it’s off a bit, oh well. I’m looking into a new scale. J

This week I didn’t do any exercise, however I have eaten near perfect. I missed a few servings of beans, but stayed right on my eating regimen. I have noticed that when I don’t eat the beans, I feel tired and worn down even if I get the meat and veggies. The beans seem to be the sugar-regulating piece of the puzzle.

This week we called my in-laws to tell them we were coming to Japan. I challenged my father-in-law to climb Mount Fuji with me. He accepted the challenge! He is Japanese, age 71, and has never climbed Mount Fuji in his life. He can see Mount Fuji from his neighborhood in Tokyo on a clear day.

I hired a crew to come film the phone call to capture my invite to him. You would never believe what happened that day as we looked forward to making the call. I have a sample video to share with you to see. It was crazy!

Last night, my wife and I reviewed our budget for the Japan trip. It’s going to be big, but we’ve decided it’s something that has to be done! Sometimes, you have to grasp the moment…there’s never the perfect time to go after your dreams!

Now the news about my wrist…

Yes it is broken, however it can heal by wearing a cast for 5-6 weeks. I went to the orthopedist, and he took some new x-rays, did some comparisons to the week-old x-rays and determined the path of the cast. We videotaped the visit and the casting! I have a screen capture from the video.

Anyway, I chose a purple cast. I’ve noticed that the swelling in my fingers is not as bad now, and that things are improving! However when they took off the splint and wrap from InstaCare, I could not lift my hand! It hurt so blasted much. Within a few minutes though, the muscles started to kick in and get easier. But it definitely is painful. Enjoy the pictures below.

I have been careful to not over-do it this week and didn’t do any exercising per se. But this week I will hop on my spin bike and even get to the gym and start getting the miles in again. My injury down-time is over.

Anyway, FYI, in the past 5 weeks, I have lost 18lbs. That is almost 4 pounds a week! If I could continue at that rate (although not probable) for the next 22 weeks, I could lose 88lbs, and that would give me a weight of 208lbs. That is where I want to be. Again, it is harder to lose the closer to your goal you get, but I have my eye on my target, and I know I’m going to do better than I think.

Well, it’s been an eventful week to say the least…but it’s all taking us where we need to go. Despite a few set backs, this is a great adventure!

Happy "Love Your Left Hand" Day!


Moments before the fall

Cracks in the wrist

Doc Decides to cast

Color coordinating with the cast

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 381-Weigh-in Day: 299.8lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 299.6
Current Weight: 299.8
This Week’s Weight Loss: +0.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 65.6lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 0
Total Miles Biked: 2206.86
Miles to Go: 5293.14

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1493 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands)

This Week’s Workout
Monday: Ice Skated 1.5 miles
Tuesday: Walked 1 mile
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Walked 4.50 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest


Well I am typing this entry with my right hand while my broken left hand sits on my left knee in a splint. If you didn't read my last blog, I broke my left wrist while ice skating last Monday night. Life with one hand is not fun, but today it is not in as bad of pain as it was on Monday. It’s a joy (sarcasm) to sleep with, and yesterday I went to try on some new clothes. That was fun trying to button shirts and zip up and button multiple pairs of pants, also with one hand!

I am playing it safe and avoiding any activity that has any potential risk of causing a fall. So riding my road bike right now is not an option. Of course this week the temps are in the 60s and 70s and I am chomping at the bit. From what I am gathering from reading on the web, wrist injuries can take 6-weeks to heal---even longer. So at the end of April, I will hopefully be able to get back on my bike.

I will see an Orthopedist on Monday and he can tell me how serious my injury is. Hopefully I won’t need surgery.

I didn’t lose any weight this week. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t do anything to get my heart pounding---or break a sweat. Perhaps there is a little more fluid retaining due to the injury. Perhaps having a splint and ace bandages on the arm weigh a little. Its all good. I’ve been a good boy this week and am bouncing back from this injury.

I have continued to eat perfectly with my “slow carb” diet, and have done some walking this week. I think I will get some good recumbent biking in at the gym, and see how spin biking feels with one hand. I need to be putting in 20 miles a day if I can. So eating my whole foods, and getting some serious exercise in for now will be my plan of attack for the next 6 weeks. If I could take off 20-30 pounds during that period, then I can be off to riding at a good weight.

Yesterday, I went shopping to buy some new clothes! And I have exciting news…The biggest pair of pants I’ve ever worn is a size 50. Lately I’ve been wearing 48. Today, I fit into 44s! And, I have worn 5X shirts before, but mostly wear 4Xs. Well today, I bought some 2X shirts!!!! I can’t believe it. It feels so good to put away these baggy clothes and to start wearing some that fit normal. Yee Haw!!

The other great news I want to share are my blood test results from my blood draw last week on my 1-year anniversary.

All my results are vastly improved from last year. I am pretty much in normal range! Hear are some highlights:

Cholesterol Total
Normal             158-199
Feb ’12            225
Feb ’13            173

Triclycerides (Blood Fat)
Normal            58-149
Feb ’12            180
Feb ’13            91

Normal            less than 100
Feb ’12            147
Feb ’13            109 (still a tad high)

A1C (Test to determine long-range potential for diabetes)
Normal            less than 5.7
Feb ’12            6.1
Feb ’13            5.5

Normal            65-99
Feb ’12            119
Feb ’13            109 (I am on the lower end now of pre-diabetes)

I am not out of the woods on diabetes, although you can see that I am heading in the right direction. Diabetes runs in my family, and so it is a real factor in my genes. By the way, When I did this blood test, I had only been doing the “no sugar/carbs” diet for a week or so. I think in August I’ll go back and see how things look.

Another side note is that when I was at Instacare this past Monday, they took my blood pressure. It was 119/7?. A year ago in my doc’s office it was 140/80.

I think this is a great report card.

Despite the pain in my broken wrist, these results outshine the pain! And it’s also my free day today…so that makes everything good too. It’s breakfast at the Amber this morning!

I’ll let you know how things go at the Orthopedists this Monday.

I hope you are enjoying warmer weather whereever you are!

Happy shoving beans in your pie-hole.


This is what Mount Fuji looked like yesterday in Japan. I had a dream about her last night.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 377-Injury!

The other day I was thinking about what would happen if I injured myself during this challenge. Would it be the end of my challenge or would it pose another hurdle for me to work through? I guess that depends on the seriousness of the injury.

Well, last Saturday I decided to do something that I have never done in my 48 years of life...I went ice skating. It was a blast and I couldn't believe what I have been missing out on such a fun activity. As a family, we decided to go out last night to do some ice skating. We went to the Olympic Ice Skating Oval in Kearns, Utah. The first 90 minutes was great. I was telling my wife I really love the sensation of skating. Well, as I was rounding one of the corners, boom, before I knew it I was down! I remember hitting hard on my left wrist while trying to catch my fall and feeling some big pain! I saw my glasses fly across the floor and mt head hit the ice.

Well, I felt embarrassed to take such a spill, but even more as I tried to crawl off the ice with an injured wrist.

My wife suggested we head over to Instacare and see a doc. Within an hour I had been x-rayed and saw the broken bones in my wrist! Dang! DANG! They put a splint and sling on my left arm and I'll go see an orthopedist on Monday.

Am I over with the challenge? Heck NO! This is a small set back that will add some add some additional drama to this whole story. Ha ha.

I can still eat well, ride a stationary bike, and do my treadmill. I don't think I'll be riding my bike to work, etc., though for 4-6 weeks. Oh well, we'll make the best of it.

It's a long way down to that ice.
See the rising bump on top of my wrist.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 374-Weigh-in Day: 299.6lbs


Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 303.8
Current Weight: 299.6
This Week’s Weight Loss: 4.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 65.8lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 9.30
Total Miles Biked: 2206.86
Miles to Go: 5293.14

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1493 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands)

This Week’s Workout
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 9.3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Well, I have achieved one of my big goals, but a little of the fanfare has been muted. First, what the achievement is…and then what the mute is…

This past week I have been monitoring my weight and have seen a consistent drop in pounds. Yesterday I got on the scale and was blown away when I saw my first weigh-in in a looooong time that started with the number “2”! The scale said that I weighed 298lbs…I weighed a little later and I was 299lbs….and then a little later…etc., etc. Then this morning the scale said I was 298lbs…and then 294lbs. Well, I am pretty sure that I am about 299…however, I know I am not 294. My wife got on the scale and she was about 5 pounds lighter than her usual weight. Well, I recalibrated the scale according to manufacturers specs, and it says I weigh somewhere between 297 and 298. Well, I find it hard to believe that I have lost that much. Is the scale broken? I will look into a scale replacement or compare with another scale.

But I will say in as loud as typing as I can…I AM NOW A MEMBER OF THE 200 CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I weigh in the 200s)

If my scale is off a tad, at least here are things that I know are accurate…

-My pants are getting too big!
-I am on my last belt loop and need a new belt!
-Yesterday I wore a 3X t-shirt!
-I put on my yellow rain jacket that my belly used to barely fit in when I’d zip it up, and now there is slack in the front of it! No stretching!!

My biggest cheerleaders, my wife and daughter, have both commented this past week that my stomach is looking a lot smaller.

Hmmmm…I think I might be changing again.

On Thursday I just had to get out and ride my bike. I rode a 10-mile route to work and took some little hills. I could feel a change from how doing hills felt last year. It seemed easier and less strenuous on Thursday. Maybe being 20-30lbs lighter helps.

My in-laws don’t know that we’re coming to Japan this summer for my bike ride. As far as they know I am still a BIG 365lbs big. Little do they know I’ve shed 65lbs. I can hardly wait to walk off the plane at Narita Airport and have them see me 155lbs lighter! I want to get their reaction on camera and plan to have a cameraman there to catch their faces.

With eating, I have noticed that I am no longer craving sweets or carbs. Yes, I’d like to eat them, but there is no longer that physiological craving. I could actually eat like this the rest of my life. I am past the “withdrawal” stage I think, and have just been preparing, packing and consuming my food like clockwork.

As you know I get 1 free day a week, and it’s been a real cool psychological boost to know that I can let my hair down on Saturday as far as eating goes. My wife and I have been joking during the week. Every time I see a restaurant I want to eat at, I tell her we’re going there on Saturday. We’re up to 9 restaurants to go to today! ;) This morning I’ve already had 2 cupcakes (saved from company party on Tuesday) and a McGriddle combo meal from McDonalds! Oh, and a glass of cow’s milk! Ahhhhhhh! And I am feeling sleepy. The only time each week I feel sleepy now is on my free day. Is it worth it? You feel like crap, but it’s a necessary outlet for now. I feel it’s a very healthy thing mentally and physically.

In 3 weeks since starting my “slow carb” way of eating with meat, beans and veggies, and cutting out ALL sugar in the form of ANY grain, I have lost about 15 pounds! I am totally sold on cutting sugar out! SUGAR IS THE CULPRIT PEOPLE! Did I say it’s the CULPRIT?

I thought that I would get on my bike and ride it 7500 miles and the weight would come off. Well, I have found that you can lose some weight, and even maintain with bike riding, but if you really want to take the weight off there is only one thing you have to do…

Stop Eating Sugar!

Plain and Simple! Everything it seems has sugar in it. I mean like just about everything. I heard of a man who has been having severe diabetic issues to the point of needing an amputation. Then somebody stopped giving him Orange Juice every morning and over a year’s time he’s lost 180lbs. That’s not the full story, but the principle of it is there.

I remember my dear grandmother, anytime we were visiting her house, would bring us fresh orange juice in the morning while we were still in bed. Nothing like starting the day out with Vitamin C and Sugar!

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for sugar, but not when you’re really wanting to lose weight.

D it’s not just losing weight…It’s the way I feel too. I haven’t felt this level of energy in a long time!

When I started this journey a year ago, I had no clue that I would eventually end up on the no-sugar path (at least for 6-days a week.)

Notice that this week I didn’t go to the gym…and I rode my bike once. It’s really not about exercise…it’s about the food.

Well, the weather is warming up and I will be starting to get the miles in. I’m also wanting to get an hour of spin biking in every night to see what that does. I know that I need to be working on endurance and hill climbing…so here comes the pain!

Happy Cane Sugar-Free Living!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 367 (Days were off so I corrected for today)-Weigh-in Day: 303.8lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 305
Current Weight: 303.8
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 61.6lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 9.85
Total Miles Biked: 2197.56
Miles to Go: 5302.44

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1484 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands)

This Week’s Workout
Monday: Gym
Tuesday: Gym
Wednesday: Gym
Thursday: Gym
Friday: 9.85 miles
Saturday: Rest


Happy 1 Year Anniversary Don!

It was 1 year ago yesterday, that I began my challenge on February 29, 2012 (Leap Year). What do I have to show for it? Well, I’m basically 60lbs lighter! That is such a good feeling. I believe I am the healthiest I’ve been in years.

I biked up to my doctor’s office yesterday to go get a blood test to see how my blood sugar, cholesterol, etc., are looking. I will post my results here this week.

Also, I videotaped myself getting on the scale in the docs office that I weighed in on a year ago. Last year I weighed in at 365.4. Today on that scale I weighed 305.2. (There is obviously a little discrepancy between my scale and the doc’s, but for my weekly weigh-ins, everything is relative to my home scale.)

I remember a few years back trying to lose weight, and giving up. Then a year would go by and I would think, “If only I’d stuck to it, I’d have lost X pounds by now!” Well, this time, I can smile because I have stuck to it.

Let me tell you about my interesting ride down the No Sugar Expressway. As you know I cut sugar completely out of my diet about 10 days ago. It hasn’t been an easy thing to adjust to.
Over the past 10 days I’ve experienced a little weakness, but on Wednesday I was really weak! Not only weak, but grouchy with a dark cloud hanging over my head. I was getting really frustrated with eating the same thing every day, and having to spend so much time preparing food. I wanted to give up. No sugar has been a hard thing. I think I was experiencing sugar withdrawls…and now I know what that feels like! I went to the gym that morning, but felt tired, so I just walked on the treadmill for a couple of miles.

Well, the next day, something happened! I got up early and went to the gym and felt like superman! I had so much energy, and felt exceptionally good. It was a complete 180 from the day before. At work I continue to walk up 4 flights of stairs to my office level, but on Thursday I found myself running up the stairs! All day long I felt strong and happy. But guess what happened on Friday?…same thing! I woke up feeling great, and all day long felt strong and happy. Gee…if this is the way it’s always going to be, then it’s worth it! I don’t know what happened, but the miserable feeling left, and I am not really feeling carb cravings anymore.

The theory behind my eating is that the beans that I eat at each meal are releasing sugar slowly and steadily, thus keep my blood sugar regulated for a long time. When we eat white carbs, many times there’s a spike, and an immediate drop. So maybe there is something to this bean thing.

This past week I wasted about 5 pounds of pinto beans that I had stored in a pail for 3-4 years. I was soaking and cooking the beans only to discover after a few tries that the beans were crunchy. I couldn’t figure it out until I did a little research on the internet and found out that I must be using old beans. If you store beans, make sure they are in oxygen free bags or cans.

So I went out and bought some new beans, and they worked like a charm! Beans are amazing. I’ve always loved them, but now I get to really hone in on some great recipes!

BTW, Today is my free day. Last week I did a low-key free day. But today, I’m going to go crazy. I want to see what my body does. I know it will be a shock to the system, but I’m suppose to do that to mix up the metabolism. I want to see how my body will handle it, and respond. I’m already craving a slice of Marzipan cake. I have to find some today!

I am starting to get a routine down. I go to the gym at 5am, come home and make breakfast for everyone around 7am, then I cook my food for the day and get ready to go out the door.

I haven’t been riding much this week, as I have been focusing on intervals on the treadmill. I feel that is what I should be doing along with weight training in the gym, and then do biking at home or to work. I am excited though…next week it’s going to be in the 40s and 50s!!! Yahoo! Bike Season is about here.

Well, things are starting to get down to the nitty gritty. I’ve got to go buy a bike, get plane tickets, get some cycling clothes, start hitting the hills, and riding farther and longer.

Well, I am closer to the 299 mark, the official exit out of the “300 Club.” I didn’t get to join this week…but I better join this coming week J.

Happy Sugar-Free Pedaling!