Thursday, November 24, 2016

246 today - Happy Thanksgiving!

Back in early February (so, nine and a half months ago), I published this:
"Having previously published some target weights, and failed to hit the latter ones, I have revised my aims and come up with a new path to success; one that is more realistic, if somewhat longer."
After a bit of a blip in the middle of the year, and moving house twice recently, I'm back on track. With almost a week to go until the end of November, I'm only four pounds away from my published target. 


It's still a very ambitious plan, but I don't see why I can't achieve this, given the history and the ongoing motivation. The next significant goal is to be under 233 lbs by the end of the year.
246.6 lbs (111.8 kg) today
There will be more changes, more good stressors (eustress, as opposed to distress), and more successes to come.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

249 - Progress continues

Just a quick update this time. This morning I stepped on the scales and they said:
249.0 lbs (113 kg)
249 pounds! The move to Missoula has been really good for me, not just mentally but physically too.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Enjoying my cycling

Before I get on to the story about cycling, I came across an interesting article in "Outside" magazine called The Definitive Superfood Ranking ( I'm please to say that I love the top 15 out of 21 items mentioned, including;

  • Blueberries
  • Turmeric
  • Salmon
  • Red wine, and 
  • Dark Chocolate (> 70% cacao)
Shame they didn't mention hot pepper sauce. 

The real purpose of looking at Outside magazine was to read their list of Top 10 Bike Towns ( from 2012, which incuded my new home town of Missoula at number 5, and a former home town of mine, Chico, California, at number 10. 

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) maintains a list of Bicycle Friendly Communities (, in which Missoula was awarded the Gold level in 2016 (up from their Silver award the previous year). Even Helena got a Bronze award. 

As well as feeling safer on the (predominantly flat) roads here, I also took a minute to register my bike with the National Bike Registry ( Since 1984, the National Bike Registry has been working with local law enforcement agencies to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners. A bike registered with NBR can be identified by police and returned to you instead of being sold at an auction. The city of Missoula also has their own program. The Missoula Bicycle / Pedestrian Office offers bicycle registration as a free online service (at Registration makes it easier to identify and return stolen bicycles to their rightful owners, and (eerily) help identify people, especially children, in the event of a crash. 

If you could see me, in my bright yellow and reflective high visibility helmet and gear, and head and tail lamps (!!!!) you'd be astonished if anyone ever hits me. They certainly wouldn't be able to say that they didn't see me! I'll post a photo soon. 

At this point I have to say Thank You to Sandy (and Debbie) for the bike that I have (an older model Diamondback Sorrento recreational mountain bike -, and for the expensive tune-up that it had a few years ago. Yes, the bike hung/sat idle for a couple of years or more, but it gets used a lot these days, and it's performing like a champion. I'm adding a Topeak Explorer rack ( with trunk bag to the back, so that I can carry more "stuff" safely. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lost 150 pounds in 17 months - all natural

Back in June 2015, I had made a decision to improve my health and lose weight. At the time, I weighed 405 pounds (having peaked at an incredible 428 lbs the summer before). I changed my domestic circumstances, moved into my own apartment, was once again 100% in control of the food I bought and prepared and ate. I deliberately put myself in a position where I HAD to walk to work (it was only 2/3 mile, but it was better than not walking at all). I started walking everywhere, hiking and climbing small mountains (for fun!) 

In May 2016, I attempted (this time unsuccessfully - but it won't always have me beaten) to walk 100 miles next to the Pacific Crest Trail (not actually on the PCT because there was too much snow, at the end of May!) I left my desk-bound job of five years in September and moved to Sidney, MT. I started working in a grocery store, expending A LOT more energy than I have in a long time (but also eating more, and more carb-laden foods than normal). Now, it's the middle of November. I've been on this new program (new regime, metamorphosis, call it what you will) for 17 months, and I've lost 150 pounds (68 kg, for my continental cousins). 


I moved house again last week, this time to my "spiritual home" of Missoula ("a place where you feel you belong, although you were not born there, because you have a lot in common with the people, the culture, and the way of life.") I still need to find a new job, but that will come very soon.  The good diet continues now. The increased exercise continues. The improved health continues. In two week's time I will be turning 50, and I'm determined not to slow down or go back to where I was. 

Me, at the 'M' on Mount Sentinel in Missoula, yesterday
As the brilliant Zig Ziglar used to say, "See you at the top!" 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

254 - How low can he go?

In Bug's Life (1998), when the stick insect "Slim" is encouraging the ant Princess Atta to do the limbo dance, he asks her, "How low can you go?" Well, now I'm asking myself that question.
254.6 lb today (115.5 kg)
This morning I tipped the scales at 254.6 lbs.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

259 - unstoppable at the moment (back on the low carb diet)

Another day, another pound or two off.
258.8 lbs (117.4 kg)

Now that I'm 100% in control of the food I buy and prepare and eat again, the weight is simply dropping off.

My new local grocery store had whole chickens (not organic, but "raised without antibiotics") on sale for 99¢/lb, so I bought a 5 lb bird for $5, trimmed off the two large breast pieces for another time. I had the oven-baked legs and wings this evening with some broccoli, and used the carcass for a tasty soup stock with rutabaga (swede), turnips, parsnips and carrots, plus some herbs and diced green and red peppers - no pasta. It was very tasty and made several large portions of soup.

I've also been able to eat my spinach and eggs for breakfast again, which has been great.

Eggplants (aubergines) were on sale too, so I bought one to slice and bake with some tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese - no bread crumbs (maybe I should get some fresh mozzarella too?). If I had access to a fully equipped kitchen, I would love to make baba ganoush all the time (basically, baked eggplant mixed with tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley). Interestingly (botanically) eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers are all part of the same nightshade (Solanaceae) family. I can happily skip the potatoes, but I love all the others.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

263 - LOTS of changes, hopefully things will settle down again soon

Wow! In the last three weeks a lot has happened. After leaving my desk-bound job in Helena and moving to Sidney, MT, ostensibly to get remarried, I am now in my "spiritual home" of Missoula, MT. The wedding is not taking place now. So, it's back to the original plan.

I'm in a place now where I can weigh myself accurately again, after not being able to do so for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised.
262.8 lb (119.2 kg)
After six weeks of tremendously increased physical activity, and increased intake of food generally and carbs specifically, I tipped the scales at under 263 pounds! Last Thursday morning, when I was staying at a friend's house overnight on my way to my new home, I got to see myself naked in a full-length mirror for the first time in ages. Not just my head, or my upper body, but a full length view of all the loose skin and (still a little bit of) fat. At the same time, I was both pleased (at having lost 142 lbs in 17 months) and horrified (at the sight of so much loose skin, especially around my belly).

I make jokes now about turning over in bed at night, where I sleep on my side, and my body has already made the turn, but my belly follows two seconds later, like a floppy Jell-O pudding. Having bought some 48" waist pants (trousers) a couple of months ago, I recently had to buy a couple with a 46" waist, because the original ones were too large now. I even had to buy a belt, because the smaller ones are getting too big now!

I'd like to take a moment to thank Loren Kutzler, Theresa Johnson and the rest of the team at Reynolds Market in Sidney, MT, for their support and encouragement. That "Be Foxy" jingle will be stuck in my head for years! It was a huge step down in wages from my old job but, as I told people, sometimes there are more important things in life than money. Working at a grocery store; rounding up carts, bagging groceries, putting out new stock (with all the heavy lifting and carrying that that entails), helping to build endcaps, plus a bit of cashiering, all led to me regularly walking 10 miles a day, especially on the two days a week when I was separately delivering newspapers. The irregular hours didn't help with the diet but I certainly got a good workout.

I also want to say Thank You to my ex-fiancée, Scarlet, for her fashion advice and sense of stylishness. Thanks to her, I now have a new wardrobe of clothing that fits much better and makes me look good.