Day by Day

Day #002 – Church, X-Men, and Last Minute Semester Preparations

Weight: 391.6

Change This Week: –4.4 pounds

I knew I would see a big drop today.  The food I ate on Friday night was quite bloat-inducing, so there you go.  I was pleased to see it drop 4.4 pounds, even though I know it wasn’t real.

I’m starting Body Revolution again tomorrow.  My week will consist of weights workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and cardio workouts on all of the other days.  Josie told me to pick one thing and be epic with it this week – my workout is going to be that one epic thing.

Breakfast – steak, fried egg, onion and mushrooms, tomato

Lunch – sausage patty, 2 homemade biscuits, 1 clean personal serving cheese pizza

Mid-afternoon snack – olive oil cooked popcorn

Dinner – 2 slices chicken bacon pizza, 1 slice S’mores pizza

Snack – veggie juice

My food could have been better, but the truth of it is – I am still experimenting on myself, and this is (believe it or not) substantially less food than I’ve eaten in the past few weeks.  That’s one benefit of being a big dude; you can still eat quite a bit of food and lose weight.

Tina and I are eating an 80% clean/20% relaxed food plan.  We eat clean the vast majority of the time, but if we want to splurge a tiny bit, we do.  Some people eat vegan, some paleo, some are relaxed, some are crazy.  I’m trying to let go of my binge eating attitude, and if I was an alcoholic, I would go cold turkey.  Those with eating disorders cannot go cold turkey on food.  As a result, I have to learn to live with moderation.  I’ve seen people eat so clean they become literally obsessed with what they eat.  This is the exact opposite of what I want.  I want to someday reach the point where I don’t think about food obsessively, good or bad.

I’m working my way through a book that I hope will help.  I’ll share if/when I come across any great insights.

In other news, Tina and I found a new church today.  This church has both a traditional and a contemporary service; we went to the traditional sermon, and it was wonderful.  We both left feeling very energized, and I am quite hopeful that this will be our church home.  We also were made to feel very welcome, which was nice.  We’ve been to churches and been completely ignored.  Here, even though we were visitors, we were truly welcomed.

After church and a very bland, disappointing lunch, we made some popcorn, cooked in a bit of olive oil, and watched X-Men 3.  Tina has recently gotten into comic book movies, which for a dork like myself, is pretty exciting.  We also watched some Walking Dead today, too.

I also spent a bit of time preparing for the fall semester, which starts tomorrow.  I have a class that starts at 8 a.m.  I am glad school is starting back up.  Campus is much nicer with students on it.

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Day #001 – Homemade Mayo, Dried Figs, & Native American Ancestry

Weight: 396.0

Change: 0.0

My highest weight ever was 402.8.  This morning, I weighed in at 396.  This is a tiny bit artificially inflated, but by and large, this is what I weigh now.  For all intents and purposes, I gained all of my weight back.

No guilt, no judgment, just a firm resolution to lose this weight again.

Many, many thanks to Erin and Josie.  I know I will succeed with support like you two in my corner.  And Erin, we can and will do this.  For ourselves – no one else.

For as many days as I can, (i.e. – when time allows), I will track my food in this daily blog journal format.

Breakfast – steak, fried egg, mushrooms and onions, tomato

Lunch – chicken breast, half an avocado with pink Himalayan salt, quarter of a red cabbage cooked with olive oil, half a cucumber, grilled onion and peppers

Mid-afternoon – nectarine, cherries

Early dinner – clean jalapeno pizza with added prosciutto

Snack #1 – popcorn cooked with clarified butter and olive oil, 3 dried figs

Snack #2 – 2 clean chocolate chip cookies, glass of raw milk

I am using this blog to experiment on myself.  I am going to eat as cleanly as possible, and I will post all food here, good or bad.  I may have eaten too much today; I was quite hungry tonight.  But that’s something I can fix later.  For tonight, it happened, so here it is, reported.

The dried figs were a pleasant surprise.  We got them in our last NatureBox, and while I’ve had fig newtons, I’ve never had dried figs.  They were excellent, and honestly, they tasted like the inside of a fig newton (not sure why that surprised me).

My best food news – I finally made clean mayo!  I’ll post the recipe and maybe even a video soon, but I’ve had so many failures, I was thrilled to finally come across a tip that worked.  The tip was this – use the cheapest, store brand extra-light-tasting olive oil you can find.  I had been buying the expensive stuff, but this time, I used the cheapest mayo Wal-Mart carried (but it was still olive oil!) and it made the most delicious, creamy mayo.  And best yet, it’s not only clean, it’s actually healthy!  It has four ingredients – egg (local pastured egg from farmer’s market), extra light tasting olive oil, ground mustard, and salt.  No EDTA or high fructose corn syrup or anything else that you find in store bought mayo.  And I can’t stress this enough – it’s definitely mayo, and it’s honestly the best tasting mayo I have ever had.

Tina and I also got a trial membership to  My family has a lot of Native American ancestry, and unfortunately, that means my family tree is going to be a bit small.  I guess Indians didn’t keep up with the census too much.  But combining what I’ve learned on Ancestry and what I learned from my parents, I now know that I am about a quarter Native American (if you add it up) and I have Cherokee blood on my mother’s side and Shawnee blood on my father’s side.  Tina (who doesn’t seem to have a drop of Indian blood) has made it back about 600 years on her side of the family tree.  The coolest thing yet – she and Henry are descended from royalty through her paternal bloodline.  How cool is that?!

No exercise today, unfortunately.  I didn’t plan it in and the day just got away from me.  I’ll make up for it tomorrow, though, because Tina and I are doing a virtual 5K!

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Mowing, Broken Dishes, & a Sore Back


Breakfast – sweet potato (maybe 1/2 cup cooked?), 1 lean sausage patty, 3 slices of bacon, 1 egg

Lunch – spaghetti with Italian chicken sausage, tomato sauce, beet greens, and mozzarella cheese, watermelon

Snack – dark chocolate cherry cashew Kind bar, cereal with milk

Dinner – pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, pluot

Snack – popcorn, green juice

I feel like I should disclaim my food.  I clearly eat a lot of fat.  In the past, I have lost weight while eating clean yet eating a great amount of (clean) fats.  I plan to continue following this trend.  So long as the food is clean and has no fake ingredients, then I’m not going to worry about fat grams.  So long as I lose roughly two pounds a week, I’ll continue to not worry about it.

I am doing my very best to learn to eat intuitively.  I want to enjoy my food and yet eat without guilt WHILE appropriately restricting myself.  I have read blogs where people no longer enjoy their food.  This whole notion of “food is just fuel” is not for me.  I’m from the South.  Food is celebration, and I plan to celebrate as healthily as I can.  That’s why I allow myself one controlled serving of clean “sweet” per day.  It’s why I still eat wheat.

More than that, I know me, and if I restrict myself in major ways (no sugar, no wheat, no whatever), then I end up binging.  And if you are going to say, “Just don’t binge,” then (respectfully) you clearly have no idea how binging works.  It isn’t a matter of exercising more self-control.  At all.

I’m also not talking about giving up anything, but for foods that don’t make me feel bad (such as sugar in small amounts or wheat), I see no need to restrict PROVIDED I continue to lose weight.  If I show a loss next Saturday, then I’ll continue as is.  If I gain, then I’ll obviously reevaluate and determine what needs to be done.

In learning to eat intuitively, there are times that I feel like I need a little guardian to hang out in my fridge and pantry to slap my wrists when I start eating too much.  After all, even with clean food, you can eat too much, and because it’s clean, it’s even easier for me to justify it and eat too much.


(For what it’s worth, Goldar now lives in my fridge.)

But that’s precisely the reason why I NEED to learn to eat like this.  I am tired of being at food’s mercy.  I need to be back in control.

Exercise for the day did not work out quite as planned.  I ended up push mowing the yard at my other house (which is soon to sell!  Yay!).  It was in desperate need of mowing, because all it has done here is rain for the past week and I haven’t been able to.  Body Revolution will (hopefully) start tomorrow.  It also didn’t help that my back has been aching.  I have a partially slipped disc in my lower back; I’ve had it for years.  For the most part, it is kind to me and it doesn’t bother me.  Since July 4th (when I unfortunately splurged a little too much), my body has been angry at me.  I suspect today will be the last day.  I certainly hope so.  The pain makes exercising a lot tougher.  And again, the back is another reason why I need to both get the weight off AND increase my flexibility.

Still, I’m just grateful to know that eating clean and living well DOES help.  Hopefully, I’ll remember that the next time I’m facing the choice of poor food.

At dinner, I had made some clean pork gravy.  I was pretty excited about it.  It was made with tapioca starch instead of white flour, and it tasted good.  However, about four seconds before I was going to take it to the kitchen table, my Ninja blender rolled out of the cabinet, shattered the bowl it was in, and gravy went EVERYWHERE.  I was so ticked off.  First of all, I really hate breaking dishes.  I was never fussed at about it as a child, but you would think I had been beaten for the way it makes me feel.  Literally makes me furious.  And worse yet – that bowl was a nice one of a 4-piece set that we had gotten on vacation.  And the gravy was completely wasted.

Lame, but oh well.

After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen and we watched t.v.  30 Rock, again.  We’re on season seven.  I’m going to miss this show!

I am absolutely starving.  Today is an Empty Day.  That said, I’m listening to Goldar, and I’m done eating for the day!

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Farmer’s Market Trip, Yoga, & Raw Milk

Today is my first-in-a-long-time weigh-in day!

July 6, 2013

Weight: 380.8

Change from All-Time Highest: –22.0 pounds

I am up.  And let me tell you, I am SOOO tempted to get on the scale tomorrow to see if another day of super-lean/clean eating will lower that number.  And while it probably will, I’m not going to.  I am going to show some restraint and not weigh in until next Saturday and see a bigger loss.

Today’s Food

Breakfast – sweet potato, 1 sausage patty, 1 egg, pluot

Lunch – whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce and Italian chicken sausage, shredded mozzarella cheese, blueberries and grapes, 1 egg white (because I cooked the egg yolk for Henry)

Snack – 2 clean no bake cookies, glass of raw milk, 3 small squares dark chocolate

Dinner – steak, loaded baked potato, beet greens and onions

Snack – blueberries, pluot

I went to the farmer’s market this morning.  We purchased a raw milk share a few months back, and it has been, hands down, the best “clean eating” thing I have ever done.  I was never a huge milk drinker.  It was always just for cereal or with cookies.  I would never just get a glass of milk to drink by itself.

We have a year round farmer’s market here in Bowling Green, and back in the winter, we saw a sign at one booth we regularly frequented for sirloin that said “Ask About our Herd Share Program.”  And we did.

In the state of Kentucky, it is illegal to buy or sell raw milk.  However, it is NOT illegal to own your own cow and drink milk from it.  So farmers here have instituted herd share, where you buy part of a cow, pay monthly boarding fees (because they are housing, feeding, and caring for our part of the cow), and every week, we get a gallon of raw milk.

It tastes amazing!  I will actually drink a glass of raw milk by itself.  Slightly sweet, thick…. it almost tastes like a less rich, less sweet version of melted ice cream.  Almost.  Really hard to describe, but it’s incredible.

I’ve had organic; I have grass-fed.  But this, raw, pastured, happy cow milk is amazing.   And again, this is coming from a non-milk drinker.  And best yet – we know this farm.  We are financially invested in this farm (via our herd share) and we have visited this farm.  These cows aren’t pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, steroids, or anything else to get milk.  In fact, we know that a risk at this farm is that if their milk supply drops, then we may lose our herd share.  We’re fine with that – we don’t want our milk coming from stressed out cows.  We’re even thinking of picking up an extra share when Henry turns a year old and will require cow’s milk and pasteurizing it ourselves.

I also got eggs, bacon, and beets at the farmer’s market, too.  Not a big haul, but it was an ugly, rainy day.  More on farmer’s market on another Saturday.

Before I headed home, I swung by Kroger to pick up some essentials.  There was a sale, so I picked up a few things that I wouldn’t have otherwise (one of those “buy ten things in this category and save $5” sales.)

We try to eat as clean as possible, but I do make minor exceptions for both what works for my family AND what works for our budget.  The hot dogs you see in the picture are clean in my book but might not be clean to a true clean eater.  That’s okay; I do the best I can.  Fritos are a clean food for our family, and a nice treat.  They contain corn, corn oil, and salt.  I’m sure other people might look at our pantry and shudder, but again… it works for us.  And they are also a treat food.  Same with the candy in the front.  I’ll also point out we didn’t buy a ton of “treat” food, but there is some on hand for when we want it.  (The Justin’s PB Cups in particular are a trigger food for me, so that’s why there is only one, and I’m going to enter a little mental challenge with myself to see how long they will last in our pantry.)


The cost for this haul was $45.37.  Since I am going to try personal journal-blogging for a while, I’m going to use this blog to keep track of my food finances, too.

Food Expenses for July – $45.37

We are trying to go only once a week, so as to both save money AND not buy junk.

Another note – I consider myself pretty lucky in that, while I love to cook, my wife hates to.  As a result, I’ve pretty much taken over the kitchen, so cooking and grocery shopping are my domain. 

This photo highlights the EXACT reason that I have to get fit and make better choices.


Whatever we are eating, Henry wants to eat.  You can see spaghetti on his tray, and that his is mom feeding him a bite of her pluot.  He’s obsessed with our food.  While I may be willing to put crap in my body at times, I only want the best for him!  Ergo, we have to eat better so he gets to eat better.

I feel like I made some pretty good food choices today.  I do wish I had only one cookie and no chocolate (or only the chocolate and no cookies, et cetera).  In other words, too many sweets.  Even if they are clean, they’re still sugar.  Still, progress, not perfection, right?  Tomorrow will be a better day, and regardless, today is still a success in my book.

Exercise today was Flow Yoga.  Tina and I decided to start Body Revolution on Sunday, so we’re done with the actual BR workouts on Thursday (and can do whatever we want workout-wise on Friday and Saturday).  I decided yoga was a good pick because I’m really sore, for some reason.  Truth be told – I hate yoga.  I do it when I’m sore, but I know I should do it much more often.  I’d really rather stretch, but if I want to go back into martial arts again (that’s another post for another day), I know I really need to up my flexibility.  I have a LONG way to go.

The rest of the night consisted of relaxing with a baby who is trying his best to climb atop our hearth (which is made of brick) and watching 30 Rock.  Good times.

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Haircut and a Movie

Today is July 5th.  I was tempted to get on the scale today, just to see if I had gained any at the cookout from the day before, but I decided not to.  I need to move away from daily weighings.  Basically, if the scale shows I lose two pounds a week but I see it in a halting progression of two tenths down here, four tenths up here, eight tenths down, et cetera, that two pounds doesn’t seem like much.  But, if I get on the scale only once a week, those two pounds are pretty awesome.  I’m making Saturday my weigh-in day.  I’ll weigh in tomorrow officially.

In these daily journal entries, I will record the following things: the foods I ate, any significant events of the day (health related or otherwise), my exercise, and an image that is in someway motivational.  Some will be an image of a physique that I want to emulate, some will be surreal that in some way motivates me, others will be quotes, or whatever fits into my ever-growing vision board.

Today, however, I’m posting this.


Let me explain, via confession time – I almost blew today off.  I was picturing Zaxby’s, Taco Bell, the works… Tina and I are both off from work, so it was SO tempting to just say, “Screw it!  We’ll diet tomorrow!”  (Never mind that this isn’t a diet, but whatever.)  But as I was literally in the midst of cooking an unhealthy breakfast, the thought occurred to me – my days are numbered.

Not in the “I’m going to die soon” way, but just simply in the fact that we all have a set number of days on this Earth, and I’m not getting today back.  So how am I going to spend today?  Am I going to spend it eating whatever I want, sitting on the couch all day and doing nothing, or am I going to fuel my body with the right foods, exercise, and make the best choices possible?

I tossed the unhealthy breakfast in the morning (in this case, white flour biscuits – not awful, but not clean and not currently on my eating plan) and made a healthier breakfast.

Breakfast – sweet potato, 2 slices of bacon, 1 lean sausage patty, 1 egg

Lunch – tuna salad, romaine lettuce, peach

Dinner – lean steak, baked potato, side salad with homemade dressing (oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard)

Snack – peach, watermelon

Let me briefly explain my eating plan, too.  I am a clean eater, not quite like Tosca Reno, not quite like paleo.  Basically, I want to put as much unprocessed food in my body as I can.  That said, I will occasionally eat small servings of clean sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses.   For instance, if I had milk (we get our milk at Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and we are currently out), then I would have had one no-bake cookie.  (I make it with peanut butter, cocoa powder, coconut oil, honey, and oatmeal.  Very clean and one cookie only has around 100 calories.)

So, what did we do today?

We started the day off with a trip to Sam’s (2 pounds of blueberries for $5.99!) and to get Henry a haircut.

His first.


There is an old wives’ tale that you shouldn’t give a kid a haircut until he is a year old, but the hair was down to his eyes and over his ears.

He was not a happy camper, but he looks so much better!  (This photo was taken seconds before he lost his ever-lovin’ mind!)

After that, we went to Glasgow, let Memaw (Tina’s Mom) watch little guy, and we went to see The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  Incredible.  One of the funniest movies I’ve seen in the theater in a long while.  On the way home, Tina and I have decided that if Melissa McCarthy is in a movie, we are automatically going to see it in the theaters.

My workout for the day was yoga.  Tomorrow, we start Body Revolution again!  I don’t know if I’ll make it through the entire program, but I’ll certainly go as far as I can and make modifications as necessary.

Successful day, in my book.

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)