Dot’s 2021 Healthy Living Goals

Getting back into shape

My new resistance bands arrived late yesterday. Hello soreness my old friend!

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for resolutions. I’ve come to hate resolutions because I always fail at them. I’d rather set measurable goals so I can actually track my progress. After putting pen to paper, I came up with four measurable goals for a healthier 2021 for myself. Sadly, they are very similar to my goals when I started my little health journey back in 2012.

Over the last 2-½ years I’ve gained about 50 pounds. I lost my focus and fell into a funk. That means I have to drop 100 pounds to get back to my low point. Well … can’t say I don’t love a challenge.

What are my four health goals for 2021?

1. Get Healthy…Again
That doesn’t just mean fat loss. I’m including mental clarity. That means reading more, improving sleep, creating routines, practicing gratefulness, de-stressing, and de-cluttering (mess creates stress!). When I talk about “getting healthy” I mean the full package – mind, body and soul.

2. Build Strength & Stamina
I’m in my 50s. I know the road before me is shorter than the road behind me. I don’t want to spend my golden years in and out of doctor’s offices or hospitals. Building strength and cardio will keep me mobile as well as boosting my overall health and mood. That means a much better quality of life.

I’m still building my routine, but I plan to use a mix of bodyweight and resistance band exercises 2-3 days a week. As for cardio, I’m thinking more tortoise than hare. I’m starting the Mayo Clinic’s 12-week walking routine. I’m easing my hip back into a routine and the last thing I need is an injury.

3. Walk Pain Free
My body has a weight threshold. If I cross it, it lets me know with lower back pain when I walk too much. I need to loose roughly 5% of my body weight – about 15 pounds – for that pain to go away. Fingers crossed that by the end of January, I’ll fall under that threshold.

4. Stay Active
When I started my journey almost 9 years ago, staying active was really difficult for me. I’d left my job. Despite that, I still found myself sitting at a desk working on my computer.  I really needed a mental shift from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one.

That shift came after finding the keto diet and wearing a Fitbit. I went from an average of 2,300 steps in a day to 15,000-20,000 steps. But it wasn’t all power walks, 5k training, and spin classes. Nearly half those steps were from working around the house and running errands. I hated sitting for more than 30 minutes. I was bursting with energy. Sitting down wasn’t going to release that energy.

This last Thanksgiving, I found an old pedometer and gave it a whirl. In December, I averaged 4,000 steps a day. That’s much better than I thought, but it’s still a quarter of what I used to do. Frankly, I know I can do better. By year’s end I want to average 20,000/day.

Those are my four goals. To keep me honest, the plan is for regular postings here on my progress.

And yes, I’m working on new recipes.

What are your goals for a healthier you in 2021?

Just Accept It & Move On

Well it’s day 5 of our keto-carnivore challenge and I can honestly say yesterday was the low point. Coming off of a very bad day at the office, the husband ordered gluten free pizza. And yes, I had some.

Talk about textbook emotional eating. It doesn’t take much for us to decide we need to “blow off steam” by eating out or bringing home a bottle of wine. After a couple of glasses, you do dumb things…like order gluten free pizza.

Oh, and it wasn’t very good pizza either!

I was upset with both of us last night as I went to bed. My last thought before drifting off: “Well, Day 1 just starts tomorrow.”

This morning the frustration is gone, replaced with resolve.

Day 1 of our reset was September 21, not September 25. We messed up. Badly. We’ll do better at the next meal.

Accept it and move on.

The only change we’re making to our keto carnivore challenge is no alcohol of any kind allowed. Period.

Losing Weight In Public — Week 14

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 287 pounds
Current weight: 288 pounds
Weight lost since last week: -1 pounds
Total weight lost: 17 pounds

I’m sort of in “give a penny/take a penny” mode when it comes to weight right. The truth is, my head hasn’t been in it for various reasons. No excuse for some of the decisions I’ve been making food-wise, but there certainly are reasons (which I can’t go into at the moment).

This week’s challenge:
Getting back on the program, keeping my head in the game, and seeing movement on the scale next week in a positive direction.

Happy 4th of July!

Losing Weight In Public — Week 13

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 288 pounds
Current weight: 287 pounds
Weight lost since last week: 1 pounds
Total weight lost: 18 pounds

Last week was a little better, but not great. Still stuff going on, and will for a while, but that can’t be an excuse to party like it’s 1999.

Lost a pound — first pound in the slow crawl back to my super skinny weight of 285 (yeah, baby).

Last Week’s Successes

Not a weight loss success but a happiness milestone — Dot and I are still riding our bikes. Lots of fun, and highly recommended. But ouch, my poor tires…

Last Week’s Challenge

Would you believe it, but last week I had some donuts at work? Terrible. The donuts, not the screwup. The screwup was bad, and fixable—just can’t do it again. But the donuts were these horrible things a staffing company brought in. Mint donuts? Donuts with bacon and/or weird textures on them? Not a jelly or cream-filled in sight? Ugh. But looking at the skinny 20-somethings who brought them in, I suppose it’s understandable. These people don’t eat donuts. Too skinny, too cool. And only young people think a mint donut makes sense (because breath, right?).

Not right. It’s communism, if you ask me.

See you next week folks 🙂

Losing Weight In Public — Week 12

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 285 pounds
Current weight: 288 pounds
Weight lost since last week: -3 pounds
Total weight lost: 17 pounds

Not a good week at all last week, for reasons having nothing to do with weight (and which I won’t go into). Let’s just say my head wasn’t in the game and eating right wasn’t a concern. That said, I don’t think the increase was solely due to excessive eating — Dot and I did some bike riding. We had a lot of fun, and of course we did it to excess. So I think at least some of the gain has to do with swollen muscles in my back, arms, and my poor legs.

I’m gonna try this week to stay on track, and that’s the best I can do.

See you next week.

Losing Weight In Public — Week 11

Boo Hoo

Boo Hoo

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 286 pounds
Current weight: 285 pounds
Weight lost since last week: 1 pounds
Total weight lost: 20 pounds

Woo hoo, I lost 20 pounds in 11 weeks! (I’ve been told I don’t look 285-300 pounds. I am 6’5″ though, and my belly’s not in the shot).

Woo hoo, I sort of went nuts last week — I had peach cobbler and ice cream! And got away with it!

Book Launch

hells_ch_tinyWoo hoo, I launched a new book last week: Hell’s Children: A Post-apocalyptic Survival Thriller. It’s about a world where all the adults die and only the children are left. Sort of like “Lord Of The Flies” — except grimmer, haha. If you’re curious, you can pick it up for the cheaper-than-coffee price of 99 cents (an early-bird promo price). I promise to use that 99 cents only for Good, and not for Evil. Unless it’s an evil piece of devil’s food cake, then all bets are off.


This weekend, I did gardening. Ugh. What a pain. I hate gardening. I don’t think I lost a pound because of that, but I mention it because of something awesome: I wasn’t as tired as I usually get. It seems that losing the weight is letting me bound around with more energy, and I don’t have to rest as much. Woo hoo!

Ok, see you week.

Woo hoo!

Losing Weight In Public — Week 10

Last Week's Cookies

Last Week’s Cookies

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 287 pounds
Current weight: 286 pounds
Weight lost since last week: 1 pounds
Total weight lost: 19 pounds

I’m very happy about this miserable 1 pound. I was actually up in weight most of last week (yeah, I’m still checking between weigh-ins). I ate well, great food, and only messed up once with a margarita. It’s been several weeks since I’ve screwed up and went full-bore chocolate cake or something. I’m learning that weight fluctuates all the time, and that I need to just kinda/sorta fluctuate DOWNWARD and I’ll be fine.


All my clothes are pretty loose now. What a difference 19 pounds makes. Still about 70-80 pounds left to get into freshman college shape, and honestly I’m not sure if I’ll get quite that far. Just because you lose fat, doesn’t mean you lose the fat cells themselves. Also, there will be extra skin. Dot and I are up for skin surgery if it comes to it, but not until we take off the weight, all of it, and keep it off. That said, “all of it” could realistically end up being only 60 more pounds, for me, bringing me to maybe 225. That’s a long road to travel one pound at a time.

Last Week’s Challenges

Same ol’ same ol’ — catering. I didn’t eat any of it, despite everyone feeling the urge to tell me, “There’s cookies out there…” I sort of look forward to it now, because I enjoy going out and taking a picture and feeling like a freak while folks from other teams grab goodies and stare at me. If someone asks what I’m doing, I’ll just say, “Ma’am, that’s classified.”

Then I’ll turn around smartly and walk away.

Into the shadows…

Losing Weight In Public — Week 9


Ice cream versions of the popular candies.

Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 289 pounds
Current weight: 287 pounds
Weight lost since last week: 2 pounds
Total weight lost: 18 pounds

A great week has passed, with no restaurant desserts, no eating junk at my job, and probably too much exercise on Saturday and Sunday. I had to stain our fence to keep it fancy looking, and that required a lot of squats (to get the lower sections). Every time I squatted to do those lower sections, the blood dropped out of my head and down to my ankles, and I felt like I was gonna faint. Last night, I told my wife I’m going to do 10 squats a day and 10 pushups. Just something to keep myself a tiny bit more in-shape than just sitting around doing nothing all the time. Later on, I’ll add in more exercise if I feel like it (I might). But I really don’t like going to the gym. I’d rather do three sets of squats, pushups, go on walks, whatever than go back there and flagellate myself for 30-60. Again, we’ll see what happens once I start getting more exercise. One thing about me: I obsess a little. A little firmness in my legs and shoulders could chase me back to the gym to get even MORE results.

That was a long block of text, wasn’t it?

My former recruiter, Chad, is sort of a villain (with a heart of gold). He brought the ice cream seen in the picture for the team on Thursday. Someone yelled over my cube, “There’s ice cream up front!” and I tore off to snap a picture. On the way, Chad’s like, “Oh no, he’s gonna take a picture!” (he follows the blog).

Successes last week

Serving sizes. I kept my serving sizes realistic. And except for last night, I never had two helpings at dinner. I ate until I wasn’t hungry and then stopped. Last night, Dot made this ridiculously good pulled pork. It’s the best pulled pork I’ve ever had. Even better than the one she made a few weeks ago (she’s refining the recipe). No sugar, no sugar substitutes, either. You really don’t need them to make top-notch BBQ.

Challenges this week

Can’t think of any. I was telling Dot on Saturday how the temptation to eat junk at work is just about gone. People bring stuff in and I want it. If they bring sandwiches in, I sometimes take the meat out and plop a little mayo on it and eat it (it’s on plan), but that when the cake/cookies/ice cream comes in I don’t really feel temped. The pizza from 2 weeks ago was a real issue—but only because I was forced to be in the room with it for like 3 hours. And I still didn’t eat it.

Ok, that’s it for now. Yay me.

Losing Weight In Public — Week 8

2Week 1 weight: 305 pounds
Last week’s weight: 293 pounds
Current weight: 289 pounds
Weight lost since last week: 4 pounds
Total weight lost: 16 pounds

Yay, the weight loss has started again. As great as that is, last week held another surprise for me: I could fit into some old/new pants previously denied to me. I have several pairs of jeans from the last time I took the low carb plunge. Last time, I lost about 60 pounds, taking me to where I am now. Then I gained about 15-20 pounds and couldn’t wear the clothes I’d purchased. How pathetic. But I did keep most of the weight off (35-40 pounds), which is good.

Last Week’s Successes

I attended a meeting with pizza (my favorite) and didn’t eat any. I did gobble down the salad that was ordered with it. I’m pretty sure that salad (one of two) was supposed to be shared with everyone … as well as the dressing. But whatever, I ate it. You have to understand: I was in pizza prison. And when you’re in pizza prison, you take what you can and sometimes you gotta cut somebody.

Last Week’s Lessons

I think not eating 2x 22 oz. steaks really helped. I kept my meal sizes more sensible, and no, I wasn’t perfect. I had a small piece of pie on Friday (coconut). I had some drinks. I never felt hungry or anything, which is what you’d expect going low carb.

This Week’s Challenge

I’ve always found it very difficult to lose weight following a big loss. I also find it hard to not gain weight. So that’s the challenge: hold my ground, and cut anyone who tries to take my salad.