My Weight Loss in Butterfingers, Cinder Blocks, and MORE!

May 31, 2011

Last November, I piled up 147 pounds of dog food to represent how much weight I’d lost at that point.  It’s a kick-ass picture – take a look here.

In March, I compared my weight loss to a variety of random items, including quarters, Oreos, and lawn mowers.  Wanna know how many quarters I’ve lost?  Check it out here.

Then, in April, I compared my weight loss to another collection of random items, including bowling balls, KFC, and one of the candidates on Celebrity Apprenticewhich you can see here.

These weight loss comparison posts have become a favorite post to research and write.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, because I’ve put together another list of fun, visual, and mind-blowing weight loss comparisons!  Whenever I’m feeling frustrated about this plateau I’m on, I come back and read through these posts – finding new ways to think about what I’ve accomplished so far (164 pounds lost) is incredibly motivating!


…BUTTERFINGERS.  A full-sized Butterfinger bar weighs 2.1 ounces, which means I’ve lost 1,249 crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery bars.  Fun Fact #1:  1,249 Butterfingers add up to a total of 337,230 calories and 13,739 grams of fat.  Mmm… healthy!  Fun Fact #2:  If you were to stack 1,249 Butterfingers end to end, they’d reach a height of 624.5 feet – that’s a few feet taller than 611 Place, this 42-story skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles!

Let’s see…  what else?

…IPADS.  The very popular iPad 2 weighs in at 1.33 pounds apiece, which means I’ve lost 123 of them.

…CINDER BLOCKS.  A 16” x 8” x 6” cinder block (available at Home Depot!) weighs 26 pounds, which means I’ve lost SIX of them!

…RIBEYES.  Thanks to my friend (and loyal reader) Penny for sending this in!  Penny recently purchased five 1-pound ribeye steaks, and took the above photo of the steak stack on her counter.  As she put the steaks away, she thought of me and this blog, and calculated that I’ve lost 32 stacks of steaks!  And props to Penny – she’s lost 5 stacks of steak in the past year, while running her cupcake bakery in Washington D.C.!  Keep it up, Penny!  If you have a great weight-loss comparison for me, send it in!

…GRILLS.  You’ll need something to cook all those ribeyes on, so how about this Weber One-Touch Silver Charcoal Kettle Grill (model #741001)?   It weighs 32 pounds, which means I’ve lost FIVE of them.

…PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES.  Venus Williams has 21 Grand Slam titles, 43 career singles titles, and 3 Olympic Gold Medals.  She also weighs, reportedly, 160 pounds.  Yep, I’ve lost Venus WilliamsHer sister Serena reportedly weighs 150 pounds, so I’ve lost her too!

…SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS.  I don’t spend much time at all thinking about breasts, but I thought this could be fun to figure out, especially since there are six strip clubs within walking distance of my home.  So, inspired by all the ladies who take their clothes off for tips in my neighborhood, I fondled the internet and discovered that the most common size breast implant is 300cc.  A pair of 300cc implants weigh 1.4 pounds, which means I’ve lost 117 pairs of titties, or 234 individual tits.  That’s a lot of fake boobies!  And still no desire to go motorboating.

…OUTBOARD MOTORS.  Speaking of motorboating… This Nissan 2.5 Horsepower Four-Stroke Outboard Motor (Model #NSF2.5B1) has all sorts of features that mean absolutely nothing to me, like zinc-coated water passages and thermostatically controlled cooling.  It also weighs 41 pounds, and that means a lot to me, because that means I’ve lost exactly FOUR of these motors!

…Q-TIPS.  A 625-count package of Q-tips weighs 12 ounces (I weighed it myself on the produce scale at the supermarket).  That means that I’ve lost 218 of those packages, or 136,250 q-tips!

If you have ideas for other items I could compare my weight loss to, leave them in the comments section!  No need to do the research or math – leave that up to me – I’m good at it!

Keep it up, David!


A Rumination on McNuggets

May 30, 2011

The first fast-food menu item that I ever remember absolutely loving was McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.  I started loving those things when I was young – maybe kindergarten-aged.  I remember going to the McDonald’s on Telegraph and Square Lake near our house in Michigan, and ordering a six-piece McNuggets, always with barbeque sauce, with fries and that orange drink that McDonald’s used to sell.  This was back in the day when McDonald’s still served all their food in styrofoam containers, and the six-pack McNugget box had a special built-in spot for the packet of dipping sauce.  Then, the fries would go in the lid of the McNugget box, and I’d be all set.

I remember loving McNuggets so much that I would get annoyed if we, as a family, ever went to Burger King, because they didn’t have McNuggets, and I didn’t remember liking hamburgers all that much.  I’m sure I ate them, but hamburgers were an option only when McNuggets weren’t around.

I remember thinking, when I was a kid, “maybe when I’m older and bigger I’ll be able to get the 9-piece McNuggets!”  I can’t recall when I graduated from 6 pieces to 9 pieces, but I know it happened.  I also know that when I was in my last couple years of high school, when I had my driver’s license and access to a car that I shared with my sister, I graduated from 9-piece to the 20-piece, which I would order when I was alone, in the car, with no chance of seeing or running into anyone I knew.

I’ve been thinking about McNuggets the past couple of days because, on Friday, when I was running some errands (bank, post office, oil change, smog test), I drove past a McDonalds that had a sign up advertising their 50-piece McNuggets for $9.99.

That’s right, a 50-piece order of McNuggets!

I haven’t seen any other advertising for this particular menu item, but I’m really curious about who orders 50 McNuggets and what they do with them.  Do they bring them home for their whole family to enjoy?  To they show up at potlucks or dinner parties with 50 McNuggets as their contribution to the festivities?  (“Hey, Sharon, thanks for inviting us to your Memorial Day get-together, and guess what! We’re bringing the McNuggets!”)  And how many packets of dipping sauces come with 50 McNuggets?  Does McDonald’s have 50 McNuggets ready to go at all times in case someone orders them, or are they deep-fried to order?  I have so many questions!

I’m not going to get into what’s inside a Chicken McNugget.  I’ve read “Fast Food Nation,” and I know it’s not pretty, and you can Google it for yourself – I don’t want to gross anyone out with this blog.  But I was curious about the nutritional breakdown, and, as it turns out, that’s pretty gross, too.  Based on the information available on the McDonald’s website, I calculated the following:

A 50-piece order of McNuggets has:

  • 2,300 calories
  • 145 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of saturated fat
  • 5,000 mg of sodium

I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a Chicken McNugget.  And you know what?  I’m not going to be having another one for a looong time.

Keep it up, David!

Parking Garage NSV

May 27, 2011

For anyone that’s unfamiliar, NSV stands for Non-Scale Victory.  The number on the scale is the most common way people recognize and quantify their weight loss, but a Non-Scale Victory can be anything else.  Although I haven’t labeled them as such, I’ve blogged about lots of things I can do now that I wasn’t able to do when I was at my heaviest – whether it’s ride roller coasters, sit in an airplane seat without a seat-belt extender, or said good-bye forever to my former favorite big & tall store because I no longer needed to shop there.  In fact, I’ve done a whole series of posts about fitting into smaller sizes of clothes (which you can see in my My Favorite Posts section of the blog) – and all of these things are Non-Scale Victories.

Twice in the past two weeks, I’ve experienced a new kind of Non-Scale Victory in the parking garage at work.  This parking garage has two types of spots: regular spots and compact spots.  I drive a Ford Focus, which is a smaller car, so most of the time, I park in one of the compact spots:

Every so often, some dummy parks their SUV or yacht-sized sedan in the compact spot next to mine, leaving hardly any space for me to open my car door to get in.  Twice, in the past two weeks, I’ve had to go around and enter my car through the passenger door, and climb through my car to get into the driver’s seat.

When I was heavier, doing that was awful.  Terrible.  When you’re 400 pounds, it’s a tight fit in most cars, including my Focus, and negotiating myself into the driver’s seat via the passenger seat wasn’t easy.  Some part of me was always pressed up against the steering wheel, or there wouldn’t be quite enough room to get a leg over the center console because my belly would be in the way.  I remember one time when I managed to get myself into the driver’s seat relatively quickly, only to realize my right leg was tucked up under me, and there just wasn’t the room to swing it out from under my butt so it could go where it needed to go – you know, to operate the pedals.  So I had to shimmy back into the passenger’s seat and basically start over.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to climb through my car, so when I was forced to climb through it two weeks ago, these memories came back, and I started dreading it.  It didn’t really click in my mind that it might be different now that I was 164 pounds lighter.  I may have even groaned.  Audibly.  And then I opened the passenger door, climbed in, and I’m not exactly sure what happened, but about five seconds later, I was in my driver’s seat.  Five seconds later.  Did that really just happen?  It was so easy, so effortless.  I didn’t feel like a contortionist trying to squeeze their way into a suitcase.

Then, when it happened again a couple nights ago, a smile crept across my face, and I actually thought: this is gonna be fun!  And you know what?  It was.

Doing things that I struggled to be able to do before is most definitely fun.  And being able to easily climb through my car is most definitely a Non-Scale Victory.

What’s Your Most Recent Non-Scale Victory?  Share in the comments section!

One more picture before I go:

Look!  The parking spot with the same number as the amount of weight that I’ve lost!

I wish everyone a fantastic long holiday weekend.  I planning on posting something at some point over the weekend, and you should definitely come back on Tuesday, because I have something really fun and special planned!  Don’t miss it!

Keep it up, David!

What’s In The RediSetGo? Part Fourteen

May 26, 2011

A few weeks ago, I ordered it.

Two days ago, it arrived.

Last night, I used it for the first time.

Which means the only thing that’s left is to play, for the first time ever with my new RediSetGo, the game that keeps people up at night and gathers them at the watercooler in the morning: What’s in the RediSetGo!

We’ve played this game many times before with the old RediSetGo, before it started peeling and flaking with overuse.  In fact, you can easily read Parts 1-13 – they’re archived and you can access them by clicking on My Favorite Posts at the top of the page.

If this is your first time playing, then welcome to your new addiction!  It’s easy to play – you’ll pick it up quickly, I promise!

Ok, then!  Let’s do it!  Call a sitter and drop Fido off at the kennel, because here we go!


ROASTED TURNIPS are in the RediSetGo!

I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now, and that’s thanks to my friend Heidi.  Heidi and her hubby Tom invited me and some others over way back in March for a delicious meal (read about it on Heidi’s blog), and one of the things they prepared was roasted turnips and carrots.  Basically, turnips can be sliced and baked like fries, and they get crispy on the outside, and creamy in the middle, and they were spectacular.  Heidi had done her research, and presented us with this fun fact that stuck in my mind:  1 cup of fries at McDonald’s has over 700 calories.  1 cup of turnip fries has under 40.  Wow.

So when the new RediSetGo arrived the other day, I knew I wanted to inaugurate it with something I hadn’t made before… and the turnips popped into my head!

Here’s a turnip, in case you aren’t familiar:

I bought three of them at the store, and I went for smaller ones, since I live solo:

I chopped off the ends and peeled ’em, which was a breeze with my new peeler:

My dad can peel an orange with a paring knife and end up with 1 continuous peel, and that used to really impress me as a kid (and it still does).  I used a peeler instead of a knife, and turnip skins are much thinner than orange rinds, but I got a couple lengthy peels that I’m proud of:

I was so proud I set them aside while tossing all the other peels  into the trash.  Then, a minute later, I thought: ‘What am I ever gonna do with these?’ and they quickly joined their shorter friends in the trash, too.

Next, I cut the turnips into steak-fry-sized pieces:

Then I gave the RediSetGo a spritz of cooking spray, and loaded up a layer.  I ended up doing two batches, and they both cooked for fifteen minutes, with me flipping them about halfway through (actually, a little later than halfway for one batch… time got away from me).

When they came out, I hit them with a little Mrs. Dash, and a touch of paprika, just because I like paprika and haven’t used it in a while.  Here’s both batches:

I have enough raw turnips left over for a third batch, which I’ll whip up another time!

So… how do they taste?  Good!  They’re not quite as crispy as they would be in an oven, but they’re pretty good considering they were done in 15 minutes.  If you aren’t familiar with turnips (like me, up until about a year ago), they’re very mild – I once read on the interwebs that they tasted like a cross between a potato and a carrot, and that seems about right.  Which means they’re the perfect vegetable for fries!  And, as Heidi has pointed out, turnips aren’t counted as a starch, like potatoes are – they’re a vegetable!  So eat your turnips, people.  I’m going to keep eating mine.

Welcome to my kitchen, new RediSetGo!

Keep it up, David!

Chart Update, Salad Bar, and a Run!

May 25, 2011

Just in case you’re wondering, YES – I did use my new RediSetGo for the first time, and YES, it was fabulous, and YES, I did document it, and YES, I will be sharing the photos and blogging all about it.

But that’s gonna happen tomorrow.

There’s some other things I was planning on sharing today, starting with…

1) Chart Update.  For a long time I didn’t have a set weigh-in day – I would just weigh myself every 5-7 days or so and then update my chart accordingly.  At some point during the past few months, I got into a rhythm of weighing myself on Tuesdays – I think primarily because my sister in Colorado has Tuesday weigh-ins (she’s lost 10 pounds!), and we got into the habit of talking about our progress on Tuesdays, although we haven’t chatted in a few weeks, and so I should really call her and how did I let this sentence get so freakin’ long?  My friend at work recently pointed out a couple terrible run-on sentences in one of my reports.  Use your periods, David!

Anyhoo.  Since yesterday was Tuesday, I stepped on the scale.  And… I stayed the same.  238 pounds.  And I was fine with that.  My week had been good, both food-wise and exercise-wise, and all I can do is continue to work at this, and not go nuts about the numbers.  Chart updating time!

Hmmm…. staying the same at 238 pounds seems awfully familiar…  I wonder why that is…  OH!  Maybe it’s because I stayed at 238 pounds for about a month not too long ago!

For everyone keeping track, weighing 238 pounds represents a weight loss of 164 pounds.

HOLY CRAP!  In honor of the The Biggest Loser finale last night (a show that I don’t watch), I just crunched the numbers for the first time in months, and figured out that my weight loss of 164 pounds represents 40.79% of my original weight!  I usually save it for the end of my posts, but now seems like a great time to say… Keep it up, David!

2) Salad Bar.  Right near my office is a cafeteria that has a salad bar, and it’s often the source of my lunches.  It’s a good salad bar, but not mind-blowingly awesome.  What I like most is that there’s usually a couple good lean protein options – beans, like garbanzos or edamame, grilled chicken breast, and, if I’m lucky, tuna.

Here’s today’s salad:

There’s spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cucumber, corn, black beans, cauliflower, beets, tuna, and a few peperoncinis (which I love).  And I splashed some red wine vinegar (no oil) over all of it.  The reason I show my salad today (in addition to sharing how I manage a healthy lunch at the office) is that today’s salad was the most expensive salad I’ve ever purchased from that salad bar.

The salad bar charges by weight.  It’s $6.25 a pound.  They have 2 different size containers – the one pictured is the larger one.  Anyone want to guess how much I paid for that salad?




$12.01.  My most expensive salad by, like, a dollar or more.  That’s 1.75 pounds of salad!

Oh no wait – I lied.  I didn’t pay $12.01.  I paid $12.00.  As I was fishing some cash money out of my wallet, the cashier said she had an extra penny.  How kind!

3) A Sunday Run.  Somehow it got to be Wednesday, and I’m just now getting around to talking about my Sunday run.

My interest in running has been slip-slip-slipping lately.  In the fall, I was super gung-ho about running – I set a goal to run past all six strip clubs in my neighborhood (seriously – I figured out a route; it’s a 6.4 mile loop), and then ran almost once a week and slowly improved.  Then, in mid-April, I went running with two of my cousins, and my 16-year-old cousin Aaron (who’s on his school’s track and cross-country teams) pointed out that my form is shitty (my words, not his) and not good for my body.  Read about that running lesson here.  About a week after that, I tried running again, focusing on my form, which Aaron taught me, and it was hard.  Having good form is much harder than having bad form!  But I don’t want to destroy my knees or get shin splits or anything, so I’m not going to revert to my old form.

The only thing is that now that running is more difficult, I like it less.  Isn’t that always the case!  My most recent run, which was that outing a week after my lesson with Aaron, was tough and frustrating.  I caught myself reverting back into my bad form, and I only went about 18 minutes before walking the rest of the way.  It was so tiring and frustrating that I opted not to even blog about it – the run only got a quick mention, in passing, in this post.

I don’t want to give up on running though.  I like the idea of keeping it in my exercise arsenal – because I can do it anywhere, without needing equipment or a gym membership, and I really would like to reach my goal of running past all those strip clubs.

So, on Sunday, a full month (to the day!) since my last run, I laced up my shoes and hit the sidewalk.  I focused on proper technique and caught myself  a bunch of times before absentmindedly reverting back to my old form.  And when all is said and done, I was pleasantly surprised with what I accomplished!  Here’s my route:

I walked to Point A as a warm-up.  I ran from Point A to Point B (2.3 miles) in 25 minutes.  I was really exhausted, so I took a little breather, and walked from Point B to Point C, and then resumed running from Point C to Point D (1.2 miles), before running home (sorry, stalkers, but I’m not saying where that is!).  So add it up, and I ran 3.5 miles in 40 minutes.  That equals a pace of 5.25 mph.  It’s been a while since I’ve dusted off the ol’ running chart, but here it is:

  • 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 41 minutes.  MPH: 4.53
  • 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 4.4
  • 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles.  Time: 40 minutes.  MPH: 4.8
  • 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 36 minutes.  MPH: 5.16
  • 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.1
  • 11/14/10: Distance: 3.9 miles. Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.2
  • 11/28/10: Distance: 4.2 miles. Time: 46 minutes.  MPH: 5.47
  • 1/4/11: Distance: 3.0 miles. Time: 34 minutes.  MPH: 5.3
  • 1/24/11: Distance: 4.4 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.86
  • 2/1/11: Distance: 1.9 miles.  Time: 20 minutes.  MPH: 5.7
  • 2/9/11: Distance: 3.5 miles.  Time: 38 minutes.  MPH: 5.52
  • 2/16/11: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Time: 33 minutes.  MPH: 5.28
  • 2/27/11: Distance: 5 miles.  Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.0
  • 3/3/11: Distance: 5.4 miles.  Time: 57 minutes.  MPH: 5.13
  • 3/10/11: Distance: 3.0 miles.  Time: 34 minutes.  MPH: 5.29
  • 4/10/11:  Distance: 4.5 miles.  Time: 47 minutes.  MPH: 5.74
  • 5/22/11: Distance: 3.5 miles.  Time: 40 mintes.  MPH: 5.25

A few runs are missing on the chart: my two most recent runs before this one (the lesson with Aaron and the one a week later), as well as another run in March, just because I didn’t note distance or time during any of them.  My 5.25 pace isn’t my fastest, but I wasn’t expecting it to be.

Keep it up, David!


May 24, 2011

I have a big package.  See?

This arrived for me today.  I knew exactly what it was – I’ve been waiting for it to come!  Wanna see what’s inside?  It’s…

…crumpled up paper!

BUT WAIT!  There’s more!  There’s something underneath that paper…




Could 5-7 business days already have passed since I ordered it?  I guess so!  I felt like screaming, Kermit The Frog style:

But I didn’t.

I brought it home with me after work, and that means that I now have two RediSetGos.  My brand-new one, which is still in the box in this photo, and my old one, with its broken timer and its non-stick surface that’s bubbling, cracking, and peeling off:

But I don’t have two RediSetGos anymore.  That’s because my old RediSetGo had one final adventure, down the hall in my building.  Meet your new friend, the trash chute:

You’ve been good to me, old RediSetGo, but this is where we must go our own separate ways.  I’ll be returning back to my home, and you’ll be journeying two floors straight down, into a dumpster:

You’ve brought me so much joy, old RediSetGo… whether it was in the form of an egg scramble (the very first RediSetGo meal that I documented for this blog!) or an ostrich burger.  Oh, old RediSetGo, remember that time we made savory spinach pancakes?  And it was you that helped me rediscover brussel sprouts, which is now a favorite vegetable of mine. 

You can check out all the meals I’ve created in my old RediSetGo – all those posts are archived in the My Favorite Posts section of the blog, which you can access by clicking on… you guessed it… “My Favorite Posts” at the top of the page.

We’ve had a lot of good times, old RediSetGo, and I won’t forget them.  But I need a RediSetGo I can rely on, so I’m afraid this is goodbye.

Goodbye, old RediSetGo.

I already know how I’ll inaugurate my new RediSetGo… but it involves a main ingredient that I don’t have in my house.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have time to swing by the store!

Keep it up, David!

Spring. Plus, a Kale and Asparagus Salad

May 23, 2011

It’s hard to get excited about seasons in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.  But there’s a jacaranda tree right outside my living room window, and it’s in full bloom right now, and it’s gotten me thinking.

My grandmother passed a few months ago, and I delivered the eulogy at her funeral.  In it, I mention how powerful it can be when you first realize that spring has arrived – and when you live in Michigan, as my grandmother did (and I did for the first 23 years of my life), that’s a crystal clear moment.  When I was writing the eulogy, it occurred to me that, as an Angeleno, I might not have that epiphany this year, nor could I remember ever really having it in the nine years I’ve been in L.A.

I’ve had family on my mind all weekend.  On Saturday, I spent a lovely afternoon with my aunt and uncle from that side of the family, who were spending the week in San Diego and drove up to see me.  Then, yesterday, I had a nice, long chat with my sister on the phone, and as I was hanging up, the jacaranda caught my eye.  I put my phone on my coffee table, and just stared, for a good long while.  And that’s when it hit me, for the first time in years: spring has arrived, and it’s right outside my window.

I miss my grandmother.  I miss being 5 years old, when she would play “This Little Piggy” with my toes.  I miss wandering into her kitchen, and lifting up the lids of the pots on her stove to see what she had cooking – and she always had something cooking.  I miss her looping her arm through mine, so I could help her down the two steps from her front porch to the path.

This is the part where I somehow transition to the original goal of this post: to share a recipe I made this weekend.  I can’t figure out a good way to segway between these two disparate topics, so screw it.  Who wants to read about my kale and asparagus salad?

I’ve been enjoying kale a lot lately, and my kale chip posts (this one and this one) have been pretty popular, so I hope everyone likes this recipe, too!  I made it up as I went along, using what I already had in my fridge.

It starts with (surprise!) kale.  I found this pre-washed bag of kale (with some carrots and cabbage thrown in) at Whole Foods:

It’s a pretty small bag, compared to the other bagged salads in that section of the store, but it turns out the kale is packed in there.  It was a pleasant surprise when it filled up my big salad bowl as much as it did!

Next I minced up an entire shallot and added it in:

Next comes the asparagus.  My friend Jen told me last weekend how she had found a recipe online that called for shaved asparagus, where you use your vegetable peeler to slice raw asparagus into thin ribbons.  I love dealing with raw asparagus (see my raw asparagus salad here), so I just had to try it!  After chopping off the tough woody ends, I introduced the asparagus stalks to my peeler:

My new vegetable peeler slid through the stalks like butter, and soon, I had a pretty little pile of asparagus ribbons to add to the bowl:

That’s ribbons from about 8-10 stalks – about half of the bunch that I had in my fridge.

Next, I added some sprouted red lentils – about 1/2 cup or so.  They add color and some protein:

I also threw in some vegetarian bacon bits.  My bottle only had a few tablespoons left, so I just dumped it all in, although most of it was more like bacon dust than bacon bits:

Lastly, the dressing.  I thought something citrusy and light would go well with this salad, and I probably would have whipped up my own dressing had I had any fresh citrus lying around, but I didn’t.  So I turned to the fridge, where I had this bottle of dressing that I bought a little while ago but had never opened or tried:

This came from Whole Foods too, and each 2 tablespoon serving has 10 calories and is fat-free!  I poured on a generous amount – maybe 4 servings or so, since kale is hearty, and, in my experience, doesn’t get too soggy from dressing.  The dressing was good – tangy and refreshing, and the good thing about kale is that it’s better if you let it marinate for a while.  I planned on letting the salad sit for 30 minutes before I dug in, but I only lasted about 20 minutes.  See how long you’d last when you end up with a finished product like this one!

It’s so good it deserves a close-up:

I ate half of it for my dinner, and the other half is my lunch today!

Keep it up, David!

Orange Flesh Melon

May 22, 2011

Last week I brought home a new item that I’ve never tried before from the produce section at Whole Foods: An orange flesh melon.  I mentioned its purchase in this blog post, and shortly thereafter, a buddy who posts comments under a pseudonym posted this comment:  “MMMMMM. Flesh Melons.”  His goal, when he comments, is to make me laugh, and this one did the trick (most of them do, actually).  Seventh-grade titty humor gets me every time!  Since then, every morning when I saw the orange flesh melon sitting on my counter (it needed to ripen), my mind went straight to the gutter, and I tried to come up with a stupid pun or double entendre, along the lines of “David got kicked out of Whole Foods for squeezing other customers’ flesh melons.”  Stupid dirty jokes aren’t a bad way to start the day.  You should try it sometime!

Yesterday, the flesh melon seemed plenty ripe – time to dig in!  Here’s the melon:

See? An orange flesh melon!

After I bought it, I did some research on the interwebs and learned that the orange flesh melon is a hybrid between a cantaloupe and a honeydew.  The orange flesh is (obviously) a trait inherited from the cantaloupe side of the family tree, while the taste and rind comes from the honeydew side.  It’s also smaller than both cantaloupes and honeydews… although I don’t know if that’s true of all orange flesh melons, or just the batch that were at Whole Foods when I was there shopping.

Time to crack this sucker open!

The suspense is killing me!  Is the flesh really going to be orange?

YES, IT IS!  I scooped out the seeds, and gave it a taste:

Delicious!  It’s kinda bizarre, actually – I’m so accustomed to orange melon tasting like cantaloupe, but the interwebs was accurate – this orange flesh melon tasted just like a honeydew.  It was sweet and perfectly ripe, and I felt like I was getting punked by some farmers somewhere with every bite.

It didn’t stop me from eating half of it in a matter of minutes, though:

The other half is sitting in my fridge – it’ll be part of my breakfast tomorrow!

One more double entendre:  “Joanie always felt a little insecure about the size of her flesh melons, but still liked showing them off in the checkout line.”

A couple links before I wrap this post up.

1) This morning, my mom emailed me to gave me a heads up that they were making kale chips on “Down Home with the Neelys” on Food Network.  Since my mom lives three times zones ahead of me, I was able to tune in a little while later and watch for myself.  It’s basically the same recipe that I used in my recent kale chips post, with one notable addition: Gina Neely sprinkled brown sugar on them after they came out of the oven.  She said they counterbalanced the kale, since kale is naturally a little bitter.  Brown sugar on kale doesn’t sound appealing to me at all – and, as my mom pointed out, it didn’t really stick to the kale anyway.  But if you’re looking for a way to sweeten up your kale chips, give it a whirl!  You can find the recipe here.

2) Do any of you read Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit?  Jack is a really wonderful weight loss blogger who uses humor to motivate himself and others, and he’s really funny.  He does a really inspiring recurring post called W.I.D.T.H (Why I Do This Here), where other bloggers and readers share, via photograph, the reasons why losing weight and/or healthy living are so important to them.  Guess what?  Yours truly is featured in this week’s W.I.D.T.H. post!  You can check it out here, and, while you’re there, look around on Jack Sh*t’s site – I bet you’ll enjoy it!

Keep it up, David!

My Skyscraper Collection

May 20, 2011

Earlier this week, I was telling some co-workers about using the StairMaster.  Basically, I hate it.  I find it difficult, and it’s not fun.  I don’t use it very often (once every couple weeks or so), but I do make myself use it, even though it makes me wince.  Why?  Because I know I can burn a lot of calories in a little amount of time (I love being efficient), and because I’ve managed to create a motivating tool that excites me more than I hate the StairMaster.

All you regular readers may know what my motivating tool is – you’ve seen it in posts like this one and this one.  If you don’t, it’s really simple:  I create a visual representation of my time on the StairMaster by equating my workouts to various skyscrapers around the world.  I love architecture, and I love doing this.  It’s a post-workout highlight!  It’s easy:  After completing my StairMaster workout, and making sure to note how many floors I’ve climbed (the machine keeps track). I go home, do a little internet research, and find a building somewhere that’s the same number of floors, and find a photo of it.  Seeing these towers, and knowing that I just climbed to an equivalent height, feels great.  It may have felt terrible during the actual workout, but the sense of accomplishment after the fact is mind-blowing.

I bring all this up now because, on Tuesday, I StairMastered for 10 minutes as part of my workout (along with 10 minutes on the elliptical and 35 minutes of weightlifting, focusing on arms, chest, and shoulders), and, gasp! I forgot to note how many floors I climbed!  At the time, I was focused on the calorie count – I managed to burn 200 calories in 10 minutes – and I didn’t realize I forgot about the floor count until I was in my car on the way home.  It made me curse out loud.

Because I couldn’t find a building of equivalent height, I decided I’d instead compile all the buildings I’ve climbed since I started keeping track last October.  Want to see them?  Here they are!

I’ve arranged them in order from left to right, based on the number of floors.  The buildings are:

  • CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China (80 floors, climbed 12/1/10)
  • JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, TX (75 floors, climbed 3/9/11)
  • The Sail @ Marina Bay, Singapore (70 floors, cilmbed 11/9/10)
  • Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan (70 floors, 4/11/11)
  • 900 North Michigan, Chicago, IL (66 floors, 4/1/11)
  • 1000 de la Gauchetiere, Montreal, Canada (51 floors, climbed 11/3/10)
  • Ernst & Young Bldg, Los Angeles, CA (41 floors, climbed 10/3/10)
  • City Place I, Hartford, CT (38 floors, climbed 5/11/11)

Back in January, I climbed 31 floors, and, just to switch it up, instead of posting a picture of a building, I posted a YouTube of a 31-story building (Ocean Towers, in South Padre Island, TX) that got imploded.  I love demolition videos!

When I first started StairMastering in the fall, I set a goal – to be able to climb 73 floors without stopping.  I picked 73 floors because that’s how many stories are in the Renaissance Center in Detroit, and the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles (they’re the tallest buildings in their respective cities).  Neither of them are in the collage above, though, because the workout where I reached that goal ended with me climbing a total of 80 floors (which is instead represented by the CITIC Plaza).  I ended up sharing a great meal with my dad at the top of the Renaissance Center after reaching that goal, which you can read about here.

Maybe it’s time I start thinking about a new StairMaster/Skyscraper goal… I have a couple ideas in mind already… What do you think my next goal should be?  And do you have any motivational tools to help you get through workouts you don’t particularly enjoy?

While you ponder that, I’ll leave you with one final fact:  I just added up all the floors in all those buildings, and, in total, I have climbed… 522 floors!

Keep it up, David!

Today Show

May 19, 2011

I was on the Today show yesterday!

Oh golly.  You may not know it, but I’m totally stealing someone else’s thunder.  And that someone else is my friend, Kenlie.  Let me catch you up (this is old news for anyone that follows Kenlie’s wonderful blog, All The Weigh):

A few weeks ago, Kenlie had a terrible experience with Southwest Airlines, where she was humiliated in front of a plane-full of people because of her size.  Kenlie blogged about what happened, which caught the attention of Southwest higher-ups at their corporate headquarters.  They provided Kenlie with some free flight vouchers as part of their apology, and Kenlie decided to take a negative and turn it into a positive by using the vouchers to come to Los Angeles and meet and work out with one of her idols, Richard Simmons.

I got to hang out with Kenlie when she was in LA last week (and had a ball), and on Saturday, we were both at Slimmons for Richard’s classes (see pictures here).  By then, her story had become news across the country, thanks to some major news outlets writing about it, and the Today show booked her to be a guest.  They sent a camera crew to Slimmons to film her working out with Richard, and they also conducted an interview with her in the Slimmons lobby (which she handled stupendously).

So, yesterday morning, Kenlie was interviewed live by Ann Curry on the Today show, and they aired a tape package that told her story and incorporated a lot of the Slimmons footage.  You can Kenlie on the Today show here.

Even if you look closely, frame by frame, you won’t see me in the video.  But, about 10 minutes before the interview, when Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry were billboarding what stories were coming up that half-hour, they used a shot from Slimmons that I am in!  It was for all of 4 seconds, if that, but still!  I was on TV again!  I paused it, and took a picture as proof:

That’s me in red, Kenlie to my left, Heidi on the other side of Kenlie, and to Heidi’s left is her hubby, Tom, although you can’t see much of Tom.

If you haven’t clicked that bolded link a few paragraphs above, to watch Kenlie on TV, you definitely should.  Kenlie is one impressive woman.  She took a crappy situation, and instead of positioning herself as a victim, she’s positioned herself as an advocate, standing up for equal rights and arguing that no one, regardless of size, should be treated with the lack of respect the way she was.  I’m so proud (and in awe) of the way Kenlie has conducted herself – she’s remained eloquent and dignified and has kept her cool and her wits about her.

I think about all the times that I’ve flown when I weighed around 400 pounds (something I write about in detail here), and I’m so thankful I was never treated the way Kenlie was treated – first off, because no one should be, and secondly, because I would have been a sobbing mess who’d be solely focused on getting away from the situation and slinking off to a corner or a restroom, which probably means the last thing I’d have done was continue to draw attention to myself by standing up for my rights.

So I’m giving a standing ovation to Kenlie.  Keep it up, Kenlie – you’re an inspiration to many, including me, for both your weight loss (127 pounds and counting), and as an example on how to conduct and carry yourself in this world.

As for me, well, my face was seen by millions of people this morning, and, if I do say so myself, I looked good.  Ha!

Keep it up, David!