New Nerd Fitness Challenge: CARDIO TO VEGAS!

June 27, 2013

You guys, I’m TOTALLY NERDING OUT RIGHT NOW.  I’m in nerd heaven. I’ve come up with a new fitness challenge that has me so freakin’ excited, because it plays to all my nerd strengths. It involves statistics. It involves maps. It involves research. And, most importantly, it involves exercise. It’s a nerd dream come true!

I’m calling my new challenge CARDIO TO VEGAS, and here’s how it works (with a little background thrown in, too): I’ve been working hard to get in shape after being sidelined from my surgery, and that hard work has resulted in me doing a lot of cardio. Since I’m not in training for a charity race (like my recent skyscraper climb), I wanted to find something that would help keep me going. So I’m going to run and bike and climb my way to Vegas!

Let me clear, right at the start – I’m not going to literally run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. What I’m going to do keep track of every mile I complete, whether it’s on a run, on an exercise bike, on an elliptical, even in a pool. I’m going to add those miles up, and I’m going to track them on a map. The goal is to log enough miles to get me all the way to Las Vegas, which is 274 miles away.

Entire Route

I’m going to use Google Maps to track my progress. For a starting point, I picked an intersection at Valley Plaza Park, which is near my house. I picked it because Read the rest of this entry »


Back to Slimmons

June 26, 2013

My efforts to get back into shape continue. A huge motivating factor has been the Double-D Workout Challenge that I’m doing with my friend Debbie – there’s nothing like the threat of owing someone money to get me moving! The Double-D Workout Challenge is pretty simple. Basically, we each committed to 5 workouts a week. If you miss a workout, you get a strike. Three strikes, and you owe the other person money (in the form of a gift card). For more details, check out this post.

We’ve been doing the Double-D Workout Challenge since the beginning of May, and so far, I haven’t missed a workout. Except, of course, Read the rest of this entry »

Six Flags Great America!

June 21, 2013

Wednesday turned out to be a fantastic day. I can sum up why in two words: Roller Coasters!


I do love roller coasters, and on Wednesday I went to a theme park I’d never been to before: Six Flags Great America, outside Chicago. It was a blast. I went with my sister Laura and one of her friends that Laura dubbed “Incognito Friend X” for her own protection, since Incognito Friend X didn’t tell her boss where she was going.  So shhhhhh… don’t spill the beans!

My history with roller coasters, and my love of them, has been very well documented on this blog. I spent a good solid decade avoiding theme parks because I was simply too fat to ride them – I couldn’t fit in the restraints. My very first blog post chronicled a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain, which was a reward to myself for losing my first 100 pounds. I got to ride coasters for the first time since college. I wrote, in that post: “There were moments during the day where I felt like crying when that harness clicked into place.” Read the whole thing here. It was a powerful day.

Even more powerful was Read the rest of this entry »

I’m All Out of Shape

June 18, 2013

Time to start exercising again! I’ve been on a forced sabbatical from working out for almost a month, as I heal from the surgery I had (which went very well, in case you need to catch up). I was initially told by my doctor that I shouldn’t do anything strenuous, including exercise, for 2-4 weeks after surgery, and it turned out I needed most of that time. But by the time I left for Sweden, I was feeling ready to start moving, at least a little. I was ready to test the waters. And since I was staying with friends in Sweden that have an awesome 90-pound Labrador retriever that needed to go on walks, I took full advantage. Here’s me and Pepper:


During that trip, we went on three hour-long walks through the woods, and a couple half-hour walks on other days. And I felt great. When I arrived back in the states, I felt ready for more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keep It Up… DAD!

June 17, 2013

Happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I had a really nice Father’s Day celebration with my own dad on Saturday. Oh – I’m back in the states now! I flew from Sweden to Detroit on Wednesday, and after a couple quick days at my parents’ house outside Detroit, the three of us drove to the west side of Michigan for the weekend. My sister Laura joined us from Chicago, and went out to dinner in St. Joseph, Michigan (you can read about past adventures in St. Joe here). Here’s my dad and me from Saturday:


My dad has been on his own very significant weight loss journey – he’s lost 40 pounds since February! This is the first time I’ve seen him since he started losing weight, and he looks fantastic! Here’s how he did it: Read the rest of this entry »

Things I Love About Sweden, Part Two

June 11, 2013

Quick catch-up: I’m in Sweden, visiting friends. I’m blogging about things I love over here. For Items #1-5 on this list, check out this post!

6) Katherine’s Garden. Katherine is one ambitious mofo. She moved out to the country last summer and this summer, she dove right into starting a vegetable garden. And I’m not talking about a single planter on her porch. She’s been building a garden that’s bigger than my entire condo. Here’s Katherine in the midst of her handiwork:


I couldn’t even fit it all in one shot! It’s still very early in the short Sweden growing season, but Katherine has planted Read the rest of this entry »

Things I Love About Sweden, Part One

June 10, 2013

I’m nearing the conclusion of my time in Sweden. Here are some more awesome things about this part of the world.

1) Fresh Eggs. As I mentioned in a previous post, my friends Katherine and Peter have a bunch of chickens, and those chickens lay eggs. So Katherine and Peter have super-fresh, organic eggs and they’re delicious.


Katherine made us scrambled eggs one morning, and they were probably the best eggs I’ve had in a looong time. I usually very rarely eat egg yolks, but I didn’t hesitate to make an exception:


That’s about 2 eggs worth, and the dollop at the top is a Swedish product called Kalles Kaviar, a caviar paste that’s very popular. A little bit goes a long way – it’s very salty – but it’s good. The third item on the plate brings me to item #2: Read the rest of this entry »

A Meal Fit For a Princess

June 9, 2013

It was a big day yesterday in Sweden. One of the Princesses took a husband! Sweden has a royal family, led by King Carl XVI Gustaf. The King and his wife, Queen Silvia, have three children: Victoria, Carl Philip, and Madeleine. Victoria, who will eventually become Queen, got married three years ago in a lavish celebration that was spread over 3 days. This happened during my last visit to Sweden, and it was quite the event: billboards and posters everywhere, official (and unofficial) souvenirs and knick-knacks in all the stores, and round-the-clock television coverage.

Yesterday, Princess Madeleine got hitched. The celebration wasn’t nearly as extravagant, partly at Madeleine’s request, and partly because she’s not heir to the throne. But it was still a reason to celebrate, so Katherine and Peter, my wonderful friends and hosts, threw a party in honor of the occasion, and they didn’t mess around. It was a 4-course dinner. I can’t claim ownership of any of it – Katherine was the mastermind behind it all – but I helped chop, prep, and clean. We spent nearly an entire day putting this meal together.

I took pictures of everything, but first, here’s the happy couple:


Madeleine married a British man named Christopher O’Neill. They met in New York, where they both have been living, and where they’ll continue to live. Chris kinda reminds me a little bit of Dermot Mulroney, except that Christopher is oddly emotionless and has a weird smile that hardly looks like a smile at all.  “I wonder,” I asked out loud while we watched the coverage, “If Madeleine can see emotions on his face that no one else can see.”

On to the meal! Read the rest of this entry »

God Afton From Sweden!

June 6, 2013

Swedish lesson for the day: “God Afton” is Swedish for “Good Evening.”

And Sweden is where I am RIGHT NOW! (Congrats to Donna for guessing correctly!) It’s late Thursday evening as I write this, and I arrived Tuesday at noon, after a day and a half of traveling (including the adjustment for time zones). I already have a ton of pictures of share, but before I get to those, a reminder/welcome!

  • If you’re reading this BEFORE FRIDAY: Set your TiVo! My episode of “The Jeff Probst Show” is airing again tomorrow. Click here for when it airs in your town. Or, what the hell, just watch the segment here.
  • If it’s Friday (or beyond) and you’re visiting because you saw me on TV, then… WELCOME! Thank you for stopping by. I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now, as a way to keep myself accountable and on-track. I hope you take a second to look around, and click on some of the headers at the top of the page. My Story So Far… features my life-long battle with weight, and how I met my friend and mentor, Richard Simmons. The Photo Gallery and My Favorite Posts are pretty self-explanatory. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (all excellent ways to learn about new posts), or sign up to receive new posts via email – there’s a “Sign Me Up!” box in the right-hand column, under the black-and-white photo. (I’m a few subscribers away from reaching 500, so sign up and help me reach my goal!)

Ready for Sweden pictures?

This is my home for a little over a week:


I’m here visiting one of my best friends, Katherine, her hubby Peter, and their two sons, Stellan and Kai. I’ve known Katherine since college, and she moved to Sweden 4 years ago when she married Peter, a Swede. They used to live in Stockholm, but a year ago they moved about 45 minutes out into the country. They have a few acres, and it’s beautiful. This is the view I’ve been waking up to: Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Know Where I’m Going?

June 3, 2013

I’m heading overseas! There’s international travel in my future, and that travel starts soon… within a matter of hours! I’m going to a place I’ve been before, three years ago. Do you recognize this city?


Here are a couple more shots… with me in them. Read the rest of this entry »