Fitbloggin Part One: My Stressful Race to Portland

July 1, 2013

I got home today from a wonderful three days at Fitbloggin, a conference for health, wellness, and weight loss bloggers that was held in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I learned a lot, met a ton of people, and have a lot to share, including loads of pictures, so I’m going to spread it out over multiple posts. The thought of trying to sum up the past three days in one post makes my head hurt.

The trip got off to a horrible start. The plan was to get to LAX via the Van Nuys FlyAway. It’s a shuttle bus from my part of town to the airport that saves me a ton of money in parking costs. The shuttles leave at specific times, and I get to the FlyAway station with time to spare, park my car, buy a round-trip shuttle ticket ($14), and board the shuttle a few minutes before it leaves. I just happened to be rearranging items in my carry-on bag when I noticed this:

open wallet with missing driver's license and $2 bill


Read the rest of this entry »

My Old Roommate is BAAAAAACK!

October 25, 2011

I’ll start with a few quickie updates:

1) Guest Post. I wrote a guest post for my friend Kenlie at All The Weigh that she published today. Click here to see the post, which is my recipe for healthy crab and shrimp cakes. Then, stay and poke around Kenlie’s site – she’s a great writer and has lost a ton of weight, and I have a hunch you might find her inspiring.

2) Burpees. Last week, I committed myself to completing Your Inner Skinny’s No Excuses 30-Day Burpee Challenge. I started with 15 burpees the first day, and will add 1 additional burpee each day for a month. Burpees are terrible. They’re a hellish combination of push-ups and vertical jumps, and I hate them, which is why I’m doing the challenge – to push myself at something I normally wouldn’t do. Tuesday marks Day 9 of the Challenge – I’m almost one-third of the way done! – and later today I’ll be doing 23 burpees. That means I’ve already completed 8 days of burpees, which add up to a total of 148 burpees! Here’s what really freaks me out: by the time this challenge is all over, I’ll have completed an astounding 930 burpees. HOLY SHIT! (Pardon my french.)

OKAY – with the updates out of the way, let’s move on… I’m back on a brussel sprouts kick. It had been a long time since I had eaten brussel sprouts, but when I made the dijon brussel sprouts not too long ago, I remembered how much I love them. So, some sauteed brussel sprouts (with a balsamic dressing glaze) will be part of my lunch today, and I also have a new roommate.

I had a roommate around this time last fall – it was a delightful brussel sprouts stalk. It was the first time I’d ever seen a brussel sprouts stalk in person, and I fell in love instantly at the store, and brought one home to live with me. The stalk proved to be a valuable addition to my household (it sorted coupons and helped with the laundry), even though the living arrangement didn’t last long, as the brussel sprouts ultimately ended up in my stomach.

A few days ago, I saw brussel sprout stalks at the store, and fell in love all over again. Time to bring another one home! Look, my new roommate:

I don’t know why I think these are one of the coolest things in the world, but I do!

Turns out this brussel sprout stalk couldn’t be more different than its predecessor. Whereas my first brussel sprout stalk roommate was helpful and considerate, this one is a big pain in the ass. It borrows my shoes without asking…

…is always pestering me to go swimming….

…and beats me at Scrabble every single time!

My patience is already wearing thin for this brussel sprout stalk. Methinks it might meet its destiny (in my digestive tract) sooner rather than later!

Before I go, I just wanna give a heads up: Tomorrow, I’m going to weigh myself for the first time in three weeks. I moved my scale from the bathroom floor to the top shelf of my closet after my last weigh-in, as I was beginning to obsess over numbers, but now I’m really antsy to see what how I’ve been doing. At the last weigh-in, I was still up 1 pound from my all-time low, and during these three weeks, I’ve been eating well and exercising, so I’m hoping that pound will be gone, and possibly another pound on top of it. I’ll share the news in my next post.

Keep it up, David!

Dinner with Kenlie!

August 11, 2011

You’d think two blogs in one day would be enough (one featured my weigh-in results; the other had a photo of me with antlers), but here I am, composing my third blog in less than 24 hours, and it’s a good one!

I’ll start with a picture of who I spent my evening with.  Maybe you already know her, as she’s a very popular weight-loss blogger.  Yep, it’s Kenlie, from All The Weigh!

Kenlie moved to Los Angeles a few days ago, and I think she’ll be a lovely addition to this city.  She’s been talking about moving to LA for months now, pretty much since she visited in May, and I’m glad it’s finally happened!  I invited Kenlie and her two aunts, who helped bring Kenlie’s stuff cross-country, over for dinner.  Her aunts are lovely women, and it was great to meet them and shoot the shit with Kenlie in person, as opposed to over Twitter, Facebook, or our blogs.

For dinner, I pulled out my most trusted kitchen appliance: my Crockpot.  I’ve had my Crockpot for 8 years or so, and it’s never let me down.  My Crockpot and me have shared many adventures together.  We participated in a weekly CrockPotLuck every Friday a year.  We won Runner-up in a chili contest.  Since I started this blog, my Crockpot has starred in 4 posts:

And now it’s time for another.  I made up the following recipe, and it all started with a jar:

I picked up this jar of Spinach Curry Simmer Sauce a few months ago at Whole Foods and have been staring at it in my cupboard since then.  Finally, I have a great reason to crack it open!  (FYI: the jar has 6 servings, and each one has 25 calories and 1 gram of fat.)

I thought the sauce would be a good base for a stew.  And, as anyone who’s ever cooked with a Crockpot knows, everything in a Crockpot ends up becoming a stew whether you want it to or not, so that really couldn’t have worked out any better!

My favorite stews are loaded with vegetables, so I sharpened my knife and started chopping:

From left to right, we have 2 big turnips, 1 red onion, 3 parsnips, and 3 Italian eggplants.  I also added 3 minced cloves of garlic.  I got a few comments the other day when I mentioned buying a purple bell pepper, and I know Kenlie is a huge fan of my posts about oddly-colored vegetables, so I chopped up the purple bell pepper, too.  Here it is whole:

And here it is in the Crockpot with the other vegetables:

Oh, and by the way, I grossly overestimated how many veggies I’d need.  I could only squeeze in about 2/3 of the veggies before the Crockpot was full; the other 1/3 are sitting in my fridge, awaiting their destiny.  I may roast them off tomorrow; I’m not sure yet.

For protein, I added 6 chicken thighs.  I had to remove the skin and trim some fat from them, which is a total pain in the butt, but they looked pretty afterwards:

The thighs still had their bones inside them, but I’ve Crocked chicken thighs before, and they get so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones, making them easy to remove when you’re serving.

Finally, the jar of sauce got poured over everything:

The lid went on, and the Crockpot got plugged in and set to Low.  I started the cooking process at noon, and at 8pm, when it was time to eat, this is what it looked like:

I made some couscous to serve it over, following the directions on the box, except that I used some chicken stock instead of water.  And here’s the finished plate!

The chicken was tender, and the sauce was fantastic.  I love curry, and I’ll be buying that sauce again!

I’ll end this post with one more photo of Kenlie and me.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, do yourself a favor and click here.  She’s lost well over 100 pounds, and is wonderfully honest, open, and inspiring.  Keep it up, Kenlie…

…and 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!

Another Slimmons Saturday

May 15, 2011

I had a really fun morning at Slimmons yesterday.  Kenlie (of All The Weigh fame) was still in town, and Heidi (of Finishing the Hat fame) is a Slimmons regular like me, so we took a few more pictures of the three of us, like we did when we met for dinner earlier in the week.  Here’s a couple in the lobby of Slimmons:

The class was packed, but a good one.  Richard Simmons’ theme for the day was all music by either Michael Jackson or Pink, and he put together for an outfit that accommodated both.  His Michael Jackson look was a version of Michael’s red jacket with black trim from the Thriller video, and every time the music switched from a Michael song to a Pink one, the jacket came off, and underneath, Richard was wearing a red, sequined bustier.  Yep, Richard rocked a bustier.  Oh, and he also pinned a red flower in his hair to complete the Pink look!  Here’s Richard, Kenlie, Heidi and I after class (with Richard in the aforementioned bustier):

OH!  And don’t get jealous, my Australian readers, but yesterday, after class, I met a lovely woman who just happened to be an Australian celebrity! 

Her name is Ajay Rochester, and around 7 or 8 years ago, she lost well over 100 pounds, wrote a book about it, and ended up bring invited to host the Australian version of The Biggest Loser.  She hosted it for 4 seasons, published a few more books, and runs a couple websites: My Healthy Body Club, a few online club which provides support to people struggling with weight loss, and Chasing Oprah, her blog.  She a lovely, sweet, vibrant, and funny woman – it was a pleasure to get to talk with her for a little while.  Here’s Ajay and me (we’re both very sweaty!):

Ajay made the move from Australia to Los Angeles last year, and she told me that she saw Richard and me when we were guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show a few months ago, and she was so touched and inspired that she had just had to come to Slimmons and take a class herself.

Me? Inspiring people who themselves have inspired thousands of people?

Keep it up, David!

Blogger Dinner! (and Chart Pics)

May 12, 2011

Yesterday’s post was short and sweet, thanks to a technical issue – my computer’s trackpad was completely busted.  But now, the trackpad has been replaced, and my computer is back on my lap where it belongs, thanks to the extremely helpful folks at my local Apple Store.

Part of me wanted to play on my newly-fixed computer all night, but I didn’t, because I already had other plans… to meet up with two other weight-loss bloggers for dinner!  One of them was my good friend Heidi, whom I’ve known since 1997 – she was one of the first people I met in my department at the University of Michigan, when we were both Freshman.  We may have even met at orientation, neither of us can precisely recall.  (I remember where I met Heidi – on the sidewalk outside the Power Center on campus – just not exactly when).  Anyway – her wonderful blog is Finishing the Hat, and she’s documenting her weight loss – she’s lost 46 pounds since January – and she shares lots of recipes and ideas.

The dinner was planned because the lovely Kenz, who blogs at All the Weigh, is in town this week, and that’s just fantastic!  She’s chronicling her weight loss on her blog – she’s lost more than 120 pounds –  and keeps a fun, honest, and insightful blog.  Kenz planned this trip so she could come out and take a couple of Richard Simmons’ classes, which I’m sure she will write about in detail soon (she’s already posted a picture).  His videos have played a major part of Kenz’s weight loss journey, and it’s great that she was able to come out and meet him.

Here’s Heidi (on the left), me, and Kenz:

Add it up, and the three of us have lost around 330 pounds!  HOLY CRAP!  Add in Heidi’s husband Tom, who, while not a blogger, frequently shows up in Heidi’s posts, and I think it’s more like 360 pounds (I’m pretty sure he’s down around 30 pounds, at least, since January)!

The fifth person at our table was Kenz’s friend Kent (say that five times fast), and we had a lovely evening at San-Sui, a sushi restaurant.  I ordered a sashimi salad, which was a ton of mixed greens and a variety of slices of raw fish (salmon, tuna, squid, and some things I didn’t recognize but ate all the same), with a citrus dressing that I got on the side:

I also ordered a simple cucumber roll:

(Tom ordered one too, which is why there are two on the platter)

Before tonight, I only knew Kenz from reading her blog and exchanging tweets, so it was really fun to learn more about her and hang out.  I’ll get to see her again before she leaves town at Slimmons on Saturday – I’m looking forward!

Before I go – I mentioned yesterday that when I weighed myself this week, I was… down one pound!  Woo-hoo!  Here’s how my chart is looking:

I went from 240 to 239, which means my current weight loss is at 163 pounds.  This also marks the first loss I’ve had in about two months, and I currently weigh what I weighed on my birthday, which was on March 5th.  I don’t know what the actual definition of ‘plateau’ is, but I still think I’m one, and will be until I bust through my previous all-time-low, which was 237.  I’m a couple pounds away, but I’ll get there!

The other fun thing about weighing 239 is that I’m now the same weight as one of my very favorite fictional characters, Homer Simpson.  When I first reached 239 pounds in March, I wrote a blog about Homer – so if you missed it then, check it out now.  It’s a good one!

Keep it up, David!