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


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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!