BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted: Week Six

The past week was, for diet and exercise purposes, pretty much a write-off. I was sick with a cold that knocked me on my ass. I was home sick from work for the first time since moving here -- for three days. Went in the last two days of the week feeling and sounding like a somnolent bag of snot. Managed to consume some wholesome and healthy warm food during the time off -- beef stew and turkey soup with barley.

So, since there's not much to report, now's as good a time as any for a bit of in-depth reporting on my lunch. You've been reading each week that lunch is the "usual healthy fare". Well, what the hell does that mean, exactly?

Well, I start out the day at work with a 375mL 1% chocolate milk with extra calcium. 240 calories, 3.5g fat.

That goes with a wrap made the night before. The wrapping material is a spinach or garlic 'n pesto tortilla from the Presidents Choice people. Inside is some sliced turkey breast, a big leaf of romaine lettuce, a slice of Montarey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, sliced onion, red pepper, and mustard. I usually follow that up with one of Amanda's famous Colon Blow chocolate chip muffins, loaded with bran and flaxseed meal. We've switched from jumbo-sized to human-sized muffins. The recipe is from the fabulous book The Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan That Still Leaves Room for Chocolate by Liz Pearson. Fibre is my friend.

The noon hour is augmented by a can of Sugar Free Red Bull. 10 calories with no significant nutritional value, other than a blast of caffeine, 100% of my daily dose of niacin (an acronym for NIcotinic ACid vitamIN, did you know?), 80% of my B12, and 250% of my B6.

Later on, I consume yogurt or sometimes yogourt or perhaps yoghurt. The recent trend is Danone's Silhouette 0% in the 100g size. 40 calories, 0g fat.

After another hour or so, I mix up a bottle of Crystal Light in single-serving form. 10 calories there, and somehow it has 2% of my daily calcium.

I consume that with a William Shatner All-Bran Bar, valued at about 130 calories in the Honey Nut flavour. More fibre in that -- about 4 grams worth.

As I start to get hungry for dinner around 5 o'clock, I empty out the lunch bag by enjoying an apple. Honeycrisp apples have been appearing at the store lately. 80 calories there, with another 3g of fibre.

So, that's what I mean by "usual healthy fare" for lunch. Of course, that's sometimes supplemented by a cookie or Timbit if colleagues bring treats.

On to this week's weigh-in, as much as I'm dreading it ....

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 219 (holy crap!)
This week: 215
Change: -4
Total loss: 5 pounds

Okay, so I dropped what I gained last week. No cheering though -- just probably a levelling out.

Update on last week's gym task ... Got in there this morning and signed up at Nubody's. Not free, but certainly cheap enough that it might as well be. They have towel service! So, a good half-step forward. Now I just have to get in there and do stuff.

BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted: Week Five

Not a whole lot to note this week. Exercise was a coupla walks home from work and some squats. Bowling for the Bide Awhile Shelter on Saturday left some soreness, but would hardly be called exercise. Meals were not notably healthy for much of the week -- but one was supremely delcious. An anniversary dinner at Da Maurizio, reputedly the finest joint in town. Deee-lish.

Now, I'm sick. I have a cold. Amanda's getting a cold, too.

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 215
This week: 219
Change: +4 (holy crap!)
Total loss: 1 pound

Jee-zus! I'm tempted to blame it on water retention from sickness, or lack of a good bowel movement, or hibernatory adipose storage syndrome (HASS) or something ... but I'm not going to blame it on anything. It's up, and that's that. Four weeks' work, mostly wiped out. Gonna have to get on that and get back down again.

Gym membership may come this week. Deals being made at higher levels.
Martial arts investigation has yielded a Judo club at Dalhousie University which looks like a bargain, 'cept they haven't emailed me back, and their web site is out of date. I've been in contact with another martial arts/fitness outfit in town, and the guy has offered me two free private lessons. I think I'll check out one of his classes before taking him up on that -- gotta see if the facilities are decent and whether he whips his students with a belt (of any colour) or anything crazy like that.

BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted: Week Four

I went for a haircut on Friday. That's usually a time when I feel very awkward about my weight. Having that toilet-paper collar pulled around my neck, with the apron snug around the collar, sitting in that chair with my head being tilted forward, I usually feel quite Jabba-the-Hutt-ish with my chins spilling out around my neck and bulging under my jaw. Well, it wasn't quite the same horror show this time. I'm not saying I was bulgeless. I'm just saying I didn't see my reflection and think "oh, dear. I look absolutely enormous."

My joy at that was offset by a feeling of bad karma for not tipping the hairdresser. The bill came to $14.76, and I gave her a $20 bill. I'm used to hairdressers giving me back a coupla toonies and a loonie so I can hand over a tip, but this lady gave me a five. I wasn't sure what to do, so I left without tipping. I felt bad, so I scrounged up $2 out of the change in my pocket and went back in the afternoon to give a tip. Balanced out some of the oogyness of Friday the 13th.

Another week without the gym. Uh-oh. And dinners didn't go all that smoothly -- a lot of tiredness and food-apathy going around lately, so pizza was eaten (and enjoyed thoroughly, however guiltily) on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Sunday included a gorgeous turkey dinner -- Amanda cooked up the bird, mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn. Monday smelled even better, with the carcass being reduced to broth over a period of hours. That led to turkey soup for Wednesday.

Lunches were the usual healthy fare, but with leftover turkey-de-la-bird instead of the sliced stuff in the wraps. A little bit of stuffing made 'em even tastier. The catered-by-contra lunch for the station's birthday party on Wednesday wasn't anything too devastating -- sammiches. Oh, and cake. One slice of cake.

Despite all the tiredness and logeyness, I haven't been sleeping well this week. Change of the seasons, bla bla bla.

The soreness in my legs from all those squats on the weekend went away after three or four days. Walking home from work Tuesday and Wednesday seemed to help. I also did some pushups early in the week -- not very many, yet -- and I was just pleasantly sore through my chest and back.

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 216
This week: 215
Change: -1
Total loss: 5 pounds


This week's task: go to Nubody's and sign up for a year-long gym membership. Also, look further into signing up for martial arts classes somewhere in Halifax.

Stuff that's bugging me

An assemblage of petty things that have been getting on my nerves:

  • Eddie Dingle, the computer at the centre of our home theatre, has been acting up a little. Specifically, one of the two Hauppauge video encoder cards has been recording misleading file lenths under Snapstream BeyondTV. All the video is there, but the player thinks the file is much shorter, leading to odd consequences. I've concluded that this is only happening with the PVR-150 card, not the older PVR-250 card. The 150 also has, to be absolutely technical, "crappier" video quality and muddier sound. It's still watchable, but it's pissing me off.
  • The new version of Apple iTunes doesn't play nicely with BeyondTV. I don't know which to blame. I can't have BeyondTV up while playing music, 'cuz iTunes sounds like it's got audio diarrhea if I do. Pisses me off.
  • Windows XP reboots my computers when it bloody well feels like it. Specifically, when it's downloaded an urgent security update. Thanks for downloading it, but if we're taping a TV show or doing something significant overnight, it's a pissoff to wake up to a freshly rebooted machine. I'm sure there's something to tweak to force XP to wait for my say-so to roll over, but damned if I'm going to do more than rant about it.
  • Eddie Dingle can't keep track of time. I've told it to reset the clock by Internet Time once a day, but it still keeps drifting a minute or two. Battery? I dunno. I just don't like missing the last minute of a TV show.
  • The TV is bleeding. That is, the reds are bleeding. I don't know if I tweaked something or what, but Amanda's TV picture looks a bit hot, and reds and oranges are bleeding. The convergence looks a bit off in the corners. Just gotta sit down and run THX test patterns or something. Slight piss-off.
  • Shoes. I finally got into wearing sandals; now the weather has changed, and I have to wear shoes again. But every pair of shoes I buy breaks! I have wide feet with a high instep, so I have trouble buying shoes that fit. I end up getting shoes that are a bit too long in the toe. Perhaps that's why every pair of shoes that I buy, cheap or expensive, gets a big crack in the sole just behind the ball of my foot. I don't like wet feet.
  • The weather sucks. Not always. We've had some gorgeous fall days. Today, for example, turned lovely this afternoon. But we had some of the nastiest rain and wind I've seen yesterday. It's a mood-sucker.
  • The days are getting shorter and gloomier. I hate the way the change of the seasons can suck the life and energy and spirit right out of ya. You'd think that we, as a species, would have developed over the eons to accept that the seasons change, and adapt. Evolve, humans! I can't stop the passage of time, but I'd like to be able to keep people cheery and plugged-in as the summer slips away. Either that, or we should have hibernation camps, subsidized by private industry, to maximize productivity and worker enthusiasm.
  • My cat is getting too lippy. She was really good about not bothering me in the mornings for a long time. But lately she's been yelling at me and getting in my face when Amanda leaves for work in the morning. Jee-zus, Kitty, I'll feed you in an hour! Chill out! Amanda's cat is very good about not being a pest in the ayem.
  • Cats puke exactly where you don't want them to. You can give them a paper towel to ralf on, but they'll turn just slightly to the left and unload on the carpet.
  • I'm looking for a web site to host Big Ass Superstar music. I have three albums that aren't posted here -- "Stick It In The Fridge", recorded at karaoke in the late 90s; "Mind The Gap", an unreleased compilation of tracks from the early part of this decade; and last December's double-album by Magic 8 Ball, "Decidedly So". I'd love to find an off-site site where I can post these as album collections. Free. For free download. One where I won't have to get signed releases from the various publishing companies representing the artists whose songs I covered. Not so much a piss-off but a "hey, do you know of one?"
  • I'm interested in signing up for martial arts classes, but I hardly know how to start. I've always fancied myself more of a thrower than a puncher, but I'm not locked into that. Again, not so much pissing me off, but a little intimidating.
  • I just ordered an iPod. Yes, I'm going to be one of those people. Anyway, I ordered it from Best Buy's web site, and they wouldn't process the order until I called them from home. Sure, I appreciate the extra measure to make sure someone isn't yanking my credit card number and ordering stuff, but when I'm ordering online, I want my stuff in the mail now! Now now now! Not now plus four hours.
That's it. Continue with your day.

BigAssSuperstar: Un-Weighted: Week Three

A bit of perspective on my weight in recent years:
  • March, 2003: 225 pounds
  • May, 2003: 216
  • November, 2003: 225
  • February, 2004: 225
  • May, 2004: 216
  • October, 2004: 216
  • January, 2005: 220 down to 216
So, my weight over the past three and a half years has gone between highs around 225 pounds and lows around 216. So, I'm currently as slim as I've been in the past several years. Everything from this point on will be a new low for me this century.

Somehow I missed going to the gym this week, but I walked home from work every day but Wednesday. Lunch was the regular healthy fare all week, and I didn't have any donuts -- just one Timbit. Dinners were reasonable, 'cept Tuesday night when we had a special dinner out at Il Mercato on Spring Garden.

(Homemade Italian sausage, pan-fried with carmelized onions, with baby carrots, green beans and fantastic potatoes.) Of course, there was cake. I made a cake for Amanda's birthday on Tuesday (see above), and we ate it. One slice just wasn't enough -- this was goooood cake. Didn't eat it all in one night, but I'll tell ya there's none left today. Pizza one night. Pizza another night (a donair lover's pizza from K.O.D. -- I didn't love it, but I was really hungry Saturday night).

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 216
This week: 216
Change: 0
Total loss: 4 pounds

Yikes. Zero change this week. I did a whole bunch of free squats on Sunday, leading to sore legs on Monday. But it's the good sore -- that painful, gosh-I-must've-done-some-good, can't-wait-for-that-to-heal-so-that'll-be-stronger kind of pain. This week shapes up to be interesting: recovering from a big Amandariffic turkey dinner on Sunday, but enjoying healthy turkey-spawned leftovers through the week... and a big catered lunch at work Wednesday to celebrate a full year since the station launched. Let's hope for a loss this time next week!

Free Schmaps for Big Ass readers

I was recently approached by a company that makes downloadable travel guides. They call themselves "Schmap" ... They wanted to use some of my Halifax photos for an upcoming interactive guide to this city.

Well, the thing is done. And, as a contributing photographer, they're letting me offer y'all a free download of the Schmap Halifax travel guide. Yeah, free! I don't know how much it's supposed to cost, but free's free. Watch for my shots in the section about Point Pleasant Park. The "picker" ought to appear below.




Coming soon: A Schmap guide to Banff, also including some Big Ass photography.

BAS: Un-Weighted: Week Two

Topic! Poo! As someone who'd suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms for more than 15 years, I was astonished to have toilet experiences worth singing about, once I started eating regularly, eating healthy foods, and adding Amanda's Famous Colon Blow Muffins and William Shatner All-Bran Bars to my diet. But when I overindulge with rich foods, the nasty stuff comes back. A weekend of delicious, if not supremely nutritious, food has punished me on this Monday morning.

Not much in the gym this past week, but lots of walking. Had a better handle on the food -- for some of the time.

Monday had me in the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. Dinner was shake 'n bake pork chops, broccoli and brown rice. Tuesday's dinner slips my mind. It may very well have been pizza. I walked to and from work Wednesday -- the first double-shot I can remember since last fall. Burgers and salad for dinner. No. A burger. Thursday was pizza again, as we cleaned the apartment thoroughly in anticipation of Amanda's folks arriving for a weekend visit. Walked home Friday in time for a delicious dinner of rosemary lemon chicken grilled veggies. The diet fell apart over the weekend with donairs on Saturday for lunch, and a trip to excellent candy store Freak Lunchbox. Dinner was a healthy steak, roasted potatoes and cob of corn. Sunday lunch was a club sandwich with fries at the Halifax Alehouse. Dinner was incredible at McKelvie's (Delishes Fishes Dishes). All in all, a wonderful weekend with Amanda's mom and stepdad. I hear they're already planning their next visit!

Daytime lunches were the usual healthy fare, but I'm still caving into treats brought in by other staff. The editor brought in a box of donuts one day, and I ate two of them. Damn, they were good. But who's to say I couldn't have shaved another half-pound off my gut if I had resisted temptation?

On to the tallies ...

Start weight: 220 pounds
Last week: 217
This week: 216

Change: -1Total loss: 4 pounds

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