Monday, December 31, 2007

Week 4 & 5

Weeks 4 & 5: Dec. 17 - 31
Miles Walked: 43.8
Weight / Waist: 252 lb / 43.75"
(note: waist is measured at the point of largest girth; in my case, that's around me at the belly button)

Miles Walked: 99.8
Weight Change: +6 lb
Waist Change: -0.75 inches

I'm at the end of a 5 week stretch, and I've walked nearly 100 miles. I haven't lost any weight, in fact, I've gained some. But my weighing-in this morning comes at the end of a long holiday week (i.e. I've had my fill of cookies, beer, pie, etc.). I'm looking pretty bloated right now :-) but at least my waist is smaller. I think that's a good indicator. And, judging from my legs, I've gained a bit of muscle.

My new goal is this: Walk 1000 Miles in One Year's Time That's averaging about 20 miles per week. I think I can do it. We'll see...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Week 3

Week 3: Dec. 10 - 16
Miles Walked: 17
Weight / Waist: 246 lb / 44"
(note: waist is measured at the point of largest girth; in my case, that's around me at the belly button)

Miles Walked: 56
Weight Lost: 0 lb
Waist Lost: -0.5 inches

Well, I think I have some progress to report. It appears 0.5 inches have shrunk off my waist. This measurement is most likely correct since my pants are fitting a bit looser now :-) The weight may come down later. Sometimes weight "hangs" at a certain point, and then drops after a few weeks. Also, I may be building a little bit of muscle with all this walking.

The big accompishment of the week is that I walked 13.2 miles in 3 hours and 5 minutes yesterday (that's 14-minute miles!). I'm planning on walking/running (mostly walking) a 25K race in Big Bend National Park next month, so I wanted to see if I could handle going a long distance. The 25K is 15.5 miles, so I'm getting close. I'll have a month between now and the race, and I need to keep walking hard. I think I should be walking 20 to 25 miles per week.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Week 2

Week 2: Dec. 3 - 9
Miles Walked: 21
Weight / Waist: 246 lb / 44.5 inches

Miles Walked: 39
Weight Lost: 0 lb
Waist Lost: 0 inches

Eeeeecccchhhhh.... I've gone nowhere in two weeks. No weight lost, no inches lost. Of course we had the company holiday party this past weekend, so naturally I drank and stuffed myself silly :-) At least I walked a few more miles this past week!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nectar of the Gods

Okay, it's another non-beer post in the Beer category, but it's worthy, I promise.

The Perfect Margarita (Nectar of the Gods):

• 1 cup Gold Tequila (a)
• 1/3 cup Triple Sec (b)
• 1/2 cup fresh sqeezed key lime juice (with pulp and seeds removed) (c)
• 1/2 cup Agave Nectar (d)
• small pinch of salt

Throw it all in a blender and fill with ice. Blast it until creamy smooth (1 - 2 minutes). If it gets too thick and won't blend, then pour a little water in to get the mix flowing. You can skip the blender and just mix this stuff right over ice for an "on the rocks" drinky-drink.

Notes on this recipe:

a. You don't have to get fancy here. Just use a decent brand (e.g. Sauza or Jose Cuervo). If it comes in a glass bottle, then it might be okay. If it comes in a plastic bottle, then it's probably fit to use as an engine de-greaser.

b. Get fancy! Ordinary Triple Sec is okay and produces good results. For a better tasting 'rita, use Grand Mariner or a cheaper equivalent (e.g. Bauchant) - basically any orange liqueur and brandy/conac blend.

c. Key limes are sweeter and more tart than typical limes. I definitely prefer key limes.

d. THE SECRET INGREDIENT. Look for agave nectar next to the honey at your local grocery store. If you can't find it, then try one of those fancier grocery stores (e.g. Whole Foods, Central Market).

For you metric-system types:

- 1 cup = 237 mL
- 1/2 cup = 118 mL
- 1/3 cup = 79 mL

Also, one shot from a typical shot-glass is roughly 1/6 of a cup in volume. So, you can measure in 1/3 cup increments by using two shot-glass volumes.

The Story

This recipe represents about 12 years of experimenting. My first margarita was some cheap rot-gut tequila mixed with some neon green crap in a bottle. You know, the giant jug of unnatural green liquid just beckoning at you in the liquor store. It tasted like ass and I knew I had to come up with something better.

After some experiements and a few years of experience (i.e. late nights, bad hangovers), I settled on a decent recipe using frozen limeaid concentrate, tequila, and triple sec. This does make a pretty good drink, but it's not quite there.

Just recently, I was introduced to a fantastic substance called agave nectar. Holy shit, I found perfection!!! Okay, maybe it's not perfection, but it's pretty close. The above recipe represents a new plateau in my evolution of the perfect margarita.

You can thank me later, when the room stops spinning...

Recent Photos from the High Lonesome

I've finally enjoyed a bit of free time and processed a few recent photos. Here are some sights from the High Lonesome (the ranch where I hunt):

Finally, after weeks of waiting, here are clear skies and the Comet 17P/Holmes:

Well, the second shot is the moon :-) but I was so happy to finally have some clear skies over my camera. I live in Houston with frequent clouds and pollution, and I've not been able to see the comet yet. The High Lonesome is way out in the Texas Hill Country, so when the skies are clear, the star viewing is awesome.

First Post - 50 lbs to go!

Seems like I've always been in a weight loss mode. I've been overweight for as long as I can remember.

As an adult, I've fluctuated between 205 and 275 pounds (the peak was during the beer-drinkin' pizza-eatin' college days). However, for the past two years or so, I've stayed mostly constant in the 240 - 250 range. I guess that's a good thing, as going up-n-down in weight isn't healthy.

I've decided to log my weight and exercise progress here on my blog. I've created a Weight Loss category just for these posts. This is the first one. Below is a quick summary of my progress in the previous week.

Week 1: Nov. 26 - Dec. 3
Miles Walked: 18
Weight / Waist: 246 lb / 44.5"

My goal is to make one post per week reporting some sort of progress: either losing weight, reducing my girth, and/or walking many miles (my primary form of exercise).

To date (for 2007), I've probably walked 250 miles. This includes the 60+ miles I've hiked in Big Bend :-) and most of that was with a heavy pack. When I walk during the week in my neighborhood, it's usually 4 to 6 miles at a time, averaging 14 minutes per mile. Yep, that's right - I hual ass! :-) my big fat ass, to be exact. I can't run or jog worth a fart but I can walk until my legs fall off.

My plan is simple. Since my diet is fairly good and healthy (except for the too frequent over-indulgence in beer :-) I'll focus on eating less. The major component of this "diet" is just to exercise a lot. This has many benefits aside from weight loss: I feel better, exercise burns off stress, I can do more because my endurance is higher, I sleep better, and I enjoy my hiking/camping outings much more because I'm in better shape. It's a complete reversal of the vicious cycle.

Does my plan work, you ask? You might be wondering why I'm still overweight if I've already put so much effort into exercise this year alone. Well, it works when I keep doing it. I've gone through alternating periods of activity and inactivity. I'll walk a lot and eat less for several weeks (and dump several pounds) and then follow that with several weeks of inactivity and eating a lot (and gain back the pounds).

When I started 2007, my goal was to loose 50 pounds by the end of the year. Well, here I am with less than a month to go before 2007 is gone, and I'm almost the same weight in which I started this year. Pppfffttt.....

I won't reach my 50-pound goal before 2008 is here, obviously, but I can pick up the plan again. That's always been my problem in the past. I'll get serious about it, stick with the eating less & exercising more program for a couple of weeks, and then fall off the wagon for a time while I eat myself silly.

I've got to stick with it - FOR GOOD. This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change. So follow my progress here. Taunt me, challenge me, tell me my ass is too fat or my spare tire is too large or something. I've got to lose it!