Viva Las Vegas and long walks —I lost weight on vacation

The immediate family and my nephew Reggie.

I guess because things went better than expected I will go ahead and post results this week. The bottom line was I did pretty well, especially considering the ingredients of the week.

This week I mixed three trips to In-N-Out, one to Bob’s Big Boy in Baker, Calif. for my favorite dessert (hot fudge ice cream cake), a birthday pasta dinner with a half-hour run, multiple walks and stints in the pool with the kids. What I didn’t do was overindulge on a couple of occasions when I really wanted to. I so wanted to take in a Vegas buffet, especially for breakfast. But I knew it would weigh me down for the rest of whatever day I did it. On my birthday especially I wanted the breakfast buffet at Ellis Island, but instead I ate a light breakfast and then went for indulgence at Bob’s. I topped that one off with the baked Ziti in the Luxor food court that pretty much negated any benefit from the walk. I didn’t care at that point, feeling kind of punch drunk.

On Thursday night we walked from the Circus Circus Hotel to the Luxor. That is about 3 miles, give or take a trip inside in the Mirage to get Apollo to the bathroom while the volcanoes were exploding. Plus we crossed the strip and walked past a few more places. Figure it at about 4 miles. It felt like more.

You're going to start needing handles to pick up what I have lost.

On Saturday I was scheduled to do a 5.5-mile run. Diana got me a Garmin run tracker for my birthday. I’ve become used to using RunKeeper on the iPhone while listening to Pandora or KUOW (the local NPR). I’ve run without headphones before and liked it, and our friend LaRee said the Garmin mileage tracking is more accurate than what RunKeeper offers. I did have a problem once with the iPhone program. But yesterday the Garmin was kind of a headache. It took me a while to figure out how to make the workout send out the right signals for my intervals. Then once I got that going the beeps were not loud enough when I was next to traffic. I’ll give it a few more tries, because it probably is better than running with headphones.

Oh yeah. I’m 50 now.

Bottom Line:
Beginning weight: 404
This week’s weight: 376.2
Weight two weeks ago: 382.2
Two-week change: -6.0
Total weight lost: -27.8
Weight loss goal: 205
Percentage body weight goal: 50.5 percent
Percentage body weight lost: 6.9 percent
Percentage of goal lost: 13.6 percent
Plans for this week: Let’s hit 30!

Anthropology replaces weight loss

This is exactly what I want on vacation, blue skies and different scenery. It's beautiful to boot.

The family and I are on a trip this week so there won’t be a weigh-in this week or next. I’m still conscious about my eating, but I’m also about to celebrate a birthday. That’s why we’re here. I wanted to be someplace unique for this one. We flew into Vegas on Saturday and drove up two hours to Hurricane, Utah, where Diana’s sister Debbie lives. It’s fun for the visit with family, but we also did a bit of sight-seeing and attempted to do some gawking.

Hurricane is between St. George and Zion National Park. On the way in I had seen the signs pointing to Colorado City, which is in Arizona. More importantly it is a major polygamist colony led by Warren Jeffs. I had visited the community when I was about 16 years old and on a trip with a bunch of other kids from church. We drove through town and saw kids outside. The girls all wore long dresses and didn’t look at any of us. It seemed strange. On Sunday I wanted to go back and see it again.

Here you can see one of the walls near what is likely a family compound in Colorado City, Ariz., which was formerly the base town for Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect.

The city doesn’t look that much different than I remember from 1978, but Debbie’s husband Dave was able to provide some insight I hadn’t heard before. For one, most of the homes remain in a perpetual state of being unfinished, apparently because there is some tax advantage to it. Many of the homes had huge cement fences surrounding them, providing all the appearance of a compound. Above the front doors to many of the homes were signs saying “Zion.” Dave also said he heard that the chosen members of Jeffs’ LDS sect were selected to go live within the walls of the Texas compound, that those who stayed in Colorado City or nearby Hilldale, Utah (There is no clear line marking the border between the two.) were the less chosen.

Virtually no one was out on the streets at all and no kids could be seen playing in backyards. It was eerily vacant, except for the occasional passing vehicle, often with women with the trademark hair that stands up above the forehead.

Eventually we found out where everyone was when he came upon a building surrounded by hundreds of newer model pickup trucks and large passenger vans. I assume this was church. Seemed like everyone in town was attending church at once. Maybe it was some kind of conference.

It’s kind of mean, I guess, that I was there to gawk, but it’s no different I suppose than going to Amish country.

The setting for the place is absolutely beautiful, nestled as it is against a backrop of red-rock mountains. The insular community isn’t eager to capitalize on that, though, so it’s not as if they welcome tourists or the curious like me.

Shedding a big guy — week 19

When I was in the marching band as a nerd trumpet player the only cool guys in the whole parade were the ones wielding these 25.8-pound bad boys.

This week’s slight weight gain is not worth too much concern. I was sick all week and not right in the head or the body. Usually it’s just the head that’s in my way. Though it gets annoying to be stuck where I am, it’s better than where I was, right? And as I said before, I won’t quit.

Perhaps that was nowhere more true than on the 5-mile run I did Saturday. Chances are I should have waited until Monday to do it, but I didn’t think of that until I was already finished with all five miles. And to be clear, I did finish. The last mile was brutally awful. I was in pain, though fortunately it wasn’t the injury pain, just the kind you get when you’re tired and you keep doing something. I hoped that pain would go away when I stopped and for the most part it did. The whole run I felt the remnants of my illness, but I took it easy from the get-go and after the first mile felt OK. I did feel the tiredness from the week’s work to get healthy, but I felt better than I thought I might. By mile 2 I was questioning the wisdom of a 5-mile commitment. Miles 3 and 4 became more tiring and painful, but mile 5 was the worst. I’m not sure it was worse than the night I did four miles and felt pain on my left side the last half mile, but it was spread out more.

Nonetheless, I did finish, made it to my car and though I was really tired and stiff the rest of the day, I knew the pain I had was not from an injury.

Always something there to remind me.

On Sunday my cousin, Seattle’s best real estate pro Michelle Macris, gave me a new piece of motivation. She couldn’t have known this, but for every 50 pounds I lose I’ve decided I get to buy myself a Dodger shirt. She brought me an XL Matt Kemp T-shirt. I’ll need to lose more than 50 to get there, but the shirt is now on my wall to remind me. That may inspire me more than the running!

Bottom Line:
Beginning weight: 404
This week’s weight: 382.2
Last week’s weight: 377.8
One week change: +0.4
Total weight lost: -25.8
Weight loss goal: 205
Percentage body weight goal: 50.5 percent
Percentage body weight lost: 6.4 percent
Percentage of goal lost: 12.6 percent
Plans for this week: Again with the midweek exercising.

Shedding a big guy — week 18

This backpack leafblower weighs what I've lost, but the number this week carries bigger symbolism beyond the pounds I've shed.

This was a great week capped off by a moment of pique. I saw the number on Saturday and was immediately mad. Of course I know the number is not the only indication of how I am doing and nearly everything I felt and did this week was positive. So the number shouldn’t have bothered me.

Then I settled into the realization that 0.2 I lost this week allows me use imagery I won’t be able to ever again on this journey, unless of course I started gaining weight again.


So this is the silver lining in the disappointing number, that I get to use this as a symbol of one of my major goals, to start and finish a marathon, a 26.2-mile run that for me has been a goal since I was first turned on to running back in 1983. I haven’t done it yet, because I never had the discipline to train for it. Now it’s part of a two-year program that first has me aiming for the Aug. 4 Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon.

When I finish that run I’ll put the 13.1 sticker on my car, but it’s the 26.2 I’m really gunning for.

I’ll accept the 26.2 this week, but I’ve got other milestones that will excite me more:

One day I will be in this mix.

  • 40.4 lost would represent losing 10 percent of my body weight,
  • 51.8 is 25 percent of my goal to lose,
  • 54.1 gets me under 350 and would be the most I’ve ever lost in one diet attempt,
  • 102.5 is the halfway mark in my overall goal,
  • 104.1 gets me under 300 and puts me at about the weight I was when I ran the Poulsbo Viking Fest 5-miler in 2003 and when I ran Hood to Coast in 2002,
  • 154.1 lost and I’ll weigh about what I did when I got married
  • 205.
  • Bottom Line:
    Beginning weight: 404
    This week’s weight: 377.8
    Last week’s weight: 378
    One week change: -0.2
    Total weight lost: -26.2
    Weight loss goal: 205
    Percentage body weight goal: 50.5 percent
    Percentage body weight lost: 6.5 percent
    Percentage of goal lost: 12.8 percent
    Plans for this week: off-day exercising