Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Space

We're beat. We spent most of today moving furniture (some in and out windows!) at Kristi's Mom & Dad's house. But now we've ended up with a nice little space, our own little guest room where we can stay when we visit (and more importantly: get work done on the computer). The larger guest room is being readied for additional family. We're about to go out for what I call the "victory dinner," where the family eats like kings after a long day of work (like after one of our mammoth yard sales).

Kristi's work at home (she has at least 3 "official" jobs) sometimes requires a second computer monitor (as does mine), so we brought along a 17" Dell monitor that we can plug both of our computers into, and just use the switch depending on who needs the monitor most. The little alcove where we put a small table and chairs reminds us of an efficient business-professional-ready hotel room. Since Kristi moved up two years ago, we've been sitting on her bed on the computer, or trying to fit on to a crowded noisy kitchen table. This is much more comfortable.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Week 5: Thankslosing [J39.9 BLOG]

NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [JESSE 39.9] blog at but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.

It's week 5 of "Jesse 39.9" and I've lost a total of 15 pounds -- which is good, because it's Thanksgiving Week. W're heading to York to eat with Kristi's parents... I'm not going to go nuts this year, but I do intend to have a good meal, a soda (the new Mountain "Dew Game Fuel") and a little dessert.

For those keeping track, I'm down from 230 to 215 = 38.4% of my goal already!

Thanks for the Giving

The calendar has once again rolled around to Thanksgiving, and I'm at Kristi's parents' house enjoying a good meal and good company with family. One of my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the ride -- over the river and through the woods, as it were (Did you know? That song was written about a Boston suburb in the 1880's, when snow was common in that area at the end of the Little Ice Age.

(Speaking of Ice Age, it's the coldest Thanksgiving since I've been blogging (2005), if not the coldest day in 20-30 years, here in Central PA. Above are videos I took on the drive down.)

If you make that trip on Thanksgiving Day, as I typically have, there's a lack of traffic and a peacefulness to the drive that transcends a rushed vacation or a weekly drive. To think about all those families, each at work on their own Thanksgiving Dinner or preparing to drive to theirs -- this, to me, is the real peace that represents the day and it just gives me a warm feeling inside.

After dinner, I like to sit down and do some reading -- something that I rarely have time to do in my work-a-day life. I used to read Wired Magazine on paper during the Holidays -- now I read it electronically on my Kindle. WeatherWise magazine is still on paper, and of course I'll look through the newspaper's Black Friday ads, even though I probably won't go out to get anything. It's all just part of the tradition. But first, there's FOOD (not as much as last year, due to Jesse 39.9) to be had.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 4: 222.2 [J39.9 BLOG]

NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [JESSE 39.9] blog at but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.
Another week, another couple of pounds lost! I weighed in at 222.2 pounds this week; subtracting for clothes, that puts me at around 218 -- 12 pounds down so far. I think I really have the hang of this now.

Another hurdle was passed today... I had two nights of not-so-great sleep, but even though I was tired at work I didn't drink a soda or have an unhealthy snack. I've actually found that Gala Apples help quench the fatigue (which also naturally goes away after 20 minutes).

Apple photo by the Canadian School System. Exercise continues - and I'm glad to see the weight loss graph continue to go down!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Soda Demon [J39.9 BLOG]

NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [JESSE 39.9] blog at but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.
In order to get this weight-loss thing kicked off, I've identified some villains who have made things hard in the past, and I'm going to bring some of them to light over the next few weeks.

Tonight's topic is: SODA. POP. COLA. Whatever you call it in your neck of the woods.

To me? Pepsi and Mountain Dew are the nectar of the gods. This is probably my number one offender. When I weigh too much, I average 10-20 cans a week. When I stop, I magically lose 5-10 pounds. That's because they are essentially bags of sugar.

I know this, and yet it doesn't stop me from drinking it. I'm addicted to the taste, and I never chide people who can't quit nicotine or hard drugs -- I have a hell of a time neglecting sugar, and it's not as addictive. Mountain Dew & Pepsi are my drugs of choice. And they keep making better Mountain Dew flavors!

I also drink it because of the caffeine. I'm always tired (I take several medicines that may cause this, although I'm sure being overweight doesn't help).

I don't like coffee, tea, or diet soda, so that's a big problem. I don't feel that I can be "on" in social situations unless I have caffeine. I don't think I can drive. I don't think I can go to a big meeting at work. Well, over the next month I'm going to challenge all of these.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 3: The Fast & The Foodiest [J39.9 BLOG]

NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [JESSE 39.9] blog at but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.
Week 3 of Jesse 39.9 is complete. Three weeks with less than 1 soda and very little sugar. I'm now at 220 lbs, 10 pounds down from when I started (remember, you have to subtract clothes from the scale numbers that I show here). The lightheadedness from last week is getting better. I don't feel as tired from the carbs that I used to eat either though. Basically I used to get tired mid-morning, then drink soda, get wired for an hour, then tired again; repeat mid-afternoon. Now I'm just normal all day. It's a gift and a curse.

If I continue to lose 2 pounds per week, I'll be to my goal of 39.9 pounds in another 15 weeks, or around the end of February. That's probably not going to happen, because I may not lose weight Thanksgiving and Christmas week (though I'll try) and I'll be in NYC for a week in February. But I'm not turning 39.9 until May 2014, so I've got time to spare.

This week's hurdle was going out of town. We visited Kristi's parents in York, Pennsylvania, which we do every couple of months. Typically I drink a soda and maybe have a candy bar on the way down so I can be cognizant while driving. This time, I had a water and some seeds & nuts, and I did fine. While there, we had a birthday dinner with soda, cake & pie but I only had a water and 1/2 a piece of key lime. Like the movies, I returned home much less out-of-it than usual.

The next day, before our trip back, we ate at a steakhouse. That usually means a burger, fries and a soda for me, but I didn't want the carbs to make me tired on the drive home, which would in turn make me need to drink soda. So I got a grilled chicken salad and a water (I was too sad about that to take the obligatory picture of my dinner, so I took a picture of the window (see above). I was able to drive home without getting tired. I have to remember these benefits when I get tempted.

I continue to ramp up the exercise... I'm up to 30 minutes on the Elliptical in the garage, and 10 minutes of the Bow-Flex with six different exercises. I'm shooting for once a day for that workout, so if I miss a day or two over the course of a week, I'm OK.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 2: Gravity [J39.9 BLOG]

NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [JESSE 39.9] blog at but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.
The second week of Jesse 39.9 is going well. I lost about 5 pounds, from 230.2 to 225.4 (subtracting for clothes). This is more than I expected to lose.

As we move forward, I'm going to discuss several "hurdles" to weight loss. Excuses, if you will, that I would have used in the past to eat badly.

The weight loss hurdle this week was: THE MOVIES.

I go to movies in a theater half for the big screen, half for the popcorn. But when Kristi and I went to see "Gravity" last weekend, I was determined to only have a few pieces of popcorn, two cookies I had brought with me, and a few sips of soda (the first soda I'd had in two weeks, which coming off of a 3-4-a-day bender is amazing).

It was a great movie, and I came out of it feeling much less "brain foggy" than I usually do after reaching the bottom of a big bag of popcorn, a large soda, and a large box of Junior Mints.