Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Lose-It" --My 300 Day Project

About a month ago I had a minor health scare. Ended up in urgent care, where, amongst other things, they weighed me and took my blood pressure. That was scary! The weight was now affecting my health and there wasn't room for excuses anymore. I want to live to hike and bike the world with my kids and grandkids (who aren't born yet).

Over the next few days, I researched different approaches to losing 80 pounds. Of course, being me, I went to the internet for suggestions and advice. Beware! There is LOTS of advice on the internet! After information overload and a few of the best suggestions mulling in my brain, I decided that what would work for me was something very simple to which I could seriously commit for a year.

So, as of July 29th, I began my "300 Day Project" project with only one rule... "2000 calories per day." That is it!

The 2000 calories was calculated using a few different calorie calculators on the internet. I double and triple checked the numbers and then made the commitment. Each month I'll adjust it downward slightly and expect to attend my daughter's high school graduation 80 pounds lighter, eating about 1750 calories a day.

I track the calories on a spectacular free iPhone app called "Lose-It". It does the math for me on the calories eaten and the calories burned if I get in some exercise. The app's database of grocery and restaurant foods also lets me plan my food choices ahead of time. Heck, I've even had a Big-Mac this month (no fries... not enough calories left in the day for fries).

I've learned a few things too. A bag of fresh snap peas has one-third the calories of a Snicker's candy bar, but takes three times longer to eat. Bananas and balsamic vinegar is an awesome snack. Oh, and 100 calorie snack packages (which I used to make fun of) make it easy to enjoy a snack and keep the portions in check.

So far, I'm eight pounds lighter, feeling better (the headaches are gone), and most importantly, I'm sticking to it!

Thoughts about Ted Kennedy...

I cannot discount Ted Kennedy’s influence and effort on behalf of the American people however much I may have disagreed with him politically. He fought the good fight for the things he believed in and for that I respect him.

Yet, I cannot grasp how the citizens of Massachusetts could have continued to elect a man who was so unwilling to be accountable for Chappaquidick and his above-the-law attitude. Strange how they would trust him with the policy influence on a nation and yet excuse his circumvention of the law.

In watching an NBC Video about Kennedy, I see a man who led an amazingly bold life of public service which was also so regularly riddled with personal and family tragedy. And yet, I wonder... what level of effort, what measure of acts of good will and service, make up for a life. Then again... in my heart of hearts I know that such a question is God’s to answer… not mine.

So, while Ted Kennedy would never have gotten my vote, I appreciate his contribution to this great nation. I wish his family peace and wish him well as he reconnects with those who went before he did.

As an aside... I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a conference I attended a couple of years ago. It was just a couple of months before it was announced that he had a malignant brain tumor. I was struck by how short he was. I suppose that we see figures like Ted Kennedy as "larger than life" and expect them to physically dominate a room. He did not. But I was impressed by his passion.

Kathryn Simpson