I don’t know where the nearest McDonald’s is

I consider this progress in my quest to eat healthier and better (no offense to McDonald’s, which does have healthy choices on its menu).

But now that I think about it, I could really go for a Sausage and Egg McMuffin. I love those things.

I have now used internet technology to find the closest McDonald’s, and it’s apparently a 29-minute walk from my place, or five Starbucks away. How is this even possible? What sort of world do we live in that I need to walk for almost an entire half hour just to get a McChicken? This is way beyond impulse purchase territory for me.

Which is for the best, really. But still.

August 2021 weight loss report: Up 1.9 pounds


Now let me explain how I almost but not quite completely wiped out my gains from July.

Basically two things:

  • Two weeks of vacation where I did not overly pay attention to my calorie count
  • Various and random indulgences to celebrate breaking free of a job that I had come to no longer enjoy after many years

I feel bad, but not really bad.

September should be better, though, as I now have lots of time to exercise, I am already running again, and will be paying more attention to what goes in my gullet.

I remain donut-free.

The stats:

August 1: 176.2 pounds
August 31: 178.1 pounds (up 1.9 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 178.1 pounds (up 3.9 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
August 31: 24.1% (42.9 pounds of fat) (up 3.8 pounds)

The Great No Soda Experiment

It’s actually more modest than great.

The plan is, starting tomorrow, to not drink any soda for the next week and see what happens. What will I drink instead? Here’s a list:

  • Goat blood
  • Motor oil
  • Liquid soap
  • Molten lava

No, wait, that’s the list of what I won’t be drinking. Here’s the actual list:

  • Water
  • Chocolate milk (after a run)
  • Tea

I am curious to see if anything at all noticeable happens. And if I can resist the siren song of that delicious1For relative values of “delicious” diet soda.

I will report back in one week with the results, possibly presented in chart form or as some kind of multimedia extravaganza.

  • 1
    For relative values of “delicious”

July 2021 weight loss report: Down 2.2 pounds

More good news for the second month in a row, woo. Actual weight loss that is just outside what I consider a rounding error: Down 2.2 pounds. Most of the weight loss came in the last week of the month, with a handy dip of 0.8 pounds just this morning.

Body fat is still going down, but slowly–but it is at least going down.

Sadly, I am still up for the year, but if I behave in August I may see actual weight loss for the year, which would be nice. I am trying to keep active despite the heat and possible wildfire smoke (they say it may arrive today, in fact).

Still, I am at a point now where I can see myself tracking toward 170 instead of away from it, then onward to that eventual, mythical goal of 150 pounds. I’ve done it before, so I can’t deny it isn’t possible.

I was also good and resisted buying cookies on sale this week. I was tempted, but the temptation waned quickly. Yay for me.


July 1: 178.7 pounds
July 31: 176.5 pounds (down 2.2 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 176.5 pounds (up 2.3 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
July 31: 23.9% (42.1 pounds of fat) (up 3.0 pounds)

June 2021 weight loss report: Down 0.3 pounds

The good news is I was down, even if it was only what amounts to a rounding error.

The better news is my body fat, although still up for the year, has started coming down more noticeably over the past month, so even though I am largely in a holding pattern, I’m at least starting to trend in the right direction.

I also stayed cookie and donut-free this month. I did have some snacks, though. I’ll beat myself with a wet noodle later. Then try not to eat the noodle.

For July, I plan on applying a firmer hand to food intake and get some daily exercise, whether it’s walking, running, flapping my arms or something else.


June 1: 179.8 pounds
June 30: 179.5 pounds (down 0.3 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 179.5 pounds (up 5.3 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
June 30: 23.6% (42.4 pounds of fat) (up 3.3 pounds)

Thoughts on food

I have been thinking about food a lot the past two days, but unlike most previous days this year, the thinking has not been followed by eating. I’ve also gone out for two walks and even ran a bit today despite it being 29C. Hopefully I can keep this up and get the flab under control. If not, I am putting in for a sexy robot replacement body.

May 2021 weight loss report: Up 1.6 pounds

Yeah, oops.

May was not a good month, but some of this was legitimately out of my control. What was in my control were the cookies I bought, which I shoved into my mouth. Repeatedly.

So in that sense, being up only 1.6 pounds is not that terrible. But it is still terrible and as far as weight loss plans, about as well-executed as the Titanic’s dodge around the iceberg. The sole consolation is that I am only up 0.1 pounds over the past month, so despite the cookies I was mostly treading water (fat).

For June, I am going once again with the cold turkey approach: no snacking at all. It will not be easy, but I think this is the only thing that will work. If it does work, I should see some actual weight loss over the next 30 days. If it doesn’t, I will be sad and a little puzzled.

The overweight stats:

May 1: 178.7 pounds
May 31: 180.3 pounds (up 1.6 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 180.3 pounds (up 6.1 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
May 31: 24.8% (44.8 pounds of fat) (up 5.7 pounds)

April 2021 weight loss report: Up 0.8 pounds

I successfully erased last month’s weight loss and gained a little more on top of that, so April, even though it was largely a holding pattern, was overall a big fat fail.

I ended the monthat 180.2 pounds. I have not been north of 180 since 2008, before I began my first (and successful) weight loss round, when I tipped the scales at a chunky 187.5 pounds before putting on the brakes to eating everything I could grab hold of. I am way too close to that mark now and feel bad having regressed so much this year.

Sure, I could blame the pandemic and not having a commute which forces me to walk at least a little every day, but those are excuses. The reality is I am just not trying hard enough. I just had breakfast as I type this and I’m already thinking about snacking.

It also doesn’t help that my partner (also very much overweight) is keeping a bunch of snacks around. One of the keys back in 2008 was not having stuff like that handy–removing the temptation. Oh well. I know I should be strong enough to resist.

No predictions for next month.


April 1: 179.4 pounds
April 30: 180.2 pounds (up 0.8 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 180.2 pounds (up 6 pounds)

Body fat (year to date):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
April 30: 24.5% (44.1 pounds of fat) (up 5 pounds)

Pleading guilty in the court of fatty foods

This week Pop Tarts went on sale, but I remained strong when I went grocery shopping, gliding right past them in the breakfast aisle.

Actually, no, I didn’t. I bought a box of Frosted Blueberry Pop Tarts and ate all of them in two days. That’s eight of them at 185 calories each, for a total of 1,480 calories spread (ho ho) over those two days.

This morning I stepped on the scale and was:

180 pounds

At least I can still see my feet when I look down. For now.

I’d love to blame work and in fact that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Everything has been off the rails since I returned from my leave and I’m not going to hide the fact that I find work an awful ball of unfun. Now I just need to find the drive (I already have the motivation) to come up with an escape plan.

File this under physical and mental health.

With five days left in the month my new weight loss goal for April is now to get back under 180 pounds. It’s about as modest a goal there is, but if I hit it, I will be…modestly pleased.

This blog of mine and a bonus fat update

I’ve decided that it’s time to give the entire site an overhaul. As groovy as the Cooper black logo is, the overall design of the site is stale and a bit cluttered, as some sections have been neglected and others are a bit too buried.

I also need to find a way to make the running posts optional. Or maybe start a running blog. And then start running again.

My current thought is something like this:

  • Come up with a new compact logo that can sit in the top-left
  • Remove the entire set of menu bar items along the top
  • Add a left sidebar with simple links to all the usual stuff (archives, etc.)
  • Have “noteworthy items” in the right sidebar
  • Continue to post the usual nonsense for the actual blog part in the middle
  • Try to allow for a “customized feed” so people can skip stuff of little interest to anyone but me, like my running updates (or maybe post them elsewhere, like in a journal or a private/separate blog)

This is going to take a while, and I’m going to try to make it work with my current theme, GeneratePress, because I have grown so used to it (and it works well). For now, I will be frequently playing around with different fonts and things that are easy to change on the fly.

BONUS FAT UPDATE: I have hit a high of 179.7 pounds. This is ominously close to 180 pounds, which would be a bit devastating to hit psychologically. Today I weighed in almost two hours earlier, which usually results in the weight being higher. I watched the numbers flick past 180 before settling back to…179.7 pounds (again).

This week I have returned to work and I have experienced an odd combination of stress, frustration and simple boredom. I have partaken of crackers, but not excessively so.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten very good at not eating anything after dinner. Yay on that. I am also drinking more water, as I find more than a little (diet) soda now seems to be giving me heartburn.

Further incentive on losing weight: I have a bunch of old t-shirts that still look great but are too snug to wear right now. I tried on a pair of cotton shorts I normally wear in the summer–they are a size 31 waist, which is one size higher than my usual 30–and could not do up the button. It was physically impossible. I was embarrassed. But I vowed not to buy new clothes that would fit–I’m not going to backslide and give myself an out in the battle against fat.

I will lose the weight. Just weight and see (ho ho).

Of Easter candies past

As I am still trying to lose weight, I am opting out of indulgences this Easter, but I can still wax nostalgic on the candy I enjoyed in days past. Here is my reminisce, in handy list form:

  • Cadbury Creme Eggs: I used to buy three-packs of these and eat all three eggs at once. Well, one at a time, but one after the other. The thought of doing so now makes me queasy. These were and are super rich. One is enough. For the entire year. Maybe longer. But as a kid, I loved these.
  • Chocolate Easter Bunny: The hollow ones were never as much fun as the solid ones, although the fact that they could make “hollow” chocolate amazed me as a kid. The solid ones, on the other hand, these had some serious heft. Eating one (starting at the ears, of course) was something to be tackled over multiple sessions, gnawing away like a dog with a chew toy. Thinking about it now makes my jaw tired. And to be honest, the chocolate wasn’t great, but I was not a discerning young lad.
  • Cream Half Eggs: I can’t remember the name of these, and today you can probably only get them via established brands, such as Oh Henry, but back in the days of yore, these eggs (flat on the bottom, so shaped like an egg cleaved in two from end to end) had a creamy filling that wasn’t as sickly sweet as the Cadbury eggs, but were still yummo and probably my favorite of the bunch.
  • Marshmallow Eggs: Never a real favorite, but I never turned one down.

You may notice this list does not include Peeps. That is deliberate.

If I do have a snack on Easter, it will probably be a bowl of low sugar cereal. Woo.

March 2021 weight loss report: Down 0.7 pounds

Even though I am down for the month, the reality is my weight was pretty much unchanged for the last 30 days or so.

I started the month unusually high (178.9 pounds), which made the bar for losing weigh correspondingly low. In reality, I hovered at or just above 178 pounds for pretty much the entire month, dipping slightly below on just a few days.

Clearly my restrained snacking has not worked as well as I’d have liked. It also occasionally hasn’t been as restrained as it could be. But I have avoided the following in the past month:

  • Donuts
  • Cookies
  • Pop Tarts
  • Entire cakes or even partial cakes

I must work harder on keeping the snacking down, though, plus some daily exercise might help to goose my body toward shedding some fat, or at least gaining a little more muscle. Or something.

Anyway, it could have been better, but it also could have been worse, so I will take this month as the wash it was and try to do better in April, no foolin’.


March 1: 178.9 pounds
March 31: 178.2 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 178.2 pounds (up 4 pounds)

And the body fat (now year to date rather than just the past month):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
March 31: 23.7% (42.3 pounds of fat) (up 3.2 pounds)