Weekly Digest 23: Clearing The Road   1/4/19 – 1/10/19

After the thaw, when it is starting to warm up, and about to turn from spring to summer.  That’s when it gets warm enough for “pool weather”.  You prepare the pool for the season: there is scrubbing and cleaning, filling, chlorine testing, and so on.  Finally, after many dormant winter months, it is ready.   You approach the pool for the first time, during this budding summer.  And despite the fact that you know it is 75 degrees out, and the sun is shining, you don’t really know the temperature of the water.  Hesitantly, you poke your toe in the water.  Is it ice cold? Or is it warm and ready to embrace you as you are ready to embrace the summer? 

pool cleaning

That’s what this week was like for me.  It was the first week where I knew it was time for me plunge back in …but I had to check that water first to see if it was ice cold.  I waded in cautiously.  I did ok on the diet, not great, but just ok.  Although, my physical exercise was pretty minimal for the week.   Overall, it felt pretty good.  I feel like I am ready to get back at pursuing my goals.  Yet, even now, as I look outside at the grey skies knowing the next week will bring frigid temps, I am ready for summer.  I can’t wait to be back on my bike, out in the warm weather.  I am over winter.

The Health See-Saw:

My overriding concern this week is, of course, that my health maintain its positive trend.  It’s been almost two weeks since my last prednisone dose, and I have been taking my allopurinol on schedule.  I feel good …no signs yet of any resurgence of gout.   I have to say, I am cautiously optimistic.  According to Larry, my doctor, Allopurinol is prescribed in doses ranging from 100mg to 900mg.  We started me at 100mg.  I am sincerely hoping that just that little bit is enough to keep the gout in-check permanently.  

see saw

The more I think about it, the more irritated I get at having lost 2-3 months in 2018 and 2 months in 2017 to this condition. I am eager to re-establish forward momentum and continue my progress. But after actively taking prednisone for 40 days out of the last two and a half months, I can expect that it will take some time to leave my body and I will have to focus on just working hard, as usual.  I may have mentioned this before…“It’s a good plan…let’s stick with the plan.”


So let’s get down to the numbers.   As a recap, I was 15 pounds from my next mini-goal of having lost 200pounds.  This week, I lost 6 pounds.  Much of that, I assume, is water weight as the prednisone leaves my system.  But that puts me 9 pounds from my mini-goal.  So it becomes imperative to have another positive week- even if it is only 1 pound lost – to keep that forward momentum going.  Let’s put an end to the see-saw!

The Road Map:

I am closing in on that next mini-goal, so in about 3-4 weeks I will need to have a new mini-goal in mind.   Where am I going next?!   I think the next mini goal will likely be to tack another 25 pounds on to the goal and go from there.  BUT …we are approaching a critical stage in the overall plan.   Let me explain. 

At the point at which I hit 200 pounds lost, I will be – and have been already – dealing with significant issues due to excess skin.   After, at least, 40 years of obesity, the skin doesn’t want to just stretch back into place.  And doing nothing about it isn’t a great plan given the excess amount we are talking about.  When I hit that mini-goal I will be talking with my doctor about skin surgery to see if that makes sense.  That conversation, and presumably any follow-up conversations with specialists, will drive what my next mini-goal will be.  I may have a long ways to go to get to that point.   Or I may not.  I really have no clue …but I will find out. 

Moving Forward: 

With everything that’s happened recently (physical and emotional health issues), it would be very easy to stay hibernated for a long time. But, in so many ways, I needed to move forward.  So this week I focused on the back-office blog development to-do list.  It’s a mighty list that contains items that I, mostly, have had to learn from scratch.  

To help me obtain some answers, I had a fantastic meeting with some friends I met through Isagenix: Andrea, Austin, and Stephanie.  We got together to let me tap their knowledge on social media and using it to help promote this blog.   It was a super productive meeting, and SO much fun!  Such brilliant ladies and I walked away with a very good plan to help leverage social media.  More and more, social media is becoming an important part of how information is communicated and how business is done. 

This community of supporters associated with Isagenix is really a fantastic group of people, all very positive, and everyone wants to see you succeed.  The mix of people is broad, and the expertise they bring to the table is equally diverse.  It leads to a wonderful creative cauldron of ideas. I would love to see more meetings of this nature developed.  That’s something to think about! 

big math


For the most part, with protein shakes for breakfast and lunch (or a protein bar) I did well.  My dinners were similarly good …so I don’t seem to have trouble staying on-point for that.   Calorically I only had one day over 1500 calories, and that was Wednesday where I ate up 1600 calories. 

cheese spread

Where the difficulty shows up is in snacking.  So this week the big offenders were cookie brittle – unsurprisingly, but also crackers and cheese. My dad loves this spreadable cheese we get from a dairy in Wisconsin.  Pine River.  It’s absolutely decadent.  I love it too!  And that’s the problem …if it’s here, I’ll eat it.  I can’t seem to stop myself from snacking on it.  I do my best to count the calories, but crackers are SOOO many calories …and they are bready.  So …that’s not good, and it’s replacing what otherwise might be vegetables and hummus. 

Additionally, I have to note, my will has not been at its best lately.  The combination of recent hurdles have eroded my willpower against things like cookie brittle and cheese.  That’s not the best – nor is it something I want to admit, but it’s real.  It’s the truth…and it paints an accurate picture of what I need to do in order to get back on track. 


Free Weights

This was pretty low this week.   As the week wore on, I started ramping it up, but the enthusiasm to work hard on this just wasn’t there this week.   I had just 3 elliptical sessions, of 35 mins each, and one free weight session lasting 45 minutes.  That’s not a lot for me, and probably one of my most inactive weeks in a long time.   Clearly that needs to change. 

My Take Away: 

  1. Control the snacking.  It’s time re-assert control over what I choose to snack on. 
  2. Ramp up the exercise.  It’s time to get back to building lean muscle and working on me. 

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I want to hit my next mini-goal by then.  It will also mark two years since I started changing my lifestyle.   Let’s do this.     

Octane Fuel Your Life

For more information on healthy eating, check out my article on diet fundamentals!

2 Responses

  • Stephanie

    Ethan it was so wonderful meeting with you last week! That’s amazing on your progress and I am curious what you learn at the doctor. Always here to support you just as do me!!

    • It was so much fun – I love meetings like that, Steph! It feels great when you can leave being inspired and feeling like you have a plan! A group of supportive friends is just critical! <3


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