Food log

September 4, 2014

So I’ve not been very good about taking pictures, I always remember after I finish eating. So here’s what I’ve eaten so far this week.

  • Sunday – Had chicken and broccoli stir fry … twice
  • Monday – I think I had the same (I eat that a lot)
  • Tuesday – Gah, I did it again
  • Wednesday – Something different, I had Sweet Potato Hash, Eggs and Bacon for brunch and Beef and Broccoli for dinner
  • Thursday – I’ve had Sweet Potato Hash, Eggs, Bacon, and  a ground beef/pork mixture I cooked up the other day, don’t’ know dinner yet.


Well that was quick …

September 1, 2014

I guess low levels are easy, I think it’s an uphill battle from here on out. And it’s always possible to downlevel if you can’t complete a quest anymor

e.Level 4

Ding Level 3

August 31, 2014

So I haven’t been great with the taking pictures of my food, hopefully that will start tomorrow (for real this time!). But, while checking off things I did this weekend I had this happen:

Level 3

Leveling Up My Life

August 29, 2014

So it’s been just over a year and I was on that HMR diet. I was doing fine on it until my car blew up and I had to stop for lack of money. I had lost about 30 lbs and have since gained it all back. So now it’s on to something new. A while ago Elaine found a website called Nerd Fitness which is a site that talks about losing weight and getting in shape from a nerd perspective. It hooked me with the article RPG IRL: What’s Your Profession in which you pick a race that represents who you are (whether it’s dwarf, elf, halfling, ogre, etc) and pair it with a profession of what you want to become (Warrior, Ranger, Scout, Assassin, Monk, Druid). With each profession they list real life examples of said profession and what kind of things you have to do to make it there.

This week while reading through articles on the site I came across an article about the article about the Nerd Fitness Academy  where they state “The Improved Nerd Fitness Academy: Literally Level Up Your Life”. So I thought “What the heck? I’ll take a look.” So I started reading and then watched this video.

I thought that was pretty darn cool and I decided it was something I could do and signed up. So I’ve decided to use my blog as my tracker. Here I’ll post my various measurements and how my quests are going.

My Level 1 Stats are:

Height: 6’3.5″
Weight: 298.6 lbs
Body Fat %: 27.6
Neck: 48.5 cm
Chest: 137.5 cm
Left Biceps: 30.5 cm
Right Biceps: 32.5 cm
Waist: 129 cm
Hips: 116 cm
Left Thigh: 50.5 cm
Right Thigh: 57 cm
Left Calf: 40 cm
Right Calf: 42 cm

One of my quests is called “Find Your Big ‘WHY’ …” basically wanting to know why I’m doing this now. The big reasons are I’ve not been happy with how I look. I feel horrible, always in pain. I’ve got multiple diseases that may be able to be solved with weight loss and better dieting. And really I don’t want to die by the time I’m 35. I’ve got high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, moderate to severe depression and other things. I’m sure losing weight will help me feel better about myself.

Other things you’re going to see regularly is pictures of my food, this is going to be my log of what I ate. I’m not going to be counting calories, but following close to the Nerd Fitness use of the Paleo Diet although right now I’m still including rice and there’s a little sugar in my stir fry sauce. But really this looks like the best way to keep my sugar down and hopefully not needing insulin (I hate shots).

I’ll be updating my measurements monthly on the 29th of the month. Along with pictures to track my progress. Speaking of pictures, here’s the first four (they’re scary am I’m so very sorry).

8-28-2014 Right 8-28-2014 Back 8-28-2014 Left 8-28-2014 Front


Wow you can really see the tan in my arm in the picture. Anyways there’s me starting out at Level 1. And by the end of posting this I’ll have completed enough quests to be Level 2. So be expecting pictures of food (except for my eggs this morning which I forgot to take). I’ll post the previous days food pictures each day (or I’ll post them that night if I’m so inclined).


Thanks for reading.

The Steps to a New Me

August 12, 2013

Hello and welcome to the blog I seem to never update. Some things that have happened?’

  • I graduated college with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science
  • Alan has started at a Montessori school
  • Elaine got a promotion
  • My van got into an accident and is awaiting repairs (for almost a year now)

Things that haven’t changed:

  • Still no job
  • I don’t get out much
  • Did I mention no job?

But the main reason I’m starting to write again is I’m going to try to document my quest in losing weight (very original I know) and I’m hoping putting things out in the public will make a difference and help keep me honest.

Last week I started an HMR diet. HMR stands for Health Management Resources. The diet is run through a branch of the local hospital. I’m on what’s called the “Decision-Free” diet. Meaning I don’t add extra things to the diet I have to have 5 meal replacements a day which can be shakes, entrees, soup, or cereal. They are all very low-calorie. I typically try to do 1 cereal, 2 entrees and 2 shakes. Although this week I’m picking up some of the soup. My weight started out around 301.5 lbs so we’ll see where it goes from there. I have to attend weekly classes that are about an hour where we talk about the week and challenges we had. I’m also supposed to do 2000 points of physical activity a week (which if you look at the charts it means burn 2000 calories). I’m falling a little short there it just gets to be so boring when exercising.

My first week is almost done and I think I’m doing OK. I almost cracked on Saturday as I went to a get together and there was a lot of other food there. But I managed to make it through the day without eating any of the temptations lying around.

So one week pretty much down. They think I can lose around 100 lbs in 4-5 months. Here’s to hoping that’s true.

Diabetes update

October 19, 2011

So recently my body decided it was going to go wacky on me. My diabetes was just not working with one type of insulin shot. I ended up in the ER because of this. My sugar was over 600 and I was scared. The ER doctor was a jerk and more or less guaranteed I won’t go back to an ER for sugar problems.

Now ever before all that my sugar was going wacky. My family doctor decided it had moved beyond what she could help me with and scheduled me to see a specialist in Grand Rapids. I’ve met with a doctor, a nutritionist, and an RN that were all far above my expectations in what I thought they’d tell me. Like my family doctor, they genuinely seemed to care about me (unlike the ER doctor and nutritionists I’d worked with previously).

My last appointment was with the RN and one of the main things discussed were insulin pumps. I always thought of insulin pumps as a double-edged sword. On one hand it means I don’t have to give myself shots numerous times a day, which is a good thing, I HATE NEEDLES. I don’t care who says it, my shots hurt almost every single time I take one. On the other hand though, I always thought of it as losing. That I was unable to defeat this thing taking over my body.

The RN made a very good point to me. Its not losing, its just moving on to fighting with better tools.

On Monday night I faxed the forms requesting to be setup with a pump to the manufacturer. By Tuesday afternoon I had received a call from the local representative stating he had already contacted my doctor and my insurance company and that my insurance would cover a pump and a continuous glucose monitor (ie. I don’t have to check my blood sugar 4-8 times in a day, just 1-2). Also, because I was past my deductible for the year, my insurance would pay 90%. On top of that, I was only $532.30 from my annual out of pocket expenses before the insurance company would begin covering 100%.

So, I was told I’d need to pay the $532.30 to cover my pump, monitor, and a 90 day supply of disposable bits and pieces. That’s when my heart sank. I’m unemployed. I’m a full time student. Stay at home day. My only source of income is my wife, and we have many bills.

I’ve decided to repurpose my Donation button. If anyone would feel kind enough to help me raise this money I would be very appreciative. If anyone would also like to reshare this blog post, again I would very much appreciate it.

Some Updates, My Future, and a Request

August 17, 2011

Wow, March 2010 was my last post … I’ve been a bad blogger.

Anyways lets get started!


Well in the past year and a half I have:

  • applied for school
    • been accepted
    • been denied after the fact
  • had to move
    • back in with my parents
  • paid off big bills
  • celebrated Alan’s first birthday
  • finally got back in to school
  • learned to hate money even more than I already did
  • and having to deal with a family member losing their job

So there are a few updates. I’ll probably add more at another time.


Since I started back to school I’ve been working on my Bachelor’s in Computer Science. A good all around degree. But, like most students, I’ve found myself falling farther and farther away from the general and have found an area I would really love to focus on. Networking. Specifically Cisco Networking. The problem? I can’t change my degree or I’ll lose all of my financial aid. So I’m stuck in my current program for another year until I can graduate and reapply.

The big catch is I can actually teach myself the information and take certifications that say I’m competent enough to do the work.  The problem with that is it can be quite expensive between the tests and the equipment needed to study.  All of this brings me to ….


The certification exams I would like to take over the next year will cost roughly $725 and training equipment is roughly $300-500.

What I am hoping is that maybe my friends out here would be interested in giving a little or at least passing my page on to others that might be willing to help.  I’m going to have a PayPal “Donate” link setup on my page and anyone that would like to donate should feel free.

I am open to any questions you may have. There is not much I can really give back but my thanks and updates of how my training is going.

Thank you all for reading.

Life Changes

March 3, 2010

Right now I look down at my clock and it says “9:03 AM” and all I can do is think … “crap, three more hours”.  Today is the day I start insulin treatments for my diabetes.  Of the few people that read my blog I’m sure you all know that I’ve been diabetic for about five years now.  Type II.  Meaning I only had to take pills and work on my diet and exercise.  Well now I’ve been promoted.  I’m not exactly sure if it’s called Type I for me or insulin dependent Type II.

A couple of weeks ago I had to get my blood work done for my annual physical (which I had last week).  All seemed to go well, I had been feeling tired, but nothing out of the ordinary.  On Tuesday of last week (the day before my physical) I received a call from the head nurse at my doctor’s office saying she needed to talk to me before my appointment.  Having already missed the opportunity to call back that day (by about ten minutes), I began a long, hard, thirteen hour wait until I could call in the next morning at 7 AM, only two hours before my physical.

I spent those thirteen hours more or less making lists of what could or could not possibly be what she wanted to talk to me about.  After a couple of hours I had it pretty well settled that it was going to be a warning that the doctor wants to put me on insulin.  It’s really the only thing I could think of that the receptionist just couldn’t tell me.  Sure enough the next morning I pull myself out of bed and call the office at 7 AM sharp and what was I told? “Andrew, Doctor Roy wanted me to call you and let you know your A1C reading was extremely high and she is going to be talking to you about starting insulin treatments when you come in for your appointment.”  It took ten seconds and felt like my life was going to end.

Sure enough, when I got to my physical I looked at my “report card” and my HBA1C was 11.1.  For those that haven’t had that tested, yes, that is high, that is very, very high.  Your A1C should be below 7, my last check was 8.4.  The doctor said it meant that my sugar averaged over 400 a day, when it needs to be around 100.  The biggest thing that this leads to is the likelihood that my pancreas was more or less shutting down and no longer producing insulin.  The tests also showed that my kidney function has begun to deteriorate, which is also very bad.  On a bright note, my cholesterol was good at 95 (needing to be below 100) for the first time in years.

I left the doctor’s that day with no modified prescriptions and two new ones.  Anti-depressants (which I’m having problems with – not with the pills themselves, but with my insurance not wanting to pay for them) and my insulin.  I also left with slips for three new appointments, one for today – my insulin education “class”, one for next week to double check my blood pressure and one for the week after to see how I’m doing on insulin.

I want to take a moment to publicly thank Jim Hines.  Every now and then in his blog he writes about diabetes, as he’s had Type I for a number of years.  I’ve read and re-read those blogs and they’ve helped me a lot.  Especially where he reminds everyone that having to be on insulin isn’t losing its just the next stage of the game.  It’s a hard thing to come to terms with and he helped me a lot. Jim is also an author from the East Lansing/Holt area that has written a number of great books (I’ve reviewed at least one on the site) and I recommend you check him out at his blog

I always say I’m going to try to write more and maybe I will maybe I won’t.  I will get an update since as many know seven weeks ago today my son Alan Scott was born and I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to say and do about him that well I don’t know, I’m rambling a little now.  Here’s to another update, hopefully less than five months from now.

Being Diabetic in a Non-Diabetic World (or Household)

September 4, 2009

Many who read this may or may not know that I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes around five years ago.  Since then I have done very poorly at remembering to take my medication or check my blood sugar.

Enter [url=]Remember the Milk[/url] and my nifty new glucometer.  I’ve been using RtM for roughly three weeks now and I can’t recall I day that I’ve missed my pills.  I use the note feature in it to keep track of my blood pressure and my blood sugar as well.  The site is great on it’s own or you can integrate it into gmail (and possibly other e-mail clients), an iPhone/iPod Touch, or even most Smart Phones.

I’ve only been checking my blood sugar now for five days and the results always seem bleak.  So far they’ve ranged between 223-281 in the morning with one fluke of 181 and between 292 and 367 in the evening a couple hours after dinner and before bed.   In the morning the results should range between 80 and 120 and two hours after meals it should be 160 or less.

On a bright note my morning readings have been getting increasingly lower with the 281 being the first day I checked and the 223 being this morning.  My evening results seem to hover between 290 and 300 for the most part.

Now admittedly I was in denial for probably the first two years of my diagnosis because I’m fairly young and I like to eat.  And liking to eat is my problem.  You cold even say it’s my bane.

Now it’s not that I like to sit around and eat all the time, but I do like good food and I do like to go out from time to time.

I’ve learned when going out your best bet is to get water to drink.  Most resturants have a very poor selection of sugar free drinks: water and diet cola.  Ok so water it is (unless the place has particularly good Diet Coke – which I only know of one anymore).   The next thing up is what to eat.  My favorite foods are Chinese and Italian – both are a nightmare for diabetics.  The rice and pasta turn into glucose and up goes your levels (in fact that 367 was after a dinner at The Olive Garden).  Now the obvious answer here is probably to just not go out and eat these things.  I can better select what I make at home.

This brings me to an even bigger problem.  I’m diabetic, my wife and roommate are not.  So what do we commonly end up eating.  Usually cheap and easy pasta dishes (mac and cheese or knock-off Hamburger Helper).  There have been many times I’ve just wanted to throw all the bad things out, but they’re so good.

You’re body does need so many carbs everyday and smaller more regular portions are better, but have you ever seen how much is actually in a serving of pasta?  About 1/2 cup.  I’m 6’5″ tall and I weight about 280 lbs.   A 1/2 cup of pasta is actually about the size of my fist, maybe a little less.  And I’m one hungry guy.

I’ve tried following appropriate diets in the past, but with two people that never seem to have to worry about how high their blood sugar goes compared just one of me, I tend to cook for the masses.  I don’t like inflicting what I have to go through on them.

Lately I find myself being asked “What’s for dinner?” and my response is to look over at my testing stuff (glucometer, lancer and my blood pressure cuff) and just say “Nothing, eat what you want.”  Why?  Because my brain says “if you eat, you’re sugar will be high and you’ll be depressed all the next day.”  Do I go without eating?  Not generally, in fact when that happens I eat too much.  Kraft needs to learn to make 1.5 box sized boxes of mac and cheese since 2 boxes is too much for three people, but one is not enough.

What I find amusing is that it costs far too much money to do the healthy thing when you are sick.  I can get a bag of cereal that is full of carbs (and lots and lots of sugar) for about $2 and it’ll last me three weeks or more, or I can buy and carton of eggs for about $1.29 and it won’t even last a week.  Foods that are good for you like raw vegetables I can’t eat, they make me ill.  I do so wish I could eat a salad.  Fresh fruits are high in sugar, and while that kind of sugar is better and your body can handle it easier, it’s still too sweet.

Well enough of the rambling.  There may be health updates as things go along.  Hopefully next up will be a review of District 9.

Julie/Julia Review

August 11, 2009

On Friday night I decided my wife and I were going to see an early showing of the movie Julie/Julia.  We’d wanted to see the movie since we saw the previews.  I mean who wouldn’t want to see a Prada wearing witch turned french chef and an animated princess turned housewife.

Meryl Streep does an absolutely stunning job as Julia Child.  She was fun, amusing and kept me enthralled.  Amy Adams was also divine as Julie Powell.   While I enjoyed the parts about the blog that led to the book and movie the scenes in the fifties and sixties are what I kept waiting to go back to.

I firmly believe that after watching this movie you will have hundreds of urges to cook.  And do you know what I have to say to those urges?  DO IT! Just don’t burn down your house or make hot dog noodle soup.

I definitely give this movie a rating of 5/5.

Just remember, I laughed, I cried, I got fat, and you will too.

Bon Apetite