Off to Orlando!

Weigh in didn’t go as well as I had hoped on Monday, I weighed in after not having a very good day on Sunday. I went to dinner with Liz’s family and then went to a birthday party and had a piece of cake and some drinks. All in all I ended up weighing in at 287 so according to the scale I gained three pounds. I was a little sad about this but then I remembered that this is only one measurement. I have to admit that today I hoped on the scale this morning while Liz was in the shower and it showed me at 285. So I think  it is important to remember that the scale isn’t the end all be all of how healthy you are. I have plateaued but it isn’t as bad as it seems because I have been working a lot. I think it is important to not over react to one number but take note that if it isn’t what you expected there is probably reasons for it. Also if the day before your weight you worked out a lot or went out for a night of drinking your weight could be off by quite a bit. I think it important to keep that in mind.  Now with that being said I do need to tighten up my diet and press through this plateau I have been in the 280’s for a long time now.

I have started trying to do cardio every day and doing weight training every other day. Since the weather is so lousy out right now I have been mainly doing the bike. There are a lot of signs that I am getting healthier though. My back feels so much better than it did before. When stretching I can really feel the difference, I can grab my whole foot when doing stretches. My quads have a little bit of definition, my arms are looking better and slowly the man boobs are tightening up. Just need to stay the course. I am off to Orlando for the rest of the week. They have a 24 hour fitness center here and I am going to try to utilize it as much as possible. I also managed to remember to bring my swim suit so I am definitely going to do some swimming in the pool after the workout. Today’s workout is going to be the first time I have done it. It is as follows

Each exercise for three minutes:


Prone Medicine Ball Pass


Kettlebell Swings

Toe Touches

Air Squats

As many  rounds as you can do, it says 5-6 rounds makes you a hero. I have serious doubts that I will be able to get that done. If the hotel gym doesn’t have a medicine ball or a kettlebell I am going to do the tiger lilly workout which is a body weight only exercise. After I do that I will then try to follow that up with 60 minutes of cardio. I want to do cardio every day from here until August.

Next week Sunday is a big football day, so I am a little concerned about Monday’s weight totals, I am hoping to get so far ahead this week that on Sunday I can’t do too much damage. Going to make hamburgers for the group, with homemade bacon that I will be smoking on Saturday. Anyway I will post how I am doing working out this week.


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Two a Days!

Yesterday I went to personal training and did 60 minutes on the bike and then I went to a concert! I think that is a major victory, last year at this time there is no way that I would have been able to do it all in one day. I ended up getting drunk and eating some late night ramen.

I think this decisions are really holding back the weight loss but I am getting fitter. Monday morning we will see what the scale says. Now I am going to hit the woods, and try to work off some of this before the weigh in.





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Snowshoeing and riding the bike

Did some snowshoeing today, it was biter cold. Didn’t take any pictures because as soon as I take my phone out in this level of cold it turns off. Because the temps were so cold Franny (my friends dog) struggled and we had to cut the snow shoeing short. We only did about 45 minutes so when I got home I hopped on the stationary bike and got 60 minutes on level 10 if the interval program. Got a good sweat in before Jay showed up for football with his girlfriend Rachel and Jeff. Jamie arrived as well and it was nice to have a little group over for football.

I was able to setup the GoFundme page for the fundraiser here —->  Vermont Food Bank Fundraiser I have a lot of updating but I got a basic setup, I am going to add a link to this that will have a map, so people can track me while I am on my journey. Getting pretty excited about this, I wish I was leaving much sooner than I am but it will be here before I know it!

Chris the personal trainer has setup a website of his own to show exercises that I will be able to do from home or in a hotel room which I am pretty excited about. Going to do a exercise routine called “Going the distance” tomorrow we will see how it goes. I am going to go to the planet fitness and cancel my membership tomorrow. I can then use the place there to do my burpees. I am not sure how it will work doing the burpees in my bedroom, I am pretty sure the whole floor will shake. Luckily I have to get the membership cancelled anyway. I am going to make sure that I take a picture of the end gym membership so that I have proof that I have cancelled it. I have heard horror stories and experienced horror stories in the past trying to cancel my membership!

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2018 Here we come!

2017 is basically in the books, I have one more batch of Kielbasa to make and I am going to finish the Sous Vide Pork Belly. I think my two goals for 2018 are going to do be keeping a paper notebook/to do list with me at all times and to post to this website as a journal. I think this is going to be an exciting year, in August I am going to hike The Long Trail. That is from Canada to Massachusetts, the entire length of Vermont 275 miles. I am going to raise money for the Vermont/Boston Food banks with the trip.

I am currently sitting at 280 lbs and want to be 230 by August 1st, that means I have 214 days to lose 50 lbs! Which if I do my calculations correctly I have to eat at a 817 calorie deficit every day to get there. I burn 2650 calories completely sedentary according to a test I had done through the Harvard Vanguard weight loss management program. I would be interested to see if my calories burned has gone up or down, I have lost weight but I have also started working out a lot more and am much more fit than I have been in a long time. So I will need to make sure I burn 350 calories from exercise every day. Which should not be hard.

So I have been writing this post over a few days, over the Christmas break I have done a pretty good job of going through most of the things I have, getting rid of a lot of things that I no longer have a need for. Mostly donating them, and then utilizing things that I have forgotten that I have! My favorite find was a sleeveless workout shirt I found that I never knew I had!

So I found my FitBit and it has been using that in order to track my exercise, I have the FitBit Charge that has a continuous heart rate monitoring, I think it does a pretty good job. according to the FitBit algorithm I need to eat about 1900 calories a day to meet my goal of being 230 lbs by August 1st.


Last 4 years and 11 months of weight, long strange trip it has been.

Training for the Long Trail has really helped me focus, I have plateaued a little bit over the holidays but I have not gained more than a few lbs. Having the personal trainer has really helped my accountability. I know it is expensive but it is 100% worth it, I was very lucky in that I had a great personal trainer fall right into my lap due to winning a raffle at a charity event. Anyway I am rambling so I am going to wrap this post up. I am going to write more, I think it is good to write. I am going to carry a notebook in 2018 everywhere in my back pocket and consult it for things, and stop writing them in my phone. I am going to be more productive by maintaining more lists while traveling so that when I arrive home I can just check things off the list.

This is going to be the year of keeping things simple, lose weight, gain strength and mobility, save money, enjoy nature, cook and eat good food and spend time with friends and loved ones.




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Mount Major Trail

Mount Major is a fantastic hike! Their are two options there is a steeper option that I would recommend only if you are comfortable climbing up bald rock that is often found all over New England. The blue trail is much steeper but this is the path that we took to the top. It was a steep climb but not too bad. Make sure as you are climbing to look behind you and see the amazing view of Lake Winipesakee. The hike took us about 2.5 hours and it is about 1.5 miles. The climb down was about 2.5 miles and took 2 hours. The climb down on the yellow trail was amazing a nice gentle slope most of the way down. 

If you are just starting out hiking please do not go down the blue trail it will be challenging. As you can see above it was almost twice as long and took us less time. 

The trip is about 2 hours north of Boston, I use the AllTrails app to navigate to the trail head. The trip did take most of the day after stopping for a post hike burger and a beer. Total hike took us 4.5 hours, we brought a salad for lunch and ate it at the summit. This is the first time we brought a full meal with us and I think it was a great success. It allowed us to spend more time at the summit, usually if I cram a few cliff bars in my stomach it gives me indigestion on the hike down the mountain. That didn’t happen after eating the grilled chicken salad.

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Off to Seattle

So there will not be any weigh ins this week, I will be in Seattle for the week. I didn’t weigh myself before I left mostly because it is 5:00am and I am not thinking clearly. The airport is super busy I was surprised when it was packed! 

Had a lot of fun with my Mom we saw some wildlife. I saw a turtle sunning himself on a stump that was floating down the river.  Only was able to grab one shot.

Anyway next post hopefully will be how great Seattle is.

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Super Bowl BBQing

BBQing for Super Bowl Sunday, a photo journey.

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2014 Investment Results

2014 investment results


As you can see it was another good year, I beat the S&P500 by quite a bit, luckily the plunging in oil helped most of my stocks, I did have LNCO which severely under performed.  I think for 2015 we are going to switch that out for Kinder Morgan (ticker:KMI)

I have not yet updated my stocks for 2015, this year has been crazy.  I think it is important for people to realize that they do not have to pay fees to the finance industry, they can invest in a basket of stocks and stay quite diversified, it is better than investing in something that they do not understand.

I beg if you please understand what you are invested in so that you know what you have, too many people blindly shovel money in their 401k and have no idea what they are invested in.  Please look understand ask questions.  YOUR RETIREMENT IS DEPENDING ON IT!

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First shot at Pastrami!!!!!

So over the past weekend I took my first shot at Pastrami!  I have always loved pastrami, last year over mothers day weekend I dragged my mother and my grandmother and my sister to Katz’s Deli in New York City, NY.  It was magnificent the pastrami was incredibly tender and a perfect smoke balance.  As I was sure to mention this was the fist time that I made pastrami and I forgot one important point.  You start with corned beef, some people cure their own corned beef but I haven’t had time but will be trying that soon.  So when you normally boil corned beef that helps remove some of the salt, if you don’t boil it and in fact add salt to it, it will become very very salty.  So the recipe said that you should soak the corned beef for 8 hours before starting all of this.  By the time I read this piece of information it was a little too late to do anything about it.  So I pressed ahead.

First I looked online for a Pastrami Rub recipe.  I found this one Pastrami Rub Recipe, it said it was close to Katz and looked like it made sense so that’s what I used.  I changed up the recipe below a little bit, I didn’t have any brown sugar at the house, but I did have maple sugar so I substituted.

Pastrami Rub Recipe

4 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder



Add all of the ingredients from the recipe, I go in a row so I don’t forget any of them.  I always like to make these in a seal-able container so that I can shake it to mix the spices.  I have found that is the best way to get an even mix.


After I have mixed everything, one thing to keep in mind is that the pepper is much more coarse than all of the other spices so it was natually move to the top as you are applying the rub.


I have two corned beefs, I always make too much food, and especially for a first run I should have just made one, but my logic is always “If I am going to fire up the smoker I might as well get as much out of it as I can.


After applying the rub this is what the pastrami’s look like (after applying the rub it magically goes from corned beef to pastrami)  I use the foil on the bottom of the pan to help make sure we get all of the rub on the meat.


After 6 hours on the smoker and then a few more hours in the oven to get the temperature up to 185 degrees after that I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool for a few hours before slicing into them.  I have a deli slicer but I think a sharp knife works better because briskets can be hard to slice on a deli slicer, it is important that you slice against the grain to get the most tender product.


Who doesn’t love a big pile of meat.  After slicing it was a little salty due to a lack of soaking.  I will make sure to fix this next time I make pastrami and report back.  Luckily I have some great friends that brought all of the ingredients to make Reubens.


Don’t you just love my pink camping plates?  Luckily once we added the bread sauerkraut and Swiss it really cut the saltiness of the meat.  I have a panani press and it really shines with the Reubens or any traditionally toasted sandwich.  Apply a lot of butter and you have a super delicious sandwich.  Anyone that has access to a smoker needs to try to make this at some point.  Just plan ahead a little better than me and make sure to soak your meat before smoking.  I haven’t tried this but I do believe it will make a better product.  I will post back with the results when I take another crack at this.  It won’t be too long.  Now I have to decide what to make for the SuperBowl!

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Photography and more

I wanted to start this blog to have a place to post my photography.  So prepare for lots of nature pictures, and food I have cooked.  I am starting now from beginner so don’t expect amazing this right off the start.  I hope to do a lot more hiking this summer and snow shoeing this winter.    I will slowly be posting some pictures that I have taken and talk about some hiking and exploring around Somerville I have done.



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