The Battle To Lose Weight

On January 10, 2011 I put myself on a diet. I have always struggled with my weight. Eating right and portion control have never been easy for me. Sometimes I blame it on having a lousy metabolism. Other times I blame it on healthy food is not convenient. The reality is I just didn’t want to do what it takes to make a huge life change that is required when you diet.

In the past all my diets have been half though out ideas that were doomed for failure right from the start. For example, at one time in my life I told myself that I would go to the GYM three times a week. Another time I told myself I would only eat dinner and if I ate less I would lose weight. Most recently I tried the Atkins diet which I did not research very well. I just knew that all I could eat was meat. The truth is all of these ideas worked. I did lose weight. On my version of the Atkins diet I went from 225 lbs (the most I have ever weighed) to 165 lbs and I held that for a year until -like all my past attempts- I fell off the wagon and put a lot of that weight right back on.

For the last six months I have desperately wanted to break this depressing cycle going from having cloths that fit to being embarrassed to walk into the office because my cloths where so tight on my body. I made a promise to myself at 2011 would be different. I would attack my weight loss with a solid game plan. One that could not fail. One that would stick with me well after I lost my excess baggage.

Toward the end of 2010 I started reading on the Internet about a book coming out. It was supposed to help you lose weight and keep it off. It would do this by teaching you want you can eat to lose weight and keep you from gaining it all back again. I figured would give it a shot.

So, in December of 2010 when the book was published I bought a copy to read on my Kindle. The book by the author Timothy Ferriss is entitled “The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid-Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman”. I bought the book to learn how to lose weight the right way. The fact that it came with ideas to have incredible Sex and how to become superhuman was all just an extra bonus.

I finished reading the book just days before the new year. At the time I was in Washington State staying with family. I felt it would be rude to invoke a diet half way through a vacation that no one was expecting me to be doing. So, I decided it was best to start the diet upon my return to Juneau on January 9th.

When I got back on the 9th I went to the store and bought all the foods that the book suggested. Things like Chicken, Eggs, Grass fed Beef which I found at Jerry’s Meats. I also picked up several kinds of frozen vegetables, canned beans and salsa.

As you can tell the diet I chose in the 4 Hour Body is a high protein slow carb diet. It’s not the only diet option offered in the book, but it was the one I felt would work best for me. It also allows for one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want! The idea behind that is you need to spike your insulin level once a week to encourage fat loss.

At each of my normal meals I try to include something from each of the three kinds of foods suggested in the book. One protein, one vegetable and one kind of bean. On my cheat day ( I have chosen Saturdays) I can go out and eat whatever I want. For example last week I ate 3 eggs for breakfast, 2 buttermilk Pancakes (from The Sandpiper café), 2 20.oz Pepsi Throwbacks (The Throwbacks are made with real sugar), A Stake Wrap (From The Island Pub), and three slices of artichoke, garlic Pizza (also from The Island Pub).

I started this diet on January 10th. At the time I weighed 195 lbs. Since that date I have steadily lost weight and inches around my body. I have felt really confident about this diet and how it works. So confident in fact that On January 31st I decided to partake in the Juneau Empire’s Lose 2 Win contest.

With the Lose 2 Win contest I had to check in at a local GYM (Pavitt’s Health and Fitness) to get weighed and have my Photo taken. Once a week I will be going in for a weigh in so they can track my weight lost. I have tracked my weight loss since the January 10th, but doing something like this contest is just more motivation for me.

When the contest ends after 13 weeks. Prizes will be handed out to people who have lost so much weight. The biggest weight losers (a man and a women) will each win $1,000.00. I have no dreams of being the biggest weight loser. Just losing enough weight that I can look at myself in the mirror each morning and be happy with what I see.

Today is February 3rd and I weigh 180 lbs. That is a weight loss of 15 lb! I have also been tracking my measurements and have lost nearly 4 inches!

Below is a copy of my weight log.

  • 1/10/2011 – 195
  • 1/11/2011 – 192
  • 1/12/2011 – 190
  • 1/13/2011 – 190
  • 1/14/2011 – 189
  • 1/15/2011 – 188 (Cheat Day)
  • 1/16/2011 – 189
  • 1/17/2011 – 189
  • 1/18/2011 – 189
  • 1/19/2011 – 188
  • 1/20/2011 – 188
  • 1/21/2011 – 186
  • 1/22/2011 – 184 (Cheat Day)
  • 1/23/2011 – 190
  • 1/24/2011 – 189
  • 1/25/2011 – 186
  • 1/26/2011 – 185
  • 1/27/2011 – 185
  • 1/28/2011 – 184
  • 1/29/2011 – 184 (Cheat Day)
  • 1/30/2011 – 184
  • 1/31/2011 – 184
  • 2/1/2011 – 181
  • 2/2/2011 – 181
  • 2/3/2011 – 180

S0, as you can see things are progressing nicely. I highly recommend reading ‘The 4-Hour Body’. Just remember, before partaking in any diet you should always consult your doctor.

Juneau Is Off Generator Power

For everyone who has been wondering about our power shortage here in juneau, The Juneau Empire is reporting:

Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. reported power restored at about 5:05 p.m., and the diesel generators keeping the city lit during the past three weeks were shut down shortly after.Engineers bypassed tower No. 3-5 – the lone casualty during the Jan. 12 slide – to another tower less vulnerable to avalanches, AEL&P Vice President Scott Willis said.

“Engineers … determined that the standing towers on either side … could handle the (power) load,” he said.

The Juneau Empire goes on to say:

The most recent energy crisis lasted just half the time of last year’s, and will cost a fraction of the $6 million in damage caused by last spring’s avalanche. Willis estimated repairs this time around would be in the neighborhood of $1 million.

Though final numbers won’t be available until later today, Willis said roughly 1.6 million gallons of diesel – or $3.6 million worth of fuel – were burned during the city’s three weeks without hydro power.

For residential users, that will mean just one month of paying for a 15-cent Emergency Cost of Power Adjustment, which Willis said AEL&P will ask the state’s Regulatory Commission for later this week. Energy costs during the current billing cycle will be about 25 cents per kilowatt hour.

Willis warned residents to continue conserving energy because the more expensive billing cycle is still in effect. The end of the billing cycle varies from person to person. Details about residential billing can be found at

Juneau Is Running On Diesel Power Again

I was sitting in my office yesterday afternoon when the power went out. Living in Juneau you get used to that happening randomly. I soon learned after the power was restored that another avalanche, much like the one last year, took out a towers that provides Juneau it’s electricity from the Snettisham hydroelectric damn.

According to the Juneau Empire website

An avalanche took down the Snettisham transmission line Monday afternoon that supplies Juneau with electricity, presenting the possibility of another energy crisis.

It’s the second time in a year that an avalanche destroyed the line.

Monday’s avalanche occurred at around 1:40 p.m. south of the capital, knocking out one of the same structures destroyed during massive avalanches last April.

Last year’s disaster resulted in Juneau relying on costly backup diesel power for a month and a half, increasing utility costs for consumers and prompting residents to conserve electricity usage by one-third.

“We’re going to be down for some time so we need to ask the community to conserve again like they did last time,” Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. spokesman Scott Willis said.

After the company surveyed the damage Monday from a helicopter, Willis said it was too early to know how long it would take to repair the structure.

“Now that we see what condition the tower’s in, and the towers next to it, we can start to develop a plan,” Willis said. “I know everybody wants to know how long it’s going to take, but we’re just now getting into a plan. It’s going to be days certainly, weeks probably and I don’t know more than that.”

Power consumption fell about 30 percent in April after the rate changes were announced. Residents reported a wide range of adjustments to conserve electricity, from swapping out traditional light bulbs for high efficiency compact florescents to using a clothesline instead of a dryer to putting timers on water heaters.

Ken Burch, a Douglas resident who likened last year’s outage to “Juneau’s Hurricane Katrina” and tried to rally support for AEL&P to protect the rebuilt lines in a May letter to the editor, said he wasn’t surprised by the news Monday.

“They knew from the experience last spring this could happen. They’ve still chosen not to deal with it. It means we’ve got to keep pressure on them,” Burch said. “I’m not sure if they’ve learned yet. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me that this happened.”

Shana Sellers of Douglas was upset that the city would be in the same situation again.

“Why haven’t we done anything about it?” she asked. “Why haven’t we done anything to resolve this issue?”

Damage was done to a “three-pole structure” identified as No. 3-5, which consists of three separate towers the company considers one structure. Each tower holds one wire, or one phase, of the three-phase line that travels the approximately 40-mile distance from the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project to Juneau.

“Last year there were three different structures in three different locations that were damaged,” Willis said. “And this one, which was kind of in the middle, was the last spot that we were able to safely access. There was ongoing avalanche danger in this area more than the ones on either side.”

The repair last year cost more than $3 million.

“It will be much less than that this year, I think, but it depends on how much more difficult it will be in the wintertime and that sort of thing,” Willis said.

The weather is likely to hamper repair efforts because of the ongoing avalanche danger, he said.

“I think it’s going to be a more difficult job,” Willis said. “Now, the bright side is that it’s just one (structure), not three and diesel fuel is cheaper now that it was last spring.”

The town will continue to run on backup diesel generators at least for the coming days, Willis said. The company has a three-day supply it keeps in storage and was in contact with two oil companies about buying additional reserves in town.

As of late Monday afternoon, AEL&P had not yet discussed the likelihood of going to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to ask for an emergency Cost of Power Adjustment to increase rates for Juneau consumers.

Rates went up by about 450 percent last spring.

City Manager Rod Swope said it is still too early to see what, if anything, the city and Assembly can do to help offset potential energy cost increases for Juneau residents.

“We’ve been here before, and we’re here again,” Swope said at an Assembly meeting Monday night. “At least we have some experience in the situation.”

Willis told the Assembly that Anchorage consultants are flying to Juneau to look at possible temporary fixes.

Fortunately, Mendenhall Valley residents should be able to keep their wood stoves burning this week instead of using electric heat.

City Lands and Resource Manager Heather Marlow said it’s unlikely there will be a valley air emergency and burn ban.

“The forecast is rainy, storm cells coming through, mild winter temperatures – none of the factors that contribute to air problems in the valley. This week looks great,” Marlow said.

Open House At The Governor’s Mansion With Sarah Palin

Tonight Hannah, Zaine and I went out to the Governor’s Open House. We drove into town and parked the truck, and the three of us walked a couple of blocks up to the governor’s mansion. We waited in line with the rest of the public while staff came all through the line with cookies and hot cider.

The line was not too long. Maybe a block at the most. But the line always seemed to be moving and we were never standing one place very long.

When we got up to the front door we were instructed to wait so that guests inside the mansion could exit and allow for more room inside for more guests to enter. After waiting a few moments we were allowed inside and told that we could all stand with the governor and someone would take our picture but we needed to have our camera ready. That’s pretty much what happened. We made our way up to Sarah Palin who smiled, said hello, and shook all of our hands. I then handed my camera over to a staff member to had taken a photo of the person in front of us with their camera.  We all turned to face the camera, smiled and before we knew it we were in the next room filled with cookies.

We all grabbed a few cookies and made our way around the mansion. We went in one large circle. Six rooms in all, if i remember correctly. The pictures and video below tell the story better then I can.

[Update December.10.2008] The local Juneau Empire news paper was updated today with a story on the governor’s 93rd open house since the mansion opened 95 years ago.

Juneau’s Tom Matthews said he turned out for the open house to impress his relatives down south.

“My family in Wisconsin are just so ga ga for Governor Palin I had to get a picture of me with her,” he said.

As the lines of well-wishers trooped through the house, they were serenaded by local school groups and plied with cookies and punch. Many were wearing their newest Xtratufs for the occasion.

Palin spent hours greeting well-wishers with “so glad you could come,” for some and “thank you for your service” for others.

Also on hand were husband, Todd, and daughters Piper and Willow, who handed off baby Trig at times.

[2nd Update December.10.2008] The Boston Herald has a story up on the governor’s open house.

More than 3,300 visitors poured into the Alaska Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday for the annual Christmas open house hosted by Gov. Sarah Palin.

…”Thanks for coming over. Merry Christmas to you,” Palin said again and again to the stream of people over three hours.

Palin, wearing a velvet kuspuk, paid especially close attention to children, crouching to greet them at eye level, holding up the line to ask them questions…