Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Ultimate Frisbee

Playing frisbee

Playing frisbee

Recently, we’ve started playing ultimate frisbee. Just before camping we decided to give this game a whirl, and ended up playing until it was too dark to play. While we were camping we played a little frisbee every day we were there.

While camping though, Bryan decided to pull a Jet Lee on the frisbee and he broke it. Quite possibly the best frisbee ever made, was broken and smashed into tiny pieces.

So, we wanted to play on Sunday and we were left with needing to buy a new one. After hitting a few stores we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and they had official size and weight Ultimate Frisbees. Score.

On a side note, for those looking to get into ultimate frisbee there is a difference between frisbees that I wasn’t necessarily aware of prior to Sunday. The normal household frisbee is much lighter than one used for ultimate frisbee. Also, a freestyle frisbee should not be used for ultimate frisbee. Here is a comparison shot for the two of them.

Freestyle and ultimate frisbees

Left: Freestyle, Right: Ultimate

At first glance, they probably look about the same size. However, the ultimate frisbee is slightly larger and heavier than the freestyle frisbee. Both of which are probably heavier than your household frisbee. The freestyle frisbee weighs in at 160 ounces grams while the ultimate frisbee tips the scales at 175 ounces grams. The added surface area, and weight, make the ultimate frisbee extremely stable in the air and make accurate long-range passes much more possible.

One of the most attractive things about ultimate frisbee is that anyone can play. Young or old, man or woman, anyone can play this game and have a good time with it. It is a lot of running, which is what attracted me to this sport to begin with. As you know, I don’t like running unless there is an objective.

So, go get yourself a frisbee and a few friends, and have fun. Oh, and the official name is simply “Ultimate”, since Frisbee is a copyrighted trademark of WHAM-O, Inc. Official rules are not too hard to come by, so get out there and start throwing.

Update – In my haste, I accidentally wrote down what the frisbees weighed in the wrong unit of measure. Instead of ounces, it should have been grams. Thanks to Ben for noticing.

Getting out the summer clothes

Annnndddd…. refreshed.

It is summer and that means its time to reach under the bed, pull out the boxes full of shorts, tee shirts, snorkeling equipment, and frisbees. Time to get away from the TV and computer screens, get outside and enjoy the sun.

That same spirit is what spurred me to give this site a slight refresh. It isn’t all about color and the photo on top either. There are literally hundreds of small edits that I’ve made (which I’m very happy with). Changes to note is the new mobile photos page, the way mobile photos display, and the home page showing the latest photos from both the mobile photos and photos categories.

I’m not going to enumerate all of the changes here. I’m going to eat my own dog food and go fishing instead.

A little bit about basketball

Basketball has been some part of my life, big or small, since I was very young. I’ve never been any good at it really, but that’s another story. As an early teen I would go to the elementary school playground in the morning and not return until it was dark. Summers came and went, meals were missed, and I can still hear my Mom yelling my name from the back porch as the sun went down.

There was a fairly long stretch from about 19 years old until 25 that I actually didn’t play as often as I now wish I had. Maybe it was discovering the world of programming that stopped me from getting onto the court. Maybe it was getting married at an early age, and dealing with the responsibilities that brought, that gave me the excuses I needed not to take the time to play. Or, perhaps as I gained more and more weight I just didn’t feel up to it.

But I’ve come to realize something I consider very important. After gaining, then losing, gaining a little, and now on my way to getting back to my goal weight again – I’ve learned that basketball is an essential part of my healthy lifestyle.

[viddler id-b46f2778 h-322 w-420]

My MeToday video from June 6, 2007 (view)

When I play basketball regularly I’m able to stay in pretty good shape. I feel good. I’ve got energy. My outlook on my own health, and my goals for good health, remains high. When I do not play basketball very regularly, I keep my same eating habits, and end up gaining weight. Put simply, basketball is one of the very few forms of exercise that I truly enjoy doing.

I suppose that ultimate frisbee could also be a supplemental form of exercise for me, but I don’t get the chance to play that nearly as often, and I’ve only just started playing it a few summers ago. Ultimate, as it is often called, is a really fun sport and a great way to get cardio exercise – if you haven’t tried it, I recommend it. You can see how frisbee helped me during my diet. While you’re at it, you might as well see how basketball helped me on my diet too.

Now, at 27 years old, I’m playing basketball at least a few times a week when I’m in my normal routine. I’m loving it. Sometimes I really do not feel like playing but I always feel so much better after I’ve done so. I’m looking forward to losing a few more pounds, maybe gaining a few centimeters on my vertical jump, and playing some of the best basketball of my life.

Do you have a sport you love?

Weigh in: Week Sixty Five

As I was approaching the scale this morning I was a little scared at what I might see. Although I did fairly good this week (side note: I did a few MealToday videos so you can see what I ate at least 2 of the days for lunch) yesterday was our 8th wedding anniversary and I pretty much ate whatever I wanted to.

This week I weighed in at 193 pounds which means I’m on track for my goal that I set last week.

My goals for this week are to hit at least 191 by getting out to exercise more this week than I have in previous weeks. I should be able to visit the gym tonight, basketball should also be possible tomorrow and perhaps Friday.

This weekend I’ll be in Philadelphia (on Saturday only) for Viddler’s MealToday contest – so I’m hoping to get outdoors on Sunday for frisbee or something.

A note to James Mathias: You and I have been part of this “diet thing” since the very beginning and you have been a major inspiration on myself and many of the dieters that have been on this journey with us. I wanted to reply to a comment you left on my MealToday where you said: “No worries bro, I got the hint, I’ll back off. Just leave you with this thought. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. I think you know what I mean. Sorry for bugging you in any case.”. I strongly believe you take me far too seriously. I think if you watch the video again you will hear sarcasm in my voice. I have always, and will continue, to value your input on my dieting habits as I know that you have far more knowledge than I in the areas of food and health in general. Please, please, please, never stop trying to help me succeed! Sorry if I came across as though I didn’t want you to call me out and help keep me on track.

Side note about eating healthy: I don’t know if I will ever, ever be able to live up to “eating healthy”. I try. But frankly I believe that there is a balance between being a food nazi and simply trying to change your diet and exercising more. I take the simple, fun approach to my health which is to try to keep my calories in check (while still eating what I enjoy) and being active. I do not believe I’d ever enjoy life living to the strictest of food rules. I realize there is great value in eating the best of foods with no preservatives, the best ingredients, etc. etc. – I’m just not that guy. If it means that my life is shortened by 2-months because I like Perkin’s Peanut Butter Silk Pie than by golly I think it is worth the sacrifice.

Thanks James – keep bugging me!

That’s it from me… see you next week (I like these much looser weigh in posts).

Weigh in: Week Fifty Five

Lately I’ve been lax in my workouts. This is in part due to the fact that my schedule is not lining up with Chris Fehnel‘s schedule and so I haven’t been regularly hitting the gym nor running (though I have managed to play some frisbee and basketball).

I believe it is time to quit making excuses about scheduling problems and start doing things on my own. I’m going to start running, by myself, starting tomorrow. As for the gym I’ll have to create my own schedule (most likely Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday). I’d love to go in the mornings but that just doesn’t seem possible – I am not a morning workout person.

This week I weighed in within a few ounces of last week’s weigh in. Which is fine because I fully expect to be around 185 pounds for the rest of my life – so being 187 works just as well.

I hope everyone else had a great week on their diets.

Weigh in: Week Fifty Four

Thanks to all who encouraged me after gaining a few pounds last week. It means a lot.

This week I lost 2.6 pounds and weighed in at 187.4 pounds. I’m very happy with these results considering the weekend of eating rather heartily. Although I was able to play a little frisbee and play some basketball I really need to get my workout and exercise routine back on track for this week.

Yea, this weigh in is short and sweet. Hope everyone had a good week!

Weigh in: Week Forty Nine

I knew this wouldn’t be a week for loss and I thought it’d actually be a week for gain, but it turned out that even after taking a weekend vacation and eating whatever I wanted – I was able to just about maintain my weight from last week (186.6).

This past weekend Eliza and I and a few friends headed to the Finger Lakes region in New York to try and buy some wine. As is typical with vacations my “diet” went from eating specific amounts of specific foods to eating “whatever was available” in quantities that were chosen for me. With most of our meals the food was delicious – in fact – I did want to make sure I mentioned that if you ever have the chance to eat at the Seneca Harbor Station, do it. Every single dish that we ordered (of which there were seven of us), was excellent.

We managed to play a bit of frisbee, football, and the age-old classic hacky sack while we were in New York so that helped a bit with burning off a few of the calories from the food and wine.

All in all a good week – and I’m looking forward to getting back on track and getting to my goal.

[tags]diet, weigh-in, the-diet, finger lakes, vacation, new york[/tags]

Weigh in: Week Forty Seven

I skipped my weigh in last week due to being away. I typically do not like to weigh in somewhere else since I know that not all scales are created equal.

While in California for six days I actually ate pretty well. And by well I mean a decent amount of food. When I went to Texas on business it seemed that I was skipping meals because I was far too busy. However, having the entire Viddler team in California made my job much, much easier so I was able to relax a little and eat normally.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been pretty active. I’ve been playing frisbee and basketball quite a bit over the last few days and it feels great to finally be outside again. Winter here in northeastern Pennsylvania is simply far too long.

This week I weighed in at 188.4 pounds, for a loss of exactly 1 pound from two weeks ago. I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym starting tonight, since I’ve missed the last week or so being away. I’m not sure my muscles are looking forward to it, but they’ll just have to live with it.

Something I definitely need to work on is being consistent with workouts even while away. Finding a few minutes for a jog or time in the weight room of a hotel shouldn’t be too difficult and the only thing holding me back from that is laziness. I’m always excited to get back into my routine though, and now that the weather is actually enjoyable – I don’t think I’ll have much trouble sticking to an active routine for the next few months.

[tags]diet, weigh-in, the-diet, california, texas, exercise, basketball, frisbee, ultimate, weather, gym, pennsylvania, viddler[/tags]

Weigh in: Week Forty Four

My weigh ins are going to become less and less exciting (as if they were riveting before right?) because I think my weight will begin to plateau now that I’m sub-190lbs and I’m actively working out.

So instead of just covering the amount of gain/loss each week I’ll also toss in some of my other goals that I am working on at the gym, on the court, or on the field. However, just to keep up-to-date I weighed in at 189.2 pounds for a loss of .8 pounds from last week. The amount of weight that I lost does not reflect well to how good of a week I had on the diet.

At the gym

I was able to cover a few goals that I had for myself at the gym for this week. The first was actually timing out a sub-10 minute mile. Although I had never timed myself running prior to this week, I already knew going in that I should be able to accomplish this. So, this I accomplished pretty easily (and by easy I mean sweating like a pig).

My next goal was to be able to run 2-miles, since that was something I had not tried to do before. For those of you that do not know, running and I do not get along, in fact – I loathe it. But, I have goals and I am going to make them. So I ran two miles but I added the goal of making it in less than 20-minutes which I just barely made it. I actually had the opportunity to do this twice this week and the second time I came in at 19:20. I’m looking forward to giving this another try and coming in under 19 minutes before moving onto my next goal.

In my I ran one mile post I said: “So, what is my next goal? I’m going to run a mile in the seven-minute range.” Well, that is kinda what I am working on right now. I’m slowly building up my stamina for longer distances while simultaneously going a little bit faster each time. My new goal is 1 mile in 8-minutes and 2 miles in 18 minutes. I’ll let you know how this goal goes.

In the field and on the court

A small group of us went to the park this weekend to play frisbee, a little tennis (I am absolutely horrible at tennis, and I do mean horrible), and basketball. The weather was great (though we’re expecting bad weather this weekend, ugh).

Picture description

Andrew and I playing frisbee – March 2007 – Photo credit: Eliza Devroe

It was nice to play at least a little frisbee again for the first time this season. One of my goals is to be able to play competitive ultimate this year sometime. I may have to find a local team or something since I don’t know enough people that would like to do this to create my own team. If anyone knows the best way to do this, hook me up.

Tennis seems like a pile of fun but I’m just horrible at it. Obviously it is because I’ve only played like 30-minutes worth of tennis in my entire life – but maybe I could try to play with Andrew a little this year.

The first game of basketball was a game of 21 with Andrew, Paul, and I. And I was shooting really, really well. Then, when we hopped into a larger game – my shot went into outer space for some reason. I was having trouble getting any type of rhythm back and I was starting to get frustrated – which is the worst thing to do. But I had a great time and it was good exercise. I love basketball.

That was my week of activity. Running, working out, some sports, and a fairly decent diet. The change in weather definitely helps me to keep on top of things and I’m looking forward to making and setting new goals on the scale, at the gym, in the field, and on the court.

[tags]weigh-in, diet, the-diet, andrew nelson, paul kozlansky, running, 2-miles, gym, ultimate frisbee, basketball, tennis, goals[/tags]

Recent “strange” weather might be worse for us than good

It was 66-degrees yesterday here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and today it was around 50 and is raining right now. In “Hotlanta” (Atlanta, Georgia) it was snowing (or so reports the National Weather Service).

Update: Atlanta also had some fun dealing with a Tornado that did quite a bit of damage.

What does all this weird weather mean? This question was asked of a few people playing frisbee at a park yesterday in our area and one man said “Hey, it saves me on my heating bill.” and I thought the same thing. However, it may do us more harm than good.

Matt W. of Metroblogging Philadelphia jotted down a recent conversation he had while pumping gas:

One of the employees comes out and strikes up a conversation with me. “This is pneumonia weather,” he says. “A lot of people don’t know that cold kills bacteria. Warm weather allows bacteria to grow.”

Very interesting if you ask me. Something I’d not really thought of was the “downsides” to all of this strange weather. Sure, we might save a few dollars on our heating bills – but will our health, local natural life, or other things suffer? I think so.

Why am I blogging so much lately? Not sure. Perhaps a new trend.

[tags]weather, weird, atlanta, georgia, pennsylvania, metroblogging philadelphia[/tags]


Five questions for successful dieters

While doing some dishes today I thought of starting a “meme” of sorts. How could I capture the reasons why I think I’ve been successful on the diet and help to encourage those who have not, or who have yet to start their diet. I’ve come up with these five questions, and hopefully my answers and the answers of those I toss this questionnaire to; you will find yourself or your situation and it will help to move you along to success as well.

What are the top five reasons you started to diet in the first place?

For me this is fairly easy to answer because I’ve literally cataloged every step of my journey from the very beginning. The very first time I wanted to diet was in September of 2005, right before my 25th birthday, and just after a vacation in Florida with family. What were my reasons then? To quote myself:

“I’m fat. I admit it. I’m telling you, not because you care, but I’m hoping it will motivate me to become unfat.” … “While on vacation, we’d go back to our condo and unload all of our pictures from our cameras onto our respective iBooks. Each and every time a picture of either of us with our shirts off would appear, we’d grimace in pain. Our eyes becoming watery at the unsightly bellies which have formed on the front of our abdomens.” — “The biggest loser” – September 25th, 2005.

That particular diet did not last very long (on and off for 3 weeks I believe). My attitude and reasons for doing the diet were all wrong, and I think it is one of the major reasons I did not succeed. I would say things like “I only lost roughly 2 pounds this week.”. Which would definitely effect my attitude. Little did I know at the time that losing 2 pounds per week was the best possible way to lose weight and keep it off.

My reasons for starting my second diet, and the one that worked, were the following:

  • Health
  • Age
  • Self
  • Eliza
  • Sports

Although there is no particular order in the above list, I did try to list them by what I felt was most important to me at the time of starting the diet.

My first reason for sure was my health. I was sick of feeling the way I did, and being overweight can definitely have a huge effect on your health. My back hurt, my self esteem was down, etc. etc. – and I really just needed to get out of the funk. Second was age I think. I really did not want to have to diet when I was older, as I know it would get harder and harder to lose the weight the older I got. Even at 25 you can do the things you could when you were 18, and I didn’t want to be saying that when I was 35, 45, or even 55. I figured “Today is the day to start, not tomorrow because tomorrow always turns into the next day“. Third was self, and I say self because I wanted to feel better about myself. Always hating the way clothes fit, the way I feel, the way my stomach would fly out of my shirt when I bent this or that way, or the way I felt I was being perceived was getting really, really old. So to not have this on the list would be lying – I definitely wanted to look better and in turn feel better about myself. Fourth was Eliza’s success on the diet. She had started her diet before I started on mine and she was incredibly successful on it, was looking great, feeling good, and it was a huge motivation for me to do likewise. I owe much of my success to her lead. Lastly, I really wanted to do better in sports. I love basketball and frisbee and the diet has really made my “game” much more enjoyable. No more chest pain! No more chest pain!

So, those are my main five reasons.

What was your biggest failure on the diet, and how did you overcome it?

Hands down: Obstruction of routine. I had a few small set backs during my diet the first being within the first two weeks of the diet. Obstruction of routine can come in many forms. In that first example we went away for the weekend, ended up eating whatever we wanted at a restaurant, going to a few bars, etc.

One of the largest obstructions to my routine was moving. Obviously it was the reason I stopped doing the diet for almost 8 weeks. It completely knocked my eating habits, posting habits, and weigh in process that I had come to rely on.

However, the way I overcome it is to not worry about those times, get back on track and move on. You can see evidence of this between week two, three, and four of my diet. I went from gaining 3 pounds to losing almost 3 and then almost 5 pounds.

Things come up. Things happen. Vacations are fun! Enjoy them. Going away for the weekend may not fit into your diet. Don’t worry about those times. If you gain a few pounds, that doesn’t mean that your diet is failing – it just means that you need to get yourself back on track to reverse those few pounds the following week or over several weeks. For me, I can still look back and say I’ve lost around 40 pounds overall – even though I had a few weeks that I gained. Routine, routine, routine.

Did blogging help or hinder your success?

For me it helped tremendously. I now have my own, personal and private, journal that I keep – which would have helped in a very similar fashion – but would have lacked the “social responsibility” I felt to keep weighing in. Being able to see my progress over time, and having people comment on my successes and failures – has helped me a lot. To give an example (and this ties in with the previous question as well and where I got my inspiration) was James Mathias saying “Continuing forward without dwelling is what makes the difference.” on one of my posts where I didn’t do so well. This really helped me to develop a similar outlook, and to continue.

What things did you do to help ensure your success?

Simple. I do what I find fun and don’t do the stuff I hate. I love playing basketball and as most of you know I played a heck of a lot of basketball during my diet. I ended up developing a love for Ultimate too, and so I also used that. If you hate walking on a treadmill (I do), then don’t do it. Get outside and walk. Walk at a mall and do some shopping. Whatever you do, get off the couch.

As for food, the same philosophy. Eliza and I really enjoy grilled chicken salads. And, they happen to be good for you! So, we’d often make them, along with other things that we enjoy. Tomato sandwiches for example.

Another note about food is to never deprive yourself of stuff you really really like, even if they are not good for you. The only thing you will do is make that longing for that food even harder on yourself and you might end up bingeing. An example of this is, in my case, Cheez-Its. I love cheez-its, and they are not very good for you. However, Eliza and I would buy 100 calorie bags of cheetos, cheez-its, and other little things – and this really helped us to combat the cravings while not going overboard and staying within our daily limits. These little bags were essential for us.

What is one recommendation you’d have for someone on Day 1 of their diet?

I have a few so I won’t be able to limit it to just one.

The first would be; have the right reasons to diet. You might be told that you need to diet, but unless you believe in the reasons for dieting you won’t actually want to do it.

The second would be; set small and large goals. I set incremental goals for myself as well as long term goals. That way I could always aim for the large goals wh
ile feeling good about hitting the small ones. And, if you miss a small one, you have time to correct your strategy to make the longer term ones. I liked having a goal of losing about 8 pounds per month, while keeping goals of 220, 215, 210, 200, and so forth, in sight as well.

The third would be; tell everyone you know that you are on a diet. Hiding the fact that you are on a diet only can lead to 1 thing – not being responsible for staying on it. The more people that know the more you’ll be motivated to live up to your word for being on a diet. Also, it will help notify those people of what to feed you, or that you may not want to be seduced by cake and ice cream all the time.

I really hope the above questions and answers can help everyone on their diets. However my perspective is definitely not the only one. I’m calling on Eliza (who has been a huge inspiration for the entire diet), Chris (who has had a ton of experience with dieting both “alone” and “socially”), James (who is the most consistent person I’ve run across and was a huge inspiration for me), and Scott (who has recently begun his journey and is making staggering progress). I hope they all answer this call, so that you might all be filled with their insight into this extremely rewarding struggle.

Update: If anyone else would like to answer these – please do so. Either email me or comment here or trackback this post with your answers – I’d love to read everyone’s perspective on this. I just singled out a few I’d really like to read – but I’d want to see whatever has to say about these five questions.

Update: James answered, Chris answered, Scott answered, and Eliza answered. Thanks everyone! If anyone else wants to answer these questions too, I’d love to read the answers.

[tags]eliza devroe, scott mcnulty, james mathias, chris fehnel, food, diet, the-diet, goals, excercise, sports, basketball, ultimate, frisbee, meme[/tags]

Weigh in: Week Twenty Seven

I weighed in this morning at 189.6 pounds, up 3 pounds since 8 weeks ago. I am very surprised at this number since I thought I’d have gained more than only 3 pounds in that amount of time.

My plan is to get down to 185 pounds, and I’d like those 185 pounds to be as much muscle as possible without looking like I’m addicted to athletics. A few people have asked me why I joined the gym, especially after I had said that I never wanted to do so – well I realize there is a balance here. I never want to attempt to look like Arnold, simply because I think that says something about a person – rather I’m trying to get into better shape for the sports I like.

Basketball and frisbee, my two favorite sports to play at the moment, require a fair amount agility, flexibility, strength, and endurance. I’m hoping that by joining the gym, working out on a regular basis, and decreasing my body fat, I’ll pick up a few of those along the way.

In addition to my diet, I’ll start posting my body fat percentage (I’ll need something from Mike for this) along with the amount of weight I’m working with, my workouts, and my experiences at the gym. I can tell you that thus far, lifting weights is the most boring thing on the face of the planet.

How did you do this week? Post your comments here or in the Flickr group.

[tags]weigh in, diet, the-diet, gym, basketball, frisbee, sports[/tags]

Weigh in: Week Fifteen

Without a doubt, I’m not being as strict as I used to be on my diet. I’m eating slightly more, and sometimes it isn’t the best of foods. My metabolism is much higher than it used to be, and my activity level is as well. All of this contributes to me being able to be a little less strict dietarily, while still losing some fat.

Last week I weighed in at 190.2 pounds, and that was right after going to Olive Garden when Mike showed up. Since then we’ve eaten out a few times, gotten take out, and did some drinking.

We did however maintain some sort of exercise by playing frisbee, arm wrestling, and of course ample amounts of basketball.

After all was said and done I lost 1.8 pounds, putting me at 188.4 pounds. That is a total loss of 37.2 pounds! Perhaps next week I’ll hit the big four-oh.

I’m anxious to see how everyone else did on their diets.

[tags]diet, the diet, weigh in, frisbee, basketball, arm wrestling, olive garden, mike stickel[/tags]

Weigh in: Week Ten

“So, what’d you do this week?” – Random passerby.

Well, I’m glad you asked! Because what I’ve done this week, as well as most of the past ten weeks, has really helped me with my diet. I’ve had many discussions over the last ten weeks with people on and off the diet. Many people agree, you can’t just “diet” and see lasting results. Things have to change. And I could not agree more. So for any of you that have tried dieting, and failed, know that a diet is not all you need. You need exercise, a good healthy diet, and you absolutely need to break bad habits.

Getting back to the question. Here is what my week looked like for week ten.

  • Monday: Basketball
  • Tuesday: Sit-ups, push ups, lunges, etc.
  • Wednesday: Basketball
  • Thursday: Sit-ups, push ups, lunges, etc.
  • Friday: Basketball
  • Saturday: Football
  • Sunday: Ultimate Frisbee
  • Monday: Basketball

You might ask yourself where I get the time for all of this. Well, all of it occurs usually from 7-10pm at night (except on the weekends). Eliza usually goes walking around the same time so it usually works out good.

I try to stay as close to the above schedule as possible each week. Some weekends are filled with parties, movies, etc. But for the most part we’ve both been taking every opportunity to do something active. This is a big change from us just sitting at home on our computers or watching TV.

My results? Last week I weighed in at 202.0lbs. One of my milestones that I set from the beginning was to be at 200lbs. by the time of our anniversary. I think it was pretty obvious last week I was going to make it (being that our anniversary is on August 27th). Instead of just telling you, I’ll show you what I weigh.

Colin's progress on the diet

Week ten weight: 197.2lbs.

I find it strange to start out my weight with a 1! I was able to lose 4.8 pounds this week (for a grand total of 28.4lbs. in ten weeks or 2.84lbs. average loss per week), and really I owe it all to the exercise. My caloric intake is fairly steady, my muscles are gaining strength, and my fat is reducing.

I can’t wait to see everyone else’s week ten results.

[tags]diet, the-diet, weigh in, photos[/tags]

Camping at Keen Lake in Waymart, Pennsylvania

Spending five days outdoors, sleeping “on the ground”, and dealing with nature may not appeal to some – but I thoroughly enjoy it. Sure, some of the amenities of home invariably end up coming with us, but I still consider it roughing it compared to my daily lifestyle.

Yearly camping trips seem to be the norm for me since I was a teenager. Once married, the trend has continued, though Eliza was not always able to go. This time I was very happy she was able to go, even though the mosquitoes seemed to pay her much more attention than most of us.

This year, we had the opportunity to camp somewhere close to home. With gas prices the way they are, this just seemed like a good idea. We chose to camp at Keen Lake campground in Waymart, Pennsylvania – which is about a 25-minute drive from our apartment to our campsite. The fact that it was only a 25-minute drive ended up coming in handy.

The entire camping group

Left to right starting in back: Chris, Bryan

Second row: Colin, Eliza, Trudy, Josh, Niki

Front row: Giana, Ivan, Ava, Andrea

On our first night at Keen Lake, there was a horrible thunderstorm that hit at around 3am. It was over by about 5am, but most of us were up at that point. What made this thunderstorm so bad, was not necessarily the few inches of rain that ended up failing in such a short period of time – but rather the lightning and thunder.

This storm was literally over our heads. Frighteningly close. One particular bolt of lightning struck the island in the middle of the lake we were sleeping next to. If I had to guess, I’d guess that the island was about 1,500 feet from our very own feet. Those 1,500 feet (or ~ 1/3 of a mile), were all water mind you. When this bolt hit, it made a sound like no other I’ve ever heard. It literally compressed my chest and made me entire body come off of our air mattress. Others said that they felt the same pressure when it hit.

The next day, while kayaking I was talking to Mike Kopa (ex-coworker of mine circa 1999-2001 and now employee of Keen Lake campground) and he told me what happened when that bolt hit the island. On said island is a cabin available for rent. A family of 5 (I think), and their dog were staying in the cabin when the bolt struck. The bolt hit the TV antenna for the cabin, followed it down through the TV (blew the TV right out) and spread through the cabin via the electrical system. Where cords led to lamps, the rug burned. Various appliances were laid useless. And most tragic of all, the family dog was sleeping on one of the extension cords and lost its life due to electric shock.

An incredible story to be sure. But it does show you the sheer force of nature is something that, while attempted by many smart individuals, can never be stopped. I remember talking with an electrician that used to work for a hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He called lightning “magic”, as all their attempts to stop it were useless. He said “…if hit directly with lightning, there is almost nothing you can do to stop it. We have circuit breakers in the hospital that are so big that you wouldn’t be able to touch both sides – lightning jumps across them as if they didn’t even exist.”.

The rest of the weekends weather was very nice, and we did our best to take advantage of it. We went kayaking, played frisbee and bocce, and swam at every opportunity. You can see photos from our trip in this photo set on Flickr.

Can’t wait to go camping again, though I’d rather not wait an entire year to do so.

[tags]camping, keen lake, lightning, thunder, storm, camp, campsite, campground, pennsylvania, waymart, colindevroe[/tags]

Weigh in: Week nine

As you might have read in the Flickr group, I went to a fair and a baseball game this week. Both of which would have normally been events that I’d indulge in eating as much food as I could afford, along with beer. But I was able to refrain from my gluttonous past tendencies.

However, food can be delicious and fun and add a lot to an experience. And a day’s worth of overeating can be easily averaged out during a week of low calories. — Brian (bovious)

An excellent point. Food is meant to be enjoyable. Yet I still believe in moderation, and I think you can still enjoy food without simply eating too much of it.

So, how did I do this week? Last week my weigh in was 206.6 pounds. This week – 202.0 pounds. As I said last week, I did increase my calories slightly, but I also played a fair amount of basketball and ultimate frisbee so I’m pretty sure my results are coming from the exercise.

The recent heat wave probably helps too. Last night we played basketball in a 102-degree gym. My sweat soaked through my shirt to the point where I looked like I had jumped in a pool with my clothes on. You know your making progress when you actually enjoy that type of exercise.

Here’s to hoping that next week my scale reads something below 200 pounds for the first time in many, many years. How did your week go?

[tags]diet, the-diet, weigh in, basketball, ultimate frisbee, weight loss[/tags]