Weight Loss Take Two

Once again running behind, so here is the challenge and the update all in one, aren’t you lucky?

May: Weight Loss Take Two

So the wedding is coming up pretty fast, and like every other groom, I’m trying to lose some weight before the big day.  You might remember that losing 37 lbs was one of my new years resolutions, and it has been going all right, I’ve lost 15 about so for just through the normal eat less, workout more strategy.  I would however, like to get it moving a little faster so I am going to redo my very first challenge, which was to lose 15 pounds in month.  Last time I came in really close, and I think this time i can actually do it.  I will be doing the slow carb diet from the four hour body.  It’s not the funnest diet, but it is effective and the overall health of it is not as bad as many of the other diet plans I have seem.

May Update:

So the total weight lost during May was 15.5 pounds, which I am very happy about.  I have to admit it always bothered me that the first time I tried this whole “monthly challenge” thing I didn’t quite make it, so this is a nice little vindication for me. The diet went well, it wasn’t all that fun but having the “cheat day” makes it bearable.  I’ll probably do it for a week more or so and then start slowly introducing more food.  I did miss the green smoothies from last month!

Update: Brain Health Challenge

Well this is a little late, I’ve been just a little bit busy what with my upcoming wedding and all, but I am finally getting these updates written.  March was actually an really fun and interesting month.  The challenge went really well, we (Melonie and I) had a hard time getting the fish in, but managed to do it.  I tried sushi and it actually wasn’t terrible, something I had been putting off for years. I also was pretty successful at making grilled salmon, which, given I had eaten it only once, I was pretty happy about.  There are two things that we are going to stick with I think, green smoothies and eating almonds as snacks. We got some really good recipes from my coworkers for green smoothies and they really are good.  It’s funny because once you start having them there is a noticeable difference if you stop.  I also really like having a handful or almonds or walnuts as a snack, it’s filling and pretty healthy.  Overall march went really well, and it was fun doing a challenge with Melonie.

Brain Health Challenge!

A few days ago I watched this video from TedX Iowa City.  It’s a bit long, and the speaker isn’t the most charismatic, but it is still really interesting. In a nutshell it’s about a doctor who got MS, and began researching brain healthy diets.  Changing her diet not only slowed, but also began reversing some of her symptoms.

I have heard most of these things before. Who doesn’t know it’s good to eat vegetables right? What really got to me was the fact that it was actually giving this lady the ability to walk again. That’s pretty crazy. Since I was looking for a challenge, I thought March would be a good month to try and do some of this.

So, enter the Brain Health Challenge.  (I have decided to start naming my challenges so they seem more dramatic).  Basically, I will eat a diet more focused on continued brain health. While I won’t be going to quite as extremes of the video, using it and some other research as a guideline, I will:

  • Eat fish twice a week (Side challenge: I’ve never cooked fish, and eaten it maybe 10x in my entire life, so this could be interesting)
  • Eat greens (spinach, kale, etc) minimum once a day.
  • Eat good fat, vitamin E (nuts, avocado, etc) minimum once a day
  • Eat berries 3x a week
  • Get 30min of exercise every day

I think this should be a good month, Melonie is going to join me this month and after two months off, I am looking forward to it.


Bonus Reading:



New Years Resolutions 2012

A nasty cold, planning a wedding, and perhaps a little bit of procrastination have all kept me from posting my new years resolution’s until almost the last day in January. Not the great start to the year I was hoping for, but hey, what are you gonna do, right?  I had a list of ideas but just couldn’t get it narrowed down until now.  Having said that, here they are:

Learn A Foreign Language

This is something that I have wanted to do since I graduated college, and have never really gotten too far, I started teaching myself German two years ago, but that only lasted about a month and never got very far.  This year, I am going to do it!  I don’t know what language, I might try German again or I might go for something completely different.

Visit One Foreign Country

Traveling intentionally is another thing that has been put off since graduating college. There are a ton of places I would like to visit, but all I really care about is getting out of the country at least once this year, not really where.

Lose 37lbs

My post-triathlon workout last year consisted of eating pizza and watching tv, so I have a little catching up to do in the weight department. Thirty-seven pounds will get me back to a good weight for me, but isn’t so much that it seems unreachable.

100 Push Ups, 20 Pull Ups

Speaking of triathlons, I really wanted some kind of fitness goal this year, and instead of a sport, I thought I would focus on two exercises that have frustrated me my entire life: push ups and pull ups.  Perhaps it is left over emotional baggage from being the “hefty” kid when I was younger, but push ups are never easy and pull ups are downright intimidating to me.  Even when I was in good shape I would max out at about 60 push up and maybe 7 pull ups. Well, this is the year to take them on!  Before the end of the year I want to complete 100 consecutive standard push ups, and 20 consecutive pull ups.

Launch three websites – at least one personal

I really have been enjoying website design lately, and want to continue to create new sites.  This year I want to create at least three new sites from scratch, with at least one being a personal project that I come up with myself.

Volunteer More (250 hrs.)

One thing I have really disappointed myself in lately is not volunteering more.  I want to fix that this year, and putting a hour total to it will be a good way to keep me motivated. I am hoping to get back in touch with Habitat for Humanity in Kent County, but if anyone else has good volunteering ideas in the Grand Rapids area, let me know!

Have the best wedding ever!

I’m getting married on June 30th, 2012, so obviously, making that the best it can be will be the most important thing I do this year!


Well that about sums it up, hope everybody has a great 2012!



My 2011 Resolution Review

December, a time of family, celebration, and oh yeah, realizing it’s time to own up for how you did with your New Year’s Resolutions. While I had a few rough spots, all in all, 2011 was a good year for me.

Complete a Triathlon (Olympic Distance)

This is probably the one I am the happiest about. I remember setting this as a goal last year and it seemed so far from realistic that I really didn’t think I could pull it off, but I did!  I completed the Olympic distance Grand Rapids Triathlon in June. It was a ton of fun, a lot of work, and if you are interested in one at all you should definitely do it!  If you want the details you can see them here.

No Ice Cream

This one was actually a little easier than I thought.  Sure, the occasional bowl of moose tracks was really tempting, but it was a lot easier than giving up pop was last year.  Surprisingly, it has helped me to change how I am going to set goals for myself in the future, who would have thought little old ice cream could be so philosophical.

Develop one new website/service

Another one I was able to complete, I actually set up quite a few sites this past year.  I think my favorite though was this site for my friend’s comics – jakerohdy.com.

Become proficient at shooting a handgun

While I don’t think that I will be winning any USPSA contests any time soon, I have become a pretty good shot. I ended up buying a Browning Buckmark .22 and have had a blast shooting it.  I’ve also shot a few other .22’s, a couple of 9mm’s, a Glock .40 cal. and a .38 special revolver.  Given that I had never shot a pistol before this past year i would call this another win.

Blog once a week

Ah yes, blogging, the one I set every year and then fail to deliver.  Based on the total blog posts I have written (52) between brentswisher.com, teageek.org, and thewebcounts.com, I actually made it this year to the equivalent of one post a week, but I can’t really count this one as a success. I had wanted post weekly to teageek.org and haven’t written there since August.  So I guess this is a sort of win, but since technically the goal was once a week, I’m going to have to classify this one as a failure.

Monthly Challenges

This was the first year I tried to complete a different challenge each month, and it was a fun and interesting test run. Here is how they broke down:

January: Lose 15 Pounds
February: Work Out 5 days a week
March: Read 10 books in a month
April: Clean/De clutter Entire Apartment
May: None
June: No TV
July: None
August: Write 5 blog posts a week
September: Find a new workout
October: Vegetarian
November: Decrapify for Christmas
December: None
As you can see I missed a few months entirely, and while I didn’t totally complete some of the challenges, I usually did make progress.  It was a fun learning experience and helped me to keep things interesting.  I’m going to do something similar next year, but want to take some time to think about how it went and what I can do to make it better.

Well that’s it!

The Official Count:

4/5 Resolutions Successful
4/9 Monthly challenges completely.

Onward to 2012!