Blork’s Weight Loss Challenge

Loyal readers will remember that I magically lost 20 pounds last year. Actually, it wasn’t so magic – I cut back on the beer, improved in my eating habits (smaller portions, more vegetables, etc.) and developed an exercise routine that I stuck to pretty regularly.

Unfortunately, I put five or six pounds back on in December. It was the result of falling off my exercise routine (due to some unrelated health problems) and all that food and drink over the holidays. But now it is time to get back into my routine. As motivation, I have entered into a wager with Frank, the Chicagoan in Montreal.

The official start date of our weight loss challenge was yesterday (Sunday). Frank came over with his very accurate digital scale, we both dressed in jeans and t-shirts, and we weighted in. He wants to lose more than I do – I’m shooting for 15 pounds – so we have a pro-rated algorithm worked out to make it fair. The competition runs for six months, so it’s not a matter of just crash dieting – I’m hoping to lose the weight (and win the wager) based on the continuation of the so-called permanent habits that I established last year. Frank, on the other hand, is taking a different approach.

So today was day one. I got up and went down to the basement to work out. I didn’t get very far, however, as my foot is still really sore from the tobogganizizing incident of last week. But I managed to do some crunches and stretches. It’s a start.

Normally I would also go for a two- or three-kilometer brisk walk during the day, but you know… the foot thing. Hopefully that will get better soon.

At home after work, Martine and I made dinner together, an upscale version of sausage & beans. She made “smashed cannelloni beans” (a mash of beans, garlic, piment d’espelette, and sage), which we drizzled with some really green Tuscan olive oil at serving time. In the meantime, I wilted some baby spinach and tossed it with some kalamata olives that I had warmed along with some black pepper and chili flakes. (The beans and spinach were inspired by recipes found in the “Two Easy” book of recipes from the River Cafe in London.) These accompanied a couple of pork and bison sausages (one for each of us).

While “sausages” aren’t exactly diet food, I’ll remind you that I’m not on a “diet.” I’m just changing what I consider to be “normal eating,” and besides, these puppies have about half the fat of Italian sausages and considerably fewer calories.

Sausage & Beans Dinner

So there. We ate well, and we ate responsibly (OK, OK, I had seconds on the beans). Yay me, I’m gonna whup Chicagoan ass.

Oh, but then there was dessert. I’m not a big dessert guy, generally I can take it or leave it. But Martine has been hankering for cupcakes lately, so apparently today – day one of my weight-loss challenge – was a good time to try making them at home.

Allow me to present our first ever joint cupcake effort: chocolate chai cupcakes. (I helped make the icing.)

Shame on me. I ate more than one. But oh, are they good! No problem, I still have five months and twenty nine days left to kick Chicagoan ass.

But first I have to get up off of my own and do some exercise to counter those cupcakes.