First Goal Met!

This morning I weighed in and realized I beat my first goal! Next week is Thanksgiving and I will splurge a little but still be mindful of what I am consuming. I will also still log everything I eat to keep myself mindful.

I have been struggling with my weight for several years now and have tried different strategies. My most successful is always counting calories. Just being mindful of what I am eating and drinking, knowing and thinking about what I am consuming. I try to avoid foods that are not healthy and go for foods that will help with my weight loss.

Last month I decided to try the app LoseIt to help me monitor my food. I purchased the premium service after thinking about the comparison to other weight loss programs I have tried and paid for. I have the LoseIt app on my phone and connected with my Fitbit.

Before I signed up for LoseIt I also decided to increase my walking and work on reaching my step goal. Lunchtime at work invovles a light lunch and a walk. I walk with a group of people and we are averaging 2 miles each day. The walk is not slow but not speed walking, we can talk but still walk briskly. We have some inclines to make us work and the group keeps us all going and pushing each other.

The combination of increased activity and mindful eating with the help of LoseIt has helped me achieve my first goal. I have set my goals to be milestones that are achievable and then I set a new goal to work towards. As you see see from the “Insights” chart, I am keeping a deficit of calories throughout this month.

I have now set a new goal to lose another 10 pounds. I have also increased my step goal by 1,000 to 8,000. I know I should be getting 10,000 steps a day but I am a computer programmer and sit a lot at work. I want to make the goals achievable but still work to get them. Now that it is colder this goal will also be more work as I walk outside and not on a treadmill.


The following two charts from the Insights option in LoseIt show my calories that I am consuming and the calories that I am earning with my activity. This combination is what is making it possible.

My long term goal is to get to a healthy weight and lead a better lifestyle with healthy eating and activity.



DEA 360 Strategy

The fact that the DEA has selected Pittsburgh for the pilot of the 360 Strategy speaks volumes to the epidemic that we are in. This health crisis is throughout our country and right in our own backyard. The war on drugs is not working and did not work. We need to have a new strategy and I am anxious to see how the DEA implements the new 360 model.

I have spoken before about my goals as it relates to this horrible crisis and shared my story of loss. Losing Amber is something I have to live with every day, I think of her constantly and miss our conversations and laughter.

My goals are:

  • End the stigma with addiction and overdose
  • Educate people on the epidemic and this health crisis
  • Celebrate recovery

“The 360 strategy brings together for the first time, the agencies that have dealt with this problem separately, into a comprehensive and sustained effort to not only fight drug traffickers but also to make communities resilient to their return.”


I have partnered with newly found friends from Sage’s Army and Not One More Pittsburgh Chapter to progress my goals forward. I am in regular contact with them as well as friends at Candle, Inc for their Reality Tour program. Each of these non-profits offer creative resources to the public and I recommend you visit the sites to learn more and attend their events.

We must remove the blinders and open our eyes to see the crisis that we are confronted with. We are losing lives every day from overdoses as well as related violent crimes. Not to mention the staggering amount of people who are suffering from addiction as addicts or loved ones.

I think a very important part of the 360 Strategy is the formation of a “Community Alliance“. There are many groups in our area as well as the nation that are dealing with different aspects of this crisis. Let’s work together to raise awareness and end this epidemic.

“DEA’s 360 Strategy recognizes that we need to utilize every community resource possible to reach young people and attack the heroin and prescription drug epidemic at multiple levels,” said Tuggle. “This three-sided strategy brings together everyone who has a stake in the successful outcome of this pilot program. This could be a model for many other communities.”


Read the complete DEA 360 Strategy Fact Sheet below.

hq111015-DEA 360 Strategy Fact Sheet


Trying Again #LouLoss

Changing your lifestyle is very hard, it takes a lot of commitment and continual review. I have been trying to lose weight like many other people for a long time. Over the past month I begin to log my food again, this time using LoseIt. The web app and phone app are both very easy to use and provide great information about what you are doing. I will talk more about the tool in a later post, but I did pay for the premium edition for year.
I like to log my food and monitor my calories and what I eat. This keeps me mindful of what I am putting into my system and also keep me accountable to myself. I can see what I am doing wrong, what my weak points are and work on developing them.
I have owned a Fitbit since 2011 and have worn it and joked that it shows me how lazy I am. Since I restarted my goal to get healthy I have increased my activity level, trying very hard to meet my 7,000 step goal every day and trying to make it to 10,000 a day. Achieving 10,000 a day is hard with my having a job where I sit all day, but I go out and walk at lunch almost every day and try to walk a lot.
Below is the best I have been with my activity in a long time, I will be increasing my goal after I maintain this goal for a few more weeks.
How do you stay healthy and active. I was a coach potatoe for so long and need to change this for my health and to be a better role model for my children. Changing my eating patterns and increasing my activity are a great way to start.


It Can Happen To Anyone

I know personally that it could happen to anyone and I also know the horrible pain the accompanies addiction. Addiction is a family disease, it grips a person and controls their thoughts and soul. It affects everyone that loves a person who is addicted.

We have tried the war on drugs for decades now, it has not worked. I watched a show this week titled “Pittsburgh Smack“, it details how this health crisis is so close to home. When I say Pittsburgh, I mean the Greater Pittsburgh Area, not just the city. This is not an inner city problem, addiction is in suburbs and rural America also. Addiction does NOT discriminate, it doesn’t care what your race or social status is. It doesn’t care about your finances. It will grip you and hold you tight. Seeing how the dealers think and have no regard the lifes affected is horrible. Seeing how the addicts life revolves around drugs and the sickness they suffer without that drug is so sad.

I also watched Chris Christie speak about addiction and how we treat it. Below is the video of his speach, please watch it I feel it is very informative and hits home. This is not an endorsement for him as president, just that I felt his speech was very true on this topic.

Together we can help fight addiction, below are the three simple ways that each of us can help.

  • End the stigma with addiction and overdose
  • Educate people on the epidemic and this health crisis
  • Celebrate recovery

To learn more please visit my community site.


All Day Breakfast

22562314266_dba26950ec_kAll Day Breakfast isn’t something new, but last Month it became part of the McDonald’s menu. You can now order your Egg McMuffins any time of day and it will be served up to you.

My wife and I received an invitation to an event that took us behind the counter at a local Pittsburgh McDonald’s. We toured the restaurant while it was open and serving food. Witnessing first hand the stringent rules in regards to cleanliness that McDonald’s mandates for their employees. Working with food we expect that washing hands is happening and McDonald’s does also.

So, Egg McMuffin…

The Egg McMuffin was introducing through McDonald’s in 1972 and was a huge success. During the tour, one thing stood out to me and I don’t know if it is just me but I was shocked when I saw cases of real eggs! I didn’t expect to see real eggs in McDonald’s but that is how they make Egg McMuffins, they start with a real egg.

21965167274_ee22629999_kWe watched, well really one of us actually made the Egg McMuffin. The egg was cracked into a special grill with six circle cylinders, the yolk was pinched and grill closed. Water was poured on in a container built into the grill to help poach the egg. Two minutes later a perfectly formed round egg was ready for building an Egg McMuffin. McDonald’s uses 2 billion USDA eggs a year, they working towards all cage free eggs within 10 years. Other egg products are supplied in liquid form, still starting with a real egg not imitation.

I would like to know, have you tried McDonald’s All Day Breakfast yet? Please let me know, I will be trying it again soon.

FULL DISCLOSURE: In the interest of full disclosure my wife and I both where provided complimentary meals at this event.