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Black Friday Blues

Christmas is upon us whether we like it or not. The flood gates of marketing have switched gears from the elections (remember those?) to an onslaught of Santa themed music and cinnamon spiced lattes. It's hard to believe we stuffed out faces with turkey, creamed onions and pumpkin pie just a day or so ago!

Maybe it's me, but I just don't get the shopping frenzy. However...

This year I decided to try it - you know, Black Friday named after all the people who get trampled trying to by a half price Barbie Doll. Actually it's named for stores that need to be in the black during a selling season which accounts for as much as 40% or their yearly business.

I used to shop long before there were malls and the centerpiece of Christmas was toys and candy Jesus. We didn't really know what our Jewish friends did on Christmas. Horror of horrors, I later learned there was no fatted goose on their table. No, they confessed that they went out for Chinese; it was the only place open.

This year I awoke from my turkey coma at midnight - I mean thank God for Massachusetts blue laws which do not allow businesses to open on Thanksgiving Day! I used the bathroom (10 cups of water a day people!) and I went back to bed until 6:45 am. I watched the news of people trampled over the purchase of a Furby and had coffee with my wife.

After a couple of cups of joe, I was stoked!

I carefully made breakfast, did a few chores, played some refrigerator Tetris to have some left over turkey, rode the motorcycle for an hour, and had a good 5 mile rollerblade at the park, and then I was ready for combat!

I rolled about 3 PM. The enemy should never suspect your next move.

I went to the bank and got some cash; because some times you want to haggle. My first stop was Dick's sporting goods. There was no line, but it was a little crowded. On the escalator (after a turkey fart) I had plenty of personal space.

It was a lost cause, they were sold out of 182 cm round laces for my rollerblades!

Not to be defeated I headed over to REI, did a little parking surveillance, and pounced on a free parking spot - umm - between other free parking spots. They were sold out too. So I consoled myself by taking some Under Armour into the dressing room - that stuff is better than a body message. I mean it is orgasmic!

In the end, I bought nothing. I had no idea shoelaces would be so popular this year. :(

How about you, did you go shopping on Black Friday?

Post Update: I just watched the news of people ripping CDs from each others hands, woman tearing Victoria's Secret underwear to shreds, and worst of all, a 60" television hitting the floor in Best Buy. Barricades, fisticuffs, and brawls... Merry Christmas America.

Before You Eat Turkey!

Tomorrow begins the holiday Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Before you don your stretch pants and put on a double layer of underwear, you need to think about a few things like calories and portion sizes! Then you can start making up snarky comebacks for insensitive relatives or use MINE.

Here are a couple of motivators for you.

Turkey Baked with Skin 6oz. = 354 calories
Stuffing 1 cup = 360 calories
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy 6oz =  382 calories
Green Beans with Butter 1/2 cup =  40 calories
Cranberry Sauce 1/4 cup = 110 calories
Creamed Pearl Onions 1/2 cup = 60 calories
Butternut Squash 1 cup = 84 calories
Salad with Regular Ranch = 270 calories
Pumpkin Pie 1 slice = 290 calories
Pecan Pie 1 slice = 390 calories
Apple Pie 1 slice = 370 calories
Red Wine 5oz = 120 calories
Beer (Lite) 12oz = 110 calories

20 minute walk at 3.0 MPH = 106 calories
40 minute walk at 3.0 MPH = 212 calories

Tell us one thing you are eating, and how many calories it is? 

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

It might be a good thing you are on MFP if...

I have been on MFP for probably too long. My closest friends say that I have the gift of annoying people. So today I am going to practice using it with an updated rerun from last year.

It might be a good thing you are on MFP if…. think Thanksgiving Day trumps Black Friday .
...your ears perked up when someone mentioned stuffing, but then you realized you were at the Build a Bear Store.
... you actualy eat the creamed onions.
…you named your pets’ Twinkie and Ho Ho.
…you lick your yogurt cup clean -even in the break room at work.
…your scale goes to “To Be Continued!”
…you are “employee of the month” at the grocery store and don’t even work there.
…you have a picture of choclate pie on your coffee mug.
…your survival kit has a Pampered Chef hand food-processor.
…you ask, “Did you eat?” instead of “How are you?”
…your bonus rewards at the Hostess store are enough to take a family vacation.
…you get Christmas cards from Little Debbie, Frank Perdue and Oscar Mayer.
…you actually bought the DVDs from the Food Channel.
…your t-shirt says, “thin might be in, but fat is where it’s at.”
…you have a Burger King crown collection.
…you keep snacks to have between snacks.
…you can’t wait for reruns of the Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” commercials
…you introduce your spouse as “The World’s best Grocery Shopper.”
…your first-aid kit has granola bars and a Diet Coke IV.
…you think instant meals take too long.
…you DVR food commercials.
…you weep when some one at the next table doesn't finish thier meal.
…Little Debbie holds the mortgage on your home.
…you think that Jenny Craig is the devil. make paper jewelry necklaces with food wrappers. think that Twinkies are soul food. buy a laptop, and instinctively ask the clerk to super-size it. think that a day without chocolate is like a day without running water and electricity. have Oreo cookies in the dentists office – might as well get your moneys worth.
...your first stop at Walt Disney World is the food court in Epcot. ate the Christmas fruitcake the everyone else re-gifts.
Some days it is good to laugh at ourselves. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks in advance for the commments and votes. You guys and  gals are amazing!

Hostess Twinkies Upstage Mayan Apocalypse!

The biggest news in the US since the discovery of the end of the Mayan Calendar, is the liquidation of Hostess. The bakers of orgasmic sweet treats have ceased operations! With Twinkie prices in the hundreds of dollars on eBay, they should have invested in their own product. Maybe the US government should have bought some too!

For some, the Hostess Twinkie was comfort food, and for others it satisfied their deepest sexual fantasies. Twisted, I know.

As grade school kids, the Twinkie, as well as the other Hostess treats provided us with "safe" derogatory names to one up our pathetic friends during recess. "Don't be a Twinkie you Ding Dong!" could be shouted on the playground with not even a glance from the teachers. (Sort of like the "F" and "A" words now.)

I guess I must admit, even as a healthfood nut, the very fact that there was a rack of Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Donettes and Sno Balls just a few houses away, was comforting. Every time I would fill up with gasoline, I could see them peering at my obese figure manly physique as I stood there, hose in hand, pumping fuel. I would have to slowly shake my head no, and look in another direction until the longing subsided.

The iconic magic is gone; my sweet mistresses are dead. R. I. P.  Monocalcium Phosphate.

In the '60s and '70s , Twinkies were a treat (read that shut the kid up at the grocery store). The truth is that the WASP Soul Food (All in the Family Reference) was never my first choice. I love Sno Balls. In fact my wife and I love Sno Balls. It all came out in pre-marriage counseling; it was part of the initial attraction. We even thought of putting them on the tables at the wedding reception. The truth be known, there is a picture of me pretending to have pink coconut covered breasts that has not yet surfaced on the Internet. I think they make me a B cup.

If you go back in my food diary, the evidence is there!

I confess, we did check the empty golden rack at a few convenience stores last night, and had to settle for a stale chocolate chip cookie for desert.

I guess the programmers at MFP knew what we didn't, they don't even track Twinkie ingredients in the macros! These elements [See Below] are so rare that I had to add about a dozen of them to my spellchecker just to write this obituary.

So what was your favorite Hostess Snack?

Thanks for the votes and comments (you can do both!) Please help make this a Top 10 by sharing it with your MFP friends. :)

Twinkie Ingredients:
Enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening - containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed and canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup, solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40.

Hunting the Elusive...

I never thought I would find anything more difficult than losing weight. It's true. Once you learn that weight loss is simply a deficit of caloric intake which is less than your caloric burn to stay alive + the ones you burn exercising, that's it. As long as in is less than out, you win. (same goes for money but not for sex) It took over a year, but I am not baffled by weight loss any longer; not even plateaus.

What I haven't figured out in life is this: How to get a job!

I have been without work since July 1st. It's the longest stretch of unemployment I have ever had. I started working for my dad when I was 14, and except for college, I have collected a paycheck. Even in college I had summer jobs, Christmas break jobs and even worked a little while I was talking classes.

Although I have been laid off a few times - well 3 times since 2000 and 5 times since 1993, I have always been back to work at a better job within weeks.

I have taken all sorts of classes on cover letters, resumes, interviewing, follow up, job searching and newtworking - trust me, I am not sitting around.

I have a great resume, a web site portfolio, excellent references, I look younger than I am, and I have 9 years of college as well as taking course now. What the heck is going on?!

This past week I had three interviews with the same company. The first was 90 minutes on the phone, the second was 3 hours and 45 minutes, and yesterday it was 4 hours! I met everyone in the company but the cleaning lady! Where's the job offer!!

I am no expert, but here are some things I have learned not to do before, or at, an interview:

- Text my BFF.
- Eat beans.
- Be negative about my past employers even though a couple screwed me.
- Show up late and blame it on them for not having a clearly marked entrance.
- Mention the US election results.
- Swear.
- Eat cake with blue icing. Everyone know that if your tongue is blue, you are lying.
- Leave my ringer on to Take this Job and Shove It.
- Eat garlic bread.
- Use the president as a reference.
- Write "not as often as I would like" on the application item Sex:
- Dress like a male hooker.
- Show up early and pick my teeth while sitting in the lobby.
- Show up with a beer and wad of chew. At least bring 2 beers, right?
- Volunteer information about my hobbies, age and family.
- Say praise Allah/God after they bring me a cup of water.
- Ask if "time served" refers to prison.
- Talk about carbs and protein and whether or not to eat your exercise calories.

Those are the things I avoided, what else should I be doing?

Thanks for the votes and comments.

See You at the Funeral

Having been on MFP for the better part of two years, I have pretty much heard it all. You have your vegans and vegetarians, your carnivores and your fast food junkies here. People, we are here for a common goal; to take photos in the bathroom and get fit.

If you are here to diet for your special occasion, you are missing the point.

It's a lifestyle. Unless you planning to die on your wedding day or 40th birthday or cruise, I am assuming your life will have some style after your special day is past. The formula for a healthy lifestyle is more than what you shove in your face, although that is the major part.

For me fitness is a healthy weight, a nontoxic diet, good blood work and a sense of wellbeing with every breath I take.

People come and go on here all the time, but for those who tame their junk food consumption, exercise regularly, log daily and don't give up, they enjoy the benefits of being healthy and getting comments about being sexy in the forums.

I have a friend (Annabellj) that often says, "See you at the funeral!" I can't tell you how tempted I am to post that phrase as a response to some of the forums. Here are some examples of posts I would like to reply  "See you at the funeral!":

- I have a cheat meal once a day.
- I am cheating with my best friend's spouse.
- I don't like fruit or vegetables and fish is gross.
- I can't swallow water.
- My SO makes me eat pizza against my will when (s)he's not at home.
- I can't afford to eat healthy, what should I buy at Olive Garden?
- Which burns more calories, sitting in front of the TV or going to the movies?
- Why would I want to sweat, I can lose without exercising.
- I am on an 800-calorie-a-day diet that works.
- I am back, but starting tomorrow.
- I am 1200 calories over and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.
- People at the gym will think I am fat, what should I do?
- Seeking professional advice. (You'll get it in a minute.)
- I hate anyone that doesn't like my diary.
- I can't beleive the gym charges me when I am not there!
- I just had diarrhea after cleansing...

Look, it's easy to make excuses, and we all have bad days, however; the ones who succeed stick around long enough to meet their goals and make it a way of life.

So how has your lifestyle changed since joining MFP?

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