Tag Archives: losing weight

Clean kitchens, dirty laundry and accountability

I recently got a new roommate. At first glance this may not seem like any breakthrough or large victory, but any of you who have attempted to share close quarters with a complete stranger may well sympathize with my excitement at finding a good fit!

When embarking on the search for a new roomie there are always fears. Fears that you may someday wake up to the sight of this new roommate standing over your bed, breathing loudly and staring intently at your slumbering silhouette. Fears that you may end up with a reckless party animal or sex addict. Fears that this new flat-mate may leave their fetish magazines, dirty underwear or retainer on the kitchen counter. Fears that your new addition may insist on playing Miley Cyrus at full volume, hanging autographed Justin Bieber paraphernalia throughout your home or hogging the television watching endless re-runs of  Little House on the Prairie.

Luckily, my new roommate  has turned out to be quite socially competent, easy-going and is seemingly in control of all her physical, mental and emotional faculties. In addition to providing me with a sane house-mate and bearing a chunk of the mortgage, my roomie has also reminded me of a key factor to success in losing weight…accountability.

Here’s the thing…when left alone, I am a failure in the cleanliness category. I tend to leave the toilet seat up, my dishes in the sink and I occasionally neglect a head of broccoli in the fridge until it starts sprouting tentacles. With a roommate however, I am like a new man. I see things in a different light. I know that if I leave my sweaty gym socks out on the kitchen floor, it’s not just offending MY olfactory…someone else has to suffer due to my nostril-singing disregard for hygiene.

The key once again is accountability. In the same way accountability forces me to take the time to wipe down the microwave, it can also help you shed some major pounds and keep them off.

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? If you “forget” your healthy bagged lunch and sneak out for a Big Mac combo, does anyone notice? If you skip your workout to watch a re-run of Jersey Shore, does it make a difference? If you have an accountability partner, the answer is yes!

So how do you harness the awesome power of accountability? You need to find someone  who cares about you and ask them to hold you accountable. This can be a friend, family member or coworker, but it should be someone you trust and someone who you see on a regular basis. This is your accountability partner.

There are two options when it comes to finding someone to hold you to your goals. The first option is to find someone who also wants to lose weight and get healthier. In this case the accountability becomes a two-way street. This is someone you meet up to work out with, go to yoga with, play sports with, etc. You make a commitment to meet up several times a week to stay active. It’s so much harder to hit the snooze button and stay in bed if you know you’ll be letting someone down who is counting on you. The same goes with eating. You agree to follow a healthy eating regimen and make a pact to be honest with one another and to check in daily to see how things are going. This person should become a rock…someone you can lean on and confide in. Someone you can call when you feel like giving in to your cravings and who can give you support, remind you of your commitment and talk you off that ledge. Success is so much richer when you have someone to share the journey with so I think this is the ideal accountability scenario!

The second option is to have a more passive accountability partner. This is someone who agrees to check in with you daily or weekly and see how you are doing. In this case you make the agreement to be 100% honest with this person and provide truthful reports of your progress. This can be as simple as making a phone date once a week to report how your fitness and nutrition programs are going. Again it becomes much harder to eat that cupcake if you know you’re going to have to fess up to your accountability partner about it later. You should set goals and share those goals with that person. If your goal is to fit into your favorite pair of jeans that don’t fit any more, that person should be calling you weekly and asking how your butt is looking in those pants!

Here’s the thing…having an accountability partner does NOT change the fact that you are 100% responsible for your success. In the end it’s all on you. No excuses. No bullshit. Sharing your journey can be hard. It require you to throw out your ego and to be honest, open and vulnerable. It can be tough to share your goals, challenges and fear, but in the end accountability can make all the difference.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off your butt and find your “weight loss roommate”. Remember…whether it’s keeping your dirty underwear off the kitchen table or losing 50 pounds accountability can make all the difference.




Day 16…Random Advice

For today’s post I thought I would kick it with a couple more weight loss tips that have worked for me.

1. Weigh yourself once a week max! – Too often I see people getting obsessed with their weight and weighing themselves every day…and sometimes several times each day. Trust me…this is a recipe for frustration! Everyone’s body weight fluctuates throughout the day due to a number of factors, including the time of day, water levels, sodium levels, etc. To illustrate this I weighed myself tonight before hot yoga and was 202 lbs. After hot yoga, I was 197 lbs. Should I be ecstatic and indulge in some celebratory Christmas cookies and eggnog? Hell no! Alternatively should I get upset when, an hour later after rehydrating properly I am bag up 4 pounds and gorge on eggnogg and Christmas cookies in anger? Hell no. Weigh yourself once a week max, and make sure it is at the same time of day (when you first wake up is probably easiest).

2. Learn how to read a nutrition label! Everyone should know how to read a nutritional label. Thanks to improving regulations almost every food or beverage product now has a nutritional label. Watch for things like ingredients, serving size, calories, sugar content, carbohydrate content, protein, etc. Even though companies are forced to include nutritional labels, it doesn’t mean they still can’t try to be tricky with their information. For an example sugar comes in many forms. Some companies will try to hide the sugar in the ingredients by listing things like pure agave syrup, organic cane juice and brown rice syrup. Hint…although these may sound nicer they are still forms of sugar! Another important factor is serving size. I have seen a single serve soup container (the kind you would add hot water too and eat for lunch) which listed the nutritional information for half a serving. Who the hell eats half a single serve soup? On first glance the info doesn’t look half bad…until you realize you need to double the sodium (salt) and carbohydrate content. You may not even realize you are heading for a bloated mess until you read the fine print! Another example…and my mother loves that I share this…one day my Mom came to me in a state of frustration. In an effort to eat healthier she had bought a package of trail mix from a grocery store and had divided it up into single servings that she could quickly grab, take with her to work and snack on throughout the day. She told me each serving only had 300 calories and although she was eating well she was still not losing weight…in fact she had gained a little. I asked my mother how much trail mix was in each ziplock bag she ate in a day and she replied that there was one cup. Upon picking up the package, I noticed with alarm that the nutritional information, which my mother was referencing, was for 1/4 cup, not 1 cup! So in reality my poor Mom had been ingesting 1200 calories with each bag of trail mix! Needless to say after we cut this down to a proper 1/4 cup things improved drastically.

Start paying attention to nutritional labels…you might be surprised at what you find!

Those are my two pieces of random advice for today. Now off to bed! Wait…on that note here is a third piece of advice, get lots of rest! Getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep can help to regulate hunger/cravings, stabilize your blood sugar, repair your muscles, make you stronger and give you more energy (there is a surprise!).

Now that’s really it…goodnight…for real this time…I mean it…


My Day


– 7 am – Bran muffin, coffee (I normally do not eat muffins and am not advocating them, but I slept in…no excuse, but at least I’m being honest!).

– 9 am – 3 scoops whey protein isolate, 1 apple

– 12 pm – Persian stew from a local restaurant containing chunks of sirloin, kidney beans and a blend of spices. Had with 1/3 cup rice.

-3 pm – Handfull of mixed nuts

-10 pm – 2 eggs, porkchop

*Note* Had a crazy 12 hour shift at work. I should have eaten more often and eaten more greens and protein. Christmas in the wine business is insane!


Schlepping dozens and dozens of cases of wine to and from the warehouse, into restaurants and out to customers cars.

-65 minute hot yoga class

16 days down…8 to go

Day 14…Choice

Life is a series of choices. Whether we are aware of it or not, as human beings we command our destiny through the choices we make every day. Choice can be a beautiful thing or a dangerous thing. It can set us free or enslave us. Choice is power. We make the choice to be happy or sad. To reach for our dreams or sink into the shadows. To be vulnerable and take risks, or to play it safe.  

In the end we are the sum of the choices we make. Those small decisions that may seem insignificant mold us. They shape our character, our relationships, our personality and our happiness. The beauty of choice is that it is constant. We are not bound to the decisions of yesterday. If you’re not happy with your life, make a change. After all, outside of our opposable thumbs (which I will admit are quite handy), choice is what separates man from animals. Choice is an amazing gift, so embrace it. Own it. Live it. Choose strength, joy, calm, peace, contentment, courage, confidence, giving…these are the choices that will set you free.

Below is a re-post from my Vine Arts blog. I thought it was fitting given the topic and there may be some readers of this blog that haven’t yet seen it. I hope you enjoy!

I am constantly asked for advice on losing weight, getting bigger, getting stronger and eating healthy. The problem is that too often when people find out I don’t have a simple or easy answer, they almost always lose interest. Everyone is hoping I can suggest a pill, diet, machine or exercise that will solve their problems. When I can’t give that to them, people then assume I must just have good genetics or that I am using some supplement or steroids that are the source of my results. People don’t want the truth…because the truth is work.

The problem is that you’re not with me. You don’t see me at 6 am in the gym. You’re not there when my lungs are burning, my legs are shaking, my hands are raw, when the bile is rising in my throat. You’re not there when every fiber in my body is screaming at me, a symphony of sweat, pain and lactic acid rising to a thunderous crescendo. This is the moment I live for. There is no mortgage, no job, no deadlines. I live for the peak of that crescendo. That moment when time slows and I am completely in my head and there is nothing but a choice. A choice to give in to the voices that tell me to stop. The voices that tell me I’m not strong enough, not fit enough, not good enough… that I should just quit and give up and get out. In this moment I am alone and my only obstacles are fear and doubt. This is gut check. Choice.

There is me…I am in my mind and there is a mirror. There is sweat and pain and fatigue, and as I look myself in the eye I nod. I smile. I feel a sense calm rising from the base of my being and as it spreads that calm drowns the fear and doubt. I have made the choice. As time quickens I am drawn back to my task. Fear, doubt and fatigue are replaced by calm, focus and energy. My legs are still shaking, my hands are still raw, I can still taste the bile… but I am at peace. I have succeeded in the face of my only true opposition, the barriers I impose on myself. I have prevailed. That is the source of true contentment.

The more I look in the mirror and nod and make those choices the more I feel free. The more I make that choice in the gym, the easier it is to make that choice in the face of the other challenges in my life.

Find your own challenge. Find those mirror moments. Find choice…that choice will set you free.



My Day


8 am – Protein Pancake

– 10 am – Pork chop, apple

– 1 pm – 2 scoops whey protein

– 6 pm – Chicken breast, spinach, quinoa

– 8 pm – Pizza, 1 glass wine = P

Workout – Rest Day

14 days down…10 to go