Day One

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Metric Value
Weight 221 lbs
Early to Bed? No
Late Night Meal? Yes
Ate to 80%? No
Morning Calisthenics No
Afternoon Walk No

NOTE: Metrics are for the prior day except for weight. Weight is for the day taken.

As the pandemic has drawn on I have felt myself slowly but surely gaining weight. Prior to the pandemic I had never reached my ideal weight but I was significantly more active than I am now and at least seemed to be maintaining my weight. I used to have a gym membership where I would go and exercise a few times a week and once the pandemic hit, that thew any exercise routine I had out the window. I have tried a few times to get some sort of home routine going as, since everyone is pretty much stuck in their homes, and there isn’t much to do socially, I should have plenty of time to exercise and be in peak shape. Strangely though (or perhaps not so strangely?), this has not been the case. I have continued to put on weight and have failed to get any sort of lasting exercise routine going. In addition, I have surely been eating more and worse too. Lots of take out “curb side pickup” brings some happiness during the 2020 gloom, but it has definitely not helped my health situation.

So today I have decided to start “”. My intention with this blog is to track my journey to dropping my pandemic 20. Today I weighed myself and I am currently 221 lbs. At 37 years old and 6 ft. 2 in., according to, my ideal weight should be somewhere between 144 - 197 lbs. This calculator seems extremely out of whack as if I weighed 150 lbs I would look like a stick so in my mind I think I should likely be around the 195 lbs. mark. But for the sake of a round number, (And a catchy blog title!), I will be focusing on dropping 20 lbs. If I can do that, then dropping an extra 5, should I choose too, I would think, shouldn’t be to difficult. If I can find a working diet and exercise routine that drops 20, well, than I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t continue to work and drop another 5. So, with that said, whats my plan? What makes this time any different?

The Plan: Take 1

Blogging and Weight Tracking

The main thing that I am intend to focus on in my “Drop 20 Fast” diet and exercise plan is to blog and track my progress. I have often heard that tracking your weight and measurements is good for weight loss so this is something I am going to try. I’m not going to focus so much on the measurements because I don’t particularly care what pants size I wear or how big my biceps are. I just want to drop some weight so the metric I will be tracking is… My weight! Shocking I know :)

The other thing I intend to focus on is blogging about the experience. I am hypothesizing that by actually paying attention to my weight every day, and trying to blog about the experience every day, that this will bring mindfulness to my eating, exercise, and weight situation and hold me more accountable for my actions. If I end up putting on weight and eating lousy, that won’t make for happy blog posts and hopefully this will motivate me to generate good news to share with this blogs readers.


Another aspect of my plan that I am going to attempt to adhere to is having a routine. It doesn’t even need to be difficult. Just to have any sort of routine for getting some exercise. And my initial routine will consist of some simple calisthenics in the morning and a walk at some point throughout the day. My thinking is that once I have some sort of routine going on and see what sort of progress (if any) I see, than I can increase difficulty, add other exercises, etc. as necessary to see more results.

Something else related to routine that is a routine that I need to drop like a bad habit (because in fact it is a bad habit) is eating a 4th meal before bed. I tend to stay up later than I should messing around on my computer, watching the news, watching Youtube, etc. and get hungry around 10pm at night. I then proceed to go the the kitchen and eat some left over pizza or cheese and crackers, or some some chips, etc. Not only is eating a 4th meal just adding un-necessary calories and the meal is typically high carb / high fat in nature, but the meal is right before bed so my body will proceed to just store all that food as fat. I believe this is my biggest problem and so I intend to fight it though a bedtime routine.

I plan to adhere to going to reading a book as my only evening activity, starting ~9pm and lights out by 9:30. If I can do this, than I should be asleep before the urge hits to snack at night with the added bonus of going to bed early and waking up earlier.

Diet / Portion Control

I know most people are probably expecting to read about some specific keto or paleo or vegan or whatever diet that I plan to embark on. This is actually not the case. In fact, I don’t plan (at least initially) to have any sort of strict diet at all. I do however intend to be more mindful of Hara hachi bun me - The Confucian teaching of eating until feeling 80% full. Also do intend to try to cut back on some foods that I know are problematic for me.

I am a vegetarian and have been for about 10 years now. Since I am a vegetarian, the foods that bring me the most pleasure tend to be very high in fat. Foods that I find I eat a lot and are not doing my weight situation any good include: Cheese, Salad Dressings (in particular Ranch) and Snack Foods (chips / dip, cheeze-its, etc.). Given that I know these foods are my achilles heel, I intend to pay particular attention to these foods. Not necessarily removing them from my diet, but being mindful that I know I often over do it with them, especially at the bed time snacking, and that I need to really reduce my intake of them.

Plan Summary

So to summarize my initial “Drop 20 Fast” plan, here it is:

  • Track my weight daily
  • Blog about my progress daily
  • Morning calisthenics
  • Daily walks
  • Earlier bedtime
  • No bedtime snacking
  • Eating to 80%
  • Limiting problem food intake

I find looking at this plan really interesting because it seems so different than typical approaches I often hear people trying e.g. taking on the keto diet, eliminating carbohydrates and starting a more Atkins style diet, doing cleanses, etc. Perhaps I am misguided in thinking that being mindful of my weight and tracking / blogging about it, low intensity exercise, extra sleep, and more mindfulness about what I am putting into my body could bear results anywhere near as impressive as more drastic diet and/or exercise plans. However, my strategy here is to try to play the long game in hopes that this approach may actually be sustainable and to lead to a lifestyle that not only helps me “Drop 20 Fast”, but helps me live a healthier lifestyle in general after meeting my goal.

Stay tuned to see how I progress!