Accountability: 05-Dec-2020

Earlier I committed to accountability around goals for this trip. We’re into a new month now and I thought it would be a good time to post results.

My weight

Starting (03-Nov-2020) : 403 lb
Today: 389 lb
Weight Loss: 14 lb
Average Weekly Loss: 3 lb/week

So I’m slightly ahead of goal, which is just over 2 lb a week. I’m sure I will plateau in some places, so I’ll take the higher rate this month.

Tools I’m using: MyFitnessPal to track calories and exercise, Noom to change my mental/emotional relationship with food, Google Fit to track workouts. I will buy a smart watch in a month or two so I can track more parameters like heart rate.

We’ve also signed up and just finished our first week using the Derby KS Recreation Center. It’s a great facility (see below, and about a 10 minute drive from our house. Currently we’re walking the track (half a mile a day), stationary bike (15 or so minutes each day on a weight-loss workout program) and some strengthening using the weight machines (mostly arm and back at the moment). We intend to add water aerobics after first of the year and probably some other activities as time goes on.

Derby Recreation Center cardio and weight machines. Used under fair use principles, orignal photo on as of 05-Dec-2020
Derby Recreation Center cardio and weight machines. Used under fair use principles, original photo on as of 05-Dec-2020

Learning Spanish

I’m using DuoLingo as my learning tool. Here’s the progress I’ve made:

The Present Tense section is the one I’m having the most difficulty with.


This goal will wait until late next summer or in the fall, when I’m in better shape.


I’ve not yet started on this goal

Be More Active in the Cruise Community

I’ve added several NCL-focused Facebook groups and posted a few times. Because of traveling for about 1/3 of the month and a big week work-wise last week, I’ve not been as active as I’d hoped.

And Speaking of Travel…

That 10-day trip started one week before Thanksgiving and I got home the Saturday after the holiday (a week ago today). I drove back and forth to California to help my best friend of 35 years get settled in his new home. I was driving and staying in hotels alone, and of course I wore a mask in public and followed each state’s restrictions and policies in effect at the time regarding distancing, etc.

Map of the trip. Tap or click the image or this link to look at it in detail.
The red markers denote where I took some photos.

I enjoy long-distance driving and seeing new parts of the country. On this trip I added driving and stopping in a few new states and areas: Arizona, the Las Vegas area, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and New Mexico. Some of the tourist destinations I saw included Wolf Creek Pass, CO, the Las Vegas Strip, and Ivanpah Solar Power Station in California along I-15. That was a neat experience. Full sunshine the morning I drove by, and for about 15 miles there was this brilliant shine in the sky. I should have stopped and gotten pictures. It’s the largest station of its type in the world as of 2014. The photos below are from Wikipedia and Google Maps/Street view.

By Dicklyon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The city in the bottom of the shot is Las Vegas, and this is almost an hour’s drive away.

About 20-22 hours of driving each way, most of it through areas I’d never seen from the ground. I’d do it again….and plan to at some point.

The Opportunities Two Years Offers

Image of sunrise breaking over the earth as seen from space

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this is the first time in our life together that Roxan and I have set a concrete goal two years in the future. We’ve been together, counting dating, 31 years. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, none of them really important any more. No sooner had I booked the trip than the opportunities started jumping out of the woodwork. These are some of the opportunities I’ve identified so far.

  • Weight loss
  • Learn a second language
  • Learn to SCUBA dive
  • Become more involved in the cruising community
  • Learn more about photography

I should note, these are my goals. Roxan can share hers separately.

Weight Loss / Fitness

I started this journey at between 400 and 410 lbs. A two year time frame to get to my goal weight of 250 lbs gives me an approximate 2 pounds per week loss, well within healthy limits. I’ve tried to diet and exercise my way to a healthier weight multiple times. But this one feels different. Part of it is the work I’ve done in other areas of my life, and really understanding food as something with which I have an addictive relationship. But the other major thing is: I have a concrete goal — I want to be able to take off my shirt at the pool or in the hot tub and not be embarrassed.

So here’s my toolset — and I’d love to hear any ideas you might have, please add them in the comments below!
* My Fitness Pal phone app to track eating, water intake, and exercise in one place. I’m stemaat if you’d like to connect on My Fitness Pal.
* Smart Watch — I’m still deciding between a few. I want to save up and get one of the newer ones which have ECG and Oxygen saturation, along with longer battery life. So that’s probably a Christmas Gift to myself.
* Gym membership — Roxan and I will join the Derby Rec Center later this week (payday). We plan to take water aerobics classes and work up to weights and the exercise machines. Because we spend so much time apart due to her work, Roxan and I will take an idea form a book series we read a couple years ago and do our workouts at the same time — her in the hotel workout room and me at the Rec Center. That will also allow us to maintain consistency in time of day we do exercise, something we both recognize as essential to long-term maintenance as we’re both pretty regimented in our time.

BTW: As part of my accountability for this I intend to post weekly about my process on these goals. I weighed when I woke up this morning — using 403 as my starting weight I’ve lost just over 11 pounds since starting. I already notice a difference in how I feel.

Learn Conversational Spanish

I anticipate with us being primarily or completely within tourist areas, it would be unusual to find a shop owner who would not have at least a minimal level of English skill. But again, I have two years and would like to be able to carry on a basic conversation in Spanish. Toward this end I am currently committing 10 minutes a day to working in DuoLingo, a phone app that is of high enough quality my daughter’s High School Spanish teacher required them to complete work in on a regular basis.

Learn SCUBA diving

Image by 272447 from Pixabay

This is a thing I’d always thought would be cool to know but never got up the gumption to learn. In my teen years I swam all the time — in fact I taught swimming at the Pratt pool for several summers. But over the years, and as I’ve gotten more obese, I’ve stopped swimming. I have no doubt I can pick it back up and get back to most of the skill level I had.

I imagine sailing in tropical waters and right along with it diving to see the fish, coral and other below-water life. I’ve never been good at snorkel, partly because I couldn’t keep the mask sealed and water out of my eyes. Also, before LASIK surgery I had quite limited underwater vision. Now, almost 18 years after LASIK, I feel I’ll still have reasonable underwater vision, and plan to buy a prescription diving mask.

This is a goal into the summer of 2021 and winter 2021-2022. I need to get a good way toward my weight, fitness and appearance goals before I’ll be comfortable to do this. Right now I’m sure my doctor would recommend against it due to my lack of cardiac fitness.

Our plan is to take lessons from Amber Waves dive shop and get certified in open water diving before we leave on the cruise. Figure we’ll certify early to mid summer 2022 and try to do a couple lake dives before the cruise.

Learn More About Photography

There was a time in late middle school and early high school that I got pretty into photography. The past several years, I have chased frequently with Steve Boleski, who is an excellent photographer. It has reignited my interest. I took a lot of photos on our first Alaska trip, but was not highly please with very many. My daughter used the DSLR on the second trip and I only took cell phone photos.

This time around I am going to ask Steve to help me learn the skills I need to take quality landscape and weather shots (so I can do so while chasing, too), and I want to learn to take underwater photos. I plan to rent an enclosure for my camera so when we’re diving I can take quality photos, too.

More Involvement in the Cruising Community

Photo credit: (

I think cruising and other travel will form a lot of our empty nester years and some of our retirement years. As a high schooler I was in debate and forensics, but since then my only “public speaking” has been behind a radio microphone. I am disappointed that I have chosen most of life to not be a social person. I want to change this, and I feel like volunteering to arrange the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and the Roll Calls for our two voyages, I can make a step in the direction I want to go. This blog is also part of it, but I’m writing the blog more as a cruising outreach I think. I want to get more people interested in this form of travel.

Have a great week! We’d love you have you join us on the cruise — here are the description links:

Seattle to Alaska (round trip)
Seattle to Miami via Mexico, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

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