It’s the 10th week of my journey to better health. This week, we celebrate three things: Memorial Day, NASCAR and my birthday.

The Successes

As mentioned last week, I spent the past weekend at Dover International Speedway.

I am fortunate enough that I’m not attending just as a fan, but as an employee of the track.

selfie of a man in a fedora overlooking a NASCAR race track
I started working race weekends at Dover in the fall of 2014. The hat has become my signature look around the track.

My friend Lynn is Dover’s Social Media Manager. She and I were interns together four years ago and bonded over a love of racing.

Jimmie Johnson answers questions in the media center of Dover Speedway
Home base during the weekend is the infield media center, where drivers like Jimmie Johnson come through for interviews.

So when she realized that she needed help on race weekends, she called me. This was my sixth race weekend as her assistant.

NASCAR driver Regan Smith poses with a young fan at an autograph session
Driver appearances happen throughout the weekend. Here, Regan Smith poses with a young fan on Sunday morning.

My job is basically to be everywhere, hopping between driver appearances, pit road and events around the track, taking pictures and posting to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

William Byron stands in front of the #9 Liberty Chevy holding a $100,000 check for winning the Xfinity Dash4 Cash at Dover Speedway
I also have access to pit road and victory lane. This is the Dash4Cash celebration for William Byron following Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.

I get to do a lot of amazing things – I drove Dover’s official pace car, shot a t-shirt gun and ate a slice of Richard Petty’s birthday cake (more on that later).

NASCAR Driver JJ Yeley poses with two characters from Minions
I even got to follow around the Minions from Despicable Me 3.

I also walked. A lot. Walking is my preferred method of getting around the speedway. The track is one-mile around so everytime that I walked from the infield media center – home base for the race – to the fan zone, I was walking about a mile each way. I did that multiple times throughout the three days while doing shorter walks and a lot of standing.

It was a great weekend, and I got plenty of exercise, but it was almost impossible for me to quantify it in my Lose It app.

The Challenges

This was a week that presented an array of temptations.

It started with Memorial Day weekend and a Sunday picnic of hamburgers, baked beans, ice cream cake and strawberry pie.

Monday was worse. We had pizza for lunch. And at dinner, there were more hamburgers on the menu, plus potato chips, chocolate zucchini bread and ice cream.

two pancakes with various toppings on a hot skillet waiting to be flipped
I can’t resist Shady Maple pancakes…

Tuesday was Shady Maple Day (aka my birthday). We went for breakfast, and I was as disciplined as I could possibly be (baked French toast, potatoes and an apple cinnamon pancake), I still couldn’t keep within my calorie limit for the day.

plate of baked French toast and home fries
…or their baked French toast.

The birthday celebration continued on Wednesday with cannoli dip at work and Rita’s custard after dinner.

My weekend at the races followed. For all of the walking that I did, I did just as much eating. Meals were served buffet style – enchiladas, pulled pork sandwiches and manicotti were among the menu options.

And I couldn’t resist the chocolate chip cookies, Oreos and popcorn that were there for the taking in the Media Center.

cake in the shape of a historic Richard Petty race car from the 60s
Richard Petty’s 80th birthday cake.

Sunday was the best of times and the worst times. I ate a slice of Richard Petty’s birthday cake – a delicious piece of art created by Desserts by Dana – a former winner of TLC’s Cake Boss. This was better than 99 percent of cakes that I have tried. The layers of frosting were the perfect level of sweet. The cake itself was light and airy. It was perfect.

slice of vanilla cake with four icing layers
It tastes just as good as it looks.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I stopped at McDonald’s on the way home. Not my proudest moment, but if you’ve ever driven between Dover, Delaware and Reading via Routes 41 and 10, you know that there are not a lot of options.

The Results

Current Weight: 173.6
Weekly Weight Loss: -1.4
Weight Loss Since Start: -15.8

I know I did a lot of walking, but even I am shocked by the results. I was going to be happy to just break even. Instead, I was right on pace (given the extra two days before my weigh-in).

The Week Ahead

It’s a return to normalcy this week. No racing. No birthday celebrations. No reason to not make my goals.

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