It’s hard to believe that my journey to better health is now 18 weeks old. Entering this week, I’m four pounds ahead of schedule. Here’s how I kept up the momentum since my last update.

The Successes

Last week, I mentioned that I was heading upstate with my dad for the weekend. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I spent the weekend at home. I made the most of it, however, starting with some yardwork on Saturday.

overgrown shrubs in a yard
The Taming of the Shrubs. I’m the William Shakespeare of yardwork.

Our yard came with several shrubs that are unruly and need to be tamed every month or so. The biggest issue isn’t the shrubs, but the other plants that are trying to grow inside them.

overgrown hasta plant
These bad boys are going down.

So Saturday evening I grabbed my hedge trimmer and went to work, trimming branches that were too long and hacking off the intruder plants.

man raking trimmings from an overgrown bush
Trim. Rake. Repeat.

One hour of work was worth 200 calories, and even after cooling off with a small dip of ice cream, I was more than 300 calories under my allotment for the day.

I was feeling ambitious on Sunday and had the urge to hit the links so I pulled out my clubs and headed to Village Greens in Sinking Spring.

golf ball sits on the fairway of a course
It’s no Royal St. Andrews, but it’s good for a quick 18.

Now, Village Greens is no Augusta National, and it’s not the most well-kept course in the county (far from it), but it has its advantages.

golf cart driving up the fairway of a golf course
I am amazed by how many people actually drive a golf cart around Village Greens.

Because it’s a smaller course – 16 par-3s and two par-4s – it’s a fast round. I was able to play 18 holes in less than two hours.

And for someone who is looking for some exercise, Village Greens is perfect because it is short enough to be perfectly walkable but long enough to get a nice workout.

trees line the fairway of a golf course hole
A beautiful day for a terrible round of golf.

As for my actual game, it wasn’t my best performance. Blame it on the fact that I hadn’t golfed at all this year (unless you count my mini golf triumphs over Julie at Heisler’s and Knoebels).

I did manage a birdie with a 10-foot putt and several pars, but if not for the 530 calories burned, it was an otherwise forgettable round.

Overall, the week was one of my most active. I recorded two lunch walks (Monday and Thursday) and an hour of mowing grass on Wednesday. In all, it was worth about 1,300 calories.

The Challenges

On Monday, Julie made an amazing zucchini bread that sounded innocent enough until I added the recipe to my Lose It app.

The recipe made two loafs with a total of 5,655 calories. Flour, oil and sugar add up very quickly. We had to be very diligent with our slices to keep from overdoing it.

Wednesday I splurged on a cupcake during a birthday celebration at work. I burned off its 370 calories mowing the lawn, but I had to be very careful with my remaining choices.

pizza topped with red sauce and cheese
I highly recommend the Red & White Pizza from Mangia in Mohnton (and most everything else on the menu).

And on Friday evening I ate a pizza from Mangia. It was personal sized, and I was hungry so I ate the whole thing – approximately 900 calories based on similar offerings in my Lose It app.

The Results

Current Weight: 167.2
Weekly Weight Loss: -1.4
Total Weight Loss: -22.2

To be honest, I was taken by surprise when I weighed in (I actually weighed in twice, just to make sure) because I didn’t think it was a particularly great week. But it was certainly a pleasant surprise, leaving me just 7.2 pounds away from my goal weight.

The Week Ahead

As I write this on Tuesday night, I am preparing myself mentally for a 22-mile ride on the Perkiomen Trail.

I will be riding from Green Lane Park in northwest Montgomery County (just a little east of Route 100) to Valley Forge Park.

Oh, and it’s not happening this weekend. It’s happening Wednesday morning before work. By the time you read this, the ride will be behind me and I’ll be looking forward to my next challenge.

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