After a step backward last week, I bounced back with renewed vigor this week. Here’s my 27th update on my journey to better health.

The Successes

Seeing the scale go up last week was all the motivation that I needed as I managed to fit four walks and an afternoon of lawn mowing into my week.

Monday and Thursday, I escaped for two 20-minute walks on my lunch break.

Friday's walk: 3.21 miles in 59 minutes.
An extended walk was much-needed after a long week.

Friday was spent with Julie at the hospital – everything is OK, but the doctors wanted to monitor her for a few hours to make sure everything was good with her and baby. But after we were discharged, I snuck out for an hour-long walk, three miles around Wyomissing and West Reading.

Sunday's walk: 3.22 miles in 57 minutes.
Two minutes faster!

I repeated that same walk on Sunday evening, completing the same route about two minutes faster than I had two days prior.

In between, I found time to mow the grass. In all, it was 900 calories burned through exercise over the course of the week.

The Challenges

My office, and I imagine many of yours, is one of temptation. It seems that every day, someone is bringing in something sweet to share.

On Monday, it was Pretzel Factory Rivets. Those tiny little pretzel nuggets seem innocent enough, but each one has 38 calories. I had four of them, and it took all the self control that I had to not eat more as I went to-and-from the breakroom to refill my water bottle.

Beyond that, my snacking was limited to Graze packs and popsicles.

Friday, as I mentioned earlier, was a challenging day for us, and one that didn’t help my diet. Lunch was Chicken McNuggets and fries (unsweetened iced tea helped keep the meal under 1,000 calories).

chicken florentine pasta from Austin's
We treated ourselves to Austin’s after a brief trip to the Reading Hospital.

After Julie was released from the hospital, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner. And we couldn’t think of a better place than Austin’s.

Austin’s is one of our favorite restaurants (I still say it’s not fine dining, though), but there are two problems with it: portion sizes are huge, and there’s not a lot of menu items for calorie-counters.

One of the lightest things that I could find on the menu was the chicken Florentine pasta: chicken breast with penne pasta and tomatoes in a Reggiano cream sauce.

Like all entrees at Austin’s, it was at least two meals, and the half that I finished at the restaurant was delicious. The Reggiano cream was thick enough to stick to the pasta, but not too rich. The tomatoes added a cool, bright note to the dish. And while there was plenty of chicken, it was sliced small enough that I could get some in every bite, and still not feel like I had eaten too much.

It’s hard to estimate meals like this, but my best guess was around 900 calories, including a slice of Austin’s amazing wheat bread with honey butter.

Pepperoni pizza from Esposito's
Then we had pizza on Sunday…the perils of being a food blogger.

The other challenge came on Sunday when Julie and I visited one of five pizza places that we be reviewing as part of BCE’s annual National Pizza Month celebration. This time, it was Esposito’s. The review is coming, but I calculated my lunch at around 1,200 calories (pizza + fries = calories).

There was also a delightful two-layer cookie cake at our church’s coffee hour that didn’t help matters.

The Results

Current Weight: 160.6 lbs.
Weekly Weight Loss: -0.6
Total Weight Loss: 29.2

After putting on 0.4 pounds last week, I took that off plus a little bit more this week. But it is definitely getting harder.

My daily budget is now 1,900 calories. When I started, it was more than 2,000 per day. So the weight loss isn’t going to get any easier.

The Week Ahead

Barring anything out of the ordinary, it’s going to be a relatively straightforward week. I’m making time for walks and exercise, and trying to avoid calorie traps whenever I can.

If all goes well, this is the week that I cross under the 160-pound mark. And I’m going to work hard to make this week go well.

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