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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
The Dollar A Day Diet

I have realized for sometime now that I really need to start blogging again on a regular basis - like daily. I have mentioned many times that the blogging really makes a difference with respect to my weight loss the accountability and encouragement from friends has made all the difference. Africa has had a profound effect on me in many ways, not all positive. My weight loss effort has been completely thrown off track. I just can't allow this to happen.

First, while in Africa I was not able to do my running. It was completely out of the question. It was taking me two hours per run here in the states to get ready run, sauna/pool and shower etc. times 2 runs a day. So I went from running 14-15 miles a day seven days a week to no running for more then a month. There was no way I could have taken that much extra time for exercise - let alone the lack of running water (bathing was not so simple) and the roads there were not safe for running on, potholes as bad or worse then Minnesota and a very busy, unusual mix of traffic.

When I left for Africa my last official weigh in had me at 215.2. I thought that I might lose weight while in Africa (most people volunteering actually do) - this is because you typically eat way less then in Western cultures - often only eating what the kids eat. This was true for us but only while at the school so our lunches were the same as the kids - but Chazon does provide a very good lunch for the kids. At Mary's house we ate very well - there was always a very large breakfast and dinner. The grocery store was not too far away and the market offered bananas for 6 shillings each and I bought soda pop and popcorn fairly often (not diet soda - they don't have it there). So I was basically over-eating and not exercising - right from the first day.

Despite this I started losing weight immediately. This is still a mystery to me. I had a little bit of travelers diarrhea for 4-5 days, and the diet was practically salt free, the food was all fresh vegetables and meats - very little processed food. Almost every meal included fried foods - fried in vegetable oil. I had no way to weigh myself there but when I left I was in the first loop of the money belt I borrowed (it barely fit) and at my slimmest I was in the 5the belt hole. All the clothes were way to lose and I'm guessing I was well under 200. I was sick for the last two weeks but that was a cold and it didn't slow up my eating. For the first two and half to three weeks I was dropping weight and for the last week to week and half I started gaining the weight back. When I left I had the belt in the third loop.

A few days ago I reached a new high weight of 237.8. When I came back I was already in the 220s. I have been up and down since my return but I realize now I need to really get some discipline going again relative to my eating habits and I need to start blogging again regularly. So I intend to blog every day at least a brief blog to share where my weight is at and I taking on a whole new strategy as to my diet.

I started my new diet yesterday - I've had the idea for a week or more now - the dollar a day diet.

I'm sure you've heard it said that those living in poverty in 3rd world nations get by on less then a dollar a day. As of yesterday I started my effort to eat no more then a dollars worth of food a day - this includes drinks - so i will give up the coffee, milk and the pop any alone would surpass the dollar a day limit, water only going forward. Last night I bought the largest bag of the cheapest rice I can find, some cabbages, onions, potatoes and salsa. I know the calories will be quite low - because what I bought has to last a month (small portions). I'm not doing this as some sort of social experiment or to "learn about poverty" it's about losing the weight. What really thrills me about this though is that it will enable me to give the money I save while on this diet to the Chazon group in Molo Kenya. It's a great incentive to stick with the program. I'll start by giving the coffee, pop and milk money I spend while at work - it's easy to calculate and the savings are quite easy to see. Right now I spend $4 a day on coffee/milk and $7 week on pop x five days a week. So that's 5.40 x 5 = $27 x 4.3 = $116.10. I think if i can stay off the coffee and pop for a full month then I could get use to just drinking water and keep giving the extra money every month (of course I do hope to give more) - but I have been to Molo and I know full well how much even this little amount of extra money can go.

One of my friends told me that EVERYTHING in OUR lives going forward will be tied to AFRICA! I think she's right.

Two days ago I weighed 237.8, yesterday I weighed 236.2 today I weighed 235.6.

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