Nutrisystem Week 4 – I probably am doing this wrong

I did a half century bike ride yesterday which probably contributed to the dramatic success of the week (2035 calories burned will do that). Though, I figure I’m not doing this 100% correctly, but I guess if it’s working, I’ll just go with it. Was a little worried at the beginning of the week with some over-eating, but apparently I pulled it out for the rest of the week.

Let’s have a drum roll….

Week 4 – Start

Weight: 283.0

Change: -5.4

Average Change per Week: -3.9

% of Goal: 11.8%


Nutrisystem Week 3 – I want ice cream. And cake. Lots of cake.

This week started out a little rough. I weighed myself on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was a little discouraging. I know, I shouldn’t weigh too often. I slowed down a bit on snacks and stuff, cut out the additional SmartFuel and Carb with my lunches, and did some cycling (15 miles on Friday, 3 on Saturday). I also got in a car accident, so I’ll get to ride my bike a bit more often than normal. Plus next Sunday I’m doing a half century ride which will burn a butt-ton of calories.

Week 3 – Start

Weight: 288.4

Change: -1.8

Average Change per Week: -3.2

% of Goal: 6.4%

Nutrisystem Week 2 – More Complicated

The first week was pretty simple as far as what I was supposed to eat. I had defined breakfast lunch and dinner, plus two shakes in between. This week I enter the normal program which means adding my own snacks and protein and carbs. I’ve been hilariously bad about eating my 4 servings of veggies in the first week, so yesterday I ate a salad with a bit of dressing. Lunch on Nutrisystem is a surprisingly large meal. I get an entree, a “PowerFuel” (protein, I had some almonds yesterday) and a “SmartCarb” (yesterday was dried fruit). Add the salad to that and I was genuinely full.  I also picked up some whole wheat English Muffins and peanut butter for my mid-morning snack, and some cheese sticks to add variety to my PowerFuels.

I will admit that I cheated basically every day last week. On my second day on the diet, someone from church brought some food over. Two big casseroles. I froze the lasagna, but the french toast casserole taunted me. So I ate it. Still, progress was made. I’m a little worried I’m doing something wrong this week though. I hopped on the scale this morning and had gained some back. I guess we’ll see what happens after the whole week is done rather than a fluctuation.

I also knocked out a 10-mile ride on Saturday. Need to get back into riding again since I signed up for a half century at the end of the month. I’ve just been busy with other obligations. Back on the road next week, hopefully.

Week 2 – Start

Weight: 290.2

Change: -4.6

Average Change per Week: -4.6

% of Goal: 4.6%

Nutrisystem Week 1 – Day 1 Hunger

I have basically abandoned this blog. No one reads it and I haven’t really cared to update it. I am starting a new diet today and I was trying to think of where I could document my progress without flooding my Facebook with it. So here I am.

I’m at a strange crossroad in my life. It’s a long story, but I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of things to deal with. A big part of this is finding ways to improve myself.

Growing up, I was fat; I’m not going to sugar coat that. I was sedimentary and well fed. That trend continued throughout my childhood and then I joined the Army. Prior to enlisting, I had lost 30 pounds or so. I left for Basic Training at 240 pounds (I think). By the end of it, I was down to 195. This was still over the Army’s maximum weight for my height, so I was measured for body fat every month for basically my entire time in the Army. Immediately after Cadet Basic Training at West Point, I had my only passing weigh-in ever: 185 pounds. I struggled to stay there, but ultimately spent most of my time as a Cadet around my 190-200 range.

When I left and returned to my enlistment contract, I gained a few pounds back, staying in the low 200s and passing body fat by the skin of my teeth thanks to plenty of mandatory physical training, often twice a day. As I neared the end of my enlistment, I got lazier, got a profile for my aching knees after 5 years of running with excess weight and packed about 30 pounds back on. So in April of 2012, I sat at around 240 pounds. From there, it’s been 3 years of not running, eating tasty treats, and packing on more weight. I peaked over 300 pounds before I made a conscious effort to head back the other direction. Even with that, however, I’ve been sporadic at best, and the exercise of cycling or other activities was rarely accompanied with a commitment to healthy eating.

Today I begin a new attempt at making a more permanent change. Following a dramatic change in my life situation, I ordered Nutrisystem for Men. It arrived last Wednesday and today I started it. I’ll be weighing in weekly and adding thoughts here and there about the experience. My goal, realistic or not, is to lose 100 pounds (obviously not in the first month).  This is the first “guided” diet I’ve attempted, so I don’t really know what to expect. Wish me luck.

Week 1 – Start

Weight: 294.8

Change: N/A

Average Change per Week: N/A

% of Goal: 0%

Aaaaaaaand we’re back!

Oh goodness, you’re probably asking yourself, “what did we do to deserve the punishment of this guy blogging again?!”  Let me answer that for you: you took a breath of air just now.  Don’t fight it.  It happens.  Just push through.

In all seriousness (which seems to be a pretty common phrase in my blog), it has been a loooooooooong time.  Too long.  My regular (or formerly so) readers know that this blog is really just my place to vent.  My way of not walking through the streets and knocking off people’s hats if you will (allusion to…..anyone?).

Last night I was on CQ (Charge of Quarters) so I had some time to think.  In conjunction with some events that took place during that time, as well as in the recent past, my emotional river was flowing quite well.  I hopped on my boat in said river and took the ride.  We docked here at the blog about 3 minutes ago, where I met you guys.  Welcome to my very bland mental dock on the emotional river.  If only there were more boats that you could use to escape.

It’s been about 3 months since my girlfriend of about 3 months broke up with me.  The wounds are still healing, mostly because despite my exterior mantra that I hate everyone equally, I love all you crazy kids and I become very easily attached.  It’s tough to overcome the sudden breaking of one of those bonds.  I’ve been on a couple dates, but nothing really sticks.  I’m working on it.

Next emotional speed bump is that my youngest sister (younger than the other by 5 minutes, still counts) got engaged last night.  Your gut reaction of course is “yay” which I wish I could jump in with you and say.  Reasons I’m concerned.  They have been dating about 3 and a half months.  What happened to my 3 month relationship? Exactly.  They are getting married two months from now.  Less than six months together and married? Sounds like a recipe for an “oh crap” moment to me.  Do I want her to be happy? Of course I do.  My perspective may be a little different that a standard brother.

We grew up without a dad at home.  I’m not crying about it, it happens, we’ve gotten through it, it’s done.  That situation has turned me into someone who feels absolutely responsible for what happens to my family though.  A father/brother hybrid.  I’ve met her fiance twice, for a combined time of about 10 minutes.  He has made no attempt to change that before asking her to marry him.  This tells me one of two things, possible a little of both.  A) He doesn’t understand the way our family has adapted to be as strong as we are in regards to the lack of a father figure, or B) my sister doesn’t understand the fact that I feel responsible for her.

I wrote her a long letter last night which I need to mail soon… In it I mostly laid out the same things I’ve said here.  I just can’t understand the rush, or the complete disregard for any of the points that anyone has brought up.  Ugh, I’m exhausted.



Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Since I’m in the military, many of my non-military friends have been asking my opinion recently on the repeal of DADT.  I’ve blogged about the issue of gay marriage several times, but when it comes to DADT and my career in the Army, my take is a little different.

To start things off, I’d like to point out that the majority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to postpone, but not – with the exception of the Marines – deny the repeal.  Looking at the current state of our military, I can see many reasons to delay it.  That being said, now that it’s done, I’m just going to go with the flow.  I think there are certainly some logistics issues that need to be solved, specifically in the housing sector.  If it works out, great.  If not, well, then hopefully the people who pushed it can realize they were wrong, and then proceed to fix it.

I know it may seem weird for me to be so relaxed about this issue when gay marriage is one of my big ticket items.  I’ve got several friends in the military who are gay or lesbian, some of them I’m one of the few people who knows about it.  Despite my own beliefs, I’m not one to tell someone who they are, and that’s how I look at this.  I’m most concerned about the way it’s going to work out in the end, rather than the immediate consequences for me as a member of the military.


2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 76 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 566kb.

The busiest day of the year was February 19th with 25 views. The most popular post that day was By popular demand….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for mathematical contest in modeling, suicide at west point, “cadet johnston’s crazy blog”, “west point” “central guard”, and “west point” “military development school”.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


By popular demand… February 2010
1 comment


Back to School January 2010


A New Journey March 2010
1 comment


Mathematical Contest in Modeling 2010 February 2010


Update on Life April 2010

2010 in Closing

Hey there, remember me?  Probably not.  Don’t worry, I never liked me either.

If you’ve read my stuff for a bit, you’ll know that at the end of the year, I like to kind of review the past events and appraise where things stand.  That’s what this is about.

The year began like the one before it, with a trip back to the icy prison that is West Point.  At that point, I probably wouldn’t have guessed where I would be writing this now.  I did my thing, and then in late March, I left the Academy.  I won’t go into the details, mostly because I don’t want to, and anyone who really matters basically already knows the whole story.  If not, I apologize for not telling you.

After about a month at home, I came back on Active Duty with the Army, and a month later, I arrived in Fort Lewis (or rather, Joint Base Lewis-McChord), WA.  This is where I’ve been for the past 6 months or so, and I have to say, life is pretty darn good all things considered.  I’m back on active duty making real money, doing the job I originally enlisted for.  I’ve got some great people that I work with, and of course some idiots too, but it’s the Army, what can ya do?  I hang on to the good stuff and push through the BS, just like always.

I really enjoy the area up here, aside form the rain.  I went to several concerts throughout the latter half of the year, which is something I’ve never done before.  One of my friends describes it as me having become a real concert whore since I arrived, haha.  I’ve been really enjoying church as well.  There’s a singles ward that I go to in Tacoma that I joke is like a stocked pond during fishing season…at least from the men’s perspective.  The women’s prospects are a little more limited.  Out of that has come my girlfriend, Kathleen.  My closer friends know that I haven’t had too many of those, so I’m still learning, but she’s awesome, and I’m enjoying our time together more than I’ve enjoyed a lot of things.

Despite not having a kitchen in my room, I’ve been working on the cooking skills.  I bought a rice cooker, and Kathleen got me a crock pot for Christmas.  One step at a time I suppose.  I’m making chili tomorrow.  Hopefully no one dies.

I honestly don’t have much else to say.  It’s been a good year, despite the craziness in the middle.  I don’t think I would want things to be different though.  Here’s to another year of fun-filled adventures!


Miss me?

Yeah, I know you did, but don’t worry, I’m here.

Ok, a couple things have been on my mind.

The first one is the overturning of Prop 8 in California.  I’ve posted about it before, so you know where I stand on things.  My biggest problem with the court decision is that the judge who decided the case was one of three openly gay federal judges.  Am I the only one who sees this as a conflict of interest in what is supposed to be an unbiased justice system?

Immigration…yeah.  I fully support enforcing the immigration laws in our country.  In reality, that’s all that the new legislation in Arizona is doing.  I’m not xenophobic, and I don’t care if people from other countries immigrate, as long as they do it legally.  This lawsuit on the Arizona laws took it’s biggest step in the wrong direction when it made it an issue of a state doing things outside of federal control, rather than an immigration issue.  Thanks to our constitution, you may have heard of the document, the states are able to control things which the federal government does not.  It makes it seem like the federal government seeks to ignore the 14th amendment by not allowing Arizona to ensure that immigration is handled in their state.

Heading back to the homosexuality front for my final words, a former classmate of mine from the academy formally resigned and announced that she was a lesbian this week.  Now, that’s her decision, given her feelings that her integrity was compromised when she was forced to lie to her classmates.  However, I feel like she has turned it into a publicity stunt, and some of the things she stated are quite simply exaggerated.  I guess she’s been blogging anonymously about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell culture at West Point, and a few statements that I saw were just plain over the top.  I have nothing against her as a person, or her decision, but I think it could have been handled much differently.

I think that’s just about enough out of me.


The Return

So today marks my return to Active Duty. In true Army fashion, I’ve missed a connection due to a very short layover, found out that getting to base once I land is going to be a pain, and the issues just keep coming.

Sure have missed the Army!