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Weigh In - April 25th 2014


I know. I've been bad about not posting weigh-ins. The past few weeks have been bumpy. I've had some gains and losses. All in all on the downside. I'm still using way to many weekly points. I'm trying eliminate the use of them. If I earn my points through activity that's one thing. Otherwise I need to stop eating outside my budget. We'll see how it goes. Not getting too stressed out. Especially since I lost .6 pounds this week! Not bad right? Catch ya next time!


Arduino LoL Shield Progress


I ordered a LoL Shield from Adafruit for my Arduino a while back. Just now getting around to playing with it. LoL stands for "Lots of LEDs." This shield just attached to the top of an Arduino. With the use of a special library I can program it to display all kinds of patterns or just text. I figured this would be a great project to learn how to solder better. The grid size is 9x14. That's over a 100 LEDs! I think after making 200+ solder joints I should be a pro right? We'll see. Above is my progress so far. It's been tricky to keep them all straight. It doesn't have to be perfect. It gets a little frustrating. I'm enjoying it. That's all that matters. If you're interesting in learning more about this project kit checkout http://jimmieprodgers.com/kits/lolshield/


Apirl 2014 Loot Crate


Gift subscription services seem to be popping up everywhere. Over the last few months Heather and I have looking at Loot Crate. If you don't know what Loot Crate is let me explain. Loot Crate is a gift subscription service for geeks! I love it. Basically you pay a monthly fee and they will send you a package full of great stuff. It's like a geeky Christmas package every month. The contents of the crate are definitely worth more than the monthly cost. Crates are sent out roughly around the 20th of the month.

So for Easter this year I decided to sign Heather up for Loot Crate. It worked out perfect! This month's theme was "Dragons." We love dragons by the way. :) With Easter being so close to Loot Crate ship day it actually arrived the day before. Great planning right?

So what's in it? Glad you ask. This month contained an exclusive Elder Scrolls Online Nord Foam Figure above. A d20 foam stress-ball dice. A regular random d20. A Game of Thrones foam figure. A Loot Crate button. A screen clear. Dragon Jerky (kinda green, but looks yummy!). A really neat magazine talking about all the contents. Plus some other interesting things.

Was it worth it. Ya bet ya! Catch ya next time.


Weigh In - March 28st 2014


This week I'm excited to say I lost 1.7 pounds! I'm hoping this trend keeps up. I normally would prefer to lose 2 pounds a week. But slow and steady wins the race right? My lovely wife Heather lost 1.3! Way to go girl! We got some good reports from our friends as well. This is our 4th week back on program. Things are a lot more routine. However I am noticing a few things I need to work on.

I'm burning through a lot more weekly points then I should be. I typical reserve weekly points for major events like holidays and birthdays. You know those times it's just hard to plan exactly what you're going to eat. I've been rewarding myself everyday with some kind of treat. It's usually a brownie or ice cream or something sweet. I limit it to something between 1 and 6 points. However I'm not budgeting that into my daily allowance. So I've been dipping into my weekly points.

To help combat this issue I plan to limit use of weekly points to 1 - 4 points per day max. If you follow Weight Watchers you know you have 39 weekly points. If you average that out over 7 days you get roughly 6 points extra per day. I've found I lose more weight when I use less extra points. Not to mention I've heard stories of people going on maintenance after hitting their goal and getting 10 daily points back. That's only 4 more points extra on top of your average. Maintenance is designed to keep you at a set weight.

My theory is that if I'm eating all of my extra points averaged out then effectively I'm on maintenance. I'm doing this to lose weight not stay where I'm at. So that's why I'm working to not use my weekly points. What can do I to help control how many extra points I'm eating? We'll I can put in more "free" food items into my schedule. Right now I'm eating two servings of fruit a day between meals. I could squeeze in one more during a meal to help fill up the meal. Just a mental trick to make myself think I'm eating more. Weight Watcher's calls this "filling foods."

I can switch to using only my activity points I earn. There is a option in the tracker to use my activity points before I use my weekly. Effectively I'm only eating extra when I've earned it through exercise. The only issue is I'm bleary of activity points because they're very subjective. I can "say" I did this and there's no hard science to what I've really earned. I'm just going to have to be a little more trusting in myself and hold myself accountable for reporting the correct amount of activity.

Last but not least. I can change my "treats" to something more healthier. I may end up doing a combination of all the things above to limit my weekly point usage. For now that's my plan. I'll let you know how it works out! Thanks for reading.


Weigh In - March 21st 2014


This is now my third week back on program. I'm feeling much better this week. Tracking again has become more natural. I'm not having to look stuff up as much as I had been. I'm almost fully back to routine. However this week I haven't gone to the gym as much as normal. Monday night we went with some friends to Lexington to play some board games at a Meetup. That was a blast. I didn't end up having time to workout, shower and be ready in time to go to our event. Oh well. But I know you're wondering. How did you do?

Well good news. I lost 1.6 pounds this week. The bad news is I lost a point. I know sad right? But some more good news is Heather lost 2.2 pounds! Way to go my girl. But in other good news. Two of our close friends (Jason and Kelly) have decided to join us in our Weight Watchers journey. They're doing great. They're learning how to track. It's a real blessing to having friends on program as well. I'm glad that we can help them. In the past we've had our friends Catie and David on program with us too. I don't know how many times I've leaned on them for support. I can't thank them enough for supporting us. I only hope that we can provide as much support as we've been given by our friends.

My plans for next week is to ramp up working out more. I'm going to ensure that I make it to the gym every workout day next week. The rowing machine has become one of my favorite workout tools. I can manage to do about 10 minutes at 100 watts. I can feel my my upper body muscle getting worked good. Or as they say "I can feel the burn!" I also plan to try and reward myself more. In the past I've saved points for a end of the day snack. It always gave me something extra to look forward too. In the past we've bought a tray of brownies (roughly 5 points a piece). Tonight I'm either going to have some Arctic Zero Ice Cream (only 150 cal per pint!) or a medium Ice Coffee from McDonald's. Happy Friday! We'll see. Till next time onward and downward!