The Challenge

Everyone has seen it, I’ve returned to being fat. My scale, which read a shade over 207 on two occasions this morning, has reminded. My pants, who need no assistance from belts, have reminded me. So, starting today I’m challenging myself to shed five pound by mid-December. Why mid-December? Because I have business meeting in California for which I want to comfortably fit into my dressier pants. Wish me luck because I am going to need it.

Last Gluttony #1
My office held its annual pre-Thanksgiving pot luck lunch yesterday. I brought in some “candied” sweet potatoes — can I tell you how much I love sweet potatoes? — whose “candying” was less than stellar. In fact, I think I would have preferred the sweet potatoes to have been naked, or at least with just some butter.

Our pre-Thanksgiving feast started as a way for the employees to learn about the many varied cultures which make up our division. The spread yesterday was fantastic. Some people went out of their way to cook up some intricate dishes, while others went the store-bought route. While I tried to limit my intake, I did know that I had a reservation at Woodfire Grill, I consumed a wide variety of delicacies.

Last Gluttony #2: And The Star Of The Show
Is not in the building. Perhaps the only downer of last night’s Woodfire Grill visit was that Top Chef cheftestant Kevin Gillespie was nowhere to be found. We were told he was at The Pentagon, but I suspect he was at a strip club called The Panty-Gone (I wouldn’t Google that if I were you). I’m not one who expects the CelebriChefs to be in their restaurants (hell, it’s physically impossible for some), but I was expecting Gillespie to be there last night.

The five members of our pre-BetsyFest celebration, including ITP-Reader Gary, each dug our heels deep and agreed to go for the seven-course chef’s menu with wine pairings. Don’t ask how much this cost because all I will say is “a lot” and smile.

Here is what I remember, the wines were above my cognition:

[Pre-Meal] Bread, delicious bread
[Amuse Bouche] Radish with butter and minced celery
1. Fried shrimp served over minced shrimp : some dry white
2. Pan-seared scallop served over shaved brussel sprouts and surrounded by squash : some chardonnay
3. Mushroom served over a grit cake : honestly, I don’t remember
4. Sweetbreads served with something I cannot remember : honestly, I don’t remember
5. Pork belly with a side of pork and sunchokes : some tasty red
[Pallet Cleanser] Watermelon drink with some chili salt
6. Lamb with beets : a hearty red
[Pre-Dessert] A sample of a piece if chocolate cake with a brandied(?) piece of fruit and some sort of foam.
7. Mousse “tart” (see below) : milk — kidding, it was a sweet dessert wine

Each of these plates also had many components and sauces which were far too involved for me to remember.

Sadly we were told that we could get a printout of all of the things we ate and drank — which would have made writing this blog much easier — but we all forgot to get it.

Best line of the night, uttered by our birthday girl, in reference to cordial cherries — “Cordials aren’t always cordial.”

Would I go back? Sure. Would I go all in for the chef’s menu? Not unless I have some amazing financial windfall.

ITP Flickr Pic
Here was last night’s dessert
The Grand Finale

Happy Birthday Greetings
Today is the actual birthday of ITP-Reader Betsy. If you’d like to partake in BetsyFest ’10 you’ll want to swing into Holy Taco sometime this evening.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – fat, way fat, but ready to start reversing the trend
Current Music – silence
Website Of The Day – There are no Kevin Gillespie dishes in Popular Plates BBQ magazine, but that doesn’t stop if from being awesome.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – 207 pounds
Pages Of 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die Read – 77

Foot Mileage – ~9 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Pushups – 0, Situps – 25
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)
Vegetarian Days – 0, Carnivorous Days – 18
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

November Goals
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Ride my bicycle no fewer than 100 miles
– Run no fewer than 50 miles
– Determine the fate of Sharpened Stone, LLC
– lose five pounds
– eat vegetarian at least one day a week

2010 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 185 pounds (starting weight was 198 pounds) [update: On July 1 I’ve sadly gained weight; I’m at 203 pounds]
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Sharpened Stone.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Get the Black Sheep stats out of Excel and online, completed
Ride in no fewer than two 50 mile or 50K bike rides, completed
Complete my Taco Mac Passport requirement of 125 beers, completed

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in PHP and CSS Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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10 Responses to The Challenge

  1. Martha says:

    That’s a great goal and a totally doable pound a week. What is your plan, low fat, med diet, whole food, cutting booze?

    I haven’t made my decision about Weight Watchers yet. The group here at work, well, the nicest thing to say is I think I have much different goals than the others in the group. I guess the good thing would be (and a little extra incentive) is that if I hit my goal weight before the 12 weeks is up, they will pro-rate my fee and refund the difference.

    We will be heading out tonight for dinner, nothing as extravagant as your adventure but a nice change for us.

  2. Barb says:

    sounds like an interesting dinner………

    Happy birthday to Betsy!!!

    I’ll have to say we will not be at Holy Taco tonight, we are getting up early to go to a Gill warehouse sale that starts at 0800 in Buford tomorrow. (my sailing friends invited us, they have great prices on awesome jackets & other things, plus some biking apparel.) So, since we will be almost to Gainesville, we will take the opportunity to go mountain biking at Chicopee. I jsut hope I can remember how to ride my mountain bike, it’s been about a month since I’ve ridden at all.

  3. No specific plan is in place. I know that I need to get more exercise (which shouldn’t be hard since I’m getting none), and that my diet will have to be altered.

    Good luck, Barb. It should be a fantastic weekend weatherwise. I’m even considering running Black Sheep on Sunday. 😉

  4. Barb says:

    Wheelhopper is Sunday, not being in charge anymore is so nice, I can decide to attend or not. But, I will go, I really need to ride more & the weather is supposed to be fantastic.

  5. ITP Reader Gary (only when I'm mentioned) says:

    Nice summary Paulie — obviously more details would have been nice if we had been sober enough to get the printout.

    But I beg to differ on the worth of the evening. Yes, it was pricey … probably the most I’ve paid for dinner in a long long time. But nothing in recent memory has come close to the experience, the frivolity, the sheer joy that we shared. And was the meal diminished in any way by the fact that Gillespie didn’t prepare it for us? To me, it was a great pleasure to see such a young sous chef do what he did for us. Bravo, I say!

    And finally, Betsy’s table ruled … the other table got schooled!

  6. Okay, I’ll admit it. I was trying to downplay last night to keep BetsyFest attendance down tonight. LOL!

    Last night was only the second time I had a chef’s menu (the first being on my 40th birthday in Las Vegas). Coincidentally last night was only the second time I’ve eaten sweetbreads — which for the uninitiated are neither sweet nor bread. 😉

    I wish I remembered more about the wine, each was tasty but the only one I recall was the one red which I snapped a photo of at the bar after the meal.

    As I mentioned to Betsy I was honored to be a part of last night’s meal. No regrets.

  7. Martha says:

    No worry, I will not be contributing any bodies to Betsyfest tonight. So there is one less you have to worry about.

    Not to harp on the topic too much but you need to have some sort of plan, so you can deal with the ‘unexpected’ when it comes up.

    “Failure to plan is planning to fail”

    I was thinking about hashing on Sunday, sort of depends on how the rest of the weekend pans out. Jerry wants to hit the outlets before they get too crazy for the holidays and I’m about 90% convinced I want to do FA 50K, so I need to check out Sweetwater and see if I can do this….

  8. I don’t deal well with plans, so my plan is to use the same philosophy that I used to lose weight previously — eat less, exercise, repeat daily.

    I figured your dinner out wouldn’t be at Holy Taco. Where are you going? I hope that it’s wonderful.

  9. Martha says:

    Okay, I’ll zip it, what do I know anyway, I shoved an entire torta down my pie hole for lunch. I still feel a little sick.

    Not 100% sure but somewhere Smyings area and something Mediterranean’ish.

    You kids have fun tonight and everyone have a safe weekend.

  10. It’s all good. 🙂

    Have a great dinner and hope to see you at Black Sheep on Sunday.

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