Charting My Resolve with Weight Watchers and Fitbit

Thinking of using Weight Watchers online or Fitbit yourself? Ask your questions in the comments.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying to wean myself of some bad eating habits while working to reverse a vitamin D deficiency. It’s not exactly easy, but as of this writing I still consider it doable.

As far as exercise is concerned, some days are better than others. The most depressing thing for me at present is that walking more than 2.5 miles a day is next to impossible. By the end of my second lap around the walking path at my neighborhood park, my muscles don’t want to carry me. I’m not exaggerating when I say I stumble back to our apartment building like a drunk. I guess it’s lack of strength and muscle coordination. I don’t know. It’s frustrating.


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Live Blues in Our Front Yard

Coolest thing ever? Our neighborhood park kind of doubles as our front yard.

Seriously, we walk out the front door of our building, and BAM! Twenty-six acres of green space with twenty-five varieties of trees, tennis courts, picnic shelters, grills, and flowers beds. There’s even a playground with a water feature, a couple of volleyball courts, a baseball field, and a .6 mile walking path.

And sometimes there’s also live music.

champaign concert in Hessel Park

On Sunday evening, the Champaign Park District hosted a free concert in the park. We sat in our lawn chairs, drank a couple of sodas from last week’s Soda Festival, and listened to local blues band The Delta Kings for an hour and a half. Attendance was a little sparse (maybe because it was overcast and chilly), but it was a pretty zen way to slide into what turned out to be a crazy Monday.

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Hanging at the Homer Soda Festival 2014

Today we drove to the village of Homer, IL (population 1,200) to guzzle shots of gourmet flavored soda at the Soda Festival.

There’s lots of small-town charm to be found in Homer.

Homer IL water tower

Like this guy relaxing in the shade  wearing a Soda Festival T-shirt.

homer IL post office

Admission to the festival itself is free, but you need tickets to taste sodas. We spent $4.00 on sixteen tickets, which bought us eight soda shots (one ticket per shot, or $. 25 each) and one bottle of cold soda (eight tickets per bottle, or $2.00 each) from the booths lining Homer’s downtown.

We tried several shots including: sour cherry, grape, banana, spicy ginger, salted caramel root beer, black cherry, birch beer, and watermelon. After that, Dan opted for a full bottle of ice cold Huckleberry soda from one of the vendors.

americana huckleberry soda

The huckleberry soda was pretty darn tasty; the banana and watermelon sodas were just plain odd; and the spicy ginger and black cherry sodas were my favorites of the day.

The festival is hosted by the Homer Soda Company, a small business on Main Street. We stepped inside, grabbed a six-pack carrier, and picked out a few bottles to take home. (Pay no attention to the hideous wallpaper in our kitchen.)


Outside the store, we found some people standing around a statue of Elvis.

elvis statue in Homer IL

Elvis had left the building, but he was not for sale.

Elvis is not for sale

Inside the store, the shelves were already looking bare. Hard to believe when they had so many bottles trucked in for the event.


There’s more than just pop at the event, however. Live music, a mini Coca-Cola museum, and classic cars added to the charm.

These ladies were pretty darn good. I don’t recall the group’s name, but I thought I heard the announcer call them Emily and the Wheat Thins.

live music at Homer Soda Fest

While we were standing around sucking down soda, a train came through downtown.

homer soda festival crowd

It was a fun, cheap excursion for a Saturday afternoon. I’m pretty sure we’ll be going back next year.

homer IL

Photos: Dan Poehlman

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I’m a Weight Watcher

weight watchers chartThe image on the right is a graph of my weight as tracked in Weight Watchers. It makes me very sad to look at it.

At the far left, you see my starting weight in May 2013. I did well, losing about 15 pounds at a relatively steady pace until the last time I logged my weight in 2013—the week my dog died. Two weeks prior to that, my father-in-law passed away. I was already feeling pretty low.

That straight, smooth, steep climb visually represents how I gave up on my health-related goals and indulged my sadness. I’d never really thought of myself as an emotional eater, but then I’d never experienced a period of such intense sadness before. I guess now I know. Because in 9 months I’ve gained 20 lbs.

I’m fucking stunned.

I re-opened my Weight Watchers account, charged up my Fitbit, then went for a walk in the park this morning—despite the fatigue I’m presently suffering due to a vitamin D deficiency. Something has got to change.

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