All posts by Shawn Collins

Mid-40s guy trying to get healthy and lose weight.

Best and Worst Alcohol Drinks for Diets

I will say this up front, so nobody feels like they need to clarify it – I get that it’s ideal to not drink alcohol with a diet, but since many people like to have some drinks and eat responsibly, I wanted to look into the best and worst drinks.

GQ posted an article, The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight, so since they did the legwork, I’ll share the highlights.

Of course, this is all relative, and you should check the numbers on each drink to be sure you’ve got a grip on the calories.

Anyhow, the “best” drinks:

  • Red wine
  • Vermouth
  • Straight liquor
  • Light beer

And the “worst”:

  • Sugar packed cocktails
  • High-Alcohol Craft Beers

Well that sucks, because I like those craft beers. But a good incentive to drink them in moderation is to think of those damn calories.

For instance, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is 18 percent alcohol by volume, and each bottle has 450 calories.


When Do the Runs Get Easier?

I’ve been running on and off for about 8 years now, and it’s never really gotten easier.

I struggled to finish a 10k without breaks a couple times, but that’s been my ceiling.

On a regular basis, I’ll go out for 5k on the streets or in a park, and it’s alternately doable and really challenging.

Some runs are tougher than others #fatblogging

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Age and weight are certainly not doing me any favors, but I see people that are older and bigger knocking out the miles.

Am I missing some secret?

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

Does This Haircut Make Me Look Fat

I went to the barber yesterday, and one of the myths I like to believe is that the scale will look better the next day after I shed the weight of my cut hair.

In reality, I know that it’s probably a matter of a few ounces, but don’t ruin my scenario.

Even if the barber shop isn’t a magical weight loss solution, it is a funny time machine.

You get the old timers with the hot shaving cream and straight razor working those neck hairs. And the barbers say goofy stuff like, “so, you want to get your ears lowered today?”.

Whatever the result, I dropped some weight yesterday with zero effort.

Back in the Saddle with Atkins

After a stunning gain last week, I’ve managed to clear off some of that weight and get back into a good rhythm.

I was eating better, protein rich breakfasts, which kept me satiated more during the day, and making better choices overall on foods.

Lots of Atkins bars and meals during the days.

Plus, the beer intake was cut way back – three total across the week, and only one of those was an IPA.

I think with some serious discipline, I can match this loss for next week, and I am planning to exercise no less than an hour a day for the next 7 days (Sunday to Saturday) to push for that goal.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 224

Lots of Calories Burned Hiking

I went for a hike today and covered nearly 4 miles in about an hour. It was a little muddy in spots and some varying elevations with a total of a 672 foot climb.

There is nothing remarkable about that. But I was excited to see the calories I supposedly burned, according to the DailyMile app.

The app says I burned 852 calories.

hiking calories

The app has my weight, the miles, time, and all of that, so I am hoping that is an accurate reading.

I think it may be, because the day before I went for a run that had some elevation and I had 386 calories for running a 5k in a half hour.

A Birthday and a Rebirth

Rock bottom. That’s where I am right now. I had a fun and productive week of work, but it was also a big step back for my diet.

I gained six pounds. Seriously.

Last Saturday, I went to a New York Yankees game with my son, Jack, and that was the start of my week-long junk food odyssey.

Then, I was in New Orleans for a conference, and I love cajun food. I loved a lot of it to that point where I overdid it over many days.

My 46th birthday was during those days, and the combination of overindulging for my birthday and overall eating delicious food like a horse has caught up with me.

After dinner drink #collisionconf

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@affiliatetip) on

It was fun while it lasted, but I need to get serious about this stuff.

Starting over… I’ve got boats to build…

It’s time for a change
I’m tired of that same ol same
The same ol words the same ol lines
The same ol tricks and the same ol rhymes

Days precious days
Roll in and out like waves
I got boards to bend I got planks to nail
I got charts to make I got seas to sail

I’m gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It’ll be a fair curve
From a noble plan
Let the chips fall where they will
Cause I’ve got boats to build

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 227

I Get Gym Farts

When I run on a treadmill in the gym, I tend to get farts. This is not something I have every shared publicly, but I think we need to remove the shame from this condition.

I am not sure if it is some sort of result of the pounding on the treadmill vs. the street outside, but I light that place up.

My stomach will grumble when I run outside sometimes, but that isn’t really a thing, since it just goes up in the air.

I’d like to think I get a little more speed in those brief moments, too.

But at the gym, it’s a little anxiety inducing, since people are in front and on the sides of you.

Plus, I tend to put on the fan on the treadmill, when it has one, so anybody behind me is at risk.

I am not alone in this, right? Or do you noble people punish yourself and hold it until you’re in a private place?

Running to Stand Still

I am a broken record – another week of a decent amount of exercise, and also some calorie excessive days, which balanced things out.

One thing I am glad about is that with finishing the Couch to 5k program, I am completing three mile runs regularly.

But with beers and unhealthy meals, those runs are just helping to maintain the status quo.

So, my mission is to eat less and run more.

I did start off a recent trip to San Diego with a healthy meal, but then I was in the Stone Tap Room a couple nights in a row, too.

Seafood Cobb in San Diego

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

I need to find a 10k to shoot for in the coming months.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 221

How to Walk on a Sidewalk

I was out for a run in San Diego earlier this week, and it was a great, sunny day with beautiful scenery.

But, as is the case everywhere else, there are many people walking the sidewalks who don’t know quite how to do it.

It should be simple, right? Walk in a straight line. Just do that and we’re all good.

But so many people, especially if they are texting, tend to zigzag around.

That may be fine is everybody is walking, but when a fatigued jogger is coming through, an unexpected zig and you might end up zagging your face to the pavement with a sweaty collision.

Then there are the people who spread out to fill as much space as there is on a given path or sidewalk.

No, don’t do that. Think of it like a road and stay on the right. Move to the left for a short time for passing, but please stay out of oncoming traffic.

Oh, and if you need to make a sudden stop, because you can’t walk and talk at the same time, or whatever… also think of yourself as being on the road. Look over your shoulder and edge over to the side to take care of your business.

Because if I come plowing into you, it’s not going to be pretty, and it won’t smell nice.

Spring Break is My Excuse This Time

So, another week and another non-loss. This time a one pound gain. But I was on spring break – that should count for something, right?

I was exercising most every day, either a walk or 30 minutes of running, but that was not enough to counteract some bad meals and great beers.

There were lots of good meals, but those bad ones seem to win the calorie war. And maybe craft beers with a salad are not a net positive.

Steak salad – pretty tasty

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Yesterday, I ran the longest I have run this year, and I will continue to build on it.

Damn, all of that to work off a few light beers?! #fatblogger

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Back to the drawing board (again) for a week on the road, and it’s San Diego (and their awesome breweries!).

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 220