Friday, April 30, 2010


***Posted by Kyle

Those who read both of my blogs (this one, and Sippin' Saint Louis) will notice a similarity between the two posts today.

I'm a little more open on this one, so I will reveal that for the past several weeks I have been seeing a counselor at our church about some mental issues that I have. Nothing huge, but the sessions have been very helpful. One thing that he asked me a couple of weeks ago was what Nicole and I dream about- What are the things that we want to work for, and have in our idyllic situation. We talked about it, and have decided to print out pictures of two dreams that we have. The first is this one:

Nicole has always had the dream of buying an Airstream trailer, fixing it up, then travelling around the country for a month or two. We would do so without a set agenda. If we wanted to stop in a certain place, we would. We could stay as long as we wanted, and move on when we wanted. I have to agree, this seems like it will be an awesome experience- exploring America with my beautiful bride.

If that is a picture of her dream, then here is a picture of mine:

Yep, a beach house. You see, I grew up having access to our family's lake house in Arkansas, and I have so many wonderful memories of family vacations there. I'm also sort of a beach guy that just happens to live as far as possible from a beach. My dream is to have a place that our family can go to whenever we want, and hear the ocean.

Nicole hasn't posted for a while- she's going nuts at work, and is really tired. If you see her, give her a hug. She has been doing great about working out- in fact, we have both had great workouts every day this week. I guess tapering off in the weight loss area got us both back into the game.

Have a wonderful weekend- be careful out there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


***Posted by Kyle

Today, I'm frustrated. I really am. Last weekend, I weighed myself, and I was down 5 lbs for the month. Not a great loss, but not bad. I figured I would work really hard this week, and get more off before our next official weigh in. Yesterday, I weighed myself again (thus breaking my own advice), and I had GAINED 4 lbs since Friday. Doh! How could this be? Yeah, we ate some pizza friday night, and I had a brat on Saturday, but most everything else was fairly ninja-appropriate. I dont' know if I just happened to be a bit dehydrated on Friday, or what. At any rate, I weighed myself again this morning- sure enough, I am only officially down 2 lbs on the month. I know that my weight loss would taper, but I have no idea what's going on. I have worked out every day this week, and have really tried to eat well. If this thing is about being open and honest to our followers, just know that today, I'm pissed off.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ninja Hollie Update, Newsflash

***Posted by Kyle

We just heard from Ninja Hollie, and she is down a total of 20 lbs so far! Great Job Hollie! Once again, she is proof that a healthy diet (nothing extreme- she's just cooking out of a Weight Watchers cookbook), and moderate exercise yields great results. Keep it up!

In other news, a report on Yahoo News today says that a combination of smoking, drinking, inactivity, and poor diet is bad for you. Duh.

Have a great day, folks- make one healthy decision today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Basement Clothes

**Posted by Kyle

Even after a weekend of fairly unhealthy eating, I had a minor success story today. You see, everyone that is in the slow process of weight gain does something with their clothes. They start noticing that certain jeans, shorts, or pants don't fit anymore. After a few rounds of "Suck in and Squeeze" doesn't work, they put these clothing items aside, saying to themselves "I'll be back into these in a few weeks, so I don't want to donate them to Goodwill quite yet." These items never get used, and eventually end up in a pile in the corner of a closet, or in our case in the basement. Today, while working out, I noticed said pile of clothes. "Maybe, just maybe" I thought between deadlifts "they will fit." I pulled out four pairs of shorts, and a slightly dated pair of pants. Boo Ya. They fit. That's right, folks, I fit back into my previous wardrobe. Look out previous-previous wardrobe (the one before the one I discovered today)- I see you, and I'm coming for you!

On a side note, I had lunch today with my uncle and cousin. My uncle has lost over 30 pounds this year, and looks great! He even eschewed the burger and fries at lunch for a bowl of soup (I had spinach salad.) Great job!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beware of "Healthy" Cereals

***Posted by Kyle

If you look at Yahoo's main page, they often have little articles from "Eat This, Not That!" which can be eye opening. This morning, they talked about breakfast cereals, and how the ones we perceive as being healthy aren't very good for you. For years, I have been a fan of Raisin Bran. I guess I never really looked at the nutritional info on the back. However, one cup of it has more sugar than Lucky Charms, Reese's Puffs, or Cocoa Krispies! The one that really blew me away was Quaker "Natural" Granola- one cup has 420 calories, and over 30 grams of sugar! So, to all you Ninjas out there, consider a protein shake for breakfast. Most have less than 200 calories, and will really help you get a move on your day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


***Posted by Kyle

I am an impatient person. Just ask Nicole, she'll tell you. I think this stems from my many years in the restaurant industry. When the dinner rush is hitting, I would ask one of my employees to do something, and I meant NOW. In that situation, 30 seconds is a lifetime, and can mean the difference between a customer having an amazing experience, or walking out the door upset. However, in "real life" this simply isn't the case, and I fear this garden is going to bring my impatience out of the deep recesses of my personality. Dang, I'm going to have to deal with it.

You see, I only planted the thing last week. I was hoping that we had some sort of miracle dirt, and that our little garden would already be producing tomatoes, herbs, peppers, onions and potatoes. We didn't even plant onions or potatoes. However, I want them in my yard, and I want them NOW. I guess I'll just gave to wait.

Monday, April 19, 2010


As Kyle mentioned earlier we went to Kansas this weekend for a plethora of celebrations. Since Friday we ate Steak and Shake on the road, I didn’t feel right having a full cheat day on Saturday. Thankfully Kyle’s sister in-law loves protein shakes as much as we do, so breakfast was easy. Lunch on the other hand wasn’t.
The entire family knows about this blog, and some of them even read it every once and a while, so when it came time to eat I really felt like I was under a microscope. I know that it was probably all in my head, but I was still very careful as to what I ate, and how much of it I was eating. BBQ and sloppy joes were being served, so that’s what I ate. I had a tiny bit of each and a whole wheat bun to scoop with. There was a taco salad, that I enjoyed, and also baked chips and coleslaw. The struggle came when it was time for dessert. I eat rice crispy treats once a year and this is the event that I get them. Kyle’s sister in-law makes them the best and I could eat an entire pan. One square was all I allowed myself and it was so amazing that I had to walk away from the table. Phew! I did it!

Once we got home I remember thinking how nice it would be to have just one more rice crispy treat. Alas, they were all gone when we left the reunion. I noticed that I was pretty sore from playing with nieces and nephews all day so I thought I would scrounge for some pills in the kitchen. I walked upstairs and, oh can it be?! Another pan of rice crispy treats on the counter and they had my name all over them. As much as I wanted to shove each one in my face while skipping around with glee, I assure you that I only ate one more. My surprise had totally wiped out all the pain in my legs and I went to bed smiling.

The next day Jack stack was being served at my father in-law’s retirement party and if it hadn’t been for Kyle’s aunt Lori telling me she reads our blog, I would have had seconds and maybe thirds of the cheesy corn and bread. (oh how I love carbs) I had to fight with myself to stay seated and not eat anymore, because I was full and didn’t need it!

This blog was created to help keep us accountable, and it is doing just that. I am so thankful to our friends and family for keeping up with us and we had a great time this weekend. Now all I have to do is lose the three pounds I gained this past weekend! Oh well, I can do it.

Family Reunion, Parties, and Ninjas being successful

***Posted by Kyle

To say we ate poorly this weekend is an understatement, but it was worth it. Friday, we drove over to Kansas City to see my family. On the way, we normally stop by Chick-fil-a for a semi ninja-friendly dinner. 40 was a mess, so we took 70 instead, and went through Steak-n-Shake. This was mistake numero uno. Both of us, upon eating our disgustingly fatty, calorie and grease laden foods said out loud "This is not going to end well". Nicole literally lasted 16 minutes before she was in a gas station bathroom. Friends, this crap will kill you. For real.

The next day we had a family reunion in the afternoon- not many healthy choices for eating, but it was fantastic to see family, go fishing, and shoot guns. We even saw fellow Ninja Hollie, whom looks and feels great, and is really improving her lifestyle. That night, it was pizza for my dad's 59th birthday. I did discover that I just can't put down as many slices as I used to be able to, which is a good thing I guess.

Sunday we had my dad's retirement party, catered by a barbecue company (Jack Stack's in Kansas City- yes you have my permission to be jealous). It was interesting to see the viewpoint of my cousin, whom is a rancher, regarding pasture-raised versus feedlot-raised beef, and free range versus "regular" chickens. He leans towards the latter, and he takes the stance of being a person that is simply trying to eek out a living, raising food for people that need it in a cost effective manner. I understand both viewpoints, and will not use this blog to take a stand either way. Let it suffice to say that both sides have valid points.

Last night, we came home, grilled some meat, ate some veggies, and slept well.

In other sports news, congrats to fellow Ninjas Kimberly and Chuck. They have lost a combined total of over 60 lbs so far, and are feeling great! Good job guys!

This week, it's back to the rhythm of eating healthy, exercising, and enjoying the weather.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not 40 Acres and a Mule, but 84 square feet and a shovel

***Posted by Kyle

Yesterday, our friend Kelly came over to our house to help me with the installation of our garden. Now, keep in mind we have never had a garden before. I once killed a cactus. This might really be an adventure, or it might be a collossal mistake. At any rate, if you are planning on starting your own garden, I wanted to let you know what you are in for. It's a really good workout- digging holes and hacking at roots takes a lot of energy and sweat. Hopefully the fruits (or in this instance vegetables) of your labors will be worth it. It is also something that is wildly uncertain. Things like bad soil composition, a cold night, rabbits, birds, squirrels, planting at the wrong time, too much sun, too little sun, too much rain, too little rain, etc, etc, etc can flat out ruin your chances of growing anything. If nothing else, I learned a ton.

Here is a pic of the corner of our yard that we decided to use for the garden. The plot that you will see in the next few pics is about 7' x 12'.

The first (and most difficult) thing to do was to remove the sod in the area that we were going to use. Here's Kelly, smiling about it:

After that, if you don't have a tiller, you basically dig down into the area that you are using, creating about 6" of loose soil. The hard part here was cutting through all of the old roots from my neighbor's dead trees. Fortunately, Kelly kept saying what good soil we have!

After adding all kinds of stuff to the soil (cotton burr, some clay stuff for baseball infields, chicken manure, and some other things that I have no idea what they were), we created two rows with a gully between them to plant the garden in:

Next, you just put the plants and the seeds in the ground. This really was the easy part. We put in a couple of different kinds of tomatoes, basil, oregano, cilantro, celery, sweet peppers, jalapenos, and some other stuff that I am super excited to use in Ninja-Friendly dishes!

At this point, we were about 2 1/2 hours into the project, and already exhausted. Kelly left, and I don't blame her! Let me give her a huge, huge THANK YOU for all of her help!

After that, I went inside, sat down for a minute to watch the first inning of the Cardinals game, then got back up to finish the job. I had to go to Lowes and get fencing to put up around the garden, as we have several "wascally wabbits" in the yard that would love to chow down on the buffet I had just provided them. I put up a small fence around the garden, cleaned up, and I was basically done.

I do still have to get some burlap to put over the seeded areas, which I will do today, and I have to get the most important piece: a garden gnome.

I'm sure this garden will give us a lot more fodder to blog about in the near future. Stay tuned! We will be at a family reunion this weekend, as well as my Dad's birthday and retirement celebration. On Monday, I will try to put up a recipe that we just discovered out of Cooking Light for a Shrimp and Grits Casserole that was awesome!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green Thumbs? We'll see!

***Posted by Kyle

Since we started this project in January, we have definitely increased the amount of veggies that we consume with our meals. Asparagus used to be a once-a-month type addition, and Broccoli was almost unknown to us. Now we eat each at least once or twice per week. Along with this increased veggie intake we have discovered that, not only are vegetables (and especially herbs) fairly expensive at the super market, but they are seldom from local purveyors, and not very good quality. With that in mind, we have decided to plant a garden. This will either be a raging success, or we will destroy a 120 square foot portion of our yard. Our friend Kelly is going to help with the installation of said garden tomorrow, and I will report back, replete with pictures and anecdotes.

Until then, get your butt outside to enjoy the Spring, and do something active!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I know I know. I should have posted this forever ago. We’ve had visitors, Easter, Kyle’s birthday and work is crazy right now! So here is my much anticipated picture. I think it was taken a week after my actual weigh in and instead of my usual Cavit shirt I have a lovely t-shirt on my mom gave me for Christmas, but you get the idea.

Here are the stats!
Begining Weight: 212
Current Weight: 196

And I lost an inch and a half off my abs!!! Woo Hoo!



Monday, April 12, 2010

A Very Non-Ninja Weekend

***Posted by Kyle

It's a good thing I'm not famous yet. If papparazzi were following us this weekend, our little blog here would be blasted for being hypocritical. Friday was my birthday. As we have mentioned before, our birthdays and anniversary are the two other "allowable" cheat days we get. To say I took full advantage is an understatement. Bacon for breakfast, wings for lunch, pulled pork for dinner, and gobs of beer and wine. Whoops. Saturday we did a little better, but not much. A friend had a crawfish boil, which means you really have to work hard to eat a lot. Plus, it took me well over 2 hours in the hot sun to mow and trim the yard, so I feel like I worked out. We tore it up at a local new restaurant for dinner, and I'm fairly certain things like bacon-wrapped meatloaf and Fried Scallops aren't on the new eating plan. Sunday, we continued the feeding frenzy with pizza for lunch and burgers for dinner.

Am I sorry for this weekend? Absolutely not. I had an amazing few days spending time with my beautiful wife and friends. We ate too much, laughed a lot, and ditched the Ninja Way. Now, it's just time to prove that we are serious about this whole program being a lifestyle change, and do well this week. It will be hard, as I am on vacation, and tend to eat when I'm bored. However, it will also give me plenty of time to work out, shop for deliciously healthy foods, and chill out a bit.

Thank you to all that continue to follow us, encourage us, critique us, and pray for us. On the subject of prayer, please keep me in yours. As I have lost weight, I have discovered a rather large lump in my abdomen. I have had four different doctor friends look at it, and they are all in agreement that it is probably just a large Lipoma- basically, a benign fatty tumor. I'm going in to have it checked out in early May, and will keep you updated. Please don't worry (I'm not, and neither is Nicole)- just pray.

Thanks, and have a great week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ugh, I’m hot

****Posted by Nicole

To me, there is nothing worse than being hot all day. I am at work right now and I am sweating my hinny ho off. Someone please turn on the air!!!! The sauna effects that I am experiencing are not wanting to work, not wanting to eat dinner when I get home, not wanting to workout, and a good hair day from the humidity. Aside from the good hair, this really sucks. At least when you’re cold you can put on more layers. When you’re hot, there is only so much you can take off. Blech, I feel so gross. Can anyone tell I’m in a mood?

The real reason I’m writing is in response to Kyle’s blog earlier. I think it really stings the first time a person doesn’t do as well as the last few weigh ins. Thinking back to the first time I didn’t make the weight or lose the inches I wanted, I was really bummed and stressed out. This past weekend I was two pounds from my goal weight, however, I had lost about an inch and a half off my abs. That’s still awesome! So all the ninja’s out there remember, as long as you keep losing, you are doing a great job. Don’t let the numbers get you down. At some point your weight loss is going to slow down and that’s normal. Just keep pushing forward and know that you will eventually get there!!!

Tryin to Keep a Rhythm

***Posted by Kyle
On Saturday, after our measurements, I wrote that I wouldn't let the fact that I didn't make my monthly goal tear me up. The truth is, I was more disappointed about the decrease in loss on my waist size. I got to where I was losing a couple of inches a month, and this last month, it was only an inch. Sure, the weight is coming off of other places, but guys notice it in their gut the most. This put me in a bit of a funk. I started down the mental slope of "well, I have had decent success over the last couple of months, I can relax a bit." This is a dangerous place to be. I worked out some on Monday, ate poorly, and didn't work out on Tuesday. Today, I must pull myself back up, eat healthily, and work out hard. It will suck, but that's okay- I want to be at 285 by July 4, and 250 by Dec 31. I know I can do it, as long as I keep the right mental attitude, and don't slack off.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What time is it?!?

****Posted by Nicole

This morning as I pushed my snooze button one more time, I noticed it was much harder to wake up than normal. Alright alright, I’ll get up. I started my morning ritual of letting the dogs out, making a protein shake, and watching the news. Man, was I tired. Even the people on the news looked tired.
I sat there half listening and I heard the anchorman mention the time. Wait, what time did he say? I rewound it and listened again. Yes, It’s what I thought he said, 4:30. What?! I get up at 5!
What happened you ask? My alarm clock automatically resets when daylight savings time happens. The problem is that a few years ago congress voted to have it changed to an earlier date and my clock is still set to the old date.
By this point I had been up for a good 45 min. and would have been even more tired if I had chosen to go back to sleep and wake up again. I went ahead and got ready and showed up for work early. However, I was so out of it I not only forgot my workout clothes, but I didn’t remember that I could have worn a baseball t-shirt to work because of opening day.
I am all messed up and turned around. Oh yeah, and sleepy.
Hope everyone had a good Easter and I promise to post my picture soon with my results! They are all good, so no worries from me!

Go Sox!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Q1 Results are in: Weight is down, Good Feelings Abound

***Posted by Kyle

So, today we had our April weigh-in and measurement session. I was at 321, meaning I have officially lost 30 lbs, and have taken roughly 6 inches off of my midsection. Truth be told, I wanted to be at 318, but I'm not going to let 3 lbs over the course of 3 months get me too wound up. I want to again say "Thank You" to everyone that has supported us with comments, letters, emails, texts, and prayers. We honestly cannot achieve the goals we want to without you! Here are the Before and After Pics:

Jan 5

April 3

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weighing in

****Posted by Nicole

I’ve started to discover that weighting in every month causes a bit of stress for me. Kyle and I were talking yesterday and he is concerned that I might be putting a little too much emphasis on my weight. When we started this we both said that we would think of this as a marathon and not a sprint. We would set our goals, but if we didn’t reach them when we thought we should then it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I pondered this for a while and knew that even if I took weighing in away I would be constantly measuring myself to see results. Then he threw out the idea of not looking at any of it until July 1. I don’t like that idea mainly because I think it’s good to see my progress.
My solution is to pray about it every time I think I’m not losing enough or don’t reach my goal by a few pounds. That was the only thing I could think of. I won’t eat less, because I’m eating the right amount of calories for my body, and I won’t exercise more because I think that 40 minutes to an hour a day is fine. If I can’t do a work out for whatever reason, then that’s life and I will move on. As long as I keep losing then I’m doing what I need to be doing. So here's to a happy weigh in tomorrow whatever the results may be!

If anyone has any other suggestions that has worked for them in the past then let me know! Thanks for reading!!!