A blog about life after weight loss.


Low-Calorie Tailgate Snacks! Score!

We are squarely in the middle of the NFL season, and for many people that means one thing: tailgating. Football fans across America—ourselves included—will wake up early on a Sunday (of all days) to get a good buzz going before cheering their hometown team.

On its painted face, tailgating is silly. Think about it. We wake up to an alarm on one of the two days every week that we don’t have to, only to eat copious fatty foods and get a little drunk. In some cases, a lot drunk. It just doesn’t make sense.

Here we are going to watch some of the best athletes in the world compete against each, but we can’t do it until our senses are properly dulled. We are about to witness something special, but we don’t want to be all there for it. No one preps for a marathon by staying up for two days drinking Mountain Dew and eating Sour Patch Kids. Just sayin’.

So why do we do it? The answer is simple: Tailgating is a hell of a lot of fun. You go outdoors with your friends, throw some corn hole bags, and have a good time on a Sunday afternoon. What’s wrong with that?

Still, you don’t want a few hours of tailgating to reverse several days of eating healthy and exercising. Whether or not you drink is up to you. We do. But know that beer and liquor are just empty calories, and to keep hydrated and make sure you are with it for the whole game, mix in some water. You’ll take some ribbing, but you’ll thank us for it.

As far as food goes, we have a low-calorie recipe for mini caprese salads that is delicious and way more nutritious than normal tailgate fare. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 block of soft mozzarella cheese
  • 1 container basil leaves
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bag of garlic parmesan Pretzel Crisps
  • 1 bottle balsamic vinegar

Making these delightful little snacks is easier than explaining the false start penalty. Place a nickel-sized hunk of cheese on a pretzel crisp, followed by basil, followed by half a cherry tomato. Sprinkle on balsamic vinegar and you have a snack with flavor more explosive than a last-second touchdown! Happy tailgating!

Our most recent tailgate buffet.


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Engagement Photo Fun

Earlier this week, we told you we were having our engagement photos taken Wednesday night. Here is the story of our night.

Our friends Rudy and Tammi, aka The Married Photogs, took our pictures. This was part of a barter between them and Liz, as she baked their wedding cake and desserts last year. They made us feel comfortable and relaxed the whole time, and their creativity and attention to detail was impressive.

Fortune smiled upon us in the form of good weather. In southwest Ohio, October is its own schizophrenic season. You get a little spring, a heaping scoop of fall, and a dash of winter–sometimes all in one day. These fluctuations make it hard to pick an outfit in the morning. Wednesday was sunny and the thermometer steadied between 70-75 degrees.

We started our photo session at Riverside Park in northern Kentucky. Riverside overlooks the Ohio River, hence the clever name, and allows for a spectacular view of downtown Cincinnati. Red and orange leaves covered the park’s lawn as the late afternoon sun shined through the trees. The scene was more picturesque than we could have hoped for.

We had a little fun during the park photos by putting on Cincinnati Bengals hoodies and striking Heisman poses. Liz even pretended to tackle me in one of them. Our next stop was the historic Roebling Bridge.

Photo of the Roebling taken by the Married Photogs.

Before our bridge pictures, we had to perform a wardrobe change in the car. This was tricky for Liz, as she was switching from a sweater and jeans to a black and gray dress. We were in a public park, so before she could perform her gymnastic costume change, we waited for an old man parked behind us listening to the radio to leave. Then a group of four people meandered around the park in the vicinity of our car. I held up my blazer to hide Liz from her unintended audience.

The bridge session was magical. The sun had set and the city lights served for a tremendous background. I can’t wait to see how those photos turn out. The last part of our night was set at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Again, we got lucky. Not many people were on the Square, and the fountain was running. The four of us were approached by a homeless man who offered to take “real pictures” for a dollar. His invasion of our time and space annoyed us, but he left in short order.

After the shoot, we celebrated with pomegranate margaritas and tomato basil flat bread at our favorite restaurant. We had reached an important milestone on the way to our wedding, and we hit our fitness goals along the way. What fantastic reasons to raise a glass.


The Shredding for the Wedding Part One: Getting Photo Fit

We are having our engagement photos taken this week. These pictures are going to last forever, and forever is a long time, so we have been ultra-motivated to hit the gym hard the last two months. We’ve been doing the eight-week Wedding Workout from the Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. These circuit-style routines are designed to give you broader shoulders and a slimmer waistline. Who doesn’t want that?

In the interest of space, we are not going to list out all of the exercises. Over the last eight weeks, we did six different circuits and we don’t want to bore you with the details of the War and Peace of workouts. If you really want the entire workout, shoot us an email and we will send it to you.

Enough logistics. On to the highlights.

  • Pushups Galore. Pushups are a simple, superb way to rock your chest, shoulders, and arms. If you try the wedding workout, expect to do a lot of them and expect to make tremendous gains. Liz, who could only do knee pushups a couple of months ago, worked her way up to a set of 12.
  • Leg Your Pardon. Our legs got rocked over the last eight weeks. We did split squats, single-leg squats, pistol squats, dumbbell step-ups, and box jumps. Some days it felt like we were doing them all at once. Liz noticed her legs have more tone than before, and for the first time I can recall, lifting weights made my butt sore.
  • Kill the Clock. These workouts take a looooonnngggg time. Clear your schedule and don’t look at the clock. Just work your way through it. We usually agree to spend no more than an hour working out, but we had to abandon that guideline. Each time we hit 60 minutes, one of us would look at the other and say “Engagement photos” to remind us why we were sticking it out.

  • 100 Squat Thrusts is nothing to be afraid of. The prospect frightened us, but we found we could knock them out in about six or seven minutes.
  • Five sets of 30 Squat Thrusts is exhausting. The most grueling part of the workout was knowing we had to face 30 squat thrusts at the end of each round of one of the circuits. But we did them, and we slept well each night we did.
  • Ab Grabber. The Wedding Workout is chock full of ab exercises, mostly static ones like planks and roll-outs. These will make your abs scream during the workout, the day after the workout, and most of the weekend. Be ready.

If you hadn’t put this together already, let us make it clear: the wedding workout is tough. We’re talking punch in the jaw tough. Cold shower on a Monday morning tough. But you if you try it, you will notice results.

We saw some results on the scale: over the course of eight weeks, Liz lost seven pounds, and I lost six. More importantly, both of us feel stronger, have more defined arms and shoulders, and we feel great on the eve of our engagement photos. And that’s the point of any workout, isn’t it? To look better, feel better, and have the confidence to take on something as mundane as a day at the office or as monumental as photographs that will last a lifetime. We’ll pick up this workout again before the big day.

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The skinnyfats on

Last Halloween, Liz and I dressed up as Brangelina for a friend’s costume party. Earlier this week, People magazine asked via Twitter for photos of their followers in celebrity costumes.

Tonight, Liz came across our photo on their website. Check it out here.

I know this is totally random, but too cool not to share with you. Happy weekend!

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A Lonely Workout

Tonight, I went to the gym without Liz for the first time in…forever. She visited her mom after work, leaving me to work out by myself.

I didn’t realize how much I’ve come to depend on Liz during our workouts. When I am not feeling it, she is peppy. She doesn’t spot me or yell insults in my face like the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket or anything, but she can talk and clap me into finishing a workout after a long day at work.

More importantly, the gym has become a bonding place for us. Between sets, we chat about our days at work, plan for the days ahead, and laugh about, well, everything. The gym is one of the few places we can connect without distractions. We have a “no phones” rule while we exercise, so we know that no one is going to call, and we eliminate the impulse to check email, Facebook and Twitter. At the gym, we are free.

Without the conversation and shared experience, tonight’s workout was silent and clinical. The workout got my heart racing, but without Liz, my workout had no heart. I did the Spartacus 2.0 workout in a room usually reserved for classes separate from the gym floor. To add a splash of awkward to my Liz-less exercising, about halfway through the second circuit, a man came in the room to stretch. We didn’t acknowledge each other, and for some reason, I felt like a stand-up comedian playing to a humorless audience of one.

Before tonight, I had not realized how much I depended on Liz’s presence at the gym. She adds humanity and flair to my fitness, and without her, the experience is lifeless.