Eastern Lake Tahoe from 12,000 Feet This past Saturday (June 4th), I turned 31. For the last few years, I've been trying to do something I've never done before on my birthday. Back in 2003 I flew in a biplane. In 2004 I attended the Air Sailing Cross Country Camp and did my first flying in the Nevada high desert.

So far, I'm quite happy with this tradition and hope to continue it indefinitely. I highly recommend trying it yourself.

This year I did two things, the first of which was unplanned but quite fun:

  1. flew my longest flight so far
  2. managed to blow past my weight loss target

Details below follow...

Longest Flight To Date

For the second weekend in a row, I was up at Lake Tahoe for the weekend (see last weekend's pictures). My glider is stationed at Soar Truckee for most of the season. The picture below is what it looks like when tied down with the covers on it.

My Glider is Ready For Bed

On Saturday the forecast looked good, so we headed to the airport prepared for good flights. I launched almost exactly at noon and released near the "hot rocks" not far from the airport. Before long I was high enough to work toward Mt. Rose and then followed a cloud street over to Verdi Peak and from there across the valley toward Air Sailing and Pyramid Lake. I reached my highest point just east of Anahoe Island and then began working my way southward toward the Pine Nuts (the mountain range west of Minden).

Arriving at Rawe Peak with altitude to spare, I figured I could keep going down the Pine Nuts. But the lift was getting harder to work and I found myself getting lower than I wanted to be. So I stuck around for a while. Eventually I managed to work higher near Mineral Peak. But I never got much above 12,500 feet.

After a while, Darren was headed back in his ASW-19b and we talked about how to get back into Truckee. We couldn't figure a good way back with altitude to clear the ridges, so we ended up landing at Carson City Airport and getting a tow back to Truckee. Later in the day we'd find that nearly everyone had to land at Carson City, so I didn't feel so bad about it. :-)

When we were talking about our goals for the day, I had said I wanted to fly from Truckee, up to Air Sailing, then down the Pine Nuts, over to Minden, and then back in to Truckee. I managed most of the task. It was my first flight to Air Sailing from Truckee. It was my first flight from Air Sailing down to the Pine Nuts. And it was my first landing at Casron City.

A larger version of the flight over view is here. Details are on OLC. The flight scored 243.74km (just under 150 statute miles).

Blew Past My Weight Loss Goal

Every January people make New Year's Resolutions that they end up breaking. It was with that in mind that I spent a month trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Around that time I ran across both The Hacker's Diet and Jeff Sandquist's tale of weight loss and finally convinced myself to take it seriously.

I set a goal for myself to drop 30 pounds by my birthday.

Armed with Excel, CalorieKing.com, and a much simplified version of The Hacker's Diet, I set off about the task of actually paying attention to what I eat. And what a difference it has made! I didn't have a scale with me on Saturday, but this morning I weighed myself and plugged it into my spreadsheet (as I do every morning). It tells me that I'm down 37 pounds since I started tracking (Feb 10th). And you know what? It feels great.

No, I'm not hungry all the time either.

On Saturday evening after flying and dinner, we had brownies, ice cream, and chocolate topping to celebrate my birthday. But I was really celebrating the fact that I exceeded my target by quite a bit.

Numerous people at work have asked me what's going on, and my answer is often something like this:

I just eat less. I figured that there are only two ways to do this. I can either exercise more or east less. And, well... I'm lazy. You do the math.

Given how well things have gone so far, I've set a new goal for myself: 17 more pounds by Christmas. I think that's easily doable and it'll put me at a nice round number to boot. From there, I'll keep within +/- 5 pounds for the forseeable future. That should be easy in comparison.

I intend to write up the process in a bit more detail in the coming weeks. Several people have asked me how I do it and what the spreadsheet looks like. I'm happy to share it as soon as I clean it up a bit.

Posted by jzawodn at June 06, 2005 08:54 AM

Reader Comments
# Joe Grossberg said:

"No, I'm not hungry all the time either."

Yes, but *how* do you eat less without being hungry? (I mean, other than the obvious, like no candy or soda.)

I've been losing weight, but nothing close to 30 lbs. in half a year. (I was 260-something at my fattest; I'm down around 220 now.)

on June 6, 2005 09:32 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Like I said, I'll write it all up as time allows. I want to do so in a non-halfassed way for a change. :-)

on June 6, 2005 09:44 AM
# Kalyan Varma said:

Belated Birthday wishes :)

on June 6, 2005 11:13 AM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

Happy birthday dude, your birthday is the day before mine!

on June 6, 2005 11:36 AM
# Hasan Diwan said:

Happy birthday! Congrads on it and I hope you have many more!

on June 6, 2005 11:39 AM
# Sumeet said:

Belated happy birthday, Jeremy.

on June 6, 2005 12:43 PM
# Dave Chase said:

Happy B-day Jeremy! We share a birthday though i've got you by 9 years. Congrats on the weight loss. I celebrated my b-day with my first running race in nearly 20 years and managed to run about as fast as i did back then and weigh roughly the same. I love brownies, ice cream, and chocolate too and find that my "laziness" is best manifested by running, hiking, biking, etc. and then i can lazily eat whatever i like. Keep it up!

on June 6, 2005 05:41 PM
# Guillaume said:

Happy Birthday!!! and congrats for the loss of weight...as for me...I know it can sound stupid but...if only I was able to gain a little weight...I keep eating junk food but...that just wont do anything

on June 7, 2005 12:47 AM
# Rick Walter said:


congratulations on the weight loss and your birthday. You might want to consider that the exercise is an insurance policy against several things. Loss of bone mass (yes osteoporosis does happen to men.) Strenghten's you heart and circulatory system, i.e., helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, DVTs, etc. Just a thought.

on June 7, 2005 04:11 AM
# Amanda Watlington said:

Happy belated birthday and many congrats on exceeding your weight loss goal. Look forward to seeing the "how" detailed.

on June 7, 2005 06:10 AM
# Jon said:

Sounds like how I lost weight: cut out the junk, cut way back on the portions, and eat healthy. That means lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, avoid simple carbs like potatoes and processed grains (white bread, etc.). Works wonders.

on June 7, 2005 09:36 AM
# Brian said:

You state "I figured that there are only two ways to do this. I can either exercise more or eat less."

There's a third way - change the foods you eat so that your body won't convert the calories in them into stored fat. That's how low carbohydrate diets work.

Brian (45 pounds lighter)

on June 7, 2005 07:05 PM
# Mike said:


I'm glad that your diet works for you, but low carb is the fad of the day. It's not a sustainable, long term way to eat (or live).

on June 8, 2005 06:24 AM
# Mike said:

> either exercise more or eat less

Exercise more AND eat BETTER. Makes a huge difference.

on June 8, 2005 02:21 PM
# ernie said:

On a completely different topic - wait... you TURNED 31? So you're only three years older than me?

Jeezus, I've done nothing with my life :(

on June 9, 2005 04:23 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

You could be big in India! :-)

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