I won’t bother explaining the reference in the title but if you want to be brought up to speed: I lost 110+ pounds in about a year (2018-2019). I last updated my situation in August/September 2019, and two years later into a pandemic I wanted to live up to the promise of writing each year about this journey.
I have kept the weight off, improved my blood pressure, and kept my blood sugar at bay (high normal or in warning territory most days) Writing yearly updates helps me hold myself accountable and perhaps it can bring something positive by anyone else reading this. If you have any questions you can find me on Twitter.
Less Strict, But Still Careful
What I Changed:
- I stopped going Keto officially since I didn’t need to lose that much weight anymore. However I am still avoiding all sugars and keeping a low-carb livestyle (if i say it like that makes it sound like i’m an influencer on Instagram). I still miss bananas (too much natural fruit). I still avoid soda for the most part. I miss nothing of note.
- I haven’t changed much what I eat – a salad almost every weekday. I do “meatless Mondays” now just to give my body a break from the increased fat and cholesterol I usually have over the weekend. Almond shakes and Lily’s chocolate chips (in cookies or straight out of the bag) are my fav deserts. Still do most of the cooking/baking from the home. Chipotle is my fav place otherwise.
- I do a low-level fast – I basically eat within a 2-3 hour window every day. I drink / sipping coffee starting around noon (coldbrew no-sugar with about 15 calories per serving, with some water). Coffee is a hunger suppressant and the tactic of eating within a window helps lower how much I can stuff into my body. On the weekends I tend to start eating a little earlier to treat/reward myself but end up eating about the same amount of food regardless.
- I increased my exercise – I still get up and walk/run early in the morning. I used to do 10k steps in my last update in 2019. My minimum per day is 12k however I haven’t been that low in over a year. In the past few months I’ve been doing 24k+ steps (and recently passed a record 34k steps). I walk around the house on calls sometimes and walk around the block after I drop off my kids from school. Apple Watch gifted to me late 2019 has been a big help in tracking. I have an active calorie goal now – not steps – but my a typical day sees me walk or running 10 miles or more.
- Slowing down – I can’t keep getting up 2 hours before my kids’ school starts and running outside, so i’m thinking about a standalone bike to reduce the pressure put on myself (and my legs). What i’m doing now isn’t sustainable and I think i’ve arrived at a place where my health improvements won’t get that much better, so I will ramp down the calories/miles I do per day.
- My wife wants me to lift weights. I’ve been fighting this. I guess next year we’ll see.
Sit down and get comfortable. This might take a while. Below is a photo of 90% of what i usually take to WordCamps. Doesn’t include literally everything (for one, the iPhone i’m taking the picture with isn’t in the picture). But this is as close as I think i’m going to get it.
- Macbook Pro 15-inch 2017 (16 GB 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7)
- iPhone 8 Plus 256GB Black
- 2 x Apple 87W USB-C Power Adapter (for MacBook Pro) (Apple makes the best even though they are bigger and always have a backup)
- 4 x Apple 12W USB Power Adapter
- Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote (love this, best remote for talks I have used. Credit to Chris Lema for telling me about it).
- Inland Optical USB Mouse (Wired so it’s reliable and no batteries, cheap so I can lose it)
- SanDisk USB Drives
- USB Lightning Cables (Cheap versions)
- AirPods (Generation 1)
- AirPods (Generation 2)
- KPTEC Ultimate 3-in-1 Mini DP (Thunderbolt) to HDMI, DVI, VGA Adapter, Compact 1080p Mini Display (mDP) Converter for Macbook Pro Surface Pro Series
- 5 x Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (Most common adaptors needed at WordCamps in the past 8 years)
- AmazonBasics Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter
- KabelDirekt (25 feet) 3.5mm Male to 3.5mm Female Stereo Audio Extension Cable – Pro Series
- 5 x DinoFire Wireless Presenter Remote Control USB w/ Laser Point (cheap remotes for WordCamps)
- Masking Tape
- USB-C Multiport Adapter,CableDeconn USB-C Type C 3.1 To HDMI DP DVI VGA 4K Cable Adapter Converter For New Macbook
- CableDeconn The Cobra Appearance Multi-Function Thunderbolt Mini DisplayPort DP to HDMI VGA DVI Cable Converter Adapter for MacBook Suface Pro Air
- CableDeconn The Cobra Appearance Multi-Function Thunderbolt Mini DisplayPort DP to HDMI VGA DVI Cable Converter Adapter for MacBook Suface Pro Air Black
- Suaoki D100 Portable Charger AC Outlet Power Bank 26800mAh 100W
- Square Reader for magstripe (with headset jack)
- USB-C to USB 3.0 Female Adapter
- XFasten Double Sided Tape Foam Mounting Tape, 3/4-Inch x 350-Inch
- AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Extension Cable – A-Male to A-Female Extender Cord – 6 Feet (2 Pack)
- 6 x AmazonBasics USB 2.0 A-Male to Micro B Charger Cable, 3 feet, Black
- UGREEN USB-C to Lightning Cable
- 3 x Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
- Saicoo USB3.0 4 Slots 11 in 1 Card Reader, with Dual Sd and Micro Sd Slots
- Yacikos Battery Case for iPhone 8500m
- UBeesize Phone Tripod Stand
- Fotopro 59″ Camera Tripod, Aluminum Phone Tripod with Bluetooth Remote
- Movo TCB2 XLR (Female) Microphone to TRRS (Male) Smartphone Adapter with Headphone Jack for iPhone and Android
- Movo HM-M2 Dynamic Omnidirectional Handheld Interview Microphone with 3-Pin XLR Connector
- Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Charger, Portable Charger Bundle for MacBook Air / iPad Pro 2018, iPhone XS Max / X / 8, Nexus 5X / 6P, and USB Type-C Laptops with Power Delivery
- Nekteck 72W USB Wall Charger with 4 USB Ports, One 60W USB C
- WD 2TB My Passport for Mac Portable External Hard Drive
- Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter
- Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter
- AmazonBasics Small Hard Shell Carrying Case for My Passport Essential External Hard Drive
- Fosmon Surge Protector Power Strip Flat Plug, 4-Outlet Splitter Extender 1875 Watt 300 Joules, 3FT Extension Cord Wall Mount with 3 Prong
- Betron B25 Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones Earphones
- White x 1 Beam Wearable Smart Dynamic Full Color Display 1.4”
- Black x 1 Beam Wearable Smart Dynamic Full Color Display 1.4”
- Envira Gallery Stickers (Last minute labeling, wrapping up cords, and they are stickers too)
- Amazon Basic Batteries (AA, AAA, 9Volt)
- 2 Walkie Talkies
- DoubleMint Peppermint Gum (Fresh breath. Also usual for last resort adhesive)
- 1 Happiness Bar (Dark Chocolate)
- Better Stevia
- WordCamp Miami cheap plastic water bottle (can hold small items easily)
- Two United States Quarters (25 cents each)
- Extra t-shirt
- Various WordCamp Miami (and other camp) swag (stickers, pens, pins)
- Electric Shaver, Emergency Personal Supplies
- Advil or something for headaches
- Bottle of water
Someone last week asked me about my top most often used adapters, tech, and dongles I use on the road and at conferences. In any case anyone wants to know:
Link. Always a good idea to bring extra storage. I still use the USB-A variety although I carry a MacBook Pro with USB-C. Most people especially on PCs use USB-A and adaptors for USB-A and USB-C exist.
Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
Link. If you have an iPhone 8 or above, this is important. Although I don’t use this to listen to music – I switched to bluetooth headphones long ago (although an analog backup doesn’t hurt). I use this for the rare times I plug in external microphones. And for those NOT having iPhones, don’t laugh too hard. Latest Samsungs and other Android phones have mostly dropped headphone jacks.
Good quality wireless Bluetooth audio is priceless. Noise cancelling headphones are a must – they are great on flights as they remove majority of the background noise. AirPods are perfect for walking in public places (new AirPods Pro have noise canceling but I prefer the older because I still have the ability to hear things with low enough volume).
You encounter lots of USB devices and use them at the conference venue or in your hotel and often something isn’t quite long enough. A simple USB extender does the trick. I’ll be picking up a USB C one soon but USB A still comes in handy. Link.
USB C Power Brick
Always have an extra but it doesn’t have to be Apple’s. Plenty of third party USB C ones that are smaller and have a few perks. But be careful – i have bought one or two that my MacBook Pro didn’t recognize. If you don’t mind the cost and the bigger size, stick with Apple. Link.
Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to HDMI DVI VGA Adapter
This 3-way display adapter is a life saver and a space saver. I have two main ones – both have a VGA, HDMI, and DIVI connector. The second one has a XXXX connector. One single cable for any of these is better usually than three or four cables of a single type. Easier to find, lend, and use. I have multiple versions of these (of course) – mainly for a MacBook USB C and MacBook Thunderbolt port. Link. Link.
USB C Charger Brick
I usually travel with half a dozen of these or less. You can power anything USB although the bigger the electronics the slower it will charge. Usually though i’m charging just gadgets or it’s something I can charge overnight. Lightning USB and micro USB work with these just fine. The ones that Apple used to come out with still work great. Link.
Micro USB Cables
For anything not lightning, it’s usually micro USB. Especially external batteries (although USB C charging is starting to appear on the scene finally). Bottom line, I keep plenty of these scattered around my luggage. Link. Link.
USB C Cable
USB C cables mainly for powering my MacBook Pro but also my USB C external battery. These aren’t as common as the USB or micro USB variety so I find these are more important to keep close and track of. Link.
Apple Multiport Adaptor
These are handy USB C variations of VGA and HDMI adapters. These come from Apple and I only recommend Apple ones. Every non-Apple one has failed within six months that I’ve tried. Notice with these that there’s a USB C and USB A port on them so you can plugin in an external monitor plus another device (say a USB keyboard, mouse, or charge a device). It’s dongle town of course but at least it’s only using ONE port on your MacBook Pro. Apple’s again are the best. Link. Link.
Any Runner Ups?
I could do a post on external batteries – I have quite a few… I keep AA and AAA batteries handy. I have two external power bricks (the most powerful I can get that I’m allowed to board an airplane with). One you can plug USB and even corded devices into – the other is a smaller USB C (with a few USB A ports) that can recharge my MacBook Pro almost two times if I needed it.