Here is a question for you to consider.
What’s the point of accumulating wealth for retirement if poor health prevents you from enjoying it?

Recenlty I have had people noticing that I have lost weight, commenting on how skinny I have become and asking me what I was doing. And I have to tell you I am feeling great. So in todays podcast I’m going to share with you what changed and how I’ve been able to lose 20 pounds in 4 months and also lose the belly fat. I’m going to share my diet and exercise routines and the technology I used to record my progress.

Articles, Links & Resources:

Pickleball Magazine & U.S. Surgeon General Quote

Amen Clinics – 7 Surprising Ways Pickleball Benefits Your Brain

My Fitness Pal – App for tracking calories (I paid for the premium subscription)

Apple Watch – Tracking calories burned with running and workouts (Info syncs with MyFitnessPal)

Greater Goods Scale with the WeightGurus App

Apple Health App

Balance Health / Greater Goods Blood Pressure Monitor


Here is a question for you to consider.
What’s the point of accumulating wealth for retirement if poor health prevents you from enjoying it?

Two years ago I started playing pickleball and really enjoy the sport. But I equally enjoy the community and connection.

I saw a recent article where The US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy was recently quoted as saying “Pickleball has tapped into something that we’ve known for a long time but need to be reminded of – meeting up in person, getting some exercise, and playing a sport, whether you’re a child or an adult – these are all part of what it means to be human. We need connection and time with others to thrive, just as we need food and water.”

The article in Pickleball magazine goes on to say that loneliness and isolation are an epidemic in our society right now. And this can lead to a 29% increase in the risk of heart disease, 32 percent increase in the risk of stroke and a 50% increase in dementia in older people.

Doctor Daniel Amen from the Amen Clinics has a post on his website that includes 7 health benefits of playing pickleball two of which are that it reduces congnitive impairment and keeps your brain younger. I’ll include links to these articles in the show notes at Sound Retirement Planning.

And while playing pickleball once per week has been part of my journey to losing weight and getting in shape, it was actually a picture that motivated me to make some health changes.

In October of 2023 a friend of mine took a picture of me playing pickleball. This was supposed to be a fun action shot of my incredible pickleball skills but instead of boosting my ego I could not help but notice the huge gut I had developed. It looked like I was a dude that was 5 months pregnant. Where did that gut come from? That set me on a path of improving my exercise diet and fitness.

Recenlty I have had people noticing that I have lost weight, commenting on how skinny I have become and asking me what I was doing. And I have to tell you I am feeling great. So in todays podcast I’m going to share with you what changed and how I’ve been able to lose 20 pounds in 4 months and also lose the belly fat. I’m going to share my diet and exercise routines and the technology I used to record my progress.

I wanted to record this episode for a few reasons.
#1 If I don’t write down what changed I’ll forget it at some point. And I want to remember.
#2 Instead of having to retell this story over and over again I can record it and point people to the podcast.
#3 I hope that my experience might encourage you and inspire you to pursue better health.

In October of last year a friend of mine invited me to start attending a local gym 2 days per week (Agate Pass Fitness) – This is a great environment with very encouraging people. If you have been thinking of getting in shape and live locally I’d like to invite you to come try it out.

The day after thanksgiving in 2023 I stood on the scale and realized that I had once again set a new personal record for weight gain. I weighed more than I had weighed my entire life.

At the first of the year January 2024 I set a personal goal to lose all of this extra weight I was lugging around.

I’ve reflected about my weight gain and the process of losing the weight. In today’s podcast I break it down to these 5 different areas.

1.) Stress
2.) Food / Diet
3.) Exercise
4.) Technology
5.) Ahas or revelations I had on this journey

How did I get here?

In October of last year a friend of mine took a picture of me playing pickleball and he sent me the photo. I’m sure he was just trying to show me how awesome I was on the PB court but my initial reaction was, who is that pregnant dude playing pickleball. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and asked “Who is that person”. I had an image in my mind of what I looked like, which is probably me at about age 28, but when I saw this picture, I was a bit disturbed at just how much of gut I had developed and for me that picture was the breaking point where I became aware of how much weight I had gained. Around this time a friend of mine invited me to start attending a local fitness club that holds HIIT (High Intentisity Interval Training) classes. Knowing that my physicall fitness was heading in the wrong direction I immediately said yes, Let’s do this I said.

In the years leading up this photo I knew I had been gaining weight. The transition from being a slender fit man to a guy with a belly happened relatively slowly. For years, I’ve used a digital scale connected to an app on my phone, allowing me to track my weight history. It was evident that a notable increase in my weight began towards the end of 2018, when I was 44 years old.

I am not very good at identifying stress. If you ever ask me if I am stressed I would generally say no. There have only been a few times in my life where I even recognized stress. But as I was looking back over time and reflecting on my weight gain I was trying to remember what was happening in life. As I look back I can recognize that stress played a role in me gaining extra weight.

At the end of 2018 was when I was in the process of purchasing a commercial office building which would become the headquarters for Parker Financial. And then 6 months later, in June of 2019 we purchased a new home. Both of these experiences were very positive but also somewhat stressful. I noticed an initial uptick in weight gain during that time. Then I noticed my weight was starting to dip back down by February of 2020. In February of 2020 we were in the process of moving my mother n law into an assisted living facility. In March of 2020 covid hit. My mother in law died in August of 2021. She was a really great person and she and I were good friends. As her Power of Attorney, my wife and I assisted her in downsizing, selling her house, and relocating. The last time I stepped on a scale was in February 2020, marking over a year since I had last done so. It wasn’t until September 2021 after my mother n law had passed away that I stepped back on the scale, only to discover I had gained 10 pounds. Then by March of 2022 I had gained another 5 pounds. For a guy who has never really had weight issues I was starting to get worried. I had gained 15 pounds in 6 months. In 2022, my son was in his final year of high school, which was a stressful period as we were gearing up for his college departure in the spring of 2023. During the same year, we embarked on a home project to construct a shop/art studio on our property. We worked with an exceptional contractor who delivered outstanding work and was a pleasure to work with. If you are looking for a a local contractor shoot me an email and I’ll give you a great referral. However, finding subcontractors for specific parts of the project was a challenge. We had planned to be done with the build by June or July at the latest. The project’s expenses exceeded our initial budget, partly because of supply chain challenges and partly due to the difficulty in finding readily available labor. When goods and services are in high demand prices go up. By November of 2023 I had gained another 5 pounds which I attribute to the stress of trying to finish this building project. I was really starting to get worried about my weight gain and I would often joke that at the rate I was going it would not be long before I was unable to fit through the front door of our house ( Which is a bit of an exageration but this is how I think). I’ve always been a fan of jogging, and I enjoy tracking my progress over the years. Recently, I observed a noticeable shift in my average pace per mile, slowing down from approximately 8:30 minutes to closer to 10 minutes per mile. My face was poofy. My pants were tight. My shirts did not fit right. I felt like I was always having to suck in my gut everytime we would take a family photo. I went to my doctor last year for my annual physical and said how can this be. What is happening to me? She suggessted that I eat better and do strength training. The trajectory I was on was not good. At this rate I was going to break the scale. I knew that something needed to change but I was jogging 3 to 4 days per week and so I just assumed the weight gain was due to aging. I was eating a salad every day for lunch. Have you ever seen the cartoon with the guy standing on a scale asking “When is that salad I ate last week going to kick in”? That was me. But the weight just kept on increasing. When my friend sent me that picture on the pickleball court, I had enough. So in todays show I want to share with you how I have lost 20 pounds and shed the belly fat. I will share the specific food I ate. What I drank. How I exercised. and as a tech nerd all of the technology I used to track my progress.

I would hope that when we get to retirement we will be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. The alternative is Sick, Broke and Dumb. So obviously that should be avoided. If we get to retirement and our bodies are so broken that we can’t enjoy your time, and relationships. What good is it to have a lot of money? I don’t think the resaon most of us saved all of our lives was to hand over all of our money to the health care industry at the second half of our life. I heard a quote recently that said. The healthy man has a thousand dreams, the sick man has only one.

Here is a summary of the timeline of events:

On October 13th 2023 I started to attend Agate Pass Fitness

I quit Drinking Caffiene on November 6th 2023 This was really hard as I enjoy coffee

By January 1st of 2024 I had lost 5 pounds

On January 8th 2024 I committed to losing the additional 15 pounds by March 31st 2024
In order to accomplish this goal I would eat 1880 calories per day
I would work out in the gym 2 days per week
I would jog 2 days per week
I would play pickleball atleast 1 day per week.

New Habbits:
1.) I only drink water and black decaf coffee (no creamer, or sugar). Usually only 1 decaf coffee in the morning. I don’t drink juice, or soda and I dont drink alcohol.
2.) most mornings I ate tillamok low fat yogurt and Seattle granola.
3.) lunch was mostly carrots sticks and celery and hummus and I’d include 1 serving of wheat thins, triscuits or mini rice cakes. Sometimes I’d by those pre packaged salads from Safeway.
4.) by being disciplined about what I drink and my breakfast and lunch, it allowed me to eat whatever I wanted for dinner. And I didn’t try to reduce portions at dinner. By running a calorie deficit early in the day it gave me freedom at dinner which is my hardest meal to be disciplined because I am eating with my family and they are not trying to accomplish the same goals as me. So I wanted the flexibility to eat as I normally do at dinner.
5.) I did the HIIT class Monday and Friday of each week. These classes are really hard. I had tried doing workouts at home but I never push myself as hard at home as I do by attending the class. And I dread the class beforehand, I hate it while I’m doing it, but I love the results. I believe that adding this workout class was a HUGE factor in achieving my goal. I’m reminded that sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do so that we can do what we want to do. Kind of like budgeting, but that’s for another day.
6.) I jogged 2.6 miles at least 2 days per week. Some weeks I’d run more if I was feeling good.
7.) I occasionally continued my hiking adventures with friends.
8.) I tried to play pickleball 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session.
9.) I only checked my weight progress once per week on Friday morning. I thought of it as a reward and there was a bit of a surprise when I’d stand on the scale. (It’s better to not do this every day)
10.) I had friends to check in every Friday at 7:45am for a 15 minute checkin. We would state our goals, share our progress and any ahas. (It was great to have the accountability and to be cheering one another on toward our goals.)
11.) I took 2 multi vitamins almost every day. Vitafusion multivites gummies from Costco.

Some ahas:
There were a couple of times when we were heading home after attending my daughters sports events and we stopped for Chic a Fil A. When I ate fast food if I only ate a sandwich at Chic Fil A with no fries or soda it helped keep calories low for the day. I ate fast foods probably 3 times during this 3 month time period. And it was usually on the way home from one of my daughters sporting events. I did eat at Chipotle a couple of times. but for some reason I don’t think of that as being fastfood or un healthy. Where as Chic fil a in my mind is pure enjoyment and pure calories. At least with what I choose to order and eat.

I had been struggling with plantar fasciitis for most of 2023 I think jump rope and box jumps which are exercises we do at Agate Pass Fitness, fixed my plantar fasciitis after only a few sessions.

I was running a pace of about 10 minutes per mile in January 2024. As my weight dropped my average running pace increased. My fastest pace has dropped to 8:30 per mile. I’d say on average I am closer to 9 minute miles most mornings.

I experienced 2 injuries during this time. I hurt my back in January and missed a few HIIT classes. I experienced hip bursitis on March 26 and missed one HIIT class at the end of March. I’m reminded that if we are going to be active we may have experience injuries. The key is to not let a temporary setback knock you off course.

I committed to only stepping on the scale once per week it created a sense of fun expectation to see if I made progress.

Tracking my food probably made the biggest difference because it helped me understand my calorie intake. And sometimes when I thought I really messed up my diet by eating a chocolate hershey kiss after dinner, it was nice to see the negative impact was less than expected.

It was fun when people started to notice the weight loss. It was noticeable in my face before my waist.

I have been enjoying an incredible amount of energy, focus and mental clarity during the day.

If I eat something heavy for lunch I noticed my productivity at work really drops.Keeping lunch lite helped me be more productive and focused in the afternoons.

I also quit caffeine and coffee in November 7 2023. I feel like coffee had become an addiction. Quitting caffeine has helped me have more focus. My mind is racing less. I think that the caffeine may have encouraged me to eat more junk foods. It’s almost like caffeine made me crave sweets.

My digital scale also tracks muscle mass. As my weight decreased my muscle mass increased.

This was the first time in my life I had to be concerned about weight gain. It has been encouraging for me to know that I have the discipline to change my bad habits and make progress towards a healthier lifestyle.

I do wonder if the acidity of the coffee contributes to the belly fat / bloated gut. When only had one cup of decaf coffee per day and also benefit from the probiotics in the yogurt if that helps reduce the belly. It makes me think the acidity of the coffee contributes to the bloated gut.

The bottom line is that I feel great. I plan to continue my new routine.

Technology I Used:

My Fitness Pal – App for tracking calories (I paid for the premium subscription)
Apple Watch – Tracking calories burned with running and workouts (Info syncs with MyFitnessPal)
Greater Goods Scale with the WeightGurus App
Apple Health
Weight Gurus App tracks BMI, body fat %, Muscle Mass and Body Water%
Balance Health / Greater Goods Blood Pressure Monitor /


Over a four-month period, I embarked on a comprehensive health and fitness transformation, inspired by a bad picture of me on the pickleball court and fueled by tracking a low-calorie diet, consistent weight training and cardio exercise, and a shifts toward healthier habits. Key strategies included eliminating caffeine, tracking my calories, engaging in daily physical activities like jogging, HIIT workouts, and pickleball, alongside regular check-ins with friends for accountability. Nutrition played a crucial role, supported by mindful eating and tracking my calories and comparing calories burned to calories consumed. Leveraging technology, notably apps like MyFitnessPal and devices such as the Apple Watch and a smart scale, from Greater Goods was pivotal in monitoring progress and sustaining motivation. Having achieved my weight loss goal of losing 20 pounds, this journey underscored the value of diet, exercise, discipline, technology, and community support in reaching personal fitness goals. My stress levels are down. I’m sleeping better, my focus is improved and I am generally just feeling great. For those of you who are local I’d encourage you to come by and try the Agate Pass Fitness and check out their HIIT classes. Or download the Playtime Scheduler app and come join a pickleball game. Either way I think you will find a great community of people. I’m reminded of the old saying. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Together we can accomplish so much more.  Wishing you a prosporus and healthy future.