Welcome to my blog! This blog is a tool that I am using in an effort to lose weight. My hope is that by publicly tracking my weight and my efforts to reduce it, I will do just that. However, there is more to my life than just trying to lose weight. Along the way, I will share some of that also. Thanks for reading.

About Me

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South Jordan, Utah
I am the husband of one,and the father of four. Most days I even like them all. I love them every day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Riding With Heidi

Today I had a chance to ride with Heidi.  It's something that doesn't happen very often.  Doesn't happen enough.  With four full time kids, it's hard to find a couple of hours where we can both be gone at the same time.  Today was that day.  Thanks Austin, for watching Chase and giving us this time.

Riding with Heidi brings with it both good and bad.

I'll start with the good.
  • She's prettier than I am.  This is very important, very good.  When people see us riding together they tend to focus their attention more on the pretty lady.  They want to rest their eyes on someone who is obviously in good shape.  Her toned, athletic body, draws peoples attention away from me.  When I ride by myself, they realize that an overweight man has attempted to stuff himself into skin tight clothing and is riding a bike. 
  • She makes me give a full effort.  When I'm riding with Heidi, I have to work hard the whole time.  There's no casual riding.  Maybe for her.  But, I have to ride hard in order to stay with her.  There are occasions where I will be thinking to myself, "I probably wouldn't be riding this hard if I was by myself".  Heidi motivates me to get the most out of my rides.
  • She carries two extra tubes.  Usually these aren't needed, but it's nice to know they're there.  On one of our rides I flatted 3 times in about a one mile distance.  If I had been by myself on that ride, I would have been calling her to come pick me up after the third flat. 
And now the bad of riding with Heidi.
  • She's pretty.  What could be bad about riding with a pretty woman?  Sometimes I get temporarily distracted.  Luckily I have always managed to snap out of it before slamming into a parked car or crashing off the side of the road.  She looks really good in a pair of bike shorts.
  • She makes me give a full effort.  Riding with Heidi requires manly riding, macho riding.  I can't let her see me tired and struggling.  I have to appear as though I am ready to sprint for that next sign at any time.  I can't let her see me breathing hard, on the verge of crying.  There is no slacking, no free spinning on these rides.  There is no crying in cycling!
  • I'm riding with a girl.  Not just any girl, I'm riding with Heidi.  The problem with riding with a girl falls in line with having to give a full effort.  If I fall too far behind her, people laugh as they drive by in their cars.  "Did you see how bad that girl was beating that guy?" "Was he crying?" "What was that face he was pulling?" "He didn't look like he was having very much fun" "Probably wishing that he had stayed home to sneak another donut when she wasn't there to see."  But Heidi isn't just another girl.  Maybe if they knew her they would understand and quit laughing at me.  Last month Heidi rode her first century (100 mile) bike ride with some of her friends. The next weekend she competed in the Daybreak Triathlon, winning her age division and placing 5th overall.
    Riding in the Little Red Century Ride June 4, 2011
    Podium finish for age group at Daybreak Triathlon June 11, 2011

    On our ride today, Heidi wanted me to take her on a ride that I have done a couple times the last week.  It's a good ride that is close to home, and has some pretty good little climbs.  Of course she wants a ride with climbs.  She knows that 110 pounds on a bike are a lot easier to move up a hill than 220 pounds are.  Once again, there would be no slacking today.

    We rode over and climbed above Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman, then climbed to the top of Rose Canyon.  Heidi has been feeling a little sick the last couple of days, and after coming down out of Rose Canyon she decided to return home.  I continued around to Copperton and back home through West Jordan.  It was a very windy, very hot, 42 miles of fun. 

    Thanks Heidi for riding with me.  You're the best riding partner I could ask for.  You push me hard and you don't mind being with me in public when I'm in my bike shorts.

    Click This Link For Details Of Todays Ride

    Leon Huntsman moved $2.51 to World Bicycle Relief funded by SRAM with Blackridge-Rose Canyon-Copperton Loop:

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    A Fresh Start

    I've been thinking for some time that I should get this blog thing going again.  While it does take some time to keep up to date, and I am by nature a lazy person, it is nice to look back on things that have happened in the lives of my family.

    As far as my weight is concerned, that being the main reason that I started this blog, I think it's probably about where it was when I started.  I haven't even checked it since the last time I reported it on this blog.  Probably out of fear of what I might find.  I was actually doing pretty well, too.  The blog was doing what I had hoped that it would.  But remember, I am a lazy person.  The blog was taking a lot of time, a lot of late nights.  And the ice fishing was soooo good.  I started spending more of my time fishing, and less time exercising.  And before long, my routine had been broken.

    But now, a fresh start.

    Last week I found something new to help motivate me to exercise.  I follow a blog called The Fat Cyclist.  It's written by a local guy who, like all great men that are overweight, started writing his blog to help him lose weight.  A few years ago his wife was stricken with cancer and would end up losing her battle.  During her fight they began raising money for Livestrong, an effort that he continues today.  He has a lot of readers and has managed to raise a lot of money.

    Last week we started raising money for an additional cause, World Bicycle Relief. This organization raises money to provide bikes for kids in Africa. Each $134 that is raised, provides someone with a bike.  These bikes have changed so many lives.  They help kids get to, and finish school.  A lot of kids drop out of school because they are located so far away.  It is figured that 12 lives are positively changed for each bike that is placed.  More details can be found at world bicycle relief.  It really is an amazing effort.

    So how do I help them raise money?  I ask all my friends to send me money, that I then send to them.  And I have the BEST friends.  Friends that are always willing to help out a good cause.  You can do that if you want, but it's actually much easier than that.  All I do is exercise.  That's it.  I don't have to donate any of my own money, and I don't have to ask my friends to donate any of theirs.  I just do what I'm already doing.  After exercising, I download my exercise details onto the computer and depending on how hard my workout was, I earn a certain amount of kudos.  For each kudo that I earn, SRAM donates 1.5 cents to World Bicycle Relief.  Each of my workouts have been worth about $1.50, so far.  I started last Monday and as of today have earned just over $11.  My goal is to earn enough to buy 3 bikes this year, or roughly $1/day.

    Today I went for a bike ride to the top of American Fork Canyon.  It was so hot here in the valley that it made sense to get a little higher.  I prefer to ride the canyon on weekdays as there is less traffic to worry about.  It proved to be the perfect day to ride the canyon.

    As I entered the canyon, I saw something that gave me immediate concern.  Another cyclist was starting his ride right behind me.  So, I'm in front, and there is no way that I can let him pass me.  I'm feeling the pressure as I am just hammering the pedals.  I don't dare look back to see where he is, because then he will know that I am trying to stay in front of him.  That will just make him pedal harder, resulting in more work for myself.  In an effort to maintain my machoness, I just keep looking forward and mashing the pedals.  Good thing I was feeling strong today.

    A couple of miles up the canyon, a new concern began to develop.  Being the hot day that it was, I had been drinking a lot.  And now, that fluid needed to come out.  That's one nice thing about riding American Fork Canyon, frequent bathrooms.  But if I stopped, this would give the other guy in the race a chance to pass me.  And we were racing, even if he didn't know it.  At the same time, by stopping I would have an excuse to look behind me.  And when I did, I saw nothing.  In fact, I didn't see him for the rest of my ride. I WON!

    The rest of my ride up the canyon was very much a victory lap.  A very hard victory lap.  It was 12 miles to the top and I would climb over 3400 feet.  On most of my bike rides I will burn around 100 calories each mile.  After the 12 miles of climbing today, I had burned 2621 calories.  It was hard, but I was winning.  I now had the road to myself.

    While the climbing was hard, it was enjoyable.  I enjoy climbing, feeling like I just can't go any further, but somehow finding a way to keep the pedals moving.  Each pedal stroke today brought fear with it.  After crashing on a descent last summer, I still get scared when it comes to riding downhill when any speed is involved.  This was clearly going to be a very fast descent.  I would face my fears, and I would Win The Day.  I was soon at the summit. I had won!

    Click This Link For A Detailed Look At My Ride

    Leon Huntsman moved $1.46 to World Bicycle Relief funded by SRAM with American Fork Canyon

    Monday, December 6, 2010


    Well, if you haven't noticed, this blog is losing steam.  The newness is wearing off and it sure feels a lot like homework anymore.  But I do want to keep it going as a type of journal that my family can look back on and remember some of the fun times that we've had.  The biggest problem is that it is usually late at night when I do these posts. I'm tired and all I want to do is go to bed.  I don't want to do homework.  I thought I was done with that years ago.

    Another recent problem for this blog was my surgery.  It was definitely not a good thing for me to be restricted from exercising during the Thanksgiving holiday.  I have no self control.  Heidi made such a nice meal, and I ate it for the next three days.  All of the pies and friendship bread that have been in our house the last couple weeks didn't help either.  I have definitely done a 180 as far as weight loss is concerned.  It might not be as bad as I fear, but I haven't dared check the scale.  When you are used to exercising on a regular basis and then have to stop temporarily, you just "feel" yourself getting fatter every day.  But, it's now time to get back into the game and kick some little calorie butt.

    This past weekend was great! Mostly.  It started Saturday morning with Randi's spin class.  This was my first attempt at exercising since the surgery.  It went really good, except for the fact that I definitely felt out of shape.  I did experience a bit of numbness, but I attribute it mostly to just having been inactive lately.  It doesn't take long to start losing what you have worked so hard to obtain.  Hopefully it returns just as fast.  The class kicked my butt, but it felt really good while it was doing it.

    During class, Randi said that her family had gone downtown the night before to watch a movie and see the christmas lights at Temple Square.  It sounded like something that would be fun to try with our kids.  And for the most part it was.  However, there were a few times that I questioned our sanity.  It is so frustrating when you try to do something fun for your kids and they spend a lot of the time fighting with each other and just generally not listening to you.  These "family times" never turn out as cool as I think they are going to.  But like I said, for the most part it was fun.

    We decided that we would ride the Trax to downtown.  That was our first mistake.  When we got to the station I couldn't get the machine to read my debit card and print us some tickets.  It was bad enough that it was costing me $24 to give the kids a ride on the "train".  The last thing I needed was the machine to not work.  While silently cussing the machine, the next train came and left without us on it.  We told the kids we would just be driving tonight and Chase was not happy with that.  When Chase is not happy about something, everyone within 4 city blocks knows it.  He had been so excited to ride the train.  I felt bad but what could I do?  We decided that we would just buy 5 tickets, which was $20, and we could pay it with cash.  We later found out that we only needed 5 anyways, Chase could ride for free.  Twenty minutes later we were happily riding the rails.

    Chase was so excited to ride the train
    When we got downtown after having missed the first train, we had just under 30 minutes to eat before the movie started.  We went to the Gateway (outdoor mall) for both dinner and the movie.

    Being a weekend night, all of the places to eat were very busy.  BYU had just finished playing a basketball game at the Energy Solutions Arena and their fans were everywhere.  The night was not going very smoothly so far.  It was looking like dinner was going to be popcorn at the movie, and I was starving.  Then we got lucky.  Right next to the theatre was a Costa Vida mexican restaurant.  We knew the line would move quickly and we might be able to get through and eat in the 30 minutes we had.  And we did, barely.

    The movie we saw was Megamind.  It was an animated movie in 3D, like every other movie being made right now.  It was a better movie than I had expected.  In fact, I liked it.  That was a nice surprise.

    After the movie was over it was time for another train ride to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights.

    By the time we got to Temple Square it was 9:30.  The younger kids, Chase mostly, were starting to act tired and I was quietly wondering how long they would tolerate having to continue walking around.  But there is something magical about all those lights.  Once inside and surrounded by the spirit of Christmas, the kids came alive.  It really is a beautiful sight to see all those lights.

    The weekend ended with a little lighting of our own.  We had a couple of good snow storms a couple weeks ago and it has been really cold since then.  So cold that the snow hasn't been melting. I was starting to think I wasn't going to get any lights on the house for Christmas this year.  I felt bad because I know the kids like to have lights on the house.  I do to.  Luckily, the last few days have been a little warmer and melted the snow off the roof.  So I took advantage.

    The holidays are officially here.  I hope you all have a wonderful season with your family and friends!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010


    In our life, we sometimes spend too much time complaining about the things we do not like or have. Today, being thanksgiving, I want to take time to give thanks for the blessings I have.

    I am thankful for the family that raised me.  We are all where we are today because our parents or guardians raised us.  Not just our parents but our siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.  I definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

    I am thankful for the family I now have.  I consider my wife and children to be my greatest blessing in my life.  Everything I do is because of them, or for them.  They are my greatest source of joy.  Nothing in life compares to making memories with my family.  This morning I took the kids out for some sledding before dinner.  Watching them smile makes you feel good as a parent.




    I am thankful for friends.  True friends encourage us, motivate us and push us to do better.  I have been blessed with some of the best friends in my life.  I recently joined facebook after saying for a long time that I never would.  Why did I finally do it?  To reconnect with my friends.  Friends have played such a role in my life and facebook has given me a chance to continue those friendships.  It has been a lot of fun to see where everyone is and what they are all doing.  I only hope that my kids will be blessed with friends as good as mine have been for me.

    I am thankful for a roof over my head.  If am thankful that I have a place to rest and relax.  A place of safety and encouragement.  I am thankful that Heidi and I are able to provide this same blessing for our children.

    I am thankful for laughter.  I am thankful for the laughter of my wife, my children, and my friends.  It is said that laughter is the best medicine.  As a pharmacist, I should know.  Laughter is contagious, try it.  Share a laugh with someone and make your day brighter.

    I am thankful for my job.   A job is a great blessing, whether we are happy with the job we are in or not.  I am lucky to have a job that I enjoy.  As a husband and father, I am thankful that I am able to provide the necessities of life for my family.

    I am thankful for the freedoms that I have.  We have so many freedoms that other countries do not have and it has cost some men and women their lives.  This freedom continues to cost people time away from their families and physical injuries.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had to serve this country and for those members of my family who have, and continue to serve.

    I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.  Heidi and I both work in the medical field so we are often reminded of how lucky we are for the health that we and our children enjoy.  So many people in life have physical limitations that they have to deal with.  I am thankful to be able to run, ride my bike, hike in the mountains, hunt and fish.  Without my health, what hobbies would I have?  Probably not the ones that I enjoy right now.  This last week has been a good reminder of that.  While my health hasn't been compromised, some of these things that I enjoy have been off limits.  Last Friday I underwent an outpatient surgery.  As a result, the doctor told me that I shouldn't exercise this week.  It has been a little frustrating not being able to run, or ride my bike, or go swimming.  These activities have become a significant part of my life.  And with my current goal of weight loss, it has been even more frustrating.  With each day that passes, I feel like the work I have been doing in the past is being wasted.  I just feel myself getting fatter. And today being Thanksgiving didn't help.  But it has also given me a nice break and a new sense of dedication once Monday is here and I can start exercising again.  I am again thankful for my family who has taken care of me during my recovery.  The first couple of days were spent doing not much more than laying on the couch watching television.  Chase thought it would make me feel better if he piled all of his favorite toys on me.  He gave me all of his favorite stuffed animals and his balloon.  Could a father be any luckier than I am?

    Thank you all so much for making my life what it is.  I especially want to thank my wife and kids.  I love you all so much.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010


    After getting the kids off to school this morning, I decided to go down to the fitness center and get some swimming in.  Mid morning, 9:00-11:00, usually seems to be a good time for those of us less-than-Phelps swimmers to get a little water time.  Early morning usually has a couple of people in each lane.  Not a good time to get in and work on my self taught swim stroke.  My water wings usually get in the way and I keep hitting the other swimmers in the head with them.  Mid morning I can usually get a lane to myself. The younger generation is busy going to work, the seniors are still home watching reruns of Little House On The Prairie, Bonanza, and Hogan's Heroes.

    When I got to the fitness center, they gave me our shirts for recently completing the Ironman challenge that they were sponsoring.  I asked him if I could tell everyone that I won first place in my division.  What division you ask?  Forty year old men named Leon, that live in South Jordan, work as a pharmacist for Smith's, have 3 sons and 1 daughter, one smokin' hot wife, and a blog called Win The Day.  He looked at the results and told me that I was 4th in that division, just finishing out of the medals.  So I added in the qualifier that you had to finish 4th in the previously mentioned division, and just like that, I won my division.  That's right, taking home the gold!!!  Heidi, also won her division.  What division you ask?  The division of women married to a forty year old man named Leon, that live in South Jordan, works for Smith's........just kidding.  Her division was women who could beat their husbands in each of the three events.  I might have slacked off a little bit to allow her to win that division, maybe.  She also won the swimsuit competition.  I came in a close second.

    It was nice to swim this morning without having to try and keep track of how many laps I had swum.  My swimming has improved a lot.  For the most part I can swim trying to concentrate on improving one specific area of my stroke.  I'm not swimming anymore trying to think about all of the components of my stroke at the same time.  What are my legs doing? Why can't I keep them near the surface?  What are my arms doing? Why do I always get so gassy when I swim?  Forgetting that you can't breathe in while under the water.  Try thinking about all of those things and having to keep track of the number of laps at the same time.  So it was a nice break to just swim today without counting.

    After the television reruns were over, the senior crowd started to show up.  I started to get squeezed out of my lane.  I was ok with that because I had to pick Chase up from school.  It's too bad though.  For the few minutes that we were all there together, I was definitely the best swimmer.  I usually can't make that claim, best swimmer in the pool.  Too bad I couldn't stay there and drown myself in that feeling.

    After picking up Chase from school, I thought I would get a little running in.  He played the wii while I watched him from the treadmill.  It amazes me how well these 4 year old kids can play with these electronic devices of today.  I know that I couldn't play those games near as well as he was.  Does that make me a bad parent?  The fact that my 4 year old can kick some wii butt.  Today's games are so much more complicated than the PacMan, Asteroids, Missile Command, and Centipede games of my day.  And today's Donkey Kong would literally pick up the Kong from my day and just throw him off the screen completely.  I'll stick to the running.  That I can do, kind of.  Today I did 6.5 miles of it, leaving 1156 calories to roam the galaxy with Mario.