We have one week remaining in the #DrinkAndDropChallenge. One week to prove the doubters wrong, or hang my head in shame at a failed experiment. It’s the last weekend of the challenge, so the next three days are pivotal.

Regardless of what the scale says next week, however, I will look back on this little exercise as a beneficial one for me long-term. Lose a few or gain a few … whatevs. The main thing that I have gained this month has been perspective. I more fully understand what my drivers and weaknesses are; I know what to try to avoid at all costs (please keep the basket of tortilla chips on the other side of the table); I have learned the resources I need to help me be more successful. For these reasons, and so many more, this month has been successful. Now – to see if the scale agrees!

This was a day where I really go to know the concept of the calorie debit card. If I tell myself that I start the day with 1900 calories on my debit card, I know I have to subtract (or debit) from that ‘account’ each time I eat or drink something. I can always deposit into the account with more exercise. But the key here is to know what the balance is at all times and understand that we have to budget for future withdrawals.

Case in point, we were going to meet friends for dinner at a local burger joint, and that is fraught with all sorts of temptations. (They have fried pickles and fried zucchini sticks that are stupid good.) And a really good tap list of local brews. But I had to be smart throughout the day in order to budget for my dinner.

The Food

  • Breakfast. Bi-weekly men’s group meeting. I opted for the turkey sausage platter: two patties of turkey sausage, one scrambled egg white, mixed fruit, and wheat toast. Less than 400 calories off the debit card.
  • Lunch. This ended up being the key to the day. With proper calorie budgeting, I knew I had to take it easy here. I went with my standard chicken/raw veggie salad. Only about 450 calories. I’ve got more than 1,000 left in the day!
  • Dinner. I planned ahead. With menus online, we can almost always plan ahead. I got the black bean burger (don’t laugh – I think they’re quite tasty) in a lettuce wrap with onions, relish, and sauteed mushrooms. For a side, instead of the fried stuff, I opted for feta, cucumber, tomato salad. Only about 450 calories. Which left me plenty of budget room for  …


Sorry – no photos tonight. I forgot to take them. I had two small pours of the Scofflaw Neapolitan Milkshake Stout. Just … so … good. My bride even had a sip and remarked, “This is the best dark beer you’ve ever had.” And doesn’t like the darker heavier beers. Hints of just what the name suggests: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry. So flipping good.
And then we went back to the friends’ house and they offered me a Gate City OTP DIPA. I can’t say no to that. It was a great way to finish the day – and I still had a positive balance on the debit card. A nice way to start the weekend!
February 23, 2019
Mike Pennington

Author: Mike Pennington

Mike Pennington, normal, 40-ish, father of three, living the suburban dream north of Atlanta.  

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