It's been over two and a half weeks since I started on my regimen of diet and exercise as part of the JCC's "The Biggest Loser" contest. Frankly, I have seen progress and noticed a goodly amount of weight has been shed. I was down ten pounds at one point, but as I continued weight training, I have noticed that I also added weight by building muscle. My tone is much better and I am using a lot of cardio exercise to burn more fat. Today I can show a decrease in body fat percentage too, down 3%. As part of the contest, I am expected to meet with a trainer for ten times. I met with him twice in the first week. He was on vacation last week and I saw him twice this week. That means I have three more weeks and six more sessions with him before the contest is over. He drills me like a sergeant, which is what I really wanted. I wanted someone who would demand me to extend myself to the very reaches of my ability. I have the aching muscles to prove that. I am well pleased with his impulsion to drive me to the envelope of my stamina. My only major problem is the bland food I am supposed to eat. The diet won't allow red meat more than once a week and centers about chicken, turkey and fish for most meals. I have been applying my Creole and French cuisine skills towards making the salads and entrees taste palatable. My first turkey breast yielded 30 times the amount of meat I could use in one night. I decided to use the new reusable freezer bags with the vacuum seals and handheld mini-pump to freeze half of it and to keep pre-sliced portions in the refrigerator. Isn't science wonderful? As I mentioned before in the March 23 blog titled "Nutritional Tidbits," this whole process has been complicatd by the fact I keep a kosher home. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but it has been difficult to find food items on my permitted list that are kosher. The vegetarian aspects of many meals makes it easy, but the non-dairy and meat aspects make it a bit more difficult to be compliant. Nevertheless, I feel that my core has been strengthened by the process and so I will not deviate. I will push on and when it's all over three weeks from now, I am sure to be at a better spot than I would have been were I not have elected to take this opportunity.