Fourteen weeks. We’re both down 27 pounds. It’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come – and how far we still need to go!

I still can’t touch my toes, but I did buy a new pair of jeans – 36″ waist – because the 40″ pants were way too big. These are loose. How sweet it is!

And how unsweet it is… I had another one of those arms just stopped working moments at the gym, today. Try as I might, I just could not do another rep on a machine. I could not push any further – they rebelled and said no! On Wednesday, my legs turned to jello after doing a ridiculous series of machines, squats, and making like a chair up against a wall, and I had to convince them not to give out on me completely. Walking up the stairs to get to the treadmills was a feat unto itself. I was walking like a 19 year old sailor on shore leave at 3am – not that I would have any firsthand knowledge of anything like that, of course.

And I’m paying somebody to do this to me!

But for everything we can’t do today, we’re light-years ahead of where we were 14 weeks ago – and 27 pounds lighter. We are way ahead of the game. More proof of that is recovery time. When we first started this we’d get home and be exhausted. Now, we get home and bounce around with actual energy. Who knew?!?

I know, I know… lots of people knew. I didn’t. Or, rather, I closed my eyes to it. I wasn’t ready to actually work – and I really wasn’t ready to work while I was still working! I highly recommend retirement to everyone! It’s an amazing thing.

Tonight’s dinner was also an amazing thing – Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Chicken and Mushrooms. The pasta is one of the goodies I bought from Eataly last week. It’s a long pasta – a bit longer than a traditional store-bought spaghetti – and much thicker. It’s also square – the shape comes from the chitarra – the guitar-shaped kitchen utensil the pasta is cut on. This particular pasta comes from Marche in central Italy. And it’s really good.

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Chicken and Mushrooms

  • 2 chicken thighs, diced
  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 small shallots, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz spaghetti alla chitarra or your favorite pasta

Sauté diced chicken in a bit of olive oil. When lightly browned, remove from pan. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan and cook until mushrooms are browned and shallots are limp. Add garlic and quickly cook. Add chicken and juices back into pan.

Stir in 1 tbsp flour and mix in well. Add white wine and stir until slightly thickened. Add chicken stock and continue cooking until sauce is smooth and silky. Add oregano and S&P to taste.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.

Stir al dente pasta into the sauce and let it simmer a minute or two.

Plate and enjoy!

One of those ridiculously easy dishes that just screams flavor. The pasta is hearty – heartier than a traditional spaghetti – and was the perfect foil for the mushrooms and chicken. The sauce was silky and creamy – like I had added cream or butter to it – yet was as basic as basic can be.

On to week 15 – and more fun food!

(And maybe 34″ 501’s!)