3 Goals for Health Kwest

Today’s social media task is to blog about our top 3 goals for Health Kwest.  This was a tricky one for me because I was really only focusing on one thing: losing weight.  This is, therefore, goal number one for me.  I have been overweight my entire life.  When I was younger it wasn’t as bad as it is now, but even in high school, when I was at my thinnest in my adult size, I was still overweight.  Once I graduated from college and ended up working in an office, I started gaining a lot and found it harder and harder to get rid of.  Pretty soon I put on an extra 50 lbs, and was staying around that weight for quite a while.  In the last few years, I have tried again to lose the weight, only to find an extra 5-10 lbs sticking around each year.  I’m really hoping that the motivation I get from the $10k prize will be enough to really help me do what it takes to lose the weight.

Goal number two is to get rid of my sugar/snack addictions.  One of my biggest problems with food is that I get hungry every hour or two.  I don’t typically eat a lot at each meal, but I find myself snacking through the day.  I really crave sweet things, but anything snack-ish can keep me eating and eating.  As part of my Health Kwest routine, I am following an 8/16 intermittent fasting routine.  This means that I only allow myself an eating window of 8 hours, then followed by 16 hours of no caloric intake.  I’m still getting the 1500-2000 calories I need, and it’s low carb too, so it’s mostly made up of vegetables from GG, salads, and proteins.  I’m really trusting that 60 days of being this diligent will help me to stick with the nutritional regiment I am following long enough to shed these pounds permanently.

Lastly, I really want to get into good physical condition.  Losing the weight will do wonders for my mobility and energy, but I really want to be strong and fit, not just thinner.  Several years ago I was a regular at the gym, and I was really starting to see results.  Life has a way of getting in the way, and I eventually fell out of that habit and have lost most of that strength.  I really want to be able to be as strong as or stronger than I was then.  I have never been much of a cardio person, but I would love to get more into that now. My wife and most of my kids are runners.  I have had knee problems that I think will prevent that even when thinner, but I have a bike that I’m trying to get in the habit of riding frequently.  As part of my training for Health Kwest, I am also training for a 32 mile bike “tour” (non-competitive race) in May.  My dad, who got me back into biking, will even be coming out to participate in it with me.  I want to have the strength and stamina to be able to finish the race and hopefully not feel like I’ve been hit by a truck afterwards.

My official "Before" picture.  This was taken fro the Health Kwest application process.

My official “Before” picture. This was taken for the Health Kwest application process.


My Dream for Healh Kwest



Our task for today is to write a blog post about our own version of an “I have a dream” speech about what our dream for Health Kwest is.  Well, my dream for Health Kwest is to have a flat stomach.  I have been overweight my entire life (well, as long as I can remember) and I have often fantasized about what it would feel like to have a flat tummy and no “love handles”.  I have at least 80 lbs to lose to reach that goal, probably more, so I don’t think it’s feasible in 60 days to reach that completely.  But that doesn’t make my dream less of a reality.  I know that I will get a great head start into it (and hopefully get close) during the 60 days of Health Kwest.  The possibility of the grand prize has been an awesome motivator for me.  Part of my dream is that the habits of diet and exercise that I am building from this motivation will be able to persist beyond the 60 days, allowing me to fully achieve that dream in the near future.

The top 5 reasons I love Genghis Grill


So the Health Kwest social media task for today (Valentine’s Day) is to write this blog post, but I want you to know that these are totally sincere reasons why I love Genghis Grill.

1.  The selection of meats (proteins).

2.  The selection of veggies.

OK, honestly, I was very tempted to just list my top 5 favorite foods/flavors at GG, but that would be kind of a cop out.  But these really are two of my favorite things.  Some of the Mongolian grills I have been to before had a few meats, but they were usually frozen and no where near the variety that Genghis has.  I’m going low-carb for the duration of Health Kwest, and in the past when I have done low-carb diets I find one of the top reasons I give up is “flavor fatigue”.  I get bored of the few things I have the time/energy/money to make myself.  With so many different meats and veggies available, it’s a completely different entree each time I come, and I love them.

3.  The eggs.

This one may seem weird, but Genghis Grill has whole raw eggs in their line-up of goodies that you can add to your bowl.  With as much working out as I’m doing during Health Kwest, I need a lot of protein.  Adding a whole egg to my lunch each day is not only helpful… it’s really tasty!

4.  My local Genghis Grill.

I really like my local GG.  It’s not huge, but it’s not small either.  It’s very well furnished and decorated (everything seems much more “upscale” than a lot of similar restaurants I’ve been to).  And, needless to say, the staff there is awesome.

5.  Health Kwest!

This may sound cheesy, but I totally love Health Kwest, and I’m so glad that Genghis Grill picked me to be a khantestant this year.  I signed up for this mostly for the prospect of getting to eat out for free for two months.  I’ve really been amazed at the amount of motivation that a $10,000 grand prize can give me.  I have made it to the gym 2x a day this entire week, plus walked on my treadmill 4 of the 5 days so far (missed one because I was grocery shopping too late).  (And I’m writing this from my treadmill desk right now!)  I like working out, and I know I’m supposed to do it, but I can rarely get more than 2 times per week, and usually it’s a few weeks between those.  I’m exhausted right now, but in a good way, and I am already starting to see results.  I’ve lost a fair amount of weight already, and I can feel my muscles firming up.  Win or lose the grand prize, this contest is going to do me a whole lotta good!

I am a Khantestant!


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Every year, the Genghis Grill restaurant runs Health Kwest, a contest to see who can lose the most weight and complete the most social media tasks in 60 days.  One contestant is chosen from each GG location.  This year, I was chosen to be the representative for one of the restaurants in Cedar Rapids.  I’m so stoked!

The main part of the contest is eating at Genghis Grill every day during the 60 days.  Actually, you have to eat there… miss more than 3 days and your DQ’d.  Fortunately, they cover that part: every contestant is issued a card with a free bowl for each day.   The rest of the contest consists of a daily social media task, such as tweeting or FB-ing pictures of your bowl, or making a video or a blog post.  Hence why I’m starting this blog. 😉

This is going to be a challenge, but I have set some high goals and whether I win the final prize ($10k!) or not, I’m definitely going to come out a lot healthier (which hopefully also means a lot lighter).

I will be blogging my progress here, and hopefully will continue to do so after the contest ends as well.  I have been meaning to do a blog for a while now, so maybe being required to do this regularly will make it a habit for me.  Please follow me on my “kwest”, especially the various videos and photos I will be posting along the way.