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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My '350 x 50' Challenge

Week Two of recommitment saw good, and much more realistic progress. 3 to 4 lbs per week weight loss is still a lot, but it's sustainable.

However, I have decided to throw-down the gauntlet and give myself a nice little challenge. I'm calling it "350 x 50", and it simply entails my fat butt hitting 350lbs by my 50th birthday, on Dec. 30th.

44 days to lose 33lbs. For the Mathematically challenged amongst us, that's 0.75lbs lost per day, or 5.25lbs per week.

That's a VERY aggressive goal.

To hit that, I'll need to step up my usual game, quite a bit! My usual "Eat Clean, 10k steps/day, 3 workouts/week" won't quite cut it. THAT plan only gets me 2 to 4 lbs lost each week.

So, the eating must change the most. I'll double-down, and go full-on low carb clean Paleo, AND eliminate one of my 4 daily meals. Next, let's add 1/3 to my daily steps for 13k. Finally, let's step up from 3 weekly workouts to 5 (that one may be toughest for me)

So, I still have a simple 3 point plan, I've only adjusted the fine points!

Additionally, I'm thinking it might be good to fully log my food intake & exercise output. Maybe even add a mid-week weigh-in? I'm not sure on those, as it ratchets up the PITA factor, but it may help keep me from going sideways.

Updates to follow...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 800

I started this journey Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014. It was the day after Labour Day, and I was trying this whole 'clean eating' thing in a desperate last-ditch attempt to turn my health around. 120 days later and I hit the New Year 60lbs down & feeling like a new man. A year ago I'd doubled my weight loss to 120lbs, and I felt better than I had at any point in the last two decades.

Then I had a year if plateau & gentle backsliding...

So, here we go! A week ago I had a one day pity-party & then I got back to work. Now, on day 800 of changing my life, I can say I'm back on-track. In the last week I lost NINE (9) pounds!

Now, I don't expect (or want) that level of loss to continue. A lot of that was just clearing out the crud & extra water. Next week will be tougher, BUT, this shows that I'm back on-track & moving in the right direction.

One step at a time, ten thousand steps a day...

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Day After

In 1976 my family was living in England while my father did an overseas assignment for Price Waterhouse, and generally speaking, it was great. We did an astounding amount of travel through Europe, usually in our overloaded Ford station wagon. We even got to take a VERY rare & hard to get one week trip to Russia (remember, this was the mid 70's, the height of the Cold War). Our parents wanted us to absorb as much of the culture as possible, so we visited every museum, castle, and scenic overlook in the UK. We even went to English Schools, and while my academic record suffered from that point forward, we were incredibly fortunate to have that opportunity. I'm convinced that it became the bedrock foundation of my having a wider view of the world. One of my earliest political memories is from November of that year, the first US election I was really aware of. The morning after, I was getting ready for school, and my Dad was watching the TV, wiping away tears. Jimmy Carter had just been elected.

I was 9 years old, and my father didn't really know what to say to me. I think it was a time of reckoning for Republicans. Watergate had left the entire Nation stunned, and while Gerald Ford pardoning Nixon had left a bad taste in the mouth, the Republicans still believed in their party. Their cause was worthy, Nixon had just been overzealous; and Ford was a loyal soldier. But when Jimmy Carter got elected, it was the entire Nation throwing it back in their face.

Today I watched the TV, and like many Americans I was dumfounded.

Speechless.

I honestly don't know what to say, and I have no idea how we got here. Sure, we can all say that the GOP isn't the party of Ronald Regan anymore (I always joke that I didn't leave the Republican Party, they left me); and the Heritage Foundation, once a true bastion of great thought & discourse is now just the Tea Party watchdog, funded by the Koch Brothers. The Tea Party poisoned the GOP, and in a TWO YEAR primary battle, the very best that this wild pack of retards could come up with was Donald Trump.

Shame on us.

Too many people today are saying how great it is that this will redefine the GOP and that NOW things will change. They are blithely accepting his racism, his misogyny, and his megalomania. He is an intellectual mediocrity, a xenophobe, and is (at best) morally ambiguous. He has no background, training, or preparation for this job we just handed him.

It's the hate that he spews that frightens me. More than that, it's the way his supporters embrace it. Middle aged white men came out in record numbers. They are calling it "White lash". Undereducated middleclass white men, afraid of women, minorities, foreigners, LBGT's, and the disabled. Fear & Loathing drove them to the polls, and Hatred won.

I have a very deep seated fear of this new groundswell, these people who like trump because "he says what everyone's thinking". No, not everyone is a fearful, racist misogynist. But now we know YOU ARE. Yes, those of you who voted for Trump, voted for Hate. Say all you want about changing things in DC – THAT IS BULLSHIT.

You just voted for hate.

Like my father before me, I don't know what to say to my kids. Tomorrow I'm supposed to go to my 8 year old step daughter's school for a Veteran's Day celebration where they ask us to stand up so they can thank us for serving. I served for many reasons, and while most of them were self-serving, we were taught that we were defending America & her Constitution. We were, in a way, defending the rights of those who disagree with us. We defend the rights of those who burn the flag. We defend the rights of those who disparage America & all she stands for. I was proud to serve, and I did it willingly.

…but today, I'm ashamed. We elected someone who has disrespected and insulted Veterans, POW's, and Gold Star Families. He espouses Hate.

"But Hillary is a liar and she's awful" they say. Disagree with me all you want. I'll fight to the death to defend your right to do so. Good & intelligent discourse is the forge upon which we hammer out our democracy.

…but you chose Hatred.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

A year ago, today

Some of you may have noticed I've not posted much lately. In fact, my last post was six months ago, and I've only posted a total of seven times this year. Four of those posts were "recommitting", and one was about heart trouble.

Not exactly a great year.

In fact - I've not been doing well. I'm stressed, I'm exhausted, and I've managed to kill each & every single good habit that I worked so damn hard to earn the last two years.

...and today, exactly one year from my historic low weight of the last 20 years, I stepped on the scale.

I have backtracked 79lbs. That's 6.5lbs a month, or EXACTLY the reverse progress of where I was two years ago.

I'm less than 60 days away from turning 50...and I'm just as fat and out of shape as I was when I turned 40. In fact, I'm just as fat & unhappy as when I turned 30! I'm still, twenty years later, so DAMN angry & frustrated that it makes me want to shake my fist at heaven & cry.

The worst part is that I have seen, felt, and tasted success. A year ago, I had the world by the tail, I had 14 months of STUNNING success behind me, and I felt like I'd solved the rubic's cube that had plagued me for two decades.

Ah, Hubris!

I'd "solved" nothing. I'd simply figured out how to get to the halfway point. I figured THAT out like a champ! The second half was a puzzle yet to be cracked, but it turned out to be the plateau that bit me in the ass.

You see, I'd figured out that nothing succeeded like success. Standing still sucked the motivation out if me, which caused a shockingly quick drop in motivation, which very quickly caused backsliding, which turned into a negative spiral in less time than it takes to find the next drive thru.

Add six months of life changing events, six months of sprinting through stress, six months of being too busy to 'really' pay attention, and I find myself the worst version of everything I hated about myself.

I no longer do Aqua Fit. I moved away from my old gym, where the great old instructor quit, anyway. The new gym is ... "new" ... an unknown quantity. No sense of comfort & familiarity there, and my old scheduled routine has been replaced with other bits of chaos that feel tougher to work around than they should.

I'm no longer riding my bike. My last two rides were July 6th & August 2nd. My finger got tired scrolling back further than that. I love riding my bike, but damn if the 'rush of life' hasn't drowned every last ounce of give-a-fuck.

I do still meet with the Trainer a few times a month, but with my base level of fitness dropping so precipitously, we're not lifting the weights I was so excited about, we're caught in the quagmire of basic core conditioning that I despise. Every week I'm a little worse, and every week I hate it more.

However, the real deal-breaker has been my damn diet. Nobody can out exercise a bad diet, and my old/fat ass certainly can't, either. The old sugar demons & rationalizations come roaring back, then the guilt & binge behavior rears it's head , and then we're back in an ugly place that nobody likes to talk about (but we all keep a Tide Pen, just in case)

I'm so sick of it. I mean, DAMN, I was sick of this shit 20 years ago. Back in 2009 I finally gave up, and while I wasn't "happy", at least I didn't hate myself. Even my Doctor told me "quit fighting it & beating yourself up. We'll just manage everything through medication".

Oh, wouldn't that be nice? Take a pill, and let all the ugly stuff in life just ... float away.

I went to lunch the other day with some co-workers, and they took me to a Chinese Buffet, now that I'm no longer a "salad nazi". The Buffet was ok-ish in my opinion, but everything was either fried, in sauce, or dessert-like. Afterwards, out in the parking lot, two of the guys were laughing about how that had been "totally worth it" while they injected themselves with insulin.

That moment freaked me out.

It was surreal. I can't go "there". I refuse. I won't give my gluttony free reign & simply shoot-up with insulin & take an assortment of pills everyday.

That's not "life", that's a death sentence.

So, I'm stuck. I'm in no-man's-land. I'm caught between not being able to maintain the difficult but good lifestyle, and not being willing to sell my soul to Big Pharma.

I've got to find a path, somehow...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sometimes you just gotta do the best you can...

Let's face it, no matter how organized, motivated, and disciplined anyone can be; sometimes life just gets in the way...

So, we have to do the best we can, and continue getting back up each time life knocks us down or sends us on a detour.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What a difference a day can make...

I use a very simple & free iPhone app to measure my heart rate, and while it's certainly not a highly calibrated EKG that's been validated by the FDA, it's quite good at showing me when my heart is in A-Fib.

Being in A-Fib is nothing more than the top two sections of my heart being out of sync, they 'flutter'. The bottom two still pump blood & keep me alive, but when the top two flutter, the heart isn't very efficient, I feel tired, and blood can pool in there, potentially causing blood clots that can travel to the brain.

Not good.

So, I take a blood thinner to mitigate the risk of clots (yay! Pills everyday!), and I monitor my heart rate so I can tell if I pop back into A-Fib.

Like I was on Monday. Got zapped (re-booted) Tuesday, and back to normal Wednesday.

...with a stern lecture from my Cardiologist about my caffeine intake, poor sleep habits, and the need to continue loosing weight.

So, I have a caffeine withdrawal headache today (drinking lots of water), and with my heart in good rhythm AND spring weather - I'm planning to get out on the bike trails again.

...and, of course, everyday I recommit & choose to eat for health instead of desire. Some days I'm more successful than others, but I keep making the choice!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Win some / Lose some

Lots of good choices still vastly outweigh the bad choices, but the bad choices keep sneaking in. Gotta fix that, gotta get walking again, gotta get back out on the bike...