Posted in Fitness

I Hate Moving! & Not Just Furniture

Today I spent my Saturday moving my son’s and daughter’s belongings to a storage facility. Next year will be my son’s last semester for his undergrad degree. He finishes in December. And my daughter will be in her second year. Their schools are not far apart, so they, well, their mom decided they are going to live together to save money.

So we took my daughter’s things, which she brought from her dorm room, and my son’s things from his current apartment, to a storage unit. And then later, when school starts, we will move their things to their new apartment. What fun.

I have never been so tired. My son had a 3rd floor unit. And there was no elevator. There was only three of us. Gabe, myself, and their step-dad, Robert. And for some reason, the new apartment is on the 3rd floor also. Why?

Toward the end of a very long day, I could not climb those stairs another time. I haven’t moved that much since the last time I was in the gym. Sadly, that was three years ago. I stayed downstairs and loaded the stuff as they brought it down.

We did take a break for lunch at Applebee’s and afterward it seemed twice as hard to do the work. I can’t believe how out of shape I am at this point. Three summers ago, I was pretty strong; going to the gym weight training, walking, biking. My how times have changed.

So now my knees, lower back, and hips are pretty stiff. I will be pretty sore tomorrow. I will definitely be sleeping in. I should probably go to the gym on Monday since I had such a long hard workout today. It would be a good opportunity to get started again.

Well, time for bed.

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Posted in Fitness, Health

Missing Youth

I read a great post the other day on https://dictionarydutch.wordpress.com.  The post was called, Acceptance (aka It’s Better To Humour Yourself Than To Have Someone Else Do It For You). It was about accepting yourself and not worrying about what others think about you. She had come to the realization that she was not ugly, and that she looks good. I agree with her.

I used to think I was ugly when I was young. Then when I was older, like Sam, I realized that I was not ugly and that I looked good. Now I’m even older and I know for a fact that I am quite ugly, but I don’t care. These days I mostly care about being healthy.

I still care about the way I look. And I know that I’m not that ugly, but youth had its perks. Every time I go to one of my daughter’s ballgames I long to be able to run without pain. Though, no matter how healthy I am, I will not be able to run without pain ever again. Youth. I took it for granted when I had it; just like my son and daughter do now. I never doubted I would be able to run for as long or as fast as I wanted, ever. However, at 54, and have degenerative disc disease, running is not an option. I can’t even do many of the exercises in the gym that I used to do.

Youth is powerful. So, if you still have it, enjoy it. I never ate healthy when I was young. I developed some not so healthy habits in that area. I drank too much alcohol and I only exercised enough to keep my job in the Navy. Youth is the only way I could do that. Now I couldn’t pass a physical fitness test if my life depended on it. Ironically it sort of does.

I do get as much exercise as my body will allow; mostly walking. I also do some exercises that only require my body weight. I do what I can do. The weird thing is that on the inside I still feel young. On the outside, there is just pain. As I have stated before, aging is not for cowards.

So for sure I truly hope for that new body that the apostle Paul was talking about. I long for youth again.

Posted in Diet, Fitness

Loving the Gym

unnamedI am glad to be back in the gym and I’m doing well. The last time I was in on a regular basis was two summers ago. I was having trouble with my shoulders and a mysterious weakness in my left arm. I believe the weakness was the cause of my shoulder problem as well.

The most I could bench press during that summer was 95 lbs. I could never increase the weight because of the weakness, and pain is so draining mentally that I was literally wanting to just quit everything.

Since my neck surgery to release the pinched nerve that leads to the weakness in my left arm I have been a whole lot better. Today, only my second time doing the bench press at the gym, I am already up to 150 lbs. I am very excited. I was able to have a great chest workout. I know it was great because instead of my shoulders hurting I could feel every muscle in my chest working under the weight of the workout. When I was done with my workout every muscle involved in the workout was just about numb. I’m sure I will be quite sore tomorrow, but, I welcome pain related to working out rather than injury.

I am getting better at my diet as well. It is very hard to stay within the low carb range I want. Sometimes it is hard to consume the amount of fat required. It is definitely a learning process.

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Pasta & Marinara w/Chicken

The discovery of MiracleNoodles.com has been a blessing, making it quite a bit easier to stay low carb. They don’t taste like anything, but, take on the flavor of whatever sauce and flavors you add to them. They are a great vehicle, aiding in getting lots of fiber into the body, and remaining low carb. And they add no calories to your diet.

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Chicken & Rice

Right now my weight loss seems stalled but, I’m not worried. It feels so great getting back to the gym that I am too excited to be discouraged about it. This diet seems to be working great in conjunction with the gym. Two summers ago while in the gym, I was pretty much on a high protein diet, and hunger was always waiting, either immediately after the workout, or within an hour of the workout. On the keto-diet I have plenty of energy for my workouts, and, when I’m done I am not hungry. The diet sustains the workout and keeps me satiated until I get home to have my next meal. And when I do eat it is never because I am desperately hungry.

I am anxious to see what kind of results I can get following my current program. When March comes around it will have been a year since beginning the keto-diet. I have 8 months and I want them to be extraordinary. I don’t have to reach my goal weight, but I expect to be damned close and looking much healthier.

Posted in Diet, Fitness

How Men Over 40 Can Get Abs

get abs after 40I finally got around to checking out a YouTube video, How Men Over 40 Can Get Six Pack Abs. You have probably seen this channel on YouTube if you follow fitness at all. I thought it would be.. well, I don’t know what I expected. However, I found it extremely informative and it seemed to make a lot of sense.

The video talks about how men’s testosterone production reaches its peak in our 20’s. Then each subsequent year production decreases 1-2%. The video also tells how visceral fat, the fat in the belly area, is an indicator of low testosterone, and, also decreases testosterone. The video also points out how you can’t get rid of belly fat (visceral) unless you are able to raise your testosterone levels. It is a vicious circle!

Mark McIlyar, the speaker, and producer of the video, also points out that there are exercises that men over 40 should not be doing because it actually decreases testosterone production. High-intensity training such as aerobics, group fitness courses, cardio machines, apparently can leave testosterone levels depressed up to 24 – 48 hours after the exercise is done (Mark M.).

The problem with these type of exercises Mark says is that there is not enough muscle resistance to activate muscles that stimulate hormone (testosterone) production (Mark M.).

Exercises that men over 40 should engage in are those which cause an anaerobic response from the body. Exercises such as bench press and squats engage large groups of muscles at the same time. This is called compound movements. These exercises significantly boost hormone production thus raising the testosterone levels in the blood.

Mark says that once men can get their testosterone levels up naturally, burning visceral fat becomes less of a problem. It’s a matter of doing the right kinds of exercises.

And of course, food is also a part of the process. I would like to see how his exercise program will work paired with the diet I am currently using, the Ketogenic diet. It is similar to the diet he describes in the video, but I think the keto-diet may work well with his system. By the way, it is set at a really great price, under $100.

Mark gives a tremendous amount of information in this YouTube video. It was enough info that you could conceivably begin your own program based on the info that he gave. However, like he said in the video it would take you significantly longer to figure things out. It took Mark a year. I’d rather follow a system that someone has already figured out.

So far this year I have learned more about fitness and dieting than I did in my 20 years of military service.

If you are an older man I think you should check out this video on YouTube. There is a lot of great information there. And Mark McIlyar explains it a lot better than I did in this short post.

Posted in Fitness

First Day Back at the Gym!

On Wednesday I went to the gym for the first time in nearly two years. Two summers ago my shoulders began to hurt. So much so, I ended up doing 6 weeks of physical therapy.  I had never injured my shoulders before that, ever. I had not put together a possible reason for the pain until I was in the gym Wednesday.

I had an MRI about a month ago and, the results showed that I have a ruptured or bulging disc in my neck, which is pressing against a major nerve to my left shoulder, arm, and hand.

Two summers ago during some of my workouts I experienced weakness in my left arm and hand. It was sudden and happened multiple times. I had no idea what was causing it. Like an idiot I kept working out like that, probably over compensating for the weakness, injuring my shoulders.

I did’t feel any weakness today. I was only using very light weight. But, I could feel the pressure in the area where the doctor told me the bulge had happened. Only then did I realize that this is probably what caused the weakness I felt two years ago. I will probably end up having surgery some time this summer. I don’t want to, but, what ever was going on two summers ago may happen again if I do not.

Other than that realization Wednesday I had a pretty good workout. I did some chest work, shoulder work, and upper back. Then I did a forty minute cardio workout on the elliptical machine.

I have to say that I was surprised by the amount of energy I had for cardio. Usually there is that sick feeling I get when I first begin, and once I push past that I can go on to finish the workout. Today however, even though I was expecting that sick feeling, it never happened. I had full energy from the start. No nausea. No hard time getting started. Just GO!

The only thing different is the diet. Not burning glucose (sugar) in the beginning; Burning fat! The Ketogenic diet is crazy. I am absolutely amazed. Its almost too good to be true, but it is!


Workout:

Strength Trainging
4 sets dumbbell chest press
4 sets lat pulldowns
4 sets military press

Cardio/Elliptical
40 minutes
2.59 miles
413 calories burned

Posted in Diet, Fitness

The Gym

Body_Coach_Dumbbell_set_10_kgI have been feeling really good for several weeks now. I have been thinking of going back to the gym, or maybe some exercise besides walking, that does not require weights.

I learned my lesson  a few years ago. I really am aging. I won’t over do things again. I know what to do, and I’ll do it correctly this time. Besides, I still have all the pains I’ve been complaining about for the past couple of years. Some of them I created the last time I went to a gym.

I am confident I can work out without furthering any previous injuries. I just want to take advantage of how well I’ve been feeling lately.

Until I do I will continue walking.

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health

Doctor Visit

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A favorite: ground beef steak, cauliflower, and roasted red bell pepper

I had my doctors appointment yesterday. As usual the numbers from my last blood test were not that impressive. However, I had not made any dietary changes that I could stick at the time.

Things are looking up  though. My BP was 126/80. It hasn’t been that low in months. My resting pulse was 69. And my weight is currently 249 lbs. I started a month ago at 267 lbs. – 18 pounds and counting.

I asked her about the low HR during exercise and she, “that is a good sign.” It means that some of the inflammation in my circulatory system has been reduced, most likely due to my change in diet.

She had never thought to check to see if I was allergic to glutens or any other grain foods. The reduction of grains seems to have been a good thing for me, and it has been easy. I have pretty much stopped drinking alcohol as well; no occasional wine.

I don’t know if I am strictly on any one diet. I am basically keeps my carbs low. And when I do eat them, I make sure they are nutrient dense. My doctor liked it. She just told me not to eat too much red meat because of the uric acid in the fats, and if I do, stay with the lean stuff. Any other healthy fats I am not worried about.

I have been walking on a more consistent basis. I haven’t been to the gym yet. Probably won’t go (if I go) until summer begins. I won’t be taking classes. I am almost done though. I have four more and I’ll be finished.

I may take pics, or post a video some time this week – before the weekend is over for sure.

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health

In the Doctor’s Office for Routine Blood work

Doctors Appointment

Its 10:33 and I’m still waiting. I have been fasting since around mid-night. I don’t know if it’s the food I’ve been eating, but I haven’t had a single hunger pain thus far.

I don’t feel weak. I just fel comfortable. I’m going to eat when I’m done here. I know exactly what I’m gonna eat. It’s gonna be good, and not even the thought of the anticipated meal is making me feel hunger, like usual.

As I said in my previous post, I think I’ve found the right stuff to eat, or rather the right stuff not to eat. I hope that’s true.

I’m not doing anything extreme. However, its a given that I have cut out processed foods. And now I have given up beans, lentils, and grains, and things made from grains. That has actually made a difference in the way I feel.

Whether it actually helps me lose weight remains to be seen. I’ll let you know.

I will not give up.

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Journal Entry

Moving along

Making Progress

For the past several days I have ridden a bicycle, once. I have also done a bit of walking, as I am back in school. I am easing into a new diet which seems to be working, as far as me not getting hungry and having those severe hunger pains that make me want to eat every freaking thing in the house. What I am saying is, I think I have found the foods that will not Spike my blood sugar.

I’m not going to tell you what the diet is right now. I want to see if it will actually help me first. I know that it feels good in my belly, and I feel satisfied.

I have been drinking plenty of water. I have done no cheating so far. The diet is supposed to be for weight loss. I have not jumped on the scale to check to see if it’s coming off rapidly. I don’t care if it comes off fast, I just want to know that it’s coming off. And when I know it is coming off while I’m feeling good about what I’m eating, then I will be satisfied. And then perhaps I will tell you what diet I am easing into.

I intend to ride the bicycle more. I also intend to use my Total Gym inside. That is mostly because the last time I went to an actual gym I ended up injuring my shoulders and lower back. I don’t know what I was thinking when I was using such heavy weights, injured as I was when I went in there in the first place.

I have to accept that I’m getting older and can’t do the things that I used to do, but by cracky, I will find the way to slim down and relieve some of my pain, which I know is caused by the extra weight. I will not give up.

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health

Cheat Day!

Well this I my second week on the new diet. Had my first cheat day yesterday. I wasn’t feeling all that great afterward, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Cheat day is the day I get to eat anything I want without restrictions.

I bought a new scale the day before yesterday and got a whole different weight than I did with my old scale. There was a 15 pound difference, and not in my favor. So I think I actually weighed a lot more when I started last week, and I don’t really know what the starting weight was.

So the day I got the new scale I weighed in at around 267. After yesterday’s cheat day I currently weigh a little over 263 lbs. So though I’m not sure what my starting weight was I feel like the diet will actually work for me.

I got lots of exercise helping Gabriel, my sophomore in college, move in to his new apartment in Spartanburg. He lives on the third floor of the building. It’s a good thing he didn’t have a lot of stuff. We climbed those stairs for an hour or so. Now if I could duplicate this workout 3 times a week I would be good to go. I need to get my bicycle running again.

On the way back from Spartanburg I was not paying close attention to where Kat, my 17 year old daughter, was driving and we ended up in Georgia somewhere. That added two hours to our trip home.

Then on the way, we came across a bar called Lucky’s Burger Shack, only we didn’t know it was a bar. We found it on Yelp. The food was really, really good though.  And Kat was just a little too excited about being inside a bar. Technically I guess it was a restaurant and bar, but it was definitely the place where people came to hang out on Saturday nights.

Well, I guess it was a pretty adventurous weekend. Looking forward to the second week on this diet. I’m expecting significant losses.