Posted in Diet, Health

Journey Back

I am trying my best to get back on my diet of choice, the Ketogenic Diet. It is a diet that has worked well for me in the recent past. It seems hard to get started though. And if you haven’t heard or saw on my other blog, I am no longer a school bus driver. I decided to give the job up.

The job itself was not causing my failure on my diet. I just haven’t been disciplined or cared enough. The job was causing a great deal of stress though. All I could do when I got home every day was sleep. I was sore, near physically ill from the stress, and dreading the next day. On weekends, I would go through several bottles of wine. This, I believe, was a result of job stress.

I haven’t worked there now for about 3 weeks. I feel like I’m becoming uncoiled finally. I was wound pretty tightly; tight muscles, joint pain, neck pain, and back pain. I’m starting to feel better. Before I took the job, I had begun to practice the saxophone again and learn some tunes. All that ended slowly when I started driving. Eventually, I could not find the energy to continue. Just this week, I remembered what my musical goals were. I had planned to be in a group by this time, or, at least doing some solo work.

I feel I became really unhealthy while driving the school bus. I don’t think I will ever go back to it. So now, since I’ve started feeling better, I intend to try to go all the way. Not even a weight loss goal, just a goal of eating better. I need to decrease some of the inflammation in my body. I need to send my triglycerides in a downward trend, and, I need to lower my blood pressure. The keto diet was doing all of that.

I am a little scared though. I don’t want to fail. And I know I shouldn’t think about it in those terms, but, its hard not to.

Also, I need to get engaged again in some sort of exercise. I guess I will approach all of this one step at a time. And of course, it was helping to post here on my blog. It sort of kept me honest. Anyway, that’s what it is right now. Wish me luck.

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Posted in Diet

All-Star @ Waffle House

Yea, still not worried about any diet. I’m at Waffle House having breakfast. Waffle House is one of my favorite places to eat. I can see them prepare my meal, which makes me more willing to eat the food.

At this point, I have mostly given up on the diet thing, but still watching out for my health. I know I can’t eat like this every day. And for the most part, I eat at home and things are pretty plain jane.

The All-American is a big breakfast. It comes with your choice of bacon, sausage, or ham, eggs to order, grits or hash browns, toast and a big ole waffle!

The coffee is always good, and the price is right. I’m only here because I missed breakfast this morning. I could have gone home but I didn’t want to. I’m enjoying myself.😊

Posted in Health

Today’s Doctor Visit

Well, I finally went to the doctor today. Actually, I ended up at the emergency room on this past Saturday for a very sharp pain in my left side. They initially thought I might have a kidney stone, so they did a CT scan. There were no stones, but they found a cyst on my left kidney. And that is why I was in the doctor’s office today following up.

I think we’ve determined that I had a muscle spasm as far as the pain in my side which stemmed from an area in my lower back. However, my doctor has scheduled a full work up of my kidneys to determine if there is something serious is going on there. I think it is probably nothing and hopefully, the test will bear that out.

The CT scan on Saturday also showed something on my left lung. We will be checking this out as well. Both items are very very small. They just want to make sure nothing serious is going on.

So, I covet any prayers. But again, I’m not worried that they are going to find anything serious going on.

Posted in Diet

Discouraged

When I woke up today my right arm was almost completely asleep, and it hurt. No, I didn’t sleep on it. I sleep on my back. My neck and back are in such a condition that if I remain in one position for too long nerves are pinched and maybe even blood circulation diminished.

For the past several weeks I have been receiving injections in my lower back to help with pain. I don’t think I am going to continue. They have not helped. In some ways, it seems to have made things worse. I think stretching, exercise (whatever I can do) are the best courses to take.

I have posted any new pictures of my progress for a while. That is because I am not progressing, but regressing. My diet is suffering. I don’t know why I am having so much trouble staying on. Last year when I began it seemed so easy. Now I can’t seem to last more than a couple of weeks.

I still have a mind to keep fighting but is seems so hard now. I am somewhat discouraged by my pain. Sometimes I can’t rid my mind of thoughts that I may be in a wheelchair at some point before I’m old enough to be thinking about it. Quite frankly, it scares me. I don’t know how to go forward.

I would appreciate any ideas, prayers, or whatever.

Posted in Diet

248.5 Week 43

It is week 43. My starting weight was 267 pounds. I have lost weight, but, I have also gained weight. As of this morning, I weigh 248.5, a loss of 18.5 pounds. In the last 43 weeks, I have had a weight loss of up to 39 pounds. I ultimately failed to stick to my diet for nearly 8 weeks beginning around November. And when Thanksgiving rolled around I was completely off my program.

I didn’t give up. I was just struggling. And I’m still struggling, but I haven’t given up. I am in a nearly 2-1/2 month slump but I am still fighting. The keto diet is still the easiest way of eating I have come across so far. However, like probably everyone in this day and time, I am truly addicted to sugar & carbohydrates.

With some discipline, I am sure I can overcome the carb thing. I have already taken measures to rid the house of things I should not be eating. I find that my temptation comes when I get bored. I have to find something to do.

I still have not found a way to practice my saxophone without hurting my neck or back. I can’t really go to the gym, but I don’t really have to. There are lots of exercises I can do without going to the gym, but going there gets me out of the house for a while. Boredom. It is my enemy. I need to have something to do during the day to keep me busy. Television is not doing the trick:)

Not sure what this post is really about except to say, I’m still moving forward. I have the right stuff to eat on hand and I know foods to avoid. There are plenty of things, and even exercises, that can get me out of the house. I just have to do them.

Posted in pain

Doctors Visit

I had a doctors appointment today to talk about my increasing pain. As I suspected, there is really nothing more they can do for my lower back.  He did say he’d schedule another MRI. He thinks that maybe the vertebra below my lumbar fusion may be wearing out sooner than expected. I don’t want another surgery though. In the meantime, I will be receiving a shot for the pain.

I can still go to the gym if I want, but I’m not allowed, or rather, shouldn’t perform any exercises that compress my spine in any way. So military press is out. Squats are out. Bent over rows for my back are out. That leaves me mostly isolation exercises, which aren’t necessarily able to help me burn fat.

My goal was to do exercises that used large muscle groups because it is great for stimulating hormone production and burning fat. Squats was a big part of what makes that happen.  Now I will have to find other ways to stimulate the body to produce growth hormones (testosterone).

So, anyway, it seems I will be in pain for a while. The pain is so bad sometimes I can’t sleep. And sometimes I go for days without sleep. Hopefully, the shot will help, but my back is completely whacked out.

On a good note, my motorcycle has been repaired, and I went for a ride today. On the downside, it made my shoulders and neck hurt. So I don’t think I will keep it if I can’t ride it. I love riding but I can’t stand the pain.

Oh yea, My diet is holding fast. I haven’t gained any weight resulting from not going to the gym.

Posted in pain

Increasing Pain

A few mornings ago, just before waking up, I found myself in sleep, praying for death because of the pain in my lower back. I have only prayed for death one other time, which I will not tell about.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my back. It hurts worst in the morning when I first wake up. It hurts throughout the night which is why I don’t get much sleep because I’m constantly waking up and changing positions. But then at some point, I get so tired that I do actually fall into a deeper sleep and don’t move for a long while. That’s what causes the most pain.

I have had a Tempur-pedic mattress which did not help much. I now have a Sleep number bed, and it is no more help. I’m not saying that these are not good products. I’m saying my condition has become more than a good bed can help.

I don’t know what else I can do. Pain meds don’t seem to help, so I don’t them very much. Needless to say, again, pain has slowed my efforts in the gym. However, at least this time I am eating better. I can also still walk without much difficulty.

 

Posted in Diet, Journal Entry

Progress and Dieting in my Life

10 Weeks

I am coming upon the end of week 10 of, “The End of My Big Fat Life.” I have lost a total of 23.5 pounds. As of this morning I weigh 243.5. This is just below what I weighed in 2010, the year I had my back surgery. That year I thought I would be able to lose weight since the surgery was supposed to eliminate the pain that stopped my exercise progress in the first place.

I wasn’t always fat. I was in the Navy for 20 years. I got out in 2007. Soon after though, my back just got worse and worse. Turns out I had two herniated disc. My only recourse was a lower lumbar fusion. The doctor that did the surgery was sure that this would eliminate my pain. It did in a way, but, after the surgery I had a different kind of pain that has been with me since the operation. Now I’m faced with the same type of surgery again, only in my neck. Going to talk to the doctor about it next Wednesday. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as the surgery on my  back.

I don’t really want another surgery, but, there is some weakness in my left arm and hand because of a nerve being pinched.

In my 20’s and 30’s and part of my 40’s, weight loss was just a matter of getting out of the house and doing some exercise. Back pain slowed me down though. I had never had to get on any particular diet.Maybe I could have avoided gaining so much weight if I had done so.

Losing weight gets harder the more you gain, and as you get older. I would hate for my life to be defined by constantly trying to lose weight, but, that’s what it has been for the past 9 to 12 years.

I am trying to make a life-style change, but it can be difficult. Each time I go into the grocery store there is all that junk food they have at the checkout counter to tempt you. And then there is driving around town and seeing all the fast food restaurants that I used to frequent. I’m not usually hungry when I’m out, but the temptation to eat foods that aren’t good for me persist. They only thing that saves me is that I am usually broke.

I am still pleased with what I am doing. I feel good. In fact, I feel better everyday. Sometimes when I eat a meal on the keto-diet I feel a little guilty; not like I’m on a diet. I am expecting good things from this change. So far, it had been really easy (as long as I am alway prepared food wise).


Exercise Today

Elliptical
40:00 Minutes
Active Calories: 543
AVG HR : 174

Strength Training
Dumbbell bench press, 4 sets of 12 (30 pounds)
Dumbbell flies, 4 sets of 15 (20 pounds)
Machine chest press, 2 sets of 12 (85 pounds)

 

Posted in pain, physical therapy

Dealing With My Pain Issues

I went to the gym today. I did things I probably should not have been doing. I did bench press and military press, and a few other things. I couldn’t resist. I don’t want all this work I’ve done since summer to go to waste. I have worked hard and I don’t want to quit. After doing a light workout with the weights I did my usual 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine.

I am in physical therapy for my shoulder pain. The pain had steadily increased since the summer. Finally it got to the point I had to see a doctor about it. Of course they start with x-rays, physical therapy, and if that doesn’t work, maybe shot of something that will relieve the pain. Finally, if none of that works, perhaps an MRI, then surgery to repair whatever is causing the pain.

While in the navy I don’t remember ever having a shoulder pain. It was always my back. And I don’t remember ever hurting my shoulders. They just started to hurt one day, before I ever went to the gym, and continued to get worse.

My hope is that they can be strengthened through PT, and no surgery will be required. I was really on a roll getting in shape. I would like to see it through to completion.

Posted in Fitness, pain

Pain & The Weather

I had a very painful weekend. I don’t know if it was the weather or something else external, but, I was in so much pain that thought I had damaged the fusion in my lower back. However, this morning when I woke up I felt a lot better. I still had a little bit of pain, but not the near crippling pain like over the weekend.

I have been having headaches. I don’t know what is causing them. Could be sinus pain. Today my knees hurt also. I have not had any knee pain since I began nearly 5 months ago. Maybe the weather is affecting them as well. I hope that’s all it is. Still, I was able to complete my leg workout.

I also found a good way to workout my calves. It was an accidental discovery. While on the elliptical machine I always have trouble getting my feet comfortable. So during my time on the machine I’m constantly shifting my weight around trying to get comfortable.

So at some point I found myself raising my heels off the surface of the pedals. Within several second I could feel my calves contracting very vigorously. This was during the last 7 minutes or so of my elliptical workout. So decided to pedal for 2 minutes with my heels raised, and resting with my heels down for one minute, then repeating. I only got to do it about twice. I don’t even get the amount of muscle contraction I was getting on the elliptical machine,  doing 8 sets of toe raises with weights.

Needless to say I will be doing this from now on, and  more often during my 45 minute elliptical ride to nowhere.