Posted in Diet, Health

Blood Pressure

It has been high but I don’t know why. And I mean stroke and heart attack high! My doctor had increased my med dosage an few months back but did not help.

I saw her last week and it was still high:142/100. So, she added another medication and in only 6 days it has come down to near normal numbers. This morning it was 127/83. I was very pleased,and, I feel better.

I am also feeling better because I am not driving a school bus any longer. I do have to find another job though. You know how when you’re working, and the money is good, and you start spending more and making new bills? Yeah, I did that. I am not completely sunk yet. I can conceivably pay off the debts I’ve created very slowly, or I can get a job and pay them off like I was doing before.

However, I am not worried about it. I will find a job eventually, even if I have to deliver pizzas in my car. And that’s not really a bad gig. I only need so much to get by. Being retired military helped immensely.

The only thing that really disappoints me is that I will not be able to buy that new motorcycle I have been wanting for the last 11 months. I wanted to buy a Harley Davidson. After test riding a few I can’t stop thinking about them. One day I will though.

Anyway, that is about all I have to say on this post. I feel like my health is improving. I am getting better and better reacquainted with my diet. And I am slowly but surly taking measures to improve.

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Posted in Happiness, Sporting

I Want A Harley-Davidson Lowrider!

It turns out that this is the blog where I not only write about my diet and health challenges, but also the things in life that excite me or disappoint me. Looks like it is my everything blog, kinda.

So, I am excited because I went down to the Harley-Davidson dealer (nearest me) and saw the next bike I want to buy. It is their soft tail Lowrider. Yep! That’s it on the right. It looks great in pictures, but, it is mind-blowing up close and personal. The only thing that bothered me a little was how high the mid-controls pushed up my knees. I am hoping Harley-Davidson will put out a modification for a more forward set of foot controls.

Other than that it is one of the most beautiful machines I’ve ever seen on two wheels. It’s no wonder HD is a favorite of Motorcycle riders all over the world.

My old bike to the left is a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard M-50. I have had it 11 years. My Son has asked me for it because he wants to learn to ride. This bike has been a good one. I had one issue where the gear oil leak out, or wasn’t replaced during a service call and ended up having to replace the drive shaft. And I’ve had to replace one gasket to stop an oil leak. That’s a pretty good ROI for this bike. And I’ve had a blast riding it. I think it would be a great start for my Son. Of course, I will make sure it is in tip-top condition before that.

I purposely made the newer bike photo bigger here because that’s exactly what it felt like to ride my bike to the Harley-Davidson dealer and see the LowRider in person. Other than the one issue I’ve already mentioned this bike is freaking awesome. The feel as I sat on it made me feel powerful somehow. It’s hard for me to describe it. I can’t wait until I get to test ride it.

The new Milwaukee 8 engine powering the Lowrider dwarfs the 805 cc of my Suzuki. It is 107 cubic inches in displacement. That’s about 1753 cc. The size difference is massive. The Suzuki is shaft driven. The HD is belt driven (which I like because it’s probably easier to keep up than a drive shaft). Out of everything I have heard people say about this Lowrider the thing that sticks out is, “this thing has massive power and torque.” I get excited just thinking about it.

Anyway, that’s what happening in my life today. I probably won’t buy this motorcycle for a while. I have some other things to do financially first.

As for diet and weight loss, I am still eating crap (fried chicken is awesome!). And where I thought I had gained about 8 pounds, it turns out I had lost about 2. Go figure.

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

My Makeover

What exactly is a makeover anyway? What exactly should I be trying to achieve? Am I trying become a skinny person? I don’t think that is actually going to happen. I think I love food too much, and that includes all the ones that are supposed to be terrible for you.

I think maybe I am, or maybe should be, trying to simply develop a healthier attitude about foods in general. I still like the Ketogenic diet. It is easy to follow and a fairly healthy way of eating. However, I find that I am prone to taking advantage of the higher fat intake with the wrong kinds of fat. I have been doing better with that part. This year so far I am mostly overdoing it with the carbs. As you may know, the ketogenic diet is low carb by design.

I don’t ever remember being especially concerned about my appearance when it came to weight. However, before I turned 40 I had never been heavier than 185 – 195 pounds. When I turned 40 things just seemed to slow down; my metabolism, my running speed, and my energy level went way down. I got out of the Navy when I was 44. I feigned injury to get out of my final Physical readiness test (PRT). I would have probably hurt myself doing it anyway.

So when I began writing this blog I had just had my 50th birthday in March. The month I started writing (Sept), is the month my Mom died. She was my best friend. Nothing could have prepared me for such a loss. I was, and am, affected deeply by this event. I think sadness sometimes has a lot to do with the way we eat. Some of the times I ended up eating when I’m not hungry are times I thought to pick up the phone and call my Mom, having forgotten for a fraction of a second that she is gone. There are, of course, other triggers. I think this is what is meant by emotional eating. Everyone probably does it.

As far as controlling weight gain I believe exercise is half of the equation, but sometimes injuries can keep that from happening. I have had a lower lumbar fusion, two levels. I have had the same type of surgery on my neck, level C6. The one thing I am never without is physical pain. My doctors always ask me what my pain level has been between visits (1-10). Mine is always between 5 & 10. Most days it is around 8.

So, I don’t know what kind of a makeover am trying to achieve or could expect. I once thought that if I lost weight maybe my pain level wouldn’t be so high. I’m not sure I believe that anymore, mainly because I don’t think I will ever lose enough weight, but also because degenerative disc disease is, well, degenerative. So, a makeover I may need or want, but, I don’t know what that actually means.

Maybe, in the beginning, I wanted to prove I could lose a lot of weight, and be able to post before and after photos. Now I don’t care about that part of it. Some days I just want to feel sane or normal and feel good physically. Maybe I suffer depression. I don’t know. Perhaps a makeover of the mind is in order.

So, I don’t know what a makeover means for me. I will always try to watch my weight. At my age its a sensible thing to do. I want a healthy mind and emotions. Maybe when that happens (and I believe it will) I will have a better relationship with food, or a healthier one anyway.

Posted in Diet

Back on Track

See? Right back at it. Well, except for the cinnamon roll I had this morning. And the one I had didn’t come close to the one pictured to the right. It was one of those cheap store-bought ones. I was late for work (excuse). Missed breakfast, rushing to work (actually training as a school bus driver).  Got really hungry during the few hours I was driving. As soon as I got home I busted out my smoker and put on a Cornish Hen.

Took me about 20 minutes to get the grill going. In the meantime, I seasoned my little bird with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. All of these ingredients would be in my rub if I’d made one. I cooked the bird for about an hour and a half. Once it got close I steamed my Asparagus, then, added some salt, pepper, and a little butter.

The meal was quite tasty if I do say so myself. My stomach is now full, and back to its usual calm. It was not feeling so hot after the ice cream last night and the cinnamon roll this morning.

I like my diet. I like the foods I’m able to eat. But addiction, and that’s the only way I can explain it, is a very hard thing beat. I’m addicted to high-carb sugary foods. But one day this will not be the case. I have beaten other addictions.

 

Posted in Diet, goals, Health

My Fitness Pal

One of the reasons I was so successful in 2015 with my diet was the MyFitnessPal website and mobile app. It lets you set your nutrient goals, calorie intake, and helps you to see exactly how you are doing as long as you are inputting your meals.

During that year I recorded every meal. I got instant feedback about my nutrients. I knew exactly where I stood throughout the day and could adjust accordingly. It is an extremely helpful website and app.

One of the reasons I began to falter was the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The other reason was that I thought I was able to do without the app. Sure, once you have been doing your diet a while you should be able to do without having to depend on an app. But if you are like me the app helps to remind you that you are trying to accomplish something. It reminds you that you have a goal. And it helps to keep on track.

Will I ever be able to go without the app? Maybe, but, why mess with success. So this week I have resumed using the app to monitor my meals, food & nutrient intake through MyFitnessPal. There are also other apps that are just as helpful, but my favorite is the one I’ve been writing about here.

There are others you can check out. All of these apps are available on both iTunes & Android:

I find that I need all the help I can get.

Posted in Diet, goals, Health

Still Hanging On

belly barrow

It is and has been a slow process to try to get back on track with my diet. I know it will probably be even more difficult with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up, but I am determined. By the new year, I really want to be back on track with my diet & exercise, and feeling better.

Today when I got out of bed I did some stretching because I have been having more back pain than usual. I thought it might be because I had been gaining weight. However, on the scale, I had only gained a pound since the last time I weighed in. So, I suppose it is because I have not been exercising. During the winter months before summer, I had been walking every other day. So the exercise had been helping with the pain.

I need to be in shape anyway. Next summer I plan to audition for a gig onboard a cruise ship as a musician. They have a health standard just like the Navy, but not near as hard to meet. Not that the Navy’s standard was that difficult, but it did involve being able to meet some physical activity requirements. The cruise ship just wants to make sure I don’t fall over dead before my contract is finished.

I have, of course, been practicing the saxophone for about a year and a half. I think I will be ready by summer. I have also promised to play at my church at some point. I will keep my promise. And if possible, I would like to play with some of the musicians in the Charleston area; at least a jam session or something, or, maybe a solo gig in a restaurant or coffee shop.

Anyway, the bottom line is I will not give up. I have a plethora of reasons to keep at it, number one being my health. I’m only 54. I’m too young to quit. I will keep you all informed about the ship thing. For more about playing music, you can follow my music blog tonelovette.wordpress.com.

 

Posted in Diet

Perseverance

Well, it’s a new week and a new chance to get on track. I have been struggling since the beginning of the year with my diet, but I am determined to succeed. Besides, my ultimate health would be better if I do succeed and that is very important to me.

I have had an upset stomach for a few days because I have been completely off the diet. I think I have completely exhausted all of my off limit foods now, including the beer in my frig. I am down to only what I need for my diet again. I’m sure my stomach will be grateful in a few days. I will also go grocery shopping later today to get anything I am lacking.

This week I will get back into my walking routine again. It has been about a month (maybe two) since I’ve done it. It had been difficult because of my back. I have been receiving injections for pain in the last 3 weeks. They have helped a little but not a whole lot.

Sometimes I think there is no reason to try to continue because of my physical ailments.  But I guess my instincts to fight kick in and I keep trying. I guess that’s just human, the desire to persevere. In my case, I feel like I’m trying beat insurmountable odds. Maybe I am.

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

Strategy

Version 2When my son comes home from school for a visit, staying on my diet becomes a challenge. He is not on any special diet. He is in his 20’s so, he eats whatever he wants. All it takes for him (as a young man) is a trip to the gym or a few miles on the road, jogging.

Those measures are not an option for me anymore. He buys stuff for himself to eat while he is here, stuff I refuse to buy. I always nag him to take “his food” with him when he leaves because I don’t want it in the house.

He complains that I don’t have any willpower. He does not get any argument from me. I already know I have no willpower. However, I do have enough will power not to bring things home from the market that are not good for me or my diet. That’s my strategy.

If it’s not in the house or the refrigerator I am in no danger of eating the wrong things. That doesn’t matter though when my addiction overcomes my desire to eat right. Then it’s just a matter of getting in the car and taking a trip to the store. And yes, that does happen.

I have no will power. My son is right. I have achieved some measure of success by only bringing into the house what I actually plan to eat for meals. I can’t even keep products like flour in the house. I know how to make bread or cakes or other things I’m not supposed to eating. It’s all about strategy.