Posted in Bicycling

My First Ride

So, today I had my first bike ride (bicycle that is) in a very long time. The last time I did any real distance was in 2010. I was up to 24 miles every other day, and that was a month or two after my back surgery. Today’s ride was only 3.27 miles in like 15 minutes, and, I am so out of shape. This is especially true since I haven’t been to the gym since 2014.

I knew my first ride would be pretty taxing, and probably the next 10 rides, until I get used to working again. And it was mostly my legs. The whole cardio thing was not too troublesom. I am pleased to report there were no chest pains or shortness of breath, which I always seem to expect, but it has never happened. So I’m looking forward to doing it again. The bike I bought is a very good ride (Specialized Cross Trail). I think I will need to get some padding for my ass though.

There is almost nowhere to ride where I live. There are no provisions on the road for bicycles; very narrow to no shoulders. I may have to search out some trails or bike routes and carry the bike on the car to get there. I don’t even think I could safely navigate to work. Believe it or not I’m almost certain I would be seriously injured or worse if I tried.

Anyway, it was good to bike again, and cool to be on a new bike, and I think I want to do it some more.

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Posted in exercise

Finally A New Bicycle

Yesterday, I picked up my new bicycle. I got a Specialized “Cross Trail.” As implied by the name of the bike, it is made to cross from street travel to some off-road cycling. My last bike was also made by Specialized but it was not made for any such function. It didn’t hold up to the punishment I was putting it through. I still have it. I needs an extensive overhaul, which would cost near as much as just replacing the bike. So, I did.

I have always like the shifters and deralers on these bikes from Specialized. However, my favorite thing about this bike are the hydrolic-disc brakes. This bike has more stopping power than I have ever experienced on a bicycle. Previous brake styles have worked well, but this is a whole new level of braking for me on a bicycle.

And who doesn’t like getting something new? I know I do. Some of you might be wondering, “can he even ride a bike with all the bodily pain he complains about?” The answer has always been yes. I have never been without a bike in my adult life. I have always enjoyed bicycling. Not on a level that other more serious bikers do, but, serious enough that I will always have a bicycle and will always ride.

Bicycling does cause some discomfort but not nearly the kind of pain that other exercises can cause. I will probably always love bicycles. It is the one exercise activity that I can still do. Plus, its a lot more fun than most exercises.

I have not even had the opportunity to ride it yet though. With the amount of rain we have had here in the last several weeks it has been impossible. I have barely been able to ride my motorcycle in the last 6 weeks or so because of weather. I hope things will clear up soon. I’m am really tired of the bad weather.

Anyway, I hope to get started riding soon.

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 Fitness, Health

Missing Youth

I read a great post the other day on Heart To Follow.  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 Journal Entry, Video

20 Weeks In

Working out in the gym

I have been working out in the gym for over a week. It has been 6 weeks since my neck surgery. It feels pretty good. I haven’t had any real issues with pain.

I am trying to work as many large groups of muscle at the same time as possible. I want to stimulate as much muscle growth and fat burning as possible. I was fat in my early 20’s, and when I started lifting weights seriously the fat just seemed to melt away quickly. Hopefully, it will work pretty much the same way in my 50’s.

In my 50’s however, the exercises are way more difficult than they were in my 20’s and 30’s. I like working out. It’s just harder now. And everything seems to be happening so slowly.

Every time I see myself in a pic or in a video it’s hard not to be discouraged. On my body, 30 lbs of weight loss are not visible. Right now only my determination and a certain amount of anger keep me going.

Current Workout Schedule

Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: More legs (different tactics)

Posted in Diet, Health

A Right Frame of Mind

x240-9Zx10 pounds in a week? Yea, that’s a  bunch of bull!

I think to get your health back you have to be in the right frame of mind. I know a lot about nutrition, and I have for many years, but that means nothing if your head is not right.

The Navy was really good about training it’s people in every aspect of our responsibility. In other words, if they expected us to stay in shape, they provided proper taining in that area. They didn’t always get it right, but they made a really good effort.

When it came to nutritional health and exercise they had a decent handle on things. However, as we got older getting  in  shape got harder. In youth, getting in shape was really easy for me and many others in the Navy. Just change a few things that you were eating  and add some exercise and you were good to go.

Because of how easy it was my head wasn’t necessarily in the right place when it came to getting in shape. Now it is not so easy to get in shape. In  fact, it’s not easy at all.

I’ve tried all kinds of diets and programs that promissed results for just a little bit of effort. The reason plans like this attract so many of us is because they appeal to our laziness. We naturally want things to be easy. Or we want to continue our old eating  habits and sedentary life styles and expect to achieve results that make us look like super models.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. We have to reset our minds. We need to become willing to change. We need to accept the idea that we may have some food addictions; like sugar, carbs, processed food, and general over eating. This is what I mean when I say we have to get in the right frame of mind to succeed in changing our health.

I have come to grips with the fact that I have food addictions. I also eat when I get discouraged or depressed. Early on I learned to love beer, wine, and many other alcoholic beverages. I’m addicted to simple carbohydrates, and sugars. The sad thing is that they are cheap and sometimes the only thing that poor people (like me) can afford.

Now my head is in the game! I know what to eat. I know what not to eat. I don’t always get it right, but I KNOW. I am more determined than ever to put the right things into my body for its best health. I am willing to put in some work exercising in order to strengthen my body.

Sometimes people ask me what I’m doing when they notice the changes in my  appearance. When I tell them I’ve given up bread, rice, and other grains, and alcohol, they usually respond with, “oh, I can’t do that. I love bread.” Well, I love bread too. But I’ve changed my mind about these foods. I’ve come to the conclusion that these foods are no good for me.

I believe I will be able to succeed by these simple changes in my mind. I am in a frame of mind to succeed and get what I want, which is my health. You can do it to if you willing to change your mind and get your head right when it comes to food.

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 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.