My Makeover

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.

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Rough Weekend

Rough Weekend

This weekend is not going that well. I don’t feel well, and I’m not eating right. I have also had some tough back pain. And in general, I feel like crap.

I don’t feel like doing anything, especially working out. The main problem is I’m still having trouble sleeping, as evidenced by this 1:58 A.M. post. This has been going on for more than a year. I don’t know how it started, and I haven’t had any luck reversing it.

Being awake at night sucks. There is nothing to do. Everything I want to be doing takes place during the day.

Of course, I will fight to stay awake the whole day once the sun rises. Sometimes I can do it, but, most times I can not. And sometimes, even if I do manage to stay awake, I still don’t sleep the following night. This leads to the types days I have experienced this weekend. After so many days awake I experience pain,  mostly in my lower back, because I’m so tired.

I’m really tired. This has made it difficult to continue my quest for health and fitness. I don’t know what to do.

Moving along

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.

Trying To Stay Healthy

I was back to the gym today after missing three days last week. It was rough, but I actually got some good work done in my short chest workout. I just couldn’t seem to muster the energy last week. I had some minor cold symptoms which kept me inactive pretty much throughout the weekend. Fortunately it wasn’t the flu or anything. I haven’t had any problems continuing my 45 minute cardio workout everyday. I seem to be in pretty good shape, despite various pains in my body.

Trying to stay healthy can be a little difficult. It’s more than going to the gym, eating right, and doing your cardio. Germs are everywhere, so I’m alway washing my hands.  Especially in the gym where there are so many people, and since I got a new cat.

I haven’t had a pet in probably 20+ years. I found her at an Arby’s parking lot. She was about 4 weeks old. I don’t know if someone dumped her there, or she was born somewhere nearby. I didn’t hear any other kittens. I heard Ricki Kitty crying underneath one of the decorative shrubs around the building. She was alone. Anyway, I don’t know if I have any cat allergies. I don’t think I do. And I know that Ricki Kitty isn’t sick. She has been thoroughly checked out.

Other than that I’m not around that many little kids who are usually exposed to all sorts of germs in school.  In the gym there are sanitary wipes to wipe the equipment before and after use if you like; And most everyone uses them.

I have been very vigilant because it almost never fails that when I start working out something happens to stop the activity in its tracks. Sometimes I hurt my self, or, one of my many painful areas flair up. Or, maybe I’ll get sick for a couple of weeks with a cold or something and afterward it just becomes very hard to get yourself started again.

As I said before my immediate goal is to complete a year of work in the gym. Not that I am going to stop after that, but in a year’s time I should make some great progress. I look forward to showing those before and after photos, and of witnessing my own success. After a year I will, of course, continue to stay in shape. This is a life style change for me.

I am now in week 17 and I have lost 17 pounds. In general I am feeling better but my doctor tells me that my insulin levels are high. I’m not sure what to do about that. I do not want diabetes. My cholesterol levels have come down to nearly normal and my blood pressure is normal. So far I am healthy overall for the most part. I intend to make it better and keep it that way.

Weakness

I have experienced something strange.  Weakness. I had been making great progress with upper body strength, all the while working around my shoulder joint pain. And I did well.  Then about a week ago I had to drastically reduce my workout weight. It was not because of pain either. I just couldn’t handle the weight of previous week’s workouts.

My doctor has not found anything abnormal. In fact I am pretty healthy. Has anyone ever experience such a thing? One of the guys that I see at the gym all the time says that he believes that when you lose weight from doing a lot of cardio you sometimes lose strength and have to work your way back up. Basically he believed that once you lose the weight that the muscles are used to carrying they become weaker. It seems to me that the muscles would be stronger from having carried the extra weight. Any thoughts out there?

Anyway, my weight seems to be holding steady at 249 lbs. That is an 11 pound loss from when I started 4 months ago. It has been 15 weeks since I began. It is the longest I have been in the gym since getting out of the Navy, also since my back surgery in 2010. My immediate goal is to continue a year. Not that I plan on quitting in a year. A year would be a mile stone for me. Hopefully by then I will have made somewhat of a transformation from fat to fitter.

 

The Battle In the Gym

The Battle In the Gym

This is what it was like in the gym today:

Bench press

Body: I’m not doing this.
Me: We are going to do this.
Body: I can’t do this. I’m to weak, and I’m in pain.
Me: Sorry. But you’re not the boss of me. I’m in charge, and we’re doing this.
Body: Fine!!

Dumbbell flies

Body: I’m definitely NOT doing this. I might hurt myself.
Me: Shut the f%$k up! I’ll guide you through it.

Several exercises later

Me: Time for some cardio!
Body: No! I am not using valuable energy for this shit.
Me: Come on! Let’s go! You can do better than that!
Body: If I wasn’t  connected to you I’d stop your heart.
Me: Shut up and release the juice.

Rough Week Back

Got back into town this week. The first day back to the gym was a rough one. My left shoulder was killing me, and my right one as well. I had to use extremely light weight in my shoulder workout, which is what I probably should have been using in the first place. I ended up getting a great workout with a lot less weight. The lighter weight enabled me to be able to keep proper form.

The next day however, I they were very sore. And the next day it was almost impossible to do my chest workout. But again, using lighter weight enabled me to use better form and accomplish a very good workout. But still the pain persist.  Fortunately I have a muscle stim unit. I’ve been using it on my shoulders for a few days and it seems to help.

Today I was just dragging. I was so tired, and sleepy. I couldn’t wait to get home. I thought I would go right to sleep after a shower but, here I am, watching TV and blogging. Well, hopefully, next week will be a lot better.

Shoulders

Today we were working the shoulders. My joints hurt so badly. I had to reduce weight in just about every exercise. I’m gonna have to find something that will help the joints, or I have to go to the Doc again. But the last time I saw him he said there was nothing wrong. I don’t think I believe him.

It would really suck if I had to stop working out. After 8 weeks I am finally starting to see some changes in my body taking place. I’m making progress.

I am still holding at 250 pounds, but I think muscle and fat are changing places. I think I am starting to look slimmer and toning up pretty good.

If anyone out there knows something that will help my joint pain I would appreciate the tip.

A Family Affair – Working Out

Yesterday’s workout was the first time I felt multiple muscles working together. It was arm day. We worked biceps, triceps, forearms, and lower back and abs. At one point  while doing tricep push downs (a machine exercise, kind of like dips), I could feel my shoulder, chest, and triceps flexing together. It felt good. Usually I don’t feel anything except maybe some numbness, and then soreness later. As I sit here typing, I am very sore, which tells me I had and effective workout.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 9.13.37 AMNow my son, Gabe, has been lifting with Kat and I this week. According to him everything we did hurt. He doesn’t like it. But if he sticks with it I believe he will begin to enjoy it, especially if he does it long enough to see some of the results he desires.

He and his sister were at each other like cats and dogs yesterday. Gabe was irritated that we were doing so many exercises. She was irritated that he was irritated. They got really pissy at one another. It was exhausting. If they didn’t love one another so much I’d be worried.

Finally we got to the elliptical machines and Gabe was satisfied. That’s all he would have done if I had let him. But I’ve been trying to convince him that he would get the results he wants if he adds some weight lifting to his workout. I hope he stays with it.

In the Gym

I did finish the Master cleanse and felt a lot better. I have been in the gym faithfully for about 4 weeks now. I am starting to feel stronger and I have lost 3 pounds. I have just about gotten my eating under control. And by under control, I mean I have just about eliminated all the sugar, high sodium foods, and bad carbs. I am eating chicken and fish for protein and lots of green veggies, nuts & grains.

I go to the gym five days a week. I work a different muscle group everyday, plus 30 minute of cardiovascular training. The first two weeks I was doing upper body one day, skip a day then, lower body. That didn’t seem to work for me. By the time I was back to the upper body my arms were too sore from the previous workout to do other exercises for my chest and shoulders. So I switched it up. The everyday, one muscle group is much more accomidating.

My other main goal right now is not to quit. In the past I always quit before I ever accomplished anything, or, I never got my eating turned around and under control. Right now, I have. I just need to keep it that way, forever.

I am 51 years old. I am fat. I started at 260, gained a pound, then lost 3. I am at 257 lbs. My goals is 164-170, and to maintain a health life-style for the rest of my days.