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.

Posted in Journal Entry, Video

6 Weeks – 21 Pounds and Counting

6 Weeks in 21 pounds lost from Tony Tate on Vimeo.

Well here we are. This just a short visual. Can’t see much. The weight loss isn’t significant enough to see the difference. It has been 6 weeks since I began my diet. So far I have lost 21 pounds. I have averaged a 3.5 pound loss per week.

So I guess I am leaning more toward a ketogenic diet. It is a little tricky though to consume the amount of fat required without consuming too much protein. But it works. When I consume the right amounts of fat the weight really starts coming off.

I’m gonna start in the gym next week – maybe this weekend. I’ll be taking it easy though. I saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday to go over the results of my MRI. Apparently I have a ruptured or herniated disc in my neck. I will be avoiding surgery as long as I can. But I don’t know how long I can endure this pain.

Anyway, thats my 6 week update.


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

Making Progress

I am really sore after this week’s workouts. I had some good sessions. I even learned a thing or two about working out calves. I learned in the gym that a lot of the guys workout their legs twice a week in an effort to get them to grow. That surprised me. I can see doing calves twice a week, but not quads and hamstrings, well maybe hamstrings. So I did a short set of calf raises today after my chest workout, even though I did legs yesterday. I had watched a video the night before on youtube, on working the calf muscles. The one set of calf raises I did today after watching that video was better than the nearly 10 sets I did the day before.

I guess learning is part of the deal. I am making great progress. I have had some problems building strength and building chest and shoulder muscles because of my shoulder joint pain. It hasn’t stopped me though. I have been working with lighter weight, trying to work around my pain, and I’m slowly, but surly increasing my strength and muscle mass.

I am down to 235 pounds, as of today, from a starting weight of 260. However, my weight is still fluctuating. Next week I may be back up to 240. It won’t be long before I break into the 220’s though. I am confident. The goal weight is 165. However, if I get to anything under 180, and I’m looking pretty good, I’ll be satisfied.

I don’t know what to do about my sleep pattern. I am up at night and awake from about 2 pm until 6 am. I have tried to straighten it out but I can’t.  The good news is that I’m getting about 8 hours of sleep, just at the wrong time.

Well, that’s about it for this week.

Posted in Fitness

Upper Back Pain

I have degenerative disc disease so, every now and then my back slips out of alignment and causes me great discomfort. That is the case today. It happened while I was in the shower. I went to the gym anyway and did my shoulder workout. It didn’t make my back feel any worse. And what it feels like is a knife in my upper back (at least what I imagine knife in the back would feel like).

I think I had a good shoulder workout though. I did a total of 5 exercises; dumbbell military press, dumbbell lying rear lateral raises, incline dumbbell flies, dumbbell raises, and dumbbell shoulder shrugs. My shoulders seem to be getting stronger, and even the joints feel better. I really hate shoulder and arm workouts. I don’t know why they seem so hard to me.

I hope the back pain doesn’t last too much longer.  It has only been one day and I’m tired of it. I don’t think it will interfere  with any of my workouts this week. At least I hope not.

Posted in Fitness, Health

Trying To Get Back on Track

I haven’t been to the gym for over a week. I haven’t been feeling well. In fact, I had a sore throat last night. And I haven’t been eating right. I know I have probably gained all my lost weight back.

I’m hoping my laziness isn’t trying to move back in on me. I don’t want to be fat anymore.

Just realized that the gym isn’t open tomorrow because of Labor Day. So that’s another day I don’t get to go. The longer I don’t go the more of a chance I won’t ever go back.

Maybe I really needed the break. My shoulders had really been hurting throughout the workouts. Maybe I needed to give them more of a break than I was planning.

Well I guess it will be Tuesday before I get back.

Posted in Fitness

A Week Off

I have not been to the gym all week. I had not planned on going this week anyway. But I have not been feeling well either. I have been experiencing dizziness along with shoulder and neck pain for about two weeks now. My doctor thought it might have to do with sinus pressure. So, I have been taking zyrtec for a  few days. Sometimes I feel better and sometimes I don’t.

My shoulders really hurt. I will be back in the gym next week. I’m sure it will be tough, especially with my shoulders. My diet has not been too terrible this week. Of course its a little easier when you don’t have the money to go off your diet.


Posted in Health

12 Weeks

Yesterday began my 12th week in the gym. This is the longest streak I have had going to the gym since I got out of the Navy. Back in 2010 I had a pretty good run bicycling after my back surgery and then the winter came and the pain of my back reacting to the weather was too much.

I am having some back pain right now as a result of some exercises I did yesterday. It is the wrong kind of pain because I was working my shoulders. It is joint pain near the center of my back. I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. It is one of the reasons I am strength training. I have joint pain all over my body, especially my shoulders.

I had a very good shoulder workout yesterday. I think it was because of the great care I have to take ensuring that I don’t use the joints in the wrong way; being careful to use only the muscle needed, and using the proper amount of weight so that tendons & joints are not overly stressed. I am really sore this today, and it is the right kind of soreness. My shoulder joints are not hurting and are working properly.

These are the things that usually cause me to quit, but this time I am determined to keep working to reach my goal. It has been nearly 3 months since my last doctors appointment. I have an appointment next week. It will be good to go having actually taken the actions my doctor has been suggesting for over a year. I am 10 pounds lighter. My cardiovascular system should be in better shape. And hopefully my blood pressure and cholesterol levels will have improved since the last visit.

So I am looking forward to a good report. I am also looking forward to reaching my goal and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Posted in Fitness


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.