To The Gym Today

So, I went to the gym today for the first time since 2015 I think. I didn’t do much; some chest exercise, shoulder, and back. Then I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.

too_muchIt was weird watching all of the younger guys in the gym. Many of them were using too much weight as indicated by their horrible form. I remembered myself at their ages working out the same way. Eventually, I hurt my back, shoulders, and irritated what doctors call degenerative disc disease.

Today, I was careful about only using enough weight to stimulate my muscles. I only used the machines; no free weights. I did not want to come out of there with any un-natural pains. I only wanted to do what my doctor wanted me to do. Get a little exercise.

Woman Doctor cartoonMy new doctor is a little intense. She scares me a little even. Every time I see her, I get the impression that I am just a little closer to my own demise. She is very driven to make me healthier. I guess I should be grateful, but, like I said, she scares me a little bit.

So, I don’t know if going to the gym is a thing for me yet. I am almost always in some sort of pain. Making it an everyday thing, or a 3 day a week thing would be difficult for me. I want to. I just don’t know if I can. I may be able to do some walking, but even that can be difficult at times. Then again, some walking or other exercises may be what I need.

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Starting Once Again

Yesterday I woke up with health on my mind. I was determined to be better. I’m tired of being overweight. I’m tired of being un-disciplined. So, it’s time to get to work. I stayed the course yesterday and I intend to do so today. I know I will mess up sometimes, but I hope I will have the will to get right back up.

Again, my diet of choice is Keto. It is easy enough. There is plenty of yummy stuff to be had on the diet. And it works quickly. And one of the best things about this diet is that once you get used to being on it, hunger cravings are kept at bay for a really long time.

I still have to try to work in some exercise. That is the hardest part for me right now. I have a new bicycle. I have a total gym. I have free access to the Naval Weapons Station gym. But all these require another level of discipline. I’m not there yet. Not to mention I am usually in pain.

I have some hurdles to over come. But what is important right now is that I have started. My birthday was on March 1. So let’s get this thing started.

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.

Another Surgery

IMG_0566Well, tomorrow morning I am having surgery on my left hand, another carpal tunnel repair. I had the right hand done last December. Right now my right wrist really hurts. I’m not sure what is causing it. I had thought it was driving the school bus. But nearly a month and a half on vacation, it still hurts. Maybe is the motorcycle riding. But I’m not giving that up.

I am still having issues eating right. I am trying to limit my carb intake. My doctor wants me to eat more proteins. I still try to consume more fats (the healthy stuff). What can I say? The high fat, low carb thing was working.

On a positive note, the results of my blood work looked better they have in the past. I still have some work to do yet. Of course, I will continue to fight. I won’t ever give up. Sometimes I just have to give it a break.

So, the surgery on the left hand should go off without a hitch and hopefully heal as well as the right hand did. The Doc said he believes the pain in my wrist could be tendonitis. Whatever it is, it hurts.

Well, I’m off to bed.

Time for a Checkup

I am headed to the doctor’s office this morning. I have had somewhat of a relapse with my right hand. I had carpal tunnel corrective surgery in December. It was doing fine until a few weeks ago. I believe pulling the parking brake lever on the school bus re-injured my hand. When pulled out, the lever sends a shock wave through my hand. After three months of that my dominant hand is becoming my weaker hand because of the new pain in my wrist.

So today I am basically going to my doctor to be referred to the doctor who did the surgery. And not only for my right hand, but, my left also, which is showing the symptoms I had in the right before surgery. I also have an ear infection which has been with me since the beginning of April. I have gone through two rounds anti-biotics yet it persists.

Also, the pain in my neck has increased to a level I can’t even describe. Sometimes it feels like there is a knife in my neck (or what I imagine a knife in the neck feels like). And sometimes it feels like really hot water is being poured down my back starting at my neck.

So I’m hoping to see both the surgeons who operated on my hand and my neck. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. I will also be giving some blood for my annual checkup. I’m not looking forward to that.

 

I’m Tired

Well, WordPress notifications tell me that I haven’t posted in the last 22 days. So here is an update. I have continued to eat whatever I want whenever I want and I am paying the price. I have gained about 8 pounds I think. And I can feel the affects of it. My back and knees hurt. Of course, the thing with the knees could be because of the bus driving.

I really do need to try to get back on track. I have let my schedule at work dictate how I eat. My excuse is that I don’t have the energy to prepare my meals, or plan my meals as I should. Enough with the excuses though. I need to get my crap together. I don’t even want to know what this is doing to my inner workings.

My battle feels like an uphill endeavor. My energy is sapped by my physical pain, which is increased the more I eat the wrong things. Inflammation, low energy, and just not feeling quite right is the worst.

In the beginning, the busy work schedule seemed to be helping me. But then I let my sweet tooth take over. A little ice cream here and there became ice cream for lunch. The more sweets I ate the more fried foods I wanted, and the more fried food I had.

So now, I am at that place where I have to fight to get started again. I have to fight to make myself eat the right stuff and get rid of things I don’t need. I am truly living yo-yo diet life style. I like how eating the right stuff makes me feel, but I also love the immediate feeling the wrong foods give me.

I will keep updating and reporting the good and the bad. I really wish my first eating habit had been a better one. Maybe all of this would be easier.

What can I do about it? The best I can. That’s all I know to do. I’m tired.

My Spring Break

I have made no progress in this venture. I think the problem is that I don’t seem to care anymore. And I don’t care about not caring either.

I have been really busy with this new job (school bus driver). I’m pretty sure that I like the job enough to keep it for a while. It wears me out though because I have to be up before the kids who ride the bus. So I’m up around 4 a.m.

I don’t know what bearing this has on me eating right. It would be just another excuse I suppose.

This morning I am emerging from a week with the worst cold I have ever experienced. And as luck would have it, it was Spring Break for the schools I serve. I wanted to enjoy the break just like the kids. Instead, I lay on the couch or in bed struggling to stay alive. At least, that’s what it felt like.

It began with a cough on Friday evening. Saturday, I was down for the count. I was in pain all over, sneezing, chilled to the bone and wishing I could be someone else until this thing was over.

And for the cherry on top of it all, yesterday I discovered I somehow got Thrush, a fungal infection which babies usually get. At least that’s what I hope it is. I’m not accepting anything else! It is very painful. It’s no wonder that babies scream when they have it.

So, tomorrow is the end of my break. I didn’t have any fun.  I’m back to work Monday morning. I’m not even gonna pretend that I intend to try to get back on track with diet or exercise because I just don’t care at the moment. Just glad I didn’t die this week.

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.

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.

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.