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.


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


Update on my Low Carb High Fat Diet (aka Ketogenic Diet)

There are some things I have noticed getting better. The first is sleep. I haven’t gotten to a point where I fall asleep and remain asleep the whole time I’m in bed, but, my sleep pattern has somewhat solidified itself for night time. Sometimes its not until about 2:30 in the morning but I do go to sleep. And when I wake up I am feeling somewhat, if not totally refreshed.

Second is hunger. Once I started to get used to eating this way, my hunger throughout the day reduced tremendously. Once I eat it is usually 4 to 5 hours until I’m hungry again. This is largely because I’m not spiking my blood sugar with carbs and sugar. The high fat content of the diet helps to keep me satiated for long periods of time.

I have also noticed that when I forget to take my nexium in the morning, which is a medicine for acid reflux, I don’t soon after start to get heartburn. I am keeping an eye on this because I have been taking medications like this, for this problem, for over 20 years. Its supposed to be a temporary treatment. But my heartburn never ever stopped. Now it seems there may be some hope.

Inflammation is much less since I began the diet. The swelling, which I had not really noticed around my ankles until I didn’t feel it anymore, has pretty much disappeared. I feel like my hands have also had a reduction of swelling. The last time I went to the doctor my blood pressure was normal. However, at home it has been constantly high. I don’t know if it has been accurate, but it has been alarming to me. When I went to the doctor I had been on this diet for about 3 weeks. So I’m not sure why it would be high now.

Fourth, the weight loss. It has not been tremendous or fast, but I have lost 21 pounds in about 7 weeks. That’s about 3 pounds average per week. Not very accurate I know, because some weeks I don’t lose weight at all. It was easy though. As I’ve said, not a lot of hunger. The only exercise I did was walking for about 40 minutes twice to three times a week. And that was just normal walking; Not a brisk walk or power walking.

My energy levels during the day have been really good. I don’t feel like I need a nap, even when I have a crappy night’s sleep the night before. Now if I didn’t sleep at all that a different story. I was restless last night but it was the first time in a couple of weeks.

Some time this summer I am planning to get back into the gym. Not in hurry because I hurt myself last time. And its a 40 minute drive.

Overall I’d say the diet has been good for me. I will continue with it as long as I can. Hopefully for life. And I’m looking forward to losing more weight and improving my health.

Week 4 Update

Week 4 Update

It is the end of week four. Sorry there is no video, but I’ve been very busy. I have more homework from school then I can deal with at the moment.

I’m still going strong. My diet is intact and I have not cheated. Haven’t had any bouts with hunger. Haven’t felt bad. I have lost a total of 15 pounds though.

I am still amazed at my heart rate during exercise. It seems to have leveled out into a normal range. I’m telling you, just a few weeks ago when I’d go for walks my HR would be around 140 if I pushed just a little. Today I pushed it, fast enough to shave about a minute off my time and my HR remained around 112.

Im not sure I understand what is happening, but I feel better. I have a doctors appointment Monday. Maybe I can get some answers there.

Well I’m off to bed. I still have loads of school work to finish when I wake up. Not very happy about that.

My Heart Rate During Exercise

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 3.59.26 PMDuring the first week I thought biking would be easier to start with since I have not been exercising for a while. I was hitting the peak zone for long periods; like between 140-160 bpm (according to my fitbit anyway). That’s not a fat burning zone. It’s not even a cardio zone. That is the stress zone. So I have not been back on the bike since the first week. I have stuck just walking.

At times in the beginning walking took up to about the 130 mark. This week I have noticed that my average bpm is between 107-118. That is a lot better. I’m guessing that it is maybe because I have lost a little weight or the exercise itself. I also wonder if it is because of the diet. I have not eaten anything that has spiked my blood sugar in nearly 3 weeks.

At any rate it is encouraging. That in itself seems promising to me. My only complaint is joint pain. I feel like I need an oil change or something, or a lube job (shut up!angry runner). My knees feel like I’m missing some cushion. My shoulders still hurt a bit from two summers ago. And my back?..doing its usual. And of course there is still the neck pain. But I can’t give up because a little pain. I will not!


Walking In My Shoes

Well I’m still working on getting my diet under control, and I have been walking for an hour a day. I never realized how many calories you could burn just by walking. I also have found that I am walking faster without feeling like I’m working harder. That’s because I’m getting stronger I guess.

I still am not able to lift weights because of my bad shoulders. I was in physical therapy much of last summer for shoulder pain. I may need surgery but I don’t want to think about it. I also have carpal tunnel. I don’t want that surgery either because I play saxophone, and I’m afraid my fingers won’t work the same afterward.

Seems like I have lots of problems but it’s not as bad as it sounds I guess. I’m still in school taking culinary arts. I’m still having fun. And I meet a lot of new people while I’m doing it. Most of them are nice.

Well that’s about all I’ve got for now. Oh, I am tracking my food and calories with an app called myfitnesspal. It’s a pretty good app for tracking calories obviously. But you can also track nutrition, add your own recipes to evaluate their nutritional value, and there is a large database of foods and their nutritional info already in place. So that is a great help to me.

Till next time..