Posted in Happiness, Sporting

I Want A Harley-Davidson Lowrider!

It turns out that this is the blog where I not only write about my diet and health challenges, but also the things in life that excite me or disappoint me. Looks like it is my everything blog, kinda.

So, I am excited because I went down to the Harley-Davidson dealer (nearest me) and saw the next bike I want to buy. It is their soft tail Lowrider. Yep! That’s it on the right. It looks great in pictures, but, it is mind-blowing up close and personal. The only thing that bothered me a little was how high the mid-controls pushed up my knees. I am hoping Harley-Davidson will put out a modification for a more forward set of foot controls.

Other than that it is one of the most beautiful machines I’ve ever seen on two wheels. It’s no wonder HD is a favorite of Motorcycle riders all over the world.

My old bike to the left is a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard M-50. I have had it 11 years. My Son has asked me for it because he wants to learn to ride. This bike has been a good one. I had one issue where the gear oil leak out, or wasn’t replaced during a service call and ended up having to replace the drive shaft. And I’ve had to replace one gasket to stop an oil leak. That’s a pretty good ROI for this bike. And I’ve had a blast riding it. I think it would be a great start for my Son. Of course, I will make sure it is in tip-top condition before that.

I purposely made the newer bike photo bigger here because that’s exactly what it felt like to ride my bike to the Harley-Davidson dealer and see the LowRider in person. Other than the one issue I’ve already mentioned this bike is freaking awesome. The feel as I sat on it made me feel powerful somehow. It’s hard for me to describe it. I can’t wait until I get to test ride it.

The new Milwaukee 8 engine powering the Lowrider dwarfs the 805 cc of my Suzuki. It is 107 cubic inches in displacement. That’s about 1753 cc. The size difference is massive. The Suzuki is shaft driven. The HD is belt driven (which I like because it’s probably easier to keep up than a drive shaft). Out of everything I have heard people say about this Lowrider the thing that sticks out is, “this thing has massive power and torque.” I get excited just thinking about it.

Anyway, that’s what happening in my life today. I probably won’t buy this motorcycle for a while. I have some other things to do financially first.

As for diet and weight loss, I am still eating crap (fried chicken is awesome!). And where I thought I had gained about 8 pounds, it turns out I had lost about 2. Go figure.

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Posted in Health

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.

Posted in Diet

Blueberry Scones?

The other day I made blueberry scones. Now, I’m not supposed to be eating blueberry scones or any other kind of scones. This is my problem; I know how to bake. I can’t even blame this on my son. He’s already back at school. I told him about them and now he wants me to make some the next time he’s home.

Sometimes I just want to give up on this health thing. I haven’t lost or gained any weight. It is extremely frustrating. Frustrating because I have not lost any more weight. Frustrating because I am glad I haven’t gained. That’s not an accomplishment. I’ve just been lucky.

I keep saying I need to get serious about this thing yet, I keep breaking my diet. Even as I write this I am thinking if going into the kitchen and making more scones! I don’t know what to do. Obviously, it takes some amount of discipline to stay the course, but, I don’t seem to have it.

God, I’m not in the mood for this…

Posted in aging, my Appearance

What The Hell is Up With mY Hair?

For nearly 25 years I have kept my hair extremely short – bald – and lately, I’ve even been shaving it. About 2 weeks ago I decided I would try and grow it out just to see if I still could. This morning I was checking it out in the mirror to see if I had begun to lose even more hair than when I first realized it was happening about 9 years ago. I AM!

What I saw in the mirror was excruciating. Does anyone remember Sanford & Son? Red Foxx was the old man (Pops) in that show. There is only one way I know of to describe what his hair looked, raggedy. I knew I was losing hair at the crown of my head, but it is not happening at an even rate. It is very spotty and it looks EXTREMELY raggedy.

I didn’t think to take a picture before I cut it all off. And it is not likely that I will let it grow out again. I refuse to be seen out in public with such a mess. Needless to say, I am even more motivated to get myself into shape. If I can’t have my hair I at least want to look better in my clothing.

I’m really starting to hate the aging process. It hurts, threatens my good looks, and is very hard on my self-esteem. That’s right ladies, it sucks for men too.

By the way, I have not gained any weight. Yet, I haven’t lost much either; maybe a pound. I am constantly fluctuating with a 1 pound loss or gain. And that is mostly because of my lack of discipline.

Anyone else out there having similar problems? What’s your deal? I told you mine.

PS, I am still waiting to see a specialist about the issues mentioned in my health update.

Posted in Diet

The Makeover Continues

I am holding pretty steady on my diet. I am not cheating as much as I have been all year. At least that is what I thought. Even though I thought I was not cheating by not eating foods outside my diet most of the time, I think I was consuming too many calories. Still, haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost any weight either.

Today I went back to using myfitnesspal to track my meals and macronutrients. And as I suspected I ended up eating way less food. So even though I was eating the right foods I had forgotten what the right amounts of food looked like. It was just too much of everything, especially proteins. And proteins in excess can break down into sugars, raising blood sugar.

I am not on a high protein diet. It’s a high-fat diet. The idea behind the keto-diet is to get the body to use fat for fuel. Giving it too much of anything, whether carbs or proteins can result in higher sugar levels in the body, hindering efforts. My goal is to consume 75% fats (the good stuff), 20% proteins, and 5% carbs. This diet works well.

Even though I have not followed my diet very well I still have not gained all the weight I lost last year. I am still 22 pounds under my starting weight. My immediate weight-loss goal is 10 pounds. I think I can do that in 2 months if I can stick to my diet. Right now I’m 245 lbs. I would like to be at 235 lbs. by the end of June. That’s only 5 pounds per month (1.25 pounds per week).

My overall goal weight is 165 pounds. I still believe I can achieve it. I am very excited to still be in this “tltatemakeover.

Posted in Diet, Health

1st Doctor Visit of the Year

I had my first doctor visit yesterday. It was just to get new scripts for my medications. The real fun doesn’t start for a few weeks, blood work, and test results the following month.

I don’t necessarily look forward to it. For the past ten years or so I have been moving ever closer to type II diabetes. It is one of the reasons I chose to try the keto diet or low carb-high fat diet.

Throughout the years I don’t think doctors have been very clear on what was moving me in that direction. All they talked about was me needing to lose weight.  So I tried several diets. However, many diets are high in carbs and low in fats and they didn’t help. Not one of my doctors had talked about carbs or hidden sugars in certain vegetables and the way they affect blood sugar. And most grains certainly have the same effect.

It has only been nearly a year since I have been trying to change my eating habits to a diet without high carb foods and sugar. I am addicted to carbs & sugar. It has been mostly easy. However, there are times that I fall off the wagon like an alcoholic, and it is very hard to get back on, as demonstrated this past holiday season. I’m sure you have seen the recipe posts.

So every doctor visit where I get the results of my blood test I’m worried that they will tell me I have finally reached my apparent goal of getting type II diabetes (not really my goal). I have been told I’m becoming, or, have become insulin resistant for several years now, but with no ideas or suggestions about how to change that. That is until Dr, Tara Hughes, my current doctor. She has been extremely helpful, and very supportive of my current diet. She is a very supportive person. You’d think all doctors would be.

Anyway, I have given myself nearly a month to get my act together before my first blood test of the year. I have for the most part been back on track since around Jan 2. I have until Feb 1 before I have blood drawn. A month after that I will sit down with my doctor to go over the results.

I’m not sure a month is enough time to help me because I really went off the rails in November and December. I was completely out of control. If I was a crack addict (or something worse) I might even be dead. And if I don’t get things under control I still may end up dead before my time.

Still, I am starting the new year almost 20 pounds lighter than I was last year. That is a positive start for me. I don’t intend to die before my time. My daughter has already told me I’m not allowed. So I’m still in the fight.

Keep watching for my success.

Posted in Diet

248.5 Week 43

It is week 43. My starting weight was 267 pounds. I have lost weight, but, I have also gained weight. As of this morning, I weigh 248.5, a loss of 18.5 pounds. In the last 43 weeks, I have had a weight loss of up to 39 pounds. I ultimately failed to stick to my diet for nearly 8 weeks beginning around November. And when Thanksgiving rolled around I was completely off my program.

I didn’t give up. I was just struggling. And I’m still struggling, but I haven’t given up. I am in a nearly 2-1/2 month slump but I am still fighting. The keto diet is still the easiest way of eating I have come across so far. However, like probably everyone in this day and time, I am truly addicted to sugar & carbohydrates.

With some discipline, I am sure I can overcome the carb thing. I have already taken measures to rid the house of things I should not be eating. I find that my temptation comes when I get bored. I have to find something to do.

I still have not found a way to practice my saxophone without hurting my neck or back. I can’t really go to the gym, but I don’t really have to. There are lots of exercises I can do without going to the gym, but going there gets me out of the house for a while. Boredom. It is my enemy. I need to have something to do during the day to keep me busy. Television is not doing the trick:)

Not sure what this post is really about except to say, I’m still moving forward. I have the right stuff to eat on hand and I know foods to avoid. There are plenty of things, and even exercises, that can get me out of the house. I just have to do them.

Posted in Diet, Health

Fine Tuning a Life Style

If you had seen my food diary you would know that yesterday was definitely a cheat day. I know, I know. I said in a previous post that, “there is no cheat day.” Well, I don’t plan cheat days because I really don’t believe in them, but, apparently, my body does. So, cheat days happen. However, I don’t feel guilty about them.

I’m learning that sometimes you just have to listen to the body. This allows me to go back to eating the right stuff right away. Without the guilt, I don’t feel like I have ruined myself, which eliminates any stress about having screwed up my diet.

I have been following the ketogenic diet. However, it’s not so much about the diet, as it is a lifestyle change that I am making. I have been on the ketogenic diet for the past 4 months. However, I sometimes just don’t do it right.

The keto diet has not let me down when it comes to losing weight. However, my blood pressure has been higher than normal since about the 3rd week. And I am not only trying to lose weight, I’m trying to improve my health as well. My doctor has already increased my bp meds. I am still hoping to be able to take less of these medications as I improve my health.

On the Keto diet, saturated fats are allowed, but it may not be working for me. I want to get my bp back under control. Until the keto diet, my bp was always around 121/70. I don’t know if the change in diet caused it but I really don’t like the idea that I have had to add more meds to what I am already taking. And I still have noticed no change.

I have another doctor’s appt in a couple of weeks. I hope to have some good news.

 

Posted in Diet, Health, pain

Surgery

I am scheduled for surgery on June 13. It will be to repair a herniated disc in my neck. They will cut a hole in the front of my neck, move my throat to one side, and take the disc out, add an implant, and close.

Sounds easy enough but, as I found out with my back surgery, nothing is easy. My back surgery recovery was supposed to be about 8 weeks.  It turned out to be closer to 8 months, and I still experience pain from it to this day.

I’m not expecting it to be easy this time either. I’m not really looking forward to it.  However, it is necessary because the disc is pressing against a nerve, which is causing some weakness and numbness in the left side of my body.

On the right side of my neck is a bone spur, which is causing pain. This will also be repaired. I really hope this surgery relieves some of that.

I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, so, it may not be my last time in surgery. I guess that’s assuming I survive this one.

Anyway, I am still losing weight. The diet is still going well. I’m looking forward to more progress.

Posted in food, Health

Weekend Struggles

I find it hardest to stay on track during the weekends. I don’t know what happens. I become restless and agitated and want to eat all the wrong stuff. The wrong stuff is not in the house so, I have to make a special trip to go get it.

It usually involves sugar or a high amount of carbohydrates and over eating. I don’t know why it is only on weekends. I guess there is a certain amount of boredom even though I usually have plenty to do.

Also being out of the house and away from my own kitchen can be a problem. I don’t always choose the right things when I have to eat out. I’m not sure what to try to do about it. Sometimes I have to be out. When my daughter’s softball schedule heats up we are on the road a lot on weekends.

Some people incorporate cheat days I to their diets. I don’t like to. I think for me cheat day holds up progress. For instance, I have not lost anymore weight for nearly 3 weeks. I am managing not to gain any more than 3-4 pounds (fluctuating back and forth), but I have a goal of 80+ pounds to lose. It will take forever at this rate. I think it is a result of my accidental “cheat days.”

Too bad it’s not as easy to lose weight as it is to gain. Of course I’m not ready to give up. Weight loss is not my only goal. It is overall health. And this diet seems to be helping with that.

In general I am feeling better. But I’m realizing as I get farther into this how much my life is apparently centered around food. So, I have to figure out how to get it right on a more frequent basis. One day at a time I guess.