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Feeling Alive, and Also Not So Much

A few posts ago I mentioned that I was just beginning to feel that I’ve woken up from a long slumber. I’ve been writing alot, both this blog and also working on one of my books. I’ve also started using Duolingo again. Duolingo is a free program very similar to Rosetta Stone that uses pictures and repitition to teach you a language, in my case Spanish which I’ve been trying to learn for years.

I’ve for the most part stopped watching as much TV as I used to, although I’m still going to watch movies, I’ve been reading again, and I even started doing some exercise at home using Youtube on my smartTV. Last night I did some stretching exercises and today I did an upper body workout followed by a little beginner video on thai chi. So with all that going on I’m starting to feel like my brain is firing more (part of this also might have to do with the fact that I’ve spent less time at Lou’s Tavern, the local bar).

However with all of these good things it’s hard to stop some of the old thoughts from creeping in. But that may be my fault … the movie I chose to watch was Into the Wild. The movie took me three nights to watch as it’s very long. I have to say it was a pretty good attempt at capturing the awesome book and I really dug the music by eddie vedder of Pearl Jam.  The book I chose to read was “tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom (I plan on writing a review of this tomorrow night after I let it sink into my subconsious more). Both of these choices, coincidentally, have to do with death. I didn’t particularly think too much about it, except reading Morrie outside on the patio while smoking made me take pause, until I spoke to my dad tonight.

He mentioned that tomorrow would have been my mother and his anniversary, and that the next day, the day I leave for Lake Erie with the kids to meet Lonnie and Schutz and their families, would have been my mother’s birthday. As soon as my father started to utter the words I realized that, even though I’d been immersed in two separate topics about death, these two facts about my mother hadn’t occured to me. On normal days I think of my mom often, and once in a while, maybe once or twice a week, the feelings of loss threaten to completely overwhelm me and I have to push them deep down. But ever since my father mentioned their anniversary and her birthday tonight, I can’t seem to shake off the thoughts of my mother and how much I miss her.

… and 1 to go …

so i’ve been feeling over the past 3 week period since my last weigh-in with Bessie that I haven’t been doing that great … i mean i was doing ok but as mentioned in one or two of my previous posts … i had a few days where i was virtually unhinged with respect to eating …

i kept up with the gym though, although i noticed when looking at my exercise log that i’ve been slacking on the lifting (only once each of the last two weeks) …. that’s balanced out by the fact that i’ve replaced the lifting by doing 40 or 45 minutes of cardio vs my usual 30 … i need to rectify that going forward as apparently cardio only burns fat as long as your working out, while strength training increases your metabolism for a few hours after you are finished ….

but i’m delaying the news … like i said i didn’t think i was doing that great .. maybe dropped 3 or 4 pounds in the last three weeks … but i couldn’t have been more wrong – i actually dropped 6 pounds! this puts me in at 251 this week, for a total loss of 24 pounds in the 13 weeks i’ve been working at this!!!!!! and to think that just a few weeks ago i was looking at that 260 mark on the scale as a major barrier … now all i need to do is lose 2 more pounds and i’m below 250 for the first time that I can remember in a long time.

i’m pretty satisfied about that and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring me …

ps. going on a cruise on may 30th for 10 days … wonder how much i’ll gain back while i’m out to sea!

Full Disclosure

i feel i’m being dishonest if i don’t mention the reason i feel i’m struggling this week despite mostly eating well and keeping up with the workouts … last weekend i went a bit off the rails … friday night around midnight i finally succumbed to a craving i’d had for a few hours and finished off a bag of chips that we opened up when my parents were here earlier in the day for lunch … i finished about half the bag … you’d think that was enough but no it wasn’t … i then ate the rest (about a pint) of mint chocolate chip ice cream … didn’t really feel too guilty about it either. next morning i hit the gym to try and work it off …. 

then on saturday i took the kids (julie was at a class so i had them alone) to wendy’s … i was just totally jonesing for it … and put down a 1/4 pounder with cheese AND a double stack (for the unitiated, that’s two smaller burgers on a bun) … and fries and diet coke … 

got home, put the kids to bed, and banged out not one but two hershey bars (not even dark chocolate) … didn’t feel bad about the wendy’s actually – i really wanted it … but the chocolate i knew was really pushing to the limit … 

anyway … i guess i kinda went a little crazy … and it’s disgusting … but normally i’m doing pretty well and there’s a part of me that feels like every once in awhile you got to give in just so you can recommit …. which is why i went to the gym three days in a row and have been on track ever since … i just hope that the work i’m doing to make up is reflected on the scale next week …. 

how to eat chocolate every night and still lose weight …

so i’m still plugging along with the program and i have to say the best part about Bessie’s plan is that I’m allowed to eat a square (ok sometimes two) of dark chocolate every night … its amazing how that one little square of chocolate (it has to be above 75% cocoa or above .. i do the 85% Lindt) can satisfy all my snack cravings …

i’m not really sure how i’m doing during this period … i’m in week 10 now and on the scale, i’m not sure i’m seeing more than a 1 or 2 lb difference … but there are little things that are making think i might be doing pretty good … all my size 44 pants are now falling off me …. even my size 42 jeans that i couldn’t fit into not too long ago started falling down … also, i’ve been starting to get comments (encouraging ones) from people who noticed the loss … and also, at the gym yesterday i was able to actually wrap the towel around my waist without it falling off … yeah that’s embarrasing but if your gonna be overweight and write about it .. you got to own up right?

i’ve been consistently hitting the gym .. .went on saturday, sunday, monday, and today (wednesday) … today was a particulary good workout … per the calorie counter on the bike I usually use … i burned 488 calories this morning … that’s a record for me even put up against my pre-torn-ligament days on the treadmill or elliptical …

so i have exactly one week from tomorrow before my next weigh-in (i weighed in at 257 last time so i won’t dare to dream i’ll reach my new goal of 250 just yet) … alot of work (and just a bit of chocolate pretty much ever night) is still ahead … but i hope i lose at least another 5 lbs …

Spring Cleaning should count as Exercise!

Spent a good portion of my day today cleaning out the garage … i filled up my jetta wagons’ trunk with 3 full loads of old furniture and other junk and brought it to the town dump in the process … and still have about half left to do tomorrow … after dinner i had to go pick up a new mattress for my mother-in-law and then bring her old one to the same dump (trip 4) … by the time I was done my muscles felt more exhausted than after a good workout at the gym … does that count as exercise??? nah, didn’t think so …

the most rewarding part of the day though (aside from having my sunroof open!) was throwing up some sausages on the grill, opening a bottle of wine, and eating dinner outside (bye winter!!) with my family … i had moved the firepit out of the garage earlier, where it had been stored for winter, and after we finished eating we threw on some wood and the kids cooked marshmellows …

all in all a day where i worked hard but also had lots of fun at home  … and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Small goals are good

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately on the health front. I started going back to the gym sometime in January and in February, after alot of very annoying (but now much appreciated) pressure from Julie i began seeing a nutritionist … Bessie from Carve Your Body here in Emerson … to call her a nutritionist isn’t really doing it justice though … she’s really more of a health coach … and the pounds have been coming off pretty quick now …. 

it’s pretty embarrassing, but in January when I went for my physical I weighed 288 lbs. Yeah, that fat … which is why i finally made a commitment to get back to the gym … and that was going pretty good because as of my first appointment with Bessie I weighed in at 275. 

Now to give it a bit of perspective, 288 is out of the norm even for me … i probably usually weigh in the 260 – 270 range … so i was basically the heaviest i’d ever been in my life. i’d been in and out of the gym, tried walking in the mornings, tried to eat better, but nothing really worked and for as far back as i can remember I couldn’t get below 262 lbs …. so i kind of had a small goal in my head of breaking that 260 barrier … 

… and on Easter Sunday (note: this house celebrates Greek Easter which this year is on Cinco de Mayo), i weighed myself and i was 259 lbs … i finally did it .. and i was totally psyched …. 

but that was on my scale … i see Bessie about every 3 weeks for a weigh-in, to check my food and exercise logs, and generally talk about eating and not eating …. and there’s always alot of trepidation about going in there and getting weighed (and calipered too) and getting that official number … and this week was no different. the past time I went i had dropped an additional 4.5 pounds (disappointing) weighing in at 263 lbs and 259 on my scale would only mean another 4, less than 2 lbs per week … but much to my amazement, I actually lost 6 more pounds this week and came in at 257!!! wow … i’m still stunned by that today … that means i’ve lost 18 lbs in the 9 weeks i’ve been going to her … and overall since january i’m down 31!!! 

so basically, my jeans are literally falling off of me, i’ve already had to make new belt holes, and my previously-getting-snug XXL shirts are starting to look like sails on me … 

so anyway, my point is i had a small goal to break that 260 lb mark and with work and self control i managed to sail right past it … my new goal is to get down to less than 250 …. that should take another 4 or 5 weeks but i can’t even imagine what i’ll look like by then … 

If anyone is interested, Bessie’s website is http://www.carveyourbody.com/ … and i have to say she’s known mostly for her Zumba classes … so many people we know go there to work out (and quite a few for Bessie’s health advice) that I just had to plug it …. 

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