Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

I just looked and I’ve not posted anything on here in 10 months.

10 months?!?!?

I’m not going to make excuses… I wrote no fewer than 12 drafts that referenced the 2016 election and wound up purging them.  Too political, too negative, take your pick. I realize you don’t really need to hear my political ramblings. Plus, I’m sure that it wouldn’t do much good.

I know you’ve read my trials and tribulations of getting exercise and losing weight. You’ve heard the tales of my blistered and mangled feet.

I’ve gotten a solution.

I’ve rediscovered just how much I enjoy biking.

This started a couple of years ago when I visited my local Trek dealer. I didn’t know much about bikes (my last one was a 10-speed Schwinn from 30 years ago). I left with a pretty metallic blue Shift 1. I rode it sparingly the first two seasons. I was always finding excuses not to ride… my legs hurt, it was too hot, it was too cold. You get the point.

Then, for whatever reason, it clicked.

Shock’s Mill Bridge over the Susquehanna River

I started riding regularly. First three days a week, then four. Now it’s usually six days a week (I mow grass on the seventh day), and I have been known to get all seven days. What started off as a struggle to reach five miles a day has me feeling like I’m not getting it done if I don’t get 15-20 miles a day. Some days I do the entire trail for a grand total of 23 miles. There’s some lovely scenery along the way… old ruins from the region’s pig iron days, a really neat railroad bridge, and lots of wildlife. I ever rescued a really cute box turtle today after he was almost mowed down by some Lance Armstrong wannabe. I stopped, picked him up and carried him to the side of the trail. Figured it was better than having Lance get a second shot at him on the return leg.

Yes, my tubby ass has grown to love the biking.

As a result, I found that I was outgrowing my beloved Shift 1. Limited to seven gears, it wasn’t allowing me to get the work I wanted. So, I went shopping for another bike. Since I was so enamored with the Trek product, that’s where I started and where my search ended. The Shift line was no more, but Trek had introduced a line called Verve. Bigger tires, stronger wheel construction, all aluminum frame, and 24 gears.

It was a no-brainer.

The new bike as I left the shop.

I was fitted for the bike, and I took it for a ride the day I picked it up. It was a little too tall for me and given my normal choice of riding attire, I managed to fall off. See, I usually opt to spare the world from the sight of me in bike shorts, so I would generally wear a pair of gym shorts over the bike shorts. They got caught on the seat and I ever so gracefully landed on my keister. No harm done… plenty of padding. I lowered the seat a little and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. It also helps that I just said the hell with it and let people see me in bike shorts.

An old high school friend asked me why I loved the new bike and the best thing I could say was that it works for me. Maybe Trek isn’t the greatest thing on the road, but I enjoy riding this bike and I look forward to riding as far into the fall and winter as I can.

It’s nice to be able to get the activity I’ve been craving.

P.S. I have no idea what my weight is these days. I haven’t looked at a scale in months. I’m not stressing and I know things are working because I can feel changes in muscle tone and how my clothes fit. Eff the scale.

I’ve noticed something over the four years I’ve been doing this blog… whenever I let the blogging lapse, the weight creeps back on. Curious cause and effect, but it bears looking into.

I had a visit with Dr. McPhee today. He challenged me to avoid all processed carbs for a month and see what happens. I was expressing my discontent at the fact I’m pretty much sedentary due to the foot issues and he says he has patients that have found success with this approach. It’ll be  a challenge, since I do like my pasta and crunchy snacks. He managed to ease the blow by saying I could have some corn and potatoes. Not tons, but it’s a start.

I immediately enlisted Supportive Partner Woman (fellow lover of carby goodness!) who agreed to go in, just not right away, because we have a LOT of that stuff in the house and it seems a shame to throw it away. I can respect that… food is expensive, after all. I did start today and made a very yummy lunch… cedar plank roasted Copper River salmon with an ear of fresh, quasi-local sweet corn and some steamed broccoli. I was amazed at just how much protein is in the salmon… MyFitnessPal calculated 26.2 grams in a portion slightly less than 4 oz. That’s some serious protein.

I added something to the kitchen arsenal this week, as well. I finally got a food grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. This thing is AWESOME! I took a nice sirloin, ran it through the grinder and made some caramelized sweet onion burgers for the grill. The meat was probably a little too lean for the purpose, as the burgers were a little dry, but the taste was spot-on. I’m looking forward to grinding my own turkey, since the stuff you get at the store is kind of nasty. I think it will make for excellent turkey meatloaf and turkey burgers, not to mention it can be cheaper to buy the whole piece and grind it yourself. Woot!

Other than that, there’s not too much going on. I find myself getting sad when I drive by the trailheads because on some of these lovely days we’ve been having, it would be nice to go out and take a walk/run/wog. Alas, thanks to Wayne being obstinate, no dice.

This pretty much sums up my feelings on soccer

This pretty much sums up my feelings on soccer.

In other news, many folks around the world are watching the World Cup. I realize I’ll take some heat for saying this, but I just don’t get it. I mean I respect the athleticism and skill, and I respect the fact that a lot of people love the game, but, on the whole, I’d rather watch hockey or baseball. I know, you people are saying, “You like baseball and you’re bored by soccer?” My usual response is to say that there aren’t many other sports where you can fail 70% of the time and be considered one of the greats.

At any rate, that’s going to do it for this post. Expect to see more in the coming weeks as I rededicate myself. I’ll also let you know how things go with the no processed carbs challenge.

Now where can I find some meat?

Dreamers_LogoSmallRecently I had the honor of recording a new podcast started by my friend Joe. This podcast focuses on people who are living their dreams, or have a dream and have started on the road to making that dream a reality.

If you get a chance, give his podcast a listen… it’s a really good idea and one that has a huge opportunity for growth.

Here’s the link to my episode:

Other than that, not too much to report. I got some news from my wound care doctor… he seems to think Wayne will be all healed up in two-three weeks, then we can schedule a joint fusion surgery. That will mean six weeks in a surgical boot, but it will at least give me an endpoint so I can get back to being active and healthier. This forced inactivity is not fun at all. As it is, I only get two days a week of exercise, plus the work at home with a resistance band. I miss my daily trips to the gym… I felt so much better when I could do that. Also, with the warmer weather, I miss being out on the trail.

I’ve been having thoughts that maybe I should consider getting a bicycle. Anyone have any recommendations? I’m on a budget, so I was thinking of something used if I go that way. I’d be looking for something that doesn’t have a seat that would totally be crawling up my ass like my old Schwinn 10 speed used to do. Alternatively, would welding an office chair to the frame be a bad idea? It’s just a thought at this time, but it never hurts to start.

On that note, back to the salt mine. I’m working on another ramp for my in-laws. Want to make sure it fits before I get it all polyurethaned.

Hope you have a great day!

Currently Reading: Faceoff, edited by David Baldacci

Song of the Day: When You Close Your Eyes – Night Ranger (I know it’s 80s cheese, but I have a soft spot for that)

 

I’m pleased to report that the six day period of hell has come to a close.

This started last Saturday when we buried my cousin Bill, who had passed away a few weeks beforehand. I had written about the sense of loss I felt at that time, but we finally got his ashes to their final resting place. We followed up with a family brunch at the Exeter Family Restaurant , which was underwhelming to say the least, then Supportive Partner Woman and I made tracks back to cow country. The following day, my mom came up so I could do her taxes. We then took her for her first ever visit to Wegman’s.

She was a bit overwhelmed.

She called when she got home to let us know she was safe, then a few minutes later, the phone rang again to let us know that Aunt Marie had passed away on Saturday night.

(thump)

The other shoe had dropped.

That funeral was this past Friday… bookending a six day stretch that was crappy, to say the least. This week was also filled with too many work obligations, not enough sleep, and not enough fresh air.

All it proves is that life is too damn short.

In the good news department, though, I did manage to construct a solidly-built ramp for my in-law’s home so my mother-in-law can get out to the family room. It was a chance to use power tools (which I’m always in favor of), and a chance to bitch about cheap Chinese-made wood screws. I might have something there… there’s NO reason an 18v cordless drill should be able to torque the head right off the screw. This happened twice. Not happy, but what can you do? I also opted to build a computer stand for the iMac, freeing up space underneath for the external hard drive and the Time Machine.

I also got some good exercise in. My group meeting took place with the exercise physiologist and he had us doing circuits. I was doing OK, but the mountain climbers really hurt on Saturday. The part that made me feel pretty good was the running in place… I was able to go 45 seconds without too much effort. This leads me to believe that I can do some intervals during the Troegtoberfest race and not be dead last. Woot!

I’ve also come to a conclusion that I’m going to go see a wound care specialist about Stubby and Wayne. These things are healing, but it seems the podiatrist doesn’t have a clue on how to make it more permanent (and faster). If I have to go back in the boot for awhile, so be it… if it really helps, I’m all for it.

So, I’m calling it a night. Hope that you all have a very happy Easter (Passover, etc.) and I’ll catch you in a few days.

Greetings, my friends.

It’s been a little bit since I’ve written. There’s been a lot happening, but that’s no excuse. Fact is, I’ve been pretty darned tired and haven’t really felt like it.

So, the big news is that Wednesday was my one-year anniversary of my bypass. Hard to believe I was propped up in my bed moaning and begging for death. It was almost like having a hangover, except for the five holes in my abdomen. People have asked me if I had any regrets. I think my biggest regret (other than being in such a bad way that I needed the operation) was that I didn’t do it sooner. I could’ve maybe avoided the diabetes and not have the damage to my feet that will probably stick with me the rest of my days.

I had my one-year appointment with Dr. McPhee. He was concerned that I had gained 26 pounds back, but since starting in the Back on Track program, I had lost 11 of those 26. That’s been going great… I find that Dr. Collins has a way of hitting the root causes of why I eat like I do. She’s been able to get me refocused and nudge me in the right direction, which is a good thing. I was starting to really feel down about myself during the two months I was on the shelf. Between the group and the fact I can be back at the gym, well, it has made a world of difference.

What a coincidence... both Flexes that we got in the same picture. Mine is the black/gray colored band and SPW's is the slate blue band.

What a coincidence… both Flexes that we got in the same picture. Mine is the black/gray colored band and SPW’s is the slate blue band.

One of the other things I did was to get a FitBit Flex. It adds a bit of a game to my daily routine and I love those days when I hit my goal and my Flex will start buzzing at random. I guess I’m intrigued by the gamification of calorie counting and fitness tracking. The sleep tracking is a nice feature as well. I also got one for Supportive Partner Woman… I hope she likes it as much as I do. I must remember not to cheer or taunt too much because that can get to be annoying. It’s like when someone will comment on EVERY Facebook status you post. It’s irritating and the last thing we need is more irritation.

The actual process of getting these bands was kind of comical. I had swung by my local Best Buy with the intention of looking at the band. In a surprise move, no one was around to help when I could’ve actually USED the help (Usually, I get one creepy dude who keeps asking me what he can help me with… when I really don’t need any help), so I left there and swung by the Apple Store, on the off chance they had them. They did, although the associate there tried to talk me into the Nike+ Fuelband. I tried, but it’s too rigid and didn’t fit my wrist comfortably. I took it back the following day and so far, I’m very happy. Supportive Partner Woman wanted a different color than I got, but they only stocked pink and black. I had the black and, well, she’s so not a pink person. Luckily, the Apple website had the blue band available and was able to ship it to the store in a couple of days. Problem solved. The website said shipping it to our home would take a week, but I could pay an extra $10 and get it by Friday. Or, I could ship it to the store for free and I could have it Friday. That’s a basic no-brainer, so, yay me.

Speaking of Dr. McPhee, he recently published another cookbook for bariatric patients. It has many of the same recipes from the first edition, but there are plenty of new ones, along with portion guides and some nutrition information. Not to mention the fact that the stuff is tasty. So, if you are a bariatric patient or know someone who is, click over to lulu.com and check out the book. It’s only $4.99 for a digital download and well worth it.

That’s all I have for today.

Song of the Day: Colin Hay – Overkill
Currently Reading: The Chariot Builders – Steve Matchett

Good news!

I’m finally cleared to exercise again.

Yeah, I can go and hit the elliptical starting today. Still need to stay off the treadmill, but I’ll take what I can get. First thing I did was call Ryan and Cory, since I still have a few weeks left with them. Hard to believe I’ll be a year post-op at the end of this month.

I also started the Back on Track program at LGH. It’s for folks who are struggling a little. Dr. Collins, the bariatric psychologist, leads an eight-week session focused on getting you refocused and rededicated before the wheels completely fall off. It’s a small group, six people, and Dr. Collins has a whole program set up. I think being able to get back to regular exercise will help me… I had gotten so used to working out that it really took a toll on me when I couldn’t. Dare I say some depression set in, and I’m someone who tends to eat when depressed. Ergo, not a good combination.

To help, I did buy a resistance band at my local Target. It has helped me at least get some strength training in while I was sidelined. I would usually change things up by using the bands. The fact that you get a constant force working against you seems to make sense.

The feet are feeling good in the new kicks. They are a little flashier than I’m used to, but I can’t argue with the comfort. I was able to rehab my old Beasts by putting a spare set of orthotic insoles in and they feel pretty much brand new.

So, I’m actually thinking that the WDW 10K in January might be the last runDisney event for me. Not because I don’t think I could do it again, but because of the price. RunDisney is getting a little out of hand. The prices for the 2015 weekend are going up like a rocket ship and that’s not cool.

The prices for 2015 are as follows:

Dopey Challenge: $530 (this is the 5K, 10K, ½, full, extra medals for the Dopey and for the Goofy, and a load of shirts)

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge: $360 (1/2 and full, plus extra medal and required shirts)

1/2 or full marathon: $170

10K: $105

5K: $60

Add to that price the need for airfare, lodging, meals, park admission (granted, not required, but you’re in Disney, you should probably get to a park), getting up at 2:30 AM on race day, and you start to wonder if it’s really worth it. Supportive Partner Woman and I will be doing it, as we are hoping our niece joins us as she will be done with graduate school at that point and could probably use a vacation. If it wasn’t for that, well, I’d consider not even participating. But, it’s all about the profit and 55,000 folks participating brings in a lot of scratch.

On that happy note, I’m going to get myself moving and over to the gym. I have two months to catch up on.

20140311-233915.jpg

That would be the overtime wheel at work.

Let me just say that I’m not opposed to overtime, on the contrary, I like the paycheck, at least until Uncle Sam decides to do his personal version of armed robbery. I hear the politicos talking about how it’s tough for everyone, and as Ann Richards once said, “There must be equity in suffering!”

Still, it doesn’t seem quite fair when you put in the hours and get hosed on taxes just so some low-life congresscritter can get a couple point bump in the polls just so he/she/it can stay elected. But, it seems to be the reality these days, so there’s not much use complaining about it.

My new Beasts

My new Beasts

In the good news department, I did get fitted for new running shoes. I am able to get the Beasts, and this time, I opted for the snazzy red and black trim. I’m really hoping they come in soon… I’m wanting to get back to the gym ASAP, feet or not.

See, I’ve gained seven pounds during my layoff. I’m not happy about this. I’m primarily frustrated in that I discovered how much I like exercise, and now I can’t do it. Sigh.

So, the Super Bowl was kind of a laugher, unless you’re a die-hard Broncos fan. It was tough to watch, because Peyton Manning is an amazing competitor and his team just was not prepared. I was always a big fan of the commercials, but they seemed to be lacking this year. One of the standouts in my mind was the entry from Radio Shack. I’m not a big fan of the Shack, but this was hysterical, to a child of the 1980s. I’ve decided to include it… bonus points if you a) can spot Qbert and b) know who/what Qbert is.

I think it’s well done and it might inspire me to visit the Shack, even if it will mean I’ll get talked down to by a bunch of dweebs who still live in mom’s basement.

Not to be outdone, the Brits unleashed some über-cute ads, so in the interest of trying to make heads explode, I give you puppies and kittens, in that order.

I do this as a public service, people.

So, I also see that the Beebs has been classing it up. Apparently, he and his entourage hot-boxed the private jet they were taking to the Super Bowl to the extent that the pilots had to go on oxygen masks. The entourage included his father. Parent of the year, folks.

That about does it for now. Hope you all survived the northeast ice storm!