Archive for the ‘Weight loss’ 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.

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)

 

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

Supportive Partner Woman and I just returned from a visit to sunny Florida. We went to take part in Reunion 2013, a gathering of like-minded Disney fans who get together for four days of meets, hi-jinks and whatever else happens.

There are, of course, some folks who just don’t get it, and that’s OK. More fun for the rest of us!

With that little bit out of the way, I’d like to report that the entire event was a blast. The highlight of the event is catching up with the friends we’ve met over the years. SPW and I often speak of how different the guest list would be were we to get married now instead of nine years ago. I can tell you that list would certainly be larger.

One of the biggest moments for me was the taking of the picture. If you recall, someone took a picture of me last year that really showed how obese I had become. I was determined to take a picture of the newer me, in the same spot.

meIt was a success, to say the least. I’ve lost a few pounds, or so it looks. I still have some ways to go, but it’s that much more believable when you can see tangible proof.

I’m also pleased to report, other than yet another blister incident, I survived a lot of park touring and I’m really not in any pain. The past three or four years, every trip has required a few days of recovery time. This time, not so much.

The blister is pretty substantial, enough that the doc prescribed antibiotics, in case there’s an infection. He found a liquid one, which goes down a lot easier than trying to eat it in yogurt or pudding. I was lucky that the crappy weather actually allowed me to see my regular doctor, since he had a cancellation.

I’m also pleased to report that Disney can be accommodating with my bariatric surgery. Even our group meal at Ohana was accommodated. I was able to pay the child’s price, since my capacity was so diminished. For the most part, I ordered off the child’s menu or I shared with SPW. The one full-sized item we got was a very yummy margherita pizza with prosciutto at Via Napoli in Epcot. We were lucky that the crust is very thin, so I was able to enjoy a lot of the pizza.

Another of the highlights of any Reunion is the chance to see the IllumiNations holiday tag. This is a four minute extra segment that includes a stirring rendition of Let there be Peace on Earth as performed by the Boys Choir of Harlem with narration by Walter Cronkite. I managed to get video of the tag (a little shaky, but not bad overall), so that’s posted below:

There were other special events, and the chance to make some new friends. It was also nice to chat with some people I knew by name, but had never really met, and have them tell me that my journey has been inspiring to them. It’s very humbling when you hear that.

A rare treat was being able to relive my first sight of the Osborne Lights. This was better, as the fine folks at Mouse Fan Travel had arranged a private viewing of the lights after the park closed. One of our group had never experienced the lights and there is no better way to experience them. It proves that despite all the issues they may have, Disney still knows magic.

Lights!

Lights!

I think the picture says it all.

In short, 2013 was one of the best Reunions I’ve attended. Special thanks go out to Beci & Annette from MEI/Mouse Fan Travel, Matt from Studios Central, Mike from Mouse World Radio, Mike from AllEars, and Len from touringplans.com. Might also mention that together, Mike, Len, Mike, Matt and Annette make up the WDW Today podcast team. These folks give up a lot of their time and energy to make sure everyone has a memorable experience and I know they don’t get thanked enough. I, for one, am honored to call each of them a friend.

I hope to have more photos and video up later in the week. Until then, stay warm!

The pedometer screen

The pedometer screen

That’s right, campers… yours truly completed a 10K yesterday. It wasn’t the fastest on record, but for me, it’s a pretty big deal. I did it on the rail trail, so it was nice and shady, there was a breeze going, and it felt pretty good.

Until the last half mile.

That’s when the ankles started barking, and everything hurt, but the only way I’m getting back to the car is by finishing the walk. One of the good reasons to do this stuff on the trail.

My Harry Potter bib

My Harry Potter bib

The little 10K jaunt also marked the completion of the second part of the Nerd Herd virtual racing series. This one was Harry Potter themed, and I’m glad I managed to get it done. Next up is that banned book half, but I’m sure I’ll be doing that over two or three days.

I spent this morning at the Harrisburg Half Marathon cheering on two of my Team All Ears teammates. It was TAE teammate Joe’s first real half, and he was running it with his mentor, Brad, a good friend of mine. They both finished the course in under 2:30, which really puts into perspective how slow I am, and how far I have to go. Then there are the really fast people, doing it in under 90 minutes. To put into persepctive, they did 13.1 miles in less time than it took me to go 6.2.

Yes, how far I have to go.

See, I’m looking at 2015 to run the Disney World half AND the Disneyland half. If I’m going to do it, I want the coast to coast bling,

There. It’s in print.

That’s my goal.

I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish this, just that I have to do it somehow. I think it was in the back of my mind when I first thought of doing the 5K. Either that or Melanie planted that seed somewhere on a ship in the Caribbean way back in 2010.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I were able to join TAE teammates Matt, Brad and Joe, along with their families, for a lunch at TJ Rockwell’s in Elizabethtown. Special thanks to Matt who drove the farthest, and it was especially great to see him, as it’s been around four years. Wasn’t even too bad a food day. We all shared a huge appetizer platter (sliders, onion rings, boneless wings, pretzel logs and the rhino fries. I managed half a pretzel, half a slider (left the bun), two onion rings and three fries. For a main course, I ordered a crab cake sandwich, of which I could only eat half.

So, folks… there you have it. I’ve set a pretty big goal for myself.

Now to make it happen.

I’ll keep you posted.

Song of the Day: Without Me – Eminem

Currently Reading: Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football – John U. Bacon

So, I had to go get a haircut today.

Now, it may seem weird, but I travel 35 miles for a haircut.

Why, you may ask.

I go there because I’ve been going to the same person for over twenty years. She does a good job, knows how I like my hair and charges a fair price.

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

However, the parking lot has a very interesting vehicle. It’s a 1977 Winnebago painted to resemble VanGogh’s Starry Night. The colors are rather faded, but you have to love it. Apparently, it’s for sale… only $2,495.

After my haircut, I headed back home. On the way, I passed a Kreider Farms truck that was advertising their status as a “micro-mooery” The back of the truck also offered some interesting graphics. Gotta love Lancaster County.

Also got news at the office last night that I had not gotten a position I had applied for. I won’t deny that I’m actually pretty bitter about it. Kind of sucks when all the hard work you’ve put in learning your job for the last 13 years is basically swept under the rug in favor of some other folks who aren’t nearly as experienced, regardless of how much training they have. It isn’t the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ll still continue to do whatever is asked of me, but the next time I’m asked to train people or the powers-that-be drop a shitty job on my desk, well, it will take every ounce of self control to not tell them to get one of the new all-stars to do it. I know I’m not fooling anyone… I will do what I’m told. It’s how I was raised. This is, however, a shining example of why some people who deserve a better skill classification don’t even apply for it in the first place.

My first instinct was to run for the food. I did have a Klondike Bar, but that’s as far as it went. I’ve come too far to let them beat me.

OK, rant over. Now back to your regularly scheduled bitterness.

I also got 3.25 miles in this morning around the neighborhood. It was cool, but very humid. I also did it in just under an hour. Yay me.

At any rate, that’s all I have to offer today.

Song of the Day: Metal Health (Bang Your Head) – Quiet Riot

Currently Reading: The Millionaires – Brad Meltzer

So, fresh on the heels of completing my 5K yesterday, I thought I’d do it again.

Yeah… I’m getting the bug. I’ve been told it’s expensive.

Yikes.

Supportive Partner Woman and I hit the Rec today. We took adjacent treadmills and got started. I didn’t start the workout thinking 5K. I just set the timer for 45 minutes and thought I’d take it easy. Three minutes later, I’m clipping along at 3.8 mph and I’m not really winded. I added some 30 second running intervals to get the heart rate up, but as I got closer to the 45 minute mark, I opted to see if I could get 3 miles in 50 minutes. I managed to do that with 4 second left and finished my workout having done 3.06 miles in 51:15. That was a 16:44 pace, which is pretty much the best pace I’ve ever recorded (since doing 9 minute miles in high school).

This really gives me hope that I’ll be able to break 50 minutes at the WDW 5K. I still have four months until the race, so there’s still time.

The other good news was that Wayne & Stubby came through with no new injuries… no blisters, corns or whatever foot ailment you can think of.

I need to refocus on my diet, though. It’s not bad, but it’s slipping a bit. I just need to wrap my head around it, because what I was doing was working. My first step was to cut the amount of pasta I had with my meatballs. I’ve been using higher-fiber pasta for a while, but there’s still carbs and carbs are still the enemy. At least the meatballs have plenty of protein. I use 90% beef, plus cheese, eggs and spices. There’s also some bread crumbs, but they aren’t that big of an impact in terms of diet.

My hope is to knock the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 10K out this weekend. Then I can focus on the Banned Books race at the end of September. I’m thinking of that 13.1 miles as a goal. I know it won’t be fast, but I’m hoping to be able to at least walk it in one day without blisters.

It’s a goal… and I think it’s attainable.

One more blurb… if you would care to sponsor my 5K effort for the Avon Walk, please click here. They do amazing work and if you can spare $1 for every kilometer I’m going to finish, that would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great day!

Song of the Day: MLK – U2

Currently Reading: The First Counsel – Brad Meltzer

Today’s weight: 269 lbs – total loss of 111 pounds