Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Day 97

It's a rather strange thing and it's also a tad annoying. I find myself running into opposition about my goal to become healthy and physically fit.

Oh, it's often subtle. "Diet's don't work." "Exercise could cause you some health problems at your age." "You're no spring chicken, ya know." "How long have you been trying to do this challenge". "What are you trying to do, recapture your youth, having a mid-life crisis?" And on and on....usually from people that tell me this stuff with the best intentions in their hearts.

Well...thanks a heap, but would you kindly just FOAD!

I know I'm fifty years old. I know that I'm way out of shape. I know that what I'm attempting to do is hard, maybe close to impossible.

But it is my goal to become fit during this year. Not yours. Not my friends. Not my partner's. Mine. Succeed or fail....my goal....my dream....my struggle.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I was recently reading an article in Men'sHealth magazine about the 20 worst foods in America. It was incredible to see what the amounts of calories and fat were in all of these restaurant dishes. No wonder I became so fat. No wonder there is an epidemic of obesity in this country.

The absolute worst of the list? Outback's Aussie Cheese Fries....

One hundred eighty two grams of fat! 240 grams of carbs. and get this..... 2900 calories!

gahhhh....makes my arteries harden just to look at it. Who comes up with slop like this to serve? What sane person in their right mind would even want to shovel this mess down their throats?

Well...I was one who would have eaten it at one time and considered it just an appetizer along with a soda.

In case you're interested this is NOT a recommended food for the Body for Life plan, even for a free day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 77 - first day of not smoking

Today I am a non-smoker.

I'll spend most of this day devoting my energy to not lighting up and it may make me somewhat difficult to be around....but I will be a non-smoker today.

Tomorrow? Well, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 76

Is a smoker a drug addict?

Tobacco is a rather unique drug. Though highly addictive and deadly, it can be obtained almost everywhere at anytime. As well, it doesn't really interfere with your functionality during the day....I don't fear losing my job because I take about a hundred hits of my drug of choice every day. This makes quitting smoking fraught with some difficulties not found in alcohol or other drugs.

If you smoke, consider going a day without cigs tomorrow. Then...if you have any doubts whether you are indeed an addict....come back here and tell me about it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 75 from August 30, 2007

Want to know something? I've been fooling myself.

Actually....I've been lying to myself.

I've made all of this hoopla and noise about getting fit, getting healthy, and transforming my body. A change from all my old bad habits; but I kept the one habit that is probably much more damaging to my health than anything....smoking. Let me tell ya, trying to get fit while using tobacco is about as pointless a pursuit as you can imagine.

So here I've been, these last few weeks; dieting, exercising, and all the while...puffing on the cancer sticks.


Well, because I'm an addict. The very definition of is "engaging in a behavior that you know is harmful but you do it anyway".

It's time to start being honest. I'm suspending the challenge to devote my energies to getting control of this addiction. This is my priority. Nothing else is important right now. I may gain some weight; in fact, I'm expecting to since food is one way to cope with symptoms of withdrawal. I will exercise, but only to take my mind off smoking and not with any goal of muscle development. I sincerely hope that I haven't let anybody down that may have been looking to me for inspiration. My goal is to still get my health in order during this 50th year of mine and I've started counting from that birthday. By the turn of this year I hope to have my smoking habit long behind me and begin a new BFL challenge...a REAL challenge....so that by the time day 365 rolls around, I will indeed be a new person.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day 66

Instead of the screaming finish I had hoped for, it's about all I can do to keep chugging to the end.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 59

I've been looking at buying a senior citizen lately. They're a lot like cats.....don't require a lot of attention, easy to feed, and are content to sleep most of the day. Some are, like cats, kinda crabby but that's their charm. And hey....two for one sale....whatta deal! But I won't be going to the International House of Pancakes this morning to purchase some old farts, I'll be going to another one of my notorious "working" breakfast meetings.

I don't know what it is about my team wanting to go to pancake houses for meetings once a month or so. Nothing productive gets done...really....except the ironic point being made that our productivity is a bit low, so we all should buckle down just as soon as we polish off the chocolate chip pancakes smothered in whipped cream during this two hour feeding meeting.

I'll have a cup of coffee. I'm not even going to make an attempt to find something coming close to being healthy on the menu. I had a Myoplex this morning and that will hold me until my next meal AFTER the meeting.

Just because nobody around me cares about their body, I've got mine for life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 52

This is the point at which a majority of people who do this challenge quit. Though I'm not getting the results that I had hoped for....I'm not quitting, and I'll be doing another challenge after this one.

and another

and another

Whatever it takes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day 47

I wonder when EAS is going to send me the entry form for my challenge? Not that I think I would win the thing...but I would like to officially enter.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day 39

This is really weird. I'm not losing much weight right now in the challenge but I seem to be getting smaller....or at least less round. I've had to start wearing a belt to hold up my pants.

Now, that might not seem like much to you...but for years I've worn jeans that were a bit tight around the middle and just let my belly snug up against my waistline. A couple of weeks ago I went out and got a belt because my britches were starting to droop. The other night, I was standing in the kitchen talking to Vickie and my pants just dropped to my ankles. I wasn't moving or jumping or stretching or making a suggestive pass at Vickie....my pants just fell off. It seems that, though I still have a gut, it's slowly going away.

I cinched up my belt a couple of notches when I went to work the next morning. I had to give a lecture and didn't want a repeat of what happened in my kitchen...though I guess it would be a good way to find out if anybody in the class was paying attention to me.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Day 35

It's my free day and what I really would like for breakfast is a Myoplex shake with blueberries.

There's something wrong with me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Day 33

I've got a boo-boo that's put a crimp into my exercise.

You know how they say that most accidents occur in the home? Well, that's particularly true with a klutz like me. I mean, I've even broken my nose just getting out of bed in the morning...which is one really lousy way to start the day. The other night I ended my day just as well. While walking around the bed I snagged my little toe on a blanket, pulling it out of the socket and ripping off the nail as well. I let loose with the usual and expected colorful phrases that I had learned from my days in the Navy, then looked down to inspect the damage. My little toe was at a right angle to my foot and bleeding to beat the band.

No pain (thank gawd for shock) so I hopped over to the bathroom and stood in the tub to run some warm water over my foot. I contemplated on what to do. Go to an emergency room? Sure looks like an emergency. I mean, I can't leave my toe like that because I wouldn't be able to wear any shoes. Plus, the shock was wearing off and it was starting to hurt. So...keeping the warm water running I banged my foot against the side of the tub and knocked the little booger back into place.

I didn't do this because I am a tough macho man....I did it because I'm a chicken. I'm afraid of hospitals.

Anyway, my toe wiggles fine but hurts like hell. Cardio is all but impossible and lower body workouts are very, very difficult. I'm being slowed down by one little freakin toe.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Day 31

Just an update on my progress. My weight as of the last free day was 210 lbs with 32 % body fat.

Not impressive? Nothing that would elicit awe and wonder? No chance of starting an empire as a weight loss guru selling books and exercise DVDs?

Maybe not....but consider.....

I started at 217.5 with a whopping 36.5 percent of that in body fat. In the last month, I've managed to lose 12.2 pounds of that fat while gaining 4.7 lbs of muscle in it's place.

This is the way it works, folks. We don't gain the weight overnight and we sure can't get rid of it quickly. What I am doing with BFL is more than just getting to a lower number on the scale, I'm trying to build muscle as well. It takes time. It takes work.

I'm getting there.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 24

I've decided to do something about my lackadaisical workouts at the gym. They aren't as intense as I need because of several factors inherent in gyms...mainly, other people. Ya see, in the Body for Life program, there is a specific way to work out that can be rather difficult if there are other people using the equipment or other people waiting to cut in between reps. It's a system of 12 reps and wait a minute, 10 reps with a bit higher weight and rest a minute, then 8, then 6, then back off the weight a bit and do 12 and without rest do another 12 with a different positioning. Then...rest a couple of minutes while you move on to your next type of exercise.

You get into a zone and it can be a pain when you are into it and have to step aside while somebody takes several minutes cutting in, or having your whole schedule thrown off because all the equipment is being used. So I've decided to do my workouts at home with dumbbells and the first thing I needed was a weight bench. Nothing fancy, just a basic bench.

I mosey down to the local sporting goods store called Dick's...which is aptly named because it seems to employ a lot of them. Found one that I liked and waited around for a half an hour for somebody to show up and sell it to me. Left. I guess they were not interested in customers that day. Went over to K-Mart and saw the same bench for $30 less, so I grabbed it.

Three hours later...

I am in control of my workouts again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 16

Guess what?

My weight is now 209 lbs. That's eight and a half pounds in two weeks.

happy dance, happy dance

Still trying to get my computer back up to snuff so I can share the joy with all the other BFL's over at YouTube.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 10

Okay...so I know it's been awhile.

The challenge is still going. I'm eating well, actually..probably a bit less food than I really need to build up some muscle. I would give anything to find a decent Myoplex pudding recipe. I haven't checked my weight because my experience has been that I always lose a few pounds during the first week or two, so I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment when the losses start to steady out afterwards.

My exercise?


This damn yuppie gym I go to is driving me crazy. I have never been to a place that was so detrimental to working out as this place. Every morning, all the cardio machines are filled with designer clad kids strolling or softly pedaling whilst reading a magazine or watching TV. The weight machines are basically the same...and NOBODY understands the concept of multiple sets. This morning, just as I was was finishing up my last 12 on a lat pull and switching weights to do another 12 for my high point...some dillweed starts carping on me that "you're suppose to share, you've already done one set let me do one". I tried to explain that, sure, I would let him in between sets, but that I was just about to finish my last one myself". He wouldn't hear of it so I got up, watched him do four reps, then mosey on over to another machine. Pretty much throwing that whole routine off for me.

This happens all the time. Friggin yuppies so wrapped up in themselves and in a hurry to go through the motions to feel like they had a workout so they can hit the Starbucks before the office.

I'm alternating on whether to start driving to another YMCA about 20 minutes away that's in a, shall we say, lower economic demographic area but has people in it that are there to get fit rather than get seen....or getting a membership in another gym closer to home that has the advantage of being open 24 hours a day.

Either way, I'm not going back to my usual gym.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Day Minus 1

With the challenge start date getting closer and closer, I'm doing lotsa thinking and planning around what I will be eating most days of the week. I'm all for convenience because I don't have a whole lot of time to prepare six meals every day. Besides...my cooking skills suck.

So I opt for fast and easy on most meals. Myoplex is good, but I can't drink those all day. What I usually do is pack ready to eat items such as cottage cheese, tuna, salad fixings, and raw veggies. I'll cook up a pot of brown rice and eat on that through the week. Same with some chicken breasts. Simple stuff, but nutritious and quick and easy.

I also like yogurt. It comes in a handy portion size and is loaded with good protein and calcium. Plus, it satisfies my sweet tooth a little bit. The trouble is....yogurt comes in all types of varieties. Sheesh...the yogurt aisle in a supermarket is worse than the cereal aisle.

You have all kinds of flavors from chocolate to some fruit that nobody outside of Peru has ever heard of before. There's fruit on the bottom, cookies on the top, whipped, blended, thick, custard, low fat, light, and smoothie style. Some of these yogurts have more calories than a bowl of rocky road ice cream. You can find some that claim to be 20% less calories than the others....because they are 25% smaller. Some have containers so weirdly designed that you can't really get a spoon into them. I guess you are either suppose to dump it into a bowl or use your tongue like an anteater to get at it.

I usually just buy the generic (translation = cheap) non-fat stuff. It's about 90 calories and tastes fine to me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day Minus 2

Well...whadaya know...I'm an old fart today.

Fifty. That's the age I obtain health and fitness.

better late than never, I guess

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day Minus 3

The days are counting down really fast now. I just realized that the start of the challenge will coincide with Labor Day. The down-side to that is my gym will be closed...so I'm going to have to figure out how to do the first workout without weights. The up-side is that, with my new work schedule, I'll have Sunday through Wednesday off. Plenty of time to to really focus on starting the challenge with vigor.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day Minus 4

I do a lot of typing all day so...okay...maybe it's not really exercise. I'm not going to be breaking out in any sweat squeezing on a rubber ball; but it keeps things limber so that I can do workouts.

After all...if you are in pain...it's easy to tell yourself it's okay to skip a session at the gym.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day Minus 6

Daddgum, almost missed today. Oh well...Sunday's are going to be free anyway.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Day Minus 7

I have to say...working on Saturday is not all that bad. It's nice and quite. No emergencies. No crisis. I'm getting plenty of work done, with even some time to post here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Day Minus 8

See. I promised to write everyday, whether I had something to say or not.

And I don't.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Minus 9

Down to single digits in the countdown to the challenge date. My...how time is flying.

I recently had a change in my work schedule that, I'm hoping, will make this challenge much easier for me. I'll be working ten-hour days with Sunday (free day, yippee!), Monday, and Tuesday off. One of the major hurdles I had with staying on the challenge in the past is finding the time to fit everything into the week. No time for meals at work because of the crush to get everything done during the day and usually staying an extra hour or two. Trying to fit in an exercise for the same reason. Along with that, a perverted desire to spend some time with my partner. I could just not get the Body for Life to fit my lifestyle.

Now...I think I have a handle on it.

I go to work at 9am, which means I have to leave home about eight thirtyish. Since I regularly get up around five every morning by habit; I can easily wake up, suck down some coffee, go to the gym for a full work-out, come home and clean and eat a healthy meal with plenty of time before heading off to the salt mine. I can schedule my meals through the day much easier since I will not have any mandated 'lunch hour'. And...I get home around 7:15pm with plenty of time to enjoy a relaxing evening.

I think this will work well for me. Not much time to create progress videos for YouTube during the four days at work but plenty of time for that on the days I have off. Plus, I want to make a goal of writing in here every day...even if it is just a sentence or two.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day Minus 16

Been a while, hasn't it?

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. The thing is...my life has been extremely busy for the last month. Major changes in processes at my job have taken a bunch of time. Then I had to do a bunch of training; both getting and giving.

Time just slipped away...and so did the challenge.

I still try to eat healthy. I don't exercise near enough but I'm keeping my weight under control, if not actually losing any pounds. I haven't given up on this. Oh no. Not by a long shot.

See that little countdown counter in the upper right? On September 3rd, me and a lot of other people are all going to do the 12-week challenge together.

Please stand by.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One Month Under My Belt

And I have a little less hanging over my belt. Here's my stats.

weight --- 208 lbs
bodyfat --- 33 %
neck --- 16.5 in.
chest --- 46 in.
biceps --- 15 in.
forearms --- 12 in.
hips --- 42 in.
waist --- 44 in.
thighs --- 22.5
calves --- 15.5

This is exactly why I take more measurements than just hopping on a scale to gauge progress. My first thought at looking at the end of this first third of my challenge was "gee....I only lost ten pounds for all that hard work during the month, and my body fat is still in the freaking 30's". Then I started looking at the numbers a little.

On just general weight, I lost 10 lbs. That's nothing spectacular but...ten pounds is ten pounds. Given a choice between losing a single pound and gaining a half dozen, I'll take the downward direction every time. Combine that weight with bodyfat measurements and it means that I've actually lost 14.2 lbs of fat while gaining 4.2 lbs of muscle. That's a good trade any day.

I've also lost four inches off my gut, which is the hardest place to lose for men my age.

Spectacular results? Maybe not. I suppose if I really wanted to shed a lot of weight, I could starve myself. Experience has shown me that this only sets the body up for massive weight gains that at least match the weight losses. I want to permanently transform my body...not just hit a goal.

I'm in this for life.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Body for Life has Ruined Junk Food for Me

Not that I'm all upset, of course.

Yesterday there was a big meeting at work and, as usual with such get-togethers, there was lotsa cookies and donuts spread out for everybody. I thought I would cheat a bit and snagged a muffin. I knew it wasn't on my diet that morning but figured it wouldn't kill me to eat one little muffin.

It was like biting into a lump of Crisco. I literally couldn't swallow the thing. My whole mouth convulsed with revulsion.

This challenge is changing more than just things on the outside.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's a Large World After All

I'm finding out that though everybody seems to think it's a great idea to eat healthy and be physically fit, few really embrace that idea into their lives. Fewer still are truly supportive if you try to change the way you feed and care for your body.

I suppose some of it is cultural. We are a nation of consumption. Fast food, supersized. Pizza, don't just get one...buy one get another free, both loaded with a pound of cheese. Restaurant portions that are equivalent to a half dozen meals and loaded with more fat than a bucket of lard. Cookies. Candy. Snacks of every type. My local grocery has an entire aisle, both sides, devoted to chips. Ditto with soda pop.

It ain't easy eating healthy....and friends don't help. One is almost considered a freak for not indulging at the trough with the rest of the herd.

"A protein shake? That's it? That's all you're eating for lunch?"

"C'mon, one piece of cake won't kill you."

"What? You didn't stay up and what that TV show last night? Gawd! You go to the gym at five in the morning?"

It's easy to be fat. It's easy to eat whatever comes across your field of vision. It's easy to be a spectator in life. Wanting results is easy; getting them is another matter. The reason the Body for Life Challenge is called a challenge is because...well.....because it is a challenge. It requires changing things in your life to achieve some changes in your life. It's hard, no doubt.

But the hardest part is sometimes just getting others to hold their tongues while you do something positive for yourself.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

End of the First Week

And I had some doubts as to whether I could make it. Last Sunday, I began getting that tickle in the back of the throat and a tinge of a sinus headache. I hoped it would pass but, alas, come the next day I had a full blown cold....and it lasted all friggin week. I did my best to eat according to plan but have to admit I skipped a few of the meals because I felt so lousy.

I did exercise every day. I sure didn't want to and the intensity was pretty low...but I did it anyway.

Here's the results:
weight --- 210 lbs
bodyfat --- 33.5%

A loss of 8 pounds in one week! Actually, it's not all that impressive or unexpected. I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle and am way too high with my bodyfat. Any time somebody likes me starts a diet or begins exercising, the initial response is a fast drop of several pounds. This is what all the fad diets and magic fat-burner pill makers don't really tell you........just reducing the number of calories and moving around a bit will burn off several pounds very quickly. The trick is to keep an eye on the intake of the right types of foods and continue to build muscle to replace the fat.

I figure that my weight losses will slow considerably and might even increase every now and then when I start developing muscle, which has considerably more mass than fat. Still....eight pounds is eight pounds. According to my bodyfat percent, I'm now walking around with about 12 pounds less blubber than I had last week.

And that is very cool!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Feeling a Bit Out of Sorts

I've been trying all week to shake off a cold...so I haven't felt much like writing and certainly not like making a video. Sneezing, coughing, fever, and so stopped-up that my normal drawling speech sounds more like Mr. Ed on Quaaludes.

Still on the challenge, though. Still going to the gym. Still eating healthy.

Just not having very much fun doing it this first week.

Monday, June 04, 2007


You can't get to where you want to go if you don't know where you are. So, I've got a bunch of measurements for the start of my 12-week challenge.

weight --- 218 lbs
bodyfat --- 38.0%

That means I'm carrying around more than 82 pounds of pure-dee blubber. No wonder I'm so tired most of the time.

neck --- 16 inches
chest --- 46 inches
biceps --- 15 inches
forearms --- 12 inches
hips --- 44 inches
waist --- 48 inches
thighs --- 24 inches
calves --- 15.5 inches

As you can see, I've got the perfect proportions....for a pear. Scrawny arms and legs, big gut, wide ass.

I'll take measurements every week to see where I'm going with all of this.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Free Day

One aspect about the Body for Life program that I think is absolute genius is the concept of a "free day". This is one day of the week where you don't worry about doing any type of exercise or pay attention to your diet. Do whatever you want. It's a freebee.

Now, of course, for the past several years everyday has been a free day for me. That's what got my body into the mess it is today. For example, the bratwurst patties that are pictured above. I love these things but they are bad, bad, baaaaaaaaad for you. Loaded with fat...and not the good kind either.

But they are damn good!

And, along with a lot of other foods that are not exactly healthy, I don't want to give them up. What's the point of doing a program if it entails quitting what I consider one of life's pleasures? I quit smoking because I don't enjoy it. I quit using drugs long ago because I no longer enjoyed the pain it was causing people who loved me. But eating? Heck man, I LOVE eating! If I started a program that required me to give up stuff like BBQ, pizza, or ice cream for the rest of my life; I would fail, just like so many others fail.

One day a week, I can have the foods I want, as much as I want. I give up nothing. It's a plan that literally lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sure. I admit it. One reason to take the challenge is to change the way I look and the fact that I don't like the way my body appears is prime motivation for change.

One fine morning, as happens to all guys sooner or later, I woke up and found my father staring back at me through the bathroom mirror.

Posted by Picasa

Now...don't get me wrong....I love my Dad. He's the greatest man I know and I can't think of anything that would make me prouder than to be compared to him in any way. Yet my Dad was overweight most of his adult life. Also being a southerner, he was prone (as I) to loving any food that came out of a frying pan. Lotsa meat, lotsa fat, lotsa salt, and all topped off with lotsa sugary iced tea and desserts. As a result, he developed diabetes and struggles with a variety of health issues that have put a damper on his retirement years; a time when he should be enjoying to the fullest all the things he had to put off in order to raise a family.

Thanks to a careful management of his diet, my Dad has now recovered a great deal of functionality. In fact, one could say that the onset of diabetes may have extended his life several years by forcing him to start taking care of himself.

My Dad was lucky. He dodged the bullet.

I don't want to press my luck like that. I have the realization that time is running out for me. I don't believe there are too many more days left before I pass a point of no return in obtaining good health.

So....vanity? Yeah. We all want to look attractive. Muscle is much more pleasant a sight than flab. But there is an even more selfish reason I want to transform.

I don't want to die.

At least not for a couple of decades and certainly not by wasting away in a broken down body.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Role Model

This guy goes by the handle Seansymons over at YouTube....and, I gotta tell ya, he is my hero. I'm somewhat jealous of his enormous talent in editing and getting across the struggles of guys trying to lose weight and build some muscle. No matter. It just inspires me to do better...and to do this challenge.

June 4th ---- Start Date

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fad Diets

It's a scam....really.

Diets, I mean.

There is the simple hard truth that, of all the jillions of diet schemes that come along, none of them really work. Statistics show time and time again that people can lose weight on just about anything. But, after a few months, it all starts creeping back to the waistline. There's low fat diets, high fat diets, fruit diets, vegetable diets, meat diets, liquid diets, diets from movie stars, diets from doctors, even diets designed around fast food joints featuring spokespersons who claim to have lost weight by eating their greasy slop every day. And then there are the magic diet pills that claim you can lose massive amounts of weight and put on extreme muscle by popping some obscure herbal capsule.

It doesn't work. Yet, people (me included) can't throw money at them fast enough...because...well, because we don't like looking like a lumpy sack of taters.

I read the endless reports on the failure of this diet and that diet and see a common theme; no exercise. It seems that losing weight is really easy and you can do it eating anything, just eat less. The trick is to put on some muscle, to change your physiology so that your body burns fuel rather than store it.

That's why I keep coming back to Body for Life. It's a sane approach and I believe it is the only one that will work, and keep working for the long haul. No special foods, the concept is portion control. Lower fat but not eliminated. Well balanced between protein and carbs. The only prohibition to what I would call absolute junk food is to indulge for one day of the week.

And....and....exercise. Weight lifting, to be exact. No way around it.

Oh sure, EAS is a big company that runs the BFL challenge, and EAS is in the business of selling supplements. Certainly the reason that they have the challenge is to get people to buy their stuff and claim that their products are what did the trick. That's okay. EAS does have some good products and they probably do help folks achieve their weight loss goals. Still....they never claim that just ingesting their products will magically transform your body. It all centers around hard work. I mean hard. Not strolling on a treadmill for an hour or two, but intensive exercise nearly every day that forces your body to build muscle and burn fat. In my opinion, Bill Phillips revolutionized the weight loss game years ago when he came up with the Body for Life concept.

Anybody can be fit and healthy. Without magic, without pills, without extreme food plans.

In this culture, we eat bad and we live bad. To change the way we look we must change the habits that got us here in the first place.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Feeding the Nicotine Monkey

It's been said that cigarette addiction is one of the hardest to break; harder than alcohol, heroin, or crack.

I dunno. I guess it depends on perspective.

Certainly, the more traditionally addictive drugs have more obvious affects on your life. Alcohol has ruined many a million and laid waste their families. Likewise with crack, heroin, or meth...drugs that not only can ravage your health but eventually make you lose everything; job, friends, family, self-respect, freedom. These are clear-cut, but cigarettes...oh...it's got special problems.

For one, it's legal. Not only legal but sold in just about every store in the country. It's cheap (relatively). It's easy to use. While not exactly socially acceptable anymore, being a smoker doesn't endanger your job or your relationships. This is what makes kicking the nicotine addiction so difficult.

In traditional addiction treatment a person goes into some type of facility, typically 28 days, and focuses their entire day-to-day life on recovery from the addiction. They stop using the drug...cold....and suffer the withdrawal in isolation from the real world. They detox, and since detoxing pretty much precludes performing any other daily duties, the treatment facility allows an addict to suspend everything else in their life to concentrate on recovery. It doesn't always work, but it's the best method around. Judges will order people to go into treatment. Employers will even pay for it sometimes. Even the state will provide it if there is no insurance.

But cigarette addiction? You're on your own, baby.

All my training in addiction counseling tells me that the one sure fire way of getting over an addiction is to stop using the drug you are addicted to....but I still have to function...so I have to go the riskier route of tapering off while adjusting my behavior. Thus, I go for the nicotine replacement like offered in these lozenges....
....which don't work worth a crap for me. The down side of these little things are that you can't eat or drink 15 minutes before or after having one and they take about an half hour to dissolve in your mouth. I suppose that this does help me from munching on snacks rather than smoking, but the real downside is that I always have a choice when thinking about popping one of these things in my mouth. Do I suck on one of these vile pills or do I have a cigarette? I guarantee, during a stressful time of the day when I am really craving a shot of nicotine...I'll probably opt for a cig.

So, I got some of these......
...which, though they only deliver a small stream of nicotine through the day rather than the instant hit my brain craves, has the advantage of giving me that nicotine no matter what I'm doing. It also has the unintended advantage of making you as sick as a dog if you decide to cheat and start smoking while you are wearing the patch. For me...that reduces the temptation of buying a pack when the day gets especially rough.

We'll see.

Monday, May 07, 2007


This not smoking sucks. I'm at work and feel like taking somebody's head off.

Note to myself.....nicotine lozenges don't work work a damn.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It Begins

If you've been here before, you might notice that I've changed the appearance of this blog a bit. A dab of color here, straighten up some lines there, and I've taken away all the old posts.

I'm starting fresh.

....but first, a little history about myself.

I'm a guy who is dealing with what a lot of people my age face these days. I work, pay my bills, watched my children grow up and have lives of their own, had relationships, lost relationships, had them again. I also am out of shape, overweight, and am a prime candidate for dying in the next decade.

I'm 49. I'm not athletic. I'm not a healthy eater. I've spent my adult life pretty much abusing and neglecting my body. Now... in my youth...this didn't matter so much. A young body can absorb a great deal and still function well. But, just like any piece of machinery, there is only so far you can go without proper maintenance. This is my mid-life crisis; get in shape now or never.

So this is my goal, my over-riding purpose for the next few months. I turn fifty years old on August 30th. That's less than four months from now. I plan to do this in several ways. The most important is to quit smoking once and all forever at midnight tonight. Another way is to begin a Body for Life Challenge (and I'll talk a lot more about that in the future). I plan to begin the challenge on June 4th. This is my daughter's birthday and will let me finish in 12 weeks just short of my own birthday.

Until then, I will be working on becoming a non-smoker and get my fitness level up to a point where I won't have a heart-attack when I begin exercising in earnest.

Fit by fifty!