Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bleah


My wife is sort of allergic to alcoholic drinks so there's not much drinking in our house.  Still....New Year's Eve, so I bought a bottle of non-alcohol champagne to whoop in 2012.

Bad mistake.  Horrible stuff.  Now I'm forced to wash my mouth out with ice cream.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Your Cheatin' Heart

There is a particular type of person that always seems to pop up in any group with the goals of getting fit and losing weight, the liar....or as I like to use the more colorful label...the bullshitter.  This person regals one and all with their extreme exercise and diet regimes.  Massive amounts of workouts and super strict eating plans.  These are the guys that claim running hundreds of miles a week, climbing hundreds of stairs daily, and generally completing more workouts before sunrise than top athletes perform in a month.

Oh...and they have no problems doing all of that.  No wasted time in their lives for things like a job, or sleeping, or apparently even going to the bathroom.  They are damn near perfect and they will take every opportunity to tell you so.  One factor seems prevalent though...you never actually see them doing all these amazing things.  They'll tell you how great they are doing but will not actually document.  You'll also not see any photos of their huge muscle gains.  They'll tell you they lost ten or twenty pounds in a week but you'll just have to take their word for it.

Pisses me off.  It really shouldn't be any concern to me.  After all; their claims are often so off the chain that it almost becomes comical to hear them go on and on.  The bullshitter rarely realizes how obvious their BS is and are mostly deaf to the laughter of others who consider them a joke.  The thing is, though, they are the people that typifies a real problem with a great many folks my age attempting to transform into a more healthy life.  The bullshitters give the impression that anybody can do this and, if you can't, it's just because you're not as dedicated or whatever.  They completely invalidate the premise that obtaining health is not some easily obtained goal that can be accomplished during your spare time over a weekend.  The bullshitter dismisses the real life struggles of the rest of us which makes more than a few feel as if they are just losers and quit their own personal goals.

My goal....my blog....is devoted to the idea that this stuff is not easy.  It takes time to get significant and lasting results.  There are problems along the way and years of ingrained bad habits to change.  There is no magic bullet.  Failure is ever looming but the goal of transformation is possible for anybody, for any age.  I'll never cheat.  I'll never lie.  I'll tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go run 30 miles and climb a mountain before lunch.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weekly Stats


This includes Christmas, which wasn't much of an active day nor was I concerned about what I ate (chocolate, mountains of it).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuff I Try Out

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Here's the alternative to the crappy GoWear strap I wrote about yesterday.  It's called Fitbit and it's just about the neatest thing since sliced bread and peanut butter.  This thing works great without all the problems associated with Bodymedia and their non-existent customer service.

The Fitbit is about the size of your pinkie which clips to your belt, pants, shirt, or you can just put it in your pocket.  Through the day it measures how many steps you take, your mileage, whether you are just strolling or running, and it even has an altimeter function that can track how many flights of stairs you climb.  You can check the stats on the Fitbit any time by pressing a little button.  Another cool function is that you can take it to bed and track your sleep pattern ....documenting how long it took you to fall asleep and how many times you briefly wake up during the night.

The Fitbit downloads to a website every time you pass within 15 feet of the little docking station that also acts as a re-charger.  On the website you can compile all the data as well as add other things like foods you have eaten, weight, and even what type of mood you are having on any particular day.  Oh...and the website is free.  Buying the Fitbit is all you need, no monthly membership required.  They do have a premium website that gives the data in a lot more detail for about four bucks a month.  I may get it someday but it's truly not necessary to get the stats you need and want.

I love this thing.  I even bought one for my wife who is not all that into fitness tracking and she loves it too.  It's not cheap.  It runs about a hundred dollars but if you're serious about keeping track of all your stats, don't want to spend all your time writing stuff down in journals, and want something that gives instant feedback on your efforts....I highly, highly recommend this product.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Stuff I Try Out

 
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One difficulty in trying to keep track of your exercise activity and diet is...well....keeping track of it all.  The little gizmo pictured above is one such handy tracker.  It's called GoWear and it's by a company called Bodymedia. You wear this device around your upper arm and it measures your activity level during the day.  It will even measure your sleeping activity if you wear it to bed.  There is a web site where, for a monthly fee, you can download all the info and put in stuff like what you have eaten, what exercises you do, and your daily weight if you choose.  It actually works pretty well as far as gathering useful data...but it has a couple of major problems.

This first one is, it's really not very comfortable.  As I said, you wear it on your upper arm so you broadcast to everybody that you're fat and trying to monitor every minute of your day.  Since you wear it on the same spot every single day, it starts to chaff and you need to take a vacation from wearing it every so often to keep from developing a really nasty rash.  I found that I could only wear it about three or four days before I had to leave it off for a few days so that my skin could heal.

But the biggest problem is the web site.  You have to download software in order to sync up the device to the tracking website.  I recently obtained a new computer and....guess what?.....I could not download the software.  I tried customer service FAQ; they told me to download the software.  I tried customer service email; they told me to download the software.  I called the customer service; they told me to download the software.  I could not make them understand that downloading the software was the damn problem.

So....after over a year of paying monthly dues...I canceled the service.  I still have the device and it's a hundred dollar piece of junk with absolutely no use to myself or anybody else.  I would definitely NOT recommend that anybody try this thing out.  Once Bodymedia has your money, they could not care less about you.  I found something much, much better......and I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekly Stats




Something to celebrate this week. I'm no longer technically obese ....just fat.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cold War

I hate being sick.  That's no big revelation, I doubt that there is anybody who enjoys being sick.   I'm not sick very often but it seems like, every year about this time, I get clobbered with some type of bug which just makes my life miserable for a few days.  In an effort to find a bit of relief, I'll drag myself to the store in search of some miracle concoction that will instantly cure all my aches and pains as well as make me handsome and happy...just like the teevee ads claim.

So anyway, I shuffle into the store looking like the walking dead not having shaved or bathed in a couple of days searching for the cold medicine aisle.  Mothers clutch their children as I lurch past them and security is following me whispering in their walkie talkies for backup.  I turn a corner and see cold medicine.  Lots of it.  Not just for cold; for flu, for sneezing, for coughing, for sneezing and coughing, decongestant, expectorant, headache, fever, daytime, nighttime...the friggen list goes on and on.  I'm standing there trying to match my symptoms with some particular product and the whole ordeal is making my head spin more than it is already.  Security is grabbing their pepper spray.  I need to make a decision, a purchase, and get out of there.

Then I remember when I was a little boy and caught a bad cold.  My Dad use to fix me up with some really vile concoction of sugar and whiskey.  Or maybe it was honey.  Whatever, it was absolutely horrible and my Dad had to threaten me with a whuppin in order to get me to drink it down.  I now understand that it's primary purpose was to knock me out so I would sleep and he could get some relief from a hacking kid through the night.  It worked.  I slept like a log and woke up feeling much better.

That's basically what all cold/flu remedies try to do.  They don't cure, just mask the symptoms so that you sleep, so that your body can concentrate on healing itself.  With that thought in mind I just grabbed a bottle of NyQuil (generic, of course).

 Today I feel almost human.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekly Stats


Not too bad, especially considering that I've been deathly sick and in bed for most of the last three days.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Too Many Grains of Salt


Salt in my diet is something that I use to never worry about.  Of course I never worried about sugar and fat either, hence why I'm dealing with weight problems now.  I've become more aware of how much sodium I use every day primarily because of my wife.  She has a tendency toward high blood pressure and is able to manage it by watching her sodium intake like a hawk.  Since my wife is the primary cook and grocery shopper in my house, that means I get to be on a low sodium diet with her....which is fine with me.  My taste buds have now adapted to where I can't really tolerate any dishes loaded with salt, which leaves out many restaurants and all fast food joints.  I've learned to use other seasonings (Mrs. Dash is great stuff) and we don't even have a salt shaker in our house. You would think that just not adding salt to food would be enough...but nooooooo.

Trouble is, there is salt in EVERYTHING!  Not just a little either.  The recommended daily limit for sodium is 2300 mg. or about a teaspoon of salt.  I've been tracking my sodium intake for the last few days and have discovered that I'm eating about twice that amount.  I get a lot of it through eating cheese, which I'm very fond of, and anything else that is even slightly processed.  I'm not sure how to lower my sodium intake other than to eat more vegetables and fruit....especially for snacks.  Somewhat difficult since the employee break room at work was recently outfitted with a super deluxe popcorn machine.

I wonder what popcorn tastes like with Mrs. Dash sprinkled on?


Monday, December 05, 2011

Stuff I Try Out

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I finally have my computer situation resolved and am back online.....knock on wood.

Among my many character traits (or flaws) are two that pertain to what I want to write about today.  One is that I'm cheap.  Well, maybe cheap is not the right word...more like cautious with my money.  This stems from a few times in my adult life when I was poor.  I mean really broke, as in literally not having two nickles to rub against each other.  It was valuable experience that I hope to gosh I never have to repeat, but the memories of trying to scratch through each and every day still haunt me.  So I like a bargain.  I tend to go for stuff that costs less but gets the job done as well as more expensive things.

Eggs are a good example.  I know that they have had bad press over the last few years...but really...it's all bull.  Eggs are great.  They are dang near the ideal food item.  Loaded with protein, complete amino acids, and vitamins.  Yes there is fat; but it's a good omega kind.  There is cholesterol but recent studies are showing you can't increase your level by ingesting eggs and besides, there are even studies saying the link of cholesterol to disease is bogus.  The consensus today is that eating a few every week is not going to hurt you and the benefits are quite lengthy.  They are also CHEAP!  About a dime apiece.  I can eat on eggs all month for what a box of sugary crappy dried cereal costs.

Besides all that, I love eggs.  Fried, scrambled, poached, sunny side up, omelet...I don't care how they are made, I love eggs.  I figure I must have eaten thousands of eggs and I'm still not tired of them.  Put a plate of eggs in front of me and I'll consider that a good meal any time of the day.

This brings me to my second character flaw....I'm a lousy cook.  I'm especially lousy in the morning.  After years of practice I'm able to brew a decent pot of coffee but that's about the limit of my abilities or desire first thing early in the morning.  I can use a microwave though and I found something great to help me get that most important meal of the day with my beloved eggs.  The little doo-hicky in the photo is a contraption that will poach eggs in the microwave.  Just break open a couple of eggs (the most tricky part of the procedure for me, by the way), dump one on each side, nuke for one minute, and voila....two perfectly poached eggs made with no oil, butter, or salt.  It doesn't get any easier and I'm not consigned to eat oatmeal every morning.

Now if I could just figure out how to break an egg open while half asleep.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Change For A Dollar

There really are no words I have for the video below....except that it will make you feel human. Watch, I promise it will move you.


.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Cat Blogging

A bit slow on posting lately because my old computer had pretty much given up the ghost.  Spent my spare time shopping around for one, hooking it up, and transferring all the old to the new.  I'll be up again soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday


At one time, I worked for a large retail store.  I won't mention which other than to say the name began with a "T" and their logo resembled a bullseye.  Anyway; when I started working for them, I was in the receiving department.  A pretty low stress job.  We would get there several hours before the store opened to unload merchandise from trucks, push it out to the floor, then store the excess in the back warehouse.  The store would open for the day and we would go home.  Not exactly an exciting job, but I've had worse and I enjoyed the crew of people I worked with every morning.

Then I got a chance to work during that particular cultural phenomenon called Black Friday, which is basically a national holiday devoted to buying stuff.  I had never really experienced shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.  This was primarily because I was poor and couldn't buy anything no matter how big of a sale was going on.  Oh, I would watch the news reports and see all the mobs climbing over each other to grab crap that they normally wouldn't want...but since it was 25% off....gotta have it, gotta have it right now.  I usually sneered at people being stupid and wandered back into the kitchen for another sliver of Thanksgiving pie.  I had worked for the retail store for a few months and people warned me about Black Friday, but I mostly just brushed them off.  What did I care?  I didn't interact with customers and I would be gone by the time the store opened.  Just another work day.

I arrived at the store at the usual time.  We were told to go around to the loading dock to enter since there might be some customers waiting at the front.  The store would open an hour early...this was before all retail stores started competing on who would open first on this day.  I drove up and had to park on the perimeter of the lot because of all the cars and noticed a loooong line at the front of the store.  There was no truck to unload that morning and all we did was push the merchandise out to the floor in preparation for the big sale.  I had just finished the last of my stocking when the intercom announced that the doors were being opened.  I immediately heard a low rumble.  I looked up and a wall of people were literally running down the aisle straight toward me.  I freaked and ran to the back stock room and my supervisor told me to save myself, go upstairs to the employee lounge, clock out, and go home.  I was about to do so when the store manager grabbed my shoulders and with a wild look in his eyes yelled "I gotta have a cashier up front immediately!".

"I don't know how to do that", I told him.

"No problem, I'll train you" the manager said and proceeded to drag me through the mob to the front of the store, sticking me in front a cash register giving me a two-minute crash course in what to do over the the bedlam of customers waiting to check out.

For the next six hours I was at the cash register.  No break.  Not even a minute to catch my breath or yell out that I needed to go to the bathroom or I was going to wet my pants.  Worse day of my working life.  The upside to the whole thing is that I impressed the store manager; he thought I was a genius for learning what to do on the spot, so I received a promotion later on.  It has confirmed for me that I can always do a great deal more when under pressure.  

Still have nightmares about it though. 










Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Time?

Okay...I know what you're thinking...no post in a few days so I must be slacking.  Not so!  Just busy at work as this is the beginning of the season to be weird.  I'm also trying to finish up some home repairs before winter weather sets in.  I'm actually losing track of time.

Once I get the coming weekend out of the way, things should settle down.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Girl Scouts are Evil


Well...no...not really.  It's a fine organization, much better than the homophobic quasi-military group available to boys.  Still, I do wish the GSA would quit forcing me to buy their damn cookies every year.

Of course, Girl Scouts don't actually sell the cookies to me.  I get them from the mothers of Girl Scouts at my place of work.  They usually hit me up on my way to the vending machines or scouring the break room for some left over snack; when I'm so hungry that you could sell me gum scraped off the bottom of a chair.  The cookies seem good when I order but usually disappoint.  Dry, mostly tasteless, and expensive....about 15 cents per itty bitty cookie.

Yet, year after year, I buy a few boxes.  Absolutely not a good thing to be chomping on while trying to lose weight.

I do it for the girls.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Agenda

Well...actually...I did do quite a bit today.  I went to work early, attended a lot of meetings, and had an employee evaluation where I found out my agency still likes me.  A busy day but a good one.  Later this evening I facilitate a support group so I probably will not get home until 9 or 10 tonight.   No time for exercise but that's okay, because I didn't plan for it today.

Moral....missing a day here and there is not the end of the world.

.....or an excuse to give up

Monday, November 14, 2011

Leaf Grief

I didn't do my usual exercise today.  Not because I was lazy but because I had to do some yard chores.  One thing that is different about where I live now and where I grew up is the presence of trees...lotsa them.  Another thing that is different is that there is an actual change of seasons, and all the leaves on those trees fall to the ground.  So my day was spent raking and bagging.

You wouldn't think that tiny dried up leaves would be so heavy.

My back is killing me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Hiding Place

About a jillion years ago, I sang in a church choir.  It was in a Baptist church and, though my thoughts about religion have changed over the years, I still have very fond memories of belting out songs in that church.  There was absolutely nothing to do on a Sunday for a teenager growing up in the middle of nowhere Texas so....say what you will about Baptists; their services were entertaining and they knew how to enjoy themselves.  One of my favorite songs, one that had everybody in the congregation jumping, was "No Hiding Place Down Here".

I bring all of this up because it's pretty obvious that the posts on this blog have been a bit sparse lately.  This, my friends, is an indicator that I'm not doing quite all that I can toward my fitness goals.  I mean...really....who wants to write posts about being a slacker?  I stop writing.  I stop giving updates.  I'm hiding.

No more.  Daily posts everybody.  It's so dang easy to hide, to ignore, to build up that old familiar wall of denial.  I'm trying to eliminate all of my hiding places.

I went to the rock to hide my face, but the rock cried out: No hiding place.
There's no hiding place down here. 



Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Two Months

No change at all from last month.  Well, I did somehow manage to lose half a pound....whoopdee doo.   My bodyfat percentage still hangs at 36% though.

I know what happened.  October was a busy month at work and I did a great deal of sitting during the day.  Feeling drained by the time I arrived back home, I was too tired to exercise.  So I put it off until the next day...then the next....then th.......you get the idea.

Diet is not enough.  I have to move more weights to get rid of my weight.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloweenie

This is a rough time of the year for someone like me who has a serious sweet tooth and trying to lose weight.  What to do about the tradition of giving out candy to groups of disguised little nose-pickers that come to your door, yell out "trick or treat", and stand there looking cute?  Take a stand against childhood obesity and early onset diabetes and give out apples and bananas?  I'm too soft-hearted for that.  Besides, I don't want to get my lawn TP'ed.

I thought of getting really cheap, really crappy candy....things like ribbon candy, butterscotch hard candy, and stale candy corn.  That would definitely deter me from sampling out of the Halloween bowl but, like I said, I'm too soft-hearted to inflict that upon kids.  They did go to all the trouble of dressing up in costume.  The least I can do is give out something to make it worth their while and to perk up their parents who have to drag their little darlings all over the neighborhood.

So...I get the good stuff...stuff I like....hence the problem.  There's the bowl by the door.  Oooooh lookie, an Almond Joy, I love those things, just one, it's a small size.  Hmmmm..Reese's...yum...just one....dang that was good, maybe one more.  Kit Kat eh?  I bet kids don't really like those, they're more an adult candy.

and on, and on, and on....till I turn off the lights so that there will not be a chance of any more trick or treaters while I sit in the dark gorging on the last Toostie Roll.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Giant Killer


Once upon a time
there was a boy named Jack,
who was told to take a cow
to market and...
Yeah, yeah, we know,
said the crowd to the old man,
about the magic beans
and the beanstalk
climbing to heaven,
where you met a giant
and killed him.

It's true, said the old man.
When I was young
I climbed a giant beanstalk
to the clouds
faced danger and excitement,
gathered wealth
and slew the terrible giant,
the story is true.
The old man harrumphed
eyeing the smiles of the crowd
that did not believe.

There are no such things,
said the crowd to Jack,
as a beanstalk so high
or a giant in the clouds.
You're old and senile,
confusing your life
with a fairy tale,
and if it were not so funny,
it would be sad
to listen to your delusion
day after day.

How can you scoff,
said Jack to the crowd,
when I have proof,
such as the magical harp
I freed from the castle
of the fearsome giant,
or the stump
of that great beanstalk
out in the field,
as wide as a house.
Don't take my word
see for yourselves.

What you call a harp,
foolish old man,
is only a radio
and the stump,
what is left of a tree.
What about the goose
who laid golden eggs?
Show that,
and maybe we will believe.
So Jack stood
and held out his hand.

The goose died,
since they never live long,
but I traded the last egg
for these.
He opened his hand
to show three dried beans
and said with glee,
These are worth more
than any gold or jewels.
They are the same magic beans
that I used when I was young.

And the crowd laughed
and walked away,
leaving Jack standing
his hand outstretched,
holding his beans,
till he knelt on the ground
and pushed the seeds
into the earth
and waited.
I'll show them, he said,
and waited.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homeland


Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

I've lived in Kansas for over 20 years....but I still love and miss where I grew up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vitamins

One supplement in which there is some controversy are vitamins. Do they help? Are they necessary? Is it a waste of money?

My opinion is that they help. I take a multivitamin/mineral tablet every day. I know that the purists will say that one can get all these nutrients through food but, realistically, I'm not sure that you can eat all the varied types of foods to get everything from A to Z every day. Vitamins are something of an insurance policy....it covers my daily requirements even when I don't get to eat all the right types of foods during a hectic day which, by the way, is pretty much every day.

I also believe that it helps keep the immune system working at peak efficiency. Oh, I get sick once in awhile. The usual colds, bugs, and whatnot; but I rarely get lay-in-bed-wish-I-was-dead type sick. It's kind of odd that, though I'm the oldest person in the group of people that I work with, I hardly ever have called in a sick day. I'm thinking that making sure I have my vitamins, while not preventing sickness, helps me fight it off and recover much more easily.

I take a blend designed for men age fifty and over. It supposedly has stuff in there to promote the health of body parts that are of concern to men my age. I just buy the generic store brand with the thought that vitamins are vitamins and that there is no difference between store and national advertised brands. In fact, I'm pretty sure they are made by the same companies anyway.

One thing that is odd though....they list all the vitamins and minerals on the back label in super tiny print. These are suppose to be for guys over 50! Don't the packagers know that most of us are half-blind? They might be trying to slip some crack cocaine or plutonium in there for all I can tell.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Saturday Push Ups



The challenge is how many push ups can I do in one minute, but I'm finding that my first challenge is to do a minute's worth of push ups.  Still....17 this week.  I'm getting stronger.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

One Month

No drastic changes after one month.  In fact, hardly anything to notice at all if I go by the scale.  It turns out that I didn't lose a single pound....but take note.  Though I weigh the same, my bodyfat percentage went down 3 points. Whipping out my trusty calculator, I figure that I have lost six pounds of fat from my body.  That's fat, purdee blubber that I'm not carrying around in my body anymore.   Just a little reminder that a scale will not tell you squat about any changes to your body.  Like most things...it's the totality that counts.

Speaking of ---------

Neck     16 inches (no change)
Chest     45 inches (+1 in.)
Gut         47 inches (-1 in.)
Waist     42 inches (-1 in.)
Hips       42 inches (no change)
Thigh     22 inches (no change)
Calf        15 inches (no change)
Forearm   12 inches (+1 in.)
Bicep      14.5 inches (+ half in.)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Saturday Push Ups

Well...I'm up to 15. That's one more every week since I started doing this thing. I know it's not much but remember that I haven't attempted a push up in DECADES. I could probably do a lot more if I was sloppy with my form, but the memory of a screaming D.I. just will not let me get away with that.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Pushups



 A really good friend of mine named Boyd has started a little something he calls "Push-Up Saturday".  The deal is to record yourself doing as many push-ups you can in one minute.  When I first started, I could only do ten.  Now I'm up to twelve or thirteen...depending on how you start counting.  Nothing that I'm really proud of but it's a start.  I'm shooting for a goal of doing fifty in one minute.

I'm probably going to have to practice quite a bit to get there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating 9 to 5

The hardest place to maintain your plan to eat healthy is probably at work.  This is kind of a problem if a good chunk of the day is spent at work.  Unless I bring my own food, the photo above shows my only option if I happen to get hungry.  Gee-dunk machines, offering a variety of overpriced crap guaranteed to leave you still feeling hungry, a bit poorer, and maybe a little nauseous.  The candy machine offers everything from popcorn to Pop-Tarts.  At the very bottom are a few selections of gum and off-brand mints that have probably been there since the $1.25 candy bars sold for a quarter.  You can wash it all down with an ice-cold can of high fructose corn syrup infused water...or just get a bottle of plain water for a slightly higher cost.

For me it's critical to take, not only lunch, but something healthy to snack on through the day as well.  Stuff like fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, maybe nuts....anything but the calorie dense but nutritionally sparse fare I might find in a machine.  Experience has shown me that when I don't have anything brought from home and I get that urge to munch....and I always do....those machines look mighty tempting.  I can convince myself that a bag of pretzels is healthy, that a Reese's Cup has protein so it's not so bad, or just plain out say I'm hungry and screw the diet.

I avoid the temptation by carrying my own food.  It means that I have to haul a cooler to work.  It also means that I have to make time in the morning to pack all the food I want to eat during the day.   Still....probably the best way I've learned to avoid using the machines is to make sure I don't have any money in my pockets which, considering my profession, is not all that hard to do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stuff I Try Out

 There are all kinds of breakfast bars, drinks, and various dry cereals marketed toward those of us who are trying to get and stay healthy.  Most of them taste only slightly better than the container they come in and all of them are way overpriced.  You're paying for a concept rather than the food.

But I'm cheap....and I hate shelling out hard earned money for stuff that I have to choke down while convincing myself that it's good for me.

Enter oatmeal.  Pretty simple stuff.  I look at the ingredients and there is no long list of chemicals that I can't even pronounce, much less understand what it might be doing to my body.  Oats.  That's all.  Just oats.  Good protein source.  Great fiber source.  Fills you up and stays with you for a few hours.  It takes about two minutes to prepare.  I really like it with a bit of brown sugar but, if I'm avoiding sugar, I'll toss in a small pat of butter (real butter, not margarine gunk).  If available, I'll throw in a few walnuts.   A serving costs about ten cents.  How many meals are you able to buy for a dime?

PRO:  CHEAP!
            Solid basic nutrition
            No additives, no artificial anything

CON:   Okay...it's pretty boring by itself
           


Verdict:

Oatmeal goes along with my philosophy that one doesn't need to spend a great deal of money on specialty foods in order to eat healthy.  It seems to be the mindset that eating healthy costs way more than just eating junk food.  I disagree.  I feel that highly processed and packaged food, and I use the term food rather loosely, is actually more costly.  A bowl of oatmeal costs much less than some oatmeal breakfast bar.  A piece of fruit is far less than some super duper breakfast drink.

Keep it simple.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Home or Gym?

It's an age-old problem...or at least an old problem to aged me.  Where to exercise?  The logical answer is at a gym.  After all, these are places pretty much devoted to exercise.  They have a bunch of weights, machines, and people who seem to be there for the explicit purpose of exercising.

Therein lies my problem...or neurosis.  People.  I hate 'em.  Well, I hate being around them in a gym.  I know, I know; it's all in my head.  I get very anxious dressing up in exercise duds and getting on the machines, especially when I'm surrounded by fit young people pounding out twice my effort without breaking a sweat or interrupting their texting conversation.  I keep telling myself that I paid my dues at the gym, I have a right to use the place, and besides...so what if I'm horribly out of shape...that's why I'm at the gym.  Still doesn't matter.  I'm all self conscious about people who, even if they did notice my presence in the gym, could not care less about what I am doing there.

Then there is the hassle factor.  Working out at 5am is NOT what I really would like to do.  I'd rather be sleeping, having sex, drinking coffee, surfing the internet, washing dishes, just about anything but get dressed and drive to a gym.  In this effort to change my lifestyle any excuse at all to skip going out to the gym will rear it's ugly head and derail that effort with distressing ease.  Too hot, too cold, too dark, too wet, too sleepy, I woke up with a bad case of bed head.....the list goes on.

The one way out of this is to do my exercise at home.  I bought a few hand weights at Wally-World.  Nothing fancy and they are fairly cheap.  Just to keep them all together I also bought a stand for them, also fairly inexpensive.  I rounded it out with some wussy weights my wife had on hand.  This works pretty well.  There is no exercise done on a machine in the gym that you cannot do just as well, or better, at home with a pair of hand weights.  All I have to do is shove all the cat's crap aside, unfold my exercise bench, and go at it....no need to dress or wake up enough to operate a vehicle.  No waiting for somebody else and I can take my own sweet time.  I don't have to check my appearance or body aroma and, when I'm done, I'm home and a pot of coffee is ready for me.

And with gas prices lately.....

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Look at Myself


YAAAHHHH!




I've been away for awhile.  Sorry about that but thanks to all the readers that expressed concern for my well being.  I'm fine...my computer wasn't, but it recovered.  One thing that I meant to do last week was gather up all the measurements for my body; kind of a starting point that I hope to quickly and permanently leave behind. Taking a look at myself is always a frightening proposition.  I tend to squint when looking at a mirror or at least not let my eyes travel down below my neck.  I also hate scales because they never have anything nice to say to me.  The thing is though, if you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you are starting.  Below is where I'm starting.

weight:     208.8 lbs
bodyfat:    39%

neck:      16 inches
chest:      44 inches
gut:          48 inches
waist:       43 inches
hips:         42 inches
thigh:       22 inches
calf:         15inches
forearm:  11 inches
bicep:       14 inches

I'm not posting any photos but suffice to say, my body resembles a pear with toothpicks for arms and legs.  I'll see if all of this is reversible....in only one year.