Saturday, December 31, 2011


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 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 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'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.