Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Cat Blogging

Well...I know I said I was going to start moving on this blog, but my Mom died last week and I'm just not feeling it right now.  I was also off work all week to deal with the funeral and be with family, so I have a mountain of paperwork to catch up on.

Life goes on...and so will this blog.  Be back soon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wednesday Cat Blogging

Okay.....I know what you're thinking...."what's with all the fucking cat pictures?"

Yeah, you're right, that's all that has been here for the last month.  There are several reasons.  One is that they are easy.  My cat is usually hanging around when I'm at my computer and it's a simple matter to snap off a photo.  I'm also very fond of my cat and, like any parent who dotes on their children, just assume that everybody else in the world enjoys seeing how adorable she is.   Another reason is that I am incredibly busy at my job.  This time of year is especially hectic in my line of work, plus I have the added burden of completing performance evaluations on my entire staff across three shifts.  By the time I get home, writing is about the last thing I want to do.

The biggest reason, however, is that I'm wanting to take things in a new direction...thought not really sure what that direction will be.  I played around with the chalk words at my feet but I felt it was starting to become repetitive and boring.  I feel like I need something here to add some oomph.  One idea I am playing with is to gear up with my YouTube channel and make it much more professional and polished looking.  I need much better editing software because what I have now is crap.  I'm also playing with the idea of leaving Blogger and getting a dedicated website.  I've been with Blogger for years and it has served me well, especially since it's free, but there are a lot of things I want to do with a blog that I just cannot do here.

All these things will take money and time...neither of which I have an abundance of right now.  Changes are coming though so hang around.  I'll even try to lay off on so many cat photos.

....unless a really cute one comes up

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One Month


Four weeks already done on this current challenge.  It's really amazing how quickly the times flies by.  When I started it was summer and hot...now it's autumn and much cooler.  Holidays are looming, with all the obstacles included.  

But damn I feel good!  Even with the soreness and occasional bruises.  Even with the sometime frustration of opting myself out of eating junk with friends.

Through it all......I have more at the end of this month.  I expect even more at the end of the next. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Not a Runner


I use to run.  I use to run all the time.  I jogged before it was popular.  I ran just for the pure enjoyment of running.  It seemed like I could never really get tired.  

"I use to" is the operative phrase here.  I can't run for any great distance anymore without great pain in my knees and ankles.  Every once in a while I'll try sprinting and, though it feels great at the time, I pay a big price the next day with soreness and limping.  It really pisses me off because I miss running.  I sometimes have dreams of running at night.

So what to do?  Walking is boring and really doesn't get my heart rate going much...unless I do that weird speed walk duck waddle thing, and that isn't happening.  Swimming is good but somewhat impracticable since I have to go to where a pool is located and open.  

A bicycle was my answer.  I bought a fairly cheap on at a discount store.  Nothing fancy, but it suits my needs.  As I've mentioned before, there are miles and miles of walking/biking trails close to my house.  It also includes miles and miles of back woods trails that I really enjoy riding through.  Lots of fresh air, trees, critters, and mud.

Oh yeah, the mud.  Love the mud.

Feels like I'm 8 years old again. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Live By the Scale, Die By the Scale


It's the golden standard measurement for all fitness and diet programs.  Your weight is the primary number you start with, keep track of, and end with to prove your progress.  We set benchmarks....going below 300 lbs, 200, 180, whatever.  We set goals of what we would like to weigh.  There are charts that tell you if you weigh over this number for your age and height, you are fat, fat, fat.  There is even a TV show contest to see which morbidly obese contestant can lose the most pounds before totally ruining their health for a money prize.  It's all about the pounds.  It's about what you weigh.

One thing though.....it's just a number.  It really means nothing. Yes it's a measure, but only one of many, and not even a really important one at that.   Much more important are measurements of your body such as your waist, arms, chest, etc.  These will show you where you are losing fat and gaining muscle.  Measuring your bodyfat percentage is also very helpful in giving you a realistic picture of your body composition.  There is also medical measurements of your blood that can tell you loads of things that are critical to the ongoing health and care of your body.

Yet all those things take time and money.  It's the very epitome of instant gratification to step on a scale and see a number...even though the number tells you nothing.  You can gain weight by drinking water.  You can lose weight by not drinking water.  You may weigh more at one time of the day than another.  Your scale may be inaccurate or the battery is low.  There are many reasons for weight fluctuations of several pounds.  I've stepped on my scale and then stepped on it again ten seconds later and have gotten different readings.

My advice.  Forget the scale.  Pay attention to how your body looks and feels.  A mirror is a better measurement than how many pounds you weigh.  Look at it this way....nobody is going to notice that you weigh five pounds less than you did last month.  They will, however, notice that your biceps seem to be getting large or that your tummy is flattening out.

That type of gratification beats any number you may see on a scale.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Cardio....also called aerobic....it's exercise that's very important in strengthening your cardiovascular system; stuff like the heart, lungs, blood vessels, all sorts of critical things to keep you living day after day.  My cardiologist recommends at least 60 minutes a week of the type of exercise that gets my heart rate up.  150 minutes is best.  Cardio also has the benefit of helping to shed fat, especially gut fat.  It's a generally good idea to do some type of cardio whenever possible as much as possible.  

There is one problem though.  Cardio is fuggin boring!

It really doesn't matter what you do for cardio as long as you are moving and your heart rate is up.  At a gym there are all types of machines you can use like treadmills or ellipticals.   You don't even have to go to a gym.  Jogging or doing a fast walk around the neighborhood works just dandy.  I like riding a bicycle.

And that's the key to get over the boredom.  Do something you like.  Music helps as well.  I tend to like the harder rock, but really it's whatever you enjoy listening to that will make the time pass more easily.  

Because that's the show stopper with doing cardio effectively and consistently....being bored.  If you are bored doing something, chances are you will not do it or, at the very least, look for an excuse to skip it or put it off for another day.  The mind has to be entertained while the body is being put through it's paces.  Your brain doesn't care whether it's being entertained while your body is sitting on the couch or sweating on a treadmill.

Though if you're going to be listening to Nickelback.....don't tell me about it.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Too Old


Reality can be harsh, especially so when you're forced to realize that you are just too old for a great many things.  Oh...I know there are all the sayings that age is only a number or that you are as young as you think you are....but that is, by and large, bullshit.  The body (and mind) I had when I was a kid is vastly different than the one I have now so many years later.  I can't run all day everywhere I want to go like a child.  I can't shoot hoops for a couple of hours with friends.  I can't shrug off an all-nighter and go to work in the morning.  I can't live off a diet of microwave burritos and coffee.

I can't do a lot of things I use to do because I'm too old.

That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Most of the things I did while young were not good for me.  My body was a lot more resilient so the damages took decades to accumulate to a point where I noticed.  Now days, I can almost instantly feel the consequences of any abuse I give to my body.  I eat a piece of crap food...I feel bloated and sick.  I skip exercise....I feel jittery and moody.  I don't get enough sleep...I'm pretty much useless.  This type of almost instantaneous feedback keeps me on track in a way that being young never could.

Still play with toys and read comic books though.  I'm old....not dead.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Supplement Yourself


I'm a skeptic.  I'm very leery about the claims of supplements that promise amazing results by using their products.  The health and fitness industry is particularly thick with the claims because....who wouldn't like to find some magic potion or pill that would give a shortcut to months of hard work and sweat?  My experience has been that an overwhelming majority of the products and their claims are complete and total bullshit.  Believe me...I've tried many of them.  I wanted them to work.  But wanting and getting are hardly ever the same thing.  I've been burned many times on crap products as I'm sure others have been screwed.  It's a racket aimed at a market full of desperate people....and it is as old as civilization.  

The thing is, to get all the nutrients needed to actually do stuff like lose weight, build muscle, and maintain good health is kind of complicated.  Most people....at least not me.....cannot spend a whole hell of a lot of time planning out, buying groceries, prepping, cooking, and hauling around all the good foods needed for an average day.  Plus, I just don't have the kind of money required to stock a pantry that would fit that need.  I don't even have a pantry in my tiny little house. 

So what to do?  

The easiest answer is to use food supplements.  Things you can supplement for a highly nutritious meal that is easy, convenient, fairly cheap, and portable.  What I have found that fits the bill are protein shake mixes.  I've gone through a lot of these as well.  Some are made of crap ingredients.  Some taste like they are made out of crap.  Some are actually more unhealthy to eat than a burger and soda at the nearest fast food slop shop.  

I have found a couple that are worthwhile.  Both are produced by the Phillips brothers.  Bill and Shawn Phillips had a company many years ago called EAS.  They really put out some good stuff and Myoplex blazed the trail as a nutrition shake that actually tasted good.  Not just edible but really yummy.  Eventually the company sold to others and Myoplex took a nosedive in quality until nowadays it is just crummy shit you can usually find in the clearance bin at WalMart.

However; both Bill and Shawn have developed their own nutrition shakes.  You can only get them online and they are a bit on the pricey side, but their quality is unmatched by anything you can find in any store for any price.  Bill Phillips has something called Right Light.  It's good but seems to be designed primarily for losing weight.  This doesn't work for me very well since I need a minimum amount of protein and carbs.  I wouldn't mind losing weight at a quicker pace...but the diabetes makes it a bit more tricky than normal. 

 Shawn Phillips has my answer with his product called Full Strength.  I can't say enough good things about this stuff.  It tastes great!  Mixes so easily I can even do it in a hand shaker at my desk at work.  It has an ideal balance of protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals....geared to the needs of older men.  It's filling and satisfying.  The price is not cheap, but it's less expensive than a crap meal you would get on the go and it is worth every penny and more.  If you are looking for a quality meal replacement shake, I would urge you to give it a try.  They will even send you a couple of samples if you ask.  Just follow the link.  

It takes away the excuse of being hungry but not having anything good, and good for you, to eat.  

Thursday, October 02, 2014


You can't control the weather.

Hell....here in Kansas....you can't even predict it worth a darn.  For some people it's a handy excuse to skip exercise.  Storms, snow, ice, tsunamis, meteor showers, all kinds of things that make wanting to get dressed and go outside not so appealing.  This morning there was one of those famous north Kansan gully washers.  Hail, thunder, and rain coming down so hard you can't even see across the street.

That's why I belong to a gym.  Just like the once mythical postman I don't give a damn what the weather is, I will get the job done, and my job is to workout before I get too far into my day.  That's the key.  If I wait until the weather clears, I'll find another excuse.  Once you start accepting excuses not to do things you have promised for yourself, you will be amazed just how many there are that seem perfectly reasonable.  

Besides; I like rain.  It's only water.  Walking through a rainstorm to the gym wakes me up.  Walking out of the gym into a rainstorm is absolutely invigorating.  

I'll draw the line with tornadoes though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Everybody has a schedule.  You get into a routine.....up by a certain time, eat at certain times, go to work, come home, go to bed, over and over.  It gives the day structure and allows you to balance out all the things that you need and want to do in any particular 24-hour period.  Without a schedule, the day is aimless and things get left undone.  It's something of a vacation and, while nice for awhile, is pretty hard to sustain as a lifestyle.  We need schedule.  We thrive when there is a plan.  I don't know about you...but when I have a schedule for the day and something unexpected comes up (usually pretty much all the time) the ability to adapt is not just tossing away the schedule, but adjusting the schedule to fit the unforeseen event.

I've recently had a change imposed upon me in my work schedule; going in to work much later and, consequently, coming home much later in the evening.  I can't just shitcan my schedule, throw my hands up in the air, and say it's all pointless.  I have to come up with a new schedule.  I have to adapt.  This has necessitated changing when I do certain things every day...like eating meals, spending quality time with my wife, taking meds, exercising. 

Exercise most particularly. 

Oh how easy it would be to put exercise on the shelf.  To wait until I was more comfortable in my routine.  Until I (ahem) had the time.

I don't do that with eating.  Boy...I'll find the time to eat!  I'll make time to eat.

Exercise should be the same...and it will, it will.  I discovered this morning that the later hour I go to the gym happens to be a time when it is packed full of people.  I'm not sure why there would be so many more folks at the gym at 9am than at 7am, but I am going to have to figure a time that I can go and get through the crowd to the machines.  I may have to consider splitting my work day up and going in the afternoon.

I dunno but I do have to find a way.  I have to think of exercising as just about the most important thing I do during the day.

I'll pencil it in on my schedule.

Monday, September 29, 2014


weight - 179.4 lbs
bodyfat - 30%
neck - 15"
bicep - 13"
chest - 43"
belly - 43"
hips - 40"
thigh - 20"
calf - 14"

Sunday, September 21, 2014



One whole year.

One year ago today I was laying in a hospital bed.  The night before I had experienced chest pains that were not going away and getting more uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable is an understatement....it was starting to hurt.  It was beginning to hurt enough to overcome my stubborn denial of symptoms that have been creeping on me for months and tell my wife that I thought I needed to go to the hospital.  Once in the emergency room, a routine test of my blood showed a glucose level of over 500.  They admitted my ass immediately and spent the next couple of days trying to lower my blood sugar and put me through all kinds of tests to see what shape my heart was in.

They did angioplasty and put a stent in one of my arteries.  The doctor told me that most men in my condition and at my age just die.  The classic clutching of the chest and being dead before you hit the floor.  He said I was lucky.  My blood glucose was beginning to come under control but I would have to take insulin to keep it that way.  They told me I was lucky I caught it before serious damage had set in.

I didn't feel lucky.  I felt like I dodged a bullet.  I felt like I was given an undeserved chance to do something to change what I saw as a very nasty, short, and painful future.  I lay there in that hospital bed thinking of my father and how a heart attack robbed that man who enjoyed so much of life and killed him off a little bit every month until he was gone.

I saw my future and I didn't like it one bit.

Now....one year later....things are much different.  I don't smoke.  I don't do junk food.  I exercise, every day if I can.  I see a doctor every three months.  I take blood glucose readings and my medications religiously.  I've lost around 25 lbs of fat around my belly.  Though I may someday have to again use insulin, for now I manage very well with out injections 

It would be cliche to say I was reborn.  I knew all this stuff to take care of my body before the heart attack.  I had good intentions of starting to live the life I knew I should...someday.  I had even made attempts to begin this journey....many attempts....all short lived.  It took coming face to face with my own mortality at the age of 56 to shake my complacency.

Not reborn.

Re-booted

right in my ass, where I needed it 

Monday, September 08, 2014


There's a lot of advice out there about what type of exercise program or which kind of diet is the answer for becoming physically fit.  Pretty much all of them will actually work if you just add the one secret ingredient that almost nobody ever talks about.....consistency.

You have to exercise.  I mean really exercise, not just move around.  You have to push yourself to where it is past uncomfortable and there is pain the next day.  Muscle growth requires it.  Muscle growth also requires eating good nutritious food.  Low on the fats and carbs so that you aren't expanding your belly while growing your biceps.  You have to do this day after day, week after week, month after month. 

 How long?  

How long do you want to be fit? 

It's really easy to start a goal.  No problem getting the motivation to want to lose weight, to gain muscle, to look fit and healthy.  That's what sells books and drives gym memberships.  Wanting is easy.  Doing is not all that hard either..at first.  It's the doing every day when the difficulty starts to set in.  It's getting up in the morning and going to lift weights even when you feel like crap.  It's going to the gym and doing an intense cardio when it's dark, cold, and wet outside.  It's walking past the donuts that somebody brought in to work that morning.  It's eating portions of your favorite foods rather than eating until it's gone or you're stuffed.  It's not about free days or cheat meals or any other little psychological excuse you give yourself to fail .

It's about doing what you say you are going to do all the time because you want it and you know that it will come no other way from no other person.

It's about consistency.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


I've never been anywhere near what somebody might call a jock.  Athletics is just something that wasn't that big a part of my life.....mainly because I sucked at sports.  When you don't have natural athletic ability as a child, the various coaches in school tend to either brush you off or taunt you for their own amusement.  I'm reminded of the first school coach I had; twisted sadistic asshole who had absolutely no business being around children (eff you Coach Summers...wherever your rotting soul is at).  As a result, school pretty much squeezed any love of sports right out of me and I spent my years in the band while avoiding anything resembling physical exertion.  

Oh...I had a bit of a revival in boot camp.  I didn't have much of a choice about physical exertion every day.  The drill instructor was a sadistic asshole too, but he didn't play favorites and was a sadistic asshole to everybody.  Once out of boot camp though, I didn't do any "exercise" unless I was ordered to do so and, once I left the Navy, nobody ordered me to do anything.  These were the years when I was still a scrawny 120 lbs and my body could burn several hundred calories just walking to the fridge.

That changed.  My attitude toward physical exertion didn't.  Result - year after year, pound after pound added, until I became what is clinically called morbidly obese....or in layman's terms.....fat as a hog and twice as ugly.

So naturally I dove into a gym and started working out with a passion. 

thrrrrrrpppt!

It took a while.  I had to get over the fear of even stepping into a gym.  This is something that a lot of folks have, especially if you have never been into one or it's been a very long time since you have stepped into a gym to workout.  You feel very out of place.  It's an alien environment full of strange machines occupied by large and fit people....athletes......jocks.

"but I'm not one of them"

I found out that's not true.  I have an inner athlete that was waiting all these years to break out.  We all do.  The body likes to be active.  The brain rewards itself with feel good chemicals when we work out.  Our muscles were made to move but sometimes we can forget that when they are neglected long enough.

Get off your ass.  Go exercise every day.  Tap the inner athlete and lock away the outer couch potato.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Literally.

I try to be understanding and tolerant about that too because I was such a heavy smoker for so many years.  It is actually somewhat embarrassing to know now that I reeked of tobacco smoke without even realizing it but....even with that understanding.....I can't stand the odor of a smoker.  Makes me sick.  Gives me a headache to be near them.   I'm having the conundrum of trying to figure out a polite and tactful way of informing smokers I work with about this problem.

"Damn you reek!", while holding my nose and fanning the air would probably hurt a person's feelings and I don't want to do that.  As I said, I was a smoker too and was oblivious to the smoke cloud of stink that hovered around me through the day.  I can hold my breath, but not for more than a couple of minutes at a time and it makes conversation difficult.

What to do?  What to do?

I'm pretty much coming to the conclusion that I may just have to be up front and direct about the whole thing....like the asshole ex-smokers that I always hated in the past.  Fortunately, it's becoming more and more a smoke-free world every day.

Can't happen soon enough for me. 



Monday, September 01, 2014


A question I've been asking myself for the past few days.  Where am I going?

I guess I've been thinking about this because I zipped past another birthday, number 57.  Three more and I will have to change the title of this blog.  I've never really given much thought to being on the down side of fifty and staring straight at the huge six-oh.  I frankly didn't think I would be alive this long.  I was almost right..and that is another reason that I'm mulling over where I am going with all this fitness and health stuff.

Nearly one year ago I went into the hospital due to increasing chest pains that even my noted denial couldn't ignore any longer.  It was a near total blockage of the left anterior descending artery.  This is called the "widow-maker"...the heart attacks that cause men my age to drop dead on the spot.  If I had not gone in to get it repaired, I probably would not had made it to the end of the month.Scared the shit out of me.  Scared the shit out of my wife.  On top of that problem, it was discovered that I have Type II diabetes and my blood glucose level at the time was dangerously high.

I was a mess.  A walking disaster.  I was also deeply into denial about the warning signals my body was sending to my blissfully ignorant brain.  Yet, there is nothing quite like coming face-to-face with the very real possibility of your own death.  I was sooooooooo lucky.  Even though I had abused my body for years and pissed away countless chances to do something about it; I still had one chance left.  Only one chance though.  Something deep inside told me that it was probably the last one I would get.

So I quit smoking.  Cold turkey and never looked back.  I so wish I had done it decades ago because it was the single most important thing I have ever done for myself.  My wife joined me in that achievement and now we both enjoy the pleasure of not being addicted to those damn cigarettes.  Once I rid myself of smoking, exercise became much more effective.  Diet followed with my giving up lots of junk that I use to regularly shove down my throat day after day.  I learned portions.  I learned to pay attention to carbs, fats, and salt.  I monitor my blood sugar like a hawk.  I found a doctor and see him regularly.

Easy?

Not really.  Dying is pretty easy though.

And I am not going that way....not yet....not for as many more years as I can get.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Some People Are Clueless


I like to wear headphones when I work out.  I've a selection of music on my MP3 player that helps me keep up a pace and gives me energy.  Plus, it just makes a session more enjoyable.  When I am playing music through my little earbuds....I'm focused.  I don't care about anything or anybody around me.  I'm centered on the task at hand which is either shooting for that extra mile on the elliptical or another two reps of weight over what I did the last time.  The one thing I do not want to do is have a conversation with some other person in the gym!

It invariably happens that, right when I get into a real good groove with my workout, right when my selected song hits a good spot where I can really push hard....some dumbass comes up to me and starts yammering.  I look up and see their lips moving but can't hear a word, so I yank out the earbuds.  I mean, it could be an emergency; like the gym is on fire or a rich dude is throwing hundred dollar bills around in the lobby.

It's never important.  It's always some type of mundane chit-chat.  "How long ya been working out?  Do you want a spot?  Some weather we're having, eh?"  Crap like that.  Why some people feel an obligation to have conversations with people that have no interest in talking is something I will probably never understand.

Perhaps the tiny earbuds are too subtle...and I need to upgrade to something larger and more obvious.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Discipline


It is the hardest thing about going to a gym.....getting there.  Life just doesn't make it easy for most of us.  There's job, school, weather, gym open/close hours, and even friggin holidays which throw a monkey wrench into a plan of developing a daily exercise routine at the gym.  Then, once at the gym, you have to contend with getting a machine you need or weights that you want to use.  You either stand by waiting while some dillweed does reps for half an hour of almost no weight or asks to cut into your routine to pound out two reps at super high weights...leaving the seat or bench dripping with sweat before wandering off.  There are the ones who stand around visiting with others or yammering on their cell phones.  There are even those who sit at a machine.  Not doing anything....just sitting and staring off into space.  You ask to cut in and they give you a funny look and say "I'm just resting, be through in a minute".

All which conspire to give yourself a reason to, maybe, skip exercise today.  Then the next.  And the next.  And since you missed exercising for a few days, may as well fudge on your diet plan a bit.  In no time at all you discover that you've taken a big dose of fuckitall along with a shot of regret. 

Sticking to an exercise regiment is not easy but I always try to remember something a friend of mine told me about the need of self-discipline for getting and staying in shape.  "If it is important to you, you will find a way.  It it is not, you will find an excuse"

Excuses are easy to find.  Results require effort.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Early Bird


I've found out through experience....that if I don't do my exercises first thing in the morning, I will find an excuse to blow it off later in the day.  I'm really good at finding excuses.  It will be too hot, too cold, too dark, too light, too many people at the gym, gym is closed, I'm hungry, I'm full...I can come up with a million excuses, all the while forgetting the reason I wanted to do the exercise in the first place.

I think that's the problem.  A bit of perversion from the biblical verse...the flesh is willing but the mind is weak.  I've discovered that it really helps if I can do exercise before my mind has a chance to think much about it and come up with any objections.  After exercise, with all the good physically induced endorphins flooding my brain, my mind is like "oh hell yeah, wanted to do this all along, do it some more".

I do have stumbles though.  Wednesdays, for example; I have to go to work so early I cannot get a workout in.  It is always a struggle to do it at the end of the day when I am tired and hungry.  

Maybe I could bring a set of dumbbells to my meetings? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Start of 12 Weeks

Okay....so what's the point in posting an ugly photo of me for the whole world to poke fun at?  It's not masochism or some deep seated desire for public humiliation.  It's really for my own motivation.

You see.....losing weight and getting physically fit is a slow process.  Agonizingly slow.  One good way to gauge progress is to set up time specific challenges such as the one I am starting today.  Another good tactic is to have a before photo to begin the challenge.  So often so many get discouraged when they fail to see dramatic progress...like in the advertisements for diet and exercise crap.  We expect miraculous results and when they don't appear, we say fuckit and give up or move on to the next bright promise.  Having photographic evidence of a transformation proves that it is occurring and can motivate you to continue, no matter how long.  It's also to show that I'm a real person. 

So here is my before photo.  I'm weighing in at 175.4 lbs...the lightest I've been in over twenty years.  We'll see what I look like in October.  Maybe I'll have a tan by then.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Take Your Medicine


When I started this goal of getting physically fit, my intent was mostly toward vanity.  I was very overweight and had become ashamed of how I looked.  There were the ancillary things too....such as being tired all the time, no energy, feeling generally lousy....but the main reason was that I simply wanted to look good without any clothes.  

Health?  meh.....maybe in the back of my mind.  The thing is, I didn't connect my health to exercise.  To me exercise was a way of losing fat.  I felt that if I got the weight off  THEN I would get healthy.  Health was about diet.  Exercise was to lose weight while on a diet.

Then I get the double whammy of a heart attack and diagnosis of Type II diabetes.  The heart was repaired, that was just a matter of fixing the plumbing.  Diet is important for this to prevent future damage.  Diet is important as well in managing the diabetes...but I've discovered that exercise is an absolutely critical aspect in controlling my blood glucose levels.  Daily exercise is every bit as important as the meds that I take every day.  I've also got the benefit with daily exercise of treating my blood pressure, cholesterol, and strengthening my entire cardio/pulmonary system.  

Plus I lose weight and get muscle.  Win - Win

Don't think of exercise as a chore you have to do....like shaving or doing the laundry.  Exercise is something that you do for yourself, to treat yourself....to make you feel better.  Look at exercise as a much needed medication in which you cannot afford to miss a single dose.    

Monday, July 07, 2014

You Want It?

One of the really crappy things about getting older is that the body is slower to respond to exercise.  When you are young, you can whip yourself into great shape just by walking to the fridge for beer and dip.  Fast forward 20, 30, or more years...and it seems that you gain weight just by looking at food, regardless of all the workouts you are doing.  It's probably not that bad, but it seems like it and it is a major reason why so many get discouraged.  I mean; spend weeks and months busting a gut to get rid of your gut and see very little change or, sometimes, even more weight....and it's understandable why so many say fuckit and give up.

The thing is, the body changes as it ages (duh).  A big part of that change is not the gray hair or the wrinkles but the way the body processes fuel....aka food.  When you are young, the body can burn anything you put into it with great efficiency.  Hamburgers, fries, burritos, ice cream, pork rinds...hell, you could probably digest plastic.  Add a few years though and the machinery starts to gum up and slow down.  A fifty year old can't eat like a twenty year old without looking like Jabba the Hutt.  It's sad and sometimes it makes me mad; but there it is.  Getting old is not for sissies.  Getting fit when you are old takes more than working your ass off in the gym.  You have to change the way you have been eating most of your life.   

I guess the big question is....how bad do you want it?


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I'm Feeling Great....Really


Okay now....I have huge bruises on my hip, arm, knee, and back.  My ribs ache.  I can barely walk a straight line.  And it hurts to do much moving around, not to mention even stand up.

But I'm happy.

Why?

Because I've done these things to myself to get healthy.  I will heal...eventually....and will be stronger afterwards.  Pain just reminds us that we are alive.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bike Helmets are Dorky


I was resistant to the idea of getting a bicycle helmet.  It just seemed a bit ridiculous to me.  After all, when I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere and never had a serious injury.  Oh sure....I'd take a spill every once in a while and maybe scrape my knee or elbow, but that was never any big deal.  Just rub some dirt on it and keep going.  

Besides; bicycle helmets look....well....stupid.  They usually come in bright florescent colors and are shaped as if they would fit some alien's skull.  Nothing says "dork" like wearing one of these things, so I pretty much made up my mind I wasn't going to mess with getting one for myself.

Until I took a spill off my bike.

And another.

And another.

And I was getting really bloodied and bruised.  

I was starting to think to myself "that old saying about once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget is a bunch of shit" but realized that I still knew how to ride a bike, I just wasn't as pliable as I was 40-50 years ago.  The bones and joints are not as flexible.  I have a lot more mass.  I don't heal as fast.  Plus, I really ought to have a bit more sense than when I was an eight year old.  At that age I more or less thought I was immortal and indestructible.  Now I know better and know how fragile body parts can be, especially the head.  I can't afford to lose anything....most specifically what little I have in my skull.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Toy


It's not fancy.  In fact, it's just something grabbed off the floor at KMart.  It's not high tech super duper costing a grand or two....but it's grand to me and it does the job.

I've never really understood why people would spend so much money on a bike.  When I was shopping around for one, the prices started at seven or eight hundred dollars.  Shhhheeeeeeeet.  It's a bicycle for crying out loud!  I would no more pay hundreds of dollars for a bike than I would pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes.  It's not only a matter of my well known cheapness; I don't have that kind of cash laying around to spend on whatever I want.  My wife would give me a severe ass whoopin if I spent a paycheck or two on what is basically a toy.

So I get this, and I like it.  Works great.  I'm not going to enter any races.  I'm just wanting to get a bit of exercise and was getting tired of the treadmill.  Plus....I can go down some bike trail paths in the woods.  It's really cool (literally and figuratively) early in the morning.  Maybe I'll take some photos sometime.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Cry Baby


I got myself a brand new bicycle.  I wanted one for outdoor exercising...specifically for the miles of great trails close to my home.  Jogging hurts my creaky old joints so biking is my solution.  Doing cardio in the gym week after week, especially when the weather is great, is a bore.

Anyway, I took the bike out for its maiden spin this afternoon.  It really is true that you never forget how to ride a bike; however, it evidently is possible to forget how stupid some automobile drivers can be and are sometimes so wrapped up in talking on their cell phone they are oblivious to anything or anybody else.

One such idiot was weaving down the road yakking on her cell phone forcing me to jump a curb and scrape the shit out of my leg.  Okay....it's not a big wound, not even worth a bandaid....but it fucking hurts.  I don't think this is what is meant by that no pain no gain saying.

A Double Dog Dare

video
I've got a page over at Facebook called getF.I.T. It was started up by myself and a friend of mine, Boyd.  Both of us have pretty much drifted off from doing anything with it....life happens.  Anyway, I decided to revive the place and see if I can bring it back to life.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pull My Finger


It has to be the oldest joke.  It most likely is one of the first that we experience.  By the time we are able to walk and talk and grab stuff, some wit will point and say "hey, pull my finger".  The youngster gets a delightful and magical surprise.  The alleged adult gets the satisfaction of passing on a tradition to yet another generation.

Everybody loves this.

Right?

Well....I guess not.  My  wife, for instance, refuses to pull my finger when I offer it to her.  I can't really do this at work since my staff would file harassment charges against me.  My friends may go along, but then they would have to try and top me and some of those guys can really let loose hideously raunchy stink-bombs.  My grandchildren, who would probably really think this was cool, live far away.

I am reduced to self pulling.  A flatulence masturbation so to speak.

Hope I don't go blind.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Don't Be Cruel


I mean....WTF?  Really?  A group of women go to the gym and, rather than do something wild and weird like, oh, I dunno, exercise...they clump together yakking it up.  Besides the irritating point that they were IN THE WAY of others trying to get at machines or weights; their conversation tended to be about other people in the gym.

Now, normally, people talking around me doesn't bother me.  I'm fairly deaf and with my music, I can drown out everything.  Yet their conversation caught my ear and, like driving past a horrible car wreck, couldn't stop myself.  Here are some snippets I overheard.

"Look at that whale on the treadmill.  Gawd, you can hear her legs pounding all the way over here".

"Yeah, them monster boobs must hurt flying up and down like that."

"Check out the fat guy with a cane.  Jesus!  He can barely move his lard ass."

"I don't know why these blobs bother coming here every morning.  Really turns my stomach to look at their huge stomachs."

"ha ha ha ha ha"

.....and on and fucking on. 

The one major difference between these assholes and the people that they were making fun of is that the people they were making fun of were actually working out.  The assholes did what assholes do....just hang around and stink up the place every now and then.

The gym is the place to go to GET fit, not to show everybody how fit you are.  Making fun of fat people at a gym is like going to a hospital and making fun of sick people.  I know a lot of people (myself included) that struggle with the low self esteem of being badly out of shape.  A major difficulty is overcoming that enough to get ourselves into a gym and start doing something about our bodies.  I've personally found that most people do not even notice if you are fat or out of shape because they are focused on their own training.  The few who might are supportive because you are there doing something about it....it's a common cause.  I belong to the YMCA.  It's a Christian organization but I'm an atheist.  They don't care...because it's all about having a place to get and be healthy.  The only membership requirement is to pay your dues.  Fat people are welcome.  This is where you belong!  

Next time you see a new person, one who obviously has not even thought about exercise in decades...smile at her or him.  It takes a lot to take that first step.  We all have taken it.  Aren't you glad nobody tripped you to amuse themselves?

Keep your heart true.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Vacation?

I hate vacations.  Really.

Oh....I love the time off, being able to relax, getting away from the daily grind, and all that other stuff of being off work for a few days; but it's a real pain in the ass to return to the office.  Paperwork doesn't stop and it just piles up waiting for me.  

I need another vacation.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who Wears Short Shorts


I've generally avoided wearing shorts for the last few decades.  Mainly because of the pasty whiteness of my legs with highlights of scars from past misadventures, which nobody wants to see.  Also there was the unappealing look of scrawny legs topped off by a overhanging gut, which nobody wants to see either.  However; with the toning I'm getting in my legs and the increasingly hot weather that makes wearing sweat pants stupid, I'm needing to get myself into some shorts again.

Now...remember....I haven't really worn any shorts since Reagan was president so styles have changed.  My shorts of choice were just an old pair of jeans with the legs cut off.  I quit wearing those when informed that they are extremely "gay".  I didn't really care about that, but I was also told that they are extremely out of fashion and a man who wears them is considered to be a doofus and laughed at by the public at large.  So, not only would others at the gym consider me to be gay, but I wouldn't even be able to catch the eye of any gay guys because of my fashion dorkiness.  My insecurities can handle only so much abuse.

Younger guys these days wear baggy-ass shorts that seem to go down to their ankles and I can't see much point.  May as well just wear pants.  I tried looking for some workout shorts but there seems to be a conspiracy against having pockets....couldn't find any.  I got a couple of pair of nice cotton shorts but, without pockets, I had to carry a bag around like a little purse with my wallet, keys, MP 3 player, a card saying that I'm a diabetic so that if I start acting like I'm drunk call an ambulance rather than just throw me out....all the little things I need in my daily trek to the gym.  Big pain in the ass.

Then I found cargo shorts (heavenly music in the background).  These are great.  They come down to around my knees.  Comfy as all get out.  And pockets all over the freaking place!  I can't believe I had gone this long without trying on a pair.  I may even wear these things to work.

I have camouflage colored so that I can sneak through like a ninja.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Leg Day

I finally am starting to wear shorts to work out in the gym.  The weather's getting warmer so I'm not freezing in the morning though I still have the pasty white skin from a long winter.  I'm also noticing that my legs are more muscular thanks to all the months of leg exercise days.

But I don't like them.  Leg days, that is.

It's boring!  For males, working out the legs is nowhere near as satisfying as exercising the chest and arms.  I can do an intense upper body workout and feel invigorated by the soreness afterward.  With lower body..I just feel sore.

But I know it's important.  So I do it.  I can't go back to chicken legs.