Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can't call Time out in the middle of the race!!

Here I am again. I have been taking some undeserved time off from my pilgrimage. After an injury to my back, I found a lot of really good excuses not to keep going. Then I found that I could sooth my mind with frosting.. And now here I am again.. Back for another round on the wagon. I began round two with a weigh in of 252 lbs. I have began exercising again with the support and encouragement of my wonderful wife Nan. She makes sure that I don't have distractions while I exercise. I even spent an hour on the treadmill and burned over 1000 calories. I am reading "The Culprit and the Cure" again. I need to re-ignite my desire for exercise again. I am finding that physical fitness, Health and weight are not only inter-related but that the Spiritual health is also a part of the equation. I will write on this blog at least weekly.


Monday, June 7, 2010

I think I will keep playing this game...

Well, what do I say...??? This is the end of Week six for me. And looking back I am rather surprised at how this journey is taking shape.. I wrote that at the end of six weeks I would post how I am doing.. So here we go...

Blood Sugar... This was what started me thinking about my health. I had a screening on April 19 and it showed my blood sugar at 180.. I have been tracking my blood sugar daily and I have learned a lot about myself and what I take into my body.. Caffeine seems to be a really bad thing for me! When I have a Coke or two, my blood sugar will spike within a few hours and will remain elevated for a day or two... So no more caffeine for me.. The average blood sugar reading for the first week was 145, with some large spikes during the weeks, and after discovering the issue I have with caffeine, my blood sugar average for the past week was 131..

Blood Pressure.... My blood pressure has declined from an average of 144/94 to 132/82 in six weeks. I have been focusing on making sure I keep stress in check as well. My Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) went from 110 to 99 in the same time period.

Weight Loss.... I started this little exercise weighing in at a modest 266 pounds. Then I bought a new scale and discovered it was two pounds heavier than my old one.. So I actually began weighing in at 268 pounds. In six weeks I have lost 21.2 pounds... I have reminded myself that this is not about weight loss, but I can tell you that it is about health. Last Saturday I woke up and went on my timed 1 1/2 mile run.. I was able to complete it in 16 minutes and 10 seconds... I was able to jog the entire time and I didn't even feel exhausted when I was finished. We later loaded the bikes up and rode the Marysvale bike trail.. 14.8 miles.

Nan is really helping me with this lifestyle change. She encourages me to exercise and makes eating healthy easier by not having so many sweets around. I have even found it easier to make these changes in social settings as well. Nan and I have even started parking our cars and walking to visit people, or take things around town. Planning on being active takes a little time and effort, but the results are wonderful. I am even wearing T-shirts again without looking like they are form-fitting..

I am drinking and enjoying water now... It took four weeks, but I find myself drinking it without all the yuck factor that I have had for it.

I really appreciate all my friends and family support in this effort. I am seeing enough success and improvement in my health that I will give this another six weeks... ;-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Three is still company

Week three!! Well some things that I have figured out.. first, exercise needs to become a part of what I do everyday. I discovered that missing two night exercises made it more difficult to continue to get up in the morning, and I began to feel the affects. Taking a nightly walk or going to my daughters ball game 30 minutes early to take a brisk walk around town makes exercise seem more natural. Nan and I even rode our bikes to town on Saturday. The 14 + mile trip wasn't too bad and sure felt good to know that I could actually do it. Nan has been a great help to me. She schedules time for our exercise. I am tracking my blood pressure multiple times per day and I am seeing a strong decrease when I make time to exercise twice a day.
Food.. I am starting to understand that I have been using food as a relief for boredom.. Now I ask myself "Do you really want to eat this, or is there something better that you could do or eat?" I am finding that I enjoy oatmeal even for dinner. If you don't like oatmeal try it the way I make it.

1/2 cup + 2 tbls water
1/2 cup old fashion oats (quick oats are mushy... yuck)
1/2 Tblsp cracked wheat (Give it a try)
pinch of salt
Bring water and salt to a boil.. stir in cracked wheat... let boil for 1 min.
sprinkle oats in water and give one stir to make sure they are wet. Boil uncovered for 1 min. Turn off heat and place lid on pot. Let stand for 7 minutes.. No peeking.. serve with fresh fruit or just good old sugar.
I am warning you that you will never think about oatmeal the same again.

We are eating a lot more fish (tilapia), chicken and even have made some meals without meat.. I didn't think I would like it either, but I have been surprised. Beans (Black, kidney and chickpea) and more vegetables have filled the plate. We have started using a food scale to help us gain some realistic portion control. I didn't even know what a serving of chicken looked like, and I can tell you that even too much of a good thing is too much.
Fitness: Well I am surprised at how easily my body has adjusted to some exercising. I ran three times this week on the treadmill at 4.5 mph for 25 + minutes. I am finding that I can breathe more easily while jogging than I have ever been able to do before. I really appreciate the support that I am getting from my family and friends. I have noticed a great improvement in my sleeping patterns. I am not waking up during the night like I had been. I have been using my heart rate monitor to keep my heart rate between 128 and 142. The heart rate monitor gives me good feedback to push myself. The downside is that I am definitely having to work harder to get my heart rate up to where it needs to be. I used to only have to make sure my feet kept moving to keep my heart rate in the targeted range. Now I have to walk/jog... I guess this is progress.
I am finding it a lot easier to pass on the sweets. I am now looking for an apple or banana to snack on instead of the cookie or toast. Milk is another thing that we have noticed that lasts a lot longer now. I usually try to put in my food into my ipod before I eat it and this helps me decide what I want to eat based on the calories. I have lost over two pounds this week and weigh in just over 252 pounds. I am able to wear shirts/pants that had previously shrunk.. I know this is early on in this battle, but I feel like I am finally starting to see that I do have control over my health/life.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two Strikes and still at the plate

One more week under my belt and a bit smaller belt to boot. This has been a pretty good week for me. I exercised every morning and 4 of the 5 nights. I am finding it a lot easier to get up and exercise, and feeling more ready for bed earlier. Maybe what is written in D&C 88:124 has some relevance. "cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."
I can tell you that I do feel better when I exercise.. I have found it difficult to eat all the calories that are allotted to me in my loseit app on my iPod touch when I do exercise twice a day. I have found choosing better foods has been easier.. Those cookies stayed in the package when they were passed to me. Water has also began to be OK to drink.. For a guy that has always hated water, I am finding myself choosing it over milk at most meals.
I did learn an important lesson... I went out and purchased a new scale that would give me the tenths in weight. I was excited to get it home and go through the set up.. Then came the time to try it out.. What is up with that? The new scale weighed me two pounds heavier than my old one. I even set them side by side and it was a fact. This was discouraging until I realized that I still lost weight over last week.. I weighed in at 254.7 But I am going to keep this focus in check..
The real issue has been my blood pressure. I have seen a consistent decline in my blood pressure over the past two weeks. I have even had a few readings that put me in the normal range... Imagine me "Normal". My blood sugar levels have also been in the normal range throughout most days. This is a great feeling to not be diabetic.. I need to continue to move away from the factors that would lead me to that disease.
I did have an experience when my wife and I went to lunch on Friday. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and was very disappointed in the choices. I had a tostada but when I left, I was very hungry.. I went home and had those 'munchie' feelings. I did eat at home but found that I had consumed too much. I told my wife that we probably will have to be more picky on where we eat.
We did have a great day at Lagoon (except for the dizzy headache) on Saturday. We planned ahead of time and brought with us healthy options. I had my pedometer on and at the end of the day I had nearly 12,000 steps. I was definitely tired.. I did miss my morning exercise though!! and then on Sunday we had a nice Mother's Day filled with visiting, Church and a wonderful concert but no exercise. I really felt sluggish at the end of the day.
I am going in the right direction, but I am reminded that Mt. Everest has never been climbed in one step.. I know that I am on the beginning of a journey that will last for the rest of my life, the timing for my end will be partially determined by the diligence in which I have to these changes. I WILL MAKE IT!!
THANKS NAN.!!!!.. It makes this a lot easier with your support and help.

Monday, May 3, 2010

1 Week down... 1 lifetime to go...

Well, here I am at the beginning of my week two. Week one turned out to be pretty good. I spent the week kicking myself out of bed at 5:30 am to go and exercise for 30 minutes before the family got up. One thing that I noticed was that I had a lot more energy going into the day than I had had before. I still spent the 30 min or so each evening walking/jogging/cycling with my wife Nan. She has been a great! She has reminded me that She needs me more than I need the sweets. I also owe a big shout out to Bruce for giving me the Clarity that I needed. I have lost two pounds this week. I now weigh in at 257 lbs. But I want to clarify this a bit more. I have decided that I am on a quest for the three legs of Longevity...

Health: My goal is to really change the way I live my life, which means finally living my life. I want to focus my efforts on increasing my health.. Lower Blood Pressure, reduce/eliminate the medications that I take and make better choices about the food I put into my body.

Fitness: This goal is to increase stamina in exercise/play. I have noticed that in one short week I have seen my resting heart rate (RHR) decline as well as the level of exertion that I have had to give to keep my heart rate in the Moderate range. I have been using my Polar F6 heart rate monitor to gauge my intensity and I am finding that my endurance is improving. We have started walking around town to take things to people or visit, this has been helpful.

Weight Loss: I listed this last because I am starting to believe that it not as important as the other two I have listed. Weight loss will be a result of me paying attention to the other two legs (like a three legged stool, you need all three to have stability). I will be happy to see less of me each week, but this is NOT going to be my focus... Creating a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable is my focus...!!! I believe that society could help a lot in this area.. I went to a dinner last week and the person serving the food tried to load up my plate "here, have two.. Don't you want more?... He's a big boy give him a big one..." I finally looked at the person and said "Quit trying to feed the Fat Kid" This shocked both of us, but it is true... Send food to Africa if you feel the need, but STOP loading us up with food... It is hard enough without people shoving food at us!!! I will eat what I need, when I need to and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't see me as a big cuddly bear that needs to be fed.. I may come out of hibernation and eat yaw'll... :-)

I have five more weeks to go before I can publish my empirical evidence about this new phase in my life... I really appreciate all my friends that have been so supportive of me in this endeavor... Maybe they do want to see me, and not view me.. I will keep posting weekly. I have invited my brother to join me in this and he has taken the challenge... Love ya Scott..

Monday, April 26, 2010

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Today I have realized is the first day of the rest of my life. I am tired of living my life waiting for the coroner to tell me how I am doing. I can no longer excuse my situation with humor. My doctor told me that I needed to get into shape, I looked at him and asked "isn't round a shape?". Or how can I watch my weight if I don't keep it where I can see it? I have decided to live for some things that are important to me. I recently stood besides my Mother as her body released her spirit into eternity, I promised myself there that I would make the necessary changes in my life so that My wife and children will not have the same experience. I love my wife and have decided that the greatest thing that I can provide for her is a healthy 'ME'. She, along with my children are great motivators.
Months passed and I still only gave lip service to change. I started reading "The Culprit and the Cure" again, this time I listened. I have started exercising and really watching what I eat. Then my Doctor told me that the only way for me to increase my risks of early death is to take up smoking. I then made an appointment with a friend that has lost over 100 lbs and went to visit him. Accountability, Accountability, Accountability.. and did I mention Accountability? I needed to become accountable to more than myself with my pocket full of excuses. I have started using Loseit on my iPod but felt I needed a bigger presence, so here I am..
I weigh 259 lbs. I am 5'11" tall. I have a job that provides a lot of benefits, but little exercise. So I have to find opportunities to get my heart rate up. I have committed to updating this blog at least once a week.