Today I had my regular appointment at the VA
My control numbers were actually good
Improved in some and level in others
Weight went up tho

Talked to "My" nutritionalist
Heidi was the person in charge of stuff when I went thru a weight loss clinic at the VA years ago
In the last couple years we have been talking when I was up at the VA
She is the one that helped me with getting the BodPod

I was talking to her about what was in my post that I just put out
That I had written it a while ago but never published it
I was telling her how I was feeling like I was in a car, going down hill towards a cliff and saying to myself "Hit the Brakes" and then just not doing anything
How I knew I was eating too much or wrong things
How I could tell myself I needed to do something and then just sit there not doing it

In the last couple months I have been dealing with injuries, work stress, personal stress with money/house/car
As we were talking, I started to realize, food was my comfort blanket when I didn't have anything else
I need to replace that food addiction/comfort blanket with something
I also need to feel like I am making progress and not helpless

What I started to see is that when I could work out, and by workout, I mean using emotion in working out
I did better at doing the right things
I had much lower stress if I could burn out frustration during lifting or working out
Just lifting with no emotion didn't do nearly as much for me
I got a lot of help doing my blacksmithing for much the same reason
It was strenuous but I also accomplished something when smithing
I made something

In the past, I used smoking at times to help with stress
I knew it was a psychological crutch
I did it intentionally and it helped at the time
I won't do that anymore so it seems I am using food to replace that in dealing when I get too much stress

2 things I need
I have to find some way to relieve stress when I am physically unable to do it due to schedule/sickness/injury
I have to find some way to break free of the 3rd party viewing of myself going over the cliff and make myself do something about it

Help appreciated

Thanks Heidi for spending part of your day/lunch talking to me


I wrote the post below 2 weeks ago
I didn't post it then
Not really sure if it was out of shame, fear, doubt or something else
Another post coming as soon as I can write it

I have a food addiction
That is the only thing I can think to call it
Saw a post on FB about food addiction and it just clicked

Elsolel has been staying in the house due to visitors in her house needing her room
I realized that I was hiding food consumption
Eating on the road or eating something and taking the garbage out to get the wrapper/box out of the house
Eating some at work and then eating again at home
Eating out more often and making excuses that it was ok
Eating enough that I am feeling physically ill

I have not been going to the gym
At first it was due to a serious injury on my leg
That is still affecting me but not enough that I couldn't get to the gym
There really isn't a good reason for me to not go

I have put size back on since my pants are getting tighter
Laying on my side I notice my stomach
I have been having more GERD nights
I feel tired
I feel like crap about myself
I feel helpless about it since I find myself eating something, talking to myself about it, chastising myself, then eating more

I have made progress, lost size, got where I was close to going down a pants size, made it thru the Rugged Maniac, eating healthy
Then for some reason I just stop, self sabotage, what ever you want to call it

Somehow I need to figure out what the psychological trigger is that causes me to stop being "good" or doing the "healthy" thing or doing the "right" thing after a while



Had a good talk with Elsolel
Went over things that are better for me to eat
She thinks that it would work well for her to help with it
She feels like she was enabling me in doing bad things
Those were still my choices tho so it is on me too

She came down to visit this week and brought stuff for supper
Kept some of the things I mentioned in mind so it was good
We are going to work on being better for meals
Not going out as much
If we go out Sat evening, like with the kids, we won't go out on Sunday or vice versa

Legs feel fried from workout Monday
Wednesday workout was primarily arms and abs
Friday, tomorrow, will be burpees and ab work
Hopefully after a couple weeks of doing HIIT leg work my legs will start feeling better

I got the P90X program from a friend that can't do it
His knees just won't let him do it
I am hoping that when my gym gets done with its improvement project there will be space to do it
From what I understand, they will have a monitor and DVD set up that we are supposed to be able to use
If all goes according to the plan I was told about anyway

1 week from today I will be in the late 1800s doing my black smithing for demo
I won't have as much product made as I hoped but I will have a good new set up
I will have a bench set up that has my anvil on one said and a vise on the other
I have a lot of stock this year so figure I will be doing stuff while I am there
Lots of S Hooks for sure
Have to build some sort of stock holder/frame device to hold all the stock off the ground and better organized
Looking forward the the long weekend


Recovery & Discovery

 Finished the Rugged Maniac

I did not skip any obstacle
Crawling thru the mud
Fire Jump
(burn ban so this was all they could do)
I was passed on multiple obstacles
Some were skipping it and some just did it faster
Of all the people that did it and got a time I took the longest
I have mixed feelings about it
I am not happy that it took so long or that it kicked my butt so badly
I am proud of myself that I proved that a fat 47 year old Marine could still do it
It took me time but I beat the course
Next year I do better


I did learn some things from the event
Things I need to change in my training
My legs got absolutely fried from the hills
I had issues catching my breath and had to pause on hills when my legs were giving out
I have decided to do more HIIT training
I need to really work on endurance
I think it will help fat loss in the long run also
I have been watching the Crossfit Games and plan on doing more searching on their site
My gym doesn't have the right set up to really do full cross fit workouts but I can definitely convert some of them

This morning was something like a thruster, pull downs and toes to trx for time
21/15/9 reps, used dumb bells for the thruesters
Pulldowns instead of pull ups since I can't do those and the assist machine was being used
Can't do full hanging toe to bar so was doing the TRX version by laying on my back and bringing my tows overhead to the TRX (this actually gets me past my head)
Kept track of the time since I am figure I will be improving over time

Now to get my diet under control
Curb cravings
Get better control over impulse eating
Make and plan out meals so I have stuff there when I need it
Cook and save stuff for work
Work out meals that are better and healthier

Heading to my last outdoor event in a week and a half
2 days of doing kid demos then 2 days of public days
Blacksmithing for the fun of it
Have to redo my demo spiel a bit

Spent a couple hours with Elsolel going thry my closet
Any shirt that had a stain, was too short or too small was put in a bin
She took them and will go thru them herself
We didn't think of it before but she might be able to use some for work
At least back up shirts



T-shirt done
Didn't come out as well as I would have liked but then again it is going into a mud run
I have been asked, I am doing the Rugged Maniac
Here is what they will look like

I have to leave early Saturday to get there
Friday I need to drive up to Blaine to get my racers packet
I could wait until Saturday but really don't want to stand in that line before race
Taking up water to wash off after the run (walk really)
Need to make sure to have some food since I am not really sure of what I will find

Got my forge up and running last weekend
Made up a few things to test how everything worked
Worked with friend and showed him some basics
Neighbor came over and asked if I would do demos for some Girl Scouts and possibly some Boy Scouts
Might even be able to arrange more demos
Have to see if I can get some pay to at least cover expenses or just have them provide supplies

Going down to Big Island in October
Not sure what I will be doing for sure yet but do plan on blacksmithing

I have found that when I blacksmith and make things I feel better about myself
I am thinking that by doing stuff during the winter it will help me thru
Making stuff I can sell could also be nice for a little extra cash

I have never been able to keep going on any program of eating, working out or even cleaning
I started this out at the beginning of the year
I have managed to keep the workouts going fairly well
Missed a few here and there but have been good

Where I am having issues is food and cleaning
I make good progress for a while then motivation falls off
I wish I knew why
I really do
I need to get more done for cleaning the house
I need to get more on track with my eating
I was really good for months and started making very visible changes then just lost it
I could see progress but just lost motivation
I get frustrated when I do stupid stuff
When I get frustrated I lose more motivation

I need to get better about just doing small things to make progress
Fold laundry while watching TV
Go thru small stacks of stuff when I have spare time instead of playing a game
Take the time to keep areas already cleaned in good shape
Make plans for meals instead of trying to figure stuff out at the last minute



FRAK I feel scared now
That mud run scares me

I keep thinking I want to make a t-shirt
Made up my designs


I have added running to workout
Walk and jog alternating
My left leg is really feeling it
I have to do more stretching
Left calf/achilles really feels tight
Left hamstring feels really tight
Cramps up tight every once in a while

Lifting going well
Alternating every couple of weeks
3x6 or 4x12/15
Added more ab workout and twisting movements

Diet has sucked
Just haven't had the drive to do what I need to do
Taking short cuts
Frustrated with myself
Circling the toilet of emotion
Do something wrong then feel bad and don't care

Finally got my propane forge
Going over to a friends place to do some pounding
Think that is going to really feel good
I usually feel a lot better after making stuff



I am being pounded this morning with reminders that I am still on a journey to health
I have been bad about diet
I have been lazy and just catching semi bad food on the fly
I have been grabbing candy from co-workers jars (that are there for people to grab from)

I eat something I know I shouldn't then feel bad about myself
And then, since I am bad already, I have another
What the FRAK?

I saw a picture on FB that I shared
It talked about you have 1 body and it is up to you what you do with it
Then saw another about deciding on fixing yourself and then doing it
Final straw, the one that made me feel like crap, was an email from someone telling me how much I inspire them
How much me being open about my journey is helping them to improve themselves

My first reaction was to think bad about myself
"If you only knew how bad I have been you wouldn't say that"
"Not only am I letting myself down but others too"
"I am sorry for being such a bad example"

I know I am not a failure
A failure is one that gives up and quits
I am not doing that
I did let go of the reins for a while and let myself drift back into some of the bad habits I had before
Too many years of bad habits make them easy to fall back on when you don't think about it and just let yourself drift

I have a couple choices now
I can get back up on the horse, nose back to grind stone, pick up my pack and move
I can just let go and cruise

Since I have still been going to gym and seeing improvements there I know I wasn't planning on quitting
I just need to re-apply myself

It took years to make this body what it is
It will take a LONG time to fix it
Sometimes you just need a reminder that you are still on the journey


How Do You Reconcile

Been in a bit of a diet and workout funk recently
Since I did that Bod Pod
Combined with that, I was clearing space in my house for stuff from my dad's apartment and went backwards in some rooms I had cleaned up

Went to the counselor on Friday
While talking to him, it occured to me what was going on
I had gotten away from celebrating and had started focusing on the end of the journey and how far away it was
While I was doing well in eating and workout motivation, I was focused on close in goals
Adding just a little bit more weight or finishing all my reps
Focusing on just doing the right things for the right things sake

The Bod Pod made me look at how far I still had to go
I lost sight of the progress I had made
The pictures, the fitness and the inner strength I had
I started looking so far ahead and thinking that even if I did XXXXX amount a week that I was going to be years in getting there

When that combined with the fast cleaning and rearranging of stuff in my house
Where I was putting things into rooms that I had basically finished, just to get things out of the dining room
It hurt to feel I was going backwards there
I lost track of the amount of stuff I was able to get rid of
I for some reason focused on what I saw as the negative of cluttering up rooms that I had already cleaned

Having a tooth crack and going thru dental surgery to have it removed didn't make me feel any better
Missed workouts due to the tooth and post surgery

It has taken me a bit to process all of this
To realize I was allowing myself to have exceptions
To realize that I was allowing set backs to become excuses as to why I wasn't going to finish or keep going

I started my food logging again today
I still need to spend the time to plan out meals better

Elsolel has been a great help in making me realize I can expand what I do for food
I had gotten into kind of a rut with food and had started growing tired of it
She has helped throw together several great meals when I was drawing a blank and feeling blah about it all
Where I was thinking, just give up and go out

When I thought of the title of this post I had something specific in mind for it
Just now coming back to that
Think what I have already put here was something I needed to work through though
How do you reconcile your long term goals with short term goals and happiness?
How can I look at myself and realize I need to lose around 80-90lbs of fat mass to get into a "healthy" range?
How can I look at all the things still needed to be done around the house?

How can I look at how far I have to go and be happy with where I am now?
How can I see the end of the road so far away and be satisfied with where I am now?

I don't have an answer for it?
I have heard various answers but none really click with me

If anyone has done long distance cross country navigation there is a technique for it
Look far out at your final goal, align your body so you are pointed directly at it, then look at something close that you can see completely to be your first target and look behind to see what is directly behind you as a starting point
Then you go to your first goal, if you can see the final goal then repeat what you just did
If you can't then you line up your current goal with your starting point and look for another short term goal and go there
When you get there you line up your first goal with second and start and pick a third goal
Keep doing this until you can see your final goal again or you get to it

The key is to realize where you started, look for short term goals in sight and use those to keep you on your track
If you keep trying to just use your final goal it can get shielded by other things or blurred out with distance

My final goal is to live my life fully and be healthy
I look at my starting point and realize I have come a ways
I need to focus on shorter term goals that I can set and accomplish
I am going to use the SMART/SMARTER concept that wikipedia has (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria)
Letter Major Term Minor Terms
S Specific Significant, Stretching, Simple
M Measurable Meaningful, Motivational, Manageable
A Attainable Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Ambitious, Aligned, Aspirational, Acceptable, Action-focused
R Relevant Results-oriented, Realistic, Resourced, Resonant
T Timely Time-oriented, Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Timeboxed, Time-bound, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible
E Evaluate Ethical, Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging, Ecological
R Reevaluate Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit, Recordable, Rewarding, Reaching

So my goals for the next 2 weeks are:
Maintenance Goals:
Log all my food for 2 weeks (http://www.myfitnesspal.com)
Get to the gym 3-4 times a week and work hard while there
Keep up on kitchen, dining room, sewing room, bedroom, bathroom maintenance

Progress Goals:
Clear living room of extra stuff

In 2 weeks I will look at these and evaluate them and make new ones

Now it is time to celebrate my successes and positives
I have a job, that I enjoy, with a company that appreciates me and my efforts, that I have a lot of room for growth, and a great boss to work for
I have a reasonably healthy body, that I have the ability to improve with work and effort, that doesn't have any major handicaps or weaknesses
I have a nice house, that has a lot of potential, that is being made better
I have talents, gifts and skills that I can use to enjoy myself and make others lives better
I have friends and aquaintences that make my life better
I have a new special friend in Elsolel


Long Time

Making major improvements in the house
I have the dining room fixed up
Furniture from my dad's in there
Have the sewing room ready to use
Just have to clean out the sewing machines from disuse and dust
Shout out to Elsolel for all the help and support

Biggest Loser was an awesome show
In my opinion, it went down hill in the last couple seasons
But in the mean time, it set some extremely distorted expectations for weight loss
I know that it took me years to get where I was/am at
I know that it will take me a long time to get better
It can just be frustrating when it goes so slow

Added some exercises to my workout
Feeling some good DOMS
Will talk to trainer tomorrow
Discuss where we will take my training

Trying to figure out why I am having problem getting full focus again
It seems like that hot fire has lowered intensity
But I keep plugging on


My Reality Don't Compare

Follow up from this morning's post
Forgot to mention
While I was in the room to do my Bod Pod there was a guy in a wheel chair
I could see at least a 12" scar running down the back of his head and neck and under his t-shirt
He was limited to using basically his left arm/hand for most things

I may have had to deal with negative feelings
I may have wondered why I was doing all the things I was doing and dealing with DOMS and fatigue
I may have wondered if I was ever going to gain the upper hand against my body
I may have wondered if I would ever succeed

I had to deal with those feelings
Those were MY feelings and emotions
I felt like crap
I am human

But, never, did I ever truly contemplate quitting
As much as I was dealing with feelings that my life sucked

I am not stuck in a wheel chair or on prosthetics or blind or truly dealing with shell shock/battle fatigue/combat stress (PTSD now)
I am able to work to remove the years of buildup of fat in my system
I am able to get up, move, and improve my life

Lots of sayings out there about trails, journeys, destinations, goals and "sis boom bah"
Lots of motivational sayings you can get on posters, plaques and ribbons
The one right now I am thinking is "You are never defeated until you quit"

I have this one I did that sits at my desk
Need to get it done up nicer so I can frame it but

I Will Make Choices
I Will Forgive Myself
I Will Make Decisions
I Deserve Good Things
I Will Always Be Mindful
I Am As Good As I Think I Am

Reality can be a BITCH

I mentioned I was excited about doing the BodPod thing
I got my body fat done by one of those Omron hand held devices
I was measured after the exercise so think I need to redo it
Might even get one of my own to start keeping track at home
I had it done as Normal and Athlete
My Normal was 37.4% (down from a starting point of over 40%)
My Athlete reading was 31.6%
Since the tester has the difference I looked up the proper settings
I should be close to Athlete per the manual

Now on to the reality bitch slap
I was fasting for the bod pod
I had been drinking but that shouldn't affect it too much
My ear rings, I was told, would affect the readings but minimal
My reading was 40.4%
My RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) was calculated at 2405 calories
If I was sedentary 3078, Low Active 3632, Active 4185 and Very Active 5002 calories
My weight at the time of the measurement was 311.847lbs
My Fat Free Mass was 185.772lb (which has a funny since the federal charts say I should weigh 168)
My Fat Mass was 126.075lbs (FRAK that looks bad)
At 1.5lb a week (which is most anyone says you should lose over long term) that means I have more than a year to get where I "should" be
I do know, my goal is not weight loss but fat loss so will have to keep that in mind

I will admit after getting the results I was dealing with some VERY bad negative emotions
I was seriously wondering why I bothered
Why, after all my work, was I being pushed back
Why it felt like I had taken 3 steps forward and just got knocked back 5

One of the biggest concerns with this number and where I carry the excess fat is that a LOT of it is adipose
That means that is it internal and around my organs
This is the stuff that can and will kill you if you don't do something
I have escaped dying 2 times already
This is going to have to be number 3
The good news, as elsolel (nickname for the girl I have started dating) will always seem to look for, is that if I can get rid of it then most of my medical conditions could go away

Sent a text to elsolel after I got done and was waiting to see my endo
Told her the results and some of the feelings
Got a LOT of support from her
Thank You!!!

Got an email from HH from the VA
She was concerned that the numbers would affect me badly and maybe make me quit
Sent back a note saying I was dealing with negative feelings but wasn't going to stop
We will plan on doing it again in 3 months when I go in next time

The good news on my blood work
My A1c is down to 6.7 from 8.2 in November (doctor VERY happy with this)
My triglycerides are still high but a little better
My LDL is back in normal range since I told my doctor I was stopping the Atorvistatin
HDL went up a little but moving in the right direction now
MCV/MCH/RDW still out of range but hemoglobin good so they will do an iron panel next time to see if I have something causing borderline anemia
Rest of my numbers were good or improved to better

Doctor believes the only way for me to really get my triglycerides down will be with weight loss
The only time they were lower than now was when I was 20lbs lighter
I haven't been concentrating on trying to lose weight but in gaining strength and muscle mass
I know in the long run that is better since muscle will raise my RMR (also known to me as BMR)

For now, I don't plan on making any major changes to anything
I will do 2 things I haven't been doing tho

First, I will start logging my food again
I had been doing it but since what I eat wasn't changing a lot it wasn't varying a lot
It was also stressing me since I was using the defaults and was getting a LOT of reds (bad) in my numbers
I will change the settings to customize it
15-20% carbs
30-40% protein
40-55% fat
Eat clean foods
Keep the paleo concept and avoid the grains, legumes, starchy veggies

Second, I will start incorporating a LITTLE cardio into my workouts
Possibly add in a 4th day that has more
Like Sat morning
I will do stuff like rowing, biking and possibly some elliptical
I will not be doing very much treadmill since that is where I seem to have had issues in my past

I am going to use a concept from rifle shooting
If your first shot doesn't hit the mark, don't make major changes until you have made your second shot
If your second hits the same spot, you know how to correct
If your second shot misses then you aren't consistent and need to check everything over and restart

I will admit this felt like a kick to the gut
I will admit this really damped down my enthusiasm and excitement
I will also admit that this will NOT stop me



One of my worst workouts today
Weights that I handled fine last week kicked my ass today
Felt like nothing in the tank
Weak and tired

Talking to my trainer during the workout
He said I was busting ass but we were having to scale down from what he was expecting me to lift
Told him that I feel like I am constantly walking around with low level muscle fatigue and muscle soreness/tightness
I like that feeling in a way since it means that I am pushing myself and my body is always in recovery mode
But it also means I need to make some changes and make sure I am doing what I know I need to be doing

Made me think about these questions
What do you do when you have a bad workout?
Do you scale or quit?
Do you cry and complain or do you keep going (or both ;-P)
Do you just blow it off and figure it will be ok next time or do you examine what you are doing and see if there is a reason for it?

I scaled the workout, kept going, bitched a bit and then I thought about it and examined what I have been doing
This is what I came up with

I need to stretch more
I need to make sure that I take time every day to warm up some and stretch out

I need to concentrate types of workouts
I need to concentrate pushes, pulls and legs with the level I am doing now
When I started I could do whole body but not any more
I have stepped up and am training more like an athlete
I wasn't thinking about today when I did my workout Monday
I did triceps pushdowns and cable cross-overs on Monday
I knew today was supposed to be concentrating on chest pushes
Wasn't thinking about my training at a higher level
I need to think out what I am doing and plan for it in advance
I burned out part of my chest on Monday and paid for it today
I need to think ahead and treat myself like an athlete and plan to train like one
Lesson learned

I need to get back to conscientious eating
I have to get better about not eating the exceptions
Exceptions that happen too often become habits
I need to plan out and execute meals the way I was before
I have gotten complacent with my meals and taking shortcuts and not eating whole meals but quick fix meals
Nothing really bad but not full meals
Each meal needs to include protein, fat and carbs
Plate of meat is not a good meal for the long run
My meals need to be fuel for my body
They need to be complete and even more so taste good so I ENJOY them

I am very much enjoying my time with the woman I started dating
As much as I enjoy time together, I need to make sure to balance that with taking care of myself
I can't take the hit by staying up late then expect to have a good workout
I have to sleep to recover
I know she agrees and wants the best for me
I know I want the best for her and each of us at our best is that
I just enjoy the time talking and learning about her that I don't want to go away and leave her
I know a better me makes a better us
It is all about the balance

Tomorrow is my 3 month blood work check with endo
I am excited to see the changes since I started really putting in the effort mid-March

Tomorrow I get to be put in a bodpod
Got my body fat by one of those Omron hand held devices today
We did it as both normal and athlete
Will compare those numbers to what the bodpod says tomorrow to see which of those settings is more accurate
I will post numbers when I have them all
But I will say this, the 2 settings changed my body fat by 6%


Not Alone

1 month ago
1 long month
A month of trying to cope with the loss
A month of trying to keep going
A month of trying to come to grips with conflicting feelings and emotions

Loss of my father
Loss of someone I could talk to
Loss of a person that helped make me what I am today, both good and bad
Frustration with someone that didn't finish some things he had promised
Frustration at trying to gather pieces of his life with no guides
Happiness in finding someone that makes me feel good
Happiness in making progress in my house
Happiness in making myself healthier
Fear when I realize that I have some of the same health issues he did
Guilt that I didn't do enough, didn't spend enough time, didn't show my love enough, didn't say "I Love You" enough
Guilt that I miss him so much
Moments of great darkness and pain
Moments of great joy
Moments of tears that just come

I don't know that the pain will ever go away
I do know, if the deaths of all of my grandparents are a comparison, that I will come to terms with it and move on

I read today about someone struggling with the loss of their parent
Reading the words of support for them reminded me of the words of support I received
They made me truly realize, we are not alone
We make ourselves alone but we are not alone

We find it easier to offer support than to accept it
We find it easier to be strong rather than show what we think as weakness
We find it easier to offer a shoulder for someone to cry on than to cry on someones shoulder
We find it easier to hold someone close in a hug than to allow someone to hold us
We find it easier to say "I'm fine" than to say "I hurt. I need help. I feel lost. I want a hug."

Even now, after writing that, I am having a problem saying it
Even now, I am trying to put the good face on and say "I'm fine. I will be strong."

To be honest, I hurt, I need help, I feel lost, I want to curl up, be held & cry out the pain
I just have to be willing to accept


Little Steps Add Up

Feeling good
Took that chance
Asked that girl out
Am very glad I did
She accepts me as I am but also supports my efforts to change

Got super busy over the weekend so didn't get pictures yesterday
Took them this morning

Comparing the pictures I realized why it is so hard to keep going sometimes

Here is the comparison from last month to today
Notice how there doesn't look like a lot of change?
When you see this change on a day to day basis you can't see them
They are all too small

Now compare what I have managed to do since Jan
Those changes are obvious

These are what help keep me motivated



We went back to high rep work and it kicked my ass hard
Still feel the burn and my legs are wobbly
Even tho I went to high rep again, all the weights went up by at least 30% from my starting point 6 weeks ago
Going up and down the stairs has to be done carefully
3 or 4 weeks of this until it doesn't hit me like this then back to high weight low rep
Probably go to a more body zone workout
Rotate thru the week each body part to failure

I take my pictures this weekend and I expect to see the improvement too
Tightened up my belt yesterday walking around
Had to or lose my pants

Now to one of the reasons I am flying right now

I said Monday that improvement wasn't my goal
That doing the right thing was
That doing it because it was the right thing was my goal

With all that being said
On GO repeat after me "FRAK YES"
3..2..1..GO "FRAK YES"

Took measurements this morning at the gym after working out
Lost some weight (not posting because I don't care about that number, it is just used to figure body fat)
My body fat, while still high, dropped 2% in 6 weeks
While not my ultimate goal, losing fat, it is a reason I workout, so I can be healthier and live my life more fully

Another reason I am flying
I get to meet someone, in person, tomorrow
Someone that I have been talking to online
Someone that I like, a lot

So yes, I am going to feel good about my victories
Yes, I am going to enjoy my improvements
Yes, I am going to find joy in meeting someone new and special

Yes, I am going to celebrate all of this because I deserve it and I am worth it


Ups & Downs

Last week was a tough week mentally
Had a lot of issues to work thru

I mentioned that I was talking to a girl last week (gasp)
I am still talking to her
It is amazing what talking to someone can do for you
She was surprised that she rated a mention
After talking to her for a while I am glad to mention her :)

Friday I went to see my counselor
He reads my blog
He asked a question that I tossed a knee jerk response to
Didn't think about it but just spouted it out because it was the "right answer"

The question he asked was "What will you do if your pictures don't show any improvement?"
He had seen that I was worrying about it
My immediate response was that I would just look at my performance improvement and be satisfied

The question kept percolating in my brain over the weekend
The answer wasn't satisfactory for me for some reason
I couldn't figure out why

This morning while I was working out I had an epiphany

What will I do if my pictures don't show improvement?
Will I quit?
Will I toss in the towel?
Will I give up?

I know I won't
So if I won't quit or give up, why am I worrying?
What I will need to do, is to look at what I am doing and see if there is something I can change

My initial answer was legitimate in a way but totally way off in others
My performance, body shape and blood work are all measurements but they aren't the true goal
Doing the right thing for myself is my improvement, not the measurements
Doing the right thing for myself is my goal

So, no, I will no longer be worrying about whether or not my pictures show any major improvements
I will no longer be worrying about whether or not I improve my workout or not each week
I will no longer be worrying about improving my blood work measures but will do what I can to make changes to improve them to be healthy

I will keep doing the right things for me because they are the right things to do

My goal is to do the right thing because it is the right thing, not just to improve some measurement


Take a Chance

I want to clarify on my earlier post
It applies to all my posts really

This blog is here for me
It listens to me
It forces me to organize my thoughts
It makes me put them in some sort of order
Those thoughts and emotions are what I am having at that time
What I am dealing with

When I type them out and put them on here it is like someone taking the monster out of the closet and exposing it to the light of day
It is my way of acknowledging the bad feelings about myself
Acknowledging the emotions that I am dealing with at the time
It is a way to process thru them
Some can talk their emotions thru with a friend
Right now, I don't have that someone

Some hold them in and they will eventually cause harm to those people
Harm that has to be dealt with at a later time in order for them to move on and grow past the feelings/emotions

This is my way of dealing with emotions and feelings that are coming up wtih my journey and life right now
Of dealing with old emotions and feelings that become exposed by my journey of growth
Of exposing them to healing light

I have been told that this blog is motivational and inspirational to some
That also inspires me to write
If I am having feelings of past failure, current failure or worry about future failure, then I am sure someone else will, is or has felt the same thing
This is my way of paying forward the love and support I am getting by writing
If this helps you, inspires you, motivates you or even reminds you of what you dealt with and made it thru then hopefully at some point in the future you will be able to help, inspire, motivate or remind someone

No matter where you are in your life, you aren't alone
It might feel that way
You might believe that completely
You aren't alone
Sometimes it is hard to see that person that is there because you have your walls up
I did that for years
I hid behind walls, I existed, I wasn't living my life I was existing in my life

I am taking those walls down
I will live my life fuller than ever before
I will probably be hurt by someone in the future because of it
But I also might find and be loved deeper than I have ever been loved before
I am making that choice
I am taking that chance because the choice and I am WORTH IT


Mentally in an odd place now
Not sure why

Things seem to be going well
- Workouts going good
- Talking to a new friend online. She and I seem to be getting along well. Meeting next week. I can tell we can be friends for sure and maybe more.
- Making headway at home in getting the house cleaned up
- Food choices are pretty good and fairly clean
- Miss my dad but know that I need to keep going

So why can't I get rid of the feeling that something is going to go wrong?
So why can't I get past the point that when I get good things that they are going to be taken away?

I know this feeling
It is when I have stopped or quit before

I want good things in my life
I want health
I want love
I want happiness

Why can't I get past the feeling that something is going to go wrong because I don't deserve good things?

Why can't I get past the feeling that no matter how hard I try that I won't get to keep good things in my life?

Why can't I get past the feeling that I am not good enough?

Why am I having such a problem believing in myself right now?


Live or Hide

Everyday you take 1 step closer to dying
You can either try to hide from death which also hides you from life
Or you can realize, embrace and live your life

Last Friday I went to the service for my father
I can choose to hide and shelter myself or not choose which is the same thing
Or I can choose to use this to wake me up to do the things that make me happy, that let me make others happy and better

The best legacy anyone can leave behind is for people to say "He LIVED his life and made others lives better, they were better for knowing him"

I am better for having known my father

Some people have told me I need to take time off
To heal and mourn
To shelter myself until I can come out stronger

I have thought about the idea
I can't do it tho
What I choose to do is to heal myself by getting healthier
What I choose to do is not feel sorry for myself but to celebrate my life and the legacy of my father
What I choose to do is to push myself and make myself better

Right now I am in my strength phase of my working out
Saturday after the internment I went to the gym
I had to push myself to my breaking point, pick myself up and do it again and again
I broke down into tears at least 4 times while I pushed myself harder than I have in a long time or even ever
I used that emotion to push myself and drive thru the pain
When I was done I was amazed
Where I had been doing 4 sets of 6 at 45lbs/hand with dumbells I finished by doing 1 set of 3 at 80lbs in each hand
Where I had been doing 4 sets of 6 squats at 70lbs I went up to using the 100lb dumbbell then using cables up to 200lbs then finally to doing a regular deadlift with 1 set of 3 at 277.5lbs
Where I had been doing 4 sets of 6 pull downs at 90lbs I managed to get 1 set of 3 at 200lbs (form suffered at that point tho)
Where I had been doing 4 sets of 6 with 50lbs of curls I managed to get 3 reps at 110 but suffered with form so went back to doing sets of 3 with 100lbs and had several sets

Yes, I am proud of what I did

I was thinking about a phrase used by some
I decided what that was going to mean for me
Every day I will strive to live my life to the fullest
I will work on myself to make myself healthy
I will open myself to more experiences
I will do my best to not say "NO" automatically but at least think about it

I am making progress in getting my house cleaned up
Throwing things away that I don't need
Making progress every day
Even if it is just a small change
My goal is to have my main floor cleaned up so company could drop by and I wouldn't panic or pretend I am not home
I am giving myself until Memorial weekend to be done
This won't include the finish work on the kitchen (paint walls, trim and new flooring)
I also need to get a new bed so will rearrange my bedroom

I joined a dating site
I am trying to get used to not getting responses
I think it is rude but I guess that is the way it works
Maybe someday I will get a response that says "Yes, let's talk"
Might try a different site that is more selective in matching people up

Pictures in 10 days
In some ways I am looking forward to it but in other ways I am nervous
I am worried that there won't be any changes
I feel that I am improving but it still scares me that I won't see it
I think that would be the hardest thing to keep me motivated thru

Overall, I am doing ok


One of the Longest Weeks

Last week I posted about how I wanted to be the best I could be
How I wanted to get healthier and stronger
How I needed to deal with the pain of not feeling good enough

Little did I know that on Tuesday I would get a phone call that put a lot of things in perspective
I get a call from the VAMC at 14:12 saying that they had gotten a low blood pressure reading from my dad while he was on dialysis
When they checked they found him unconscious and no pulse
At the time of the call they were trying to revive him
I sent an email to my boss, started shutting down my pc (I was at work in Red Wing. 57 miles away) and got out to my truck
I called my brother and sister and then started driving
While driving I was on the phone a lot talking to family
I had to struggle to not speed, even using cruise control at times
I knew it would be over, in 1 way or another, by the time I got there

I got the word while driving, forced it actually since my brother was at the VAMC already and getting frantic, that they had stopped trying to revive him
I was both devastated and relieved at the same time
Devastated that I had lost my father
Relieved that I wasn't going to have to make the decision to pull the plug if needed
He had a DNR, machines only long enough to get family there, do not maintain on machines to maintain a vegatable state

It has been a long week since
I have struggled to eat right
I struggled to get into the gym
I even struggled to take my meds and even when I did they weren't on time

Wednesday I didn't go to the gym
First time since I had started going
I am ok with that
I don't think I even need to forgive myself since I know it wouldn't have been good
I was in no shape mentally to go

The rest of the week was bad eating for me
Not too much of things I don't normally eat, only some, due to schedule
What I was eating was enough to add to the stress and make me feel sick
I asked a great friend to help me out by cooking up some whole chickens I had bought and didn't know when I would be able to deal with them
Didn't want to waste them and it gave me something to just grab that was healthier

Friday I told myself I needed to go to the gym
Several reasons
One was to help relieve some stress
Another was to help burn off energy
And one I have learned about myself, I could not let go of the momentum I had

I had a counselor session scheduled for Friday afternoon already so I obviously went
We talked a bit about a lot of things
When I mentioned my going to gym, he commented that I didn't need to push myself to go
I told him that I had to go
I had made a vow to myself to make a change to my life
To live it fully and do the things I needed to do to make it healthier
I also knew that, given the choice, my dad would want me to go
I needed to keep that momentum going becuase I knew the last thing my dad would have wanted was to use his death as an excuse to stop going
The longer I was away the harder it would be for me to get going again
I know that about myself

I have had people tell me that my journey inspires them
That blogging and telling people about my struggles and victories helps them
What people don't realize is that they can be an inspiration for someone else too

I think that is the best legacy someone can have
For people to say about them: Their life inspired someone and made the world a better place

I posted a couple things on FB but I will post 2 things here that meant a lot to me before and now mean more
I want to live my life by these 2 things
Poem by Linda Ellis called _The Dash_
Song from the movie _The Bucket List_ by Tim McGraw called _Live Like You Were Dying_


Will I ever be good enough?

In Dec 1987 I had surgery for testicular cancer
I spent the next year trying to recover from multiple surgeries and radiation therapy
I was in the USMC at the time

I worked hard to get into shape and lose my excess weight
I was big and over limit
I had been that way even before the surgery but it got worse after

I was hitting the gym occaisonally but mostly running
I was up to 45 miles a week
I was able to do a ton of situps and pullups
My PFT (Physical Fitness Test) scores had me in the top % of USMC fitness
But I was too big for them

I could run 3 miles in 18:35 and 10k in under 43 minutes
I still wore a size 42 pants tho
Which according to the USMC wasn't skinny enough
My CO got me discharged for my weight

I started reading Real Strong
It made me start to realize how much that had affected me and my image of myself
No matter how hard I had tried, how strong I was and what I did I wasn't skinny enough to be good enough for them
I was and am still a Marine
I earned that title and am proud of it
But I wasn't good enough for them
They kept a drug user over me so my not being skinny was worse than being a druggie
I really didn't realize just how much latent anger I had
I really didn't know how much it hurt
It is something I will have to work out now

I started this blog to help me get better
To express where my pain, struggle and issues are
I don't know that I will ever get to the point where someone would use me as a poster child for motivation
You know, those super in shape bodies that say "Keep going" so you can be like them

Fine then
I won't be that poster child
What I am going to do is this: BE THE BEST I CAN BE
I doubt I will ever get a 6 pack or single digit fat %
I am now coming to realize that shouldn't be my true goal

I am going to get stronger
I am going to get healthier
I am going to be the best I can be


How am I doing it?

In 3 months I did this

I did it by eating things like this

and getting my butt in and using these (3 1/2 weeks so far)

Eat real food
Avoid starchy vegetables, grains, sugars and legumes
Eat a lot of leafy greens, colorful vegetables, fish/chix/grass fed meats

And then get off your ass and lift
Forget the running
5lb of muscle is a lot more dense than 5lb of fat

1lb of muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day
So converting 5lbs of fat to muscle means 250 calories burned a day

Running is NOT a good fat burning method
Women (and men) WILL NOT bulk up by lifting unless you really try
Remember Linda Hamilton?

And you know the biggest thing about all of this
It isn't a diet that I can't sustain
This is a life change


Improvement Steps

I was reading one of Robb Wolf's articles and decided to grab some of it and then add to it some of my stuff

I am going to modify what Robb Wolf said slightly since I can't use his first person for myself

7 Steps to Success

The program that Robb Wolf laid out in his book is pretty solid and it was born of observing people both succeed and fail in the attempt to change their lives.

Here are the broad brush-strokes of what you need to do to change:

1-Clean out the entire house. All the crap get’s bagged up and donated to charity. The crap you are trying to justify saving for the kids will undermine your efforts, follow the program.

2-Go shopping. Use his/a shopping and food guide and go get some chow. A lot. Learn to cook, use the food matrix.

3-Go to bed early. In a dark room. Repeat daily.

4-Get some exercise. I (This is me saying I too) do not care what kind. Make sure it is appropriate for your fitness level. I (This is me saying I too) personally like lifting weights (muscle helps insulin resistance and burns calories), but I’m just kind of a meat head. Do what you like.

5-Do this for 30 days. Change takes time. Patterns establish with repetition. Most psychology gurus say we need to do something for 21 days to affect change. Fine, we’ll go 30.

6-Track progress. He describes how to do it in his book, I provided a reminder here(robbwolf.com/2012/02/06/paleo-diet-am-i-losing-enough-weight). If you ask me about your weight, we are going to have a hell of a problem! (My personal opinion is to put scale in closet or donate to charity)

7-Report your experience. (Find a group/friend/FB group)

Personally I will add these (And don't do them more often than every 4 weeks)

1-Do a workout as a baseline to come back to later and see your improvement. Something like 20 pushups, 20 situps, 20 squats and 20 lunges for time. Keep track of how long and how you felt.
Do it again after a month of working out. Did you improve? If so, You FRAKIN' IMPROVED. Own it. Strut it. Test again in 4 weeks.

2-Take measurements. All over. Ankle to neck. Get a friend to help if you can. Not over clothes if possible.
Do it again after a month of working out. Did you improve? If so, You FRAKIN' IMPROVED. Own it. Strut it. Measure again in 4 weeks.

3-Take pictures. In your undies. Front/Side/Back. Pick a spot where you can duplicate the lighting, your position and camera position. If you can find a friend/family/group to show the pictures do it. It is called accountability.
Do it again after a month of working out. Did you improve? If so, You FRAKIN' IMPROVED. Own it. Strut it. Take pictures again in 4 weeks.

No improvement?
Honestly did you stay on program?
You can lie to everyone including yourself but your body will know and show better.



This weekend I made some food choices that wern't the best choices I could have made

I had been craving some foods
I ignore cravings normally
I can just skip by them in most cases but if they have been hitting me for a while I will sometimes just go for it
I went ahead and made the choice to eat stuff that I knew wouldn't be good for me

I felt like absolute crap this morning
I kept having excuses run thru my mind this morning
Reasons I could avoid going to the gym
Running Late/Feel Bad/Work Issues/Tired and Sore/Rest up for trainer on Wednesday
The general phrase for these mental gymnastics is called "Fuckits"

When feeling Fuckits you have 2 choices
Accept the feeling or Work thru it
This morning I went ahead and worked thru it

I went to the gym
I had already changed up my workout in my workout book
Today, knowing I was behind anyway, I knew I had less time to work
So, I used lighter weights, kept the reps and took out the rests
I got pissed and I pushed it as hard as I could
Finished 10 min faster, exhausted but not as muscle tired as normal

On a different note
I have found that using protein powder with some glutamine help with recovery and DOMS
I take a bottle with the powder and add water at the end of the workout

4 farm eggs
4 slices of farm bacon
several cups (uncooked) of sauteed spinach
1 medium organic tomato

I love eating healthy

I have to call doctor
Almost out of Asparte and don't have more until Apr 17
Not sure I will make it
Using less but still need it to keep sugars down

Looking to open a spreadshirt shop
I have made a couple inspirational picture things
People like them
Might be able to sell them
Would be nice if I could


March 2012

Coming back from vacation was tough
I was out of the habit of doing my daily greasing the groove

I did make it to the gym twice while on vacation
Wimpy globo gym but they did have some dumbbells
Got in a decent enough workout with those
My second workout was a brutal burnout of emotion
This was the first time I had really felt and used emotion in a workout
I don't like the way the emotions were generated but this was a major breakthrough for me

I worked harder to plan for my meals
I started going to Mazopiya for more stuff
Grass fed beef, farm eggs and organic veggies

I also changed out my vitamins
I had been taking generic vitamins and fish oil
I had read and heard from several health and fitness experts that using higher quality vitamins and supplements were worth the extra money for what you got from them
GNC 900mg fish oil with 900mg of Omega-3
Vitamin packs that were more rounded and better absorption
I take the heart health on non workout days and the sport one on workout days

I started a new gym membership at Anytime Fitness
Paid for some sessions with a trainer once a week
Since starting I have made it M/W/F each week
When I go I work HARD
I push myself until I can hardly lift my arms and my legs are wobbly and cramping
I found that using glutamine in a protein shake after working out helps tremendously with DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
I find that I can push each time I am there and be recovered by the next workout
I also have been getting stronger for sure
I am NOT doing cardio but sticking to Crossfit/HIIT concept and pushing weights at a high intensity with very little rest between sets

I took my pictures at the end of March
I looked at them and was highly disappointed because I didn't see much change
Then I took my Jan starting pic and put it in a picture with the one from March
I cried
I could see the change when I did that
Without those pics to really show me that I had improved I am not sure how much longer I would have kept going

Went to the doctor late March
My numbers were better
My A1c was down to 7.2
Need to figure what triggers sugar release in my system
My carb intake is fairly low and usually low glycemic index stuff like tomatoes
My triglycerides were still high but I dropped nearly 1200 pts off them
HDL and LDL were still low
Next doctor appointment mid May

My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to lose "weight" and get healthy
Weighing yourself every day is discouraging

Do this:
Take measurements (get help if needed) and write them down
Get a fat percentage done (DO NOT USE BMI. BMI is used by insurance companies and lazy doctors)
Take pictures in your underwear (in a place you will take ALL pics to keep consistent)
Do a starting set of exercises as a starting baseline
AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
2 min of pushups
2 min of sit ups
2 min of air squats
2 min of curls with a light bar or light dumbbells
Write all of these down and keep it safe
Write down how you felt doing them
Write down the emotions and physical feelings

After going to the gym for a month do it again with the same exercises and weight
Did you improve?
Do it again each month or several months
Use that to check your improvement

Ways to know you have improved:
Your measurements have improved
Your fat percentage is down
You can see progress in your pictures
Your exercise baseline is better

Don't worry about the first month
You will probably see more after the second compared to your starting point

February 2012

I took pictures again in Feb
I didn't really see a lot of change but I did see some
I still hated seeing myself in the picture

I had made the comment to someone that I would rather be in public without anything on below the waist than to take my t-shirt off and show my fat stomach

I struggled with meals
I was throwing away food
I would buy stuff and then not use it because I had no plans for it
I wasn't working out at the gym but I started doing what they call Greasing the Groove.
I bought a couple kettlebells to do this

I knew I had made a few changes when I went to Albert Lea for an living history event and my belt fit better than it had at the end of summer, the last time I had it on

I was still struggling with my body image
I felt disgusting and it affected how I looked on the world

I had good days and bad days
I made special effort to not have nothing days
I tried to be conscientious of every day and not let them just blur

I had a doctor appointment mid month
I had stopped taking my Atorvistatin and Gemfibrozil
Atorvistatin (Lipitor) is mostly for cholesterol
Gemfibrozil (Lopid) is mostly for triglycerides
My doctor appointment went fairly well
My A1c was down but my triglycerides sky-rocketed to almost 1900
My LDL & HDL were still in the 20s tho
I went back on my Gemfibrozil and didn't restart the Atorvistatin

At the end of the month I went to Hawaii for my sons wedding
I ate a lot but I tried to keep paleo in mind
I had lots of meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit
I avoided all the breads, pastas, pastries and junk
I did eat some rice but kept it down to minimal portions

It was a good month overall

January 2012

I made the decision to make changes at the end of 2011
I was the heaviest I had been in years
My A1c was above 12
My triglycerides were above 1000
I was getting to the point where I needed to get new clothes because things were tight

I had started a journey of self searching
To determine what was truly and really important to me
To remove things that didn't make me happy or better
To add things that did make me happy and better

I decided to go back to paleo
I knew that it would help me
I also knew that I couldn't be 100% strict
That hadn't worked before and I knew that I needed to remove the possibility of excuses

I started logging my food intake
I started to buy better food product to work with
I started to think ahead and plan for meals

I took the biggest step I had ever done before
I took pictures of myself in just my underwear
Not only did I do that but I posted them to a private group I belong to as a way of being accountable
I also used MSPaint to edit the pictures by painting my edges so that I didn't have any bulges or overhang
This helped in visualization of me without all the fat

Where I started from

In Jan 2011 my doctor told me that in order to get my health under control I needed weight loss surgery.

My issues:
40% body fat (I kept lying to myself and using "Athlete" when testing)
High blood pressure
High triglycerides
Low HDL (LDL of 30 so no complaints)
Borderline anemic (MCH/MCV borderline low)
Completely out of shape

I had a gym membership which I had started 2 years before
I had gone as LOW fat as I possibly could
I overate low fat high carb snacks thinking I was eating healthy

Reading Mark's Daily Apple about diabetes lit a bulb for me
The point that really hit was #1 about how excess carbs/glucose was a major contributing factor to triglycerides
I might have given it too much credit but it got thru where other comments hadn't

I made changes and improved

Then I got lazy and complacent
I gained weight and fat
My A1c went up
I started making excuses to avoid going to the doctor because I didn't want to hear how bad I was doing

2 weeks or 3 months

I am starting this 3 months after I started changing my diet
I will try to go back and post about the start

Basic Info
I started changing my diet to based on Paleo
I thought I was going to go strict but that wasn't working
I started out by just doing food changes but realized it wasn't working without workout
I have been paying for a gym membership for years but just wasn't going
I am diabetic, take high blood pressure meds and have very low HDL and very high Triglycerides

Current status 20120329:
My A1c down to 7.2 down from 7.7 20120216
Triglycerides down to 786 from 1896 20120216
HDL still low at 30
Weight at VA down but I am not going to post any weight because that isn't the point

Recent changes:
Started going to gym 20120314
Been going each M\W\F
Working with a trainer on Wed
Started using organic ranch and french dressing with my spinach salads