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Things You Say to Your Scale

The scale has a lot of power over us. It's like a religion - an object of worship even! The fact that it is inanimate doesn't seem to stop us from talking to it, though. I am thinking about some of the things I've muttered under my breath besides the obvious profanities when stepping on the scale.

The scale is like having a child.

I won't go as far as to say it's like giving birth, but it is a pretty painful experience at times. Like a new mother, once it births a loss, even a baby one, it's pretty exciting!

When there is good news from baby scale, it's "I love you baby."

With a new child in the house the real relationship work begins. You start to act like your own parents. The worse the report, the madder you get.

Here are some things you know you can hear yourself saying! (The following is an except from my book.)

Don't talk to me like that!

Don't make me come down there.

Show me onederland!

Just measure the part that's not water!

This hurts me more than it hurts you.

Someday, when you have offspring, you will understand.

Don't get married ever in your life. And tell that to your kids.  

I am going to stand here until I get the truth.... OK, lie to me and let's get this over with.

You're going to sit there until you give me the weight I am looking for. I don't care if you sit there all night.

Where are your clothes?

Keep your numbers to yourself!

No, I am not pregnant. 

Two zeros don't make it right. 

When I say no, I mean NOOOOO!  

Because I can pull your batteries out, that's why. 

Don't ask me, ask your manufacturer.

Stop playing Biggest Loser, and give me just one weight. 

If Tommy told you to go up to 350, would you do it?

Do what I say, not what I do. 

Wipe that smile off your dial, or I will. 

If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about. 

If you break your legs, don't come running to me!

So don't be an abusive parent. ;0

Thanks for the votes and comments.

The Upside of the Downside

Holy crap, it's only Tuesday and it seems like a million things have gone wrong. Some lady who is one sandwich short of a picnic pulled out without looking. I slammed on the brakes, spilled my coffee, blew the horn, and flipped her the bird; all from muscle memory.

Thank God I am a trained Boston driver.

Moving has been good and crazy too. I can't find some things I need, but I found a pile of stuff I don't need. I did find my laundry from day one - after 2 weeks. Ewwww!

Today things will be different, Finally, after 13 months of unemploymennt, I have been at my new job for five days. They didn't even care about my 9 years of college! The fact that I can breath without assitance was more than a-freakin-nough!

Why did I go to college anyway? Oh right, because they had beer and girls.

I am sitting here in front of the computer having wasted most of the day waiting for my new email address to be processed. Maybe they should just use Gmail? All I want to do is get my insurance started so I can get my medication.

You know how I am without my medication!

At least I am basically hitting my goals. I guess that makes me an emotional non-eater. I am glad to be working.

There is a list things that I found annoying about being out of work and a few things I might miss. 

- The refrigerator is not far away.
- Now I have to use the paper toilet seat covers when I go to the corporate bathroom.
- There is a short line to the bathroom at home now that I am not sleeping in.
- I now have to worry about having a flat tire on the way to work!
- Sitting inside with nothing to do while the sun is out while waiting for the phone to ring about a job you need to be in front of the PC for.
- Grocery shopping with seniors. I'm a runner lady, move the hell over!
- Wishing I could spend some time having fun.
- COBRA health insurance prices!
- The mail.
- Friends who post stupid crap on Facebook and it's there all day!
- I don't like unloading the silverware from the dishwasher. Plates and glasses, OK. Silverware, forget it!
- People asking me what I do for work. I'm a smart ass blogger and write about fat people. So there.
- The Message Boards. Actually they tick me off when I am working too.

Thanks for the votes and comments. (You can do both, but please vote!)

I Don't Like this Meal, Not One Bit

I am not very good at returning food at a restaurant if I don't like it. I usually just don't go back. Times have changed and I now have the revenge of the Internet! I also can ask nicely for something else, or a replacement. I have had very good experiences the last two times I asked.

I never thought, what if the replacement was worse than the first plate? I guess it's possible.

Today I am not feeling too humorous. I'm heading to the dermatologist. Last time was uneventful, but I have had melanoma more than once. I remember I looked like an acne crazed teenager on Jolt Cola! My mother and brother both had melanoma; my mother's apparently led to pancreatic cancer (depending on what study you read.).

I really hate cancer.

As most of you know I was unemployed for 6 months and I have been contracting for 6 months without benefits. I am a little behind. The good news is that I was offered a fulltime job yesterday!

I was looking back over my timeline and I have been here before.

Here is what I wrote 5 years ago. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself as I walked towards the tennis courts after my appointment. Heck, I only got a few hours of sleep and things sort of suck. I was thinking how I would rather have a different lot in life - another meal because I wasn't liking this one.

My face still numb from the Lidocaine injections, I was watching one of the tennis instructors getting ready for my daughter's group lesson. My family wasn't due in for 20 or 30 minutes, so I struck up a conversation with Chris.

It sort of started with, "Well, what happened to your arm?"

"Rotator cuff repair." I said looking at the ground. My face was starting to come to.

"It's probably from your 120 mile per hour serve!," he smiled.

"I was never much of a tennis player." It made me grin thinking about taking off somebody's cherries with a fast serve like that.

"I was a pro at one time. I used to run marathons for 17 years too." Chris said. "It's over now. I had a neck injury and I will be walking with a limp for the rest of my life."

I thought to myself: man that does suck. I suppose I will heal sometime soon. In spite of my discomfort, I won't die from cancer in a few months. "Wow, I am sure that was tough to handle."

"It was an emergency surgery and I didn't get to decide how it was going to turn out - simply that if I had it, it wouldn't get any worse." Chris said with a interesting gleam in his eye.

"Life has some surprises for sure," I added.

"You know, life is good. I get paid to play tennis with kids all day. I do private lessons with people that will never achieve much, save the praise I give them. I've taught tennis to people with one arm. I go and visit US vets in hospitals that have lost limbs. I have it pretty good compared to them."

"Sure it's not my first choice in life, but it's the best second choice I could ask for."

Chris continued. "I had a dentist that gave me a couple of crowns once after I got it with a fast ball playing in college baseball. It saved me thousands of dollars. Ever since then I just give whatever I have to give - I give it everything I have. Some people call it paying forward, for me, it's life."

"Oh yeah, and your daughter, Chris said. "She is very athletically talented. With the right coaching, she'll get some stuff done."

My family pulled in, and kids started whacking tennis balls in every direction. For me it seemed a little chaotic, for Chris, he limped into the middle of the court and started hitting them back.

Making Positive Changes Despite the Challenges

I have been living the single life for a while now. I am pretty well into my 4th year. If my bathroom is not clean, it's my fault. I am a bit of a neat freak, so that doesn't happen very much. Between  running, work, traveling, and weekend races, I am not home much.

All that is about to change.

If you have been following my posts for any length of time, you know life ain't all that easy for  me. I do my best to keep a good attitude. I took a stress indicator test the other day. My life  circumstances totaled totaled up 652 out of 1,467. 

Anything over 300 is not good for your health.

All that makes sense. There are times in life where you don't get to make choices, you just have to  play the cards in your hand. I am working hard to stick with the program and manage the stressors  as best I can. 

Of course anything over 100 is likely to cause sickness.

I made a list of the stressful things and I have determined there are a few which I can work on changing. I was  laid off a year ago, and I was out of work for six months. I took a 6-month contract which looks like  it's almost over - I am not sure. I have a couple of interviews and I am hopeful to have a fulltime  job with benefits. Soon! 

Because I have been driving about 100 miles a day (160km), I decided to move and get three or four  hours of my life back.

Interestingly, obesity is one of the side-effects of stress. Despite how involved my days are, I do to eat  properly; however, I am still up a bit. Getting fit is probably the greatest triumph of my life. It's  frustrating, but I accept it for the moment. Fitenss has gotten me through quite a bit.

So what I am doing besides trying to change the things I can?

I get up and relax with a cup of coffee. I need some time to zone out and mess with art or social  media. I found a few tips for commuting that helped. Audio books instead of the news, and my  favorite, taking off my shoes for the drive home.

I pray, lay down for 15 or 20 minutes after dinner, drink green tea, and call one friend a day.

I still plan my menu for the week, shop, and meal prep on Sundays. I use my measuring tubs for  lunches and snacks. I run at least three days a week. I am looking forward to having more time for  that after the move. 

There is one more thing.

I met a great gal over a year ago. That has evolved into something quite wonderful. It is amazing  how much peace the right person can bring into your life. It's nice when your mate has fitness in  common with you and you don’t have to explain your food choices or even the time it takes to train  for a marathon. 

A number of years ago I was embracing my singleness. That's HERE.Today I have  to leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror to remind me to leave the toilet seat down. 

Thanks for the votes and comments.

Dialing in the Calories and Running Marathons

The older you get, the easier it is to regret that fact that you didn't do anything about your health for too long. Long enough to end up on MFP. I will turn 60 next year. I first joined MFP when I was 53 - right after a week-long stay in ICU after having congestive heart failure.

Whatever the reason that you joined, the good news is that we are here!

Once you get started logging food you also learn a lot about what you are consuming. I have done this for so long, it is hard for me to be off more than 100 or so calories for any given meal.

The hard part for me was thinking I could eat whatever I wanted, and getting control of portions.

My nutritionist started me on 2,500 calories a day. I gained weight. She dropped it to 2,200. I was doing 3 miles, 3 times a week and lifting weights 2 days a week. She cut it back to 1,800 and I stayed even.

Then she cut it back to 1,600 calories a day and I started losing.

I had lost about 44 pounds prior to having heart failure. I had a steady loss of about 30 more pounds. That is when she put it back to 1,800. I gained 10 pounds in 3 weeks.

Back to 1,600 I went and my weight dropped to my lowest in decades, 197. I stopped lifting and ran 6 days a week. I ran four full marathons in 2015. In fact I ran three in three months.

I admit, despite the cancer which had no real symptoms, I felt better than I had in decades.

In late 2015 I began having digestive issues. After having a colon tumor removed, I have had a dizzying array of tests, scans and tried a number of medications.

Cancer is scary.

I have worked hard at eating the "right" foods. Then there are all the supplements, oceans of water, essential oils, prayer and positive affirmations and still, I am not feeling great. 

I confess, I only ran 6 of 10 miles last week, and this week, I ran 5 1/2 of 13. :(

Yes, I am concerned about getting ready for the Berlin Marathon. The runs were disappointing - and now it's summer, not my favorite running season. I missed Dublin last year. I couldn't even do 8 of my 20 miler.

What am I going to do?

I will do what I have always done. I will push myself to the limits. I have a missed a few marathons due to things like surgery. Life. When I run, I beat cancer and despite not feeling well, I am certain that I am healthier than I would have been had I not stuck with the program.

And yes, I will be in Berlin.

Even after 6 years, this fitness thing requires effort

It's been 2194 days in a row. It sounds like a lot, but logging in doesn't matter all that much. What matters are the changes that I have made to be fit. A lot more fit. I call them lifestyle changes.

In the old days, I stopped using the scale at 276 pounds. I am sure I went higher; close to 300 pounds.

I guess you have to ask yourself what is fit and why am I here? And in my case, why am I still here for over 6 years? Why is MFP a staple of daily life? There are lots of reasons. I tried diets, eating what I wanted to in moderation, but what really changed was the long list of things I no longer eat.

Sure I missed certain foods for a while, but I am just not interested.

Here is the list of things I haven't had in a year or more (if I did, it was a very small amount so I didn't die that day): Casseroles, crock-pot meals, sauces, gravy, white potatoes, rice, all candy except for a bit of chocolate, sweet drinks with or without sugar, deep fried foods, cereal, bread, chips, pasta, McDonalds, Arby’s, BK or Wendy's anything, processed meat (except for a rare few slices of nitrate-free bacon because I am human).

I am happy to report that sex, err waffles is still on the list.

A lot of folks don't want to restrict their diet. I had to. 
I have made a number of friends here on MFP. Some have crossed over to Facebook and a number of them I have met in person at races. I have been writing this blog for all of my tenure on I even wrote a book ICU to Marathon a couple of years ago. Writing has been a way for me to focus on what matters in life, have some fun, and express feelings in a forum where someone might even care. Some folks don't get me, but it seems like they don't last too long. I have deleted thousands of inactive friends on MFP. A few come back. There are some of you that have been here for a long time!

Getting fit has been a lot more than just losing weight!

I am down somewhere between 70 and a 100 pounds. My waist went from 44" to 33". I was pre-diabetic, had higher blood pressure than I do now, and my cholesterol was pretty high too. I went from huffing and puffing a 55 minute mile to running a 6 minute mile - just one, but hey. My heart catheterization, meniscus repair, rotator cuff surgery, the removal of 4 melanoma and Basal Cell carcinoma spots, as well as a colon tumor have all been successful! My blood work and last echocardiogram were all normal too. I have run 82 races including 7 marathons, 14 half marathons and some other shorter stuff.

Despite having cancer, I can run a half marathon tomorrow if I feel like it.

I guess over all, I am fit. I am still keeping a prostate tumor under surveillance. For the most part it hasn't been a problem for running or eating. However, I have had some digestive issues going on for the last year or so. They are playing with another medication and I am hoping to get it right soon.

Life isn't always easy.

I am making the most of every day, and eating all the right stuff. The doctors have had me all over the map with different diets this last year trying to get things working for me. In spite of all that, I am working to finish my next book, visiting my kids, enjoying my new relationship, saving for retirement and spending the rest.

I have endured a lot since I came to MFP. What I haven't done is give up.

Idioms for Health and Fitness Nuts

I have traveled a lot, and even in my little town I meet folks for who English is a second language. For me, the language of nutrition and fitness is a second language. I mean, when I started, I thought a burpee was a couple of bodily functions gone wrong - like a hickcough.

My neighbor is Brazilian and I love his accent and fractured idioms! My favorite is "the whole 9 shebangs."

It got me to thinking about some of the sayings Americans use (don't like it, piss off no offense to the rest of the world) in day-to-day life. What if nutrition and fitness was my first language, what would they mean then? How would they change? Here is a intor into my little world.

- As easy as [tofu] pie!

- The bee's knees [needed arthoscopic surgery].

- As happy as an [unfried] clam.

- Big fish in a small pond: now a meal for four.

- Blast from the past: before pics!

- Catch 22: Could be good or bad depending on whether it is a filling 22 calorie snack food or a 22 pound weight gain.

- Brownie points: Colon cleansing.

- Chick flick: Half a chicken tender.

- Close but no cigar: 200.1 lbs on the scale damn it!

- Cold turkey: unhealthy processed meats filled with sodium.

- Doom and gloom: A 1000 calorie a day diet.

- Fancy pants: 2 sizes smaller then the ones from last month!

- Ethnic cleansing: No more pizza and beer!

- Fanny farm: Where we used to live before C25K.

- Going postal: Mail order diet food.

- Heavy metal: Fitbits, GPS units and HRMs.

- Identity Theft: After pics!

- In the bag: Purchase healthy food.

- Jump the gun: Run your first 5K!

- Kangaroo court: Message boards.

- Jump the shark: Mad fitness workout!

- Kit and caboodle: Properly fitting sports bra or other undergarment.

- Lame duck: Posting that you are not going to log for a few days.

- Off the record: Not logging all your food.

- Pi$s off: Getting ready to weigh in.

- Play by ear: New running tunes!

- Red letter day: Over your calories.

- Sold down the river: Health food store is too far from the house.

- Spill the beans: In the south = peanut farts, up north = eating a high protein/high fiber diet.

- Tuckered out: Week 3 of C25K. :)

- Zero tolerance: Rules for not adding friends.

Thanks for reading along! I appreciate the votes and comments. Feel free to add your own.

Weight Loss is a Religion

Since the beginning, mankind and their various religions have often turned the world upside down. Everyone has an opinion about unseen - whether it's good, bad, or somewhere in between. They worship, they teach, they hope, they pray, and they even spread the word about their personal enlightenment.

Folks can be just as religious about weight loss!

That's right, some of us have become enlightened and now everyone needs to become like us! What, you don't believe me? Here are the basics constructs of religion.

Belief in Supernatural Being, Deity or Absolute: Weight-losers believe that the calories are supernatural. Then sneak in at night and shrink your clothes and meddle with the zero balance on the scale.

Sacred and Profane Objects: Sacred objects include the scale, skinny jeans and sometimes the tape measure. The profane; chocolate, ice cream, donuts, wings and pizza.

Moral Code: You must eat clean, lift heavy, do intervals, run in Vibrams, or zip your pants. There are many factions. Many of them don't agree.

Religious Feelings: I ate donut, I feel fat. I ate a salad I feel skinny. I ran a marathon and I am sore. I am tempted by food. I mean, if a little wine for communion is good, then a whole bottle must be better.

Prayer: There are rote prayers like the names we call the scale. It's a universal language. Then there is the second donut prayer and the skipped my workout prayer before ascending to the Altar of Poundage. (I heard the Brits get stoned there.)

A World View: Our world is about weight and rarely about fitness. We have a hard time seeing ourselves as we really are. We say it's OK to have curves and type II diabetes. But then we hit a goal or two and sanity clears our vision.

Intolerance: Skinny people make us angry enough to trip them on the escalator at the mall.

Divine Destiny: We dream of the afterlife of being sexy and skinny somewhere in life. The truth is for most of us, our last chance to have a hot smoking body is cremation.

Problem of Evil Explained: We know about sugar, Aspartame and GMO's, just ask us!

A Social Group Bound Together: Umm, we are here on MFP.

Belief in a Sacred Scripture: Fad diets are everywhere, but heretics like me have written their own missal.
Capital Fundraisers: Things like walking 100 miles in a month and the sugar free challenge. 
Rituals: Scale worship is like daily vespers. Then there is something akin to high mass like cheat days after 40 days of fasting and colon cleansing. Most agree that we need to give our old unhealthy lifestyle whatever the appropriate burial ritual is. 

Thanks for reading along. I appreciate the votes and comments.

What's Your Fitness Sign?

It might be true that when you were born, the stars had a party, or the year you were born might have something to do with your destiny. But here on MFP, your sign is based on how well you do the program. :)

The Dog - A walker at 3.0 miles per hour.

The Snake - Stays within their allotted calories but eats fast food and Diet Coke at every meal.

The Ox - Losing in spite of metabolic challenges!

The Cheetah - Runners who have completed C25K and can knock out a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

The Cheater - Can't live without one over indulgent junk meal each week.

The Bull - The strength training without cardio folks.

The Fox - Female MFP-ers at their goal weight!

The Horse - Has lost over 100 pounds and still going! WTG!

The Lamb - The noob.

The Pig - Always has excuses for going over their calories.

The Ram - Those who have discovered that strength training builds muscles and help lose more weight faster!

The Big Dog - Eats everything that is put in front of them. Portion control is your best friend!

The Cat - Has the "couch" part of Couch to 5K down.

The Goat - Eats anything with a Diet label on it.

The Fish - Drinks 22 cups of water a day.

The Stallion - guys, well, like me for example.

So, what is your sign? Did I miss any?

Thanks for the votes and comments. (You can do both!)

I Decided to Live

How did I ever let myself get to almost 300 pounds? I ate too many calories. The change occurred slowly over a period of millions of bites of food. It's pretty much the same way I became a daily drinker, a smoker and drug user. I never set out to be an addict, it just happened.

I was always going to change tomorrow.

What got my attention? Well, it wasn't the US Post Office considering giving me my own ZIP code or the fact that I thought I could be seen from outer space; nope, none of those. It was a week in ICU without a shower or underwear or sleep.

It was hard to decide to live.

My heart failure cost me just about everything. It took a while before I was able to work - eight months. it stressed out my family, it stressed the finances, and I was emotionality depressed. When you don't have your health, the rest of life doesn't mean a whole lot.

Then I started running.

Oh yeah, running is bad for your knees, you'll get A-Fib if you over train, you'll need knee replacements, running is a treat, you don't need to run to lose weight; I heard it all. And most of it from doctors! I also heard, you weren't that fat, a little meat on the bones is healthy, I like your curves (not really that one), you look cute (yeah from the top of my head up.) and I didn't realize you were so sick. WTF?

It took a year to do C25K and lose the first 60 pounds.

I have faced a number of challenges since I first logged onto MFP and asked what an NSV was. Here is what I can tell you. Because I run and lost weight, I have survived cancer 4 times. I am onto my 5th round as I write this. I have dumped 7 medications for my heart except for a low dose of blood pressure medication which I have needed all my life. My resting pulse is down from 72 to 48 and I haven't had to take an antidepressant or even had a cold. That's going on 5 years.

After all the medical stuff, sometimes it is still hard to decide to live.

Some days I don't want to run. I get up at 4:45 to leave for work and I get home 12 hours later. I make sure my running gear in on the love seat where it's ready when I walk in the door. I cannot let myself sit down, or it's game over. I will be in my PJs faster than a speeding bullet, snacking before dinner if I even have the energy to cook it.

I have started logging my food on not so normal days, drinking lots of water, and running more.

I still have some medical stuff which is giving me a run for my money. I have not heard anything on those tests yet. Maybe today -
It doesn't really matter unless they can provide a cure of sorts.

I am walking four or five miles a day (6,000 steps or so) on my walking desk and standing about six hours a day total.

I think all that is contributing to my feeling a little better.

I am down a few more pounds which makes me happy. I still have about 12 or so to go, but this time I am going to make it. My runs are up to 9 miles and this weekend it will be 10. I am not feeling awesome about it, but I am going to do it anyway.

Thanks for the votes and comments. I always appreciate them.
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