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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.

169 votes + -


jmnicholas wrote 60 months ago:
I too could run a half marathon tomorrow if I felt like it...It would take me a fair time (about 2.5hours), and I'd enjoy miles 5-12, and be cursing all the ones outside that window...Keep on not giving up!
dsjohndrow wrote 60 months ago:
JMN - When I come to the UK, we can do one!
cosmonew wrote 60 months ago:
I really love this post. You are amazing. Keep up the great work and inspiration to others!!!
Laura80111 wrote 60 months ago:
Another inspiring post. I look forward to seeing your Tuesday thoughts. Thank you.
OnthatStuff wrote 60 months ago:
mfp o.g. status.
mysteps2beauty wrote 60 months ago:
Anonymous wrote 60 months ago:
I have been here with you (in one name or another) for almost all of your MFP tenure. I am always amazed and impressed with how you face each challenge whether it be health or home or races. You get knocked down and bounce back stronger and wiser. You my friend are the picture of MFP.
Anonymous wrote 60 months ago:
Always an inspiration! You are my reality check at times. Thank your for sharing your continuing journey. You touch many with your intelligent wit, your transparency and just truth we all need to hear.
kdavid1987 wrote 60 months ago:
As always, your writing humbles me. I am down 19.6 lbs since joining MFP on April 13th of this year. I have been reading your blog to help me get my mind where it needs to be to lose the rest and prepare to live in a way that helps me maintain the loss. I appreciate the effort you put into sharing your wisdom with us. Also, I am glad to hear there are non-surgical options at this time to manage the cancer you have. I am wishing you the best of luck in managing that and your health more generally! Cheers!
jamesfierro1 wrote 60 months ago:
Sir, that takes an incredible amount of discipline.
My hat is off to you.
Keep up the good work!!
2wise4u wrote 60 months ago:
What an inspiration. Thank you for your post.
Interbeing wrote 60 months ago:
"What I haven't done is give up." Tremendously pertinent words! Thank you for your inspiration!
katiejmpearl wrote 60 months ago:
I am really glad to have come across this today. I am only four days into this, but feel like it is finally what I have needed. Maybe "wanted" too ! I sure appreciate your sharing and your trials and successes…I look forward to keeping up with your words of wisdom. Thank you :)
CATCLK wrote 60 months ago:
Glad you have not "given up" and appreciate the truth of what it takes to keep making "healthy choices"...lots of discipline--not easy by any means! Better than the alternative and a very strong incentive; plus, when making a lifestyle change have always heard the statement: "It is not a sprint, but a marathon"! Like MFP b/c it helps keep you accountable and, yes, encouragement from others makes a difference when they happen to be just as focused on their own, at times, difficult journey as well. Keep up the GREAT job of persevering as you are an inspiration to all!!!;D Definitely, parallels.
Blessings/prayers too!

Fathater36 wrote 60 months ago:
A very inspiring post. People like you keeps me going. Nothing in life is easy, but we have to do it anyway. Wishing a complete recovery soon.
AKARUTHIE wrote 60 months ago:
6 years is quite a commitment, well done! It's hard to imagine having that kind of dedication but if it means getting to your level of fitness it might be worth it :) Wishing you much wellness and joy :)
suttercm wrote 60 months ago:
The last line tells it all: you haven't given up. That in a nutshell is what makes anyone successful at anything they do.
DianBudram wrote 60 months ago:
I am truly inspired by your accomplishments. I like that your are very disciplined and committed. You motivated me.
millcreekr wrote 60 months ago:
You inspire me too. I think I have read your blog before also.

Although I started on MFP in January and am relatively new to the program, I couldn't do without it. I, too, plan to log on every day (unless I'm on a long, extended vacation to Europe!). It, to me, has been a life saver.

When I first started this program, I tried to start a blog, but there was something wrong with MFP's site, and I never did get to start my blog, bummer. Oh, well. I plan to get back on Facebook, so I can rave about my success and talk about the hardships to it also, as sometimes it's not been easy, as I am sure you know.

Marathons, incredible.
ultima199 wrote 60 months ago:
Good to see someone being strong enough to do the right things for themselves. Many lost people in this world would be blessed to learn from your example, wipe away the tears, self loathing, and apathy so they can learn to be strong for themselves. Nobody else is going to make you go run, or me climb on my bike. You have my respect brother.
Anniepi66 wrote 60 months ago:
You are such an inspiration. "What I have not done is give up." That is an awesome statement. You have been through so much, but you have persevered. I read your blogs to hopefully gain some strength from your words when I feel I'm failing. You always pull me up and away from my pity party.
LRamsing wrote 60 months ago:
Impressive. You wanted a change, and you realised that all it takes is effort. Then you stuck to it.
Keep up the brilliant work! You've done much for yourself, and hopefully inspired others on your path.
theVintageWhorde wrote 60 months ago:
This was so inspiring! I've been on MFP since 2010ish and this year was the first time I fully engaged in all of the amenities this site has to offer. It made a huge difference for me as far as staying on track and making sure I log in. It also helps to engage with others on here because we all keep each other motivated. I am so glad I've come across your blog.
spinnerama18 wrote 60 months ago:
Great story - thanks for sharing.
trid77 wrote 60 months ago:
Love this!!
jewell0607 wrote 60 months ago:
Thank you. It helps to hear what CAN BE.

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