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Non-Food Gifts for Losers

Today I am rewarding myself! That's right, I am going to buy myself a gift or two because I am making huge progress in my weight loss. I am getting a new bike! I know sounds like a grade-schooler, but losing weight makes you feel younger. (Oh, did I just hear my wife saying that's a lame excuse for male immaturity?)

They have gifts for teachers such as apples and school bells. There are gifts for retired people including: recliners, rocking chairs and clocks that don't work. Getting gifts for fat people is pretty easy; from Supersized fast food meals to Velcro sneakers, they're covered.

I started thinking (usually a dangerous occupation!) what would I get for a soon to be skinny person?

If you are honest about losing weight, you know that you can't just go on a diet no matter how substantial it is. Although what we eat has more to do with losing weight than a days worth of exercise, we have to come to a place where we can live it out until we die. If you are on the journey, remember wight loss gets harder and harder as you get older - take it from and ex-old fat guy. After a long time your fat and you become pretty good friends!

On your way to being skinny, here are few gifts you might enjoy, I know I did. When you are done you can regift them along with the Christmas fruit cake.

Food Scale: You think you hate the scale on the floor? This one will kill you! Try weighing everything that goes on your plate! If you are like me there will be 3 or 4 outside the newly fixed kitchen window!

1 Cup Measuring Cup: It's all you need. You get 2 cups of whatever veggies you are eating along with your protein of 3ish to 6ish ounces. When it is not in use you can cover it in tin-foil and wear on your head - well not in the microwave!

Smaller Dishes: A plate that holds 2-3 cups of food is quite big enough! You certainly can keep the bigger ones that have a designated elbow rest. A desert dish that holds 6 Hershey Kisses is also a good idea!

Heart Rate Monitor (HRM): One of my pet peeves is the Relaxation Diet. It is against running the heart rate over whatever it is when you are standing at the refrigerator door, and it is resistant to working up a sweat. A truly healthy lifestyle has sweat and a little huffing and puffing, or lots of sex. Either one will do for a sustained period of time of 10 to 30 minutes 3 times a week. If you are not healthy enough to do some cardiovascular exercise, work your way up to it. I did. (Yes, check with your doctor!)

The HRM tells you when you are in a good fat burning mode. For most, that is over 120 BPM and even over 130. There are lots of styles to choose from, but I like the continuous monitoring of a chest strap. All the Android apps and touch watches are cheaper but you usually need to get to a non-cardio pace to check it. You are worth it.

Android or iPhone for MFP: Logging on to MFP everyday to manage your diary is a breeze with the smart-phone applications. I use the voice activated feature to make comments and encouragements with my Bluetooth Speakerphone while I am driving (synonym for sitting in Boston traffic). Just be sure to disable the auto-post feature in case some one cuts you off and you need to call the stupid &@&@#* jerk or your MFP friends will dump you! And you can do some Social Not-Working while you are in the bathroom.

Skinny Jeans: When you get to the weight where wearing tight jeans doesn't look like two Volkswagen Bugs trying to pass each other on the sidewalk, go for it. The same rule applies to bikinis.

Photo Shoot: Come on, most fat people are not into having photos taken unless they are aerial shots from outer space. Treat yourself to a well photographed portrait. You'll be glad you did. And if you have kids, they'll appreciate them some day - well when they get older. At 16, all of mine were at the pinnacle of their intelligence. The good news is that 3 of them are on the downside of Know-It-All mountain.

How about you, on your way to skinny, what did I miss?

You Should Laugh Your Butt Off! No Really...

I don’t know about you, but I want credit for every darn calorie I burn each day. To my dismay, there are some things that are NOT in the MFP Cardio Vascular Exercise search.

What a rip off!

After all I have given up sleeping late to go running at 5:45, Wendy’s Triple Baconater Combo Meals (1,850 cals!), having second helpings at meals and pretty much all my favorite desserts!!

Anyway, here are some things I do that I want calorie credit for on MFP!

Laughing: That’s right, if you think that a redneck fire alarm (Jiffy Pop nailed to the ceiling) on YouTube is funny; you deserve credit for laughing at it.

New research published in the International Journal of Obesity has discovered that laughter really is the best medicine for a weight problem. That’s right, 15 minutes a day is 10-14 calories.

Relaxing: Look, if you are breathing, you are burning calories! I think this is unfair to us lazy people, and I’d like it changed!

Posing for Animal Crackers: That’s right, standing burns more calories than sitting!

Sleeping: This is another thing that I am pretty damn good at, and in fact do a lot of. It has got to count for something!

HERE are 50 more ways to burn calories without sweating!

Kissing: I like kissing my kids and my wife (no, not the same way you pervert!), and apparently 9,000 kisses add up to a hundred calories!

In fact there is a lot of stuff you can do burn another 100!

Sex: Come on, you already knew this. One orgasm, two, three or more, the details are HERE. (See, there are some places woman can lose weight more quickly than men!) I am going to add it to MFP as “you know” so that when you read my posts they will say “David just did you know for 13 minutes and burned 124 calories and half the house (because he knocked over the candle on the night stand!”

Drinking Cold Water: That’s right. If you drink cold water, you burn calories trying to warm back up! I am wondering how MFP will post it if you drink cold water during sex? “David did you know, cold water for a total of 17 minutes and burned 154 calories.”

Need some MORE ideas?

Other than chewing, what do you want credit for?

The People of MFP - Some Stereotypical Observations!

I started losing weight back in February of 2011. I took a class with my wife entitled “In It to Lose It.”  At first I thought it was a prom for swingers. Ok, I was wrong.

I joined MFP over 3 months ago because my Facebook friends were teasing me about all the running and working out I was doing. I have an Android app that posts my runs and walks as well as my time at the gym. Hey I am working hard at this!

Since I got on MFP, I have found a truck load of losers, and their stereotypes.

First Date Loser: Ever had a bad first date? Maybe you weren’t over the last bad relationship, or you were too busy with life to be serious – it didn’t go well. Lots of good intentions…

The Zen Loser: Their food diaries read like a health food journal: protein powder, hemp hearts (all I can think of the best marijuana buds and it doesn’t sound healthy!) and 30 minutes on the super-duper elliptical marathon simulator!

The Flirt Loser: I think they are on MFP to check the success photos! They always have something nice to say to the cute/good looking ones. I think my wife deleted a few of these from my account – sort of a digital “scratch their eyes out” gesture.

The Troll Loser: In real life they are probably totally insecure, and wouldn’t bother anyone, but get them involved in a forum that touches a nerve! I think they are just jealous of those of us that are making progress. :p

The Psycho Loser: Fast days, cheat days, and tales of previous weight loss! They have an answer for every forum post, but what’s that, no ticker?

The Super Loser: They started losing, and from some reason they are dropping 2-4 pounds a week… then all of sudden they are gone. What happened?

The Winning Loser: These are the folks that work hard every day to log, to exercise, to encourage and to share their challenges in life. My favorite people are the ones that keep showing up even when they don’t feel like drinking water, and counting calories. I am especially motivated by the ones that have trimmed more pound than I have, and still have a long way to go. Man you freakin’ rock!
Come on, laugh a little, did I miss any? 

The Dog Didn't Eat It - Excuses for Overeating

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise 3 times a week.

Here are some of my favorites – and oh yeah, I’ve used ‘em too!

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s the Holidays! The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional: WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well, it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin, I guess.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 80% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

Denial is Not Only A River In Egypt!

You've met them. Some of them are your MFP friends, and others are in real life. They are people who can't see that they are in trouble with their weight and ultimately their health. And worst of all, you could be one; one in denial!

You know that you are in denial when:

- You say that if God had wanted you to exercise and touch your toes, He would have put them higher up on your body.

- Your favorite pants don't fit, and you blame your spouse for washing them in hot water and then drying then on high.

- You go to the coffee shop and tell the cashier the coffee is for you, and the donuts are for your pet Fighting Fish, when the truth is it's the other way around.

- You go to an "all you can eat" restaurant or buffet because you have invested in their stock.

- You eat whatever you like because you get a lot of exercise - pushing the buttons on the remote.

- You heard that there were two pieces of cake in the fridge, and think how sad it is that you missed one.

- You kick the scale, well, because it's a scale damit.

- All your vacation photos at Disney were taken at the Food Court in Epcot Center.

- You get flowers and chocolates from an admirer and throw the flowers out.

- You eat because, well, your mouth wasn't that busy at the time.

- You are out of breath just thinking about exercise.

- You go to weddings because the cake is free.

- You try to do a push up and discover that a number of body parts have not left the floor.

Did I miss any?

It's Not What You Put in Your Mouth that Makes You Fat...

Most people think the problem with obese people is what they put in their mouth, and in a few cases that may be true. Far more important, what comes out your mouth!

It was once written, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.." (or she)

After being part of the MFP crowd for a few months, I have noticed the things that people say, whether in seriousness or in jest, reflect their attitude towards weight loss. A negative self-image is as damaged as a conceited and boastful Rod Stewart singing "Do you Think I'm Sexy?"

Here are 5 things that need to stop coming out of your mouth.

-1 I'm Too Fat: That's right, it may be a fact that you are fat, overweight or even obese like I was, but that is not the attitude of a weight-loser! Have you ever thought that you are a skinny person having a fat moment? It is certainly time to make better choices in life, in relationships, and certainly in food. Skinny people make good food and exercise choices, and so can you.

Try this: "I am getting thinner!"

-2 I Can't Lose Weight: My answer, you are correct, not with an attitude like that, you can't lose weight. For some of us it efffing hard to do too. I mean I trip skinny people on the escalator in the mall I am so jealous sometimes! But I can lose weight, and I did!

Try this: "I am losing weight!"

-3 Food is My Weakness: No, your lifestyle is your weakness. Set your life up to succeed. I have never been mugged by a stack of pancakes or a chocolate cake!

Try this: "I have a new lifestyle."

-4 I Losing Weight For _______: Lots of answers: my wedding, bikini season, to get a girlfriend, so I don't get harpooned at the beach... WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! What happens when your event passes, the winter comes, or the whaleboat sails to deeper water? Then your weight loss is for nothing. You are changing your lifestyle so that you'll be healthy. Maybe you need a trip to the local Intensive Care Unit to receive your wake up call? Having lost about 30 pounds prior to my heart trauma saved my life - and screwed my wife out of huge life insurance settlement. :)

Try this: "I am getting healthy, and losing weight is part of my success!"

-5 I'll Get Back on Track Tomorrow: Which tomorrow? All you have is today, and hey sometimes today feels like someone wrenched out a nose hair with pliers. So? You get off track with the first purchase of unhealthy food, or subjecting yourself to places where it is available. Here's a tip, try filling out your diary before the days starts to see where you'll end up. This is especially true if you are planning to go to a restaurant. Check the menu online first!

Try this: "Today I am making good food and exercise choices."

Can you add to the list?

Running: The School of Hard Knocks


Running is better than drinking alcohol, and I dribble less. The problem with running is, well, me! I don't really like it.

This morning I got up to run a couple of miles before work. My doctor thinks that I gave a torn meniscus in my right knee, which; doesn’t always feel great. Since he said I can't do any more damage,  I run anyway. On Friday I had an MRI for it, who knows.

 I just want to lose weight! It is pretty selfish and self indulgent. When I am out there I am ignoring my family, It's my private place, and don't share to many of the thoughts that I have out there... well except the person that let their dog crap on the sidewalk in front of the Middle School; that person I am hunting down and DNA has already been sent to CSI (Vergas of course!)

 When I was young I was the fastest kid in the neighborhood. Long legs are a requirement when you have a big mouth. I'm just sayin'. 

 As I got older and moved from home construction to computer software, from climbing ladders and carry wood to sitting a chair, things changed.  I ate whatever I wanted before that, and never went over 170. And I smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day too. (I quit in 1994)

 I didn't like running, hell, I didn't getting up the front steps. In my book, gasping for air was for pearl divers, not for me!

 So I started to run at age 40, and I lost 50 pounds - well, me and Dr. Phil. (Good life change food plan BTW.) I kept pushing because I wanted to be thin again, and I got hurt because I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

So here are the most valuable lessons I have learned. I am no expert, nor do I have liability insurance. Try them at your own risk.

Lesson 1 - Walk, don't Run! If you are just starting out, just walk. After I got out of ICU I could do about 5 minutes down the road, rest, then walk back. When you can fast walk your desired route or mileage, then it is time to run. A good goal is a mile, or a 5 K (about 3.3 miles).

Lesson 2 - Working It Up: Even if you can do a mile fast walking at 4.0 MPH, do alternating walk/run for 3 minutes cycles. 30 seconds run,  2:30 walk. Increase your run time by 30 seconds ONCE a month while decreasing your walk time by the same. It is always a 3 minute cycle.

Lesson 3 – Inclines Suck: Inclines are bad for joints! I contracted very painful plantar fasciitis in my heal by using the treadmill on 15 degrees. Sure you get a good burn in a short time, but at what cost? I was out of commission for 5 YEARS! Not only did I lose interest in my health, I gained back the 50 plus 40 more! If you run outside, avoid steep down hills. That is how I hurt my knee a few months back. I thought I would run around the lake near my home.

Lesson 4 - Stretching: My friend runs marathons, and at 57 she still does them in three and half hours! She told me not to stretch cold muscles. I know it makes sense, but I thought you are supposed to stretch first – it cause and injury. Just warm up with a slow walk, and increase your speed until you are warmed up, then stretch.

Lesson 5 – Shoes: Just get good running shoes! The ones with Cinderella on them and the flashing LEDs are not on the list! A good pair will be better for your joint health, and they past a long time. I have one for the gym, and one for the sidewalk. Beware different brands are better for different body geometry. If you are having pain In the front of your knee, or heal, STOP! I had a podiatrist pick the brand of shoes that were best for me.

Lesson 6 – Cool Down: I had another injury by running right back to the front door and heading for the shower. (If you run, you will sweat!) Do at least 5 minutes to cool down a little and some light stretching.

My routine is to walk a half a mile, and run a mile, and the cool down for about 2 tenths of a mile for a total workout of 1.7 miles in 20 minutes. If I have more time and my knee is feeling up to it, I do a longer run and fit in 2 miles. And I do it every day but Sunday!

One my friends mentioned asthma. My daughter had that, and she still lost 75 pounds and ran 5 miles 6 days a week. Once the weight comes off, it get easier and easier.

 How about you, are you ready to run?


Getting Down, the Upside!

For those that saw me in ICU on April 4th, things have changed. My heart is 100% normal! The virus I had is completly gone - yeah that nasty one that caused congestive heart failure.
The other good news is that I am down 60 pounds from working out, and eating a bit differently. I have 25 to go. And no it wasn't from eating hospital food!

Here are 5 1/2  things I am looking forward too:

1 Buying new shoes that tie, now that I can see my feet.

2 Putting on my old 32x34 black jeans.

3 Not wearing 40x32 pants with elastic waist bands.

4 Putting on a regular length tie that does not miss my belt line by 4 inches.

5 Getting completely off my blood pressure medication! (I am half way there)

5 1/2 Never seeing my weight start with "2"

Tell us about a change in your life that you are happy about?!
From the original post HERE.

Run for Your Life!

I am up at 5:45 every morning. I head on downstairs, switch on the PC in the office, make my way to the kitchen for my daily cup-o-joe, let the dogs out while it brews, and head back to the keyboard to check my email, Facebook, log my blood pressure, and get ready to run a few miles.

It is the same all the time; my formula for getting the day started. It's pretty rigid, and very religious. It is sort of like church every day; predictable, ordered and well, routine.

Having suffered a major heart trauma in April, I am not only grateful for the simple things, such as not being in the hospital, that I could not go back to work unless I had my life in better order. Although I was exercising regularly, I wasn't as serious about it as I am now.

I like to run outside as often as I can. We did get 88" of snow this past year, so the gym is a good option during the winter months and the treadmills are wide enough for snowshoes!

As spring became summer, it is best to run early when it a cooler; that and I only have to take one shower a day. Recently I noticed the crosswalk gods were good to me, and repainted them all, not that there are many cars on the road at 6:15 am.

I get to the end of the block, some times I am still half asleep. My trusty Android watching my heart rate, counting my steps, averaging my pace, monitoring my speed and route along with a custom play list of "running" tunes such as: Take the Money and Run (S Miller), Born to Be Wild (Steppinwolf), Set Me on Fire (Burn Service), Born to Run (Springsteen), Let it Rain, Turn it Around (Israel Houghton and the New Breed) and similar fast paced rock and worship tunes.

The music can really set the pace, and wimpy slow stuff is out!

I pass by a small pond with swans about the same time CardioTrainer tells me that I have just completed 3 tenths of a mile. On occasion there is a Blue Heron who fishes among the lily pads. As I pick up the pace, jogging a few more blocks to warm up, I decide on a route for the morning. I have 4, with the shortest being about a mile and half, and the longest being closer to 4 miles. I like the one with the steady 1/2 mile slope that passes by Mass Bay College the best, though I run it backwards as well.
A mile in, I check my time to see where I am. My stamina is good for longer, but my knee (some runners knee due to not warming up!) and the fact that I need to get to work, push and pull the pace for the second mile.

Adjusting the tempo of sneaker-to-pavement,  I have certain songs that make me want to pray, so I do. I pray for revival in my town, my church, my state and the US, all while I huff-and-puff my way down the sidewalk.

I don't get to be too religious in my prayers as I am zipping by the scenery at 6.5 miles per hour. I just ask, and move on to the next item on my list. I don't recommend this as a regular way of praying, but some of the music just lends itself to certain prayers.

I pass a few other runners from the National Guard Armory. Those guys move! There are a couple of other faces that give a quick smile or slight wave as they pass in the other direction fiddling with their iPods. On the lawn at the school I see a few folks practicing Tai Chi at 6:30 am.

I often think about what one does in Tai Chi that might connect them with God. I guess it seems a little religious to me - ha!

Like a little city, dozens of squirrels amuse themselves beneath the oaks, gathering acorns and eating breakfast.

As I round the corner and head down the hill towards the lake, I can see the hospital where I was in ICU just a few short months ago. I think about how many thousands of beats my heart has made since that day - I thank God.

I am glad that I had good care, insurance, and have had an excellent recovery; many do not. I often think about folks who rely on all that and don't have faith like I do.

I pour on the speed for the last half mile. Now I am thinking about getting home, getting a lunch made, grabbing a shower and heading to work in rush hour traffic.

As I walk the 2 houses to my front door, I often wish I could go longer. Certainly not working would help!

How about you, are you religious about anything?

Good Health is Not Picking Your Nose with a Kleenex!

I had lots of excuses for why I became obese, and eating dog food and jousting with lances were not among them!
The back story is HERE. 

In April I contracted hellacious flu virus which kept me on the verge of throwing up, in bodily pain, and sleepless for four days. On the third day of the seige I had so much chest pain I thought I was going to die. My wife took me right to the ER - the  EKG went crazy!

They gave me all the heatattack related drugs: nitro, aspirin and Plavix. The nurse worked quickly and efficiently, all the time assuring me and my wife that my vitals were good and that was a good sign. I am not so sure how blood pressure at 62/28 is so good, but she's the expert, not me.
As the paramedics whisked me out the door she kissed me on the check and said "don't worry, God bless you."

Sirens wailing, the paramedics raced me across town via ambulance for an emergency catheterization at the cardiovascular unit. They slid me onto the operating table, and within minutes were looking through my arteries for blockages - there were none - WTF?
In spite of the lack of atrial blockage, I was having congestive heart failure.
Exercise saved my life.
Since I spent a week in the hospital, I have a few observations about hospitals:

-1 The care was excellent. I was amazed at the compassion of both nurses and doctors, something I never saw before. Kudos to the staff! And during my ER visit over the weekend, my little one got a nose bleed while I was having an EKG - one of the nurses stepped right in. It was sort of like a 2-For-1 deal.

-2 The lack of showers was a shock. I am not too good without a shower! It was a glorious first stop the day I got home! I am trying to imagine why this is the case?

-3 Drugs, drugs and more drugs. They have drugs to fix this and that, and drugs to counteract the side-effects of the other drugs. I had 13 different ones during my visit, and I was taking 7 for months afterward. I am grateful for medicine, but my head is still spinning over the amount that one person needs to get well. But if I had to pick a favorite...

-4 Tape!  I had 3 IVs and nearly a dozen heart monitoring pads as well as a dressing on the incision in near my hip. All I can say is this: there is money, big money in tape that does not rip off your body hair.

-5 Dignity - there was pretty much none. Covering my privates with a 3-inch neon orange cloth was not comforting - well unless it was meant to save me from some other disaster. However; with enough fentanyl, you coud care less!

- 5 1/2 Sleep - it was no where to be found.
How about you, did I miss anything?
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