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Weight-Loss Tattoos You Don't Want

Although they've been around for a long time, tattoos are pretty popular these days. For us weight-losers a tattoo is pretty enticing now that we don't have to cover ourselves in XXXL t-shirts and stretch pants. It could be a celebration.

It's pretty cool when a 20-something gets righteous ink! I often marvel at the art form, although I do think it's a little funny when middle-aged parents get tattoos with their kids to be cool. You know, the kids get a lion and the parent gets a lamb; there is something fundamentally wrong with that.

The only issue I have with tattoos is that they don't rub off. I have made some bad decisions - most of them haven't been permanent.

In case you are feeling the need to make a statement and beautify your body to celebrate your success, I have done a little research. Here is what I have decided NOT to get. 

The Last Supper Trampstamp: This would be located across the lower back and Judas would be situated over your butt crack. If someone dropped a price of bread - yeah, that's where it would fall.

Cats: Cats are OK and the Egyptians had Siamese cat tattoos. I would just skip the litter box pose.

Buttock Penguins: The Arctic birds facing each other might seem cute in the mirror, but every time you do a squat they'll look more like kissing birds. It is better that the right doesn't know what the left is doing. And if you gain the weight back, it will look like a cave dwelling bat.

Belly Tattoos: These are bad for MFP-ers. Plateaus are bad enough, but imagine gaining back the weight? Your cute little hummingbird ends up look like a buzzard, or that nice little morning glory is as big as a sunflower. You get the idea. If you must have one there, I suggest a 6-pack.

SO's Name: They maybe significant now, but what if you have to cover it up in a few years? The good news is that if it was a long name, you can have it made into a snake.

Dates: For men I suggest your anniversary date. Try it on the back of your eyelids.

Neck Tat: The only way to cover this is to become a man or woman of the cloth. Unless that's in your plans, may I suggest something a little more discreet.

If tattoos are not your thing, may I suggest body piercing? You can take a run down the lure aisle at Bass Pro Shops and save a few bucks.

Tell me, if you were going to get a tattoo in celebration of your weight loss, where and what would it be?

There is Always Tomorrow

I stupidly started smoking cigarettes in 9th grade. I was feeling cool, and no one seemed to care. Oh sure, they told us how bad it was, but it was too late. I was hooked. I was a real pro blowing smoke rings through smoke rings - and coughing up a lung every morning. I quit in 1994, but my ex died this week at age 56 of lung cancer. She told me that day she would start tomorrow.

I guess there are lots of things that are bad for you in life, like too much food, or too much alcohol. And there are lots of other warnings that I probably disregarded, such as a padded headboard for safe sex.

If you are new, some times it takes a bit to get your sea legs. There is lots to learn about food, exercise and living life is a society that plops killer portions in front of you day and night.

What can you do today to be a success at the weight-loss game which is good for your health?

- Log it
- Log it all!
- Make MFP friends.
- Search the forums.
- Read the blogs. (Well, at least this one!)
- Ask questions.
- Don't lie about your bad days.
- Find people that have achieved your goal. I friend the runners and the old guys that lost 100!
- Drink water.
- Take a walk.
- Take another walk.
- Don't quit.

No matter what, do it today, not tomorrow.

The 5 Stages of Food Grief

Terminally ill patients often go through similar stages as they begin to accept their life is coming to an end (hopefully, they have an eternal home). I have watched it happen with both my parents. It's sad, but thank God we get some time when it counts the most!

If you were a fatso like me when you first logged onto MFP, your going to go through some emotional stages too - lots of them. Like a maturing baby, you'll probably throw a few tantrums along the way too. If you don't believe me, read the message boards!

Stage 1: Denial: It's not just a river in Egypt! If you have a BMI over 30, you are obese, and if it is over 25 you are overweight according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Association. The problem is what you eat, not big bones and if you are here on MFP, you and I both know why; it's not to get recipes! (Although that is a good reason to be on MFP!)

Stage 2: Anger: You probably think Jillian Michaels is too skinny, and that guys with 6-pack abs got them from sitting around watching football. Poor you, you didn't get them. I know I am mad when I go to lunch with someone my age, and they freakin' eat an entire pizza while I limit myself to 1 or 2 slices. You might be mad at God for making everything that tastes good bad for you.

Stage 3 Bargaining: "Lord if you let me indulge this day and it doesn't show up on the scale, I will give money to the next organization that knocks on my door!" Are you kidding? You popped a pants button and a dead pigeon fell from the sky; you are a frequent flier at Big & Tall: it's no deal! "Real" is the root word of reality.

Stage 4 Depression: Drinking water, putting away the salt shaker, logging your meals, dumping fast food as a dietary option -  and gasp, exercising so that you sweat! Who wouldn't be depressed?!? It's normal to be bummed out that we can't be like others and eat anything we want, in any quantity we want to.

Stage 5 - Acceptance:  Time to snap out it! "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it." That's right! Unlike terminal patients you have a chance to change your history, your health, and your waist line.

The health benefits of losing weight and keeping it off are amazing. But who cares what your BMI is when you have a donut in the break room with your name on it? If you really accept where you are, you'll stop defending your bad food choices and making excuses for why the scale hates you.

Stage 6 - The Party Stage: Why not focus on what you can do when you lose the weight and get healthy.

- You'll feel better and your depression will be less.
- You'll have better skin!
- You'll be less likely to be sick from viral and bacterial disease.
- You'll have more positions you can use for "that."
- You will eventually acquire a taste for what is good for you.
- You'll live longer with the ones you love.
- You'll have more choices for clothing stores.
- You'll be more comfortable on planes and camel rides.
- Your joints will feel better.
- You can eat from the children's menu if you use the curb-side pick up at most of the chains. This saves money!
- You'll need less medication when you do need it.
- You'll have more energy.
- You'll look younger.
- You'll probably only have one chin to shave and not two or three.
- You'll sleep better.
- You'll reduce health care costs.
- You can buy shoes that tie - in fact you might even see your feet for the first time in a while.
- You'll put on new underwear and feel like touching yourself - that might just be me.

Thanks for the comments and votes. you guys are awesome!
.. and thanks to my friend and supporter CessnaHolly! 

Twisted Weight Loss Proverbs

- The difference between try and triumph is that box of donuts in the break-room.

- Indulgence is more often keeping food in the house that you can't stop eating at one serving.

- Weight is the byproduct of impulsive swallowing.

- Contrary to popular belief here on MFP, that earth's gravitation pull has not changed.

- Just because you are thin on the inside doesn't mean that your outside agrees.

- The Obesity Epidemic is due primarily to the invention of overeating.

- If you want to appear thinner get a concave mirror.

- Don't let good food go to your waist.

- Fried food is the opiate of the mass.

- The first day of a diet is that hardest, after that you are usually off it.

- Exercise has at least one advantage; you die healthier.

- The danger with running too fast or too far, is that your chub-rub could start a fire the Eagle Scouts would get a merit badge for.

- Aren't you glad you look thinner from a distance?

- I am getting thinner, but my 6-pack still needs a place to put my thumb.

- Cardio isn't for quitters.

MFP Day 300: Maybe I Need to Have my Head Examined?

Waxing a bit philosophical, what is 300 days? It's not memorable for a baby, it's an eternity for cancer survivor, it's forever to a 5-year-old, it's a long time to spend in the bathroom, and on MFP it's - well interesting.

Here's what happened to me in 300 days of logging in.

- I took a chance and made my first friend MixMode - but he is deactivated. :(
- I wrote my first blog back in September '11.
- I read a message board about EATING your exercise calories.
- I read a message board about NOT EATING your exercise calories.
- I read a message board about EATING HALF your exercise calories.
- I never read message board about NOT EATING at all.
- I used the bathroom about 1,521 times because I drank about 2,302 glasses of water.
- I weighed in 559 times (because I have to for my heart program). And if I kick the scale they bill me $1,500, so I took it out on the trainer at the Y.
- I made measurements of all my body parts.
- I took about 350 showers, most of them alone.
- I accepted about 666 friend requests - none from the Devil.
- I logged what I ate on Christmas, Thanksgiving, my birthday, and breakfast this morning.
- I drank two 12 oz Cokes.
- I ate 21 slices of pizza.
- I Ran 461.19 miles @ 3.7 MPH.
- I Rocked 104,492 calories exercising.
- I lost 50-something pounds.
- I had knee surgery.
- I ran 12.57 MPH for the first time in a bajillion years.
- I cut my blood pressure meds to 1/4 of what they were and dropped a few altogether.
- I finished my first ever 5K on March 25th.
- I heard the cardiologist say: "Your heart is fine - like it never happened."
- I thought I finally understood woman, but I was wrong.
- The Bruins won the Stanley Cup, the The Pats lost the Superbowl and the Red Sox totally sucked.
- I bought a new bicycle.
- I never deleted an MFP freind.
- I registered for 3 more 5Ks and maybe will do 5 or 6 more this season.
- I exercised on vacation in Florida, California and Cape Cod.
- I did "that" and didn't log it - and well it's none of your business.
- I changed my diet to exclusively contain low-fat dairy, whole grains; lean meat, fish and pork; lots of veggies and fruit, and dark chocolate.
- I never had a cheat day.
- I went over my calores about 12 times (all the rest of the times I lied. Ha!)
- I learned how to eat out without blowing my log for the day or the week.

And best of all, I have found some of you to be the most supportive friends that I have had on this journey, and that's why I need to have my head examined. :) Thanks for all your support, comments, votes, corrections and care, it matters.

Cardio Saved my Life

It was exactly one year I go I was cruising along on the treadmill at 6 miles per hour, wondering why my stomach felt so badly. I figured it was just the 24-hour bug that was going around at work and church. More on that in a minute...

I started working out in February 2011. It was tough at 276; I was sedentary. The first few sessions with the trainer were BRTUAL and I called him Attila the Hun.

My doctor released me for cardiovascular exercise. I secretly hoped it was too late for me. I had long since given up anything that caused me to sweat. My wife called me climate control boy because I used to keep the air conditioner on "Meat Locker."

So there I was doing jumping jacks and push ups with a bunch of suburban desk dwellers. It wasn't pretty. In fact one day they were filming a promo for the YMCA, and I heard the camera man say, "This shot won't work." He headed over to the weight room. Let me translate: "This is turning my stomach!"

According to Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which refers to the heart. Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time.

Here is the standard effective formula for calculating your maximum safe heart rate for cardio or aerobic exercise:

226 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate (in beats per minute (BPM))

220 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate (in beats per minute (BPM))

If you are in the 60% - 85% range, you'll see the best results. If you are like me and just about threw up, you're close to the limit - no calcualtion needed.

Here's mine:
220 - 53 x .85 = 141 Upper

220 - 53 x .60 = 100 Lower

If I walk briskly at 5 MPH I am at a HR of about 130. If I run at 7 MPH I am at about 150-160 and some days I am up at 170+ doing sprints.

There is a lot of debate over how long is effective, but I just believe that 20+ minutes is the way to go. Some sites say 10 minutes, others say 15. It appears that fat burning takes a little while to kick in. The body fuels from the blood stream if it can, then it looks for reserves. Too bad it can't use alcohol? ;)

Your intensity and the condition of your aerobic system will change this calculation. Read that, if you sweat, and do it often, you will see better results.
It turned out my sotmach flu was much worse than I thought, it was the beginning of congestive heart failure. 

After a good chat with the cardiologist, he told me that I was only alive because my heart was so strong. Then he told me this joke.

A 92 year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. At his follow up visit the doctor talked to the man and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" The man replied, "Just doing what you said Doctor, 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful'." The Doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said you've got a heart murmur. Be careful."

"Be careful." he said.

Have a good workout!
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