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On the Road Again!

Wow, life can be freakin' tough some days. Most of you know that I had a shoulder surgery and also lost my job. I had some routine blood tests and it is possible that I have another looming health issue. For this addictive personality, it takes a lot of practice not falling off the food truck - maybe NOT getting on it is a better metaphor - when things go wrong.

The problem is I am addicted to MORE. If one is good 2 is better, 5 is great and 13 is probably sickly satisfying in some dangerous way. :)

I can't have one of anything - not cars, not wives, not guitars, not drugs, not drinks nor cookies nor chips. I just can't do it alone. I need help!

I was reminded this morning when a local guy shot his kids and himself in the midst of a perfect personal storm: loss of a job, the threat of foreclosure, and a relationship gone bad. Sad, scary and unfortunately, part of life for some folks.

I could tell you all the things that are not going my way, and all the good excuses I have to pick up an old behavior - getting blasted, taking drugs, spending money I don't have, or EATING.

No, today I was thinking about the following:

- I commented on a post about eating your exercise calories. Nah, not really.
- Today was MFP day 415!
- I had a great run this morning. 2.5 miles in 23 minutes. That's 17.5 miles in the last 7 days!
- I have worked really hard on keeping my calories at 1600; I checked in at 209! That's my lowest since 2004 when I was at 199.
- I had a coffee with my wife.
- I kissed my little one as she went off to horse riding camp - a gift from Nana.
- I logged today - well not the kiss I gave Charlotte.
- I encouraged a few friends.
- I shook my head at the ones who haven't logged in X days.
- I didn't fall down the stairs.
- I plan on enjoying my daughter's hockey tonight even if I can't get on the ice.
- I have a bed. I plan on using it early because I didn't sleep well. I heard the lack of sleep doesn't kill anyone, but the effects of obesity do.
- I thanked God for what I do have, mostly because I have been without.

How about you, what do you do to get through a tough day?

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

Some Times Looking Good is Better than Being Healthy

This past weekend I went to my high school reunion. I was looking pretty good - well compared to some of the others! In fact I outlived more than I care to admit.

I left town about 7 minutes after I had my diploma and only returned on to visit my mother until she too, left in 1989.

Over 35 years has passed since they played the recessional anthem. I managed to get to my 25th. I was dating my wife for a few months at the time and I thought it would be a fun to see who is still looking good. Actually I wanted to show off my new trophy.

One of the guys I did some drinking with back in the day had a few beers that night too. He told my girlfriend with a bit of a tipsy slur. "I know this guy, reconsider!"

I come from a small town in which I started school in kindergarten. In fact there was a girl that I have known since nursery school. I rode down with a Boston neighbor that I have known since Kindergarten - you can't look bad in a new Mercedes 550!

We pulled in and got our name tags. I keep up with a good number of them on Facebook and I did the reunion site, so I have had some communication. I saw a number of re-familiar faces. Holy crap, some without hair, and some ballooned beyond recognition. I was pretty impressed that two of the heavier guys form the 25th had slimmed down a lot. Me I was up a few - but not too bad.

There were the usual suspects - some of them still drinking like fish. I honestly don't know how they do it.

Oh there were a few surprises too. You know back when you are in school and you have your eye on someone? Yeah, I mean the really beautiful ones? I saw a couple of them. YIKES! God take me back in time!

In the end I had a good time. I also had one of my old friends say that in a room of over 130 that I was the "least changed - well except for the short hair". It made me feel good.

Bookin' It - Chronicling the Journey

I am ecstatic about all the support you guys are giving me for my new weight-loss book. No wonder ABC news reported that Facebook is down over a million users this morning! You are all here doing something more productive than re-posting cat photos and dumping significant others by changing your Relationship Status.

So where is David at in the book process?

Title: I loved some of the titles that were suggested on my profile! My personal favorite was Losing It. The problem is that it is used for a CD and some other stuff. Also the website address is taken. :( Some of the others I may use for chapter headings. :)

If I use my blog title, Diaries of an Almost Dead Man, then the book should probably be written in diary form. I went back over my Google Calendar to see how may dates I could muster up. It was very emotional (no I did not forget my wedding anniversary!). I realized that while I was in ICU I had other plans for my life like recording a CD, date nights with my wife and father-daughter time with my little one. I missed them all. Then there were all the doctor's appointments, some times 4 or 5 a week. The most moving was the date of the church service I was at where my heart was healed. (Yes, that story will be in the book!)

So, the problem with a diary is my lists of stuff which seem popular on the blog like 10 Reasons You Might be On a Diet. IE: You have changed the 5 second rule to 40 minutes. How does that fit in a diary?

I may do a mix with some diary pages, and related commentary. This still needs a lot of thought.

Still high on the title list is Laugh Your A$$ Butt Off: The Easy Way to Get a Seat. I also liked Running for Your Life - but it's not just about running, it's about fitness even if you don't run.

Chapters: I have cobbled together 5 of a predicted 13 as well as a little background for the introduction. My favorite so far is Lies from the Devil Dog. It's all about whether of not to eat your exercise calories and special section on guns for girls.

Format: The book format is pretty standard; it uses paper and the eBook version doesn't.

Graphics: I have a old friend from high school that is going to do the paper and digital version. He's an art director for an advertising firm that specializes in text books.

Editing: I have two friends that have offered to humor edit to make sure the funny factor is there. One is from MFP: harleigh67, the other is a guy I blogged with for almost 4 years, Tony C. They are both a hoot! The final edit is going to be done by a pro named Rudi London. He has three very funny novels available on Amazon.

Expert Advice: I have tentatively enlisted my nutritionist to be the expert for some of the more controversial health and fitness advice. That way anyone who dies from proper diet and exercise can speak with her at a séance.

Funding: I have decided to use KickStarter.com. This is actually the hold up. To do it right, and raise enough money for graphics, editing and the first 100 copies, it's going to take a few grand. The hardest part is all the little pieces that need to be crafted in order to use the site successfully (according to them). They need a book Title which I am working on. They need a bio, which another MFP pal: CessnaHolly is going to take a crack at. Then there is the project description which is taking form. And finally, the video. The folks at KS suggest that I put together a video introducing myself. I haven't even had a chance to begin scripting that, but you know it's got to be funny or the project is sunk.

I need some help with the video editing.

When the KickStarter project is done, you can all pre-order your book and consider yourself friends with benefits.

Thanks for your support and encouragement, you guys blow Facebook away!

Can I Have a Different Meal, Please!?

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 just got back from the dermatologist and had to have 5 more chunks of flesh removed. Now I look 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 am unemployed as well as recovering from shoulder surgery. It was my third surgery in a year's time. After being out of full-time work almost 9 months last year with the heart stuff, we are more than behind.

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.

Cutting Calories by the Hundreds

Since my surgery last week, I have come up against the caloric wall. You just can't just drop 400-500 calories a day from your daily diet by walking a few miles a day. I am mad that I can't get out there and run a 5 or 10K; it could be weeks before I can do anything other than walk or spin at a low heart rate. (Need to keep the cardio under 120 BPM for healing purposes - otherwise the throbbing will kill me.)

After nearly a week of IDGAS eating, it's time to take control. I apologize for being a bad example. Without the use of one hand, I have to rely on foods prepared by my wife or some evil corporation. Everything labeled bite size is junk.

My main calorie cutting tools are replacing the bad with better and cutting out the atrocious stuff such as saturated fats, junk calories (that don't target other macros that I need) while controlling portions! What's tough is the guidelines that I received from the nutritionist for sodium, protein, fat, carbs and fiber!

Here is what I am doing to stay in the 1600 calorie range.

- Breakfast Sandwich: I am back to a breakfast sandwich with Thomas' WW Mini Bagel, 1 cage free egg (cracking then with one hand like Rachael Ray Wolfgang Puck!), 1 turkey sausage (because I can't cut fish or bait) and a slice of all natural low-fat Swiss cheese. 329 calories. That save about 80 calories over most cereal and keeps the protein up.
Net Calories: 329

- Vitamins and Supplements: 100
Net Calories: 100

- Morning Snack: Reduce the size of my Apple Raspberry fruit salad by dropping the apple. I can't cut the apple, and it loses me about 80 calories along with the carbs that go with it. I still have the Greek 0% plain yogurt, the mixed frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and black berries), the walnuts and the sprinkle of dried cranberries. 320 down to 240!
Net Calories: 240

- Lunch: This is the tough one. I can't make much of anything but a sandwich. I really hate to eat cold cuts because the sodium is BAD! Bread is a little tough to handle, so I got some Joseph's Flax, Oat, Whole Grain Tortillas. However; today, I had my wife cook an extra chicken breast and cut it up. Add a few florets of broccoli and I am good. Either way I am at 300-400 calories.
Net Calories: 300

- Afternoon Snack: I dropped the banana saving about 100 calories. I like them because they keep the leg cramps (along with water) to nearly none! I know that pickles are full of sodium, but two spears is virtually NO calories. Sodium is 210 and I have 2000 per day I can have.
Net Calories: 4

- Dinner: I always do well with dinner when we eat at home. Being unemployed this is how it's going to be for the time being. It's 4 oz of lean beef, pork, chicken, or fish. then we add some veggies. 400 calories is easy.
Net Calories: 450

- Desert: I am not giving up my chocolate. (250 cals) But I am willing to cut out one piece for a savings. substitute watermelon a few times a week to save 100 calories.
Net Calories: 160

Daily Caloric Total: 1593 (I probably have a little wiggle room at dinner, but not much!)

So tell me, how would you cut 400-500 calories from you daily "budget" if you had to?

Thanks for all the votes and comments!

Side Effects

Well, I have been taking painkiller drugs since my surgery last week. As much as I enjoyed being out there, there are some side effects which are not a lot of fun.  Here are some of them.

-      Running out at 3:00 am

-      Remembering whether you are chewing steak or cotton candy.

-      Telling your wife how good she looks in that dress.

-     Trying to "Like" your comments on MFP and deleted them.

-     I changed my Facebook Relationship Status to "It's Complicated." (This is going to take a while.)

-     I transferred all our savings to gift card at the local motorcycle shop.

-     I bought a fake Rolex, some male enhancement pills, an Obama Chia pet.

-     I discovered there is no past tense of the word "tweeted."

-     The fantasy site I was on was definitely not football!

-     “Axe handles” is my new term for crap!

-     All my MFP friends looked too skinny.

-     I found my webcam in my PJ's and called the doctor.

-     I thought QWERTY was a word.

-     I was linked to people I never worked with on LinkedIn.

-     I discovered there is a good reason Twitter only allows you 160 characters.

-     I was in a Russian chatroom selling my weight loss secrets.

-     The Captcha codes on Craigslist were messages from God.

-     I lost my mouse ball and cracked my keyboard playing fantasy baseball.

-     I was outbid for the White House on eBay by MittRomney.

-     MSNBC was saying nice things about Democrats, and Fox news was saying them about Republicans - I guess it was wearing off by then...

 I should probably stay offline for a bit.

Thanks for your votes and commments!

How Should I Log My Drugs?

This is my first blog since I had my shoulder surgery on July 5th. I have taken quite a bit of Vicodin and Percocet since I got home. That is because they would not allow me to have any of the special drugs I had in the OR like Versed, Demerol, Propofol, Morphine and Fantanyl. Please bear with me I can barely talk and I am using speech recognition software.

There are lots of things that I have learned about being a lefty in the last 24 hours.  The first one is I’ve learned to brush my nose and not my teeth. It was simply a discovery I made. Brushing is one of those things that I’m going to have practice.

Because I can’t take a shower, and I can’t aim the aerosol deodorant without getting it in my eyes, I have decided to wear an automobile hanging pine tree air freshener around my neck.

The bad news about taking narcotics – well actually there aren’t any, however; there is one drawback, and that is constipation. This is actually a good feature because I dread wiping myself with my left hand. I can picture my thumb tearing through the Scott’s… and well, you get the idea. I’m hoping that I can go a whole six weeks.

Speaking of narcotics, I noticed MFP does not have them in the food log. So I’m just going to add them as a handful of peanuts.

There is some more good news about having surgery, and that is that I do not have much of an appetite! All I can think of is eating handfuls of peanuts. They did tell me that I should have a lot of protein. Apparently they want to make sure that the constipation is made to perfection and can’t be removed without a chisel and hammer.

I also found it interesting when I started to use my electric shaver, which hadn’t been used some years; it had a bug in it.  I’m not even sure if some of the hair which blew out of it was even mine. I did manage to shave a half of my face before the battery went dead. After I have another handful of peanuts I’ll do the other side.

I went down to get something to drink earlier today and the dog doesn’t recognize me. Maybe it’s the patch I have over my eye, the arm sling. Or maybe it was because I was shouting like Captain Morgan in my best Pirate.

This morning my wife had to remind me not to go outside my boxer shorts, but it was too late, I was already on the front porch. She asked was doing out there, and I told her, “looking for peanuts.”

Thanks for all the votes and comments and especially your prayers. 

Who Knows, MFP Might be a Career

Today is the 4th of July, and it's been a good one for me. Lobster and corn on the cob, a 5 mile run and a little time at the lake; awesome! Well, actually there were a few bikinis that should have stayed in the bottom drawer. Just my opinion.

Tomorrow I am off to have my rotator cuff surgery and I have no idea if I will be able to type a single word when I am done.

I had hoped to zip out a few blogs before tomorrow, however; I lost my job and needed to focus on updating all my job search sites. Turns out MFP had the best leads and suggestions so far - thanks!

I am looking for a job and I Googled stuff like "hockey software" - sort of like you searching for "bacon and chocolate." You get some interesting results. I found a company hiring software developers for a hockey app. I applied. I haven't applied for the bacon and chocolate job yet; I am afraid I would become an emotional eater if I did.
 
To be honest, I was pretty sick of my old job with a bunch of stuffy lawyers and plain Jane paralegals. Not really, I am just pissed that they laid me off when I can't interview. Shaking hands left-handed is a little too effeminate for us rough and tumble software guys. Handshakes get jobs!

Actually, that reminds me of a joke. What's the difference between a dead lawyer and a dead snake in the middle of the road? The skid marks in front of the snake.

You guys have encouraged me to write my weight loss book. I have enlisted the help of a certified nutritionist to footnote my grandiose claims. I am also hiring my buddy who is a riot and we are going to put some recipes for men in it. If you ladies try to make them, you'll have to take an oath.

I do solemnly swear that:
If any asks;
this crock was cooked up by a man.
You can tell, because under serving size
it says:
Don't be a dink, eat it over the sink!


Then there is the editor. I have a good one who charges one cent per word. That's going to cost a couple of bucks.

I plan on doing a Kickstarter project and you will have a chance to pre-order my book. If I get enough people to do that, it's going to happen in regular book form. If not, it's an eBook.

That's the book plan.

The plan for tomorrow is no food, no water, no coffee; then run 2 miles when I get up, take a shower and head on over to the hospital at 9:30. I hope they know how to hydrate me.

I was thinking that maybe I could do some other bodily damage between now and then and get a 2-for-1 deal.

In the mean time, I am hoping to have a spiritual experience as I eat hand fulls of Vicodin and Percocet. Don't worry, I'll be logging them!

See you on the flip side!

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