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Sandy: The Storm

Well, that b*^ch is just a few hours off the coast and ready to give Governor Chris Christie another opportunity to use the word stupid.

Because I am a coastal New Englander, I have survived dozens of hurricanes. A few left boats on the pavement at the end of my street.

The last one (Irene), caused some localized flooding (Read that, the storm drain backed up for a few hours). I'd have to say Bob was the worst. I worked as a freelance photographer and was out in the entire storm. I found it exciting, but I'm weird. Gloria takes a close second as I was living at the beach in CT.

Because we are not supposed to even get hurricane force winds here in Boston, I find that it is sort of benign storm, and the media is hyping it. And because it will probably be more of a Wussicane, then a hurricane, here what I am doing to survive the wind and rain which I have been dealing with all my life; in fact they've been around for millions of years.

- I have a survival kit: Beef jerky, organic veggie chips, and a flashlight.
- Instead of exercising outside, I set up the bike trainer in the basement. If it floods, it will be a paddle-boat trainer.
- I am leaving the lights on all day so they have some momentum if the power goes out.
- I am downloading kids movies to the laptop so I can get a hiatus from the whining.
- I am pre-logging my calories for the week in case the lost power outlasts my laptop battery and SmartPhone.
- I am taking a long hot shower - well, I do every day any how.
- Obama's Liquor Store (yes, his uncle) and the fire department are the only buildings on Main St with activity this morning. So if I need first aid or booze, I am in luck.
- I bought 3 Deer Sporting flashlights at Dick's Sports because I knew Home Depot and all the other hardware stores would be mobbed.
- I practiced walking around in the dark last night and only tripped over a dog toy.
- We froze meals we can put on the grill. We call it steak.
- I practiced taking things out of the 'frig quickly.
- We didn't buy milk and bread because I don't eat them anymore.
- And best of all, if the cable goes out we will be saved from political ads!

How about you, are you ready for this storm, or have you survived the "Big One?"

Thanks for the votes and comments. And if you are reading this in the dark, you can comment when the power goes back on. ;)

And if you are really in danger, people are praying.

Converting the Heathen

In the beginning of your journey there is a lot of self-doubt and insecurity surrounding your ability to make this whole thing happen. Two days in you get mugged by a donut in the break room at work and your shopping cart automatically turns down the cookie aisle. Stage 1 is hell.

Then there is Stage 2 where you trip skinny people on the escalator because you are jealous.

If you stick with it until Stage 3, a light goes on. Like the time you walked an hour to earn 320 calories and ate it back with two Girl Scout cookies!

The transformation begins to happen; you start to notice what everyone else is doing wrong when it comes to their food and exercise. New reformers are a pain the butt to those around them. I know I was.

Here is some stuff I would say/do when I was in Stage 3:
- When I saw someone pouring a gallon of Ranch dressing on their diet salad I would say, "I've been to Hidden Valley and they have live stock - umm which poops - I am not sure if that is what those little black specs are."

- When the party next to me at Golden Corral is eating a tray of baby back ribs I would be tempted to say, "Did you know that pork is supposed to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F? No, it's true."

- When I see someone drinking Diet Coke I would speak up and say, "Did you know if you leave a penny in that stuff overnight it will shine like new in the morning? And if you do it with a couple of quadrillion pennies you could make a shiny dent in the national US national debt."

- I would sit in the drive-thru at McDonalds and scare away business with fake vomit on my car door or put fake cow patties at the entrance to Burger King.

- When I would see someone at the salad bar filling their plate with bacon bits and croutons, I just sneezed in their direction. "You probably should get another plate."

- At Thanksgiving I would drop the gravy and the mashed potatoes on the floor for the dogs. "Sorry folks, just turkey, green beans and creamed onions which no one eats anyway."

- At Christmas I bought everyone new underwear that was one size too small.

- I put vitamins in a Ghirardelli bag and resealed it at Walmart.

- I put celery and carrots in trick-or-treat bags on Halloween.

- On date night I night I pretended the car ran out of gas in front of Whole Foods.

- At the dentist I would wear a fake tooth and talk about chocolate in the waiting room with the other patients.

- Post recipes on Facebook.

Nah, not really - well except for the recipes. I am shy, so you are safe.

So what do you do to convince others to try your way of life?

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

500 Days of Change! (Picture light!)

In February of 2011 I had started on the weight loss journey AGAIN; it was my third effort. The first time (2000) I was at 232 and got down to 190. The second time (2003) I was at 245 and got down to 199.

Long gone were the days of eating whatever I wanted and staying between 165 and 185 - with no real exercise.

One day I was trying to find out how many calories I should eat in a day and came across MFP.  I set up an account so that I could add up the calories in my lunch. TOTAL SHOCK! And I thought  I was being healthy. Wasn't cranberry juice, a granola bar, fruit yogurt and a Weight Watchers pasta meal healthy? It was nearly 1000 calories! I later learned that my lunch was high in sugar, sodium as well as carb heavy; not to mention full of preservatives and fillers.

In my mind I thought I was being good by not eating lots of desserts and skipping seconds. I used the stairs at work (3 flights twice a day). The truth was I was obese. I was about 90 pounds overweight and well on my way to having my own zip code.

I didn't like the mirror, family pictures, the scale or the truth.

I had already lost 20 pounds going to the YMCA while working with a trainer - all while my wife laughed at me. I hadn't exercised in years and lived my life in front of a computer screen. April 2nd I walked/ran my first 5K on the treadmill. I was getting somewhere!

Monday, April 4th I had a heart attack and ended up in ICU for a week. It got my attention. I was on 8 heart medications and 12 liters of oxygen an hour.


I became a student of nutrition and started walking the day I got home from the hospital. First it was a few hundred yards and a 3 hour nap. But I scheduled it Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I had a heart monitor which required an Android phone. It was then that I downloaded MFP and the rest is history. I have logged food and exercise every day since then, as well as made some people mad in the forums! If you take a trip back in my diary, you can see how my food intake has evolved. And I have lost quite a bit more weight too.

The greatest challenge I have faced in all this is trying to find exercise that I think is fun and my body can handle. In my youth I played hockey, raced motocross and competed in giant slalom (downhill skiing).

In my new MFP life, my body didn't really want to cooperate. I started running a few months after I got out of the hospital; it was pathetic. (Took a year to complete C25K). I had knee surgery (Dec. '11), and shoulder surgery this past July. Even as I type this, my ankle and my shoulder are taped - the new chiropractor says he can help. I am still in PT for my shoulder, but it is getting better.

Here are a few success.
- Celebrated the anniversary of my heart attack with a 5K run in just over 30 minutes.
- I have lost over 70 pounds.
- I have one BP med left to get off of.
- My back is better (like no episodes of pain!), and so is my head!
- I have run a 10K.
- I have run 12 miles without walking.
- I have run for over 2 hours without walking.
- The insurance company has spent well over $100K on the new me.
- I became addicted to endorphins.
- I have been averaging about 100 miles a month.
- I bought new underwear, but you'll never see them in success stories.
- So far, I have completed 11 races this season and I am registered for 4 more.
- I have nearly 1000 MFP friends for no apparent reason, but your success blows me away!

Here are 2 pics, one at 276 and one at 203.

276 (40" waist)

203 (33" waist)

Thanks for all your support!

Toughing it Out

Holy crap, it's only Wednesday and it seems like a million things have gone wrong. The SIM card in my Smartphone died making it one sandwich short of a picnic. Then, during the political debate, something happened to the TV and the president told the truth turned green and Gov. Romney looked like he spent half his life in an x-ray machine.

As of this morning I had three potential jobs with recruiters and nothing came thorough. I will probably be going back to school because 9 years of college is not-a-freakin-nough! Of course my wife is concerned about the finances which makes dinner time a little quiet.

Sunday I raced a 5K for fun and my Achilles started acting up in mile 3. Of course I didn't quit. I haven't run since. No endorphins for David.

I went for a ride on my motorcycle today to enjoy my favorite time of year and the shifter stuck in 2nd gear - 13 miles from home! Fortunately it only needed WD-40.

I should probably be doing homework now, however; I am sitting here in front of the computer having wasted most of the day trying to find a little relief. There is just too much to do when you are unemployed.

I suppose the good news is that I am sort of concerned about things too, so I don't eat much. At least I am hitting my goals. I guess that makes me an emotional non-eater.

There is a list things that I find annoying about being out of work.
- The refrigerator is not far away.

- I can't sleep in because no one else does.

- I hate mowing the lawn. (Because it kills my shoulder since the surgery in July.)

- I don't like unloading the silverware from the dishwasher. Plates and glasses, OK. Silverware, forget it!

- I get creeped out going in the basement like in Home Alone to get my clean laundry.

- 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!

- Folding my own clothes. It makes my wife happy, OK. Shut up.

- Wishing I could spend some time having fun.

- The mail.

- Friends who post stupid crap on Facebook and it's there all day!

- The school parents 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.

I just want to get back to work so that I don't have time to poop, forget doing all these annoying chores. ;)

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

Dealing With Failure

If you are going to succeed in becoming fit, you are going to have some failures; I guarantee it!

There are all sorts of failures in life because life is filled with real failures and possible failures that you can fail at failing at. Right? There are the known failures, the unknown failures, the controlled failures and the uncontrolled failures - the failures that take us by surprise and the ones that we bring on ourselves. And there are the ones that are someone else's fault, and maybe one or two that are our fault (which we we're probably mistaken about).

In fact, there as many types of fitness failures as there are Bubba's shrimp dishes in Forest Gump.

I don't know about you, but I have failed at lots of things - well, except dying (But I did get a 9.4 out of 10 for trying). I have had some epic and painful failures in my life, some of them still haunt me. (That is why God created running endorphins!)

I have determined that failure is inevitable.

There is a lot of advice on how to succeed in getting fit and losing weight. I am sort of bored with it. However; today I am going share some sure fire ways to fail at succeeding. Pardon my tongue in cheek negativity. ;)

- Don't log your meals. You are probably already as fit as Jillian, so why bother.

- Don't do cardiovascular exercise. Because sweating is for pigs.

- Focus only on the scale! That way you'll have an excuse to give up every time you step on it.

- Don't do any strength training. You don't want to look like Arnold in a tutu.

- Don't clean out the junk food in your house. Because you are reading this blog for a friend.

- Post controversial topics in the Message Boards. It's better to get advice you won't like.

- Eat whatever you want. Because dieting is better than changing a failing lifestyle.

- Don't set goals. You might fail at reaching them.

- Reward your weight loss success. I recommend food and lots of it.

- Make post about how you are not going to log and exercise. It encourages others to do the same.

- Walk at 2 miles per hour. Because you don't have a damn dog.

- Drama. Use plenty of it so that no one can help you.

- Don't get any friends. That way your weight loss is a secret.

- Don't encourage others. Because they have it down.

- Don't read Success Stories. Because it won't work for you.

- Don't log in every day. Because you are too busy.

- Make posts about your TOM. Because us guys need to know that information before commenting on your food diary.

- Don't try C25K. You can't fail at what you don't try. Wait, you have to try it, that way you can fail at it.

- Make lots of excuses. Remember, the best excuses are the ones only you believe.

Did I miss any ways to fail at getting fit?

Honestly, success is trying again even when you do fail. So let's get cracking!

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

Now I am a Fitness Nazi

We had a parent conference with my daughter's teacher. She is an energetic 8-year-old. During the meeting our suspicions were confirmed; she is just like her father. After recovering from her shock, my wife and I got to thinking after the meeting that she probably needs some help focusing on her diet and fitness. Charlotte is a super-fussy eater and skinny as a rail - but it is still good to invest in a balanced diet and some exercise.

With her help, I created a sports calendar for her to choose 3 sports activities each week to do with me for 50 minutes. We are about a week into it and she can choose from hockey to biking to tennis and running and more.

Her response when asked to choose some activities for this week? "You are not the boss of me."

"I thought this was going to be fun," I replied. She got the vibe, and started to check off a few things.

Last week was a complete success. This is also father-daughter time because it was suggested I do a little cross training - but she played ice hockey, 20 minutes of soccer and 30 minutes of basketball. The high point of the routine was her first outing on rollerblades.

It went something like this.

"Do you need help with your equipment, kiddo?"

<Pre-adolescent eye-roll> "I'll let you know." <Time lapse of 13 seconds.> "Can you help me with my wrist guards?"

"You don't know where your wrists are?" I said.

"Please!"

I smiled. "Why certainly, let me see your left hand."

She smiled a little. "Thanks, dad. How are we going to get up the hill on the other side?"

"Skate."

"That's nuts!" she exclaimed. "Put on your helmet, dad. You know how you are."

"How am I?" I asked.

"Well mommy says... ahh nothing."

Off we went stepping up over the curb onto the walkway at the park. We skated up the gradual hill and around the lawns and gardens of the 9/11 Memorial (We lost 16 people from our town).

"I am doing good, right dad?"

"Yes better than your mom!" "Perfect - excellent!"

On the last half mile of a 5+ mile skate, we were cruising along. It was awesome - father and daughter hand-in-hand. Her confidence was climbing and she was really enjoying it. Then without warning, she went down. All I could hear was her plastic guards scraping along the pavement. And then I realized we were connected in a death grip.

Spinning around on the wet leaves was the last thought I had before: Stop! Drop! And Roll!

Too late. Well, I wasn't on fire anyway.

The pain jumped from one skinned joint to another and I lay on my back in the grass. She got to her feet, "Dad, quit playing, you are alright... Umm... aren't you?"

I got back on my skates and we made our way to the car to asses my injuries. (Now you know why they call it asphalt.)

"You don't even need a Band-Aid for that." she said. "But I am really sorry, dad."

"I'll be fine." I said.

"I'll tell mommy how brave you were. You didn't even cry."

"Thank you, pumpkin."

I am wondering if her mother will trade and let me handle the food!

How about you, do you have a fitness routine?

I appreciate the votes and comments (you can do both!).

You Know You are Hooked When...

I have been on MFP for over a year. If you log everyday and work the program you can easily be one of the success stories. My neighbor complimented me on how good I looked as he and I were chatting on the sidewalk. I mean, I always thought I looked good from 50 yards. :(

Because MFP-ers are creatures of habit, if not outright addicts, they tend to get in a routine after a while; well, at least I did. If you have been around a while, you know what I am talking about.

You are hooked on MFP if:
- You know how to make a ticker with a picture.
- You realize the forums are for entertainment, not knowledge.
- You are not offended by the words "fat" and "a$$" in the same sentence.
- You know how to embed pictures using the [ img ] tags.
- You didn't notice the local KFC was torn down and it's a now a coffee shop.
- You know what "NSV" and "bump" mean.
- You make up your own acronyms like, RPE = Really Pathetic Effort, YAW = You Ate What?
- You have family and friends on Facebook that you hear less from than your besties on MFP!
- You don't really need a HRM any more because you are consistent in your workouts.
- You know how to use the custom settings.
- Even you are amazed at how long you have been logging in!.
- Instead of watching TV after "that," you log your calories for dinner and exercise.
- You stepped up your walking pace from 3.0 miles per hour to 3.5 MPH because you don't own a damn dog.
- You think rest days are of the Devil.
- Some one actually said they would date you in the "Would You Date the Person Above You?" thread.
- You talk about calories at dinner with your SO.
- You don't care that McDonald's is dropping the Dollar Menu for a Value Menu that is more expensive.
- C25K was a while ago.
- You now have an actual photo of yourself instead of your pet hamster as an avatar.
- You spend more on registering for races and cute running shoes than on your spouses birthday gift.
- You are just as happy with your measurements changing as you are with the scale moving down!
- You are not allergic to the mirror, and photographs are next!

Are you hooked on MFP? Tell us why.

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

Evolution Accelerated

When I was a kid I used to ponder the artists renderings of human evolution in National Geographic. (I always wondered why the giraffes never changed, didn't you?) When I was in high school we learned about coacervates, and when I was in college, my sociology professor had us sit on the football field and watch evolution for one of our classes. Definitely an example of higher education...

The evolution of a fat or obese person, for which I once was, is scientifically documented with the following stages:

1. Last Common Ancestor - Whether we know it or not, we are all related to Meatloaf and should know what dashboard lights are.

2. Prokaryote Diversification - The pear shape and the apple shape. Did you even notice even the body shape descriptions involve food. Why not the light bulb a$$ and the softball?

3. Unicellular Eukaryote Diversification - This is when fat cells seem to appear everywhere, even in your hair! Think Adele, Nacy Grace, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj!

4. Multicellularity - The pinicle of obesity! Your fat cells just seem to multiply while you are watching TV.

5. Invasion of the Land
- You are so big that the Post Office is considering giving you your own zip code.

6. Appearance of Intelligence and Technology. - MFP!

The weight loss journey is an evolution, and now it's time for the pre-historic you to become fit!

For me, the evolution from sickly to fit is multidimensional. When I started I didn't want to be fat - umm obese. I just didn't like the way I looked. However; I had become accustom to the way I felt physically and emotionally, chalking them up to getting old.

Today I want to be medication free, depression free, and yeah, I would like to be pleased with the reflection in the mirror (with the toilet in the background) so I can take some underwear shots partially obscured by the phone flash! Yeah! No.

The benefits of losing over 70 pounds are pretty evident. I was told I would need spinal fusion the next time because my back would go out a few times a year and leave me bed ridden for days. I haven't had one episode since I started this journey.

Last year I was on 7 different heart and blood pressure meds; today I am on one BP medication at half the dosage. And largely due to the running (not walking) my emotional state, despite the current difficulties I am facing, is significantly elevated.

Last April the Cardiologist gave me 5-10 years to live. This July he said it was like it never happened!

Is there a 7th step of evolution? Hitting my goal weight and at least running a half marathon!

What are your goals?

Thanks for the votes and comments (feel free to do both!), you guys are the greatest!
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