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I Can't Believe I Said That - This is a Test!

Have you ever wondered what the hell you were thinking when you decided to change your pathetic lifestyle? When I read the message boards and look back over my own journey, I sort of cringe.

I settled for less for years. I could have been taking better care of myself, but I didn't really see the future.

If you identify with me you are thinking, "If I had only listened to my _____ (friends, parents, co-workers, God, Dr. Phil, the lady in the line at the bank). Every one knows Dr. Oz is a loser and Julian Michaels is the trainer from hell. (Google it, it's true! Everything on the Internet is true!)

What if I hadn't lied to myself thinking _______ is normal? (Back pain, a 50" waist, medication, shortness of breath, eating a bag of chips and dip in front of the TV) Aren't Barbie & Ken normal - well except for the anatomy?

Of course, once we realize that we are full of crap, then we become experts in the fitness field posting out own topics for which no one can disagree with us. Fortunately, most of can contain the subtle arrogance which lives inside us. For those that can't, we get our threads locked.

Here is a self-test to see if you are a noob, an annoying heath nut, or an elder statesman on MFP.

For each question, score yourself accordingly.

0 never even thought it.
1 thought, but never said it.
2 said it.
3 posted it on a message board.
4 said it worked for me.
5 have a certificate to say this stuff).

1 - It doesn't matter what you eat, as long as you are within your calories.

2 - Even though there are studies to prove it, it doesn't matter what time you eat as long as it's not in your sleep.

3 - If you have ripped abs, it improves you sex life.

4 - Caffeine is a food group which contains coffee and chocolate.

5 - Eating raw through a straw requires some real effort.

6 - Every good diet requires that you eat yogurt, drink water and clean up after your dog.

7 - Eating clean is good if you drop your carrots on the kitchen floor and you own cats.
 
8 - The caveman diet is sexist.

9 - The Atkins diet is for people who love bacon.

10 - Being a vegan because you don't like fish is not being honest.

11 - Admit it, you are here to find out how to be thin and keep on eating the same stuff.

12 - Running is for people who can't walk.
 
13 - Biking is for people who need to coast once in a while.

14 - Cheat days are cheating.

15 - Water is a negative calorie food.
 
16 - Cardio is anything that requires breathing the entire time. (That's why sex is not in the list.)
 
17 - Being able to see your privates is an NSV.

18 - Farting with your headphones on at the gym still stinks.
 
19 - Logging food is the program.

20 - Groups are for people who don't like opposing opinions.

0 - 20 You are probably in a sugar coma.
21 - 40 You have an active mind, and more restraint than a hog tied hog.
41 - 60 You are a safe friend and only contribute the message boards while everyone else is asleep.
61 - 80 You have been around a while and probably have a strike or two.
81 - 90 You are probably about to get locked out.
91 - 100 You are Dr. Oz

Please post your score. (I got 100!) And you can vote too!

Don't be a Noob Boob

Everyone has to start somewhere. Most of us would give positive lip service to general healthy habits like eating yogurt, walking more, smaller portions, giving up Big Macs and not smoking crack. What is more difficult is getting past the mind set that defeats us in actually getting healthy and losing our status as obese or overweight.

I am not health expert, nor am I am a thin model that got fat for my before pictures. But I play both on MFP.

If you are a noob, I can save you some trouble. If you have been around for a while, like me, we can enjoy the wealth of the shared experience and frustration with idiots on the message boards.

In order to succeed, you need to start a series of life-long habits. That's right, you need to start new habits. Unlike men picking their noses and scratching their privates in public, some of these don't come naturally. If you can't do this for the rest of your life, then you are doomed to fail. The NY Times had an article about a group of people that lost a significant amount of weight and made it 5 YEARS. The sad truth is most won't make a year, never mind 5.

If you are new, sure there are some things you can do to ease yourself into this new fit lifestyle. Try replacing foods with healthier versions, check out C25K, dump the sweet drinks and start logging every day.

If you are not counting calories and increasing your activity, look forward to struggling and failure in your future.

What are the secrets to sustainable long term success? Here is my list.

Food portions! You really can eat anything as long as you don't over indulge. Get a food scale, read restaurant menus and calories BEFORE you go out, box half the meal before you eat and learn how to use a measuring cup.

Water! Drinks are often a source of empty calories. Soda is a no brainer, but what about whipped-mocha-carmel-spiced-pumpkin-apple-cinnamon-turbo-shot-lattes sweet and light, energy drinks, and sweet tea? Diet soda is a problem too. Google it, it's not healthy and will not help you achieve your fitness goals. Beer, wine and mixed drinks are also on the list.

Sodium: it's an eventual diet killer and all processed foods have TOO much. Period.

Labels: They are not just for getting your underwear on going the right way. They are on just about any manufactured or processed foods; get used to reading them. The real tip here? If it has a label, it is most likely processed and eventually you will find there are better choices.

Vegetables: These are a staple of healthy eating. There are many choices, so experiment. Fresh is best, frozen is better, and canned is good.

Fruit: After vegetables, the next best addition to any healthy eating regimen. Just keep an eye out for sugar and carbs.

Beans: When you want to add gas protein to your diet without the expense of fish, red meat and chicken, this is a great addition. The problem is the canned variety are high in sodium, so rinse them well.

Exercise: you really need to have good general fitness. Even if you want to be a long distance runner or a bodybuilder, both benefit from strength and cardio endurance exercise. 3/30 minute cardio sessions a week along with two strength circuits is plenty for the long haul. It might not get you to the end of a marathon, or a gorgeous set of ripped abs, but you will be healthy and avoid injures in other sports.

Shopping: If you don't bring it home, it won't tempt you.

There is a lot more to know - like why you need to eat superfoods, about diet foods that are bad for you and how excuses will kill you!

Discuss!

Thanks for the votes and comments. I always appreciate your support!

Feckin Runnin'

I know a lot of us who run need a chance to let out our inner Kenyan. We dream of 20 minute 5Ks and 50 minute 10ks. The truth is most of us are happy to run a 5K in under 30 and a 10K in under an hour.

At close to 55, I am probably not going to run a 5K in 16:57 ever again. Most of you know that I have collected a number of injuries that have slowed me down. The usual suspects, plantar fasciitis, torn meniscus, pulled muscles, and strained tendons and ligaments. I've collected them all plus a rotator cuff tear and a heart attack.

That hasn't stopped me.

Saturday I ran a 5K race to benefit cancer research. I proudly wore my Cancer Sucks t-shirt and my running tights (which my wife does not find manly at all.) The race theme said: "If you think running in the winter is hard, try battling cancer." A sobering thought.

I lost both my parents to cancer. Just this year it claimed the life of my ex-wife and a close friend. Cancer really sucks.

The biggest problem with running is that I really don't know how. I learned to run away from my older brothers who were going to give me an Indian sunburn, the noogie of death a Hulk Hogan wedgie; none of which I, or any of my pain receptors found all that much pleasure in.

By 5th grade I was the fastest kid in the school. My brothers were serious players.

Then like most fat old desk jockeys, I stopped running. Heck, I hardly even walked. Fast forward to the ICU in April '11 where things weren't looking too good. It was there that things really changed. I wasn't on some diet, I wasn't trying to lose weight, I was fighting for my life.

The cardiologist sat next to the monitoring stand next to my bed and said, "It's time to make a few changes."

OK, so I did. I tried to remember how to run. Within a few months, I had to have knee surgery. Then I tried hockey and ended up with a broken rib and rotator cuff surgery. I am just not that coordinated.

Some of my friends ask me how running could be fun with so much pain and so many obstacales. I thought it over and that's when I thought, it's all in my head. If I shut that off, It really doesn't matter.

When I am running, some times I just close my eyes on a flat straight away and drink in the moment.

I guess I am convinced that I am not really a runner in form and practice. I just run because it's all in my head.

I am not from Ireland, but I viewed a video on YouTube about a runner there... I think I am channeling the pug. If you haven't seen it, here's a link.

The Pug Who Couldn't Run

Just because I can't feckin run, doesn't mean I can't enjoy it - and so can you! :)

Thanks for the votes and comments!

Do It Today!

Weight loss and getting fit is another one of those things in life a lot of us wanted to get to. Add that to winning the lottery, finding the perfect mate, and our favorite team winning another championship - it can leave us without hope.

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 smoker blowing smoke rings through smoke rings - and coughing up a lung every morning. I even worked as a medical photographer taking pictures of cancerous lungs.

I quit in 1994 but my ex died in April '12 at age 56 of lung cancer. She told me the day that I quit she would "start tomorrow."

I guess there are lots of things that are bad for you in life, like too much food or alcohol. And there are lots of other warnings that I probably disregarded, such as using a padded headboard for safe sex and not ripping the tag of mattresses by penatly of the law.

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 in a society that plops killer portions in front of you day and night. It's really hard to divide up a bag of goodies into a reasonable portion. It's hard to schedule regular exercise. Most of us have been there!

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.
- Toss the junk food.
- Make a meal plan!
- Research restaurants BEFORE you get there.
- Search the forums but beware of "the answer" type posts
- 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!
 
Thanks for the votes and comments!

New Year Resolutions...

Instead of making resolutions, I decided to make a few goals for the year. More about those another time. Here is a collection of rediculous resolutions modified for the MFP crowd!

I will...

... not sit in the living room all day in front of the TV, sufing the web on my laptop, while wearing my PJs. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.

...no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead spend it worrying about the future.

...not lie making the same old excuses. I will think of new ones.

...run more and still cross-train and take rest days!

...stop leaving my dirty gym socks lying in the middle of the floor. I'll leave them on the kitchen table, where they're easier to reach.

...assure my pastor that never again show up with my iPod blasting Eye of the Tiger at church.

...replace chocolates totally - 100% - with say - bacon!

...try to figure out why I even need Facebook.

...stop sending e-mail and be on the phone at the same time with the same person.

...think of new passwords that contain at least one $pecial character and 1 numb3r.

...not tell the same stories in the presence of my spouse - in particular the ones we do not agree on.

...stop drinking orange juice after I just brushed my teeth.

...keep it to myself that I have trouble with authority when I'm being interviewed.

...not watch Gangnam Style or Jillian on YouTube - ever!

...help kids stay safe by not texting on my cell phone while eating a grilled chicken wrap with bean spouts while speeding through crosswalks in school zones with a frost covered windshield.

...start considering other people's feelings on the message boards... maybe not.

Happy New Year!

And if you need some serious help, try this blog!
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