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Giving Up Is Not an Option!

Since I logged onto MFP in 2011, I had no idea what fitness and health challenges were in store. I came here to lose weight and look sexy. I was dreaming of flexing in the mirror.

My proposed plan was about to be delayed.

I wasn't here only a couple of months when I had congestive heart failure. I spent a week in ICU, but I didn't give up logging my calories and learning about food choices.

In spite of being sick, I did everything I could to get healthy. I had two nurses monitoring my progress along with my regular doctor, a nutritionist, a trainer, and a cardiologist. I was scared, but I kept on showing up.

I lost weight. In fact 66 pounds in one year.

I changed my diet up by dumping some not so great stuff and adding in low calorie, nutrient-dense foods. I did give some things up. I don't regret leaving soda, fast food, white potatoes, white rice, foods made with white flour, and a lot of processed junk like coldcuts, chips, dips and most sugar.

I needed a lifestyle change!

I got moving too. I ran, I lifted, I cross-trained and I ended up having knee surgery and rotator cuff repairs. I had to reevaluate my cardio. I just ran. 5Ks, 10Ks, 5-milers, 10-milers, half marathons and eventually seven full marathons. I even did 2 ultra marathons.

I ran across Massachusetts in three days and Rhode Island in one!

I have been between 197 and 205 pounds for a long, long time. I guess that is my happy weight no matter what I do.

I have also had cancer.

I have had prostate, melanoma, Basel cell carcinoma and a colon cancers. I hate cancer. Yesterday, I had stomach cancer biopsies. A couple of weeks ago they found spots on my liver and my kidney with a CT scan.

I really hate cancer.

I won't have pathology results back for a week or so. I was relieved that they didn't find a tumor. I will be scheduling a closer look at the liver once this is resolved.

I did go for a run. I am finding them difficult, but I keep going out there and doing what I can do. I have cancelled 3 marathons and just dropped out of a half for this weekend.

But I haven't given up yet.

Aphrodisiac Food Tips for Valentine’s Day

Cupid is about to unleash his love drunk fury in a few days. The good news for folks who love food is that you can help bring things to a climax by eating some of the food mentioned below.

No one has the need for a bedroom boost like the folks on MFP. ;)

So here's to getting the blood flowing, the neurotransmitters rocking and the clothes flying in the air.

1. Basil: Now I really like basil in my food. It is common spice in my house. But when it comes increasing the desire, I never thought of keeping a shaker of it in the bedroom. I guess the only drawback is if my mate says, "What's the in your teeth?" Until then, I think we'll stick to Channel No. 5.

2. Cinnamon:
This is the stuff that is used in cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are sex.

3. Pine Nuts: Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't. If your Valentines celebration includes a hike in the woods, be sure to pick some up.

4. Cardamom: This is Cialis of the food world! It is also an antimicrobial so you can use it to clean the bathtub when you are done.

5. Celery:
From the beginners guide to S&M. A crunch should always precede a spanking.

6. Aniseed: Supposedly the ancient Greeks believed anise aroused the female. If it's true, I am making my honey a cake with it.

7. Avocado: The Aztecs called the avocado ahuacuatl, or "testicle tree." After you stop laughing, think about all the uses it the pit might have. I think we are done talking about avocados.

8. Almonds: Now we're talking. I love almonds. If they were liquid, I would take a bath in them. Instead of tequila I think you can use them for body shots. I guess they were fertility symbols at one time. I am thinking without nuts, there isn't much chance, you know? The article says that it works best on woman; probably why I don't know.

9. Chili Peppers: This is supposed to improve the "heat of the moment." I guess if you like kissing when your ears are numb from pain, there is a lot more I don't want to know. Oh wait, are we talking about a band?

10. Honey: Well, it is supposed to increase hormones which make us want to rip our mate’s clothes off! The problem at my house is that I can't get the stupid cover off it once it has been opened, and we lose the desire if I have to go shopping. So much for boron and whatever the hell else is trapped in there.

11. Carrots: It seems to work for rabbits. It may be the shape that does it for some people. And remember, size matters.

12. Ginger: Just like chili peppers, ginger spices things up. Drink up a little terrace, smear on the wasabi and go for it.

13. Coconut Water: Be sure to have some before and after to replenish your electrolytes after a marathon session.

14. Arugula: Because every good meal starts with a salad!

15. Watermelon: I can't see a seed spitting contest as a romantic contribution. Confused? Me too!

16. Chocolate:  I am with you on this one. I like chocolate so much I would have sex by myself. Dopamine and PEA can be your imaginary friends.

17. Asparagus: I don't know what's in there, but I like 'em. As far as sex goes, I'm not thinking that my mate will appreciate the fiber, you know what I mean? Apparently they boost the production of histamine which helps with orgasms. I dunno, maybe if you have a cold it can help too. I think the best thing they have going for them is their shape. Possibly if you had a long enough one you could use it for a whip.

18. Truffle: Thanks be to God it comes wrapped chocolate. It's an expensive, earthy fungus that is found by pigs. We can stop at chocolate.

19. Vanilla: A mild nerve stimulant when a bottle of champagne is too much!

20. Nutmeg: Its warming properties have been well known for centuries. Best combined with rum which also has warming properties.

21. Sea Vegetables: I think they mean sea cucumbers. But if you forgot your diving gear, you can grab one in the Sexual Health aisle at your local pharmacy. Be sure to get the batteries up front, they are cheaper there.

22. Red Wine: This was rumored to be in the Fountain of Youth. Ponce De Leon apparently drank it all and that is why he can't remember where it was. It's a good thing they didn't have cars back then; he would have lost the keys too.

23. Coriander: It serves as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant. I am not sure what that has to do with sex.

24. Pomegranates: Rumored to increase genital sensitivity. Really? I'll stick with silk or Egyptian cotton. It's easier to wash.

25. Garlic:  It's good for your heart and your blood flow; it's the Viagra of the natural world! Now guys, if you can get someone to get close after eating it, you might be in luck. My ex-wife said it would probably be better if I mowed the lawn and took out the garbage. The result may be improved stamina and sexual energy.

I don't know about you, but I am going to take my chances with flowers, chocolate and a thoughtful card, right after I take out the garbage.

Thanks for the votes and comments. Friend me at your own risk.

The original list was found here, but I wrote an adaption in my book: ICU to Marathon:

See You at the Funeral - A Fitness Journey

Having been on MFP for a long time, I have pretty much heard it all. You have your vegans and vegetarians, your pescatarians, your carnivores and your fast food junkies here. All people here for a common goal; to take photos in the bathroom and get fit. (CAUTION: Be sure to put away all vibrators, condoms and female products when taking bathroom pics.)

If you are here to diet for your special occasion, you are missing the point!

It's a lifestyle. Unless you planning to die on your wedding day or 40th birthday or your cruise, I am assuming your life will have some purpose after your special day has past. The formula for a healthy lifestyle is more than what you shove in your face, although that is the major part.

For me fitness is a healthy weight, aerobic capacity, strength, a nontoxic diet, good blood work and an emotional sense of wellbeing with every breath I take.

People come and go on here all the time, but for those who tame their junk food consumption, exercise regularly, log their food and don't give up, they enjoy the benefits of being healthy and getting comments about being sexy in the forums.

I have a friend (Annabellj) that often says, "See you at the funeral!" I can't tell you how tempted I am to post that phrase as a response to some of the forum replies and topics. Here are some examples of posts I would like to reply  "See you at the funeral!":

- I have a cheat meal once a day.
- I am cheating with my best friend's spouse.
- I don't like fruit or vegetables and fish is gross.
- I can't swallow water.
- My SO makes me eat pizza against my will when (s)he's not at home.
- I can't afford to eat healthy, what should I buy at Olive Garden?
- Which burns more calories, sitting in front of the TV or going to the movies?
- Why would I want to sweat, I can lose without exercising.
- I am on an 800-calorie-a-day diet that works.
- I am back... but starting tomorrow.
- I am 1200 calories over and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.
- People at the gym will think I am fat, what should I do?
- Seeking professional advice. (You'll get it in a minute.)
- I hate anyone that doesn't like my diary.
- I can't beleive the gym charges me when I am not there!
- I just had diarrhea after cleansing...

Look, it's easy to make excuses, and we all have bad days, however; the ones who succeed stick around long enough to meet their goals and make it a way of life.

So how has your lifestyle changed since joining MFP?
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