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Simple Answers to Complex Fitness Questions

You may have read some of the Message Boards here on MFP. There are hundreds of thousands of them! The categories are diverse, ranging from Success Stories to Nutrition and Chit-Chat. Each one appears to be crafted by experts in their field. With such a wealth of information, how can one sort through all this truth?

As a veteran of MFP, I thought I would take some of the more complex questions and give simple answers. These are actual questions with my not so serious answers.

Exercise Calories:
Should I eat my exercise calories? No.. err... I mean yes! No, I mean half!!!!

What if I eat my exercise calories? You'll get fat or skinny.

Should I exercise? Yes, if you want to eat the exercise calories.

How much time should I spend exercising? At least the same amount of time you spend eating, food shopping and on MFP combined.

Should I run? Not if you are on fire. I recommend Stop, Drop and Roll.

What kind of running shoes do you recommend? My favorites are bunny slippers. I mean, how far is it to the refrigerator anyway?

How fast should I run? Faster than the slowest person in your group if you are being chased by a wild man-eating animal.

How far should I run? Far enough so you don't die.

I have bad knees. This is not a question. My guess is that you also have a fat butt. Try MFP.

Diet Help:
I ate more and lost weight, aren't you proud of me? Should I be? (I know it's rude to answer a question with a question?) Are you over 50? (Damn, another question.) Sorry, this is above my pay grade.

Do you have Cheat Days? No, I only eat Sunday through Saturday. If I was on the Mayan calendar, I would have stopped eating a few years ago.

How do I become a vegetarian? *face palm* dsjohndrow is nearly speechless. Don't eat your cat.

Someone called me fat, what do I do? Stick to the program.

Someone called me skinny, what do I do? Post it as an NSV and wait for the anorexia police.

I have food allergies, what should I do? Unfortunately they don't seem to be to fast food. But you asked, so get an Epi Pen and go to the organic grocery store.

What is cleansing? Claiming poop as weight loss.

What is fasting? Stops poop.

Do I have to drink 8 cups of water a day? No, you can use an empty diet soda can.

Should I get a food scale? Not if you can accurately guess the molecular weight of the hydrogen in the kitchen.

I still have over 50 pounds to go, but how do I maintain my weight? Just eat while you are standing on the scale. If it moves, stop eating.

Should I weigh myself every day? Yes, it is less time consuming than every minute. Unless of course you are using the weight maintenance program outlined above.

Should I stop eating fast-food? Only in between healthy meals.

Do you take supplements? No, my girlfriend and I are monogamous.

Is it OK to wear skimpy underwear or a bikini in my success pics? Only if it's too hot for a sweatshirt.

How come everyone wears skimpy underwear or a bikini in their success pictures? It's terribly hot in the bathroom after weighing yourself every minute.

My progress pics looks terrible. What should I do? It's because you left your personal vibrator and feminine products on the sink. No really, go make progress.

Should I use the Stairmaster? No, just weigh yourself every second.

Should I eat processed food? I suggest it, if you can't grow your own veggies and slaughter your own fatted calf.

My HRM doesn't agree with MFP, what should I do? Schedule a cheat day. No, seriously, just lie.

How would you log one half of a Hershey's kiss? I am sorry, I am going to need more information. Was it the 2 pound Kiss?

What is TMI? TMI = Tight Underwear (often seen in success pictures)

If I only need 2 beers to catch a buzz, how should I log it? As a snack.

Should I eat breakfast? If you finished yesterday's dinner, yes.

Should I eat meat? Only if you want your pudding.

Do you have low carbs? Mine are all the same height.

What are your thoughts? If I told you I'd be arrested.

OK, it's your turn; what question would you like to ask me?

Thanks for the votes and comments. BTW - You can vote and comment!

Friend me at your own risk!

3 Words You Don't Want to Hear

As weight losers, we don't always need a lecture to get out attention. In fact, we may not need an entire sentence. It's like the driver who cut me off on the Interstate. I screamed 3 stress relieving words at him as well as doing it in sign language.


That is not really what I said, but this is simply an illustration; I'm a professional and your result may vary. All this got me to thinking about weight loss. Which, after 1800 days on MFP is still hard work. It thought about what might motivate me to get back on track and stay there.

Here is a list of phrases that would make me think about it my weight loss. Some of them are excuses and others strike fear in the heart of a food addict.

- Scale just broke
- Food is locked
- No more sugar
- It's only pizza
- No belt extenders
- This requires surgery
- It's a fire!
- McDonald's is closed
- It's just one (box)
- Run, run, run!
- There's a line
- One hour wait
- 1000 thousand calories
- It's too small
- Get the cake
- You're too big
- Get the defibrillator! (If you are conscious at the time)
- It’s hard work

What did I miss? What 3 words get you back on track?

Thanks for the votes and comments.

Friend me at your own risk!

Salad Made Me Sick! Fad Diets

Despite my pretty darn good record of eating healthy, I still have had some health issues. I have worked really hard to eat the nutrition I need. I wanted to be healthy without supplements and "diet food." I wanted this to be a lifestyle.

Salad made me sick.

It's true, I can't get what I need with salad. I have done a lot of reading about diet, nutrition and looked at various diets. My Kindle has 60 or more books on diets, homeopathic remedies, and some interesting body chemistry studies done on at least three or four humans.

The Alkaline Diet: I completely ruined my streak with Alka-Seltzer. I previously practiced the 60s version. I took acid at a Stones concert. The 70s version was the Alky Diet. We did that at the 21 Club in college.

The North Beach Diet or Maine Diet: Consisting of primarily of snow and seaweed, but high in sodium. In phase 2 you can eat lobster.

Craig's Diet: The Jenny Craig diet on Craigslist for half price; sort of like Ikea furniture.

The Red Pepper Diet: Simply add one heaping tablespoon of cayenne red pepper to an 8oz glass of 2% milk. High in protein. Add your favorite berries for a your daily requirement of antioxidants.

Slakins: This is pretty much sitting on the couch wishing you were thin.

Vegetarian Diet: This diet is filled with fruits, veggies and wannabe hamburgers! A balanced diet in which you avoid eating animal crackers.

5-Bite-Diet: Seriously? You can technically cheat by drinking wine or beer by the gallon.

Raw Food Diet: This is the one for people that hate to cook! Warning, consuming raw chicken and pork is not recommended, but do let us know how it goes. If you take your chances with pork and chicken, you call it a cleanse.

Slim Quick: Lots of reports on this one being out there, but no one claiming any results. ;)

The Blood Type Diet: This is more of an execise routine called Ice Hockey.

The System: Lose weight while eating lots of sodium from cardboard boxes as you wear a cut-off flannel shirt. If you call now. we'll double the sodium and throw in an extra flannel shirt for free + shipping and handling.

The Junk Food Diet: For real, some guy lost 27 pounds only eating Twinkies, Ho Ho's and Doritos.

The Ornery Diet: No meat, fish or alcohol and lots of fiber! No wonder the guy is ornery, he probably spends a lot of time stone cold sober, reading in the "library."

The Bone Diet: My dog lost about 2 pounds in one day on this one. He sure did seem happy to eat the dry food after that experiment.

The Eagle Diet: You can eat anything that you can catch and hold with your feet. Consists primarily of fresh uncooked fish.

The Zigzag Diet: Requires 4 or more alcoholic beverages before walking home from the Sports Bar.

The Pale-E-O Diet: You stay out the sun drinking mimosas and singing Old MacDonald.

I didn't mention the Pale Diet because it is simply avoiding the sun while hanging out on the Internet in your mother's basement.

Need more? Here is another list supplied by my friend CessnaHolly: Seared Ostrich

All kidding aside, isn't it time we just stuck to the basics of counting calories, eating a balanced diet of healthy foods, and getting proper exercise?

Thanks for your votes and comments, you guys are amazing!

Friend me at your own risk!

Getting A Handle On It! Improvement!

Holy smokes, life can get downright overwhelming. Work, single-parenting, softball games, my oldest getting married in October, food shopping, laundry, house cleaning, some significant health issues and - oh yeah, breathing. In the middle of that, I have to manage food and exercise.

It's enough to make someone go on a eating binge!

After doing this food and exercise thing for over 5 years, I have sort of lost my mojo. When I got sick in October, I started to feel like the old me. The one that didn’t really care about my food choices. First it was the quantity of food, and then it was the quality. I kept telling myself things like, "don't deny yourself this treat." "It's a cheat day." "You'll get back on track the next meal." "Gaining weight is a side effect of the medications - really, it is!"

The scale didn't listen, it just went up 15 pounds.

I ran less, felt worse and ate more. If I keep this up, all that I have gained could be lost. This journey is a matter of constant vigilance. I am angry at me, and angry at my body. I have worked harder - probably harder than most to overcome the unfit, overweight mess that I was 5 years ago.

I feel like giving up.

It just seems like an uphill battle and I confess, I didn't feel like fighting it. Every run was difficult and I didn't feel great. Emotionally, the bazillion doctor’s appointments took their toll. I kept on saying after this is over. The truth is, that for the rest of my life, I am going to need skin checks for melanoma, my yearly endoscopy for colon cancer and for now, I am continuing the surveillance of prostate cancer.

There really isn't an "after this."

I took a long walk on the beach with someone who cares about me. It was there that I decided that I would have to reclaim my life. One pound at a time. One mile at a time. One meal at a time. Out there with the crashing waves and salt air, it all seemed to fall in place. It helped having some support.

First I would have to give up what was.

I had to admit I am not fit enough to run a marathon. That I am not fit enough to run a personal best in a half marathon. Hell, not even in a 5K. That wasn't going to stop me. I registered for a half marathon. I ran my best effort and it was 14 minutes slower than my best ever. It was also the longest distance I have run since December.

I finished and I win! :P

I registered for a 5K. It was 3 minutes slower than my best. I was very disappointed, But I ran. So I ran another one this past weekend. It was 2 minutes slower than my best; however, I took 2nd in my age group.

One race at a time, I will improve. I have another this Saturday.

The food has been more difficult. I bought some new smaller portion tubs and a new food scale. I just have to reduce the quantity. For the most part, the quality is back up! I logged half a day and I WILL get back to logging it all.

I was thinking that running is more fun with someone else.

I went for a run with an MFP friend last week (thanks Kristin!). We had a lot of fun. I have a run with another buddy this week. He and I ran Boston last year. We registered for the London Marathon lottery yesterday. I also have neighbor that I run with when she is around. I am back to running 4 or 5 days a week. It's not the 180 miles a month I once did. I improved from 65 in March to 85 miles April.

I win.

I also am making sure I get my Fitbit steps in. 10,00 per day if I have to put it on the dog's collar; it WILL happen!

The message today is this; whatever life has for me, I am only living it today. Today I am going to win. My goals are to improve. Improve from where I am now and not lamenting the leaner faster me of last year.

I am just going to make the me I am today better than it was.

I have had a struggle with faith and love and some of those things which tend to stabilize me. It wasn’t that I lost faith. It was more that I wasn’t connecting. I am also making progress there.

For today, I believe just like I have since 1978. I believe in the power of love to transform me. I also believe in me - that I can receive it. That’s progress. It’s cost me a few tears. I have also made a list of stuff I need to address in life so I can be more stress free. Making the list helped. Making a few phone calls I will never have to make again was really great.

Faith is important to me. I didn't get this far on willpower alone.

Thanks for the votes and comments.

Friend me at your own risk.
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