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Commitment, Running and Overcoming

Since October of '15 I have been having digestive issues. After working diligently on my food choices (hey, I wrote a book!) and losing about 100 pounds, I was convinced it was medical. I had lots of imaging, been scoped front and back, had a battery of blood tests, even a couple of suspicious things sent for biopsies - oh, and got to crap in a cup. 

The doctor also changed my diet. He wanted to rule out food sensitivities.

I got rid of gluten, apples, and dairy. Then we added medication, fiber, and probiotics. It seemed like I was going backwards. Every run got slower and the cramping got worse. My hopes for running Dublin in October were dashed.

I even cut back on coffee!!

Things got worse over time. In fact it was worse than it ever. Despite not running more than 8 miles for months, I kept running. In fact I ran more days and my mileage per month has been going up. I have worked too hard for all the benefits running offers to give up.

I am committed. (Maybe I need to be committed.)

Commitment is important for lots of reasons. It's good for relationships, it's good for getting the hard part of losing weight or finishing a marathon too! I have a good friend. He and I have run across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and I did a few legs of his run across New Hampshire, too.

We finished the Boston Marathon together in 2014; the year after the bombings.

This past Sunday David ran his 96th full marathon. I promised to finish it with him. I didn't register for the race because my health has been a daily struggle. I was going to run the half but the courses were not the same.

I promised to cross the finish line with him. I had to find another way.

I confess, I called to ask him what his plan was. I was sort of hoping he would back out. I had read on Facebook that he had an MRI on his knee. He told me that he had planned to make Boston his 100th in 2017.

"I will finish if I have to walk," he said.

My new plan was to meet him at the 23 mile mark and run the last few miles with him. As it turns out, the course was closed and I just had to run the course backwards until we met. I ran for almost an hour up and down the hills of Keene, NH. 

I still didn't catch up with him.

I took a little G'ade at a water stop and kept running. Between mile 21 and 22 I found him limping along. "How is the knee?," I asked?

"On a scale of 1 to 10, a 7." he said. "If anyone else asks, a 2." I gave him a hug and we took off jogging slowly towards the finish. I really was a nice day out - a little hot, but sunny. We carried on talking about life in our always sarcastic style. I actually know some who can out smart ass me.

"Did you know I met my wife on a half blind date? It's true, I only have sight in one eye." He quipped.

"I hope it's still Sunday when we get to the finish line." We were running at 14 minute miles.

Then we saw a guy walking his dog. His shirt said F&^K and there were three checkboxes. Me. You. Off. David said, "nice shirt buddy!"

The man looked down and replied, "oh $h1t!"

We fired back, "no f$%k!^

On and on we worked on our comedy routine - some new jokes and retelling some old ones. His PT, Amanda came along for the last few miles. That poor woman.

The miles came and went and then we were in sight of the finish line. The crowds rang cowbells, the announcer announce David and congratulated him on his 96th marathon finish.

As we took photos the last 2 runners came across too. "Hey, you're not dead-freaking-last!" I chided.

I met a friend and headed back to the car. My sports tracker congratulated me on 9 miles. My longest run of the season.

The 5 Stages of Food Grief

Terminally ill patients often go through fairly predictable stages as they begin to accept their life is coming to an end (hopefully, they have an eternal home). I have watched it happen with both my parents. It's sad, but thank God we get some time when it counts the most!

If you were a fatso like me when you first logged onto MFP, you're going to go through some emotional stages too - lots of them. Like a maturing baby, you'll probably throw a few tantrums along the way, too. If you don't believe me, read the message boards!

Stage 1: Denial: It's not just a river in Egypt! If you have a BMI over 30, you are obese, and if it is over 25 you are overweight according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Association. The problem is what you eat, not big bones and if you are here on MFP, you and I both know why; it's not to get recipes! (Although that is a good reason to be on MFP!)

Stage 2: Anger: You probably think Jillian Michaels is too skinny, and that guys with 6-pack abs got them from sitting around watching football. Poor you, you didn't get them. I know I am mad when I go to lunch with someone my age, and they freakin' eat an entire pizza while I limit myself to 1 or 2 slices. You might be mad at God for making everything that tastes good bad for you.

Stage 3 Bargaining: "Lord if you let me indulge this day and it doesn't show up on the scale, I will give money to the next organization that knocks on my door!" Are you kidding? You popped a pants button and a dead pigeon fell from the sky; you are a frequent flier at Big & Tall: it's no deal! "Real" is the root word of reality.

Stage 4 Depression: Drinking water, putting away the salt shaker, logging your meals, dumping fast food as a dietary option -  and gasp, exercising so that you sweat! Who wouldn't be depressed?!? It's normal to be bummed out that we can't be like others and eat anything we want, in any quantity we want to.

Stage 5 - Acceptance:  Time to snap out it! "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it." That's right! Unlike terminal patients you have a chance to change your history, your health, and your waist line.

The health benefits of losing weight and keeping it off are amazing. But who cares what your BMI is when you have a donut in the break room with your name on it? If you really accept where you are, you'll stop defending your bad food choices and making excuses for why the scale hates you.

Stage 6 - The Party Stage: Why not focus on what you can do when you lose the weight and get healthy.

- You'll feel better and your depression will be less.
- You'll have better skin!
- You'll be less likely to be sick from viral and bacterial disease.
- You'll have more positions you can use for "that."
- You will eventually acquire a taste for what is good for you.
- You'll live longer with the ones you love.
- You'll have more choices for clothing stores.
- You'll be more comfortable on planes and camel rides.
- Your joints will feel better.
- You can eat from the children's menu if you use the curb-side pick up at most of the chains. This saves money!
- You'll need less medication when you do need it.
- You'll have more energy.
- You'll look younger.
- You'll probably only have one chin to shave and not two or three.
- You'll sleep better.
- You'll reduce health care costs.
- You can buy shoes that tie - in fact you might even see your feet for the first time in a while.
- You'll put on new underwear and feel like touching yourself - that might just be me.

Thanks for the comments and votes. You guys are awesome!

Exceprt from my book, ICU to Marathon.

Stuff Weight Losers Do and Say

No matter what industry, business or hobby you are into, there is always a vernacular that goes with it. For instance, if you work in retail and you have customer with a chip card, you tell them to "put it all the way in." You might hear this in a lot of other situations in which you wish you hadn't. Hey it sure beats "strip down, please."

There is also stuff we do. Some of it doesn't make sense. I used to get a small portion and then get seconds. Yup, I did that.

So here is my list of stuff for weight losers only.

- You poop before you weigh in - twice!
- You wear stretchy pants because you forgot how to read size tags.
- You eat salads for lunch everyday.
- If you have one mini candy bar, the bag needs to be taped to the outside of a window 60 floors up or it's gone.
- You say, I'm going for a run, but it's really to the liquor store.
- Your favorite part of Couch to 5K is the couch.
- You eat broccoli with your Everything Burger because it's healthier.
- A heaping teaspoon of peanut butter counts the same as a level one.
- You eat a donut and tell yourself "today will be better."
- You suck it in for your progress pictures.
- You save your best profanity for the scale.

Did I miss any?

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

Health update: I spoke with the surgeon and he and I agreed that despite the latest news, I can wait until January. This is causing a change of plans. I will not running the Dublin Marathon. I have chosen to spend a week in California with my loved ones. The job front continues to be discouraging and I am seriously contemplating starting my own business. I mean, I have to eat, right? :)

Famous Quotes

I read a lot. I have a pretty good education for a guy who smoked enough pot in high school to get all of Chicago high for a day. On the Internet, most people don't want to spend more that a few minutes reading. Did you know 47% of all music videos don't even get listened in their entirety?! If you are into food, you'll see that so were many of our most famous orators.

Today I decided to quote some of the literary masters while messing with them a little bit.

Everything on the Internet is true.
-Abraham Lincoln

You can't mess with perfection!

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

That pizza and beer looks delicious. I won't die.

If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. 
Thomas Edison

It's safer to stay on the couch and binge watch TV whiling eating Doritos.

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein

Einstein was not talking about bagels and donuts.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Count your calories.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
-Maurice Switzer

No truer words were spoken about the message boards.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
-Dr Suess

Nothing like some jerk eating the last piece of cake!

If you want something done right, do it yourself.
-Charles-Guillaume Étienne

Is this a veiled attempt to talk about sex?

Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.
-St Augustine

Chocolate strawberries!

Necessity is the mother of invention.

This is why we have a 24-hour drive-thru windows.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I'd prefer a large denomination gift card from Outback Steak House

Believe you can and you're halfway there.
-Theodore Roosevelt

For decades I couldn't believe it until I was all the way there. Then I had to lose 100 pounds.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
-Forrest Gump's Mom

Chocolate is from the gods.

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
-Oscar Wilde

I am sort of glad no one wants to be me. So far I have avoided capture.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

This is why I help my kid look for chocolate I stole from her.

It is always darkest just before the dawn.
-Thomas Fuller

It is always darkest when the lamp in the refrigerator needs to be replaced.

If you are going through hell, keep going.
-Winston Churchill

Why waste time doing stuff you can avoid all together.

Whether you think you can or think you can't – you are right.
-Henry Ford

Donuts are no match for a sugar craving.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
-Albert Einstein

I don't know, I saw the Deer Hunter and it worked for Russian Roulette.

A penny saved is a penny earned.
-Benjamin Franklin

This is why McDonalds doesn't have a Dollar Menu at the turnpike locations.

Ignorance is bliss.
-Thomas Gray

It's also  good way to end up in jail.

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were.
-Kahlil Gibran

This happened to me with Tofu.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.
-William Edward Hickson

Part of the morning weigh in ritual.

I think therefore I am.
- Descartes

I call BS.

Do one thing every day that scares you.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

My kid brought home her class' pet boa constrictor.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
-Walt Disney


A word to the wise ain't necessary, it is the stupid ones who need all the advice.
- Bill Cosby


Responsible, who wants to be responsible? Whenever something bad happens, it's always, who's responsible for this?
- Jerry Seinfeld

This why alarm clocks have snooze features.

I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.
- Rodney Dangerfield


Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
- Kurt Vonnegut

I'll leave you with that. Happy Tuesday.
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