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You Can't Always Win

Have you ever felt so defeated that you didn't even want to play? That's how football was for me. I was pretty fast, but I couldn't catch the dang ball. I felt the same way in Dr. Swietzer's psychiatry class.

I tried my best and just couldn't do it.

There were other things in life which came a bit more naturally -  playing guitar and hockey. The excitement of both endeavors birthed a passion in me. Endless hours of practice, most of which I could do mostly on my own, gave me time to learn it my way. I could then show up for practices or rehearsal and be part of the team.

I learned a lot from team sports and playing in a band.

I found that working with others who had the same passion and commitment was a lot of fun. I naturally gravitated to those that were more talented than me. I asked lots of questions and watched carefully. I also learned to give away what I learned and encourage others after I got it.

I wish I could say life is a team sport, but it really isn't.

Sure, I need others. I need you. That does not remove the burden of taking charge of my own life, my finances, my relationships and my health. There are things which I must do, decisions I have to make.

Take buying underwear for instance; I know what size I need so I don't chafe or squash the man grapes.

I am the one that makes my marathon training schedule, measures (or not) my food into portions, and decides when I need another pair of running shoes. I also make decisions about my health care.

No one can do this for me.

This weekend I met a vendor at the marathon expo I was working this weekend. We got to small talk about the expo. In the middle of it, a fellow runner from back home briefly interupted to ask about my health. We are friends on Facebook and he follows my story based on what I actually post. He looked me in the eye. 

I went from living in the moment which I have become very good at, to thinking about my next biopsy in late March. The fact that someone took a moment to ask pierced my rather protective emotional skin.

The whole moment ended in a hugs from him and the strange vendor. #life
As it turns out, I did a quick video endorsement for the ChafeX vendor. During the three question interview he asked me where I applied it. (If you run, you know where it goes!) "On my privates and my butt crack I responded - sometimes on my feet."

I can be unvarnished.

The fellow doing the video, hid a smile and thanked me for my honesty. :) I am not sure it was the best decision I ever made, but I had fun doing it. Some other decisions I have made are to login into MFP once a day even if I don't log my food.

I still need you.

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

I Still Suck at This

I don't know about you, although I am not afraid of being mugged my a chocolate cake with vanilla icing (is this profiling), this effing food thing is tough. I does not care how fit you are, or what you do; when you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight.

This should be easy - easy after 5 years. It's not.

Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run 7 of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile kind! I have run about 70 races and did a 60 mile charity run across Massachusetts, and a 28 mile run across RI. I do love running, but it is not a weight loss program.

You cannot outrun a bad diet.

Marathons are a lot different than shorter distance races. You need to have lots of rest before and lots of recovery time after. With a 3 week taper leading up to the race and a week or two of recovery, you don't get a lot of exercise.

The problem is that it is hard to cut down on your food intake.
Well it is for me. I need to be in a highly controlled environment. That means nothing that I should consider an occasional treat can be in walking distance. I can't have left over birthday cake, chips, dips, and other types of snack foods close by.

I just can't do it!

I have to divide up portions meat, fish and poultry when I get home from the grocery store. It's SO easy to toss the second turkey burger in when I get home from work and I am hungry. If there is more than one in a package, I will eat them all.

The good news is that when I run, I am a lot less hungry.

I have not been running as much as I used to. I have been traveling and spending a lot more time commuting. I have gained weight - AGAIN! Did I say I need a controlled environment? I made lots of good food choices. I mean soft boiled eggs and caviar is good, right? I skipped desserts, sweet drinks and I only ate potatoes once. I drank as much water as you can when you don't know where the next bathroom is.

What I didn't do was control portions.

One of the things I know about failing is that we give ourselves permission to do it. We make excuses. "It's only once", "it's vacation", "it's OK to start over tomorrow", "it's just a stressful time" and the hits keep on coming. In 5years on MFP I have seen HUNDREDS of people come and go -maybe thousands in fact!

Overeating is an enemy of mine.

The fact still remains that 55% of those who lose weight will not keep it all off, 20% will return to their previous weight and 20% or so will gain even more weight than they lost. That leaves 5% to win the championship and make a true lifestyle change.

I want to be one of them.
How about you?

Thanks for the votes and comments! 

Food, Sex and Valentines Day

Cupid has unleashed his love drunk fury today. 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 more need for a bedroom boost than the folks on MFP. ;)

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

-1 Oysters: Anything that looks like the flu is suspect. I will admit that this is my favorite food ever, and I am going to check to calendar to see how lucky they made me! I can assure you that it is not sushi.

-2 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?

-3 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.

-4 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. 

-5 Bananas: The banana is no stranger to sexual activity. I was at a party once - never mind. Apparently if you eat them it increases the male libido. I think when I was a teenager it worked. I still eat bananas, but I guess I am immune to their effect now a days. I'd probably have better luck if someone else would eat it and I watched.

-6 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.

-7 Coffee = Sex. I have 3-4 cups of sex every day.

-8 Watermelon: I can't see a seed spitting contest as a romantic contribution. Confused? Me too!

-9 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.

-10 Arugula: Because every good meal starts with a salad!

-11 Olive Oil: Critical for blood flow and hormone production. More importantly, if you forgot the lubricant, you probably have some in the kitchen.

-12 Figs: Figs make me think of camels, and camels make me think of spitting - it's not working for me. And besides, Adam and Eve covered their privates with fig leaves. That's like having kids banging on the bedroom door.

-13 Strawberries: Best when covered with chocolate. I am sure there is stuff in there that makes you want to do the deed. But it's the color!

-14 Artichokes: Mostly a legend. Sometimes sex is a legend. Just saying.

-15 Chai Tea: The Viagara of the Starbucks generation.

-16 Pomegranates: Rumored to increase genital sensitivity. Really? I'll stick with silk or Egyptian cotton. It's easier to wash.

-17 Cherries: Lots of melatonin and other good stuff. If you eat a lot of this legendary fruit, you can fall asleep before there is any meaningful conversation.

-18 Pumpkin seeds: These little wonders are supposed to raise the testosterone levels. Just be sure to scoop out you seeds in advance.

-19 Whipped Cream: Because.

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:

It's Not What I Hoped For

This health journey is nothing like I expected when I first started. I had done dieting before but I always gained it back. I wanted to be happy, but I took antidepressants. I wanted to be in love but I didn’t know what it was.

It’s taken a few years, but I have found a few answers. 

I kept looking for the same thing (what I thought I wanted), and that is what I found; the same old thing. At some point I decided to leave the door open for something new. It’s likely I didn’t know enough to succeed at much of anything. I had to shut off the fear of repeating past failures. I had made them with my health, my relationships, and even in my pursuit of faith. I needed to find ways to take one more risk - to say or do one more thing that made me feel more like me – a more authentic and healthy version of myself.

I still had unfulfilled dreams.

As I approach 60, I still have hope for the future. I needed to change my goals from whatever it was that I thought I should be in life, to that which came naturally with some work to let it out. When I started this journey, I just wanted to be a thinner version of me. I wanted to get in those damn 32” jeans that made my @$$ look good.

I need to stop hoping and praying and get to work.

My life needed a magic pill and there wasn’t one. No amount of prayer was going to fix my health. As much of a faith guy as I am, I also had to act – faith without action is well, pretty useless. I just reread the Catcher in the Rye. Holden was me, and he ended up in some sort of mental hospital.

As much as I identified with the character, I didn’t want to be him.

I did my best to gain control of my health. It was a bit of a process and I waited too long. You can’t un-pickle a pickle so to speak. I did MFP, started running and yes, I kept praying. The combination of those three things got me to the point where I did not need heart medication or antidepressants. 

Yesterday I had my yearly physical – you know, where guys cough and are #1 with the doc.

My new doc is after the weight and blood sugar again. With all this GI stuff the last year, I have gained 10 pounds. In some ways I am back to square one. The good news is that I have already been there and I know the path. I bought a new set of portion control plastic tubs.

It’s been going on 6 years, and I am still unable to manage this by winging it.

Sure, I still have a cancer diagnosis I am working my way though, and now I am commuting quite a bit. No excuses! The food is, and will always be, the problem. I need my food scale, my food tubs, and my food log.

I NEED running, 

I also find great joy in being with those whom I love, being in the presence of God, and finding the good things in my day. I watch more sunsets and sunrises and I'm doing some of the things I just never made time for. 

I not only stop to smell the roses, I occasionally buy some to bring home.

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