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Don't Quit!

Did you ever have one of those days where you just didn’t feel like doing this fit lifestyle crap? I know that I have. Worse, I have one and the next day it seems I have a worse one. It's one of the big reasons I can't have cheat days - they end up as cheat weeks.

I confess, it's been hard to stay focused.

Yesterday I had a day surgery for collecting biopsies. I wasn't allowed to eat for two days prior. Trust me I thought about sneaking in a few Doritos, some cheese, a sausage and bacon pizza, an egg sandwich, a donut, and some left over Chinese food - washed down with a gallon of coffee.

Why is it always about food? It's always the damn food!

The food has been my problem since I was 41. Before that it was cigarettes and drinking and kids; I have a lot of kids. ;) At 41 I went from 165-175 to 230 pounds and then to around 300. I was working on getting my own zip cade. I have struggled with my weight ever since. I put smoking and drinking behind me decades ago, many decades. 

And my youngest started 8th grade yesterday and she will be on her own in a few years.

Lately it seems that I eat out more, cook less, and don't pay attention as much. I dread making lunches and snacks. Sure the scale is only a few pounds up, but it's bothering me. I am working hard to stay in the day and just live one at a time.

You certainly can't outrun a bad diet. Not even training for a marathon will do that.

Granted I have a lot going on in my personal life: with healthcare, a new job, training for Berlin and planning a wedding.

Nothing is impossible - well, for me, nothing is impossible with God.

The flip side of having a lot of stuff to deal with in life? Having a lot of ways to counter it. I put things in my life that are worth looking forward to. I purchase something small online that I need so the pile of medical bills seems smaller when I get to the mailbox. Of course I run. I register for local races, I go to art classes (I will be teaching one in October), take an occasional ride with my love, and I even get to the shooting range now and again.

Some days I just sit on the bed and enjoy some of the blessings I do have.

If quitting is not an option, then entertaining myself, visiting my kids, and being a smartass online is a positive response.

When I am doing those things, I am not eating or thinking about it.

I was going to write 10 things to help lose weight or maintain your fitness. I can only think of one.

DON'T QUIT!

It's My Birthday. I Can Eat Anything I Want!

This food thing is pretty intense. It seems that we think about food more than we do fitness and personal health. At least that has been my experience.

It's hard to get it right. Why is it that skipped past the produce section and walk down the ice cream aisle like it's ,my home town? Oh why can't I make better choices! In a NY Times article the author laid out the odds losing and keeping off the lost weight.

We have a better chance of being bitten by a rattlesnake!

The news gets worse - yes, there is a reason. We tell ourselves (and sometimes others) LIES. We cheat on our logging under the guise of being dedicated - or not getting red numbers in the calories column! We thought we could weigh our food by eye, and have a cookie at work without fessing up. Insidious!

It still gets worse, we actually believe ourselves!

Here are some of my excuses that didn't hold much water, I wish I had thought them through.

- It was only a little. A little what, 22 pound turkey?
- It's cheat day. What if this was your marriage? 
- I deserve it - because I am already overweight.
- I'll have a big lunch and that is it for the day. Well except for dinner and desert and some snacks in front of the TV.
- I don't do this very often. It's sort of like a colonoscopy.
- It's a holiday - somewhere in the world.
- It's my birthday (really, it is today!). So that means I don't have to log the candles.
- I'm out to dinner. Why? Because my metabolism is faster at Olive Garden.
- I did pretty well and didn't have to loosen my pants - because they are stretch pants.
- I had only one drink - but it was a quart.
- I never tried this before. I only eat less of foods that I know well.
- I was too busy to have lunch - so I can have this big dinner.
- I should eat this now - I usually leave it at the table or on the roof of the car..
- I can eat all the fruits and vegetables I want - but I choose not to.
- I didn't eat any of the rolls/bread sticks/biscuits - I was too full after the Mile-High Apple Pie.
- I eat about the same as my partner - but they are 9 inches taller than I am. Just kidding, she's much shorter. ;)
- I don't buy the food - or read the calories and nutritional information.
- I am not giving up everything - especially the chips, the pizza and the candy.
- I only eat clean - so pigeons are out.

How about you, have you thought through the things that you tell yourself?

Thanks for your votes and comments.

Beware potential friends, I post! ;)

Finding a Way to Change

How did I ever let myself get to almost 300 pounds? I ate too many calories, that's how. The change occurred slowly over a period of millions of bites of food. It's pretty much the same way I became a daily drinker, a smoker, and drug user. I never set out to be an addict of any kind, it just happened.

I was always going to change tomorrow.

What got my attention? Well, it wasn't the US Post Office considering giving me my own ZIP code or the fact that I thought I could be seen from outer space; nope, none of those. It was a week in ICU without a shower or underwear or sleep.

Even then, it was hard to decide to live.

My heart failure cost me just about everything. It took a while before I was able to work full time - 8 months. It stressed out my family and I was emotionality depressed. When you don't have your health, the rest of life doesn't mean a whole lot.

Then I started running.

Oh yeah, running is bad for your knees, you'll get A-Fib if you over train, you'll need knee replacements, running is a treat, you don't need to run to lose weight. I heard it all! Ironically, most of it was from doctors! I also heard, you weren't that fat, a little meat on the bones is healthy, I like your curves (not really that one), you look cute (yeah from the top of my head up.) and I didn't realize you were so sick. WTF?

It took a year to do C25K and lose 60 pounds.

I have faced a number of challenges since I first logged onto MFP and asked what an NSV was. Here is what I can tell you. Because I run and lost weight, I have survived cancer 4 times. I have dumped 7 medications for my heart except for a low dose of blood pressure medication which I have needed all my life. My resting pulse is down from 72 to 48 and I haven't had to take an antidepressant or even had a cold. That's going on 4 years.

Soon I will be running the Berlin Marathon. You can bet on that.

Thanks for the support, votes and comments. you guys rock!

10 Things which Really Helped Me Get Fit

After 6 years on MFP, I have figured out a few things about weight loss, fitness and running. Most of it I didn't learn in the forums. ;)

The most important is this, weight loss and fitness is fragile!

I have met a few of the MFP clan in real life. There are some nice folks here. I am overjoyed that the LIKE button replaced WTG and WTF. I learned how to run, got a few medals, and ran a marathon or two.

I learned a few reach their goal weight, but sadly, many more don't make it. 

How fragile is it? My recent health BS and lack of miles caused me to gain almost 10 pounds! That is almost 15% of my weight total loss. One would think, with all that I have learned, that I would have cut back the calories while I was in my funk. I found it very hard to do that. I also read that those of us who hit our goal weight gain back anywhere from 25% to 125% of our weight within 5 years.

That makes me mad. I hate that I am on medication, too.

So what are my secrets to success despite all that is going on?

-1 I weigh myself weekly and I used to do measurements every 3 months.
-2 I measure my food portions and for the few food items I buy with a label, I read that too.
-3 I buy new underwear when I need it. It's my secret pleasure.
-4 I make time to sleep 8 hours, but don't always get it.
-5 I take a few supplements that seem to work, but mostly I rely on food for nutrition.
-6 I run as often as I can.
-7 I walk 3-4 miles a day plus I use the 4 floors of stairs in my building often - about 5000 steps a day.
-8 I logged food for so long it is intuitive. The same is true of portions. When it's not, I log it. Hate it, but need it from time to time.
-9 I don't eat sweet drinks or food (with or without real sugar) except an occasional piece of birthday cake.
-10 I don't eat fast food, pizza, white flour, rice, white potatoes or tofu 363 days a year. Tofu is 365!
-11 I am a vegetarian who happens to eat beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish in small quantities.
-12 I don't have junk food in the house or I will eat it.
-13 I stick to Superfoods as often as I can. Fruit, veggies, nuts and spices are on that list.
-14 As much as I would like to, I don't smoke crack.

I know, that's more than 10. The same thing seems to happen with food.

As always, thanks for your support, comments, and votes.

My New Life

Some days I don't really know about life. I have taken a few hits since I first joined MFP in 2011 I suffered congestive heart failure that year. It's a big deal. You know it took 8 months to recover and a year to complete Couch to 5K.

I am glad I did it even if the doctors told me never to run.

In October of 2013 I was diagnosed with cancer. I am still working through the treatment options for that one. In 2014 and 2015 I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. In 2015 I had a colon tumor removed. I am back in for a check up in a week or so.

Cancer sucks.

Then I had the regular life stuff. I got divorced and lost a job. David lost more than a few days worrying about that stuff. :( My health insurance was off the charts expensive and so was my medication. I had to schedule runs and be very careful about what I brought home to eat.

As of today I have been 100% successful in not dying from difficult times.

I am glad that I had those 8 months recovering from heart disease to lay a foundation. I weighed my food and logged every dang meal for well over 3 years.

I have gone back to that a few times.

I still don't have cheat meals. God knows there are enough days in a year where I can't control the menu. I still don't eat a lot of things from fast food to pretty much anything containing lots of carbs.

I still stick to the Superfoods. MORE HERE.

I have decided to live. A few tears ago I wrote: "If I were to make a list of the crap that has gone down in the last few years I would probably shoot myself before I finished writing it. But I am focusing on my progress not my history. I have lost almost 80 pounds and went from a wheezing-fat-old-guy to a slimmer, fitter runner."

How does one live with cancer? You live life on purpose.

You plan to do things you were putting off, and put off things you were planning. You say "I love you" more and get a second goodbye kiss. You look up friends you haven't seen in a while. You shut out the people that minimize your feelings by saying, "It's early, at least you won't die.", "My dad had that an he was fine." or "My uncle had that an he died."

When surgery has the potential to reduce your quality of life instead of make it better, it's not an easy option to choose.

As a runner I have overcome a lot. Most of it was mental. I just didn't think I could do anything. I even had medication and doctor's opinions to bolster my excuses. I found a hundred reasons to quit, and only one to help me succeed: a better life. How I feel at the end of a run is the only reward I have. It's not the bling, the cheering, the personal accomplishments, no, it's how I feel.

I remember 5 years ago when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. In less than 2 months I will be taking my stupid tumor to the starting line of the Berlin Marathon.

I am also engaged and planning on a new chapter in life.

For today, I am working at a new job, praying and living in the moment. Tomorrow may never come, and I don't know if I've "got this." I don't know if I will win against the Big-C or not. I just know that I am looking forward to being with my favorite woman, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, making a co-worker smile, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.

Thanks for the votes and comments.
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