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After Kicking the Scale Across the Bathroom

Some days I need to win. Well, after all this BS with doctors and food, and trying to run, guess what? The effin' scale started paying attention. Since I got back from London a few months ago, I am down from 217.1 lbs to 206.9.

You do the math.

My clothes fit better and my running seems better too. In a few days I need to register for the Tokyo Marathon which takes place next March. I need to be great shape for that - an no I don't mean round! I am working on my speed and not dying in the heat for right now.

I have also been working the food portions like a boss.

I am working towards running 100 miles a month, though with all that is going on with our move, I probably won't make it for June.

I am looking forward to being moved and settled in somewhere in the USA by the end of the summer.

I have to see the gastroenterologist today. Despite a lot of stress with moving, I feel lke I have the medication worked out as well, as it has been in a couple of years. That sure makes running easier.

That's it for today. Pack my stuff, see the doctor, get in a run, watch the food portions and work towards the life I almost stopped dreaming of.

Today Is My Someday

Some days I don't really know about life. I have taken a few hits in the last couple of years. Back some years ago it took a year to complete Couch to 5K. Most of you know that I have cancer and I am working through the treatment options visiting different doctors.

Cancer sucks.

In the past 4 years, I have lost a few days worrying about cancer. :( Then I decided to live. I tried to make decisions that would make me look back and say, "I am glad I did that." They were health decisions, relational decisions and spiritual decisions.

I decided that today was "someday."

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. However, 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 who can knock out a marathon.

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 that don't get you to your goals (in my case planning my dreams). 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 and easy option to choose.

As surgery looms on the horizon, I am not thrilled - not even close. It's not like my knee surgery or heart surgery which made my life better. It's not the same.

It's scary.

As a runner I have overcome a lot. Most of it was mental. I just didn't think I could do anything - not a mile, not a 5K, and certainly not a marathon! I even had medication and doctors opinions to bolster my excuses for not trying. 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 made a goal of running the 6 World Major Marathons and 5 are in the books!

I remember when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. I am pretty certain I will be taking my stupid tumor to the starting line of the Tokyo Marathon in March.

I really can't wait!

For today, I am eating well, flossing my teeth, engaging my wife and kids, working, 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 Ruth, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, making a co-worked smile, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.

Ruth and I have decided to risk it all to move to a place where we can live out our last days. We should know this week.

In the mean time, I have I am looking forward to today. There will be running, coffee, sunshine, kisses from my bride, phone calls with the kids, and maybe I'll call a friend to say hello.

This is the day I was always waiting for!

Why Does This Always Have to Be a Battle?!

I don't know about you, but even though 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 7 years. It's not.

Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run 10 of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile kind! I have run about 80 other distances as well as a 60-mile charity run across Massachusetts, and a near 30-miler across Rhode Island. 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 for over a month.

But you are hungry, really hungry!

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 within 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, chicken, and turkey 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 (the 8 or so hours after), I am a lot less hungry.

Now that the taper and recovery are over from running London, I have gained almost 4 pounds. I made lots of good food choices. I am back to running regularly. But....

What I haven't done is 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 7 years on MFP I have seen a lot of people come and go - a lot - 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 then they lost. That leaves 5% to win the championship and make a true lifestyle change.

I want to be one of them.

Fat Chance

I was obese and then overweight. I had a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. It doesn't matter what you call your fat, but it is a health hazard and you know it.

Fortunately I survived congestive heart failure.
 
My cardiologist told me 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! While, close to 80% make no significant lifestyle changes.

I was faced with real life that day in ICU.

As it turns out, slim chance, and fat chance have the same meaning. But one is healthier. If you think you can't lose weight, you probably won't. You are welcome to make excuses like I did.

As my friend Anna always says, "I'll see you at the funeral."

Here is my list of excuses.

I don't have time. - If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my kid walking, riding bikes, rollerblading, running every day that it is nice enough to do so. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, I just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, it's still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: you can buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all I find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and better for you. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you'll be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calorie steak bomb. 

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap! Just Google "clothes rack."

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby. Once you learn how to eat, you can make smart choices.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life. LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So?

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I make meal plans with my wife. We don't like all the same things. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

Well, those are the ones that I used. How about you?

Thanks for the votes and comments, I very much appreciate them.
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