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It's All About Today!

I stupidly started smoking cigarettes in 9th grade. I was feeling cool, and no one seemed to care. Oh sure, they told us how bad it was, but it was too late. I was hooked. I was a real pro blowing smoke rings through smoke rings - and coughing up a lung every morning. I quit in 1994, but my first wife died at age 56 of lung cancer. We said we would quit the same day.

She told me that day she would start tomorrow.

I guess there are lots of things that are bad for you in life, like too much food, or too much alcohol. And there are lots of other warnings that I probably disregarded, such as a padded headboard for safe sex.
This month marks 5 years since my first cancer diagnosis and 38 years without a drink or recreational drug. 
If you are new, sometimes it takes a bit to get your sea legs. There is a lot to learn about food, exercise and living life in a society that plops killer portions in front of you day and night.

What can you do today to be a success at the weight-loss game which is good for your health?

- Log it!
- Log it all!
- Make MFP friends.
- Search the forums. (actually, don't do that)
- Read the blogs. (Well, at least this one!)
- Ask questions.
- Don't lie about your bad days.
- Find people that have achieved your goal. I friend the runners and the old guys that lost 100 pounds!
- Drink water.
- Take a walk or a run.
- Take another walk or run or a ride or a swim or a trip to the gym.
- Don't quit.

No matter what, do it today!

I Will Recover

There is something daunting about fighting illness and trying to prepare for the last marathon of the World Majors series. I haven't really run a long distance in months. I know I have time to train, but I wonder if I will be prepared.

I do know that I will be there.

Currently, the preparations are mostly mental. I keep telling myself I will finish no matter what. I am getting in a number of short runs a week. Some are walk/runs, others are run/runs.

Others are no run/no runs.

This morning I got up and was almost headache free for an hour. My physical therapy and chiropractic care have made some progress. Once the headaches start, I am onto my regimen of medication which includes NSAIDs and muscle relaxers.

Then my ability to think ceases and I am a zombie for most of the day.

In the midst, I have not forgotten how to live life. My family and friends are familiar with my complete brain freezes in which finishing a sentence is impossible. Ruth has been gracious filling the blanks so I can keep on going.

We had a small dinner party for 7 on Saturday night.

I read excerpts from my last book. They laughed, we had fun! Then without out even one glass of wine Jane began to tell us stories about lost islands in the Caribbean, cliff diving, and nudist colonies. We laughed some more.

I saw the spinal surgeon last Friday.

He thinks I am making some improvement. He said I could run a little as long as it didn't make things more painful. It turns out the gentle massaging of the disc and the higher rate of blood flow is good for my condition. I have had a similar condition with a lower back disc, and running is the one thing that makes it feel better. 

He recommended cortisone shots to see if that would take away the pain.

I have had them before and didn't have that much luck in reducing the pain. But what the heck, it's pretty bada$$ have a needle the size of the radio tower on the Empire State building stuck in your neck and shoulder.

It makes for good reading.

It's been a few days... nothing much. I am about to take my meds and zone out for the day. If I feel better later, I may work on my World Majors tattoo so it's ready when I finish Tokyo.

Taking the Next Step

I am sitting here this morning trying to get my head into a run. It used to be easy. I looked forward to a cool morning run. Last year I was looking forward to the fall runs and I broke my leg on the first one.

I sat for nearly 10 weeks doing pretty much nothing.

It really hurt my training for the London Marathon. Heck, I fished in the emergency tent. But I got it done. I have been lucky to have such great supporters. From the days of my first blogs to running marathons for charity, so many people have joined in the cheer me on.

I am really grateful for all of that.

Tokyo is in March. They have a course time limit, so there will be no excuses. I have to run an 11-minute mile so I don't get swept. It's a bit of pressure. It's also a kick in the butt to get back in shape.

This health journey has a lot of twists and turns.

I have been out of work with this neck thing since August 13th. I have been on steroids, NSAIDs, Tylenol, and a couple of muse relaxers. 3 Emergency Room visits, three doctors, a spine specialist, a physical therapist and now the chiropractor are involved.

I will get well!

I will train, lose the 15 pounds, and complete Tokyo, I just need to get out the damn door for this run.

Fitness History for the Doc

I have decided to use my two or three hours of minimally pain-free time to write and get a few important things done - like pay bills and some other stupid adult stuff.

I am off to the physical therapist today.

I woke up this morning with a headache. As I went to slip out of bed, my neck popped and the shooting pain shattered the peaceful morning light. I managed a couple of cups of coffee. I can't take my NSAIDs and run, so I rushed my morning routine to get out the door with Ruth.

I like running with my wife.

Mostly I get to talk and she listens. ;) Seriously (I know, you never thought I would say that!), we both work from home and spend pretty much 24x7 together. We love it. I tease her about being missed when she uses the bath.

We have a really good thing.

I have to run. It fixes my head, keeps the weight off, gives me time with her, and is probably good for other things like my heart, not killing stupid people, and - well, you know - it makes waffles taste better too.

Staying fit is a good thing.

When I left the ER that last two times, they gave me a print out on my BMI (body mass index). It was not really encouraging as I am overweight again. According to the numbers anyway. I need to follow my own advice and get the food back on track.

The food is fine, it is just that the portions are too large.

Fitness and diet (what I eat or don't eat, not what I follow) have made a big difference in my health. I had to fill out a questionnaire for my new doctor. They asked how many surgeries I've had. I needed an extra sheet of paper for that. I needed an extra sheet for diseases I've had. Just one line for cancer. That's bigotry. 

Do you smoke? Quit in 1994 How much? None
Do you drink alcohol? Quit in 1980 How much? None
Do you take recreational drugs? Define recreation. OK, I quit in 1980. How much? None
Do you use caffeine? I wasn't nominated for the Supreme Court of the USA. Yes, coffee. How much? Under the advice counsel, I plead the 5th and do not wish to answer this question and incriminate myself.
Sexual history: Umm, my wife. She has power of attorney and is designated in my living will and I am not going to screw that up.

Sadly, I am on a couple of medications for this stupid neck thing. I would like it to be none, but at least for today, I have a little relief.

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