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A Season and an Update

I confess writing is getting harder for me. There are a few reasons. One, this neck injury makes it hard to think with headaches. My new pain meds came with Narcan in case I overdose. Those certainly don't help.

 It seems as if MFP is doing their part to discourage user blogs, too.

The Community blogs used to have a Top 10. Now it's Top Blogs with only those getting 20 votes in 24 hours making the list. Today there are none. On top of that, there's an angry reader who has had a few folks vote me down. That's been going on for more than a year. In any case, I only seem to make Top Blogs if I mention you have to vote. My wife says I am not as funny as I think I am.

Maybe she's right.

I have readers on Facebook who follow my page and others from the Pathetic Runners Group. I normally post on Tuesday morning from the east coast of the USA. I know there are readers in Europe and Australia as well as across the US. I work at being consistent. If my season has passed, I'm OK with that. I have written this blog for over 7 years. Before it, I wrote a different one for 5 years.

 What do you think? Leave a comment if you like.

 My update. Since August 13th, when I was in the ER for severe headaches, I have had a lot of different treatments. They've tried PT, steroids, cortisone injections and I have added on chiropractic and massage therapy.

I have not made a lot of progress.

I see the spinal surgeon again, next Monday. Maybe we'll have some new answers. The shoulder surgeon seems to think he can go in there an clean up the arthritis in my shoulder, but in general, everything looks OK. It hurts like hell but looks OK on film. ;)

 I will still be in Tokyo March 3rd. I am not a quitter.

Thanks for your support.

Life Changes and Body Parts

I don't know about you, but facing health-related facts is not all that easy for me. Facing my limitations is a bitter pill some days.

Getting older is easy; don't die.

Yesterday I was at the orthopedic surgeon. He is my shoulder specialist. I also have a spine - well specifically a cervical specialist. If it was a comedy routine, it would be Abbot & Costello.

"Who's on first?"

"That right."

Where is the pain coming from? The shoulder guy says my neck. The neck guy says my shoulder. In the meantime, this has been going on for months.

Can't they just do surgery or something?

The good news is that I am being referred to a physiatrist who will do guided injections in my spine. It looks like I will be out of work for the rest of the year.

All of this got me to thinking about body parts; ones which I could live without.

I am thinking no matter what, I need a spine. The shoulder - eh, not so much. Since I came to MFP in 2011, I have had a few body parts disappear altogether.

You might have heard a few of these before, but it's worth mentioning them again. When our body parts become infused with fat cells, they change shape and sometimes usage.

- Spare Tire: The obvious protruding belly. The problem is that for some of us, it's a spare tire for a Boeing 747 jetliner.

- Love Handles: This is the fat around the kidney area which keeps us from escaping a hormone-fueled mate or attack dog.
 
- Prayer Shelf: A belly large enough to fold your hands and rest them comfortably on when you sit.

- Double Bubbles: Men or woman with two boob bumps from wearing a bra that is 2 sizes too small.

- Groin Blobs: Genital covering to protect us from 3-foot-two-inch children. Just above the chub rub.

- Arm Danglers: Sometimes known as the reverse biceps.

- Expansion Tank: The are fat blobs that seem to show up in unusual places - if you have them, you know what I am talking about.

- Ring Roll: The little rolls that keep your rings so secure they can't be removed. The upside is you can't lose them in the garbage disposal.

- Intake Port: Your mouth. When you change your relationship with food, it becomes a way to savor good food and enjoy it.

- Trailer Brakes: The fat on your backside that hangs over the chair edge so you don't slide out.

- Man Boobs: Boobs on a man.

- Chin Coaster: 2 or more chins.

- Cankles: Calves and ankles combined.

- Pants Pockets: They look like pockets when you are not wearing pants. If they have stretch marks, they are zippered pockets.

- Cup Holder: A navel vortex. Mine could have easily held a double shot glass.

- Talons: Unclipped toenails because you haven't seen them for a few years.

- Fat Fingers: Used to type 2 or 3 keys at a time.

- Muffin Tops: A blend of belly and hip fat created by tight waist-ed pants or belts.

- Junk in the Trunk: Just means it's a bad idea to wear a thong.

It's OK to laugh at yourself. If you are new on MFP, these are the body parts that can be amputated by proper diet and exercise. In my case, it took a serious illness. I could not do this without medical help and support from all of you.

For those of you that have lost some weight, you know what I'm talking about.

Thanks for the votes and comments.

Self-Imaging

Do you remember when you first thought about losing weight? I was very obese weighing in at just about 300 pounds. I am 6' 1" but, according to my cardiologist, I should be closer to 190.

And this is why BMI is BS. ;)

I have a picture that was taken when I was 33. I looked great in that image! I stopped looking in the mirror after 41 years. I even shaved in the shower. I always had that skinny me pic as a fantasy. I still do. When I did look in the mirror, I was depressed. I had more than let myself go.

I really wanted to be thin, so I got to work.

I lost 20 or so pounds pretty quickly. I dreamt of running. I started the Couch to 5k program. Then I had congestive heart failure. That set me back.

I didn't quit.

I kept on working out, eating less, and running. As I started to feel better, I also started to look better. My self-image was changing. It was an important step to accept where I was while I worked for a future goal.

I had never really examined my self-created body image.

Speaking of body images, I had to get up at 5:30 to be at the MRI center for 6:30. My priorities were coffee, food so I could take my pain medication, and well, not wearing anything metal. This was MRI number 6. I know the drill.

It's not that I'm going for a record, but if I was, I am off to a good start.

It's warm here today, and it was flip-flops, a t-shirt, and gym shorts. There is something wonderful about being able to go around in public wearing your PJs. Just one layer away from the bed.

I was slid into the imaging machine like an <insert metaphor here>.

I don't really like the tube. I close my eyes, listen to all the buzzing and clanking, and try not to hold my breath. They clamped my head in something like an S&M mask.

It was white and not black. No studs.

They put the whip in my hand (emergency buzzer) and left the room. I tried to fantasize about something other being stuck in an elephant rectum. Is this what it feels like to be an earthquake victim?

OMG, I have an itch!

I start praying and 30 seconds in, I am pretty sure God is mad at me for something, I mean here I am in a tomb thinking about S&M. 

Ahhh, images of my wedding to Ruth.

The beach. Click, bang, buzz. Now I am pretty much terrorized. It sounds like GANGNAM STYLE! "Oh, God!" I cried out.

"Are you OK?" came the voice from the tube.

"Just fine, sir. I feel good about myself"

Results next Monday.

You Can't Outrun a Bad Diet

It's a huge battle which I suck at some days. 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. It 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-peasy after seven years. It's not.

Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run nine of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile (42KM) kind! I have run about 90 other distances and did a 60-mile charity run across Massachusetts and a 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 in.

Not good!

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 leftover birthday cake, chips, dips, and other types of snack foods close by. Or Halloween candy! 

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, I am a lot less hungry.

Now I need to get ready for Tokyo. They have a strict time limit and pull you off the course if you are not on pace! I cannot afford that. This will have to be one of my best marathons in terms of time.

I will finish my last World Major!

Did I say I need a controlled environment? I make lots of good food choices. I usually skip desserts except for special occasions. I drink oceans of water and coffee (no sugar). 

What I don'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 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.
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