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Old Enough for Botox

There are days when I just miss my youth. I used to eat half a pizza and drink a can of Coke or two. When I was body building, I would drink a gallon of milk a day and spend 2 hours at the gym. I couldn't get over 170 pounds. And se... never mind.

Then year 41 came.

I rocketed up to 230 so fast I didn't know what was happening. I was busy working 80 to 90 hour weeks. The luncheons with clients and customers. It has been a real struggle since then. I guess I'm a jealous of the old me.

Up an down the scale went from 195 to 295 like the tachometer in an Indy car.

53 years rolled over on the odometer. There I was in ICU hanging on to life. It was time to make changes, so I did. I lost 66 pounds in the next year. I was at the gym 3 times a week. I restarted Couch to 5K. I was determined.

I joined MFP. That's when the real fun started.

I made a few friends - like 1,000. It was amusing while I was out on disability recovering from congestive heart failure. I wrote blogs to help me understand my feelings of fear and loss. It was also a way to give myself a creative outlet. I watched the Bruins clinch the Stanley Cup over the Canucks.

2011 ended well except for the knee surgery.

2012 was my year to run. And run I did. My first 5K was in March. I ran the entire length. It was a lot of fun so I ran more 5Ks. By September I ran my first 10K. I became a running addict.

I also knocked off almost 40 more pounds.

There I was in One-derland! What a great feeling. My race times were becoming faster and faster. 2012 turned into 2013. It was a great year. I did my first half marathon, survived shoulder surgery, and got laid off at work.

I kept the weight off and bought new underwear.

My food choices got better and better. A year went by without drinking any sweet drinks. Cake was reserved for a couple of birthday celebrations. There was no pizza, no french fries, and no fast food. I finally got back to work. They even had a 5K loop on the corporate campus. The gym had showers. I started training for my first marathon.

Then the cancer came.

I was scared. I had ultrasounds, biopsies, and consultations with surgeons, radiation oncologist's, and urologists. It was just about ready to suck the emotional life out of me. I prayed. I got a second opinion. However, I kept running and stuck to my food regimen.

I bought new underwear.

The cancer showed up in a couple of other places, but I kept on going. My lifestyle changes were pretty well engrained. They are still working OK despite the damn medicine. My life has changed a lot. Last summer 60 years arrived one day. My wife and I made some big changes moving to Virginia from New England.

Then deja vu.

In 2019 I was out on disability. I finished the World Major Marathons just six years after I started, and I survived shoulder surgery, and got laid off at work.

And the Bruins have already won their first game of the Stanley Cup series.

Meanwhile, I am still in treatment for the chronic headaches. Friday, I had 31 Botox injections. As the doctor unleashed a torrent of bee stings on my face and head, I hoped that it would work. The last few days have been the exact opposite. Not unexpected, but hope quenching at times. We'll see. Sadly, the injections were not in any of my wrinkles.

I just hope my misfortune is good luck for my Boston Bruins.
 
Thanks for the votes and comments. I could use some new freinds, too! 

Surviving Outside Your Fitness World

This past weekend I went home to visit my kids and run the Framingham Police Chase for Cure 5K in memory of my mother. She and I had a wonderful visit beneath the newly formed maple leaves casting a lace-like shadows along the path at the park. It was a beautiful day. As most of you know, my headaches make it hard to remember. I have a few flashes from along the course.

That is enough.

I also recorded my worst ever 5K time since I started running in 2012. It has been tough coming back after surgery. Plus I am not very active during the day. My step count is averaging about 3000 per day! That is down from 15,000 this time last year.

And Cialis is no help at all.

Traveling is tough on the diet. Unless you walk through the Atlanta airport, it's unlikely that you'll get in 10,000 steps for the day. Eating out all the time is also a commitment killer. I was thinking about what I should have done - and the things I have done before. I am working on trying to get my meal plan to match my level of activity.

Today I have some tips on living outside your fitness world, eating out, and traveling.

-1 When Airport Security says "empty everything out of your pockets," they mean everything sir!

-2 Chapstick can get you strip searched. (See #1)

-3 Before you eat out, read the nutritional menus online. All large restaurants have them, and in some states, even small restaurants need to give you a caloric heads up. Waiting to diddle with your SmartPhone during the order process at Hooters is not always a good strategy. Distracted research projects never end well.

-4 If you are going to take your belt off for TSA, make sure your pants fit. True story. 

-5 You can carry on a water filter and an empty water bottle. Drinking 4 bottles a day (you are drinking 8 cups, right!) at $3.00-$4.00 each, it will pay for itself quickly.

-6 Appetizers may be all you need. Some restaurants have a downsized portion of a their meals for an app. That and a large glass of water and you are all set.

-7 Exercise time can be tough to make on a vacation, a business trip, or even at work with long commutes. My first choice is a gym in the building. Even the worst ones have treadmills and some weights. Second choice is a run outside (yes, I prefer to be outside, it's just about time management and a shower) Then there is always calisthenics in the room and taking the stairs if there are some. Catching connections in another terminal after a delay is also good for your cardio.

-9 The break room and conference rooms at work (conferences) can be a killer. Possibly you can avoid it by bringing your lunch to your desk in a cool pack. Waiting to go in until most of the goodies are gone helps too.

-10 Plan on controlling as much as you can. It could be business lunches, the in-laws on a holiday, or day trip. Try to be prepared with your own snacks and water. Cut calories at 2 meals so you can enjoy a larger one later. I ate light breakfasts and dinners because I had business lunches every day.

-11 Education is the best tip. Learn how to order out. Double the veggies and skip the potatoes, eat more salad, and less bread. Get things on the side so you can add an amount that works for you. Grilled is better than sauteed or fried. Watch out for sauces, mayonnaise, dressings, and the like; they add up fast.

-12 If you can do it, order a kid's meal! This is great for delivery, take-out, and curbside pick-up at chains like Olive Garden, Uno's, Betucci's, Outback etc.

So when you are not in control, what do you do to manage your logging?

Thanks for the votes and comments (you can do both)!

Running for a Cause Revisited

Saturday I am running the Police Chase for the 7th time. It's a 5K. It is not the most scenic route, but it does go past the town dump, a waterfall, and the park is nice if you like pollen.

It will be race number 90-something.

Before you get the impression that I am sort of running action hero figure, I want to make it clear that I never ran a 5K in my teens, my 20s or my 30s, or even my 40s. I had a whole bunch of other things that seemed more important than my health. I smoked for 20 years and ate whatever I wanted.

It took me a year to do C25K!

As most of you already know, that little bout with congestive heart failure and a stint in Hotel ICU for a week in 2011, got my attention. I have been on the Get Healthy or Die Train ever since. Of course, my first ever race, an American Heart Association run was awesome because I simply finished. The second, a memorial to a fallen policeman in a local town, was great because I finished in well under 30 minutes.

We'll see how close I come to 30 minutes this time.

What is it about this race besides it's the only one I have run every year since I started running? The one that makes it more special than the others? I ran it in memory of my mother who died of pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2001. It's an awful disease and I hate it. The race proceeds benefited Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. www.pancan.org

Every year I run it like pain doesn't matter - like it is going to be my best time ever.

The first time, my little team from the YMCA showed up on a gorgeous sunny morning. We did a short warm up, took our customary team photo, did some stretching together, and jogged around near the starting line until the race was about to get under way. I got a lot of thumbs up for my Cancer Sucks t-shirt!

I will wear it again this year!

The gun went off, and 200+ runners pushed through the start gate. I had a good pace going to start and cruised along to Lenny Cravitz in my headphones. I thought of how my mom would have enjoyed this beautiful day as I ran on the brick walk beneath the majestic maples. I passed a large group of runners looking for some space to get back on the mark.

I wasn't holding anything back.

As the pack started to thin out we crossed the dam on the reservoir. The fresh cut suburban grass and the smell of lilacs was in the air; the water glistened in the midday sun. Again I thought about my mother...

I was half-way to water stop.

I could see my teammate up ahead a few hundred yards - she is often the pace setter and we are always close in time; each of us having a win over the other. I started thinking this is the best of 3 series and I am falling behind. I picked up the pace on a level section of the track. However; the pounding became too intense and my breathing was off.

With about 1/2 a mile left, I just got in as comfortable a groove as possible wishing it was all over.

Then it occurred to me that my mother hadn't given up when she was in pain. She did everything that she could do to keep her life as close to normal as possible during the treatments. We spoke on the phone the day she died.

I pressed on.

In fact I sprinted the last 400 yards as fast as I could go. I passed more than a dozen runners as I blasted across the finish line.

This year I wont be setting a personal record.

 I won't even run with music. I will just run, think about my mom, and proudly display my cancer sucks t-shirt.

Tell us about someone that you would run in honor of?

Dolphins, Beer and H20

I don't have a lot to say this morning. I do have some good news. I got a second opinion on the cervical spine and the doctor did not think that I needed a spinal fusion. In fact, he said my spine looked like that of a 40- or 45-year-old.

I owe that to running and regular chiropractic treatment.

The eating on the other hand is out of control. I spend way too much time at home in bed. I went from running 30 miles a week to 12. I have gone from 10-20,000 steps a day to averaging 3,000-4,000.

Add in the ocean of gabapentin and amitriptyline, and it's the perfect storm.

Did I mention a 3 1/2-pound bag of Easter candy calling my name from the empty tomb on the kitchen counter? It's a problem. Since I got off the pain meds, I have gained almost 10 pounds. I was at the neurologist yesterday. He is going to do a sleep study to see if that is contributing to the chronic headache. He mentioned weight may cause sleep apnea. Maybe I could lose 20 pounds. But what the hell does he know?! The doc was like 12.

Maybe he could run a 6-minute mile.

The other issue I have is water consumption. Since last August, here are a number of conditions, for which the doctors suggested I drink more water. Dehydrated disc. Skin rash (dry skin). Kidney stones. Today, the dentist mentioned it in relation to my dry gums.

This is a conspiracy!

MFP recommends 8 glasses of water a day. I assume that means 12 ounces. Or maybe just 3 ounces, I don't know. Let's say it is 12 ounces of water eight times a day. That is 96 ounces of water a day. That's 2.8 liters. I confess, I drink three 12 oz cans of sparkling water a day. You may add to that two 8-ounce glasses of H20 to wash down the ocean of medication I am taking. And.... four 8-ounce cups of mostly black coffee.

Coffee is a like a psych med; it keeps me from killing people.

The urologist wants me to drink (everyday) one entire gallon! It does have a cup of lemon or lemon juice in it; which reminds me of the prep for getting a colonoscopy. Seriously, do I look like a Corona-drinking dolphin?

This is hard work.

Peeing all the time is also hard work. Now that I got the damn meteor out of there, race horses have nothing on me. Just saying.

So. tell me, how much water do you drink? How many times a day do you use the toilet?

Feel free to friend request me. 
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