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Managing Emotions and Fitness

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 ran even if the doctors told me never to run.

Running helps my emotional state.

In October of 2013 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am still working through the treatment options for that one. I have been on active surveillance. I have an MRI on Thursday. I am praying nothing new show up. In 2014 and 2015 I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. In 2015 I had a small colon tumor removed. In 2016 I had two more tumors removed. I am back in for a check up in September.

Cancer sucks.

Last summer, I was diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. It really sucks. The chronic migraine has made everything more difficult. I have been out of work for just about a year. A whole year! I have worked since I was 14. Except for a few stints of unemployment, I have worked for over 40 years. I have to schedule runs and be very careful about what I bring home to eat. I gained 20 pounds. At 220, I am still not at 300!

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 years 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. Today, 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."

Sadly, my blood work isn't looking as good as it did some years back.

I have been experimenting with some diet changes. In fact I am thinking of giving up eating all together... The weight/diet/fitness thing is tough. I am working towards a much more plant-based regimen.

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 when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. I took my stupid tumors to the starting lines of all six World Major Marathons.

My new chapter in life, married, living on the water, is nearly prefect.

For now, I am living life on purpose. I have been for a while. You know, planning to do things I was putting off, and putting off things I was planning. I still say "I love you" more and get a second goodbye kiss from Ruth. 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."

I will report back in after my neurosurgery next week.

For today, I am 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 don't know if neurosurgery will cure me. I just know that I am looking forward to being with my favorite woman, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, getting out on the water, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.


Dedication vs Willpower, What Will You Do?

If this journey was up to willpower alone, I'd be 400 pounds by now! There were a bunch of things I tried to lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much, and ate too much. I couldn't fix any of that. I was lucky enough to enjoy sports until I was in college - then I switched to drugs and rock music.

Maybe that was just a generational thing. :)

I tried quitting all kinds of things I started. I just couldn't hold on for too long. And I am pretty strong-willed. In the end, I failed miserably. I always quit quitting.

Even prayer didn't seem to work.

So how did I get out of the willpower trap? I became dedicated. Willpower says I won't _______. Dedication says I will _______. I identified the things that I should be doing instead of concentrating on what I shouldn't be doing.

I stopped making excuses. I stopped giving myself permission to fail.

Instead of dieting I dedicated my efforts to changing my lifestyle. I changed my relationship to food, drink, and even exercise. Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.

David's Top 10 list of things he is dedicated to:
1: Portion Control - I got a food scale, smaller plates, and smaller food tubs.
2: Reading Labels - even though I don't log daily anymore (I did for years), I read a lot. Truthfully, I don't buy too many things that even have a label.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily.
4: No Cheat Days - There are enough holidays and special occasions to make for some tough food choices.
5: No Junk Food - I do not keep anything junky in the house. If I go for a special occasion or treat, it's out, and it's over and done with.
6: Organic/Whole Foods - I eat mostly fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts I still eat canned beans and an occasionally artichoke hearts or olives.I am not 100% plant based, but I am moving in that direction. The carbs are killing me.
7: Weigh In Weekly - No better ways to keep an eye on things.
8: Water - lots of water!
9: Bacon - It's my favorite. A world without bacon is boring. So I eat nitrate free from grass fed pigs. It's a treat from time to time. I would add that a lot of protein has been essential to my weight loss journey.
10: Regular Check Ups - it seems that the doc is a solid partner for my weight loss and that helps keep me on track.

I do login here every day to see what everyone is up to. I used to be dedicated to it, but now it is one of my daily routines.

Thanks for the votes and comments!

Are You F*&$ing Kidding Me?

Do you remember when you used to have to ask a parent or teacher (or the prison guard) for permission to do something? We asked hoping that our request would be granted. Then when we were responsible adults, we pretty much only had to ask ourselves permission.

Can I eat this donut? Sure, have six.

I have been strggling with being fit. My running is at an all time low. I have been struggling with my new diet. I have cut the meat and incresed fruits and veggies. And I am gaining weight. It sucks.

All I care about is am I succeeding at being fit?

I am glad when others get fit and make good choices; however, my success does not depend on their success; this ain't baseball. Our lives are our own. I have lots of friends on MFP and even more in my Facebook group. (I know, it's pathetic I'm online so much.) In all of the years of fitness forums (over 2900 days on MFP), what have I noticed is the most common trait? It is that we give ourselves permission to be slackers. I know I am one of them.


You: Today is my workout day.
You the slacker: The gym is full, I'll go tomorrow.

You: Today is my run day.
You the slacker: It's too cold/hot out.

You: It's Sunday and I need to plan meals.
You the slacker: I'll just get something small for lunch (like a large Meat Lovers pizza) and do it tomorrow night. 

You: I haven't lost any weight this week.
You the slacker: It's better to loose like one pound a year.

You: I am still overweight.
You the slacker: I have big bones. I have bad jeans (pun intended)

You: I am out of shape.
You the slacker: Round is a shape. .

You: I am not getting any faster running.
You the slacker: I don't like sweating that much.

You: I ate too much.
You the slacker: Everyone deserves a cheat day. 

You: I am binging.
You the slacker: Might as well keep going and start tomorrow.

You: The doctor said cut out the sweets.
You the slacker: It's only chocolate.

You: I should throw out these clothes that are too big.
You the slacker: I'll probably fail and need them again.

You: The doctor said I should lose 50 pounds.
You the slacker: That's too skinny.

Thanks for the votes and comments.

But I Don't Want To!

It has been a couple of weeks since I saw the cardiologist. The one who hates me and has put me on a plant based diet. If he liked me, he would feed me chocolate.

Today is just a short blog - 

He also wants for me to keep the cardio to three 30 to 45 minute sessions a week and do yoga. I am not doing so well with the this. I can't find a yoga machine at the gym.

So what have I actually done that he asked?

I replaced my morning baked egg with black beans and salsa (in a cupcake tin, because I love cupcakes) with a small avocado spiced up with a few drops of lime juice. I have a tomato or an avocado for lunch. Sometimes it is carrots an humus. It isn't that much different than what I was doing - just no eggs or bacon. It's boring.

I did lose 4 pounds.

I have been looking for no leafy green salad recipes that also don't include bacon. So far, not much luck. I do like the corn and cherry tomato salad with lime juice and red onions. Most of the recipes I have found take 2 or 3 days to cook.

What about exercise?

I am running 3 to 5 miles whenever I damn well please. I have a variety of exercises to help my rotator cuff recover from surgery. I am adding in some exercises for my neck as well. The rest of the time I lay in bed with this freaking headache looking at the ceiling fan.

I am scheduled for neurosurgery on August 2nd.

Until then, that means I'll be skipping all the useless doctors appointments and everything else that has not worked. It is saving money, too, as I am out of work.

Thanks for all the votes, comments, and friend requests.
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