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See You at the Funeral

Having been on MFP for a few years, I have pretty much heard it all. You have your vegans and vegetarians, your carnivores and your fast food junkies here. People, we are here for a common goal; to take photos in the bathroom and get fit.

If you are here to diet for your special occasion, you are missing the point.

It's a lifestyle. Unless you planning to die on your wedding day or 40th birthday or cruise, I am assuming your life will have some purpose after your special day is past. The formula for a healthy lifestyle is much more than what you shove in your face, although that is the major part.

For me fitness is a healthy weight, a nontoxic diet, good blood work and a sense of wellbeing with every breath I take.

People come and go on here all the time, but for those who tame their junk food consumption, exercise regularly, log daily, and don't give up, they enjoy the benefits of being healthy and getting comments about being sexy in the forums.

I have a friend (Annabellj) that often says, "See you at the funeral!"

I can't tell you how tempted I am to post that phrase as a response to some of the forums. Here are some examples of posts I would like to reply  "See you at the funeral!":

- I have a cheat meal once a day.
- I am cheating with my best friend's spouse.
- I don't like fruit or vegetables and fish is gross.
- I can't swallow water.
- My SO makes me eat pizza against my will when (s)he's not at home.
- I can't afford to eat healthy, what should I buy at Olive Garden?
- Which burns more calories, sitting in front of the TV or going to the movies?
- Why would I want to sweat, I can lose without exercising.
- I am on an 800-calorie-a-day diet that works.
- I am back, but starting tomorrow.
- I am 1200 calories over and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.
- People at the gym will think I am fat, what should I do?
- Seeking professional advice. (You'll get it in a minute.)
- I hate anyone that doesn't like my diary.
- I can't beleive the gym charges me when I am not there!
- I just had diarrhea after cleansing...

Look, it's easy to make excuses, and we all have bad days, however; the ones who succeed stick around long enough to meet their goals and make it a way of life. Have fun, work hard, and enjoy your success.

So how has your lifestyle changed since joining MFP?

Why Is Enough Food Not Enough Food?

I denied that I was an emotional eater. I remember one day there was the 6-pack of mini-cupcakes sitting on the kitchen table. The good news is that my daughter ate 4 of them. It wasn't a really big calorie hit. What bothered me is that I know I would have eaten the entire box if there were any left.

It would have felt good.

If you are like me, you just want to be thin and eat whatever you want. If you are saying to yourself, "This isn't that big a deal.", "It's your birthday.", or "You deserve a treat once in a while." you might be in denial too. :)

I think about looking and feeling better.

I still see myself as a 29-year-old. I do. I honestly didn't care about being fit, I just didn't want to be fat. Oh, and I didn't want to have rogue body hair growing faster than mold on white bread in July.

Yes, I am proud of running 6 miles without walking. But ripped abs are much more appealing.

This morning I was thinking about why food is so important - why I need more than enough. Beside the simple fact that I freaking love food, I have learned to cook some tasty @$$ meals. 

I have a long list of Major Life Transitions.

It just doesn't make sense to me how a donut is going to make anything better. Maybe a fish taco, or seared blacken tuna steak, a juicy prime rib with garlic salt and lemon butter rub, or even my famous roast turkey with apple, walnut, and cranberry dressing.

See what I mean?!

On a good day, that stuff is amazing. Of course there is the seafood pasta, lobster tails, raw oysters and stuffed pork chops with baked apples... I could even go for sushi, BBQ or fried chicken.

When food tastes good, emotional eating is easy.

If you add in chocolate volcano cake with fresh raspberries and I'm a goner. I can tell myself running is going to help. Portion control is going to help and - well - dang it, it taste so good I'll have a little more.

Things have been pretty rough, lately.

I have made it through a lot in life. Right now I am still surviving. Here are a few tips for not being overwhelmed and going on a food bender. Daily, here is my reorganization dos. It is part of my self-care plan.

- Cardio: Get in a long walk or a run.
- Laugh: Watch a funny movie, AFV, or record a favorite late night.
- Knock out the daily tasks: Open the mail or toss it. Hey, they always send more bills. Dishes. These help me feel in control of life.
- Socialize: Call the kids or a friend and even if they don't answer, leave a message.
- Make a menu plan: Food is a killer in high-stress times. Menu planning. I try not to have anything that is not good for me in the house. We buy food an divide it up into portions.
- Plan a fun activity everyday: This one is essential. Since I became disabled, the choices are harder. I run, play a little guitar, have sushi with a friend, take a walk with my wife, go to the shooting range, or spend time on the boat. I schedule 1 hour a day for fun; some days I only make 15 minutes.
- Forget the future: I had to stop worrying about doctors appointments, test results, calls from the attorney and whether I am going to die from cancer.
- Pray: I don't pray like I used to. Back then I always needed something. Now I just enjoy the communion and that gives me peace. I don't feel forgotten, nor do I feel desperate.
- Relax: I am at a point in life where relaxing gives me less pain and more energy for life.

Thanks for the votes and comments.

WTF Ever

Today I was up at 4:00 am with a scorching headache. I am waiting to call the doctor to see what my options are. I am not scheduled to see the neurologist for 2 more weeks.

In my pain fog, I realized it is World Cancer Day.

If I were to make a list of the crap that has gone down since 2011, I would probably shoot myself before I finished writing it. Today, I am focusing on my progress not my history. I have lost almost 90 pounds and went from a wheezing-fat-old-guy to a slimmer, fitter runner who can still knock out a 6 mile run. Sadly, I still am not cancer free.

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. You say "I love you," more, and get a second goodbye kiss. You call the kids a lot. 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 and 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 an easy option to choose.

As surgery number - WTFE - is coming in a few weeks, I am not thrilled.

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 doctors 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, or the personal accomplishments.

It's how I feel.

I remember back when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran the first one a year out of ICU. I also ran the World Major Marathons. I wish I could say I could say I was still running 6-minute miles.
I haven't felt well, but I am running 5Ks when I can.

For today, I am watching the calories, flossing my teeth, engaging my family, 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 my wife, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, taking my boat down the Intracoastal, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.

In the meantime, I run 3 times a week. That makes me feel better than when I don't run.
Thanks for the votes and comments.  And thanks for your support.
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