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Why Can't We Just Accept It, That...

You've met them. Some of them are your MFP friends, and others are in real life. They are people who can't see that they are in trouble with their weight and ultimately their health. And worst of all, you could be one of those that continue to give yourself permission to avoid the reality.

You know that you are in denial when:

- The doc says you need to lose weight, and you think, I don't look that bad.

- Your insurance company gives you $600 a year in savings for doing their health rewards program and you think about all the food you could buy with it.

- You buy a selfie stick to get the best aerial shot for your Facebook profile pic.

- You say that if God had wanted you to exercise and touch your toes, He would have put them higher up on your body.

- Your favorite pants don't fit, and you blame your spouse for washing them in hot water and then drying then on high.

- You go to the coffee shop and tell the cashier the coffee is for you, and the donuts are for your pet Fighting Fish, when the truth is it's the other way around.

- You go to an "all you can eat" restaurant or buffet because you have invested in their stock.

- You eat whatever you like because you get a lot of exercise - pushing the buttons on the remote.

- You heard that there were two pieces of cake in the fridge, and think how sad it is that you missed one.

- Instead of looking at the size tag on clothes, you look to see if it has elastic.

- You kick the scale, well, because it's a scale damit.

- All your vacation photos at Disney were taken at the Food Court in Epcot Center.

- You get flowers and chocolates from an admirer and throw the flowers out.

- You eat because, well, your mouth wasn't that busy at the time.

- You are out of breath just thinking about exercise.

- You go to weddings because the cake is free.

- You tell yourself this is the last pizza... today...

- You try to do a push up and discover that a number of body parts have not left the floor.

Mostly in jest... just coming back from a couple of weeks being pretty sick. 

Thanks for the votes and comments.

Friend me at your own risk.

How Pathetic Am I? You Decide!

If you've read any of my blogs, you know that I am pretty pathetic. Whether it's at the gym, out running around my home (actually I need one of those) or at the race course, I do so dumb stuff. I have a long pathetic history and doubt much will change soon, if ever.

I am the person that causes others to say, "you won't believe this!"

Here is my most recent Top 10:
-1 Instead of pinning my race bib (number), I pinned my glove to my race shirt at my last 5K. (Sandy will remember this!)
-2 I put a pathetic race shirt (which I designed) on backwards.
-3 I forgot my running shorts and ran in my tech long underwear (guys with a fly hole) at lunch. Instead of being embarrassed, I was a little bummed that no one beeped and shouted about one of my body parts.
-4 Dropped my water on the treadmill and turned it into a lawn sprinkler.
-5 Went to work and forgot to pack a towel in my gear bag. Yes, I used a lot of paper towels. Ummm... on 2 occasions.
-6 I forgot to put a hair comb in my bag. I had a meeting with the VP of marketing not long after my workout.
-7 I left my bionic running clothes in a hot car for 5 hours.
-8 The same hot car melted my deodorant stick and Body Glide.
-9 Told my oldest daughter about dork move #1 above and she told me she had 2 different color gloves on.
-10 My youngest daughter overheard us talking about #9 above, and admitted she had pinned her number on upside down at the 5K on Saturday.

There you have it. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And the most pathetic thing of all? This list took less than 5 minutes to write.

And a final warning. I ran a race with a friend from my run club. We are sort of close to the same pace, so we see a lot of each other during races. She has caught the pathetic runner bug from me. It appears that after 5 steps her bra malfunctioned and she had to run an entire a 5K like that. I just hope that I am not in any of her race photos. 

Thanks for the votes and comments.  (Please vote, otherwise MFP does not pick them up.) Please feel free to join us in the Pathetic Runners group on Facebook. There are 11,000 of us.

25 Reason You Might Not Have Logged In

As of today, I have been on MFP for long enough not to read the message boards any longer. I don't log food so much anymore. Why? Because I know how many calories everything that I eat is. Some days I have new dish and I will log that. Last night is was chipotle shrimp and sea scallops with a little Spanish rice and refried beans with green chilis.

I weigh myself every week!

I read that some of my friends have not logged in for x amount of days and I wonder why? None of them make excuses online, so I can only imagine - and you know my imagination.

1. You left your Smartphone at a bar, but can't remember which one.

2. You know which bar, and you are embarrassed to go pick it up.

3. You are no longer with us because you were harpooned on the beach by Asian whalers.

4. You dropped your Smartphone in the toilet while going #2 before your weigh in.

5. You were abducted by aliens and forced to ride what you thought was Space Mountain until you threw up. Since then, anything with a screen is terrifying.

6. You didn't pay your cell and cable bills.

7. You got your headphones stuck in the treadmill and you are still there.

8. You had to move back in with your mother and there is no cell signal in the basement.

9. You actually have a job where you are required to work, and it's not near a computer.

10. You got a new PC and forgot your password.

11. The dog ate your Smartphone.

12. You couldn't type in your password on the Smartphone, so you smashed it.

13. Someone hacked your account and gained 122 pounds on your behalf.

14. You're mad because someone told you NOT to eat your exercise calories.

15. You're mad because someone told you TO eat your exercise calories.

16. You were mugged by a chocolate cake and are being held for ransom.

17. You were hoping for a better description in the "Describe the Person Above You" thread.

18. You broke both your arms pole dancing.

19. You ran a marathon and took a wrong turn.

20. You're wedding day came and went.

21. You're new lifestyle doesn't include social media.

22. You became and expert nutritionist.

23. You took up smoking and don't know how to log it.

24. You reached your goal and no longer need support, or to support us. :(

25. You gave up, which really hurts our feelings. Now you are a loser.

Why do you skip logging in?

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

Friend me at your own risk!

How Do You Play the Game?

As a life-long New Englander, I am pretty blessed when it come to sports teams. I onlly like hockey and Facebook after the Patriots get in the Superbowl.

Neither team is in its season.

I am pretty sure I am leaving New England and moving somewere I can't use my hockey equitment. It's a game I grew up playing and with my fitness resurgence, I started playing again. For now, I will look forward to running and playing the calorie counting game.

So how do you play the game? Here are a few thoughts.

- Think fitness, not weight loss.
- Think inches, not pounds.
- Think about what you are doing right.
- Add new foods first.
- Replace old foods second.
- Schedule your workouts.
- Start slow and move towards the goal.
- Reward your success.
- Confess your failures.
- Get proper equipment! (Running shoes fitted by a running store, bike fitted by a bike store! New TV remote, etc.)
- Get a few cheerleaders!
- Do it for yourself.
- Set goals. This is tough one. What is a good and achievable goal? What if you don't make it?
- Change your goals if you need to.
- Stay away from bad influences! (or shoot them!)
- Get enough friends so you enjoy your journey.
- Read success stories!
- Don't give up!

That's what I have, what did I miss?

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

Have You Made a Goal?

When I got here, I had a goal of getting thin. I didn't really know how to connect my idea of thinness to my reality. I just wanted to be thin. I imagined myself when I was skinny. I know some of us were never skinny, but I was.

I have made all sorts of goals, and even acheived some.

Ealry on, I wanted to be in onederland, and I made it there for a few months. Before I had congestive heart failure, I wanted to run a 5K. I thought that would be no problem. Even after CHF, I worked at C25K. It took 8 months.

Then it was a 10K and a half marathon - and finally a marathon in 2013.

Sunday night I waited to sign up for the Tokyo Marathon. Spots go quickly, and despite haing a 30 day window, they are gone in days. Four of us were online to make it past the high-traffic errors as registration opened up. Julianna got in first. Susan was second, and I never even got a page nor did another friend. Working via phone and text messages Susan completed the pre-entry phase. Julianna got snagged somewhere in the middle of that trying to pick a charity.

When I finally received the pre-registration email, I was able to link to the charity donation creation site.

It was clunky and slow, (My internet was out, so I was using my mobile hotspot.) but I created a donation page. In order to register, you have to meet your donation goal before you can become a runner, so I tried to pay that in advance. The credit card company decided that my card was purchasing a fraudulent product, so it was declined. I borrowed Ruth’s card which was also declined. Fortunately she got a fraudulent activity alert which she could approve on her phone app.

I resubmitted the payment of 100,000 yen.

Next, I received an email saying that my donation had been received and if I wanted to be a charity runner, I had to go to the marathon registration site. The registration page would not load the first couple of times I got there; when it finally did, it did not offer the United States as a country of origin.

I the midst, I had to scramble to find my passport in order to complet the form.

After a few minutes it finally cooperated and I was able to get to the registration confirmation page. When I went to submit the payment for the registration fee, the website gave a 500 error. Fortunately a couple of refreshes of the page and it successfully posted the payment and sent me an email receipt. In all I received nine emails during the process.

So yeah, I am in for Tokyo on March 3, 2019.

Thanks to those who helped me get in the door, and the rest of you for your ongoing support of my world majors challenge with cancer. This will be my last world major, and if you’re not familiar, google "Abbott world major six star medal." If you’re into bling, this thing is the size of a dinner plate.

Some of the most inspirational words I received this year. "Your position as a charity runner in Tokyo Marathon 2019 has now been finalized!

After Kicking the Scale Across the Bathroom

Some days I need to win. Well, after all this BS with doctors and food, and trying to run, guess what? The effin' scale started paying attention. Since I got back from London a few months ago, I am down from 217.1 lbs to 206.9.

You do the math.

My clothes fit better and my running seems better too. In a few days I need to register for the Tokyo Marathon which takes place next March. I need to be great shape for that - an no I don't mean round! I am working on my speed and not dying in the heat for right now.

I have also been working the food portions like a boss.

I am working towards running 100 miles a month, though with all that is going on with our move, I probably won't make it for June.

I am looking forward to being moved and settled in somewhere in the USA by the end of the summer.

I have to see the gastroenterologist today. Despite a lot of stress with moving, I feel lke I have the medication worked out as well, as it has been in a couple of years. That sure makes running easier.

That's it for today. Pack my stuff, see the doctor, get in a run, watch the food portions and work towards the life I almost stopped dreaming of.

Today Is My Someday

Some days I don't really know about life. I have taken a few hits in the last couple of years. Back some years ago it took a year to complete Couch to 5K. Most of you know that I have cancer and I am working through the treatment options visiting different doctors.

Cancer sucks.

In the past 4 years, I have lost a few days worrying about cancer. :( Then I decided to live. I tried to make decisions that would make me look back and say, "I am glad I did that." They were health decisions, relational decisions and spiritual decisions.

I decided that today was "someday."

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. However, 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 who can knock out a marathon.

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 that don't get you to your goals (in my case planning my dreams). You say I love you more and get a second goodbye kiss. 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."

When surgery has the potential to reduce your quality of life instead of make it better, it's not and easy option to choose.

As surgery looms on the horizon, I am not thrilled - not even close. It's not like my knee surgery or heart surgery which made my life better. It's not the same.

It's scary.

As a runner I have overcome a lot. Most of it was mental. I just didn't think I could do anything - not a mile, not a 5K, and certainly not a marathon! I even had medication and doctors opinions to bolster my excuses for not trying. 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 made a goal of running the 6 World Major Marathons and 5 are in the books!

I remember when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. I am pretty certain I will be taking my stupid tumor to the starting line of the Tokyo Marathon in March.

I really can't wait!

For today, I am eating well, flossing my teeth, engaging my wife and kids, 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 Ruth, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, making a co-worked smile, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.

Ruth and I have decided to risk it all to move to a place where we can live out our last days. We should know this week.

In the mean time, I have I am looking forward to today. There will be running, coffee, sunshine, kisses from my bride, phone calls with the kids, and maybe I'll call a friend to say hello.

This is the day I was always waiting for!

Why Does This Always Have to Be a Battle?!

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. I 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 - easy after 7 years. It's not.

Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run 10 of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile kind! I have run about 80 other distances as well as a 60-mile charity run across Massachusetts, and a near 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 for over a month.

But you are hungry, really hungry!

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 left over birthday cake, chips, dips, and other types of snack foods close by.

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 (the 8 or so hours after), I am a lot less hungry.

Now that the taper and recovery are over from running London, I have gained almost 4 pounds. I made lots of good food choices. I am back to running regularly. But....

What I haven't done is 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.

Fat Chance

I was obese and then overweight. I had a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. It doesn't matter what you call your fat, but it is a health hazard and you know it.

Fortunately I survived congestive heart failure.
My cardiologist told me 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! While, close to 80% make no significant lifestyle changes.

I was faced with real life that day in ICU.

As it turns out, slim chance, and fat chance have the same meaning. But one is healthier. If you think you can't lose weight, you probably won't. You are welcome to make excuses like I did.

As my friend Anna always says, "I'll see you at the funeral."

Here is my list of excuses.

I don't have time. - If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my kid walking, riding bikes, rollerblading, running every day that it is nice enough to do so. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, I just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, it's still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: you can buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all I find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and better for you. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you'll be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calorie steak bomb. 

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap! Just Google "clothes rack."

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby. Once you learn how to eat, you can make smart choices.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life. LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So?

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I make meal plans with my wife. We don't like all the same things. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

Well, those are the ones that I used. How about you?

Thanks for the votes and comments, I very much appreciate them.

Advice to My Younger Self

When I came to MFP, I wanted to lose weight. When I had congestive heart failure (despite a few months of hard work), I wanted to be fit and run 5Ks. If you have read my blog at all, you know that I got cancer.

Disease changed my view of healthy and of fit.

If you haven't been sick, you don't know what it's like to get bad health news. The stages of grief start with shock, proceed to denial, and progress through anger, bargaining and depression.

And then there is the bargaining with God.

He and I are buddies, so it was a lot more about self-reflection. It wasn't really anyone else's fault (besides my parents who gave me bad genes and dressed me funny in grade school.)

I had to blame myself.

I was the one who smoked for a long time. I was the one who sat in a desk chair and rarely got up. I was the one who took every bite of food which made me obese. Sure, it snuck up on me in my 40s and tried to kill me in my 50s.

I had to stop making excuses and start a plan of action.

I am creature of habit, so I had to make some strict rules. Yes, I eased into the better eating over a few months. Well, until I ended up in the ICU. I had no idea what was actually good for me. I didn't know about Superfoods or the healthy crap that wasn't healthy. I was hoping for a quick fix and a fad diet.

Counting calories worked.

Today, I have a lot to be grateful for. I am also facing some big changes. Ruth and I have to move. Facing the end of our lease with no renewal was a shock. I still don't have cancer test results from last week. The work/life balance has been hard for us. We are looking at options.

For today, I just want be as healthy as I can.

I am pretty fit, could stand re-lose 10 pounds, and get faster for my marathon. If I had life to do over, I would have taken better care of myself.

The good news is that I feel pretty good, I am no longer depressed, and well, everything still works as intended.
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