Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 136 - Tagged I Am

Excellent day yesterday at the eating and at the exercise. Balance, portion and yum all accounted for well. The dumbbell routine thrashed my upper body quite well as did the push ups. Sit ups too, it was just over a week ago I re-discovered my ability to even do sit ups once again. Now five sets of them are part of my exercise routine. So good day yesterday on the getting healthy front. How about you, was yesterday a good health day for you?

Before I forget, the answer to yesterday's picture riddle; a Strawberry Smoothie!

Jo was the first to guess a smoothie, Lori followed her up with the exact flavor of strawberry. I was afraid that was going to be too easy yet when guesses like cheese, meats, tile and a baseball bat started rolling in I backed off of that fear. And LEGS, a bunch of guesses it was a leg, this I didn't expect and got a great chuckle from, fun! Ok, whose ready for a smoothie?

Let's keep the fun a rollin here; Rapunzel has tagged me which requires me to answer 8 questions about myself then make up 8 new questions to tag 8 of you with! Without further delay here are the 8 she gave to me...

1. What is the biggest change you've made that's helped you succeed in your weight loss efforts?
A: On my blog I have listed 8 changes which I have committed myself to, it is hard to say which is the biggest impacting change. If pressed to choose one, #4 Reward Myself For Success. For me I've come to embrace that being healthy has to be fun, you have to enjoy it if you expect to be healthy for a life time. Rewarding myself when I attain goals I've set, now that is FUN!

2. What's your toughest temptation?
A: BACON!!! I love it, I would wrap myself in it if I didn't think I'd be tossed in a straight-jacket. I still enjoy bacon, but a slice or two a week is all. Not 1/2 pound in a single sitting.

3. What program are you following? (WW, South Beach, etc)
A: None. Eating healthy & exercising, it is just that simple. I do try and keep bad carbs in check, but it would be wrong to say I am on a low carb diet. I've come to learn when you have a food addiction living healthy in spite of it is all about being mentally strong. The program, or non-program, you choose is irrelevant until you have set your mind straight that you are going to get healthy. Not just try & do it, nope, that you ARE going to DO IT. Once your mind is set, then figure how how you want to do it and it will happen.

4. Who has been your biggest fan and supporter?
A: My wife. She knows how important this is to me, to us. Even though she knows that my getting healthy means I will be around allot longer, she still wants me to do it :-)

5. Any naysayers who've attempted to sabotage your efforts?
A: Not really. I read that some bloggers get emails from other bloggers criticizing them for this or that. I have had none of that. I may be my biggest naysayer. Even though I am more confident & positive than I ever have been about being healthy, I still have a daily episode where I tempt myself to have just one trip through the drive thru or order the 20 ounce rib eye just this once. While one of anything may really be ok, luckily I have not listened to the argument because I fear one will turn to two, then three, and then I may as well forget it. Me, only I can sabotage this mission.

6. Do you have a favorite "legal" food that helps keep you on track?
A: Fruit. I have never eaten so much fruit. Fruit has replaced most of my snacks. And I believe you have to have between meal snacks; at least I do. So apples now replace potato chips. Peaches replace candy bars. Grapes & Cherries replace donuts & fritters (OMG I miss fritters). You get the picture - eat your fruit people!

7. How do you see your life changing once you reach goal?
A: See my bucket list on my blog under the page titled: "MYSELF". I will actually be able to do all of that. ALL of it. At 320 pounds (where I started this mission) it was a pipe-dream list. When I get to 199 or below it will be a list of stuff that will be done; whether that stuff wants me doing it or not - I am doing it!

8. What's your dream outfit once you get to goal? You know we all have one! :)
A: Come on Rapunzel, you can't gather this on your own, you have to ask? The swim suit worn in the movie Borat of course! Seriously, I have never ever ever, no way have I ever, never have I felt comfortable in a suit. My hope is that by being fit, I can get a new tailored suit and feel good in it. Not that I'd wear it often, but when I need to, knowing I can feel good in it would be oh so nice.

Ok, here are the 8 Bloggers I would like to TAG next...
  1. Dee
  2. toosexy4thisfat
  3. Blue
  4. Keelie
  5. River
  6. Kyle
  7. Michael
  8. Luke
Here are your 8 questions, enjoy & be sure to tag other...
  1. You can have one super power, what would it be?
  2. Which do you see as more important, diet or exercise?
  3. If we're forced to become vegetarians by law could you do so or would you frequent the black market for meat?
  4. Do you consider the word 'Obese' to be a proper word to define those extremely over-weight, or do you consider it to be improper if not a hateful word?
  5. Do you believe that Elvis died on August 16, 1977 or was his death a conspiracy cover up?
  6. How much water do you drink a day and do you agree that water intake of 8 glasses a day or more is critical to a healthy body?
  7. Aliens have invaded earth and landed a mile from your house, do you run for the hills, do you grab a weapon & charge, or do you try and communicate with them?
  8. Is your current approach to getting healthy an approach you consider to be fun and can you do it for the rest of your life? 
Have Fun!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 135 - Snap To It

No exercise for me Sunday, decided to take a day of rest. Felt good, and needed. It's back to the exercise today for me.
These photos were snapped the last few days, thought I'd share.
Some are health related, all are fun related. Fun I tell you, getting healthy is FUN...

Have an idea what this is a picture of? Yep, another picture riddle, so take a guess if you dare. 
I'll reveal the answer tomorrow, or earlier if someone guesses correctly...
This was at the family gathering a couple weekends back;
somebody wanted my chair and I couldn't comprehend such nonsense.
The time is now, for new walking/jogging shoes that is.
So many of you have talked about your new shoes, Asics have been chatted up the most it seems.
I chose a pair of Asics GT-2150, they were the only pair of Asic's the store had in a 4E Width.
I've worn them out & about to break them in, they get their maiden exercise voyage this week.
This tomato and feta salad was part of our anniversary dinner with my wife Saturday night. Simple and tasty!
I also took a picture of my entree but the picture came out looking dull and disgusting, the complete opposite of the actual dish; it was awesome...
A grilled Cobia fillet with a bacon & jalapeno sauce. Not sure what Cobia is, a tasty warm water ocean yummy-fish.
It is also known as Black Salmon although it's skin is what is black, the flesh is white, firm and similar to Salmon. Here is a pic of the fish...

Need more food porn, Ok, there is our dinner last night.
Halibut pan seared in garlic infused olive oil with a side of Green Beans tossed in Onions and a bit of Bacon (yes, I has a touch of bacon twice this weekend).
What, still not enough? Tough crowd you are...
Here was dessert last night, a treat shared to us by Karla.
Greek Yogurt, Apples (Fuji) & Cinnamon - So simple yet an amazing trio of flavors, perfect for dessert.
A guilty pleasure of mine this weekend while I was hanging with my wife while she shopped for a bridesmaid dress.
Saturday I took her to Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom's, Carson's, and multiple locations of them, I needed some GUM!
Speaking of my wife there she is arriving to a soccer game last week. I was sitting in the top row of the bleachers.
She ascended the stairs to join me which shows how far she has come in healing from surgery nearly 4 weeks ago.
My daughter also came to the game, but would she sit by me? Nope, not until told too. Teenagers!

For those who need a cat picture fix, here is Nacho. He seeks flat surfaces to sleep on most of the time.
Here he is on my dresser. He'd be sleeping if I had left him be.
Need another? Here you go, sleeping on what will be our wedding gift to Brian & Eileen...

That's it, all I have for this Monday. Have a great day, great week.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 134 - 41% Progress

Got in another cardio workout on Saturday. A return to the Junior High soccer field for some more 80 yard sprints. Last weekend my first attempt saw me do ten sprints before calling it a workout, this attempt I did a dozen. My fastest sprint was 20 seconds, a second better than my best spring a week ago. I may have pushed it a bit further than wise as my left thigh was not too happy with me afterwards. I stretched it out good afterwards and it felt better, no big deal; just need to stretch more beforehand is my guess.

Had a pair of cool NSV's yesterday...

We are going to a wedding this coming Friday. My wife asked if I was going to get a new pair of trousers since the ones I wear now are so baggy. I wasn't going to but she seemed to want me to so we did just that.

For the better part of a decade I've been wearing 46's. If honest with myself I should have been wearing 48's or 50's perhaps the past year or so as my 46's have been tight tight tight. I grabbed a pair of 44's to take to the dressing room and my wife suggested I try 42's. Not necessary I thought but I grabbed them any way and off I went to the dressing room.

The first thing I tried on was a 2XL t-shirt I grabbed before making my way over to the trousers. Before I started this mission I wore exclusively 3XL's which fit me. Not all would fit when I tried them on, just some. Had I been willing to buy 4XL's I'd have had more options in recent years, but, for whatever reason buying 4XL's was something I was not going to do until I needed to.

Huh? Can you believe that!? Attitude, that was my old attitude, that someday I would have to buy 4XL's and when that day came so be it, but not before. Thinking back at that attitude both boils my Irish blood and tickles my Irish bum.

The 2XL t-shirt fit great and the many old 2XL t-shirts I've had shoved to the back of my dresser drawers have been replaced the 3XL's for use now as I can wear any 2XL I touch comfortably now.

Back to the trousers, I started with trying on the 42's. Now I should have known my wife would be right, silly me. I never even tried on the 44's, just took the t-shirt & the 42's and checked out.

So chalk these up on the NSV list...
>Buying new trousers in size 42, down from 46's.
>Saying goodbye to having to buy 3XL shirts & hello to 2XL

The numbers for this weigh in areas follows: I weigh 41% less than the day I started this mission.
Thus, 49.5 pounds have been lost in the past EIGHTEEN weeks; 2 of them this past week.
Today I weighed in at 270.5 pounds. Oh Yeah!

Cool - the 40% mark has been achieved! The 50 pound mark, missed it by that much; holding thumb & fore finger a 1/2 inch apart representing that 1/2 pound shy I am of that mark. Needless to say, I am quite please with this past week.

Enjoy your Sunday, have fun & be healthy!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 133 - Saturday Soccer Shopping...

The past couple of days I got in the exercise. A 3.6 mile walk on Thursday and on Friday I did my home gym routine, push ups & sit ups. Feeling good about the exercise this week. Food has been good too, very few bad choices all week actually.

How has your week been?

Before you go & enjoy your Saturday, enjoy these funny health/food 'facts' (their claim to being facts are not mine, source)...

  • The can opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced. (That must have been a very liberating moment)
  • Seaweed is used to thicken ice cream. (So, then it is a health food, no?)
  • Coca-Cola was originally green. (Wouldn't the be cool!)
  • Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them. (So much for my aspirations to join NASA)
  • There are more nutrients in the cornflake package itself than there are in the actual cornflakes. (No way, say it aint so)
  • The average chocolate bar has 8 insects' legs in it. (Hmm, no eating a corn flake box doesn't sound so bad)
Today we have a soccer game to attend for one of our sons, Ryan, pictured above running out to join his mates when announced earlier in this weeks season opener. Then we'll be off to run a mess of errands including my wife shopping for a dress to wear at a wedding she is in next Friday. We'll end the day with a relaxing dinner at Bonefish Grill, on of our favorite seafood restaurants. This will be to celebrate out anniversary of a week ago when my wife wasn't feeling up to going out.

Sunday we'll just chill, or so is the plan. Some where along the way this weekend I'll get in some more cardio.

Got plans to exercise this weekend?

Got plans to eat amazing - healthy food?

Got plans of any kind?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 132 - Fat, No Way

A certain as a cat is nervous around a rocking chair, Friday has arrived - TGIF to you & all around you (how many people are around you anyhow?)...

Cat I say, then cat I shall display (Don't worry, I am not about to go Dr. Seuss on you unfortunately)...

There you see a very cool cat. No nerves in this one, his name is Zinger by the way. Ryan was late to the dinner table so Zinger kept his seat warm. Well that was Zinger's story anyhow. Truth be told he was hoping to get at the Turkey under the foil to his right. Poor Zinger, he was denied that which he wanted. At least let us give Zinger credit for knowing what he wanted.

To be denied is one thing, to be in denial, quite another. Denial is a dangerous response for us humans. I really have no idea how it affects a cat. 

Perhaps an easy correlation is that of an alcoholic or drug user who does not believe they have a problem; to them their abuse has no ill affects on their lives, or those around them, and they can quit at any moment. For whatever reason they do not accept the reality of their problem, they deny there is a problem.

To say that all of us who are obese, or over-weight, use whatever word you desire; to say all are in a state of denial is probably wrong. Certainly there must be a few who know they are obese, and are truly OK with it, or, they sincerely do not care. But, minus those few, is it safe to say that a majority of us who are obese either are or have been in denial at some point?

I am not a doctor of any sort, I have played one; well lets not go there... my words are my opinion based on the myriad of good sense and nonsense that has accumulated in my mind. So take that info in as an introduction to think...

Are you now, or have you have you ever been in denial about your weight?

Myself, oh my goodness gracious most certainly you betcha dog gone right yes siree bob - YES I have. For you net-lingo addicts that would be: OMGGMCYBDGRYSB

Have, HAVE; is the word of importance there. For today I do not consider myself to be in denial. But not too long ago, and for a long long time; I most definitely was.

Being obese was not causing me to be unhappy, I was pleasantly plump and happy, right? I denied that I would be happier if I could do the things I could not do; e.g. sit on the floor & play games with the kids, go on a canoe ride, play full or even half-court basketball.

Being obese did not impact my marriage in anyway, all was good, right? I was in denial that I could perform better sexually, or that we might enjoy it more, if I those blobs of fat weren't there with us.

Being obese did not mean I wasn't active, I moved more than enough, right? I denied that I needed to exercise beyond what I got walking from my chair to my car, from my car to work, from work to my car, from my car to my chair.

Being obese was not putting me at greater risk for health factors or a decreased lifespan, I was healthy fat or no fat, right? I denied that I really needed the high blood pressure pills when prescribed them, I figured it was just the doctor covering his butt against statistics. I denied that what I ate could lead to heart attack, stroke, or death. I was after all, me. Things like that don't happen to me; they happen to you.

For each of those, and the dozens I didn't list, I knowingly felt guilt yet I refused to feel any self-remorse thus choosing the easy path to eliminating the risk for my foolish decisions; I ignored my own guilt. Foolish, denial is just plain irresponsible & embarrassingly foolish. Acting a fool is what is truly dangerous.

So let me ask you again, are you acting a fool?

"We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; mmm chocolate)

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 131 - Seen Da Light

Top-o-Thursday to you.
"Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug." -- John Lithgow
Great day yesterday, near perfection in eating & exercise. All meals balanced, portioned well, and mighty tasty too; what more can a healthy wanna be ask for?

Exercise before work was 5 sets each of sit-ups and push-ups with stretching exercises between sets; Thanks to all who answered my call the other day for help with stretching. After work my son & I walked Lake Andrea. Well, we didn't walk it all, we jogged the last .2-.25 miles of that 2.25 loop.

Funny thing was my pants were falling down while jogging. Picture if you can my 272'ish pound frame jogging in dockers & a dress shirt (on Wednesday's I don't go home before going up to hang with my son), having to hold his pants up with my left hand while fumbling an ipod nano with the other because I knocked the ear cords out with my right hand as it pumped away. I must have looked a mess, or a fool; and I loved looking just as I did.

We finished that loop in 35:29 minutes, a good 2.5 minutes faster than the previous best. Guess I can't call the Lake Andrea PR a walking event any longer. It is now a place to get my body around as fast as I can with a mix of walk, jog, crawl, skip, moon-walk, and dare I say better fitting clothes?

So yes, I enjoyed ruling the day yesterday - have you ruled a day lately?

I shall soon post that I have lost 50 pounds, it may be this weekend or next; but it is coming soon...
I shall RESIST temptation to return into the dark and put back on any unhappy weight; nope I have Seen Da Light.

I have learned so much in the past 131 days, thanks in large part to many of you; and I thirst for more...
I have LAUNCHED this mission to 199 pounds or less in pursuit of greater happiness; yes I have Seen Da Light.

I will remember that being healthy is all mental, my will to change and my choice to act; I and I alone decide success over failure...
I will FORGO excuses of all form as cause to choose unhappiness; I have Seen Da Light.

I am happier today than yesterday, tomorrow will be happier today, the next 45 years will be my happiest yet...
I AM Responsibility 199; I have Seen Da Light.
(picture of me up there at son's soccer game this week seemed fitting)

Have You Seen Da Light?
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 130 - Wasabi to Favorites

Morning, morning, morning... Good Morning!

How was everyones Tuesday? Awesome I hope. A good one for me. A relaxed one for the most part if you discount work. Exercise was a simple 1+ mile walk/stroll with my wife. She's been trying to get out and walk a little bit further each day as part of her recovery. Her recovery from surgery has been just fine with the only real set back being a rough summer-cold she has been battling.

Yesterday I discovered a new snack, Wasabi peas. Nope, I have never had them before. Never! Until yesterday. Took a look at the nutrition panel and was pleasantly surprised and the numbers. I've been relying on allot of fruit for my snacks and has searching for another veggie alternative; found it! Have you tried Wasabi peas before?

Favorites, kids ask us questions all the time; they are kids so they are supposed to. Over time they ask many questions on 'what is your favorite _________?'

Here are some I have fielded over the years; My favorite...
Actor: John Wayne, no debate needed, next question...
Actress: Whoever the leading actress is alongside John Wayne in the movie being watched right now
Candy: Snickers with Whoppers a close second, Almond Joy a solid third
Car: From a practical perspective, I am a Ford man & I am an SUV man; Ford Expedition is what I drive. From a wish upon a star perspective, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S; someday, when I can fit into one!
Color: Orange is by far my fave. The color I cannot get comfortable with is Green. Perhaps stems from my hatred for the Green Bay Packers, or the one time Minnesota North Stars who are now in Dallas
Comic strip: Dilbert, I can relate in so many ways
Dog: Toy German Shepard (about 1/2 size of the normal breed), that is what we had as a kid. If I ever have another dog it just has to have a cool bark, size won't matter; just yappy whinny barking.
Island: Huh? How should I know. Simply whichever island is there to rescue me when the plan or ship goes down, that will be my favorite forever & ever
Johnny Depp Movie: My daughter's inquiry, to her surprise it was not Jack Sparrow. Rather I choose Don Juan in his earlier film titled "Don Juan DeMarco", Maybe Marlon Brando brought out the best in Johnny
Melon: Odd question from a kid; but mine is Watermelon. I am not big on Honeydew and really dislike Cantaloupe even though it is orange, go figure
Pie: My Grandma Bella's Chess Pie (a very sugary / buttery custard style pie), RIP Grandma
Season: Fall, I am a hunter and fall is when I get to hunt. It is also the time of year when I stop sweating so much
Sport: NASCAR first and foremost. Hockey second through fourth. Then Football, Baseball and Basketball. Is Beer Pong considered a sport?
Subject in school: If allowed I answer Lunch. But if not allowed I answer History, I am a History-Buff, any history class gets my full attention

Any of those come off as odd to you?
How about you, what are your favorites for the above (or favorite whatever)...

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 129 - Stretch Me Please

When I woke up I guessed it was Tuesday, I checked, and I'm right. So I am 1 for 1 so far today.

Those of you that guessed a tile floor got yesterday's riddle correct. Some guessed it was tile early & before I announced that it was tile, and, well some of you guessed correctly after that. As I am from Chicagoland in Illinois all of your votes count regardless of when the polls closed. Oh, some of you guessed what room it came from, it was from a bathroom.  

Sunday I took the day off from exercise. Needed rest after Saturday's NSV of being able to do Sit-Ups once again; my core felt good & thrashed Sunday. Monday came & I got busy with a 5 a.m. dumbbell routine session and 5 sets of push ups. No sit ups, still sore in the gut and sides. But I will get after more of them this week for sure.

After work I had about an hour before the varsity soccer game so I got in my workout duds and headed off to Stanton Hill. The plan was to best my previous PR of 20 laps up & down that hill in 30 minutes. That was the plan, but this time out was a buffet of struggles.

Each lap had it's own story, and most not pleasant. Buffets are supposed to be pleasant, bountiful and satisfying. Trust me, I know from experience.

Lap one & I took off like a rocket, felt ballistic, and was ready to explode up in that PR's mug.
Lap three, eased up on the macho as my breathing lost it's ease.
Lap six or seven, pain; left lower leg just was starting to whine. I don't like wine so I refused to have any.
Lap ten & I was tapping reserves as fast as kegs at a frat party.
Lap fourteen or fifteen & my sides start splitting and I wonder how much shame there is in pulling the abort lever?
Lap seventeen & I swear that lost tortoise pass me up and flipped me off, @#%$ Tortuga!
Lap eighteen and I have company all of the sudden....
The Grant Sophomore football team saw me thrashing the hill & decided to get in on the action.

Lap nineteen and pride swells throughout igniting a surge to the finish. Or was it a save-face reflex?
Lap twenty, finally! Pride or not my attitude was clear, it is time for this to be over. Regardless of how impressed the football players are, I must soon go.
Huh, lap twenty finished and the 30 minutes, while close, had not ticked off yet?
Lap twenty-oneStomping the dirt like a child; I was supposed to be done!
Argh, so close, missed completing twenty-one laps in 30 minutes by thirteen seconds.

Next time, there will be a next time, Stanton Hill.

OK, serious moment; this post is titled "Stretch Me Please". Need some help folks, I feel I do a terrible job of stretching and that may be why I had a rough go at the hill yesterday. I do try & stretch, but I feel the stretching I do is as useful as a back pocket on jock strap. So, I need those of you in the know to suggest stretching for both when I weight train and when I walk, hill climb, jog or sprint. Please, it would be rude to not say please. Don't make me beg; please.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 128 - Phortuitous Photos Plus

Let's get this week off to a relaxed start and spend it in pictures...

Oh, and also another picture riddle.
What oh what do you think this is a picture of? Take a guess.
I'll reveal the answer tomorrow, or earlier if someone guesses correctly; which they should...

This week our cats received some catnip. These two (Crush {left} & Zinger) were clawing at the freshly sprinkled carpet...

This is just 2 miles away from home. Who loses a turtle, and posts LOST when they do? Wondering if this is just a joke...

Spoons, ever played? Here I am (see my knees) taking a shot of our game Saturday at a family gathering...

Darts, we love darts; Andrew & bond over darts often.
Here is a pair of pictures of us, oh and Nacho the cat too, engaged in a game of drunken-cricket...

For the love of all that is... Argh, Too Bright! Turn It OFF!...

Have a great Monday everybody!!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 127 - 39% Progress & Oh Yeah's

Welcome to the 34th Sunday of 2010, is it just me or is this year passing by faster than corn through a goose?

My wife & I celebrated our 11th Anniversary this week. We did so low-key as she is still recovering from her recent surgery. We've given ourselves a pair of tickets to go see Bill Engvall & John Pinette perform next month. By then she should be fully recovered and we'll be able to get out and celebrate in style. Happy Anniversary to my gorgeous wife! 

As promised yesterday I was going to work in another cardio work out. Not wanting another walk, not able to hit Stanton Hill as the football team was using it for their workout, I drove around until I found something different; a soccer field. The local junior high field was looking a bit lonely so I paid it a visit. After arriving, I wondered what to do. I had no soccer ball. Walking around it seemed lame. I don't run, maybe a bad idea, I may as well leave. Then it hit me, sprint!

Well that notion woke up that evil hungry-demon inside me who drove me to obesity. "Huh, spring! That's running, no?" he jested gruffly. "You barely jog and look like a drunk armadillo when you do."

I grin and look at the field, it is a bit smaller that a regulation field, expected as 7th & 8th graders play on it. Regulation fields are 100-130 yards long, I paced this off at 88 yards (114 steps of my 28 inch stride), so figuring a bit of error in my pacing I considered this field to be 80 yards long.

"Seriously, lets go home and you can walk on that treadmill," said the hungry-demon, sniffing his jelly donut. "It has rails you can hold on to, much less embarrassing."

A freshly fried donut oozing with jelly puts off a strong smell, a smell that the healthy-alien in me does not like. "Sprints huh, that's the spirit," he encouraged boldly. "One, just do one 80 yard sprint, or one 80 yard jog, lets see if you've come far enough to do it."

One, sure I can do one. I really don't want to walk, treadmill or anywhere today. A little stretching, the IPod set, my watch in hand, off I went. Field was in good condition, flat, grass cut recently. Half way across, I stopped critiquing the field conditions, this is 80 yards? Seems like 80 leagues! Time, 33 seconds.

"Way to go big boy," the hungry-demon blurted through a chortle. "Too bad nobody is here to watch, I could charge $2 to watch this show."

Nice, that one stung a bit. As well that sprint had a bit of sting to it too. It was a sprint, not a jog; I was hauling this body as fast I could move it.

"Now walk, walk back," suggested the healthy-alien. "Walk and while you catch your breath."

And so I did, pondering my 33 second effort. Once upon a time I could sprint 40 yards in 7-8 seconds. Not really that fast, many of the high school athletes I hung with could do that in 5-6 seconds.

Back on the other side of the field now I was no longer listening to the healthy-alien & hungry-demon. They argued, the jelly donut hit the ground and those two locked horns like two ornery heartland tornadoes competing for the same trailer park.

While they went at it, I took off on another sprint; 32 seconds. A walk back, a check of the iPod, and another sprint, and another, and another, and...

Ten sprints later I had enough, my body was urging me to exercise some caution. Which I did, gladly and with a smile as I took note of that tenth and final sprint time, 21 seconds, that deserves an Oh-yeah!

Back at home, I left the healthy-alien & hungry-demon back at the soccer field; back at home I chit chatted with my wife for about fifteen minutes before I realized I was antsy and her attention was fixed on whatever was on television. We had a few hours before we would pack up the kids and head off to a family gathering. Bored, I went into the basement to do some crunches and push ups.

Once in the basement, I set up and did a set of push ups. Now crunches, but as I looked at that bench I smirked; I really didn't want to do any crunches. Too boring.

A quick pondering, I grabbed a mat and set it down beside the home gym. I got down, flopped onto my back, said a prayer, and away I went. Or rather I should say up I went, I did set of ten sit-ups. SIT UPS, really sit ups, not crunches - the real deal.

In all honesty, it has to be 15 years since I've got up the gumption to do a sit up. Yep, you guessed it, that also deserves an Oh-yeah!

Five sets of ten push ups and sit ups were completed before I called it quits, declared victory, and headed off to the shower.

It seems only fitting that I add being able to do sprints and sit ups to my NSV list. I'll do just that after I get this posted.

Ok, today is weigh in day, and I am pleased at the result. It very well could have been a 1/2 pound or a pound better but the family gathering yesterday probably cost me that much. It wasn't a a complete giving in to temptation, not at all. But there was some indulgence. A great time it was.

Brass tacks time, the scale reports that I have now punted 39% of the weight I want to lose. In all, 47.5 pounds have been kicked away in the past SEVENTEEN weeks; 1.5 of them this past week. Today I weighed in at 272.5 pounds. Oh Yeah!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 126 - Food Log Opened

Hello one and all. Thank you for all of the questions yesterday from my "Day 125 - Ask Me Anything" post, last night I posted a comment there (CLICK HERE) in reply with answers to them. Some challenging questions, a fun experience, hope you enjoyed.

Friday I was on fire. Got up at 445 a.m., was out for a 2 mile walk by 5 a.m., and returned 33:28 minutes later. That my friends, is a new PR for my neighborhood loop. While I have met my weekly goal for exercise this week, I intend to get in another round of cardio today, not sure what but we'll get something in.

Food was good. Surprisingly, I ended up at Applebee's again today, that is twice in three days. I took the afternoon off work to hang out with my wife. Our afternoon included her doctors appointment so we went out to lunch, Applebee's is close to the docs, so that's how I ended up back at a place I am not a huge fan of. Had something off of their WW menu this time, a salad, which was Ok. Why do chicken breasts in these 'casual dining' places come out so bland and blah?

As promised yesterday's log looked like this....
5a - Exercise: 2 Mile Walk (Neighborhood Loop, 33:28)
6a - Tomato Juice, Pumpkin Flax Granola, Milk, Grapes (I put the grapes in my cereal, see below, what - they are just big raisins :-)
10a - Apple
1230p - Applebees: Paradise Chicken Salad
330p - Cherries
715p - Two Scrambled Eggs w/ Ham & Cheese (we had breakfast for dinner), Coleslaw
745p - One Small Square of Dark Chocolate
grapes in my granola, so good!

Food Log, this week I have focused allot on my food log as intended when I committed to doing so this past Monday. Up top there you see a picture of what my actual hand written food log looks like. That shot is from earlier this week, Monday & Tuesday. That is as much detail as I keep daily. My purpose for this log, make it look green... want all of the food entries to be GREEN.

Why green, well I have a bit of old school in me, so I write with one of those BIC 4-Color ballpoint pens; and I use all 4 colors. For my log I use then as follows:
Black ink is for exercise entries  
Green ink is for meals/snacks that are well balanced and portioned
Blue ink is for meals/snacks that are just OK, pushing the envelope on balance and portion
Red ink is for meals/snacks where I have missed the mark entirely in terms of healthy balance & portion 

Here is an example of a day that is not all green...

These are the entries for Wednesday & Thursday this week. Thursday's dinner was blue because I pushed the envelope of good portion & balance buy having grilled wings and a burger patty. I didn't need that patty, I almost made this entry red. There was no confusion on what color to make my choice at 830 p.m. to eat an ice cream bar. Forget that it was a 100 calorie WW choice, even though it was better than a trip to Dairy Queen, I didn't really need it; I just caved into my gut saying feed me! So red for that entry.

Ok, I can't go on much more about my food log, I'd hate to bore you into an adhoc slumber on a Saturday.
Do you keep a food log?
Do you keep it on paper or online?
Do you keep it in greater detail e.g. nutrient grams?
Do you believe it helps you in your own mission?

Hmm, suddenly feeling like some doo-wop music.

Have an most totally bodacious and supreme Saturday!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 125 - Ask Me Anything

Happy Friday Everybody!

First order of business, get your motivation fix HERE, Misunderstood and Admired did it!!! A marvelous journey's milestone achieved, just marvelous!

For the most part a solid day, I exercise - had a great workout actually. You know when a workout is just going well, the reps are movements of art, the breathing is symphonic, the timing is precision. Well, maybe someday I'll have a workout that pristine but last nights workout was the best I've had in a long time, like years and years ago long time.

Food, good, not great. You can see I had a slight cave in at the end of the day. Not sure if that workout stoked up my appetite or if I simply let my guard down and let my gut make decisions on eating vs. my brain. If that is my stumble for this week and no more, I'll be just fine.

As promised yesterday's log looked like this....
  • 6a - Tomato Juice, Peach, Greek Yogurt
  • 8a - Milk
  • 10a - Pear, Cheese Stick
  • 1215p - Garden Salad w/ Tuna (canned) and Sesame Oil Dressing
  • 245p - Muscle Milk Light (vanilla flavor)
  • 530p - Exercise: Home Gym Routine, 5 sets of Crunches & Push Ups each
  • 7p - Grilled Chicken Wings, Burger Patty, Coleslaw w/ Salsa (leftover night, the burger 5 oz. but not needed; but was aiming for protein after the workout.)
  • 830p - 100 Calorie WW Ice Cream bar (hit by a sweet tooth attack and I caved)
A few weeks ago I had an exchange with a blogger where they asked a few questions of me about diet and then a few off topic questions. Nothing improper, just a blogger being curious about another I suppose. At the end of that exchange they suggested I do an 'Ask Me Anything' post. Having seen a few bloggers do this before I replied, sure, someday I'll do so.

Guess what, today is someday. So, Ask Me Anything, and I'll pop back in later with answers, or answer them tomorrow at the latest. You can ask anything, ask more than one question if so moved; I reserve the right to not answer something of course - I'm quite thick skinned so not likely I will abstain.

I'll seed this with a few of the questions I recall the previously mentioned blogger asking...
Q: How often did you exercise when you started?
A: Actually I didn't exercise the first week of my mission; that week was about changing my mindset and eating habits. After week one I exercised as often as I could make time, and then only for as long as I could handle it. I knew I had to get moving, but I also knew didn't need to run a race on day one. Short walks, short periods of time on a treadmill was all I did to get moving.

Q: When you were younger did you have problems with your weight?
A: Nothing more than being a bit chubby in high school, but that was corrected my senior year as I knew I was going to enlist in the USMC. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I let life get in the way of making healthy choices.

Q: Do you like the beach and if so, do you prefer tanning lotion or oil? (recall I said he asked a few off topic questions, this was the oddest)
A: The beach I can take or leave. I don't make a beach a priority when planning a vacation, if one happens to be there, so be it. I am a white male of Irish-Scottish heritage, I don't tan; I burn. I use sun screen when I play golf, or attend outdoor sporting events. Never do I recall buying real tanning products.

Also a few of the blog awards have asked me to respond with 'x' number of random or unknown facts about yourself, these might be found interesting, or funny, maybe odd; they are quickly referenced here.

So, if interested, Ask Me Anything and have a great Friday!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 124 - Fielders Over Jackhammers

Good Morning!

Solid day of eating yesterday. Opportunities for temptation were snubbed by my insane focus on a crazy busy day at work. The picture you see to the left is my lunch from the office cafeteria; Grilled Salmon w/ Avocado Salsa, Stir-fried Veggies and Steamed Brown Rice. Overall our cafeteria is very friendly to those looking to live healthy. Of course there is also a line for burgers, pizza and other unfriendly choices.

In the evening my son & I were headed to a local minor league baseball game. Dining on ball park food for dinner did not appeal to me. Ok, it did appeal to me, but I thought better of such appealings. Instead we chose to go to Applebee's which was on the way. I am not a big fan of places like Applebee's, Chili's, Denny's, etc... to me these establishments rely on excessive salt & poorly administered seasoning to mask their inability to bring ingredients together to create flavor. But, Applebee's for convenience it was us last night. there I chose a dish off of the Under 550 Calorie menu, Spicy Shrimp Diavolo. It filled the void in my stomach, and I doubt it was just 550 calories, I'll leave it at that.

No exercise yesterday so I still need to get in another cardio and another strength workout before Sunday's weigh in. I plan to get in one or the other this evening.

As promised yesterday's log looked like this....
  • 6a - Tomato Juice, Coleslaw (yes, I made too much the night before and wasn't letting it go to waste)
  • 830a - More Tomato Juice,Banana
  • 10a - Milk
  • 1215p - Grilled Salmon w/ Avocado Salsa, Stir-fried Veggies and Steamed Brown Rice
  • 6p - Spicy Shrimp Diavolo (seen below)

Baseball - Andrew & I went to see the Lake County Fielders host the Joliet Jackhammers last night; minor league teams have the best nick-names. Here are a few pictures of the game which Lake County won 6-4...

That is 'Lucky', the Fielders mascot. He was one busy dog between innings.

The Fielders fell behind 4-0 early and scrapped their way back with bunts like this.
Yes, bunt are seldom exciting, but this one was.

Between innings minor-league style. The John Deere Tractor-Tricycle race, the winner was neither of these dudes; they crashed into each other and wiped out.

Andrew cheking the stats in the program and recalling the days when he little & pony league ball played nearby.

Have an Amazingly Healthy Day! 

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 123 - Misunderstood and Admired

Good Morning!

No early a.m. exercise yesterday, I had to have the boys up, out and at school at 545 a.m. for soccer practice so no time for myself in the morning. But in the evening after dinner and wrestling with a plumbing project I got on the treadmill and burned off 500 calories in 50:47, so I've got one cardio and one strength workout in this week; need another of each minimum before Sunday's weigh in.

As promised here is yesterday's log looked like this....
  • 615a - Grapefruit, Tomato Juice
  • 9a - Milk, Banana
  • 1045a - Almonds
  • 12p - Garden Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs, Sesame Oil Dressing
  • 3p-Peach, Premier Protein Shake
  • 6p - Country Pork Spare Ribs (2 small ones for me), Cole Slaw (Homemade)
  • 730p - Exercise: 500 Calorie Treadmill Walk Off (50:47 Minutes)

Every once in a while you read a post that makes you stop, re-read it, and feel moved. Yesterday I had that pleasure when I read THIS post by Misunderstood and Admired, I don't know his real name. As I commented to him this was a post that left me feeling as if I knew why he is on this mission. If you are not familiar with him you owe it to yourself to check him out even if you just read this one post.
Myself, I have rewound his blog and read all his posts, start to finish. If you have the time, it is seriously worth the reading time. I wish I had jotted down a few of the more insightful posts as I read, but I didn't. Not necessary though as the blog is not that long, less than four months worth of entries. But those few months of entries are gripping, you feel him grow from post one to post yesterday. His journey is not just about weight loss, it is one of making things better; his marriage, fatherhood, his overall happiness.

There was one other post, in addition to yesterdays, which I found very revealing about him, his feelings, his struggles along his journey, his perseverance; that other post is THIS one he made on Monday, July 12, 2010. As I did not come to follow him initially until later in July yesterday was the first time I read this particular post. I'd call it a must read...

Actually if you have very little time left for blog reading today stop reading mine, click on that link, and spend it reading his post. Go ahead, trust me. For those of you who have more time and are still with me here; do the same - go read it and then come back for more of my observation on Misunderstood and Admired.

Honestly I hesitate to summarize his blog further because there is the chance that I have read him wrong; what I read has been a hard but rewarding if not successful journey to date for him. But he himself may not feel as good about the results as I've read it to be, so, I'll stop my pitch there and again suggest that if you have the time, it is seriously worth the reading time. It is worth it because he is doing what we all want; he is achieving what he desires. And dare I say, he his becoming a better person beyond just becoming a healthier person.

"If you have the desire to change your thinking followed by the motivation to act achieving is inevitable"
– misunderstood and admired

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 122 - If only...

Good Morning!

As I committed for the week I did go for the early a.m. exercise yesterday but I didn't plan enough time to get through my entire dumbbell routing. I did get 1/2 of it in, while good, I didn't got that great feeling at the end of the whole routine where I feel like I worked out and accomplished something. Just a matter of timing, I'll get the mornings figured out. After work the schedules were friendly and I was able to go back and do the full dumbbell routine after which I did feel thoroughly thrashed when done.

As promised here is yesterday's log looked like this....
  • 5a - Exercise: 1/2 Dumbbell Routine, and 4 sets of Crunches
  • 615a - Greek Yogurt, Banana, Grapes, Tomato Juice
  • 845a - Milk, Pear
  • 1p - Caesar Salad, Apple.
  • 5p - Celery with Almond Butter, Cherries
  • 5a - Exercise: Full Dumbbell Routine, and 5 sets of Crunches & Push Ups each
  • 730p - Lasagna (1/2 portion), Garden Salad with Salsa
Video Games - Recently my boys commented that I do not understand video games; specifically the benefits to playing them. Really, I beg to differ... Video gaming is all about trying to achieve the perception of reality through it's unreal stage. No different than a good book, a movie or play. Video gaming just like food can be addictive, the challenge for many is keeping perspective between what is real and not.

Oh how I wish video games were real. Imagine if we could approach real life recklessly and excessively without regard to good sense. Many people do in fact approach life as if it were a video game. Some eat as if there is nothing to worry about from their bad food choices. Some ignore exercise as if there is nothing to worry about in living large & sedentary. Some smoke, drink, take drugs, text while they drive without wearing a seat belt while under the influence, and some I'm sure do even worse. If only real life were a video game...

In video games you approach your characters life recklessly and excessively because you get multiple lives. If you get eliminated, killed, crash, whatever; so what - you've got multiple lives & you go on playing. What - you just drove your race car over the cliff into a pit of molten lava, no problem... Huh, you threw that grenade only 3 feet away and caught a face full of shrapnel, no problem... It's Ok, here is a new, fresh and fully healthy life, play on! If only...

In real life no such luck. You get one life. When you have used it up, you are done. Sure there are exceptions in the stories of those extremely lucky few who have faced death and lived to tell about it, e.g. beating cancer having been diagnosed level-4 & terminal... or the lone survivor of a violently explosive & fiery plane crash. But these lucky few usually endure great pains from their experience before getting to go forward with their new perspectives on life. You get one life.

In video games you try and achieve something along the lines of a new high score or reach higher levels of game play. Wait a minute, in real life you do too; right? Most of us do strive to greater levels than we enjoy now, e.g. make more money, get promotions, get pregnant, get healthy, get after whatever it is we desire to be, to do, to have. In video games after a hours and hours of time playing and you realize you hosed it all up, you get to do what? Yep, you get to reset and start over. Erase in an instant all the bad we've accumulated and start fresh from the beginning. If only...

In real life we can choose at any moment to change course for something better, but; we do not get to erase all the bad we've accumulated and start fresh from the beginning. It would be nice if you could instantly erase the 120+ excessive pounds you accumulated and start fresh living healthy from your ideal weight. But in real life you first have to lose the 120 pounds if you want to realize the health benefits of weighing 120 pounds less. You erase with great effort.

In video games you are surrounded by ample & freely available help. Online game forums, the more experienced players you play with, all sorts of resources to give you the edge you need to achieve game success. And if you want to get there really fast, like NOW - ah ha, you can use cheat codes. Just smack those buttons in the right sequence and shazam!... you have slayed that battleship sized acid breathing dragon with the disposition of a over-taunted Pittsburgh Steeler fan. If only...

In real life there is also plenty of help available to you, right? Web sites dedicated to living healthy and getting there if you haven't been doing so; and much of it free. Doctors, Nutritionists and Personal Trainers are just a click, phone call, office visit (and a co-pay) away. Books, books, books... more books than there are beads of grease in your arteries. And we have cheat codes too, don't we? Sure we do, watch that infomercial at 2 a.m. this Saturday that'll allow you to eat double decker pizza & cream puffs while losing 10 pounds in 10 days... but wait theres more! Order now and we'll double... Huh? Yeah, I agree - Horse$#!&... there are allot of cheat codes promising our quick victory to get healthy. Some healthy approaches are faster than others, but none are quick - cheat codes don't work in real life. There are NO quick fixes; none! 

Video games - play them!... Real life - play it!... Enjoy both, but don't approach your life as a video game for if you do you will surely live a shorter and / or less fulfilling life; my opinion.

What is, or was, your favorite video game? Or, if you don't play video games, what is your favorite game period?

Tetris my favorite video game. Truth, I get little entertainment joy from video games as an adult and have seldom played them in the past two decades. Diplomacy is my favorite board game. Basically, if it is not a strategy game which forces me to think, I am bored. Although I used to play a mean game of Candyland when my kids were pre-schoolers.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 121 - Three For Victory

A call to arms has gone out within my head. Having given thought to what I need to do here to get back on track with losing at least 1.5 pounds a week here is the trio of actions I have decided on...

First, I have reviewed MY CHANGES, a list of eight changes in behavior that has I evolved as I got into this mission. Holding firm in my commitment to these changes is the first thing I need to do.

Second, I need to socialize my food & exercise log this week. Many times I have said it that I do not count calories. But I do log what I eat, and do for exercise, in a small note book, I have talked about my log and how I log on DAY 16. To this day I have been consistent in that approach. This week I shall share that log with my posts with my food consumed the previous day. Yesterday log looked like this...
  • 7a - Tomato Juice
  • 730a - Exercise: Shining Hills Forest Preserve, 3 miles in 58:14
  • 1030a - Tomato & Mozzarella Salad w/ Olive Oil & Celery Seed Dressing
  • 1p - Cheese Stick
  • 3p - Burger w/ Salsa & Grilled Onions. Lettuce Wedge w/ Salsa & drizzle of Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 7p - Grilled Chicken Breast, Grapes, Cherries
The reason I keep this log is to have a reference to look back upon in situations just like this one I am in now. In the pages of the past two weeks I have way too many red entries than are acceptable, and too many blur. Driving for a return to green entries!

Third, Mix it up, exercise that is. I am going to give exercising in the morning before work a try this week at least once. My thinking here is with the kids going back to school, the day light hours decreasing, I am bound to find it easy to succumb to excuses in the evening to not get in the exercise I need. Hedging that with morning exercise may do the trick. We'll see.

That should do it. I am open to suggestions, always have been - so share them if you got them; please!!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 120 - 38% Progress Trois

This morning the scale let me know that I have lost 1/2 of a pound this past week. In total I have lost 46 pound in SIXTEEN weeks; for a third week in a row I sit at 38% of the weight I want to lose. Today I weighed in at 274 pounds.

Since my goal is to lose 1.5 pounds a week I am not in much of a celebratory mood over this loss. Sure it is a loss and that being the bright side I should look to it. Much better than if I had gained 1/2 of a pound, no?

A little reflection of the past week, well my post on Friday summed fairly well up what I had done, good & bad. Bottom line, I have not been consistent enough this past week; the pat two weeks; and the scale reflects that.

Right after that weigh in I hit the forest preserve. Went to one I had not been to previously, Singing Hills...

Through it runs a trail which connects a number of preserves in the county called the Millennium Trail. I walked a segment of it which is 1.5 miles, and back, so I got in a 3 miles walk before breakfast. Felt good. I look forward to exploring more of this trail.

Today, eating has been spot on. Had some family over for lunch, grilled burgers. Burgers?? Yep, good old burgers. However knowing my weigh in a few hours prior I made smaller burgers than I otherwise would. Four months ago I would have made 1-pounders. Recently I have made 1/2-pounders. Today they were about 5-6 ouncers. I had no bun, and heaped salsa and onions on it versus sugary sauces. Also had a lettuce wedge with more salsa on it and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing for some decadence.

That is what I have done today. What is now important is what I do tomorrow and this coming week. I am still in a bit of a mood even though my choices today have been good ones. So as the evening gives way to night here I am going to ponder just what I need to affirm myself to in order to have a better week ahead.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 119 - Dose Of Perspective

Yesterday my wife & I took the kids out to lunch for a back-to-school feast. They start back at school next Monday; yep summer is all but over for them.

They got to choose the place and chose a sushi place near where I work, I met them there. This was also my wife's first time behind the wheel since her surgery last week. She is healing very well and is mentally ready to resume everything but not quite there physically yet.

For my lunch I chose the Tuna Salad you see there. Simply some seared tuna on a bed of lettuce with some avocado & tomatoes. You also see a smaller dish there of bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes & jalapenos. I love that side, but didn't eat all of the bacon. The kids claimed up what bacon I chose to not allow myself to eat. It was a healthy lunch and a fun way to celebrate school's return.

When I was a young boy, teenager; I recall my Grandma talking about how Uncle Arthur was visiting. When I was real little I didn't get it and she'd have a ball trying to explain it to me. But since I didn't see a man in the house to put to the name I was lost and naturally lost interest in her efforts. Later on I came to know that Uncle Arthur was her name for her bouts with arthritis which came and went as the winds across the Illinois prairie she called home.

Arthritis is something I have never given much attention outside of witnessing her bouts with it. She passed on sixteen years ago, wow how time flies, and I've given arthritis near zero thought since. This week we've learned that arthritis has returned to the family in the form of rheumatoid arthritis.

So, we've been learning swiftly what this disease is all about; especially my sister. She is beside herself, flush with the uncertain questions that overcome anyone who has learned unfortunate news; why has it come to be, what can be done to cure, provide relief, what does it mean for today & tomorrow, etc...

As with just about everything these days there are volumes and volumes of information on the internet. Which is good and bad, good that it is there and bad that there is so much way-to-general text to burn through to get to that which is really useful.

For now oral medications are being used to treat the disease and if they don't provide the relief needed then cortisone shots will be next. Two stats are consuming our minds right now; one is that there is a 20% chance this actually can self cure itself someday. This is per the specialist, we've yet to see any documentation to really support the claim. Still, 20% is a number which suggests we learn how to cope with for the long haul.

The other stat is that 1% of people are afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis with women being three times more likely to suffer from it and the majority of those who do are diagnosed after age 40. My sister is 3 years younger than I which makes her 42, but her age is trivial here. These stats consume us in angst as it is her 8 year old son Michael who now suffers from this disease.

We never know where the next dose of perspective in our lives will come from, and from whom we will realize them.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 118 - We Win When

Yesterday Christine asked me this; "So, um....what are you doing this week to ensure that when you step on the scale on Sunday that you'll see a loss? Because you came out even last week, right?"

Now that is what I call great; friends holding friends accountable. Thanks Christine. And to answer your question, here is what I have been doing…

Exercised on Tuesday & Thursday. Tuesday was the mosquito walk I blogged about and yesterday was a lunch time walk. Both about 2 miles. Accountability consideration; not enough. Argh, it is true, just that plain too; not enough. More cardio will be had today & tomorrow and a stint with the dumbbells will be had too - promise!

Food has been good this week, not great and not bad. I have found that I am being tempted more and pondering giving into to temptation more as of late. Not sure why, perhaps all of the change influences I blogged about yesterday. Really I don't want to ponder that too much as it feels like I am searching for excuses.

Certainly I have no excuse for any giving in to temptation of which I can cite two instances this week. Our team at work went out earlier this week to welcome a new hire to the team, and beer & pizza was everywhere which I did dabble in. I didn't dive into it as I would have in the days of old, but, if honest I dabbled more than one who is looking to drop pounds ought to have. The other was whipping up some homemade Mac N Cheese for the wife & kids for dinner, I think it was Monday, and then having that as my dinner too. Lately when doing something like that for them I've usually whipped up a salad for myself. That night we had no salad fixings in the house, so I had a small bowl of that sinful nonsense. Weak, that was just weak of me!!

Yesterday, thanks to Christine's poking me accountability nerve early in the day, I decided to make it a two'fer. I had two salads yesterday, one for lunch and dinner each. Would have been bad if I had two for lunch or two for dinner, no? The picture up above there, that is lunch. The one below here, that was dinner. I love mozzarella & tomatoes, a near perfect pairing if I ever tasted one.

Today will be just as good as yesterday I am certain. Um, no, it will be better; why not?

It is reflection like this that makes the difference in the success of a mission. It is people like Christine asking one simple & direct question that make the difference. It is that which will make the difference this time around which we all seek, I know I seek it.

This reflection has inspired me to title today's post, "We Win When"

We Win When - We blog, when we share our successes & struggles. We all need help, knowledge, accountability & an avenue to vent. Blogging gives us that and we get more of what we need when we give & take with those we follow.

We Win When - We say immediately say No to temptation & then say Yes to a better choice. Saying No should not be negative, it should not leave you feeling left out or punished. It should in fact feel good & empower you further. Following each No with a Yes enables that.

We Win When - We have fun with the changes we are making to our eating and exercise habits. Forcing ourselves to eat food we despise or perform exercises we dread or are not yet capable of doing, there is no fun there. Find the healthy choices that you can call fun, and have at them.

We Win When - _____________________________

You fill in the blank, We Win When ?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 117 - Back To Why

Change is on the doorstep. Actually it is challenge that is here. Likely these or similar are appearing on your doorstep too...
  • School starts next week for the kids; the one year all four will be in high school. The kids sports schedules are already picking up with try outs & practices and soon enough games.
  • As noted yesterday the daylight hours are shortening noticeably now too.
  • My plate at work has never been fuller; many new and more complex systems to usher from ideas to reality than ever.
  • And there are other challenges dawning here as the summer inches closer to autumn.
In past years, these would be the paramount excuses I'd lean on for continuing onward with an obese lifestyle. They are the things that take time, drain the mental tanks, and zap the will make time to attend to yourself.

This however, is 2010. And there are other changes, challenges, I've introduced on my own...
  • Exercise
  • Blog
  • Eat healthy
  • Blog
  • Plan ahead
  • Blog
  • Reward myself
  • And I Blog 
These are the reasons I will not return to accepting being obese no matter what challenges appear.

When I started this blog I took to though and scribbled out a short list of reasons for accepting this mission. I documented them here, take a peak if you like...
What I Dislike and Don't Want…

Today, in realizing that challenges are appearing, I believe it wise to revisit that list and perhaps even add to it. In doing so, it is my hope that I am shining up the armour I wear that will protect me from the assault upon my will that these challenges will bring. And as well sharpen the paring knife I use to slice my fruit because i really like my fruit sliced neat & clean.

I wont re-write those I wrote before, hence the link back, but let me add a few new ones.
I don't want have to just walk for exercise, I want to be able to jog, skip, run, sprint, etc.
I dislike sweating in air conditioned rooms
I don't want to ever have to use a Gopher Pickup Tool for anything
I dislike waking up, getting up, and feeling ready for a nap 5 minutes later

So, what are some of the reasons you chose to start your mission way back when?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 116 - Powered By Mosquitoes

Awesome chat on yesterdays post & topic feeding kids, fast food, etc... hope it didn't make anyone relapse and drive thru and grab a happy meal on the way home. After a heavy topic like that I need to lighten up today's post. And I have a few chuckles to share thanks to a conversation yesterday where some bad jokes were told, lets hope I got them close to right...

For every minute we exercise we add minute our lives which allows us to live as long as another 5 months in our elder years, which will cost us $25,000 figuring $5000 per month in a nursing home.

Some studies conclude that those who pick up exercise in the golden years do so in order to enjoy the sounds of heavy breathing again.

When listing out Pros & Cons for taking up exercise, which one would you list this under; Exercising every day allows you to die healthier.

Ok, not the greatest set of jokes, but if you even grinned a little, then I am satisfied :-)

Exercise - I went for a walk, the 2-mile neighborhood loop, yesterday evening. It was quite warm, but not hot. It was sticky, but not unbearable. What was a pain in the neck were the mosquitoes. It didn't take long for me to get going before I realized I was a walking banquet. I figured the best response was to just walk fast. That and I also walked in the street, farther from the bushes and brush along the way. It helped, but I was still a moving snack for the most determined mosquitoes.

As I was walking I tried to use the mosquitoes as motivation and thought of setting a new PR for that walk. It almost worked, 33:53, just seven seconds slower than my current PR there. Maybe if the mosquitoes had been even more determined? Just kidding, determination is all on me, not the bugs around me.

Personal Records were bound to hit a plateau of some sort and they seem to have done just that. I had been ringing them up fairly regular there for a period but knew their frequency would wane. The fact that I've hit a groove on some of my exercise times doesn't mean that PR's will disappear, unless I choose to disregard them. I think that what it really means is that I need to get leaner & stronger if want to produce better PR's on these same exercises. That and I may need to find new challenges to keep things fresh and as well keep me progressing.

Understanding that PR's themselves are of minor importance compared to getting the exercise in and moving forward on my mission to achieve Responsibility 199.

Dusk, starting to feel the squeeze from the summer season moving towards fall. Getting darker earlier. Not that I am afraid to walk in the dusk or darkness. But I do certainly prefer the day light. If it is dark out, my mind says get to bed. Obviously I am going to have to get over that silliness and walk in the dark as it will just get darker earlier and earlier especially when daylight savings time ends; when is that, November?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!