Thursday, December 20, 2012


So the weight loss thing. Yeah, that turned out to be an unexpected adventure. As I've mentioned previously, I tipped the scales at 232 on October 27. I took a look at myself and decided I didn't like the fat, out of shape John nearly as much as the fit and slim John. So I embarked on a diet and exercise program to fix or at least address the problem. This morning I weighed in at 198.8. This is the lightest I have been since around the time A.J. was born.

So how did I do it? Denial and hard work. Denial of any and (nearly) all food cravings that weren't on the "approved" list. That meant no burgers, pizza, fried chicken, french fries, egg nog, etc. until I got it under control. I replaced the "bad", high fat foods with more reasonable fare. Lean Cuisines, Healthy Choice meals, Smart Ones, and lots of chicken noodle and chicken and rice soup. Chicken breast and vegetables for dinner.  Calorie intake anywhere from 1000 to 1500, sometimes less.

Also, it meant a serious rededication to exercise. I hit the gym HARD. Weight training and 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. Hard, hard work that paid off. I also dusted off my pedometer to keep track of my daily steps. I set a minimum of 10,000 steps every days, but ended up averaging around 17,000. With my stride, a mile is equivalent to about 2000 steps, so yo can get a picture of the miles traveled.

So, the take away?  You must first understand that I know how my body works and what it is capable of. I know that I can lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off if I stay focused. When I lose focus, I gain the weight back. The second thing is that I had a goal in mind. It was not necessarily to get my weight below 200 pounds. In fact, I am more comfortable at around 210, which is where I may settle. No, my goal was to be in shape for the return of Bloodline hockey. When we trained for Mount Whitney two years ago, I developed an amazing (for me)  lung capacity and overall cardio-vascular fitness. I could stay on the rink without getting winded. It paid off late in games and I wanted to be able to compete at a high level when we returned in January. I am there right now and I can't wait to get back into game action.

At the end of the day, please realize that weight loss and increased exercise are not something to be taken lightly and for that matter, too seriously. Don't obsess. If you gain a pound or two, don't fixate on it. The goal is long-term and if you stick with your program, it will happen.

And, most importantly, know and listen to your body. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know your limitations and don't ignore them. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to fall off the wagon once in a while. Don't miss out on meals with friends, potlucks and all of the enjoyment of the holiday season. You can get back to it tomorrow with a vengeance.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Facebook as a safe haven.

Like many of you (all 15 readers), I spend a bit of time on Facebook. My main goal with Facebook is to keep up on the lives of people I would not normally have time or opportunity to interact with. Sometimes I regret that decision when I run across someone who doesn't quite grasp the concept of TMI (Too Much Information), but in general I enjoy learning what is important to people.

Facebook is like the TV in that respect. If you don't want to watch it, turn the channel (hide the post or hide the person). I often do that because the topic either doesn't interest me, isn't relevant to me (I don't really care what you listened to on Spotify). I try to stay away from judgmental or snarky comments to people who don't "get" me because I have learned that in life people aren't necessarily entitled to my opinion and that too many people's interpretation is not very nuanced so my intent is not grasped.

Take my recent decision to "hide" people on Facebook who chose to post political comments. I made it plain that I would hide anyone and everyone who made a political post. Not because I agreed or disagreed, it was just that I had grown weary of being bombarded with political nonsense. The reality of it was that I hid a disproportionate amount of people whom I happened to agree with. After the election was over, I brought all 72 people that were previously hidden back into the fold on Thursday the 8th.

You see, I consider Facebook to be a de facto safe haven. I see it as a barbecue in my backyard where the conversation should be light and comfortable The main point is that we're enjoying one another's company and there is no benefit to create or engage in controversy. I know some people see any social network as a place where they can act as they feel comfortable. The problem I have with that is that too many people are comfortable being jerks. Too many people feel it is their God-given right to vent their spleen and get in your face, but I also have the right to remove them from the premises so as to not allow them to ruin my party.

In the end, I've determined that Facebook for me will be a safe place to interact with people. My lack of controversial topics or refusal to engage should not be seen as a condemnation of those of you who think the opposite way. On the contrary. If that's your idea of the purpose of Facebook, then by all means you should do what feels right to you.

For me, it's a safe and friendly place to visit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This is different

Well, interestingly, I did not start the photography thing back up with any gusto, though I did take a few interesting ones here and there. I've posted one here from a little jaunt down to Laguna Beach back on Thanksgiving weekend. Just a little thing to get me back in the swing.

I did have some success in the weight loss arena. I tipped the scales at 208 this morning, which is about a 24 pound loss since October 27. That includes Thanksgiving and a couple potlucks in the mix, so I think it's pretty good. I've been hitting the gym about 4 or 5 times per week and that's been the big thing to find consistency. Generally, AJ is with me and Mark comes with us when he isn't working. The main issue that I've been dealing with is shoulder pain. My right shoulder keeps getting tweaked because I try to lift too much weight when I'm still cold. I need to remind myself that I'm 50 years old and not 25! I feel pretty good and hope to stabilize my weight and exercise routine.

Finally, I'm looking to get our Roller Hockey team started again. We want to return Bloodline back to its former greatness and I hope the guys are ready to give it a try. We shall see quite soon.