A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more


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The Cold of the Winter


Not a Fan

When I was a teen and then in to my early twenties I enjoyed the cold.  It rarely bothered me.  I would shovel the snow in a T-shirt.  I walked two miles after a blizzard to see my girlfriend when I was sixteen.  Winter was not a problem for me.

It is now.

I hate the cold.  Truly hate it.  I rarely ride in the winter.  I barely get out to hike.  I dream of a job transfer to the dessert southwest….

I haven’t cross-country skied this winter.  Not nearly enough snow most of the time and a little leery of it since my concussion last winter.

So I sit and wait for spring.

Winter?  Not a fan.

Plans for Spring

I have the usual bike ride planned this year.  I am doing the 5-Boro Bike tour again.  I went off the deep edge and paid for the VIP package so I can be sure to start near the front of the 32,000 riders.  Nuts?  Yes.

I am doing the Ride for Autism as I do every year.  It is the one ride it would hurt me to miss.  Eighteen people have signed up to ride as a member of the team.  I hope we get more before the ride in June.

I hope to lead the beginner/intermediate bike rides again for the shop.  If I don’t lead I will still partake.

I didn’t come anywhere close to my mileage goal last year.  I hope to get the miles in this year.  If all goes well I may be able to limit working at the shop to Sundays.  That would certainly make Saturday an easier day to get in the miles…  Maybe get some club rides in.  I haven’t ridden with the club in three years.  I pay dues…  I really should get out on a club ride or two.

Spring is only 6 weeks away, not matter what the forecasting rodent says….

Cooking

Udon and VEgetable Soup.  Perfect for this cold winter night

Udon and VEgetable Soup. Perfect for this cold winter night

This time of year there is a positive for me: I cook.  I make soups.  Pot upon pot of soup.  Today I made my “everything in the pot” veggie soup.  Whatever is in the fridge and the freezer and is considered a vegetable gets tossed in and I cook it until it is soup.  Today it was mushroom, onion, kale, corn, broccoli, sugar snap peas, tomato and tofu.  Cover with water, season, cook…

I served it with Udon noodles…  It made for a wonderful dinner.

Tomorrow I will roast some squash and make roasted squash soup…  Fill up the freezer, it is a long winter.

I also plan to bake some breads.  I am picking up a computer from a friend and I am going to bring him some breads to thank him for his help.  Good man.  Deserves some fresh-baked breads.

I love to cook.  I just wish I could get out of the house…  I need to hike… I need to bike…  Cooking will have to do.  And the treadmill….

My Weight

I am doing OK.  Not great.  OK.  I have put on a little weight, 10 pounds, this winter.  It is slowly coming down.  Lost 5 last week.  Want to lose 20 more by the end of March and then 20 more by June.

I sometimes stop fighting the fight.  I admit it is hard to always say no to pizza and cookies and donuts.  I do.  I still do.  But the fight is hard.

I have been fighting The Black Dog again.  It has had the upper hand recently but I can feel that I am pulling out of it.  Missus is so tolerant when I am in the cave.  She waits, knowing I will pull out of it somehow.

I have some very big decisions to make and I am struggling with the choices.  It isn’t always easy to know what to do with one’s life.  I am still trying to decide what to be when I grow up and here I am in my mid 50’s….

So eat right, eat less, move more….

It is always a struggle.  I will not be fat again.

A Little of my prose:

One advantage to being depressed is I write….

 

I wrote this last week.

The Photograph of the Moment

1/24/2015

 

Sitting on the hill, waiting to take photographs in old style with film, sitting on the ledge looking out to the valley with a camera ready in hand.  Looking for that moment when the light would be just right, the perfection realized, sitting still up on the hill waiting for the sun to set.

 

Sitting in the special quiet and looking out to the distance where a bird is gliding. Sitting waiting for that perfect moment in old style with film, when the moment would be just right, nearly perfect, sky and earth one.

 

Sitting, now watching as the sun begins to set, sitting on that ledge, sitting as the slight chill sends a shudder along the arms.  Sitting on that ledge as the sky begins to glow a softer light, nearly perfect, nearly right.  Sitting on that hill with the old camera in hand, film is wound and shutter cocked and the light is nearly there.

 

Sitting on the hill with the camera at the ready, sitting watching for that moment coming soon, with the sky now orange and the clouds now fringed with light, sitting on the ledge, feet near the edge, watching for that perfect moment, that perfect light. The sun now setting in amber, the sky now perfect, the moment is now and then nothing.

 

Sitting on the hill, the moment passes, camera hanging from the hand, the sky was perfect, too perfect to photograph in old style on film.  The moment committed to memory where it will stay in perfect light. Now standing, now walking away from the ledge.  

 

 

Peace


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Family, Overindulgence, and a Ride with a Friend


Memorial Day Weekend with Family

Friday night was a visit to hell.

We drove from New Jersey to Virginia on the Friday night of a long weekend. Had to be done. No other option. It was hell.

The drive from Jersey to my brother’s home in Virginia is a five-hour affair on most occasions. For the annual Memorial Day weekend visit we typically leave at silly o’clock on Saturday morning, pull up to the hotel at 11:00 or so, rest up and then go to my brother’s home around 1:30 to visit a little before the festivities start at 2:00.

That would be normal.

This year was not normal.

This year we had a naming ceremony for the first member of the next generation, my nephew’s daughter, a two-month old bundle of love. This required arriving Friday night for the early Saturday service.

Six and a half hours of heavy traffic, much of it stop-and-go.

The Older Son does not deal well with this. I don’t deal well with this.

We survived.

Grand-Aunt Missus with Grandniece

Grand-Aunt Missus with Grandniece

The festivities on Saturday, both the naming ceremony and the cookout, were smashing successes. Visiting with my niece and my nephews, seeing my brother and his wife and all the friends I only see at the annual cookout, and meeting my Grand-Niece, all added up to pure joy.

The weekend was too short. I would have liked to stay longer on Sunday but obligations drew us home. We had to be back in time to pick up the dogs from the kennel. Other responsibilities had to be met.

But it was a joy.

Overindulgence

I thought about it carefully. Then I decided to allow it. I overindulged on Saturday. After a light breakfast, I allowed myself to eat and enjoy the foods at the cookout. Well, not all the foods. The stars of the menu are all red meat related. Ribs, Skirt Steak, Beef Chili, Burgers, Hot Dogs…

I brought a vat of Vegan Chili. It was very well received and went quickly. There were also homemade black bean veggie burgers made by AH, the partner of my Nephew G. They were delicious. And I had fruit, salads, brownies….

Oh yes, rum chocolate bon-bons…. OH MY they were good.

So I went way overboard.

And it is OK.

This morning I was actually down one pound from Friday.

Still heavier than I want to be and I am back on the plan and I am working it off.

But for one day…

It was OK.

A Ride with a Friend

I met ES when he and his wife AS started showing up last spring for the Sunday Shop Rides. A really nice couple. Pleasant to talk with, great to ride with. Bright, Enthusiastic and engaged in the rides.

Everything a Ride Leader could want from riders.

When they didn’t show up for the ride one summer Sunday I assumed that their children were home from camp and that was that.

It was more than that. ES had been involved in a bad bike crash. It took a great deal of focus and effort, I am sure, but he returned to cycling and it was my joy to be involved in helping him select his new bike.

ES and AS have rejoined the Sunday rides and it is once again a pleasure to ride with them. I didn’t lead the ride yesterday because I was heading back north from the family visit.

Riding Country Roads in New Jersey

Riding Country Roads in New Jersey

I had planned to do a 60 mile ride with the bike club in The Hudson Valley but I just could bear the thought of a 120-mile round trip in the car.

I was really pleased when ES told me he was available for a ride today.

So we met a the bike shop (a good midway point between our homes) and set out on what we originally planned as a 48 mile ride. Memorial Day Parades changed that to a 42.5-mile ride… It was Great.

I can’t speak for ES but for me… It was GREAT. We rode at a relaxed pace, took one long break and a couple of short breaks and chatted much of the ride when we could ride side by side. It was a ride with two personalities. The first half of the ride had nearly 2000 feet of climbing. The second half was flat to downhill…

I knew I would enjoy selling bikes.  I knew I would enjoy leading the Shop Rides.  I didn’t know that I would develop friendships with “customers”

Fun time. ES and I are well matched in our riding abilities. ES is MUCH better on the hills than I am but I am able to ride the rolling hills and the flat areas with him and he is patient about the long climbs.

I am working hard to be ready for the Ride for Autism. A ride like this is good prep….

Thanks ES.

My Attention

I have not been tending to this blog much recently. My efforts have been directed towards WORK and the Ride for Autism.

This ride is very important to me. Raising funds, getting people to join the team… So far the Team has raised $2,600.00. A wonderful thing. Wonderful and generous people have donated whatever they could and I appreciate it more than words can express.

It will be a fun ride. Some are doing the Century. Some are riding shorter distances. It is all good. The important thing is to show up. To engage. To make the effort. I appreciate it all.

So that is where my attention has been. Diverted from this important part of my life to another.

Today I rode 42+ miles. I am preparing to ride 100 in June 7th. I am doing this because The Older One cannot. I am doing this because I want other parents to have the resources available to them that were not available to us 20+ years ago.

To all who are supporting the team or have joined the team I offer you my deepest thanks.

Today’s Ride was beautiful.

June 7th the ride will be meaningful.Dannys team 2

 

Peace.


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Recovery


A Day Off Work

I burned a “Personal” day today. Couldn’t be happier about it.

Truth be told, I should have taken much of the week after the concussion off but I worked. I shouldn’t have. The lack of resting led to some questionable decisions. For the most part they were harmless and I caught myself before they could affect my place of work or anyone working with me. One decision I was properly chastised for by one of my bosses. I was fine driving. Fact is I am better sitting down. I feel almost normal when seated and I know I am focused better.

It is while standing or walking…..

So today I took the day off. I slept later than normal (7:00 am ) and I went to the shop and had some training on a product line the shop carries. Some of it stuck I am sure.

Then I had lunch with Missus and the Older One.

Then I slept.

Three hours.

A deep and restful sleep. Wrapped in the covers, head deep in the pillows, dog at my feet. Sleep in all its glory and pleasure. Restful darkness. Time out for the brain.

I awoke around five PM and then I came down and we prepared dinner.

I feel so much better already.

Giving the brain time to rest.

I needed that.

Vegetarian

I will never be a “true” vegetarian, not as long as I am unwilling to give up sushi and lox. I am however getting closer. I had some sushi today at lunch. Otherwise it was all vegetables. Dinner tonight was vegetarian. Not by design really. It just is happening that way. When selecting what we want for diner we are choosing meatless much more often than not.

I haven’t gone this direction because I am indignant over the killing of animals for food. I am not thrilled by that fact but it is not the motivation behind my change in eating habits.

I did this for my health.

I did this to lower my blood pressure, improve my cholesterol and such.

And it has worked.

It continues to work.

Tonight’s dinner is a good example of how we like to eat now.

IMG_1661I saw a recipe on-line for cauliflower coated in a yogurt sauce and roasted. Made that tonight. Delicious. We treated that as our main dish and the side dish was Navratan Korma, a dish of mixed vegetables made in a cashew sauce with pineapple. I didn’t make that. I microwaved it. We buy these dishes at the local Indian Market. I love them. All natural, no colors added, no preservatives and they are delicious. They are also silly inexpensive…

Served with some warmed Naan this all made for a very good dinner.

No, I don’t miss meat in my meals.

I do miss the taste. I have to say that. But I don’t want to eat it and I don’t feel any temptation to eat it.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 heads cauliflower

1½ cups plain Greek yogurt

1 lime, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)
  5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
  6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big Green Salad

Growing concerned about my Annual Birthday Ride

Since I started the Journey of mine I have made it my practice to ride at least 10 miles on or close to my early March birthday.

My birthday is about 14 days from now and the long-term forecast does not hold much hope for warming. Snow is forecast for this weekend. The weekend after is forecast (at this early date) to remain cold and wet. The weekend after my birthday….

Maybe I can rent a fat bike at the shop…..

fat bikes and Cross Country Skiing

fat bikes and Cross Country Skiing

More Sleep

I feel tired. My head is still hurting. I feel better than I did yesterday. Yesterday was better than the day before.

I really had minimized head concussions. Never could understand why a ball player would miss most of a season from a concussion.

I understand now.

Mine is not that bad. Well, I am not trying to do sports at a pro level and I am afraid to even think about riding outside even if the weather was not a factor.

So I will go to sleep early tonight. Get some rest. Sleep a good deep sleep.

Do yourself a favor.

When the Doctor tells you to rest, REST.

Peace


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Thoughts on a Cold Tuesday Night


This is getting to me

Winter is getting to me.

It feels like it is never ending. Bitter cold. Wind. Snow.

It seems like a bad dream…

I can’t get outside and enjoy. Time is a constraint. I can’t take the time to go cross country skiing. The weather won’t let me ride. I am not enjoying this one little bit

I am feeling the winter blues.

Vegetarian (almost)

Tonights dinner.  Fairly typical.  Vegan Chili, stir fried veggies, naan and chutney

Tonights dinner. Fairly typical. Vegan Chili, stir fried veggies, naan and chutney

I have been drifting this way for two years. It started with the decision in March 2012 to no longer eat red meats. Slowly I drifted away from eating poultry. There was no decision in this case. I just drifted away from it. I cannot remember the last time I had poultry….

Slowly vegetarian dishes replaced the fish dishes and now I have fish only once a week or so.

I have never been healthier. Blood pressure, cholesterol, hear rate… All my blood numbers are great.

So why not go all the way? The only dairy I consume is the milk in my coffee and on my cereal and cream cheese on my bagel. Once in a while I have some cheese on my veggie burger….

I could go all the way to vegetarian. Fact is it would not be hard for me to go vegan. I really don’t want to give up cream cheese and lox. Yep. That is it. The only reason I have not gone vegetarian is lox and the reason I don’t go vegan is lox and cream cheese.

Strange reasons to not do it but I am not ready to give up those two foods.

Maybe someday….

I am Still a fat man.

I have taken some heat for this but I will say it again anyway:

Being obese is like being an alcoholic.

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

Once a fat man, always a fat man.

I am not longer medically obese. Not at 210 pounds and 73 inches. Not medically. Not officially. Not on the insurance forms…

But I am inside. In the makeup of my body and my brain I am still Obese. My body, my brain still craves much more food than I eat. I am still prone to overeat if I don’t pay strict attention. I am still sorely tempted to eat that donut, have that pizza, eat 10 cookies…

I know very well how easily the weight comes back. Much faster than it comes off.

I can’t for a minute stop thinking about it. I sit down to a meal and I have to plan it out. Every bit that I order. Every morsel that I eat. I have to plan it.

If I don’t I gain weight. Simple as that.

With this winter, with the inter blues and the lack of exercise, and all the other reasons, excuses, explanations, causes….

I gained 8 pounds. It happened FAST.

I looked away for a moment and the moment was 8 pounds on me.

I drifted up slowly from 205 to 208 and suddenly I was looking at 216.

I am now back to 212.

It is going the right way again.

It happened so fast.

I have no excuses. I simply lost sight for a brief moment. I stopped thinking, focusing, watching…

Back at it.

My goal is to be 205 on my birthday in March.

This is never going to end, this Journey of mine.

I’m Ok with that.

Peace


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Vegan Stuffed Peppers


              Vegan Stuffed Peppers

1 cup (dry) Quinoa made according to package directions
1 cup (dry) rice of your choice made according to package directions (we like ruby and black rice and multigrain as well as brown rice)
½ cup chopped mushrooms
½ cup chopped broccoli
½ cup chopped onion
4 crushed cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange….) Remove the tops and remove the seeds and as much of the soft ribbing as you can
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon favorite hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

                                                         Cooking

Sauté the chopped vegetables until the onions are translucent adding the garlic close to the end of the sauté.
Mix the rice, quinoa and spices together in a bowl with the sautéed vegetables. Mix well but gently.
Stuff the peppers with the mix, filling the peppers until the stuffing is at least level with the top of the peppers. Do not pack tightly.
In a glass baking dish cook at 400 degrees until the peppers are tender. About 20-30 minutes
Serve with extra stuffing on the side.
We also serve with roasted winter squash such as Acorn, Butternut or Kabocha on the side and a crusty bread or naan…

IMG_1406

Naan, Stuffed Peppers (stuffed with Black Rice, TVP, carrot, broccoli, mushrooms and onion), a little of the stuffing on the side, some chutney and a piece of Kabocha.


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Explanations and Opinions and a little something to boost the ego


Trying to Find Time

There are simply too few hours in the day. Really there is just too much to do in a day. The day is long enough…

I worked a good long day Monday and then came home and had a nice dinner of Butternut squash, lentils in a curry sauce, beans in tomato and curry sauce, some lentil dumplings and sliced tomato and a bit of rice. Then I mowed the lawn while The Younger One and Missus cleaned up the trash the bear had scattered across the lower part of our lawn. When that was done it was too late to go for a ride and I spent some time with Missus and The Younger. The Older One was asleep by this time and it was a quiet evening. SO much to do in life.

Last night I had a business dinner with my boss, the IT Director and some others. By the time I arrived home it was too late to do much of anything. The Older One was asleep, The Younger getting ready for sleep…

Come the weekend I will work my second job. I at least find the time to ride by riding to work.

It could be that the visit from The Black Dog is related to this sense of over-occupation. Little rest.

In a couple of weeks I will at least have Labor Day off as both jobs are closed for the day. Labor Day will be a tale of two days in one. One will be an early morning ride of maybe 65-70 miles. The second will be the afternoon spent with Da Boys and Missus. Maybe I will get some friends over for a little cookout…

I either need less to do or more hours to do it…

Proper Nutrition

I think there few topics more filled with myths, legend and unsupported claims and beliefs than nutrition. Of course the information constantly changing from “official sources” doesn’t help.

I am about as close to being a vegetarian as I am likely to get. I eat fish on occasion; once in a while I have some poultry. I never eat red meat. My menu is mostly fruits and vegetables. I get my protein from quinoa and beans and some other plant-based sources.

Grilled Tofu, sliced Jersey Tomato, Fresh JErsey Corn, Kabocha Squash, Sweet Potato, Grilled pepper and onion.  WHat a wonderful and nutrition packed meal....

Grilled Tofu, sliced Jersey Tomato, Fresh Jersey Corn, Kabocha Squash, Sweet Potato, Grilled pepper and onion. What a wonderful and nutrition packed meal….

It is a concern to me that I get the nutrition I need of course. It is just hard finding out what that is.

When I was eating everything in sight and in large quantities I get the critical nutrients almost by default. Eat enough foods and you will by accident get everything you need. I have always eaten vegetable and fruits. Combine that with the large quantities of meat I consumed and I was getting all my nutrients.

With my much more studied approach to eating, I was a bit concerned about whether or not I am getting all of the nutrients that a growing (shrinking?) boy needs. Logging all my foods on Loseit.com as diligently as I do has helped me stay on top of this.

What is interesting to me in this age of low/no carbohydrate diets is that my main source of calories is carbohydrates.

So it looks like I am indeed getting the proper nutrition even if it flies in the face of current trends and fads.

Weight loss

The only topic I know that surpasses nutrition for myths, legend and unsupported claims and beliefs is weight loss.

I remember when I had lost around 18 or 20 pounds a well-meaning but misinformed friend told me the weight loss “doesn’t count because it is all water weight”.

Huh?

Let’s get this straight. Water weighs eight pounds per gallon. Saying that twenty pounds of weight loss is water is saying that I lost two and a half GALLONS of water. Not fat, ALL WATER.

Understand that some percentage of weight loss is ALWAYS water. A healthy adult male is about 60% water, give or take 1-2%. That is all. The body is very efficient at maintaining this ratio because it is necessary to survive. If you are otherwise healthy with no underlying health issues that would cause you to retain fluids, and you are male, you are 60% water no matter how much you weigh. Extremely skinny men are 60% water. Very fit men are 60% water. Somewhat overweight men are 60% water. Morbidly obese men tend to have a slightly lower water percentage but it balances out as the weight loss progresses.

If you’re a man and lose 100 pounds, just about 60 of those pounds were water. Women have a lower percentage of water than men.

To say that weight loss doesn’t count because it is water weight or that the first ten pounds are all water is simply wrong.

Weight loss is a loss of fat and water and “other” and can include muscle mass. As a man in his 50’s, I have certainly lost muscle mass as I have not worked on upper body at all and I doubt that my legs, built up with cycling, have compensated.

When I say that 60 pounds out of 100 is water, I am not talking about “free” water stored in our bodies in secret hidden places. Blood, fat, muscle, etc., all have huge amounts of water as part of the cells and so forth. As we lose fat we lose the water component of that fat as well. As we lose muscle mass we lose the water component as well.

As there is less body being fed by the blood stream we have less blood in our bodies. As we reduce the amount of blood in our bodies we lose the water content of that blood as well. Again, blood mass in the body remains remarkably constant at about 7% of our weight or put another way, 7 pounds for every 100 pounds of body weight. If we weigh 300 pounds then we have about 21 pounds of blood. At 200 pounds I have about 14 pounds of blood. So it can be said with a fair amount of truth that of my 100+ pounds of weight loss, 7+ pounds of it is the reduction in blood my body requires.

So weight loss is always more than mere water loss or fat loss or any-single-thing loss. It is always a combination of factors, including the body adjusting to the new reality.

Anyway, just some thoughts on that subject. Feel free to disagree.

Dinner last Night with the Bosses and lunch with the group

Why, I don’t know. On Monday my direct manager asked me to have dinner with him, the IT Director and the President of the company on Tuesday night.

They all wanted to go to the local Asian Buffet. It is a little more upscale than that sounds. It is $30.00 bucks a person for dinner and the sushi and sashimi is prepared right in front of you and special hand rolls are prepared to order. There is a wide range of cooked dishes as well and many cold salads.

Really very good.

In any case, I was surprised to be asked and I was glad to say yes.

It was an interesting meal. We alternated jokes and ribbing with serious discussions about business.

I contributed to both sides of the evening.

It was all appreciated.

What I am most proud of is that I kept the eating in check. I didn’t pig out. I ate reasonable amounts and I had prepared for it by eating lightly all day.

It pleased me this morning I to see that my weight was right where it was the day before.

Today the management team ordered in a bunch of pizza. They offered to bring in a salad for me but I declined. I had instead a microwave Indian dish, Rajma Masala. all natural, low-fat, low sodium, vegan. Delicious. I sat with them as they wolfed down the pizza and withstood the entreaties’ to have “just one slice”.

I amuse the group. They all know my story. They all see how dedicated I am to the way I eat and the way I live. They can’t help but have some fun with it.

I am glad that I am confident and dedicated enough to enjoy the teasing and resist the foods.

A Fun Moment on Sunday

There were quite a few fun moments Sunday. I was volunteering at the rest area of the Ramapo Rally, a very large organized bike ride here in North Jersey. The bike club to which I belong organizes the ride and has for 30+ years.

I worked a rest area that served only the riders on the 100 and 125 mile rides.

We got them twice. At 34 miles and 68 miles for the 100 mile riders and at 34 and 90 for the 125 mile riders.

A fun group out having a great time.

In the early hours I had to go to the ride start location, Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah, New Jersey, to pick up supplies and the all important Volunteers T-Shirt. This year it was BRIGHT Orange.

Ready to Serve

Ready to Serve

When I went up to the counter the nice woman asked what size I needed. I said large and her eyes opened wide and she asked if I was sure I needed a large.

In my mind I think she is going to ask if I wouldn’t rather have an XL. Old demons popping up.

No, instead she asked if I didn’t think a MEDIUM would fit me better!!

I assured her, with a huge smile on my face, that a large would be just fine.

I smiled the rest of the day on that energy alone.

Peace


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Tuesday Reflections and Feelings


How it REALLY Feels

I have written about this before but I have given it more thought and I want to write about it some more.

Loving it!

Loving it!

How good do I feel?

People often say something to the tune of “I bet you feel great” or “You must feel wonderful”, referring to how I feel physically now that my body no longer carries around so much extra ME.

I always answer the same way, in the affirmative. I do feel great, I do feel wonderful. Things that once ached all the time now don’t ache at all or ache rarely or less. The interesting thing though is that it is only in retrospect that I realize how awful I felt.

I didn’t know at the time that being fat and out of shape caused so much of the aches and pains. Much of it I put down to getting older. The inevitable consequence of an aging body. I didn’t understand, or didn’t want to understand, that it was the weight, the abuse of the body from carrying over 100 pounds of excess.

How does it really feel? It feels as though I have taken 10 or more years off my body. I can do now at 52 what I could not do at 42. I can do at this age what 15 years ago was becoming a struggle. I feel as though I have lost not only pounds but age as well.

How does it really feel? It feels as though life has been given back to me. It feels as though I have opened closed doors and found a me I thought was lost forever.

Losing the weight, building the fitness feels like I found a secret to life. It is the kind of thing that if it happened for you overnight after the visitation of three spirits you would open the window and shout it out to all who would hear and you would buy a prize turkey for everyone in sight.

Do I feel great? What it better than great?

NEXT

With the Five-Boro behind me now I am looking forward to the next few adventures.

I am going on a hike this coming Saturday with good friends MT and PGB. I believe PGB said it is something like 8 miles of trail. Included in this is a “Billy-Goat Climb”, meaning, I suspect, that it is a hand-over-hand steep ascent. I am really excited about this. Not so long ago PGB would not have even proposed such a hike to me. Now it is simply another good hike in good company.

If I get back early enough I will go on a bike ride to the Bike Club Picnic. We will see. I plan to ride Sunday afternoon as well, once we return from visiting my Mother-In-Law for Mothers Day.

June 2nd I have the Tour of Bergen County. 45 miles through the hills of Northeastern New Jersey. That should be fun but I am nervous about the hills.

June 8th comes the next big challenge, the Ride 4 Autism. 62 miles through the countryside of central New Jersey. Beautiful area. This ride is very dear to me as it raises money for Autism awareness and research. It is my daily hope that treatments for Fragile X Syndrome will be found as a direct result of this research.

Between this weekend and the Ride 4 Autism, I will get in as much cycling as I can. I really need to hit the hills. I need the practice and I need to build the stamina and leg strength.

I need to find more rides for later in the year. I want to do the North-Fork Century on Long Island at the end of the summer but it is a very expensive and I am not sure I can justify the expense.

There is another Century ride in Connecticut in the fall that appeals to me and I am giving it serious thought.

Of course there will also be some hiking in there.

This is what I mean when I say I opened a door and found a me that was lost forever.

Eating

Today marks day three of vegetarian eating. No meat of any type: mammal, bird, or fish. This isn’t really intentional. It is just progressing that way.

We have added quinoa to our menu to increase the amount of protein we are getting, also added more beans. We also get protein from dairy. We are sliding to vegetarian, not vegan.

A typical dinner: Kabocha  and Butternut Squash, Brown Rice, mixed greens and a Sweet Potato

A typical dinner: Kabocha and Butternut Squash, Brown Rice, mixed greens and a Sweet Potato

We are excited that local produce will start to hit the market in a couple of months and we will plant our own garden in another couple of weeks. We are especially looking forward to home-grown veggies…

The boys are not following us on this so far. They continue to eat red meats. Burgers are a big favorite. We are trying to set the good example and we encourage them to follow. We have had limited success so far. The Older One eats anything we serve him so we are having more success with him. The Younger One…

If you had told me two years ago this would be me I would have scoffed.

Life, who knew?

Peace