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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The Black Dog Won


Not the Weekend I Wanted

This was the weekend of the Five-Boro Bike Tour.

I look forward to this ride for one reason: Riding with my friend NI.

The rest of it is OK.  Thirty-two thousand riders make for quite the spectacle.

The ride was Sunday.  I had a good time on Saturday.  I met up with NI and a friend of his and we traipsed around the city, had a good lunch, did the registration thing…

It was Sunday that The Black Dog took his bite and I couldn’t, or didn’t, fight back.

I awoke at 4:00 AM, got ready for the ride, loaded up the car and drove in the New York City.  By 5:30, I was approaching the area where I would meet NI.  Then it happened.  The stress?  A stomach bug?  I am not sure.  I pulled over to the curb on a side street in lower Manhattan.  There and then, I lost what little breakfast I had.

I contemplated this.  Thought about what it was all about.  What caused this?  I turned around, went home and went to sleep.  I didn’t do the ride.

I never really felt any better yesterday.  I thought I would ride in the afternoon if I did but I didn’t  I didn’t feel much better and I didn’t ride.  Riding might have been the best thing for me.  Doing the tour might have been the best thing for me.

I simply couldn’t fight The Black Dog.

I sat on the sofa speaking to no one, doing nothing.  I wanted to climb into a hole and pull the earth back over me.

I don’t like when this happens (no kidding, right?) and I am not sure why it does.  I wish I could understand what is happening in my head a little better.

If I did understand it better, then maybe this would have been the weekend I wanted.

Guilt

I am not living the life I imagined I would have when I was a teen and well in to my twenties and even my early thirties.

I didn’t expect to need two jobs.  I didn’t expect not to be able to afford a vacation once a year or to have the difficulties I have.  This is not what I expected at all.  I really don’t like my career.  I am good at it.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t have time to do the things I like.  I work seven days a week.  I take off a weekend and I feel guilty.  I am taking money out of the family pot and I am leaving the shop shorthanded.  I don’t get to do the activities I so enjoy: hiking, cycling, spending time with my family and friends.

It is the guilt that cripples me.  If I work all seven days, I feel guilty for taking time away from the family.  If I don’t work the weekend, I feel guilt over not making the money.

This is not a way to live.  This is a way to die.

At this time there is little I can do to change all this.  I have to keep pushing.  I am not sure where this pushing will get me but I have to.  There is no other choice.

So I deal with the guilt.

My weight

I am the heaviest I have been since the middle of the summer of 2012.  I am up to 217.  This is not a good thing.  I have no excuses.  I have given in to the depression and the stress and I have over-eaten.  I have not pushed past the depression to get on the bike.  I have walked.  HUGE amounts of walking.  I have set a course in the factory and I make sure I walk it throughout the day.  It is great for fitness.  I am fit.  But I have out-eaten the calories I am burning and that is no one’s fault or responsibility but my own.

217-pounds. Pants are getting a little snug.  T-shirts are getting a little tight.

I have to get back to what I know works and I need to stay there.  I have indulged.  Cookies.  Buffet.  Not what, who or where I want to be.

It will not stand.

Getting it back together

I will take some days off work in the next couple of weeks. Take a few vacation days.  I will get on my bike and ride.  I will get out and hike.  PGB is sometimes available mid-week.  Perhaps he will be able to join me for a hike in Harriman.

If I don’t get my mind cleared and my heart right I will surely end up either insane or fat.  Insane I can accept.  Fat I cannot.

I understand the expression “a life lived in quiet desperation” now.  I didn’t always.  I do now.

Things have to change.  I need to make them change.  I need to get my heart and mind back on the same page, focused on the same goals, the same life plan.

I cannot accept what I am doing to myself with food, with stress, with life in general.

Getting it back together is must happen.  It has to start happening now.

Is life a constant battle for everyone? So many people I see seem to have it together.  I sometimes feel I am a single step away from the abyss.  Stepping back from that fall is the hardest thing to do when the Black Dog seems to be standing behind me baring teeth and growling.

Cycling, and time with friends, has been my escape from The Black Dog.  This weekend I didn’t fight hard enough.  I let the Black Dog win.

I have to find a way to fight harder. Or maybe I just need to be smarter than The Black Dog…

 

Peace


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Health


The Healthy Choice

I started losing weight because I was tired of being fat, out of shape, ugly (in my eyes) and embarrassed. I started losing weight because I was afraid of dying early. I started losing weight because it was the right time in my life to change.

From the beginning I understood that it would be about more than taking off the pounds.

It would be about understanding me.

It would be about getting fit.

It would be about staying lean and fit and getting healthy and staying there.

I knew from day one of my Journey that I would have to travel the path physically as well as emotionally. I understood that there would be much more to this than merely eating less and eating right. Moving more, moving right would be a part of it as well. A big part.

It is very possible to lose 100-plus pounds and not significantly improve one’s health. It is very possible to do so and injure one’s health.

I didn’t want to simply lose the pounds. I wanted to roll back the clock if I could. I wanted to be younger. I felt so old on the day I started the Journey.

It is Mid-April now. 2014. I am still 100+ pounds down from my peak. Still where I want to be with my weight. Still building the fitness, riding the bike, walking.

I made a healthy choice. I never have followed a diet. No WW, Jenny, Atkins, South Beach…. I have never followed an exercise plan. I eat right. I eat less. I move more. I didn’t start a diet. I didn’t start and exercise plan.

I started a new lifestyle. I change my life and I made the healthy choice.

The Healthy Choice does not mean illness always leave you alone…

I am getting over the flu right now. It is part of why I haven’t posted on my blog in a while. It really knocked me on my back. It came on last Saturday. I was feeling a little off on my bike ride in to the shop. I started strong but faded badly as I approached the shop. I showered up and started work but by mid day my head felt “off” and I was feeling congested. I thought it must be allergies. It was busy at the shop and I was running about but losing energy with each step. At some point CB, one of the shop owners, asked me if I was OK. I think I was coming across as “cross”. I told her I thought I was dealing with allergies…

By night fall I was sick.

By the time I crawled into bed Saturday night I was running a fever of 101.1. Overnight the fever climbed and I was in hell by 3:00 AM when I sent a text to the bike shop boss that I would not be able to lead the Sunday ride nor would I be able to work. Sunday was hell. 103.4 fever. Joint aches. Violent shivering. Sweats.

Monday morning the Dr. confirmed it was the flu and ordered me to bed rest for the week. Anti-viral meds to fight the flu and antibiotics to prevent the secondary infections that often accompany the flu.

Here it is. Thursday. I am FINALLY starting to feel OK. The fever broke a couple of days ago but the joint aches and the general malaise that comes with the flu linger. Today is the best day so far.

The worst part for me was having to cancel the Father-Son vacation the Younger One and I had planned for this week. I was going to work Monday and Tuesday and then he and I would travel to New England Tuesday night to enjoy three days exploring.

I know it disappointed him but in classic form, he has handled it with grace and understanding.

I doubt I will be able to ride this weekend but I will keep the option open for Sunday. Monday I will return to my regular job healthy and strong. This was not how I wanted to get the rest I needed but at least I rested.

 

Peace


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OUCH


I Crashed HARD

In the words of my oldest brother, the one who played Rugby into his late forties despite being half the size and twice the age of the other players, “that good health stuff is going to kill you.”

I do try to stay active. Despite the snowy and cold winter to which we have been subjected, I have tried to keep moving. Not always have managed but I have tried.

I have not ridden a single foot outside on my bike this year. Too much snow, too narrow and icy roads….

I did, however, have an opportunity to get in some cross-country skiing.

The Monument in the distance from the Patio at the Lodge

The Monument in the distance from the Patio at the Lodge

High Point State Park is, as the name implies, the highest point in the state of New Jersey. A mere 1803 feet above sea-level, it does not impress people from New England and it is barely a foot hill to people from the west. It is ours and we love it. The state runs cross-country ski trails around the park when the snow fall will allow and this year the snow fall allows…

I asked the owner of the Bike shop if I could start and hour late on Sunday, he said yes and so early on Sunday morning I drove the 45 minutes from my home to High Point, paid my $18.00 for a trail pass (which is ridiculous…) and off I went.

I was the first person out on the trails! Fresh snow! I was having a blast! About 1 km from the lodge I had to cross an asphalt paved road. Now here is where we come to the part of the story where I say “I knew better” because I did. I do. I know and I knew better than to do what I did.

You see, though I have been cross-country skiing since 1990 (there was a ten-year period when I didn’t at all) I have never been “Good” at it. Truth be told I am pretty bad at it. I am clumsy, not at all smooth, never get in to that nice rhythm that “good” skiers get in to. I consider it a great day on the trails if I only fall 4 or 5 times. I know it will happen and so I have become quite good at falling. Despite this I really enjoy the skiing and I love the feel of the cold air and the special quiet of the woods after a snow fall.

So I came upon this asphalt paved road. Covered in snow. Sloping down across the level trail.

I knew better.

I knew I should take off my skis and walk across. It is exactly what I did when I skied the same trail last year.

I didn’t do that. I got stupid.

I tried to ski across the road.

If it had not been snow-covered I would have walked across because I would not have wanted to damage my skis on the road surface.

It was snow-covered.

I got stupid.

I tried to ski across.

Now to understand this you need to understand what I mentioned above. The trail was level. The road crossed it at 90 degrees and sloped down to the left.

If I had entered the road left ski first this probably would not have happened the way it did. I would have ended up sitting on my rump, questioning my sanity. I would have kicked the skis off, stood up, walked across the rest of the way and reminded myself to walk across on the way back. It would have been an amusing little story to tell on myself.

I entered right ski first.

There was ice under that snow.

The right ski slid left and before I could even think about the fact that I was falling I hit the road HARD. Damned HARD. Painfully hard.

I landed on my right side. My shoulder taking most of the impact. That drove my arm in to my ribs. My head snapped violently to the right and hit the road. I rolled on to my back and laid still for a moment, assessing the situation, hoping the stars would clear out of my eyes, trying to determine just how bad this fall was.

It was not good.

After a moment I figured out nothing was broken (as far as I could tell) and I could probably get up OK. I popped off the skis and I did get up just before the plow truck came through. Despite the ringing in my ears and the pain on my right side that started at my lower rib cage and continued unabated to the top of my right ear, I crossed the road and continued skiing. For about 200 yards. At that point the pain in my right side and the ringing in my head convinced me I should start back towards the lodge.

Here is the kicker: I was still having fun. I was hurting. I was hurting a great deal but I was enjoying being outside, skiing and feeling the cold and that special quiet after a new snow.

At some Point I noticed that I had broken my left ski pole and I was having trouble controlling the left ski due to problem with the binding. I actually skied past the lodge and went up a side trail when I finally gave in to the broken equipment and the aching body and I went home.

I showered and dressed and I drove to the bike shop to work, arriving on time for work despite it all.

All day long it sounded like I had my head in a bucket. I felt light-headed and I needed to sit down often. My neck was now tightening up and I was exhausted.

I went to work on Monday and after not sleeping well Sunday night I was really feeling it all over. I couldn’t turn my neck to the right, my shoulder wouldn’t let me lift my arm over my head and my head was still not feeling right.

Missus made an appointment with the Doctor for me and after the usual tests and such he declared that I had suffered a head concussion. He sent me for x-rays on my neck and told me to get a few days of bed rest and be prepared to not feel right for a week to ten days, go to the emergency room if I start to vomit or lose consciousness….

OUCH

OUCH

I rested all day yesterday. Really had no choice. I would not have been good behind the wheel of a car. I went to work today but came home early. Too light-headed and out of balance when I was standing. It is the tiredness that really bothers me. And the Nausea. Well Ok, most everything about this bothers me: neck pain, rib pain, arm pain, headache, dizziness… Crashing is not fun at all.

I have to work tomorrow and Friday. I am conducting the monthly safety training. The Topic is “Slips, Trips and Falls”. I couldn’t make this up.

I wish I could say I have learned some sort of lesson beyond “don’t try to cross a road on your skis”. I haven’t. At least none that comes to mind right now. I am only disappointed that I won’t be able to get out and ski again next weekend.

Maybe the lesson is to listen to the owner of the bike shop and take up snow shoeing.

The Journey and a Detour

I wish I could report that my weight has held steady and I have been keeping my eating in check as this cold winter has moved along. I can’t. I am over 215 pounds right now. I am not happy with myself at all. I can think of many excuses for this slip but they are just that, excuses. The simple fact is I have slipped. I have been eating more than I have been burning. I have been finding reasons to eat more than I have been and I am paying the price with a climb in my weight.

Today I got back to the plan: Light breakfast, light lunch, light afternoon snack (an orange today) and a good dinner. Later I will have a simple light snack of a slice of bread and a slice of cheese. This is what got me to 200 pounds. This is what will get me back there.

I will write daily again. Even if I think I have nothing to say. That focus of reporting on the Journey helped me get there. I slipped away from it and I have paid the price.

I suppose we all have slips and trips and falls.

The real problem isn’t that you slipped or tripped or fell on your Journey. The real problem is failing to get back up.

I am getting back up.

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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Two years in to the Journey


In The Begining

I have written about this many times in the last two years. December 27, 2011, my date of awakening. No, I don’t think that is overly dramatic. It was in every sense an awakening. It has been in the last two years in every sense a Journey of discovery, of awakening to possibilities.

I had been depressed in the few days leading to the 27th. I had seen how I was. I had seen my reflection and it shocked and saddened me to see what I had become. I realized I was fat. I don’t know the mechanisms of the mind and how it can make you not see reality but it had cast me blind to the reality that I was a massively large man, more than 100 pounds overweight. This realization took an already dark mood and turned it in to a very deep depression.

Then

Then

On the morning of December 27th, a Tuesday off from work, I awoke and as I sat on the edge of the bed, taking my blood pressure meds before getting up to shower and start the day, I stared at the floor. Trying to gather the strength to power myself to the standing position, I could feel my mood slipping deeper in to the hole.

I have no idea why it clicked but it did. I don’t know to this day what it was that about that moment but something happened. I turned to Missus and I told her “today, I am starting today”. She asked what it was I was starting and I told her I was going to lose the weight and I was starting that day right then.

And so it began. The Journey.

Last year I wrote perhaps my longest post to mark the first anniversary of the Journey. Don’t know if this post will be anywhere near as long but I have much to say today.

Obsession

The Journey quickly became my central focus. Some called it an obsession and other worried about my mental state. I was never so concerned. I knew what I was doing was saving my life. I

The Fitbit. It is a little over 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. I clip it to my pants pocket or my shirt collar when I am wearing my sweatpants. You can toss it in your pocket... I am told that women often clip it to their bras.

The Fitbit. It is a little over 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. I clip it to my pants pocket or my shirt collar when I am wearing my sweatpants. You can toss it in your pocket… I am told that women often clip it to their bras.

started traveling with a scale so I could stay on top my recording my weight. I have recorded it nearly every day since I started that day in December.  I bought a FITBIT to record my activity level and to this day I wear one every day.

I Have stayed focused. Is this Journey an obsession? I guess. I would have to call it a healthy focus myself but you can call it what you want. I enjoy my foods. I still have to resist the temptations to overeat and indulge in sinful delights but I am able to resist. I need to. I know the risks.

Two years now…

After today's ride.  Getting there.....

Mid way on the Journey

I didn’t know it was going to work. When I started this. I was in such a bad place emotionally. I was fighting the Black Dog to begin with and then came that moment of start realization that I was FAT. If you haven’t been there you simply can’t understand. How could I have not known I was fat? It seemed obvious to everyone around me but I didn’t realize it. Not the way others did. I would joke about being fat. People would say that I wasn’t really THAT big. And that was what I heard. That I wasn’t really big… I was just large, a little overweight..

I started this Journey in a very deep and dark depression. Maybe that is why it clicked. Maybe that is why I was able to grab on to the so tightly. I needed something to pull me up.

I don’t know and I suspect I will never know what made it work and why it started that day two years ago today. I only know that something clicked.

It took me 8 months to drop 95 pounds. Another couple of months to get to 105 pounds. I have maintained my weight below 210 pounds since August 8th 2012 with only a small handful of days above 210. I am 209 as I write this.

Two years now. I am at this for two years. Two out of what I hope will be another 30.

2013 was a year of learning to maintain. Maintain my weight of course. Maintain my fitness. Maintain the activity, the focus, the drive. 2013 was learning to be a lean person. 2013 has been about learning my capabilities even as those capabilities increase.

I didn’t know I was a good rider. I have learned that at the boot of NP, CB and BP and many others at the shop who have encouraged me and lit a fire under me and kicked me hard when I have needed it. CB has told me to shut up about riding badly more than once.

At the Start Line at 6:40 AM and ready to ride. Trim. Fit. Ready

At the Start Line at 6:40 AM and ready to ride.
Trim. Fit. Ready

2014 will be, I hope, a year of expanding my capabilities, improving on the distance I have come thus far. I am committed to never being obese again. I am also committed to worrying about a pound or two weight gain less because I know how to keep it in check. A pound up should not be cause for panic as long as it is followed by a pound down soon thereafter.

Two years in to the Journey. I am still learning a great deal about myself. I am learning more about the issues and emotions that drove the eating that created the weight gain.

What I have learned so far is more than enough to fill a book, or a blog for that matter. I and certainly a happier person. I am certainly “better adjusted” now that I have come to understand so much about myself. I am enjoying things on face value now, no longer so suspicious so suspicious of the motives of others.

I am learning that good things can happen for good people and I am learning that maybe I am one of those good people.

My Loves

I love cycling. I have made that plain. I ride whenever I can and where ever I can and with whomever will ride with me. I Love hiking but I don’t get to do it nearly as often as I would like. Life gets in the way. Part time and

full-time jobs get in the way. I can cycle to the Bike Shop and I ride with the folks at the shop. Hiking does not have those opportunities attached to it for me.

A Place Along the Journey

A Place Along the Journey

I love my walks. Those are easier to get in then the hikes but I only really walk when cycling is not available for some reason.

I love Cross country Skiing and I got back to it this past winter for the first time in 10 or 12 years.  It was a blast!

I am as happy as the picture would seem to indicate.

I am as happy as the picture would seem to indicate.

I love writing this blog. I hope it has not grown tedious for everyone to read but I still enjoy writing it.

I love cooking. The way I cook now, lighter fare, is enjoyable for me. I love the way we eat now. Not quite a vegetarian, I do eat 90% vegetables, grains and fruits and

Kabocha, Baked Salmon, Mixed Grain Rice with Black beans....a the way I eat

Kabocha, Baked Salmon, Mixed Grain Rice with Black beans….a
the way I eat

about 10% dairy and fish or poultry. Poultry is actually very rare….

I love the way I feel and, yes, the way I look. I no longer expect to see a fat man when I look in the mirror. I am growing accustomed to seeing the me I am not. I am less surprised when I don’t see the old me.

I love my family and it is a joy to be able to enjoy them more. I can go for walks with the Younger One, I can goof around with the Older One and I can walk with Missus. I can enjoy their company because I am not always exhausted.

I love the feeling that I may actually stick around for a while and not die suddenly of a heart attack… This is a good feeling.

Goals

On the left: Last year Ride for Autism On the right: This years Ride for Autism.  Even 30 pounds make quite a difference.

On the left: Last year Ride for Autism
On the right: This years Ride for Autism. Even 30 pounds make quite a difference.

AS I enter my third year on this Journey I have goals I need still to reach. I want to get to and stay under 200 pounds. I want ride a Century. I am aiming for 4000 miles in 2014.

I want the visits from the Black Dog to become much fewer and farther apart. I would like the duration of the visits to shorten as well.

I am thinking of going vegetarian but I am not sure I am ready for that.

I want to see my friends more often, read more books, sleep better at night

I want to be sitting here in one year writing about the third anniversary.

The Coming Year

As I stated above, I am looking to improve on all things in 2014.

I also have some plans.

I have several rides planned for the coming year. Most of them are Charity Rides. None of those are the kind where you have to solicit donations.

On the Queensboro Bridge, May, 2013

On the Queensboro Bridge, May, 2013

Here is my list of planned rides:

  • Five-Boro Bike Tour, 40 miles
  • Ride of Silence (a memorial ride to honor cyclists killed by motor vehicles)
  • RIDE FOR AUTISM, 100 miles (Lincroft, NJ)
  • Discover Hartford, 40 miles
  • Hub On Wheels, 50 miles (Boston)
  • NYC Century, 100 miles
  • Tour of Bergen County, 50 miles(Bergen County, NJ)
  • Ashford Century, 100 miles (Rural Ct.)
  • Fall Foliage, 50 miles (Rural NJ)
  • Turkey Bike, 25 miles (North Jersey)

That’s the plan… There may be others. I may not do one or two of these but that is the plan.

I have started a team for the Ride for Autism.  It is called “Danny’s Team for the Ride For Autism” and it is named for my Older One.  The link will take you to the Facebook page and I hope you will LIKE the page.  You don’t have to ride and you don’t have to donate.  Just knowing you are supporting the team and encouraging the team is more than enough.  Our goal is to get as many people to ride as Danny’s Team as possible and to raise as much money in entry fees as we can.

I also have a dream of raiding from New York City to Miami Florida to raise money for Fragile X and Autism Research.  That will be harder to pull off but I am working at it.  Just not sure how I would get the time off work or pay the bills while I am riding to Miami……

Giving back to the sport I love for all that it has given me.

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.