Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Returning tomorrow!

I, frankly, have missed blogging.  Stellar Path is reopening tomorrow with a weigh-in.  All of my old archives will remain; I’m just pledging to blog here at least once a week.

Surprisingly, however, I have been vlogging.  In fact, I have vlogged every day since June 1st.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a big audience.  In fact, some most of my videos have only been viewed once.  But just like with blogging, my vlogging is mostly for me.

My vlogging is called The Ranger Project, and you can access my videos on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/JeremyRay45.  In the coming month, I plan to make a Ranger Project page here at Stellar Path, wherein I describe my videos, arrange them by type, and so forth.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

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A New Direction for Stellar Path

I haven’t blogged in a while, and dang… I don’t know what to do.

I do know this.  I just spent several hundred dollars when I forgot to tell my hosting service that I didn’t want to renew for three more years.  So, since that happened, I guess I’m doing some sort of blogging for the next few years.

At first, I thought, “Hey, I’m kinda funny, and Allie hardly ever posts anymore… I’ll rip off Hyperbole and a Half!”

Big problem.  I’m not that funny, and I spent about twenty-five seconds on Microsoft Paint drawing pictures before I was ready to start punching old people.

stellarpathandahalf

If I were truly as good as Hyperbole and a Half, there would now be a beautifully drawn Microsoft Paint image of me punching old people.  But I’m not, so there isn’t.

And then I thought, “Hey, I know a lot of facts about food and I can Google-Fu, so I’ll rip off Thug Kitchen!”

Another problem.  It… uhm… yeah, it just didn’t work.

fruitsandveggiesstellarthug

Aside from the fact that I apparently can’t spell the world should, I’m also not very good at swearing.

So to sum up, I’m still trying to find my way.  My extremely long battle with Hand, Foot,and Mouth is finally over.  I’m ready to get back on the weight loss horse.

I just need to figure out where I want this horse to go.

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Husband and Wife Blogging Team

Looking back at last year’s summer, I found that I blogged through the spring, took a significant break over the summer, and resumed blogging in the fall.

I’ve heard many Expert Bloggers say that you should have a brand. If you want your blog to be big, you need a niche.

Meh.

I have no delusions that my blog will ever be big. I don’t blog consistently enough. I’m completely okay with just occupying my tiny corner of the internet and spewing forth my ramblings.

Last week as we were driving to Tina’s midwife appointment (baby could come literally at any day now), I made the comment that I wished I blogged more. Tina made the same comment, as she has a blog that is even more neglected than mine.

And with that, we had our great idea.

We’re going to blog together. I’m sure there are other husband/wife blogger teams out there, and we are joining their ranks.

So, do we have a niche? Do we have a brand?

Nah, not really.

So, if you don’t know my wife and didn’t know she had a blog, then know that she is into fitness (and is also in training to become a personal trainer, post-baby), healthy eating, splurge-y eating, photography, and crafts. Oh Lord, is she ever into crafts.

I continue to be into geeky things.

And we’re both interested in documenting just the various things about our lives. I’m sure you’ll probably see more posts about our baby than anyone but us will be interested in.

I’m going to slowly merge some of her posts here. Since I had a slightly larger readership than she did, we’re going to keep Stellar Path as our blog name and address.

Once she’s had the baby and is ready to lose the baby weight, we’re going to weigh in together, too. My weight is still dropping; I lost twenty(ish) pounds this summer, and I am thrilled! I’m not going to post my weight again until we’re blogging together, and our first weigh-in together will probably be late October or early November.

I hope you’ll stick with us. Stellar Path is primarily going to be focused on our lives, as we try to become as healthy a family together as we can.

This is Tina, 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant…

And a similar silhouette picture of me, unpregnant but shrinking (so it’s good to have a baseline photo)… And dang, I look bald in side profile.

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General Blogging Stuff

This post is going to be just a bit of randomness, so bear with me, please?

There are a LOT of different ways to eat, and many people claim their way is the absolute best way. I disagree. Always. There is no best way. You should do the way that works best for you. For instance, I have known people who have had amazing success with calorie counting. They should do that.

I’ve known others who have had amazing success with paleo.

I don’t have permission to post any pics, but google Paleo success stories, and you’ll find tons.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with vegan diets.

Google Steve Cardenas. Find a current picture of him. He’s the former Red Ranger on Power Rangers. He’s vegan and I’d happily have his physique.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with Atkins.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with gastric bypass.

I have personal different opinions about pretty much every diet I’ve ever heard of. Some are diets/strategies that I would never, ever, ever do. Others are diets that I’ve dabbled in. I am a firm believer that everyone should do what works for them. Period.

Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers. It works for me. I am well aware that Weight Watchers is nothing more than glorified calorie counting. I have had people ask me why I pay $40 a month to go weigh in.

Well, I don’t just go weigh in. I stay for the meetings. I’m actually attending with my mother. And yes, Weight Watchers is very cheesy at times, but it helps me. It’s a form of therapy for me.

I need a therapist. I’m well aware of that. I still have serious eating issues, and the structure of Weight Watchers is one thing that is helping me overcome that. I once attempted to find a good disordered eating therapist, and while I didn’t find one, I did find a therapist who gave me a great piece of advice.

Journal. Often. Frequently. And honestly.

And that’s what I’ve turned this blog into. Yes, Stellar Path is VERY random, and it’s frankly suited for my tastes. It’s about food, exercise, Power Rangers, horror movies, and other geeky things that appeal to me.

I started blogging daily in June. I knew, when I started blogging weekly about the Power Rangers and horror movies and other such things, that I would be creating an unusual niche blog that pretty much had the audience of, well… me. I expected my traffic to drop, and I was okay with that. I never started blogging to become famous. I started blogging because I enjoy writing.

Three things occurred – my writing muse has shown up in full force, both on the blog, professionally, and personally/creatively. This was an amazingly unexpected occurrence.

Two, my traffic has increased. Significantly. It may just be the result of more posts equal more to read, but for whatever reason, my traffic has gone up. So unexpected woo hoo there. Granted, I don’t get a ton of comments, but I definitely enjoy the ones I do get.

And third, it’s helping my weight loss and views on food and eating. Stellar Path has become my journal, helping me deal with my own weight loss, body, and disordered eating issues.

If in my journaling/blogging, I am able to help others, awesome. And if not, hey, maybe I’ll entertain someone.

Best yet, I’ve made some great friends on this blog. There are people that I have never met in person who I put in the friend category.

So, today’s post was a bit of stream of consciousness, but I wanted to just put this out there and say thank you for reading and commenting.

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Life Stuff

I have not been around for a few days. This may be a fairly length blog post, so if you want to know what has happened and what will be happening to me, please read ahead to find out.

First of all, the good things. Tina and I recently returned from our babymoon in San Diego. It was a great last trip before we have the baby. Baby Logsdon is still doing great (although our last ultrasound revealed he was going to be a very LONG baby – I’m not surprised; his mother and I are both six feet tall).

Other good things – my entire family is still with me, even though if things had been just a little different the other day, I couldn’t say that now.

I’ll explain that one, first.

My mother is a Type 2 Diabetic. She was diagnosed when I was in middle school. I’ve watched her struggle with it my entire life.

I got a call from my father at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Saturday. We were all going to meet up later that morning to go to my nephew Clint’s graduation. He was calling to say they would not be able to make it, and he further explained why.

My mother almost died in bed early Saturday morning. Her sugar crashed in the middle of the night, and she was unable to wake herself up to consume orange juice or something else with sugar. Dad only knew it was going on because he heard her trying to scream to get his attention.

He tried to get her to drink orange juice, but at that point, her sugar was far too low. He called 911, and the paramedics were able to get her stable. She didn’t have to go to the hospital, and now, she is fine.

Her sugar has certainly crashed before, but it has never crashed that drastically or caused her to have that dramatic a reaction.

This is the part that scares me. If my father had not been there, my mother would be dead right now.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad left the house at 2 a.m. for a week straight because a nonprofit agency he is the head of was doing security at the Kentucky Derby. If this had happened then, when my mother was alone, she would have had no one to call 911 for her, and she probably would have laid in bed and died, alone. The nonprofit agency is a Rescue Squad, and that means they frequently go out on calls in the middle of the night to search for people who have been reported missing. If he had been out on a call, she would have died.

I may be 34 years old, but I’m not ready to give up my mom yet. She’s only 67. She should still have many years of life left in her.

I called her Saturday afternoon, and we talked for a while. She knows she has to get her health under control. She did Weight Watchers with me in the past, and she was successful at it. But as circumstances change, she stopped going.

She wants to be around for the birth of my son. I want her around to watch my son graduate college.

She and I are going to start going to Weight Watchers again. There is a meeting in my city every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., so she is going to drive up and we’ll attend together. With the structure of the meetings and the weekly support and weigh-ins, I feel very confident that she’ll overcome this obstacle. I hope, sometime shortly down the road, I can write a blog post about how her type 2 diabetes is completely overcome.

Just as importantly, I know that the group support of Weight Watchers will be useful for me, too.

Something else has been going on, too. Let me explain this one by explaining my thoughts on dieting. (It’s relevant, I promise.)

I am a huge fan of moderation. That’s why I can’t ever subscribe to ONE diet plan, because I want to eat… well, everything. I can’t commit to being vegan forever because I like meat and cheese. I can’t commit to being paleo forever because I like cheese and bread. I can’t commit to Atkins forever because I like fruits, veggies, and bread.

But, that said, there is one food that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, consume again.

Artificial sweeteners.

They are literally poison, and I am suffering from the effects right now.

Before I explain, let me give a little back history.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It primarily affected my upper body, mostly my hands, and it was painful, crippling, and embarrassing. I remember my fingers swelling up so large they wouldn’t bend. I went to a doctor, was put on some anti-inflammatory meds, and by the time I was 15, it was over and in remission.

In my late twenties, I began having pain and swelling in my right knee. I truthfully ascribed it to my obesity, and kept saying, “Well, when I get to goal weight next year, it won’t hurt anymore.”

I’m now 34, and I’m still not at goal weight. My knee still hurts. It typically painfully swells about two to three days out of every ten. The other days, I’m fine. My chiropractor even told me she suspected it wasn’t because of my weight, as if it was, both knees should have been affected. Regardless, she agreed losing weight would help it.

About three and a half weeks ago, I went through a two-day binge of Diet Dr. Pepper. I drank maybe twenty ounces of water over those two days. My food was fine and spot-on. My diet soda consumption was three two-liters over those two days. Not good. It was, in my mind, an acceptable, calorie-free binge.

On day three, I woke up with the most painful swollen knee I have ever experienced. I took four ibuprofen and the hottest shower I could stand to even be able to move around somewhat easily.

My wife has been trying to get me to give up artificial sweeteners for years. I made a very clear association – my sweetener binge led to a swollen knee. I was done.

I threw away my Crystal Light and poured my last 2-liter down the sink. If I want soda, I’ll have the regular kind and count the calories.

Well, an interesting thing happened.

My body lost it’s freaking mind.

My right knee, which is the only joint I’ve been having troubles in for YEARS, decided it wanted company. Left knee. Both ankles. Alternating elbows. At one point, my left elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t straighten my arm out more than about 120 degrees. Two days later, my left elbow was fine and my right elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t touch my right ear.

Oh, and the newest pain to join my old-guy-aches? Fiery hot nerve flare-ups on the back of my left hand.

I was beginning to believe I had developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Or all three. I couldn’t exercise. I could barely walk, and this was with me taking MULTIPLE ibuprofen a day. You know how the bottle says you shouldn’t take more than six a day? Some days, I took sixteen.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, fearing the results but knowing I had to do something. But then, on a lark, I visited Dr. Google, and I got the best news I had ever heard.

I wasn’t alone. I probably didn’t have RA or lupus.

I was experiencing the common after effects of going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners.

Except for headaches (which I never get), the symptoms were like a checklist of what was wrong with me. Other people had gone cold turkey and their bodies suddenly hated them. I kept my doctor’s appointment, but I felt a great relief.

But then I got some bad news. Most of these people said it took two to three months to get back to their normal, pain-free lives.

Crap.

So at over two weeks out, I was still hobbling. I was still in extreme pain.

It sucked. My wife and I went to San Diego, and I was in extreme pain for the entire trip.

I did a little research on diets that would help with inflammation.

Time and time again, I kept coming back to various forms of paleo. Give up the grains and the inflammation will disappear.

Paleo, as many of you know, is giving up grains, dairy, and legumes (beans and peanuts).

Last Monday, I decided I would start a paleo-ish diet. I can’t say that I am paleo, because I’m not being too strict on dairy. I don’t really drink cow’s milk anyway, so I have cut that out, but if I want cheese once a week or so, I’ll have it, provided it is a hard cheese. Basically, my “paleo” is giving up grains, legumes, and most dairy. I know some paleo people would call me a heretic, so if people ask, I mostly say I’ve just given up grains.

Giving up legumes is not a big deal. I hate beans and literally eat them only for the health benefits. It’ll be no trouble cutting them out. I do like peanuts (a legume), but I’m going to give them up, too, just because saying sayonara to peanuts or peanut butter won’t be that difficult.

As I said, last Monday, I started giving up all grains, all legumes, and most dairy. By Wednesday, I was taking only two ibuprofen a day. My results were anecdotal only, but I felt SO much better. My daily weigh-ins showed that weight was coming off fairly steadily, too. My suspicion for this? Without eating starches, it is fairly difficult to eat high calorie. I was eating proteins and fats (along with LOTS of veggies and some fruits), and I had no trouble getting satisfied and keeping my caloric intake low. It was clear that I was walking better. I still had soreness, but I felt tons better.

You’d think it would be easy to just keep giving up grains, wouldn’t it? Well, I gave up grains for five days, and I fell off the wagon on Friday. I ate a slice of pizza and had two breadsticks.

By Saturday morning, I was a crippled old man again. It hurt to lay in bed. It hurt to sit on the couch. It hurt to hobble around the house.

Dare I say it? Grains are the devil.

This can’t be a coincidence. Tina asked me if I thought it might be psychosomatic.

If it is, sign me up for crazy pills because I’ll take relief in whatever healthy form I can get it.

I plan to keep eating grain-free. I know that I will eventually have bread again. I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be light enough with healthy joints so I can occasionally have a slice of bread or pizza without being crippled. But for now, at my weight, that is not an option, so if my options are pain-free days or eating bread, I’ll take the pain-free days.

Upcoming Plans

I need to blog more often. It keeps me sane, and it provides an outlet. I know this blog isn’t widely read, but it’s useful for me. (And to those of you who comment or read without commenting, I thank you for being there for me, even if we’ve never actually spoken.)

I’ve come up with a schedule for blogging. I want to blog daily, at least until such point that it becomes a chore. I have a proposed schedule I’m going to try.

Monday – Motivational Monday
Tuesday – Healthy Recipe
Wednesday – Wednesday Weigh-In
Thursday – Geeked Out Weight Loss Review
Friday – Open Letters (a.k.a. Stellar Path Stalks Celebrities)
Saturday – Photog Friday (a photo recap of the previous day)
Sunday – Horror Movie Weight Loss Review

As other things occur that I want to blog about, I am, of course, at liberty to abandon this schedule as I see fit.

Starting this upcoming Saturday, my mother and I will begin attending Weight Watchers. I will continue eating grain-free, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to post my Weight Watchers weigh-ins (late on Wednesday, obviously) or if I’ll just continue weighing in at home.

In Conclusion

I realize this was a long, slightly random post about a lot of different things, but I had a lot to get out at once. Thanks for reading.

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Randomness

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)