Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

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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Babymoon Guest Post: Erin’s Music = Motivation

Tina and I are currently living it up in San Diego on our babymoon (a.k.a. the last vacation a couple goes on before they turn into a trio). Since Erin graciously agreed to do a guest post for us back in October 2010 for our honeymoon, it was only fitting that I bug her politely ask her again to take over the reins and take care of the place while we’re incommunicado. Erin has long been one of my favorite bloggers, blogging with humor, bravado, and honesty. Erin’s blog was the VERY first blog that I posted a comment to back when I got into healthy blogging, and she was the very first person to leave a comment here at Stellar Path (prior, even, to its current incarnation). Thanks Erin!

***

Hi, Stellar Path readers! While Jeremy and Tina are off on their babymoon, I am going to take over Jeremy’s blog for the day. I blog about my life in general over at This Nebraska Life. I still report on my weight loss, but I don’t feel pressured to JUST talk about that!

Today, I wanted to talk about music. First and foremost, music is a very important part of my life. I grew up in a very music-oriented family. Several of my uncles have been in or currently play in bands. One of my cousins moved to California to pursue her dreams in musical theatre. I have another cousin who is the bassist for a Christian rock band. I grew up singing and playing every instrument I could get my hands on. Theatre was never a major interest, but I once portrayed Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!

But of course, I was skinnier then. Now, before you go thinking that I am beating myself up, I am not. I was always a chubster, but looking back, compared to where I’m at now… (shaking my head)

At my heaviest, I was in the 300 range and I started my weight loss journey in 2009. In 2010, I had lost about 75 pounds and was weighing in at about 227. After
that, “something came undone” and I ballooned back to 260 in late 2011. Currently, I am down to 244 and that number can keep on falling, as far as I’m concerned!

I still struggle with motivation, though. I love to run and I love to lift, but I’ve been definitely slacking in that area. Part of it is laziness, yes. Part of it is that I haven’t created the habit yet. That said, I am trying to create the habit. I went to the gym last night with a new playlist.

I felt like I had more energy, more vigor and more POWER as I worked out. I ran on the track, I walked on the track, but I also LIFTED for the first time in almost a year. It felt sooo good. I am sore as hell today, but I would rather be sore than full of regret over skipping another workout.

As I left the Y last night, I thought that maybe my new playlist was the reason behind my increased vigor. It was the mental boost I had needed. Yessir, it was. I was bored with my old playlist. It was great music, really it was. But I think I needed the change. It will certainly be interesting to see how long I use this playlist before I get bored again. Hopefully next time, I will notice it before the motivation dissipates.

Any songs I should consider for my next playlist? What motivates you in the gym?

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Weekend Warriors are Back!

I had a bad weekend.

Wait, let me clarify. I had a fine weekend, as far as just being alive goes. Still here, so win there!

Bad weekend as far as the diet goes.

And I’m finding it happens pretty much every weekened.

Basically, this is how my diet is progressing at the moment. I do well Monday thru Friday, and according to Physics Diet, my weight is more or less dropping. And then Saturday and Sunday show up, and I find myself just… not doing anything right.

I view the weekends as a vacation from healthy eating and living. This is especially stupid for me as NO foods are off limits and I can have whatever I want if I count my calories. As for exercise, I freaking LIKE to exercise. Why don’t I?!

Because I like playing around more.

But this stops.

About two-ish years ago, Brandon from I Run Alaska hosted a weekend challenge once a month called Weekend Warriors. Basically, he noticed that he was doing the same thing I described above, sabotaging himself, and he was tired of it. Hence, Weekend Warriors was born, and we were all invited to participate. It happened about once a month, and I think all of us who participated did well on those weekends.

I want to reclaim my weekends for health.

I emailed (actually, I direct messaged on Twitter) Brandon and asked for permission to resurrect his idea. He gave me permission, so here we are.

Weekend Warriors is back!

I am quite aware that my blog is one of the smaller fish in the healthy blog ocean (I think I may even be plankton), so this may be a tiny group. Heck, it may just be me.

But I encourage anyone who wants to do better on their weekends to take part.

There are no rules. You set your own rules. You decide what you want to do to make your weekend a success, and you do it. It’d be awesome if you’d write a post about it, but that’s obviously up to you. I will do a link party here on Stellar Path.

I’ll write the official Weekend Warriors Post on Thursday.

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366 Weigh-In: Keep On Keeping On

I am down to 366. My weight fluctuated a bit as a result of too much birthday celebration, but today, I dropped several pounds, which put my average squarely below 366. I am happy with this. Birthdays are for celebrating, but they are for celebrating for one day. Not for a month. At least with food.

I have nothing really profound to say, except to post this little graphic I just made. (I believe the image to be public domain, as I found it on a website of public domain photos, but if you are the owner and I am incorrect, please contact me immediately and I will rectify the situation.)

That’s all it is. Do it every day. Repeat forever.

I’m cool with that.

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Will You Do It Every Day?

Have you heard about the latest diet in the news?

Feeding tubes.

I’m serious. You can’t make this crap up.

You can click the link above to read about it and watch a video, but the gist… a doctor (who should lose his medical license, in my opinion) is allowing people (brides-to-be are apparently the big population) to use a feeding tube, through the nose and down the throat, to deliver a slow drip of protein and fats over 10 days. There is no eating. The doctor even makes the claim that this causes ketosis (which yeah, it probably does) which doesn’t cause you to lose muscle (which is not entirely true – there is some muscle loss during ketosis). The people getting this procedure are only getting around 800 calories a day.

This may be the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.

I am not a fan of fad diets in any way, shape, or form.

Understand – I’m not a person who is opposed to the word diet, because frankly, sometimes it’s just easier to say “I’m on a diet” than go through the whole rigmarole of “Well, I’m eating less and moving more in a way that I plan to stay on for the rest of my life to reach and maintain a healthy weight.”

But that last part is the difference for me.

I had a trainer once who said something to me so incredibly profound, it has stuck with me for years. When I get clients as a personal trainer, this is something I will share with them at our first session.

“If you are not willing to do it forever, do not do it at all to lose weight.”

I’m not willing to give up grains forever. That means Paleo is out for me. (Although most people I know who are on Paleo seem to be willing to be on it forever, so more power to them. I’m only anti-Paleo for me, not anyone else.)

I’m not willing to give up fast food forever. That means Strict Eating Clean is out for me.

I’m not willing to give up meat or cheese forever. That means Vegan is out for me. (Although I wouldn’t call veganism a fad diet, as virtually every vegan I know does it for ethical reasons, which makes it a very different situation here.)

I’m not willing to inject myself with the hormones of a pregnant woman, or have my stomach surgically altered so that I can only eat a thumb-sized serving of food at a time, or run a feeding tube down my throat, or drink two fake milkshake/meal replacements a day, or eat tons of cabbage soup, or only eat grapefruit for a week, or anything else extreme.

I try to live by an 80% healthy/20% splurge-y mentality. Honestly, most of the time, it’s more 90%/10%.

I count my calories. I eat healthy as often as I can. But at the end of the day, if I truly want something and I can “afford” it in my calorie totals for the day, I’ll allow myself a little of it. It keeps me sane, and my weight is slowly decreasing. Sure, I could do something extreme and lose the weight faster, but I’m in this for the long haul.

These are things I am willing to do forever. I know I can’t eat McDonalds everyday, but if I want a McDouble once a month, I’m not going to sweat it. If I choose to have a Diet Dr. Pepper and pizza on one date night every so often, I’ll do it. And I’ll eat healthy at as many meals as I can.

You have to be able to live with it. Because if you lose weight using a method that you can’t live with, then it will be gained back.

Losing weight is not easy, but for that matter, neither is life. Just as there are no shortcuts in life, there are not real shortcuts in weight loss.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat 600 calories at dinner, planned out of my calorie allotment for the day, and exercise before going to bed. And this IS something I am willing to do forever.

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