Why the Lifestyle Change??

July 22nd, 2008

A while back, my niece asked me what prompted me to change my lifestyle. That is, to start watching what I eat, working out, and lose some extra weight. Well, here’s what I told here, the truth of the matter, about two months ago after I started working out:

Well, I first started walking regularly almost two years ago. That was thanks in large part to a Doctor, a Podiatrist. I filled out the initial visit form, put down that I take medication for High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and Acid Reflux. Then when I answered the question about general health, I chose “good.”


She looked at me and said “so, you’re health is ‘good’?” … and you take medication for HBP, Cholesterol, and stomach problems?  [long pause]… well, if you walked a few miles a day and lost 20 pounds, you wouldn’t need all that medicine, would you…?  [another long, LONG pause…]…”


About the same time Mom and Dad were down and we took a boat trip up the St. John’s river. Someone took my picture, shirtless. I was not sure who it was when I first saw the pic, I just saw some fat guy that had fairly nice boobs! 


About the same time, I read a magazine article that said that men who walk 11 miles a week don’t put one more belly fat (though don’t necessarily lose it either).


All three things prompted me to start walking (the magazine article really tipped the scale, but the doctor was the biggest influence–I can still remember that exact moment) and I’ve done it religiously since. At first a friend and I walked because he was trying to get exercise (and he had a boring job, too). Later he stopped but by then I was hooked. I now walk about 3.8 miles a day at work, about 65 minutes (though I work and eat at the same time, so it’s a wash).


Since then I’ve not really gained any weight.  Though I was not gaining weight, I was not losing it either. So that was about it for two years. Not buying bigger pants, but not buying smaller. There were small improvements and my weight stayed within the lower end of about an 8 pound range that it seemed to fluctuate in. Finally last summer I was able to get in some shorts I could not get into the previous summer. So that was a slight improvement. I still have pants and shorts (some years old now) that I can’t get in–well maybe now I can get into some of them.


Then this spring I was talking to a friend at work and she was complaining about her tummy and not being able to get into some dresses. (She’s the ultimate diva, fashion queen, etc…. Looks very good for her about 50 years old, you’d never guess it, but did get a bit of a tummy). So we decided to encourage each other and both joined the health club. It’s very pricey, $58 a month with tax. I’m not one to spend that loosely so am taking it serious. Then I paid for a trainer–big, BIG bucks. And the first day he handed me some things on diet. I ate half a bag of Doritos while I read the stuff. But it all made sense. Lots of the things I eat were on the D and F list, very few from the A list. I’ve always known that diet and exercise go together, just didn’t really practice the diet part. Was eating out too often and too much, too.


Then [my niece] Kirsten sent me a link to http://www.mypyramid.com/ and I read up about food groups and balance in my diet–it was unbalance beforehand, not that many veggies and fruit and whole grains. From there I went to http://www.mypyramidtracker.com and learned I could track what I eat.


So, to make a very long story much shorter, I wanted to look better (vanity, yes), feel better (I do, if only mentally!), and live longer (only time will tell that). It’s 11 years since I quit smoking, now it’s time for another change, and time to get back to what I weighed back then. I figure if I can develop the workout and eat-right habits (just like I now have the walking habit), I will accomplish those goals.


Overall, I look damned good for a 55 [now 56] year old guy. Many people can’t believe I’m that old. And I’ve seen and met quite a few guys younger than me that look a lot worse (and some older that look a lot better). I want to be one of those that the other guys say “wow, he looks great for his age” when they think I’m only in my 40s, and then they’ll be totally blown away when then find out I’m 55–almost 56.


So, that’s my story. Thanks for asking! Hope you enjoyed.

 So that is the answer I gave my niece, Kali, when she asked, and now it’s out there for all the world to see.

 I’ve been going to the gym since I signed up on March 17, 2008 (my sister Jean’s birthday). I’ve lost about 20 pounds and redistributed more. My “large” size shirts look way too big on me, I had to buy mediums. My old pants are huge, I had to buy smaller. I still walk 3 times a day. I now do weight training four days a week, and cardio the other days. Lately on Saturdays I ride my bike. I can ride a full hour and not feel it. Before, I was hurting after going around the block. Do I feel better? Hell yes? Do I look better? You bet.

As for my friend, she’s not really going to the gym. After a while, I gave up on coaxing her. She’s gained a few pounds and not eating healthy and smart like she should. But, I’ve tried, she’ll have to learn for herself.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Where Have I Been?

June 23rd, 2008

Yes, it has been a long time since I wrote in my blog, no doubt. And why? One big word: exercise. Yes, on March 17th, I joined a gym. And I’ve had great results with it too. What have I accomplished?

  • I lost about 20 pounds and am now about 158 pounds.
  • I lost a good 4″ or more around my waist.
  • I lowered my BMI from borderline overweight to well within the “normal” range, about 23 now.
  • My blood pressure has gone down.
  • My percent body fat has gone from about 23 to 17.
  • I’ve been working out with weights and doing cardio
  • I’ve been going to the gym 6x a week.

And, as a result, I feel a lot better and look a lot better. So, if I don’t write in here that often, now you know why. I have my priorities, health is one!

    Primary Do-Overs?

    March 6th, 2008

    Now I’ve heard it all. The democrats want Florida to have a “do over” of the primary. Seems they think we were “bad children” for moving up our primary and holding it early. Of course, do they want to pay for another voting round? Of course not. They want us to pay. I guess our vote didn’t count the first time? It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t care who won how may votes the first time around. We voted. That should stand. That the so-called democratic party would take the very un-democratic stance of not seating the Florida delegates is ridiculous.

    Politics as usual I’m afraid. Dirty as ever.

    More about his a$$holiness

    February 23rd, 2008

    The despot Burke is running wild again. I just learned a bit more about him. Seems like a coach for a catholic university in St. Louis has run afoul of the a$$hole…. He had a personal opinion and gave it. The coach was being interviewed by a local station and asked about his political views. Among the things he said he supported was choice about abortion and stem cell research.

    Whoa! A personal opinion that’s contrary to the outdated teaching of the catholic hierarchy. Burke wants this man disciplined because he works for a catholic university. Burke would refuse to give him communion.

    Come on! Burke is out of touch with reality. A real despot! Well, one day (the sooner the better in my opinion) Burke will meet his maker. I’d like to be a fly on the wall there as Burke gets his walking papers. It’s gonna be hot where he’s headed for eternity.

    To read more about this controversy, go here: http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/religion/story/30545D6CFAE202E1862573D90017AE3B?OpenDocument

    The Catholic Church has it’s own A$$hole

    February 21st, 2008

    Yes, the Catholic Church has it’s own asshole, and he lives in the guise of the Archbishop of St. Louis. Many years ago, a previous Archbishop of St. Louis gave the Polish Settlers and congregation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church a perpetual deed to their buildings and land. In essence this previous Archbishop gave the church to the people, in perpetuity.

    Over the years the people of St. Stanislaus worked hard and built and maintained a beautiful church. Not once did the archdiocese have to help support this church. It’s members, many who were Polish immigrants or their children and descendents, the members were totally self-supportive, and gave yearly to the support of the diocese.

    As time went on, the church and it’s land became valuable. Well, the good fortune of the poeple of the diocese of LaCrossee became the bad fortune of the people of St. Stanislaus–the bishop of LaCrosse–despised by many of the people there–fortunately moved on and was replaced by a saintly man. Unfortunately for St. Louis, this same man went there to become it’s Archbishop where he has tried all manner of tactics to steal the valuable parish of St. Stanislaus from its people. Luckily, Poles are no stranger to dictators, criminals, and hustlers. Poles are made of stronger stuff. The people of St. Stanislaus have persevered and have held strong against the tactics of the Asshole of St. Louis–er, I mean, the Archbishop of St. Louis. Shame on you, Ray Burke. I remember you as an asshole years ago when I knew you and knew of you. You have not changed. Your power-hungry ways have sent you far in the Catholic Church, but one day you will be judged and judged harshly by the god you pretent to serve. You’ve forgotten who the church is–the people. And you’ve forgotten your charge to serve them. Shame on you.

    To read more about this injustice, see this article: http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2008a/022208/022208a.htm.

    To learn more about this parish, go here: http://www.saveststans.org/

    And pray, pray for the liberation of the people held hostage by a money hungry, class A, number one asshole.

    Scare Tactics

    January 23rd, 2008

    It’s happening now. Politicians and organizations are trying to scare you and me. All over this silly Ammendment 1. Ammendment 1 is on the Florida ballot for next Tuesday. Last I heard is some lawyers saying that if you vote for it, they won’t be able to prosecute criminals.


    First, I will probably vote against it because I believe the state has not business telling counties how they should tax. If we want lower property taxes, we should take it up with our county govenmnent. But, if the ammendment does pass and counties are forced to cut back, the county will have to decide what services to cut back. Among the choices they have:

    • Quit using uniformed officers as chaffeurs for county board members.
    • Fewer junkets and taxpayer funded “working” vacations.
    • Only two supervisors to watch while someone does actual work instead of three.
    • Pine desk and orange crate bookshelves for county offices instead of the finest mohogany my money can buy.
    • Less “studies” and more actual work being done.
    • Fire the unfriendly, unhelpful Driver License bureau clerks—Oops! That might be all of them!
    • Quit repaving newly paved roads “just because.”
    • Charge people for trash by the pound (watch conservation pick up!).
    • Seven or eight paid holidays intead of well over a dozen–so much more productivity.
    • Fire slackers instead of promoting them (give a good example to business).

    It’s easy to save taxes if we really try. And we don’t need no stinkin’ ammendment to the constitution to do it. Sorry, Charlie, you’re wrong on this one…..

    What would you use a steak knife for?

    December 27th, 2007

    It took a few weeks of thinking on the part of some dunce-like state attorneys, but they’ve decided not to charge a 1o-year old girl with any crime. What did she do? She brought a steak knife to school? What did she do with it? No, she didn’t threaten a teacher. No, she wasn’t using it to carve her initials in a desk. No, she didn’t wave it at fellow students? Well, then what? Oh, she used it to cut up the steak which she brought from home for lunch. Wow, is that what a steak knife can be used for, to cut steak?

    So, some overzealous teacher, administrators, local official, police, and attorneys got involved. Did they do the sensible thing–tell her that the steak knife was inappropirate, confiscate it, and maybe call her parents? Perhaps a bit of detention for not thinking this through clearly? Oh no, not in Ocala, in Marion county in Central Florida. They called the cops who arrested her and charged here with a felony.

    She was using a steak knife to cut her steak, for crying out loud.

    The stupidity and lack of common sense among the teachers, administrators, and police there is absolutely astounding. If I had a child in those schoools, I’d be thinking of finding an alternative.

    A good kid who’s not a trouble maker and in all reports is a model student does something a bit dumb and gets traumatized by our so-called legal system. What a crock of you-know-what. 

    Stupidity is ramant in society, and here’s another example. And now, finally, weeks later, someone in the State’s Attorney’s office finally pulled their head out of their ass and made a sane decision. Finally. Weeks later. Whew!

    What are You Thankful for Today?

    November 22nd, 2007

    Today is Thanksgiving Day, 2007. Have you taken a bit of time to think of the things you should be thankful for?

    Life may not always seem even or fair. And it’s not. We often have to deal the hand we’re dealt. Different people grow up in different families, learn different things, have different customs. You may have a good work ethic because of your family–or not. You may have been taught honesty and integrity as a child–or not. Still, at least in this country, you do have the opportunity to learn these things, if you take it.

    In the end, you have only yourself to ultimately thank or blame for your lot in life. The newspapers are full of stories of those who are born into lowly circumstances with a seemingly huge wall of disadvantages facing them, and yet struggle and succeed in overcoming those disadvantage. What you have in life is what you’ve made of it.

    Thus, this Thanksgiving day, what you have to be thankful for is, in large part, due to yourself. You’ve done it, you’ve earned it, and you’ve the right to give thanks.

    So, I recommend you take a self-inventory today. Yes, you can be thankful for the “good” thinks life has given you. But, ultimately, whatever you make of life, you have yourself to thank or blame as the final arbiter. You’ve made your choices. I hope they’re good ones and give you lots to be thankful for. And where your choices have not been the best, you have opportunity for improvement…and maybe something new to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day 2008!

    War Hits Home

    November 8th, 2007

    The war in Iraq hit close to home for me today. I received word that my third cousin, Second Lieutenant Tracy Alger, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last week. Sad news. Sad for her family and friends. Sad for all of us, even though I did not know here and, as far as I know, never met her.

    Sad as I am, I am also proud. Proud that her and other ancestors and relatives of mine have worked so hard to preserve the freedom and liberty that we enjoy. It’s the reason that her great-grandfather and mine–brothers–came to this country in the very early 1900s and worked hard. Without their hard work, we wouldn’t be here. And without the hard work and sacrifice–and sometimes the supreme sacrifice–of others, we’d not have and perserve all that we have now. I am proud. Sad, yes, but also proud.

    Too Little, Too Late for George

    November 6th, 2007

    George Bush was right to veto the latest pork-ridden spending spree bill from Congress. Something like $32 Billion of pork barrel projects were added to the bill–that’s a lot of pork. But this is an election year and Congress is liable to override it. What a bunch of losers. Don’t you realize that its your money and my money that they’re throwing around, just to look good.

    George Bush has allowed Congress to spend money like a group of drunken sailors for years. He has done nothing until now to reign in all this careless spending. As a matter of fact, the Republicans have outdone the Democrats when it comes to increasing spending. Now he wants to call a halt? Too little, too late, George.

    I was struck by the epitomy of this in a biased article in the local Orlando Sentinel (call it the Slantinel….). It said that among the items vetoed was some millions of dollars from the federal governemnt for restoration of the everglades. It said, Florida thus would not get it’s fair share! Fair Share? It’s a Florida problem, why should those of you living in Oregon, Massachetts, or Arkansas have to spend money for our problem. Let the state do it. It’s just an indcation of the misplaced priorities of most people. We expect the federal goverment to do it all for us, because we’re use to it. Time to reign back the spending and push such local priorities back to the local level.

    George: let me keep more of my money and direct where it goes on a local and state level. Keep the federal goverment out of our business and let us have our money back! You and Congress are just a bunch of money-grabbing, big spending thieves. Shame on you!