Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Welcomes 2010

When I first wrote this post, I wrote about the coming decade blah blah blah. Let's go directly to the dream I had last night. I have to take some pretty heavy medications to sleep and I think that causes my nightmares and dreams of high anxiety, but this dream was so cool.

This dream was so detailed; so peaceful; so colorful; and I woke up so happy. Some of my notes don't make sense and they seem to wonder. This is the cool part. I was in a big old house like the one we had in Buffalo. A 110 year old Victorian with huge rooms and strong wood floors, bright warm lighting, and the unknown. There must have been something spiritually wrong with the house or the woman who lived there. Kind of a sense of danger or expectation of something bad. I picked up something in both hands and decided to seek out the unknown force. But I thought about floating and I did. It was so real. I just reached up and gently glided towards the ceiling. I didn't hit the ceiling; I just kind of floated along it. I remember getting so excited and thinking wholly @#%$@ I'm floating. Weightless. I started to travel from room to room with my fists holding something that would help me. Maybe a cross, I don't know. I had floated from the living room to the dining room and was entering the kitchen when I saw two people. At first, I thought the old lady was my Grandma Trujillo, but then she became my Grandma Niekerk. She looked up and smiled. I think the person that was with her was her twin. They were peaceful and comforting. We were sitting at the dinner table when I was called or felt like I was needed down stairs. As I floated or glided down the stairs I saw the back of a man and a woman with my wife and some other people. My wife looked at me with apprehension. She's always been very protective of me. I looked at her with a puzzled look and took my first real look at the two new guests. The man was tan and had a colorful Middle East style cap on. I glanced at the woman. I didn't know her, but she was pretty and held herself in a confident way. I felt love between them; between everyone. And then it hit me. It was my Dad. He was smiling. Everyone was smiling. I went to my wife's side and looked at my Dad and this exotic woman speechless. I can't remember any other words. Just warmth and peace. I was so excited. Like a 5 year old discovering Santa unpacking gifts under the tree. The rest of my dream was a normal build up to high anxiety and is not important. What is important is that I got to see my Dad. I don't remember talking; I don't remember hugging. Just smiling and being in the same room as him. Even when I woke up to write it all down it still felt so real. Somehow I got my wish to see him one more time. He looked happy and at peace. I'm overwhelmed right now. Giddy with excitement. And that's how I will start the new year; the new decade. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday December 30th, 2009 - Lentil Soup

Today,I didn't eat much until dinner, but that wasn't the plan. Your supposed to keep your body nourished. Losing weight through starvation is the way I got so fat. It wreaks havoc on your metabolism. Your body goes into defense mode and collects calories from everything you eat. Today's diet was not intentional. I ate a banana and a soy protein drink for breakfast. It would have been better to have even a half cup of granola, but I was rushing out the door to the museum. I was supposed to get out at 2pm today, but I got slammed with visitors in the workshop, so I didn't get lunch. I had 89 people come through and none of them were with a school groups. Just one small group at a time. Over half of them made a post card. That's a project we have going that mirrors one of our current exhibits. I encourage people to go completely out of the box. Probably less than 10% could ever go through the mail. Today was busy, but very fun. The end to this story is that I didn't get home until 5:30. When I got home I drank another soy drink and banana and started to cook.

Well, I cooked the best vegan lentil soup in the history of mankind. Really, it was very good. Everyone loved it; not just me. My wife said it was possibly the best soup she has ever had and she eats soup all the time in the winter. And guess what? It was 100% vegan. No animals died or got milked to make this creamy, yes creamy, delicious soup. No fat, no cholesterol, and 35 grams of protein in every cup! I took some "suggestions" from a few non-vegan recipes and made it my own. I'm not really the measuring type of cook, but here it is...

4 cups of dry lentils
8 cups of vegetable broth
4 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup of "vegan" margarine (reg. Margarine actually has some dairy)
2 cups of soy milk (Silk is the best)
3 tablespoons of fresh chopped ginger root
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons of Cumin
1 thinly sliced yellow onion
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of ground black pepper

First, sort through your lentils to check for rocks, then wash, then bring them to a boil with pretty much everything. Let it simmer for 45 minutes or until the lentils are chewy, but not mushy. Then again, I read one recipe where they pureed the whole thing, but I prefer the texture my way. Serve with warm corn bread or crackers and enjoy. This recipe makes about 12 - 1 1/2 cup servings. This was really good. You need to try this one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday December 29th, 2009 - Just a few more pounds please

This morning I scaled in at 319.2. I felt bloated, so I'm sure tomorrow morning will be around 316-317 which is close to my "adjusted" goal of 315 by New Years Day. That will still be 45 pounds since I started keeping track in June 2009. I'm pleased with that. Besides, maybe I can lose another 55 by the end of June 2010. That would be 100 pounds in one year which is about how much I would have lost with bariatric surgery.

Today was fair to good on the food scale. Probably a 4 out of 5. I ate a small bowl of granola with soy milk and a banana for breakfast. I also drank a soy protein mix in V-8 banana and strawberry "Fusion." See a pattern? My favorite flavor is strawberry banana. Went I climbed in my car to head for the gym, but my car wouldn't start. I had to get a jump on Saturday so I didn't mess around after I got another jump from my son this morning and drove straight to my mechanic. My battery had to be replaced. Fair enough; the battery was 12 years old, but it was still an expense I wasn't looking for. While they were waiting for my battery to be delivered, I walked about a half mile, in my gym shorts, in 20 something degree weather, to my sister's office and ate lunch with her. Well, actually, I had coffee. There wasn't any vegan food there.

Anyway, having had my car repaired, I stopped off at home and ate some nuts, another banana, and another soy protein drink for lunch. I really have to pound the protein with every meal to make sure that I have my daily allowance. When I got to the gym, I rode the "Oh Mama" trail twice and did a full impact weight session. After two hours, I decided to go break another sweat in the basketball gym, but I just couldn't. My body was done for the day.

After the gym, I had to go to the grocery store to stock up on vegan food and my ingredients for a spicy vegan lentil soup, but, when I got home, I smelled the unmistakable delicious aroma of ham and bean soup and fresh hot corn bread. My cousin had nicely cooked dinner. I'll make my lentil soup tomorrow. The rest of the family had ham and bean soup and I had a piece of corn bread, salad, and steamed broccoli. I only had one small serving of each, but I think the corn bread hit me heavy and I felt stuffed. I don't like feeling stuffed. I wanted to go for an after dinner walk, but it had already dipped into the teens outside and my legs just didn't want to. Tomorrow I work at the museum, but I should have time to ride the bike afterwards. The gym was closed Christmas Eve and Christmas and they have the gall (kidding) to be closed for New Years so I'm trying to get as much gym time as possible this week.

One other notable development: has emailed me with compliments for my blog and they have suggested we form some kind of relationship. I'm very excited to see what they have in mind.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday December 28th, 2009 - I WON!

This was my first year playing Fantasy Football. I spent several weeks in tenth position out of ten. I traded and drop/add and finally came up with a pretty good team. During the season you're allowed to pick up and trade players when they are available. That's the challenge. Make a winning team each week. My smartest move was acquiring Bret Favre of the Minnesota Vikings. Everyone else let him sit without being drafted because he's a 40 year old quarterback and he's in his billionth game (not that much, but more than anyone else). Bret lit on fire this season and helped me win third place in the finals! It's SOOOOO cool! I'm hooked. I'm going to play Fantasy Football again next year. Instead of watching just one NFL game each week, you have to keep track of the entire league. Very fun.

Today, I weighed in at 318.8. I still have time to lose a few more pounds. In an attempt to help my cause, I managed to make dinner, leave it in the oven for my cousin to watch and still made it into the gym. I only had 45 minutes to spare so I screamed through the "Oh Mama" trail (by far the most difficult sprint) and broke my previous record of 29 minutes 30 seconds by 24 seconds. It was crazy hard. I was sweating bullets by the time I finished. I should be able to make a full workout tomorrow. My arms needed an extra day anyway. Not a bad day.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday December 27th, 2009 - Denver Broncos

I'm a huge lifetime fan of the Broncos. My mom pulled me out of middle school once to go to a Bronco victory parade. She said I had a dentist appointment LOL. We were fans when we lived in California and when we lived in New York. The year started great and seems to have ended with a finger slap to the back judge. Stupid Stokley. If we win next week and a couple of other AFC teams lose, we may make it into the playoffs despite being lame in the second half of the season. Anyway, I'm disappointed in them. They had it within their grasp.

Back to me. On Saturday I hit the gym with fury. Record pace on the bike and a full and heavy set on the weights. My arms are still a little sore. I went in today and just did cardio for 45 mins. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to get a full punishing session in. I'm on the home stretch for the end of the year. I'm at 40 pounds lost since June 2009, but I have also built more muscle tone than I have ever had. A little of this, a little of that and it still remains impressive. My next benchmarks are my birthday on March 19 with a weight less than 295 and then at the year mark in June. I would be very happy to weigh in at 260. That would be 100 in a year and a long way from 456. I was looking through photos from our Europe and Bahamas trips and I was huge and unfit. Down right unhealthy. I'm lucky I didn't get sicker than I did. Boy was I huge. Can't get over it. I used to squeeze into 4XL shirts and now I fit into xxl comfortably. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with myself. I'm not as self conscious as I was. I am a big man, but I'm a big muscular man. I feel better; I move easier; I'm never winded; I take the stairs; I'm more limber; and my body shape has changed dramatically. I told my wife that when I reach my final goal weigh of 210 or so I'm never wearing clothes again. I'll be too sexy for my clothes! LOL

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday December 25th, 2009 - Odd Christmas

A quick recap... I knew the gym would be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas so I made a point of getting there on Wednesday. Of course, Wednesday was full of last minute shopping and meal planning. Once I had everything settled at home I went to the gym. I was there from about 4-4:15 and stayed until they closed at 6pm. Not my best workout, but that was because I eat some beans and rice before I went to the gym. Much like long bike rides, my best workouts happen when I just have a protein shake and skip food until later. Nonetheless, it was refreshing.

Christmas Eve was the Longworth family gathering. We are close to the Longworth's so it was relaxed and fun. Rylan is my cousin's, well my wife's cousin, baby. Bobby isn't married to Rylan's mother, but we treat her as we should; a member of our family. I like her, but it was one of those unplanned things. Rylan is the best thing that could have happened for them. My aunt, the new grandma, is in 7th heaven. It was her husband who died of cancer last year. I love little Rylan and I'm very happy when my wife and I get to babysit her. She's only 8 weeks old, but she already shows her character. I think she is going to be smart, beautiful, joyful, and thoughtful. I also think she is going to be a red head when her hair finally comes in and a ball of fire. It's going to be a fun ride for us. It's like test driving a grandchild for us. We love her, we play with her, and we can give her back when we're tired.

Christmas day at my mom and step-dad's place was different. I have some unresolved issues with my step dad, particularly, the treatment of my oldest son who had the misfortune of having to live with him for about nine months. While I am sorting through my baggage, I've kept a low profile with my family. I don't want to create new problems before I have a chance to confront old ones. All differences aside, we went to my mom's house for Christmas brunch. I haven't discussed my issues with my siblings so they don't know what to think. It's between my step dad and I so I don't think it's any of their business. You see this all the time in the media. An event or events happen and those involved refuse statements and then people just fill in the blanks themselves. I think my siblings have filled in the gaps with misinformation. Needless to say, our brunch was uncomfortable and strange. The only reason I went is because my mom asked me to. We went; we visited; we left before anyone could bring up the subject of my "issues".

Fat people know. We know that stress leads to comfort food which, invariably, means overeating or just eating the wrong food or both. It's important to deal with your emotional problems before they become a vehicle of defeat. I'm trying, but it may take me another month or two. In the mean time, I need to follow routine and watch my calories and exercise.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22nd 2009 - Cancer free!

Many of you remember that I was diagnosed with Leukemia in June 2007, but, regardless of chronically low platelets, I am cancer free. To my relief, my middle son who has Neurofibromotosis, just received the results from this month's head MRI and he doesn't have any changes which is a very good thing. He does have fibromas and we do remove the ones that are either physically distracting or functionally prohibitive. He has many that don't really bother him so we leave them be. So you have two high risk boys in the same house. We were living with our uncle Bob when he died of cancer, so we've seen the pain and eventual confusion. It was sad on many levels. It's a toss up as to it's "reality" factor for Jeff and I. I think we both have a pretty good idea of how horrible it would be. Soooo, I'm glad we are both cleared and I'm looking forward to a cancer free 2010. My poor wife. I don't think she wants to worry about it until there is something concrete. It makes perfect sense because how could you live to live if you're thinking about pain and death. We may be high risk, but that doesn't mean we're doomed. We may live to 100 without cancer. If they knew, there would be a cure, right?

I wasn't feeling top notch yesterday, but I did make it to the gym for a full 2 hour set. I so desperately wanted to get there today, but the whole "finish the Christmas shopping" thing got in the way. I also worked an extra shift down at the museum. It was funny, I was pretty slow, so I addressed and stuffed membership mail and, then, when I was gathering my things, we had four families come in wanting to do a project. Well, of course I stayed after for a while until reinforcements could arrive. I wonder if tomorrow will be the same.

H1N1 highlights: I'm pretty sure my oldest had the nasty flu a month ago and my youngest caught it next. Then, my aunt and cousin had it last week. Jeff and I had it over the weekend. I nearly threw up an organ. And, last night, my youngest got it again real bad. So we all had the regular flu shot and three of us had the shot or the snorter right before this last round. Coincidence? I'm not sure. I am pretty sure it was H1N1 because of how quickly it attacks you and the fever. Either way, the flu sucks. Oh yeah, I weighed 320 this morning. I'm starting to doubt if I'm going to be able to crank it back down to 310. That would make my 50 pounds since July 4th a reality. I'm going to try. It's still possible.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday oh so sick Sunday the 20th of December

A quick back track... I did make a full workout of cardio and weights on Thursday before my dental cleaning. I love newly cleaned and polished teeth. On Friday, I ran around and shopped and shopped. I finished the rest of my Christmas cards and got them to the post office on time. I did about 50 cards and I still have to send some season's greetings to my distributors in Europe and on the coasts. That was my workout of the day.

Saturday was the grand trifecta. Shopping in the morning, strenuous workout in the afternoon, and my first Pagan Winter Solstice dinner. Tomorrow, I will describe everything that happened at the party. We had fun, but there was one strong difference between a Christian celebration was tradition verse faith. Yes, we know that Christians chose December 25th to celebrate the birth of Jesus to counter the winter solstice. I don't know when Hanukkah started, but I do remember when Kwanzaa started. December is a good time to celebrate beliefs. I am Christian, but I like to party with everyone because you gain so much first hand knowledge about people. I don't like to be told who to associate with. People are just people 90% of the time.

As we were getting ready to head home from the Pagan party, my stomach went into knots and we hastened our departure. In the car I thought my spleen was rupturing. The upper gastro was hurting so much I was concentrating on not hyperventilating. When we made it home I started my "Exorcist" impression until 4:30am. Finally, I thought I had a window for my sleeping meds to absorb and I finally fell asleep. Before I did I set all of my football games to record. Good thing because I finally came around at about 3pm. I haven't thrown up again, but the rest of the attack is under way. I was the fifth one in the family to catch the flu this week. Actually, each of them started the morning after I got the H1N1 injection. I strongly suspect that we all got the swine flu because of our vaccinations. I'm very sleepy so I'll write more tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday December 16th, 2009 - H1N1

I'm sure I mentioned this before, but they told me in 2007 that I had leukemia. My oncologist calls it a blood disorder since I don't have cancer yet. However, technically I still have leukemia so I fit into one of those high risk categories and received my H1N1 vaccination today. I'm used to shots and this was a small needle anyway, but after about 10 minutes it felt like I had a charlie horse. It's still a little annoying, but I'm sure it will go away by the morning.

As far as high risk categories go, morbidly obese people should be right up there. Last summer when people started dying from the swine flu, 6 out of 10 deaths at Chicago Memorial were morbidly obese. From what I understand, the auxiliary disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure make you more susceptible to the flu. In addition, the mere size of morbidly obese or super obese people means that the body is working double or triple time to survive, but it is also a strong contributing factor for viruses and flus. Obese people should be able to get their shots right after healthcare workers and high risk patients. They can do children next and old people dead last (sorry for the pun). It seems that old people were exposed to a lot more germs than us young folk and, as long as they are healthy, they may be able to resist the swine flu better than the rest of us.

I was crazy busy today and didn't make it to the gym. Besides, my ankle probably needed an extra day off. I'll be sure to at least ride the bike in the morning before my dental cleaning. My wife is in the dental field so we get pounded with horror stories about people that have gotten seriously sick because of cavities or periodontal disease. I love to to get my teeth cleaned. I take very good care of my teeth, but my low platelet count still makes me bleed a bit during cleaning. The nicest part of having my wife work at the dental office is free dental. We only pay for lab stuff or root canals, but we usually get a huge discount. Good thing because I spend a lot of my on our health care. Maybe one of my boys will become a doctor and give me free healthcare. Yeah right. Anyway, take care of your teeth like you take care of your heart. It all matters!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15th 2009 - Christmas letter

Hello! My ankle hurt like hell today, so I didn't go to the gym. Bummer. But, I'll be there at 7am tomorrow. Here is an abbreviated copy of my Christmas Letter... Obviously the photos didn't paste, but I assure you they were very candid and hilarious. I have a very silly family.

Happy 2009 Holiday's!!!

I could have had a family photo done, but nothing could top this photo from our October hike up the Colorado Trail. Yes, that is Bobby, Cheri, and Greg (no kidding, that goof is Greg)! Jeff spent that day with his harem at Eliches. That was a very good day.

We now live in Lakewood, Colorado. Write our address in pencil. We will be moving again soon. Hopefully, in the same area, but don’t hold me to that.

The boys; Greg 20, Jeff 18, and Bobby 13 are doing well. Greg transferred to the Community College of Denver from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design to work on his liberal arts classes. He is still an art major. Jeff is half way through his senior year at Bear Creek High School. Bobby is beating his head against the wall in the 8th grade at Carmody Middle School. Either the boys are arguing or laughing to the point of tears at Youtube videos or one of the numerous Xbox games. They have my demented sense of earthy humor.

Cheri still loves her job at Aspenwood Dental in Aurora. She works as an EDDA (expanded duties dental assistant) and gets to assist with everything from fillings to dental implants. As usual, she has her fan club of patients. They all think she is beautiful and sweet. Can you believe that? (note: my wife is stunning)

I’ve been volunteering at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA) writing educational curriculum, researching, and teaching in the Idea Box. My diabolical plan is to make myself necessary and get a full-time job there. I’m also writing a daily blog as the Obesity Warrior that chronicles my struggles and triumphs with my weight loss. Since November 2007, I have lost 146 pounds; 50 of it since June 2009. You can check my blog out at I’ve had over 1,400 visitors since July. Occasionally, I write free lance articles on health, obesity, and the Vegan diet. Yes, under the watchful eyes of my doctors, I’ve been a vegan since June. Basically, a vegan doesn’t eat meat, dairy, or fish. I eat a lot of soy, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grain stuff. It’s not really as hard as it sounds. Additionally, I’m trying to write a book about my father, Paul Sharits, and a book that expands on my blog.

An important part of my trek to better health involves a strenuous workout routine. I go to the gym 5 to 7 days a week. I lift weights, ride my road bike 60 to 80 miles per week, swim laps, mountain bike, hence, the broken wrist, play pick-up basketball, and soon, I will begin Yoga classes.

My primary responsibility is managing my late father’s film and art career. It has been an extremely exciting year. As the executor of the estate, I get to work with some of the world’s premier museums and galleries. We typically have film screenings all year long from San Francisco to South Korea, but this year we had an outstanding exhibition at the Greene Naftali Gallery in NYC. In cooperation with the Anthology Film Archives, that particular art and film installation won international critical acclaim and was one of four exhibitions nominated for solo exhibition of the year, gallery at the 2009 Annual Art Awards held at the Guggenheim NYC in October. We also had our first film screenings at the Louvre in Paris in November. In the spring of 2010, we will open a permanent four projector film installation of Shutter Interface at the Hirshhorn museum in Washington, D.C.. The Hirshhorn is the Smithsonian’s contemporary art museum.

I’m already very excited about 2010. I certainly hope your past year and the year to come is fun and plentiful.

God bless,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday December 14th 2009 - Ouch!!!!

This morning, when I went to the gym, I was determined to get a good workout. I think I've been to the gym for 8 days straight! Anyway, I sprinted on the "Oh Mama" trail and broke my previous record by 1.5 minutes. I can't imagine beating that. Next, I did a full set of weights as heavy as I could handle for 4 sets of 10 on 12 of the machines and 3 sets of 20 on the abs and back extensions. I increased my abs to 150 and my back to 230. I added about 10 pounds to each of the others. By now, my arms and legs were shaky. I had been stretching out between each lift so I felt loose, but I wanted to get some more cardio. I went and aggressively shot hoops for 30 mins. I was curious to see how much I could max out on some of my lifts. Each max has to be in a set of three to count. I was surprised. On free weights I benched 225; did 225 on the row delts; 310 on squats; 130 arm extensions; and curled 60 pounds on each arm for 2 sets of 10. All of them were personal bests, except for the bench. I think I benched 250 18 years ago. I wonder what I could do with fresh arms. When I crawled to my car, my arms and legs were really sore and I seemed to have twisted my ankle playing basketball. Like I always say... it's not fun until someone loses a eye. Tomorrow, I'm only going to ride my bike. I need a Vicodin. Nite.

Oh yeah! Big shout out to Cheryl. I hope you're feeling better. Work with me and we'll get you back on track. Hopefully before you have the band.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday December 13, 2009 - shopping

It was a good day. Started with the gym. Watched the Broncos almost catch the Colts. The second half of the game should give the team the confidence they need in the playoffs. I also play fantasy football. My team, the Webfreaks, are ahead 17.45 points and my opposition only has Arizona's defense to play on Monday night. Unless they have a spectacular game I should win this week which is the first week of the fantasy playoffs.

My wife and I had to go "stocking stuffer" shopping. I know it's not good for my calories, but we hit Chili's for happy hour first. Much more hohoho in our step. I like to go to the import stores because they have the most unique and strange candy and toys. My cousin had a new baby about six weeks ago so we get to spoil Ryland. She must know I control the purse strings because she smiled at me many times tonight. I want to buy her a pony! But, I can't, so I'll have to find something that doesn't need to be fed. Having a little baby girl around makes the holiday Christmas. How does this tie into weight loss? Simple, get a life worth living and live long. Find happiness with something that you can't eat. Have fun with the holiday. Don't "stress" eat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday December 12th, 2009 - Overcoming Adversity

On the 16th of November I reported that my weight was 322. At the time that was very frustrating because I had just about reached 310 in the beginning of October. Sliding backwards is something that is unfortunately familiar to obese people. I try to report my triumphs and set backs because that just the way it is. I tried to get back on track, but I just wasn't doing everything I could. Now, mind you I have never stopped working out, but I was eating about as much as everyone else albeit vegan. On the 9th of December I weighed in at 331. OMG how is this happening. I let my guard down just enough for my body to become a calorie hungry machine. Now, I know the 331 wasn't completely correct. Some was just quick weight and some was water bloating. This morning I weighed in at 322. I basically lost 9 pounds in 4 days. I didn't skip meals. I did that water pills to get rid of the bloating. That was maybe half of the problem. The other half was resolved through a diligent return to my habits when I was losing weight the fastest. I've been in the gym working out as hard as possible for six days in a row. I'm going to see how long I can keep that streak going.

Basically, I paid attention to my diet, my sleep, and my exercise. Together, they have me on the right path. At this rate I shouldn't have trouble reaching 310 by the end of the year. That would be 50 pounds since June 2009 and 146 pounds from November 2007. It took years of abuse to get up to 456 pounds. I may have even weighed more at sometime, but 456 was my weight when I went into the hospital for my leukemia issues in November 2007. At this point, I don't have cancer yet, so they call my chronically low platelets a blood disorder.

That brings up one other important point. Obese people suffer from sleep apnea to diabetes and worse. Losing weight helps make all of those go away. I'm a very healthy heavy, but strong man with a platelet issue. My platelet count hovers around 50,000 to as high as 80,000. Low normal is 150,000. Pregnant women can have as much as 450,000. Usually, low platelets are indicative to cancer, so that's why I go to the oncologist so often. If I get cancer, we want to catch it early. Back to my point. Weight happens. Life happens. If you want more life you have to do whatever you can to make yourself as healthy as possible. No pills are a substitute for healthy living. I'm fanatical at this point because I want to have the energy to fight cancer when it gets here. Live Strong and Prosper!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday December 10th, 2009 - tired puppies

I went to the gym and rode the "Oh Mama" trail twice. It took about 1 1/4 hours of solid peddling. Those hills may kill me. My legs felt like spaghetti, but they stopped burning about two hours later. I can feel them now, but it's not the kind of sore that inhibits walking or stairs. Good thing. I can't wait until I can get back out on my rode bicycle. Riding to Denver and back seem to be as hard as the Oh Mama twice. It's a 34 mile trip.

I haven't used my calorie scale for a while. It's a 1 to 5 scale; 5 being the best. Each day I make positive gains in my calorie intake. Yesterday was about a 3 and today was more like a 3.5. I ate a modest granola breakfast and fruit, nuts, and a protein drink before my workout. When I returned, I had another protein drink. For dinner I fixed soft tacos for the boys and I ate tortillas, whole pinto beans, corn, and salsa. I did get all my servings of veggies and fruits, but getting enough protein is always the battle. I had about 180 grams of protein today. I should have had 250 or more. Even if I ate meat and dairy, getting in 250g is hard to do. But, you need it for muscle repair and strengthening.

One positive note about working out so hard is that it makes me sleepy. That's an important thing for an insomniac. Night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday December 9th, 2009 - Get a Grip

Today was very good. I had an early doctor's appointment for my monthly B-12 shot and then it was off to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA DENVER). It was a slow day so I made a designer style mail box for the Idea Box. Just playing really, but it turned out very nice.

After work I came home changed into my gym clothes and picked up my youngest son. He's 13 and just about as tall as me. A tall skinny middle schooler. It was about -9 degrees Fahrenheit so it was particularly nice playing basketball in the indoor gym. He even went and lifted weights with me. I made sure he didn't lift enough to make himself sore. I can just hear it in the morning... "Dad, I can't walk or move my arms." I don't think he over did it, but he did finish up with a 3.5 mile bike ride. I went through and did a monstrous workout. The protein drinks are really helping my muscle repair and I'm able to increase my weights... dramatically. My arms and legs feel a little sore, but I'm sure I'll feel fine in the morning. My schedule for Thursday will allow me to workout for at least 2 1/2 hours if I get there early enough. Maybe I should swim tomorrow. I haven't done laps for a while.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday December 8th, 2009 - Emergency diet

Oh man. I let my guard down since Thanksgiving and gained too much weight. Actually, it didn't feel like I ate too much, but I must have. I climbed on the scale and it said 329. How do you gain 10 pounds in a week? Well, let's see; skip the gym for 6 days, eat too much PBJ at night, party with plenty of beer and JD, snacking, sweets, and portions that were apparently to big. I know a lot of the weight is water, but really; 10 pounds?

I'm taking emergency measures. I did make it to the gym again today and I did get a pretty good workout, but I need to hit the gym everyday. Even if it's just 30-45 minutes. I am going to squeeze my vegan diet. A half bowl of Familia Muslix and a banana for breakfast. Soy mix with V-8 Fusion at 11am and at 2-3pm. Some nuts, fruit, and V-8 for snacks and a BOWL of vegan dinner. And, of course, loads of vitamins and supplements. I am going to end this year at 310. That's 50 pounds since the beginning June 2009. It's 146 pounds from November 2007. If I lost another 50 pounds by June, it would be 100 pounds in one year. That sounds damn good.

As I workout and lose weight, I start to look more like a linebacker than a fat man. It's kind of frustrating. It was far easier to lose weight last summer when I began this blog. The more you lose, it seems like it's harder to continue lose weight at the same rate. Does that make sense? I can't wait for the weather to turn so I can go out on 4 hour bike rides. It's really too bad that pizza isn't health food. Not to mention the cheese and meat. Now, I'm rambling. Good night and thanks for all of the kind supportive email. Keep it coming. It helps.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday December 7th, 2009... the 7th? Really?

On man what happened to other six days of December. Wasn't just Thanksgiving? This is crazy. I'm over my sinus infection. Well, at least the symptoms. Today I went to the gym. It felt good and sluggish. I'm still paying the price for Saturday's totally awesome birthday party. Where's the Jack fairy?

Today, I discovered two things cool about vegan. First, I love egg nog and "Silk" has a "nog" soy drink without artificial flavors that tastes and feels just like egg nog. Second, I made VEGAN FUDGE using... look mom, no fat!

* 6 tablespoons vegan margarine
* 3 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
* 1/2 cup cocoa
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup soymilk
* 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
(I added a shot of Peppermint snappes)

Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan using a little of the vegan margarine.

Place the remaining margarine, sugar, cocoa, vanilla and soy milk in a heatproof mixing bowl or the upper part of a double broiler. Place the bowl or broiler over simmering water and stir until smooth. Add the nuts if desired.

Pour the mixture quickly into the prepared pan. Chill thoroughly and cut into squares.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3rd, 2009 - Studying

I haven't been to the gym since Sunday. I need to get there soon. Each one of my boys needed my help with school this week. I did two all nighter's. I also got a sinus infection, but I already got some meds so it shouldn't get too bad. I feel like I'm gaining weight as we speak... read. The gym keeps me on track and I feel so much better after a good workout. That's about it for now.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday November 29th, 2009 - Heartburn

The turkey gave me heart burn. I thought it might upset my stomach or make me nauseas, but I haven't had heartburn since I started the vegan diet. Good thing I didn't eat a steak or a hamburger. They would certainly make me sick. I've heard that eating meat after not having it for so long would make you sick. I'm not sure and I don't want to find out. On Thanksgiving I only had a small portion of turkey. It wasn't special and it didn't feed some craving because I don't crave meat or dairy. Maybe cheese. Good strong stinky cheese. I could have easily skipped the turkey. I think that may have been my last meat. At least on purpose. The American society, in general, eats so much meat and dairy that they don't think twice about adding it into the food they're making. What kind of weirdo cares about an egg or hamburger in something? I do, but some things can't be avoided. I usually claim to be 98% vegan because I occasionally eat prepared food that you can just taste the butter in and, perhaps, bread made with eggs. Can't avoid it, but you can try.

On Saturday I worked down at the museum because they thought it might be busy in the learning lab (Idea Box), but it wasn't. I had about 38 people walk through and ask questions, but no one sat down to do a project. So I made my own "Post card" project. I enjoy having all of those materials around and the quiet time to channel my creativity. I actually enjoy making art. I can't draw well, but I do great at conceptual pieces. I didn't get the chance to exercise, but I did make up for the lost day by working out for an hour today. Sunday's are usually my rest day, but I got up early and had time to do my chores and go to the gym before the football games started. Tomorrow all three boys are back in school so I can go back to my normal routine of working and writing in the morning and spending an extended lunch break at the gym. I'd like to increase all of my workouts to two hours even if it means getting up early and missing evening television. I only like a couple of cable shows anyway. No big loss, but the added workout time could mean a big weight loss.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27th, 2009 - Thanksgiving Amnesty

I turned vegan on July 5th, 2009. On the 4th, I had my last hot link. For the most part, probably 98% of the time, I was true to the vegan diet. Every once in a while you taste garlic bread or vegetables with butter on it. It's impossible to completely avoid food ingredients that exclude all dairy. Sometimes you just need to be reasonable. It's not like I order a hamburger or steak. I've even cut out hot wings and cheese cake. So, I decided to give myself one day of vegan amnesty. After all, if you're going to eat meat, turkey isn't the worst type. It would be better if you had organic or wild turkey and avoid the factory farm turkeys.

Anyway, as he steps off the soap box, Thanksgiving dinner was great. I didn't have much, but I did get some dark meat and yes, it tasted great. I also had some cream cheese with jalapeno jelly on a cracker as an appetiser, but that was about it. One day of Turkey Amnesty. Now, it's the 27th and amnesty has been revoked.

Not only is my vegan diet back in full force, but I also resumed exercise. Okay, I only skipped one day. Today, I chose to ride the virtual bike and skip the weights. They looked heavy today. There is this older man who, I kid you not, looks exactly like Santa. I don't think he liked it when I tried to sit on his lap. He was benching weight at the time. LOL (laugh out loud). Actually, he's never really talked to me before and I have quietly grown to call him grumpy Claus, but today he decided to visit. Of course, I was near the end of my first pass on the "Oh Mama" trail and I was sweating and panting when he decided to talk. He started asking about the virtual bike and I showed him how the programs work and how they look. He asked me if you could run over deer, but I know he meant reindeer. He wouldn't even take my list. Something about not being a pimp. Whatever, watch out for Santa Claus. He has something diabolical in mind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tueday November 24th, 2009 - Maxed Out

This morning I weighed 318. Now we are headed in the right direction. I went to the gym and rode the "Outlaw Pass" and the "Oh Mama." Both are level three "difficult" trails. When I finally finished, after 1 1/2 hours sprinting on the virtual bike, I felt like I was going to collapse. Not really; I was just spent. I looked over at the weights and just said no. I am going to try to hit the gym tomorrow afternoon. I think they are open on Thanksgiving morning for a few hours, so I'll go then if I can sneak out of the house.

This morning I went to the cardiologist for a lipids test. And my blood is in better than perfect shape, except for the platelet count. A few months ago I went in and had high cholesterol. I couldn't figure that one out because I don't eat much cholesterol at all. At least for me, my cholesterol comes from my liver and not my food. Go figure. So they had given me 20mg of Crestor and that seems to have taken care of it.

My father-in-law had to go to the hospital because of a possible heart attack. We'll find out in the morning if he needs a bypass. I can't imagine what we would do without him. He takes care of his mother and my monster-in-law. JUST KIDDING! I know she reads this, so I better back peddle quick. Actually, we get along fine and she always means well. Special prayers for Jerry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday November 23rd, 2009 - Obvious Dilemma

My wife swears that I'm losing the love handles and tummy. My war with the scale doesn't show that kind of progress, however, I compared body measurements and I have indeed lost some inches. How can this be? Actually, it's quite obvious. I plateaued for a while; which really isn't all that bad. Your body does need to get used to the reduced weight, but I have really tried to lose weight this month so I could make my New Year's goal and it has been frustratingly slow.

While my caloric intake has improved, I have also been pushing the protein with every meal and supplementing with additional soy protein drinks. I like to mix the soy powder with V-8 Fusion or Naked Superfoods drink, thus, killing several birds with one drink. I can feel the effects of the additional protein in my workouts. I have doubled if not tripled the intensity of my bike riding as well as my weights. I can see and feel an increase in muscle mass. My legs, arms, and core muscles are like rock. Herein lies the answer; I have been replacing fat with muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. I'm still going to make my New Year's goal of 300 pounds, but it's going to require additional diligence.

Today, I rode the "oh Mama" twice and really laid into the weights. It was a monstrous two hour ordeal, but pretty much the same as last week. My caloric intake has been quite satisfactory. I believe I will see a significant improvement when I climb on the scale tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday November 22nd, 2009 - Ditto

I am having a real hard time losing weight right now. I'm trying to take it one day at a time. I didn't touch the scale for several days to see if I could surprise myself. I had forgotten one important aspect of my weight loss success routine and that is to get to bed on time. This week will be a particular challenge because all of my boys are on Thanksgiving break.

I enjoy my space during the week. It allows me to work online without interference. I will be looking forward to the gym this week. And, of course, Thanksgiving. It will be my first vegan holiday. I'm not a huge fan of turkey anyway so it will probably not be that hard. Things cooked with butter maybe a challenge. I just hope my extended family doesn't try to make me vegan dishes. It's okay if my wife does, but I don't want to have to eat someone's vegan experiment. Just serve me veggies and salad, thank you. Maybe this will also be the first year I don't overeat on Thanksgiving.

I DID make it to the gym this morning before the football games. I was still feeling guilty about missing the gym on Friday so I did another double run at the "oh Mama" trail. I think the elevation indicator looks like someone having a heart attack. Way up; way down and everything in between. Yes, that's appropriate, a heart attack EKG. I also worked on as many weight machines as I could before the start of the Colts game. Today was great as far as calories are concerned. One day at a time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday November 21, 2009 - Double Oh Mama!

On Wednesday I work at the museum and ran errands. It was my scheduled day off from the gym. On Thursday, I only had time to ride the "Oh Mama" trail. By itself, it is a great workout and it takes less than an hour. On Friday, I took my mom to see "Men who stare at goats." It was as exciting as its title, but my mom liked it.

Today I was determined to make up for lost workout time. I rode the "Oh Mama" trail twice. I had to stretch my hamstrings out repeatedly after the ride to keep them from pulling. I also lifted weights for about an hour. I did, indeed, make an awesome workout. I may try to hit the gym before football tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday November 17th - Mellow Day

On Monday was pretty busy on the internet and email and running errands. I did go to the gym. I rode one "Oh Mama" trail, and lifted weights. The added protein drinks are helping with the muscle build up. The problem is that it has put a dent into losing weight. I am losing fat, but I am also gaining for muscle mass. I already look like a linebacker, accept for the spare tire. I'm slowly losing some weight. I have to shoot for 5 pounds a week. I probably shouldn't look at my weight everyday. I should just stick to the program and the weight will follow. I weighed 322 this morning.

Tuesday was mellow day. I returned a few business emails and went to the gym. Today I rode the "Oh Mama" trail and played basketball for 30 minutes. I like the "Oh Mama" trail because its hard, challenging, very sweaty, and comfortable. I know every twist and turn and that can sometimes be very comforting. It's like my affection for the trails I ride to Downtown Denver on. I like knowing what hill or straightaway is ahead of me. I am being successful with my exercise and my calorie count. Maybe I shouldn't eat to many of them after dinner. That always makes a difference. Making exercise and the vegan diet routine has helped too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday November 15th, 2009 - Catch up post

I can't believe Thursday was my last post. On Friday, I worked out in the morning completing 10 miles on the "Oh Mama" trail. I also went in to the Museum of Contemporary Art to help with some school groups. I had 90 6th graders come through and work on my film frame project for 2 1/2 hours solid. I understand the kids were pretty noisy in the rest of the museum, but they were creative and engaged when I worked them through the project. Some of them got very conceptual and abstract. I liked those drawings the best. They may not know it, but those "abstract" kids have huge potential.

Later, on Friday evening, Cheri and I met up with some friends we've both had since the second grade. We had a lot of fun talking about our adventures in high school. Once again, I am reminded about just how good my boys are and how grateful I am that they don't know that much about my high school behavior. Oh well, I had a lot of fun and emerged without a record :-)

On Saturday, I went back to the gym and worked out hard. I rode the "Oh Mama" trail twice. Talk about sweat. I like that trail because it's mostly long 35% inclines with quick drops. It took me a little over an hour. It's good training for my next mountain biking adventure and I know I won't have any trouble on the rode bike. I may have gotten even stronger legs during my time off of the regular bikes. My wrist feels strong enough for a ride to Denver when the weather gets nice again. I also went through my entire weight lifting workout. Sunday was football day as usual and my day off from the gym. I did manage to workout 5 days last week and my calories management has been great. However, this morning I was all backed up. My stomach and intestines hurt so bad that I eventually took a vicodin for some relief. It may have been Saturday's consumption of powdered soy protein. I drank enough, but maybe I didn't have enough fiber. Either way, this has to correct itself today. I'm feeling good about my chances to hit 300 by the end of the year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday November 12th, 2009 - 70 degrees

Seriously, it's 70 degrees outside at 3:45pm. Tomorrow it will be 32 degrees with frozen rain and then snow for the next couple of days. Welcome to Colorado weather. The weather fluctuates by 30 degrees often in the Denver winter season. At least the snow is kind enough to melt once in a while. When we lived in Buffalo, NY the snow never melted. It just compacted until the late spring thaw.

The day was so perfect I really should have tried to ride my road bike, but I am still a little cautious about my wrist. However, I did ride 14.5 miles (one hour) on the virtual bike and I lifted weights for 45 minutes. I never could have handled anything close to this workout last year. I remember when I bought my mountain bike last spring and I could only ride two miles. It was also hard to walk through Sam's club. How sad is that? Now, I'm stronger and I have more endurance than I've ever had in my adult life. If I can afford the lift tickets, maybe I will take up skiing again.

I was disappointed with my weight loss, so I tried to make a nutrient rich diet, but it didn't go far enough. At least for a few weeks I'm going to abstain from any alcohol or candy. I was drinking to much beer with my buddies. Very fattening. Halloween candy was too available and yummy. My current diet is mostly V-8's, protein smoothies, protein bars, and a small vegan dinner. I did that yesterday and I shed a pound. We'll see how it goes. The added protein in my diet is helping with muscle repair and hopefully some additional building.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday November 11th, 2009 - MCA

Yesterday, Tuesday the 10th, I just rode the virtual bike for one hour on the "Gut Buster" run. No kidding, this ride was meant to wipe you out. I got a great sweat on and I was so tired by the end I just went home. Today is my relaxed day. The weather has been beautiful. I may try to ride my road bike. We'll see.

Wednesday is my Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) day. We have had this "fart" project for months. It's a side line project to coincide with Jim Greens' locational whoopy cushion exhibit. Today I was determined to come up with a different activity to coincide with Matthew Buckingham's exhibit about time perspectives. Matt used two 16mm film loops for his exhibit. I thought that the use of the film was special to kids and visitors because you just don't see film projectors that often. In honor of film, I drew a three frame film outline so kids could draw pictures or tell a visual story with the three frames. I made several examples today; one of three solid pastels; one more pastel with some blobs; and one more collage of different female ethnicities. Greg dropped by and made an incredible three frame piece with a mountain frame; a cowboy on a bucking horse; and another nature frame. His project turned out very good, but he didn't finish. On Friday, we are going to go back to direct several scheduled school groups on the film frame project. I encourage students to think outside of the box. It's always fun to see what they come up with. I'm excited to see my project idea come to life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday November 9th, 2009 - Fighting Back

This morning I weighed 323. I'm not losing weight right now. My year end goal is 300. My scheduled days off from the gym are Wednesdays (Museum day) and Sunday (Football), so I didn't work out yesterday. But, I did today. I decided to get giggy with it. I ate protein with every meal and snack today.

The doctor told me it would be okay to start using my hand, but hold off for a while on the beating it gets from mountain or even road cycling. I went to the gym today determined to start a fight with my weigh stagnation. I went through my weight machine workout for about 45 minutes and the wrist felt okay, so I went and shot hoops for 45 minutes. I was trying to run around the court as much as possible to get a good sweat going. It worked. I was huffing and puffing by the time I finished. I still had a half hour to burn so I went and rode the virtual bike. It felt good to really push myself. Tomorrow is another scheduled gym day, but I might try a short bike ride too.

My eating and nutrition is good during the day, but dinner time is my enemy. I eat vegan, but I eat normal instead of losing weight controlled. I will kick my butt working out and try to control at night. This blog is about losing weight, but it's also about getting healthy and not giving up. I'm not giving up. I choose to fight.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday November 7th, 2009 - Vegan Kids

Oh man. I am in pain. I rode a virtual trail called "Oh Mama" twice. The first time was serous enough, but I thought I could push another couple miles of 30% inclines and then I thought I could give it another 15 minutes and then I was too close to stop. Overall 1 1/2 hours of torture. It felt good until I got off to walk. The back of my thighs felt like they were going to cramp at any second. I guess I overworked the gracilis and semimembranosus muscles (hamstrings). The rest of my thighs and calves feel fine. I'm trying to stretch between sentences. I'm supposed to go bowling tonight. Not only is my right wrist sore as a mad dog, now I don't think I can walk. I hope they give me a 200 handicap LOL. This week I rode the virtual bike 5 times for 360 minutes. Not bad. I can't wait until I can resume my normal exercise routine. On beautiful warm days like today, I would like nothing more than a nice 40 mile ride to and from Denver. Not to mention my upper body. I lust for free weights.

My friend, Lisa (same friend as last night), has asked about vegan kids. My kids eat meat and dairy, so I haven't really thought about it. Kids can be vegans, but they are growing and it becomes imperative that their diets and supplements are measured continuously. They absolutely need tons of protein and calcium. And, as a parent, you have to overcome the normal resistance to anything green. You can almost substitute soy products for dairy, so that's easy to slide by, but garden burgers are not even close to a cheese burger hot off the grill.

The hardest part for vegan kids has to be psychological. Kids don't like to be different. Pizza, hamburgers, ice cream, anything with dairy in it. It would be difficult to attend the typical birthday party. It's possible if the kids are into the political side of vegan. If they are militant about the treatment of animals, they can handle being vegan. Maybe that's where I would start. Educate the kids on the beef, poultry, and fish industries. If they're not completely grossed out, then they must never get grossed out by anything. Once you have their attention, I would introduce vegan.

Another strong argument for vegan is "climate change." The kids get hit with this reality everyday. Being vegan is being "green." In 2006, the UN reported that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. Kids can't buy electric cars, but they can make an individual contribution by going vegan.

The actual vegan diet can be kid friendly. Just work around the meat and dairy issue by feeding them things that every kid likes. Here's a sneaky way to get the vegetable and fruit servings in. Have them drink smoothies like Jamba Juice or Naked Juices, or Odwalla. One of my biggest problems around the house is that my health food tastes great and my carnivore teenagers eat all of it. Juice, protein bars, granola, nuts, fruit, and even soy milk disappears. If they like V-8 you're all good. They will need to take vitamins and supplements. At least for me, the best way to get enough protein is through soy protein powder. I get a double hit by mixing my powder with Odwalla "Superfood" smoothy. It's nutritionally superior to anything you eat and it tastes great. My boys like the juices and smoothies, but they think the addition of my powder looks gross. Good, I don't want to share my soy mix anyway.

There is a wealth of vegan education on the net. Try it for a week; try it for a month. It's so easy to remember what you can and can't eat. If it has a face, don't eat it. Kids usually don't like oysters and other faceless sea creatures, so you're probably safe. If you can make it a month, you can make it permanent. If they get cravings, just take a bite and savor it. No one is going to revoke your vegan membership card. I may have been apprehensive about vegan kids when I started thinking about this, but the more I think about it, it makes sense. Maybe it's not about being different. Maybe it's about being really cool.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6th, 2009 - Vegan for life... a longer life

I was just chatting with a high school friend, Lisa (happy birthday again), and thinking about the whole vegan thing. I became vegan to lose weight. Then, I discovered that abstaining from meat and dairy makes you feel "clean." And then there is the whole antibiotics and hormones and living conditions of our "food." We grow animal products; we hardly ever raise them. I do miss some meats like hot wings, hot links, filet mignon, and smoked salmon, but not enough to eat them. I've heard that eventually vegans can't eat meat without getting sick. I'll leave that for others to find out. I like to say that abstaining from meat and dairy is the easy part of being vegan. The hard part is qualifying and quantifying the food you put in your mouth. It's all an education, but the reward is substantial. Did you know that vegans have a longer life span? Seriously, I've read anywhere from 7 to 14 years. That's an extra 7 to 14 years that I would like to spend with my grand children... when I have them.

I went to the gym again today. I rode the virtual bike around this chase game. It's like a video game, but you have to peddle hard to catch the "dragons." After 45 minutes, I thought I would try a track called the "buster." It has 24% inclines and big drops. It's up and down and up and down... you get the picture. I thought maybe I could handle a mile or so, but then I went the distance. 12 miles of pouring sweat. It felt good. I'm going to do it again tomorrow. I can't wait to get back on my road bike, but I can tell my wrist needs at least a few weeks more healing time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday November 5th, 2009 - Strict diet time

I was 322 pounds this morning. I rode the virtual bike for 40 mins, 10 miles, black diamond difficulty, many 26% climbs, 143 heart, 14.7/25.6 miles/hour, and I beat the pace rider by five minutes. Ate a bean and salsa burrito for breakfast (not horrible, but not great). Time to clamp down and lose 22 pounds before Christmas.

New structured routine-
*Increase workouts to 5 days a week minimum.
*Eat vegan as usual.
*Continue with vitamins and supplements (flaxseed oil, Mega Men's Sport packets and alternate with Maximum Greens packets, and Burn 60 on heavy workout days).
*Breakfast - Eat granola with high nut, seed, fruit content with soy milk, and banana.
*11am - drink green machine slush with soy protein mix (30 grams Protein)
*2pm - " " "
*Dinner - rate dinner 1 to 5 on content and calories. Salad, greens, veggie, carbs.
*8pm - Drink protein drink or eat protein bar.
*Snacks - raw fruit and nuts.

This will meet the Vegan Recommended foods servings:
3 cups grains
2 1/2 cups nuts/soy/beans
2 cups vegetables
1 cup fruit
2 table spoons fat from oil
(calcium, protein, b-12 (monthly shots), and all other vitamins covered with suppliments)

"That'll do pig" (Babe)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday November 2nd, 2009 - Black Diamond

I got my wires crossed and went to the hand surgeon a day early. My appt is tomorrow morning. This is the first time I've lost my appt card, but at least I didn't miss the appointment. I made it to the gym again today and rode on "Monkey Pass." It's an 11 mile black diamond (difficult) course on the virtual bike. I'm going to try to get some riding in everyday even if its just 20 minutes. Today was 40 minutes and I barely beat the pace rider. Usually I beat him by 4-5 minutes, but this course was the hardest I've been on. I still averaged 15.4 miles per hour with a max of 25.8. I have better rides if I'm still a bit sore.

I'm bipolar. My dad was bipolar and his mom was bipolar ect... They both committed suicide at age 50. There is a long history of suicides in my family. Scary, but I have much better meds and treatment than they had. I am not suicidal. It's such a waste. I recently read an article about the challenges of being a bipolar parent. I've had to "deprogram" a few times, but I didn't really connect the dots with general parenting. Sometimes, I operate on emotion and I get myself in trouble with my boys. It's like sticking your foot in your mouth and not being able to get it out. It's like I can see it happening, but I can't control it. Most of the time I think I'm a pretty good father, but there are times I wish I could get back. I never really attributed it to my bipolar disorder, but it makes a lot of sense. It's not a cop out. It's a realization that might help me manage my sudden stress onset. Sometimes it better just to walk away for a while. Yet another example of being mentally and physically healthy. It's all about the whole picture.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NFL Sunday November 1st, 2009 - Virtual bike

I went to the gym and rode on the virtual bike and the treadmill for 90 minutes during the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota game. There wasn't too many people there so I got to exercise right in front of the game on TV. I borrowed their wireless earphones. The workout felt good, but I wasn't very enthusiastic when I left my house. Sometimes you just have to force yourself. Tomorrow the surgeon will re-xray my wrist to see if I need another cast or if the wrap is cool for a few weeks. I hope my hand feels better soon because I'm really missing my bike. I forgot to weigh myself this morning.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday October 29th, 2009 - Awards Results

I got to bed late last night and I forgot to post the results from the Guggenheim Art Awards. We didn't win, but we got a standing ovation when our work (my dad's) was shown as a nominee. Like Cheri said, "It's film fetish." I think someone else wrote that, but I like it. My dad's work just continues to get accolades. It's a very exciting time! Again, he's missing out. RIP.

The other nominees for the "Solo Exhibition of the Year, Gallery" were an exhibition of Picasso (!!!), Cindy Sherman (who's a very well known conceptual photographer who actually was up at Buffalo and apparently knew paul when she was a student), and Piero Manzoni (an italian conceptual artist). This was out of a pool of thousands of world wide exhibitions! Huge honor, but Manzoni won the award. We are working on some very exciting projects right now including a permanent film installation at the Hishorn Museum in Wash DC (the Hishorn is the contemporary art museum for the Smithsonian). Out of the many current screenings one stands out. Eco Umberto has chosen two of our films (Sears Catalogue and Word Movie) to be shown during his lecture at the Louvre in Paris on the 13th of November. How cool is that?!!! The louvre!

Today was consumed with business and I didn't make it to the gym. The snow is already melting so I'm sure the gym will be open tomorrow. Night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday October 28th, 2009 - Art Awards

The Art Awards at the Guggenheim NYC are tomorrow night. I'm completely giddy with excitement. If you didn't already know, I'm the executor of my late father's Estate (Paul Sharits) which means that I manage his growing film and art career. Of course, that means I have very good friends in the art business that try to keep me on track. My art dealer in NYC, Greene Naftali Gallery, held an exhibition last Spring that included a four projector 16mm film installation of "Shutter Interface." The tasteful and professional exhibition of my father's art and the film work won international acclaim and was nominated for "Solo Exhibition of the Year, Gallery." He is already well known in the art and film community, but this award may elevate his work even more. We already screen films in every major museum in the world like the Whitney, Albright Knox, Burchfield Penny, MoMa, the Louvre, Pompidou, and the list goes on, but this may... I don't know, but it would be real cool. His work is genius and I wish he was here to see all of these accolades.

Today, we got snowed in. They already closed the schools for tomorrow. We have about 18 inches now and the winter storm warning is on until 6pm tomorrow. The gym is closed due to snow, so I thought I would go for a long walk, but it was too slick. Maybe the slush will freeze and make it easier to walk tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27th, 2009 - Stranded

My car is in the shop and I felt like I was stranded today, but I really had nowhere to go except for the gym. All I did was work around the house and puppy sit. My cousin has the most aggressive little dog. She's worse than a baby. She chews on everything all the time including our dog Tatum who is the best behaved dog on the planet. I don't know how Tatum puts up with it. Someday she's going to snap and bite that little @$#%. I jest; "Lelanie" can also be the cutest little puppy... when she's asleep!

I should have taken the dogs for a walk, but I wasn't sure if Lelanie would just take off on me. Tonight there is a winter storm warning for Jefferson County Colorado until Thursday 6pm. We should get 8-12 inches tonight. This is the normal start of the snow season. Just before Halloween. We shall see if going to the gym is a good idea tomorrow. However, walking through snow is good exercise. Try something everyday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26th, 2009 - Study Time

So I have a winter to study up on 14er mountain climbing. Fortunately, this being Colorado, there are ample resources to prepare me for a summer of hiking in the Rockies. I also need to beef up my hiking equipment. I'll need a real backpack with camping gear and the works. Cheri's only requirement, aside from the obvious, is that I buy a "personal locator beacon." We were just listening to an NPR (National Public Radio) story about people abusing these GPS emergency locators, but I would only use it if one of us got so injured we absolutely could not continue. I'm not too concerned with training for the road bike tours because I ride a lot anyway, but I will need to take shorter hiking trips this winter to get used to the equipment, cold weather, and to train to go beyond my current limitations. The weather can be unpredictable at elevations higher than 14,000 feet. Prep for the worst.

Today I did make it to the gym, but I was kind of disappointed about how much my gimp wrist is going to hold me back. Basically, all I can do for now is the virtual bike (stationary). Today I rode for 45 minutes. Using the moderate incline mode, I rode 12.5 miles. I really wish you could glide for a little bit on the virtual bike, but nooo, you have to keep peddling or you stop. My car is in the shop tomorrow, so I can't make it to the gym. Hey, maybe I could ride my bike. LOL

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday October 25th, 2009 - Sore Toes

For the most part, I wasn't too sore from yesterday's hike except for my toes. I need to wear my stiffer hiking boots next time. They would have helped with the snow. I think I'll get a pair of those snow/ice spikes for my boots. I want to make hiking a regular routine even through the winter. Next Spring I want to climb my first 14er. Those are serious hiking trips up mountains here in Colorado with an elevation of 14,000 feet or higher. I believe there are about 54 peaks. I would like to climb them all. Maybe I can do 5 next summer and then like 10 a year after that.

This past summer went great. I made exercise goals and met them. For summer 2010, in addition to the 14er's, I'm going to road bike from the Bear Creek Reservoir to South Platte to Denver to Cherry Creek Reservoir to C-470 through Chatfield Reservoir around Northbound C-470 back to Bear Creek Reservoir. It's a 80 mile loop. I would also like to ride from Bear Creek to S Platte to Colorado Springs. It's 85 miles. My 34 mile ride from Morrison to Denver has become an easy routine. I think these goals are quite achievable. I would also like try some more mountain bike downhills (maybe I can get some wrist protectors :-). Today I weighed in at 320 so we are on our way again.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday October 24th, 2009 - Bouncing Back

Okay. I was probably a little too hard on myself. Losing lots of weight is hard, but you do need to stay on track. I swear you can struggle for a month to lose 10 pounds and gain it back in 10 days. Your body does actually go into survival mode. After significant weight loss, say 20 pounds, your body retains as many calories as possible. If given a little more time, your body will build it's defense with a few extra pounds. Personally I don't really mind staying the same weight for a month or so, but it drives me crazy to gain weight. Today, I took the first step towards more weight loss.

I was going to go to the gym and work myself silly, but I still have to accommodate my injured wrist. Instead of the gym, I convinced my wife and two of my boys to go hiking. We went about two hours into the Rocky Mountains to get to our trail head. It was beautiful weather and we proceeded to hike to the summit and back. It took 3 1/2 hours. It was difficult enough to wear all of us out. It felt great. My calorie consumption was down and my hydration and protein consumption was up. I'm sure tomorrow morning's weigh-in will be more rewarding. Now I need some good sleep. Well, maybe a shower first.

Friday October 23rd, 2009 - Set Back

This morning, Saturday the 24th, I weighed in at 321. That's up from a week ago when I weighed in at 313. Three things happened; I hurt my hand, I ate whatever I wanted as long as it was free of dairy and meat, and I got lazy. My hand still hurts, but mostly in the wrist now, so I can't ride outside until they take new x-rays in 1 1/2 weeks. I've added protein supplements to my diet which also adds significant calories. I could say that the week was so busy I didn't have time to workout, but I'm sure I could have found some time if I had been more motivated and used better time management. The protein, lack of calorie control, and absence of exercise has certainly allowed myself to gain some weight. Of course, it's quick weight and maybe partly due to water weight gain, but still I have to catch myself now and work it off.

I haven't really lost much weight since the end of August. I knew I was plateauing and I hoped I could start losing again, but I have to be happy to have made it through with relative stability. This weeks weight is not really a concern. Getting back into losing 10 pounds a month is a concern. I have to take it day by day like I was this past summer. If I can reach 300 pounds or a little less this year, I will have realized a 60 pound weight loss since April. I have to remember that I was 456 in November of 2007. I need to gain back my Obesity Warrior attitude. From today on I will return to the weight loss routine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday October 21st 2009 - "12-21-2012"

Monday was a working day and Monday Night Football with the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. The Broncos played and won one of the most entertaining games I've seen. Of course, if SD had won my perception may have been different. But, the Broncos did win and they remain undefeated this season. 6-0 ! Yeah! And, I lost my Fantasy Football match by about 100 points. Who knew Tom Brady was going to lead New England to a 59 to 0 game?

I didn't go to the gym on Monday or Tuesday because I wanted to talk to the orthopedic surgeon about my hand first. On Tuesday, I met with him. They took that ER cast off and told me that I had deep tissue contusions (bruises) and, due to the bruising pattern on my wrist, a possible fractured scaphoid bone. Apparently they can't tell for sure until it starts to heal. In two weeks I have to go back for some more X-Rays. Until then I have to immobilize it with a splint and ace bandage. I can take it off for showers and every once in a while he wanted me to move it around without lifting or squeezing anything.

Wednesday was museum day and I didn't get to workout. I should be fine for a workout tomorrow. I'll probably spend most of my time on the stationary bike. I don't want to lose any of the muscle I've built up to this point.

On the 13th of November Sony Pictures is releasing their new movie "2012." It appears to be a disaster movie. The Mayan calendar ends on 12-21-2012 and many other cultures also believe that this may be the end of time. Sure. I have the Mayan serpent eating it's own tail tattoo on my arm because, at least to me, it symbolizes the cycle of life. One end; one beginning. Others would say my tattoo is a direct symbol of the 12-21-2012 end. I have one friend who believes some great "life changing" event will happen then. Something like the Internet. If that's the case, I can't wait. I also read somewhere that there is a celestial alignment that only occurs every 25,000 years or so. Either way, I'm going to see the movie.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday October 17th, 2009 - No more pain pills

On Friday we got home from the ER around 2 am. I slept in on Saturday and I needed a few pain pills which basically wasted the day. Now that the swelling is down I can feel a little more pain and new bruises have appeared on my temple, arm, and both legs. I really hate the way pain pills make me feel so I just took some Tylenol today.

I'm curious about how much of a workout I can handle with the gimp arm. I wanted to go this morning, but I didn't feel well. Some of the general crash stiffness has set in, but my legs really are not that sore. I should be able to do all the weight machines that don't require my right hand grip. I can use the free weights to keep my left arm on track and make the most out of the virtual bike (stationary bike). I will probably try to hit the gym at least a little everyday until I can ride my bike or swim.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday the 16th, 2009 - Colorado Trail and a broken wrist

Yesterday, Friday, I went with Jeff on an epic mountain bike/hiking trip on the Colorado trail. Cheri had to drive us into the mountains towards Deckers. The trail head was about 1/4 mile south of the river junction where the North Platte and South Platte converge and then head east down to Denver. We started up the trail around 2:30pm. At first I thought the trail would go up a bit and then follow the river. My son said it wasn't a bad trail. Later, we would find out he had only been on a small part of the trail on the other side. The trail ended up being an expert mountain biking and an expert hiking trail. It was only 18 miles so I thought, what the hell, at the worst we could walk some of it.

After two hours we reached the first summit. We had biked and hiked continuous steep trails and switchbacks. The elevation at the base was 6,000 feet. The summit was just over 8,000 feet. The weather was absolutely perfect and the views were straight from post cardville. We had brought eight 28 ounce bottles of water and gatorade, a few bags of nuts, five protein bars, and layers of clothing in our backpacks. I really didn't think we would need all of that, but I was wrong and we were prepared.

On the second summit (markedly higher than the first) Jeff started to get altitude sick. He got a headache, nausea, fatigue, and very winded. The air was thin and we had been taxing our physical limits just to get up there. I told him to buckle up because there was simply no turning back. We were already at least 5 miles from any other people and on steep rocking terrain.

After a break we started down the backside of the mountain. The trail was narrow and very challenging, but we were able to ride some of it. We would come to these rocky inclines where we had to hike and carry our bikes. At this point we were about seven miles into the trail and I hit a rock. The trail was fairly steep and the ground and rocks were loose. In order to control your decent you pretty much needed to keep your brakes full on. I came up and over a small hill and jumped one rock only to hit the second large rock. It happened pretty fast, but I remember flying over my bike and hitting the rocks with my helmet first and rolling from my belly to my back. When I stopped my bike was on top of me and I was kissing dirt. My helmet and my backpack saved me. I did a quick inventory and found that I wasn't really hurt and my bike was in one piece. When I got back on the bike I realized my thumb was broken and my wrist hurt. Nonetheless, I started to ride to catch up to Jeff. It was very painful to brake with my right hand. We rode several more miles before the trail got nasty and my hand hurt too much to keep riding. From that point on we had to walk our bikes up and down insane obstacles. At one point, we had to carry our bikes down a long series of boulders that ranged from two to three feet drops. By now it was dark.

Our only light was from my son's cell phone. We hiked in the dark with our bikes for about five miles. Finally, when I was to about to call it a night and camp, we reached the Waterton Canyon trail and we knew we were maybe a mile from the dirt road. We made it to the care taker's house and called Cheri (other than being a flash light, our cell phones were useless). This was a gated trail so Cheri had to call the sheriff. When they reached us around 11:30pm, we were still relatively warm, dry, hydrated, and just starting to get hungry. When we told the Sergent where we had come from, her mouth dropped and she was amazed. Even she said that was an insanely difficult trail. If I hadn't been in such good shape, I never would have made it. My 18 year old was completely spent. Other than my hand and some blisters, I was okay.

When they dropped us off at Cheri's van, I realized my head hurt pretty bad, so the sheriff escorted us to the emergency room. They gave my head a CAT scan and x-rayed my hand. If I had a concussion it was mild. My thumb and wrist were bruised, swollen, and fractured. They put a partial cast on my hand and sent me home with pain pills. Now that the swelling has gone down it hurts more. On Monday or Tuesday after all the swelling has gone down, they will re-examine it and put a full cast on it. When we finally got home it was 2am.

My workouts will have to be adjusted, but I can still ride the virtual bike and work on some of the weight machines. Other than the hand and a sore neck, I'm not much more sore than I am after a long road bike ride. If I can get my butt out of bed early enough, I'll try to hit the gym before the football games. I weighed 313 this morning. Finally, more progress.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th, 2009 - Protein

I had my quarterly oncologist appointment. All of my functions (liver, kidneys, ect) are fine, except, of course, my platelet count. Regardless of diet and exercise, I still hover between 70-80,000. Normal low count is 150,000 and high count is 450,000 (I think pregnant women get to 450). Nonetheless, it's better than last March's 34,000 count. They still do not know why I have a low platelet count, but at least I don't have cancer. My platelet count and past physical history place me in the high risk category. The doctor was impressed that I had lost 30 pounds from our last visit roughly 75 days ago. That pretty much matches my records. This morning I weighed 315. Worst case scenario, I lose 25 pounds before my next visit in January.

Somehow I got onto a protein campaign today. I was reading about how much your muscles scream for protein during and after hard workouts. I know I've been eating well, but I wasn't sure how many grams of protein I was getting. I figured out that I was getting maybe 150 or less grams per day. I eat my beans, nuts, soy, and, less often, tofu, but it is clearly not enough. I calculated that a man my size with a fairly extreme exercise routine should be getting at least 300 grams per day. The standard calculation for people with normal active life styles is 1/2 gram per body weight pound, however, muscle builders need 1.15 g/lbs/day. I put myself at the 1 gram/lbs/day, so I needed to find protein supplements. I found that the best source is a protein shake, but the ones I found at the vitamin store had whey or milk and they were very expensive. I checked out the local grocery store and found a vegan mix (100% Soy) for less money. Each two scoop serving has 31 g protein. My plan is to drink 4 or 5 of those drinks a day and a high protein bar when I workout and 2 when I ride. Your body can only absorb about 40 grams in any one sitting, so I have to basically eat protein during and between meals and push water. The powered drink has the consistency of cement, so I'm sure I need tons of water just to get that sludge through me. Combined with a protein conscious vegan diet, I think I can hit my daily requirements. I hope it allows me to increase my weights and riding distance or time. For an omnivore reference, a good 16 ounce steak is about 120 grams protein. You probably eat too much protein and unused protein turns to fat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14th, 2009 - Matthew Buckingham

First, I felt better this morning. No H1N1. LOL. I also missed the gym again. I hope tomorrow is sunny so I can make the Denver ride. All guilt is washed away after that trek.

I went to work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA) and kind of stayed there for the rest of the day into the evening. There was an interesting artist opening an exhibition tonight and his work with perceptions of time and his use of film looped installations intrigued me. I introduced myself to Matthew Buckingham before things got crazy and we had a chance to talk. He actually got to see the Paul Sharits exhibition at the Greene Naftali Gallery in NYC. How cool is that! He's a fan of my dad's work and I love his work, particularly Cultural Follower. The video piece displayed a 30 minute attempt to interview birds in Central Park. While that was hilarious, the text or meaning behind the piece was really about the adaptation of wildlife to urban life and the different perceptions between time periods and/or cultures. Each piece in the exhibition provokes thought and introspection into your personal perception of time in terms of historical significance. If you are in Denver, I highly recommend this exhibition.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13th, 2009 - Sore throat

What is up? Didn't I have a sick day last month? I woke up in the middle of the night with blocked nasal passages. That presents a special problem for me since I use a C-Pap. I had to use saline then Afrin. In the morning, I had sinus issues and a sore throat. My wife always reminds me that I have a diminished immune system, but, after all the good living habits, I reject that. But, it seems to be true. I bet I caught it from the gym. I try to sanitize my machines and I wash after basketball, but there's still too many shared surfaces like the door handles ect... I hope it goes away tonight.

I had an opportunity to hit the gym in this afternoon, but then I got a call from Cheri's office asking me if I could bring in son number 2 for a cleaning. If all goes well, I should have time after work tomorrow. Oh yeah, I weighed 315.6 today.

And now for something completely different... I'm a political science freak. In reference to the Nobel Peace Prize, I suggested to someone that Woodrow Wilson was one of the best presidents of the 20th Century. I was thinking about lowering tariffs, reforming business and banks, and his promotion of the Treaty of Versailles (the Republican Senate refused to ratify the act which angered Wilson and the European allies). Of course, he declared war on Germany in WWI, but he helped end it to. That is what earned him the peace prize. Somehow I coincided the Espionage and Sedition Act to FDR and the internment of Japanese Americans, but I spaced out that the Act was the Espionage Act of 1917. Duh! Wilson promoted the Act making it illegal to dissent from support of the war because he thought it would be bad for moral. It ended up being like a Chaney witch hunt. Clearly not a shining beacon for Wilson. However, if you can find one "political" leader in the history of man that didn't screw something up, let me know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12th, 2009 Rock-tober!

I weighed 316 this morning. Losing slowly, but losing. I had a blood draw this morning. It kind of messed up my morning, so I didn't make it to the gym.

I had to stay around the house to see if Cheri was going to get off early. We had tickets to the Colorado Rockies' (Pro-baseball) playoff game. It was a blast. There was a pop fly with two outs in the ninth inning and the right fielder missed it by 10 feet. That would have ended the game, but they let Philli back in and they won. Rockies season is over. Good thing the Broncos are winning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday October 11th, 2009 Broncos Win Again!

Not much happened today except watching football and the new "Dexter." The Broncos won their hardest team yet, so that's all good. No one really gave Denver a chance and now they are 5-0.

One thing did occur to me. Back in 1993, I was in pretty good shape. Lifting weights and playing pick up basketball as much as I possibly could. I was maybe 235, but I didn't really look that fat. Anyway, back to the point, all around, legs, torso, and arms, I feel stronger than ever and I'm vegan. I guess I'm just dispelling my own mental picture a weak skinny vegan. Maybe it's just me. I like being vegan; it's something that makes you a little less boring at parties.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday October 10th, 2009 - Extreme Workout

I forgot to weigh myself this morning. I did, however, make it to the gym and worked out for an hour and a half. My weights were 10-20 pounds heavier than normal and I did 4 sets of ten. My routine was just shy of an hour, so I went and played basketball for a half hour. My hoops aren't bad, but I did notice that it was much easier to run around the court. Feels good. I came back into the weight room and considered riding the virtual bike. It was 38 degrees out and lots of ice patches on the trails, so I couldn't very well ride outside today.

I opted off the virtual bike because I want to try for an early morning ride tomorrow and my MCL is inflamed so I wanted to give it one more day to heal. It should be warmer tomorrow. Then again, it's football day and I have a pretty good fantasy football line up, so I may just run up to the gym early and ride 10 miles and come back home to watch the games. Go Broncos; Go Webfreaks!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday October 9th, 2009 - Mom's Day

This morning I weighed in at 318, but I know that's primarily because I have this weird unexplained water retention thing. When I was in the hospital in November of 2007, they put me on an IV diuretic and I shed 50 pounds in one week. I know try to manage it with an occasional Flurisimide (Lasix) pill. I don't use the pill if I'm going to ride that day because I lose so much water during the trips and dehydration is an issue for me. I will probably take one tomorrow because I'm going to the gym. I still drink a lot of water on those days, but it still seems to flush the salt and toxins out of my body.

Today, I took my mother and Cheri to see the movie "Couples Retreat" and out to an early dinner. Due to my mom's wheelchair confinement (advanced Parkinson's), I can only take her once or twice a month when Cheri and I are able. Movie and a meal are a safe bet. Today was nice, but I did not make it to the gym. I feel guilty for missing one day.

Speaking of exercise, I may still have a lot of fat to shed, but I feel great. I'm in control of my body and I feel strong all over. It's nice to be in relatively good shape. I'm starting to look more like a football line backer than a couch potato. Even with out losing significant weight recently, my body measurements have gone down where I want them to and up where I like them to. It's kind of like all my fat is gravitating south around my waist. My fat areas used to be kind of hard and stiff, but now they are loose and squishy. Kind of gross and I hope my skin tightens up on it's own. It seems to be keeping pace.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday October 8th, 2009 Virtual Bike

I'm still hanging around the 317 mark. Like I said last night, I've corrected my habits back to what they were in August, so the weight should start to drop again. It was cold and wet outside today. Actually, it started snowing this evening. This was my riding day so I went to the gym and rode the virtual bike for 10 miles.

In case you don't know, the virtual bike has a flat screen in front of you that navigates whatever course you pick and gives you live stats. It even has moving clouds, horses, birds, and other riders. 10 miles on the course I took today should be worth 15 miles on the regular bike. Gruesome inclines and there is no coasting. The gym also had the Colorado Rockies game on a big screen right in front of me, so I watched some of the game. I'm so glad they held their lead. I have tickets to Sunday's playoff game, but it's going to be real cold.

This evening's dinner was hot tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Boy those sandwiches looked and smelled good. Of course, I didn't have any cream in my soup and I didn't eat the sandwiches. I did have dry toast and crackers. It was kind of funny because I drank a large glass of V-8 for a snack today. I might turn red. One last thing... I tried the new herbal "energy" supplements again and I drank water constantly and I didn't get a headache. That proves it. I was dehydrating myself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday October 7th, 2009 - Hydrated!

Last night, I finally followed my own advise and went to bed at 9:30 pm, but I think 10 pm is a more realistic bedtime. I also didn't eat after dinner, nor, in the middle of the night. I also drank water and an iced tea and more water. I have drank 112 fluid ounces so far today. If I can drink 16 more ounces it will be a gallon. Watch, I'll get to bed on time and have to pee all night. However, I did not get a headache today.

My weight didn't change, but I'm getting into the good habits, so now I need to manage my caloric intake and the pounds will follow. I made it to the gym and worked out for an hour. I hope I can ride tomorrow, but I'm a little saddle sore. Uwe, too much info. Night.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday October 6th, 2009 - Dehydration

Last night I stayed up too late again and then, around 2 or 3 am, my wife woke me up to find out where my car remote was because my lights were flashing. I disconnected my audible alarm a long time ago because my car is sensitive and it kept waking neighbors up. Besides, it has Lojack (a small tracking devise to catch the thieves). Due to one of the side effects of one of my sleep meds, I was not able to fall back to sleep and I finally gave up and got a PBJ because I know it helps. Eating in the middle of the night is even worse than eating late at night because your metabolism sleeps too. In the morning I weighed in at 317. Bad, bad, bad.

This morning, I did ride my road bike down to Hudson Gardens (23 miles round trip). It was about 40 degrees when I left and not much warmer on the way back. I prefer the cold because you can layer up. I usually carry a backpack so I can lose the layers when I need to. About an hour after I returned, I got another headache. Not bad, just annoying. I went online to see if I wasn't getting enough protein or whatever, but the sites I went to said it was most likely dehydration or excessive amounts of soy. I seriously doubt the soy thing, but the dehydration was true. In the cold weather you just don't get that thirsty on the road. I clearly didn't drink enough water on the trip. I did try to rehydrate once I was home, but I already had the headache. When it was hot out, I used to drink a bunch of water prior to the long trips and I drank 56 ounces of water on the trip AND one or two Gatorades. Today, I barely drank 16 ounces on a 23 mile trip. Duh! I need to watch the dehydration.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday October 5th, 2009 Monday Night Football

First of all, I won my first Fantasy Football match up (game) ever. I'm a rookie so I'm fairly happy to be 1-3-0. Already making trades to cover Eli Manning's injury. Watching the Broncos win their 4th game (4-0-0) was too much fun. Watching Bret Favre win against GB on Monday night football was also great. Historic.

I made it to the gym and worked out with weights today. I also made a comparison of the last few month exercise routines. In August, I swam 2 miles (66 laps), lifted weights 4 1/2 hours, rode my road bike for 334 miles, played two hours of basketball, and moved heavy furniture for about 6 hours. Pretty damn good. In September, I rode 180 miles on the road bike and worked out with weights 10 times. So far this month I'm at 34 miles on the bike and 1 hour lifting weights. As it becomes colder, I'll have to ride less, but swim more.

Sunday October 3rd, 2009 - Bronco Sunday

This morning I weighed in at 316.9. I am having trouble containing my late night munchies. My breakfast, lunch, and even dinner are okay. It is after dinner that I enjoy desert and, if I am up past 11pm, I have a peanut butter and jelly. I know this is causing my plateau and I know how to fix it. Simply go to sleep at 10pm and get up at 6:30am. The rest of my habits are fine. Eating vegan and exercising are probably the only reason I have not started gaining weight, but they are not passports to overeating.

I think this is the hardest part about dieting; trying to climb off a plateau or stop gaining weight after a successful run at losing weight. Normally, this would be the time I start gaining the weight back and could go as far as to gaining an extra five or ten pounds through the holidays. This is what I call the yoYO effect. You lose; you gain; and you gain just a little more. That is how most people become morbidly or super morbidly obese. BUT, I am not going to do that. I have come way too far to be satisfied now.

This being Monday lunch time, I should say that I did not go to the gym on Sunday because I was still sore and it was football day. As I conclude this Sunday post on Monday, I am on my way to the gym.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday October 3rd, 2009 - Garbonzo's

My weight was 316 again. I have to pick it up if I'm going to be successful this month. While exercise alone won't make you lose a ton of weight, exercise does make you feel healthy, stronger, and it really encourages me to try harder with the calories. There is no secret. No magic pill. It's just watching your calories and making healthy food choices. I've had some luck with the low calorie frozen food meals before and I'm sure Weight Watcher's works because it replaces high calorie food with low calorie food. Simple. The problem with those programs is that they become expensive and once most people reach their "20" pound goal, they go right back to the normal eating habits. In a year or so they will have to do it again. The problem for obese people is that they go on these diets and lose 60 pounds and fall off the wagon and soon find themselves 70 pounds heavier. It's a vicious blow to your metabolism and your psychological well being. It's how fat people eventually turn into morbidly obese people. I know I've said all this before, but it's true. Now, I hear about more and more bariatric surgery recipients gaining back their weight because they expand their stomachs back out. The only real solution is to change the way you look at food. At least for me the vegan diet works and I'm eating better. Getting healthier and feeling great. The thing that I have drilled into my head is that being vegan is for the rest of my life because I want to enjoy the rest of my nice long life. I want to live to 100, but the way I was going I would have been lucky to make it to 50.

Rambling. Sorry. Today I had a mild headache before I was going to leave for the gym so I laid down for a minute and fell asleep. The mild headache went away without Tylenol, so I do think it was the new supplement. I can live without it. It was mostly green tea and other stimulant herbs. It was not an appetite suppressant. You know I hate those. Short and dangerous solution to a life problem. I called today's post Garbonzo's because I had another delicious Lebanese pita sandwich. However, this time I ate half of it for lunch and the other half for dinner. I was glad I had the left over because the family had French Dip (sandwiches made with thinly sliced beef cooked in French onion soup and served on a sandwich roll with provalone cheese and such. Not exactly vegan.)

I checked my visitor log and it shows over 900 visits since July 1st. Thank you and don't forget to show it to the people you care about. In addition, I encourage dialog with friends so feel free to email me now and then at . This way it's a private conversation between me and you. I promise not to make our communication or your identity public.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday October 2nd, 2009 - "Sicko"

This morning I weighed 316.6 pounds. It was also cold... for this time of year. The perfect time to try out some of my cool weather cycling clothes. When I left to Denver it was about 40 degrees. I was layered up just a bit, but the thermal jersey I had worked great. It was such a nice ride. Silently slicing through the cool air. The only sound was the leaves giving out beneath me. I was a poetic ride. Overall, it was 34 miles round trip and it was warmer on my way back. Very nice ride. Last night I was up late reading my cycling magazine and I read about proper nutrition on a long bike ride. They said to start sipping water five miles into the trip and don't stop. A mouth full here and there. I also ate a small but nutritious breakfast of granola and a banana. Halfway into my trip I ate a granola/power bar. I ate another one after 8 miles or so. Even though it was cold I still drank two bottles of water. I may want to supplement my liquids with a gatorade like I used to. I had a better trip. I got another bad headache when I got home. I'm sure something in my new supplement isn't working for me. I'm not going to take it for a week and see if I get any more headaches. Tomorrow I'll hit the gym.

This evening I watched Micheal Moore's documentary "Sicko" about health care in America. I know his films. They usually make me mad. Not at him, but at our government and lack of activism from our society. This was no different. It made me sick to see how profitable the health insurance companies were getting and how bad our health care is compared to other countries. Not only did he travel the horror stories of American care, but he traveled to Canada, France, and England to see how horrible universal health care was. It was sick. People get better health care for free. Well, they pay taxes. So do we. He showed people that had been rejected care by their insurance and I started feeling lucky. My insurance is great. I mean, I pay the premiums (about half of most), copays ($25.00), and I meat my deductibles. Since I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007, I have never been denied health care in anyway. I go to the best specialists. I go to the best hospitals. I routinely have MRI, Cat scans, PET scans, blood draws; everything and my insurance representatives are like friends. So why is my insurance so nice. I spend about $38K a year on my families health care, but they pay way more for my care and they are always nice and supportive. They help me find the very best physicians available. Why is my insurance so nice? Cheri told me the secret. My health insurance is Rocky Mountain Health Plans made accessible to us through the Colorado Dental Association. Guess what??? They are a non-profit cooperative! President Obama uses it as the example of coops. I really didn't know. OMG! Everyone should get this kind of health care insurance. Even better, have the government help you pay for it. Charge me more taxes. Going into medical debt is far worse. Imagine the financial damage a car accident could do to your family and imagine what people without health insurance do. What do they do??? It's sad that Cuba has universal health care and they are poor. What's wrong with us? If you haven't seen Sicko, you should. Then you will want change.