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.