Day 32 – A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Mexican Resaurant

Yesterday was one of those days when the Earth’s alignment with the quadratic oblishere makes weird things happen. One of those things was the biological became bio-illogical.  I met Warren at Eggberts for our regular social time together.  All we talked about was food and the progress both of us are making in our efforts to get healthy.  Warren is dealing with  diabetes and is in the process of changing everything about his eating habits as I am but his approach is a bit more conventional.  He ate a healthy breakfast and I had a western omelet with extra crispy hash browns.

After breakfast I headed to town to help a friend who owns a Mexican restaurant.When I was finished helping he offered to buy me lunch.  Sounded good to me so I sat down at a booth and looked over the menu to find something that resembled whole foods.  Nothing.  My friend told me the special of the day was the Chili Relleno.  After a brief conflict of values I ordered the Chili Relleno but without cheese on top or the rice.  It was awesome!  This was the first break from my paleo/primal diet since I started last month.  I was beginning to feel quite guilty but the indulgences were really, really good.

After Pam got off of work we met at Baker Street Pub in town for a little wind down from our day.  When we got there Big Mike was there with his wife.  When you meet a friend at a pub your plans typically change and this was one of those times.  Mike is very social and quite entertaining so we stayed a bit longer than we should have.  Again, I broke my rules and had a couple of Guinness beers – being Irish and all. In fact, I’ll confess it was probably more than a couple.   When it was time to hit the sack I dreaded the scale the next morning.

I stepped on the scale about 6:30 this morning and – hmmmm – I dropped a pound.  My weight today is 248 despite my over indulgence yesterday.  This makes up for some of the plateaus I have experienced in the past.  Did I mention I didn’t work out yesterday?  Go figure!  (What does that mean, anyway?)

Of course I won’t make it a habit to cross the line like I did yesterday but I discovered I don’t have to be so much of a crusader.  Besides, today Earth is not aligned with the quadratic oblishpere so it is back to the logics of the biological.  Too bad, today’s special is fajitas.

End of Day

Day 29 – In the 240’s!


Weight:  249 (-1)
Workout:  2 mile run/lower body weight training
Breakfast:  Half banana, carrot
Lunch:  Zio’s Tomato Florentine soup/small Caesar’s salad
Dinner:  Ham, veggie medley, pear

My warm-up today was a 2 mile run.  My knee has not hurt for about a week so I decided to give it a try on the track today.  It worked out fine except for that stubborn woman who felt like the rules of the track didn’t apply to her.   Seems she felt she could walk in the jogging lane at the rec center.  Ma’am, that is against the rules, which, by the way, are prominently posted every 20 feet along the wall of the track.  Can you not see the HUGE signs that hang above the jogging lane that say, “Joggers Only”?  Certainly you don’t consider what you are doing jogging, do you?  Really?

Aside from texting on the track, there is nothing more annoying than walkers in the jogging lane.  Well, there is something more annoying than that.  For some reason the staff at the rec center has decided to clean the track with a giant rolling cleaning machine during the middle of the day causing the joggers to do this “bob and weave” move out of necessity when the bottle neck happens. As I said earlier, the 3 lane track is upstairs and circles the two basketball courts below it.  Imagine a huge vacuum cleaner going around it while there are people walking and jogging.   Not fun.

Come to think of it, there is one more thing even more annoying than walking in the jogging lane or dodging the big cleaning machine.  I have learned that exercise causes the gastro system to work faster causing the release of certain methane gases while one exercises.  On senior days this can be quite compelling and challenging especially for those of us who jog and breath heavy.  For some reason seniors are not as self conscious about that sort of thing.

After the run I headed for the weights on the circuit machines for a lower body workout.  It turns out I am much stronger in my lower half than I am my upper half.  To do the proper amount of reps on the lower back extension machine I need more than the 300 pounds of weights on the machine.  I can do 27 reps at 300 pounds before I feel the heat.  The same is almost true with the leg extension machine.  On the other hand the hip abductor is the machine from the pit of hell.  With only 40 pounds I felt what women must feel when they give birth.  Why again do I need these muscles?  Another discovery I made was on the glute extension machine.   I learned my left glute is stronger than my right glute. I can’t help but wonder why that is.  What do I do with my left glute that I don’t do with my right glute?  Since they travel as a perfect pair I can’t understand how one is stronger than the other. Is that even possible?  This, of course, is not something I will mention to the guys at the cigar lounge when they ask me how things are going at the gym, but my wife found it quite interesting.

I am now in the 240s and my shape is looking much better.  I am finding I am eating less naturally and I stay fuller longer.  Except for one day, I have been feeling like I have more energy and I feel generally better.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a significant drop in my weight.

By the way, if you don’t have a Zio’s restaurant in your town – too bad.  The Tomato Florentine soup is magnificent!  Please don’t tell me if it has any high fructose corn syrup in it.  I would appreciate it very much.

End of Day 29

Day 24 – Jed and Elroy

Not too many guys will admit they had a lengthy conversation with a naked man about global warming, but I am confident in my own manhood and not threatened by such things.  If you have been keeping up with this blog at all you already know this is not untypical (see This Is Not What I Thought It Would Be and Making Hay posts).  Now, I have lived in nearly half of the states in the US (25 if you are a republican and 28 ½ if you are a democrat), as well as four different countries and I have never seen anything like what I have witnessed at the Claremore Recreation Center in Claremore, OK.

When I arrived in the locker room the other morning I had the pleasure of meeting Jed.  Jed is in his late sixties, about 5’ 7” and weighs in about 300 pounds.  I have recently learned at the rec center that something dramatic happens to the human body with age and a few too many chicken fried steaks.  Jed was the poster child of this phenomenon.  When Jed struck up a conversation with me in the locker room I was caught a little off guard when I turned around to see him naked as a Jaybird.  The impact of his form made me wince a little.  Let me say, Jed is a really nice guy so I don’t mean any disrespect to him but I have never seen so many overlapping rings of flesh stretching so far down on any living thing in my life.  My mind sort of went blank from trying to fit the image into some precept of logic like when my wife leaves a message on my phone that says, “Call me back if you don’t get this message.”

One thing led to another and Jed finally said out of the blue, “There’s something to that global warming thing.”  This also caught me off guard because, as everybody knows, this is the most conservative state in the US and conservatives don’t really buy into global warming. I told him I was on the fence about many of the claims because the recent release of some emails from some leading scientists exposed some overstated statistics and false science.  I also mentioned how John Kerry said ten years ago that the average temperatures would rise eight degrees in the next eight years and how Al Gore said twelve years ago we would have mass starvation in ten years – neither of which came true.  He mentioned something about ice core samples and an ice age in twenty-five years and then suddenly, a cold shiver swept over me as I realized I am having a discussion about global warming with a large, naked man.  Immediately, I reversed my politics and agreed with him about everything so we could end this conversation quickly. He seemed pleased with himself at having converted me and put his swim trunks on.  Of course, that created a whole new problem.  In my own experience with obesity I learned that when men put on more and more weight our butt cracks get much longer.  Jed was no exception.  When he turned to go towards the pool it became painfully obvious his swim trunks fell way short of hiding his.  Good ol’ Jed.  I hope the senior lady’s water aerobics class can keep their attention on their choreography when Jed gets in the pool.  Maybe he is why that class is so big.

When I got to the cardio are I saw Elroy.  I had met Elroy earlier on the track but had never seen him down on the floor where all the cardio machines were but there he was.  Understand, Elroy is also in his late sixties but about half the size of Jed.  When he saw me he smiled to acknowledge me and went on about his business on the stationary bike.  Up to this point this doesn’t sound unusual except that Elroy was working out on the stationary bike with his wife and the two were a sight to see.  Elroy was wearing his Wranglers, western shirt (the kind with the ivory snap buttons), large leather belt, and shoes like the UPS drivers wear – all while pumping away on the bike.  Elroy’s wife, a little younger, short and plump – was wearing knee high black socks with multicolored polka dots, panty hose (black), shorts, and a greenish colored button up shirt.  It was like the Walmart shoppers came to the rec center to work out.  And this is not unusual.  Every day is a new adventure in things I have never seen before when I go to the Claremore Recreation Center.

Aside from the interesting encounters, I did a lower body workout after my warm up a few bikes over from Elroy and his wife.  The knee still hurts a little and my calves are quite sore so I am on the bike until I heal better.  My weight remained at 250 pounds which is interesting since I ate so little yesterday.  Maybe it was the Chianti in lieu of dinner.  I know, not a good idea.  But then again, you didn’t have a conversation with a naked man about global warming or see Elroy and his missus on the stationary bikes.  I did.

End of Day 24

Day 11 – Caught With My Pants Down

I have never been a person afraid to embarrass himself.  Today was no exception.  But, in order to understand the incident you have to have some background.  When men get to be successfully overweight (my politically correct version of being fat) an annoying circumstance develops.  We used to call it “Indian underwear” meaning our underwear sneaks up on us.  Yes, I’m talking about the wedgy experience.  Seems the “tighty whity” isn’t designed for our posterior broadness and freakishly rides up causing the impulse to yank which may be OK at Wal-Mart but not while you are standing in line at Starbucks.  Strangely enough the tighy whity is fine for dress pants but for reasons unexplained by science they don’t work with Wranglers.

To rectify the problem I experimented with different brands and styles of men’s briefs until I discovered a style of underwear that stayed where it was supposed to stay.  The style that worked for me was the speedo looking style called men’s bikini briefs  that no real man from Oklahoma would ever be caught buying in public.  So, we send our wives to buy them for us.  Wearing these tiny undershorts is a little weird at first but any conflict with one’s manhood quickly passes when the relief of not experiencing a wedgy all day is realized. The trick is to never let the kids, especially my sons, ever catch me with my pants down.  The therapy for them would cost way too much and it is not covered in my health insurance.  Of course, these tiny briefs don’t come in white.  Rather, they come in every color but white.

This morning I got up early with my wife because I had a very busy day.  The room was dark when I reached into the dresser drawer to grab my socks and underwear to take to the shower.  When I got to the bathroom where the lights were on I discovered I grabbed a red pair of the underspeedos.  Since I had not yet had my coffee and wasn’t thinking clearly I didn’t consider the fact I was going to the rec center later in the day.  After a man puts on his underwear he doesn’t think about them again.  It was 12:30 when I finally got to the rec center just in time for the lunch crowd.  The men’s locker room was pretty full of guys in the usual state of transitioning from the showers to getting dressed or undressed.  I located a locker and began to prepare for my time of manly sweat. If you ever want to clear a room of straight naked men, have a pair of red underspeedos on when you drop your Wranglers.  As soon as I noticed my obvious oversight it was too late.  Oh, the horror!  It was like cockroaches scrambling when the light comes on.

Remember, this isn’t New York or LA.  This is Oklahoma where the winds – and the cowboys -come sweepin’ down the plain. Hollywood comes to Oklahoma to make movies like Twister, not Brokeback Mountain.  Oklahoma is so conservative it is the only state in the union where Obama didn’t win a single county in the last presidential election.  The most common middle name for boys here in Oklahoma is either John Deere or Bubba.  So when the Wranglers fell to my ankles you can imagine how the mood suddenly changed in the men’s locker room.  Fearful visions of a hangin’ party raced through my mind.  I did what any real man would do.  I quickly threw on my running shorts, pushed out my chest, let one rip and walked right out of the locker room flexing my muscles.  The whole thing was a nightmare.  Good thing it’s Friday.  I won’t be back to the rec center until Monday.  Maybe by then everyone will forget the entire humiliating episode.

Yesterday’s post referenced the tamale.  In the post I said the corn paste used in the tamale was not from a whole grain.  I was wrong.  According to the Whole Grain Council (yes, there is such a thing), corn in all forms is a whole grain.  This might explain why I gained a pound overnight despite the fact I worked out yesterday.  Live and learn. No more tamales. Also, since I went long today I will post the promised gems of wisdom from my weight doctor in tomorrow’s post.

The workout today was excellent!  Since this is the third day the Walk-Run was all run, I am changing the Walk-Run to just run.  The two miles went by even better than the last time.  I accomplished 37 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, and 30 deep knee bends before heading to the circuit training area where I did lat pull downs, curls, butterfly, chest press and some leg exercises.

As I said, my weigh-in this morning was disappointing as I was up a pound to 259.  I really think the tamales had something to do with it but it seems unlikely since I have cut so many calories and foods out compounded by real exercise.  I know the fat is going away because my pants fit much looser and I am noticing some definition in my upper body.  Maybe, like most of us, I want it all and I want it now!  Patience Mr. Ford!

End of Day 10

Day 10 – Hot Tamale!

Part of the learning process is doing the wrong thing, learning from it, and not doing it again.  Like today.  Every other week I meet my friend, Warren, for lunch  simply because we are friends. We talk about any and everything including how to solve the world’s problems and our wives.  Today we met at one of his favorite Mexican food restaurants, El Maguey, in Claremore.  It is not easy sticking to a wholefood diet in a Mexican restaurant but I noticed they had an order of 3 tamales a la cart on the menu.  Tamales should be OK since they are pulled pork in a ground corn paste and then cooked.  No whole grains.  When they arrived they were smothered with a red sauce and I love red sauce.   Remember, I am an A type personality so what does an A type personality do when tamales arrive and there is still salsa from the chips?  You got it.   I added some of my salsa on top, as well.  Very nice!

Since I had to meet another friend at 3:30 I went straight to the rec center after lunch.  I now understand why they have the siesta in Mexico.  NEVER exercise after eating three tamales smothered in red sauce and salsa.  Although I ran the entire 2 miles without stopping my stomach warmed to a burn about the third lap.  When I did my push-ups I thought my tamales were going to push up and when I did my deep knee bends… well, let’s just say I will not do that again.  I did not do the circuit today for obvious reasons but I plan to hit it hard tamale (tomorrow).  I now respect the Mexican siesta ritual and plan to incorporate it into my life.  Take my advice, don’t eat Mexican food if you plan to work out later.

My weight fell to 258!  I went to the weight doctor today and everyone there was pleasantly surprised at my strides to success.  My blood pressure was 116 over 67 and my heart rate is slow and strong.

By the way, for those who like to run with an iPod, I recommend downloading Adiemus on Songs of Sanctuary (1995)  It is a great running/exercising tune.

In my post tomorrow I will include helpful tidbits of wisdom from mt weight doctor.   If you have suffered from  joint pain you will want to read this post.

End of Day 10

Day 8 – Thou Shalt Not Text On The Track!

The fascination we have for personal technology devices is a sign of great cultural achievement and great cultural depravity at the same time.  Achievement in the sense the science of technology has advanced at lightening speed in the last few decades.  Consider the fact that your personal computer is far more powerful than the computer used on board Apollo 13.  Depravity in the sense of how the average person uses this technology.  It is great to be able to text a quick question across the world and get a quick answer.  It is depraved to text Aunt Betsy to ask what she’s doing  while driving 70 mph with four kids in the back of the minivan.  You know what I’m talking about.

Imagine my utter contempt for the soccer mom texting while waddling along the track at the rec center this afternoon.   I mean, the track only has three lanes and we’re not in the lanes because we’re thin.  With her phone strapped to her fingers this queen of consumption wandered and drifted from lane to lane totally oblivious to the fact the rest of us were out there trying to be serious about our mission to actually work out.  More than once my fellow fat burners stumbled as they ran into her when she suddenly shifted into their lane like a rolling storm.  What was she doing, filling out an online mortgage application?  Is it too much to ask to leave the freaking phone in the car for the few minutes you are on the track?  To make it worse, at each collision she looked at her victim like it was their fault.

The great part of this experience was I was able to run/jog the entire 15 minutes without walking so today was a milestone for me.  My wind is improving immensely and so is my strength and endurance.  I am a little disappointed my weight remained at 259 when I weighed this morning.  I desperately hate plateaus.   Is this God’s way of teaching me patience?  I wish he would hurry up.  I also completed 40 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, 30 deep knee bends and increased my weights a little on the circuit.  The deep knee bends always seem to make my heart beat stronger and I use more wind doing them than I do running.  Kinda weird.

As far as food goes, I ate much more than usual.  I just seemed hungrier than usual so I ate more but kept to the diet.

I suppose technology makes it possible to write this blog and technology has improved many aspects of the gym as well as the machines we use.  But, if you go work out somewhere, please leave the freaking phone in the car.  All of us on track thank-you very, very much.

End of Day 8

Day 4 – Making Hay

There are few gyms you can go to where hay deals are made by two naked farmers in the locker room.  As I was dressing out these two Rogers County farmers struck a deal on some hay one of them had for sale.  In case you are interested, hay is going for $12.50 a square bale.  The outlook for for hay prices this year is hay will be higher due to sporadic droughts around the region.  I came to the rec center to lose weight and in the interim I am gaining a whole new education on a variety of topics.  Good for me.

My weight dropped another two pounds when I weighed this morning.  I am now at 260, ten pounds from my high of 270 on January 21.  Six of these pounds were lost since my workouts started so I am pleased with the results and claim a degree of success.

The workout seemed a little tougher today for some reason.  My planned fifteen minute warm up had a little less running, a bit more walking and a lot more breathing.  For some reason I feel weaker today. Because the weekend is here I decided to push just a little more knowing I would not workout until Monday  so I went a few minutes longer on the track.  I also increased the weights on the circuit to really work my upper body muscles.  Let me just share with you, if you work your biceps and triceps too hard you may not have enough strength to get your sweaty tee shirt off later.  That’s what happened to me today.  About the time I got the shirt over my head my arms were quenched of strength and I looked like an idiot trying to fight my way out of a paper bag as I banged against the lockers in a panic.  Don’t let this happen to you.

Here is the updated results:

Food and Nutrition

WHOLE GRAINS

A tremendous of amount of research went in to discovering the best way to eat during my journey.  This is what I believe is best for me.  You may have different ideas.  As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I have eliminated whole grains and their byproducts from my diet.  I did this for two reasons.  First, my mother-in-law cut out bread and soda and lost all of her unwanted fat without exercising.  In fact, she got thin.  Second, I learned that eating whole grains spikes our insulin causing whole grains to be stored as fat.  I am not a biology expert by any means but when I see people stop eating bread, pasta, rice and breaded foods lose and lose weight fast, I become interested.  How it all works is not that important to me as long as I can lose weight.  Think about how much grain products you eat in a day especially if you are a person who eats out often.  I lost six pounds in four days by not eating whole grains and working out.  It speaks for itself.  I know there are many, many experts who swear whole grains are essential to good health but I believe otherwise.  Think about what all the people who lived before the knowledge of processing grains was acquired.  They ate meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.  No bread.

VITAMINS

My son’s endocrinologist told us never to take vitamins that are in excess of the 100% daily recommendation and never take them in the morning.  It seems our bodies can only absorb so much of them and the rest is either stored in our bodies or washed out in our urine which is a huge waste of money.  Did you know iron restricts the thyroid hormone? If you are taking thyroid medicine please see your endocrinologist before staring a vitamin regimen.  I choose to believe him so I take a Centrum at night before I go to bed.

WHOLE FOODS

Processed foods can be very bad for you.  I had a friend who died of colon cancer who swore his cancer was a result of eating too much processed foods.  My friend worked out daily but ate fast food for the majority of his meals.  Processed foods are anything that aren’t whole foods like meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.  The only processed food I now eat is the corn meal around a tamale and yogurt.  Everything else is out.  For breakfast I eat fruit and yogurt with an occasional bacon and eggs.  For lunch I usually stop at a grocery store and get a few non-breaded wings or a hamburger patty along with a tomato, banana, peach or pear and water.  Dinner is usually a meat like beef or chicken, a sliced tomato or pepper, a fruit of some kind and more water (sometimes a small glass of milk).  I also enjoy salads and don’t care what dressing I use or how much.  Later in the evening I will have another yogurt or fruit.  I am also learning to be creative with food.  For instance, a baked potato with the juice from the roast on it is great.  Or, stir fry with chicken, onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, and a stir fry sauce without rice is wonderful.  You can also be creative and I hope you share your recipes with me.  Whole foods are far better for you than all the boxed foods you get at the grocery store.  Think about the money you will save.

My wife and I are also moving towards buying our meat from a cattleman we know.  It seems the steroids and hormones used in production foods also can affect us negatively.  I learned farmers use steroids to shorten the time a chicken goes from egg to slaughter.  This cannot be healthy for us to eat so we are looking into buying chickens from a local farmer.  Go el naturale!

So, I am glad a hay deal was done today in the locker room at the Claremore recreation center by two naked farmers.  The hay may play a role in me and my family’s future health.

Looking forward to a restful weekend and wishing you one, too.

End of Day 4