Journaling: Public and Private. Fears of Backsliding.

Hey there everyone. First, I want to say that if you’re not following my Facebook page you are missing out on some of my smaller updates. This brings me to the topic of this post: Journaling!

Image result for emo journal gif

Part of my goals this year were to start journaling more and more frequently. Now, you may not be seeing all this journaling because a lot of it is just for me. I also have a somewhat high standard of what constitutes a full blog entry or is fine for just a quick facebook post. I’ve been utilizing my facebook page more and more often lately for my Primal Fatso stuff because a lot of times I only have something for a quick few sentences or just a picture and a caption. For me to want to write a full blog post like this, I feel like I need at the very least a few paragraphs. My concern is that if I don’t blog consistently that I’ll just up and stop again (which you’ve all seen me do over time). Public journaling helps keep me in check with myself in some instances. Especially with my health goals. I don’t want this to become a grind or a job though. Using facebook helps me stay connected with my goals and when I have enough thoughts on a subject, it might turn into a blog post.

Private journaling, on the otherhand, is also something I find myself doing more and more. I’ve found that talking about things with friends and family sometimes brings up questions I might have about myself and why I am the way I am. So I’ll scribble a few notes down in Google Keep about my emotions or what’s happening to bring to therapy to discuss. Sometimes I dig in myself and think about it. It’s been extremely helpful lately for me. I’m hoping that by continuously journaling, seeking therapy and talking openly with my wife and friends, I can help to stay on the best path for myself.

Backsliding is my biggest concern in my life right now. Some days I get going into a great mind set for my health and my relationships and it just slowly dies off over time. I think journaling and consistent therapy will help with that. Setting goals that we consistently can measure with metrics helps as well and making sure to have a goal check-in is important also.

I feel like I’m doing pretty well right now. My biggest health obstacles are: consistently cooking and eating healthy meals and exercise. Sometimes it’s hard to get both right every week while also getting other goals done (like spending time with my family, spending time alone with my wife, spending time on myself, doing chores, etc…). Exercise and cooking regularly are always the first things to fall to the wayside. I’m aware of that and I have the metrics to prove that it’s a challenge.

That’s where I am right now, mentally. Physically, I’m still pushing myself. Still trying to get my eating under control. Started riding my bike again instead of driving to the train. Need to up my exercise to at least 3 trips to the gym a week. Feeling like I can do this still. Just need to make sure I don’t stop and I keep trying and when I feel like stopping, I find out why I’m trying to stop myself.

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When You Can’t Punch Faster, Punch Harder

Last weekend I tried to get to TITLE Boxing in Salem on Saturday but woke up with a HUGE headache and stomach cramps. I really didn’t want to use this as an excuse so I tried to get feeling better prior to it and that didn’t quite work. But I didn’t let that discourage me. I went in on Sunday.

I arrived a half hour early for a tour and to sign some paperwork. I had to buy some wrist wraps for $10 which they helped me get into and some loaner gloves (ew). Everyone seemed pretty friendly. They showed me the basic moves they call out (jab, cross, front/back hooks, front/back uppercuts, front/back slips).

I warmed up as much as I was comfortable warming up, trying to get some heat into my shoulders and elbows. They told me not to go to crazy during the 15 minute cardio session and that was an excellent suggestion. I paced myself as much as I could so I could handle the actual 8 3-minute “rounds”. The cardio is a combination of things like jumping jacks, frog jumps, toe taps on the bottom of the bag and general punching combinations.

I started off the rounds pretty strong. In the past I’ve done boxing and kickboxing classes and I always gas out because I go too hard to start, so I reminded myself that I got 8 more rounds to go and I’m not trying to score a knockout blow… on a heavy bag.

So around the end of the first round, my plantar fasciitis roared back into life… I pushed through and eventually it went away before the 6th round. I know how to handle this next time… stretch out my feet. I was still gassing out around the 3rd or 4th round, so I tried to focus more on form then speed. 

At one point they have you do like a barrage of punches. That was great. That reminded me why I like boxing. Just drilling the body of the bag with big giant hooks until the end of the round. I also found that it was good to slow down and really count out my combinations correctly. When I did this before we would number them. 1 was a front jab, 2 was a cross, 3 was a front hook, 4 was a back hook, 5 was a front upper, 6 was a rear upper. So I tried to slow my pace down to count out my combos which helped a lot as they got more complex. I also was slowing down my pace a bit and hitting harder instead of faster.

By round 6 I caught a surprise second wind! There’s a cooldown between rounds that are about 30 seconds or so. They have you do stretches during this and then you have about 15 seconds to get some water. I brought a water bottle (which I left there…) but you have to basically remove your glove every time as the thumb is secured to the glove. I’ll bring a straw bottle next time. 

The cool down is… a lot of sit ups. By then I was dead. I couldn’t even do 1 GOOD sit up… this is definitely a full body workout. I got through the whole thing without dying and it felt great.

They keep a score table and I did pretty good for my first time. Just under 100k points. That was mid-pack. The top folks were in the 150k area and the lower folks were in the 50-70k area. I’ll have to ask how the scores are tallied.

The day after I experienced some wrist pain from a glancing blow that rolled my wrist and general soreness all over. My shoulders were murdered though. 

There was some concerns I had about the price though. It’s expensive. In fact, most of them are very expensive I found out later. This is actually a bit of a deal if you pay in full for the year. I need to send them an email about some of the prices they quoted because they don’t always make sense… like why would there be a down payment on a paid in full membership?

I hope this works out as I really enjoyed going and really wanted to go back. That’s more than I can say for previous efforts to workout in my life. Also, lets be honest, it feels good to punch the shit out of things for an hour.

Oh, 289lbs as of 2/15/19

Working Out… and Getting Sick Again

Initial Post started on 1/20

I heard a story on NPR today about how next week is the week that most people give up on their “New Years Resolution workout” goals… the good news is that I haven’t even started…

I was actually considering this when I started making my goals. The gyms and workout places get SLAMMED in January. I’m pretty averse to lots of crowds. I’m a bit self-conscious about working out in crowds, also. I’m hoping to hit up TITLE Boxing soon to see what it’s about. If you have familiarity with this place, let me know what you think of it. I’m hoping hitting the heavy bag will help me lose weight and de-stress. Hopefully I can find time to go frequently.

No major updates today though. Haven’t lost any appreciable weight. I had a cheat meal this week. Our bar closed for the season so I ate off goal and had a drink. Nothing too crazy. Trying to keep myself from binging on tons of food or drink in a cheat meal. I think my goal is to not have more than one cheat meal a month. Ideally I’ll have none. That’s something that can quick become an excuse to use it more and more.

Updated Post completed on 1/28

So, I had started writing this last week and then on Monday night my bronchitis came back with a FULL head of steam. Suffice to say, I didn’t get to the gym to try it out… I ended up on a full treatment of Azithromycin and Prednisone and a few other things. I was sick in bed, shivering, coughing, dying for a few days there. Unfortunately, when this happens, my lungs tend to feel like they’ve been shredded for months afterwards… I’m hoping the steroids might speed this up a bit, but just something as simple as a short walk (especially in the cold) is almost too much for me. A bit disheartening. The upsell is that because I’ve been sick, I got down to 283lbs… So that’s pretty good.

I was warned that while on the steroids, I’ll be sweet-toothing it a bit… so I gotta be real careful about sugar intake right now. I might have overdone it with fruits the last few days. I did go out for ‘off-plan’ food on Saturday night… which is twice in a month. Not the best, but I had to eat and I couldn’t cook. Rice was the big cheat on that one.

As for my goals this week, let’s just say it was a wash. I tried my best to keep the house clean. I did go grocery shopping and do meal planning. Other than that, I’m just trying to recuperate. Today was my first day back in the office in like a week and a half. I think out of January, I’ve gone to work like 5 times… nothing like dropping $250 on a monthly train pass and using it 5 times to make you feel that value. I played a lot of video games… tried to keep myself quarantined from the rest of the family as much as possible.

Alright, that’s all. Crummy update, but I didn’t want to fall off with my journaling. Looking forward to a week of not being sick… Maybe even a whole month!

In Which I Discuss Self Control and Taco Bell.

So over the past 10 days (since the 3rd) have been an interesting display of self control that I really hope I can keep going. I’ve attended a kid’s birthday party where there were plenty of choices that wouldn’t have been healthy (Pizza, donuts, etc…) but I never felt even the need to pine over them. I went to my doctor because I have bronchitis and a sinus infection, but despite that I didn’t let the stress of the situation lead me to the Taco Bell next door. That’s a huge win… my discussion with myself went something a little like this: “Probably not a good idea to go eat Taco Bell…” “Yeah, you’re right.” So, that was an easy discussion… with myself

We’re almost there… just a few more years.

Speaking of Taco Bell… I watched Demolition Man recently and it occurred to me how much they nailed bits and pieces of the future. Hell, Taco Bell actually changed their logo based on the movie… We’ve got tablets, self driving electric cars, personal biometric security devices on our things, personal video teleconferencing… an ever increasingly angry Denis Leary who just wants a steak and a cigarette and not your opinions… But out of all of that, I learned that Taco Bell has an official apparel store. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did. I don’t have any Taco Bell apparel and now I’d feel like a hypocrite. That’s probably enough about Taco Bell for today…

Taco Bell Logo from 1984-1993 (left) Taco Bell Logo from Demolition Man (1993, but 2032)
Source with 1994-2018 logo and the NEW 2019 logo

Other fun little self-control situations I conquered were getting black coffee without sugar and dairy when I went out. Not eating the bread that came with the few salads I ordered over the week was probably the closest I got to losing a discussion in favor of health with myself. Eventually I sabotaged the bread by dumping trash on it… and then tossing it in the trash. Once it was gone I felt like “Why was that one so hard?” Either way, I didn’t beat myself up over it and I let my trash bread go off into the ether.

Why is that though? Why can I start off so gung ho and let it lapse over time? How does my stress actively whittle away at that. Was there something specific that happened that day that had me almost make a bad decision? I don’t recall. I’ll have to watch for that.

I mentioned that I was sick… well am sick. I get bronchitis and sinus infections pretty much annually for 1-4 weeks. It sucks. It’s also taken a little of the wind out of my sails when it comes to exercise. I’ve walked a few days (one that ended with a pulled calf muscle… because of course it did). I’m really trying to not let this put me off my goals… so lets do a little goal check-in

I haven’t invited anyone over, but I have gone out socially a few times. The house is reasonably picked up and I could tidy it shortly for guests, so that second part of that goal is also in play.
I’ve done my cooking pretty solidly. We’ve had a few take out orders, but nothing crazy (mostly salads). I’ve actually rang out a few meals that were pretty decent and didn’t make me crazy trying to make them.
I’ve played games with friends when they’re available.
I haven’t started on my exercise routine, but I did send a feeler out to TITLE Boxing in Salem to see what the next steps are for some free classes.
It’s too cold and I’m too sick to be cycling, but I did buy a bike cover for my bike so I can keep it outside when I’m not riding it. That’s better than keeping it in the basement.
I’m journaling… obv.
I haven’t lost any weight so to speak. I’m hovering around 290, +/- 2lbs. I need to watch my snacking I think.

Overall, a pretty successful week and a half in terms of my mental health, now I just need to get better and get out to some places to see what exercise routines will work with my schedule and my energy and passion.

Poop

Disclosure – The following is not really an ad, but a product review. I purchased this with my own money and have not been in touch with the company in any way for any direct reimbursement. A link to purchase one is included and I will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card for anyone who uses the link to purchase it.

Get yourself a bidet… seriously. They’re cheap and easy to install in many instances and your butt will feel better because of it. I really can’t believe I’ve waited this long to get one. I ended up with this cheap-ish Tushy Spa unit. It allows for both hot and cold water via some hoses and T-fittings. Your toilet needs to be near or next to your sink to make it work (or you better be good running a long hard line…).

It installed pretty quickly, except my existing toilet seat had these enormous bolts that wouldn’t fit through the thing so I had to swap it with my downstairs seat. I drilled a hole in my shitty little sink console to run the included flexible plastic line from the hot side to the unit. Cold water taps off your toilet fill. They also sell a model that just uses the cold water and it’s quite a bit cheaper. Took about 30 minutes to install properly.

The effects are great. You’ll hate shitting when you don’t have access to a bidet now. Using it is a simple affair… let me break it down for you

  1. shit
  2. spray
  3. dab

dab

No… not… not like that. (source)

Actually, let me reprhase this whole fucking thing… So, poop as normal (a Squatty Potty would go well with this). Then set your temperature (not too hot!) and slowly turn on the sprayer. You can also pre-warm the water by running your sink’s hot water until it warms up so you don’t get that first cold spray if you’re averse to having cold water on your butt. You can also run the self cleaning mode prior to spraying to get any of the cold water left in the tube out. You can set the angle using a little switch on the unit. I normally just adjust my seating to get proper coverage. Then, take 4 sheets of toilet paper or so and dab yourself dry. There shouldn’t be any real substance left. Flush and then turn on the ‘self cleaning’ mode for a few seconds to wash anything off that might have gotten on it. That’s it.

Overall, it’s great. This is a very simple model compared to some of the really fancy ones I’ve seen that are hundreds of dollars and sometimes require electricity. But those ones can do things like front wash, pulse modes, different spray patterns, etc… I’d love one of those some day, especially if it had a heated seat. So far the build quality seems pretty good. I had ZERO leaks on the hoses (make sure not to overtighten the compression fittings on the hot water hoses) so far. It doesn’t look too silly installed either. It’s just a few knobs sticking out the side of your toilet seat. It does raise the back of your seat a bit and the front is angled down, but I don’t notice it.

The only real downsides I’ve seen are few and not deal breakers.

  • The seat being raised in the back might not be great for some people.
  • If you set the pressure too high initially, you might do some damage (I might just have really high water pressure though, but take it easy… we’re not powerwashing graffiti off your ass, you sadist).
  • There’s no safeguards for having it too hot, so be sure to start cold and find your temperature. Once you find the right temperature, you don’t really have to do any more tinkering. Mine is just a few clicks off the middle.
  • If you aren’t sitting right, it can spray too far forward and you might have to dab off your front bits… worst case, you might even spray between the gap of the seat and the bowl and get your pants wet (that hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have had to dry the front of the bowl a bit after using it)
  • If you have children… I can’t give you any tips on how to childproof this… It’s basically a drinking fountain/perfect way to soak your entire bathroom. Maybe if you disciplined your children THIS WOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM, MARGOT! 😉

But I will tell you this, I feel great after using it. I feel CLEAN. I feel like I’m not using as much toilet paper. I’m not wiping myself raw. It’s awesome. I’ve personally had some minor medical issues over the past year in regards to my butt and this was one of the things suggested to fix it. So far, so good. A lot of the little issues I was having seem to have gone away since I got it. I’m much more comfortable now… I just wish I had one at the office.

As far as I can tell, everyone in the house loves it too. My 9 year old can use it, but I’m not sure how often he does. It’s certainly an interesting feeling, but the fact that you leave the bathroom feeling CLEAN is great.

If you feel like picking one up, click this link. You get $5 off and I get a $10 Amazon Gift Card! http://fbuy.me/lwrk1

I think that’s about all I have to say on this subject… Guess this is a 900+ word review of the thing… Sorry, it won’t happen again… until I find something else to shill because I like it (or because the referral bonus is enormous or something).

 

The 300 Club

Hey, it’s January 1st. You know what that means!? THAT’S RIGHT! NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

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So, this one hurts a bit. I’m not quite 300lbs, but I’m nearly there. Here’s some things I learned over the past few months:

  1. The Bacon Smokehouse Signature Burger from McDonald’s is fucking delicious… no joke. It’s actually really tasty.
  2. Cheez-Its make me sick now.
  3. I can’t eat as MUCH as I used to
  4. I’m VERY weak. I have had a lot of trouble doing what I would consider basic movement and exercise. I couldn’t even start a fight much less end one.
  5. I’m still a sugar addict.
  6. Stress is a mind killer. When I get stressed out, I don’t give myself the room to discuss making mistakes with myself before I make them, I just jump right in.
  7. Negative self-reinforcement doesn’t work in the long run. I can’t beat myself up mentally and expect to get and feel better.
  8. Alcohol is no longer a vice. I feel comfortable cutting myself off at 2 drinks and only drinking something that I know I will like. I hate feeling drunk now.
  9. I’m getting better at cooking.

I started a new sheet on my weight loss chart. I can’t consider my goals going forward correctly looking at my old chart. 37 is a lot different than 31. Losing weight now is going to be a lot harder. But, for data tracking sake, here’s what it’s looked like since I started the blog until today

weightchart

A fast loss over the course of about a year followed by a slow, methodical crawl back up over 6 years. Let’s zoom in on the good chart:

GOODweightchart

As much as I’d like to reproduce this again this year, it is not my goal to shed tons of weight in a short time. It starts with setting goals for myself. So here are my goals. They’re not all weight related, but they are health related:

  • Invite someone over or go out socially once a week.
  • Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week
  • Play games 1-2 times a week with friends
  • Find a exercise routine by end of winter
  • Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute
  • Journaling at least once a week.
  • 250 by my birthday (July 24)

Let’s break those down into what they mean.

Invite someone over or go out socially once a week. So this one is simple, but has two things to it: inviting someone over means keeping my house clean. That means finding a cleaning regimen that keeps the downstairs picked up enough and tidy enough that I can have someone over and only need to spend 30 minutes tidying vs 6 hours cleaning.
The second part is that I feel better when I’m social with folks. My depression lifts away a lot better when I’m around people. That said, I need to make sure the social bit of this stays ahead of the cleaning thing. I can’t simply NOT be social BECAUSE the house isn’t picked up. I can’t use that as an excuse for staying home all the time. But, going out can lead to pitfalls. Drinking, eating off plan, etc… are a big concern, but I can’t let them be. I just need to go out and have fun with friends. I should be honest with my friends and let them know that I won’t be drinking heavily (if at all) and I won’t be eating like a savage anymore. I also invite my friends to question my choices. I’m definitely going to need some help here from the crowd to get back where I need to be. So, no peer pressure to drink and eat and feel free to make me THINK about my decisions.

Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week. Eating in means eating healthy for the most part. It also helps me save money. I’ve got all the tools (RealPlans, Grocery Delivery, etc…) I need to be able to do this… so do it.

Play games 1-2 times a week with friends. This obviously ties in with the above item. But sometimes I need some me-time and I like playing video games (or even starting a D&D group or something) to unwind. I need to stop being a hermit and play video games WITH my friends instead of alone. Again, depression battling being the major push for this goal.

Feel free to add me on whatever game service you have that I have:

  • Xbox Live GamerTag – Chapel976
  • Blizzard – Chapel976#1146
  • Steam – Chapel976
  • probably a bunch more, just hit me up and let me know what you’re playing, but most of my stuff is under Chapel976

Find a exercise routine by end of winter. So, this one is more of a ‘take advantage of the free trial days at as many places you find interesting and come to a decision before the end of winter’. I’m thinking of looking at a few boxing places nearby to see which one fits best with me. Ideally, I’d like to have this sorted out before end of February.

Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute. This is more of a post-winter goal. This one should be easy. Bike just needs a minor storage tune up. This will save me time and money. My big ass truck doesn’t get good mileage on short trips and parking isn’t free.

Journaling at least once a week. I need to keep up on this one for myself. I may do some of my journaling here and some privately. I need to keep my brain unloaded with the stresses of life and be honest with myself and sometimes with my peers and friends. If I’ve gone 12 days without making a post, hit me up on facebook and remind me. I need to really keep up on this one and have it help me focus on my goals.

250 by my birthday (July 24). 250lbs is 46lbs away. July 24 is almost 8 months away. In my other recent post I can do this because I have done this I said that this is doable because I’ve done it before. 76lbs in 6 months. So, why the lower goal? Why not push for 70 in 7? Because I’m older and this is going to be harder. If I get there earlier, great. But I need to start setting up the building blocks now and that’s why this is the last goal I have set right now.

And the last goal that I haven’t mentioned is basically KEEP IT UP. I need to be honest with my therapist, with my journaling, with my family and friends and I need to keep pushing myself. I need to keep setting achievable goals and working towards them. I need to get back into the mind set that I was in back in 2012. I need the fire and the passion to keep this up and keep it going for longer. I want to come out of this year stronger than ever. I want to be able to push myself without breaking myself and I’m going to need some help doing it. I need to identify when I’m making excuses for myself and overcome those excuses. I need to THINK about those excuses I’m going to make ahead of time and fight them without being mean to myself.

So, lets get started!

First up: grocery shopping for the meal plan I have for the week that I’ve already made!

Starting Weight – 296lbs

I’m not giving up. I’m just swamped

August was a bit of a blur. I ate pretty well. Got a lot of walking done. Turned into a giant stress ball at work and got buried in responsibilities there. I plan on returning with a longer blog post, but I’ve got a bit of writers block on top of that.

We’ve had an interesting dietary change over August: We basically ate the same weekly schedule of meals for like a month. We’re adding options for September, but it was surprisingly entertaining to do. It really helped me get comfortable with a few particular meals. I’ve been whipping up some particularly good and fast stir fries as of late.

Nothing much else to report in this short blog post…

Moving forward feels a bit like this lately though.

QWOP Cosplay - Imgur.gif

I can do this because I have done this

https://primalfatso.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/100lbs-later/

There’s something I took away from this post that gives me hope even though it’s 5 years later

That’s a loss of 76lbs in 6 months…

The template for weight loss for me is written here on these pages. I can lose 10lbs a month for 6 months and be back at what was a much healthier 225ish lbs.

I have the knowledge. I know the effort involved. The matter at hand is how to get over the mental roadblock that’s been dogging me forever.

I need to cook more often. I’ve signed up for this great site called RealPlans. It gives you meal plans and you can buy access to more recipes to use from lots of Paleo sites (like Nom Nom Paleo, Well Fed and Paleo Mom). It makes meal planning much easier as it generates a meal plan every week for your dietary needs (which you can get really granular with). On top of that, it spits out a great timeline for when to start defrosting and prepping stuff. It also gives you a shopping list.

Shopping has also been futurized… We can get Whole Foods delivered for not much money and shop from the couch with RealPlans on one half and the Amazon cart on the other.

I’m also completely aware of the privilege of all of this… I’m lucky enough to be able to afford all this. It makes things slightly easier for us at a cost that’s not much. The annual plan is $72 and each extra recipe source is an additional $12/year. That can get really expensive, really fast. We have 6 upgrade accounts. That’s almost $150/year. Is it worth it for everyone? Probably not. If you’re single or a couple doing this and you aren’t spending 2-4 hours a week meal planning and grocery shopping, it might be better to do it the old fashioned way. If you have lots of obligations (or kids) and can’t afford to lose those 4 hours a week planning and shopping, think of it on a per week basis. It’s about $2.75 a week with all the paleo subs to help get your meals planned faster and organized. It has an app and it spits out all your timelines, shopping lists and recipes into a giant PDF that you can print out. They are like 25 pages, but having it in paper is so much easier when you are cooking.

Grocery delivery is another thing that’s super beneficial in this. You tip a driver and delivery is almost always free with Amazon. They charge $5 if you want a smaller delivery window. I highly recommend it if you feel like you can’t get out of the house to get the foods you want to cook. Just be sure to actually cook for yourself.

These past few weeks have been a blur of stress and anxiety and minor emergencies. I haven’t had a chance to heed my own advice as much as I would like, but hopefully I can get back to cooking and keep my other problems at bay at least for a few meals.

Sorry, no images or witticisms today.

Testing… testing. Is this thing on?

Does anyone even care anymore?

Let me start over.

Hi, my name is Jared and when I’m depressed, I feed it. I feed it almost uncontrollably. I’ve been suffering from pretty severe bouts of depression stemming from a variety of personal issues that I’m debating discussing here. Suffice to say, it involves estrangement from my father who is my last surviving parent.

I assure you that I’m still happily married and my son is now 9 years old. I’ve separated myself from a lot of negativity over the past few years. I’ve circled my wagons to protect those closest to me. I’ve also identified the people who are best for my own well being and have had to make the difficult decision to abandon parts of my past that were not healthy for me mentally. Sadly, that decision was part of the family estrangement issues I mentioned earlier.

I was diagnosed with autism in the spring of 2017 shortly after my son was diagnosed and I’ve been seeing a therapist who matches my needs quite well. In a very short amount of time, I’ve begun to tap into emotional centers in my brain that have been dormant for 30+ years. It’s an odd feeling, but recognizing my diagnosis with autism was key to unlocking a lot of my potential. I’ve always been a very cold and logical. My emotional range was not very diverse. Empathizing with people was extremely difficult. Understanding how other people felt was impossible. I still have a LONG way to go, but therapy has been fantastic for me.

I’ve had a tough couple of years. After the election in 2016, I found that a lot of people I grew up around had chosen a different path from my own and to continue to entertain some of the ideas and values that they were espousing was extremely disappointing and arguing with them was only driving me further and further away from them. Many of them abandoned me in a time of extreme need and it was devastating to lose contact with people I’d known since I was a child. Thankfully it’s not all of them. My closest, long time friend is still a great part of my life when we both can coordinate spending time together. Another of my childhood hockey friends is still very much part of my life as well. I feel I should mention that my estrangement from my father has nothing to do with the election, it just coincidentally happened around the same time. I have curated a supportive circle of friends to be around and it has helped me immensely. While I worry about living in a bubble, I’m certainly aware of what is going on outside of that bubble.

My wife has been battling her own severe health issues during this time as well, but that’s her story to tell and not mine. 2017 was not kind to my family. 2018 is looking better.

So, why am I back?

I’ve been thinking about how well I was able to handle my diet and weight loss by talking about it. The direction I take this blog may end up being less about diet and weight loss and more about myself. I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of very intelligent people and I’ve seen how they talk openly about what is going on in their lives and it seems to bring them some sense of satisfaction or emotional release.

I’m learning more and more about myself every day and I hope that I can also find time for healthy decisions and go back to a way of healthy life that is best for me.

My health has deteriorated quite a bit in the last few years. My hypertension has returned. I’m starting to show signs of arthritis in my feet, ankles, hands and wrists. I’m having GI issues that are 100% related to diet. I’m tired all the time. I have little to no energy or drive to do the right thing for myself. I’ve begun investing in some self-care, but need to buy in harder. I’ve started seeing a massage therapist to help with some pain management. I try to see my chiropractor more often and now I’m working on my diet again. I’m hoping to do a solid 6 months of healthy eating and see where that gets me. I’m around 285lbs right now and need to get a solid 60lbs off me to help with the arthritis and pain in my legs and feet.

I’d actually started writing this blog post back in November and the tone was much different. I was much more angry with the original draft of this post. I’ve become better and converting my anger into something better for me so thankfully that draft never went up.

The most important part of this blog for me is to be able to talk about things. If there’s one thing I never learned growing up was to talk about things openly. I was repressed from both my undiagnosed autism and I was raised in a family that didn’t “talk about that sort of thing”. That factor is easily the linchpin in the estrangement from my father. When my family suffered traumas, we didn’t really talk about it. We let it fester and we held it inside and hoped it would go away. After my mom died in 2009, things went downhill for my immediate family. Therapy wasn’t really something we did. It was a decision I regret immensely.

So, I invite you to decide whether this blog is the right blog for you to follow. I expect to talk openly about a lot of things that are personal and may hit close to home for some of my readers and it may be uncomfortable to read at times. I will likely be discussing things like my addictions and my traumas and my depression. It may not as be as fun to read as my old posts, but perhaps I’ll find my way back and maybe I’ll help some people along the way. Perhaps I’ll only help myself, but sometimes self care is the most important thing.

Thanks for reading.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

RIP – Rob Ford – Primal Fatso Spirit Animal 2012-2016

The Blood Sugar Solution 10-day Detox

For the past 10 days, I’d been subscribed to “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet“. We also purchased “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook” to compliment it. Suffice to say it worked. Common sense says: “Of course it did, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t.” I lost 17lbs in 10 days. I’m now at 256lbs. But now I hear people asking: “wait,what? Last time you checked in your weight you were 268.” Well, people… let me tell you a little bit about the weekend BEFORE I started this detox. Friday was a gala feast at Naumkeag Ordinary in Salem in which I ate 3 cheeseburgers (no buns), a few appetizers (that were actually pretty paleo) a half a bottle of white wine and a glass of beer. Saturday was a lovely birthday party in which I had a few bottles of cider, a few shots of hard alcohol, a lot of my wife’s cheese dip and 2 slices of pizza. Sunday morning finished me off at O’Neills of Salem where we brought a friend out to his first Full Irish Breakfast. My wife, my son and I ordered 1 each. Then when my son couldn’t finish his, we split it between my wife and I and ate it. By Monday morning weigh in, I was 273lbs. That Friday morning before the weekend I was 263lbs. For a 3 day gain of 10lbs.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

I know buddy, I know…

One part of this detox involved a detox of social media and news. There was simply not a better time for me to start this in the face of what’s going on this election season (I’ll stop there before I alienate people or start stressing myself out…). It was definitely nice to get  away from the stresses of facebook, the 24-hour news cycle and a lot of general negativity that was surrounding me.

The main part of it is simple paleo eating and daily workouts. The basis for the plan is to remove all sugar, caffeine, grains, starchy vegetables and beans from your diet. The main idea is that sugar is as addictive as drugs. There’s a lot of exposition that explains how your brain’s addiction centers actually get more activity from sugar and even artificial sweeteners than it does from cocaine. It’s a lot of fun science if you’re into that and it’s mostly sound from my perspective. It gets a little preachy and if you’re already paleo or primal, this might not be the plan for you. If you were paleo/primal and fell off the wagon, this one should hitch you right back on. If you were NEITHER of these things this is a GREAT starting point. It ignores the ‘cult of paleo’ and cuts right to the meat of things. Sugar is killing you and making you do things you don’t want to do. He coins the term ‘diabesity’ in this book as diabetes caused by obesity. I know when I first started my journey, I was definitely in that category and that’s what got me to start it in the first place: I didn’t want to get diabetes.

If you’re familiar with the Whole30 or a Whole9, the food is nearly identical. The one interesting thing about the Blood Sugar Solution is that they NEVER ONCE CALL IT PRIMAL/PALEO despite it being pretty much 100% to a T. I think the MAIN reason for this is because there’s also vegetarian options that include things that wouldn’t work as paleo. So good on them. It also distances themselves from the paleo movement which can be a turnoff for a lot of people as it has become a little militant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten someone commenting on my facebook page about how something I ate wasn’t 100% paleo or primal. I get it, I’m not perfect. The food in the cookbook and the plan was great, but the recipes were not very well laid out. Make sure you read and re-read a recipe before you start in on it. I can’t tell you how many times I screwed something up because half of the recipe was on one page and the other was on the opposite page and I’m scrambling to wash raw fish off my hands so I can flip a page back to see what herbs he’s suggesting I toss in with it.

The daily regiment is pretty simple: Weigh yourself, measure yourself, take your blood pressure, take your blood sugar, do 30minutes of exercise (I did incline walking), PGX Fiber pill, multi vitamin, Vitamin D, fish oil and a smoothie from the book. I stuck with this lovely concoction that was made with a Kiwi, 1/4 of an avocado, chia seeds, kale, water, ice and mint. My wife and son hated it, so that’s what I stuck with so they could enjoy theirs without me digging into their stash of ingredients. That said, there’s was superior to mine, but I enjoyed mine enough. The good news is that it really did stave off hunger. Also, the going cold-turkey on sugar really had an immediate effect on my cravings. I wasn’t going to the kitchen and chowing down on things I shouldn’t. I wasn’t even opening the counters at work to LOOK. I also stopped taking my blood sugar after the 3rd day. It was in the low 80s and the pain of pricking my finger was impeding my work as my fingers ached all day. My blood pressure was thankfully normal before and throughout.

Lunches were a variety of options, but I stuck with the least stressful: salad and protein. I made a mixed green salad with carrots and tomatoes and slapped 2 hard boiled eggs on it and my wife’s homemade greek dressing (which is paleo). Snacks would be a small handful of nuts (about 12). Dinner was varied and we stuck to the plan for 6 days. By the 7th day, we got a little more adventurous and looked at the cookbook for ideas as some of the suggestions for days 7-10 didn’t have us excited. I will tell you now, it’s mostly chicken and SMALL fish (ie, no tuna). There was one red meat meal that we ate on day 8 where I got a REALLY nice aged ribeye that my wife and I split and enjoyed thoroughly. The good news is the chicken meals were fantastic. There was a great chicken soup lunch option that we made twice. There were some great cod cakes (which I massacred when I attempted the 2nd time we ate it) and some other good fish suggestions. I wasn’t in love with the first day fish suggestion, but that might have been because I bought shitty salmon.

stupid-human-brain_o_1224189Overall, I was very happy with the food. The exercise was good too. Of course I lost weight, that’s what happens when you eat right and exercise. I did have recurring nightmares of cheating badly on the plan though. It was very strange. Everyday I’d wake up with a stomach full of guilt because my brain ate a bunch of pizza and beer while it slept. Stupid human brain. I’m pretty sure we’re going to continue to make this kind of food for another 90 day at least. Maybe make some adjustments to things so we can have steak a little more and fish a little less.

There’s also a journaling aspect to the project as well. There’s daily questions and a daily log of your food, weight, measurements, etc… It can be great for someone starting out on a paleo journey, but for me it was a lot of questions about how your dealing with your cravings and sugar addiction… and for me it wasn’t dramatic. I just stopped craving them immediately. Also, I absolutely hate writing with a pen and paper. I wish I’d just kept an online log of it. It’s a lot easier for me to jot down notes on my phone or something than to constantly be searching for that pad of paper and pen.

There was one thing on the detox that I hated: Detox baths. First off, I’m not a ‘bath’ person. At least not in my own house. I’m pretty tall and my bath doesn’t really fill very much before it hits the overflow drain… which has a bad seal and leaks into my downstairs living room. So the only bits of my body that get submerged in the water are my hips, butt and ankles… and my legs if I sit bolt upright. In the long run it makes my back and ass hurt and I tend to get cold because most of me is above the warm water. I tried to read in the tub to some minor success, but mostly I was annoyed to be lightly simmering in my shitty tub. I should have bought one of these: Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain Cover – RecyclableThen I could have gotten somewhere. I should also probably replace that gasket…

bathtoosmall

I know buddy, I know…

Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the results, the food and the plan. I’m probably going to stick to limiting my facebook usage, reducing the notifications from facebook in general, avoiding the news cycle and trying to get away from my phone and computer more. I did break away from one thing today and probably JUST for today: the morning smoothie. I missed eggs and bacon, so I got some with some peppers and onions (instead of homefries) this morning. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped… so I’ll probably go back to smoothies tomorrow. I also miss the taste of coffee and black tea, but not the caffeine that comes with it. I’ll need to figure that one out too.

So, here we are again. At the beginning of a new journey… a new, old journey. Next time I’m going to discuss my concerns about how this goes forward, my plans for what happens next and my major concerns with things like going out with friends to bars and restaurants and parties.