The log below is a record of my progress of my effort to change my lifestyle:
Day 1 – Jan 22 Water = frequent bathroom visits
I hate water. I hate exercise. I hate body building. Sounds like I am doomed, no? Well, my lifestyle epiphany said I need to re-assess and alter my focus.
This new camel enjoys walking his buddy, Fermo, on walks every day. Now it may have to become 2 walks a day, or even 3. But the little guy will have to speed up for his current pace is one step faster than my couch potato mode.
Water, something I hate as most cats, will have to become my new drink of choice…and bathroom visits will become ceaseless interruptions. But water is essential for the body, for the joints, 6 glasses each day.
I started my day with TWO.
Exercise is important in keeping limber and joints lubricated. My passion is writing and computer work. Hence, I sit at my computer writing for usually more than 4 hours a day. If I exercised like that, I’d be an Olympic calibre athlete!
Muscle development…are you serious? Please…I don’t have a muscle in my body…time to change that.
I did some 5/5/5 which means 5 modified pushups, 5 squats, and a 5-second plank. Pedro would be proud of me.
Finally, sleep studies have shown, lack of sleep wreaks havoc with the digestive process. Yup, less sleep leads to increased weight…my body is confirmation. I don’t sleep enough as I reading late, later and even later. Gotta change that and I did the first night…bed by 10, lights out by 11pm.
Well, it’s a start.
Day 2 – Jan 23 Move more
I have not found a rhythm for recording yet…so it is a stumbling activity. I must record a DAILY FOOD/WAM LOG and also the AGNES CHART which is a daily actions summary.
The weather is wreaking havoc with my walking. RAINING cats and dogs in January, making walking very hazardous. Even Fermo avoids sidewalks, prefering to walk in to whatever is left of snowbanks. I have visions of slipping and breaking something just days before departure to SNOWBIRD locales.
Already, I can see my 3 biggest problems: poor eating/water drinking habits, too much sitting and too little exercise.
I fear the weather. Temperatures are now dropping way below ZERO, -10 and much lower. Therefore, sidewalks are all ice. And I will not go to a plaza to walk as others do…just too much time wasted. I sound like I am making excuses, but my commitment to the website is #1. I feel I owe it to site visitors to give them my daily best. Of course, this is not beneficial to me physically.
But I a certain as I progress, things will improve. I am very confident that the vacation to sunnier and warmer climes will change many things significantly.
Day 3 – Jan 24 Bathroom new best friend
Winter is either the enemy or my best excuse. I really am afraid of walking on the streets and sidewalks as they are coated with ice everywhere.
My eating and water drinking is changing for the better. 6 glasses is no problem unless you consider my new residence, the bathroom. I live there, going more often than the clients of a Dublin pub. Well, I guess I should look at the positive side, the bathroom has replaced my favourite hangout, the kitchen. Lisa, the dietitian guru says this will change and eventually subside. Aint so far…only thing seen is that my kidneys are very active and my bladder is doing a bursting business. I don’t know how I will drive for hours with the body processing water the way it is. I might be lucky to reach the end of the drive way. Even here at home when I do household chores at stores, I am on the high alert at where all the bathrooms are along my route. I can’t make it longer than 20 minutes…I keep imagining being stopped by a traffic cop for some minor infraction and pleading to let me go as I have to pee. This is not a comfortable situation so far.
Food is still an issue though, evenings especially. Damn TV is my worst enemy. Not because I sit and watch it for a couple of hours, but because they run so many commercials, FOOD commercials. I have learned them all now: the cheddar cheese on the AW burgers, the DQ aint fast food, it’s fan food, huh, Tim Horton’s teaching parents it isnt wrong to say no to your child, but not at their shops, and then there’s McDonald’s. How can you not love McDonald’s, everybody’s FOOD TREASURE cove? Oh, I forgot, Poppy’s where they bounce the crispy coated chicken pieces across the screen as if they were eatable ping pong ball. Each commercial has me mesmerized and don’t kid yourself, you become hungry as you watch one after the other. Note to fast food marketers: hey buddies, your ads are working. I go out the next day and try the ‘Teen burger,’ that Timmy’s breakfast sandwich, that FAN food combo, that Poppy’s ghost chicken…not all of them at one time. After all, even I have limits….some.
But I digress. I watch TV and the commercials attack my hunger. So my defensive strategy? Go to bed…and I’m too lazy to get out of bed to raid the refrigerator. But it’s workin…so as they say, “Whatever works.”…in my case, “What floats my boat” as I drink all that water.
Lisa tells me you don’t have to give up things. Instead, moderate the intake. Instead of 2 cookies, one. Better still have that one tomorrow. Raid the cupboard and evict the enemy. Throw out the chips, the nuts, the cookies, the chocolates, the breakfast granola…hell, throw everything out. Just kidding but review what is harmful and ditch it.
Also, need to find low calorie, low-fat snacks. Avoiding sugared ones, so no cookies and even eschewed sweet desserts at supper. Am substituting fresh fruit where I can.
WEIGHT DROP: 3 1/2 lbs
and it cant be water as I am taking in a gallon a day
Day 4 – Jan 25 Water good; food being reduced
Two things are going well, the water drinking and watching what I eat. My caloric intake is well below 1200 cals a day without feeling deprived, hungry, no ill effects that I can see; water intake is unbelievable. A camel couldn’t drink as much, but the price is endless trips to the bathroom. I might as well have a catheter attached to me and linked to the bathroom. This is a nuisance more than anything else but if that is the price I pay for eating better, becoming healthier is is acceptable.
What I have missed in the last couple days is walking with Fermo. Today, it was absolutely Arctic out there and Fermo walked about a 1/2 km before he started favouring a front paw. It really pains me to see him like that but dog booties are out of the question. Last year in December, we did not go out for 3 weeks which made me swear that this year, all three of us would winter in Florida. We are off on Wed.
Day 5 – Jan 26 Tired of winter, tired of the cold
The Arctic is frozen over us. Temperatures never rise above 15 below with the wind chill factor. Two days from now they are predicting -30C with the wind chill factor…Trump may have a point when he says “Global warming? Huh?” But remember it isn’t global warming that is the problem. It’s a global change.
Any Fermo and I ventured out and did an hour at lunchtime when it was warmest, about -10C. He did OK but I kept him out of all the salted puddles so his paws stayed dry.
I have problems with the A. and M. of W.A.M.…water, activity and muscle development. I think it is lack of drive on my part for the M part which has no excuse. The A part …well, we aren’t walking when it’s below -15C. The southern vacation will see a change I am sure.
Day 6 – Jan 27 Snowblower is a boon
The snowblower decided to go on strike, Old Man Winter didn’t. So I chose the “increase activity” route and shovelled manually. And shovelled. And shovelled. Winter is good for the cardiovascular system if nothing else.
Today being Sunday, newspaper reading day, has an added bonus, 2 scotches. And a glass of Cab Sauv at main mean…oh wee, how sweet it is!
Fermo’s exercise was dodging the snow shovel shots…just to get him moving a bit. He too has a bulge battle. Not his fault. Finger of blame points this way.
The short of it all today: was more active than usual, food intake was well under 2000 cals though I really am not counting. Just being aware. And water intake is at Camel Capacity!
Day 7 – Jan 28 Brrrrr … ridiculous
Chompin’ at the bit to get away from the brutal cold. The only good thing about it is that one gets exercise shovelling snow…LOL. Today it was snowing so much, Fermo and I could only do about a 20 minute walk which is of little value. There was 4-6 inches of snow on the roads…wonderful for photographers.
Day 8 – Jan 29 Departure tomorrow
We’re off to Florida tomorrow. Shovelled snow again today, yesterday by hand as snowblower had problems. Today with the snow blower…thank goodness.
Day 9, 10, 11 – Jan 30, 31, Feb 1 Eating on the road can be deadly
We are off to warmer climes to Florida, a 2.5-day drive, down I-75, very enjoyable for we shut off the radio and yacked the whole trip. Nice to catch up with one’s partner for which there doesn’t seem to be enough time back home.
Florida is what one expects, hot and humid, wonderful, especially as during the trip down we encountered really really cold days/nights. But we heard places like Minnesota and Chicago set new records for low temps. Florida is the opposite…we are just south of Mara Lago, Trump’s place and his municipal/region’s border to the interstate highway has a “wall” of hedges 10 ft high block any view of the other roadway if you are on the other side. Interesting.
Day 12 – 14, Feb 2-3 Walking begins
The first morning I began my exercise program of walking, walking, walking. By the third morning, I am hitting over 13,000 steps for the day which needs to be modified by increasing the pace rather than the distance. But remember chunko Fermo walks with me and I don’t want to push him or he may not want to do walkies any more. So the pace takes him into consideration but he too needs to drop about 10 – 15% of his weight, 4 lbs would be nice. Wish I could say that for me.
Superbowl Sunday was expected disaster in food intake: wings, fries, more wings and fries but only one beer.
Day15 – Feb 4 Keep on moving is the only way
Agnes, our fitness/seniors exercise guru has switched my way of thinking from over concentration on food to more focus on motion. However, I must acknowledge that Lisa, our dietition, advises that food label reading is very important and she has me consider reduction of sugar, salt and fat. Agnes promotes reasonable exercise, but such that it is pleasure rather than a chore. Lisa promotes the idea that one should not reject everything almost universally. Instead, she advises, enjoy but moderation and reduction are the most crucial rules to follow.
For now I walk…a lot…and Fermo seems to be able to do it and enjoy it. But the temperature is climbing…so things may change significantly soon….high today 28C….remember that kind of weather?
Day 16 Feb 5 Fatigue…exercise or new environment?
I seem to be “running down,” tiring or fatigued. I can offer reasons for this: new sleeping environment, significantly different climate, and, most importantly, I am doing far more walking than back home in the bitter cold. However, I prefer this warmer climate…who wouldn’t.
The daily walking is going really well. Even Fermo, the obstinate Scottie, is into it and in the morning coolness seems to enjoy it a lot, no matter how far we go. So all this physical activity should have an effect on us both…soon I hope.
Water intake is great…too bad it is being a little offset by scotch and cab sauv. I am almost enjoying it though I must admit it is kind of insipid. I mean how tasty can water be. I may have to add some lemon or lime to kick it up a notch but for now I am drinking it like a dessert dehydrated drommodary.
Well, supper beckons…now that part is not being neglected in creativity. Tonight Italian sausaged tomato sauce with cannelloni beans, and spinach on parpadelle…with some nice cab sauv. Mmmm…no wonder I struggle with the waist line.
Day 17-20, Feb 6,7,8,9 Logging daily is a demanding challenge
Tough being dedicated to daily logging but if it helps anyone, then I am all for it.
Water intake is easy after a while but being chained to a washroom every 20 minutes or so is a bother. But I am dedicated to a 2 month trial of all this stuff and if significant results occur, then it will be a permanent life style.
What do I miss? Not a heck of a lot. Maybe cookies, chocolate, apple pie…but not overly so. I think I miss pizza a lot.
What do I feel good about? Not feeling the need to raid the fridge on a whim, or when I am bored. I am an emotional eater. Worse, I like eating a snack of something salty in the evening, nuts or chips. But I have eschewed those snacks with great success by going to bed early when the urge is really strong.
What is most difficult? The need to almost constant motion, lots of exercise. I have aimed at 10K steps daily but that seems to be a big goal. I have done it but my feet hurt. So maybe I need different shoes. So far I have met that goal most of my days. Wish me luck to become more consistent. One secret to increasing chances of success is to start the day with a long walk before breakfast.
Day 21 – 24, Feb 10 – 14, Sun – Thu
It’s still a real challenge to get into a solid routine here as one must orient oneself with geographic location, food shopping, dining places, sundry shopping places and also assess what is happening in the region of Florida where we reside.
The Food Fight
This life changing initiative which we have undertaken may be working. Without scales it is difficult to assess easily. However, there are a number of constructive things/changes which are being done with some regularity:
- daily walks reaching or exceeding 10,000 steps, particularly the morning one;
- on very rainy days, do 4 flights of stairs, 3X
- water intake in the range of 3 litres;
- eschewing sugar as much as possible, nearly at zero now;
- reduced food intake, carefully eating low carb food in decreasing volumes with the biggest meal being at breakfast;
- salty snacks now preportioned and eaten on alternate days
- have added some low impact stretch exercises
- alcohol consumption reduced to 1-2 drinks per day (scotch or wine)
Finally, my two gurus in this lifestyle change initiative, Agnes for activities and Lisa for nutrition/diet have been constant and ongoing support offering suggestions, advice and encouragement. Without a support network, such an undertaking would likely be an easily discouraging one. With their advice and explanations, we feel we are still on the right road to changing our lifestyle for good.
Day 25, Feb 15 Fri
Trump may have his wall, I got mine. A FOOD EATING challenge…I like something salty while watching TV in the evenings, some pistachios, some mixed nuts, some potato chips, some corn chips. Not a heck of a lot, but about a cup worth of any one of those. It has to be a craving for salt. And there is no way I am going to bed at say 8pm. So I think I will try doling it out in a pre-portion as Lisa had mentioned and stick to that portion.
The other downfall is alcohol. I seem to drink about 4 portions each day, a scotch, 2 wines and a cognac. Will try to cut that in half.
Day 26, Feb 16 Sat
Discovered an Italian Deli, GUIDO’s, in Pompano Beach. Also discovered Italian deli’s are my downfall. I think I bought out the entire store, the prosciutto’s, the provolones, the pomodori’s (from Napoli), the cannolis, the Italian bread. Tasted everything. And of course, who can resist an entire sorpressatta. Non io ! Even the Big N bit into the salamnetta, it was that good. Oh and I forgot the olives, no one can forget the olives.
Needless to say the food intake was severely tested today. However, the day was not a complete disaster, though not far from it. Somewhat of a recovery was the purchase of an “Air Fryer,” the latest food preparation kitchen apparatus that is in style.
Power Air-Fryer XL
Essentially, it is a convection oven but a tremendously convenient one. Small enough to sit on the kitchen counter, light enough for a petite chef to lift and move around if relocation on a counter is desired.
Dishwasher safe for the cooking baskets, bakes food with no more than a teaspoon of oil on anything. We “fried” a steak, crispy on the edges, properly cooked inside even on our first guess for temp and time. Accompanied by french fries, 1 tsp oil on the whole batch. Amazing. Any guilt you have abour fried foods blasted away by this kitchen piece. Now the experimentation begins, though the steak and frites passed with flying colours.
Day 27, Feb 17 Sun
OK, OK…I’m wrong. Italian deli’s aren’t my downfall. PIZZA is!
We attended a mass at noon in Pompano at St. Coleman, sounds Jewish. And when I say “we”…the Big N and I had our good friend, Fermo, attending too.
Fermo was a surprise in how he conducted himself. We sat at the end of an open aisle so he could see all the activity around the front of the church. Other than just 1 yelp when the singing started, hey, he wanted to join in…he was perfect. No agitation, no excited jumping around. This guy proudly displayed obedience training to perfection. I take all the credit. He gets all the recognition.
Back to the pizza…my real downfall but I limited myself to one gooey, plasticky, paper plate bending piece. The pizza reinforced my old adage, there are “No bad pizzas…only some are better than others.” This one was an example of the not so better! The pizza was part of the St. Coleman annual Italian Festival. A really big show for a single parish: rides, big rides, twirly rides, slides, giant ones, merry go rounds…an amazing number of kiddies’ stuff packed with laughing, giddy kids having a blast. The adults diving into cold draft beer on a muggy hot afternoon were laughing as much and as hard. A great show put on by one church demonstrating itself as a real live part of the community, a family community.
Then, on to another festival, a pool party at the condo club for the condo complex in which we are staying. More than a hundred people jiving and rockin’ around the club pool. Picnic food done well, drinks galore, wine, beer, sodas and water. Even Fermo was acknowledged by everyone, one senior brought over a small bottle of water and a plastic cup indicating that they were for Fermo. The guy is becoming the star attraction of the complex. Again the new lifestyle change was severely tested…bent pretty far with 2 wines, a few meatballs but rejected the sweets completely, well OK….a tiny bite of a choc chip cookie.
Took the day aas a day off from walking and any exercise…did so without guilt. Had a blast, sipped and nibbled but did so with conscientiousness and control.
Day 28, Feb 18 Mon
Back on track, literally, pounded the pavement for the 5,000 step morning constitutional. Late rising meant hitting the sidewalks in the heat and humidity. The Tshirt was soaked upon the return.
Medical problem, gingivitus, a problem I run into amost every hot humid climate holiday I am on. Got drops to relieve the discomfort and itch but could not see doctor as it is President’s Day, a big holiday in USA, though may not be celebrated as liberally or as fully as one would expect given the current WH resident.
Day 29, Feb 19 Tues
The day was a beach day, but the morning walk was still completed. That part still is not getting any easier, 5,000 steps before breakfast, 50 minutes of ‘power walking.’ Years ago, I was a very serious power walker and it showed as I was easily 40 lbs less. Now I an more languid walker and trying to solidify or establish the habit before returning home to Toronto. So far I am doing well…6 days a week with a day off to rest and recover.
Tomorrow read what my downfall still may be.
Day 30, Feb 20 Wed
My downfall…post dinner snacking…usually something salty. This has to be a habit, a destructive one which needs to be broken somehow…either by will power or by substituting. I doubt substitution is going to be good as there is no substitute as satisfying as pistachios, or potato chips, even tostitos…hey, I know em all.
All else is pretty good: water intake always about 2 litres+, walking, every morning 5K, each evening 5k but at a slower pace; food intake, reduced to very acceptable levels. But I have a consideration here: extreme calorie reduction may not work as body switches to defensive mode fearing starvation. Hence it hangs on to fat dearly.
Day 31, Feb 21 Thu
All seems good, water, walking, food intake. Big BRAVO….NO PM SNACK while watching TV. Still had my cognac, not sure I want to cease it. Very interesting, one of my gurus said at some point energy level would improve…well, it has. On the evening walk, I could have gone for the full walk but as Fermo was with me, I thought it better to stop short.
All else is good.
Day 32, Feb 22 Fri
A nothing day, really. A bit of walking, an early supper, some TV and early to bed as tomorrow is big day!
Day 33, Feb 23 Sat
A lot of sitting, driving, but once we hit Key West, we walked and walked and walked.
Though we drank more than we should have, and definitely ate more than we should have, we walked tons to walk off the margaritas, chicken wings and key lime pies. We over did the intake and almost made up for it walking 15.5K steps in heat and humidity.
A tiring day…good to be home.
Day 34, Feb 24 Sun
A morning walk, temp is climbing by 9am…by 10am heat and humidity are unbearable. Those who live in Florida permanently must hate it.
Day 35, 36 Feb 25, 26 Mon, Tue
I must be hitting some kind of wall as I wasnt up to much walking today. Likely need some concrete and signficant sign that I am succeeding. The only thing I notice is those morning walks seem to arrive earlier and earlier each day. But even at my worst, I am hitting 9,000 steps…but more often I exceed 10 or 11K…a few times over 15K
Days 37 – 41, Feb 27 – Mar 3 Wed , Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Not that I am negligent, but I have been doing things, many things. Beaching, yacht watching and eating some bad bad bad food…with delightful lack of guilt. The food, KFC chicken, the crispy, breaded, fried POISON stuff. The short of it all is that each time we headed for the beach, I swore one time our picnic basket should have KFC poison
It did, I’m done…though there are a trio of breasts remaining in the fridge, destined to be deskinned and made as calorie reduced as possible.
The water intake, excellent, the walking, not so much as the humidity and heat are infernal as early as 9 am…and my late night reading requires late morning sleep in time.
Day 42-45, Mar 4 – 7 Mon – Thu
It’s murder keeping up with logging what is happening in relation to the progress log…the walking continues, the water intake is very good….the food seems most problematic at dinner in terms of portions being too large. But that can be modified and will be.
At this time, however, discouragement is again rearing its ugly head. The keto diet may bring faster results, but Lisa, the nutrition coach, feels it is better to stick to a routine which will be continued for life. Keto collapses once one leaves the diet. Still one would like some dramatic results just as a motivator.