Still going…

Energizer Bunny HeartTwo years ago, I was in the hospital scared for my life.  While I don’t feel like the Energizer Bunny, I’m glad and thankful that after two years, I’m still alive.  This Michigan Winter has proven difficult to keep up with weight loss and healthy habits.  Unfortunately I’ve gained 11 pounds since summer ended.  Almost ready to buy that Exercise Bike I picked out a month or so ago.  Hoping it goes on sale soon.  That way I can exercise when it’s sucky outside.  Though I do get a kick out of some folks who suggest I go up to the sports plex to walk.  I don’t have a car.  I’d have to walk up there in the sucky weather to go… walking.  Hence why I want an exercise bike instead.  Can’t fault them for trying 🙂

Sadly there are days I still don’t feel 100% or sometimes even a bit scared.  Not real sure those days will ever go away completely.  Though I hope they will become few and far between when I get down to a healthier weight. Now if I could only figure a way to get my hairline back in order…

At least I have some family and a couple of friends who keep me going with their support.  It makes it all the better and with my moving this spring, that should increase 5 times over 😀  I also have to thank God for seeing me through some very tough times.  Homelessness, bankruptcy, divorce, losing nearly everything I own, massive medical bills, and almost losing my life.  I hope he’s forgiving enough to help me see a couple more decades while I work to put my self back in health.

Moving to East Jordan

East Jordan, MichiganWhen my lease is up at the end of May, I’m going to move to East Jordan.  While there isn’t a movie theater, or a Starbucks, or a Cold Stone in East Jordan.  That’s where my sons live.  And my daughter-in-laws 🙂  I came back to Michigan to spend time with them.  After talking it out, they are excited that I’m moving closer to them after my lease ends in Gaylord.  I’ll be able to attend church more regularly and hope to involve myself in the community some and hopefully make some new friends.  It’s been a very, very lonely year.  This tiny, no view to speak of apartment has been like a tiny jail cell.  The town is pretty, but I spend most of my time absolutely alone.  Company has been incredibly rare, and I can’t have any pets.  So I’ll go where I’ll have company and people to be around.   Hopefully I can get myself a cat.

With the help of my sons, I can get back into playing the drums and perhaps put together a garage band of sorts just for fun.

Waiting, Weight, WoW and Windows 8

Waiting, Weight, WoW and Windows 8It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything.  While I am working on a project, it’s not ready for public view.  It’s a long view plan, so I may drop hints from time to time about it.  As for now, an update for those who still would like to know 😉

Waiting…  Yes, I’m basically just waiting.  I hate waiting.  Feels like I’ve been doing it all my life at times.  From waiting in the parking lot for my girlfriend to come out of school (way back in the day).  Waiting in line at boot camp.  Waiting for summer, waiting for special events.  The list goes on.  Right now I’m waiting to move.  May is the target month.  Still not sure of the exact date.  Some days it gets very hard to wait.  I made a promise to wait for someone else though.  Otherwise I would be in the car right now.  Still… Waiting sucks.

Weight…  Sadly I am still just over 300 pounds.  I did not make my goal by Christmas as I had hoped.  Just means I must keep trying.  I did stop doing my walk during the two weeks of shopping frenzy.  I know I could’ve just went elsewhere, but the idea is that I just couldn’t take the crowds.  Short of driving miles away from here just to get some peace, I just said phooey on the lot and took a couple of weeks off.  Probably was a good idea as the flu is running wild here.  Virginia is one of the highest outbreaks of flu this year.  I don’t relish having it along with all the other crap I deal with.  I’m back to walking, I will succeed.

WoW…  Yes, I’m back to playing World of Warcraft.  I just can’t find a game that “does it” for me like it does.  I’m sorry fellas (and ladies), it is what it is.  (I cringed typing that last part after the comma.)  The pandas aren’t all that bad, except for the Larry the Cable Guy references and a couple of others.  That and the whole Pandaria area is all about managing anger and feelings.  Over sensitive wankers are even taking over games now…  Annoyed I can’t fly there until I’m 90, but whatever.  Sadly, I can’t raid anymore.  Sitting for more than 2 hours is just out of the question for me anymore.  I can do dungeons, crafting, fly, do achievements, exploring, quests and loads of other stuff.  It’s basically what I was looking to do in a single player, except I still get the social interaction I want.  At least until I get back home to Michigan where I can visit friends face to face again and put together a garage band for fun.

Windows 8…  I’m still not a fan of Metro.  I don’t like it, I don’t use it and I think those responsible for it should be flogged naked in public.  Just so you know, I’m actually being nice about how I really feel about it.  Though I did actually upgrade both my desktop and my laptop with Windows 8.  As a tech I need to know it.  Like it or not.  Using Classic Shell, I can bypass Metro completely and it’s actually a rather nice OS outside of that.  If only Microsoft could see that.  I think they think they are setting a trend.  Although I think the sales records speak volumes of how the people think.  Then there are the calls I get from the poor unsuspecting bastards that just decided to buy a new PC unaware that there is a new version of Windows on the streets.  They call me and start with “What the hell is this shit?” as if it’s somehow my fault they see gigantic live squares of redundant bullshit.  I even had one guy ask when my company was going to fix the email problem (referring to the email app that only uses Windows Live mail accounts).  When I suggested downloading a free email client that would work, like Windows Live Mail, he got hostile.  (sigh)  People just don’t get it sometimes….  However, my official suggestion to friends and family is stick with Windows 7 or buy a Mac.  Don’t be a square 😉  (hehe Mac should use that as an advertising campaign)

Getting Better

Click for Larger Image

Here’s how I look today. Fifty pounds lighter, and on my way back to being in good health. Even after 3 miserable heart attacks. I’m coming back kicking ass 🙂

Still walking daily, still eating good (95% ish).  I’ve got more determination than ever before!

Note: Couldn’t find a person willing to take a more recent pic of me (at least anyone that able to take a non-blurry shot). I know it’s probably idiotic for a guy to take a pic of himself in the mirror and all. Still, it looks loads better than the one from January.

30% Weight Loss

I haven’t written about this in a while.  My posts have been mostly focused on life events, my usual rants, future plans and reminiscing.  I assure you, I’m still doing my daily walks.  I am actively loosing weight and I’m happy to report I am 30% of my over all goal closer.

I’m going to post here what I’ve been hiding as it was embarrassing.  Still is, but dammit, I think it will only drive me harder to be this much more honest.  If to anyone, to myself.

When I started walking, I was an embarrassingly fat man who was on the scales for 360 pounds.  As of yesterday I am now down to 318lbs.  I’m not done, and I’m not nearly close to my target weight.  My short term goal is to be under 300 come Christmas.

I’m not doing 3 miles a day like I was doing.  For some reason, since my 3 heart attacks in February, I’ve only gotten up to 2 miles a day.  Not sure if it was the high blood pressure that had me going further or if I have just been weakened that much.  True, I unfortunately put on some weight after the hospital stay as I could hardly walk down the drive way.  (It’s roughly 1/5th of a mile long.)  Now I am back on track and feeling better than ever.  In so much, that I took on a second job slinging pizzas for Dominos to help save up to move next spring to Michigan.  It’s not because of their pizza. Haven’t been a fan of their stuff in many years.  Some of it is down right unhealthy.  (it’s coming and it’s scary bad for you)

Besides walking, I’ve also done the following and it’s helped out greatly (the only exceptions I allow myself is when I go out to eat):

  • Stopped using Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip (period, none, not even the light or fat free versions which are gross)
  • Replaced Hamburgers with Morning Star Farms Vegi-Burgers (various flavors)
  • Eat Yogurt and not Ice Cream (save for special occasions)
  • Turkey based meats (Oscar Meyers has a killer Turkey Polish Sausage)
  • Low Fat / Low Sodium sandwich meats
  • NO FRIED FOODS!!! – Baked or Boiled ONLY!!
  • Lowered food portions (not a lot, but I try not to get “full”, just “satisfied”)
  • Get away from the TV and Computer and do something whenever possible (not a cheap option sometimes)
  • Walking Daily (going through shoes at an alarming rate though)

I’ve tried some of the fake foods like imitation eggs and such, but they literally turn my stomach.  Sometimes it’s hard to go walking when it’s 100 degrees outside or really cold out.  Those days I just keep myself as busy as possible.  I still love my relaxing down time too, just don’t allow myself as much as I once did.  What makes me the most happy, is I haven’t resorted to surgery or special diet plans by someone named Jenny, Jerad or Vinnie or who the hell ever.

Genuine Imitation Breakfast

This morning I had imitation eggs (made with eggs), WhiteWheat toast with butter flavored heart healthy spread and milk flavored water.  What would normally cost $1.99 for the meal and $1.50 for the drink at the Greasy Spoon down the road and be incredibly delicious, now costs me around $4.00 to make at home.  It has no real flavor or texture, but is apparently “Heart Healthy”.  Is life even worth living anymore?  Those days of dipping your toast in your egg yolk?  Remember those days?  GONE!  {maniacal laugh}  Movie Theater Popcorn with Butter?!?!  Ice Cream???  ha! Ha! HA!  Now it’s low fat yogurt and granola bitch!

It’s incredibly depressing to know that natural foods like eggs are now bad for me.  Huh?  Are you serious?  Mother Nature, God or whatever you believe in, makes this for the world and it’s somehow bad for you.  Milk is too fatty, you can only drink skim made from recycled city water which I am convinced is less healthy for me than tap water.  Especially when one ponders all the things that go down the drain and it’s not just human waste.  Lets not forget chemicals, drugs and other horrible fluids and solids that people shouldn’t flush, but you know damned well they do.  Especially when a police officer is banging on the door.  As well as I can guarantee that someone was too lazy to drop that old oil change off at a proper disposal.  This is somehow chemically bathed and now good for you again water…  Yeah… right.

Perhaps natural foods were likely much healthier way back in the day.  Before we started insisting we can make it better, safer and “healthier” by adding all the preservatives and messing with the food intake of chickens, cow and such.  Because we are humans, and we can make everything better by messing with it.  That thought makes me feel so artificially preserved it’s almost perverse.

In other news, I am trying to do my daily walk again.  It has however, gotten incredibly harder after the hospital visit.  I’m no where near my 3 miles a day like I was.  Damage to one’s heart can really make simple things feel much more difficult and there’s always that paranoia that if I wander too far from somewhere safe, I’m going to drop dead and that the only creature to mourn over me will be my dog.  Well, that and the two people who still call or text me and ask how I am.  It’s been almost a year since I started doing this walk thing.  I’ve lost over 30 pounds, but still have a lot to go.  At this rate, it will take me another 3 years to get to where I want to be.  Perhaps as I get closer to my target, I will be able to do more things.  Providing these stents in my artery’s do their job.

This new healthier diet is either going to make me homeless again because it’s so damned expensive, or so depressed I’ll refuse to eat anything after a while.

Thoughts from the Heart

A week ago today, I nearly died.  I’m only in my early 40’s.  Yes, I’m overweight if it wasn’t obvious from pictures, posts about walking and other things.  I had a Heart Attack.  Well… Two actually.  One on Friday, and one again on Saturday.  I was unable to tell what it was at the time, as it was complicated with a pinched nerve in my back that gave the symptoms of numbness to my arms and fingers, had pain in my back, my chest and my head felt like it was burning.  On top of that, I became very confused and dazed.  In and of itself, it might be classified as a miracle I survived, or at least very very very lucky.  Since I didn’t seek any medical attention when it started.  I was convinced I was dehydrated and a friend of mine, thought I had the flu.  I even finished out the last 3 hours of my shift on Friday.  Saturday, I drove myself to the clinic which was closed, then another 20 minutes to the Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News.  Where they put a stent in one of my hearts main artery’s to prevent it from closing.  I would’ve gone to Riverside, but that was another 15 – 20 minutes away depending on traffic.  (sorry Miss Amber and Miss Carolyn)

This has led to my not thinking very clearly the past few days, so forgive me if this reads really oddly.  I’m doing my best to keep it coherent.

As if things in my life aren’t messed up enough with a financial disaster ending in bankruptcy, and the end of my marriage, this is just too much for my mind to take in.  Although I am very happy that my mom, my kids (all four of them), my friends and my wife’s family all still love and care for me.  They visited, called and sent me messages that they were thinking of me and wishing me well.  I even had a couple of very nice people I’ve never even met, give me wishes and prayers.

If there is a God, and I’m not saying one way or another that there is or isn’t.  But if there is, this is one very fucked up way to let me know I’m loved.  Especially the consequences of high medical expenses that will haunt me for whatever period I am meant to live out.  It would also make me question God’s methods.

What’s worse, is I still need two more stents put in if I want a shot at living more than a year or two.  Adding more costs, more recovery and more stress.

Of course, then this makes me wonder if I was meant to survive.  It’s all so very overwhelming.

I’m at home now, or well, I don’t wish to call where I am home.  I so badly want to have a place of my own, and now it seems that dream has just been ripped from my fingers.  Unless by some freak chance I can find a better job and quickly.  Which is my very intention to try to find, as soon as I’m healthy enough to do more than sit on my ass.  Thanks to all this nonsense, taking the dog for a walk is very painful and exhausting.  So if anyone knows of someone who can use a self taught geek who can fix computers, setup networks, build websites and WordPress themes, and have nearly 20 years experience doing so, please let me know.  I’ve dusted off my resume.

I’m determined to find happiness again, even if it kills me.

35 down! !@% to go!

{in the voice of Professor Farnsworth}

Good news everyone!  As of today, I’ve lost a total of 35 pounds!  I got worried for a while as after I moved, I didn’t get back to walking right away.  Turns out I’m still doing good and even though I don’t feel different as of yet, apparently what I am doing is good!

Currently my new place to take walks include being able to spend time with my puppy dog Chase.  Although the homes of the moles we are destroying in the process may not make the moles very happy.  (that and Chase keeps making new doors for them lol)

Gives me hope that I may be around at least another 10 years or more 🙂

{evil laugh}

Window Shopping

While at the grocery store today, one of the 6 folks who actually stop by and read my dribble, got to chatting with me.  Talking about work, current events in my life and whether or not I’m still getting exercise due to the immense heat lately.

For anyone else interested, yes, I’m still doing at least something to get some exercise every day.  Though mostly it’s limited to indoor walking in malls and such.  Aside from that, I generally do any yard work really early in the morning on weekends when it’s somewhat not killing me (the aforementioned heavy booted individual standing on my chest discomfort I get in such heat).

In which such events has lead me to doing a lot of Window Shopping for various items I desire in my new future.  At least the future I picture for myself anyways.  Something that is quite out of character for me.  I’ve always wanted a family and always wanted whatever my significant other wanted for home furnishings.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m being Metrosexual (as apparently it doesn’t fit the definition anyways), though I do have a color scheme in mind.  I think it’s because I finally stopped living for someone else and started living for myself.  (and my puppy dog)  Though I don’t know what kind of person that makes me.  If anything, it will at least make me happy 🙂

Too Long…

Too Hot To Walk“For too long I’ve been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died. I feel nothing. Not the wind on my face nor the spray of the sea. Nor the warmth of a woman’s flesh.” ~ Captain Barbossa

It seems like an eternity since I’ve had the chance to take a walk and get some exercise.  It’s just been too damned hot!  Just doing nominal things like walking from the car to the store is like having a heavy boot-wearing person standing on my chest.  Nearly impossible to breathe it’s so damned hot.  Even the local paper had a headline that read, “Devil vacationing in Virginia.”, when asked he said, “Hell’s just too damned cold for me!”.  Yeah OK, so I made that up.  Still, it’s bleeding hot here.

Like my little fat man burning in the sun do ya?  That’s what I felt like anytime I went outside.  Hell, doing yard work has to be done in bits.  Mow a few laps, damn near pass out in front of the A/C unit for 20 minutes.  Do more.  Wash, rinse, repeat…

Even worse, it feels I’ve been trapped indoors forever.  Today I actually got out before it got in the 90’s and got a mile in before I couldn’t take the heat anymore.  That, and I’ve already lost a lot of the momentum I had built up from walking previously.  Dammit I was doing good too!

Some will tell me I should just walk inside the mall.  But there it’s filled with shoppers and mall walkers who I’d have to trip over as I tend to walk faster than they do.  This is the reason I never liked walking around Busch Gardens with the family.  Not that we have passes this year anyway.  Sure I’d love going if I was to be leisure and enjoy the day.  However, to just walk and have to trip over a million and a half people who randomly stop, go, turn and run into other people because they can’t open their eyes or be aware of their surroundings is just frustrating as hell.  If people drove cars like they walk….  Well there would be a lot of population control as folks would be killing each other in cars.

I’m just hoping this +100° (F) weather ends soon so I can go walking regularly again in peace.

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