Thursday, June 13, 2013
It seems like when it rains it pours. I mean that literally because as I’m writing it’s raining very hard outside. It’s amazing how seeing rain fall down can make you think of how true that old adage can be. I can definitely say it for myself right now. I had sinus surgery and almost immediately after my last follow up visit with my ear, nose and throat doctor, I find out I had a broken hand that I’d been walking around with for three weeks. As a result of my dormant post surgery lifestyle, I missed maintaining my goal weight. And then today as I take my car to be serviced, I drop my phone face down and crack the screen. It’s enough to make a person ask, “Why me”???
Whenever I ask myself that question I flashback to a famous scene in one of my favorite movies “Uptown Saturday Night”. Richard Pryor played a shady private investigator “Sharp Eye Washington”. Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier enlist his services and, instead of helping them, he proceeds to rob them. When he is apprehended by the cops Bill Cosby asks him, “Why us brother”. Richard Pryor replies, “Why not you brother”? That always makes me laugh and brings me back to reality.
Why should I expect to never have to deal with intermittent downpours? We all encounter things that set us back. Most of the time we feel like we’re getting it worse than everybody else. Almost 100% of the time there’s someone who has it worse than us. Even though we try to sell ourselves on the fact that nobody in the world is having a harder time than us, when we’re honest we know that’s not true. I would like to take the time right now to express my sincerest sympathies to that person who has it worse than everybody else because nobody ever gives that person credit for their awful plight.
I’ve chosen to use my current plight as motivation. I’ve found that I’m a competitive person so my race against the clock to get back to my goal weight before my free e-tools expire has given me a sense of purpose. It’s inspired me to track like I’m trying to win the best tracker award and it’s caused me to open my Weight Watchers cookbook and find exciting meals that are low in PointsPlus values.
So next time you’re feeling like your getting drenched in a downpour, instead of asking “why me”? Ask yourself, “why not me”? If that doesn’t work, watch “Uptown Saturday Night”, I’m sure you’ll laugh yourself out of your funk.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Recuperating from Hand Surgery and Sinus Surgery at the same time is really teaching me some life lessons. It’s amazing how much you learn about your body when just one little part takes time off from it’s duties. A nose and a hand seem so small in relation to a whole body. Neither one takes up much space, but I’ve definitely missed both of them the last couple of months.
Last week I deleted one of my blog posts by mistake because I was working my smartphone with one hand. I clumsily hit REMOVE when I was actually trying to share a link of the post with a friend on Twitter. It caused me quite a fright as I scrambled to retrieve it only to find out the blog post was lost in cyberspace. Fortunately I have all of my “Laugh It Off” posts saved on my computer (you never know, one day someone may want to make a book out of all of these posts). I was able to go copy and paste and re-post.
That experience made me think of all of the fear and panic we go through when we believe we’ve messed up or failed at things in life. I realized that once I calmed down, there was a simple solution to my dilemma. Just like with most situations, calming down was the first step. Then I realized that there was something that could be done to fix the problem.
The last few months have given me lots of time to wax philosophical. It’s also given me lots of time to lay around, watch movies and eat. This combination caused me to fall short of maintaining my goal weight this month. It’s hard to earn Activity PointsPlus values when it hurts to be active. At first I was upset by all of that, but then I realized that sometimes things are beyond your control.
Even though I didn’t maintain my goal weight this month, I haven’t totally fallen off the wagon. I’m only a couple of pounds over. I know I would have been within goal if I could have been more active. I also realize that I can simply start over or get up and keep going (I figured since I didn’t completely fall off the wagon, get up and keep going is a better metaphor). If I can struggle to type this blog with one hand I figure I can do anything.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
If you’re thinking that it’s taken quite a bit of time between blog posts lately, you may be right. You actually are right because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the disabled list lately. Perhaps I should have heeded my own advice and proceeded slowly with getting active. I’m once again recovering from surgery. This time I had surgery on my hand because I fractured it playing softball.
I walked around for almost 3 weeks with a broken hand. It started out with some swelling in my 3 middle fingers on my left hand that I assumed would go away. The swelling in my index finger and ring finger went down, but the swelling in my middle finger remained and I finally went to see a doctor. That’s when I found out that my hand was broken.
My biggest disappointment was that I’d miss some playing time in my softball league. I didn’t pay to be in a league to be missing games. Then I started to swell up with pride when I realized that I was so tough that I played for 2 weeks with a broken hand. They don’t make ‘em as tough as me anymore.
I shared all of that to say, don’t try to be as tough as me. I’m a rare breed, folks. Take it easy out there as you earn your Activity PointsPlus values. Trust me, going as hard as me when trying to earn Activity PointsPlus values is way more expensive than softball league or gym membership. I have to admit, I overdid it. I’m just hoping to get healthy in time to participate in the playoffs! That is, if my wife gives me permission to play again.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I’m struggling as I write this blog post. Not because I’m at a loss for words, but because I hurt my hand playing softball. Add that to my other pains as I continue to recover from sinus surgery and it’s been confirmed: I’m not as young as I used to be.
Since all of us are getting older by the second, it’s important that we get active, or if you’re already active, stay active. That’s easier said than done, because as I get older I find that my ability and desire to nap, rest and sleep seem to improve. I’ve never loved naps as much as I do now and it seems like that love grows with each passing minute. I could very easily nap right now. That’s right, I could stop typing and lay down and I’d be as happy as a lark (the use of “lark” is another sign of getting older).
In spite of my hand injury, I’ve decided that softball will be my form of activity this spring and hopefully into the summer if my team can manage to win some games and get into the playoffs. I have to admit, I thought playing softball would be an easy way to accumulate Activity PointsPlus Values. I was basing this on how good I was at playing baseball when I was a kid. I didn’t calculate my advanced years and brittle body into the equation.
When I was a kid we played at least 3 games a day and we didn’t stop until it got too dark to see the ball. Playing ball back then was simple. You just grabbed your equipment went to the field and started playing. Now I have to start stretching well in advance of the game, preferably the night before the game up until game time. I also have to constantly remind my body to not listen to my mind when it comes to diving and going for that extra base.
If you decide to follow my lead and get active by playing an old sport you put down a long time ago, I want you to realize that you gotta get back in slowly. It’s like reuniting with and old lost love. You can’t just jump in as if you were together yesterday. You gotta get to know each other again and that takes time. And don’t be surprised if that old long lost love gives you blatant reminders as to why you’ve been apart for so long (I’m still talking about softball people).
Now that you’ve been prepared, go find something active that you used to enjoy. Find out how many Activity PointsPlus Values you can earn and have fun as you keep yourself feeling and looking good. I found out that an hour of softball can earn me 5 Activity PointsPlus Values. Now I just have to avoid the hot dogs, ice cream and pitchers of beer that seem to come along with league softball play. Nobody told me about that!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I recently decided to conduct a vegetarian experiment. My goal was to be a vegetarian for one week. I decided to try this to see if not eating meat for a week would introduce me to some new non-meat alternatives in my daily food regimen.
As I get older I keep finding out about more things I need to cut out and cut back on. I’ve also come to the conclusion that the word CHOLESTEROL must derive from some ancient word that actually means EXTREMELY DELICIOUS. It seems like all of the things that are high in bad cholesterol are the tastiest treats ever known to the human race.
I’ll just let you know right now, I didn’t last even one whole day as a vegetarian. I made it through breakfast and lunch, but by dinner I had to have a piece of boneless-skinless chicken. I was just too hungry and cranky without meat. I’m no scientist, but I think meat actually has things in it that are good for you.
After not making it through a full day without meat, I decided to amend the experiment. I decided that I would wait to have meat for dinner and it would be chicken or some type of chicken product. That worked a lot better for me and helped me to make it 4 days under my amended vegetarian experiment. Yes, it was still a vegetarian experiment because I was still being a vegetarian the majority of the day.
After 4 days, I figured that I learned all that I needed to know. Some things I already knew. Like, I already knew that I have no plans to ever become a full time vegetarian. It’s a lifestyle that works for some people, just not for me. I realize that without meat, I would be forced to find meat substitutes. Something that provides me with the nutritional values of meat and the flavors I’ve come to love. I figure if I’m gonna get a meat substitute, I might as well eat meat.
I learned that sometimes you have to take a little time away from what you love to realize how much you love it. I love meat and it took me less than 24 hours to realize how much I missed not having it. I also learned that in my efforts to have filling meals, I wound up eating things with much higher PointsPlus values than a lean piece of meat.
Lastly I learned a sensitivity towards vegetarians and vegans. That lifestyle takes a lot of work and commitment and I applaud you. I also imagine that you guys are constantly hungry. If that is the case, next time you see me my vegetarian/vegan friend, just give me a subtle wink and I’ll slip you a boneless-skinless chicken breast. It’ll be our secret.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I’m back. I had my sinus surgery and after two weeks of recovery I’m starting to get back in the swing of things. I have to admit, I thought I would be down for a couple of days and then I’d be back to business as usual, but the body is a complicated machine. I didn’t realize the readjustment my body would have to make after going through anesthesia and I didn’t take into consideration how I would feel with my nose stuffed with foreign objects for a week.
Having my nose stuffed with foreign objects was quite an ordeal, but getting the foreign objects removed from my nose was even worse. For the surgery, I went to sleep and when I woke up I was in a hazy stupor. I slept through the probing, prodding and stuffing and went home to be taken care of by my mother who came to stay with me and help out so that my wife wouldn’t have a full grown kid to take care of in addition to our 4 year old son.
My mother is the first person to introduce me to Weight Watchers. She introduced me to the world of counting points and making healthy choices, so having her taking care of me during recovery was wonderful. She prepared healthy choice meals that were low in PointsPlus values for me. The service was so good I contemplated keeping her on staff, but her Golden Girls(her daily walking buddies) and fellow church members wooed her back to Baltimore and ruined a sweet set-up.
I was sad to see my mother go back home. I knew she had to go back eventually, but I think I was secretly hoping she’d just move in. The whole family was enjoying the meals. She kept finding recipes in my Weight Watchers cookbook. If she didn’t plan on moving in, I don’t think she should have led us on with those delectable healthy choices. Maybe she wanted to get outta here before I started my vegetarian experiment. Yes, that must have been her plan.
Stay tuned for the outcome of the vegetarian experiment. Coming soon...
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I’m gonna be a vegetarian for a week. At least I’m gonna try. I just want to see what it feels like. I think if I can do it for a week I may be able to discover some fun healthy alternatives that I can incorporate into my regular diet. It’s not gonna be easy no matter what you say.
Being a vegetarian for a week is a big deal for me. Like a lot of people I love meat, but for some reason I actually don’t feel satisfied unless I have some meat in my meal. I can eat 500 pounds of lettuce and I still won’t be full unless there’s a chicken breast thrown on it or at least a strip of bacon. I’m sure it’s psychological, right? It has to be, but I guess we’ll find out soon.
Since this is such a big deal, let us synchronize our calendars. My Weight Watchers week begins on Tuesday, so I’m gonna start on Tuesday, April 9th. That will give me time to recover from my sinus surgery and come up with a vegetarian game plan. Feel free to send me vegetarian recipes and ideas. I’m gonna need all the help I can get. I’m already starting to feel hungry just thinking about all of the meat I’m gonna miss.
I’ll spend the days between now and the beginning of vegetarian week saying goodbye to all of the meats I love. I’ll have to make sure I let the meats know that I’ll be back soon and this is just an experiment that will make me appreciate meat more and not take our love for granted. A lot of tears will be shed during vegetarian week. I’ll have to find out how many Activity PointsPlus values I can earn for a week of crying.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I have to have sinus surgery. I had no idea that everyone perceived that as code for, “I’m getting a nose job”. Well I’m not getting a nose job (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but, have all my friends been thinking that I NEED a nose job? Well, let me set the record straight. I have chronic sinusitis and, whether I need it or not, I’m not getting a nose job.
Now that we’ve straightened that out, let me tell you what else I’ve learned through my pre-operation preparation. I’ve learned that I’m gonna have to cut back on bacon and chicken skin. That means I can’t have bacon wrapped chicken skins as an appetizer the next time I go out to eat. Don’t worry, bacon wrapped chicken skins don’t exist, but can’t you just taste them now that I’ve put the idea in your mind?
My doctor told me that my bad cholesterol was slightly elevated but my good cholesterol was just fine. That threw me off because I didn’t know there was such a thing as good cholesterol. When I think of cholesterol I think of egg yolks, so I thought I was doing all I needed to do by only eating egg whites.
Fortunately I won’t have to make that many adjustments except for my bacon cutback. I’m gonna go stock up on turkey bacon and sausage and buy more fish. Pork bacon and sausage will now become my occasional breakfast treat. They’ve moved into the category of An Occasional Pleasure along with Fried Chicken.
The upside is that turkey options for bacon, sausage, and hamburger are all lower in PointsPlus values. Now go research cholesterol and find out what falls under the categories of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. And if by chance my nose looks different after my surgery, that just means the doctor messed up and had to give me a nose job.
Friday, March 15, 2013
It’s no secret that I love pie. I first shared my love of pie in a blog post entitled National Fried Chicken Day. For some reason talking about chicken made me think about pie. But International Pie Day is actually International Pi Day! I guess the world is full of people who hear the word Pi and automatically think about Pie, so International Pi Day has also become International Pie Day.
The optimist in me hopes that my fellow pie lovers will be awakened to a whole new world of math. I’m not so sure that will be the case.
I’ve learned so much about pie and pie celebrations in the days leading up to International Pi Day. I knew that March 14th (3/14) was all about Pi which equals 3.14, but I was surprised at how much Pi and pie have become intertwined in the celebration. I also learned that there are several different pie days that are celebrated here in America.
The first pie day is National Pie Day on January 23rd. It comes at a good time right after the new year where you’ll probably need your spirits lifted by a nice slice of pie. That’s right, just do a slice, you won’t have to wait too long before February 20th arrives and you can celebrate National Cherry Pie Day.
If you’ve held off from January 23rd until February 20th, you’ve earned another slice of pie. You shouldn’t go overboard because March 14th is right around the corner. Go ahead have another slice of pie. Since it’s Pi Day, In the interest of making sure you earn some Activity PointsPlus values, maybe you should do 3.14 Laps around a track or something.
There’s also National Blueberry Pie Day on April 28th and National Apple Pie Day on May 13th. That’s a pie day in each of the first 5 months of the year. I imagine there are as many pie days as there are popular pie flavors.
I recommend that after 5 pie days in the first 5 months of the year, it’s time to take a break. After a few months, 3 to be exact, if you find yourself needing pie you can make a pilgrimage to Braham, Minnesota for Braham Pie Day. It’s a festival devoted to all kinds of pies in Minnesota’s homemade pie capital. It happens the first Friday in August. It’s a pilgrimage that will test your love for pie if you don’t live in Minnesota.
Now that you’re armed with information, go forth and enjoy your pie. Pick the pie day of your choice or discover other pie days, just do your research, know how many PointsPlus values your pie will be and eat responsibly.
Monday, March 11, 2013
I’ve been spending the whole month of March in a celebratory mood. The intersection of my birthday and Women’s History Month creates a time of non-stop joy and happiness for me. So you can imagine how happy I was to find out that my birthday is on the same date as International Women’s Day. Yes, March 8th is the greatest day of the year for me. And I’m so glad to share my day with all of the women of the world. It could explain the kinship I feel with women all over the world.
Women are the reason I live the Weight Watchers lifestyle. No, I’m not taking care of myself to look good for the ladies. What I mean is, I was introduced to Weight Watchers twice by the 2 most important women in my life.
My first time on Weight Watchers was when I did it unofficially with my mother. Unofficially you ask? Yes - I didn’t officially join but I tracked along with my mother and reached my goal weight. But when you join unofficially you lack the commitment to maintain the lifestyle and the goal weight, at least that was the case with me.
My second time joining Weight Watchers, I did it officially with my wife. I was able to meet my goal weight and have been successful in meeting and maintaining my goal weight.
So I owe my Weight Watchers success to women. I guess the moral of the story is that the love and support of women can inspire you to the highest heights!
Since I’ve come to this realization I think that I need to be prepared for next year’s International Women’s Day. Let’s all agree to take the time to dedicate next March 8th to honor the women in our lives (feel free to give me a birthday shout out while you’re at it). Let’s start the day by preparing a healthy choice breakfast with an international theme, maybe with French Toast or Swedish Crepes (feel free to make your own choice but make it international, it is International Women’s Day after all).
I plan on doing interpretive dances for every woman I come in contact with. That will serve the dual purpose of being a gift to all of the women I know and a gift to me (I love wearing a unitard and doing interpretive dance). I’ll also earn so many Activity PointsPlus values that I’ll be ready for International Pie Day on March 14th.