Famous Last Words

The things that make me sick, tired and over weight are the same things that make me feel stuck, depressed and stranded. When I eat better and when I move more, I feel much better in every regard. My skin is clearer, my sleep is better, and my energy is higher. I feel "cleaner." When I eat poorly and am sedentary, I feel tired, unmotivated, and just plain "blah." 

But there are not easy fixes or magic quick answers. Just as I'm learning about many things in my work life and in relationships, it is the longer-term, day to day consistency that is what pays off. And so it is for my health. I can't afford to let myself continue to be trapped in the lies that try to pull me down. I have got to take the time each day to eat nutritious food, whether that means buying it or making it. I've got to take the time to walk and stretch my muscles and work my heart. I've got to take time to continue learning about nutrition so that I stay motivated, and I need to record my struggles and my progress each day.

Starting Again

I've fallen prey to the same traps that have consumed me in the past. After getting started again, I've failed to do the things that keep me focused in the right direction. Snacking on something extra turns into eventually eating whatever I want, ignore the clean eating principles that have helped me so much. And failing to track the good foods I eat, failing to study each day about nutrition or fitness to keep it on the top of my mind, and failing to write each day about the progress keep me from being mindful about what I'm doing and result in slowly slipping away and ceasing to remember.  

I'm finally feeling nearly 100% after recovering from pneumonia. I lost my appetite entirely when I was so sick. But as I've begun to feel better, it has returned to fully capacity. Another lesson learned: while I felt sick, I delighted in losing weight and not eating much. I'd sometimes miss two of three meals. And I wasn't eating all of the good stuff I should. But I felt like saying "who cares? I'm losing weight, aren't I?" Well, the problem is my body, which had been used to a flood of nutritious food and antioxidants, then experienced a shut-down of the flow of nutrition. I may have lost weight, but I started to starve my body of the nutrients it needed. That not only compromised the health and healing of my body, but it pulled me further and further from sound nutritional principles, leaving me to languish in the world of moderately-healthy food, or even unhealthy food. 

So, in some ways I hate to say it, because I wish it were not the experience, but here I am starting again. But in other ways I'm glad to say it, because it means I am starting again and that hope is in sight of feeling better in terms of energy and clean eating. 


Noticed a bit of progress today. I went to the grocery store late in the evening, after skipping lunch, and was very hungry. Not a good decision usually, as it probably wasn't today. But here are a few things I noticed:

  • I was mentally kind of looking for an excuse to eat junk ... "I deserve it after a long day and it wouldn't be so bad because I've hardly had much to eat today"
  • I was in a setting where "no one would know." In the past, this has involved me purchasing junk and eating it before going home
  • I am in a habit of buying things at the store to consume on the drive home, whether healthy or less healthy

But, as I wandered the store, deciding what to buy, my cravings were not for the high-sugar, highly-processed or high-sodium items. I wasn't tempted for ice cream, chips, candy or crackers, but more for granola, health-food peanut butter with dark chocolate, juice, etc. In some ways I thought this was a good sign that my tasks and desires are changing when it comes to food. There have been times in the past where the cycle of buying and eating junk food at grocery and convenience food stores led me to consuming 1,000 - 3,000 calories all just off that one shopping experience, consumed entirely by the time I got home. Not this time...my indulgence led me to some all-fruit Popsicles, a bunch of frozen no-sugar-added fruits I can blend into smoothies, and a huge bottle of water.


Woke up around 8am this morning. Saturdays have become the only day I intentionally sleep in a bit on our current schedule. It is interesting that an 8am wake-up time means I'm the first one awake in the household. In any case, I woke feeling rested and ready to take on some things in the schedule today. 

Started with a large smoothie for breakfast--blueberries, cherries, frozen greens, flax seed, raw walnuts, and a cherry natural energy drink with natural sugar derivatives that contain only 5 calories. It was good, but I made too much volume by adding tons of ice. That will all pass through me, but it made it difficult to eat the whole thing (which I wanted to do so that I could benefit from the vitamins and nutrients from the greens and the protein shake in the smoothie). So, now I am very full and cold, but I feel satisfied. 

Later today, Kathy and I will go out on a date. Picking a place to eat is a tradition on our dates, but I think I make it more difficult now that I'm trying to eat better. Restaurants in general are not the best place to hang out when you are trying to eat clean. 

I am overdue for a physical at my doctor for the year. Time flies, and most of the past year's time was spent going up and down the weight ladder, between 22 lbs on the low side (after taking prescription weight loss medicine) and 278 on the high side. I think I went up and down that scale several times this past year, with most of the time spent between 268 and 275. As of just recently, I passed into the 250s zone, moving out of the 260s, so I'm at a lower weight than when I went for a physical last year by about 15 lbs. Not great, but not terrible. I'd like to have lost 20 lbs by the time I do my physical, but I need to either get it done this coming week before we head out of town for 3 weeks, or I need to get it done after returning from the cruise (hopefully the same weight or lighter than when starting the cruise).


Today was a busy day and I wasn't as focused as I'd like to be on health. Sat at a desk the whole day and didn't get many steps in. I am becoming more aware of how stress and pressure influence my physical health. Besides raising my blood pressure and triggering cravings for junk, stress leads to me feeling like there is so much that has to get done, I can't possibly take a break from it to do something enjoyable or that is good for my health, such as a short nap, a walk in the neighborhood, or some other form of meditation, stretching or exercise. It also keeps me constantly feeling like I don't have time or attention for other people and that I am helplessly behind in everything I'm doing. And that leads me to feel like not even starting into the things I need to work on, which makes the whole thing worse. 

The truth is, even if I'm busy, the urgency and stress I am feeling are largely self-driven. As examples: 


I ate a lot of food last night for dinner, so I was surprised to weigh in at 263 this morning--down another pound from yesterday's weigh in. It could be because I slept in until about 10am, so was a bit lighter by that time of morning after not eating breakfast yet. Or it could be that it wasn't high-sodium food, so it didn't make me retain a bunch of water like higher sodium items might have. In any case, I'll take it and am looking forward to getting into the 250 range...that is the range where I start to feel more hopeful again. And 240s are where I start to notice some real progress. And 230s I'm starting to feel great. And 220s are the lowest range I've been in since graduating from college in 1996. And 200s are the lowest I've been since being married. And 190s are the lowest since my mission. And 170s the lowest since high school. And that is where I have no idea of anything prior to that. I recall that I gained into the high 180s or 190s when I was a junior in high school but lost about 20 pounds over the summer between junior and senior year, so that I was down in the 270s for senior year. Then I didn't gain anything beyond that until my mission. When I came home from my mission, I weighed around 190, but I lost some of that during the first few semesters being home...lots of walking and stair climbing and not lots of food.