Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New You in 2012

"Embrace the process and the results will follow." This quote by actor,  Bradley Whitford,  summarizes what I learned during my weight loss journey this year.  Real weight loss comes when you learn and follow the process of eating the correct portions of the right foods followed by exercise. I lost 25 pounds this year so  I did have some success.   However, I focused too much on the short term results on the scale and not enough time on establishing a healthier routine and embracing the full process required for long term success.

Thank you readers, for your support. I wish you much success in your weight loss journey. Take the time to learn what works for you. Make the small changes daily and the results will follow. Take care and good luck!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Gift To Yourself

Tis the season and all that kinda stuff. In my opinion there is way too much emphasis on food and shopping and buying gifts for people who don't really "need" the gift.
Of course, giving to charities and keeping the less fortunate in mind this time of year is a good alternative to rampant consumerism.
How about your own health and weight loss needs? Why not give yourself a gift of a membership to a gym or the "Y"? How about a good pair of walking or running shoes and a goal relating to "going the distance"?
2011 is almost past and a new year on the calender lurks just ahead. For those of us who must and need to continue to lose weight, its not the "end" of anything in that regard. This battle for a better physical "self" never ends. Keep fighting the fight and never give up. After all, the gift of better health and fitness is the gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, December 5, 2011

In Sickness and in Health

Good morning fellow worker bees. In my blog last week, I mentioned that I was going to take some time out for me. What happened? I ended up staying home to care for my daughter who was sick. So while I did not get my "me" time, I did have time to reflect on just how important health is to everything. Losing weight is really important and I am glad I've finally decided to lose some, but health is the long-term goal. Being out a couple of days made me more appreciative of this fact.

If you are blessed to be without a serious disease, give thanks and then do something to continue your blessing while you can -- relieve stress, exercise more, drink water or just sleep more.

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shopping Injury

So how did you do at holding the line on eating for Thanksgiving? I did fine on T-Day. I did somehow put the two pounds back on that I had just lost the week before during the long holiday though. So its back to seek the "routine" again. My routine typically involves walking and jogging these days. A "shopping" injury, however, is hampering those activities.
I was roped into going to an outlet mall near Mebane NC at 10pm Thanksgiving night. I was wearing some cheap unbroken in work boots as we walked aimlessly in search of who knows what. The walking in those boots really tore up my right Achilles tendon area. So I was limping around for a couple of days and its still tender but ok to walk. Haven't jogged since though. Will give jogging a try again today. Just shows you how important proper footwear can be.
Now lets all get back to it and keep on keeping on my fat buddies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Doing What You Must

How many of you love getting up early every morning to wake your kids or yourself up to go to school and to work.  If you were truthful, you'd admit that there are probably other things you'd prefer to do today, but yet everyday you get up and follow your normal routine.  Why?  You do it because you must.

Those who know me well, know that in my perfect world, my day would not start until 10am.  I am a night owl and no amount of blogging has changed this fact.  My body prefers to work until the twilight of the day, but I have come to realize that I lose more weight when I do three things:
  • Get up early and get breakfast
  • Have a plan to accomplish three key projects, two ad-hoc requests, and one thing on my procrastination list (I know I am NOT the only one out there with this list :) ) and then
  • Take some time for myself

So, this week I strive to go to bed my 10pm (Toastmasters, you can stop snickering now) and work on my to-do list, and finally take some time out of my crazy schedule for M-E.  Every day I follow a routine that goes against my natural rhythm doing things for others because I must, so this week I am going to try doing something different to help rekindle my weight loss journey.  I know this last one will be the hardest, but I am going to give it a good try and will post about it next week. 
Until then take care
Nancy Johnson

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take a Minute to Appreciate

Its that time of year where I take time to give thanks for life, my family and friends and even for the negative parts of life -- like being overweight.   Why would I be thankful for being overweight after almost a year of trying to lose weight?  As much as losing weight is my goal, today I wish to remember those that do not have enough to eat -- even here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

So while you are enjoying tomorrow's festivities, do something for those who could use our help. Donate some food, or some money, or even some time to those who are less fortunate.  Enjoy the holidays and take a walk (or in Dan's case, a run) it's a great way to reflect and to work off the bird.

Nancy Johnson

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weak Week

This is it. A week not for the weak of willpower. Enjoy family and friends and small portions of good food. Get that exercise and come out of this week victorious weight loss buddies.
Due entirely to tight schedule and smaller amounts of food I lost another two pounds this past week. That's 34 pounds so far. Four inches in the waist. A good start for 2012 when I must continue pushing onward.
Next 5k race/run will be in Kannapolis on December 17th. It'll be nice and slow again but something to help me focus on jogging more miles.
I have much to be thankful for and this week allows us a time to reflect on our many blessings.
Now get out there and walk my fat buddies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Setting Goals

Good morning, blog readers. It has been a while since I posted.  Sorry, but a lot has gone on.  Good news since my last post, I've lost another 3 pounds. I've only got 9 more pounds to go to meet my annual goal!

I realize that many have been disappointed by my progress. I understand that many expected a huge weight loss through a stringent diet and exercise.  That was never my goal.  I set my 36 weight loss goal based on the craziness of my schedule and the reality of my life and I am almost there.

Many overweight people stay overweight because they set goals that are not achievable for their life.  Everyone has a different motivation.  I started the year with three motivations -- my health, my daughter and a reunion. I will end this year with only two.  It's never good to put an event as a motivator. 

I've learned alot since starting this blog, but I have a lot more to learn and do.  Setting goals is a great way to start, but getting and staying on the course is the only way to achieve the results.  Stay true to Y-O-U.

Until next time.

Nancy Johnson

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't Stop Now

The last page of the wall calendar keeps wanting to flip on over to January. Its like I'm in a time warp blasting ahead to the future while still needing a lot more time to "do stuff".
This past week my favorite dog/pet ever had to be put to sleep. Very emotional for this old guy. A few days later I wake up with my heart beat pounding in my upper front tooth. Yep, a root canal. I'm now in my last few days of clinical for my Phlebotomy class with the final exam on Friday.
My daughter has a big birthday this weekend and T Day is next week.
Life goes on and our diet and exercise may be harder to fit in but don't stop now. For that matter, don't ever stop. A lot of us have lost weight in the past to only gradually have it come back onto our bodies a few pounds at a time until we were back to the heaviest weight ever.
I can't be honest and say it won't happen to me or you again. I can say we can't afford to allow it to happen again. Use these holidays as your experiment with willpower to defeat the food demons and come out of this at least one pound less by January 2nd. That will be one small victory toward winning this battle.
My total for the year now stands at 32 pounds lost. Not the goal. It is a good start to keep on working on for next year.
Keep at it my fat buddies. You are worth it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soup or Salad?

Getting ready to "not" mess up during Thanksgiving week. Planning ahead and being aware to not gain weight during this time is important to keep or get on track. No need to start off the New Year with an extra five to ten pounds.
To help curtail overeating on Thanksgiving try having something filling for breakfast that isn't too caloric. An apple, whole grain toast...oatmeal etc.
For the big meal consider slowly eating your salad or if you can have a soup before hand that is also satisfying and yet not too caloric.
Go ahead and enjoy the company the color and smell of the food. Think about the occasion while drinking a glass of water. Let others at the table begin eating first.
Enjoy each bite and savor the taste and chew very slowly. Just keep the portions and amount of food very planned and controlled.
Then there are the left overs. If you travel to someone else's house you don't have to take any left overs home. If you host a dinner, try to give away left overs to get them out of the house.
Last of all, you can freeze some things to get them away from tempting you later that day or the next.
Enjoy the total experience and if you are "into" such things, volunteer to work at a homeless shelter etc to serve others food while also helping you to stay on your diet.
Share any other ideas you have that you plan to do to help you stay out of "dieting" trouble this season.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Big Bird

Quick! Run! Walk! Hide the eating utensils! Thanksgiving and other eating
frenzy holidays are fast approaching. There is a Big Bird hovering over you and its not just a Vulture. Its a Thanksgiving Turkey with all the trimmings!!!
If you've lost weight this year don't let go of it for a few days of
gluttony. If you intend to keep on or start a diet don't start even further in
the "hole" by gaining ten pounds during the holidays.
Lets brainstorm some about how to enjoy these special meals and yet not
over do it. Give me your ideas or gimmicks that help you resist yet enjoy.
Certainly portion control and exercise during this time will be important.
But how about enjoying a meal? What are you going to do? Plan it now. Visualize
it now.
By the way, the exercise and walking and jogging on Monday was like being
super charged with this great outdoor weather.
Get out there and walk vigorously to stay warm. Read more:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tricks less treats

Are you ready for the little monsters that will soon pounce on your doorstep? Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays, but it is special for my daughter!

She loves everything Halloween and would love for me to dress up like Abbie from NCIS minus the hair. Unfortunately my daughter is a diabetic and the normal routine of trick or treating has a different meaning. Im lucky. My daughter is past the age of going trick or treating like so many children will do today. Halloween is tough for her and for the many Charlotte children who have diabetes.

Many of you will soon hand out candy to the little witches and globlins that knock on your door. This year, like the past 3 years my daughter and I will make the choice to avoid the sugary carbs. Take care.

Don't Be a Turkey

Quick! Run! Walk! Hide the eating utensils! Thanksgiving and other eating frenzy holidays are fast approaching.
If you've lost weight this year don't let go of it for a few days of gluttony. If you intend to keep on or start a diet don't start even further in the "hole" by gaining ten pounds during the holidays.
Lets brainstorm some about how to enjoy these special meals and yet not over do it. Give me your ideas or gimmicks that help you resist yet enjoy.
Certainly portion control and exercise during this time will be important. But how about enjoying a meal? What are you going to do? Plan it now. Visualize it now.
By the way, the exercise and walking and jogging on Monday was like being super charged with this great outdoor weather.
Get out there and walk vigorously to stay warm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time for the Sprint

My goal was to lose 36 pounds this year and another 35 next year. OMG, I've been so busy with life that I completely got off track and now I have only 9 weeks to lose the remaining 12 pounds to meet my 36 pound goal by New Year's Eve.

The old me would have given up on my weight loss goal before the first St. Patrick's Day toast. But the new tenacious me remembers all of the other tough goals I've achieved through discipline, sweat and prayers:

  • 1990 - gave up smoking (yes!)
  • 1999 - gave up alcohol and hubby (with divorce I no longer needed the booze)
  • 2009 - gave up my fear of public speaking (with Toastmasters help)
  • 2011 - gave up the green bottle of BVO and with it my adult acne

I have been able to make some very SERIOUS lifestyle changes in the past.  Yes, I've been in a real rut over the past two months. But I can and will get back on track.  So now it is time to make one more huge commitment - I WILL GIVE UP FAT in 2012 so I MUST meet my 36 pound goal by 12/31/2011.  It is time for the tortoise to pick up the pace and make the mad dash.

One of the commentors suggested that I find a way to combine my passion for Toastmasters with my need to lose weight and get healthier. What do you think about these three ideas?

  • Set a 3 pound minimum loss in between speeches. 
  • Ask two of my fellow members who both love to run to nudge me over the next 2 months. Cayce and Ian, I hope that you two marathon runners are up to the challenge!  
  • Take a picture in a bikini and post it on the District 37 Facebook page until I lose the remaining 12 pounds.  What a picture!  There may be some that will tape my mouth shut to make this happen quicker.
All of these ideas are a bit extreme but a tortoise gotta do what a tortoise gotta do.  I can't let Dan beat me across the finish line.  :)  Until next week.

Nancy Johnson

Monday, October 24, 2011

Children of the Corn

Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. You see more neighbors out on their porches or walking the community streets. Windows are open and football and apples abound.
I do have a warning for you, however. Beware of the corn. Candy corn. Its my favorite waist of calories in the form of orange and yellow condensed sugar. Trick or treat my foot. I say its a grand scheme to just "trick" me.
Instead of candy corn I need to find the world's largest corn maze and get lost in it with nothing but water to survive for about a week. That might kick in more weight loss.
The last few weeks my lack of balancing diet and exercise has resulted in nearly stagnate stats. I've walked fewer miles. I have done fewer push-ups and when I've behaved food wise, I've allowed my feeling of being tired win out and not exercise as much. The end result is one lousy pound lost during this time.
That's 30 pounds so far this year. Its also not even half what I need to lose to reach my ultimate goal. Obviously my willpower has not held up this year.
If you share my lack of "total" success in your 2011 goals, don't give up or give in. There are huge dangers of food consumption lurking on the upcoming calender and we/I need to salvage all we can over the next two months.
This isn't about a quick fix. We have to keep on fighting and trying for life. Next blog lets think about exercise and diet during the "eating" holidays.

Reporting to Work, Are You?

If larger people didn't have enough going against them in the media, a recent Gallup survey says that if you are obese, you are more likely to be reading this post in your bed as opposed to getting ready for work.

I realize that health related issues cause many to miss work; for obese workers and for those who aren't obese. I'm sure there was just enough truth behind this particular study to make it newsworthy. But as one of the many overweight workers who does not have a serious health issue, I can say that we aren't all adding to the $153 billion cost of absenteeism. Many of my overweight brothers and sisters regularly report to work and are some of the hardest working people around.

Let's not paint everyone with the same brush. Look around you at work today. I'm sure there's someone working around you with a little extra girth in their trunk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stress, Exercise and Diet

The clinical portion of my Phlebotomist training began yesterday. Naturally, I was awake hours before I needed to be. I'll be going to new places working with unknown people each week for the next five weeks. Hours and days will vary. My thoughts are to make part of the work day extend soon as I get home to do my exercise. Typically I eat too much when stressed. Or eat too much when not stressed. My old saying used to be feed a cold and feed a fever. No more. I'll be too busy fortunately, to eat often and too tired to eat too much.
The adventure continues and having to find new ways to be flexible with time and energy is something we all struggle with in one fashion or another. Keep at it folks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My non-deductible contribution

Happy Tax Day #2! I consider myself a very charitable person, especially with my time. I love giving to charities involving children. But I never quite thought of the fees I have paid Weight Watchers as one of the charities I was supporting UNTIL I heard Rosalyn's speech two weeks ago. In her speech about procrastination, Rosalyn had a line about being a Weight Watcher donor because she paid the fees but wasn't fully following the program. I thought I was the only one, no seriously! I know I'm not the only one.

If intention was all it took to lose weight, I would be trim and singing like Jennifer Hudson. But it takes much more than joining a club or even joining a gym. Losing weight can be hard and sometimes I feel like throwing my white flag up and giving up BUT I won't. Until next time, remember to take baby steps one day at a time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feeding Frenzy Holidays

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, good grief. Have you seen the calendar? Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are all rushing toward us fat folks with aroma, taste and a whole bunch of calories. Oh my. Hey you, is that your belly or a bowl full of jelly?
There will be so many snacks, treats and huge meals lurking around every kitchen so as to pop our shirt buttons. Don't give in to it!!!
My challenge is to actually lose weight during these holidays. The typical among us gain weight this time of year.
If you shy away from cold weather you may also eat more comfort food and avoid outdoor activity.
I actually love a walk/hike/jog in blustery cold air. We overweight folks tend to sweat during hot weather so its about to be great for us to go outside and move without leaving a trail of body fluids trailing along behind us. Actually, I sweat even when I'm slender. Maybe being an X Floridian I'm trained to cool off asap via a waterfall of gushing sweat pouring down my face. (Hope you are not having breakfast).
To help me focus, I'm already looking to sign up for my second 5k race event. Last weekend was so much fun to get out there and participate again.
There must be plenty of Turkey Trot, Jingle Bell runs and New Years gut busters out there to chose one nearby.
Now get out there and enjoy this gorgeous time of the year with a good outdoor walk.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Two months ago, I gave up one of my last vices -- Diet Mt. Dew. With this change, I have increased my intake of water. However, as I was speaking a week ago, something happened that was both embarrassing and enlightening. I was answering a question after a 20 minute presentation and as I tried to close my mouth, my lips had a joker-like experience. My mouth was so dry that my lips were stuck over my two front teeth. It was funny, but is was not pretty to have to rush to my drink and pry my lips down.

At that moment I fully realized my mouth was trying to tell me something my body couldn't say - drink more water. Until this happened I never thought about the importance of staying properly hydrated for speaking and for weight loss.

Experts say that most of the time we eat, our bodies do not crave food; it really wants want water.  So, before you eat, drink!

Until next time.

Nancy Johnson

Monday, October 10, 2011

If only public speaking were an exercise

Some of you have probably wondered, where have I been for the past two weeks?  Had I given up and moved on?  Was I on vacation?  No, to both of those questions.  Nope, I am not a quitter; not even when the task is not easy or totally successful. Nope, I have definitely not been on vacation.  For the past few weeks I've been out of touch because of my Toastmasters responsibilities. Over the past two weeks, I have given 3 speeches and have participated in 7 speech contests where I've listened to over 20 speeches.  As the Area Governor of 5 (soon to be 6) Toastmaster clubs I get to encourage the wonderful and talented 150+ members of these clubs while also persevering towards my own goal -- Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) by August 1, 2012.

Now, I know there are a few of you who have just dropped your cereal spoon!  You are shouting at your computer screen, "What in the world does public speaking or Toastmasters have to do with weight loss?"  These two areas have one thing in common, ME.  For over 25 years I allowed my fear of public speaking to dictate my career choices, my participation in extracurricular activities and my overall confidence.  For almost that same amount of time, I have allowed my weight to control the same.  Four years ago, I rediscovered Toastmasters International, trusted and actively participated in the program and now I don't allow fear to prevent me from speaking.  Too bad, public speaking doesn't exert a lot of energy or melt fat.

A week ago I was talking with a Weight Watchers counselor about my inability to get out of my current weight loss rut.  I told her that I was probably going to quit Weight Watchers because I was extremely swamped by work, my child, and my Toastmaster responsibilities.  As she listened to me, she waited patiently when I explained that after I became immersed in the Toastmaster program I eventually overcame my fear of public speaking.  She then said, "Give me 5 weeks and you will get out of your rut."  Well, today is the 1st day of those five weeks.  I'm off to a good start, because on Saturday she told me that I lost three pounds this past week.  Its amazing what you can do, when you surround yourself with positive people and are really focused on your goal.  It doesn't matter what type of positive support you use --Toastmasters International, Weight Watchers, your friends, your church, your family, a gym, or even this blog :)!  Find someone or something who can provide positive support and get started today.  You'll be glad that you did.

If you would like to hear five very funny speeches, you are personally invited to the Area 31 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest on Thursday at 6pm.

Take care and stay around positive people.  Small changes can and will make a difference.

Nancy Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5k Was Fun

The 5k in the Lung Run Saturday was fun. Perfect weather. Lots of fit runners in the 15k and an "assortment" of participants in the 5k.
I came in second in my age group. I also finished last in my age group. Yep, only two old geezer guys in the 5k. I also finished 223 out of 320 finishers. I think most of the folks behind me were little kids participating with their parents and walkers. Also perhaps a few people in my shape who went out too fast and paid the price later in the event.
I accomplished my goals of finishing and not walking any of the distance. I also had secondary goals of running "silent" . Just for fun and to not go out too fast, I started in the very back and shuffled along at a pace that you could never hear my breathing nor my foot strike. Purely a conversational pace.
It was fun to not have any specific time or performance goals that would make the event painful. I'm already looking for the "next" one in approx six weeks.
Sunday I went for a nice two hour stroll with no jogging. I also mowed my half acre lawn for some additional walking behind the mower.
I love this time of year. If you have been considering walking or jogging or hiking in the woods, there is no better time of the year in my opinion.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inches and pounds

Last week I walked or jogged 18.5 miles. This included a six mile and a six and half mile walk/jog. What do I mean by a walk jog? For example, during the six plus mile episodes I jogged 25 minutes during the total time it took to move that distance. 15 minutes of the jogging was uphill and the other 10 minutes were more or less level ground. Yes, I time such things and use a hand held GPS system to be accurate on the route.
The last two weeks pretty much a situation of holding even on my weight. I actually gained two pounds last week but have already lost that this week.
My waist line is shrinking however and having to shift to older smaller cloths.
Slowly but surely I'm increasing the amount of my distance from walking to jogging. Very slow to be sure but making headway.
I'm really looking forward to just being a participate in the 5k run this weekend. Its been a long while since I've been a "runner" and now that I'm old and not in very good running shape its an all new adventure with a clean slate to start all over again.
My hopes are that running goals will assist me in focusing on the essential aspect of weight loss to obtain those running goals.
Be it fitting into a certain size dress for the ladies or being able to walk one mile or run a marathon, I wish for all of my overweight buddies to find the emphasis you need to reach your goals and live a healthy life.
Its a journey. Its an adventure. Its worthwhile. Go for it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

5k This Saturday

First of all, thanks for the encouragement to "go for it" on getting back into running. As you may recall I was looking for the focus or spark to get me back to being serious about overall weight loss and fitness. My adult years have often included running as a integral part of my fitness routines.
I've been competitive as a 30 something person. I haven't run an event, however, since I was 49 years old and just turned 60 this past weekend. So......... I'm old and fat and not in running shape even for my age. Doing a bunch of push ups etc and walking doesn't really get you ready to run.
There is something about turning 60, however, that frees up my mind to forget about past life times and PR's. Its like the slate is clean to begin anew. Sure, I've got a lot of training knowledge and experience from the past to help along the way. I know, however, that I'm truly a back of the pack kinda guy now. I mean WAAAAYYYY back of the pack. 5 year old and 80 year old will kick sand in my face Saturday. I signed up for the Lung Strong 11 race in Cornelius. There is a 15k for the serious runners and then a non points event for the 5k.
I also subscribed to Runners World magazine to spur on my interest. I read the old Runners World religiously for probably 20 years in the old days. Attitudes have changed about training and racing since those days. The essence of getting out there and exposing yourself as fit or not fit is pretty much the same. I will be trying to use this sport/hobby as a stimulus to help me focus on losing weight.
Now you should look for your own interest or focus to help you reach your goals. Good luck to you all.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gotta Run

In recent weeks I've been writing about willpower and what that means to a person. Not the actions that exemplify willpower but the inner spark, if you will, that helps a person develop and maintain willpower. I've also mentioned the mystery of why "all" people seem to have some willpower in certain areas of their life and not in others.
I've not had the willpower I need relating to my love of eating good food. I like all kinds of food. I have lacked the willpower to control my portions/calories. I love exercise. I loath counting calories.
A good portion of my adult life I've been a long distance runner. During the times I was immersed in that sport I didn't have to worry much about calories. As I turn 60 this weekend, I realize those days are gone and any future running, if I wish to enjoy running as a sport again, will need to not just be training by running, but also training by what food I consume. I will be slow. I will have aches and pains beyond those of my youth. My feet and toes complain already from injuries from my skinny days of running abuse. I have to lose a lot of weight still to even begin meaningful training for age group competition. I have to realize I may not ever be competitive again in age group. I'm so far away from being a "runner" that I find it a worthwhile goal to just want to be able to run for fun of participation again. I'd rather be the old guy in the back quarter of an event than the old fat guy on the sidelines. I'll enter a low key 5k asap just to get a base line of a time and feel to then start working to improve upon. I have to be cautious in the escalation of the amount of my miles I shift from walking to jogging to not get injured. I need to help my poor old body out by dropping significant pounds asap. Its not just the pounding on the feet and knees etc. Its also less useless tissue to supply oxygen to. I have many many years of experience in running. Yet, this could be a fun adventure as I attempt to become an older runner.
Never give up. Keep looking for that spark that might ignite your passion to become fitter and healthier.
When you fail, get back up and try again. Don't let anyone tell you that you are worthless. Be willing to try something different if what you are doing doesn't work. Major wars are seldom won without some battlefield losses along the way.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Long and Short of It

The past week included a Six and half mile walk/jog as the longest movement of the exercise attempt. I still wasn't up to my normal exercise levels.
From an eating/drinking "sins of the week" standpoint, a buy one get one free of Halloween candy defeated my weak willpower one night. Between the candy and the brews that day I consumed 3500 calories for the day. Hmmm, what word comes to mind? How about Ugh!!!!
On the good side of things, the portion of my walk/jogs that is "jogging" seems to be getting easier all the time. I actually went to a 5k race. No. I didn't participate. I'm waiting to enter the old geezer 60 to 65 age group. I think the course had to be short. The last person to finish was just walking a normal walking pace and finished in 53 minutes.
The main thing was that young and old, men and women and kids were all participating. Each one of them have my applause for getting out there and doing it.
Friday's blog I will try to hang my hat on the "reason" or "goal" that I will try to stick with for my willpower enhancement.

Bypassing the Weekend Temptations

Good morning, blog readers. Most of us have a weekday routine primarily dictated by work, family or school schedules. My eating routine during the week is generally pretty good. If I eat too much during the day or eat the wrong thing then my energy level drops and really how much can you eat in the short lunch hour? Not much unless you're wolfing down the food.

All of that weekday discipline goes out the window on 5pm Friday afternoon when our social lives break free. I recently visited a festival at my hometown. Once a year this small South Carolina town celebrates it's rich railroad heritage with a town-wide festival including ALL of the food guaranteed to expand waistlines!

As I walked around town, I saw corndogs, french fries, fried gator, candied apples, cotton candy, and the famous elephant ears. It was a walk full of aroma. Did I partake of any of the sugared food? Nope! Not one thing! I can thank my mother's home-cooked food for helping me avoid this pitfall. Many of you probably have similar weekend temptations. I hope some of you will be willing to share how you avoid your weekend temptations.

Take care.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Routine

I'm into my second week of school. A new routine for the old guy to get used to. I'm really enjoying it. I did find my exercise slacked off during the first week. On the other hand, my time was so occupied with reading and studying and taking test that I didn't think about eating as much.
The end result was one more lousy pound lost. So that is 5 pounds in the last 3 weeks and total for the year of 29 pounds.
I have got to get the balance of portion control "AND" exercise worked into my routine. I should be losing 2 or 3 pounds per week if I was doing this right and given my size and exercise potential.
Willpower. I'm still debating within myself the reason why weight loss has got to take a much higher priority in my life. Obviously long term health for an aging baby boomer is a valid and worthy reason. However, my immediate focus has been weak. 29 pounds is better than nothing, but its not nearly what "could have been".
I will head out the door right now and do a six mile walk. That is my long walk of the week. I will use that time to dwell upon some lofty goal that excites me and see if I can come up with something that turns the light bulb on to push the "willpower button".
PS. I would think the following comment should be obvious to all of you. However, a poster recently asked if anyone proof reads our blogs. No. We are not paid. We don't get any free stuff and no discounts at any store or business. Speaking for myself I'm just a first time blogger not in this for fame or fortune. Sometimes I do these blogs "on the road" using my cell phone/smart phone and probably have more errors grammatically in that format than other times. I apologize to you grammar fans out there. May I suggest you help a sixth grade teacher grade some class papers and perhaps you'll be less frustrated. Now git of my bak cuz I be gettin a hedack.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's eating you?

Can we talk? I mean really talk?

For the past few months we have shared our journey, good and bad. We've talked about food and we've talked about exercise. Sometimes its not what you eat; maybe its what's eating you internally. We often eat to pacify lifes pains: family, work, aches and pains -- life.

Yes, the food might help you get through the moment but if you overdue it, it will come back to bite you! Instead of picking up your favorite comfort food the next time you have a problem think twice and go for a walk instead.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Adding Color to the Brown Bagged Lunch

How many of you are "brown bagging" your lunch? Anyone on a diet or saving money knows that packing lunch saves calories and money. So why don't more people brown bag their lunch? Time, planning, and boredom?  I know someone who eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday. Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite comfort food, but I'm not sure I could eat it for lunch everyday. If you're like me, you probably won't think about lunch until the clock ticks at noon or your stomach starts to growl.

What we eat has a huge impact on how successful we are at losing weight. This week I will take 15 minutes every night to pack my lunch to improve my weight loss success while also saving money in the process. I will need this money to replace some of those bagging black pants I've been wearing and pulling up.  Please take a minute and share your lunch ideas with me.  A lot of you have been successful in your journey.  Please share your knowledge.

Nancy Johnson

Friday, September 16, 2011

Got Willpower?

We've previously asked ourselves what willpower is. We are not looking for the behavior exemplified by people who "have" willpower, but seeking the inner essence for that spark of spirit that "is" the root of willpower.
In talking to people during the past week and pondering such things on my walks, I think back to times I've personally achieved goals that took what would be considered willpower. I've thought about friends who have achieved goals similarly.
The common theme seems to be a desire to change something. A desire that becomes a burning purpose in the forefront of our thoughts many times per day and per week that dosn't fade away easily.
A person who posted on this blog last week mentioned a constant mental focus to never "go back" to being fat again.
I think it can be various things that stimulate the beginnings of willpower. It can be "fear", such as after a big health scare like a heart attack survivor. It can be a desire to be a member or part of something we crave. By this I mean things like being a better or significant participant in a sport that takes training etc.
It can be love. By this I mean a burning desire to attract that special person whom we percieve will love us not for our current selves but for some imagined "improved" or differant "self".
Personally, I've had cases in my adult life where being a long distance runner was a very important part of my life. It defined who I was for a great deal of my twenties and thirties and a tad of my 40's. I desire to "look" like the ballroom dancer I was working to be. Sure you can dance if you are heavy, but not to the same competitive degree a totally fit dancer type body can.
So what is it that burns in your soul right now to help you succeed? I've been struggling with that all year. I've had some success losing weight this year. However, there is no doubt in my mind that I've missed out on probably doubling of my weight loss so far just due to not having the level of willpower, or desire or self image in my mind that I've needed. I'm working on it and will share more next Friday. For now, tell us what you find personally inside you that sparks your success.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Miracle Pound

Tuesday is "random" thought day. We'll get back to discussion on what "is" willpower on Friday's blog.
My longest walk this week was six miles. My total for walking and jogging only 15.75. Did the normal SPEW workouts four times for sit ups and push ups etc etc. The grazing on fruit routine during early day helped the hunger cravings some this week but still had one day of too many brews while working outside and had fried chicken one night and ate 3 sugar cookies during the week. So plenty of room for improvement. As you recall I lost 3 pounds last week and somehow a miracle happened and I still lost another pound in spite of my few eating/drinking sins. Total now at 28 pounds.
I've started my ten week training course at CCHS so some regular schedules will be needed and for me makes eating easier to control Plus, an extra mile walking per day to and from parking deck to classroom.
The inspirational guy at church walked six miles and rode his bike ten miles last week......per day most days. Go dude!!!
Another "go dude" to the man I passed walking in neighborhood this week. He was shorter than me and a sinewy thin older guy. Walking at a good pace. I figured he was maybe 70. Nope. He is 83 years old and walks and rides his bike everyday too. Way to go old folks. I want to be like that guy!

Beating the Pavement

Ah, this is my time of year.  The weather is finally getting cooler and I can go outside and take a comfortable walk. Walking is a cheap way to exercise. All that we need to get started is a good pair of shoes, a safe route and the motivation to move.  The last one is the hardest for me.  BUT I do find music to be a great way to keep me motivated and on track. A while ago, I asked for suggestions on songs to walk with. You all gave some GREAT ideas and I have created a few walking playlists. Below is my hip-hop version:
  • Let's Get it Started -- Blacked Eyed Peas
  • SOS -- Rihanna
  • Womanizer -- Britney Spears
  • Push It -- Salt-n-Pepa
  • Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
  • Disturbia -- Rihanna
  • Ring my Bell - Anita Bell
  • I Got a Feeling -- Blacked Eyed Peas
  • Please Don't Stop the Music -- Rihanna
  • Boom Boom Pow -- Blacked Eyed Peas
  • Can You Feel It -- Michael Jackson
  • 3 -- Britney Spears
  • Gonna Make You Sweat -- C+C Music Factory
As yesterday's remembrance of all those who died ten years ago reminded me, life is precious. So let's appreciate life by putting on our shoes and walking. Make a date to walk with a friend you haven't seen in a while or find a charitable cause to walk for this fall: diabetes, breast cancer, the heart. All of these causes are great ways to show our appreciation for the gift of life.

Share your playlists and let me know where you go to walk.  Who knows, maybe our paths will cross!  Remember every journey starts with a single step.  Take the small steps today to net results tomorrow.  Until Wednesday.

Nancy Johnson

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weight Loss Takes Willpower

There are thousands of weight loss plans and books and cook books etc out there for anyone to use. The websites are full of studies and plans and helpful tips. Same thing for exercise and fitness. You can get in shape and lose weight using so many of these plans. I know people who have lost weight on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, via walking, jogging, rowing, boot camp participation. My point is, pick a plan or a combination of ideas and most will work. That is "IF" we have the willpower to actually adhere to any of these techniques.
Throughout most of my adult life I've been up and down in weight. Not always fat, not always in top shape. I'm a "yo yo" exerciser the more I think about it. I generally have exercised to some degree all my adult life. Sometimes, I just get really immersed into it and that is when I get lean then I tapper off or get injured or whatever the excuse is and since I wasn't having to "diet" per se, the weight would come back on.
Calories "in" and calories "out" is not an equal opportunity process. Age, gender, current weight and environment and genetics all enter into the mathematical equation for what it takes to lose weight. Most fat folks don't think about each meal and whether it will put pounds on or help reduce pounds. By the same token most normal weight people I know also "DO NOT" make conscious decisions about eating either. Some scientist believe different peoples brains urge them on to eat more than others. Some people find eating more pleasurable than others. But when we are fat and do want to lose weight. We have to think about it. It may not seem fair that you have to exercise more and eat less than the person next to you to weigh the same as they do. But that is the cards some of us are dealt with and its up to us to make those choices.
It takes willpower. Next Friday I will delve into what willpower is, or might be. What is your opinion about what willpower is? Be careful. I'm not looking for examples of what people with willpower "do". I'm looking for that inner most psychological essence of energy in our minds that is "willpower".
Now get out there and work at it fat buddies and may the willpower be with you.

What you feed grows

It seems like common sense that if you feed something that it grows. This is true for the body, mind and soul. For the last 2 months I forgot this truth. At this point of my journey I have allowed commitments in my life to sidetrack my weight loss journey. This has happened before. Sometimes the detour lasted a week, sometimes a month and sometimes the pity party never ended. It was because of this truth that I decided to do this blog. I think I represent alot of people who want to be healthy; who know they should eat better; who remember how good it felt to be in shape BUT just don't, can't or won't take the necessary actions to make it a reality. In the past my detour wasn't a public issue. Shame is a GREAT motivator. Let's be honest for a minute. If losing weight were easy, everyone would be slim and trim. If losing weight required little effort just thoughts, the weight loss industry would be put out of business TODAY.

Over the the past few weeks, my heart and head haven't been into writing this blog. I felt that the only people who were reading were the negative naysayers of society who got their jollies posting negative comments. Then I ran into a friend who happens to read this blog. Right there in the Walmart aisle, she feed me the positive words of encouragement I needed to hear. Thank you, Cheryl, for reminding me why I volunteered to do this blog. It wasn't for the notoriety. It wasn't for the money (contrary to popular belief). It was about sharing my journey (good and bad) with those who share my plight. Cheryl reminded me that positive people are reading and I need to stay true to the mission.
Thank you for that reminder.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

27 Pounds Worth of Random Thoughts

Going forward with this Blog I intend to generally use Tuesday's as a "random thought" day. That is, give some overall general stats on anything different I did for the exercise or diet for the prior week. Also give weight change and perhaps even reveal my eating excesses of the week. I don't think some of you folks can understand how much I overeat sometimes. For instance this past week I ate a small package of candy corn while driving over to my mountain cabin. I ate six hot dogs (chicken dogs) in one meal. I had too much pasta and wings one night.
On the flip side, I didn't have but two beers all week and from Wednesday forward got back to what helped me lose a ton of weight six years ago....."grazing". That is, during the day I ate grapes, bananas, apples, oatmeal, carrot sticks etc to keep from getting wildly hungry during the day. Then at night, I ate very controlled portions. So overall, for me, I had a better than average calorie week. I also had a very heavy exercise week. Pretty much my normal weights, bike, walk/jog/push ups etc. In addition, however, I had two very strenuous work days on my driveway job at the mountain cabin.
Most of the 24 pounds I had lost earlier this year was due to a ramp up of my exercise. I had stabilized at that reduced weight. So the only two options were to decrease calories and tweak the exercise a tad. One week isn't something to get all celebratory about. It is a long term string of weeks that will matter. None-the-less, I lost 3 pounds last week. So that is 27 pounds so far. Its a nice step in the right direction. We'll see what this week yields. The "grazing" materials are in house so that is my eating plan. Lots of small portions of clean food.
Friday blogs will be more about the psychological aspects of losing weight. The mystery isn't how to lose weight when it comes to the diet and actions that work. The mysteries lie in the mind and what willpower is. Why "ONE" area of a persons life is more difficult to control than others. etc.
See you Friday.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who needs the labels?

An anonymous commenter posted, "Being fat isn't like a race. It's about lack of self control and poor choices. Therefore, it does say something about a person." Really? Democrat. Republican. Black. White. Young. Old. Fit. Fat. Obese. These are all labels that we use to describe others and yourselves. Labels serve a great purpose on inanimate things; not people.

There was alot of discussion last week about whether Dan was fit or fat. Obese or okay. Saturday's anonymous commenter is one more example of how society thinks it is acceptable to belittle larger people. Yes, we are bigger than you. So what? Most of us are law abiding people who contribute to society.  Unlike some of the anonymous commenters, we are not hiding behind the glare of our computer screens and the click of our keyboard. We are openly talking about our weight issues as we try to deal with them in our own way. Our way not yours.

Its okay to disagree with the things you read in this or any blog.  It is not okay to be disrespectful.  This is why I decided last week to limit comments to my posts. This was a difficult decision for me, the consummate debater. I have NO problem holding my own in any disagreement, but holding a one-way discussion where I share my opinion and then the Anonymous naysayers share their view from the protection of their closets, just wasn't fun anymore. I prefer two-way open discussions with grown-ups with names even if the names are fiction.  Anyone who wants to openingly share his/her comments can email me at

Health is more than a number on a scale and just because someone is larger than "normal" doesn't mean that person shouldn't be appreciated, included or respected. Let's stop labeling people. Let's use this forum to encourage each other, to share what we know and to tell others how small changes today can have big results tomorrow.

Nancy Johnson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are You Morbidly Obese?

The term "morbidly obese" has been tossed around this blog for months now. For the most part its been used as almost a verbal weapon by some. So the question I......are you....morbidly obese? If I'm not and you are does that make me superior to you? Heck no. I'm still fat. I'm just lucky to be otherwise far. I don't even get a cold but perhaps once every 3 years or so. My BP and heart rate are good. My blood sugar is great. My back and legs are strong and sturdy. I'm strong in general for an old geezer and have ever improving endurance. If you are, by chance, morbidly obese you by definition do have some extra health challenges facing you that are way more serious than my wimpy exercise and diet journey and I am pulling for you to find a way to get healthy. Of course proper medical care and consultation with your doctor is a must. But back to the question of "if" we/you are morbidly obese. Here's the criteria:
1. Are you more than 100 lbs over your ideal body weight, or
2. have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40, or
3. have a BMI of over 35 and are experiencing severe negative health effects, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, related to being severely overweight?
4. unable to achieve a healthy body weight for a sustained period of time, even through medically supervised dieting?
These are serious questions and not something to reticule a person about. I hope that anyone facing these very tough issues pull through and succeed to live your life to its fullest. Weight doesn't make a person good or bad. It can impact your life however and the quality of that life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bit Off More Than I Can Chew

Good morning, blog followers.  It has been a while since my last post, but I can tell you that I am still plowing along.  The title to this blog says it all; I have been a little busy over the last few weeks and I am sure that a few of you can relate when you finally get to a point when you realize that you have biten off more than you can chew.  Overwhelmed.  Overcommitted.  Overbooked.

What do you do when you have allowed life to take over and you find yourself with no time for the things that matter most -- family, health, ... life?  You take a minute to breathe, mediate, and re-prioritize your time even if you have to upset a few people.  Why?  You only have one life to live.  Take the time to do whatever it takes to get up, get out, and get moving.  Nothing and I mean nothing is more important than your health.

I'm glad I took a week off to gain some clarity in various areas in my life. My health is very important to me.  Now its time to trim the fat in my life and eliminate some of the activities that have prevented me from achieving my health goals. Until next time.

Nancy Johnson

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Won't Back Down

Hello fellow fat folks. You've heard me call myself obese and fat many times in this blog. I've been perfectly honest about exercising yet not dieting properly.
Early on in this blog I also mentioned I was fortunate to not be starting from complete lack of exercise. My history has been one of extreme exercise and thus being able to eat a lot. The last four years however I gave in to some personal and family stress that was an excuse to only exercise to much less degree yet kept on eating. Pretty easy to understand gaining weight then right?
Now before I go on let me mention that any thing I have been, am now or hope to be in the future that can be deemed good or positive is something I humbly give thanks to God for. I know I'm fortunate in many many ways.
So I'm fat. I'm also thick skinned and have laughed to myself at the stalker type "Anonomous" person who has been very negative to the bloggers and fat folk in general. He, and yes I'm convinced its a male, last week finally decided to jump on my case. I've wondered why, other than perhaps sexism, he has been so tough on the ladies in this blog and mostly left me alone. Oh well, I'm relieved he finally has chosen me for his redicule. Gives me something to blog about. Thanks Big "A" or should I say "Bad A". Anyway, BA (Bad A) took exception to my indication that I was "fairly fit for an almost 60 year old man". BA says nobody can be fit and fat.
I contemplated this Sunday while doing my 3 sets of 40 push ups and 3 sets of 50 situps and 3 sets of 10 curls using 30 pound dumbells. I continued to contemplate it as I walk/jogged my normal hilly 3.25 mile course. Yesterday as I was loading and unloading 60 pound bags of marble rock and 80 pound bags of concrete at my mountain cabin (driveway work) and then mowed the property with a push mower up and down a steep incline. Yep. I'm sure out of shape.
Hey BA, I said I was "fairly" in shape...I didn't say I was in fantastic shape like I was just 4 years ago. I also qualified the statement by saying for an almost 60 year old guy. So get off your high horse dude. You must really be insecure and stuck on yourself boy.
So all my fat buddies out there lets not let others dictate who we are or will become. Do it for yourself. Next blog I'll talk about how some "fit" people are not always same as healthy people.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If Bill Can Do It (Go Vegan)

I've been reading a lot about a Vegan diet. This isn't for any particular "moral" reason or animal rights consideration, just health.
A week or so ago the news had Bill Clinton back in the news. Remember Bill? Former President, former fat food abuser? So much intelligence and drive yet, he didn't exercise or eat properly and we all know about his abuse of cigars....ahem.....
His recent years heart problems and his doctors lead him to try a Vegan diet. He's lost twenty pounds and improved his vitals about his overall health.
I love veggies and fruits anyway, so, why not consider this for an overall health benefit? I'm still reading various sources about how to do it and what to look out for etc.
I'd appreciate any readers first hand experiences of living a Vegan lifestyle. Again, save your animal rights preaching for another forum. I'm just interested in the health aspects at this point in my life. After all, Bill is only five years older than me.
I'm actually a fairly fit guy for a soon to be 60 year old. But I'm fat and who knows what silent hidden dangers lurk inside my blood vessels. One thing for sure, I need to find an eating pattern to get away from various addictions to fat and occassional sugar abuses to my body.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Big Event

My year of weight loss as you may recall, had/has a number of big events. Some of these events not anticipated. I was laid off from my job for the first time in my life earlier this year. My daughter got married. My wife and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. I broke a toe doing a work project at our mountain cottage. I will turn 60 this fall.
Today, I'm attending an orientation for my upcoming search for a new late life career change. I will start a ten week course at Carolina College of Health Sciences to hopefully move into the Phlebotomy field of endeavor.
This will get me back into a schedule or routine that I will work my exercise routines around. It will also give me a bit more walking. My parking deck for the school is on the opposite side of the "campus" or facilities and is approx a 15 to 20 minute walk each way each day. Not much. But every little bit helps.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can an Apple a day keep the doctor away?

You have probably heard the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".  I  know a few individuals who eat their daily apple and they seem to be very healthy and generally pretty fit.  So maybe there is a little truth to this.  :)

After many years of ridiculing my teenaged daughter about her cult-like fascination with everything "i", I finally bit the electronic apple and purchased an iPhone.  As a proud owner of a four-year old Razor phone, my leap to a smartphone was HUGE. Since taking the leap into the 21 century, I have found a lot of "apps" to be time consuming and some like angry birds to be addictive, but there are some apps that can help tech-no-saurs like me who need to lose weight.  You might find these three weight related apps interesting:

  • MealSnap -- Pictures don't lie and this app lets you track what you eat by taking a picture of your meal.  Somehow this app is able to magically determine what you eat and the estimated amount of calories.  This is a great app for people like me who absolutely HATE writing down what I eat.  The app is not 100% accurate, but it has helped me do a better job of tracking what I put in my mouth.
  • Healthy Habits- This application allows me to chose which specific behavior I want to work on.  This application makes the changes needed to create a new habit more manageable by breaking down helpful tips in a concise way one specific habit at a time.
  • FoodScanner -- This application is more accurate than MealSnap and does not rely on a picture of the food to determine the number of calories.  You scan the food item, it registers the food and its nutritional information.  If you don't have a UPC code, you can search the database to find the food and then it tells you the nutritional value.  

Smartphones are wonderful gadgets.  Why not let your smartphone help you with your weight loss journey?  Apps like the ones above make it easier to track the calories going in.  If you have other weight related apps that you are using, send a comment and share your knowledge.  Until next week, take care.

Nancy Johnson

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exercise and Weight

To those brave and patient souls who have hung in there this year following this blog, you've heard me repeatedly mention I exercise but don't diet very well. Initially the shift to more and more exercise helped me lose 24 pounds. I've been pretty much stuck at that weight. Which, when I consider how lousy my dieting has been and that I've not gained weight back..... that is some sort of victory I suppose. But its not the goal. My weight loss journey hasn't so much been a set back as it has been a "slack back". July was tough to even exercise enough to make any progress. I have to keep working on my "mind" to get the dieting in line. In the meantime, since I love to exercise, I see a period of time now that my schedule should really lend itself to allowing a big ramp up in amount of exercise. I'm still a proponent of the calories in versus calories out formula for losing weight. I'm fit enough now to be able to tolerate more strenuous exercise. So time to do it.
I hope that any of you who are struggling with your 2011 goals will not give up either. Its ok to admit our mistakes or lack of focus. It is not ok to accept failure or allow negative "I told you so's" take over our minds. Now get out there and do what you know you need to do to be fitter and leaner.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Creatures of Habit

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.  We you get right down to it, this is probably why a lot of people simply give up the fight with weight.  It is too easy to just hit the snooze button and get back into that comfy bed and that is what I have done for the past few weeks.  Snoozing and that ain't good!  

My energy level has been at an all time low.  I know my decision to give up the Dew was a long-term good one, but at the end of most days I feel like a worn out rag.  Its been very hard just to summon the energy for work each day, but walking has been getting my afternoon slumps more tolerable. 

Perseverance is key right now.  Its important to remember why I started this journey.  It is not about appeasing the critics.  Its not about how many people "view"  the blog or the comments -- good or bad.  Its about making a real life change in the bad habits that created the weight loss problem.

To date, I have lost 20 pounds and I have not regained any of the weight I have lost thus far.  Now, its time to get out of bed get off of the snooze button and get back on track.  Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, has said “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  By changing one small thing each day, each of us can define a new habit which will eventually cause real life time change.  

Nancy Johnson

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mid Day Heat and Exercise

I've been feeling extra tired lately. I mean sit down for a moment and fall asleep tired. I think its the amount I'm out in the heat exercising or working. I've always tolerated heat, cold, rain or whatever nature throws at me when I'm outdoors. Most days I'm up by 5:30 am but I don't typically exercise or do outdoor chores until mid day. Guess what? Its hot from noon until sunset this time of the year. Duh. I wonder if some of the bare spots in my yard are from the amount of salty sweat dumped onto it from my slippery old body.
Perhaps the heat and fact I am getting older is slowly wearing me down. I hate to exercise early in the morning. I think, however, it might be time to give it a try.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

21 days to a new me

Its been said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. I am on day 10 of my new life without the Dew. I know there is someone who is wondering what does giving up Dew have to do with weight. There is probably is no correlation between not drinking Diet Mt. Dew and weight loss. There are no calories in drinking diet sodas, right? At least that was my logic for a very long time. But as I approach AARP age, I realize that even things with 0 calories might not be good for me.

Everyone knows that to lose weight you have to eat better and move more but another very important part to losing weight is sleep and my sleep habits have been atrocious. I average 5 to 6 hours of sleep and this has impacted my weight loss because most days I have been too tired to work out and that has to change.

So, I am now going through the withdrawals of giving up the Dew but I know that in the end, my sleep will improve and I will feel better as I replace the false energy from the green bottle with the real energy from exercising. Right now I am off for a nap. Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Good Example for Weight Control

On my recent trip to see some of my wife's relatives in Pa, I ran across a 69 year old cousin in that family that is another good example for weight control.
This particular lady is a very energetic person who works full time at a law firm. Yes, she is 69 with no intention of sitting back and taking it easy. She gets up at 4am and walks during the week and goes to a gym a number of times per week. I noted she also eats low fat diet and small portions. Does it work? All I can say is she can work most of us into the ground and is very slender and fit looking.
It reminds me that the last time I lost a lot of weight I too was very involved in activities to the point of not having time to over eat and yet was in a habit of making exercise an "essential" part of my day.
With all this in mind, today I will walk 3.25 miles, bike for thirty minutes and lift weights. Sometimes you find inspiration even when you least expect it. Look for an example, a person who can inspire you. It could be a spouse, a work associate or a personal trainer. Ultimately, we have to be able to "fly" solo. Until we are successful going solo, take any help you can get.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lack of Drive

Finally. July is over. I've driven my 5,000 miles including 2900 just last week. All that sitting in car or on a motorcycle was terrible on my exercise/diet. I only exercised twice last week for example.
An odd thing happened during my two walk/jogs last week though. My jogs felt better than ever. You may recall that due to complications with my broke toe I've not been jogging any or much during my walks. For that reason, I expected it to be very tough to ease back into jogging my uphill sections of the walking course. I have no explanation other than maybe my legs were more rested than usual.
Anyway, in an otherwise lackluster month, it was a ray of hope for getting back to decent exercise.
Here's a tip for new joggers or old ones looking for a way to do an "interval" session without being on a track. If you are in a safe environment to listen to music while you walk/jog, try walking for one song....then jogging for one song for your "hard versus easy" pacing. Or you can use each new "block" to change up. If money is no object, you can get all kinds of great timing pieces too that have everything from simple stop watch functions to GPS and heart rate monitors built into them. Whatever it takes folks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Picking blueberries

I enjoy the occasional blueberry muffin and pancake.  During my last visit with my mother, I had the wonderful opportunity to pick blueberries at one of my cousins house.  After I recovered from the shock of getting up so early on a holiday, I actually enjoyed the fresh air and commune with nature.

Picking the berries and later eating my Mom's blueberries pancakes reminded me on how nice it is to actually know where your food comes from. So for the next month I will explore some of the local farmers markets to get a taste of what our local farmers are producing.  Send me your suggestions on the best farmers markets in the Charlotte area.  Any within a 25-mile radius would be greatly appreciated.


Nancy Johnson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Can a camera help me lose weight?

I recently read an article in a running magazine that I'm going to adhere to their advice about keeping track of what you eat.

You may recall that I don't have motivational problems to exercise. I have problems keeping a detailed diary of what I eat. The magazine article said to use your camera on your cell phone to take a picture of what you eat all day long. Then at night, go back through the pictures to help you recall what you ate and then you can diary it. Also, if you are about to give in to temptation, perhaps have a picture of yourself semi-naked to remind you of why you should not give in to the temptation.

They used to say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to a picture of my fat body, two words come to mind...... "oh my".

As most of you know there are also various phone "apps" to log calories etc but I still need to be able to just zap a picture and do my exercise and eating logs once as I prepare for bed and plan the next days menu etc.

I'm sure some of you have other techniques you can share with all of us that helps you keep track of things without having to constantly type or write it down multiple times of the day. Try it. Share your ideas. Now get out there and control yourself folks.