I’ve discovered a new way to lose weight: get sick.
Not just the hacking cough and sniffling sick. I’m talking the “stop talking right now or my head will explode” sick.
After early success with exercise and diet, I lost four pounds.
Then I got sicker than I’ve been in forever and lost five pounds. No exercise needed. So, three weeks into this quest to get healthy, I did my best while I was ill.
The ugliness started on Jan. 15. I woke up not feeling well, but I was conscious. As the day went on, my eyes started watering, I began to shake, my ears burned and I couldn’t stop coughing. I spent the next three days in bed.
When I finally decided to see my doctor, he diagnosed me with an ear infection, bronchitis and, get this, pink eye. It was like I had rolled around on snot-filled rug at a day care.
So, my total weight loss stands at nine pounds. The goal I wrote in my iPhone notes file was to lose 45 pounds by the end of 2011, enough to get back into my nice black suit I bought the last time I lost 45 pounds.
I know it’s not going be as easy as the past three weeks have been, especially now that I’m semi healthy and have an appetite.
I’m still eating better, but I have to get back on the exercise horse.
That’s how much weight I lost in the past week.
Not bad for a first week’s effort at trying to get healthier.
How’d I do it?
Well, I put an end to the daily trip to the vending machine and kept plenty of snacks (yogurt, trail mix, almonds) on hand at the office.
I also exercised, walking two miles four times last week, adding a little jogging into the mix the last two days. It felt good to sweat again.
I’m counting today’s snow shoveling as a workout.
The highlight of the week was a trip to the grocery Sunday morning. My wife Julie put together a menu for the week, including salmon, chili, cobb salad and turkey meatballs stuffed with mozzarella. The grocery list was packed with fruits, vegetables, fish and turkey sausage.
I’ve read that it’s best to do most of your food shopping in the outside aisles rather than in the middle, where most of the box foods are. That’s what I was doing, and I felt good about what was in my shopping cart when I got to checkout.
It really hit home when putting away the groceries I didn’t have anything to put in the freezer. That meant no ice cream. I bought sugar free Jell-O instead.
I made dinner Sunday night: salmon, rice and a fresh mushrooms and spinach sauté. Julie complimented the chef, even if I did ruin the mushrooms and spinach sauté by adding a splash of fresh lemon juice too early. The mushrooms really soaked up the lemon. The salmon — pan fried in olive oil with salt, pepper and lemon — was my favorite.
Next weekend will be an early test. I will be in St. Louis and not near the safety of our kitchen.
I wish it were as easy to take the weight off as it is to put it on. But it's not.
Today, I took one step toward taking some weight off, and I'm going to blog about the process until, well, I really don't have a goal yet other than the promise I made to my wife Julie to get back into the black suit I wore to my cousin's wedding in 2008. It's the suit I bought after the last time I lost 40-plus pounds.
Don't be afraid to root me on, or to scold me for not working hard enough.
Here we go, Day One.
Well, let's start with Day One, Minus One. I weighed myself last night for the first time in a very long time. The scale said 264 (I checked it twice). I thought it would be much higher after the holiday eating binge I had. But it's still 15 pounds higher from the summer, when I was coaching a baseball team of 14-year-old boys and throwing 300 batting practice pitches a week. It's also 40-plus pounds since January 2009. I'm a stress eater and I've been under a lot of stress over the past two years. I know I'm not alone there.
OK, now Day One. I got up at 7 a.m. today and at 7:13 I was on the road, wearing my Asics running shoes, jogging pants, T-shirt and a pullover fleece. I didn't dress for the weather, but it wasn't too bad and I was moving at a quick pace to stay warm. I took my old 2-mile route that two years ago I ran in 20 minutes or less. I walked the route today in 35 minutes. I have a ways to go to get back to a jog, and a real long way to go to get back to my Dog Days run pace.
Breakfast was yogurt and trail mix. Lunch was with the family, spicy chicken bento box at Yokohama in downtown Lawrence. I have a banana, almonds and a tangerine on my desk for an afternoon snack. Dinner will likely be a roast beef sandwich at Arby's after I take my son Thomas to hockey practice in Overland Park. That doesn't sound all that healthy, but from what I had been eating recently, it's good.
My legs are sore, but I pledge to be back on the road tomorrow.
We’ve all made mistakes in our lives.
You know, the ones we play out in our mind as we try to get to sleep.
Over and over I replay the time I threw a changeup to a batter who couldn’t touch my fastball for strikes one and two. Each time I relive that moment, the catcher puts down three fingers, the sign for a changeup. I question the call but don’t shake him off. He’d been catching all game and I just took the mound.
I throw the pitch.
Each time, the hitter lines the ball past the third baseman for a hit.
And so starts a rally that sent me to the showers and ended my competitive baseball career.
I learned a lesson that transcended baseball that Sunday afternoon: Trust your gut.
My oldest son, Eric, graduated from Free State High School on May 23. In August he leaves for college in Illinois to play baseball. At 17, he hasn’t yet learned all the lessons I’ve learned in 47 years. He will learn them, and likely the hard way, but not before I share my wisdom.
I’ve offered Eric a lot of advice — some of it actually solicited — on a number of topics. My advice has come as driving instructor, baseball coach, disciplinarian and just plain dad.
My wife Julie is the nurturer. I’m more direct. It’s a curse, and a blessing.
In that spirit, I share the advice I’m giving Eric, likely for the last time while he’s still living under our roof.
Scratch that itch
If something in the back of your head is telling you to do something, do it. The time it takes you to do it now will be far less painful than the cleanup later.
Don’t be a jerk
Treat people the way you want to be treated. You won’t always be treated the same, but you can live with yourself later.
Don’t be stupid
On prom night, Eric and his date gathered for pictures with 11 other couples. After the parents played the role of paparazzi, the group was heading out to dinner before the dance. I pulled Eric aside and said: “Don’t be stupid.”
Translation: Don’t drink, do drugs or have sex. The consequences of a moment can affect a lifetime.
I can only hope Julie and I have taught him how to make the right decisions.
Maintain the strong connections with the high school friends you are leaving, but understand that relationships — and life — go in cycles. Those cycles are rarely in sync.
And always be open to new friendships.
Make a difference
Become a mentor, or Big Brother, to a young person. You will learn as much about yourself as you will about your Little Brother.
High school doesn’t define you
In 10 years you will not be the person you are today.
You will have many opportunities. Take advantage of them and make connections with people you respect and can teach you things. You will have a professor who will change your life. He or she will become a lifelong friend and resource.
No maid service
Learn to wash clothes, clean a toilet and cook salmon with asparagus and wild rice — your wife will love you for it.
Throw the fastball
When you get a sign from the catcher that you don’t agree with, shake him off and throw the pitch you trust. Believe me, you’ll be able to sleep better.
Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/may...