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Aging, Dodging Bullets, Reaching Goals

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coach Nancy's latest blog got me thinking...I'll share my post and other thoughts related to aging:


This 52-year-old is just waking up to the potential that my body has for ACTION, for MOVEMENT! I just don't want to HEAR about the aging process slowing me down just when I'm getting my GAME ON! I see, hear and feel various signs of evidence that I am NOT being spared the aging process and I don't like it one bit!

Part of me hates to complain at ALL about anything physical as I know MANY of you out there are struggling with medical matters far more serious than anything be-deviling ME these days. My personal reference, however, is that despite all the abuse I've inflicted on myself through the years, my health has pretty much held up admirably well. And in many ways I am healthier now than I've been all my life.

NOW, however, I've got these *issues* cropping up which are such NUISANCES and also giving me cause for some worry. I really begrudge taking the time away from work to see doctors, yet I know I've got to take care of business also.

For the squemish among you, feel free to pass over the next section about my colon...I REALLY didn't want to post this, but I'm struggling to find a solution and felt I couldn't pass up running this by all you knowledgeable folks! :-)

I recently *attempted* to have a colonoscopy screening. For some off-color, scatological (you've been forewarned...lol!) humor about colonoscopies, check out Billy Connolly's skit on Scottish Colonoscopy:


It was quite serendipitous that a friend who knew nothing of my recent attempt had forwarded this to me...!

Anyhow, I flunked! Took all the pills and mixtures, waited for Mt. Vesuvius to erupt...nothing happened! Went to the hospital anyway and they attempted to *assist* my colon, thought things were clear and put me under for the procedure...but no dice...still not clear. Now I've never ever had this sort of problem before in my life! What's worse? I'm four days out from the attempt and have yet to have a bowel movement. I'm usually a once a day, two days at most kind of guy! I've followed up with the gastroenterologist and we have another date set for attempt #2...not until Oct. 16th...ugh, what a birthday present to myself...! But I've alerted them to my problem and am awaiting further instructions. In the meantime I've been doing my own 'net sleuthing and just about the only thing I'm turning up is info about the "lazy colon" syndrome, which sounds like it fits my symptoms, but doesn't fit ME!

It's said that lazy colons that don't have the peristaltic motion they ought to can occur as the result of too little water, too little fiber, too little physical activity or if one has abused laxatives...of which I've never laid my hands on and am extremely reluctant to do this now! Me, who drinks all this water, eats more veggies than ever and am doing my daily cardio faithfully! Now I'm bumping the water and veggies up even more and adding a Metamucil type stuff to 3 glasses of water a day...and I'm waiting...and waiting...and getting nervous that this is signaling something worse than constipation. Is it possible that in the bad old days of horrible eating that I've stretched my colon out so that it doesn't function the way it should and the only thing that moves food through is MORE food...? Is it taking all this time to fill up what has been cleansed before more can be evacuated...? Nasty questions and thoughts...apologies for these but I'm worried.

Let's add to that the return of the mysteriously disappearing hernia...!

Along with an inner ear pressure problem that likes to get infected...!

I tip my hat off to those of you who struggle so successfully with chronic illnesses...as I just don't have the patience for such things...argh!

Okay, for the good news:

As most of you know, strategy #1 in my quest for ONEderland has been to temporarily swear off nuts. Well yesterday I had to stop off at CVS to pick up a couple of prescriptions. The 5 bell alarm did not go off immediately, it was only when I had the thought of sliding into my old habit of going in to pick up the prescriptions...along with a big can of cashews or some such! Caught myself and went through the drive-through instead...woo hoo!

AND this morning I broke through my 35 min. record and NAILED THREE MILES on my treadmill session...a BIG WOO HOO! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WISTFULVISTA 9/25/2009 11:42PM

    Hey, Don, emoticon on the fabulous treadmill session!! Question: Did your feet ever touch the ground in those paltry 35 minutes?? That's phenomenal! And thanks for posting the hilarious Billy Connolly piece! I laughed so hard, I cried...and my husband came in here and howled at it, too! It was like listening to Robert Burns sing "Skip to the Loo," in an odd sort of way. He's a stitch! I am stumped by your intestinal torpor, especially since you sound like, well, a "regular guy." Here's how I handled the age-50 "rite of passage" (pun intended). Not wanting to have the cacaphony (pun not intended) Connolly described, I opted for eating just soup the day before my colon prep. The prep just raced right through me like water, and I was clean as a whistle on Up Periscope day. I also didn't have all the cramping and mess others have described. The only unclean portion of my GI tract - and I awoke mid-colonoscopy and saw it on the big screen - was my cecum. It's sort of a tiny, blind alleyway which leads to a dead end (again, no pun...). I apologized to the gastro-doc for not having cleaned it well, and he assured me that it's impossible to get that portion clean. So if you're concerned, you might try just soup the day before your prep day. Good going on avoiding the nuts at CVS and opting for the drive-thru instead!!

And poor Nancy...I didn't want to break it to her about what lies ahead...or behind, perhaps... - Susan

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ROYALETBONE 9/25/2009 12:32PM

    Yeah, like Oragmifreak said... at 55, I have to moniter my fiber. I need LOTS of soluble and insoluble fiber. More than average.
And... I bet the 'quititng' nuts has something to do with it.
Maybe you can share your food log? Or do you track?
I've got arthritis in my EAR, fer gosh sake. Bodies.
Gotta love 'em.
Congrats on the 3 miles on the treadmill.
OOOO_ went and looked at the link... lol!

Comment edited on: 9/25/2009 12:38:00 PM

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L*I*T*A* 9/25/2009 11:22AM

    sorry to hear your difficultties........hopefully the dr's will resolve this quickly...........way to go with your workouts...................you will be there sooner rather than later.................have a great day..........blessings and hugs............lita

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USARUNNERGIRL 9/25/2009 10:55AM

    Sorry to hear about all the issues. Glad to hear that you beat your best time on the treadmill. Before you know it you will be in onderland and able to run longer..

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/25/2009 10:03AM

    Dude, those nuts you just swore off were probably providing a lot of fiber that your body was used to...

You don't have your nutritional intake visible, but perhaps you actually need more fiber than the generic SP guidelines recommend?

I've noticed for myself, two things about my own calorie restriction and increased protein intake. First, there does seem to be a minimum volume necessary to move food through. And second, protein binds things up very very well.

So I add 2t of psyllium (soluble fiber) and 1/8c wheat bran (insoluble fiber) to each of my protein shakes. The insoluble fiber gives the digestive system something to push against. The soluble fiber provides mass and slows down the movement to a reasonable pace and keeps the insoluble fiber in solution while I drink the shake.

Some days I get over 40g of fiber. And that seems to suit my system really well.

Just my 2 cents.

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Books, Choices and MAGIC!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recently I had a bit of time free and enjoyed a leisurely walk along our downtown riverwalk and visited our local, home-grown bookstore. I took time to meander through the stacks and shelves, browsing the covers and liners. As an adolescent, young adult I had immersed and OVERWHELMED myself with books! I was always deep into a book and looking for more. Especially great fiction. While I still pick up a book once in a blue moon, usually while on vacation, I have not been reading much of anything appreciable for DECADES. I was awestruck by the worlds, stories, knowledge and inspiration that I've been passing up! It was IMPOSSIBLE to pick a single book up and decide *this* was the one I was going to read!

In the past my reading was usurped by food and the apathy that prevented me from doing much of ANYTHING in my life. NOW, on the other hand, my workouts and online SPARK time have taken over. While I truly miss the world of books, I can't see dislodging the time for it...at least not now.

We're all making choices as to how we want to spend our time. Any choice we make FOR something is a choice AGAINST something else...we just can't do it ALL, can we?

Earlier tonight I was chatting with another member of SparkPeople in which she was making the case for attempting to educate and enlighten those who are just embarking on this wonderful journey to reclaim their health and wellness. Especially regarding "short cuts," "quick fixes" and fast, easy, painless, effortless weight loss results.

It's odd, you know, my first response to the other person's note was: Yep, we have to keep sending out the message that "there is no magic!"

But as soon as I said that to myself I thought: Hey, there IS a lot of *magic* in realizing that there is no magic "out there," because then one can begin to find the magic within! :-)

Let's everyone keep making our lives an adventure!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETPEAPIG1980 9/26/2009 11:33AM

    Thank you for this blog. I needed to be reminded of our inner magic.

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NEWMOMOVER40 9/26/2009 12:25AM

    Reading + Working Out = Audiobooks! Seriously, if you get unabridged ones -- and you can even download them from public libraries, so you don't have to pay exorbitant bookstore prices for them -- it's just like reading a book, only you have the added pleasure of being read to by good voice actors.

Just stumbled upon your blog but it's very entertaining - thought I'd give you that bit of advice from "the library stacks"!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/25/2009 11:13AM

    For me, the reading went WITH the sedentary lifestyle. Now I'm so active I haven't picked up a book in weeks!
Most of my reading is on the internet, these days.

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WISTFULVISTA 9/25/2009 8:05AM

    Don, what an inspiration you are! I've seen your comments on another very inspiring SparkPerson's blog and was "Sparked" to read your own blogging. I no longer work outside the home and feel constantly torn between the library book I've borrowed and spending time here on Spark! But I suspect this just illustrates the richness of life in general. Even at the age of 57, I am never, ever bored :) All the best to you, and congratulations on your phenomenal success here! - Susan

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 9/25/2009 4:40AM

    For me, life isn't living unless I have a good book to read! However, I rotate where I spend my time. Sometimes I spend wayyy too much time on the computer - till other parts of my life feel neglected (especially reading time). Then I leave off most of that computer time and bury myself in a good book. That's my balance; rotation. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 9/24/2009 11:34PM

    i love to read..my only problem is once i start i just keep on till it is done and then nothing gets done...............so read a little less often these days.............have a great weekend........blessings and hugs.................lita

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ROYALETBONE 9/24/2009 10:37PM

    OH, I love that last paragraph.
Time is going to pass... yup, it will pass. Are we going to ride the time to our own direction, or just let time carry us away into somnolence?

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JCORYCMA 9/24/2009 8:43PM

    If I get a good book going, I'll get on a stationary bike at the Y and read while I ride. I have gotten so engrossed in a book before that I've ridden 60 minutes without realizing it!!
emoticon + emoticon = Good Workout!!

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ZIRCADIA 9/24/2009 8:06PM

    I read every day on my lunch break. :) Sometimes in bed before I fall asleep. VERYVERYVERY rare is a time when I'm just reading at home on the couch or something.... that doesn't really happen anymore. But still, I get an hour for lunch so I still get to feed my habit. :)

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Spikier YET!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Great treadmill session this morning!

I've been challenging myself to bump up the amount of distance I can cover in the 35 mins. I typically allow myself every morning on my 'mill. I'm always at a 10% incline and have been varying my speed between 4-6 mph. 2.7 miles is my all-time record and this morning I made up my mind to hit 2.8.

With a little help from Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper and best of all Santana's live version of Incident at Neshabur (these were my 6 mph songs) I had a ROCKED OUT time! Smiled at Santana's tip of the hat to everyone's inspiration John Coltrane as he worked into his extended jam the melodies to Afro-Blue and My Favorite Things...at first thinking Rogers & Hammerstein must be rolling over in their grave, but then, being the consummate artists that they were, perhaps they might have given Carlos a nod of approval...? :-)

Anyhow...nearing the end of Neshabur (an extended jam of probably over 15 mins.) I could see that 2.8 miles was well within reach so I slowed down to 4 mph to cool off, but then I PASSED 2.8 with 30 seconds to spare and thought, 'Why not kick it back up to 6 mph and see if I can reach 2.9...?'

Mission Accomplished! Woo hoo! Look out #3!

Have a SPARKING day everyone!!


PS...also, MORE great news! Lost FIVE POUNDS this week! TRIPLE Woo Hoo! ONEderland here I come! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 9/24/2009 6:22AM

    Hey, new name for you - Spike!
emoticon emoticon
I have to laugh, though. Although I'm a musician and like to workout to tunes myself, I've been listening to downloads of Dave Ramsey lately. quite a contrast!

Blessings today,

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    Way to go Don!! You are doing an awesome job! Keep on truckin'!!


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L*I*T*A* 9/23/2009 3:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 9/23/2009 2:55PM

    You leave me breathless! Awesome job.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/23/2009 2:42PM


Keep it up!

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JUSTLYLE 9/23/2009 1:41PM

    Great job Don on the ole mill and with the weigh loss, looks like you are heading into the winter season with a good attitude.
Skeeter emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 9/23/2009 1:24PM

    Man you are KILLING IT on that treadmill! :D ROCK ON!

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Getting Spikey

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Been continuing to push myself on the treadmill lately, aiming to vary my speed between 4 - 6 mph and attempting to cover more ground in the same amount of time, i.e. bumping up my overall speed.

The graph of my speed on the treadmill is no longer flat-lined as it has been for the most part all these years. Now I'm getting SPIKEY! Woo Hoo! :-)

Had a nice boost today, dropping another pants size from 42 to 40...another Woo Hoo! I'll be SO thrilled when I hit 38!

Wrapping up my first week of "no nuts"...we'll see how it goes...

Keep on SPARKING everyone! :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLI9001 9/23/2009 4:00PM

    That's so awesome. Glad to hear you hard work is paying off. You will be in those 38's in no time!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAINOF4 9/23/2009 10:51AM

    WTG! Great work on dropping another waist size! That feels great, doesn't it?! HA HA! I thought you meant you needed a haircut emoticon

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ZELLAZM 9/23/2009 7:23AM

    WTG on the pant size!

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GMACAMI 9/23/2009 1:15AM

    And I thought you were talking about a new doo (hair that is) !!!!!


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ROYALETBONE 9/23/2009 12:14AM

    Spikey is good!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/23/2009 12:06AM

    Awesome on the size drop. I love it when that happens!

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L*I*T*A* 9/22/2009 10:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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More Kayaking Fun, Green Workouts & Strategy #1

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yesterday was such a special kayaking outing with ORIGAMIFREAK and her local kayaking club, which I'm about to join...! Joined up with everyone on Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, not too far from Geneva. The weather was spectacular, clear blue sunny skies & mid/upper-60's.

We first had lessons in recovering if one has fallen out of their kayak and our teachers were amazing in their abilities to roll over in their kayaks, staying right in their seats. I was beside one who was so quick I had looked away, heard a splash and she was already upright and soaking wet from her rollover!

Then we kayaked down the lake and back for a round trip of about 8 miles. The return was against the tide which, whew!, was quite the challenge! I learned how much more effort it takes to paddle a short kayak (10 footer) than a longer one. However one of the kayak club members was kind enough to loan me an extra one of his, which I truly appreciated!

Kayaking really engages quite a wide range of muscles...they all told me ALL about it today...lol!

Today was clean up the garden day...bagged up our blighted tomato plants... :-( And cleared out other stuff, getting the gardens ready for next spring. Still have some red peppers, cauliflower and summer squash coming....hoping the frost will leave them alone! Then I got my handsaw and started lopping off LOTS of lower branches on our trees which were either dead or in the way. We are INUNDATED with maple saplings everywhere so hacked them down too. Working the saw (no power saw for me!) was a great upper body workout! It was another beautiful day today and great to be out and enjoying it while sprucing up the property as well!

My first strategy in striving toward ONEderland:

Striking out the nuts!

I'm nutty for NUTS!! And I have developed a bad habit of keeping a big jar of them in the car with me for munching on my way back and forth to work. Yes, I *know* nuts are good for you, but not when one overdoes them like *I* do...!

So I'm pulling the plug altogether on nuts for now and may attempt to re-introduce them later in a more controlled manner.

Hope everyone out there had as fulfilling and SPARKING a weekend as I did!

Now let's get a super week under way tomorrow! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCIE-N-BELLA 9/22/2009 10:03PM

    Don, this si great!!! I do hope you can get back to the nuts since they are healthy for you BUT in MODERATION, please!!!

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USARUNNERGIRL 9/22/2009 9:16AM

    Sounds like a great time. You inspire me to try new things everyday and push myself!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/21/2009 2:39AM

    Thanks to you and Kathy for driving all the way up here! You beat out the Syracuse and Dryden people for longest distance...

Glad you had fun - I did too.

Also glad we managed to finally get you a real workout on the water...

Comment edited on: 9/21/2009 2:40:28 AM

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L*I*T*A* 9/20/2009 10:28PM

    sounds like a lot of fun on the weekend............have a great week............blessings and hugs...................lita

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BJENKINS1014 9/20/2009 10:08PM

    What a great weekend! It's so nice to be outdoors this time of year, and you managed a perfect balance of play and hard work.

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    I admire how you always do things the "old fashioned" way, with blood, sweat and tears. Sorry to hear about your tomato blight. I'm impressed at how much kayaking involves. You are awesome.

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OUTDOORGIRL70 9/20/2009 9:40PM

    Sounds like a great weekend all around.


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ROYALETBONE 9/20/2009 9:29PM

    Sounds like a wonderful day.
And you can exclude the eating kinds of nuts, but hope you leave the Sparky kind of nuts in your life.

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