Thursday, March 30, 2006

More Diet Tips

OK - I am somewhat of a minor celebrity at work (hey - he's the guy that lost a lot of weight...)

Kind of funny, but folks ask me how I did it, what did I do? Well, I came across this article, and realized that without consciously being aware of it, this is exactly what I was doing:

A February 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a daily mix of potentially cholesterol-lowering foods for one month-including vegetables (notably okra and eggplant), almonds, barley, oats, psyllium seed, soy protein, and a spread enriched with substances called plant sterols-reduced cholesterol levels much more than a low-fat diet did; in fact, those foods lowered cholesterol almost as much as the common statin drug lovastatin (Mevacor).

In a small clinical trial, published in June 2004 in Clinical Nutrition, drinking a glass of pomegranate juice every day for one year reduced blood pressure; decreased the oxidation that causes the "bad" LDL cholesterol to stick to the artery walls; and reduced the clogging of the carotid arteries in the neck. (Such clogging can lead to a stroke.)

None of that evidence is conclusive. So you don't necessarily need to consume large amounts-or even any-of those special foods, in part because other items in a balanced diet may provide comparable benefits. For example, the best dietary approach to reducing blood pressure is not to guzzle pomegranate juice but to follow the much broader DASH diet, high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.

Similarly, consuming more plant foods and less animal fat is probably the best nutritional strategy for lowering cholesterol levels and possibly unclogging the arteries. (Of course, losing excess weight is also essential for achieving both of those goals.) And even if the evidence for a particular food's benefits were incontrovertible, eating it every day might crowd other valuable items out of your diet-or just prove to be intolerable over the long haul.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Half The Man, 4 Times the Cash!

A postscript to my weight loss challenge: Of 37 people who signed up and paid $10 to try an lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks, only 8 succeeded. Freakin' EIGHT!?!? Wow - the battle of the bulge is a tougher one than I thought. Nonetheelss, it has lined my pockets to the tune of $46.25. I'd only hoped to get maybe $15 or so due to the falloff. Nice!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Woke Up This Morning, I Almost...

...yakked in the sink.

I swear the neighbors next door were having White Castle Sliders for breakfast.

I'm sorry - you can only do that after a night full of beer. And I doubt the 12 & 13 year olds were slugging MGDs all night.

Either I am getting old, or the neighbors are getting trashier.

Ok - I tipped my hand there. They aren't hillbilly surfers, but man - sometimes I wonder where the hell you have to grow up and NOT learn to tie a trash bag closed before putting it in the can?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'm Not Half The Man I Used To Be...

OK - well, not that close, but there's definitely 10% less of me around now. The e-mail went out at work on January 3rd: "Want to bet $10 that you can do it? Get ready to take the 10-10-10 challenge! Put $10 into the “pot” and lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks! Everyone who loses 10 pounds or more will split the “pot”! The biggest “loser” (greatest weight loss) will also win a bonus gift!"

I signed on. I was feeling unhappy about my recent trip upwards on the scale. I weighed in starting off at my heaviest ever - 210. A bit much on a 5'10" frame ,unless you are an NFL running back.

I watched what I ate - portion control was key. I didn't NEED two helpings, two slices of pizza. I tried more veggies & salads. I drank a LOT more water. I stopped eating after 8pm. I didn't really add that much exercise other than more walking. I didn't deny myself anything, though. Just did it sensibly. 5 peanut M&M's rather than a whole bag, for example.

8 pounds came off the first 2 weeks. w00t! Then through the next 7 weeks, 9 more. Right up to last weekend, I was at about 17 pounds. Very happy was I.

So here it is, 10 weeks later, the final weekend passed, and the final weigh-in.

I dropped 22 pounds! Hell if I know how the last 5 came off, but I hit 188! That is my "OK" weight" which I sure can live with. 180 would be a dream, and now I am within reach. I didn't ever think I could be this successful. It's pretty amazing that I have the ability to do this. Last year I don't think I would have been emotionally capable. I owe a lot of it to things happening in my life this year (in case you missed it...)

So you'll be seing less of me around.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pleased to Meet Me

Really cool meme pilfered from Ali, and me being Übermusikgeek, simply must do this:

Pick a band/artist. Then answer these questions using only titles from the band/artist’s songs.

Hardest part? Picking the band...

1. Name of band/artist: Kansas
2. Are you male or female?: Carry On Wayward Son
3. Describe yourself: One Man, One Heart
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Everybody's My Friend
5. Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Desperate Times
6. Describe current girlfriend/boyfriend: Perfect Lover
7. Describe where you want to be: On The Other Side
8. Describe how you live: Chasing Shadows
9. Describe how you love: Anything For You
10. What would you ask for if you had just one wish?: Don't Take Your Love Away
11. Share a few words of wisdom: It Takes A Woman's Love (To Make A Man)
12. Now say goodbye: A Glimpse Of Home

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Remembering Rosanna

Once upon a time, I was an angry young man, wild and crazy. I played in a band, I did whatever the hell I wanted. I think that sort of changed when I met Rosanna.

Wash your face Rosanna
Tonight we'll go out on this town
Give them dogs a bone and put them down

I can't even remember her last name now. We didn't date very long, but she was unlike anyone I had ever met before. The friend of one of the guys in my band, she came to see us play. After my set we got to talking, and dancing. And more talking. She was a Special Ed major.

Shine your shoes Rosanna
Tonight we're walking on those tiles
Give them cats a class in feline style

She was taking her class on a trip to a local nature preserve and invited me to come meet her there. Maybe not good protocol for a teacher now, but this was early 1991 when things were simpler.

Have a drink Rosanna
Pour it straight and knock it down
Pull the rug of being up from the ground

She introduced me to her students. I hadn't really any experience with learning disabled kids - different kids - so I was naturally hesitant. Something happened there that day. I got to know some kids who looked at the world very differently than I did.

Take a seat Rosanna
Soak your sight and suck the sound
Skip the last train home go underground

The obsessions, the repetitive behavior, things that seemed weird to me, Rosanna explained to me. She did it within the context of the kids, and not like some clinical text. She showed me a real side of a person I didn't see before. I only saw the funny kid on the short bus.

Have a heart Rosanna
Clubs for fools and spades for clowns
Diamonds only serve to fill your crown

Little did I know that years later, I would see these things in me as well, and that I would have a son with Autism. Of course it broke my heart, but I think that in some ways, I was better prepared for it from that day spent with Rosanna and her students.

See me in Rosanna
Here's a boy in shining steel
Fighting for a part of something real

Now I am here, the proud-ass father of the two greatest little boys in the world. Equal in my eyes, both full of happiness and love.

You didn't teach me to see the differences, Rosanna. You taught me that we are all the same.

Thank you, wherever you are.

Lyrics: The Guggenheim Grotto - Rosanna
This song can be heard on Radio Paradise - please give them a listen

I am worth $2,551,026 on
How much are you worth?