A Talk with my Inner Coach

Based on what my fitbit is telling me I am burning an average of 3000 calories a day, yet my body weight continues to yoyo up and down. I know that weight lifting is building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat, but I still should be on a pattern of dropping a little bit of body weight as I know I am burning fat. So I decided to talk to my inner coach and see if he could give me a little insight on what is going on. Know understand that my inner coach tends to be a little on the rough side and doesn’t take any shit from me.

 

Billy: So I am here because I want to burn more fat while building muscle. I want to continue to reduce my waist size and see my overall body weight start dropping.

Inner Coach: Are you eating correctly?

Billy: Yes, a small bowl of oatmeal with a little granola and a lot of various berries. Lunch a little bit of rice with lentil stew and a lot of vegetables and usually the same for dinner but sometimes with added sweet potatoes.

Inner Coach: Sound like a good balance for a vegan diet. Hmmm…. Is this all you are eating during the course of the day, or is there more I should know about?

Billy: Well, actually during the day I do snack on things like pretzels when I feel hungry. And yea, I do have a couple of beers after work, but that is all. Oh yea, I sometimes reach for potato chips or popcorn after dinner sometimes.

Inner Coach: And you know all of this and you come to me seeking answers? Ok, here’s the  advice I will give you. No more fucking snacks between meals! No more beer after work! and definitely no snacks after dinner! You have to train your body to be satisfied with just those 3 healthy meals. If you are feeling hungry between meals it may simply mean that you are not eating enough during a meal. Reduce the amount of food you eat at dinner by 1/3. Now let’s talk about your exercise routine.

Billy: Oh, that’s an easy one. I am fast walking 3 miles on the treadmill at least 4-5 times per week. On Saturday and Sunday I hit the gym and perform a mixed weight lifting routine that last approximately an hour and a half to two hours.

Inner Coach: If you are doing cardio more than two days in a row, stop it. Allow your body to heal for at least 24 hours before performing the same cardio routine. Your weight lifting sessions and two long and should be reduced to a max time of 45 minutes to 1 hour. You must find a way to create a routine where you spread out your body building routine to more than just two days. Spit up both Saturday and Sunday with Tuesday and Thursday. Too much of anything brings about inflammation which I don’t have to tell you can reap havoc on your body. You need to find balance with both your cardio schedule and body building schedule.

Billy: But it is hard for me to perform a body building routine during the work week as the only time I have is early morning and the gym is closed at that time. This is why I try to make up for it by performing so much cardio during the week.

Inner Coach: What you are doing simply does not work. I don’t care if you have to find another gym that is open in the early morning, or if you have to invest in some equipment to perform body building at home, but either way if you don’t make the change you will not find the results that you seek and may also injure yourself in the process.

Billy: Thanks Inner Coach. I will take your advice with great enthusiasm and find a way to change the path I am currently on.

Posted in aging, body building, cardio, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, intermittent fasting, mindfulness, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Burning Fat, Building Muscle, Development of a New Plan

After moving between heavy weight lifting on the weekends mixed with an average of 3 miles on the treadmill 5 times per week, I am know looking for a little more balance. Right now my weightlifting routine consists of 4 days every two weeks. This means that I am doing the first two routines on Saturday and Sunday and the next two routines the following Saturday and Sunday. This is not working out for me as too much time is passing before routines. I love going to the gym, but the problem is that they don’t open during the week until I am just about leaving for work. No time for a Mon-Fri workout at the gym.

Thank God for the treadmill in the garage that allows me to do cardio, but if there was a way to lift weights two days during the work week this would solve my problem. I have been looking pretty hard at the set of Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells along with stand and bench. I talked to my trainer about this option and he said that it could work and he could definitely build my a great routine. The only problem I am having now is dealing with the cost. I know that it is a true investment as my health is important to me and the fact that they pretty much last forever. With the holidays upon me I believe that my best option is to wait until January to ensure that I don’t go over budget.

The bottom line is that there are 4 elements that must be strictly adhere to if I wish to acquire the results I need to overcome Type II Diabetes and repair the damaged inner parts of my body.

  1. Whole Food Plant Based Diet
  2. Reduction of Stress in my Life
  3. Cardio Exercises
  4. Weight Bearing Exercises

The Whole Food Plant Based Diet allows my body to receive all of the nutritional elements required to provide my cells with the tools they need to normalize while providing my immune system with super foods to help destroy the foreign invaders. The Reduction of Stress includes a new attitude that lets me know that I do not control everything in life and when things happen I can get through them OK. It also includes quiet time to read, write or meditate and practicing stretching of my body before workouts. Cardio is essential to keep the blood flowing and strengthen the heart. And Weight Bearing Exercise are the key element to keeping my bones strong.

I need not worry too much about my body weight as it goes up and down like the Stock Market. I look at the big picture of reducing my body weight by just around 1 pound each month. The real results come from burning off excess body fat and building muscle, yea it’s all about the waist size.

For now I will continue with this routine but will throw in some isometric exercises during the week and anticipate lifting bowflex weights in my garage on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Posted in aging, body building, cardio, diabesity, finances, fitness, food, health, meditation, mindfulness, minimalist, simple living, stress, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fitbit and Weight Lifting Apps

I decided to purchase a Fitbit Charge 3 a few weeks ago to help me stay on track. For the most part I do love it as it acts as both a watch and a BPM monitor. I like knowing how many steps I take each day and how many flights of stairs I climb.

The app is a bit discouraging as any other apps I have tried to use for fitness goals. Within the fitbit app there is a goal setter where I can set a goal for weight loss. The problem is that it really isn’t realistic as I am not only performing cardio, I am also weight lifting. Lifting heavy weights causes muscles to grow and the body to retain water, which also increases body weight. So even though I am burning fat my overall body weight will increase. I could perform body measurements each day, but who has the time for that.

The technology certainly is getting better, but even the weight lifting apps I use don’t describe the individual routine I am performing. I may be doing dumbbell fly’s but the the app only shows chest fly’s performed on a machine. After trying several I have decided that going back to using the individual paper card where I can write in the exact exercise I am using for a particular routine serves me best.

Another feature I really don’t like about the fitness apps are they are always trying to act as a personal trainer. I come from the old school philosophy that having a fitness trainer there with you to guide you through each exercise before starting a 3 or 6 month routine not only is helpful but teaches us how certain exercises performed wrong can actually cause injury.

I suppose that for those who choose to just do cardio and track their food intake the fitbit is ideal, but for us older folks who depend on resistance exercises to keep our bones strong it just doesn’t work.

I will continue to wear my fitbit but will utilize it as a tool to keep me motivated and less on a performance tracker.

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Mom passed last week

Conscious confirmation to self that all is well

Cardio all week and my body weight drops, Weight lifting on the weekend and my body weight goes up. But progressively my body weight is dropping slightly each week as I am burning fat and building muscle.

A whole food plant based diet is what I eat. No meat, no dairy, no added oils and no manufactured foods. Starches are Basmati rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Lots of dark green and colorful vegetables and berries.

I am healing on the inside and feeling wonderful on the outside.


My mom passed away last week and I had to fly from Oregon to New Jersey. Mom was a really good hearted soul and I will miss her greatly. At 78 cancer took her. Just two years ago she made it through breast cancer and was stamped cancer free. She had no idea that cancer was eating her alive through the liver, kidneys and spine.

I spoke with Mom each Saturday morning and never heard a complaint from her. In fact her mood was always happy and joyful. She laughed and joked with everyone right up to the last day she passed. No pain, No suffering. I am so grateful each day that she passed this way.

Mom lived a very simple life and found so much joy in a family gathering where she cooked those traditional dishes her Mother prepared. Whenever there was a problem she was always the first one there to help. She didn’t have much but what she had, she gave freely. At 76 she received a letter from someone named Eric. Eric is her son that she was forced to put into adoption when she was just 19 years old. This brought incredible joy to her and ended up spending some pretty incredible quality time with her long lost son.

If there ever was a reason to feel good about changing my diet to a Whole Food Plant Based one, Mom’s confirmed cancer is certainly an eye opener. I believe that if she too had adopted a healthier lifestyle she may have avoided being attacked by cancer. But only God would know this. I do know that she has been welcomed with open arms and is spending quality time with family and friends who passed before her.

One of the questions we are always asked by our care providers is about any family history of chronic diseases. It is said that genetics plays a big role in the chances of us adopting the same illnesses that our family has. I don’t know if this is all genetics as much as it is lifestyle. What I do know is that I am going to pay closer attention to it and do everything in my power to avoid cancer or heart disease. Living now with Type II Diabetes is a challenge in itself as I have to closely monitor the glucose in my blood each day. For right now it seems that I have T2D under control and as long as I continue to eat right and exercise I believe that I will not have to suffer.

I too will leave this earth and reunite with Mom and so many others who left, but for now I will fight with every ounce of energy I have to stay alive as long as I can. I have both the tools and knowledge to avoid and even reverse any disease that may come my way and I will utilize both to make sure that I have lived a full life. Conventional medicine does a wonderful job of helping us live with certain disorders but I know that so much more needs to done to protect our bodies from adopting a disease, making our bodies strong enough to fight a disease and allowing our bodies to return to a healthier state after years of abuse.

There is so much information out there. All you have to do is search for Whole Food Plant Based on the internet and get started.

I love you Mom and will miss you forever.

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, family, fitness, food, God, health, life, minimalist, nature, Oregon, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

This Mornings thoughts on Whole Food Plant Based

Whole Food Plant Based is leading to yet another success story. Miraculously my blood sugar has dropped down from an average fasting number of 160 to 110. My overall body weight continues to drop slowly at an average of about 1/2 pound per week. My BMI is at 25.8 and I am shrinking in my clothing.

All of a sudden I can’t seem to function properly without fast walking 3 miles each morning on the treadmill. I look forward to Saturday and Sunday when I get to head to the local gym and work my body pretty hard with weights.

Body image is certainly an inspiration as I can see my midsection getting smaller each time I look in the mirror. I know that with full commitment that it is now possible to return my body to the image it was many years ago when I participated in many sports. But as these thoughts certainly make me smile they are ultimately not the real goals I set out to accomplish. The real goals are the things I cannot see in the mirror. It is the plaque that has built up in my arteries after so many years of abuse, it is the revitalization of a pancrease that is stubbornly slowing down the processing of sugar, and it is the microbiome that has been compromised due to all of the abuse it has taken by unhealthy eating.

The human body has an innate system of survival and can heal itself when properly taken care of.  A nutrient rich diet without processed foods, meat, dairy or added oils is the key to returning an abused body back to a healthy one. While I entertain myself by redeveloping my body image through exercise, it is the foods that I choose to put in my body that work on the inside. Someone once said, “If you take care of the inside it will reflect upon the outside.”

I know that there are so many who disagree with this approach as they rely on many of the foods I choose not to eat. This is a matter of choice and I too have been guilty in the past of taking the same approach. As I go back to some earlier posts I see the words that I write and the habits that I formed that I believed then were right, but I can no longer agree with as biochemistry has moved forward in so many ways and we come closer to understanding the human cell and what it needs to stay healthy and work correctly. It is unfortunate that we don’t see too much of this science because there is little money backing it like the pharmaceutical companies, but still it is managing to make its way out to the public.

Look, I know that as we age it is just natural for out bodies to start breaking down. And I know that one day I too, like so many before me will pass away. If I know some simple facts that would ease this process, make it less painful, more enjoyable and lengthen the time span for it to occur, then there is no reason in the world not to practice this lifestyle.

So I will be the old dude with the six pack abs walking down the beach. The one who questions the ingredients in the foods served at a restaurant, and the one who continues to smile and find joy in both people and things around me. I will be the one who always questions conventional wisdom and looks outside the box for alternative answers to health. I suppose that I will be that happy, “pain in the ass” who just never can go along with the crowd and rebels against the things I just don’t believe to be completely true.

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, Oregon, primal, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Results are in

I just received my latest blood test in the mail and I will share the results. Keep in mind that the differences in levels have occurred in just 10 weeks. That is when I started the Whole Food Plant Based diet and started an exercise routine.

Before After
Cholesterol 286 206
Triglyceriedes 300 186
HDL (Good Cholesterol) 49 51
LDL (Bad Cholesterol) 188 138
A1C 8.0 6.6

Right after the blood test I noticed that my fasting blood readings in the morning had suddenly gone from the 150 range down to the 100 range. I have six months to continue this plan of attack before my next blood test. My goals are obviously to bring my overall cholesterol level under 150, increase HDL, reduce LDL and bring my A1C to under 5.0.

I met with a trainer on Saturday who helped my put together a systematic weight lifting routine where I will be working my body 4 days out of the week. In between this workouts I will be hitting the treadmill each morning to fast pace walk a minimum of a mile. I will also be mindful of “overdoing it” and recognize when I simply need a day of rest. If I see the results that I anticipate in six months I may coin the word “Vegecise” if it hasn’t already been coined.

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Under 100

Finally my body broke the spell it was under. Blood sugar reading this morning was a 98. Woo Hoo! All the discipline and patience is finally paying off. Pure, wholesome vegan diet, some cardio and some resistance exercises. It seems that all it took to return me to the healthy Billy I have always been.

Now all I have to do is get the results of my blood test and if all is as I am predicting I will truly have cause to celebrate. Bring on the Broccoli,

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, minimalist, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Friday Meeting with the Doctor

After reducing my beer intake and adjusting my diner hours I can say that my blood sugar has come down to 116. It was teetering around 150 for ever but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have also increased my level of exercise which may also have a lot to do with it.

Friday was my visit with the doctor and I believe all went well. I am still waiting for the test results but my doctor believes that I am finally on track. There were a few questions asked after I explained to her that I was eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. The one of course was where do you get your protein? I told her that I get much of my protein from beans, but also all of the other vegetables that I am eating contain a great deal of protein. I try to shoot for 70 grams per day, but many times go over that amount. She gave me a strange look, but I told her to look it up.

When I told her that I don’t do added oil, she asked me where I get my “good fat” from. I told her that there is no good fat and all the fat that I need to survive and thrive I get in fruits and vegetables.

I will get the results of the blood test sometime this week and will post them along with the comparison of the last one before I started the diet.

Another comment she made was meats are not bad. I told her that last year I was eating the “Whole 30” diet and suffered greatly from Intestinal bathroom issues where I was running to the bathroom several times per day with bad diarrhea. I told her that I was very confident in what I was doing and would notice any changes in my body that would dictate a problem. I will be seeing her in another 6 months for a follow up. She told me that she was amazed at they way I approach my own health and looks forward to seeing me in 6 months. Maybe I will bring her a copy of “How Not To Die”.

 

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, fitness, food, health, life, minimalist, nature, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Too much BEER, Too little time before bed

I am now 8 weeks in to eating nothing except Whole Food Plant Based. My overall body weight has dropped from 196 lbs down to 181 lbs which I believe is pretty significant. I am exercising more yet seem to be stuck at this body weight for almost two weeks.

I will be off to the doctors office this Friday to get a 3 month followup blood test and I am sure that many of my numbers will be excellent. The one thing I continue to struggle with is my daily blood sugar numbers. I could just as easily blame the new diet due to the fact that I am eating more complex carbohydrates, but I accept this premises and start eating meat again I would lose of the other benefits I am gaining.

No, instead I turn to lifestyle choices and certain patterns that need to change. Oatmeal and berries in the morning have increased my energy and cognitive abilities during the day. Lunch is usually lighter and moves me into the afternoon feeling the same high energy levels. The problem I face is the things I am doing after work. A long ride home after a pretty stressful day gives way to reaching for a beer and usually another one and so on all the way up to dinner time which is around 6:45 PM. Even though dinner is the same healthy foods I believe that I may be eating way too late as I usually fall asleep within an hour or so after dinner. Between the beer and the late dinner logic dictates that glucose testing at 4:30 AM should show high results, which in fact they are.

I have no intention on giving up drinking beer, but I need to knock off drinking it every freakin night of the week. Dinner needs to be consumed earlier with a bit of light exercise following.

It’s so easy to play the “Blame Game” and say “Well, this diet doesn’t seem to be working out for me”. I have played this game before and the end result has always been the same. Instead I chose the “Self Discipline”. Figure out the things that aren’t working and correct them.

Posted in aging, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, Oregon, simple living, stress, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Seven weeks with Whole Food Plant Based

At 7 weeks progress continues to be made as I have now dipped down to 181 lbs. from the original 196 when I started. I am finally back into my 34″ waist pants. I am feeling fantastic as this Whole Food Plant Based way of eating provides me with so much energy each day to fuel both my workouts and my daily life.

I am slowly increasing my daily walking as before I was shooting for 2 miles 3 days per week. I am now walking 5 days per week and hitting the weights on the weekends. The weight lifting seems to be the hardest part as my body is adapting. Yea, there is some pain involved, but this too shall pass.

The short term goal here is to get my cholesterol back into a healthy range, but long term I will be tackling also reducing my blood sugar numbers. The blood sugar reduction takes time, but as I continue to burn off stored up fat I will see those numbers come down even more quickly than they are now. I can also picture myself at a weight of around 165 lbs. but that too takes time.

I am breaking everything down to just one day at a time. The question I ask myself at the end of the day is, “Did I do all the things today that I needed to do to become more healthy?” If not then I change the things that not so healthy.

Right now one of the things I anticipate changing is the making a few adjustments in my diet. While I am eating a WFPB diet I eat too many staples like rice, potatoes and beans. While these foods are certainly healthy they should not be 90% of my meals. The initial change from eating meat, dairy and added oils to WFPB is not easy and being that the staples are an easy fix to cross over, I will have to slowly start adding more green and colorful vegetables to my plate while reducing the rice, potatoes and beans to form a more balanced approach.

People ask my why I am doing all of this. My answer is pretty clear. I don’t like hospitals, I don’t like medications and as I am heading into my retirement years I want to be able to live an active life. Many people say that it is extreme, but extreme to me is getting your chest cracked open to perform open heart surgery.

The evidence has been around for a long time now. Eating this way prevents and cures most major diseases. This includes the big killers like heart disease and cancer but also includes many of the chronic ones that people deal with each day.

Posted in aging, america, body building, diabesity, diet, fitness, food, health, life, mindfulness, minimalist, nature, primal, simple living, type II diabetes, vegan, vegetarian, walking, whole food plant based | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments