The Return of Kale

So, after reading my gripe about kale a couple of days ago, my wife made a kale salad for us for dinner. Maybe I’ve been too hard on kale. I did learn from a friend that if you pour just a little bit of olive oil into a skillet filled with kale, then heat it on low for five minutes, it makes it easier to scrape the kale into the trash.

And yet, I didn’t dare do that with my wife’s kale salad. She set it before me and I cried just a little. Somewhere in my head I heard Prince singing, “This is what it sounds like when doves cry…” However, I must admit, it wasn’t that bad. I especially enjoyed the pieces of grilled chicken that had nothing to do with the salad. 

So why do people make such a big deal about kale? I did some research and learned that it contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, bitterness, animosity, and wrath. The antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures (like eating kale in the first place).

I enjoyed the kale so much that two hours later, I drove my wife and I to McDonald’s for a hot fudge sundae. But, as usual, they were out of ice cream, as was the second and third McDonald’s we visited. 

It was then that my wife suggested we just go home. But I’m not a quitter, especially when it comes to ice cream. So, I drove us to Wendy’s for a Frosty. Would you believe they were out of ice cream as well. I did get the hook up at the second Wendy’s. I was halfway through it when I realized I had spent the last hour driving to five different fast food restaurants looking for a small cup of frozen refreshment.

I have so very far to go (and I can’t afford the gas).

By the way, thanks for the advice and the encouragement. Keep it coming.

*image courtesy of Laura Johnston and Unsplash

Have You Fallen Recently?

The older I get, the more medical professionals ask me if I’ve had any recent falls.

Recent.

It’s like they’re thinking, “This guy is so out of shape that he’s bound to have fallen in the past few days. He couldn’t possibly balance all of that bulge.” 

I understand it’s all routine procedure and they aren’t personally attacking me (maybe) but the whole experience does show me that I need to be more serious about my own health and fitness. 

I’m thrilled about this and I plan to have a good attitude about it…

Yeah, right, that’s it.

Fact is, I don’t like watching my weight, I’m not a fan of exercise, I despise consistent healthy eating practices. And might I just add that kale is a tool of Satan used to destroy the happiness of men (and reasonable women) everywhere. 

What do I like to eat? I’m glad you asked. I like eating unhealthy foods, better known as “anything that tastes good.” I especially like carbonated, caffeinated, sugary drinks. I’m a big fan of red meat and I’m a consistent consumer of trans fat. I’m voting for gluten in the next presidential election.*

Well, you get the picture. I need help. I need accountability.

A lot of men my age do. 

Now, I have lost about 20 lbs since the beginning of the year. I’ll tell you the secret. If you want to lose weight, live with my wife during a world wide pandemic where she sees everything you eat for months… and walk a lot.

Seriously, now that things are opening back up, I don’t want to find all the weight that I’ve lost. So I’m starting on a new journey to be healthy. A few years ago, I posted a daily blog where I listed out everything I ate for the whole world to see. As time went by, I also listed my water consumption and exercise log. The accountability was amazing and the feedback was helpful. I lost 48 lbs during the process.

I’m not planning on doing that again, but I am interested in writing about my fitness journey. It seems to keep me committed. 

So I welcome your suggestions, especially if you’re starting to receive AARP applications in the mail or if you grew up listening to 80’s music on cassettes. Post your comments below, message me privately, text or email me. Let me know what helps you stay healthy. Thanks in advance.

P.S. I’m not really voting for Gluten. It’s not even registered as a candidate.

*Photo courtesy of Online Marketing and Unsplash

Tired Of My Own Excuses

ExcusesI belong to a fitness club. It’s right next to my office. When I say “right next” I don’t mean “right next door,” I mean it’s in the same building as my office. When I enter the offices, I have to walk right past their front door. And yet, for most of this past year, I still couldn’t get there. I was always too busy, my schedule wouldn’t allow it, or some other excuse always came to mind.

Here are some of my favorite excuses I’ve made:

  1. Surely walking to the convenience store (past the door to the gym) for a Coke is exercise enough.
  2. It takes too long to get there. (Did I mention it’s right next to my office?)
  3. Exercise is boring. (Yes, I’d rather not spend 30 minutes on an elliptical machine or treadmill with a television or a book right in front of me)
  4. I just don’t want to move today.
  5. I only have an hour lunch. There’s no way I could bring my lunch and still have time to work out (I don’t even have to go outside.)

More than likely, my excuses are (and I quote Jim Gaffigan), “Today I can’t exercise because I don’t wanna and tomorrow I’m not going to be interested.”

I’ve had enough of my own sorry excuses. I’m tired of waiting for motivation. I’m tired of carrying around more weight than necessary.

I’m pretty imaginative and I’m sure I could continue creating excuses, but I’m not going to do that anymore.

I’m working out today.

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Results of My Physical

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I had a physical last week. That evening I bought a new scale.

However, I realized that:

  • It’s time for me to regularly evaluate issues with my body.
  • It’s time for me to get back in the groove of exercising regularly and consistently.
  • It’s time for me to make those important doctor’s appointments to help me live a more healthy lifestyle.

What’s my biggest issue?

In the words of comedian Jim Gaffigan, “These aren’t skinny jeans, I’m just fat.”

In other words, I’m overweight, obese, stout, full-figured, corpulent, pudgy, flabby, rotund, paunchy, fleshy, and well upholstered. In layman’s terms, I’m fat. I may not be grossly overweight, but I’m still fat, like 8 and 10 other adults in the Greater New Orleans area.

Overweight

But, it’s time to put a stop to it.

This past week, I kept reading and kept being convicted by

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. In it, Paul writes,

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?

Therefore honor God with your body.”

That means I’m going to honor God with how I take care of this body that He gave me. It means I’m going to honor Him with what I eat, what I drink, how I exercise, how I rest, and how I visit health care professionals.
Who’s with me?

The more I drink, the more I drink…

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There’s a Blake Shelton country song with the line: The more I drink, the more I drink. I know Blake is singing about alcoholic beverages and that’s never really been a problem for me. But my problem comes in a much tamer form of poison, soda, or more specifically Coca-Cola.

I’ve officially been “off” of soda for 3 days.

I wish I could say that it’s been easy to walk away from them, because that would be a terrible, bald-faced lie.

The truth is, I think about drinking a Coke at least 3 or 4 times an hour, especially if I’m out and about, stopping to get gas or at a fast food joint.

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Someone told me the other day that I should just start drinking coffee and I would have no problem at all. The problem with me doing that is that switching to coffee would mean that I would have to drink it. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of coffee in the morning, but once I put it to my mouth, I want to gag. Diet soda, even Coke Zero repulses me as well. I like tea, but only Texas/Arkansas sweet tea, which is way too much sugar for me.

The only alternative I could see was to drop caffeine altogether, so that’s what I did.

The headaches and shaking are gone, but it still feels like something’s missing. I suppose the next few days will tell.

We shall see.

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I Blew It!

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A week ago, I shared my plan with the world to wean myself off of Coca-Cola. Some of you agreed to help keep me accountable. Others of you encouraged me online or in person. Here’s my Coke consumption status update:

I BLEW IT!!!!!

My plan looked something like this:

Wednesday: 32 oz

Thursday: 28 oz

Friday: 24 oz

Saturday: 20 oz

Sunday: 16 oz

Monday: 12 oz

Tuesday: 10 oz

Wednesday: 8 oz

Thursday: 0 oz.

My actual consumption looked more like this:

Wednesday: 32 oz

Thursday: 28 oz

Friday: 978 oz

Saturday: 24 oz

Sunday: 20 oz

Monday: 20 oz

Tuesday: 20 oz

Wednesday: 16 oz

Ok, so I went a bit overboard on Friday. (I actually just lost count. I didn’t actually drink 978 oz. This disclaimer is for the extremely literal readers)

I actually meant to cut down on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, except I spent those days in a hospital waiting room because of the surgery of a family member. Unfortunately, the hospital administration had made a deal with Satan to only sell Pepsi products. If I’m weaning myself off of Coke, a Pepsi is just not going to do. A Dr. Pepper might suffice if I’m in extreme pain, but Pepsi, ugh. So, I drove down the street to a convenience store that only sold 20 oz. Coke products.

But, now, as you can see, I’m back on track. I have managed to cut my Coca-Cola consumption in half.

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Here’s my revised plan for the remainder of the week:

Wednesday: 16 oz

Thursday: 12 oz

Friday: 10 oz

Saturday: 8 oz

Sunday: 0 oz

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.  Please keep the communication flowing.  It’s helping me so much.

 

My Worst Weakness

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Since I restarted my blog a couple of weeks ago, people, especially those who know me well, have asked me one gut wrenching question:

“If you’re trying to lose weight again, why are you still drinking Coke?”

I understand (and somewhat appreciate) the concern. If I’m going to go to all the trouble to work out on the elliptical machine everyday (or almost everyday) for 45 to 55 minutes, why would I possibly kill much of the results by consuming so many empty calories, not to mention the impact of the carbonation on my body?

Here are my excuses, er, responses for my continued Coke consumption:

  1. I look so much better in photos with a Coke bottle in my hand.
  2. Drinking soda gives the fat around my midsection a sporting chance.
  3. I can’t afford water.
  4. None of your business.

Honestly, I know my next step in losing 45 at 45 is to stop drinking soft drinks altogether. So, over the next several days, I’ll be slowly weaning myself from my favorite beverage using the following amounts:

 

Today: 36 oz.

Wednesday: 32 oz.

Thursday: 28 oz.

Friday: 24 oz.

Saturday: 20 oz.

Sunday: 16 oz.

Monday: 12 oz.

Tuesday: 10 oz.

Wednesday: 8 oz.

Thursday: 0 oz!!!!!!

I invite you all to keep me accountable.

How I’m Learning Spanish For Free

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Hola, mis amigos!

My third goal for my 45th year is to learn Spanish. After speaking to some of you, I believe it is time to clarify this goal.

I’ve discovered a free app called Duolingo, which assists individuals in learning other languages through a steady, systematic process. Several months ago, I spent about a month working through the Duolingo App and made it up to level four.

What I plan to do this year is start over at level one and work all the way through level 25. I started over yesterday and just this evening progressed to level two. I may do another level over the next couple of days since I’ve already been at this level once before, however, my plan is to simply learn at a slow and steady pace.

If you would like to join me in learning Spanish, check out Duolingo in your smart phone App store or online at www.duolingo.com.

Related Posts:

Hello 45!

Lose 45 at 45

Sit Still! No Talking

Lose 45 at 45

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When I was in my 20, my dad described me to others as being busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.  It that was true then, it’s cold hard fact at 45.  Therefore, I knew it was going to be hard to find time to workout.  It turns out there’s plenty of time if you get to the gym at 5:30 AM.

In case you missed it yesterday, I am trying to lose 45 lbs while I’m 45.  I reported to everyone yesterday that I was 220 lbs, which is high considering my height and build.  However, I weighed this morning and realized that I am actually only 217!  So, only 42 lbs to go.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been going to the gym at least 4 times a week, building up my time on the elliptical machine.  I like the elliptical machine because it works out your arms, chest, glutes, and legs at the same time.  Then, if you add an appropriate amount of resistance, you’re not just doing cardio, but building muscle as well.

My first step is to continue exercising on the elliptical for at least 45 minutes for 4 to 5 times a week, then begin adding additional weight training.  This morning, I stopped at just past 48 minutes.  🙂

If you have exercise advice for me, I invite you to comment.

Related Post:  Hello 45!  https://johnjfrady.com/2014/06/09/hello-45/

 

 

Hello 45!

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Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 45. I celebrated in my usual way: moping and denial, depending on whether or not presents were involved.

However, now that I’m coming to accept my age, I need to move forward with some personal life development. You see, every strengths assessment I’ve ever taken describes me as an achiever. Therefore, it’s logical to say I need to give myself something to achieve this year.

So here are three challenges I’m giving myself.

  1. Lose 45 lbs. (I now weigh 220 lbs)
  2. Write and publish a middle grade novel. (I’ve actually started this, but am still learning)
  3. Learn Spanish (I took a semester of Spanish in high school, but that was in the 1980’s)

Over the next year, I’ll be sharing my depressing lows and ecstatic highs on my blog (johnjfrady.com) as I strive to develop my subgoals and action plans for these personal challenges. I invite you to join me on my journey.