Big Changes Start With Your Why

It's important that if you're going to make any change in your life, you have a why. Today, upon completing my 47th lap around the sun, I'll tell you mine.

Today is the 10th anniversary of my father passing away, who coincidentally shared a birthday with me. It is also the 7th anniversary of my mother passing away. My dad only barely made it to 59, my mom made it to 58.

Around 6 years ago, I started having obvious health issues, though it took a business trip that required vaccines to get my ass to a doctor to find out I had Type 2 Diabetes, Edema, Hypertension, and Sleep Apnea. Not to mention 330 pounds (150kg) on my 5'7" (170cm) frame.

Over 3 years ago, I discovered The Obesity Code and Jason Fung. That got me back in touch with the one thing that actually worked to get weight off me: low carb. Then I discovered Keto (a term I'm not fond of for various reasons) and ultimately Vinnie Tortorich and No Sugar No Grains. I got more educated about a lot of things.

Both of my parents had metabolic disease and struggled with drugs and alcohol. Even though I didn't know it at the time, I can surmise my dad had Type 2 Diabetes. My mom died of an enlarged heart, most likely from drinking too much.

Today, I weigh what I did in high school. It's not quite my lowest weight as the ongoing quarantine has been…challenging lately. But all those conditions I had are gone. Trying to come off the blood pressure meds, which I still needed as a precaution due to the aneurysm they found last year when they did a calcium scan (zero score there).

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So why do I mention all this? It ties back to something that's always driven me from a young age: do better than my parents. I knew if I didn't make a change, I would end up just like them: dead too young of preventable conditions. Once I saw the way out, there was no stopping me.

And the daily run that I do? (Today: 6.79 miles, or just over 10km, if you're interested) It's part of the plan to keep my heart healthy. I'm adding in some bodyweight exercises as well as I'm basically a weakling otherwise. And yes, I still have a few more pounds to lose. I'm a work in progress, like we all are.

I want to live long enough and be healthy enough to be able to pick up great grandchildren. Obviously there are some variables I can't control here and none of us gets out of here alive, but living longer than my parents with better health is certainly a start.

Pour One Out for Odwalla

(amp.cnn.com)

Not that I'd drink juice made by anyone these days, but being that I remember when Odwalla was just a Santa Cruz thing (being from there), it does bring back some fond memories. And yeah, Coca-Cola ruined the brand.

The Spirit of Radio gets a video...40 years later

(www.youtube.com)

"In memory of Neil Peart" it says at the end.

I have only recently discovered Rush, but that man was talented and worked his ass off to get and stay that way. They don't make drummers like that anymore.

Governor Jay Inslee Press Conference 23 June 2020

(www.pscp.tv)

Basically, it's require masks or keep businesses closed. The governor says so right here.

Vera Lynn, singer who buoyed Britain’s troops during World War II, dies at 103

(www.seattletimes.com)

Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn? Remember how she said that we would meet again some sunny day?

Ep82 Chris Knobbe MD The Scientific Truth behind Vegetable Oils: Are They Like Poison? — The Fat Emperor

(thefatemperor.com)

The way I describe seed/vegetable oils to people is "toxic waste they figured out how to make edible." You wouldn't eat toxic waste, right? Well, you probably are.

Yes, I'm Jogging in Sandals

For the last week and a half, I've been doing my daily jog(s) in these:

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Specifically, they are Cloud Barefoot Sandals from Xero Shoes. They are fairly thin-soled sandals that are about as close as you want to be to jogging barefoot. Several of you asked me: why?

Honestly, there’s someone I know from a particular Facebook group who lives nearby who occasionally posts pictures of his runs in sandals. It appealed to my inner hippie. Also, the thought of being able to pack something for running that took up less space than a conventional pair of shoes appealed to me. You know, for when I can travel again, whenever that is.

It turned out to have a couple of other important benefits also. First, these sandals (or really any sandals designed for running) are generally a LOT less forgiving of bad form. Land on your feet wrong and it’ll hurt. I got blisters on my heels the first couple days because that’s where I landed. It also explains the wear patterns on my running shoes.

Naturally that led to the next benefit: slowing down. I generally try to keep my heart rate in Zone 2, which is where fat-burning happens. Having to effectively re-learn how to jog meant slowing down.

It also turns out: jogging in sandals is a bit harder on your legs. My calves are getting a much better workout now. And it also led me to something I need to be better about: allowing my body to recover. I was doing two jogs a day there for a few weeks. My jogs usually aren’t short, either.

A few days ago, I was finally getting the hang of it, I was getting into a groove, the music was right, and I broke into a sprint: While it wasn’t the fastest mile I’ve done, it was quite a bit faster than I usually manage:

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The day after that, when I completed my jog, I was exhausted in a way I hadn’t been in quite some time. I didn’t do a second jog that day and I haven’t since to give my body some time to get more used to this and recover.

In any case, I’m going to continue running with sandals for the time being. I can always go back to traditional running shoes if I change my mind. Or maybe get some sandals that are more geared for trails, which I occasionally run on.

Two Whole Feet, a Non-Scale Victory

In the journey to better health, there's often a lot of focus on what you weigh. And while it's always great to see the scale move in the right direction, it's not the only thing that changes. Sometimes, it's those other things that will change before the number on the scale does.

I'm quite happy with the progress I've made on my weight, going from 300 pounds (150kg) to 185 pounds (84kg). However, I've been tracking other measures as well.

While I've long gotten rid of most of the clothes I had from when I was at my largest, I kept a belt. This belt was for a 54 inch waist and even the last belt hole was a tight fit. As I started losing weight and the belt became too big, I bought a leather hole punch from Amazon and used the belt as a way to track my progress.

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Tonight, I punched two more holes in the belt and realized I passed a milestone. I'm now 24 inches (61 cm) less around the waist. Two whole feet.

When the scale isn't showing progress, check your waist. It can show progress sometimes when the scale does not.

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The Apocryphal Twain: "Politicians are like diapers." - Center for Mark Twain Studies

(marktwainstudies.com)

While I'm sure Mark Twain would appreciate one of my favorite quotes ever, he never said it.

Testing Is Key to Beating Coronavirus, Right? Japan Has Other Ideas

(www.nytimes.com)

If Coronavirus had a high fatality rate, widespread testing for it makes a lot of sense. But when the fatality rate is around 0.02%…I’m with Japan on this.