Thank You Friends, Remembering Danny, and Another Fine Weigh Day
To my many friends that left tough love comments on yesterdays post: Thank you. You’re very correct. With my new attitude and approach with food, I’m in a prime position to eat better and really enjoy the experience. I agree that the long term effects of eating dirty, even under 1500 calories, can take it’s toll over time. I did resist that cheese stick, but Jack, you’re absolutely right my friend: Battered and deep fried cheese is bad. I do have very little instances where I indulge on stuff like this, but still---the old cravings---the old me sometimes wants those things, ya know? I guess every know and then doesn’t hurt too bad, but I should call it like it is---a bad choice no matter the calorie value, because it is. The sincerity in all of the comments and e-mails concerning this topic came through loud and clear. I’m very blessed to have so many wonderful friends.
I must admit, I’m stubborn when it comes to eating better. I really am. I mean, sure…I have my lemon marinated apple slices and a banana packed for a snack, and that has become a good habit. But---I also have a brand new package of steel cut oats that I haven’t even touched. The health benefits of steel cut oats are incredible, and starting my day with some—even dressed up with fruit and perhaps some Splenda, would be wonderful for me. What do I do? Crack some eggs, separate them, sauté the veggies, add the mozzarella---and another egg white omelet is served. The egg white calories are so low, I could enjoy a couple with some steel cut oats on the side, but do I? No. My choices have improved dramatically and naturally over the course of the last 423 days, but as you know, and I fully admit---there’s much room for improvement! I think I sometimes glamorize bad choices as a way to say “See, just because you occasionally eat this crud, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight!” But sometimes it probably, ok…it does teeter on being just a really bad example. OK---it is a bad example sometimes. OK!! Everytime.
I received a comment the other day from my Dad’s sister. Aunt Beverly in Alabama contacted me and we’ve since exchanged e-mails. It’s nice to re-connect with family I hardly know, because I really want to know them better. She sent me some pictures of my brother Danny, the brother I never had a chance to meet before he died too young earlier this year. Danny was a musician and singer, a real performer, certainly no stranger to a stage. I imagine that had I really got to know him, I would have discovered many similarities we shared. High blood pressure was one of those shared things. I wrote about Danny on Day 153 back in February in a posting titled “Limited Indulgence and My Fallen Brother.” Here’s an excerpt: On Day 106, I wrote about doing things to improve my emotional health. More specifically, I talked about re-connecting with my father and someday meeting my older and younger half brothers. The line of communication established between my dad and me has been a real blessing. Reaching and connecting with my half-brothers has proven to be a challenge. And yesterday my dad gave me some grim news about Daniel, the oldest. He has been stricken with aortic dissection. This is the same tragedy that happened to John Ritter. According to my research, aortic dissection is a break in the main artery that carries blood from the heart. The lining of the aorta tears, separating, or dissecting the middle layer of the vessel wall from the still intact outer layer. A few things can lead to this fatal condition, including a connective tissue disorder caused by a birth defect, but the leading cause of this tragedy is prolonged untreated high blood pressure. I don't know if high blood pressure contributed to my brother Daniel's condition. My cousin Lisa just called and told me that the doctors have confirmed that Daniel couldn't survive at this point without the machines in the intensive care unit. She told me the family has requested the machines be turned off at 10am tomorrow morning. My prayers are for Daniel, his fiancée, my Dad, and all of the family members who loved him everywhere and for those that have been gathered by his side in that Huntsville hospital. I really wish I could be there for them. Again, I can't say that high blood pressure contributed to this horrible situation, I don't know. But since high blood pressure is the leading cause of the condition, it would be well advised to get your blood pressure checked, if it's high, get it treated and under control now. If you already take medication for high blood pressure, like me, then never miss a day. If you'll remember from the first days of this blog, high blood pressure and it's long term effects was the main focus of my doctors wake up call to me. They call it the “silent killer.” Get yours checked and treated if needed. Rest in peace brother. I’ve included pictures of Danny below. Can you find the resemblance? I can. The ears, the nose, the goatee…yep, he was my brother.
I talked to my Dad this evening. He goes into surgery in Alabama on the 24th. Aunt Beverly has promised to keep me updated on that day via cell phone. I really wish I could be there. Dad’s attitude is great, his sense of humor is wonderful, and I believe he’s a survivor---he’s going to make it through this cancer diagnosis, I just know he will. We talked about seeing each other soon. After he gets settled post surgery and gets a little ways into the treatment, he hopes to make the trip here to Oklahoma for a nice visit. I’m really looking forward to that experience. What a wonderful conversation on a Wednesday evening. Thanks dad!
Weigh day today was awesome. I walked into the doctor’s office confident in my performance over the last two-week period. I’ve worked out more in the last two weeks than I have in the sixty days prior. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it is what it is, and that’s horrible…especially after I went back and read some of my early post about “no excuses” and rationalizing missed workouts. It’s easy to fall back on the comfortable excuses of a busy schedule, but truth be told---even during the play---I could of and should have done more. Anyway---that’s all behind us now. The nurses and staff at the doctor’s office are always very complimentary. They remember the 505-pound version that would come in as a big ole mess of a man. I looked like walking death back then and they knew it. So the contrast to the man who darkens their door today---is beyond dramatic. I stepped onto the platform scale, hoping for some kind of 7 pound weight loss miracle---well, that was wishing for a little much at this point. That kind of a loss isn’t impossible in two weeks, I mean---it’s all about the work I put in right? But still---I was extremely happy to see 278. I lost 4 more pounds. Last weigh day was 2 pounds. I doubled that with increased activity. I’m thrilled! Then I got to thinking---wow, I’ve only lost 6 pounds in the last month. Ooooh, when you put it that way, ouch. It has slowed down dramatically huh? But it’s steady right? I must remember the truths I’ve learned over the last 423 days. It doesn’t matter how long this takes. This is for life and I will reach my ultimate goals physically. Time doesn’t matter! How many times have I written about that? The truth is, I’m thrilled with my progress and my weight…it’s a wonderful life saving thing.
My food was good today. No ice cream sandwich "mock meltdowns" to report. I walked tonight, but stopped short of a 5K after three times around the trail. I must push harder the next couple of evenings in preparation for Saturday mornings 10K event with the YMCA. I’m trying to get the number “505,” The program director at the Y told me she would see if that was possible. I will proudly wear that number everywhere! People might stare, then I’ll confidently explain “Uh yeah---10K---yep, did another 10K the other day---that’s my number…505…you know why it’s 505?” Then I’ll have a twenty minute conversation with a total stranger about weight loss. I love this journey! I actually left nearly 200 calories on the table today. I did prepare a wonderful homemade pizza pocket that checked in at under 200 calories. I need to post more videos of stuff like this. I love the little pocket sandwich maker!
Thank you for reading my friend. Goodnight and…
My half-brother Danny on stage. I understand that he actually had a recording contract in Germany at one time. I hope someone has recordings, I’d love to hear them!
My big brother. It’s strange to say that. But he was my big brother. Love that jacket!