Random Friday

Just a few random thoughts for a Friday, none of which deserve their own blog post.

Public Service Announcement 

Before you put on your shoes, tie them tight, and head out for your run, a word of advice: ALWAYS CHECK THE INSIDE OF YOUR SHOES FOR DEBRIS!

Especially if you have cats who like to push things off the dresser where they land inside your shoe or you have dogs who are messy eaters and when they bite into a hard treat pieces go flying everywhere, including into your shoe.

Said foreign object becomes very painful after a mile or so and it starts to work it’s way underfoot.

Now maybe unlike me, you’ll stop running, take your shoe off, and shake it out. But if you are like me, you’ll keep running, wincing in pain each time the object that feels like a huge rock (but turned out to be just a small eighths inch piece of dog treat) slips under your big toe.

That Extra Shoelace Hole
I just found out what that extra lace hole in my running shoes is for. Yes, for lacing. Smartass. What I mean is, how to correcrly use that extra hole. Everyone else probably already knew what it’s for and I’m just late to the party, but in case you’re one of those who missed the memo as well, then read on.

My heels tend to slip in my shoes. I don’t know why, maybe because I buy one whole size larger shoe than my foot size so my toes don’t get mashed against the toe box like they do if I only get a half size larger.

Onward. Here is what that extra lace hole is for: to make your shoe fit around your ankle (and in the process, your heel) more snuggly and with minimal slippage. The technique is called the “Heel Lock” amd you start by threading the lace back through that last hole (so the lace is now inside the shoe) forming a loop between the last two hokes, then pass the right lace through the left loop and the left lace through the right loop, cinch it tight by pulling donward, and tie it like normal. Now you’re on your merry way with no heel slippage. (The only drawback is, now your shoes are harder to get off. A fair tradeoff if it prevents heel blisters or premature wearing out of your socks or the material inside the shoe’s heel itself.)

Here’s a video that demonstrates it better than I probably explained it.

That extra Shoelace Hole in action

The Fly

No, not the movie, although if I were to discuss it, I’d have to expound upon how superior the original with David Heddison was in every way: story, acting, dramatic suspense, compared  to the dreadful Jeff Goldbloom remake, which was just gross.

Warning: The following may be TMI for the more delicate flowers among you.

No, I’m talking flies in men’s underwear, or the lack of them in some men’s underwear. A month or so ago, needing new underwear, I stopped at TJ Max. I was looking for something thinner, lighter, and more breathable than cotton. Active wear, I guess it’s called, because I do a lot of mall walking during the day. Something along the lines of compression-like shorts, except as everyday underwear. 

I found an inexpensive pair by RBX Active that seemed to fit the bill. Except when I took them out of the package, I realized they didn’t have a fly, which I found odd because I thought all men’s underwear had a fly.

Not having one makes them nearly useless for everyday wear. I mean, men urinate standing up. We don’t undo our belts, open our pants and pull them down. We’re not kids any more learning how to use the urinal. We only unzip our pants, reach in, and fish out our yahoo through the underwear hole. Without one, there’s all this extra yanking and tugging and painful maneuverings going on as you try to pull down these flyless wonders through the zipper opening. No one wants that, it just attracts unwanted attention. Men are all about going in, doing their bizness, and.getting out without any conversation or eye contact.

On the one hand, sure the RBX, made of lycra or other synthetics, are very comfortable, they dont bunch up, they breathe and I guess wick away sweat. They’re very good for exercising in. But not to pee in. Or through, rather. So I use them for running.

Still needing everyday underwear, I went back and picked up a pair of their flied underwear. Seemingly the same material, the same size, but when I got home and tried them on, they were too tight. They had a different cut and the wasitband didnt ride at the same height as the other pair by RBX did yet they were the same size. Yup, I double-checked the package. Same company. Same stated size. Totally different fit. For some reason these were like bikini briefs compared to the other ones.

Which begs the question: if there is such a size disparity even within a manufacturer’s own line, why can’t we try them on before we buy? 

Belay that. The very thought that someone else’s nutsack was getting all jiggy with the underwear I just bought makes me squeemish.

So I’m still looking for new underwear. And I’m finding that a lot of them don’t have a fly. I don’t get it. In my experience, the only underwear that was flyless were those embarrassing jockstraps we had to wear in high school gym. Maybe it’s because I’m looking at the type more for athletic use instead of your traditional tighty-whiteys or your grandfather’s boxers? I don’t know. 

But here’s the interesting thing. I was looking at Puma brand underwear and making sure they had a fly, when I noticed the flied ones were labeled “with keyhole.”

Keyhole? That’s great! I’m going to refer to the fly as a keyhole from now on.

/End TMI Warning

Friday Weigh-in

I weighed myself today. Friday has always been my normal weigh-in until I became enamoured with all the cool features of our new smart scale.

Well, if you remember Tuesday’s blog post, I was whining I had gained 2.6 pounds over the weekend.

Well, today? I’m back on track. I lost that 2.6 pounds I had gained.

And the.moral of that story is: Only weigh yourself once a week. Pick a day of the week, Friday in my case, and weigh yourself that day only!

You’ll save yourself a lot of grief and time spent writing angry blog posts.

Lace up. Go run.

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The lost weekend

I had a bad weekend. I gained 2.6 pounds.

Should I throw in the towel? Give up? Become angry and depressed over that?

Or should I just take the setback in stride? Refocus on what’s really important, like where I’ll be down the road instead of worrying if I’ll fit into that cute bikini for this upcoming season? Well, since I’m a guy I’d probably look silly in a bikini, so that isn’t the point.

The point is, when you suffer a setback in the short term, you should refocus on your long term goals. When you look at your overall progress, where you were and where you want to be, that 2.6 pound gain will appear to be nothing more than a tiny temporary blip on the entire weight loss graph.

I admit, there are times when it gets frustrating. For instance, when someone says they lost 50 almost overnight, you can’t help but compare. Why has it taken me over 2 years to lost 30 pounds and they did it like that? (Snap your fingers.)

You need to focus on the fact that you lost 30 pounds and not how long it took. That deserves congratulations, not chastisement.

Comparisons are self-defeating. People have different metabolisms. Some lose weight easier while others struggle. Accept that fact and move on.

I work with a guy who was overweight and now he’s not. He did it with an extremely restrictive diet, denying himself all foods that weren’t considered healthy.

If someone brought in donuts to work for their birthday, he wouldn’t eat one.

Wouldn’t. Eat. One!

That’s crazy talk. One donut won’t kill you.

Neither will one bad weekend of fast food and over snacking.

You’re not an idiot, just human

Face it, we all fail from time to time. We sneak that donut. Eat nearly a whole bag of Xtreme Cheddar Goldfish (guilty!). Go on vacation and enjoy all sorts of good foods. Overeat during the holidays.
Everyone except that guy at work, but then he’s always Grumpy and has become a judgemental asshole. “You’re not going to eat that, are you?” “Do you how many calories are in that?” 

Don’t be an asshole.

Treat yourself once in a while. There is no ice cream in Heaven, that’s why we eat it here. Just don’t overdo it.

And when you stumble, pick yourself back up and continue down your path as if nothing happened. Don’t look around to see if anyone saw, their opinion shouldn’t matter.

This is why you shouldn’t check your weight obsessively. I used to check it only once a week on our old mechanical scale so I probably wouldn’t even have known I had trended upward when I finally checked on Friday. That’s my fault for getting a cool new smart scale with a phone app that shows me all my stats. I need to focus on just the Friday readings, as I did before. 

Don’t let one misstep derail your whole program. Think of it this way, sure you might fit into that cute bikini this summer, but if that was your only goal, you’ll just yo-yo back up over the winter and be stressing again next spring.

Think about the long term and how good you’ll look next year and the year after that and about all those nice outfits you’ll be able to fit in for the rest of your life.

I just purchased a cool pair of running tights, something I never would have even thought about 10 years ago. And no, I’m not posting any pictures. 

Stay focused. Think long term. Don’t give up. Don’t be an asshole.
Side note: I had to completely rewrite this entire article because, as I discovered, if you don’t put in a title when you’re writing using the phone app, it forgets the entire post when you close the app. I reopened it to continue editing and it was gone! I could have given up and not posted anything today, but I didn’t. I rewrote the entire thing from scratch. You’re welcome.

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Some weighty thoughts

A long time ago, I read somewhere, can’t recall where, this was long before the Internet, so it was in a magazine, possibly “Prevention,” or “Shape,” or something along those lines.

A so-called health and fitness doctor said, “You’re ideal weight is what you weighed when you graduated high school.”

OK. There is one problem with that. What if you already had a weight problem then? Just because he seemed to have been at an ideal weight for him when he graduate high school, doesn’t translate to everyone having that same idealness.

For instance, I was just skin and bones when I graduated high school. I weighed all of 125 pounds. That translates to an underweight Body Mass Index (BMI) of 17.7. Normal BMI range for adults is 18.5 to 24.9. I was in the 9th percentile, meaning 91% of Americans weighed more than I did at my age and height.

I was able to suck in my gut so far, it would go up into my rib cage.

Skinny-Friend-That-Eats-A-Lot-Y-U-No-Get-Fat_o_101316

Yeah. I was one of those people who could eat as much as I wanted, not exercise, and never gained an ounce of weight. Those were the days.

Except it’s wasn’t my ideal weight. I was too skinny. For my height my ideal weight should be between 134 and 167 pounds. When I reach my current weight goal of 185, I’ll still be marginally overweight according to most health charts and I’ll have a BMI of 26.5.

visual.body1_1

I was a 17 as a teenager and a 33 just a few years ago

But when I reach that, I’ll still be healthier than I am now and I’ll also be healthier than I was when a I graduated high school.

So I have no idea where that so-called expert came up with the notion that your high school weight is your ideal weight, because that’s just a stinking pile of bullshit.

What is your ideal weight? Well, you could look at all the charts and graphs and measure and weight yourself until you come up with an estimate or you could just go see your health care professional, discuss your health goals and desires, and together you can come up with a healthy and reasonable weight goal. They might even be able to prepare a diet and exercise plan.

Do not put any faith into the Internet or so-called celebrity experts.

As they say, consult your doctor before you start any exercise or weight loss program.

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Say pineapple

Why is it called a “cold?”

I looked it up and I’d tell you but I forgot already. Mostly it has to do with occurring during the colder months so people associated it with the cold and came to call it a cold.

It’s most likely a rhinovirus I have. It’s kicking my ass. I felt it coming on last Wednesday and my plan was to run that night. I wonder if running would kill it or reduce it?

Supposedly, the virus incubates in your nose because it’s colder (86°F/32°C) in your snoz than the rest of your body which is 98°F/37°C.

Thus I was curious if running would raise the temperature enough to stop it from spreading.

Unfortunately, by the time I got home, the cold was already giving me a runny nose, congestion, a cough, as well as muscular aches, fatigue, headache, and muscle weakness.

I was too pooped to run. I could barely make it up and down the stairs I ached so much.

So I didn’t run. And haven’t run yet.Nor can I focus enough to read or write. So today is day 5 of being held hostage by the rhinovirus.

The big drawback is, supposedly you should lose your appetite. I didn’t! I’ve been hungry all the time. So I snacked and snacked and snacked and imagine I’ve put on holiday-worthy pounds.

The other issue with colds and me is that I cannot take the majority of cold medicines. Even though those don’t really work anyway, at least they reduce your symptoms. Pick up any cold medicine and read the list of Warnings, specifically the “Do not use if you have…” and I have several of those listed.

So the only thing I can safely use is Vicks Vap-o-rub. That and a netipot. Consider yourselves lucky. Most of you can take the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can rest medicine.

But the worst seems behind me now. Maybe tomorrow I can run. That’ll make it a week since my last run while eating like a pig.

I am not going to weigh myself. I don’t need that kind a negative feedback. I’ll just try to get back on track (no pun intended) with my diet and exercise and count this last week as a bust.

Sorry. I’m done whining now.

Oh, and the title refers to a factoid my youngest son said, that if someone is going to sneeze, say “pineapple” and they won’t.

Run. Cough. Sniff.

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New year same old goals

Yes, yes, I’m well aware it’s already the 6th of January and I haven’t posted my 2017 New Year’s resolutions yet.

That’s because I don’t have any. Not really. Not any that I sat down and agonized over.

My goals for this year are the same as last year and the year before. Just keep getting better and better, every day in every way.  But if you want something more specific than that wonderful life philosophy, then here, they fall into the following categories:

Health & Fitness: My goals here are simple. To keep losing weight. To try to eat healthier, with more fruits and veggies and a lot of pasta and cheese. To keep improving on my running, distance and speed. And to keep trying to sculpt my aging body through weight training by adding muscle as I lose fat.

Writing: Again, simple goals. Keep reading and keep writing. Try to write something every day. Maybe go back to keeping a journal of ideas and stream of conscious thoughts, like I did back in my early days of writing. I will also try not to get discouraged and try not to take Rejections as personal insults. That last one is a hard goal, because every Rejection sends me into a blue funk. I need to change my thinking that they aren’t rejecting me, they’re rejecting my story.

Mental Health: Yes, OK, let’s move on, nothing to see here. I’m working on dealing with my ADHD in all its manifestations.Maybe I’ll try to get back into meditation or something.

And that, as they say, is that.

Well, I do have one new unspecified goal and that’s in regard to politics. I intend to get more involved, contact my Representatives more often on issues of importance, and to join the resistance against the big orange turd in an attempt to prevent him from destroying all the progressive advances we’ve made as a nation over the past 100 years. He lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and only won the Electoral College by 80,000 votes in three states. He does not have a mandate. He’s disliked more than any other incoming President in history. He does not even deserve to be President. He represents the worst qualities of Mankind: hate, bigotry, intolerence, zenophobia, homophobia, and sexism.

Join the fight. Let your voice be heard. The election is only lost if you give up and normalize ignorance  and racism.

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Raging fun but no run

Over the last few months I’ve gradually increased my distance and speed running.

I was up to 2 miles in about 21 minutes, about a 10.5 mile per hour pace.

Then I took last week off. Not for any reason other than a family vacation. Still, I packed my running shoes with the intention of running and the hotel did have treadmills, but I didn’t run.

Why?

Because at the end of each day I was too exhausted.

Let me explain.

We went to the Wisconsin Dells, the “Waterpark capital of the world.” We stayed at the Mt. Olympus waterpark and resort and we waterparked our butts off.

If you’ve never been, what a waterpark consists of are many times of water activities, from lazy rivers where you can float along in complete zen-like bliss under the scroching sun to giant water slides several stories tall where you can slide down on your back or in an inner tube plunging into a pool at the end.

They also have wave pools that recreate breaking waves like you’d find at a tempest-blown ocean shore. You spend your time battling those waves either in an inner tube or trying to swim against them. The waves generated probably get several feet tall and they are incessant. Fighting them gives a pretty decent workout that’s a lot of fun doing it.

Then there is Poseidon’s Rage. A much larger wave pool that generates one giant nine foot wave every 90 seconds. It is the third tallest surf wave in the world after a 9.8 foot wave in the Unites Arab Emirates and also in Spain, and a 10.8 foot wave in Scotland! It makes the Tidal Pool seem tame in comparison.

It’s like Poseidon himself is brushing his arm through the water trying to knock all the puny humans down.

We spend all day in that one, eight or nine hours battling these monstrous waves. Three days trying to swim against it, or dive under it, or jump up as high as you can only to be dashed down and thrown helplessly forward doing somersaults or spins tangling up with other human beings until the wave finally petered out leaving you in the shallows tired and laughing your ass off.

Great fun and probably a lot of exercise and the reason all I wanted to do was lay down and rest once we got back to our room. In that regard, I don’t feel I missed anything not running.

Last night I finally did run and broke my Rule about gradually increasing my runs. I ran 5k (3.1 miles) in 34 minutes alternating between 4.5 mph pace and a 6 mph pace. My previous longest distance on the treadmill was 2.25 miles. This was nearly a mile more.

It kicked my ass. I almost didn’t finish and kept wanting to hit Stop on the treadmill. I was gasping for breath the way I did when I first took up running and I imagine it’s because I took a week off from aerobics even though I did technically exercise.

But now I did it. I broke the 5k barrier. I’ll do it again next but I’ll lower the speed slightly so I can catch my breath.

Have fun. Go run.

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The death of Hostess Suzy Q’s

As an older human, there are many disappointments in life. Many of them are economic. For instance, take Cracker Jacks. Oh, sure, the candy coated popcorn with peanuts still tastes as good as I recall, but the prize inside is just shit now. We used to get real toys. Toys you could play with. Not just crappy stickers or body tattoos.

Or look at other candy bars. They’ve shrunk over the years, fooling us with the cardboard inserts. Coffee used to come in one pound bags, but gradually, as the price has risen, the size of the bags has gotten smaller until now it’s served in 11 or 12 ounce bags.

My latest disappointment? Hostess and it’s supposed return. “The sweetest comeback in history.”

Today, I found they’ve finally rereleased Suzy Q’s, which were my one and only Hostess weakness.

I saw them in the store today and I was very, very happy. And I immediately bought a box and brought them home.

But then I opened the box and took out one of the Suzy Q’s. I could tell right away, this was NOT the Suzy Q that I knew and loved. It was smaller. Nearly half has wide as it used to be. And they used to pack so much cream filling into a Suzy Q, that it would ooze out and smear against the wrapper.

These new ones hardly have any filling at all. Maybe a dab. Certainly not the thick spilling over the sides amount they used to give us. This was not even enough to reach the edges.

And the cake used to be very moist. Biting into a Suzy Q was an experience of epic proportions.

Now? It was like biting into a dried out, tasteless slab of blech.

This was my biggest disappointment in a life filled with disappointments.

Hostess has broken my heart and it can never be repaired.

2016-06-23 15.54.13

The new DISAPPOINTING crap version of the Suzy Q.

Fuck you, Hostess. You’re dead to me.

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