Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017


In an effort to get back to some regular exercise, I've managed to talk Chris into doing yoga with me on a regular basis. We've both use yoga as exercise in the past, but never really done it together. I went to a couple of classes with her, but preferred to do it at home with a video or book for instruction.

The yoga studio she was using has moved and no longer has class times that meet with her schedule.

We are using the Yoga with Adriene 30 Days of Yoga that I've used in the past. The You Tube videos came out in January of 2015 as a way to make yoga a habit for the year. Rather than using them for 30 consecutive days, we'll be using them 3 days per week for 10 weeks. We'll use them on the days that Chris doesn't work and then use her Yoga for Bedtime on the other 3 nights and take Sundays off.

I have used a little yoga on and off for a few years,  but never really developed into a regular practitioner of the craft. I'm hoping to become more regular and to continue to practice well beyond the 10 weeks. I also expect to add some sessions on days when Chris is working.

Even though I realize that Adriene is an accomplished yogi, it is a little frustrating at how easily she flows from one position to the next while this fat, old guy struggles just to maintain my balance! One of the advantages of video instruction is there is only Chris to see me struggle. It is interesting that we have difficulties in different areas.

For many, yoga is a lifetime practice. I hope that it will become that for us, as well. There is something about the daily practice that keeps your mind centered on well being and that covers areas off the yoga mat such as diet and environment. Although I follow several yogis on social media, I mostly admire their strength and flexibility and wish that I could do those things. As a beginner, I know that it will be a while and that they have put in years of practice to get to their current place. I guess the key is to make sure that my current place is not where I stay and that I make progress towards making the transitions flow more easily as the strength and flexibility improve.

Be well,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Catching up...

It has been a busy week and so I have missed posting for a few days.
I have managed to keep active in spite of spending several hours on the road for the past couple of days. Diet wise has been a challenge.

I am still watching protein intake, but to need to focus more on some real exercise rather than just walking. I'm guessing that my 4 hour motorcycle ride yesterday burned a few more calories than usual as the head wind was pretty strong and I don't have a windscreen. I feel okay today but won't be surprised if my neck and shoulders aren't a little stiff later this evening.

I did have a bit of a binge late last night because there is ice cream in the house...
just need to keep things in moderation.

Be well,

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Yesterday's lake day was pretty much as expected. It was an exceptional day on the protein intake, but the cold fried chicken lunch and the pork tenderloin sandwich for dinner also made it an exceptional day for fat intake. I had a few hard boiled eggs during the day so that added to the fat count. I managed to skip the chips and cookies on the boat and substituted beans for the fries with the sandwich, so carbs were pretty limited except for the breading on the fried stuff (I peeled some of the breading off of the chicken) and the Texas toast the tenderloin was served on.

All-in-all, not a bad day.

Today will be an easy day for the food management and an okay day for activity. Sunday is the last day of my diet week as Monday morning is my weigh-in day. I should probably make Friday my weigh in day so I have the week to recover from the weekend splurges, but life has a way of working out no matter when I choose to use the scale.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lake Day!

Last weekend I was at a kids' camp while family and friends were enjoying a day on the lake.
Today, I'll be on the lake with them!

Typically, I'd say this is going to be a cheat day, but since my focus is on protein intake and junk restriction more than on counting calories, I think I'll be okay. For a day on the lake and in the sun, the main thing is to stay properly hydrated. I'll need to watch how much I snack on the available junk food and I think I'll bring a few healthier snacks along for good measure.

I'll be leaving my cell phone behind so my activity tracker will show me at near zero for the day but no worries. The day is about relaxing and enjoying time with friends and time in the sun.

Day 6.
Here I come!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Midweek progress

I'm not going to be one that steps on the scale and records weight every day during my experiment in dieting, but the midweek number was surprisingly good!

My healthy eating plan to get me off to a good start is more about focusing on increasing my protein intake than about counting calories. I'm still using the My Fitness Pal app to keep track since it does this for me and has a pretty extensive data base when it comes to eating out. The protein focus reminds me of the days when I was reading and using much of the Adkins philosophy. Reducing sugar and starchy carbs is a part of what I'm doing, but not as restrictive as the Adkins induction phase. Right now, I'm more about shifting the way my body processes calories and builds new muscle tissue.

I'm also adding in a minimal amount of exercise to my daily routine. The exercise is to serve two purposes -- 1, to build a little strength and increase my metabolism (I guess that's already two) and 2, to start to establish a habit of regular exercise. One might think that I have all the time in the world to exercise now that I'm retired, but the simple truth is that isn't how I want to spend my time. I'm more interested in finding the minimum exercise that I can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sticking to that.

The experiment continues...

The Unhealthy Guy

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I hate this blog!

I've decided that I hate this blog.
I started it when I was at a really good place health wise. I had just lost 60 pounds in a year, was walking 3-4 miles daily, eating well and feeling great.

Unfortunately, I left most of the good health things behind and slowly (over a couple of years) regained most of the lost weight and gave up on the good habits of diet and exercise.
Like many people, I've struggled to find a balance of living the good life and living a healthy life.

So far, this week has been a good week.
I've refocused on the diet part of living -- not the restricting weightloss kind of diet, but the not eating so much crap kind of diet.
When it comes right down to it, I'm pretty aware of how different foods will affect me. The fitness adage -- Eat well, feel well. Eat crap, feel like crap. -- is true.
I've been re-reading old material and reading some new stuff and working on changing my attitude towards what I'm eating and manipulating my metabolism to do a better job of getting rid of the pounds that I've put back on.

When I started this blog, it was so that i wasn't always writing about food and exercise on my other blog. Now I never write about good healthy stuff on either blog!
I'm going to be back here more often.
I think that forcing myself to write about the struggle will actually help me to stay focused. Maybe I can turn the "I hate this blog!" feeling into more of a love/hate relationship that will at least provide a more healthy John somewhere along the way.

John <><

Monday, May 8, 2017

Broken record...

Not the good kind of record breaking event -- the repetitious broken record.
I know, I know! I sound like a broken record when I say I'm going to get serious about healthy living again.

This week I read that if I'd quit giving up, I wouldn't have to keep starting over!
How true!

Never-the-less, I find myself at that old familiar place.
I did weigh in on May 1st and again today (the 8th) and have managed to drop a few pounds in the first week of the month and my first week of another go at it. I also managed to log my food intake every day (My Fitness Pal app) and stay within my weight-loss calorie goals 6 of the 7 days.
And I managed to walk a little every day and am back to some good stretching and a little light yoga.

The biggest thing for me is the healthy eating part. I find that when I eat well, I tend to want to exercise a little and let the healthy eating lifestyle move into other areas of living. Focusing on exercise doesn't work the same way for me. I can walk every day and still want to eat junk, but eating well every day seems to inspire me to more activity and better lifestyle habits.

Week 2 begins and it is another beautiful day in the Ozarks. I had my protein smoothie for breakfast (kind of a brunch since I was up late watching the ballgame) and have plans for a good dinner tonight. I'm sure I'll get my walk in at some point. I hope that your week will be grand!

Be well,

Monday, March 27, 2017

Second week --

Today begins the second week of spring and of my renewed commitment to health.
I did manage to walk every day of last week and reached 10,000 steps in each of the first seven days of spring. I even managed a very little amount of running.

I also moved my weight machine into a different room in the basement to make way for furniture in the man cave. I did get a little use out of it, but I still have much work to do to make its new location more functional.

On the diet front --
I have become more aware of everything I am consuming and am doing better at restricting less healthy options and being more careful about when I consume certain types of foods. I did drop a couple of pounds, but nothing to brag about at this point. Although I haven't done it yet, I do plan on taking some body measurements this week and tracking that progression. I think that overall body composition is a better indicator of health than body weight.

There is lots of rain in the forecast for this week, so I'll have to see how the walking goes. I do have a recumbent cycle and a Nordic Track for indoor work if I run into a rainy day with no breaks.
I also need to finish getting my garden in as I will be gone next week.

Here we go!
Week two towards better healthy living!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

A five day streak!

I'm not sure how long it is that they (who are they, anyway?) say it takes to make a habit, but I truly doubt that exercise ever becomes a habit with me. In spite of that, I've managed a walk every day of spring.

Big deal, right?
No it is not, but it is a start.
Even when I was walking every day, it was something I decided to do every day. I think if it was a habit, I'd have to make the decision not to walk.

Yesterday, I moved the weight machine from one room to another. Chris wants to move our old living room furniture into the man cave so I moved the weight machine into the room where I keep all of my magic books and props. Even though I did clear a place for the machine, I'll still need to do plenty of rearranging and organizing to make it functional.

Just like walking ... one step at a time, right?

Diet wise I've been doing pretty well. I had a day of too much junk food, but it was only a day. I've been doing well other than that. I haven't gone back to logging everything, but I might. One article recommended taking pictures of everything you eat and drink for a visual record. I don't think I really want to do that, but it is a much quicker option.
I'll see how this goes. It's only been a week.

Simple steps.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Make it three!

Yesterday wasn't a good diet day -- too much snacking.
I guess that's a hazards of inactivity and readily available goodies.

I did manage healthy meals and a walk, but I'm not willing to call it a good day.
I'll take the positives, acknowledge the negatives, and keep pushing onward.
I was up late pacing the house and walking outside to make 10,000 steps for the day.
Yeah, it's a small thing, but I figured, "Why not?"

Today is the fourth day of spring and I expect to keep up the short streak of walking and be more diligent about dietary intake.

Simple steps.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two in a row!

I had to get out before the rain this morning -- not a big deal for early risers and morning exercise people. I was up before the sun, but I start the day slowly with my coffee and internet or a cable news show. The rain is supposed to be on and off throughout the day, so I figured to just get my walk in early.

It was just over 2 1/2 miles and it was beginning to sprinkle as I finished.

I hit 10,000 steps yesterday. What was once a daily accomplishment has become a rare thing -- only two previous times this year (although I didn't count steps on our long beach walks).
Hopefully, it will become a daily habit, once again.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring and starting over...

It is the end of the first day of spring and time for a fresh start!
I decided that I need to get back in the good habit of some regular exercise and the first day of spring seems like a great time to re-start.

I walked a couple of miles this morning and will work on getting back up to 3-4 miles on a daily basis.
I've been very irregular on yoga and any resistance training over the past few months and haven't really made the mental decision to get back to something more regular in those areas.

I'm also getting back to a slow carb diet; limiting sugars and starches (fruits and grains) and paying attention to the time of day I eat them and the activities that surround them. The plan is to go heavy on the veggies and lean proteins, and to include plenty of fiber rich legumes.

When I turned 53 years old I set a goal to lose 54 pounds by my 54th birthday.
I did. I actually lost 60 pounds. Now, at three months before my 57th birthday, I am almost back to my starting weight -- not quite, but close enough.
I don't plan on stretching this out over a year this time. I'm not planning on anything crazy, but I do look to lose the weight at a steady rate by keeping track of diet and getting regular morning exercise.
I'm actually not as interested in the weight loss as I am in overall body composition and how I feel. I guess that means that I should take some useful measurements and figure out my body fat percentage.

To help with the summer diet and the healthy eating part, I am planting a garden this year. It won't be anything too big; lettuce, cabbage, onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and maybe some zucchini. I also want to plant some sweet potatoes.
For other produce, there are some good Farmer's markets in the area and a small grocery store with a decent produce section that is less than a mile walk if I want to have something fresh for dinner.

That's the plan.
Time to put it into action.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 4, 2017

I realize that it is only the fourth day of the new year, but keeping up with the goals on a regular basis might help me stay on the right track.

I postponed my 3000 squat/1000 push-up start until January 2nd. I'm not sure if I should skip tomorrow's scheduled rest day so that each day's workout corresponds with the calendar date or just plan on finishing on the 31st. Finishing on the 30th would either allow for a day's rest before beginning the next 30 day challenge or I could begin a 30 day challenge for February on the 31st and then end it on March 1.
I guess I'll decide tomorrow.

I have a couple of physical limitations that are age related. A knee that probably needs to be replaced gives me problems with some exercises and yoga poses and a wrist that may have some arthritis and is difficult to flex with any weight on it. It is making the push up part of this months challenge -- well, challenging. It will also be a hindrance as I begin to work on the hand & arm balances in my yoga work. It will make for slower progress than I was hoping for.
No worries. I have plenty of time.

Diet wise, last weekend proved to be terrible, but I am tracking calories and watching what I'm consuming. I am predicting that this month will be a good start for the coming year.

I occasionally post health articles or my fitness updates on Twitter. Feel free to follow me if you want. I am at @magicianary.

Although it is pretty chilly out, I think I'm going to take a short walk.

Be well,
John <><

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017

So it is a new year and time for new goals!
To be honest, last year was not a very good year on the health and fitness front. This year will be different. I wrote about the struggle a month ago and have already started back on the right track.

The long term goal is to live a healthier lifestyle which includes daily physical activity and a well balanced diet. I am planning on a series of short term goals to make that happen. I really don't want to set an annual goal of walking a set number of miles because I want to be flexible when it comes to daily activity rather than being fixed on having to walk daily. However, my typical walk is about an hour in length so I think that I should occupy that time with something else or a combination of walking and something else.

There are a few areas that I want to focus on for exercise.
The first is yoga.
I've played around at it for a little while but have never been really serious or regular about learning and practicing yoga. I've only been to a few classes and have mostly used books or followed along on You Tube classes. I'd like to work on the body weight strength moves and on some inverted balancing. To date, I've mostly worked on flexibility.

Another area for work is on some short burst high intensity interval training.
I've never done any P90X or Crossfit types of workouts and don't know that I really want to. I do plan on using our weight machine for some low weight/high rep circuits and using some HIIT exercises along the way.

Of course, there are other things. But at this point, the main thing is to keep moving forward.
My January goal will be to complete this 3000 squat/1000 push up challenge.

I will still need to fill my hour and will give myself the occasional day off.
Right now, I'm planning on yoga three or four days per week and will start at home but try to find a class or studio that is suitable for an old beginner like me. 

On the diet front, I'm going for the short term goal of tracking my intake via the My Fitness Pal app for every day in January. Even though I have started using the app again, I have not been very disciplined about my tracking, so for the short term anyway -- 31 days -- I can do this!

That's my January Resolution plan.
I'll let you know about next months plan when next month gets here!

Be well,