Monday, May 22, 2017

Side Effects include...

Recently, I went to the doctor for my annual checkup. It went pretty well, it may have been because he is moving to California and wanted to part as friends, it may have been because I was healthier, or it might be the standards have changed. I get caught in a lot of fluctuating expectations.

"Keep your cholesterol under 200." Then it changes, "Keep your bad cholesterol under 100, and your good cholesterol over 50." Blood sugar, blood gases, weight, blood pressure, it is like an endless stream of criticism.

This time, though, it was different. He was relaxed, comfortable, kind. As soon as I figured out I wasn't dying I was happy.

"Any side effects from the cholesterol medicine?" He asked, looking at me in fatherly way, which is difficult since he is so much younger.

"No, none at all." I said. Which is true, because I hardly ever took it. Which really made me feel guilty. He was being so nice. and I was lying to him, only through omission, but, this is a gray area you shouldn't really dance around with your doctor.

"Well, I am still changing you to (I don't remember the name) because it is less likely to damage your (I don't really remember the internal organ). Is that OK with you?"

"Sure," and here is gave in, "but, I haven't really been taking the other medicine. Oh, sure, once in a while I would remember and take it, and the fish oil, and the low dose aspirin, and the multi vitamin, but not very often, hardly ever, really." It poured out, and I felt terrible.

"You should take your medicine, it won't do you any good if you don't take it." He looked disappointed, and I was crushed.

So, he told me about the potential side effects. I started taking them, that day.

And I swear the minute I swallowed that pill, I had the side effects, sore muscles, double vision,
stomach cramps, I don't even know what all was wrong with me.

I fell over to the floor in agony, moaning as my life slipped away.

"Did the doctor tell you about the side effects, again?" My wife asked, and she sighed.

"Yes," I moaned, my last breath.

"When you get up would you bring me a Diet Coke?"

Sure, don't worry about me.

I do hate those warnings, not as much as my wife, though.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Shame Game

It all comes down to a few simple words, "nobody's perfect" and its probably the hardest thing to teach people as well. I started The Health Whacko many years ago, to just simply emote about the various things I learned as it pertained to physical improvement. I never really considered myself a bodybuilder, although this is technically what I do, and it was mostly because there were too many meatheads out there who made the craft of bodybuilding seem so unappealing. By the terminology "meathead" I am talking about the general observation that many people have nothing more than dead meat inside their skulls, with no real brain matter. In other words, it neither means you are or you are not a body builder to qualify as a meathead. It's quite equal opportunity, and equally as pathetic.

Actually, when I started Fat, Dumb and Wonderful (which was what the Health Whacko became, before it went back to The Health Whacko) I was trying to help those that really needed to lift weights to get healthy, but were afraid to because of meatheads. The meatheads at the gym would shame them for not being "elite" like them, and the meatheads outside the gym would shame them for being one of "those" people. The fact of the matter is, criticisms that aren't based on improvement, aren't worthy of air time. Well at least people that are critical because they are dicks don't deserve air, but that is me being self-righteous. If someone is killing themselves with a spoon, and nobody does anything to help them or at the very least allow them to get healthy, then I will fight for their right to be healthy. Even if they have given up.

I have a shamer who follows me around online. Well I have someone who makes it a point to try and shame me, and it doesn't work. The biggest reason it doesn't work is because he is pathetic. I mean seriously, I don't take time out of my life to shame people, because I have better things to do. He obviously doesn't. I am quite proud that I realized this, but even more proud that I have been able to spot someone who is pathetic, ignore them because they are their own punishment, and go about my life cheerfully. Some may think I am saying this because the person gets under my skin, but that isn't the reason. The reason is because I see people like this who actually do find the people that they can destroy through shame and scorn and THAT makes me angry. It also reminds me that I can't fight other people's battles because those that can be shamed might need a hand up, but some look for a hand out. Their "hand out" is simply the "push out the door" they were looking for. The few who understand this have now gotten their pep talk and will go about their day happier for it. The others unfortunately haven't been beaten down enough yet. I'm sorry for that.

Needless to say, everything I do on The Health Whacko is geared towards helping people find their zone. My zone started in a classroom almost 30 years ago (oh God) then found me going through a horrible divorce, while being a good 40 lbs overweight. Later on it found me shedding off that weight, and then taking the next step to improve myself. It then became a traumatic, life changing injury, that brought me to of all places a Planet Fitness (because I could afford it) to turning me into the go-to "Health Guru" in all of my social and professional circles. Then of course as I aged, I just couldn't be trusted to drive to the gym at 2 am anymore, and a home gym was my only option. I bought a used BowFlex and encouraged people to take advantage of someone who bought one of these, never used it, and is willing to sell it to you for peanuts. I evolved, and I try to help everyone else to evolve too. There have been people on both sides of the fence trying to ruin every step of this journey for me, as unfortunately there will be people trying to destroy every step of your journey too. Misery loves company folks.

Now a'days my home has two gyms in it. The small BowFlex gym in the upstairs, and the larger free weight gym in the basement. I get killer results off of both systems, and I have created all kinds of great content for people who need help getting great results on these systems. I even have a "make-shift" gym in my office at work that consists of resistance bands attached to my chair. I plan to create great content involving those some day when I find the time, but let me explain to anyone, on either side of the fence, I look @#$%ing HOT, especially for a 47 year old man. Might have more to do with my poor vision than my actual physique but guess what? The only opinion I care about is my own. That isn't my ego talking, that is my intelligence talking, because a LOT of hard work went into my ability to say that. In the end it is the only reason that I write things like this, because I want each and every one of you to do this for yourself, and who gives a crap what anyone else thinks. "Those" people are just pathetic.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The New Normal

This is how God tells Jeremy to do Cardio!
With age and physical progress comes a certain "reset" period and the understanding of whether or not it actually is a "new normal" or not. This is very complicated if you are just starting to comprehend what is an honest to goodness "new normal" and what is just a case of wishful thinking. It also depends on how you actually view yourself, and what did, or did not, go into the state in which your body is in, at any given place in your personal history. Of the three types of physical attitudes, the greatest is without a doubt "ignorance" or the ability to look at yourself no matter how you actually look, and feel perfectly fine with that. Then there are the two types which qualify a health enthusiast, overly critical and overly optimistic. I am both of the other two depending on what place in my health journey I am in. I may be crossing the line between critical to optimistic if my own personal experiences can be applied and can replace the voice in my head that actually hates me.

Here's what I know about myself. Last year around this time (well actually a bit later in the year) my ideal, ripped up weight was around 165 lbs. I was able to plump out to about 185 lbs. Then fall below 180 in a couple of weeks, and for the most part watch my weight decline for a couple of months until I was at my goal. My reality right now is that I was able to bulk up to about 195 this year, and it has taken me a good month and a half to fall to around 180. As a matter of fact I have been grumpy with the way I have stayed between 184 and 180 for a couple of weeks now, no matter how I diet. It's frustrating, and I can't figure out if I have finally reached "that age" or I am just slacking and not being honest with myself. Of course there is another explanation that I am pondering today, and I can only do that because I understand myself and have years of trends to back up all of this.

When you understand your body (as I do, and I say that with all humility, but many of you have seen me analyze these things for many years) you know the "feel" of losing bodyfat. I carry all of my extra weight on my waist just like most men (the spare tire) and more over I carry it behind me. I call them my "back boobs" that grow just above my rear end to the point that I could wear a bra with them. It's good in the sense that when I am overweight I can actually hide it, and rely on my big arms, and wide back to hide the girth around the middle. When I finally reach that point where it is time to shrink, then my pants get almost painful around the waist. That used to happen around 185, and this year happened around 195. It never really dawned on me to be honest with you, that all of the extra work I had done on my legs and ass this last year appears to have paid off. As I sit here right now with an extra inch of waist room, and the legs of my pants are very constricting, it should have been obvious.

The moral of this story actually is something I have been saying for many years now, and often. Don't trust your scale. Sometimes heavier actually does mean healthier. In my case if I hadn't realized this (and yes I still need to shred about 5 to 10 lbs) I could have gone into a spiral that would have caused me to diet to the point of losing all of my hard work (the muscle) and not being very happy with myself anyway. Of course my new favorite workout (throwing on a 20 lb weight vest and walking 5K) is probably adding to the shift. Just remember to do what makes you feel better and pay attention to the warning signs that you actually are losing fat. Trust your mirror and not your scale!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Crow's Gym Thoughts: Vol. 253

Crow's #Gym Vol. 253
The only person you can improve is you. Never follow the expectations of others when you work out, because you may find that you are ignoring what could possibly be your best feature, As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say, "Boy you look better," then you are doing your best. Your best IS good enough!

Gym Term of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Term Dictionary ..
Recovery Cycle
The process between workouts during which the body flushes out fatigue toxins, restores muscle glycogen, repairs itself, and increases in hypertrophy. The length of this cycle varies from as little as 48 hours to as much as one full week, and perhaps more. Recovery is enhanced by sufficient sleep and proper nutrition.

Exercise of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Encyclopedia of Chest Exercises ..
Reverse Fly (BowFlex Standing)
Shoulder Horizontal Abduction (elbows stabilized in slight flexion)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the back portion of the shoulder muscles (the rear deltoids and the rear portion of the middle deltoids) as well as the trapezius and rhomboids.
Pulley position: Narrow only.
Starting position:
• Remove the bench and stand on the platform facing the Power Rods®, and feet flat on the floor.
• Grasp the handles with your palms facing toward the floor and arms nearly straight.
• Stand up straight and then bend slightly forward from the hips (not the spine) until arms/cables are in front of body at a 90 degree angle to your torso.
• Lift chest and pinch shoulder blades together.
• Maintaining the same slight bend in your arms, move your arms outward and backward, keeping a 90 degree angle between your upper arms and the sides of your torso.
• Move until your elbows are slightly behind your shoulders, then slowly reverse the motion keeping the rear shoulder muscles tightened during the entire motion.
Key points:
• Maintain a 90 degree angle between your upper arms and the sides of your torso during the exercise.
• For normal pulling /rowing patterns of movement you may choose to allow the shoulder blades to "float" forward and backward naturally with the arm movement, or for increased rear deltoid involvement you may keep the shoulder blades "pinched" together throughout both the forward and backward movements.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Doctor Always Gets Me in the End

A few months back I found myself on a porn star's Google + page reading her posts. It's not like I am a stalker or anything (although her G+ page is a lot better than her Twitter or Facebook page, and her LinkedIN needs a lot of work) but she had a long post about the prep that she has to go through before she can do an anal sex scene. Amusingly enough what fascinated me about it was that it was the exact same procedure that I have to go through before my colonoscopy. I felt a little bit for her, because at least they knock me unconscious before they start inserting things into my rear end. All in all I also only have to go through this every three years.

At 46 years old and just having undergone my second colonoscopy, I probably don't have to tell you what they found in my last colonoscopy. For the record if you haven't gone for one of these yet, when they say "sign here if it is ok for us to dispose of anything we find" don't be an idiot and sign. Some things just can't be unseen. Well with that being said the last time they were in there they found a rather large pre-cancerous cyst that I had been ignoring for a few years despite the fact that I was bleeding out my rear end for pretty much that entire time. Thing was actually taking up a lot of room too, so needless to say it is a lot more comfortable on you when they get those things out of there regardless.

This put me on the "three year" plan for doing the whole porn star prep procedure, and it sucks quite a bit. Don't eat nuts, seeds or raw vegetables for three days (the bulk of my diet) don't eat anything for 24 hours (people who have seen me eat realize that alone is torture) then start dumping laxatives, gatoraid, mirolax and anything else that will flush the system for that 24 hour period. Then no liquids or anything whatsoever for three hours prior. By the time I finally get into the surgical center I am so dehydrated that my throat hurts, my lips are chapped, my eyes are swollen and of course I get the last surgery of the day, and it is over an hour late when I get in there. Another fun Friday for me, but at least I did this at the end of a two week vacation, so it was slightly less painful.

On a brighter note to all of this the doctor got in there and found absolutely nothing, minus a few hemorrhoids (oh bite me we all have those) and was not only able to write me a clean bill of health, but put me on the 5 year plan like the rest of the adults. Thankfully this will get me past 50 where my colonoscopies are completely paid for by my insurance (who said 21 was the last good birthday). Yes I got to pay 300 and some odd dollars for the ordeal because I am under 50, but then again I was under 50 with pre cancerous cysts in my ass. The ramifications of that, if I hadn't taken the right course could have been permanent, and extremely awful. I've had to watch a few family members die of colon cancer, and I assure a little discomfort every few years is worth the avoidance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Crow's Gym Thoughts: Vol. 252

Crow's #Gym Vol. 252
You're never to fat to get fit, and worse yet, you're never to fit to get fat. I have remade myself so many times that it isn't really that much of a challenge for me anymore, but with age comes a longer period of changing. Alas don't let the fact that you have gotten out of shape get in the way of getting in shape again. Hell, you know how to do it after all, so all you have to do is start doing it!

Gym Term of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Term Dictionary ..
Quality Training
A type of workout used just prior to a competition in which the lengths of rest intervals between sets are progressively reduced to increase overall training intensity and to help further define the physique.

Exercise of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Encyclopedia of Chest Exercises ..
Triceps Kickback (BowFlex Indy Arm Upright)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the triceps muscles located on the back of the upper arms.
Pulley position: Lat tower.
Starting position:
• Remove the bench and stand facing the Power Rods®.
•Grasp a handle in each hand with your palms facing downward..
• Keeping your elbow bent, bring your upper arm to your side, and your forearms parallel to the ground.
• Straighten elbow while keeping your upper arm completely still.
* Unlike a push down you will need to drive your arms behind your back creating more pressure on the triceps.
• When arm is completely straight, slowly return to the starting position.
Key points:
• Maintain spinal alignment.
• Keep your arm at your side and your wrist straight throughout entire motion.
• Tighten the triceps throughout the exercise and control the motion.

Monday, December 12, 2016

#MotivatedMonday Revisited

Well folks a three month round of depression is hopefully coming to an end. On my vacation I was shocked to find out that I am a whopping 30 lbs overweight now, and it is time for me to kick it up a notch. I did it before and I can do it again right? Well ok we have all seen me do it several times over the last couple of years so all I have to do is get with it. Today is day two in a row. You have to start somewhere?

Two days, two salads, four yoghurts and a couple of protein shakes. The real ordeal has been in the sleeping pattern that I changed to placate someone who really doesn't care when it gets down to it, so I needed to go back to the sleeping pattern that someone who does care about me (meaning me) likes to be on. I just don't function in normal time and I am happy to re-admit this. I need to get up every day, workout, eat a healthy breakfast and then go about my day. No more of this get up, eat crap I pick up on my way to work (in a hurry of course) and hopefully work out in the afternoon. That is if I wasn't too exhausted to do so. It was all bullshit, and I am not playing the game anymore.

Here's to what has been a great today, and after my last night of bowling league tonight I will be settling back into my normal, healthy pattern of getting up at 3am and throwing weight around. It's me against the world folks ...