Happy Fourth of July!

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July 4, 2017 · 8:00 AM

The Mid-Year Review

Wherein, I rat myself out.

One of the great things about New Year’s resolutions is that, by this time of year, everyone has forgotten that you ever made any.

But I did make some (HERE), and the idea was to work towards them all.  So with half the year behind me, it’s time to see how I’m doing.

My goals for 2017 were:

Health Goals:

  • Lose the last 20 pounds (be The Guy)
  • Keep my blood glucose within ADA ranges and work toward the lower ranges
  • Maintain a minimum of 150 active minutes a week

UPDATE – I’m actually doing all right on these.  Weight continues down, blood glucose is going down and I’m averaging way above the active minutes.  WIN!

Creativity Goals:

  • Add six more songs to my guitar competence list
  • Finish a writing project
  • Create a minimum of one good photo a month

UPDATE – Ummm.  On the guitar front, I began the year with “frozen shoulder” which made holding the guitar painful.  I have begun to work my way back on that one.  Working on the writing projects.  The photo goal has been a bust.  NEEDS WORK

Activity Goals:

  • Bike the Cap2Cap from Richmond to Williamsburg
  • Explore the parks nearby
  • Log a minimum of 1000 miles on the bike

UPDATE – Some progress made on this one.  So for this point of the year – WIN

Fun Goals

  • Visit five more historical sites
  • Go to the beach at least twice
  • Visit 20 wineries

UPDATE –  No, no and no.  NEEDS WORK

Real Life Goals:

  • Find a new job
  • Find a new church home
  • Get involved with community group(s)

UPDATE – Not yet, YES!!!!, and not yet.  Call this one a PUSH

 

So it’s two wins, two needs works, and a push.  With lots of time to get things turned around.  Not where I had hoped to be, but I’m OK with it for the moment.  Where are you on yours for 2017?

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Filed under Bicycle, Creativity, Diabetes, Faith, Family, personal, RVA, Unemployment, Weight Loss, Wine, Writing

Time To Change – Still On The Learning Curve

What worried me turned out great, and what I thought would be great became a problem.

I’m still learning as I go.

First, the good news.  The semi-annual check-up with my Primary Care Physician went as well as any visit to the doctor in my life.  The test results were entirely positive.  A1C, DOWN!  In fact, I am no longer in the Diabetic range, but back to the Pre-Diabetic.  Still a long way to go, but continuing to improve.  Blood pressure was low.  On that front, the doctor is cutting me back from two hypertension meds to just one.  Good cholesterol up, bad cholesterol down.  Weight, even on the doctor’s scale (does your doctor’s scale seem to live in a different reality from the rest of your world?), was down.  Below 190 for the first time there.  There were two tests that showed upticks where you don’t want them.  Asked and discovered they will go up after a hard workout.  Like the day after a 40-mile bike ride!  So everybody was happy!

On the diabetes front, I discovered that I still have things to learn.  After the good physical, the plan was to hit the Capital2Capital bike trail for the full length, 51.91 miles.  I had done the 40-miler with no issues, the 15-mile ride early this week was a piece of cake.  I was going to crush this ride!

I cut the ride off at the 31-mile mark when my blood sugar seemed to be an issue.  Light headed, cold and clammy, trouble focusing mentally and slightly nauseous.  Some folks may note those are similar to dehydration.  The adage is “you can never drink enough water”, but I was drinking a lot and steadily.  I may not have been fully hydrated but I believe I was adequately hydrated.  I’ve been dehydrated and this felt different.  In doing some research, I had come across guidelines for keeping your body fueled on a long ride.  The recommendation was for hourly eating.  So I got sufficient bar-type things to keep in my riding jersey and ate on schedule.

Looking back and reading a little deeper I think I’ve found the problem.  I bought the riding food based on the same system I’ve been buying my daily eating.  High protein, low carb and as little added sugar as possible.  Those of you who do long workouts are probably nodding your head.  You see the issue.  Protein is great, but your body breaks it down slowly.  My body was screaming for fuel RIGHT NOW!  I need to focus on snacks that offer more carbs than normal eating would require.  Several folks have recommended dried apricots, a beloved snack that I’ve had to limit in daily eating.  So we’ll try again next week.  With better snacks.

The good news physical dropped some stress.  Still waiting to hear about this job.  Still need to expand the workouts.  Other than that, just gotta keep rolling.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

Active Minutes – 393

Steps – 8,789 (forgot to wear it most of the week)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

Biking Mileage – 59.7 miles  (3 rides)

Biking Total to Date – 261.54

I track my mileage with MapMyRide

The next milestone is getting back below 185.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

185.0 pounds

Weight Change this week: – 1.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 19.9 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Filed under Bicycle, Diabetes, personal, Weight Loss

Creativity – The Short Story

Almost a year ago, I published my first book, a short story collection titled “Shorts“.  While there are several novel-length projects also under way, the short story has always been one of my favorite story forms.  But it’s one that doesn’t get much respect.  Over on my other blog, “The View From the Phlipside“, I review movies, books, and music along with my long standing radio program on the media.  Beginning in July I will be trying to return the short story to its previous level of respect.

Check out my post for more.

The plan includes expanded posts on Creativity here (again!).

Here’s a great cartoon to get us started here.  This is from Tom Gauld,  a London-based cartoonist who is regularly published in The Guardian, The New York Times, and New Scientist.

Nope, I won’t quit.  I won’t.

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Time To Change – Numbers A Little Better

This was a high-stress week.  Which makes the outcome a little better

The second round interview dominated the first half of the week.  And wondering if I would get the job has dominated the second.  I feel all the usual stress related symptoms – poor sleep, poor focus, strong desire to binge eat.  I’m happy to report that I’ve avoided that third one.  I’m still a little concerned about my eating but I’m logging again.  That helps in focusing on what goes into my mouth.

I don’t want to be too grumpy about the exercise.  I essentially equaled last week’s riding distance in a single ride.  It was a challenge but it felt very good.  Active minutes are good but steps are down.  I need to focus on those a little more.  It was easy when I was teaching!

On the diabetes front, the numbers have popped up slightly.  The uptick (about 5 points) came along just as school ended (and the end of that pay) and the interviews.  So it’s possible it’s a stress reaction.  I just did an A1C which I will discuss with my doctor next week.  It is better than it was in January, though still above the healthy number.  Out of the “Diabetes” zone and back into the “Pre-Diabetic” range.  So we seem to be headed the right direction.  We’ll see if the doc agrees!

At this point, I need to begin adding some different workouts to my exercise, keeping a lid on the carbs, and keeping track better.

Oh, and getting rid of this stress wouldn’t hurt either!

Onward.

My resolution remains:

want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

Active Minutes – 340

Steps – 25,656

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

Biking Mileage – 40.14 miles  (1 rides)

Biking Total to Date – 201.84

I track my mileage with MapMyRide

The next milestone is getting back below 185.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

186.8 pounds

Weight Change this week: – 0.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 18.1 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Filed under Bicycle, Diabetes, personal, Weight Loss

Time To Change – Just A Note

Not a lot happening this week.

Not a lot has changed either.  The main number went down by one.  I’m not convinced I have my eating locked down again, but it’s OK.

My head is in a bit of an uproar.  Last week’s phone interview turned into a second round interview on Tuesday.  I have some prep I have to do for it, which is well underway.  But I keep swinging between “I got this” and “This is awful”.  I’ll be fine, eventually.  🙂

Exercise continues to do well.  Active minutes are up because I added a bike ride.  I only subbed a couple days last week, so my steps were way down.  Overall I think I’m still in a very good place.

On the diabetes front, still working back into the routine.

Like I said, not much changing.  We’ll see what happens next week.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

Active Minutes – 351

Steps – 29,614

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

Biking Mileage – 47.29 miles  (3 rides)

Biking Total to Date – 161.70

I track my mileage with MapMyRide

The next milestone is getting back below 185.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

187.0 pounds

Weight Change this week: – 1.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: – 17.9 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Filed under Bicycle, Diabetes, personal, Weight Loss

Adventures in Urban Bicycling – Adjusting Equipment

till learning all the ins and outs of riding the city vs. the country.  There is one piece of equipment on my bike that I have to remind myself to use.

My mirror.

Riding in the country, traffic overtaking you is relatively infrequent.  Plus, the overall noise level there is lower.  I usually heard the cars/trucks coming.  None of which is true in the city.  Someone is constantly overtaking you.  There are more things that require your attention and the noise level is both higher and nearly constant.

Don’t even get me started on hybrid/electric vehicles.  Damn sneaky, they are.

With all of that, my mirror is a highly important part of my defensive riding.  Or it would be if I remembered to look at it.  It’s just not a habit right now.  Consequently, I spend way too much time repeating some variant of “Crap!  Where did you come from?”

I’m also fascinated by the folks who don’t believe bicycles have to obey traffic laws.  Particularly lights at intersections.  Now I will admit that I do not routinely come to a full and complete stop at stop signs.  I slow way down, and carefully check in all relevant directions.  It’s a hassle to stop, disengage my foot from the pedal, and teeter virtually en pointe.  If there is traffic, I always give them the right of way.  I understood that much of my physics courses.

But I come to a complete stop at a red light, and I wait till it turns green.  Turns out I’m one of the minority of riders who do so.  Every time I ride in the city, I see some take a quick glance and then sail through on the red.  They act as if that light doesn’t concern them at all.  I will note that a very high percentage of them are riding without a helmet too, which another form of stupidity IMHO.  I can only assume that their own safety is not concern #1.  Last week I came to a relatively busy intersection near the VCU campus and caught the red light.  I stopped and waited, as did the pickup truck going the opposite direction.  Suddenly, a rider appeared and sailed blithely through.  The light went green as I was still shaking my head in disgust.  As I and the truck passed each other, the driver leaned out the window and commented that rolling through lights like that struck him as a pretty good way to get killed.  I couldn’t agree more.

Experience tells me that there are plenty of folks out there who do not like sharing the road with bicycles.  One of the reasons is that riders don’t always behave in predictable ways.  Following traffic regulations may or may not be the law here in Virginia (but I’m betting it is).  It strikes me that it should be simple, common sense.  Behave consistently with the rest of traffic.  Live to ride another day.

Oh, and remember to check your mirror.

May was a very good riding month with 7 rides, including several stretch rides on the Cap2Cap.  My butt is getting used to the saddle and I hope to do my first RVA to Williamsburg ride in the next couple weeks.  Right now, I’m sidelined!  The straps on my bike carrier for the car have rotted and are getting replaced.

I track my riding using MapMyRide.

Ride Total – 11

Mileage Total – 134.56

Let’s roll.

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Filed under Bicycle, Diabetes, personal, RVA, Weight Loss