Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Food of Life

So, I have been traveling to SF and LA (that's San Francisco and Los Angeles for my int'l friends). And I have not been on the blog in a bit.

During this time I found that my craving for comfort food was based on my cold. I developed bronchitis, and I would have old food desires like eggs and bacon in the morning. I think it is similar to a hangover when your body craves greasy or familiar junk food.  Since I can't get good Mexican in NYC, or IN-N-Out Burger I crave those things when I drive by.

It is so simple to ignore these cravings and get filled up on healthy food, but it is so powerful to feel like you must make your body happy. It's a constant battle internally -- to really be happy whether you are sick or if you are driving by a familiar junk food place, just eat to fuel your body, not comfort it.

Will write more this weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting Juiced!

So, I am committed to making juicing a part of my diet - and I want to find an upcoming week/10 days where I can totally "reboot" and go juice only to see the effects! This week will be not feasible, but soon!

My juicer came today and I made my first juice! I sort of followed a recipe and I sort of made it up using spinach, carrots, green apples, celery, cucumber, half a lemon, and ginger. It was not bad, but clearly I have to play around with the measurements since this was rather bland. However, I got over one psychological barrier -- blended green vegetables! OK, I can now deal with it -- for months in the original blog I was told by readers to add greens and that just didn't sit right with me. Well, I've done it, the fear is broken.

Sad/Funny quote of the day. In the morning at the deli a very short woman who looked rather heavy for her size ordered a cup of oatmeal. She looked at the container holding the oatmeal and she determined, "It look's pretty dry (It did, but I ate it). I don't want it now. Looks dry, too dry, I'll have the blueberry scone."

That poor woman went from a healthy breakfast of 150 calories to an unhealthy one of 500 calories in the blink of an eye!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 2

So I started thinking about how I feel now, mentally, versus the best days of my Vegan Quest - no question I feel more down, and at times unhappy. So, why not just do what you did for six months? Clearly, there is a gravitational pull of having fun (socializing with spirits involved), and pleasing myself (enjoying the taste of pork and crabmeat dumplings). Now, I need to discover "why." And at the same time jump start my healthy living again. My diet was generally not that awful, and at breakfast and lunch was almost always very healthy. Night time was a different story.

Anyway, very happy to be going back on a journey - hit the gym the last two nights (not fully epic workouts, but I was there and got the heart pumping, and was sweating). Tonight I had social plans and even told the bartender beforehand that I was to be served a seltzer in a rocks glass with lime less I had to explain myself to an old friend and some new people I would be meeting. The plans were cancelled however, and my opportunity to go to the gym was there for the taking...I chose to go home, eat some nuts (probably too many), made a fruit smoothies and had some watermelon.

Oh, and I watched the DVD version of "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" with the extra footage. I really can't wait for my juicer!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm Going to Try Juicing

Joe Cross is not a professional filmmaker, in fact he was a successful trader turned entrepreneur who rewarded himself for his prosperity over the years with a cavalcade of pizza, burgers, soda, and booze. By the time he was 40 years old he was 100 lbs overweight, and was suffering a debilitating autoimmune disease – which he cared for with a chemist's pantry full of pills. Cross’s documentary film, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead," chronicles his quest to reverse this deadly lifestyle and see if the human body, void of processed foods and animal products, can actually heal itself. He would do this by drinking juice, just juice, every day, for 60 days. Since any road trip, for any reason, across America with video camera in hand lends itself to voyeuristic entertainment, Joe dragged all 309 lbs of him to New York City to start his journey. His mission was to lose weight initially through this radical, 60 day vegetable and fruit juice fast, all the while talking to overweight Americans from the cities to the heartland.

For two months he used a high-powered juicer to turn his fresh fruits and vegetables into a green, formidable-looking, health Slurpee that most tasters deemed, "Not bad." Along the way Joe talked to hundreds of obese Americans straight out of Central Casting who were starkly honest about their poor health, curtailed longevity, and immovable penchant for fried foods. Almost to a person they blamed their frightening girth exclusively on...themselves.

As much as it was entertaining, and inspiring, to watch an affable Aussie lose 100 lbs criss-crossing America drinking nothing but juice, it is one of the converts he meets in his travels who is the true star of this film. When Joe Cross meets a 429 lb trucker, Phil, who coincidentally suffers from the same autoimmune system, he hears from Phil much of what he has from all the others throughout this journey: Yeah, I'm grossly overweight. I'm always tired and in pain. I'm ashamed. I only blame myself. I love food too much. I wish I could change.

Joe takes Phil, who was a hamburger away from a heart attack, under his wing, and through sheer self-discipline, Phil agrees to go 10 days drinking only juice from fresh vegetables and fruits. He likes what he sees and how he feels, and he agrees to go another 20 days. Then, like an unstoppable, ever thinning avalanche, Phil continues this awe-inspiring journey, helping many others along the way. It was powerful stuff, void of group-hugs and tears that was stirring and motivational.

"Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" does not uncover any new secrets to weight loss, but it clearly showcases the shocking results of detoxifying and "retooling" your body, and the incredible way it changed lives through entertaining common sense.

Day 1...Again

Last night I saw "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead," and I was greatly moved. The film maker, Joe Cross, was so much like me it was eery - he focused all his attention on bad food and booze. He is a few inches shorter than me, but was just over 300 lbs when he started his quest, and like me had a stomach that was 53 inches around! AND, he filmed himself for the sake of a documentary, and used Dr. Fuhrman!

Needless to say it was a terrific motivator, and I think I am going to try to juice and fast more to jump start my quest back to my goal!

My review will be in the next post.

Last night I went to the gym after work - worked up a good sweat (not hard to do with my current condition), went to see the film, and then later met friends to watch the basketball game. Well, I was not perfect in a bar watching the NCAA Championship but my excuse (there always is one) is that a buddy is going through a divorce, it was also the last night of these guys favorite bar which is closing, and there were about 7 friends all gathered around. In short, they needed Terrence 1.0 and I did not disappoint. No matter, I knew it was a last hurrah for me. Terrence 2.0 is back.

Today, a bit if apple, banana and some nuts for breakfast, a large salad with avocado, asparagus, and some tuna sashimi for lunch, and after work I went to the gym for a bit. Dinner was a few slices of watermelon, and large handful of pistachio nuts (too large I assume), and a delicious fruit smoothie with apples, bananas, and frozen raspberries. I also weighed myself, and that is why I am burying the headline here, I have let forty pounds slip back on me after triumphantly losing sixty. My belly is back to forty-eight inches around, up from forty-three.

I know what I have to do. Now, I am doing it!

You know, I feel better just writing about this again - I feel more in control again!

Monday, April 4, 2011

And, With Hat in Hand, I'm Back...

I have chosen to start up this blog again without notifying anyone. I would like to see if I can grow this blog organically -- plus, I am ashamed to let anyone I know know I have fallen so far. At least for the time being I am not going to notify any of my friends and family.

Since this blog, and writing, helped me tremendously by forcing myself to write about my adventures and my quest, I am just as happy to write in a total vacuum.

What happened? On May 1, 2010 I ended my vegan quest down 60 lbs, and erased my impending heart-attack levels of bad cholesterol. I then went back to drinking, but eating healthfully. Once in a while I would drink to excess and a trip to the pizza parlor at 2 AM would soon follow. My work-outs became less frequent. I gained a few pounds, but I thought, "Hey, I know how quickly I can loose it!"  But, I missed chasing fun. In seemed to have an iron grasp on me.

I last wrote in this blog 1 year after I started. My life was looking up as a new job, and new girlfriend shined brightly upon my new self. But, there was an inexplicable hole in my life, one that was nagging at me. As my girlfriend wanted to curb my drinking (a fraction of what it used to be), and cut out my once or twice a month cigar habit, something changed inside of me. I rebelled. Not because of her, of course, I had been rebelling (unknowingly) since I ended my quest. I missed having fun, I thought. I was an idiot.

For the past year I still ate oatmeal for breakfast, and salads for lunch, but I also ate, sometimes, like the bad old days for dinner, only sporadically exercised, and weekends sometimes became heavy drinking affairs. Sadly, as I shuffled to the shower in the morning with a throbbing headache I would pass the empty pizza box on the floor that lit up like a Las Vegas neon sign saying, "SHAME!"

I gained back at least half the weight I lost, and lost my girlfriend.
Somehow, a 42 year old man was acting like an 8 year old, and any chance I could I would, whenever she was not around, chose to live my life like Ernest Hemingway. Whereas she viewed a few glasses of wine on the weekend, plus a couple of drinks during the week, as "excessive," and forbade me from ever enjoying a cigar with the boys, I knew that was not "excessive." What I chose to do, however, was push the limits - I was dumb. She was a remarkable woman, one of the most beautiful and classiest people I ever met, but I could not change who I was -- I could only change how I was behaving. Even at my goal weight - which is disgustingly far away now - I would still like to let loose a little once in a while with the boys, or around some big sporting event. Something she did not want me to ever do again. To live a purely healthy life, and then pick one or two days out of 30 to have a right proper drink up and then quickly go back to healthy living was off the table in this relationship. I could not live with that - I was 100% fine with a demand to live a healthy life, with a couple of days allowed for blowing off steam with the boys, providing I stayed healthy and at my goal weight. That is what I came to the peace table with, but it was rejected. I will always respect and lover her. But I must start, yet, another new chapter in my life.

Minutes ago, after watching merely the trailer of the new documentary "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" I decided to recommit myself to my health. It seems like a cruel pattern. When my now ex-girlfriend gently and positively supported my healthy lifestyle I rebelled like an ignorant child. When I made a commitment for this Lenten Season to go back to my good old days I quickly broke my "no drinking" rule and chose to chase fun.

This weekend I was with friends in a bar when the lights came on at closing time at 4 AM. I felt miserable all day. I felt like a loser. I felt that everything I accomplished from Nov.'09-May'10 was lost - like it never happened.

Today, April 4th, eight days shy of my 43rd birthday, I am recommitting myself to get my life back....again!