Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Glaucoma, Cataracts, and My Eye Health

I had my eye checkup this morning with my good friend Dr. Ronald Sevigny. Checkup was good. Eye pressure in both eyes was at 12. Doctor said that was very good. So the glaucoma is under control.

My Eye
Can't See the Cataracts
Now the cataracts are another story. Still progressing in my right eye. Luckily its going slow. Not like the first time for the left eye. Had that surgery two and a half years ago. And it enabled me to pass my drivers test without corrective lenses for the first time in my life.

Now its time to get the right eye operated on. I will be happy to have that one done. Be nice to have a matching set of eyes again. Get my depth perception back and won't need glasses except for close up work. Reading glasses maybe.

I wish I would have known how important it was to take care of my eyes at an earlier age. I have been eating more vegetables of late. And working at getting as many colors into the diet as possible.

I have always loved veggies, especially carrots. I suppose I did not eat enough of them at an early age. Was more into meat and carbohydrates. Good thing I have changed those habits.

Still eat more meat than necessary at times. But I am keeping away from carbs for the most part. I miss the donuts but being 27 pounds lighter feels good. I am hoping that the improved diet will improve my health, including the eyes. We will see.

Let me know if you are interested in further details relating to eye health. I will keep posting on my health and see how it goes. Have a great day all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gotta Love MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal summary for today.
MyFitnessPal showing my Summary for today.
MyFitnessPal is so cool. I started using it to count my calories but it also helps you track your workouts. And the best part for a foodie like me is that it adds the calories burned during your workout to your available calories for the day.

Now I don't have to eat all of my available calories for the day. But the option is there. And by not consuming all of your calories for the day, you can see a larger projected weight loss when you close out your day.

That's right. MyFitnessPal provides a calculated projection of where your weight should be in 5 weeks based on how you did that day. I hate to see the projection on days I go over.
But it isn't so bad if you don't go over by much. It should still show some weight loss. That of course would depend on where your weight is now and the goals you have set.

So again, gotta love MyFitnessPal. It is one great calorie counter. I use the mobile version on my Android phone. It is also available on other platforms including the desktop.

Counting calories really does help in weight loss. So have fun and I'll catch ya later.

Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Procrastination Has Got to Go!

Procrastination? Or writer's block? Not sure what to blame but I have to get up off my keester and get busy. I need to write more and workout more. What good is a blog if there is no fresh content? And what am I going to post about if I'm not doing something to get fit? After all, that is what this blog is about.

So, here's an update. I am down another pound. As I have stated before, I am not into this primarily for weight loss but for fitness. But my doctor has stated that most of my ailments will probably correct themselves with a good amount of weight loss. So that is a concern. And a goal. Lose weight.

I have been able to go from an all time high of 267 pounds at the start of this year down to 241 pounds at yesterday's weigh in. Not too bad. So that is about 26 pounds in roughly 15 weeks. I can live with that.

Now got to get busy with a daily workout. I need it. I can do it. I have done it before.

Just have to stop spending so much time "educating myself" on the computer. But there is so much out there on the Internet to discover. And I need to learn "everything" about blogging too. Right?

Okay, enough of that. Gotta go and get sweaty. You all have a great day. I certainly am - or at least try like heck to. Later.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who Else Wants to Lose Weight?

I found it. The key to losing weight. How do I know this is any good. Well, it worked for me. Two days keeping a food diary and I lost two pounds. Keep reading while I explain it.

There is no real secret to it. A little common sense and a little effort is all it takes. The effort comes from doing what you have probably been advised to do before. I know I was. It is nothing more than keeping a simple food log. A diary or journal of your daily meals and snacks.

I found an easy way to do it. Sure it takes some effort but follow along with me. I found it to be informative and enjoyable. Maybe you will find it to be just as fun as I did. And it was on my phone all along.

What was it? It was the MyFitnessPal app from the folks at MyFitnessPal.Com. I had installed this app some time back but never used it. You know how it goes, good intentions and all that.

MyFitnessPal daily summary image
MyFitnessPal Daily Summary Screen
So I decided to take a look at it early Saturday morning. I had to set up an account first. Then enter in information about my current weight, birth date, height, gender, activity level, goal weight, and weekly weight loss goal. With the options to maintain my current weight, gain weight (Oh-no!), or lose weight, I chose the maximum allowable setting for weight loss - 2 pounds.

But I did not feel comfortable with the recommended setting of about 1500 calories, so I settled for 1 1/2 pounds a week for my weight loss goals. I have done this diet thing before and being a large male I am much more comfortable doing an 1800 calorie diet plan. There are also setting options for exercise goals, I chose 5 times a week, and the units of measure of which I chose inches/lbs. For those on the metric system, that option is available.

Now my main goal here was to see what this app could do. I really wanted to track what I was eating to see where things were going wrong for my weight loss. I knew I should be losing weight and I had. I dropped 15 pounds the month before by being careful what I ate and limiting my snacking. I had changed my habits was eating healthier. Or so I thought.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Treat Sinus Infections (Irritations), the Easy Way!

Sinus Infection

Many of us have recurring sinus infections. Its not fun being an adult who feels like a toddler because you can't control your runny nose. And it can be worse when its not running and you are so stuffed from congestion. My problem has been when I feel like I have both happening at the same time.

The doctors fluctuate from diagnosing colds to allergies. They can never determine what I might be allergic to but lately I believe its mostly colds for myself. And having a spouse who works in child care keeps us all exposed to a variety of little nasties.

Thankfully I believe I have a strong immune system since I do not normally tend to become as ill as those around me. But catching a cold virus at least once a year must be part of the human condition. At least that is better than three or four times a year as I have witnessed occurring with so many others.

I have tried so many over the counter remedies as well as medical prescriptions which don't seem to work. For me sinus sprays usually only make things worse. I won't go into any name brands at this time but most tended to irritate my nasal tissues more than help. Except for saline sprays.

Saline Spray

Saline actually works, for me any way. I did some research on this and it appears that the saline actually soothes the sinuses as well as making it hard for bacteria to live. And I have been advised my a medical doctor that you can use saline sprays as often as you like. With no side effects. That is what I like to hear.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Real Secret to Lose Weight

The key to losing weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn every day. That is what we have so often heard. And it does make sense. There is logic in the thought that if you do more in a day than you consume, calorie wise, then the calories have to come from somewhere.
Food Log photo
(hint, hint) Food Journal

Our body's fat stores are where we need to have the excess calories come from. Burn those fat stores and live happily ever after. That is our goal. Right?

The problem is that we try diet after diet. Never quite finding the right one. And there are so many. Which one is the right one.

They all work. We know that. At first they usually work for us. And even if they do not, we know someone whom that particular diet did work for. Or our doctor recommended it. Maybe it was that latest fad diet book we got out of the bargain bin.

So what is the missing ingredient? Is there something wrong with us? These diets are supposed to work. After all, they are not rocket science. We should be able to figure this out and make it work.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Three Phases of Exercise

What Are The Three Phases of Exercise?

Exercise Clipart

Not to be confused with the three types of exercise, but the three phases, or stages, of exercise are important for your workout to help prevent injury and to maximize the results of your workouts.

1. The warm-up 

Your warm-up should consist of some light movements to slowly bring your heart rate up from your resting rate to your active rate. Stretching, or flexibility training, can be used to get started and can be combined with range of motion exercises. These are generally low-impact and you can start out slowly and move faster as you feel your body warming and breathing rate increasing.

A good rule of thumb here is to warm-up and "stretch" the areas of the body you plan to be concentrating on in the main part of your work out. You can also use a low intensity form of your primary work out during your warm-up phase. The idea is not to start your full workout from a cold, or sedentary, condition. You should spend at least 5 minutes performing your warm-up and more time would not be remiss.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I Blog About The Dr. Oz Show

Why do I feature Dr. Mehmet Oz so much in my blogs and tweets? Because the man is worth it. He's intelligent, personable, and entertaining. The ladies like his looks. Me, yeah, he looks okay but I like the fact that he knows what he is talking about.

My first time seeing Dr. Oz was on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He was a well-spoken, intelligent man who was confidant and passionate about his topics. I am into improving my own health. I have a lifetime of poor habits to break. And Dr. Oz makes it easier to watch what could be very dry subject matter by being entertaining while being informative.
Borrowed from Pinterest

Dr. Oz uses humor, members of his audience, and featured guest experts to put on quite a show. His props are first rate. Some of his demonstrations use everyday, ordinary items while at other times he uses great videos and animations to make his point.

What really catches your eye though are some of the mock-ups Dr. Oz uses. The over-sized ones are fantastic. I wonder if he uses such props in teaching medical students? I can picture him being a very effective educator.

Have I mentioned Dr. Oz's manner of speach? His pronunciation is clear and his accent is very slight. Most may not even notice it but being a Southerner, I do detect it. Not a New England or New Yorker accent but almost. Sounds like a mid-west meets east coast kind of accent. Of course my accent is more than noticeable. Just pointing out he has a pleasant voice for presentations and television.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Old Are You Actually? Check Your RealAge!

Is it possible to become younger? The folks at RealAge definitely think so. Their Real Age Test utilizes the latest medical research to provide you with the calculated "real age" of your body. In their words, "Your RealAge is a quick scientific calculation of how young or old your body thinks you really are".

The Real Age Test has been recently updated from the original version created by Michael F. Roizen, MD to reflect the latest research. If you have previously taken the Real Age Test but not lately, have another go at it and see how your numbers go. The Test has four main areas of concern including Health, Feelings, Diet, and Fitness. Each of these areas has a very thorough questionnaire  Of course, the accuracy of the results will be affected by how truthful you are in answering every question.
Image of Dan Carroll's Real Age
My Real Age
I found the Real Age Test to be very comprehensive but was still not sure how to answer some of the questions. I may have skewed some of the answers in my favor but I don't believe I was far off the mark. And upon further reflection and a view of the results I may have skewed the results in my disfavor. When asked about your Health "Interests", it might be best to only check those item that you have a legitimate personal interest in. In other words, check those items that pertain to you personally.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm! Chicken Stir-Fry for Breakfast

Pic of chicken stir-fry
Chicken Stir-Fry
A great way to handle left-overs is to make a breakfast stir-fry. The good thing about a stir-fry is there are no hard fast rules. Fresh vegetables, frozen, or leftover veggies are all a good start. Mix and match what you have. And whatever else you have on hand when added to the mix should work.

The important key I have been told is that your pan needs to be hot; very hot. If you put rice in and it tends to stick then your pan is not hot enough. Oil helps and is necessary for most fries. But be careful you do not use too much. Two, maybe three tablespoons is generally sufficient. Do not forget to stir. After all, this is a stir-fry.

Getting Started - Again!

Pic of Dan Carroll
Dan Carroll being the Intrepid IT Professional

Here's the deal. I will turn 52 this summer. I am not in the best of shape. I am at least 50 to 60 pounds (22 to 27 kilos) overweight, possibly even more. It depends on whose guidelines you follow. More on that later. I have high blood pressure. I like to think its not that high, something the doctors call hypertension. My joints creak, my feet hurt if I stand too much or walk to far, And I used to love to walk, take long hikes and go backpacking.

And to top it all off, I have glaucoma and cataracts. Had surgery in my left eye, now the right eye is developing cataracts. Oh, and I almost forgot about the sleep apnea. So anyway, it could be worse. No diabetes. Blood sugars are generally very good. But my triglycerides are out the roof. At least they are without medication and watching what I eat. I used to be a typical Southerner and eat almost everything fried.

So, the bottom line is, I have to lose weight. And to eat better. At least my body appears to be fairly resilient. I haven't shown any signs of heart disease or other weight related maladies. Except that my breathing and sleep apnea might improve, dramatically maybe, if I lose the excess baggage. So that is the plan, lose weight and get fit. My concentration though is going to be health.

I know weight is an issue, really I do. I am an American after all and the World knows we tend to be over weight, more than the average any way. But instead on concentrating on the wieght loss and dieting, I am going to work on becoming healthier. I will exercise more, eat better, concentrate on relationships, worry less, and put it all in God's hands. Yes, I am a believer, just not as devout as some.

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