Archive for March, 2014

Obesity… Who Is To Blame?

March 31, 2014

ObesityWell how did I get here? Before I continue let me tell you I intend for this to be blunt. If you are overweight with thin skin you may want to skip this article. You will skip this article if you can’t handle the truth. Well the truth is how I see it. Obesity it a curse on humanity. Many folks who are overweight have excuses, in fact I think MOST people who are obese have many excuses. It’s a thyroid imbalance, I recently quit smoking, I’m an emotional wreck, my love partner dumped me <politically correct?>, I’m big boned, dieting doesn’t work on me, my medications are to blame. OK here comes that blunt message I was talking about. YOU <me too> ARE FAT BECAUSE YOU EAT TOO MUCH FOR YOUR LEVEL OF EXERCISE. There, it’s out now. The dirty little secret that everyone knows but can’t seem to come to grips with. It’s the elephant in the room! When I say everyone I mean everyone who is a fat ass like me. I used some of those excuses myself but not one of them affected any change in my size. So one day just for shits and giggles I stepped on the scale and it registered a HUGE number and I said to myself, “How in the hell did I get here”? So I know that when I quit smoking it had an effect because in a short few weeks food TASTED better so I ate more. My job had evolved into a more sedentary one so my exercise level dropped while my food intake increased. That there my friends is exactly how I got there!

Let me start at my beginning. When I was a kid I was “husky” but seriously I wasn’t fat, hell I was running everywhere. I would run through the woods and run or walk for miles. When I think back on my childhood I was always on the go. I watched TV when my parents said I could. Otherwise I was playing outdoors no matter what the weather was with few exceptions. Rain probably was the only weather we avoided playing outdoors especially if it was a thunderstorm. Other than that we played outdoors. Outdoor play involved a lot of physical activity. As a teenager I was out with my friends or working, all of which involved physical activity. Food was never an issue so I developed bad habits about eating that back then had little affect but later on would (will) be the death of me. I went in the U S Navy and boot camp was good and so was my Engineman A-school training. Then came Submarine basic education and I was still good. After I completed all of that I got assigned to the USS Sea Owl SS405 out of New London, CT. I don’t blame the Navy but my exercise level dropped off dramatically and it’s easy to get lazy. I’ve now been out of the Navy for over 40 years and my weight has fluctuated up and down over the years through my personal and professional life I always managed to stay in good enough shape to do what was expected of me. I had a 20 year 2nd career as a Paramedic/firefighter and near the end of it I was having trouble maintaining a “reasonable” level of health and weight.

I quit smoking and my doctor said of my weight gain, “you are better off fat and a nonsmoker than to be a smoker.” To some degree I can see his point BUT giving up smoking to just replace it with morbid obesity was not a very good trade off. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Long story short the radiation treatment table had a weight limit and I was over it. Shit, I had to lose weight just to get radiation treatment to battle cancer. I began to see the light. I did South Beach Diet for long enough to get through the radiation treatments. But as time went on my weight continued to go back up and then that day I stepped on the scale  as mentioned above was the last straw. I couldn’t exercise because I was in sad shape, bad knees, ankles and feet. So I had to start out with diet only. I did Nutrisystem for about 8 weeks. I lost weight but it was expensive and boring with very little variety. My daughter suggested Weight Watcher and I decided that since I had everything to lose I should give it a try. So without getting into nitty gritty details about their plan suffice to say it is working. Next week it will be one year since that “Oh Shit” moment when I stepped on the scale and changed my life. I have lost more than 55# and will continue to use the plan and will add more exercise that will hopefully accelerate my losses to meet my more aggressive goal of losing a total of 100# by Labor Day 2014.

So the answer to the question, Who is to blame? We are to blame. IT IS MY OWN FAULT! I let myself get lazy and did not cut back on food intake to compensate for the lack of exercise activity. I don’t need a bunch of psychobabble to tell me why I am a fat ass. This is very simple. If you want to lose weight eat less or increase your level of activity; even better, do both! Don’t wait to lose weight, it only gets harder as you get older.

Consider these Pink Floyd lyrics:

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Land of Lincoln to Become Land of the Freed Felons?

March 27, 2014

freeSo it was on the news in Illinois that there is consideration being given to letting prisoners out who have been in prison at least 25 years and are at least 50 years old go free on parole.

Story by 89 WLS Reporter Bill Cameron (CHICAGO) In Springfield, a very controversial bill that would allow aging murderers and other violent felons to go free has been recommended by an Illinois House committee. The idea is to let inmates who are at least 50-years-old and have been behaving in prison ask for parole after they’ve served 25 consecutive years. Proponents argued convicts can and do change… The committee did recommend the bill on a vote of four-to-three with the help of indicted State Representative Lashawn Ford, chairman of the committee.

So is this is a cost saving measure or an overcrowded prison issue, or both? Think of this, you have a family member who is brutally murdered, the killer is arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole. Or a serial killer is sentenced to multiple life sentences with no chance for parole. Your sister is raped and the guy goes away for life. Now fast forward 25 years and they are changed people. They have been rehabilitated to become productive citizens and are turned loose on society.

How many of them would find themselves back in court being tried for the same type of crime 10%, 5%, what number are you comfortable with? We are talking about some 800 possible releases from Illinois prisons. If only 5% repeat their crimes that’s at least 40 new victims. Is that acceptable to you? It is NOT acceptable to me.

My answer to the problem is 180° from this solution. Bring back the death penalty with a mandatory appeal process not to exceed 2 years. The majority of Liberals say a death penalty does not deter crime, has no effect. Even if we assume that to be true, it would help to eliminate the cost of  housing these scumbags and our prison population would come back to a manageable number.

Also, look at the sentencing guidelines and instead of long prison terms being handed out for non-violent crimes make them shorter. They will get the message in 5 years just as well as in 10 years and if not they would find themselves back in prison if they fall back to their old tricks. But with the violent crimes we as a society can not take that chance as it is a real life or death situation.

Bring back the public execution such as hanging or firing squad. This would have a chilling affect on potential criminals more so than a prison term or the death penalty. Having a death penalty is a joke unless society is willing to be ruthless and follow through. If after a conviction you can’t prove your innocence in 2 years then you are not innocent and it’s lights out.

Irritants

March 25, 2014

Did you ever have one of those days that waScreen Shot 2014-03-25 at 6.34.20 PMs filled with irritants? That’s how my day was today (so far). Woke up and the dogs had me hemmed in and it was like walking through a mine field to not step on them. They were reluctant to go out and once out didn’t want to come back in. It had snowed yet again and everything was white. It was cold and windy on top of that. Got ready to go to work and had to go back into the house twice because I kept forgetting things. My backup hard drive at work decided it wasn’t going to cooperate with my desire to update my backed up files. I eventually had to replace it. The consultant from Siemens arrived late but then that job went smoothly (a singular bright spot). Two rush jobs later I was on my way home from work. Let the dogs out and went to get them lunch… out of food. So I made a trip to the pet store to stock up again. Fed them lunch, fixed some tea and decided to play a game of Zynga Poker (Texas Hold’em). Hummed along until I went all in on a nut flush and got beat by a full house. Deep breath, went to watch a little TV an saw the latest episode of “The Followers” (and found it irritating). Went back to the computer and checked Facebook. Didn’t like my profile picture so I took another selfie. I really didn’t like it any better and my wife commented on it which confirmed that it sucked. So…. I took a shower. Played a second game of Texas Hold’em and this time I won. Things may have finally taken a turn for the better.

Now I’m waiting patiently for my wife to return from work and have a nice dinner with her. Maybe we can settle in and watch a little TV and chit chat until sleep time and get up and do it all again. Wouldn’t have it any other way!

If They Come For Your Guns…

March 24, 2014
Stand-Your-Ground

Our Forefathers Fought for Our Rights

We tend to shoot off our mouths but when push comes to shove can we really pull the trigger? In Connecticut this is being put to the test and I’ve been following it in the media. Unfortunately, most of the media has a left leaning bias so there is a lot of misinformation at best and outright lies at worse about this news item. Recently I received an email with an article that was written over a year ago (January, 2013) by a fellow named Dean Garrison. You can read it here. But the gist of it is that we American citizens must come to the realization that we are a constitutional republic not a democracy. This article points out that we have a right to defend our freedoms because it is spelled out in the constitution. There is a procedure to change the constitution, no President or Congressperson can pass legislation that contradicts it. If they come to me as a law abiding legal gun owner to take my guns away I have a choice, surrender my freedom or NOT. That not might mean I must defend myself from the government. This is exactly what the framers of the constitution had in mind. I encourage you to verify for yourself as I did that Mr. Garrison is a real person with a valid point. You may even want to go so far as to consult a real constitutional lawyer (Obama is not one). We the people need to wake up, our freedoms are being slowly taken away. You can find dozens of cute little quotes about this but at the end of the day are you really willing to allow our government to destroy our freedoms for the so-called security they claim to offer? The question needs to be answered by every American, gay, straight, black, white or anyone else in the spectrum of American humanity. Are we so weak as to simply shrug our shoulders and say, “what can you do?” Defend the constitution my friends, Obama isn’t and neither is congress. If they were, Obama would have been impeached by now. Stop being that low information voter you keep hearing about. Look in the mirror and make sure it isn’t you. Once they come to your door and want to take your guns then it’s too late, then it’s “game on”!

One of those cute little quotes: “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

How I lost 55# In Less Than A Year

March 22, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 3.43.50 PMAt some point some of us (the fat ones) need to take a serious look at how we got to where we are. I don’t need the FLOTUS to dictate what I should or should not eat and how much exercise I should get. That my friends is one of my God given rights. It’s called freedom, duh! So given that I have free will, I have over indulged for a long time and that habit has cost me some intangibles. It has also taken a few days, months or maybe years off my life. I always say that given my choices in my life, I would be lucky to live to 50. Well here I am, still on the green side of the grass at age 64. So how did I lose 55# in less than a year (49 weeks to be exact)? Well I stepped on the scale one day and my thoughts were “holy shit, that’s not possible”.

I knew I had to get it heading in the opposite direction. But how? I’m lazy, but smart enough to find the path of least resistance so I signed up for Nutrisystem and yes I lost weight and yes it was relatively easy but it was boring and hard to justify the expense (not cheap). The one positive thing it did teach me, however, was “portion” control. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you burn more calories than you put in you will lose weight and conversely the pounds will add up. So after about six weeks on that plan I switched to Weight Watchers Points Plus online (no meetings). I always thought that this was strictly for women. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. They have a plan for men different from the one for women. Now I had total flexibility to eat “normal” food. I just needed to learn how to use the points properly. The learning curve was to take what was on my plate and convert it to points. It wasn’t really hard and my daughter was very helpful in educating me on the ins and outs of going through the week staying within my points and not feeling hungry all the time. The first few weeks I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat because I was super conservative with my points usage. But as I learned the ropes I became more and more comfortable with the system. Now I can go to a restaurant with all the confidence in the world that I’ll find something good to eat that is also low in points.

Now my pants are fitting looser (I don’t have abs like the picture yet). I know I’m making progress and that fact encourages me to keep going. Now that I’m a little lighter on my feet and the weather is beginning to improve I am hoping to get more exercise which may help to accelerate the weight loss process. So that is how I did it. Not magic, no surgery, no special pill or elixir. Just a little self-control and a plan. The key to success for me is to plan ahead, not beyond a day but plan the day, even before breakfast, so you know what you are doing. We generally go out for dinner on Monday after work so I make sure to have a supply of points at the ready. It’s not difficult and I’m not starving myself. If I want Pizza I can have it but it might mean a smaller lunch or no snack after dinner. Choices, always choices, but at least for now I live in a place that the choices are mine and the Weight Watcher plan allows a lot of flexibility for those choices.

Welcome Blog Reader

March 21, 2014

photo (4)

So today is the first day of Spring and the weather was reflective of that with the temperature near 60. I had dropped my personal website and blog at the beginning of the year and today finally got around to resurrecting my old wordpress blog. I cleared out the crap that was in here and started fresh. With the political season upon us I’m sure you will see a rant or two <or more> from me on these pages. If you don’t like my point of view say so and express your point of view in the comments but be polite (or as polite as I am)! OK got to sleep now. Happy reading!