Monday, September 10, 2012

The Debate...

Last week I was seen by my new cardiac electrophysiology doctor.  He was talking to me about my heart condition and my defibrillator.  While we were talking the subject of being able to run and jog came up.  I told him I wish I would be able to run, as a kid I really could not run because of my heart.  Nor could I jog for that long either. I would quickly become winded and my heart would start to race.  However, now that I have lost all this weight and am on medicine that eliminates the tachycardia heart beats (as long as I don't miss a dose) it crosses my mind often just how great it would be to be able to go for a run.

It's a long shot but I'd absolutely love to do a half marathon.  I look back and wonder just how much of my issues I had as a kid was from asthma.  I never did get checked for asthma, but my parents were both smokers and I would rate my chances pretty high.

The debate is do I chance having my defibrillator going off.  I have a been shocked, I know that at least two of the times I was shocked I am pretty sure I was not taking my medicine regularly like I should have been.  I know that as long as I am taking my medicine on a regular basis I should not have to deal with the tachycardia, that on top of as long as my heart rate does not go to 220 my defibrillator will not go off.      I have a watch that comes with a chest strap that monitors my heart rate continually.

So this is where the debate comes in, do I want to just not even risk it because of my past experiences, or do I want to take the chance?  My plan is to start walking, then speed walk, then speed walk/jog, jog, jog/run, and then run.  I'm just not sure if I'd be able to let myself try.  I will keep everyone updated on which way I end up going, if anyone has suggestions or knowledge of my situation and others who have done what I desire to do please share.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Feeling Better but new problem

Since being diagnosed officially with depression I am starting to feel better and feel like I am able to do more.  However, with my living situation and not being able to really establish any type of routine or exercise regimen.  I know that I need to start exercising again and I hope to get there soon.  It's just going to take time, dedication, and being able to create some sort of schedule.

However, now there is a new problem, for the first time in years I was able to get my blood drawn.  I got the test results back yesterday and for the most part everything tested out just where it should.  My cholesterol was good, my good cholesterol was good, but my bad cholesterol was too high, including for having heart disease.

So it looks like I have to start a new diet.  Not only do I have to cut the carbs out of my diet, I'm going to need to cut down on one of my favorite foods... Cheese.  Basically everything that has saturated fat in it, I'm going to need to cut down on.  Red meat and cheese are the biggest influences in my diet.     I don't mind cutting out the red meats, I've been doing that for a year now, eating more turkey meat than anything else.  Cheese is going to be the hardest one.

I'll keep you all updated on how this goes, I need to lower that cholesterol, I don't need to have a heart attack anytime soon.  It's bad enough to know that soon I need to have another surgery to replace my battery in my pace maker soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Facing Depression

So yesterday I went to an actual family doctor for the first time in years.  I went to talk about a rash I have had on my right arm for years and wanting to finally get it taken care of now that I finally have insurance.  While there I also wanted to get a general health care check up as well, while looking at my new patient paper she noticed that I have been having trouble with grief as of late.  After talking for a few minutes about my father she wanted to know if there has been anything else that has been going on.  I explained to her about losing my best friend back in September to murder and my second mother at the same time.  Then to top that off while all this recent stuff has been going on we are moving, buying a home, and just had our fourth child born.  Needless to say the diagnosis wasn't too hard to figure out.

So now I am hoping that the meds I have been prescribed will help me control my aggravation.  On top of that they should allow me to regain some of my energy and motivation that I have been lacking since the loss of my father.

This battle has been harder then the battle to lose the weight it seems.  I'm now up two more pounds and really struggling to regain my motivation to start losing weight again.  Well see if things change soon, I hope they do.  I know what I have to do, but knowing and being able seem to still be far apart.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012


*First off as a personal note, not once when I started writing this did I ever think I'd have over 4,000 views. I'd like to say thank you to everyone and if I have just helped motivate one person that is such a blessing.  Secondly I'd like to say thank you to Karen O'Dell, she has helped me look back at my past blogging and realize just how important my weight and health are to my family.  I'd also like to say thank you to my wife, my life would never have had changed so dramatically if not for her.*

With everything that has been going on it got me thinking about a week ago.  I reflected back on just when was it my dad's health took a turn for the worse and how was I going to make sure that it does not happen to me?

My dad at the age of 37 had his first heart attack.  When I actually think about that it's crazy to realize that I am 29, only 8 years from when my dad had his first heart attack.  My father passed away at the age of 54, my Grandfather at the age of 46, my Uncle David passed when he was 54, lastly my Uncle Larry passed away when he was 57.  Each one of them having a different heart complication that helped end their lives prematurely.

Now I don't want you to think that each one of them where unhealthy due to their own decisions, none of us are perfect but many people live way beyond what they had the opportunity to.  There are many people out there who are way unhealthier but are blessed with stronger hearts.

What I have to take out of this however is the fact that heart troubles run rampant in my family.  With that knowledge and  the knowledge that I already have congenital heart disease, I have to watch out for myself for my families sake.  First step I need to take is to get pass the depression, turn what happened to my father into a strength and allow myself to use what has happened as a learning tool.   I also know that I need to keep making my father proud.  Being told by him that he was proud of me was like a life's achievement.  Now I need to make sure I keep it that way.

So, today I weighed in at 195, I want to get down to 170 if not a little lower, get rid of the pouch on my front and finish what I started.  Wish me luck.   I will keep you all updated.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Trying to get there

The past two mornings I have been up since 6 am.  One reason is to take Danny and allow Kate to sleep a little bit longer, until I go to work.  However, the second reason has been to go for a daily walk while pushing Danny in the stroller.  The second part has not been working out too well.  Here I am dressed, but with no motivation to put on my jacket, let alone walk out that door.

I don't know if it has to do with the fact that Danny is sleeping and I don't want to disturb him, or if it is the fact that I just don't have the motivation period.  I'm trying to find my desires again to work out, but I think I do understand where the lack of desire is coming from.  However, knowing where the problem stems from, and being able to overcome that problem are two different things.

The fact of the matter is, and honestly I'm not sure if this is truly the real reason, but it is the main thing I can think of.  The fact is I was working out when I got the call, the call I never wanted to hear.  While working out on weights is when my Mom called me, telling me that the CT scan of my dads brain was not good at all and that they don't expect him to live much longer.  I quickly dropped the weights, turned off the tv and ran upstairs to get Kate.  I then ran back downstairs and called the doctor myself to see if maybe my Mom was wrong.  Sadly, she was not wrong, the doctor informed me of what had happened and told me to come quick to say my goodbyes.

I know in the end that this may well be just an excuse, but it is very difficult to overcome that thought.  I pray soon that I'm able to overcome the road block.  Very soon, so this does not get out of hand.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Loss of motivation

First off I want to apologize for not my previous segment.  These past two months have been very hard on me.  My diet has taken a hit, although not as bad as it could be.  However, it seems like I have lost all motivation to my diet and workout routines.  No longer am I really watching what I'm eating, in fact a few days back I ate something that I previously would have passed up on.  I can't seem to control myself right now when eating foods I should avoid like pizza.  Sure that shouldn't be too bad once in a while, however I'm again in the funk of not knowing when to stop and eating past being full.

Losing my father May 21st has been devastating.  I'm extremely happy to have the gospel in my life and have religion so strongly in my life.  Honestly, if it was not for having those in my life I don't know how I would of handled losing two of the closest people in my life in just an 8 month span.  I have a feeling it would have involved drinking, sleeping, and just not doing much.

I'm hoping to come out of this funk soon, I keep trying to motivate myself to get back to working out and eating right.  I'm only at 192 so I have not taken too big of a hit.  I have to make sure however that this does not get out of control.  It is hard, it is real hard.  I'm thankful for my wife and kids who keep me active, but it has to turn around and I need to start eating for health again.  Easier said then done, we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why are packaged/frozen dinners so bad? (Part I)

As discussed yesterday I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons I was overweight as a kid had to do with the packaged/frozen dinners that were staples in my family.  Sure these dinners were convenient, fast, and cheap, but at what cost?  Next we will look at the most harmful ingredients that come in these meals.  Just as a side note, I know that we need a few of these ingredients in our daily lives, but the amount that are added to these foods are way more than needed.

As many of you who know me know, I hate salt.  I do not put much of it on my food, if any.  I also try my hardest to avoid high amounts in any food.  To put how much salt is in these dinners let's think first of the fact that we are only suppose to have 2300 mg of sodium a day according to the FDA.  Although doctors and other researchers say you don't need more than 1500mg a day.  Now lets look at how much one serving of good ole Hamburger Helper has.

For just one serving (which there are four in the box) the amount of sodium is 913 mg, and to be honest who is going to be full on just one serving?  That is over 60 percent of what you need daily in just one serving of food! Did you know that most of us eat between 4 and 6 grams of sodium in a day?!?

So why is too much salt bad? First thing too much salt will do is allow your body to retain more water than what is needed, which adds weight to your body which in turn makes your heart work that much harder.  High salt has also been linked to higher blood pressure in patients.

Tune in tomorrow for ingredient number 2!