Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Achilles Heel-An Update

Back in August, I posted an entry about my recovery from several years of health issues that stemmed from an initial tear of my right Achilles Tendon.  At the time, I had finally been back on my bike and riding consistently for about two months.  I was feeling good.  I'd lost four or five pounds (I'm unsure of how much I'd really lost because I suspect I had maxed out my digital scales.)

Then, I went canoeing with my wife and daughters.

It was a nice day.  I'd taken a vacation day, it was during the work week, and it was after school had started for the fall, so we nearly had the river to ourselves.  The sun was shining.  It was hot.  Our girls were in one canoe, and Nancy & I were in the other. 

Well, I'm not particularly a skilled canoeist.

About halfway though our journey, we hit a rapids and got sideways.  Where the rapids emptied into the calmer part of the river, it sort of spilled under the calmer water, so when we hit it sideways, the rushing water flipped our boat.  In turning it back over, it filled with water.  In trying to empty a full canoe, I lifted on the side...I lifted wrong.

And, something popped out of place in my lower back.

I couldn't move for almost a week.  The pain was tremendous.  I stopped riding.  I stopped doing much of anything.  Finally, nearly a week later, whatever was pinched popped back into place, but I was still sore for several more days.

That episode interrupted my riding habit and I don't do well when a habit is interrupted.  In essence, while I have ridden occasionally since, that ended my focus on the bike for the year.

But, that wasn't the end. 

A few weeks later, I decided to spend some time focused on my diet.  Specifically, I decided to avoid most starches for at least a solid month and see if it would make any difference.  I cut out breads, potatoes, rice, and cereals.  I replaced those items with more fruits, vegetables, and meat (with a focus on chicken and fish). 

Let me just say that cutting starches is a real wake up.  You just don't know how much of that is in your diet until you decide to exclude it.  Folks, I ate a lot of it!

That little (huge) change made a difference.  I lost another couple of pounds pretty quick and dropped down to 266 pounds.  That was a good start, but the real change came about three weeks ago.

My wife introduced me to a website/app tool that I began using on my smart phone and via my laptop.  It is called My Fitness Pal.  Here's the link:

Through this little tool, I was able to set up a daily allotment of calories, and I am able to track what I eat on a daily basis.  I can either enter calories/foods manually, or I can scan bar codes on food containers with my phone.  As long as I stay under the allotted calorie goal, I lose weight.  I combined my elimination of starches with the use of this website/app, and the results are wonderful.  I've already lost another ten pounds, and am now down to 256. 

That is the lowest in three years!

For over two years, I have been unable to get below about 263 pounds no matter what I did, but those days are behind me.  We're coming up on the holidays, and that will be a challenge, but I'm going to hang with it.  I do take a day off from tracking once in a while to give myself a break and I'll have some bread or rice once in a while, but I'm going to see just how far down this will take me.  I'd love to see 210 lbs again.  I think I can do it as long as I don't get burned out or give up.  (Encouraging words help.)

If you've been stuck, this might be a good way to go.  Cut the starch, increase fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish, and track your calories on My Fitness Pal.

It's worked for far.  Wish me luck.

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