18 Jun

Shame on you, all you naysayers and pessimists – you were sure I was just another case of “new years resolution punctured balloon syndrome” weren’t you? Well, I am not. Quite proud of myself still exercising 60 minutes per day for approximately 5 days per week. Surprisingly not losing a lot of weight anymore, but my heart rate has allowed me to increase my exercise speed gradually.

I am now on the treadmill going at speeds 0f 4.1 alternating with 4.4 mph for 30 minutes and 4.0 alternating with 4.3 mph for 30 minutes. I have nearly increased my exercise speed with 1 mph since I have started in January. My weight still hovers around 227 pounds, but more holes are being drilled in my belt! Mr. Trainer has however said not to worry about weight anymore, and also suggested to do more resistance exercise. And he introduced his new torture tool – the TRX!!

The TRX is a contraption, which is, I am sure, based on the medieval torture device as seen in the movie “Braveheart” wherein Mel Gibson is stretched until his eyes nearly protrudes out of his head ( I always expected it to be sucked inwards when you’re stretched like that.)





The TRX is apparently the way to do modern exercises as it provides aerobic and anaerobic exercise simultaneously and one is also using the core muscles and exercising them as well in the process. And,  find I out very quickly – it simultaneously provides opportunity for trembling, shivering arms and legs to someone hardly able to do a “normal” push-up – not even mentioning push-ups hanging down from 2 ropes – looking like an orphan primate which never had the opportunity to learn basic ape dangling skills. But TRX-ing I am – hopefully to my best interest.

TRX PRO Suspension Trainer     by TRX

TRX SYSTEM as available at Amazon

TRX SYSTEM as available at Amazon

TRX PRO Suspension Trainer     by TRX



20 Apr

To all the alert, awakened and concerned – I apologize – I have made a typo – I did NOT, heaven forbid, weigh 138 and 133 pounds, but indeed my more accustomed 238 and 233 pounds. I apologize for any inconvenience and … IT’S JUST GREAT for all of you who HAVEN’T noticed…


19 Apr

We are back from an incredible trip touring South Africa and parts of Southern Africa. We were gone for 3 weeks touring through this beautiful and so different part of the world. We were accompanied by a group of grade 11 students, a few parents, an auntie and even a honeymoon couple.

We had the greatest weather and enjoyed Africa’s warm sun bathing us in all it’s glory. We flew through London and after approximately 20 hours in the plane, we landed at the most southern point of Africa – Cape Town. We then followed the well known “garden route” alongside the southeastern coast line of South Africa, providing many exciting adrenaline filled experiences, including getting in a cage in the Indian ocean to watch great white sharks, jumping the highest bungee jump in the world and surfing.

We then flew to the northern part of South Africa on the way to world renowned Kruger National Park. There we spent 4 glorious days driving around in nature undisturbed as it has been thousands of years ago. We are very lucky to see the “big five” amongst many other of Africa’s wild creatures, including the very scarce wild dogs.

We then flew north again – to Livingstone in the country of Zambia. Suddenly we are in third world Africa and appreciate this part of the world. We went on a day trip to the Chobe National Park in the country of Botswana where we were entertained on an on-land safari through the park as well as a river cruise on the Chobe river after lunch. We were so fortunate to be able to ride an African elephant and even walk with lions in nature.

A big highlight was obviously one of the “seven wonders of the world” – the Victoria Falls. We then flew back to South Africa and eventually home after 3 weeks of bliss.

Exercise-wise it was really hard to exercise regularly as we were on tour and travelling nearly everyday. I managed to exercise approximately one or twice a week – at least I was able to exercise for 60 minutes, when I did.

Back home I am back to cold, snow and reality. The next morning after landing back I ignorantly decide to weigh myself and get on the scale. I expect to have gained some weight and I also notice I am quite swollen – especially my legs and feet. After getting rid of a deep breath, I get on the scale – 138.6 pounds!!!!!  I have gained nearly 10 pounds!

It seems too much – I get on the treadmill and proof to myself I can exercise for 60 minutes. I am also impressed that I am able to exercise at speeds of 3.8 and 4.1 mph respectivley.

After 2 days of sulking, exercising and forcing down untasty food, I weigh myself again – 133.6 pounds – 5 pounds lighter – which makes more sense. I have therefore gained about 5 pounds during the trip – which was worth the trip.

I keep on exercising daily and really do well maintaining 60 minutes on the treadmill at speeds of 3.8 and 4.1 and even 3.9 and 4.2 mph. On we go, and can’t wait to get on the scale next week.


15 Mar

Suddenly, I am getting worried – I wonder whether I have some sort of a disease… I feel quite well though. I check my pulse rate – it is 78 beats per minute. I look in the mirror and don’t look jaundiced. I check  my tongue which still looks healthy and pink. I don’t feel short of breath at rest and have no chest pain. No abdominal pain and my bowel movements are regular. I must be fine.

Well, perhaps the weigh loss is just because I WORK MY BUM OFF ON THE TREADMILL EVERYDAY!!!!

I get on the scale this morning. I have to weigh me a bit earlier in the week this week as we leave for South Africa tomorrow. I want to record my weight before we are going to relax for 3 weeks – and most probably gain weight again. But before I weigh myself, I make sure to empty my bladder first – I stand and wait a bit longer to make sure I get rid of every little drop hiding in my bladder adding to my weight. I get the scale ready and then blow out all the air in my lungs – who knows what that weighs… I get on the scale. And there it is – I see well even without my glasses – 228.3 pounds!!!!!!!!! I have lost 17.2 pounds. I wonder if I should make a TV ad, or start my own program. How much will I get paid?…  Our fat cat is still disgusted with me and ignores my triumphant look.

My pants are falling off of me. I can’t keep it up anymore and I have reached the last hole of my belt a few weeks ago. I have to make a plan, and what better plan than to drill extra holes in my belt. I grab my drill and drill bit. I take a tape measure and measure 3 spots 1 inch from each other. I drill 3 new holes. I fit my belt back on again – the buckle goes into the 3rd hole. I need more holes!! But, let’s wait and see what happens on the South African trip. A long piece of the end of my belt is now hanging loose without support – should I cut it off? It is late at night and I am not thinking clearly anymore – a decision for later.

But off to South Africa we go tomorrow with a group of grade 11’s and a few parents. We are going to travel through the country for 3 weeks. Looking forward to getting away from the present cold spell we are experiencing. I know I won’t loose my pants on the plane…




6 Mar

It took a while, but I think my lazy body is getting the message. It tried to hang on to all and everything hanging from  it – but is now slowly losing the battle!

I weighed myself last week and suddenly I have lost 9.3 pounds in total. I checked the scale, checked my glasses and checked the scale again – and yes – the difference remained at 9.3 pounds. I checked the scale’s batteries and they are fine – I looked around me, but no one to share my triumph with – only our fat cat whom is most probably disgusted with my weight loss. My wife is in the gym trying to loose more weight than me. I thought of taking a picture – but alas – not very visible changes yet.

So this week is the start of week 10 of exercise. I weighed myself as usual on Monday and I have lost another 2.2 pounds in the past week! A total of 11.1 pounds in 9 weeks. I wonder if there are prizes for people like me. Perhaps I should enter some sort of a competition. I still dream of that treadmill race event at the 55+ Canadian Games…

Whatever anyone says about motivation – there is no better or more satisfying motivation than success. And this week is good proof of that. I try to exercise every day for 50 minutes. It is a busy week so far though and my efforts are hampered by an unexpected Cesarean Section early Monday morning and other excuses. But I manage so far by exercising in the evening if I can’t make it in the day. I have been able to increase my walking speed to 3.7 alternating with 4.0 mph.

Well, no rest for the wicked – I have to celebrate – I am pouring myself a second glass of water…


22 Feb

I have completed 6 weeks of my training program under Mr. Trainer, and if nothing else achieved – I have persevered and I am still training vigorously. Despite age, time restraints, body habitus, snow storms, seniors in gyms, bodily harm and being married – I kept going!

But, it is time for statistics :

Weight : 240.6 from 245.5 pounds – lost 4.9 pounds

Chest : 114 from 118 cm – lost 4 cm

Waist : 113 from 117cm – lost 4 cm

BMI : 34.5 from 35.2 – lost .7 units

ABSI : 0.078 from 0.081 – lost .03 units

Walking speed : 3.6 and 3.9 mph from 3.3 and 3.6 mph – gained .3 mph

Exercise period : 50 minutes a day from 20 minutes a day – gained 30 minutes per day

The next question I ask myself is about my goals, and whether I am achieving anything. Back to research again and I found this article on goals – which makes sense :


Set SMART goals

When planning your goals, write down everything and go through all the details. When and where will you do it? How will you fit a walk into your schedule? What do you need to get started? This way you’ll be able to track your progress to see if you’re meeting your goals.

Make it measurable

For example, how far are you going to walk? For how long? How many days each week are you going to walk? Track your progress.

Review your progress each week. Were you able to successfully meet your goals last week? Think about what worked and what didn’t. Then plan for how you will reach your goals next week.

Focus on what’s attainable and relevant to you

Set goals that are within your capabilities and that take into account your limitations. Consider your personal fitness level, health concerns, available time and motivation. Tailoring your expectations to your personal situation helps you set achievable goals.

A reasonable goal for many people is losing 5 to 10 percent of current weight. It’s a good idea to plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week (0.5 to 1 kilogram) — even if your initial weight loss is a little faster in the first week or two.

Think about timing

Timing is crucial, often making the difference between success and failure. Choose a definite start date for your weight-loss program and don’t put that date off. Be sure to account for life circumstances that might hamper your efforts, such as work or school demands, vacations or relationship problems. You may need to resolve some issues before starting.

Set both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals keep you engaged on a daily basis, but long-term goals motivate you over the long haul. Your short-term goals are the stepping stones to your long-term goal.

Focus on the process

Make the most of your process goals, rather than outcome goals. “Exercise three times a week” is an example of a process goal, while “weigh 145 pounds” is an example of an outcome goal. It’s changing your processes — your daily behaviors and habits — that’s key to weight loss, not necessarily focusing on a specific number on the scale.

Plan for setbacks

Setbacks are a natural part of behavior change. Everyone who successfully makes changes in his or her life has experienced setbacks. Identifying potential roadblocks — a big holiday meal or office party, for example — and brainstorming specific strategies to overcome them can help you stay on course or get back on course.

Reassess and adjust your goals as needed

Be willing to change your goals as you make progress in your weight-loss plan. If you started small, you might be ready to take on larger challenges. Or, you might find that you need to adjust your goals to better fit your new lifestyle.


The most I get from this is to focus on the process goals, rather than the outcome goals. Good motivation for a slow progresser. Let’s drink a glass of water on the next 6 weeks…


17 Feb

Back at home and to reality … and to exercising seriously. Me and treadmobile No. 1 again.

But first – to check the effect of Las Vegas buffet meals, Herman and Theresa’s home cooking meals, Bruce’s scrumptious breakfasts and Tex-Mex quisine on my very accepting body. And alas, I weigh 241.9 pounds – I have gained 1.7 pounds despite snowstorms, exercising with senoirs, beach walks and serving a demanding wife!!

I go on Mr. Treadmobile wondering what speed my heart is going to allow. When I left home I was able to walk at speeds of 3.4 alternating with 3.7 miles mph. In Las Vegas and Phoenix I had to walk at speeds of 4.0 and 4.3 miles per hour to maintian the same heart rate. Which I can only contribute to either altitude, or the effect my relaxed wife has on me…

I start walking and my heart rate settles down in the 140’s at speeds of 3.5 and 3.8 mph. Which is lower than in Vegas and Phoenix? But, I have become fitter on my own treadmill’s standards! That extra weight must be muscle mass again… I looked up the altitudes of my home town, Las Vegas and Phoenix and they are (in feet) :  2 125; 2 030 and 1 722 respectively. NOT really a big difference. So, my wife must be the culprit!

I do some research on exercise and altitude – and found these sites, and there is conflicting information :

Cardiac output during muscular exercise was estimated by the acetylene technique on four members of the Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering expedition 1960–1961 at sea level and 5,800 m (19,000 ft). Heart rates during light and moderate exercise were higher than the rates observed at the same work intensity at sea level. The maximum heart rate during exercise was limited to 130–150 beats/min compared with 180–196 beats/min at sea level. The stroke volume at altitude was lower than at sea level at each work rate. On breathing oxygen at sea-level pressure, heart rate for a given work intensity was reduced; but the maximum heart rate increased. Indirect evidence suggested that maximum cardiac output increased but probably not to the sea-level values because of the increased hemoglobin and lower heart rate.


I posed this question to Dr. Bill who responded: “Heart rate (HR) at altitude is less by 5% for each 5000 ft above where you live and train. Most of us living below 2000 ft have a 20.9-21% oxygen level where we live, but at some of the peaks near Leadville the O2 saturation level can be 25% less. Without normal oxygen saturation the heart rate max level may simply not be reached.



At altitude, there is reduced air resistance, suggesting an advantage in activities involving speed, i.e. sprints. The force of gravity is reduced, suggesting an advantage where relative and maximum strength is critical.

Some of the immediate effects of exposure to altitude are increased breathing rate, increased heart rate, giddiness, nausea, headache, sleeplessness and decrease in VO2 max. For every 300 metres above 1000 metres VO2max decreases by approximately 2.6%. The total effect of these adjustments is a reduction of work capacity.

For short term training at altitude, the various benefits associated with it can be offset by other fundamental drawbacks such as are poor facilities, strange diet, different surroundings and homesickness. Benefits must be weighed against these limitations, plus those created by time change and problems in travelling to the training venue.

My comments :

-Poor facilities – perhaps with “did you clean your machine lady”

-strange diet – no, just lots

-different surroundings – yes

-homesickness – NO

I am still investigating this matter – will perhaps contact a physiologist and see what they say.

In the mean time back to work and exercise and cold weather – longing back to those days in the warmer sun…