Category Archives: health

Take a deep breath …


Well, here they are. The before and after pictures (please excuse the hairy back).

After much discussion and waffling, the big event occurred just minutes ago. The hair is gone (sort of – I kept the pony tail!), and I feel great. It was quick and easy, and yes I like it.

Harriet is still adapting to the new look. She says she likes it, but is trying to get used to this new guy in the house. The dogs (bless ’em) don’t notice a thing. I still have hands to pet and feed them.

I wish I had something more clever and profound to say about all this, but I don’t. So, I’ll keep this short and just show you the documentation to prove it (I’m not that good with photoshop).

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Fitness Transform

alan_ball.JPGUntil now, I hadn’t posted anything about the weight loss & fitness changes in my life, but thanks to a posting by my trainer, this is probably a good time to mention a few things.

First, I’m not losing weight due to some illness! Recently, a friend whom I hadn’t seen for some time asked (rather cautiously) if there was some reason I’d lost so much weight. When I realized she was concerned about me, I came to the conclusion that I don’t talk about this enough (although Harriet might argue otherwise).

About 5 years ago, I decided that it was time to start making changes to my lifestyle. I was 45 years old and 266 lbs, and according to health standards, morbidly obese. So, I joined Weight Watchers (which I recommend), and two years ago I started working with a personal trainer.

Working with Mikki has drastically changed my life. Her Fitness Transform website is a great introduction to her background as a personal trainer, but now that I’ve experienced her as my trainer, I have a much greater appreciation of the depth of her knowledge about fitness and the process of getting fit.

I mean, just look at that picture. She’s got me balancing on a friggin’ ball while lifting weights. Yeah, I thought she was nuts when she suggested it, and at that point I was already used to her wacky functional training methods. But, it works. I actually enjoy that damn exercise now, and it’s not the most difficult exercise I can do. I can’t speak highly enough about her abilities and I can’t thank her enough for what she’s done for me.

So here’s my current status (yeah, it’s bragging, but after this I’ll be done): I just weighed in at 179.4 lbs; I’ve eliminated my back pain; I still eat out and enjoy a wide range of foods (although not McDonalds); I have a lot more endurance (some day I’ll talk about running stadiums), strength (dead lifting 235 lbs), and balance (the picture is just an example). There’s more, but you get the idea.

So, that’s the story. The changes are intentional, and a lot of work. But the payoff has been amazing, and I’m still (happily) working on the changes.

My trainer says “try LSD” (yay!)

Mikki, my trainer from Fitness Transform, loves to throw new terms and acronyms at me. The latest is LSD (Long Slow Distance).

Apparently, I’ve been overtraining.

No really. Who knew?

My current training schedule consist of two days of strength training (in a gym, using weights) and three to four days of cardiovascular interval training (running stadiums) per week. Oddly, I’ve come to enjoy it. And lately, I’ve been going through another anti-growth spurt, so it’s pretty effective.

However, in the last week or two, I’ve been dragging through the day. And, my workouts have been affected since I can feel myself getting tired earlier than usual. So, Mikki recommends I cut back a bit to let my body recover. Rather than stadiums, switch to LSD, and only for two days a week.

LSD is the new term for low intensity cardiovascular work, and Mikki discusses the tradeoffs between the two in another article. So I’ll go back to running around the track for several miles and see how I respond. Not as impressive as “running stadiums” but still a challenge for me.
Maybe I just need a vacation – in Malaysai!

Dinner with Diane and Laura

Diane and Laura have a lovely place in Goleta, and they’ve just finished hanging most of their artwork. It looks great. I love all the color, although I don’t know that they’re completely happy with it, yet.

Those two travel a lot, and so our usual Friday night dinner got changed to Tuesday night. Laura’s been losing weight and working out for awhile. She really looks good. Diane has just started her diet and exercise program, but she’s already noticeably changing shape. So, we had a lovely dinner of grilled salmon, rice, and salad. It was a tasty meal and fit comfortably into all of our dietary goals.

Don’t completely admire our restraint. Most of us had glasses of wine, and we finished our meal with a cordial glass of port (wonderful) and a piece of fudge. Moderation!

Fitness Transform

Okay, if you’ve known me for awhile and seen me lately, you know that I’ve lost a lot of weight and have been working out. At some point I’ll go into more details (okay, so far I’ve lost 76 pounds-but there are other changes as well!), however in this post I want to talk about my fitness trainer, Mikki Reilly.

I started losing weight with the Weight Watchers program, and it’s a great program that got me thinking about food and what I ate. But it was working with Mikki that really got me into my current shape: not just my weight, but also my strength (muscle increases metabolism), and cardiovascular capacity.

Her Fitness Transform website has a lot of information, but I really want to recommend a new article on interval training that she’s written. Interval training has been a big part of my work-out regime, so I’m a testament to its effectiveness.

You’ll also find a testamonial section that has a still somewhat embarrasing set of ‘before’ and ‘in process’ pictures of me along with my written testamonial. And yes, I need more sun!