Thursday, September 27, 2012


I've written a lot about my diet, eating issues and food, probably too much and more than anyone really cares to read. To most it's boring, but to me it's simple, it's an out from all the frustration I have. It's called journaling, and here's is public.

So, what's new? Not much, but I thought I would describe the foods I can eat, experiment with and simply can't eat, so far anyone, but then it's somewhat incomplete and inaccurate because many foods on the can't eat I stopped eating months, if not years, ago, so I don't know anymore if I still can't eat them, but I'm not interested in testing it.

Ok, onward with the description.

To begin with the recommendation from the Gastroenterologist was to add reducing the intake, or more so avoiding, FODMAP's, the newly discovered class of foods which contributes to food problems for people with IBS.

This is on top my existing restrictions, which are the following.

For one, dairy products. It's restricted to lactose-free, non-fat milk, some hard cheeses, namely Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, and similar ones because I love the taste. This means no soft cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. So, it's just one type of milk and a few cheeses.

Alternatives are soy, almond, and other based milk-like products which I've tried because I still haven't acquired a taste yet.

For another, gluten free grains and really less grains and carbohydrates. I'm not gluten intolerant, but it's more about the grains than the glutens which restricts myself with a lot of grain-based foods. To date I can tolerate one type of local bakery bread and Ritz crackers.

This means no bakery product too, like cookies, cake/cupcakes, pies, rolls, buns, etc. This means no cereal except a very few (see below for stuff found in cereals or other grains).

For another, no beef, no lamb and occasional poultry. Limited fish and seafood, my favorite foods which includes salmon, tunafish and shrimp. A few types of pork, namely sandwich ham and one type of locally produced bacon.

For another, no eggs except cooked or baked into products. For now anyway. I love egg dishes for breakfast and that's out for awhile.

For another, vegetables are simple, carrots and tomatoes, and occasional potatoes or potato chips.

For another fruits are equally simple, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, oranges.

For another, really simple, no nuts, no seeds, no whole grains, none but a few green vegetables and no leafy vegetables.

For another, no carbonated drinks (hate them anyway), no fruit juices (artificial sugar or flavors),

For another, only one spice, salt. Nothing else or with caution. No artificial sweetener ending in "ol" in the name.

Food I haven't tried and are untested in some time, rice, oats (oatmeal), quinoa and tapioca.

Food I miss a lot are pizza, roast chicken, turkey, stuffing, most soups, many fresh fruits, many fresh vegetables, any egg dish, cupcakes, cookies, pies, rice dishes (eg. Rice-A-Roni), and on and on.

You get the picture. Yeah, sucks but it's better than some people I've known. And it's still food and a diet I like eating what I can, so it's not that I hate eating, I love eating and am always hungry. I just don't get a variety of choices.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Difference

The only difference between bulimia and obseity is that once eaten the food takes different path to leave the body. This means while the obvious difference between the two is what happens after they eat, it's the eating itself, namely the why, which isn't different. They are the same, only the people experience them are different.

Let's not focus on the symptoms and the condition, but on the people. That's where the answers lie, not in the act, but the heart and mind. The act is the same cry, the same thoughts, emotions and feelings, but it's for different reasons. That's where we should help.

I'm not either, but I've had feelings of both, I just didn't express it to be obvious.

I was always chided as a child for being small, but also not athletic and fit, in others words secret for "you're fat", or at least how I saw myself from all their words. I have some solid German stock in my genes, being half German and half English, and have always had some fat on my body.

And no matter how hard I tried through running, hiking, biking and weight training I never lost the fat and never felt good about myself. And being compared to others by my parents and then seeing it school only excerbated it. This has only magnified with age and of late with the digestive condition and now the Siatic nerve problems.

I know I can't begin to fully understand someone with an eating issues to be bulimic or obese, somehow I always stop short of binging and then throwing up or eating where I can't stop or want to stop. I've always had senses to stop short of either.

But it doesn't change the thoughts, feeling and emotions. They're the same, just the extent, intensity and severity changes, and I know not much separates me from them. It never goes away as my feeling of being hungry and afraid to eat for what it would do and I would do.

It's why we're all the same, food and our body are the enemy, something to hate. It only depends how we express it and how it expresses itself on us.

Monday, September 24, 2012

This Says it All

This (click here or on images above) says it all about me. Scary thought looking back these 63 years now, but it's who I am. I took the Briggs-Meyers test in the early 1980's. It explained a lot then and still does, just in more detail.

Living a Lie

The lie is alive but not doing so well of late. The truth is also alive and getting better. When the truth becomes greater than the lie, the life becomes the truth and not the lie. We're all on some journey between the two, it just depends which direction we're going and where we are between them.

For me, who knows. I certainly don't at this point. Lies live because of fear. Not fear of the truth, but fear of the reality. We see the reality, we just don't want to live it, so a lie is the comfort, seemingly safe but deceptively painful.

In the end, it's not about overcoming the fear, but finding balance to live with it and live through any pain from living the truth in the face of reality. It is always harder and more painful as well as more rewarding and fulfilling.

That's the balance, knowing the lie and not letting it mean anything anymore, and facing the truth and seeing the reality, and living your life from there.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm a fall and spring person. I love the fall and the first rainstorms. To hear the rain, from gently falling on the roof to pounding it so loud you can't sleep and feel it's coming through the roof any second. I love the fall for the change of the weather, especially from the heat of summer into the cool fall evenings and the chill in the morning.

But as everyone here in the Pacific Northwest, while we love the newness of fall and rain into the winter, we tire of the persistence of it for the next 6 months, and not just welcome the nice days but cherish the days of sunshine and warmth.

When I lived in Bellingham, north of Seattle near the Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia, there was a period longer than a month we didn't see the sun. Not once as the eye of every storm came over the city with just overcast and occasional rain and snow. But no sun.

I loved Bellingham for the summers and hated it for the winters. Here I love the fall through the winter and into the spring. I tolerate most the winter and love the few days we get snow which stays for a few days. I have difficulty with the long periods of storms, one after another, bring clouds and rain for days, into weeks.

Part of this is because I used to work in it. I spent weeks on field trips in the Olympics where all I got was rain. I never felt dry even with the best rainsuit, which I always had. My hands never dried out. My rainsuit and boots were always wet on the outside.

We used rite-in-the-rain notebooks and papers so our field notes were never a problem, but all the equipment and all the stuff got rained on and wet. I didn't miss it when I moved to an office job and now still don't miss it in retirement because I can choose when I go out in the rain and when I come back in.

And now, late September, it's nice to feel the cool evening, to sleep with the weight of blankets over you, and to wake up to the chill of the morning. For now, I know what's coming, but I'll take what is. That's enough to end the summer.

Monday, September 17, 2012

So True

I read this post from Jackie:


forced physical activity in school isn’t what helps kids be healthy

physical activity that is at their skill level and their comfort level is what keeps them healthy

forcing every kid, regardless of skill level, size, and muscle to do shit like run the mile in 6 minutes or less and criticizing them when they can’t do it is as fucking stupid as refusing to let kids have any physical activity in school at all"

Yeah, so true for me. The high school I went to required Physical Education for all sophomore students and all students were expected to pass with a C or better, or retake it.

Well, being the second shortest and smallest boy in my class, it's clear I wasn't up to this class in any manner because the teacher (Mr. McGuire, yeah strange you remember the names of some people you hated) set the minimum for the average boy in class, and being on extreme end of the curve, I was a dismal failure.

This is because I was just too short and small. I tried but at 4'11" and 95 lbs, it didn't matter how hard I tried and I succeeded for me, I failed any of the tests. It didn't matter the exercise or sport. It didn't matter the number of times I tried.

About halfway into the fall Mr. McGuire took me aside and said that if I tried out for the wresting team,  which he coached, he'd give me a passing grade no matter what I did in class. He said this because the team didn't have anyone in the lowest weight class. Yeah, you get the picture.

Well, I refused and he gave me a D for the year, but the school saw the reason and let it go. I went on, however, to play intramural basketball and played on the tennis practice squad. I played sports and did ok for me, but not necessarily for the "normal" curve.

And that's the real point here she's making. Using rules and standards for all students doesn't work and only opens the door to emotional or mental issues for those who fail and see failure as themselves and not the school.

In the end I hated physical activity, but later became a runner, hiker and occasional mountain biker. Now the pinched Siatic nerve has narrowed that to walking, but I learned through myself how much I need physical exercise.

The school didn't teach me that, nor did I learn it in school. Life taught me. Something school usually misses.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I had an appointment with a new gastroenterologist yesterday. The first gastroenterologist I had did two colonoscopies over a 5 years period, one for a baseline in 2005 and the second one in 2010 for the digestive problems, but in the end she didn't diagnose anything.

She was dismissive of suggestions I had from my experience and condescending when I asked questions, and unless the problem was obvious, she couldn't say anything. Iin the end she put my problems off to symptoms of age, diet and IBS.

Yeah, like I needed to hear that. Anyway, I got a second gastroenterologist who actually is very good. He's complete and honest with answers and explanations, answers questions fairly and treats patients like real people.

Anyway, we still don't have answers to the problem, in part because it's kinda' faded away after the Siactic nerve issue which suggests it was related to the back and spine problems, and likely nerves. But we got closer to finding what doesn't help, and hurts or excerbates problems.

And that's where diet comes in. After listing the foods I can eat and the foods I've tried but don't work, he said besides being food sensitive, I'm also likely sensitive to FODMAP's. It makes sense doing some homework (they're mailing me more information).

So, that's the new plan, a more restrictive diet where I limit foods not on the approved list. And the approved list? Well, it's short, very short. Like?

Well, for starters, lactose-free non-fat milk or other type of milk-like product which doesn't have lactose. After that it's some hard cheeses, namely the one I like, eg. Gouda, Edam, Cheeder, etc. No other dairy products except in small amounts, but none with any probiotics, which causes bad reactions.

The fruits are bananas, oranges, and some berries, but none with seeds. The vegetables are carrots, and nothing green or leafy. No starches save one brand each of potato chips and corn chips, meaning no spices besides salt.

Meat is some seafood, some fish but mostly canned Salmon and Tuna fish, some brands of sandwich ham, and occasional poultry, eg. chicken, but only organic. Nothing name or store brands (eg. Safeway).

Outside of that, at least I get a favorite, creamy peanut butter and jam, but only on Ritz crackers and one type of bread from a local bakery. All other grains, breads, crackers, etc. aren't acceptable. On the exclusion list are eggs of any sort, unless in mixes, nuts or anything with nuts, and nothing with spices.

That said, I live a lot on protein drinks and snacks, often combination of the above. I eat snack sized meals 4-5 times a day because I can't eat a large meal anymore. I'm lucky I like the diet but occasionally get hungry for variety which is why once or twice I week I have food experiment meals.

The problem is that not only is the digestive system food sensitive, the small intestine is sensitive to roughage and foods which often causes bleeding. Yeah, you can see the issue, I need food to eat but food is also my enemy.

As a result I haven't eaten in a fast food or take-out restaurant in years let alone a real restaurant with real freshly prepared food. They don't have anything I can eat, which means I take my food with me everywhere I go and only go to cafes for coffee.

Makes for an interesting life around food.

Being Thin

When I was 18 years old and just out of high school I was 5' 11" and 125 lbs with a 28" waist. Then I joined the service and in basic training gained 35 lbs and went to a 32" waist. I added another 15 lbs over the years and adding 2-3" in my waist. Today I'm 5' 9" (yes, age shrinks your height) and 170 lbs with a 34" waist.

And I hate myself and my body. I've always wanted to be thin, again, and hate I never will be thin ever again. There was a time I remember, and that's all it is anymore, a memory long distant in time, but still fresh as yesterday. Oh, to be thin again. I can dream but not hope.

That's because running which I did 3-4 times a week just a few years ago is just a plan as the disgestive system problems has left my over weight and my Siactic nerve has left my left leg numb from above the knee to the ankle.

So any plans, and hope, to return to running is distant, but I'm walking now toward returning to running sometime when I can physically do it. The common sense rule is that you can run at a slow-to-moderate pace about half the distance you walk, so who knows.

Even getting back to my weight 6 years ago of 160-165 lbs when I retired is just an idea, but what else do you have. It's the old adage when you wake up, you can get better or get worse, your choice, but you can stay the same.

Not at 63 years old, but it's the only choice I have, better or worse, but getting older isn't a choice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Well, the walking exercise is getting better after the Siactic nerve problem which virtually disabled me for the entire month of July and much of August with a bum right leg where the front of the leg was numb from above the knee to the toes and hurt when I walked very far.

By late August I was walking short distances, say a quarter mile, before the leg hurt then and afterward.  Last week, however, I decided to try something and walked 2.5 miles on the Ruston Way park walk/bike way along the waterfront in Commencement Bay. And Saturday I got up to 3.5 miles.

This week, Monday and today (Wednesday) I got it up to 4.5 miles, which is the two mile length plus the quarter mile up the hill to and from the car. The walkway is flat along the waterway, and there is room up to a mile from the ends.

This doesn't mean the leg doesn't hurt. I limp for awhile when I wake up and get on with the day. The front of the knee is still totally numb along with the front of the leg (shin) from the knee to the ankle with occasionally moving down to the toes.

But I can now walk some distance. The goal is to walk on flat ground to get to 5 miles before returning to walking to and from town, which is 2.5-3 miles there and 3-4 miles back with some elevation change on both trips. And I take a backpack to carry stuff home (grocery or drug stores).

Anyway, life is getting better, but I have a long way to go to lose the weight I've gained over the lasts two years with the digestive problems, which are also slowly getting better after July, and to regain the fitness level I had a few years ago.

But that said, at turning 63 this month, it ain't going to be easy this time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

307 Hours Later

Not long after 9/11 I shaved my full beard and kept my face clean shaven after that day. I did this because a friend of mine wanted to see my face and one day I got a free Mach 3 razor in the mail. So I said change is good.

I still have the razor, only the second razor I've ever had in my life. The other one was the razor the US Air Force gave me when I went to basic training in San Antonio in March 1969. It was the old fashion double edge single blade razor. I still have it too.

But since shaving my beard in the fall of 2001 I got tired of shaving and didn't want to grow a beard again, so in July 2005 I decided to go through electrolysis to remove my facial hair. Yes, it's painful and takes a long time.

The time was an hour a week from July 2005 to March 2011 and then every two weeks from then to now. And today, after 307 hours of electrolysis, I'm done and will never have to shave again. Well, sorta'.

I still have to go back occasionally for awhile because regrowth is normal, the first 20 minutes or so for the last 2-3 years was removing regrowth. But now regrowth is all I have left which will dimish to only a few times a year.

And while you say it's not "manly" not to have facial hair, a lot of men don't have much facial hair and many more, especially those in some cultures or ethnicities, have little if any facial hair. And now I never have to deal with a razor again in the morning.

And that's far cooler.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Which would you choose. If you had a pill which changes your life the way you've always wanted but taking the pill made the other parts of your life worse, the changes to your body were what you wanted but it also crashed it and the changes to your mind were what you wanted but it caused you deep depressions.

The pills would change you but also destroy you, your energy and metabolism, your brain into fog and your Dysthymia into depression. Would you take pills to change for better and for worse or not take the pills and not change for the better but feel worse by not taking them?

Because now you know you have a choice, so which would you choose?