Mission 40 – Week 1 Journal Entry

September 1, Day One.

My high school friend came to NYC to visit me in July. We spent an entire week being tourists.
My high school friend came to NYC to visit me in July. We spent an entire week being tourists.

DIET:  Today, I don’t feel like eating.  This is nothing new to me.  I have days where I just don’t feel like eating.  I downloaded the app “MyFitnessPal” to track my food and water consumption.  I started using it last Friday and after a day of logging in my food, water and fitness, I awoke on Saturday to a note from the app saying that it’s apparent I don’t eat enough and that is my problem.

I’ve always found that when I eat more, I lose weight.  I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that wish they had this problem.  For me, food is a challenge.  I just want a little taste of it, not the whole thing.  I only want to take two or three bites to be satisfied.  I don’t want to consume the whole thing.  Then there’s the whole…when you workout, you need to add additional calories to your diet.  To me, that’s asking a lot!

The issue with not eating enough is that it causes problems in the body.  I’ve had doctors threaten to hospitalize me on several occasions because my blood pressure will spike as a warning sign that something is wrong.  This isn’t one of those…it’s been happening for a few days.  It means it’s been going on for a month or longer.  It is all because I’m not eating enough for the body to work properly.  I’m eating less than the bare minimum (800 calories a day).  This is an issue that goes all the way back to when I was in junior high school trying to be thin.  I barely ate.  I skipped meals and then went to basketball practice.  It really messed up my metabolism.

To this day, people always remark on how it looks like I barely eat anything.  To me, I feel like I ate enough for an entire village.  But the truth is…I only had a few bites.  There are occasions where my appetite catches up with me, but that’s maybe once a week, just like it was when I was a teenager.  But what I think is a lot of food may wind up being only 1200 calories…the amount of calories I’m supposed to be eating.  I always feel like I’m going to explode when I eat that many calories.

For those suffering from anorexia and think it is okay…it’s not.  It will fuck up your metabolism to the point your metabolism will become so sluggish, you’ll pile on the weight.  If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, it actually adds to the complication.

I met a girl recently that was starving herself and she thought it was cool to do so.  She was anorexic and had doctors telling her they were going to admit her into the hospital if she didn’t stop doing this to herself.

I finally told her she could end up like me.  That’s why she needed to take care to eat what her body needed and stop starving herself, especially at her age.  Also, for the record, this little 80 pound girl ate three times more than I did and she even remarked how little I ate.  An anorexic telling me I ate less than she did.

She’s currently in the hospital for her eating disorder.

Eating food is a challenge for me.  It’s gone beyond it being just psychological.  The body is used to not eating a lot because it’s what I trained this body to do when I was a teenager.  I did not give it what it truly needed and that later led to complications with my health.  Teaching the body to eat more will be the biggest challenge for me.

CHALLENGE: My biggest challenge is learning how to eat what I need and eating enough food to optimize weight loss and better health.

SOMETHING NEW:  I read from Dr. Oz that having a glass of cold water when you first wake up in the morning kick starts your metabolism into high gear.  I’ve been keeping a bottle of lime water (using the Zing Anything Citrus Zinger I received from PopSugar Must Have) in the refrigerator so that when I wake up, I can pour myself a glass of ice cold water.  It can be tough to drink a whole glass of ice cold water first thing in the morning (because boy, I can feel it), but it’s a good way to get your body to start burning some calories before you even step into the shower!

DOCTOR’S NOTE:  I had to see my doctor last month because I caught a bit of the Legionnaire’s that was going around Manhattan.  It took me three weeks and a week’s worth of antibiotics to kick it.  While I was at the doctor’s office, he ordered blood tests for every single thing I could possibly need a blood test for since I was complaining about extreme fatigue and feeling lightheaded.  My blood pressure had also spiked.  He had to take my blood pressure twice because he didn’t like the results.

The problem was my diet and the fact I was dehydrated.  I drink a lot of water, but apparently not enough.  The doctor told me that the worst thing I could do to myself right now is drink WATER!  Imagine my shock when he said this.  He told me that I needed to start drinking Gatorade every day.  This, of course, does not settle well with the way I live, so I asked around for some alternatives.  [I’m not big on having high sugar drinks or chemicals in my body.]  My friend sent me a recipe for sports drinks using essential oils.  This was a bit of a godsend.  Essential oils are still a new thing to me, but people that use them swear by them and their restorative powers.  [If you’re interested, you can find Essential Oils HERE.  Amber is more than willing to answer any questions you may have about essential oils.]

ON THE SCHEDULE:  Tonight, I get to screen M. Night Shyamalan’s new film “The Visit” (due out in theaters on 9/11).

ON THE SPIRITUAL BRAIN: On the way into the office, Avril Lavigne’s “When You’re Gone” started playing.  I have to say it made me feel really sad.  It made me think of my grandfather (who died in 2007) and my soulmate (who killed himself in 1994).

“The pieces of my heart are missing you.”  Those words hit really deep inside those cracks that surround this mended broken heart.  It doesn’t matter how many years pass, the people you miss the most are always the ones you’ll never see again.  They’re the ones you love most of all.  I oftentimes think of my soulmate and remind myself that someone loved me greatly in this lifetime.  I was his first and last love.  It’s the last love that someone has…that’s the love that matters the most.  People have first loves and other loves along their journey in life.  It’s that last love that means everything.  I was lucky to have met him.  I was blessed to have incredible memories of him.  He has taught me about love in ways I never would have imagined, including how a heart in love with someone that’s gone will always be in love with them. That love never stops.  It still grows deeper with each passing moment.

There have been other loves in my life, but not a love quite like his.  That love was the perfect love.  I was blessed to be his last love…the love that meant the most to him.  I miss him every single day.

“To carry them within us – that is our task.  We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves.  Only they make us whole. If we begin to forget or cast aside those we’ve lost, then…then we are no longer present either. … All the love, all the dead, all the people we’ve known.  They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls.  If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too.”

–The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George

September 2, Day Two.

matthew4Journal: Last night I saw M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit.”  Let’s just say that old people scare me now.  I’ll post up a review on the site later.

I’m now getting back into the swing of hockey and that included my first post of the season, the retirement of Bryce Salvador.  That means more tweeting on my hockey account after taking much of the summer off from social media.  It also means that I have a lot more writing to do.

Something I have been trying to do all summer is get up at 5AM to write and workout.  Matthew Lucifer (pictured here looking annoyed after I took the cup of coffee away from him) wakes me up around 5AM every single morning.  I naturally wake up at that time now thanks to his prodding.  That’s the time he wants breakfast.  [This comes from his days in incarceration (at the shelter).  They fed the animals at 4AM.  When the clocks fall back, it will be a 4AM wakeup call.]

I usually go right back to bed, but he usually follows me and tries to get me back out of bed by biting me until I kick him out of the bedroom and close the door behind him.  Some days he lets me sleep.

This morning though, he did something that made me think he’s not a normal cat (not like I didn’t think this already).  He has an unnatural obsession with water.  I forgot I left my glass on the coffee table last night.  So after I fed him this morning, I laid back down on the couch.  He kept trying to get me to wake up.  I kept grunting, begging him to let me sleep.

After falling back asleep again, I had water thrown in my face.  He had taken the glass of water that was on the far side of the coffee table, moved it across from me, picked it up and threw the water in my face.  A cat did this.

I sat up and wiped the water off of my face.  He just sat across from me looking at me like, “Now you’re awake.”  I want this to sink in for you…A CAT PICKED UP A GLASS OF WATER AND THREW IT IN HIS OWNER’S FACE TO WAKE THEM UP.

Matthew is a pretty good motivator when it comes to getting me to stay awake after 5AM.  He bites, leaves bruises all over my body, scratch marks, and there’s a lot of slapping across the face all in the efforts to get me to stay awake after 5AM.  As much as that little dude is successful with this, I still need to be motivated to write and workout that early in the morning.

CHALLENGE: 5AM wake up calls will now become my 2 hour ME time to write and workout.  I also need to focus on working harder on the things I want to do with my career.  I have so many ideas and goals.  This is the year I’m going to push myself to completing every goal and idea I set forth for myself.

DIET: As for food today, I cheated a little to try and get the caloric intake up so I had 2 candy bars.  Probably not the smartest thing to do after seeing how low I was in minerals and fiber.  I’ll have to change that starting tomorrow.  Also of interest, my sodium intake was 298.  I needed 2300.  Now I understand why the doctor told me I needed to start drinking Gatorade.

TECHNOLOGICAL HELP:  I am using three apps to track what I’m doing: 1. MyFitnessPal, 2. Pact, and 3. Samsung Galaxy Active S Health to track my steps.

My FitnessPal helps me log my food and water consumption.

Pact is a bet you make with yourself that you’ll go to the gym.  You set goals and you get paid for attaining your goals.  If you fail in your goals, you have to pay.  It’s a good way to get paid to workout and to motivate yourself to workout because if you don’t workout, you’ll have to pay into the kitty.

I have the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active phone.  I used apps prior to this phone to track my steps, but it burned up so much of the battery.  The S5 Active takes that issue away.  It also measures and keeps track of my heartbeat and stress levels.  It serves as a compass, barometer and stopwatch.  It’s a good way to keep track of your fitness.  I’m a huge Samsung fan and I highly recommend this phone for those who are active.

CHALLENGE:  My resting heart rate is really high (see yesterday’s entry).  After measuring it 4 times, the median was 100 bpm at a resting rate.  Normal average range for my age is between 66-82 (from ages 20-39 for females) and 57-95 for the total range (bpm).  It’s a little too high for my liking so that will be a major challenge…to get that resting heart rate down to normal.

Also, I took the test from Today.com that calculates your heart’s age.  If it’s 1 year older or more, then you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.  My results said my heart was 43.  That’s a very bad sign.  Healthy hearts are either the same as your age or younger.

CHALLENGE: Diet and exercise is the focus to get the heart back in shape and down to a healthy age.

There are a lot of components to getting healthy.  These three apps really help me see where I need to focus more.  I have to admit, if it weren’t for these apps, I would be so confused and inundated with all of this information.  There’s just so much information out there on how to be healthy.  It’s hard to figure out what you need to do to get this right.  Each person is different and figuring out what is best for you…now that is a challenge in and of itself.

September 3, Day Three.

This is an example of how big Maine Coon cats can get.
This is an example of how big Maine Coon cats can get.

Journal: So waking up at 5AM and staying awake was a fail this morning.  I put down in the original challenge that I wanted to get more sleep.  After one whole year, I finally got Matthew Lucifer to sleep through most of the night.  Although, he’s not really sleeping through the night.  He wakes up around 1AM or 2AM and just lays there waiting for me to wake up when I turn my body.

When he feels me move, he knows I’m awake, so he’ll walk up the length of my body, sit right on my chest and start licking my face.  Before, he used to just bite it.  This is also when he likes to start talking to me about whatever is on his mind.

matthew5Matthew Lucifer is a Maine Coon cat.  That means he’s a really big cat and will continue to grow to a rather large size.  Matthew is only three years old, but he will continue to grow until he’s seven years old.

I talk about Matthew a lot because he does some of the craziest things I’ve ever seen, as in, he’s not a normal cat.  Although, the stuff he does is very normal for the Maine Coon breed.

The reason why I’m not getting sleep is because of Matthew.  Training him to sleep all the way through the night has been a difficult task.  Also teaching him that if he does wake up, he should just leave me alone is another obstacle.  Surita, the other cat, knows to leave me alone if she wakes up.  Sometimes she gets cold and wakes me up to let her curl up under the covers or she wants to snuggle.  You know…the cute stuff.

Matthew…you should see my war wounds from our nightly cat fights.  He is the reason why I haven’t had a good night’s rest in a year.

Last night was the second night in a row he did not purposely wake me up.  He let me sleep.  When I did wake up, I saw him staring at me from across the bed waiting for this moment.  He came over and just started talking to me.  Maine Coons are talkers.  They talk a lot.  They don’t meow.  They have their own little language they use to communicate.  I usually have to really fake sleeping before he believes I’m asleep and will shut up.

Last night though, even though he was letting me sleep, I was awakened to planes flying very low in the middle of the night.  I don’t know why they were flying so low over a residential area (especially in the middle of the night), but the jet engines rattled me awake.  The way it sounded was like Matthew was screaming like he’d been electrocuted or something (which would not surprise me if this were to happen since he has a thing for chewing on cords).

I literally jumped out of bed, hearing the screeching and rushing of the jet, ready to run into the next room when I felt something licking my arm trying to calm me down.  I realized it was Matthew.  Then I realized what the noise really was and thanked God it wasn’t a fried Maine Coon.

Just when I had finally trained Matthew to stop waking me up, something else wakes me up.

In all honesty, I haven’t had a good night’s rest since I adopted Matthew a year ago.  I have probably had only one good night of sleep and that was because he sensed I was really sick.  As my friends say, Matthew is like a child in so many ways.  He does a lot of things a child would do including keeping their parents up all night long.  We sleep when they sleep.

CHALLENGE: Better sleep.

*Have you figured out why his middle name is Lucifer yet?