Health update of Jan. 9, 2019

I posted the following tidbit on Facebook as the holidays were wrapping up:


Me during most of the year: I don’t want to spike my insulin response, so I’ll drink my coffee black.

Me during the holidays: Screw it, let’s chug!


That Facebook post pretty much summed up the Yule season for me. The past couple of weeks included a time of over the topness, followed by roughly a week of relative normalcy (including a return to exercise, the ketogenic lifestyle and intermittent fasting). On that, I was wondering how hard it would be to return to my fasting regimen after a period of eating like it was going out of style – to my surprise, it was relatively easy.

Even so, I wondered – with the mix of the over the topness and normalcy, what would the weigh scale say at my biweekly weigh-in and bipolar medication shot today at Woodstock Hospital in Ontario, Canada. I wasn’t overly worried about it, though; I have all year (and more, if need be) to reach my goal weight of 240 pounds (from an all-time high of 400). My weight checked in at 296.6 pounds today, 1.3 pounds lighter than two weeks prior.

Even if I’m not there yet (weight wise), I’m feeling healthier than I have in years. In the past, I’ve dealt with bad knees, plantar fasciitis, and sciatica, to name the major problems – all have gone bye-bye. The sciatica problem was licked, I believe, in part to the intermittent fasting, which I’ve read can combat inflammation.

So far, so good.


Health update of Dec. 31, 2018

I was at church somewhat fried out of my face several days ago. It was all natural, to boot.

You see, due to the giddy splendour of Operation Sharing’s Christmas Day Event and several other factors, I went a touch manic (as people close to me can attest). Several hundred people filled the hall of the aforementioned church, College Avenue United (in Woodstock, Ontario), on that day.

My bipolar disorder mania kicked in (although at a relatively low level) as I greeted and shook hands with people coming through the door at a sometimes frantic pace. Face after smiling face passed by as they made their way to other volunteers who did everything from put food out to distribute free gifts (everyone got at least one, by the way). A group of about 30 people were on the stage to belt out Christmas tune after Christmas tune (kudos go to Operation Sharing’s head honchos for heading all this up).

But, as for my role… whew. Having bipolar and being Carlton the doorman (for you Rhoda fans out there) at this thing can be exhausting.

One mistake I made was chugging cup after steaming cup of coffee during this fantastic spectacle. The last thing I needed was a stimulant – and definitely not so much of it.

On the flip side, depressants – in the form of a bit of alcohol – work well for me when I’m manic, something I had forgotten in my recent overzealous goal to go dry forever. As you might have guessed, I had a few drinks over the holidays following Christmas Day, and they worked great. Mind you, too much booze isn’t good either. Moderation, something I finally seem to have achieved after years of binge drinking, is a good thing for me on occasion.

So, cheers to you in this upcoming awesome year of 2019.

Health update of Dec. 27, 2018

Nothing says Christmas like slobbin’ it out. A horse couldn’t have packed away more than I did over the past two weeks.

To say the holidays took a bit of a toll on me when it comes to weight loss is an understatement. But I’m far from discouraged. Indeed, for the coming year, I’m decidedly optimistic.

In my final bipolar medication clinic weigh-in of 2018 at Ontario, Canada’s Woodstock Hospital today, I came in at 297.9 pounds, which marks a weight gain of about 10 pounds through this Christmas season. However, I’m treating the coming of 2019 as not just a fresh start but a continuation of my ongoing weight-loss journey. Given my goal to be (approximately) 240 pounds (which I believe to be reasonable, considering my large frame and six-foot height), a quick look at the math translates into a loss average of a pound a week to reach my goal by the end of 2019. This slow reduction is in line with the roughly 100-pound weight loss I have already achieved since starting on my weight-loss adventure at the beginning of 2015.

I am at the point where I am not only looking at losing additional weight but also eyeing keeping off the weight I have already lost. Exercise, I have read and seen time and again, may not be at the top of the list when it comes to losing weight but it is paramount when it comes to keeping it off. Mindset, and being brutally honest with myself if I veer too far off the nutrition track, will be other planks in my quest to keep the excess pounds from coming back.

Cheers to you in your own personal journey for 2019.


Health update of Nov. 27, 2018

Today marks my 100th day of being alcohol free. It feels good and I have found there to be many benefits (more mental clarity, better health overall, added money in the bank, and more). I have been fortunate to have some close friends who have been without booze for years to serve as my mentors in my pursuit of sobriety. They have, indeed, been a Godsend. I also have some close friends who continue to drink alcohol and I have been fortunate in that they haven’t gone out of their way to have me drink with them. On the flip side, I haven’t tried to ‘convert’ them to my way of non-drinking. Indeed, a few of us sat down one night and agreed to ‘go our own way’ when it comes to drinking or not drinking.

One of the reasons I chose to not drink is to better cope with my bipolar disorder. For years, my original psychiatrist (now retired and I have a new one) tried to get me to lay off the booze, saying the alcohol and medications weren’t a good mix. Now that this particular doctor has been out of the picture for quite a while, I have come to agree with him. I think I was lucky over time to not to have run into major problems between my drinking and my meds, but that luck could have run out. Perhaps drinking in moderation – a couple of glasses here and there – wouldn’t have been such a bad thing when it came to my meds, but I’ve never been good at moderation. I was definitely a binge drinker.

Please don’t take this blog as preaching to you, if you are a drinker, about trying to get you to stop. I’m far from innocent when it comes to booze… I’m the last guy to preach. If you drink, that’s entirely up to you. And if you choose not to drink, that, too, is entirely up to you.