Tag: @selfiejournal

HEALTH MATTERS: Creating a Happy Thyroid & Testosterone

test-thy2.fw

Finding a solution to health problems can be frustrating — very frustrating. Especially, when you’ve dealt with that problem for years with almost no solution. And, when you go to a doctor who should know a thing or two about that issue — they’re no help.

That’s the time you take a self analysis of the situation and basically say — “screw it, I’m doing this my way!”

Well, that’s where I am at with my thyroid and testosterone right now in my life.

I was officially diagnosed with a hypothyroid back in 2008-2009 while I was still in college. It accounted for the dramatic weight gain the two years prior — and the lack of engagement, depression and heightened anxiety I felt up to that point.

I got regulated and this spurred my weight-loss journey between 2009-2012. Over the past 6-7 years I’ve had to regulate my thyroid yearly. It hasn’t been much of a problem until about two years ago. For some reason — it just tanked.

After regulating the medication — with hardly any results — and further tests, it was found that I had abnormally low testosterone levels for a man my age. Sure, after 30 it’s kind of expected for it to drop — but, it was pretty low. So, I was put on testosterone replacement meds.

I kinda wish I didn’t do that, because that messed with my thyroid medication and it’s been an up and down battle trying to figure out how to balance the two.

One will be in the normal range, while the other will be low — and vice versa.

It doesn’t help that I come from a family that has both issues. My Mom’s side pretty much all has thyroid issues. In fact my great grandmother died from an unchecked thyroid. Then on my Dad’s side — I get the testosterone issues. It’s something my Dad and all my brothers deal with. Well, not my youngest brother — but, I am sure his day will come.

So, here I am — the great science project that my parents created. Sure, a lot of my problems are hereditary — but, that doesn’t make any less frustrating looking for a solution. Especially when you’re an athlete and know the level you can compete at.

The last two years of my running have been frustrating to say the least. I will always love running and have had some AMAZING moments — but — I feel slower. I know I am slower. The clock doesn’t lie.

I put my miles in — I workout — and — well — here I am. About 40lbs. off of where I want to be with not much stamina to run through even a 5K or 10K race. Being an ultra marathoner and regular half marathon runner — that’s though.

This is one reason why I am not racing much the first part of the year — so I can build up that stamina. Or at least try to, while I am tackling my body as a whole.

My focus as of late has actually been three-fold when it comes to finding that balance —

  1. Finding better doctors (Endocrinologist & Family Medicine)
  2. Being consistent and deliberate with my workouts
  3. Fueling my body with foods that will optimally aid my thyroid and testosterone.

Fairly simple goals, right?

Too bad the simple goals come with a complex equation first in order to get to the best outcome.

But, that’s life — I am not crying about (already did that). I’ve just come to the realization that I just need to fight for it. I’ve got to be relentless, tenacious and determined — because it won’t just come to me.

So this post — is kind of an outcome of that. It’s an outcome of my homework over the past couple weeks. This list final? Probably not. If there’s anything I’ve learned about my thyroid and testosterone — the variable always changes. That’s the joy — well curse — of it all.

Plus, thyroids and testosterones are also personal little buggars. Meaning, what works for me — probably won’t work for you or even works better for you than for me. So, really, these are good guidelines to start testing with your body. I wish it was easier than that. Oh, how I wish.

Either way — here are a few things I’ve learned from doing my homework on thyroids and testosterone.


HYPOTHYROID & FOOD

Like with any diet — it’s not exactly what you do in the gym that gains the biggest results — it’s what you do in the kitchen that counts. And, with a faulty thyroid — it’s never more true than that.

I’ve poured over hundreds of articles on hypothyroidism and food — good foods, bad foods, diet plans and the like. Here are a few things I learned (and I am keeping it simple on purpose) —

GOOD FOODS
  • Clean Water — Kind of a duh — but, really, how often do we really just simply drink clean cold water? This means — without anything else in it? No lemon, no lime and especially no Crystal Light. Not only does it promote a healthy metabolism, but it helps fight fatigue, constipation and sugar cravings. And, like it shouldn’t be said, but should — drink about 8oz. of cold water every two hours. This is one reason why I have a water bottle with me throughout the day at work. Gotta keep it flowing.
  • Fish — There are a couple benefits for adding fish to your diet. First, the Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart disease — which an under managed thyroid can increase. And, secondly, it’s a good source of selenium — which is mostly concentrated in the thyroid and helps decrease inflammation. So throw in some salmon, tuna, trout and sardines to the ‘ol diet plan.
  • Nuts — Another selenium rich food that aids the thyroid. Especially Brazil, macadamia and hazelnuts. Like any nuts, watch your portion size since they all tend to be somewhat fatty.
  • Whole Grains — A lot of thyroid sufferers will actually avoid whole grains because fiber tends to interfere with the thyroid hormone replacement. But, if you wait 30-60 minutes after taking your medication you’ll generally be okay. Just watch your portion size and stick to the whole grain pastas, breads and rice — the less processed the better.
  • Fruits & Vegetables — This is pretty much a given in many or most diet plans. But, foods like blueberries, cherries, sweet potatoes and green peppers are high in antioxidants and can aid in lowering your risk for heart disease. But, make sure to avoid consuming too much cruciferous vegetables (see below in foods to avoid) because they can counter the effectiveness of your thyroid.
  • Seaweed — Kind of a surprising food to see on this list, but the biggest benefit of seaweed is the iodine. If you don’t have enough iodine in your diet — the thyroid won’t get the jump it needs. Plus, it’s high in fiber, calcium and a plethora of vitamins.
  • Dairy — Kinda surprised to see this on the list, probably more than seaweed. But, there is a link between Vitamin D deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease — so the more the better. Plus, Vitamin D enriched milk and dairy brings with it an increase in calcium, protein and iodine. And, if you’re not much of a dairy fan — there are always Vitamin D supplements.
  • Beans — Not only are beans a great source of fiber, but for hypothyroid sufferers they are a great source of sustained energy. Especially if your energy levels are left low and drained throughout the day. Beans are loaded with complex carbs, antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals — that have more benefits most things on this list. I for one — will be adding a few more beans to my diet.
  • Coconut Oil — The fatty acids in coconut oil help promote a healthy thyroid, fight fatigue and provide more energy — a MUST for all thyroid sufferers. Well, at least for me. Not only is coconut oil easy to digest, but it also contains antioxidants that aid in keeping your blood sugar level. So if you’re going to replace butter with anything — this would be it.
  • Sprouted Seeds — Most notably — hemp, flax and chia seeds — are the best sprouted seeds to add to your diet. Not only do they provide awesome Omega-3 fats, but they will help lower inflammation, stabilize blood sugar and your mood. These are great additions to a smoothie or protein shake.
FOODS TO AVOID
  • Soy — Researchers believe it can heighten one’s risk of hypothyroidism because it is loaded with phytoestrogen. The estrogen can interfere with a healthy thyroid.
  • Cruciferous vegetables — Sadly this includes broccoli (my favorite vegetable) along with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, turnips and boy choy. Eating too much of these kinds of vegetables can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine. So if you have an iodine deficiency along with a tanked thyroid — probably best to avoid this list.
  • Gluten — I saw various opinions on this. Avoiding gluten is somewhat of a fad in today’s health consciousness. Gluten CAN hamper the absorption of thyroid replacement medication, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. I also read that if you do choose to eat gluten products to focus on whole-grain breads, pastas and rice with high fiber. Also, of note — if you’re going to eat those — you should avoid taking your medication with them, because fiber can interfere with its’ absorption effectiveness. Interesting.
  • Fatty Foods — This includes fried foods (good to cut from any diet), butter, mayonnaise and fatty cuts of meat. Fats have been found to interfere with the thyroid’s ability to both absorb your medication and to produce hormone. I loathe this knowledge, because I love mayonnaise on my sandwich. But … if it must be so .. let it be so …
  • Sugary Foods — If you haven’t seen the documentary Fed Up it’s a must for anyone whether or not you have a faulty thyroid or not. Sugar slows down the metabolism and makes it extremely easy to gain weight. Sugar is the stuff that makes you fat — not necessarily fatty foods. Most of what I read recommended that you cut sugar significantly or completely out of your diet. Which sounds much easier than it is — not only are we all most likely all addicted to sugar, it doesn’t help that nearly EVERYTHING in the grocery store contains sugar in it. And, you wonder why America is fat? This is a rant for another day …
  • Overly Processed Foods — Not only do most processed foods come with a high fat and/or sugary intake — but, they are usually high in sodium. And, with an underactive thyroid — extra sodium should be avoided, because it increases the thyroid sufferer’s chances of high blood pressure. No beuno. Plus, processed foods are kinda nasty — let’s be honest.
  • Coffee — Being Mormon this doesn’t really affect me, but should be stated nonetheless. Researchers found that people who took coffee with their medications had uncontrollable thyroid levels. Interesting. I am not sure however if this is because of the coffee — or caffeine content? Either way — if you’re a coffee drinker wait about 30 minutes after taking your meds with water to get your cup.
  • Alcohol — Again, one of those things I don’t really have to worry about being Mormon and all. But, it should be said. People with hypothyroidism should avoid alcohol or extremely minimize it’s consumption. Alcohol has shown to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and suppresses the body’s ability to use the thyroid hormone. Makes sense.
  • Iron and calcium supplements — Surprisingly, but not really — iron and calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medications. So, if you are going to take a supplement (or food with increased iron and/or calcium) you should stagger it throughout the day. Wait 30-60 minutes before you take it. Personally, I wait longer than that — about two hours.

HYPOTHYROID & FITNESS

  • Get plenty of sleep — Most adults think they can get by with 4-6 hours of sleep. To get the optimal amount of sleep one should get on average 8 hours of sleep a night. Not only does this promote healing within your body overnight, but it also helps minimize stress — the common enemy to a healthy lifestyle, especially weight-loss.
  • Strength Training — I found a number of training plans and suggestions for hypothyroid sufferers, so I am listing the three main ones I found. Strength training is ideal for hypothyroid athletes for a couple of reasons — one, it helps strengthen the joints, tendons and ligaments — which most hypothyroid sufferers find painful. And, it also helps boost your metabolism and burn the most fat over time  than any other exercise. Some suggested workouts include squats, push-ups and leg raises (these help strengthen those joints I just mentioned).
  • Aerobic Interval Training — Pick any kind of aerobic exercise — running, biking, swimming, jump roping, climbing stairs — really whatever gets your blood pumping and do a 20 minute interval of that exercise. Meaning every couple of minutes or so you’d change the effort of that exercise according to your plan. For runners this would basically be called ‘fartleks.’ Here’s a sample of what a typical interval would look like — just chose your exercise and do it.
  • Aerobic Training — Aerobic training is two fold, not only does it get the blood pumping and going, but it also helps elevate the mood and is a natural antidepressant. If there is one thing any thyroid sufferer understands is it’s affect on your mood — depression, anxiety, the works. Kind of like interval training just choose something you like to do — walking, running, swimming, biking — whatever. The biggest difference between this kind of exercise is the intensity of the workout. Use the aerobic interval training as weekly training for your aerobic workouts which would be a sustained level throughout the workout. This is why I love running — it provides that needed balance between the two kinds of exercise.
  • Yoga — I won’t lie, I’ve never done yoga. Well, I should say I’ve never done a Downward Dog on purpose. But, there are some real benefits for yoga and hypothyroid sufferers. Not only does yoga provide excellent joint strengthening, but it can also be help destress you — a common enemy to overall health.

LOW TESTOSTERONE & FOOD

GOOD FOODS
  • Bananas — I am so happy to see bananas on this list. Bananas contain the enzyme bromelain, which some studies have found boosts a man’s libido. They are also rich in B vitamins, such as riboflavin, which are essential for the manufacturing of testosterone. So, yeah — I’m not slowing down on eating yellow fingers.
  • Fish — Fish, especially tuna, is high in Vitamin D. A serving of tuna contains your needed serving of Vitamin D. But, other fish like — trout, salmon and sardines are just as good. This is one food I can actually eat and benefit both my testosterone and thyroid! WOOHOO! Good thing I love tuna.
  • Shellfish — Kind of in the same boat (pun intended) with fish. Great source of Vitamin D, a very good lean protein and well — in my opinion — also great tasting! So load up on the crab, shrimp and lobster and raise your testosterone levels.
  • Vitamin D supplement — By increasing your Vitamin D intake you’re helping to strengthen your bones, immune system and other functions of your body. Plus, it helps that researchers have found that Vitamin D is linked to a longer life and better testosterone production.
  • Vitamin D fortified dairy — Kind of goes without saying after reading above, but if you can find skim or non-fat milk that is fortified with Vitamin D the better. Not only does it provide the nutrient punch that you need, but without the added fat or sugar.
  • Egg Yolks — Another great source of Vitamin D. The only thing you should be careful of here is if you have any cholesterol problems. If you do, you’d definitely want to avoid too many eggs.
  • Oysters — I won’t lie — I’ve never had oysters before. And, I don’t know if I really plan on eating them any time soon. But, they do have some good benefits for people suffering from low testosterone. Namely, added zinc.
  • Beef — There are a number of health risks for over consuming read meat (ie-colon cancer, more fat, etc). But, there are also certain cuts of beef that can also be advantageous to your testosterone — namely the beef liver (high in Vitamin D) and ground beef and chuck roast (high in zinc). Obviously, choose leaner cuts and eat sparingly.
  • Beans — Another food that’s great to add to the diet that will benefit both the thyroid and testosterone. For stronger testosterone levels white, black and kidney beans are all considered a great source of Vitamin D and zinc. Apparently baked beans are as well, but really don’t offer much nutritional value. Makes sense — I actually despise baked beans with a passion.
  • Pumpkin seeds — Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and it’s easy to slip them in your daily yogurt, salad, oatmeal or even smoothies. Heck, even just eating a handful mid-afternoon is a great way to eat them.
  • Wheat Bran — There was a study in Turkey that showed those that ate wheat bran in their diet had increased testosterone. But, this was only if the subjects also paired it with high-intensity workouts. Not sure why? But, this is duly noted.
  • Strawberries — Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants that help lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is shown to adversely affect your testosterone levels, because after a lot of stress on the body (ie-workouts, etc) the cortisol can crowd out the testosterone and it’s usefulness.
  • Spinach — Popeye is the poster child of this vegetable, right? Spinach is pack full of magnesium which has been shown to impact the testosterone more than any other nutrient. Sure there are plenty of other magnesium rice foods, but it’s also VERY easy to blend up a bunch of spinach in your morning smoothie or protein shake.
FOODS TO AVOID
  • Soda — This is just a good practice in general. But, most sodas are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Even diet soda drinkers aren’t immune to it’s effects on the testosterone and body’s overall health. Diet sodas have been linked to coronary heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. This is why I haven’t drank soda in over three years now. No thank you!
  • Soy — Much for the same reasons that it affects your body with hypothyroidism, soy affects testosterone levels because it promotes the increase of estrogen in your body. Why are we even drinking or eating soy then? I will say tofu that is cooked right can taste rather delicious, but still … the benefits should out weigh the risks.
  • Processed Beef — Yes, there are good qualities to beef consumption as listed above, but avoid the processed beef that you’ll find in fast food restaurants namely burgers and hot dogs. The nutritional value of them is pretty much zapped out and there are added chemicals that can adversely affect your testosterone levels. Just best to stay clear.
  • Alcohol — Alcohol can turn testosterone into estrogen, especially if you go overboard. Interesting tidbit, eh? The recommended intake for men is two drinks a day — or basically a glass of wine. And, the recommended intake for me? None (psst … because I’m a Mormon).
  • Flaxseeds — I’ve seen some things about the impact flaxseed to one’s testosterone levels … and I am not sure exactly what to believe? Because some diet plans don’t seem too concerned with it? But, apparently, flaxseed is rich in the compound lignan — which is highly estrogenic. It can also reduce the free testosterone levels in men.
  • Licorice — Apparently licorice contains something called — glycyrrhizic acid, which can suppress testosterone production. This is really sad for me considering my love of black licorice, Good n’ Plentys and any product that Red Vines throws in front of me. And, according to researchers even a small amount of glycyrrhizic acid can dramatically affect your testosterone levels. Sad day for me, eh?
  • Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint — All of these come from the “mentha” family which are known to have testosterone lowering effects on the body (I am literally chewing on spearmint gum as I am writing this). Researchers believe that mint induces stress levels and negatively affects the level of testosterone in the body. But, the good thing is, this theory is probably more debated than the affects of flaxseed on the body — sooooooo — I’m still chewing my gum.

LOW TESTOSTERONE & FITNESS

  • Sleep — Simply put — sleep is essential for a healthy balanced life. The more sleep deprived you are — the more cortisol your body produces (from the stress of a fatigued body), which naturally lowers your testosterone levels. So the two really go hand in hand — so if you want to boost your testosterone levels, make sure to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Destress — Stress, like with the thyroid, is an enemy to a health level of testosterone. The more stressed you are — the greater effect it will have on your testosterone levels. Meaning — it can nose dive the levels. This is why taking time out to destress in the gym, a brisk run or walk or on a yoga pad is important. Don’t forget your sleep either — low amounts of sleep combined will make you more prone to higher stress levels.
  • Interval Training — By regularly exercising, especially through interval training, you’re helping your body build muscle mass that also helps release more testosterone from protein. Makes sense, right? The more you move and build, the more testosterone you’ll produce.
  • Watch your BPA Levels — There’s a link between BPA (found in a lot of plastics, including plastic bottles) and lower testosterone levels, because BPA is found to act like estrogen in the male body. So avoid cooking your foods in plastic containers along with plastic bottles and cups that aren’t BPA free. The best way to drink your water — in a glass.
  • Sprinting — I found this interesting. A study showed that people who did short six second sprints increased their testosterone levels naturally — even after they fully recovered from their workout. I don’t know exactly why this is — but this is good to put into my
  • Lift Heavy — Full body, heavy exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and Olympic lifts are ideal workouts for heavy lifts, at 85-95% of your 1RM (or one repetition maximum). You need to do 2-3 full body weight lifting workouts per week to get good testosterone-boosting results.

MY FITNESS PLAN

Okay, after processing all of that — I made myself a fitness plan. This is putting into consideration both my hypothyroidism and low testosterone levels. The diet is pretty specific and basic — which is by design. Make something overly complicated, right? It’s just not in my nature — gotta keep it simple.

Just a few things of note I didn’t put on my plan — my sandwiches are all on whole grain bread and includes the meat, a fat and veggies. Pretty simple.

You’ll also notice a few lines a bit off on the graphic — this might not bug you, but it’s kinda bugging the hell out of me. So, don’t be surprised if my OCD gets the best of me and I try to fix that. It’s just a matter of getting the motivation to do it.

But, I digress.

Anyways, feel free to use this fitness plan. It’s kind of tailored towards my needs and fitness goals for the next 6-8 weeks. If it works well — I’ll probably keep and tweak it a tad (to prevent boredom).

And, like always — I’m not a nutritionist, doctor or trainer — I’ve consulted mine for advice on this and you should too if you’re planning on changing your diet plan … blah, blah, blah.

Anyways here’s the plan in a neat little graph I made …

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Fight4Phat


THE FINAL WORD

This has really turned into one looooooong post. Probably the longest post I’ve ever written? I know it’s one of the most researched posts I’ve done … and that’s all by design.

Because I want to tackle this — I have to tackle this. It’s worn on me the past couple of years without much help from doctors. And, I’ve realized that shouldn’t be my sole source of answers — I’m a smart person. I have a college degree. I know how to use Google. I can do my own research, my own trail run and find my own solutions.

This obviously doesn’t minimize the need of a doctor — I still need someone to draw my blood and test my levels and help medicate accordingly. But, I am done with looking for absolute answers with their sole help. This is MY health, so it really should be MY responsibility.

So, here I am.

And, if you’re finding yourself reading this, relating to a lot of my same struggles — just remember — you’re not alone in this. An estimated 20 million Americans have issues with their thyroid — whether that’s hypo-, hyper, Hashimoto’s or even thyroid cancer.

That’s a lot of people.

I would just encourage everyone to crave their own journey and do what’s best for you. Maybe this struggle has been longer than mine, maybe you just found out about your thyroid issues? Whatever the case may be — this is your journey, take control of it and don’t rely solely on a doctor’s check list response.

Because, as hard as this has been over the years — I know this fix is a lot more complicated than by joining Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig to control my weight.

Anyways — I hope you find value in this post and let me know what you think. But, more than that, I want to know what has worked best for you! Feel free to email me or leave a message. The more we connect the better, right?

Oh, and you can also join a support group I started on Facebook last week — ThyroidRunners. The best thing we can do in journeys like this, is do it with others, right?

Happy Trails!

The case of the lost FitBit …

fitbit

Um, I lost my FitBit.

And, I wish this was a sick joke I am playing on myself — but it isn’t. Somewhere between the bus and my office yesterday — I lost it.

I am assuming it simply fell off, unless I was somehow unknowingly pick pocketed by some sly criminal shaking my hand. But, it’s gone. Nowhere here. Nowhere there. And, after checking — nowhere over there either.

It’s gone.

It’s lost.

And, quite honestly, I am not sure if I should even be walking until I find it or get a replacement? I mean what’s the point? It’s probably best to now just rent a jazzy in the meantime.

I’ve called UTA to check the Lost & Found — nothing. Well, nothing — yet. I am still hoping that something comes from that because I am 95% sure it came off while on the bus. I also checked with the Lost & Found at work — again, nothing — yet.

I am just praying that whoever finds it simply does the right thing. There have been plenty of times I’ve found lost headphones, money and even a pager (remember those?) and turned them into the Lost & Found. I’d like to think those positive vibes will come back to me.

I won’t lie nothing having my FitBit attached to my wrist is kind of messing with my OCD. I’ve had the thing pretty much attached to me for the past year and a half. It’s gone through 50+ races with me — Disneyland — runs on the beach — and thousands upon thousands of flights of stairs.

Gosh, I feel like I am writing an obituary for my FitBit.

And, I guess I am? Only those who have found love and lost it all with their FitBit would only understand. It tells a story of — you. Not just of your steps, but of where you have gone.

(okay I admit that last part was WAAAAAAY cheesy, but the feeling is still there)

So I am just hoping and praying that it finds way back into my life — fast.

So whoever finds my FitBit out there, please return him. And, if you find it — I am sure there’s a pan of rice crispy treats in it for you — or if you like bananas, maybe some banana bread?

Come home FitBit — I need you back, my OCD needs you back.

UPDATE (1/28/16)
MY FITBIT HAS RETURNED HOME!!!


Daily Shorts.fw

  • Fuller House gets released on Netflix a month from now — and I can’t wait! I am pretty much just planning on binge watching the season the whole weekend of February 26th. Too bad it’s not being released over President’s Day weekend so I’d have an extra day to spread the episodes over.
  • Another cool tidbit about Fuller House — did you know that Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) is a runner? Yep! She’s run a couple dozen half marathons and three marathons. Pretty cool, eh?
  • I’m only turning 35 this year, but still — this list of things turning 40 in 2016 makes me feel rather old. Kimmie Gibbler and Urkel are turning 40 this year? Oy!
  • Um, no thank you — getting myself across the finish line is hard enough. I don’t need to strap a Mini Cooper to me for 26.2 miles. But, seriously, that’s kinda cool and probably one of the most British things to do.
  • Having pretty much trained on the treadmill this winter — this is a good read. But, I won’t lie, I am looking forward to being able to run outside during the week. I don’t mind running in the dark, but during the winter when there is a chance of ice — no way Jose! Plus, how am I going to get through all 10 seasons of Friends without feeling like a complete bum?
  • I really kinda, wanna, definitely, maybe run the Star Wars Half Marathon in Disneyland sometime in my life time. I am just having a hard time justifying a $200 race entry — with no park entry. The same goes with doing the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World — that’s $550 for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Sure that’s about $135 per race. But, that price doesn’t include hotel and travel. I really needed to win that last Powerball lottery.
  • Here’s some literal food for thought.
  • This isn’t edible — but here’s some more food for thought. Basically, following your calling or — just be a bum with no aspirations in life.
  • I shared this yesterday on my Facebook wall, but I absolutely loved the message behind it. I really can relate to it in many ways — especially having a few friends who some disabilities. But, really the message behind it — take time out for people.

Fight4Phat: On the never ending quest to a balanced thyroid …

Even though I might hate Monday holidays — I sure love short weeks. Makes the week bearable and of course … the weekend gets here closer.

It’s been a good week. A purposeful week. A focused week. Yes, I’ve gotten my runs and workouts in — but that’s not what I am talking about. I am more focused in finding a solution — once and for all — for my thyroid issues.

As I’ve rehashed a number of times — but bears repeating — I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism back in 2009. The initial treatment, along with diet and workout changes, helped me lose the majority of my weight.

But, over the years that’s yo-yo’d as well, mainly because it’s been difficult to regulate my thyroid. I can usually tell it’s out of whack when I jump 10-15lbs. without much effort along with the fatigue and other symptoms.

To make that challenge more difficult, I was also diagnosed with low testosterone about two years ago. I was put on testosterone replacement meds — and ever since then I’ve had a hard time regulating both. I have yet to find a balance.

I am not sure if the meds conflict with each other? One doctor thought so and completely took me off of my testosterone meds. I’ve also switched doctors, thyroid medications, tried diets, etc., etc., etc. I won’t lie — it’s somewhat depressing.

Another symptom of an under treated thyroid, by the way.

I’ve just had enough of it. It’s been difficult seeing my running suffer, especially when I know I am faster. Plus, it kind of sucks seeing you 40-50lbs. above what you were just a couple years ago. That really messes with your mind — because you know what you’re doing in the gym … and where are the results?

I feel like I am back in college when I would go the gym for college credit and then follow it up with a bag of burgers (no joke, I did that more often than not). But, in this case — I am going to the gym and following it up with a protein shake, a banana or even just — water.

It’s frustrating — mentally, physically and emotionally. Especially, when you have this fear of gaining all your 180lbs. back. No joke, I’ve had dreams about that.

But, this week my focus has been finding that solution — thinking outside the box and getting connected with the doctors, people and information I need to — just get a balance with my health.

I have a couple appointments coming up this next month with an endocrinologist and new family medicine doctor. I’ve completely severed ties with my old doctor’s office — especially considering his solution to my weight gain was to join Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. This was even before he asked me what I was doing. You don’t lose 180lbs. and maintain it for over 5 years without knowing how to eat.

Since I work at the University of Utah and we’ve got a great hospital system. Not only do we have good doctors, but since I am staff I have access to good resources here on campus. We have a health center that I can get counseling from a nutritionist along with access to a BodPod to get my fat percentage, etc. tested.

I am going to be taking advantage of these services.

I am really focusing on this like I have with my initial weight-loss and running journeys — you kinda need to be partly crazy and 110% obsessed about it. I think a better term would be — tenacious.

I am really focusing on being tenacious in my search for a solution — and getting to where I want to be and know I can get.

Thyroids, testosterone and the works aren’t fun ailments to deal with — but the fight to deal with them is worth it. It just makes you stronger, right?

RIGHT!


THYROID SUPPORT

Thyroid2.fw

As part of my search for a solution to my health issues — I started a new Facebook group. It’s pretty straight forward — it’s a group for runners who happen to have thyroid issues. Whether it’s hyper or hypo, thyroid cancer or Hashimoto’s disease. It’s a support group for runners to share their journeys, successes and frustrations.

I shared the group with a number of my running groups online and I’ve been surprised by the response. They aren’t just Utah runners — but from around the country.

Even though the group is less than 48 hours old — it’s already refreshing knowing there are MANY other people who feel exactly the way I do.

If you’re interested in joining the group you can do so — here.


RUNCAST USA & ARE WE PREPARED, YET?

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AWPY-Banner

Okay, just a few news and notes in the podcast department. A new Runcast USA will air on February 3rd. We’ve had problems meeting up for a January podcast for a few personal reasons — mainly my Dad’s health. But, we’re recording next week and have an awesome guest lined up. I won’t spoil the fun — just listen come February 3rd.

In addition to the Runcast, I am starting a new podcast alongside my friend Spencer “Schwendy” Schwendiman of Everyman Preparedness that will launch next Wednesday — January 27th on PodBash.com and iTunes. It’s called “Are We Prepared, Yet?” and it’s a new fresh take on preparedness and the prepper community. Think — your ward’s preparedness fair meets a morning show. Should be a lot of fun.

To be one of the first to listen to the new podcast follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll have a page up on PodBash.com soon.


THIS WEEK’S NUMBERS

COMMENTARY: I’m actually very pleased with my numbers this week. It shows progress though the scale didn’t show it. And, I know exactly why — not much sleep the past two nights. I’m usually in bed between 9-10pm, but the past couple of nights it was around 12-1am for various reasons.

But, I am focusing on staying the course — and just fighting. Plus getting more sleep next week. That’s going to be my goal along with cutting more needless sugar from my diet. I just need to remember “baby steps” — not a full out sprint … yet.

WEIGHT: 277.0 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.7%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.0″
ARMS: 16.25″
THIGHS: 26.8″


COMPARATIVE NUMBERS

BEGINNING (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″
THIGHS: 27″

LAST WEEK (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″
THIGHS: 27″

THIS WEEK (1/15/16)

WEIGHT: 277.0 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.7%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.0″
ARMS: 16.25″
THIGHS: 26.8″

THIS WEEK’S DIFFERENCE

WEIGHT: +0.2 LBS.
BODY FAT%: -0.5%
BMI: 0.0
WAIST: -0.4″
ARMS: -0.45″
THIGHS: -0.2″


PHATGRAMS

I’m laughing and worried. #dudelookslikealady

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

She’s graceful in many things. Eating a sandwich — not so much. #kokoeatsasandwich

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

Lettuce take a moment and reflect on this tragedy. #panicatthegrocerystore

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

JR’s such a good dad to Callie (and the T-Rex when he gets here)! Happy Birthday JR! #bostoncreampie #happybirthday

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

The kid loves getting his picture taken. Can you tell? #mrphotogenic

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


2016 RACE SCHEDULE TWEAKS

2016-schedule

Because of some scheduling conflicts, I’ve had to rearrange my race schedule a little bit (again). I won’t be able to run The Zion Half anymore — so instead I am picking up an extra race in July (Handcart Days Half).

There is a half marathon on March 5th in Woods Cross — the March Madness Half. It’s not my goal race — that’s the Provo City Half on May 7th. But, I don’t have a half marathon until Provo and I won’t lie — I need to kinda get my race wiggles out.

I haven’t committed to it, but if I run it — it’ll be a training run. But, I’m fine with that. I’d be able to knock out another race towards my 180 and get a new t-shirt and medal. But, I am not going to make a decision on that until next month. There’s no need to decide now since the price won’t go up anyways.

Plus, I might also do the Buffalo Run 25K (March 19) on Antelope Island again — I am definitely not trained for that, but there’s a part of me that needs an epic adventure sooner than later. And, I know I can do it. Plus, if Jill is up for it I’ll run it with her — because we’re all about doing epic sh*t together.

Oh the decisions!

But, my race schedule now looks like so —

117. March Madness Half Marathon (March 5)
118. Provo City Half Marathon (May 7)
119. Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (May 14)
120. Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (June 11)
121. Ragnar Wasatch Back (June 17-18)
122. AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 25)
123. Handcart Days Half Marathon (July 23)
124. Deseret News Half Marathon (July 25)
125. Timp Half (July 30)
126. Nebo Half (September 3)
127. Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (September 10)
128. St. George Marathon (October 1)
129. The Haunted Half – SLC (October 22)
130. The Haunted Half – Provo (October 29)
131. Snow Canyon Half Marathon (November 5)
132. Antelope Island 50K (November 12)
133. Thankful 13 (November 24)
134. The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon (December 10)
135. New Year’s Run Revolution (December 31)

Anyone else running any of these races? Let’s party!


Daily Shorts.fw

  • All this talk about Winter Storm Jonas is making me laugh — sure it’s a big storm, but out west that’s NOTHING. Especially on Wednesday when an inch of snow paralyzed the D.C. area.
  • So, I’ve decided which teams I’m rooting for in the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday — Patriots (obviously) and the Panthers. Soooooo — that means Super Bowl 50 should be the Broncos vs. Cardinals. Either way — I just love good football.
  • Speaking of football — it’s been interesting following what the Chargers and Raiders will do based off the Chargers decision on whether to stay in San Diego or make the move to LA as well. It looks like the Chargers will join the Rams in LA. But, what that means for the Raiders will be interesting to see play out. Do they stay in Oakland, move in with the 49ers, head to San Antonio — as previously rumored — or take the Chargers spot in San Diego? I have a feeling the best option might be San Diego — San Diego Raiders? So odd, so strange, so wrong.
  • If you want to know more about your food and where it comes from — this is a pretty interesting read. Don’t worry — it’s not one of those PETA undercover chicken coop videos.
  • I love and hate that this is a “thing” with Amy Schumer and the claim she steals jokes. Honestly, I never found her funny so I wouldn’t be surprised if she did — PLUS — most of the comedians she alledgelly stole jokes from … aren’t very funny either. Just crass humor passed as funny.
  • I love these kind of weight-loss stories — especially when it’s someone with local ties. These kind of stories keep me motivated and inspired!
  • In my search for balance with my thyroid and testosterone this is actually a pretty good read about eating clean and running.
  • The best use of YouTube — movies of people failing. Case in point.
  • This is kind of depressing news — seems like Capuchin monkeys are pretty much a–holes. I’ve always wanted a monkey and ever since I found out chimps will rip off your face I thought a Capuchin would be the way to go. Maybe a gorilla would do? Oh wait — King Kong. Shoot dang!
  • Well, if I am going to grow out my hair — I might as well have some goals … like man braids?
  • Looks like I now have a reason to go see a Broadway show — CATS!
  • When I saw the title of this article I immediately went to the comments. Nothing will set off BYU or Utah fans like a non-BYU favorable article. I may bleed red — but, it’s more SUU red than anything.
  • I kinda want this — like yesterday.

Phat Tuesday: #SquadGoals, the weekend and some other stuff …

Tuesday.fw

After a long busy week last week — this past weekend was very much a reprieve. A much, much needed reprieve and breather. It was full of visits with my Dad, workouts, runs, temple sessions and ghost hunts. Quite the variety.

My Dad got out of the hospital on Friday and is now in a rehab center here in Bountiful. He’ll be there for at least the next six weeks before having another surgery to put more permanent parts in his knee. It will be a process, but at least he’s out of the hospital and closer to home.

That news alone really helped shape the weekend for me. Knowing he was on the road to recovery let me focus on my running, workouts and — life more intently.

Even now as I am looking forward to this week — I feel relieved. I am also excited and motivated to tackle my goals moving forward — especially since I am past my cold and sinus infection.

Sure I worked through all of that this past week, but I won’t lie — it was my first week of the Galloway Method training and it was rather easy cranking out three runs no longer than three miles. But, it is also hard at the same time to do that when you just don’t have the energy or strength.

But, luckily the endurance is coming back. Now it’s just a matter of being consistent and growing to where I want and know I can be physically and with my running. Well, and it’s still a matter of finding the right formula with my medications to help get me there. I have  a couple of doctor appointments coming up the next month that will hopefully help provide me with those answers.

But, right now — it’s just that matter of being consistent and rolling with the punches. And, now I feel refreshed and ready to go to war.

Happy Tuesday! Happy Week! Happy Running!


PHATGRAMS

I love to go to the temple. I went there today. #templesaturday

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

I haven’t dressed like this since I was rolling on the short bus. #idressmyself

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

Hanging out with with BFF #1 @gangster_of_luv tonight. #bestfriends #totesadorbs

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

This kid makes me so proud she’s watching YouTube videos on how to draw Star Wars Tie Fighters! #prouduncle #starwars

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


2667 MILES IN 2016 UPDATE

2016miles

RUNNING MILES

10.75 miles

RACE MILES

16.2 miles

WALKING MILES

32.02 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

65.67 miles

MILES TO GOAL

2574.38 miles


 

FAT 2 PHAT RECIPE: PASTA

It’s not really spaghetti squash season — but, can I just profess my love for spaghetti squash? Well, if you said no — you’re reading the wrong blog.

I can simply eat spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and cheese and be in heaven. But, also I love a good complex and healthy dish of it as well — like this recipe.

It’s spaghetti squash loaded with chicken, mushrooms, pesto, love and the works. Mmmmm … I want it now.


FAT JOSH 2 PHAT JOSH

Phat


FAT 2 PHAT: #SQUADGOALS

Three years ago today my Aunt Diane (picture above with me) passed away after a brief illness. It’s amazing how fast time passes. It really seems like yesterday to me.

My Aunt Diane has always been in my life. She never married or had kids of her own — so she adopted all of her nieces and nephews as such. Whenever there was a birth — she was there. Whenever there was a wedding — she was there. Whenever there was a need — she was there.

She loved giving of herself, her resources and time. You never fought with her whenever she wanted to pay for lunch or fill up your gas tank — she always insisted on it. Especially if it meant you could spend an afternoon or evening with her.

Throughout my life — she was also one of my biggest advocates and supporters. From an early age she would always tell me how special and close to her heart I was to her. I believed it — but I didn’t understand it until much later in life — really only a few years before her passing.

When I started my weight-loss journey — she was my biggest fan. And, I knew from the beginning that she understood that this wasn’t a journey of weight-loss for me — but of happiness. She saw so much more within me than I could at the time. So she encouraged me along the way with little notes of encouragement, long conversations over the phone (and I mean long) or by going shopping for new clothes.

She saw so much more in me and helped pull that out of me through our conversations. I didn’t realize until later — that I was creating something everyone needs in a weight-loss or fitness journey. A team, a support group — or a squad.

It’s one thing to undertake a journey by yourself — but it’s quite another going about with the help of others. It’s not just a haphazard group of supporters — but one that helps build you up, keep you on track and moving forward in your goals.

My Aunt was very much my emotional supporter, she was able to see things about myself that I couldn’t. I also had my Mother and Grandma who were my biggest fans — they would cheer me on every step of the way. I had my trainers — who not only helped with the work in the gym — but told me how it was.

And, these are just a few of many supporters and fans that helped me right the course of my wayward ship. It really wasn’t just me — sure I put in the work and did what I needed to do. But, without that support — why would keep going? What was the incentive?

Having a group — or a squad — is beneficial. Whether it’s a relative, close friend or trusted stranger — if you want long term success — build your group.

Even creating one online is a great idea — whether it’s through a Facebook group, blog or other social media account. Whatever it takes to keep yourself accountable, supported and moving forward — do it.

There are still moments when I can hear the support of my Aunt Diane tell me that I can something — whether it’s running, in the gym or just a moment I find myself in self-doubt. That support you create around yourself not only helps you in the moment — but it stays with you — even when they are gone.


Daily Shorts.fw


Fight4Phat: The ‘Phat Josh’ Rules

As you’ve read from my other posts — it’s been quite the week. It’s been a crazy week with my Dad’s surgery and hospital stay — among other things. But, at the same time, it’s been a good week.

It wasn’t exactly what I envisioned with my fitness and workouts — but, I got my training runs in on Tuesday and last night. Not to mention I also played a killer game of Churchball last night. I used to play basketball a lot as a kid — but, I won’t lie — I only play now every January and February during Churchball season.

If teenage Josh knew how much I was running and NOT playing basketball — he would have beat me up. It’s kinda sad. Not that teenage Josh could beat me up — but that I don’t play as much as I used to.

But, really — I just love running much more [and teenage Josh takes another swing at me].

I have made sure that I watch my diet and get my steps in during the day. My goal on FitBit is a minimum of 10,0034 steps — or 5 miles. I’ve hit that each day this week, including 10.1 miles on Monday. That included a lot of errands at work, walking from work to the hospital (1.2 mile walk) and a little jaunt on the treadmill.

I feel victorious in those respects.

But, I know I still have a lot of work to do. Not just in my fitness goals, but establishing and creating the habits that will get me there. I think oft times in fitness — we have a picture of what we need to do, go 100% at it — and then putter out a week or two into it.

Problem is — even though you might have done it before — that’s not long enough to create a habit. Generally it takes our bodies 21 days — or three weeks — to create a habit. So when you’re going 100% into your new workout regime that first work — your body is still wanting to stick to the ‘Netflix and Ice Cream’ routine.

And, depending on how extreme you want or need to change your habits — it’s almost better to ease into your new routine. When I started my weight-loss journey I didn’t go all in with an ‘all or nothing’ mentality.

Quite the opposite.

I made the decision to change and took small steps that led me to creating long term habits once I built a new foundation of thinking and tackling my weight. My first month was simply keeping a food journal and monitoring my food weekly to make needed adjustments.

That was it.

Well, and to talk a bit more while at work and throughout the day — namely taking stairs instead of the elevator, etc.

But, that first month I lost 30lbs. from just those small changes.

Having that experience in the past, I am not expecting a Biggest Loser change on the scale after the first week. In fact the first three weeks I don’t expect HUGE changes — changes, yes. But, not huge.

And, with the craziness of this past week — I am glad I have that mentality. It’s been tough trying to get an understanding of what’s going on with my Dad’s health and having spent a few evening at the hospital with him and family — if I didn’t have the mentality I do now, I’d be on the fast track to being a fitness cliche.

That’s why this is a fight getting phat. Each week has the potential of throwing punches (not just teenage Josh) and you’ve got to learn how to roll with them — by either just getting through it, doing what you can or just doing it. It’s all your choice whether or not you get knocked out.

However, my Dad is recovering fine. It is going to be a long recovery. He had surgery on Tuesday to get into the knee and get the infected bone and parts out. He should be in the hospital until this afternoon and then he’s moving to a rehab center for the next six weeks or so — where they will monitor the infection and help the process along so he can have surgery again somewhere around the first part of March.

That surgery will be to put the new — and permanent — knee cap and other parts in his knee. Which depends on where we are with the infection at that point. So it will be a lengthy process. We’re looking at probably until April that he’ll be able to return home. Luckily the rehab center isn’t that far away for us to visit.

Anyways — I wanted to thank everyone — for the billionth time — for all the thoughts, messages and prayers on behalf of my Dad, Mom and family. They really mean the world to us — and they’re felt! I’ll keep you posted.

But, onto the weekend! I’ve got a nice 5-6 mile run planned for tomorrow afternoon. Depending on the weather — mainly ice — it’ll either be outside on the treadmill. If it’s on the treadmill, I should be able to crank out a few Friends episodes on Netflix.

More than that — I am just looking forward to a day off on Monday. I am not a huge fan of Monday holidays, but this one is needed after a busy long week!

Anyways — HAPPY FRIDAY! HAPPY RUNNING!


THE ‘PHAT JOSH’ RULES

PhatJosh2.fw

To successfully lose weight oft the trick is to do small things to breed big results. And, for me that included playing mind games with myself. This would entail a number of things — namely little rules to follow.

Well, some rules would be absolutes — others — basically reminders of my overall fitness goals. Like if I found myself in the middle of a convenience store I wasn’t allowed to buy soda or pastries — mainly, because that’s what Fat Josh would do — more often than not.

I would make other rules when I’d eat at fast food restaurants I could only order water to drink or no fried foods. Things like that. Nothing too abnormal or extreme — just little ways to keep me on track.

Lately I’ve been actually writing them down — especially this go around, and I thought I’d share them with you. The first group is my absolute rules. These are things that I will do regardless of the situation — because it’s who I am — or want to eventually be.

The others are just some of my general rules that come and go — or are just there — so a 400lbs. Joshua won’t ever happen again. Enjoy —

MY FITNESS ABSOLUTES
  • No soda — diet or regular, sports drinks with excessive sugar or juices — just water, Crystal Light, Powerade Zero (occasionally) and the occasional chocolate milk AFTER a race.
  • I get one free/cheat meal per week — ONLY — if I am spot on with my diet throughout the week. This includes a meal with dessert.
  • If I am in front of a TV I am doing something productive — running, working out, writing or — yes — even reading. No mindlessly watching. And, especially no eating in front of the TV either — meals or snacks (one exception is the Super Bowl).
  • Workout 3-4 times a week — doesn’t matter if it’s in a gym, at home or outside — just be active throughout the week.
  • I must drink a minimum of 96oz. of water/liquid per day — except on Sundays or when my activity level doesn’t warrant it.
THE ‘PHAT JOSH’ RULES
  • Walk when you can — and avoid rides especially if it’s less than a mile walk for you.
  • Eat meals every 3-4 hours between each other. But, always have water nearby.
  • If the floor I am going to is more than 5 floors up — I take the elevator — if not, it’s just the stairs.
  • When I am on vacation — I have to run at least twice during the trip, especially if it is a week long trip. It’s more for my sanity than anything.
  • Before I go on vacation — especially — Disneyland, I have to make a list of certain foods I want to eat in the park. I am allowed a free/cheat meal, but also one snack per day that I am in the park.
  • If I am going to eat a burger — it’s a veggie burger — but, under rare circumstances I’m allowed to go for the beef patty (I actually really like the taste of most veggie patties — but, I do like the OCCASIONAL beef burger)
  • When I am in an convenience store I am only allowed to buy the following — water, Powerade Zero, banana, gum, beef jerky or one Cow Tale (they’re a good small treat when you have a sweet tooth).
  • Slurpees are only allowed before or after a race over a 10K — especially in the summer. No mid-week Slurpees — unless of course it’s National Slurpee Day — and I run before or after it.
  • If I am going to eat at McDonald’s — I can only order the following — McGriddle on the morning of a race, an Egg n’ Cheese McMuffin or a water.
  • If I am going to eat at Subway — I can order one of three 6″ subs — steak and egg white sandwich on wheat with veggies, vinegar, salt and pepper; egg white sandwich on wheat with veggies, vinegar, salt and pepper; a veggie sandwich on wheat with vinegar, salt and pepper. If I am extra hungry I can order a foot long version of the egg white and veggie sandwiches.
  • If I am going to eat a burrito/salad from Costa Vida I can only order it on whole wheat with no rice, cheese or dressing — during the week — if it’s a free/cheat meal, anything goes. Especially nachos.
  • If I am going to eat at any fast food place and I don’t have an alternate game plan — go with the grilled chicken with dressings on the side. No fries or “extra” allowed, unless they have a fruit or veggie option.
  • When eating at a banquet that has you RSVP — always go with the vegetarian option. Always.
  • If you’re at a banquet that is a buffet — have your salad portion greater than the main dish. And, if you can — just take a taste of the main dish. Otherwise — salad, fruit and veggies. Also — only drink water.
  • Mayo > Mustard > Butter > Miracle Whip > Nothing — the order of what comes first on a homemade sandwich.
  • Dave’s Killer Bread > Whole Wheat Bread > Grandma’s White Bread > White Bread — the order of bread preferred when making a homemade sandwich.
  • Turkey > Chicken > Tuna > Roast Beef > Ham > Nothing > Bologna — the order of meat I prefer when making a homemade sandwich.
  • When I am on a road trip longer than 5 hours I am allowed to buy two of the following snacks during the trip — Red Vines, Cow Tales, Good n’ Plentys, Mike and Ikes, Peach Rings or Swedish Fish.
  • When making Rice Krispy Treats — I only eat one square myself and then have to give the rest to other people. Otherwise — I’d eat the whole dang pan. The same goes with brownies and sugar cookies.

Do you do similar things when it comes to your own fitness goals? I know I can’t be the only one. What are some of your ‘rules’? Leave a comment below.



THIS WEEK’S NUMBERS

WEIGHT: 276.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.2″
ARMS: 16.4″
THIGHS: 27″


COMPARATIVE NUMBERS

BEGINNING (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″
THIGHS: 27″

LAST WEEK (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″
THIGHS: 27″

THIS WEEK (1/15/16)

WEIGHT: 276.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.2″
ARMS: 16.4″
THIGHS: 27″

THIS WEEK’S DIFFERENCE

WEIGHT: -0.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: -0.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: -0.2″
ARMS: -0.3″
THIGHS: 0.0″


PHATGRAMS

As you can clearly see I was not impressed that Felicia got on and I didn’t. #thepriceiswrongjosh #deathglare

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


Daily Shorts.fw

  • This is pretty cool — there’s something that fascinates me about runs across the country. Not sure what it is? I guess part of it has to do with the reasons behind it for those that do it. I’ve seen runners do it for mostly fundraising — or just the heck of it. I guess this runner’s attempt is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum in his attempt to do it 46 days. Wow.
  • On Wednesday the episode that I attended of The Price is Right aired on CBS. Nobody from our family got on, but we were right behind Contestant’s Row so we all got some great air time — including myself. You can watch the whole episode here.
  • With all this talk about the lottery the past couple of weeks — I am always reminded that a good number of winners bring nothing but troubles upon themselves. I’d like to think I’d be a responsible winner — emphasis on THINK.
  • I saw this the other day — and, it really hit an emotional cord for me. About 15 years ago I had a similar situation happen when I called someone who had purposefully overdosed on pills minutes before — I was able to get her help right away and she thanked me later for saving her life. Moral of the story — life is too beautiful to end in such an ugly way.
  • One of these days I am going to do the Dopey Challenge — not sure if I want to do it in 2017? I mean it’s a big commitment. I was suppose to do the Goofy Challenge back in 2013, but I had to back out. Yeah, not fun having to eat up $300 something in the registration (the joys of no transfers or deferrals — thanks Disney). But, it’s the kind of epic sh-t that Jill and I like to do — for fun. Oooooooooh, Jill!
  • This past week the NFL approved the relocation of the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles. I won’t lie — I am excited about this. When I was a kid the LA Rams were the first team I cheered for, mainly because my uncle’s — who lived in SoCal — introduced them to me. As much as I hate St. Louis losing a team — again — it’s nice to see the Rams go back home. It’ll be interesting to see what the Chargers and Raiders do now.
  • I refuse to believe what Steve Avery’s fiance says — he’s not a monster, he’s innocent. Personally, I think he was set up, not necessarily by the cops but by someone in his family. Namely the ones — his brothers — not mention much in the documentary series. But, yeah — I don’t know what to think. I think I’m just in love with the idea that he’s not guilty.
  • As it is well documented — I love lists and I love Disney(land/World/the man/movies). So this was definitely a guilty pleasure of mine this past week. 57 ITEMIZED FACTS! It’s like it was written for me.
  • I love everything about this — a 26.2 minute mass before a marathon? BAHAHAHA!
  • Having been binge watching Friends the past couple of weeks — this made me excited. Sure it’s ‘sort of’ a reunion. But, one nonetheless. It’s taken me the good part of a year to almost a year and half to get through the first two seasons — but I am now heading into season five soon — absolutely LOVE the show. And, so binge worthy on Netflix.
  • This is a fun list of food races around the country — too bad Cory Reese’s Bakers Dozen Half isn’t included on this list. Well at least — yet. Also on a side note — when the .run URLs became available this past year I bought the www.donut.run URL. I haven’t done anything with it — yet. But, I now have a few ideas.
  • Um, people are weird. And, stupid.

PhatTuesday: How to prepare for the unexpected — and thrive

Once again — here we are on another Phat Tuesday. Well, okay — technically this is the second Phat Tuesday. But, still — I feel like old friends.

I am not going to rehash a lot of what’s been going on the past couple of days — you can read all about here. But, for those not wanting to click on the link, here are the Clif’s Notes. My Dad has been in the hospital since Friday evening, he has a staph infection in his replaced knee and he’s having surgery today to replace his knee — once again.

I am a bag full of mixed emotions right now. Most of those feelings are for my Dad having to go through all of this, the recovery the last time was tough on him — but a third time? I wish I could relieve him of most of that pain. But, my name isn’t morphine and don’t come on command.

But, also the toll it will take on my mother — she’s been by his side since Saturday and I worry about her staying all night. She isn’t getting enough sleep. I am going to see if I can stay a couple nights the upcoming week. My work is about a mile away and there are places on campus I can shower if needed.

Otherwise — I know all will be okay regardless of the outcome. Sure, there’s the uncertainty of what tomorrow brings — but isn’t that every day life? There are no guarantees. And, I am at peace that all be okay in the end.

In addition to taking hospital visits I am also in the middle of my half marathon training plan. I hate saying this, but I am glad it is training for a half — if I was training for a marathon now I wouldn’t have the time to put the miles in.

But, since I am doing the Galloway Training plan I am running this weekend on Tuesday (today), Thursday (that would be the day after tomorrow) and Saturday (that comes the day after Friday and before Sunday). In addition to the running, I am working on getting my minimum 5 miles in on the FitBit.

I’m loving the Galloway plan so far — I haven’t ran yet this week — and that’s okay.

I did however walk just over 10 miles yesterday. A combination of running errands, commuting, running more errands and then walking to the hospital from work. It felt great — especially since I spent a lot of time listening to my stories (aka podcasts).

Though this hasn’t been the “IDEAL” jump start to the new year that I envisioned I still feel very much on track, focused and where my heart and mind needs to be. Family will always be first, but I feel balanced at the same time with my fitness goals.

This is a good place to be.

Happy Phat Tuesday!

And, as always — happy running!


UPDATE ON MY DAD

What a wonderful peaceful place to be the night before my Dad's surgery tomorrow. And, quite fitting as this chapel…

Posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen on Monday, January 11, 2016

As it’s been noted in previous posts — my Dad was admitted to the hospital last Friday — a few days before his schedule knee surgery. He had a staph infection that spread to his knee and to make sure it didn’t spread to his other knee (both knee replacements) and the bloodstream his doctor ordered him to the hospital for an IV and round of antibiotics.

The past few days have been fairly hectic for the family, but we’re at peace with what’s in front of us. We’re not quite sure what’s in front of us — but, ultimately it’s all in God’s hands at this point.

My Dad should be having a full knee replacement surgery on his replaced knee today around 3pm — or so — if nothing changes. They’ll probably monitor the knee for a while to see if the infection subsides and when it does they’ll put the permanent parts in his knee.

Hopefully they’ll only have to do this with his left knee and not the other one. But, you can only take these kind of things day by day — like when my Mom fought her breast cancer three years ago.

But, on behalf of my family — especially my parents — I wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and messages on behalf of my Dad’s health. They are much appreciated and felt. I’ll keep you all posted. Hopefully we have some good news tomorrow!


PHATGRAMS

Word from the wise … DON’T mix up your teas. It explains everything. #teaproblems

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


FAT 2 PHAT RECIPE: BURRITO

I’ve been on a burrito kick lately — not a ‘eat all the burritos’ kind of kick. But, actually a ‘I want to eat a healthy burrito’ kind of crusade. As delicious as burritos are — they can generate more calories and fat than most cheeseburgers.

Sure they’re different kinds of calories and fat than a regular cheeseburgers — but calories are calories at the end of the day. And, the last thing you want is a regular gut busting burrito. Not cool.

But, like most foods — there are ways to get your kick without busting the waistline. That’s why I’ve been bookmarking a bunch of recipes the past couple weeks — so my diet feels less like a diet. Which is really the key to long term success.

Here is this recipe I found for an awesome looking chicken and avocado burrito. My mouth is just watering looking at the pictures. I think I need to make a bunch and freeze them for future lunches.

Yum!


FAT JOSH 2 PHAT JOSH

PhatJosh2.fw


COPING WITH ANXIETY — IN A HEALTHY WAY

This past week as our family has dealt with my Dad’s health — I’ve had a lot of feelings and emotions come to the forefront that I haven’t had for quite a while. Mainly anxiety of the unknown — it’s not unusual for me to have these feelings, mainly because I have general anxiety. But, some times are better than others.

While I am confident all will go the way it needs to with my Dad’s surgery and recovery — there’s still the unknown that lurks and sets off triggers for me. For anyone who’s dealt with anxiety, it’s hard to deal with those triggers. The best way I’ve found to deal with them is to recognize and avoid them.

But, most times — they’re unavoidable. It’s just the nature of life.

And, when faced with the task of dealing with them head on — you still have a choice on how it’s going to affect you. You can let it control you — or you can control it.

Before I began my weight-loss journey, I let anxiety control me. Mostly unknowingly. In social situations I let my sense of humor mask my feelings of awkwardness and inadequacy. My humor was very much self deprecating and I was not kind to myself.

In addition to the masking of feelings — I ate my feelings. I know that’s pretty cliche, but it’s true and it happened. Instead of going out with friends in college, I’d usually stay home and eat. And, when I was social, odds are food was involved as well.

Food and humor were my drug of choice to cure my anxiety and depression.

Except it wasn’t a cure. It just fed the anxiety even more.

When I hit my rock bottom on Graduation Day 2009 — I had enough. I had torn my graduation gown from simply sitting down during the ceremony. I had tried to make a joke of it — but, I couldn’t. I was too tired trying to be something that I wasn’t — or should be.

A seed was planted that day — not just for my future weight-loss change, but how I would deal with my anxiety.

After working on my fitness, running and self-esteem my first real test came in March 2012 when my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I got the news over the phone from my parents — I remember sitting there knowing I had two choices on how to respond.

I could sink right back into my self-destruction ways — or I could handle the unknown with faith, hope and a foot moving forward.

Luckily, I chose the latter.

In fact after getting the news of my Mom’s diagnosis the first thing I did was go run. It was probably one of the best runs I’ve ever had. I just poured out my soul to the road and the Lord.

And, that wasn’t the only time I’ve had similar runs. I ran after my aunt and Grandma were in the hospital and after they passed away. It was not only a time for me gather my thoughts, plead my heart, but also counter the anxiety of my initial feelings.

Now with my Dad’s surgery being today — I have plans for a nice, heartfelt and much needed run. I might have anxiety, but anxiety doesn’t control or rule over me.

Never again.


After a long weekend, today is a much needed Monday

My Dad was admitted into the hospital last night, a few days ahead of his scheduled knee replacement of his knee…

Posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen on Saturday, January 9, 2016

It’s not every day I look forward to a Monday, but after this past weekend — it’s been a much needed reprieve after a long weekend. As noted above, my Dad was admitted to the hospital on Friday night to start an IV and get on antibiotics before having knee replacement surgery tomorrow.

Within the past week or so, he somehow got a staph infection that got into his knee. To contain the infection from the other knee and his bloodstream his doctor ordered him to the hospital.

My Mom spent the weekend at his side — day and night. Except for a few trips home for a shower, baby shower and rest, she’s pretty much been with him. Something she’s done with her parents, sister and my Grandma regardless of convenience. It’s just my Mom’s nature.

We don’t know the severity of the infection — we’re still waiting. It doesn’t look like it has spread, but we won’t know more until later today. We’re just praying it doesn’t get into his bloodstream.

The hardest part of all of this is that he’ll need to have a full knee replacement on the knee he had replaced two years ago. We were hoping they’d have to just replace some of the parts — but, it will be a full knee replacement.

And, if the infection spread to the other knee — odds are he’d have to that knee replaced as well. Not fun.

As always, when faced with these kind of situations we don’t have to look further than the faith of parents for reassurance that whatever the future holds — it will all be ok. Of course this is easier said than done.

But, when my Mom went through her cancer treatments, surgeries, etc. — it was her faith that no matter the outcome — in the end, everything would be okay. Because our lives are ultimately in God’s hands.

And, I have that same feeling now with my Dad’s health.

He should be having knee replacement surgery tomorrow — if all goes the way it is suppose to happen with the IV and antibiotics. We should know a bit more later today — hopefully.

Besides dealing with the uncertainties of my Dad’s health — I was also still battling my cold/sinus infection this past weekend as well. The past 3-4 nights I haven’t slept much at all at night, because I’ve been up coughing up a lung. Which took me away from a long run on Saturday and church yesterday.

Not fun.

Not fun.

Not fun.

I did however sleep a bit better last night — so I am hopeful the worst has past me by. I really want to run as needed tomorrow and Thursday according to my training plan. Then of course on Saturday as well — luckily, I’m only running six miles according to the plan.

I just want to be consistent with the training and it’s hard to be when you’re sick or coughing up a lung. But, I think — THINK — I have turned the corner.

Just keeping my fingers crossed.

I am actually quite excited it’s Monday — I feel refreshed, renewed and hopeful that it will be a good week with my training and my Dad’s health.

But, like anything in life — I am taking it one step at a time.


WEEKENDGRAMS

The force is strong with this one. #calliewankenobi #myyoungapprentice

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

I don’t always read @peoplemag, but I do when this is the cover @fullerhouse #fullerhouse #netflix

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


2016 MILEAGE TO DATE

RUNNING MILES

1.5 miles

RACE MILES

16.2 miles

WALKING MILES

32.02 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

49.72 miles

MILES TO GOAL

2617.28 miles


Daily Shorts.fw

  • Tonight is the College Football Playoff Championship game against Clemson and Alabama — and as with probably all America outside of Alabama, I’m rooting for Clemson. While they’re not an “underdog” — I always will root for the team that hasn’t won yet or in years. Should be a good game.
  • Um, there’s a new Pee-Wee Herman movie coming out this year? In my book this pretty much equates with Star Wars!
  • Isn’t this romantic? But, at the same time I have a feeling that’s how I am going to meet my future wife.
  • I love football — it’s pretty dully noted. I am probably more of a college football fan, but I absolutely love the NFL playoffs. It doesn’t even matter if the Niners, Chargers or Cowboys are in it — I love it. And, I love rooting for the underdog regardless of the game. But, man oh man did I feel bad for Blair Walsh yesterday after he shanked a chip shot field goal at the end of the end game — giving the Seahawks a 10-9 win. But, that’s playoff football for you. Gut-wrenching.
  • Speaking of gut-wrenching — this makes me sick. Excess celebration — after a game? What the what? I am glad the refs were suspended.
  • I love these kind of articles from people who have lost a lot of weight — for as much as they lost, a lot of their solutions are fairly simple.
  • I saw this video floating around Facebook, but I had to share it here as well, because I love it that much. For all the crap that goes on in the world today — it’s nice being reminded that humanity isn’t all that bad.
  • I don’t know how I feel about this? I mean — doughnut burger? So many conflicting thoughts. One of these days though I do want to use my free meal on a doughnut burger — the only requirement would have to be that it better be a DANG good one.
  • Professional Farter? That’s actually a real thing? I find this both extremely funny — and somewhat gross.
  • In a way — I am treating 2016 as a “comeback” more than a year of weight-loss or getting back on track. Because really that’s what it’s about — I found this gem from Running Times spot on and quite inspiring.