Healing is not so easy as we get older

I’ve been off exercise for a few months now. I’m doing quite a bit of walking, but that’s not really exercise, is it? Better than sitting on the couch, for sure, so I’ll take it.

My goal has been to allow my left shoulder to heal. It’s been hurting me for about a year now. I am not sure what caused the pain, but it feels like a torn labrum.

I don’t recall having traumatized the shoulder, but I noticed minor pain one day. I tried to work through it, as I have always done with minor pain, but six months later the joint’s mobility was very much limited, although it hadn’t affected my daily life … yet.

Then came winter, and I noticed that putting on my jacket in my usual way was not possible. I had to more or less throw the jacket over my left shoulder. I couldn’t simply put my arm through the sleeve and shrug it up. I had earlier noticed that I could no longer do a proper jumping jack, because I couldn’t lift my left arm up all the way to meet my right hand at the top.

Hmmmmm…. Okay, age, you wore me down!

So, here I am, walking a lot, and not doing my favorite extreme routines.

At least this no-exercise plan is working! My shoulder feels much better now, and it gets better every day. I can almost do a good jumping jack. Putting on my jacket is much easier.

But, damn, this healing process is … so … slow.

I hope that once I am good to go, I’ll be motivated enough to get right back into it, because I’m eager to be fit again.

My fitness goals are off track. Now what?

I’m off track. Not completely off track, but I am:

  • Not exercising the way I want to
  • Gaining fat beyond my acceptable limit

I’m still maintaining a vegan-plus-eggs diet, but I injured my shoulder about a year ago, and after many months of trying to work through it, I finally figured out it was time to take time off from my workouts to let the thing heal, before I mess it up forever (if I haven’t already).

That decision to rest, though, came after I’d already put on quite a few pounds around my gut, so it’s not as if I became fat while sedentary. I was still working out. Unfortunately, my weight is now back to where it was before I started P90X in February, 2010, and I have to say I am dumbfounded by this set of circumstances.

I had believed that diet was everything, but my diet was still good and I had gained the weight. Obviously there are other factors in play inside my body.

What is it, then? My increasing age? That surely has something to do with it. It seems natural to get fatter as we get older. Whether it’s because we become more sedentary or our testosterone levels diminish or it’s just in our genes, there must be something natural about older people being fatter, because that is pretty much the case in the world I observe every day — in general, old people are fatter than young people.

That doesn’t mean that my increased fat is not weighing on me psychologically. In fact, I am extremely disappointed by it. Almost despondent, in fact. I’m not kidding — this is outright depressing.

However, I have decided, after a few months of analyzing the situation, to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to basics.

Exercise? Walking. Lots of walking, back to circling the kitchen island while watching tv during breaks from work. I have an app on my phone that measures how many steps I’ve taken, so I keep my phone with me most of the time now.

Diet? No big change there, because I think I’m on the right track, but I want to get more back to whole foods, so I’ll focus on that.

I am also doing something that I think would be against doctor’s orders, and that is adding more caffeine, mostly coffee. I feel as if I need it, so I’m going up to a max of three cups a day.

I’m not sure what is going on with my 50+ year old body right now, but I know I’m not going down without a fight.

One thing I’ll say here is that my back feels great, better than it has in years! So there’s that….

Baby wipes are not good for hemorrhoids

Imagine my surprise when I figured out that baby wipes, which I used to help with my hemorrhoids, were actually irritating them. Yup.

I had hemorrhoid surgery back in late 2000. Nothing too major, but just so you know — I have a problem. I pretty much simply lived with the things for years, even after the surgery. They were an uncomfortable way of life for me.

I started using baby wipes back in 2011 on the suggestion of my brother. I didn’t notice any improvement in the hemorrhoids, but the wipes couldn’t hurt, I figured, and they provided an overall cleanliness that I liked, so I continued with them.

In 2012, though, I switched over to a meat- and dairy-free diet. I did this for general health reasons, but I figured that, for sure now, I’d be able to call bullshit on anyone who tries to tell me I don’t get enough fiber, which is highly cited as a reason for hemorrhoids.

After about 6 months of the diet, it seemed that my hemorrhoids were actually getting worse! Yes, worse! What the hell?!?!?! I was about to go to the doctor specifically about the hemorrhoids, but I hate going to the doctor, so I thought, “Hmmmmmm…. How about I try stopping the baby wipes?”

Within 2 weeks of stopping the use of baby wipes, my anal irritation went away. That was more than a year ago, and the problem has not returned.

After my experience, I looked up the relationship between baby wipes and hemorrhoids on the web, and, sure enough, others are saying the same thing. Plus, it made sense that my hemorrhoids would get worse after I switched to a vegan-plus-eggs diet, because I was going to the bathroom more, and, therefore, applying baby wipes more often.

Fwiw, I was using both Cottonelle and Kirkland (Costco house brand) baby wipes. Maybe there are some wipes that would work for me, but I’m not willing to find out, because I’m all good now, and I don’t want to mess with that.

I hope this article helps you. I remember reading about a guy who was using wipes for 20 years before figuring out the connection between them and his hemorrhoids. I’m glad it only took me about a year.

P90X3 is coming December 10th!


Dec_Hero_P90X3All good things come in threes, but be warned: P90X3 is far from a trilogy. No, P90X3 is NOT the kid sister workout. It’s the workout that took notes from it’s siblings, then condensed, and accelerated to become the most dynamic and fastest workout yet.

The ultimate excuse buster
Time is the biggest excuse. P90X3 solves that. Every workout is 30 minutes and the clock starts the minute you push play. Before you can say “drop and give me 10,” it’s over and you are one workout closer to the six-pack of your dreams.

Muscle acceleration explained
Many P90X fans were hooked on the science of muscle confusion – which introduced variety to the workouts and prevented plateauing. P90X3 takes a hint from that success and from studies showing the most dramatic body transformations happen within the first 30 minutes of exercise. Enter muscle acceleration, a Tony Horton-approved highly-structured schedule with an incredibly high level of intensity and an unprecedented variety of moves. The gurus behind P90X3 combined exercises and added some twists to maximize your time and keep every muscle challenged for a full 30 minutes.

Say goodbye to boredom
Which brings us to the fun-factor. Host, world-renown fitness ledgend, Tony Horton does not disappoint. With his witty one-liners and can-do mantras, he’ll simultaneously have you laughing and fired-up to bust out that final rep. Along with the constant entertainment, P90X3 has the most workouts of any Beachbody program. With 16 workouts in the base kit, they switch it up before you have a chance to consider boredom. From cardio to strength to pilates to MMX, there is something for everyone.

The ideal P90X3-er
It may seem lofty to proclaim, but P90X3 is indeed a workout for everyone. Everyone searching for tighter abs and leaner muscles, that is. But fitness novices and experts need not be afraid by P90X3’s come-one-come-all invitation. You don’t have to have any previous P90X experience in order to get killer results. For the beginner, the variety of workouts in P90X3 is the perfect place to discover their fitness style. If the move can be modified there is a cast member showing you how. But don’t expect to be an expert on day one. (Yes, fitness veterans will still be challenged.) As Tony says, ”You don’t get off easy, you just get to finish faster!”

It doesn’t stop there
And of course there are some bells and whistles too good to ignore. First off, the Coach exclusive: If P90X3 is purchased through a Coach any time from December 10th – 31st (including Challenge Packs), the customer receives an exclusive P90X3 baseball cap. What better way to spread the word about this revolutionary program?

And last but not least, we have the app: Yes, now for the first time the P90X app is available on Android and iOS
The app includes P90X guided workouts, tools to track your reps, weights and progress. Launching soon, is the P90X3 addition – which brings you workout specific tracking modules, scheduling options and the motivation you need to power through the 90 days. P90X3 scheduling and tracking will be available on the app for Android on 12/10 and is coming soon for iPhone. Check out the app and get ready to bring it!

Sign up for a FREE Beachbody account to be the first to know when X3 is available.

Stop obsessing about your weight!

We need to stop obsessing about the numbers on the scale, and those on the tape measure, too, if truth be told.

If we are a bit over that elusive “goal” weight, but are in good health — not on meds, bloodwork and vital signs are great — maybe it’s time we accept our current weight.

health at every sizeI mean, let’s face it: Everyone is not built to be as thin as many of us strive to be. We see the beautiful people the media throw at us, and we think we need to try to look like them.

Okay, first of all, if I made a living being beautiful, you can damn sure bet that I’d have the time and energy to get and stay that way. Second of all, I don’t make a living being beautiful. End of story.

Trying to make a round body fit into a square hole does not seem like a very productive use of time. In the final analysis, if we eat right and exercise a bit, say a half-hour a day, we should live a long, active life, even if it may be with some “excess” baggage.

How did I reach this conclusion? I looked at my experience with trying to get and stay thin, along with just-about-everyone-else-I-know’s experience with trying to get and stay thin. Have you looked around? It just ain’t happening.

Now, yes, I am a lot thinner than I used to be. People might even perceive me to be thin. Some do, I know, because they make unsolicited comments about it. However, when I look in the mirror, when I grab the extra fat around my belly, I know that I am not as thin as I want to be. I want to see those abs!

(My abs, btw, are in great shape, beneath that fat, because of Shaun T’s Focus T25. That guy knows how to work abs.)

I’d already reached the obvious conclusion that my body is just going to do what it wants to do. I eat very well, and I exercise quite a bit. My bloodwork is beautiful, I am not on any drugs, and I am very fit.

If all that is true, why would I possibly be concerned about a little extra pudge around the middle?

Why, indeed!

Not only that, but as I reached that conclusion, I stumbled upon a book by Linda Bacon, Ph.D., called Health At Every Size. In this book, Dr. Bacon demonstrates, using convincing scientific data, that overweight people are often, in fact, not unhealthy, and they also often, in fact, live longer lives than “normal weight” people.


Definitely something to think about. Read the book and decide for yourself.

Regardless of whether you buy into Dr. Bacon’s arguments, please realize that spending time fretting about how many pounds we weigh is not a healthy way to live.

Put away your scale! Eat right and exercise, and your body will take care of itself. Trust it.