Friday, July 31, 2015

Making a Difference

"Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change."

Barbara Mikulski

Today I had to go to Ottawa to pick-up my baby after her work day and while I was downtown run some errands.

I didn't have time to walk my usual number of steps but I had over 11,000 done before breakfast.
Took a quick shower, get in the car and drive as fast as possible away from home. The speed limit in our park is 10 KM (6 miles) so I was going a little less than that when I came across a couple that I always say Hello to when I'm walking. I don't even know their name. I waved at them.
They flagged me to stop... they came to me and said: “We have already walk 10 kilometers this morning!” It's the first sentence that we exchange that is not a hello... and it's to tell me their walking distance, I was a little suspicious about what was happening and then the lady added: “It's because of you, you inspire us!” Typing this, I'm still choke up... because they see me everyday, they started to walk further.
I know of a few people who bought a Vivofit because of my recommendation. One of those person is a lady here on the park. She wants to lose weight and tried several way but nothing seem to be working for her. Now every time I see her, she is walking. She even told me that she go in the lake and “walk” sitting on a tube, obviously she moved her arms to do like walking.
I am so proud of all the ones that take their health in their own hands and I'm humble to learn I might have been a trigger.
I am also 'High five' you all for being my inspiration, we are all making a difference, I assure you.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vivofit Challenge is Fun

Last week was such a great week. I was competing in a 100 K step's challenge. I had the goal to brake my most steps in week personnel record. Which I did! 
 I end up finishing first in the challenge, but really there was no competition, from the first day, I was so much ahead that the closest person to me couldn't even see my dust.
Fast forward to this week... My intention was to take it easy, my goal was to do 15,000 steps per day for a grand total of 105,000 steps for the week. I know so lazy right? haha
BUT, when you do good and your step count increase, you get in more advanced challenge. So I was moved to the 125 K challenge. Darn those people are CRAZY-er! (just my personnel observation)
Within the first 2 hours, I was number one (no one else had synch their vivofit). But it didn't last, few more hours later; I had slipped to 6th.
For me those challenge really work, for instance because everyone was doing so good, Tuesday I walked 22,000 steps instead of the 15,000 I had planned. And that was not even enough to keep me on the podium. It just kept me within range!
This morning, I'm back to 6th, but I'm having fun. How so you might be wondering... I go the extra mile (literally and figuratively).
One thing I think is strange is that no one comment on those challenges. It's call Garmin Connect, but no one else is saying anything. I always write comments, I'm not sure if it help motivate or torment them but, hey, I'm having fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Secret Strategy to Lose Weight

Why pay thousand of dollars in gym fee and special get-lean-quick diet when this very simple inexpensive secret could work?
Before telling you about it (just doing some built-up folks) I want to caution you; It might not work for the ones that doesn't have them. Those one might just be doom to stay on the side of the road and cheer us going to Thin City.
After EVERY (yes in caps and underline) meals, BEFORE the dessert and even BEFORE cleaning the dishes (because the one cleaning the dishes take care of the left overs, if you know what I mean) go brush your teeth. Don't take chances go the extra mile and floss them as well.
Genius right?
From Rachel's blog, I found out a new (to me) blogger last week, her name is Geraldine.
Here two link to her posts that had me tearing up. I could so relate. It's well worth reading and keep a box of tissue beside you...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Welcome to Java

I have been brewing this post for a few days. So this morning after roasting from bed, I decided today was the day that I will spill the beans.
I have been drinking coffee for the past 37 years. On few occasions, my doctor warned me to stay away from my must-have-to-waking-up cup of freshly brew. However I felt guilty to swallow my steaming Java.
But still, I indulged! I remember doc asked me how much I drank and I honestly told him 1 or 2 cups a day. It never crossed my brain that a cup was a cup. When you go to your favorite coffee place, do you ask for a cup of coffee meaning you want ONE cup! No you asked for a large coffee or in my case extra large coffee, it comes in a cup that is big enough to hold the hot stuff, right?
These days, I drink 1 mug, it contain 3 and a half cup. My compromise is that I don't drink any more than that and NEVER past noon or I turned into an owl at night and can't sleep. Once in a while, when I drink soft drink, I'll have a diet caffeine free Coke. I'm that dedicated to stay away from caffeine.
During all these year I never questioned myself about why is it bad? Or is it really bad!
Last weekend, I was reading a magazine (CSANews – Summer 2015) and there was an article title “Longevity and coffee” my first thought was “oh shit how many years did I cut off my life!” So I started to read the article. I was shocked it stated: “there could be huge health benefits to drinking coffee... so much so, that it can even extend your life!” Say WHAT???? 37 years of GUILTY drinking my cup of Joe and it might be good for me. I had to read more.
From serious studies, it seems to prove that coffee can:
Reduce vascular disease;
Lower the risks of cancer;
Prevent Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia;
Mitigate diabetes and obesity
Now that is what I call Coffee perks so I continue my research on the net and finally found this graph (at
This was enough to get the aftertaste of Guilt out of my favorite cup of morning elixir. Cheers you all!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Question from Ivy

Is there any advice you can offer with regard to shopping for an activity tracker? He likes the monitor the sleep part some offer, as well as the step tracker.”
Thanks for your question Ivy, since I'm not sponsor by anyone and I only own one of those gizmo, I highly recommended the one I have. The best thing I can say is if the one I have would brake, I would get exactly the same kind.
I purchase my Vivofit from Garmin at Costco. It is less expensive than most worthy activity tracker (so you can pay in full haha), the number on the display are easy to read (when I walk I don't want to wear my glasses), and it is light and comfortable.
I'm a low tech kind of person so it is easy to use, it doesn't have a heart monitor (it could for more $$$$) but personally I think it's a gadget...
Once you have set up your account on the net, you get a wealth of information available about your activity and your sleep. I think the best way, I'll show you all the one that I use (but there is a lot more). Now the data you will see is my very own, don't try to duplicate it without a good pair of running shoes :-)

The followings are all from my Garmin application. 
I used to run and keeping record was important so I enjoy having this feature available. Just want to point out, I explained more the next slide: "Longest Goal Streak"

This is my activity for yesterday.

The total calories count is not from the steps itself, it's my daily calories' count, it takes into account my weight, my age and the level of steps. It's not that accurate because I might be working hard but not stepping and it thinks I'm not being active. So I considered the counter as a minimum amount of calories I burned for the day.

Total Distance could be set for KM, I prefer to keep it in miles.

Avg Daily Steps is since I got my Vivofit.

At the bottom of the above display there is "your Daily Goal". You can have Vivofit to set it up for you. It will take into consideration YOUR number of daily steps or like mine you can decide the heck with that I'm going to walk that much and that's MY goal. The "Longest Goal Streak" mentioned earlier is the number of days in a row that you exceed your goal.
 It even keeps track of when in the day I was busy and when I was lazy or as it say "Inactive"

A display of steps per month. Look at the total... you can't lie to Vivofit, it's real folks.
 You badges for accomplishment. When I have visitors, I spend hours showing off my accomplishments. Strangely there is less visitors lately!
 This is my sleep's pattern. The dark blue is Deep sleep, light blue light sleep and red is awake... so I slept all night (no trip to the toilet) 
 My weight since I started Vivofit. I had already lost about 15 lbs but it is lost forever (hopefully)

You can join the challenge, as you see on this one, I am in the lead, I am that good! hahaha

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I am a Disgrace

Last Sunday,I proclaimed loudly that I was back on the losing team. I further push the audacity stating that I would lose 1.5 pound in a week.
This morning when I stepped on the scale my number was 169 lbs. This is a drop of only 1.2 lb. I will be living in shame for the rest of this week, I'm short .3 lb from my goal.
I'll understand if no one read my posts ever again. I wish I had excuses, but I have been too busy walking and had no time to come up with good ones, so instead here some bad one:
I was force fed while sleeping.
My bowels were full (I told you it was bad excuses).
I ate too much fruits.
By mistake, one morning, I put cream instead of milk in my coffee.
I walked by a neighbor and it smelt like bacon, I overfill my lungs.
I was wearing my socks.
I have wax in my ears.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Two Millions

Yesterday I reached the 2,000,000 steps since I got my Vivofit at the end of February.
Just to put things in perspective, the distance traveled in my sneakers amount to 920 Miles (1480 KM). This is like walking from New York city to Jacksonville, FL. Only one way but still a great distance in only 4 and a half month.
Today I'm still on pursuit of my weekly best record but you might not know it (if you were naughty) Santa is coming to town. So my schedule is going to be crazy as I'm one of Santa's elf.
My role in this North pole organization is to collect presents for the kids, safeguard them with my life (the present not the kids!) and delivered everything intact to Santa (no peeking). You can say that my stress level will be out there in the red zone, but beard with me!
So my usual training routine will be as messed up as a reindeer droppings. However, to be in the mood, I loaded Christmas music in my MP-tree.
Feliz Navidad you all

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bing Bang Crack

Did you hear that? It was the sound of one of my personnel record being broken.
Previously, Apr 27 was my most “Steps in a Day's” record. On that nice and sunny day, I went out and walk 26,464 steps.
Records are nice but they have to be beat once in a while, yesterday, in a perfect day, with my MP3 playing tune in my head, I broke that record and step 28,009 times!
Just to give you an idea of what is involved, it takes me an hour to walk 7,500 steps. So I was out walking for about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Now I didn't walk that long in one shot, I stopped for a few pit stops and to recharge my MP3. The distance was 20 KM (12.4 miles), it's almost half a marathon!
I want to walk over 2 more personal record in the next 8 days:
Most Steps in a Week which is 150,890 steps (Apr 27 - May 3, 2015). I already have walks 91,226 steps this week so for the next 3 days, I have to walk an average of 19,888 steps (I'll round it up to 20,000 just to have a little cushion.
Most Steps in a Month which is 489,907 steps (Apr 2015). Currently for July, I am at 384,857 steps. There is 8 days left so if I maintains 13,132 steps per day, I'll have crush that record too.
Why put myself through that? I don't have a logical answer but man kind walk on the moon, climb Everest, run marathons just because they could.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Doctor Visit # 429

Yesterday I went to see my doctor. Since my return from Florida in April, I have seen him 429 times! Well not really, I dream have nightmare about him often enough.
Just as a re-cap, May first I stopped my pills for cholesterol, I didn't get medical advice first, I trusted my instinct and want to speed up the process.
So 2 weeks later, I went to see my doctor. He was not happy, but being concern about my health (ya right), he told me to wait in Jun and get blood work to see my cholesterol level.
June I conquered my fear of needle and got blood remove from my body. From the color I could tell there was no cholesterol (I should have been a doctor, wanna play?)
Just in case my theory about the color was wrong, I took an appointment to go back to see my doctor. Yesterday was that day.
When I entered his office, he didn't waste time he asked: “Why are you here, your annual checkup is next month!” Maybe I'm a little too sensitive but a welcome would have been nice and then with a look of concern how are you doing? I guess my doctor never watched Doctor Welby!
Then he started looking at my chart probably looking for an answer to his own question. I knew the answer but while he is doing that, he is not blasting me. So after a nano second he turn and look at me: “Do you have your sheet?”
At that point I am confused: “Which sheet?” I dare asked.
The one about your blood pressure!” annoy him answered.
Now this is from personal observation, but maybe he has been working around drugs for too long...
I am not here about my blood pressure I'm here about my cholesterol.” You folks are not doctor right? But you got that, right? He didn't.
You know when you are going to go to the pharmacy to renew your blood pressure pills, you are going to have a problem because, it is due to be renew at your checkup” ignoring me stated.
I don't take BP pills, you told me last fall that I didn't need it anymore.”
That is not what I said, I said every thing was OK, it didn't mean to stop your meds”.
In my mind I'm racing to find in my memory bank the conversation we had about that, but it has been erase.
So now for my annual checkup I have to bring records of my BP for a few weeks plus I have to go back and give more blood, plus shit on a paper and take a sample (scuse my French) and pee in a bottle (which he doesn't want me to write a message on and send in the sea). If that was not enough, on that checkup, he wear one glove... I am so looking forward for next time...
By then he thinks he is done and he is ready to dismiss me. However, I still don't have an answer to my question... “what about my cholesterol level?”
It's fine!” he said.
Well I guess I was right about stopping the cholesterol pills!” just my way to say, in your face!
There you have it folks, losing weight do work and get you healthier.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hanging Out

Lately I got a new problem, one that I didn't realize could be happening, one that make me uncomfortable; The cat got out of the bag! The train derailed! The fish is swimming outside the pound! Little Richard is getting away!
Yes my Fruit of the loom are too big and are not giving me the much need support anymore. It started a few weeks ago, I was sitting around with people and I felt a draft. When everything is in its proper place, I don't feel draft. So discretely, I went to the bathroom and put everything back to where it should never get out in the first place.
As soon I sited back, I knew there was a big problem, having a mind of its own, little Richard was out again. You just can't discretely move thing around when you are surround. Maybe you think so what? I WAS WEARING SHORT!
Maybe the solution would be to go commando, but I'm really uneasy about that plus I like to keep hold of the situation (figuratively speaking) so today I will be going shopping.
I haven't been shopping for underwear for a looooong time, the one I have were just fine, if you don't take into account the free way.
I just don't know if there has been some new kind of undies out there. I don't want to be seen at Walmart looking at all the picture of the new and improve article out there. It might look like I'm a pervert, so I'll wait when the section is empty, walk to the rack and act like I'm looking at my watch... see the important thing is to have a plan.
No need to beg or plead, I Will not post pictures, little Richard is shy this way.
Now a public announcement: For sale large size Fruit of the Loom, still working band, no hole and no stain. They come in all colors (extra for leotard) however, you'll have to get your own accessories.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Is there anything more complex than eating right?

I'm on this trip right now, I'm reading about people going on a low carbs diet and I am scratching my head... what is carb and why is it bad or is it?
I started reading about it and I'm getting as confuse as a drunk driving in an obstacle course.
This brought me to one more journey; diets plan. It can be Atkins, Paleo, or whatever you fancy, a diet is still a diet.
So in the next few weeks, I'll be looking and posting about those.
To start with, I'm NOT a nutritionist, not even close, I eat to live not to earn a living. NO doctorate either in any fields. As a mater of facts, I might be one the the most uneducated person out there about food.
Of course we are all different and what is working for one person might do the opposite for someone else but why?
I will look at that but I might be bias in thinking it's mainly a mental problem and has nothing to do with physiology (wow a big word coming from my keyboard).
But one thing I am a convert and a true believer: Sugar is poison. I don't care about what anyone would say, I believe this is the number one problem in world obesity. I know it's a big statement but it's my blog, don't sue me!
I truly believe that my success was mainly a direct result of eliminating the white shit. I also believe that everyone process sugar the same way, if anyone eat the shit, they get fatter, if we cut it off; we get healthier.
I'm on my way to thin city. I don't want to get there and be by myself, that would not be sweet. But I don't want to make anyone feel bad about their choice so, I'll stay off the sugar war path for a while but you know what I think.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Sweet True and Nothing but

I wrote several posts about refined sugar. In my opinion it is extremely important to get off this poison if you are sincere about getting healthier.
Maybe my words didn't reach you in a way to motivate you so I'll let someone else tell his story.
As a spoiler, FogDog lost 20 pounds in 21 days and I'm convince its mainly because he detox himself of sugar.
Have a great healthy weeks folks and folklettes.

A Five Days Week

Tuesday I returned to the path of loser. My weigh was a decent 171.8 lbs but my goal is 150 so I refocus on my goal. I want to lose 1.5 lb per week and weigh on Sunday's. So that was a five day week and could be problematic...
This morning the scale number's were: 170.2 lbs! In this 5 days week, I lost 1.6 lbs, I just can't imagine what the result would have been if I had had a 7 days week!
Last night, the Gods were mad at me... I got a really bad thunder storm. The lightnings were continuous, the noise from the rain was like being in a car wash, but for hours.
Today it's going to be very hot and humid and there is a warning on the weather channel for a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, so I'll be back in the car wash today!
Knowing this, I went to do my walk early, but it was still very humid.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Music in my Ear

Lately I have been bringing a group of people to walk with me.
My French besties: Jean-Pierre Ferland, Isabelle Boulay, Ima, Paul Piché, and I never forget to stop and invite Michel Rivard.
However, I'm kind of a control freak... I just point with my fingers to whose turn it is to serenade me. I'm an introvert so I don't talk much, I just listen.
Being bilingual, I also invite: Leonard Cohen, Jim Brickman, Lorenna Mckennitt, Sarah McLachlan and my pals from across the pound James Blunt.
I'm spending hours with them, stepping to the speed of their beats.
Last week, I bough an MP3, it's a small device but if I would load it to its maximum capacity, it would pack 1600 hours of music. For the time I spend walking, it would translate in about 2 years without once listening to the same song.
What are you listening to while training? Are you like me and favor soft music?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't Give Up 2

This morning, I was walking in the village. A boat passed me (on a trailer, of course!) The name of the boat was “Don't Give Up 2”. My brain didn't need any more inspiration to start a journey on my physical condition as of late.
Since the beginning of May, I have been in pain. My back and my right shoulder hurt. When I saw my doctor, he sent me to get some X-Rays.
From the result, I had a degenerative back problem and a shoulder's tendinitis, he said. This was a shocked! he even told me that from now on, I have to limited my activities to the ones practice by the “elders”. I am 55 years OLD (notice the emphasis is on old), and I had to face life in pain and limit my activities. He sent me to a physiotherapist.
When I met her, she re-assure me that my pain was from the tendinitis and my back was normal for my age. After 5 sessions in her torture chambers, she sent me back to my doctor to see if they could remove what was causing my shoulder pain because I was not improving.
She agree with my doctor that for the time being, I should not move my right arm over my head. In pickelball term: No smash!
After my last visit with the physio, I gave up! I was losing confidence in my medical team. I decided to stop complaining about my pain. If someone would ask, I was to tell them, I was better. When you give up hope, you either get depress or you accept what ever is going on. I'm not the depressive type so I accepted that from now on, I'll be in pain. So I would have to live with it.
Then it was a Thursday and I was tired to look at my neglected house. I started the exterior washing. To do that, I was on a step ladder a great part of the day, with my right arm over my head. This is exactly what my doctor and the physio said not to do. I didn't care, I thought that I would be a few days in pain but I was already in pain so, what!
The following day, I was not in more pain. I had planned to take it easy but since I was OK, why not go for couple of game of pickelball. So off to the court. I played about 2 hours. I was not suppose to smash the ball but in several occasion, I “tap” the ball when I shouldn't. No strength behind the shot just lightly tapping the ball above my head. I felt something in my shoulder, it was like a little tingling. I kept playing, I figured latter I would deal with the pain.
In the evening, I was standing up by the sink and realized that I had no pain in my shoulder. I rise slowly my arm above my head and where I was getting pain before there was not anymore.
I can't explain how, but the only thing I can see is that I have been more active, ignoring advice.
I just don't know if it's healing right now and what I have been told so far was a load of manure... the stinky one at that!
I would say my shoulder is back to 80 %. It's not painful anymore, it's more like soreness after being inactive for a while.
Was “Don't Give Up 2” a reminder that just float by or what?

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Just as a warning, I am in a bad mood. Doesn't mater the reason, let just say shit happen!
So for a while my humor might be off. Don't worry cream always rise above the shit, right?
Mental is part of health so I thought it was appropriate to share this with you all. Hopefully it's not a new chronic condition affecting people over 55, something like mad retiree disease... I know there is cures; Wine? but I won't touch that. Pills? but I don't take any. Time? that is what I'll have.
So this is my post for today, I cut off all the flowers, there is no rainbow!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Voice of Treason

Do you hear voices or is it only me? For almost 2 months now I have had that loud mouthpiece talking to me...
Richard you did good, take a rest”;
Don't worry you lost enough, you should stop now”;
So what if you don't reach your goal”;
Why don't you have one more glass of wine?”;
You love fries, have some more”;
You don't need to lose that weight, you just want to”
This is the voice of treason, I have been listening to its dirty tempting advice for a while now.
Even recently when I said I wanted to reach to my goal, what did I do? Toasted my goal with more wine and all kind of junk food!
Losing weight so far has been easy, and in my mind it meant I could do it anytime. I know how to do it, so I'll wait a bit longer... WRONG! “Richard control yourself” the voice of reason is murmuring.
So right NOW, not tomorrow, or any other day, right NOW, I'll get back to my secret plan, you know the one about eating less, eating better and exercising.
Right NOW, I'll turn the accountability meter back on. I'll weigh myself and post it right here, every Sunday. Today I was at 171.8 lbs I’m reporting it even though it’s not the official Sunday weighing day.  I better lose 1.5 lb per week from now on or I'll kick the voice of treason so far out that it will need light speed to ever again get hold of me.
I'll also get back to blogging daily. It was helping me before and since there are one or two people out there who seem to be able to put up with me, I'll take total advantage of it.
I am so excited right now, I'm rising my glass of water to a better health! Anything exciting in your life?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mea Culpa

Maybe it’s because it's Sunday and I know that historically on weekends fewer people read blogs. Maybe it's my conscience being so loud that and I can't tune it out no more. Or maybe my fingers had to do some exercise on the keyboard. Whatever the reason, I'm coming out now: I have a problem!
Since the big blackout of Jun 2015, for those of you who were not listening to the news, I spent 5 days and 5 nights without Internet access. It resulted in me neglecting my duties as a man, as a father, as a friend, as a human being and if that was not bad enough, as a bloggist.
I have a whole list of excuses but I won't use them, I'm coming out now, so here comes the truth; I started to play solitaire again! It's bad, I can't seem to do anything but play “one more game”. But the “one more game” ends up being hours lost forever.
I see Spider everywhere, my heart is clicking faster and faster, I am not free of a Freecell but I'm in a Pyramid too. From my window, there are TriPeaks! I'm so Puzzled! Grrrrr
This is it, I'm putting an end to that, after the next game, I'll stop... well I'll stop tomorrow; today has already started. Wait! Tomorrow is Monday, I should start this on a weekend, next Saturday, I'll just play ONE game, that sounds reasonable, right?
You folks don't suffer from any addiction, do you?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life is Sweet Enough

My wife sent me an email yesterday. We were sitting side by side but sometimes we communicate via email. I think she does this to have a proof that she told me so...
Her email was about an interesting article:
The drastic results of eating 'healthy foods,' with added sugar”. Link to CTV. This was a documentary done by Australian actor Damon Gameau. It's worth reading, take a few minutes to go to the link above, I'll wait here.
What hes talking about is what we were doing when our daughters were little. They had granola bars, cereals and juice daily. We didn't know better. When you think you are providing your kids with healthy food and later find out it was not the case you realize something has seriously gone wrong.
Why would the industries lace their product with sugar? a good chance it's because it's addictive. They want us to buy their products because it tastes good and the more you eat the more you want. THEY WIN! We also win, we win a bigger waistline; pounds on the scale; all kinds of deceases; and a diminishing quality of life. This last one might not be that important because you also win a shorter life span.
The cynic in me think that the sugar industries target kids. If you are to get people addicted to your products, kids are the perfect target as they will be lifetime customers. Doesn't matter to them if those kids lives happen to be shortened as they will have their own kids who will be raised in the same sweet environment as their parent provided and it will create more customers.
Maybe as with cigarettes, there should be a big warning on every bag of sugar and any product which contains sugar. However, even with the cigarette warnings kids do start smoking anyway.
Has anyone been successful at losing weight while still eating refined sugar?
You can get out of the sugar wagon, we did it.
Before going on our trip in June, I thought about buying a treat. I looked at cakes and looked at the ingredient labels but there was just too much sugar.
So I thought I’d buy some muffins, when I looked at the labels it was as bad as buying cake. I looked at the smallest muffins available, they were almost bite size, but still contained too much sugar. I was not able to rationalize buying “comfort food” which would impair my health.
At some point, for some “special” occasions, we will have a piece of cake, pie or a cookie, but my definition of “special” is not an open door to eat the shit every time I want; My wife and I had our birthday while on the sugar wagon, we didn't have cake, but we gained one more year of wisdom!