Priorities are choices.

Priorities are choices…and choices have consequences.

Many surrender their power of choice…or think they do…allowing circumstances around them to define their priorities.

This is a choice too, and it bears repeating: Choices, whether consciously made or not, have consequences.

So, why do folks let “others” or “circumstances” force their choices?

Because choices are hard. Responsibility is a weight. And priorities will offend. We want to look to the outside to excuse those offenses, and most do. That is the path to bullshit.

What are YOUR priorities? You DID set them…but did you do it consciously? If not, I’d suggest revisiting them may be an order.

It took me better than 50 years to realize this…or perhaps I knew it early in my youth and simply forgot. Makes no difference. My priorities were skewed. The consequences were severe. Knowingly or no, I chose them as well.

It’s heartbreaking…until I learned…that I can choose to fix them as well.

So…what are MY priorities today? What are my choices? What are my offenses? They have changed. How about a “Top 5”?

1) My wife’s safety and well-being.
2) Our relationship.
3) MY physical and mental fitness.
4) My career/income/means.
5) Family/friends.

Hard choices. Some seem selfish. Some seem out of order. Some may offend. All will have consequences.

So, on to the explanations:

1) My wife’s safety and well being. Why is this the very top of my list? The easy explanation is that I swore in front of God and the State of Texas that it would be.

But it goes deeper than that. Right to my very core. We’ll call it a “moral code” and save THAT for another post. Suffice it to say (and I’ve said it before), I’d burn the world and everybody in it for Her.

2) Our relationship. This is one of those that may seem out of place. Shouldn’t it be above #1? Well, no. It shouldn’t be, as sometimes being the man I NEED to be to ensure #1 is not the man she may want at the time.

The man she needs. The man she wants. The man I am…these are not always the same thing. Sometimes they’re not even close. Fortunately, we generally choose that they WILL be, and mostly we’re successful. Protector, lover, friend, and provider…mostly all at the same time.

3) MY physical and mental fitness. Seems selfish, yes? I used to think so. Hell, it may need to be #1 on the list, in a cold, hard examination. I’ll have to settle for #3 for now. That’s an improvement. This was never even in my top 100 before…and that very nearly cost me everything. It has to be at least this high as I can’t provide anything else for anybody else unless I’m here and capable of it.

THAT…is not a casual endeavor. It’s a moral obligation. I just never understood that before.

4) My career/income/means. This is another many would call out of place. Why is it above family/friends? Because cold, hard facts. Choices. They must be made, and consciously. Rule #1 in helping or being there for ANYBODY is that you don’t make yourself a victim whil doing so.

And the cold hard fact is that my value to family and friends is mostly in what I can provide in help, support, assistance, or occasionally, just plain company.

And I can’t achieve ANY of that if I can’t support myself and my wife. Cold hard fact, that. Offensive choice.

Heck, given that analysis perhaps it should even be moved up to #1 or #2…and I think it was there for a long time. But it’s not today…nothing but her well-being comes above our relationship simply because in my view, the world without her isn’t worth pursuing.

5) Friends/family. They really aren’t the bottom of my priority list…they are in the top 5. There’s hundreds of items, and frankly, below the top 5 they are constantly changing and rearranging. I can’t nail them down…consciously.

Make of this what you will. That’s a choice too.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Progress…

FBS: 82
A1C: 4.6
Temp: 95.5
BP: 110/64
Triglycerides: 73
HDL: 63
LDL: 58
Total Cholesterol: 135
WT: -192 (235, still got 28ish pounds of fat to lose to 15%)
BF%: 21.5

Doc this morning: “Damn. You look good!”

…and still, staring back at me…the fat man in the mirror.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The fat man in the mirror…

The “tail” on my belt…there was a time I couldn’t put this belt around me…the *extra* now wraps nearly 3/4 the way back around…

I just had to punch another hole in it (take out another inch). I punched three. I’ll need ’em soon enough.

My HRM says I burned over 16,000 calories last month just during workouts…and I wasn’t wearing it for several…

…and STILL…I see the fat man in the mirror.

That dude and I…are going to have to come to terms someday…

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

I’ll see you on the road…

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Game-changer

If you are T2 diabetic, pre-diabetic, have metabolic syndrome, or are significantly overweight (25+% body-fat for men, 30+% for women) and you have not CLOSED YOUR MIND to the FACT what you do every day dramatically impacts these issues, you need a Continuous Glucose Monitor (GCM).

This is a little sensor (about the size of a quarter) that you painlessly stick on the back of your arm. It stays there (the model we use, for 14 days before replacement) and samples your glucose levels and stores the data. You wave a handheld unit over it any time you want (but at least every 8 hours) and the data is downloaded and displayed as a current number, trend, and chart of the history. The chart is pure gold…

This is a *game changer* as it shows you…in real time…just how incredibly *fucked up* many of the foods we eat as a normal/majority part of our diet actually are.

…if you’ll get your head out of that river in Egypt (deNile)…you’ll also see just how fast you can move your stats toward normal.

The problem is it takes consistent, MINDFUL behavior, and those little daily cheats are a killer. Many of these foods essentially SET a significantly higher baseline for your blood sugar for the rest of the day…and they stack on each other as well.

I’ll write more about this in detail sometime, someplace…but if you’ll accept that a high blood sugar level (and the resulting high insulin levels introduced whether via your overworked pancreas or injections) are the issue, you can learn, in mere days…what the real problem is and how dramatically YOU can impact it.

High sugar and/or high insulin levels are responsible for pretty much everything related to the above conditions.

…it comes down to this…no matter how many ways we phrase the question…the answer doesn’t change.

Fixing it…via that consistent behavior…is another challenge.

Trying to get off of these foods will also show you just how much of an addiction they actually are.

Of the units out there at the moment, Freestyle Libre is the most affordable. Most insurance plans cover ’em.

Their value is IF and ONLY if…you are ready to accept that what you do…*every* day, *every* meal, dramatically impacts your condition (good or bad) and you are ready to fix it.

These conditions will prematurely kill hundreds of thousands this year alone…and are, 100%, influenced by your daily behavior. This is the first tool I’ve seen that will give you specific information to what behavior needs to change (what foods you have to DROP!!!). Since these changes often run counter to the current teachings…this information is incredibly valuable and most likely NOT something you are getting directly from your doctor or nutritional guidelines.

Fixing it…well…THAT is a simple process…but it’s NOT easy…I suspect a majority are unwilling to accept the data even when swatted upside the head with it…and some, even if they did, would be unable to execute it. There’s a lifetime of habit, outright addiction, MASSIVE advertising, high profit, a “food is a reward” mentality, and horrid current nutritional advice working against them. Folks will defend what they “know” with a religious fervor…even while it’s killing them. I KNOW this…as I did it for years myself.

That will be subject for other writings.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The Fat Man in the Mirror

Have I mentioned the fat man in the mirror lately?

-190 lbs.

20% body fat.

Still workin’ it.

I’ll see you on the road.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

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The Zone

Between our self-imposed limitations and the actual edge is where ALL our successes occur…

…everything else is mere survival.

A barbell taught me this…but it applies to absolutely everything.

For some reason this was a revelation to me.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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100%…what does that even mean?

So…about 7 months ago (end of September 2018) I got my left arm out of the sling from the shoulder surgery (done in August 2018), and started PT…my right arm was also recovering from shoulder surgery done in January 2018.

At that point, I couldn’t lay on my back (bench press position) and raise my left arm without assistance. Literally, the PT gal had to “pull my finger” LOL!

My right arm was nearly as bad, I could raise it by that time with just the arm weight, but even a 1-pound weight (a cute little dumbbell!) overwhelmed it after just a rep or two. It was all I could do to lay there with my hand in the air making little circles.

Fast forward just a bit:

I’ve been working the shoulders practically every day, often multiple times a day, for months. Once cleared from physical therapy (not DONE mind you, but “functional” gets your insurance to kick ya out) I started working again with my trainer (Travis Merritt at Rowlett Transformation Center) for my overall fitness and specific, deliberate work on the shoulders.

And I still work them nearly every day on my own. How much and when is determined by how close I’ve approached the threshold between “good” pain and “bad” pain.

I’ve learned the difference. It’s not subtle.

I’ve said it before…most of this fitness thing is a mind-game. Rehab, even more-so.

I’ve stared down the damn Smith machine more than once while wondering just what the fuck I was doing all this for (the Smith Machine cable setup is ideal for certain shoulder rehab work).

I stare. And wonder. And curse. And then I do the work anyway.

Eventually a pattern emerges. It’s not the pain or near-constant soreness…it’s the mind contemplating the lack of apparent progress.

Day to day I there is no improvement evident. Even week to week the changes are subtle.

And it takes focus and drive to summon the effort to deliberately inflict a calculated amount of pain, with no immediate benefit to be seen.

But still I persist. Still I MAKE the time. Still I pay the price. And every once and a while, the returns jump out at me.

So, those mere months ago when I couldn’t “press” my own arm weight?

Today, I bench-pressed 110 pounds. Not a lot for some of you folks…but amazing progress for me. Seems just a few weeks ago I couldn’t do just a barbell.

My shoulder surgeon, when discussing my potential to recover from the “catastrophic” and chronic injuries, had indicated that with persistence and hard work I may recover as much as 95% range of motion and perhaps 85% strength. I promised myself 100% of both.

I’ve achieved that on range of motion…but what about strength? Could I make it “back” to 100%?

I got a laugh out of that today. 100%…of what…exactly? I was nowhere near my potential before the injuries.

And even though it’s subtle, daily I gain in strength and control.

So what is 100%?

That’s where I stop, THAT’S what 100% means.

…and I’m not stopping.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Life in the Moments and Vistas

Early morning doctor’s visit, which of course means fasting. I never know whether, when, or how much blood they’re gonna want. My current theory is the vampire community was tired of the bad press earned by biting random folks on the neck for a meal (generally considered rude if uninvited) and instead have bought up all the lab groups/franchises as a much more reliable source…not only do they get the blood, but they *get paid for getting the blood*. But that of course…is another story.

So. Fasting. That means I’ve got to find some breakfast between the early morning appointment and when I get to work…at least, if the goal for the day is “don’t eviscerate anybody with a grapefruit spoon”. Breakfast is REQUIRED. And coffee…but if you didn’t know about me and coffee you’ve not been paying sufficient attention.

Thing is, the Dallas area is growing…massively. There’s more than 12 million people within 50 miles of me. 150,000 MORE people a year are moving in, and the result is areas are either slum or trendy, both if they’re transitioning, and near the vampires’…ur…doc’s headquarters and/or my downtown Dallas workplace even MORE so. With the time available before work this means my choices boil down to “shank central” or for days like today where I’m not in the mood to plop a side-arm on the table so I can finish my meal without a knife between the ribs, I end up instead at “Ridiculously Pretentious Breakfast Place”.

Note: If I ever start a food/beverage/bar business I’ll probably name it some sort of variation of the above. “Absolutely Ridiculously Pretentious something something”. Yeah, I know the ridiculously pretentious folks have zero sense of humor or irony…but they also wouldn’t recognize it as either.

“Hey, we need breakfast, where should we eat?”
“Someplace ridiculously pretentious.”
“Well I hear the coffee’s NINE bucks at that new place!”
“Sounds good!”

The bright side of pretentious, however, is that it’s slightly easier to get something healthy at this sort of place…assuming you avoid the FOUR pages of various kinds of pancakes, plus the FIVE “pancake of the day” offerings.

You also need to be able to “translate” the menu, but long years on the road have made me pretty adept at that sort of thing. “Pretentious”, it turns out, is just a highly modified dialect of “Yuppie”, which some of you older folks may be familiar with.

I ordered, squinting at the menu and hoping my credit limit would cover it. Today I elected for an “impossibly pretentious egg-white omelette” with a side of “amazingly overpriced fruit”.

Of course, on the menu it was something like, “Cage-free organic-certified-hand-harvested egg white virgin frittata, with a sustainable harvested organic arugula, vine sourced pomme d’amour, hand chosen asparagus, carefully sliced agaricus bisporus, and courgette salad.” The side was “organically chosen sustainable lovingly non-mechanically sourced berries” or something like that.

Literal translation: “egg-white veggie omelette with fruit on the side”.

me: “And a large coffee in a to-go cup.”
her: “We don’t have a large. I can get you a Grande Deluxe Excesse…” That last word was pronounced with a breathless flair that I’d expect to hear from a high-end call girl offering a blow-job. She also thrust her chest forward in an effort to get the right breathy-ness. The resulting motions were intentional and downright mind-boggling.
me: *blinks, carefully keeping my thoughts to myself* “Uh. Yeah. That.”

Which hints at the point of this post: Moments and Vistas.

See, the scenery today, required in this sort of neighborhood and strongly enhanced by this morning’s tropical, balmy, breezy weather, is distinct and notable.

Predominant are impossibly long legs, tan thighs, snug micro skirts, way-too-tight sleeveless low cut tops, and high-heeled boots. It’s the default for the gals here today. They are at least 75% of the content of the restaurant patrons.

Despite the initial sticker shock the breakfast isn’t all that expensive when I factor in the view I’m getting with no requirement or expectation to shove $5 bills in g-strings. I expect that would be downright rude too, but I can never be sure of these things.

Oh, and those tall “breakfast counter” bar-stools provide an amazing enhancement to the view.

God bless Texas!

Oh, and since most of the “not-hot-chick” patrons (“tab a, not slot b” type) were soft-ish boy-men, my black jeans, dark shirt, and leather vest attracted more than passing attention from several of the “non-tabbed” variety of patron. Despite the early morning, they’re hunting, but it seems they don’t like the predominant prey found in these pretentious locales.

One asks where I’m headed. A thin veil, rendered downright transparent by the expression on her face. I glance at the parking lot and snort.

I’d pay real money to see one of those skirts mounting a motorcycle. I expect it’s pretty much NOT possible without running up against a half-dozen obscenity laws and perhaps starting a couple new religions, but I’m highly in favor nonetheless.

I am politely noncommittal. The cute little short gal that shares my life with me is more than enough.

That view though…it’s the stuff life is made of and if the day comes I *don’t* notice such things I’d be classed as clinically deceased, or perhaps will have joined the ranks of the pretentious boy-men, which is a worse fate methinks. I doubt I could ever utter the phrase, “Grande Deluxe Excesse” with the proper cadence anyway.

But I am what I am. I suppose they are too.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Attractive repellent.

A pre-dawn run…*north*…to throw some food, water, and forage at some critters. My task while a friend is medically indisposed. There’s no room in the schedule for it. I fit it in anyway.

Some horses, a couple donkeys, a couple mini’s…and a sheep named “Scooter” that thinks he’s a horse. Entertaining…that one.

Retrieve all the food troughs. The horses have apparently been holding a soccer tournament and the troughs are scattered over an acre or so. Line ’em up. Pet the donkey. Toss some food. Check the water systems. Hay for the littles. Evaluate what’s left of the pasturage (we’re having a hay shortage). Check the fences.

I sure mess around with livestock an awful lot for a man that doesn’t have…or want…any livestock.

I finish about the time the sun comes up.

On my (now three times as long) commute into the heart of the metro-mess, I decide the small apple and single cup of coffee I’ve had this morning do not a breakfast make…and carefully peek at the clock.

Hmmmm. Traffic’s been nice this morning. Miles to go. Divide by pi. Carry the 2.

Yeah, a stop for breakfast will fit in the schedule. Well, not really. But I’ll make it work.

I’m just into my second cup of coffee when the waitress deposits my omelette on the table.

“I *really* like your cologne. What is it?”

I raise an eyebrow at her…ponder a bit. I usually splash just a bit of Aquavelva Ice Blue on after shaving…yanno…irritations and all that…but I didn’t shave this morning. No time.

And then I realize.

“Ah. I’m wearing D.W.O.. It’s an SC Johnson label. It’s not cheap but it works.”

“Thanks!”

Y’all know what chiggers are? It’s close to time for them, and I take no chances, being particularly susceptible. They are, to me, irrefutable proof that we were born in hell and have to work our way out…but that’s subject for another post.

I wonder if they should change the label. “Spray on socks. Repels chiggers. Attracts Cougars.”

One omelette and half a dozen cups of coffee later I’m on my way again.

Gonna be a long day.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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What the when now?

Not Morning Person

Many of y’all that have been following my attempted physical transformation are familiar with me using the term “0-stupid-30” as this is normally the time I end up working out.

“0-stupid-30” is a somewhat relative term that generally indicates a time of early morning where normal, reputable folks are not found. It’s somewhat after the drunks have made it home (or crashed) and somewhat before the tradesmen are out loading up their tools and materials, and fueling their trucks.

Friday, due to other considerations and some scheduled appointments, my workout had to be *earlier* than “0-stupid-30”.

Like an hour earlier.

I was toying with what to call this piece of the night that so few ever see…possibly “0-stupid-30-minus-1” but that seemed a bit awkward.

The wife unknowingly settled the debate. I may have mentioned she’s NOT a morning person…and I woke her with a kiss on my way out the door.

“What time is it?” she moaned.

I told her.

“What. The. Hell.” says my sweet little demure southern girl that very seldom swears. She was asleep before she finished the statement. It was definitely NOT a question.

And so the term was coined.

“What-The-Hell-0-Clock” it is.

I’m pretty sure there’s a statement regarding my sanity in there somewhere.

Oh, and close to 2 hours later when I returned, I again woke her with a kiss.

She blinked, “You’re going to work out now? Have a good one!”

*plop* *snooooozzzzzeeee*

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer
You can read more about my fitness journey here.

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