Category: Ryan's Earlier Blogs
It does seem fitting to talk about such a subject, especially with Valentine’s Day having just passed. Most folks probably have never even considered that what they may eat has an impact on themselves, and the relationships around them. But as my own personal experience and reflection has shown in the past few years, they are very much connected.
The man that I am today, and the man that I was five years ago are very much opposite one another. But it took me four of those years to understand how and why I became the way that I did.
For those of us that are O’s, wheat, dairy, pork products, and potatoes are the items that we should stay away from the most. And wouldn’t you know it, those were the things that I thoroughly enjoyed five years ago. How often have we all heard that whole grains and dairy are good for us? Well, for us O’s, who make up almost 45% of the United States population, they’re not.
Five years ago, it was french fries, soda, BLT’s, ham, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate milk, and so many other avoids. Ugh. I wish I could go back in time, and slap the crap out of myself, and say, “Bad! Don’t eat!”. But as time has passed, I’ve come to realize that this whole Eat Right 4 Your Type journey is one of my major life lessons in this lifetime.
Back in 2000, I was at the tail-end of a rather unhappy relationship. There were issues on both sides, but I’m only going to deal with mine here. After two years of being in the relationship, I had gained 35 pounds, and I didn’t have the energy or the ambition to get many things done. And it certainly didn’t help that I was pushed away, rather than receiving any type of support from my significant other of the time. I was in a constant mental fog, and always tired. It didn’t matter how many hours I slept, I was always tired. When one is always tired, and in a fog, it’s hard to even attempt some kind of mental focus, in order to work on, or even maintain a relationship.
After we had parted ways, I started to pick up the pieces. Ever the analytical Sagittarian, I was in search of answers, because I didn’t want to have a repeat performance in my next relationship. I knew that my work schedule had been a major factor. I would work 12 hour night shifts for three nights, and sleep during the day. The other four days of the week, I would be up all day, and sleep during the night, so I could be there for the ex-girlfriend’s children, whom I loved, and still do love dearly. Over time, the combination of bad foods, and an erratic sleep schedule completely wreaked havoc with my body, and its metabolism. Bad metabolism, and bad foods, equal a very nasty physical and mental meltdown.
As more time passed, I became familiar with the principles of feng-shui, and another piece of the puzzle fell into place. Feng-shui wise, the house was a disaster. As I started to put the house into order, life started to become better. I was sleeping better. I was more cognizant of what was going on around me in the world. It was like someone slowly removing a blindfold.
But even working something far closer to regular hours, and feng-shui’ing the house, I would often still be tired, and in a mental fog at times. Though not nearly as bad as I had been during my previous relationship. Ambition and energy were at times still fleeting. One day, I might get a lot accomplished, the next day, absolutely nothing.
It wasn’t until I came across Eat Right 4 Your Type last year, that more of the puzzle came together. The more time that I spent avoiding the foods on the ‘avoid’ list, the less tired I became, and the less time that I spent in a mental fog. The less time I spent in a fog, the more opportunities I had to regain control of my life, and to start planning on charting my own destiny in this lifetime.
When it comes right down to it, how can we adequately give of ourselves in a relationship, if we have neither the physical energy, or the mental clarity to do so? By not having one or both, we deny both ourselves, and our partners the opportunity for a happy, and satisfying relationship. While food is but one of the factors that plays a part in our relationships, I believe that it is one of the primary factors.
One of the hardest parts of human nature is to face our own shortcomings as human beings. But it is only by learning from those shortcomings that we in turn become better people. All too often, we judge ourselves far more harshly than those around us, preventing us from learning and growing.
For those of you that have been on ER4YT for awhile, take a few moments to look back in time. What were you like in your relationships pre-ER4YT, and how are things different now that you’re eating according to the principles of ER4YT? For those that might read this that haven’t tried ER4YT, try it for a month or two. See how you feel, both physically and mentally after that time. You have nothing to lose besides possibly a few pounds, but have the opportunity to start on a pathway to both better health, and a better life.
We all have certain life lessons to learn during our time here on this earth? Could this be one of yours?
Wow! Where has the last week and a half gone!? Life has been a whirlwind of activity in that time, and that’s probably a good thing. I think that it was the Universe’s way of keeping me busy, so that I wouldn’t dwell on the loss of Miss Piggy.
But while she may no longer be of the physical plane, she is still around. Twice in the past week, she has paid me a visit, to let me know that she is o.k. The first was last Wednesday morning, while I was still in bed. All of a sudden, I felt the comforter being tugged down over one side of me, as it would when one of the kitties would lay down next to me. However, when I reached out, the other three were not to be found there. Friday night, while my girlfriend and I were in my bedroom, I distinctly heard a cat’s meow by the window. However, the bedroom door was closed, and there were no cats in the room. And the window is opposite the bedroom door. I thought I was hearing things, until my girlfriend mentioned that she had heard it too, and pointed to exactly where I thought I had heard it. My guess is that it was Miss Piggy spending a moment to once again enjoy her window perch.
What has been interesting since Miss Piggy’s passing, is watching the changing ‘family’ dynamics amongst the other three kitties. Contrary to what some may believe, I have now found that animals mourn, just as us humans do. It has been habit in this house for several years that, when I come home and enter the front door, the four-legged greeting committee is there within seconds. However, for much of the first week after Miss Piggy had passed, I wasn’t greeted at all. Or if I was, by one at the most, and that was only because they happened to be in the kitchen when I opened the door. Thankfully, they have returned to their former ways, and I am once again greeted with enthusiasm when I arrive home.
Miss Piggy also had made a habit of resting on my chest. She would do it during the day, but she would do it every night before I went to bed, and every morning when I woke up. It got to the point that whenever I heard her jump up on the bed, I just automatically rolled over onto my back. And yes, I will gladly admit it without a hint of shame. I was trained. *chuckle* What has been interesting since Miss Piggy’s passing, is that Shorty has laid on my chest on several occasions. This is something new for Shorty. However, unlike Miss Piggy, Shorty isn’t nearly as light. Shorty weighs in at 13+ pounds. One word will describe the experience. Oof! LOL Even more surprising, was that Beser laid on my chest this very morning. Beser, better known as Miss Skittish. : ) Personally, I think my little matriarch has hung around a bit longer, to make sure that the other three know how to take care of me to her satisfaction. How else to explain why they have suddenly started to take on some of her traits?
See what can be noticed, when one makes an effort to disconnect ourselves from the hectic world that goes on around us? There is so much more to be enjoyed about the world, if we only take the time to notice. It is only when we learn to be grateful, that ones life begins to become great.
How many of you out there made New Year’s resolutions this year? And how many of you are still sticking to those resolutions? If you are, great! If you have already fallen short, don’t despair. You may still accomplish the goal, but certain other things may need to be achieved first, before you can accomplish your original goal. Not all journeys are meant to be travelled in a straight line. It’s kind of like going on vacation. What fun is it to just drive all the way to your destination on the highway, if you don’t get off at a few exits, and enjoy the local scenery?
For myself, I had made it my goal to continue to improve my health, lower my body fat percentage, and to pack on some more muscle to this vertically challenged physique. By abiding by the principles of Dr. D’Adamo’s Eat Right 4 Your Type, I lost 35 lbs. between January and September of 2005. With most of the crappy weight gone, it was time to put on some good weight.
It has been a learning experience in the last month or so, trying to mesh bodybuilding and ER4YT into a workable nutritional plan. Especially trying to find the foods that I like, that would allow me to meet my daily nutritional intake and receive the proper proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and calories. Too many calories or carbohydrates, and the body then stores it as fat. I just got rid of a good deal of it last year, why would I want to put it back on again?
Protein is the building block of muscle. Many in the bodybuilding community tout the fast absorption rate of whey protein, to aid in the recovery and production of muscles. However, whey is an avoid for O’s. ER4YT first, bodybuilding second, so the search was on for another supplemental protein source. Though not as highly advertised, they do make both egg and soy proteins. So I started to look at those. Unfortunately, many of the protein products available are made with either aspartame or sucralose. Scratch those products. And the search continued. Finally, after much internet surfing, and product label scrutiny, I found an acceptable egg protein called Universal Egg Pro Ultra. Now that I have a good supplemental protein source, combined with a mostly compliant ER4YT food plan, the fun can now begin.
Last month, I had my girlfriend take several measurements with a sewing tape, so I could figure out what my body fat percentage is. As of 17 January, it was at 17.85%. To look at me now, it doesn’t look like there is much fat left, but there is still some covering my abdomen, and the backside of my waist. This is often the last fat to disappear, so it’s not an “if” it disappears, it’s a “when” it disappears.
Fortunately, I have a wonderful girlfriend who is supportive of my desire to live by the principles of ER4YT, and my goal of better health through weightlifting. Whenever I go over to her place for dinner, she will either ask me what is acceptable, or offer a menu and a request for tweaking so that I can remain compliant. The only warning that I have received from her about my lifestyle and goals is that if I get too big to hug her properly, then there’s going to be issues! : )
Nothing like a little pressure, huh? ; )
Well, it’s time for me to go work shoulders and forearms for today. May you all have a wonderful week, filled with wonders both big and small. Until next time.
As the title of this entry above indicates, it hasn’t been the best of weeks. For those of you who have already become used to seeing my new entries on Thursdays, you’ve probably already realized that something is up.
Last week, I enjoyed telling you about how the Clan O’Kitties had weaseled their way into my life, and into my heart. Unfortunately, one of the Clan is no longer with us. Miss Piggy passed away on Monday, January 23rd.
Miss Piggy had had some issues previously, which were not a surprise, for a kitty that was just shy of 17 years old. However, her health deteriorated rapidly over the weekend. She had several instances where her balance became an issue, and had several moments of what appeared to be disorientation. She also had some issues with her hind legs, but was still able to get around.
Just before I left for work on Sunday morning, she had managed to hop up on the toilet seat with ease, as she often had in the past. What was different was the fact that she laid down on the toilet seat cover. This was not the norm. Little did I know at the time that that would be the last time that I would see my bathroom buddy on her perch, as I got ready for the day.
When I came home from work Sunday evening, only three of the Clan came to greet me in the kitchen. Miss Piggy was not one of them. As I started my way through the house, I found her on her towels in the dining room. And I soon found why she hadn’t greeted me. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but she had lost all use of her hind legs. The spirit was willing, but the body wouldn’t cooperate.
As much as we all wish to deny the inevitable, the time had come. My greatest concern was making her comfortable for the evening, until I could call the vets in the morning. I laid with her on the floor for some time, and made her as comfortable as I could.
The tough part came when it was time to go to bed. I couldn’t take her to bed with me, because I was afraid that she might try to move around, and fall off the bed. Not exactly a great ending to such a long life. So I brought her and her towels into the bedroom. I then threw a couple of comforters and pillows on the floor, and that is where I slept for the night. If for some reason she did pass in the night, I didn’t want her to feel that she was leaving this world alone.
There were very few moments during the night that we didn’t have some kind of contact. As I woke up at various times, I would have several fingers draped across one of her front paws, or her paw would be interlaced between my fingers. Several times, I would wake up, to find both of her paws draped across the back of my hand, with her chin resting there as well. As much as those moments tore me up, it was nice to know that she was comfortable, and that she knew that she was loved during her last day of this world.
Daylight came, and brought with it a snowstorm. I laid her gently in the bow window, so that she could watch the falling snow outside, while I made the necessary phone calls. The groomers, cancelling the appointment that I had previously made for her for Tuesday, the vets, and work.
The trip to the vets was a quiet one, which was quite unusual for both of us. Most trips were made in the past, with her meowing her dislike for the car ride, and me trying to sooth a very upset kitty. As we passed the moments in the vet’s waiting room, I held her in my arms, and we both watched the snow falling outside. And then, it was time.
Miss Piggy went quickly, and in my arms. As it should be. For all of the happiness that she had brought me in the three years that she had blessed my life with, it was only right that I be there for her in her last moments.
The other kitties know that she is no longer with us, and have done their best to comfort me. At this point, I’m not sure who’s taking care of who. When I went to bed Monday night, I felt like a book wedged between two bookends. Nixie and Beser immediately wedged me between the two of them, and that is where they stayed for most of the night.
Even Shorty’s behavior was different the next morning. Most mornings, as soon as I opened the bathroom door after my shower, Miss Piggy headed for the toilet seat, and Shorty hopped into the bathtub. Every morning since Miss Piggy’s passing, Shorty wants to be petted for awhile, and then she’ll go hop in the tub. I’m in good hands. : )
In one of my previous entries, I talked about becoming aware of, and appreciating the small wonders in everyday life. Because of my recent loss, those small wonders have now become great memories to be treasured. Miss Piggy may no longer be of the physical world, but I have no doubt that we’ll cross paths again.
All right! All right! Slowly back away from the monitor. You’re foggin’ up the screen! *chuckle*
Dang, I had no idea that folks would be quite so interested in hearing about how the tiny terrors weaseled their way into my life. If I had known that they would be of such interest, I would have saved the story the last time that I had to tell it. Good thing I know how to type. : )
I’m sure that to some, it does seem odd that a man would have four cats. Considering the long hours that I work, and have worked in the past, it wouldn’t be right to have a canine companion around. No puppy should have to have their paws crossed for more than 12 hours, until I get home.
For those of you that are not familiar with the Clan O’Kitties, allow me to introduce to you the tiny terrors that have made me their humble servant, and wallet. : )
Beser (because she’s one letter short of beserk!), is the youngest of the Clan, but is the one that I have had the longest. Miss Piggy is the mother to Shorty. Nixie was the most recent addition to the clan, having joined the Clan in October 2004. And now, for their stories.
Back in 2001, I worked in the yard at a concrete precast company. On the property, there were a group of strays that one of the employees would feed. That September, the gentleman that fed them asked me if I would be interested in taking one of them home. There was a young kitten that he was afraid wouldn’t make it through the winter. Having lost both my dog and cat in June and July of that year, I was still hurting, and wasn’t quite ready to have a new critter in the house.
As the weather started to turn colder, several people tried to catch the young kitten, but the kitten would have none of it. All attempts to catch her were unsuccessful.
One day, our dispatcher called me over the radio, and asked me to come to the trailer. My first thought was, “What paperwork got screwed up this time?”. As I approached the trailer, the dispatcher stuck his head out the door, pointed to my left, and simply said, “There’s your cat.” My cat? When the hell did that happen!? Looking to my left, there was a little black and white ball of fur on about the only patch of green grass on the whole property.
Getting down on all fours, I started drumming my fingers in the grass. Much to my surprise, she started crawling towards me, rolling over onto her back, and pushing herself towards me. How could anyone possibly say ‘no’ to such cuteness? The challenge was in picking her up, and getting her home.
It’s taken four years, but she’s finally started to mellow out. My furniture, and myself, have the claw marks to show for her wild ways. While she is much less skittish now, and much more affectionate, she’s recently become quite averse to thunderstorms, and heavy rain. She will growl during either occasion, and yet I can still pet her. Go figure.
In late 2002, early 2003, I started contemplating finding a playmate for Beser. It didn’t seem right that she should have to be home alone all day, while I was at work. One day, a friend mentioned that a friend of hers was getting divorced, and needed to find homes for her four cats. She did mention that they were older kitties, but that didn’t phase me. Older kitties need a home too. So one day, I went out to her friend’s house to meet the kitties. The one thing that hadn’t been mentioned to me beforehand was the fact that one pair was a mother/son , and the other was a mother/daughter pair. Well, that certainly put a spin on things. I couldn’t in good conscious break up a family, so brought home Miss Piggy and Shorty.
Needless to say, Beser was NOT pleased! Two cats that were twice her size were now in the house. For over a week, Beser would not come out of my bedroom. I had to move a food and water bowl into my bedroom, as well as a litterbox. It’s taken several years (and not easy ones at that!), but they’ve finally become fairly comfortable with one another.
Lastly, there is Nixie. A friend of mine lived in an old farmhouse that had been converted into apartments, and one of the ‘tenants’ of the barn was Nixie. Whenever I would visit my friend, I would always spend a little time with Nixie. More fur than body, but she was a sweetheart.
Well, in the summer of 2004, my friend asked me if I would like another kitty. Like three wasn’t enough!? *chuckle* Neither her or the other tenant could take Nixie in, because they were both allergic to cats. Nixie was getting up there in age, and they were afraid that Nixie might not make it through many more winters. Especially since she had to compete for her food with the raccoons and skunks that would come into the barn.
I told my friend that if she hadn’t found a home for Nixie by fall, she just might disappear. And by disappear, I meant to my house. Well, fall came, and my friend asked me again about Nixie. I asked her if she had even tried to find a home for Nixie, to which she sheepishly replied, “No”. Why was I not surprised? *chuckle* The owners of the farmhouse had no problem with Nixie being given to someone else. They just wanted to make sure that she was going to a good home. So arrangements were made to pick her up.
At the time, I had been told that Nixie was 12 years old. However, that statement was wrong. As I looked over her veterinary records when I was there to pick her up, I found that she HAD been twelve..........back in 2000! She was sixteen! But to look at her, and interact with her, you would think that she was less than half that age. When she’s playing with a kitty toy at night, it sounds like there’s a hard-hitting game of floor hockey happening in the next room!
With three kitties in the double-digit years, my home has become known as “The ryan Cheney Home for Geriatric Kitties”. *chuckle*
If you had told me five years ago that I would have four kitties commandeering the house, I would have laughed at such a notion. But I’m glad that they are here. With four of them in the house, there are always moments of mischief, entertainment, and cuteness. No matter how bad a day I might have had, I can always count on the Clan to cheer me up. How can I possibly stay in a bad mood, when upon entering the house, all four will find their way to the kitchen to greet me?
So there you have it. The Clan O’ Kitties. My tiny terrors, and trip hazards. : ) And speaking of tiny terrors, Shorty has just taken over my lap. So I must attend to her beckoning. After all, isn’t that what a good servant does? : )
Ahhhh.....the holiday bloating has finally started to recede! While my weight hasn’t changed, my stomach and waist have begun to tighten up once again. Certainly a nice thing to notice, and feel.
For much of the past week, I’ve been battling some kind of bug. While I haven’t felt any of its effects for the most part, I can taste it in my throat. Part of Sunday and Monday, and just a hint of it this morning. However, it has apparently made itself known at work, as one of my co-workers called in sick last night. Hopefully, this time around won’t be anything like last February. The last time it went through where I work, everyone was out for at least one day, if not two. Myself, I was fortunate enough to have a barely scratchy throat, and 24 hours of slight sniffling. I can only imagine what kind of wreck I would be, if I wasn’t eating according to ER4YT.
Monday morning, I had warned my workout partner that I was fighting something, and that it might be a good idea to go light on the weights. So what does he do? Adds more weight. *sigh* I guess he was hoping to help me, by sweating it out. *grin* Personally, I think he just likes to abuse me. LOL
Last week, I wrote about sensing a connectedness between the happenings in ones life. Little did I realize that I would have a moment or two of my own this week. I haven’t quite figured out the meaning of the following situation, but that should come in time.
While coming home from work Sunday night, I approached an intersection, and saw that the left turn arrow had turned green. There was a vehicle in the left turn lane, but it didn’t move. I came to a stop behind the vehicle, and waited. I wasn’t in a rush, and I’m a bit more patient than most, so didn’t do the impatient horn honking bit. About the time that the light turns yellow, that’s when the driver realizes that it’s green, but it’s too late. So we wait for the next cycle. The left turn light again turns green, and what happens? Nothing. For several seconds, the driver just sits there, and then apparently her brain decides to put itself into Drive. Someone having an off night, or so I figured.
New Hampshire is a ‘right turn on red after stop’ state. Knowing this will come in handy in a second. On my way to work Monday, I came up to an intersection, with a vehicle in front of me. We had the red light, and there was no cross traffic. For whatever reason, she didn’t want to turn. Then again, having the license plate of “EVLGRL” (Evil Girl) might have had something to do with it. *chuckle* So now, twice in two days, I’ve been held up in traffic. The wheels of the mind are starting to spin, and I’m trying to figure out what message it is that I’m meant to understand. I just have to keep in mind that “all hindrances are friendly”. But that wasn’t the end of it.
Tuesday night, while on my way to bowling, it happened again. Someone in front of me decided that making a right turn on red wasn’t something that they wanted to do. Now, if all of them had had out of state plates, I would have understood. But all of the parties had New Hampshire plates. Three days in a row, I’m held up in traffic. I still haven’t figured out why all of this happened, but I know that it was not coincidence, happening three times in three days.
Things that make you go hmmmmm..........
On Tuesday, coming off of my holiday bloating, I turned to working on the house. Took some planking up to the attic, and took some measurements. The attic doesn’t have as much insulation as it should have, and that will be remedied in the near future. I also stripped wallpaper off the walls of the finished part of my basement. And that’s where the fun begins.
You see, I have several invisible, non-paying renters, otherwise known as Earth-bound spirits, or ghosts. Whenever I start a major project around the house, things break. When I began working on the living room back in 2003, my washing machine went up in smoke. Literally. While I was running a load of laundry, I heard the smoke detector go off. I ran downstairs, and walked into a wall of smoke. Fortunately, the washing machine was still within warranty, so it didn’t cost me anything to have it repaired.
In May of this year, I started working on the room that is now my computer room, where I now sit. Apparently, they were quite unhappy with my work in here. First, the lightbulb in the laundry room went. No big deal. The next morning, a Saturday, as I was getting ready for work, something didn’t sound right in the basement. I walked downstairs, made it halfway across the carpet, and then, *s-q-u-i-s-h*. The water heater had let go. Had to call into work, and the rest of the day was spent wet-vac’ing, and getting a new water heater. That Tuesday, a friend came over after work, and we installed the new water heater. Things are good to go, right? Ummm...no. I was happy to have hot water again, and promptly threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. As I was sitting upstairs, watching tv, something didn’t sound quite right with the spin cycle. Going downstairs, I found the washing machine was just at the start of the ‘smoke’ cycle. Fortunately, I caught it quickly enough that it didn’t burn the motor out. The belt didn’t fare so well, and I replaced it several days later. That same night, the light at the top of the basement stairs went. Needless to say, I had a chat with my ‘roommates’.
After stripping the wallpaper on Tuesday, Tuesday night was no different. They made their unhappiness known. I came back from bowling, to find the refrigerator making a racket. Figured my hearing was a little sensitive, and waited for it to shut off. After watching television for a bit, I noticed that it hadn’t shut off, so went and unplugged it. Plugged it back in, and it continued to make a racket. Adjusted the freezer setting, and it stopped. So I went back to watching television, as I wound down for the night. However, peace and quiet were not to be mine. All of a sudden, the television screen turned to shades of green. I’d flip to another channel, it’d be fine. Skip to another channel, green again.
Yesterday morning, I checked the refrigerator out, and all appears to be fine. It’s running much quieter now, and not for nearly as long as it was. The television? I’m still trying to figure that one out. Nothing like watching a tv show, where all the people are green. *chuckle*
Most people would have become extremely aggravated, to have a series of things break one after the other. But being aware of the more subtle happenings in my life, that stress is not there, and I can chuckle at the moment. It’s certainly an inconvenience, but nothing to get upset about. After all, all stress is self-imposed.
Hopefully, in the past few weeks, you have taken the time to slow down, and enjoy the small wonders that surround you every day. As you do, you’ll find that stress and unhappiness just start to melt away, and the bumps in the road of life become that much easier to handle.
Well, I have to go upset my ‘roommates’ again. Hope that you all have a great week, and I’ll leave you with this quote to ponder; “In order to receive a perfect love, you must first give a perfect love”. Until next time.