As some of my readers may know, I play recreational hockey a couple of times per week. I’m a goaltender and at 49 years old, this is a position that is hard on the body, especially the hips because of the way the hips must rotate to play the ‘butterfly‘ style. Continue reading
About five months ago, I noticed that I’d get a sharp but manageable pain in my left shoulder when I put on a coat or pulled a knapsack from the back over my shoulders. I didn’t think much of it at the time; I figured it was a minor injury that would heal itself in a week or two.
Around the same time, we had a pool installed in our backyard. To finish the landscaping, I order a couple of tonnes of river stones to place around the pool. I installed the river stones myself, meaning I had to shovel them into a wheelbarrow and then shovel them out of the wheelbarrow to place around the pool. As I shoveled, I’d lead into the rock pile with my left shoulder. I had some pain, but again, I thought nothing of it, after all, I’m relatively young at 47 and I’ve never had any serious injuries.
A few weeks later, I went on vacation; driving 15 hours each way to our destination and back. While on vacation, I noticed the pain in my shoulder had become more constant. I started having trouble sleeping too. When I returned from vacation, the shoulder pain became more and more intense. I would wake up a couple of times at night feeling like someone had stabbed a knife into my shoulder. By then, I had also lost my range of motion. I could no longer lift my arm above my shoulder. Reaching for something in my back pocket became impossible too. I realized that there was something seriously wrong with my shoulder.
I knew after I researched it on the web, but both a physiotherapist and a chiropractor confirmed it; I had frozen shoulder. Continue reading
In the wake of last week’s tragic mass murder of 20 innocent children and 6 of their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, I’ve been following the conversation in the United States revolving around gun control and care for the mentally ill.
As a Canadian, a Christian, and an all-around peaceful person, I must admit that I’ve never held a gun. I’ve never had the desire to hold a gun and don’t expect I ever will. So, I really don’t understand why many of my American neighbours feel that it is necessary, or even desirable, to ‘bear arms’. Continue reading
The Wii Fit told me I was fat. Something had to be done.
Late last year, we bought a Wii Fit balance board to go along with our Nintendo Wii system. If you are not familiar with it, the Wii Fit lets you play some fun sports and do some moderate exercise on your Wii system. The system tracks your progress by timing how long you’ve been playing charting your weight over time. Much to my surprise, I was considered ‘overweight’ by the Wii Fit. I asked my wife if she agreed, and she told me that while I wasn’t fat, I had gained a few pounds. She was right, my weight was the heaviest I had ever been in my lifetime, and about 10 pounds more than the weight I maintained when I was training regularly a few years ago.
So, I started exercising again, thinking that I’d be able to sweat off the extra pounds. It worked, to a degree. I’d lose two or three pounds, but then put them back on a few days later.
Around the same time, my brother-in-law introduced us to a movie he had seen called Food Matters, a really interesting documentary about the important role food and vitamins play in our health. In many ways, Food Matters changed our lives. We started to buy organic foods, whenever possible. We avoided the middle aisles of the grocery store, where you find all of the processed ‘food’. Instead, we stuck to the aisles where you find organic fruits and vegetables. We bought beef and chicken from organic farms. We also cut down on breads. Our grocery bill skyrocketed, but we thought it was worth the price if the health benefits followed.
To be honest, I didn’t really want to change my diet. I was happy with how I was eating, even though I knew (and the Wii Fit reminded me) that I had gained a few extra pounds. I enjoyed my bagel for breakfast. I liked going for chinese food or a club sandwich at lunch when I was at the office. But I was willing to give a diet change a try to see if would make any difference.
The changes we made were easy enough. Instead of a bagel with peanut butter or cream cheese in the morning, I switched to eating some organic Manna bread that I bought from a local health food store, plus a fresh banana, for breakfast. At lunch, instead of fast food at the local food court, I brought my own mixed organic salad. Instead of cookies or crackers for dessert, I ate raw almonds.
Now, I always thought of salad as a side dish; I never figured it could be the entire meal. I figured I would still be hungry after lunch. Surprisingly, I wasn’t.
For supper, we replaced the mashed potatoes or rice with salad. Our target was that at least 50% of each meal was vegetables; either raw or lightly cooked.
After a few days, I felt pretty good and the pounds started to come off. Before I knew it, I had lost almost 15 pounds and the Wii Fit ranked me in the ‘normal’ weight range.
Now, keep in mind that I wasn’t exercising any more than I was before; I continued to play hockey once or twice per week just I had been doing all along. The only change was what I was eating.