Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fighter Diet - year two

 When I started this blog it was to be about sketching but I wanted to write about something else in my life .
  When people who haven't seen me in a while and finally see me again they notice that I look different.The other day someone who hasn't seen me in two years said something about it. Well I am different. I've had a change in my life.
  In October 2009 I discovered Fighter Diet™ and met it's Founder Pauline Nordin. Who's that and what's Fighter Diet™?  Pauline Nordin is a fitness expert and consultant,  a fitness model and spokes person. She was the winning trainer of the Swedish version of "The Biggest Loser" on Swedish TV. She is also the creator of Fighter Diet ™and we happen to belong to the same gym.
I was just impressed with what she's done in her field and just wanted to say hello and acknowledge her expertise. Then I started to read about her Fighter Diet and started to learn from her about food and training.
Now I've never gone on a diet and I've never thought of myself as being over weight. So why would want to go on a "Diet"? The diet - well it's more of a way of thinking about your food more that a "Diet"- consists of large amounts of vegetables and eating yourself full. Never starving yourself. Well I found myself changing things about my eating habits and my exercise. Not expecting much I weighed myself a week later to find that I was losing weight! What? That only happens when I travel for a month and am walking all day long and eating little food. But the weight always comes back . What was this ? It felt like magic!
I kept learning from Fighter Diet concepts and began changing my exercise. And I wasn't starving myself . As a matter of fact I was eating a lot ! At the end of 3 months I had lost close to 25 pounds. I started to look like a different person. As a matter of fact Pauline once said that she wasn't sure if I was the same person.  Fortunately I got to know Pauline a little bit  and had her train me for about a month. I've never had a  personal trainer before and unlike a lot of trainers I've seen at the gym she was very focused and serious about me learning the proper way to exercise. I began to add some muscle weight and learned more about nutrition. It seemed like something new-something good! I told this to someone once and he said " Hey! what are you doing? You're in your mid fifties! You're not some twenty year old! " Well, okay I'm over fifty! Why should I retire from life and become an old man?  There plenty of those out there so why should I join them?
  Okay, so I'm feeling great and I'm looking better. Really happy about how I've changed.  It just so happened that I was due for a complete physical.
My doctor said that I must be a miracle man because two years before he put me on Lipitor for high cholesterol . Now my blood tests came back indicating that I don't need the Lipitor anymore. He took me  off of it and we double checked the blood again in 2 months and the results showed that cholesterol was at "Optimum" levels. No more Lipitor. This was big for me! Lipitor has side effects. It can damage your liver in some cases. So if I can deal with my health in a natural way so much the better.
   Why am I doing this? I'm not going to be part of some bodybuilding competition or have any ideas about becoming a fitness model. I'm just doing this for me. It's my life and I'd better pay closer attention to it.
  Earlier this year Pauline invited me to do some blood test panels. A long list of blood tests checking vitamins, minerals, hormones and many things I can't even recall. This too was a big I eye opener. I found that I had hypothyroidism. She suggested I go to see Dr. Karlis Ullis , a sports and anti-aging specialist. In short we solved the thyroid issue but with more digging we found that I was in risk of pre-diabetes. Even though I was not over weight it is a very common condition in America and can lead to type 2 diabetes if nothing is done.
  This was another aspect of my life that I needed to look into because so many people ( and doctors I've found) overlook it. Blood work. This too is stressed in Fighter Diet.
  With some suggestions and support from Pauline Nordin I switched up my diet again and in another three months My blood tests showed that I was out of the danger zone for prediabetes!
I feel that I'm at a point in my life now where if I don't start paying attention to the details my health I may not fare to well in the future. Pauline Nordin and Fighter Diet have been a big influence in my life. I feel like I was living in an underdeveloped country and had just been given the advantage of higher education.  There are somethings that you can say have changed your life and some are hard to define.
I think what's happened to me is a definite and clear change in my life.
It's been two years now since I took the first steps. It took me by surprise. Everybody wants to be trim and look younger but it's not much of an accomplishment if your actual health is not good. It's not about being "Skinny" or being able to bench press tons of weight. It's about the whole package. We all know that we need to exercise and watch what we eat but many of us don't know the first thing about it other that getting little snippets from the morning news or Dr. Oz . The first thing I found about Fighter Diet it's not about just eating what you're told  it's about studying . It's about understanding why .
  I know people think that Pauline Nordin is a health nut and that she is extreme and she'd be the first to tell you that she actually is. Well thank goodness for that ! Because if I can be a fraction of a fanatic as she is I'll be in really good shape.
They say that life is short but you don't appreciate that as much unless you start getting on in years. Well if it is then I'd rather spend it in good health. My only regret , as is the cliche`, is that I didn't discover this sooner.


( if you want to see some  "before and afters"  click here. You'll find me in there somewhere.)

- Pauline Nordin -

And here's a sample of Pauline training 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Loving Memory of my Mother

Eleanor Rendon Urias. That was my mother's given birth name. She was born in Los Angeles, California on December 23rd , 1928.
This year on September 24th on a Saturday evening she passed away surrounded by most of her children quietly and without pain.
She held on as long as she could with the hope of having more family get togethers , cooking , making sure that we all ate well and stayed a close family. However she could not fully recover from an operation to remove a stomach tumor and continued to grow weak. She did fight for a while and dodged some bullets as she has done all her life.
My mother although born in L.A. moved to Mexico as a child during the Great Depression like many Americans did at the time. She returned to America as a teenager. She worked on a farm , picked tomatoes in the fields , worked in fish canneries and along the way was able to raise 12 children.
Things for us were never easy and as I look back even depressing some times but some how she must have raised us right because we all turned out pretty well. None of us ended up in jail or on the streets . In the early days we grew up in the "ghetto" or as people say now "the Hood" surrounded by street gangs , race riots and more but we all were able to come out more influenced by our mother than the influence of the surrounding area. She raised a good group of kids.
If you ask anyone about my mom she was a survivor. But more than that she was a Mom. Not just to me and my brothers and sisters but to anyone who happened to come into our house. There are a number of people who have told me that she was like a second mother to them . So they had to behave around her because they couldn't get away with being a little brat. My brother Johnny's oldest friend Jesse said that he liked my mom because She told it like it is. She didn't mess around!
This past monday there was a Memorial vigil in National City ( an area of San Diego) very close to her last apartment. There were lot's of people there and tons of flowers. It was all so beautiful and the next morning there was a Catholic mass service for her before proceeding to the Holy Cross Cememtery. I keep telling people it was the most beautiful ceremony I think my mother could have had. Certainly the most beautiful one I've ever been to. I'm sure she loved it. I can hear her saying "Aye, Que bonita!"
Myself and all my brothers - Daniel, Richard, Johnny, Manuel , my mother's brother Gilbert, my nephews John Jr. and Abraham were all pallbearers. I think that was the most I've ever seen at one funeral. I'm sure we could have had more if we could fit around the casket.
As we opened the doors to the church and carried my mother through them a light rain began to fall. It hadn't rained for a long time and my sister Josephine was saying that it's said that rain falling at a funeral means the Angels crying .
I will always love my mother and I will always miss her.
- Larry
Left to right : Elizabeth , Eleanor, Richard, John( baby), Daniel and Larry
My Mother's plaque at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, Ca. 
December 2011