Thursday, July 20, 2017

He Is Michael

Last Sunday, c3 and I watched “I Am Michael” over at Netflix. First off, I just have to hand it to James Franco for his inclusiveness! I can’t name any other straight actor who has played so many gay male roles. It almost seems like an advocacy for him (or a career-diffentiating move).

The film itself tries to present a non-judgemental view of Michael Glatze’s journey from gay rights to gay renunciation. It agonizingly details the process, the extenuating circumstances that surround it. For some part of it, his growing embrace of Christian religion I can relate to. I did try to turn back on being so Catholic-religious at a point in my life. But I had to be honest to myself and realize that believing was a real, natural part of me that couldn’t be denied.

And being gay is as much a part of that. But Michael, in the movie, eventually comes to the conclusion that it is just a construct, an idea that one can choose to accept or reject. But certainly, he labels that as unnatural.

I did detect, though, some judgment from the producers. The movie ended with that tentative, or even self-doubting, look on Michael’s face as he welcomed his first audience as a pastor of his own church. And you get to see how his countenance changes from being light and happy to grim and determined (in reference to a friend of mine. Hehehe. Inside joke). He became serious and sullen. Hence, as much as the producers claim that it was non-judgemental, I still felt that there was this undercurrent equivalent of either rolling eyes or a raised eyebrow.

I would have thought the real Michael would have seen that, too, and be totally livid. But as I researched further, it didn’t turn out that way:

It is an interesting watch for those with an open-enough mind to consider the idea of “ex-gayness”. If my memory serves me right, wasn’t there this TV reporter who flipped that way, too, previously? I wonder what his story is like. Oh sorry. I don’t even have to look far:

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Look Inside Of Me

My internist insisted I have an endoscopy. At my age, I should be aware if there are any developing problems in my gastrointestinal tract.

I knew it had to be done. So I had this scheduled. Mine had to be both gastroscopy and colonoscopy, on both ends of the 'tube'. I had my apprehensions knowing how I gag when I take in a big one. LOL. But there is a grain of truth there.

The preparations started a day before my procedure. I had to go on a soft diet, with no fruits and vegetables (the fiber will obstruct the scene, I guess). Then it was just clear liquids (no coloring that would falsely appear in the tract) from after lunch till dinner. Well, I was allowed to take egg whites and crackers for dinner.

The laxatives just wore me down. Throughout the night, I was pooping liquid. Now I know what colonic cleansing means. And it was very draining, coupled with the insomnia of it.

Once at the endoscopy center, I was put on a needle-less iV drip where they would administer the general anesthetic. When I was ready, the anesthesiologist started dosing me. I suddenly felt dizzy and I was out.

In 20 minutes, I was already at the recovery area, still groggy. But I was amazed that they were also able to control the dose enough to wake me up just in time. After another 30 minutes, I was out of the procedure room. It was absolutely painless and hassle-free.

Then the good doctor came to me showing me the selfies of my voice box, my throat, my stomach, my small and large intestines. I finally saw how my own bowels looked like. Hahaha.

There was minor finding of some erosion at the stomach area. When the doctor found out about my intermittent fasting, he quickly blamed it on that. Though he did mention that stress causes that, too. But he said that the erosion was nothing to worry about.

I'm hesitating about that conclusion, though. I've been on IF for years now, I should have massive ulcerations if it was really about that.

I'm tempted to post my GI selfies. But who would like to see that? LOL

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

50s Fitness

Exactly one month ago, I decided to get back on track on my fitness regimen. By sheer force of will, I just said I needed to lose all the extra weight and flab gained in the past 5 months.

At the start of the year, I hit the wall when it comes to working out. I was getting injured easily. I was always tired. My body was aching all the time. I had to make a drastic change. I didn't renew my personal training sessions with my trainer in FF Trinoma and avoided that branch altogether.

I tried another branch and even went for the personal training there. Then I stumbled on another gym, Kinetix. They are into functional fitness with emphasis on the fundamental exercises: squats, bench, deadlifts. No wonder that gym is full of huge guys, mostly powerlifters. My sessions there had me going back to those basics with strictest form. I learned so much from my
trainer there.

During this time, I wasn't on a diet. I was eating and drinking as I pleased. It showed as my clothes started getting tighter. And even my liver showed some distress from the alcohol.

Yet I knew I had to go back to FF Trinoma and my trainer there. FF is just so convenient for me. I made the most gains when I was under him previously. Besides, what I have learned from the other trainers, I could just ask my Trinoma trainer to adapt. So I had to go back.

Cut to end-May. I made the decision to 'kem bek to a young and beeyutiful' me. (Sorry. Joke limited to those who saw that film.) I went back to my diet and calorie-monitoring. I went back to FF Trinoma and my trainer there. I established baseline weight: 148 lbs with 16% Body Fat.

End-June, I lost 10 lbs and went down to 13% Body Fat. Yet I even gained lean mass.

What worked for me

Intermittent Fasting - I start ingesting food by 12nn and stop by 8pm. Funny though because this ain't 'intermittent' as I have been doing this continuously.

Proper Food Combination - I eat meat only with vegetables, not with carbs like rice or bread.

Less Sugar and Carbs - Though I can eat carbs if combined with vegetables, I avoided rice, bread, noodles. I had to deny my sweet tooth of cakes and chocolates.

Calorie Monitoring - I had to be strict about the amount of calories I was taking in. That included weighing my food and writing all of it down daily. Also, I am conscious of 'active calorie burning' (calories used up in exercise). I approximate calories burned via my Polar heartbeat monitor. I try to burn 500 - 600 calories everyday.

Low-intensity Steady State Cardio - Those 500 calories take about 1hr and 10mins as I average a low heart rate of about 120-130bpm. By next month, I'll try doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) instead for comparison. I'll check out how it relates to my fat loss.

I emphasize the words "what works for me". Our anatomy and physiology can never be the same so I wouldn't know whether this would work for anybody else. But an important thing for me is the monitoring of key metrics (calories in and out, weight, fat%, heart rate) and the analysis of such.

And before I forget, I also cut down on alcohol consumption drastically. It wasn't doing my liver any good. Thankfully, my liver has recovered.

I'm in my early 50's and I'm feeling good about my body again.

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