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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mustangs and Thunderbirds Part 3

Now I am left with owning only the Bird and the Mustang, and I have decided that I want to keep both of them. I now need to figure out how to do that. A couple of months has passed since I made this decision. I quickly decided that I needed to not just save up a large sum of money to totally fix both cars in one busy season after years of saving.

Lets look at the condition of each car, starting with the favorite of the two, the Mustang. She’s wrecked, that is the obvious part. She only took damage to the front end, since it was a slow-moving accident. Also, there was no damage sustained by the engine, as the frame did completely protect it. So, we have a car that has sustained a large amount of damage to the front cosmetic parts, including the hood, bumper, fenders and lights, and minor damage to the front frame. Luckily that is the extent of the real damage, but it isn’t a cheap fix either.

When we get past those parts of the car what are we left with? There is a lot of regular damage to the engine that comes from it sitting too long. Oh, and regular wear and tear from it having 170k miles on it. That with the fact that it has set for so long, it will likely need to have and plastic or rubber lines replaced, as well as any filters. It will need new oil, battery, and it is currently missing an alternator. Some of the wires have been chewed through due to a now dead mouse.

Going back from the front end, the rest of the car is in more or less the condition I left it in, with only one exception. The rubber seals and insulation has started to dry and rot. It will be necessary to replace those. I tore up the steering wheel a long time ago when I was still driving her, nerves habit to pick at the rubber while driving. It still works, but it wouldn’t hurt to replace it. The driver’s side seat had started to flatten and wasn’t working properly, before the wreck, and the doors are sagging on both sides. The door panel on the driver’s side came off and broke the latches that hold it on when the door fell. She is fairly dusty from sitting and needs a full cleaning. There are a few minor things that need fixed, including lights, a panel dial and the latch on one of the back seats. Outside of the wrecked area, it’s all pretty standard wear with age.

The Bird has a lot of the same issues, but in running and not wrecked condition. The main issues with this one is a lot of minor issues combined, but a lot of minor issues can add up to a big problem. If we start back one month ago, both doors sagging slightly, with the exterior and interior door handles broken on the driver’s side. The ignition wires are starting to make noise like they are going to go out soon. There is a small fuel like somewhere, the fuel filter needs changed. The water pump for the windshield fluid doesn’t seem to work. The paint is chipping off in several places around the car, exposing bare metal which is starting to show rust. The lock on the trunk isn’t working, you have to use the button only. There is an oil leak and it either goes through a lot of coolant, or there is a leak in the radiator system.

Like I said, she runs and has no one major issue, but a lot of minor issues which are starting to add up, but they are all easy to repair, just time and money that it takes to do it. With in the last month the hinges and interior handle on the driver’s side door have been fixed, and we think we have gotten the fuel leak under control for now. To add to all of this, I have decided to use all of this to teach my kids to fix cars. While they reluctantly humor me in helping, they don’t always act like they want to.

So, now I am left with a full idea of what needs done, a reason to do it, and maybe some help that will slow me down by dragging their feet and complaining. When it comes to fixing up an old car, what more can a dad ask for? What I am trying to work out at this point is the plan to do it. My first thought was maybe to strip the parts I need to fix up the Bird off the Mustang. That would get the Bird restored and in good condition quickly, which would be nice and might boost the spirits of my helpers about doing to see it getting done. The problem I came back to though was pretty simple. Even if I keep an inventory of the parts I used, how long will it be before I am able to replace them on the Mustang, if ever? No, that isn’t an option. She is already missing an alternator because I was thinking this way, and I don’t want to get to that point that there is enough off her that we reach the point of no return and she never gets fixed in favor of the Bird.

The choice I reached on this was to do this. I am going to continue to save the larger amount of money in favor of my two to three-year plan to get the body damage fixed on the Mustang, but I am reevaluation my budget so to include a sum of money to be able to work on both cars and their non body damage now. The idea being that over the next year or less, I get the Bird in as good running order as I can, with new seals and lines and working back breaks. Then, and only then, I will start working on the Mustang. Importantly, no more parts to repair the Bird come from the Mustang, there is a budget in place to prevent that now. After I am satisfied with the condition of the Bird, well except for the paint that’s chipping off everywhere, I will start doing the same to the Mustang.

I also want the boys to learn on the Bird, if they mess up the first time, I don’t want it to be on the Mustang where they do it. When I start working on the Mustang, I want to have help that knows what the tool I’m asking for is and where to find it, which comes with experience. Plus, I have to be honest, I lost interest in working on cars when my poor Mustang quit working, so I need a little practice getting back in the swing of things.

After the Bird is done, the Mustang will be a daily project. I plan to be on her at least a few times a week at the least. The plan is to have a new part each week, no matter how minor, and to work on issues not requiring new parts the rest of the week. That can be finding parts that need replaced, cleaning or maintaining the exterior or interior, or cleaning a part that is showing wear but doesn’t need replaced. The hope is that in the two years of working on her, she will be shiny, clean and purring when I take her in to have the body repaired. That will leave me with two good running cars, that just need paint jobs. Then I can decide if I want to try to do some restoring of interiors and so on.

I don’t know how this plan will work out, I can only hope I get my girl fixed and have a fixed up friend for her in the process, but I can’t tell what might be down the road for me. I only hope that in three years time I can report on how I am saving for paint for my two working cars, my Mustang and my Thunderbird.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in General Post

 

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Mustangs and Thunderbirds Part 2

Following the wreck of my Mustang, I had to have something to drive. For awhile that was the Dodge Truck or Mercury Tracer that my wife and I owned, but only after a little over a year, the Tracer broke down and my ex got the truck in the divorce. Left with nothing to drive and a wrecked Mustang, I had to get something.

94 white lesabreI first got a 94 Buick LaSabre. This car was a piece of junk, but fit my price range. Really it was only junky because of the repairs and maintenance in required, on the inside it was really nice and it drove great. I got a couple of years out of that car until one day, pulling out of my parents house to get some supplies for my dad at the local Atwoods, I heard a POP that was followed by smoke coming out of the steering wheel that smelled like burning wire. That LaSabre never started again, and I never found what that problem was.

I then drove my Mom’s Kia Sportage for a while. While I don’t think I would seek out that car for myself, I had very few problems with it while I was driving it. Eventually there was a need to loan that car to my oldest brother, that was more pressing than me using it, so I went back to having no car at all. Shortly after that though, I fixed my Dad’s Dodge Truck and I drove that for a while. I loved driving that truck, I loved driving my truck and this one is so much like my old one, but I needed my own vehicle and my dad needed his truck.

1989 white camryIt was following a camping trip with one of my best friends that I found out that he was tired of his old Camry. This car isn’t one that could be described as a beauty. It was a white 89 Toyota Camry, so it was 21 years old when I bought it, and it was a piece of work. My friend didn’t really do engine work, so he wasn’t sure about the condition of everything, except for that it had a new battery, the back doors didn’t open, the trunk lock was broken in a locked position, and the driver’s door and hood both had a tendency to unlatch and open at random, but he sold it to me for $50. I couldn’t really turn that down. My dad on me to give back his truck and I could get something that runs for $50. I can do that. I probably put another $100 into the car, fixing locks and getting doors to open and such. Oh, and replacing the driver’s door and hood latches. Well I bought that beauty in the Fall, then in July, middle of July, it busted. It not only died, it throw a rod while I was going over a railroad track. If you added distance shots of a steam engine moving my way and made my doors stick, you would have a scene right out of the movies. Luckily for me we came across a police officer that had just gotten off duty and happened to have everything he needed to safely tow me to my apartment in his truck. Then I later got someone to take it off and sell it for scrap.

In all this time I just kept thinking that if my Mustang was fixed, I wouldn’t have all these issues. Over the 170k miles driving her, combined with my obsession in fixing and maintaining her, I learned to be able to tell an issue before it became a big problem. True, if she throws a rod, there’s not much I can do, but I know I can keep her running better than all these other cars I have been stuck with. Then I found the car I really wanted.

97 red thunderbirdA co-worker came in one day announcing that his grandmother in-law was selling a red 97 Ford Thunderbird. I said I would be interested right away depending on a few things. He took me out to look at the bird, and she was exactly what I have been looking for 5 years at that point. It’s a car that is mechanically identical to my Mustang. Engine, transmission, emissions, mostly exactly the same. Even a lot of the cosmetics are the same. The cars body shape and frame are different, but detail parts and trim are the same. I looked at this car and thought to myself “spare parts.” Even though the Thunderbird is a year older than my Mustang, her parts are a perfect fit. I had to have this car, I saw it as a win win for me. For right now I can drive a car so perfectly close to my Mustang that I can feel right when driving again, but so close to the Mustang, that I have the parts to get her running again when I can afford that body work. So I bought it, and to be honest I treated this bird like spare parts.

The next year things didn’t get better for the new car, when it started to look like I was really going to have a plan to start saving to get the body work done on the Mustang. I had gotten the majority of debts paid off and had some extra cash that I could reallocate into my budget, or I could put it in the Save the Mustang savings account, so I did both putting part to my budget then part to the savings. It was looking like I have a real three-year plan that could work. It was going to require me shaving off on that $7k a little by doing as much work on my own as possible, but I spent $1500 on a car that was full of spare parts, which would reduce those overall repair cost by a lot more than the cost of buying the bird.

Then last spring my doctor asked me to go in for an MRI for back pains I was having that were getting worse, and they found all the issues with all that, and I had to plan for surgery. Over the recovery, when I wasn’t able to work for three months, I ate up all my leave at work, and then all my savings, including Save the Mustang savings, but I had to get the bills paid and I couldn’t work. Following all that I was left with a slew of medical bills that I need to pay now, which now leaves me with a drastically reduced amount that I can put aside to do much of anything else.

Before going surgery that fall, a vent part on the interior of the bird broke. I didn’t even think much about it. I just weighed the cost of going to Ford to get a replacement, or to “borrow” that piece from the Mustang, after all I will be putting it back when fixing up the Mustang, right? This didn’t stop at that though. After my recovery a few things went wrong with the bird, and I did buy one part new, but when I priced a new alternator I just couldn’t afford it. I had to be able to get to work and the bird is what I’m driving. I don’t want to get money from anyone else to get a new one, because I can’t afford a new one myself and I have no clue when I will have money built up again to pay someone back for buying me one, but you know the one on the Mustang still works.

mustang logothunderbird logotypeThis is where I have really started getting into a position that I wasn’t expecting. Two parts to this really. First part is that I didn’t think about what happens if I need parts I can’t afford before I can afford all the work on the Mustang. I need to keep a car running, but I don’t want the Mustang to be spare parts, and I feel sick to my stomach with every part I take of my girl to fix the bird, but I have to keep the bird going. It’s a position I hate being in. The second part is that I have started really like the bird, even with her problems. She badly needs a paint job, has some interior issues, and some cosmetic flaws, but I have really started getting attached. With all the similarities to my Mustang, it wasn’t hard to get attached to driving a car that reminds me so much of the Mustang, and that I also can assess problems and fix them so easily on a car I am already familiar with because of the Mustang.

I think when the day comes that I need those spare parts, I am not going to be able to easily dismantle my bird for my Mustang. I have considered making my two-year plan to get the Mustang fixed into a three-year plan and fix up both the Mustang and the Bird. I won’t be able to get enough money to completely restore both of them, but I can get them both fixed and running, and get the body repaired on the Mustang, with enough left over to possibly paint them both. At that point I would need a new plan to save up to fix interior parts to get them both restored and looking the best I can make them. I don’t know right now, I guess it depends on a lot of factors. If my sons take an interest in helping with the work, that would go a long what to making the restoration easier. Also, as I approach the third year and see what the condition of my Bird is and how much I have been able to put aside, I will have a better idea of what is realistic about my plans of having both fixed up and ready to start restoring while able to drive them both.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in General Post, Reflection

 

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Mustangs and Thunderbirds Part 1

When I was 16 all I wanted was a Ford Mustang GT. I knew exactly what I wanted too. It would be a dark metallic silver with black seats and the full audio upgrade package. I didn’t really know how I was going to get this car, I just knew I really wanted it.

mustang logoMy grandfather had made it a habit of buying all the grandkids a car. He didn’t do it right off though, he waited until they had been driving and had their first wreck or share of breakdowns in handed down cars first. Now, while he wasn’t in the habit of buying brand new sports cars, he was in the habit of getting them, so I thought to influence him a little wouldn’t hurt. I knew that he had planned to give me his Ford Explorer, so I made it clear to everyone that I didn’t want an SUV. This was a risky move, because I had felt like I had talked my way out of getting anything from him several times when making that clear.

I then went out to the dealership and got pamphlets and information on the new Mustangs, and went to my grandparents house and talked to my grandmother about them and “accidentally” left these materials around when I left in places my grandfather would likely read them. Knowing that he would talk to my dad about the car buying choices, I made it clear with my dad exactly what I wanted. My dad doesn’t respond as well to subtlety, so I just came out and said what I wanted and why to him. I felt the best approach with him was straight blunt honesty on the subject. He in turn did the same, or at least I thought at the time.

He told me that I needed to continue making it clear to my grandfather what I wanted but that I needed to be looking at the kind of cars he suggests to me, but that I might be able to persuade him to get me something close to what I want, even if it isn’t exact. For example, if he sends me to a Saturn or Honda dealership to test out a sedan, test out the sportier cars there as well and report back on both. I might not get a Mustang, but I might get a sports car or at least closer to it.

honda logoThe day finally came when the car I had been driving died, I had to get rid of it. This left me with no car, and so I was hopeful that I was getting a car, and at this point I just wanted something to be free from my parents or brothers driving me around. My dad took me to several places to look at cars over a few weeks, and one day he suggested we get my grandfather out to the dealerships in town to look with us, since he was going to be the one putting the money down for me. To be exact, it was November 25th, 1998 when we went out to do this. We first went to another dealership and I looked around and purposely didn’t see anything I liked, I had made up my mind that I wanted that Mustang GT and I wasn’t going to find anything else that I liked.

Well we finally went to the Ford dealer and my grandfather asked me why I wanted this car so bad and we looked at it, but there was a Ford Escort out front after that with balloons and my name written on the windshield. My Dad told me that he had talked my grandfather into something more sensible for me and took me over to look at it why my grandfather went in to start the paperwork. I was called in with him, because they were putting the car in my name and needed to pull the car around to clean off the windshield and such before I could leave with it. I was very disappointed. It was really an odd disappointment, where I felt this horrible feeling for not getting what I wanted, but I was still happy that I was getting something. A compact sedan just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I know it sounds horrible of me, and puts me in kind of this spoiled brat category, to be so disappointed that I wasn’t getting the free car I wanted, but a different brand new free car, but I can’t change how I felt. All the same there was paperwork to sign. I don’t even remember doing it. I didn’t even read or look at it. I signed where I was told and just wanted to get out of there at that point. Something I now know I should have done.

1998 ford escortWe got all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, as it was, and then walked out to the service area, where they had taken my new Escort to get it all cleaned up and ready for me to drive off in. I remember that all I was thinking was what I remembered from my lessons in driving a stick, since the car I had been an automatic and this Escort was a stick, and I really didn’t want to drive off grinding gears and looking like an idiot. We get to the service area and all I see is that my car isn’t there. I didn’t process anything else than noticing that the car I had just spent a good 20 minutes being disappointed in, wasn’t there. I figured they had it parked right outside though, so I didn’t say anything or ask. I knew that I was holding the keys and walking out, I would find it. What happened walking out that door is a feeling that has never really been matched in my life.

We open the door and there is a red carpet and ropes leading to a light silver Mustang LX with my name on it. If I had spent 2 seconds reading the paperwork I was signing instead of being disappointed, I would have found that I was signing the paperwork for a Mustang not an Escort, or paid one bit of attention, instead of being disappointed, I might have noticed that I was holding a key with keyless entry and had just looked at an Escort that didn’t have power locks. This feeling I had, was one that it even hard for me to describe. It was relief, joy and confusion all at one moment. I was in a state that was close to shock, and really forgot what I was supposed to do or how I should be reacting. Finally a service guy came up and handed me the other set of keys and told me to enjoy my new car. My grandfather then asked me for a ride home, and it took all I had to say “of course” to him. That ride is one I have never forgotten. I am actually surprised we made it to his house. It was like I had tunnel vision, but all I wanted to do was look at the inside of the car. I had to fight to remind myself I needed to watch my driving. It was only made worse when I realized that my grandfather was in the car and I needed to make sure I drove really well so he wouldn’t think buying this car a mistake.

98 silver mustangNow it wasn’t a GT with dark grey exterior and a black interior, but I actually was glad later on that it wasn’t. It was a LX with light silver exterior with a grey and black interior. She was beautiful. Later on, when gas and oil prices started shooting up, I realized that while I wanted a GT, it was better that I had an LX. Today, I don’t think I could afford to drive a GT regularly. Plus, I live in Oklahoma, in the summer I can feel how hot the black trim on the interior gets, and I am grateful that the seats are a light grey cloth.

I do love that car. It got me through high school a part of college. I drove it on all my dates, until I drove it to my wedding. I drove both my children home from the hospital in the back seat of it. I have had some of my best and worst moments in that car. I drove her home with 3 miles on the odometer, and have put most of the 173k that is on her now. In 2006 I was in a bad mood, and I needed to go to the store. I knew I should have waited for my truck to get back to me, but I was mad and wanted to go then, and that is exactly what I did. The reason I shouldn’t have gone out was the ice on the roads. Coming back from the store, going less than 20mpg, I drifted off the road after hitting a patch of ice and hit a light pole on the side of the road. I bounced off it like pinball hitting one of those spring bumpers. Got my car home and saw the sad sight of a Mustang that was no longer able to drive on the streets. She ran perfectly, but the body damage to the front was too severe.

I wanted her fixed right away, but I couldn’t afford it myself. I drove her down to my prefered body shop and got an estimate to fix the body damage, but it was more than anyone was willing to help me pay. Most the people, friends and family, that I know told me to give it up, she’s wrecked and its time to move on. This sort of thing happens after all. She now sits, 7 years later, at my dads house. Not as some derelict car out in the field, but parked next to the rest of the cars in the driveway, off to the side so she’s out of everyone’s way. Unlike everyone else, my dad for some reason understands my attachment to this car, or at least supports it, but I still haven’t been able to fix her up. In the time since the wreck a lot of stuff has changed in my life. I said at first, I am going to fix her no matter what, but she keeps going to the back burner. First I hurt my back and had to drop a semester at school, leaving me with a reduced overall income, I’ll have to save later. Then I went through a long divorce where I ended up spending most of what I had saved up on lawyer fees, and paying off bills, I’ll have to save later. Then following my divorce I was left with a house I could no longer afford on my own and a long list of court and lawyer fees, I really have to save later. I finally got that all paid off and the house sold, and I had to find a place to live with my kids, couldn’t live with my parents forever. Taking what I had left in savings and the little I had in cash, and a couple personal loans, I got my deposits down and utilities turned on in a small place, I have to save later. We are seven years out and the account I have set for fixing my car has $300 in it, and it will take about $7k to fix the body on her.

There was a time that I never went a day without at least starting her, even after the wreck I started her everyday, changed the oil, charged the battery, regular maintenance stuff. Until one day when regular wear from not driving her took hold and the fuel started leaking, then the battery started having trouble turning her over, then one day a mouse got up in the engine and chewed through the alternator cable, and she hasn’t been able to start since. That’s been almost three years now. So many people tell me how a wrecked 98 Mustang isn’t worth the $7k to fix up the body, and likely another $2k to replace tires and molding and get her painted. Not worth the unknown cost of getting her running again and keeping her in that condition, or even more if I decide to try to fix her all up to new condition. That feeling in that Mustang, when I was driving away from the dealership, at a point that I had that tunnel vision and was overwhelmed by joy and excitement, but the confusion had started to wear off. When I was still expecting this to be some sort of joke, but so happy just to be driving my grandfather home. I still feel that when I get in my Mustang. Even today, with her front end all messed up, the steering wheel needing replaced and door hinges messed up to a point that the driver’s side door is almost falling off. Even with the seats torn up and the engine needing major work and care from me, even if I get the money together to fix the body, I still get that feeling every time I sit in that driver’s seat. Sure that feeling isn’t as strong as it was that first day, but it is something that is really special.

You might look at her and see an old junked car that needs hauled off, but I see a friend that I have had to put off a little too long. The only thing in the world that ever has given me that particular feeling of excitement and joy that makes her worth every penny of what it costs to fix her. It’s not about what she’s “worth” because I will never sell her. It’s about what she’s worth to me, and I haven’t been able to put a price on that yet, and likely never will.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in General Post, Reflection

 

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Salad, It Just Doesn’t Do It

So I am several weeks in now, and I will have to give props to the whole salad thing. It was a simple to make, low thought, way to start changing how I eat. I have posted many of my favorite parts of eating salad, as well as things I am looking to try. Now I am getting to a point that I am getting tired of trying.

While I used salad to get me going and counting fat and calories and so on. I really can’t find a way to expand on it. Thing is, I just don’t like vegetables. It maybe the only thing keeping me from being a vegetarian. When it comes to it, there are just too few options that I am able to get myself to eat. I haven’t been stubborn about this one either, I have given myself every opportunity to improve on this. My basic salad, which is what I do like in salad, and have made a lot of for myself, is pretty simple. Iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, cubed turkey and/or ham, boiled egg, mild cheddar, bacon bits, crouton and ranch. I have been making these larger to be about 4-5 cups each, in order to be an entire meal for me. When I measure and add it all up, it is about 750 calories and about 50 grams of fat. This sounded high to me, until I added up how much that really means, since I was eating two of those a day, with a couple of fruits and a yogurt, at the most in a day. With my goal at 1700 calories and 100 grams of fat a day, for the time being, I am coming in under, I’m just getting most the calories from two meals, which is ok.

Now I knew, as I had posted about before, that I can’t stay with the same thing and survive. Simply put, I will just grow tired of the salad I am making and not want to eat it. Also, I included a couple of ingredients I wouldn’t hurt to lose, if not reduce. I would like to become more accustomed to the taste of the salad and reduce the ranch, bacon and cheese more, those do make up more than half the calories and almost all the fat after all. So where did this fall apart? I changed it. So I want to talk about some other veggies that I have tried and where I am having issue.

Broccoli, is a good place to start. Nothing against broccoli, just came to mind first.

  • Cooked – I am a fan of cooked broccoli. Steamed, boiled or baked, doesn’t really matter. I can eat it alone with a touch of salt, or with cheese dip or in a soup.
  • Raw – I am not as much of a fan. It’s fine and I can taste it without not liking it, if it is in a salad or something similar, but if I am aware that I am biting into it, I just don’t.

Carrots, I don’t know what to say on this but I know I don’t need to bullet point this one. I don’t like them. I have tried eating them raw, cooking them, steaming them, over cooking them, and even drinking carrot juice. I tried putting small amounts to a large salad, and even hiding them in other meals they should go well with. I just don’t like them. I don’t want them in my salad, in my stew or in my juice.

Celery, I like raw, by itself, or with peanut butter or a dip, but plain is fine. If you cut it up and add it to anything, I no longer like it, and if it is cooked for any reason it becomes gross, but as a snack, I will reach for a celery stick.

Onions, are just as bad in every way, if not worse, than carrots. Oddly, I like onions seasoning, and I will cook meat with onions, then take off the onions afterwards, but I do not like the onion itself. I don’t really know why. I kind of do like the smell though.

Cucumbers, are about as bad as onions, except I don’t like the smell, nor do I like any seasoning that people might claim they add. I even get a little squeamish when I see someone in a movie or tv show bit into one. I don’t like pickles either, I don’t care how much you soak them in vinegar of for how long, they still taste like cucumbers.

Squash, of any kind, doesn’t enter my house. I don’t like the texture of it more than anything, but the taste isn’t any better. Yellow squash is the only food that has made me literally gag, and I really don’t feel good about ever eating it.

Other Lettuces, I have always been familiar with having iceberg and I guess I am just used to it and have been from the start. I know there are others and I have tried them, but I just don’t like them. They all taste lettuce to me, it’s the texture on those that I have an issue with. I’m use to the crisp watery texture of iceberg, the others just don’t have that. Nothing against them, and I have used them in salad with iceberg and found the added flavor welcome, but I don’t see replacing iceberg with them.

Spinach, this one is a little odd compared to the rest. Everything else hasn’t really changed in my life. I don’t remember ever liking onions, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon, and so one with the others. The thing about spinach, I distinctly remember not liking it at all. Honestly as a child, I would have

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in General Post

 

Fruit and Soda

Over the last week I have started to feel like something was missing. Seemed like I wasn’t getting what I needed in snacks and while I have started to feel full from meals, I have felt like I am not getting enough. I don’t know how to really explain the feeling. It’s just like my body is telling me that it can handle less food and less meat, but needs more than what I am giving it. Not more as in quantity, but in variety. So, I decided it was about time that I started adding some fresh fruit and a larger variety of veggies to my diet.

I do know a little more about fruits and what I like, more so than I do veggies. It shouldn’t really be too hard for me to integrate them into my day. I guess the hardest part here is the same thing as what has made all of this hard, that’s habit. Peanut butter and jelly just seems so much easier to me than chopping up a couple of fruits to make a snack. Well I started by buying some banana’s and apples to get me started. My first realization was that the kids really like these more than I had given them credit for and already need to go buy more apples. I don’t have a problem with that, I’d rather run out of apples to them than running out of corn dogs and popsicle.

Yesterday was really the beginning of this. I just added an apple or banana to what I was already eating. For example, this morning I ate my yogurt, peach flavored, and then ate a small apple. It really is an amazing difference that it makes. I feel a lot better with what I ate this morning already. Just the small addition of a fruit made a lot of that needing feeling go away. I have also decided that it might be time to spread out what veggies I am eating. While I have decided that iceberg is the lettuce of choice for me, there is a lot I can add to it.

My current salad, which I eat for lunch, is simple enough. It contains iceberg lettuce, turkey, ham, boiled egg, bacon bits, cheese and ranch. I know that it doesn’t really sound that healthy as I type it out, but really there is just enough bacon and cheese to add flavor. It’s mostly iceberg when it comes down to it, and only one serving of ranch, which isn’t really a whole lot. I have been thinking of ways to add to it. I like it as is, but I really feel that it needs more variety of veggies, iceberg can’t stand alone in there, after all its mostly water. So I bought some more veggies to try to start adding in. I got carrots, which I hate and am going to add anyway, celery, broccoli and spinach leaf. Those seem like standard items to add. I just can’t eat uncooked cabbage and onions aren’t an option, ten times worse than carrots.

I am going to try to stick to the base salad I have been making, and just make each one a little different with these different veggies to add a little more of what I think I need, and not get sick of the same thing over and over everyday. What I am very interested in, is this idea of adding fruit to the salad. I already had one with banana slices added to it. I am going to have to experiment with that more. Obviously there will be some fruit that just doesn’t go with ranch or one of the veggies, but I am going to buy a couple of different fruits and try cutting them up into salads. I might come up with something horrible, or great. I really want to try adding avocado slices. I know that some banana, not too much, is pretty good. I’m thinking grapes and gala apples would be good too. I am always open to suggestions of course. If there is anything that anyone adds to their salads that I might not of thought of, let me know. Last suggestion I got was trying different kind of egg. Like trying scrabbled or something like that. I don’t know about that, but I guess. I also thought about adding more egg and putting in some sausage bits, give it a breakfast salad taste. That might be getting into the more odd ideas, but I am not against trying anything here.

Soda! I almost wrapped up this post without going into one of the title points. I have an update on soda, well Dr Pepper if we are going to be honest, and my intake of it. I’ve stopped drinking it at home completely. This is where you cheer and pat me on the back. I am still drinking it at work. How many is still a little back and forth. Today is looking like a one bottle day at this point. Which is really great, but for some reason I still feel bad about the fact that I had one today at all, and I really shouldn’t since I have gone from drinking a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans every two days, to drinking one 20 ounce bottle a day, sometimes two. Now my success I am told is great by most people, but by some I am not doing any better than I thought. This is because I am drinking more juice. As I talked about yesterday, I am now told that juice is good for me but also no better than soda and will kill me. Well I don’t care. I am not ready to drink only water, I am drinking a lot more water, but I am not ready to only drink water. I’ve been drinking soda since I was using a sippy cup, lets call juice a victory over soda, and not worry about why that’s going to kill me. After all, in the last 12 months, I have had major back surgery, I stopped smoking, I have started trying to change my eating habits, I started listening to my doctor about taking vitamins everyday, and I started a daily workout routine. Can’t I have some juice while giving up soda without hearing how its going to kill me? Look, 13 months ago you could find my lazy ass sitting somewhere chain-smoking with a double half pound bacon cheese burger and washing it down with half a case of dr pepper. I don’t think anything in the juice is really that bad here.

The only problem with juice is work. It is just not alway practical from me to bring it to work without buying individual bottles, and that can get expensive, so I am trying to drink mostly water at work and juice at home now. I do find that I crave the soda less the longer I go with drinking less of it. The real downside here is that I am tired, all the time. I don’t drink coffee, and the soda I was drinking really added up in caffeine, I just am not going to get that anywhere else, and it is taking a long time for my body to adjust, but I guess I have to hope it will eventually.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Food, Weight

 

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List of Diet Advice

As stated in my last post, I am making a list of advice I get on what to eat, whether that advice is given to me by a person directly or is something I read in doing my own research. There might be some good advice in the list, but mainly I decided to do this because of all the counteracting advice I get and find. I will update as I get more. Remember, these are not me making thing up, these are statements that I have read in research, been emailed to me by friends and family, or has been said to be directly.

  1. drink orange juice
  2. orange juice is bad for you
  3. don’t drink soda
  4. juice is worse for you than soda
  5. drink plenty of cranberry juice
  6. apple juice is the only thing you should drink other than water
  7. apple juice has too much sugar, you should never drink it
  8. cranberry juice is one of the worse things you can drink
  9. eat iceberg lettuce
  10. eat only butter lettuce
  11. eat only romaine lettuce
  12. you should avoid eating lettuce
  13. iceberg lettuce isn’t good for you
  14. make sure to eat plenty of carrots
  15. eating too many carrots can be very harmful to your health
  16. don’t eat anything white
  17. don’t eat bread
  18. don’t eat meat
  19. only eat meat
  20. only eat bread
  21. -long explanation for why you should never eat or use butter and only should use margarine-
  22. -long explanation for why you should never eat or use margarine and should only use butter-
  23. you should eat at least one serving of yogurt a day
  24. you should eat a serving of yogurt at every meal
 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in General Post

 

Getting Opinions

Well I guess I really should start things off with a weight update, although I am going to try to do this less because I don’t want to focus too much on it. There is a page tabbed at the top of my blog called “weights and measurements” that I created to post tracked weights. I will be posting them there and mentioning only ones that I am excited about on the blog. I weighed in Monday at 246. It’s a pound and a half increase, but as usual, I’m not worried.

The last few months I have been asking people for opinions on food and exercise. It is a simple matter that I do not know much about that in which I am throwing myself into, and I can’t afford regular doctor visits to track progress and changes in diet, and I sure can’t afford a personal trainer or anything of the like. So, I am left with hearsay and what I stubble across, for good or bad. This sounds so easy, but damn does everyone have a different opinion or fact. It’s not just people I’ve talked to and friends and family, it’s websites, books and “education” sites. The best I can figure is that EVERYTHING is both good and bad for you, and you should both eat and not eat ANYTHING. When I was a kid, I was always told that you should eat veggies, fruits, grain and some meat and dairy, in order to be healthy.

Now it seems that it is not only more complicated, but it is unclear and opinionated. This person will say one thing, and this another. It really is about as annoying as it gets. I think my next post will be a list of the things I have been told in all of this. My health advice list, as it were. It is just amazing that I can’t get one clear answer about anything from anyone.

I can wrap this up by giving you my opinion and advice. Ready for it? I don’t know and I haven’t figured it out. Wait, I got a better answer, how about this for my advice? Banana’s taste good. That’s the best I can do. I don’t know anything about this stuff. You are currently reading the occasional ranting of an over weight guy that is single and needs someone to get this out too, but is single so he types it out online for strangers to read instead. I have no training, just opinions, I just wish some people who eat better than I do had some better advice and were a little less extreme about food.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Weight