I did mention before I got back into playing golf again. I really had become a couch potato and about 3 years ago my wife asked me why I no longer played golf. Before we married and for a little while after, I played quite often with a group of friends around Dallas where we then lived. But after moving to Florida and with the kids growing up, work, etc, I pretty much stopped playing. I maybe got out once or twice a year. So I decided to give it a go with some friends here in sunny Florida.
The first time I went back out was a disaster. Besides not being able to hit a ball straight, I was in terrible shape and playing nine holes in the summer down here killed me. But I pressed on and started practicing and got to where I could pretty much hit the ball near where I wanted to. So I started playing just about every week and kept practicing. Which took a fair amount of my free time not to mention money, but it did get me out of the house and gave me a good reason to drink beer with some friends. A great thing about golf and bowling is they go well with beer.
After a year of this I looked at myself and realized "you gotta do something about your health." I was in horrible shape. Just walking uphill from the golf cart to the green made me huff and puff. If I was in a sand trap, forget about it. So I started dieting about 2 years ago. My goal was to lose 180 pounds. Which seems excessive but then again, those who have met me know I can stand to lose it. I'd had success before doing low carb diets so I went that route again. I can't say it's been easy. What diet is. I mean look at the word - D I E T. Die to a T. I like food. No I love food. Why do I want to restrict that? Besides the eventual diabetes, liver and/or heart trouble, high blood pressure and early death most obese people have to deal with, that is. I already had some issues with blood pressure. Not very bad, really marginal, but a warning sign none the less. Diabetes was probably lurking right around the corner as well and from there life gets much more difficult. So I went the Atkins diet route.
So far it's been pretty successful. I've lost 105 pounds as of last Monday. I've kind of been in a range of down 100 - 105 pounds for a while but I am really pushing myself for the next 2 months before my next vacation. As I mentioned before, it's not easy and anyone who tells you dieting is easy is either lying or a fanatic. Or both. I used to LOVE high carbohydrate foods - potatoes, pasta, breads, muffins, rice, pastries, etc. Not so much a dessert lover but give me a plate of biscuits and gravy with some home fried potatoes and I'm in hog heaven. Or at least I used to be. Who am I kidding, if a plate of it was sitting in front of me, I would be there again. But mostly I have learned to restrain myself and avoid those foods. I do eat a lot of eggs, cheeses, meats, salads, green veggies (except peas, very high in carbs) and I can't tell you how long it's been since I've had a soda. My beer intake is pretty much limited to Miller Lite which has only 3.2 carbs per can or Michelob Ultra which is even lower at 2.6 carbs. When you are limited to 20-25 grams of carbs per day (the usual amount when you start a low carb diet) and a single regular beer is 10 or 12 (or more for dark beers and ales) you make some sacrifices. While I've upped my carb limit since starting this, I still watch it pretty carefully.
So it's not easy and I don't eat and drink a number of things I used to but the results are definitely worth it. While I still have more to lose, I can now do things I couldn't do before. I can wear clothes I haven't worn in years. In fact I've gotten rid of a bunch of clothes that are now too big for me. That's a nice feeling. I can walk a golf course if I choose though most courses around here require you to use a cart. I've played 36 holes in a day this year for the first time in about 30 years. I have energy, I'm not physically tired all the time and my blood pressure is better than it's been in many many years. The results are definitely worth it.
What else is going on outside of my golf fanaticism? Well I haven't played a lot of poker lately though I should be playing some today at Derby Lane. Occasionally my wife and daughter go to the Hard Rock in Tampa to play video poker and when they do I usually spend some time in the poker room. No great results to speak of but I've held my own and kept losses to a minimum at least. I hope today goes well. We took a recent trip to Biloxi and while I didn't play any poker except of the video variety, I did have a good trip between VP and playing craps. I do enjoy throwing the dice. Our last day in Biloxi, I tripled my money on the craps table then the Poker Queen and I both took down the VP machines for some nice green as well. I didn't want to leave. But leave we did.
Now we're preparing for our next vacation. Vegas in early October. We're actually bringing our daughter for her maiden voyage to Vegas. I can't wait, it's been a while since we were last there. I'll get some poker in then, table games and a tourney or 2. Craps for sure and Video Poker as well. We'll rent a car and do some traveling to non strip casinos and restaurants. The daughter is a real foodie (and a helluva cook, especially baking) and has a list of restaurants she wants to go to. We'd probably need a month to hit them all unless all we did in Vegas was eat.
Well it's time for me to sign off. I got a few things to do before we head out. I hope everyone is doing well and staying lucky - in life if not in cards. I'll be back a lot sooner than my last post (probably). I'll talk to you then.