Monday, February 4, 2013


Let me start by saying that I'm not a vegetarian, but I play one online. . . sorta.

I don't like the label. I have been vegetarian for years at a time and sometimes even claiming the label for myself. I was even vegan for a short time, but that was an accident. True story. I looked at my food log and realized I had been vegan for about 6 weeks. I ate cheese pizza that night. I don't eat meat very often--usually on special occasions or when I just happen to be in the mood. If I had to guess I'd say I average about one meal with meat in it per week, though I may go for weeks without and then eat it three times in one weekend. I guess that's what average means. You get it. I tag a lot of my online posts as vegetarian because, well, they are. . . even if I'm not.

I guess I've always been drawn to healthy eating but I'm not very good at making a habit of it. I eat a lot of really good vegetarian and vegan food but I punctuate that by eating Panda Express. I've gone through periods, as well, where I've eaten mostly fast food for weeks. Though, that's a habit I've pretty well kicked. I'm the same way with exercise, actually. I go through periods where I will train for a stair climb or a running event and I'll whip myself into decent shape (for a chubby dude), but then I'll take a few days to rest and forget to go back to the gym for a few months. . .

So, the thing is I am nearly 41 and I had a heart attack at 39. I try not to be all dramatical about it. It's this thing that happened. It was very scary. It was, of course, in part due to diet and lifestyle choices I was making. I guess I figured that if I was veg for months and then ate shit for months that it balanced out, but you can't mess with genetics. In addition to a family history of heart disease (grandma, grandpa, dad) I'm also very bad at dealing with stress. So, what happened is that *something* caused inflammation in my arteries and a little piece of plaque that had built up somewhere broke loose and then it got together with some other hooligans that were hanging about in my bloodstream and they formed a clot that lodged in the circumflex artery back behind the left ventricle of my heart. I had a couple of angina attacks that I thought (honestly) were panic attacks, but clearly were not. And, eventually, things worsened and I had a heart attack. What's worse is that my stubborn ass didn't get to the ER until three days later. (In all fairness, I was having the heart attack AT my primary's office and she didn't know it was a heart attack, either. . . ). At any rate, I'm now walking around with a bruised heart and I need to do a better job of keeping it going. After the heart attack I did exactly as I should have--I cleaned up my diet and exercised as I should. I hit the wall again after about six months, though. And here we are nearly a year later. Now, in fairness to me, my current diet on my worst day is still better than the average person with the exception that I would probably eat the average person under the table. And I've recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which explains why for all those years I would be able to exercise for months and feel great and then be sidelined for months with one ache and pain after another that would then mysteriously disappear. But I'm not making excuses. I got lazy. I got complacent. I got fatter. Again.

So, here we are. I guess I just introduced myself to you. Sorta.

I'm Alester.

I'm a 40 year old guy with a bum ticker and creaky joints who likes to eat vegetarian food but doesn't like to call himself one. If you stick around you'll learn a lot more about me, though.

Let's see. . . I love animals and nature. I like to ride my bike but haven't in over two years. I recently bought a groupon for a bike tune-up, and I'm excited to ride this spring. I have a dog and a cat who are best friends. . . with each other as well as with me. My animal besties are both rescues and both were adults when I brought them home. My dog is a pit bull. He's very sweet. He destroys my house for sport when I try to go out and have fun. I like to watch the birds outside my kitchen window while I drink my decaf coffee in the morning. (See, I told you I made some changes after the heart attack. . . and the decaf stuck!) I love music. I'm an educator and a school administrator. I like vintage kitchen crap. I like to cook but hate to cook for just myself unless I can post pictures to share the experience with my friends. I'm kinda shy. I'm independent. Too independent. I'll admit that I'm sometimes very lonely. Add that to the list of things I'm working on. I'm also crafty. I have a cabin in a northern Michigan forest. I like to hike and row my little boat and fish. I'll tell you all about all of this and more. . .

1 comment:

Marissa said...

You know what you gotta do hunty to have a long and healthy life. Any health challenges you are experiences, are just that--challenges---but you are strong enough to take them on and succeed. It's very liberating when we know exactly how to take our health matters into our own hands. I cannot wait to see how your journey unfolds :)