Last year on my birthday I wrote, Holy crap! I am an octogenarian! I can’t believe it. I don’t feel that old. In fact, having been retired for 20 years now, I can honestly say, I feel better and healthier now than I did when I was working and in my ’50’s. I rode my bike 20 miles yesterday in Chicago’s balmy 30 degree January weather and I plan to do the same this morning. Lucky me!
Here I am a year later with 12 months of a grueling pandemic behind me.
This is from my birthday blog post last year:
One of the main reasons I feel like I have things so together is this blog. I started writing it in March of 2010 with a partner who has since left for other pursuits. From the beginning, I discovered a focus. At first it was simply trying to keep my weight down. I learned portion control and serving size. This Italian guy was surprised to learn that a “serving” of pasta was not a 10 inch plate heaped with spaghetti noodles smothered in tomato sauce. No, a 200 calorie serving of pasta is about the size of a baseball. Incredibly, that was a revelation to me. I put the information to use. I began to reduce my portions accordingly. I am not going to recount all the lessons I learned in the past nearly 10 years, but if you want to get control of your own weight, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off.
Because of the pandemic, I wasn’t able to get blood work done at my annual physical. The following documents my present health as of October 2019: My resting heart rate falls several beats under 50 beats per minute. My cholesterol level is 199. The HDL (Good cholesterol) is 77; LDL (Bad cholesterol) 111. I stand 5 feet 9-1/4 inches tall (vs 5 feet 11 inches 10 years ago. I weigh around 150 pounds and have a 32 inch waist. This is pretty much the same as when I was a senior in high school in 1957. I don’t take any drugs, prescribed or not. I do take some plant based pills to relieve the arthritis pain in my hands. For the record, my alcohol consumption is minimal – maybe three bottles of beer in a month. And, no, I don’t smoke.
This year, to celebrate, my girlfriend and I dined at the Horseshoe Casino Steak House on Saturday night. We couldn’t go on my birthday, because the venue isn’t open during the week. We were comped to a sumptuous meal much of which you can see below.
My ‘go to’ exercise is still riding my bike. I average over 100 miles a week year ’round here in Chicago. Last year it totaled just under 6000 miles. Find some kind of movement that you enjoy, dancing, walking, etc., and do it regularly and you will be on your way to good health, too.
Because of the pandemic, I was not able to travel to Las Vegas every few months as I have for decades. Thankfully, the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN, just 17 miles from my home has reopened for business following the spring lock down. So, I am still able to enjoy the agony and ecstasy of video poker on a regular basis. If you are not familiar with video poker, you can click on that link for a rundown from a previous casino trip.
Here is just one example from last night’s casino visit:
I was dealt the Ace-Queen of diamonds and held them hoping to draw the Jack-King-ten, the remaining three cards to a Royal Flush. The chances of catching the only three cards in the deck that make up the Royal are one in 16,215. Needless, to say, I didn’t catch them and didn’t win the $5,000 plus jackpot that it would have paid. On the other hand, I did draw three other cards that were diamonds, so I was paid $25 for my trouble. While a bit hyperbolic, I hope this little example demonstrates, if not the agony and the ecstasy, at least some of the highs and lows of playing video poker. If the luck of the draw in this game interests you, check out my Pinterest board Video Poker Porn to see lots more hands like this.
Again from last year’s post: I wanted to share this information with you because so many people I run into who are in their late 50’s and 60’s appear to be giving up on their health and conditioning. They act like it’s over. The phrase ‘I’m gettin’ old’ bubbles out of their mouths frequently. A lot of the posts I write for this blog are meant to demonstrate that by focusing on your eating and making sure you get adequate exercise you can continue to enjoy yourself for many more years in reasonably healthy condition.