Small Victories Are Still Victories

Well, I’m two days into hitting all of my goals now – walking, stretching, staying within my calorie budget, all of it. And I feel pretty good.

It was a bit of a struggle last night, though. I’d had to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but grocery stores are full of food. Including chocolate, which I dearly love. Chocolate I walked past twice, thanks to nearly forgetting something and having to double back for it.

In the end, I didn’t buy any. As a result, I stayed within my calorie budget. I’ll call that a victory, thank you.

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A Little Experiment

Something different, today. I noticed yesterday that WordPress claims that I can upload videos from my phone through their app. So, here’s an experimental video blog entry with me spinning my Kung Flow contact staff.

I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant about this. After all, like most overweight people, I have body image issues. But you know what? It’s better to be honest.

Anyway, assuming this worked as planned, I may do more. Enjoy!

Edit: Yah, that didn’t seem to work. Safari will play the video, but it doesn’t seem to work in IE or Chrome. I mean, let me know if I’m wrong, but it looks like I’m going back to typing.

Fun. Not “routine”.

So. It’s, uhm, it’s been a while. For pretty much all my goals, not just writing this blog.

What happened?

Not much, really. I just got reminded that, once you get into a routine, it’s hard to break that routine. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, really, depending on the routine. Sadly, for me, it’s kind of a bad thing. Because of this, I’m going to try and shake things up a little.

Some of this was my wife’s idea. She reminded me that I’m most likely to keep up with my goals when they’re fun. When I enjoy what I’m doing, instead of treating it like a chore. That’s why I play Pokémon Go, after all: to add a gaming component to my exercises. So here’s what I’m going to be trying to do this summer:

1. Stay on m calorie budget. This one really isn’t fun, but I have a plan. I promised my son that once every two weeks we’d make dessert at home. Ice cream, or cookies, or brownies, or whatever. Something. The rest of the time, desserts will be fruit or cheese or something healthy. That way, we start treating sugary snacks as a special treat instead of a regular thing.

2. Walk. My walking isn’t going away, obviously. But we’ll be doing more family walks, and more Pokemon hunting. And since I managed to set my son up with his own Pokémon Go account (on my tablet, using my phone as a hotspot to get an internet connection. Now he’s super excited about walking. Also, the Cincinnati Nature Center has a Hike Fir Your Health program my wife and I want to complete over the summer, so I need to get back in practice!

3. Contact staff instead of weights. I still need to do some crunches, to help with my belly, but the weights will be going on the back burner for the moment. Instead, I’ll be getting back to practicing my staff spinning tricks. It’s a significant workout, after all. And it’s a whole lot more fun than weights.

4. Swimming. Lots and lots of swimming. The pool will be opening in my complex this weekend, and my son is already planning to live there. And chasing a seven year old around the pool is always good exercise. Good, fun exercise.

So, there I go. I think it’s a good structure, and that I’ll be successful doing it and that I’ll have a lot of fun doing it as well.

No, Really, There Is No Finish Line

So, yeah, I’ve been feeling pretty demoralized recently. There’ve been a lot of things going on in my life, some of it good and all of it important, and my focus has been scattered and disorganized. And, as I always seem to do, I’ve ended up focusing on all of the things I haven’t accomplished, instead of in the things I have accomplished. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and I fall into it a lot. No, more than that.

Which is why my wise and amazing wife reposted a blog post I wrote two years ago, titled No Finish Line. To remind me that I’m on a journey, not heading towards a destination. And to do it in a way that I couldn’t argue with (as I frequently do when I’m down on myself), because I wrote the thing.

She knows me well, she does.

You can click that link up there and read the whole entry, but one paragraph really jumped out at me:

Generally speaking, I try not to think of the “end game” of all the work I’m doing. I stay focused on the here and now. On walking today. On hitting my calorie goal today. On exercising today. Do that enough times, I figure, and the goal will take care of itself. But I do think about the end. About hitting my goal. And when I do, there’s a temptation to think I’ll be done. That this will be over. That I’ll have won.

I go on to explain how that isn’t true, but there’s another aspect to that attitude that I hadn’t really considered. I do think about the end. About hitting my goal. And when I do, if I haven’t been making progress – even if I’ve been maintaining – there’s a temptation to think that I’ve lost. That I lost, and that I may as well quit because the game is over.

So, there I am. Declaring that I’ve lost a race that isn’t actually a race. Honestly, “changing my life” isn’t a game I can win. I can’t really ever say “my life is now changed, so now I can stop”. My goals – my exercise, my walking, my calorie budget – are all healthy habits to develop. They aren’t scorecard items that I have to check off to win.

So much of this journey is about reframing the way I think. About making changes to be the person I want to be. None of it is things I have to do to not be a failure.

I need to remember that.

Fifty-one

I’m feeling annoyed.

See, I’ve got this calorie budget going on, right? I can eat as many as 2,500 calories a day, if I wish. Well, yesterday, you know what I found when I totaled my calorie intake? I found I’d eaten 2,551.

That’s right. I went 51 calories over budget.

Yes, I know it’s not that big a deal. And I know that most calorie counts are estimates. BUT STILL. It’s the principle of the thing!

Aaarrrgh.

Oh, well. I guess I can just live with the fact that I got all of my other goals done.

Boredom

Yesterday went great. I got all my exercises in, I stayed within my calorie budget, I walked a little over 5.5 Miles, and generally I feel… well, I actually feel pretty tired and a little sore. I also feel pretty good, but definitely sore and tired. It’s been a while, you know?

I did make one modification to my regiment, though. This week, I’m only doing two sets of ten reps with the dumbbells. After yesterday, when I decided to cancel the third set because everything was aching, it’s clear that I need to ease back into things. Not to the degree that I need to go back to the five pound weights, mind, but enough that I don’t want to accidentally injure myself. That would be bad.

So. What does this have to do with “boredom”? Nothing. Nothing at all. No, the title of this post comes from a realization I had a few minutes before I was writing. I was contemplating digging into my stash of dried fruit (my emergency “I need to eat something” stash), and I asked myself why I was considering that. I wasn’t actually hungry, after all.

No. It turns out that I wanted to eat because I was feeling bored. Which is a ridiculous thing, once I realized it. I just wanted something to do, and immediately thought of food. And even now, having realized it, part of me is still wanting to eat something. Not because I’m hungry. Not because I really want the taste of something. Just because it’s something to do.

I knew I ate when stressed. I never thought I’d eat because of boredom. Strange.

Starting Again. Again.

I got to pet a wolf, yesterday.

We took my son to Wolf Creek Habitat in Indiana, yesterday. Partly because he had to do a report on wolves for school, and partly because it was fun. The staff let him go into a little enclosure while we were there, so he could pet one of the wolves. I got to pet the wolf as well, because he was scared and wanted me to go with him. That fear wore off pretty quickly, though. He loved it. I loved it, too.

That was one of a couple of great things that happened last week that had nothing to do with my exercise and weight loss goals. The other big thing was that we – my family – finally achieved a thing that we’ve been working towards since my son was born. So that felt great.

Sadly, I got really distracted last week and was really, really tired. As a result, I overate. A lot, and mostly carbs in the form of sugar. And I didn’t get my exercising in. So, here I am, starting over again. My breakfasts are made and in the freezer at home (except for what I’m eating today), my lunch got packed (thanks to my amazing wife), and I feel ready to go.

Of course, I have to maintain that enthusiasm when I get home so I can hit the gym. Still, I feel nicely confident.

Here. Have another wolf picture:

And while you enjoy that, root for me to succeed!