Forget Cake, Weekends Are My Kryptonite

I’ve discovered a distressing recent trend in my life:  I’ll do just fine with my calorie budgets through the week, and then utterly lose control and blow through the limits on the weekend.  I mean, I blow through it in a “I didn’t even bother to track it” sort of way.  This is not a good trend to have, particularly since I refuse to give up weekends.  They are, after all, kind of vital for maintaining my sanity.

Time to make sure I’m cooking and eating meals at home during the weekend, I suppose.  Which, really, shouldn’t be as big a hardship as that makes it sound.

All that walking last week seems to have paid off, though.  I started the week at 315 pounds(!), and ended at 313.2 pounds, so not too bad.  Probably would have been better had I done a better job controlling my calorie intake all week, but let’s not dwell on the negatives here.  Instead, let’s focus on the fact that I averaged 5.98 miles a day last week, which is not bad at all and which I credit for the success I had.  Now (as I make one of those overly simplistic statements that disguise just how hard some of this really is), I just need to combine all of that walking with better control of my calorie intake in order to see some significant success.

Easy, right?

Well. That’s annoying.

I know for a fact that I was over five miles of walking yesterday.  How do I know this?  Because I walked 1.7 miles before bed, and when I started I had 4.6 miles logged on my FitBit.  But, well, I forgot to make sure to sync the FitBit with my phone before I went to bed.  And now, the app is showing that I walked only 3.99 miles.  It isn’t a disaster or anything, because I still know what I did.  But it skews my records, you know?

Ah, well.  If that’s the worst thing that happens today, it’ll still be a good day.

Yesterday was incredibly successful, though.  I hit my walking goal (even if the FitBit doesn’t want to admit it), I got all my exercise in, and I came in under my calorie budget!  Yay, me!  Now, I just need to do it again today.

Let’s Get Physical, Physical

I got all hot and sweaty with my wife last night.

See, we’re going to our personal trainer together, as a way of helping motivate one another, and I got run ragged.  A few weeks back, the first time we went, we were instructed by our trainer to text her when we stopped feeling sore.  I got up the next day, and wasn’t feeling sore at all.  So I texted her and said “at the risk of you kicking my butt next week, I feel fine.”

She took that to heart.  I’ve been a little sore the next day, each and every time I’ve gone back after that.

So, what did she have me do?  Well, a total of 12 minutes on an elliptical machine (5 to warm up, 7 to cool down) and 5 minutes on a treadmill.  But not just walking, no sir.  What I had to do was walk forward for twenty steps or so, then turn sideways and “gorilla walk” for twenty steps, then walk forward again, then turn sideways to the other side and “gorilla walk” again.  Then I got to do squats with a ten pound weight that I had to swing up into the air, and the “Superman”.  You know the one.  You get down on your hands and knees and stretch out your right arm and left leg, and then your left arm and right leg.  That one.  Then it was on to running around cones.  Sideways.  While facing forward, constantly.  And after that came the worst exercise of the lot:  bouncing a ball against a wall.

You laugh, but it was brutal.  Keep your arms at shoulder level and hold the ball against your head.  Then bounce it into the wall, and catch it on the rebound.  Repeat, for one minute.  My arms – specifically, my triceps – were gelatin by the end.

I did all of that twice.  Well, not the treadmill.  By the end, I was dripping with sweat.  Even now, my arms and legs aren’t sore (well, maybe my calves and thighs, a little), but I’ve got a whole lot of muscles telling me “hey, we’re here.  Pay attention.”

Man.  It was great!

That Was More Work Than I Expected

I hit all my goals yesterday!  I walked 6.24 miles in total, I came in under my calorie budget (only 2,166, even with eating out for dinner), and I got in all of my exercise!  I feel… well, to be honest, I feel just a little sore.  Not terribly, mind, but my thighs and calves are reminding me that it’s really been a while since I’ve done this much walking.  They don’t hurt, not really.  But I can feel them.

On today’s agenda is more of the same.  Hit my walking goal again, go to my personal trainer and do whatever brutal exercise regimen she’s come up with for me (I exaggerate, clearly), and eat within my calorie budget again.  All while studying for a major certification test for work and going to my guitar lessons.  Piece of cake, right?

Of course it is.

15,131

I wasn’t successful with my calorie budget yesterday, not by a long shot.  But I did hit my walking goal and then some.  15,131 steps according to my FitBit, which it calculates out to be 7.63 miles.  So, yeah.  I feel pretty good about that.

Part of the secret is the new “family walk” program my wife and I have instituted.  Every day, after dinner, we’re going to pack up our son and our dog and go for a walk.  Some days it’ll be around the neighborhood, and some days it’ll be at a park.  Yesterday, we went to Woodland Mound, and had some drama.  See, my son wanted to walk our dog – something we were hesitant about because the dog is not the best with strangers.  He’s a 17 pound Cocker Spaniel mix of some sort with four teeth left in his 12ish year old head, but he thinks he’s a wolf and barks and lunges at strangers.  But, since there was nobody around, we let my son take him and run to the nearest tree and back.

Unfortunately, my dog got all excited and tried to run around my son.  This resulted in him tripping and scraping his knee.  He was fine, more or less, until he saw the blood oozing out.  Then he panicked and started crying and wanting to go home.  So, while mom held him and comforted him, it fell to me to walk back to the car and fetch the first aid kit.  An alcohol wipe and a bandage and a couple of hugs later, and we were back to walking.

Crisis averted.

Back From Vacation

When I first posted last week, I’d fully intended to keep up with my blog while on vacation.  Clearly, that didn’t happen.  Instead, I pretty much took the week off from everything.  Calorie budget?  Nah.  Exercise goals?  Nope.  And I feel great.  Of course, I’m paying for that in terms of what I saw when I got on the scale yesterday.  315 pounds.  Ouch.  Still, I regret nothing.  It was nice to give myself that freedom.

But now, I’m back and it’s time to work.  I’ve got a daily walking goal of 5.0 miles, which I plan to hit every day.  I’ve got a calorie budget, and I’m looking forward to eating a sensible diet once more.  Oh, and I’ve got a new exercise routine my personal trainer put together, so I’ll be doing that as well.

I feel great!

I Am Runner 5

This is something of a gear review.

I’ve had the Zombies Run! app on my phone – both phones, really – since I got my first smartphone back in June 2015. It’s been on my list of augmented reality fitness apps to try out for, well, a while now. Since June 2015, really, but I never got around to it.

Well, I’m on vacation this week. It’s finally time to get around to it.


The app is a semi-interactive audio drama, combined with a GPS tracker that reminds me of MapMyRun (it also has a step counter, if your phone supports that sort of thing, and a ‘constant speed’ setting if it doesn’t but you’ve got a handle on your average walking or running speed).  In the narrative you take on the role of “Runner 5”, the survivor of a downed military helicopter who now works as a scavenger for a community of survivors of the Zompocalypse.

The “semi-interactive” bit comes from collecting supplies as you walk/run, that you can use to build up your base. Also, there’s a chase setting (which I haven’t used yet), which randomly announces that zombies are chasing you. You then have to put on a burst of speed, or lose collected supplies.

I’m enjoying it, especially now that I’ve worked out how to link it with my playlists on my phone. Although that first night I played, walking briskly in the dark with nothing but silence broken by zombie sounds and warnings, was delightfully creepy.

If you like zombies, I recommend it as a way to break up long distance walking or running.