What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Hi! I’m back! I hadn’t originally planned it n not posting for all of last week (in fact, I’d planned on writing every day), but life sort of got away from me. Along with my walking goals, and my exercise goals, and my calorie budget. But, on the up side, I feel great!

So, what did I do?

Let’s see. On Tuesday, I went with my family to the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, a 300 acre park on the north side of Cincinnati. We didn’t do anywhere near as much walking as I’d planned there, since it started raining and we ended up renting a golf cart to go see the sculptures, but it was still a good time.

How much of a good time? Well, my six-year-old son declared that he wanted to go back for his birthday.

Thursday, or maybe Friday, I took my son to Force Friday II at Toy’s R Us. It was at midnight, which entailed getting the six-year-old up at 11 pm on Thursday to go and get to n line. We ended up getting there a half hour early, which worked out well. Why? Because at 11:40 he told me he had to go to the bathroom. So we had to leave the line, drive to a nearby Meier, discover that the doors closest to the bathroom were locked, and sprint the length of the building and back to avoid accidents. All ended well, and we made it back with 7 minutes t spare.

Force Friday II was actually a bit of a letdown. We had no idea what to expect, but all we got was a poster.

Still, we had a good time going out and doing this utterly ridiculous thing. He wants to go again next year. Just… somewhere else.

Saturday I got myself back to the Zen Zone to get my flabby butt kicked by my personal trainer. Well, all right, I joke. But I was sweaty and sore by the time we were done, so that was a good thing. It helped with the discovery that I’d gained weight over the last week, mostly (I assume) from eating badly and not exercising,

Speaking of exercising, we took my son and my nephew to Sky Zone yesterday. That’s a big indoor trampoline park, and I got a ticket to jump with them. “How hard can it be?” I told myself. “It’s just bouncing. How hard can it be?” Five minutes later, I was soaked with sweat and out of breath. Trampolining is hard work.

Which gets me to today. I’m not actually done with my vacation until tomorrow, but I’m rested and refreshed and ready to get back on track. I’m trying out the Zombies Run 5K app, because I’ve still got the itch to see if I can build up to be able to run 5 kilometers, and I did the first set this morning. And I’ve planned out when I’m doing my exercises (and how to fit them into my study schedule), and I have two weeks of healthy meals planned out.

I am feeling great!

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Cool Weather And Sinuses

Right now, it's perfect walking weather. Nice and cool in the morning, with just a hint of a breeze. The kind of day that makes you glad to be out walking, and which doesn't get too hot even in the afternoon. A far, far cry from the unpleasant heat and humidity of the last few weeks – I have to work to sweat, right now.

So, naturally, my sinuses have packed it in. My fault for letting myself run out of allergy medication, but it sucks a lot of the fun out of the walking when you can't breathe very well. Still, so far so good. And I'm nicely on track to hit all my goals today.

And once my prescription is refilled? I'll be far more on track.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to get frustrated

I weighed in at 314 pounds on Saturday.  Well, all right, somewhere between 313.8 and 314.4, because the scale kept flickering on that final “pound dot decimal” in a strange way.  But it seemed to settle on 314 exactly, which meant that I lost four pounds last week.  And that feels good, honestly.  Until I updated the little widget over on the right of this page, where I track my weekly progress.  And I saw this:

New Year Weight 2016 (1/1/2016): 339.2 lbs
New Year Weight 2017 (12/31/2016): 308.0 lbs

I have to be honest here:  it bothered me when I read that.  “Seriously?”, I thought.  “I’ve only made 15 pounds of progress in the last 18 months?”  And I really, really started to get down on myself.

And then I took a deep breath, and I stopped.  Because, sure.  I’ve only lost 15 pounds in the last 18 months, and that’s terribly frustrating.  But, at the same time, I’ve kept a hundred pounds off for over a year, despite distractions and stress and family drama and everything else that could possibly go wrong.  So, while I’m not where I want to be (yet), I’m certainly doing all right by myself.

Nonetheless, I want to do better.  And, to be honest, I think that’s become a stumbling block for me.  I want to do better so badly that I’m getting in my own way.  Under 300 has stopped being just the next goal for me, transforming into an unattainable holy grail that I approach but never reach.  I’m so obsessed on it that my failure to hit it has taken my mind off what I should be doing.

What is it I should be doing?

I should be focusing on my daily activities.  I should be working on hitting my calorie goals each day, and hitting my walking and exercise goals each day, and trusting that if I do that my weight and my health will take care of itself.  Easier said than done, right?  But really, I need to work on that more.

So, here I go!

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!

A State Approximating Health

Well, I’m feeling better.  Not perfect, mind, but better.  The allergy medication my doctor prescribed has finally kicked in, and so the drainage and coughing that kept me up all night for three days running has finally subsided to an annoying wet tickle at the back of my throat.  And I can breathe without trying to cough!  Oh, the luxury!

What does this mean for my efforts to exercise?

I actually asked my doctor that.  He told me there was no specific medical or medication-based reason why I couldn’t, but that I needed to pay attention to myself.  If I start struggling for breath and coughing, then stop.  If it doesn’t, then exercise and walking are back on the menu.  So I’ll be taking a crack at that today, and I’ll let you know how it works out.

Sadly, I don’t know how successful I’ll be at the whole weight loss thing this week.  And not just because I didn’t exercise (or hardly even move) for four days.  I also discovered that, when I don’t feel well (but aren’t nauseous), I tend to eat.  So I spent the past four days grazing and not bothering to track anything, and I suspect this means I’ll break even for this week.  But, then again, I was sick.

Oh, strangely enough that reminds me of the reason why I don’t use Weight Watchers (other than being too cheap to pay for it).  Something like ten years ago, I joined.  A week later, I was knocked out by the flu.  I spent four days in bed eating the occasional slice of toast and drinking juice, and it was two more days before I got my appetite back completely.  The next week I weighed in, and I’d lost five pounds.  So when they asked how we did on our goals, I stood up and told them that I’d lost the five pounds because I’d been terribly sick and hadn’t eaten anything.

The group cheered and clapped at my success.

I never went back.

Hopefully, that group wasn’t typical.  But it left a bad taste in my mouth.  So, there you have it.  My Weight Watchers experience.

Breathing. It’s A Wonderful Thing.

I didn’t quite make goal yesterday, but I made a whole lot of progress!  I managed 4.18 miles, 0.32 short but a mile more than I’ve been able to do the last couple of weeks.  Oh, and I wasn’t wheezing and gasping for breath after each short walking session, which means the allergy medication is really working out.  (It also means that I’m sleeping better, which also goes a long way towards being willing and able to exercise.)

With all that in mind, here’s my goal for the day:  I’m hitting my walking goal, and I’m hitting my calorie budget.  Oh, and I’m going to have fun doing it.

Let’s Try This Again, Shall We?

I did not hit anything near my exercise goals, yesterday.  Instead, I got myself to my doctor’s office to get an allergy shot.  Why?  Because while the bronchitis has cleared up (yay!), some allergy-related respiratory issues remain (boo!).  But the shot seems to have cleared that up, so I think I’m ready to give walking another go.  And I really, really hope it works out this time.  I’m getting very tired of sitting and not exercising.

I’m not beating myself up about it, though.  Because I’m also a huge fan of breathing, and I was getting very tired of not being able to do it.

On the calorie front, I missed goal yesterday by about 100 calories.  Not bad, I suppose, but not what I wanted to see happen either.  Still, rather than beat myself up on that I’m just going to keep going.  Breakfast and Hobbit-lunches are all packed and ready, so I’ll be making progress there (although I find it strange that deli chicken is more calories per ounce than deli him), and dinner is already mapped out in my head.  Things should go really well, today.