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.

Feeling pretty good

A little sore as well, but good.

Yesterday, I got back into my exercise routine.  Why?  Because all the allergy medication has finally kicked in, and I can now exert myself without trying to cough my lungs up and out.  Let me tell you something:  exercise is a whole world easier when you aren’t coughing.  So I hit my walking goal (for the second day in a row, after a week or more of not hitting it), and then got in my workout as well.  And I feel good.

And, as I said, a little sore.  I can tell that it’s been a while since I did these.  But I could still manage the twenty pushups I had to do, and the situps, and the presses, and the yoga-inspired moves, and everything else.  And I’m not too sore.  I feel it in my arms and back, yes, but it’s not painful.  I like to think that’s a good thing.

So, going into the weekend, I have no idea where I’m going to end up on the scales.  I don’t know that I care, either.  I mean, yes, I do want to lose weight.  But I also recognize that I’ve been feeling terrible the past few weeks, and that I’m just now getting back to work.  So, whatever I come out at is fine with me.  Because I’m just going to do better and see progress from that point.

Waiting for a hard frost

I finally dragged myself in to see my actual doctor about the way I’ve been generally feeling like a truck hit me.  I mean, no offense to the Nurse Practitioner that looked at me at our local urgent care office, but there’s something comforting about seeing the family doctor that you’ve used for years.  Particularly since he seems to have sorted things out for me.  He didn’t say anything in particular about the diagnosis I got at urgent care (‘upper respiratory infection’).  Instead, he confirmed that it’s a bad allergic reaction to all of the pollen in the air.  This led to an allergy shot and a prescription.

And now I’m actually starting to feel better.  I slept hard, for the first time since I started these allergic reactions, hard enough that I’m still tired after waking up.  Oh, and I haven’t tried to cough once this morning, even after getting out in the cold air to walk from my parking garage to my office.  So, yeah.  Things are looking up, and the medicine I got injected with will keep me going until (as he put it) the first hard frost takes care of the pollen.

Heck.  Maybe I’ll even have the energy to get back to exercising.  That’d be nice.