Rain. Rain, and Treadmills

I didn’t get in quite as much walking this morning as I have on other mornings. For a couple of reasons. I was running a little late, so I didn’t get out the door until 3:15 – not so bad, in and of itself. But there was rain drizzling down, so I figured this morning would be a treadmill day and went back inside to get the clubhouse key.

When I got back out, the heavens had opened and water was falling in great gouts. It was coming down so hard that, even with an umbrella, I was soaked by the time I made the 3 minute walk to the clubhouse. And it was 3:30 by the time I hit the treadmill.  So I only got 1.5 miles of walking in (well, 1.75 with the walk to and from the clubhouse). Which is still pretty good, but it just wasn’t quite as much fun as the other days. Treadmills are a little boring, and the workout room is warmer than I like. Give me the outdoors any day.

Still, the treadmill was better than nothing. And I’ll probably appreciate the warmth come winter, right?

Jumping With… Well, Not Joy, Precisely

Let’s talk a little more about my exercises, since I made it sound like they were killing me yesterday.  They aren’t, not really.  Oh, sure, I’m a little sore when I finish.  Also, I’m a little out of breath when I finish them.  But I figure that’s a good thing, because it demonstrates that I’m actually working.  And they show some progress, despite me feeling a little bad that I’ve backslid.

For example, yesterday I drew two different cards that required jumping.  One was something called a “half-jack” (which is literally a jumping jack where you just bring your arms slightly above shoulder level), and the other required me to crouch down and leap into the air.  I did both, which doesn’t really sound like that big a deal when I type it out.  But, a year and a half ago, I’d have skipped that second card and drawn a second one.  I was heavy enough that the idea of jumping was laughably implausible.  Heck, the half-jack would have been challenging.

Of course, a year and a half ago I was also looking at doing four of the exercise cards as an impressive achievement.  Now, I’m looking at six of them as the “get back on track” starting point while I work up to doing ten of them.  So that’s progress as well.

What I’m saying is, I’ve made progress.  Even if (as I also keep saying) it isn’t as much progress as I’d like to have made at this point.  And that feels pretty good, when I stop and think about it.

Thunder and Lightning, Very Very Frightening

Sometimes, timing is everything.

I managed to successfully complete day two of hitting the treadmill at 3 am – although, to be technical, it was 3:13 am when I was actually on the treadmill, because dressing and walking over takes a little time.  But that’s being pedantic.  The point is, I hit the treadmill again.  And then I walked home, drank some water, and jumped in the shower.

When I left my condo again to drive in to work, it was raining.  Well, actually, it was pouring down.  Thunder and lightning and driving rain, when there’d been no warning whatsoever of any hint of weather like it a half hour earlier.  I managed to dodge a bullet there.  A damp, soggy bullet.

I’ve also successfully hit day two of my exercises!  Not the calorie count, though.  Getting back on track with that after a month of not being on track is… tough.  But I know for sure that I (at least) didn’t go off the wagon as badly as I did while I was studying.  And I still walked over 6.5 miles and did my exercises, so there’s some offsetting benefits.

Here’s hoping the rain breaks, so I can get the rest of my day’s walking done outside!

Before the Crack of Dawn

Because of the way my schedule works out, I realized last night that getting up and going for my 30 minute (building up to a) run wasn’t going to work in the evenings.  I want to spend time with my family, after all, and I get up crazy early in the morning.  So, going for a 30 minute speedwalk on the treadmill after my son goes to bed doesn’t leave much time for things like spending time with my wife.  Which is, when you get right down to it, something that is far more important than exercising.

So, I got up this morning and went to the little workout room in our complex.  At 3 am.  And it was surprisingly nice.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was staggering a little for the first few steps, and blinking sleep out of my eyes, but it woke me up nicely.  I managed to put in 1.75 miles on the treadmill, plus another third of a mile walking to and from the workout room.  So, it was a good morning.  Even if I’m not used to being that sweaty at 3;30 in the morning.

After that, hitting the rest of my walking goal should be a cinch.  The other exercise goals, though?  Not so much of a cinch.  I’ve clearly allowed the muscle tone I’d developed to fade away, and I can feel my situps and pushups in my arms and shoulders and gut.  I’m not in pain, precisely, but I can clearly tell that more exercise is needed.  Which I got, simply because the pool is open and my son is insisting (not unreasonably) that we go every night (another reason that the treadmill probably won’t work out in the evenings).

So, all told, it was a good first day back to my exercise program.  Here’s to many more!

I’m Back!

Well, that was an unfortunate hiatus.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve spent the last ten weeks studying for the second level of the Certified Equity Professional certification.  It’s been a ton of work, and it’s been stressful, and my exercise and diet has completely fallen by the wayside – especially over the past few weeks, when all I was focused on was preparing for the test.  But now, the test is over!  For now, at least, but the point is that I can get my focus back on my health!

The bad thing I have to report is that all of the stress eating caused me to regain some weight.  Not a huge amount, in the grand scheme of things, but now I’m only down 101 pounds from where I started two years ago.  Nevertheless, I refuse to be beaten by that.  Instead, I have a plan – something I alluded to a couple of posts ago, and something I’ve been planning for several weeks now.  Here it is.

First, I’m going to get back on task with my walking.  The goal is still 5.5 miles per day, with a stretch goal of 7 miles per day.  That’s an increase from the old stretch goal of 6 miles per day, mostly because hitting six miles was a little too easy.  If I hit the 5.5 miles, it’s usually at a time of day where I’ll walk another half mile anyway.

Second, I’m getting back on task with my calorie counting.  The “stay within my calorie goal” check box in Habitica has turned blood red and has been glaring at me for weeks, and it’s time to get that back to green.  Also, and more importantly, I really need to eat better anyway.  And when I count my calories I tend to do this very thing.

Third, I’m getting back to my daily workout routine.  For the moment that means five of my Lightning Fitness cards, four times per week.  I’ll do that for two weeks, just to start getting back in the swing of things, and then I’ll figure out the next step.  That’ll probably be some stretches and work with my dumbbells, and some squats and crunches.  Or maybe it’ll be more cards.  I haven’t quite decided yet, but it’ll probably depend on how well the cards are working out for me.

Fourth, in the “I can’t believe I’m saying this category”, I’m going to start building up to doing some running.  I can’t believe it, because I never expected to go down this track.  But a few weeks ago, while playing Zombies Run on a treadmill, I realized that is was hitting a pretty steady 3 mph as a speed that I could keep up for a while.  I mean, I went an hour (to hit my walking goal), and realized I could have probably kept it up for another mile or two.  And that’s when the little voice in my head said “I wonder if I could get up to 4 mph?  For two miles?”  Now I want to do that thing.

Actually, I want to try to get to 6 mph for at least 2 miles.  But I’m going to hit 5, first.  Which will involve about ten weeks, I think.  My plan is to hit the treadmill every night.  The first week, I’ll do two miles at 3 mph.  The next, two miles at 3.2 mph, and so on until I hit 4.  That’ll take me into mid-August, when I’ll see how I’m feeling.

Fifth, back to doing Kung Flow.  Why?  Well, partly because it’s good exercise.  But mostly because I want to be able to do stuff like this:

So, yeah.  I’ve got a plan.  It’s straight-forward, and doesn’t have a whole lot of moving parts, and I’m confident it’ll work.

You Take The Good, You Take The Bad

You take it all and then you have…  Well, if you’re my age, you have a flashback moment to an annoying sitcom from the 80s.  Which was, if you stop and think about it, thirty years ago.  Which goes to show how much television I watch these days, if a bunch of my pop culture references are three decades out of date.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the facts of life.  I’m here to reflect on my week, which is a combination of good and bad.  To the good, I’ve hit my walking goal every day so far and most of my exercise goals.  To the bad, I’ve been sort of ignoring my calorie budget.  I was good with it one day, came near it two other days, and sort of blew through it two more days.  So, I’m thinking I probably held my ground on the weight.  Which is the bad, because I really wanted to see some progress this week.  Still, life happens.

I’m not moping, though.  I’m just trying to recognize that I made some mistakes, and to figure out why.  And most of that “why” comes down to “poor planning”.  I didn’t plan out making my breakfasts and lunches in advance, so I had to eat out.  And that leads to eating more than I should.  Also, having cash or a debit card on me makes snacking easier.  And if I’m already primed by eating out, it’s a whole lot harder to discipline myself and not snack.

Long story short, I need to prep my meals in advance for next week.  Important lesson, that.

Emotionally, I Want A Cookie!

Yesterday marked four successive days of hitting my calorie budget, and three successive days of hitting my current walking goal.  And you know what?  I feel great!  I’ll admit the walking has been a little bit of a struggle, because I love reading and I’d gotten used to sitting and reading on my breaks and lunch again, but I’m remembering how much I really enjoy walking during work.  It’s a nice antidote to all the sitting I do, and it’s a good stress relief.

Not that my job is hugely stressful, mind.  But it’s still nice to get up and away from the desk for a while.

The calorie budget has been a little bit more of a struggle, though.  Not that I specifically want to overeat for the sake of overeating, mind.  Most days, at least.  But I really do love the taste of chocolate, and cookies, and things like that.  However, I recognize that these things should be an occasional treat instead of a dietary staple.  Intellectually, I recognize this.  Emotionally, I wanna cookie!

But still, things are going well.  And my pants, which were feeling a little tight recently, have started to loosen up again!  I must be going the right direction!