A Bit Of A Mixed Week

Last week wasn’t quite as productive as I would have wanted, but I’m all right with that. It was a “getting back on track” sort of week. I hit my walking goal every day except Monday, which wasn’t too bad when you consider that I didn’t start getting up to walk at 3 AM until Tuesday.  So, good job there.

I only hit my exercise goals 50% of the time, which translates into two out of four days.  Not great, but I’m back to working with a personal trainer on Saturday so that should get me back on track. Also, things are calming enough now that I should be able to get back to swimming with my son. And if you don’t think that’s exercise, you’ve obviously never spent two hours chasing an active 6-year-old who wants you to play.

On the calorie front, I didn’t do very well and I’ll just leave it at that. His week, since I now have a good walking routine built up, I’m going to focus on that part of of my program.

Of course I’ll succeed!  Why wouldn’t I?

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?

Early Morning Walking

The fact that I get up stupidly early in the morning isn’t really a surprise at this point.  But, historically, I haven’t done much with that. Usually, I just complain and hit snooze and generally regret the poor life decisions that led me to get five hours of sleep that night.

None of this, clearly, is useful.

I did things a little differently last night. My wife and I were trying to strategize about how to support each other as we work on our various family and career goals, and part of that was figuring out how I could get my exercise in. Long story short, I decided that I’d get up in the morning to get some of my walking in. Hitch led to me going to sleep about… 7:45?  I don’t know, but the app for my CPAP machine tells me I used it for 7 hours last night, so that seems about right.

I was out the door at 3:05 this morning, walking. And it felt good. I covered 1.95 miles in 40 minutes, walking over to the Anderson Town Center and back on a meandering fashion. It wasn’t as fast as if I’d hit the treadmill, but the weather was pleasant and it seemed a shame to be stuck in a small room if I didn’t have to be there.

Yep. I think this will work nicely.

Stuff And Miscellaneous Nonsense

Ah, me. Second Monday. See, I had to work July 3 but not July 4 – the 4th is a market holiday, after all, but the 3rd is nothing special.  So I had a Monday, and then a day off, and now a Wednesday that feels distressingly like another Monday. No fun at all.

I’ve got my Raichu!  I even held off so that my son could hit the Evolve button, because he’s been wanting me to get one ever since he realized I had a Pikachu.  He is now convinced that I can win every gym battle ever, because I have Raichu.

Next up is my Bulbasaur (well, Ivysaur) named Audrey:

And I’ll only need to walk another 262.9 km to evolve her!

Finally, I have gotten really and truly off track recently. It’s a combination of things – family health problems, and getting burnt out on my test, and all of the other usual suspects. So I’m now trying to use Second Monday to restart. Meals have been planned and packed, and cash has been left at home (making snacking difficult), and generally I’m recommitting to hitting my goals. Which includes this blog, so you can expect to see regular posts again!

Rethinking Some Goals

So, I may have been a trifle overambitious with my goals. And that may have been a reaction to my lack of progress and to the last couple of months of stress while studying. I’d built up exercise in my head as that thing I was going to do when it was over, and I overplanned as a result.

With this on mind, I’m dropping the treadmill for a while. Getting up to a 15 (or even a 10) minute mile is still a longer-term goal, but it’s getting ahead of myself. First, I think, I need to get myself back to consistently hitting my regular walking and exercise goals. Then, after I’m doing that, I can add some more.

I thought I’d be upset with that decision. To tell the truth, when my wise and wonderful wife suggested it, I was upset. But, a day later, it makes sense.

I’m still going to take up running, though. Just… not right now.

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!

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.