I Expected More Walking

I took the day off from work today to go on a field trip with my son’s kindergarten class. To Build-A-Bear at a nearby mall. No, I don’t quite get it either – all the field trips I remember going on were to museums, or zoos, or plays, or the like. But there you are, and the kids had a great time.

Me, I was just confused. I was expecting more walking, or something. Not an hour of standing around. But my son adored having me along, and that’s what counted the most.

I still hit my walking goal, though. Knocked it out by covering 1.73 miles in a 32 minute session of the Decoy Duty mission for Zombies Run. Thanks to me, Abel Township now has a hospital!

I also managed to hit my calorie budget, despite my field trip lunch being at McDonald’s (and a double quarter pounder with cheese, and large fries). It just goes to show what’s possible when you plan ahead and don’t snack, right?

Next time, though, I need to try not to need to walk so much in the evening to hit goal. I get up at 3:30 am – walking at 7 at night is late.

The Best Sign of Progress

“Are we walking home today, daddy?” my son asked me, when I picked him up from kindergarten yesterday.

“We are,” I told him.

“Yay!” he gushed.  Then, on the way home, we chatted about anything and everything.  What happens to people when they die.  Whether a motorcycle could beat an AT-AT.  What we’re going to have for dinner, and whether or not he can play before he does his homework.  He finds “treasures” – rocks and sticks, and tried to bring them home.  And we swordfight with other branches that he picks up – when he isn’t throwing them like spears or just showing me how far he can toss them.

I love these afternoon walks with my son.  They’re a pure reminder of the fact that I’ve made a whole lot of progress, and that I’m in better shape now than I was when he was born.  I can carry him around when needed, and give him piggyback rides and wrestle with him – all things I struggled to do, two years ago when he was a lot lighter and I wasn’t.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said all of this before, in more than one post.  But I’m saying it again, because he and my wife are my reasons for keeping this up – even when I’m feeling tired, or discouraged, or frustrated by lack of progress.  Because they remind me that I’m not just doing this to lose weight.  I’m doing it to have more moments like this, and to be able to spend more time with them.

It’s a great feeling, knowing that I already can.

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.

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?

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!

Adjusting My Goals

Oh, did I mention that it’s April?  And that the turning of the calendar means it’s time to adjust my goals.  Because it does, and I did.  Adjust them, I mean.  So, my new target is 2,400 calories per day and walking 5 miles each day during the week.  That will continue until the end of the month, when I’ll decrement the calorie budget by another 100 and increase the walking target to 5.5 miles.

I feel nicely optimistic about this, too.  Sure, I was really rocky with the 2,500 calorie goal.  But it’s still a good idea to stretch myself, right?  And I reserve the right to hold level at 2,400 if I’m still not consistently hitting that goal.  Not that I’m saving that as an out and an excuse for bad behavior, mind.  But I’m trying to allow myself to be realistic.  And that walking goal?  Heck, if I hit 4.5 miles in a day it’s not that hard to push a little further and hit 5, because when I’m on my walking schedule I generally hit four miles by the time I leave work.  Heck, I hit 5.4 miles yesterday, my first day at the increased 5 mile goal, and I wasn’t even trying.

Although I wish I’d noticed I was at 5.4 miles, because I’d have walked the extra 500 feet to hit 5.5 and be done with it.  But what are you going to do, right?

Oh, and good news on the walking front!  I may not be at my final weight goal, but I’m light enough that I can make use of the treadmill at my condo complex workout room!  Which means that I now have no excuses for not hitting goal – even if the weather is terrible, I can still go walk.  I found this out at my personal trainer’s gym on Sunday – she has the same type of machine, and I knocked out a quick half mile in ten minutes (and yes, I thought that was an achievement) while I waited for her to wrap up with her previous appointment.  I had the speed up to 4 mph, and was chugging along just fine, so that felt good.

Now to get myself back on track with the calories as well, and everything will work out just fine.


New Day One Check-In

This blog has always had an element of public accountability to it – my way of having the entire world (or, at least, the tiny part that reads what I writ) keep me honest.  So, with that in mind, let’s start off by looking at how day one of the new plan went:

  • After a full accounting of everything I ate, I came in under my calorie budget!  2,311 calories out of an allowed 2,500.
  • Breaking my meals up “Hobbit style” (first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, snack) really seemed to work.  I started getting hungry every few hours, but the times I started getting hungry happened to coincide with my next meal, so that was a success.
  • With the bronchitis still going, I didn’t even attempt to meet my walking or exercise goals.  On the other hand, I believe I disclosed that I wouldn’t be making the attempt until after I recovered, so that’s mostly a non-issue.

How do I feel?  Honestly, I’m pumped.  After months of beating myself up over not meeting my calorie goals, it’s nice to see some success.  And no, the fact that I came in under budget with a higher budget doesn’t bother me in the slightest.  The calorie budget isn’t supposed to be a punishment, after all.

What’s coming up next?  Well, clearly, day two and another day filled with success.  Also, a day filled with reminding myself that I’m not yet healthy enough to be doing exercise or pushing myself to meet a walking goal.  Not with the wheezing sound I’m making as I breathe.  Although, despite sounding worse, I’m starting to breathe more easily and sleep better.  So I’m hoping that’s a good sign.

Anyway, here’s to another 24 hours of success!