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!

Starting Over From Scratch

I spent the weekend thinking really, really hard about how to get started on my weight loss again.  It’s one thing to acknowledge that there’s been a whole lot of stress in my life recently, and to realize that this is why I’m off track.  It’s another thing to translate that into the ability to make positive changes and get going again.  Particularly since I have a terrible habit – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – of saying “why bother?” and really blowing my goals if I miss a little bit.  It’s like I find myself thinking that if I’m 100 calories over budget, I may as well go ahead and be a thousand over.  Or if I miss one day of exercise, I may as well blow off the rest of the week.

It’s counterproductive, is what I’m saying.  So, I put a lot of thought over the weekend into what I can do to change things and get going again, and I got really excited.  And then the bronchitis came back, and everything went into a tailspin once more.

Still, here’s the things I came up with.  And some of them are things I can still do right now, even while I recover from being sick.

First off, I need to change up my eating patterns.  During the work week I get into the office at 5 am, and that’s when I eat breakfast – ideally the one I made in advance.  Then I end up having lunch around 9:30 am, but don’t eat dinner until between 4 and 5 pm.  This is not, clearly, a good idea if I’m trying not to snack and/or overeat.  So, here’s my new plan:  since I generally have two breakfast wraps for breakfast, I’ll eat one at 5 am and the other on my first break (usually 7:30 to 8 am, when most people are eating breakfast).  Then I’ll have a snack of some sort – fruit, or carrots, or the like – around 10 am, and eat lunch round about noon.  Then dinner at 4 to 5 pm like usual, and it should help take care of my noon food cravings I’ve been getting.

Secondly, I really need to stop carrying cash or my debit card as a regular thing.  Generally that’s a good idea because it helps curb impulse spending, but specifically it’s helpful for weight loss because it helps curb impulse snacking.  It is, after all, really hard to buy a snack if I don’t have any way to pay for it.  (This probably won’t be a permanent thing, but I need to enforce some discipline on myself until I learn to exercise it responsibly).

Third, I really need to avoid unplanned snacking.  As I tell my son, there’s nothing wrong with a little cake (or chocolate, or ice cream, or whatever) as long as you don’t eat too much and as long as you have a healthy diet.  I tell him this, because I want him to be healthy but I don’t want him to get a complex about food or weight because he’s watching me work on my food and weight issues.  So, snacking can happen.  But it needs to be planned, and for the most part it should be fruit.  And it certainly shouldn’t be opportunistic impulse snacking from the vending machines.  So, I’ll be making all my own snacks and packing them with my meals, after weighing them out and calculating the calories and factoring it into my daily budget.

That brings me to point four, my daily calorie budget.  I’m way off, right now, so I’m “starting over”.  For the month of March I’m returning to the 2,500 calorie budget I started this whole process with.  It’s still not excessive, particularly when I’m exercising, and it feels more doable as I get back on the wagon.  In April I’ll cut it a little and go to 2,400 calories.  Then, in May I’ll cut to 2,300 calories.  And I’ll probably keep it there for a while.

Fifth, exercise.  At this point, I’m not planning on changing my daily workouts – they’re only about twenty minutes (thirty with the extra stretching from my Kung Flow practice), so that’s not all that bad.  My walking goal is going to be reduced a little, though, because I need to get back into the habit.  So, for March, I’ll be aiming for a minimum of 4.5 miles a day.  This goes up to 5 miles a day in April, and 5.5 miles a day in May.  And, of course, I’m certainly allowed to exceed goal.

So, there it is.  When I first came up with these ideas, I was worried that I’d feel like I’d failed.  But, you know what?  I don’t.  I feel like I’m acknowledging that I need to rebuild, and I’m creating a plan to do just that.  I actually feel really good about all of this.  March will be the month where I get back on track!

Back To Work

It’s back to work today.  Quite literally, actually, as my lovely three-day weekend is now over.  But figuratively as well, because I’m mostly over being sick (just a little remaining congestion, which could easily be allergies) and the weather is amazing.  Like, “I needed a light jacket at 4:30 am” amazing, which means that walking will be easy this week.  Fun, even.  So, hitting my walking goals should also be easy.  And I’m one day into hitting my exercise goals for the week already – I knocked them out yesterday, and felt better for doing so – which puts me closer to achieving my goals in that regard.

I’ll probably even walk to pick up my son from kindergarten today, both to get the extra steps in and because we both enjoy those walks.  I know this, because he’s told my wife that he doesn’t want to ride the bus when he goes to first grade because then he won’t be able to walk home from school with me (everybody say “aaaawwww”).  Which means, of course, that I’ll have to find other ways to go for walks with him.  But I won’t worry about that right now.  Right now, I’m just going to walk over to the kindergarten and get him.

Well, after work of course.  Let’s not jump the gun here.

Two Days And Counting

So that’s two days in a row now that I’ve hit all of my exercise goals.  Well, except the walking – 5.5 miles is difficult to hit in the oddly variable winter weather we’ve been having.  But still, I hit 4.75 miles and – more importantly (for purposes of this post) – I’ve been working out!  With something approaching consistency!  Yay me!

All right, all right, I know that two days does not demonstrate consistency yet.  So what?  I feel good, and I feel motivated, and I’m celebrating anyway!  And I’m going to keep celebrating every time I hit one of these goals, because I plan to have fun with this!  After all, exercise shouldn’t be a chore.  It’s something I’m doing to take care of myself.  It’s something I’m doing so that I can be more active with my family, and go and do more things with them.

Two days!

yay turtle