Climbing A Stairway To Heaven

Sometimes it's the little things that matter. Let me show you something.

That is the stairway from the cafeteria up to the ground floor in the building I work in. It's about 20 steps, with a landing halfway up, and it was the bane of my existence when I first started my exercise and weight loss program. Getting up those stares felt like a challenge, and I'd frequently have to stop for a second when I reached the top.

It occurred to me, just a few days ago, that now I just zip right up them without noticing, when I get back inside from walking on break. And I've been doing that for a while now.

Yeah, sure, that hardly makes me a triathlete or anything. But it's a nice little reminder that I am making progress.

Maybe, one of these days, I'll get a picture of the three floor spiral staircase in here. That one still leaves me a little winded, by the time I reach the top.

I’m Back. Again. For, Like, The Umpteenth Time.

Last week, clearly, was rough.  I learned (or, perhaps, realized) that I’m a stress eater.  The Tuesday after I learned about my grandmother’s death, I significantly overate.  I mean, I overate to the point that I didn’t bother tracking my calories because it would have just depressed me more.  And I didn’t bother with trying to hit my exercise goals, or walking, or anything.  The rest of the week I did better, though.  I didn’t quite hit my calorie goals until Thursday, but I hit my walking gaols every day except Tuesday.  By a significant amount, too:  I averaged 5.13 miles a day, which is pretty good for not trying on Tuesday and not holding myself to any sort of walking goal on weekends.

I lost 4.4 pounds, while I was at it.  So, again, I must have done more right than wrong.

Anyway, I’m hoping this week will be a whole lot better.  I’ve got breakfasts ready to go, and lunchmeat so that I can easily prep a lunch the night before (and easily work out the calorie count of my lunch…), and I’ve got plans to get out and walk.  Although, naturally, it’s been unseasonably cold the last few days.  Still, I’m going to go and walk anyway.  Because I’d like to see if I can manage another 4.4 pounds this week.

Not counting on that exact amount, mind.  But I definitely want to see continued progress!

That Was More Work Than I Expected

I hit all my goals yesterday!  I walked 6.24 miles in total, I came in under my calorie budget (only 2,166, even with eating out for dinner), and I got in all of my exercise!  I feel… well, to be honest, I feel just a little sore.  Not terribly, mind, but my thighs and calves are reminding me that it’s really been a while since I’ve done this much walking.  They don’t hurt, not really.  But I can feel them.

On today’s agenda is more of the same.  Hit my walking goal again, go to my personal trainer and do whatever brutal exercise regimen she’s come up with for me (I exaggerate, clearly), and eat within my calorie budget again.  All while studying for a major certification test for work and going to my guitar lessons.  Piece of cake, right?

Of course it is.

Things Are Turning Around

All right, so I wasn’t perfect last week.  So what?  You know what happened when I got on the scales on Saturday?  I was down 1.8 pounds.  That, right there, is progress.  And that progress didn’t come from perfection.  It just came from actually trying, from working hard and not giving up because I didn’t quite do everything.

Part of me, of course, is saying stupid things.  “You could have done better, if you’d just hit your calorie goals.”  “You could have lost more, if you’d just walked more.”  But that voice isn’t important, and it isn’t carrying the day.  Sure, maybe I could have done better.  But “maybes” and “perhapses” and “if onlys” and a $1.50 will get me a 20 oz Coke Zero out of a vending machine.  They aren’t worth anything, is what I’m saying, and I’m not going to indulge them

Now to do it again this week.  Because, as I keep trying to remind myself, I’m doing this for health, not just for weight loss.  I’m changing my life, not hitting a target and then stopping.  And I can see that life change, even if I haven’t yet hit my final goal.  Because I’m more than a hundred pounds lighter than I was when I started this project more than two years ago, and I’ve kept it off despite distractions and stress and illness and injury, and that is success.

Starting To Make A Little Progress Again

Clearly, last week paid off.  I’m down 1.8 lbs from my last recorded weigh-in, which is pretty good!  I chalk it up to hitting my calorie budget, to (mostly) hitting my exercise goals, and to making sure to walk even when I didn’t hit my full distance goal.  It’s nice to feel like I’m getting back on track, you know?

It’s still unseasonably warm here – like, in the low fifties (Fahrenheit) – so I took advantage of that yesterday to go to the park with my wife and son and some of our friends.  For a good two hours I followed around a six year old who thinks he’s sixteen, keeping up with him as he ran and jumped and ran and climbed and rolled.  And then we went Pokemon hunting.  A good time was had by all, and I barely felt the need to sit down the whole time.  So, yeah.  Signs of progress, right?  A year and a half ago, I’d have been dying.

And now, time to pick up the pace.  I intend to hit my walking goals every day this week, along with my exercise goals.  I’m feeling good about myself, and I need to keep this up!

Holidays All The Way Down

Originally, I was going to call this post “Two Days After Christmas”, in a nod to my last blog entry.  But then I thought about calling it “Two Days After Hanukkah” instead, because that particular holiday started on December 24th this year.  But then, the way my brain works, I started thinking I should look for a holiday that was two days from today, but that would have made the title either “Two Days To Kayin New Year” or “Two Days To Tick Tock Day“, neither of which would have made sense.  However, I also learned that – assuming the internet is to be believed – yesterday was a holiday named “Second Day of Christmas” in the Netherlands, which I’ll choose to believe is called Tweedekerstmis until informed otherwise.  Which will probably happen within the next few hours.

Anyway, it was a good weekend.  Plenty of time spent relaxing and visiting with family, and playing odd board games with my son, and drooling over the recipes in the lovely new cook book that was one of my gifts.  Oh, and according to my scale, I lost five pounds over the holiday weekend.

Wait, what?

Yeah.  See, I weighed in on Saturday at 310.2 lbs – a thing that did not make me a happy man.  But then, last night, something struck me.  I’d been on steroids for the past 10 days, as part of my treatment for bronchitis, and as of Saturday it had been only 24 hours since I took the last pill.  And steroids cause you to gain weight.  So, out of curiosity, I got on the scales this morning.

305.6 lbs.

So, yeah.  I’m actually 1.2 pounds lighter than I was before I started taking the steroids.  That felt good.  Really good.

So, have a Happy First Day of Kwanzaa and a Solemn Zartosht No-Diso, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!