Changing Standards

It was, what, three weeks ago when I saw a 46 degree temperature and sad it was too cold to go walking outside? Four weeks, maybe? Whatever, the exact time isn’t important. What is important is that the temperature outside this morning was 35 degrees. I bundled up to walk to the gym, got outside, and said “eh. This isn’t bad. And then I walked 1.5 miles outside. Go figure, right?

It probably helped that the air was still and dry, though. If the wind had been blowing, or if it had been that clammy sort of wet damp, I’d have gone straight to the treadmill. The workout room has heat, after all. But the weather was good, particularly for 35 degree temperatures, and I really enjoyed the walk. Especially since I nearly didn’t go. It was all warm and comfy in bed, after all, and 3 am comes really early in the morning.

Oh, while I’m thinking about it, let’s check in on my Monster! Last time, on October 5, I was 81,662 steps from being eaten. And now?

It seems I’ve increased my lead. By just a little. So, I’m probably safe for now.

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One Simple Trick For A Flat Belly

What’s this? Clickbait? No, not really – this is about getting back on my exercise regimen. See, a few weeks ago, I saw this on Twitter:

From the context, it was clearly a sarcastic rejoinder to the stupid “one simple trick” posts you see everywhere. The “simple trick” here s, clearly, exercise. A lot.

So naturally I looked at that and said “hey! That looks like a pretty good exercise program!” And then, yesterday, I did it.

Sort of.

See, I’m just not in the shape to do all that. Not yet, anyway. What I managed was 40 jumping jacks, 40 crunches, 20 squats, 20 leg lifts, 20 push-ups (on my knees), 10 sit-ups (that we’re more like aggressive crunches), and 24 seconds of planking. You add all that to walking 5.5 miles a day and 15 minutes of stretching exercises, and you get a pretty solid workout.

For the next two weeks I plan to do the same number I did yesterday. After that, I’m going to start slowly increasing the target number for each exercise. Currently I think I’ll do the increase weekly, but I’ll have to decide if that’s too ambitious once I start increasing things – I mean, right now I’m feeling them in my gut and thighs and chest and arms. So they’re clearly working, and stretching myself is good. I just don’t want to push too hard. After all, as the shirt says:

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other…

In an effort to make sure I eat myself back on track this morning, I got up and headed over to my complex’s workout room. There, I used this thing:

That’s a skiing machine, I think. Whatever it is, I did 1.75… something. Kilometers, mimosa likely, since I was only on it for about 18 minutes and I know I haven’t broken a 10 minute mile. So, 1.75 km, which is just slightly over one mile.

Or, based on what my FitBit recorded, 0.63 miles.

Yeah, I don’t know what happened. I assume that something about the motion of the machine doesn’t trigger the accelerometer of the FitBit right. So, I’m slightly annoyed. Not enough to stop using the machine, mind – based on the way my shoulders and thighs feel it’s a better workout than just hitting the treadmill. But it’s a little irritating.

Still, if that’s the worst headache I have with exercising this week, then things will probably be all right

Crash. And Burn.

All that glowing positivity about how I was going to get back on track this week? How I was going to exercise, and hit my calorie goals, and start losing weight again? All that? Yeah. It, uhm, it didn’t really happen.

Looking back on it, I think it was mostly due to the fact that I was exhausted after my big test on Saturday. All that stress was gone, and I just wanted to rest and sleep. And then a few events happened that made it easy to miss a couple of goals one day, and next thing I know it’s Friday and I haven’t even made my walking goals for the past two days.

So. I’m going to chalk all of that up to having a desperate need for a mental health vacation. And I’m not going to be angry at myself, or disappointed, or anything else. Clearly, I needed a break. Equally clearly, I’m going to be putting a meal plan and a menu together tomorrow, and I’m going to do this right.

I’m still going to do this! It’ll just, Well, it’ll just take a little longer. That’s all.

Three Hundred Twenty-Six Point Three

It’s only been a few days since my last post, but it feels like a lot has happened.  See, I wrapped up the level three Certified Professional Examination on Saturday, and it feels like a weight has fallen from my shoulders.  I slept better the past couple of days than I’ve slept in at least a month, well enough that I actually feel disoriented by being well-rested.

Yesterday, I got on the scales for the first time in a month.  Literally.  I mean, it was October 4 the last time I weighed in.  Back then, I was 323 pounds even (based on my scale).  Yesterday?  326.3, which you might think would make me upset.  But it didn’t.  See, I know for a fact that I haven’t been hitting any of my health goals other than walking for the last month.  I’ve overeaten to a significant degree, partly from stress and partly from fatigue, so it’s impressive to me that I only gained three pounds over the last month.

But I also know that I’m getting back on track, starting today.  And everyone in the family is joining in to help me.  For example, I’ve got my son excited about the prospect of staying home and cooking.  I told him that once my test was over, we wouldn’t be buying candy and desserts as much, but in exchange we would – every other week – make a dessert at home.  And between those times, we’d be eating more fruit.  He liked that.  I also told him we were going to be eating more vegetables as part of eating at home, and his immediate response was to list off the vegetables he likes to eat:  raw carrots and raw broccoli, dipped in ranch dressing.  My response was that we’d be eating more than just that, but we’d certainly have those as well (I’m not going to discourage my 7 year old if he wants a vegetable).

He also gets to pick out one meal a week, which we’re doing by going through cookbooks and looking at pictures and talking about the recipes we find.  This week, as a result, I’m making a blackberry french toast casserole for dinner some night.  It actually looks pretty good, if carb heavy.  I’ll need to work out the calorie cost on that one in advance.

It’s not all food, though.  I’m getting back to my exercises now as well, since I’ll have my afternoons free again.  I get off work at 1:30 most days, after all, and my wife and son don’t get home until nearly 4, so that gives me some time to work out and/or spin my staff.  Also, our plan is to go on family walks each night that the weather is good.  And if it isn’t good?  Well, then we’ll go to the workout room in our complex and hit the treadmill while our son plays on his tablet or tries out the exercise bike.

I am excited about this!

Fatigue And Goals and A Big Test

It’s not particularly surprising to me that I’m really tired right now. I’ve got two days until my big test, and – like always – the anxiety is getting up on me. This usually results in poor sleep, and last night was no exception. I woke up at 2 am, and my three am walk didn’t happen because I was tired. Which was a pity, really, because it was a lovely 51 degrees out.

Why do I bring this up?

Mostly, it’s acknowledging what I’m going through. My wife could testify that I have a bad habit of trying to ignore stress and pretend it isn’t bothering me. That is not productive, because it just makes me more tense and then kind of causes me to act like a whiny, self-pitying brat. That’s something I’d rather not do, so I’ll just try to acknowledge this: I’m anxious, even though I feel prepared, and I’ll be really glad once this test is over.

In the mean time, I still have a walking goal to hit. It’ll be a little more difficult since I didn’t get that first mile and a half in this morning, but I can still do it. Heck, I need to do it – The Walking always makes me feel better. Happier, and more relaxed. (Except for when I’m going up nine flights of stairs. Then I feel more like “why am I doing this to myself?”)

Two more days. Man. I can’t wait to be done.

The Sugar-Laden Aftermath Is Prelude

Trick or treating was a blast! My son teamed up with s group of kids around his own age, which led to me escorting two 6-year-old boys as they sprinted from house to house (and occasionally applying the brakes so that everyone could catch up). I didn’t think to set my FitBit to track just that portion, but I know we must have walked at least two miles. Maybe more. Because I was at about 5.5 miles when we started and I wrapped up at 7.72, and I don’t think the post-trick or treat stag-spinning I did skewed my results that’s much.

So, yeah. Good time.

And now it’s November and the inexorable slide into the most calorie dense month of the American calendar -Thanksgiving to New Years Day. A time full of complex carbohydrates and desserts and opportunities to snack. Also, the period of time in which I’ll be trying to get my calorie budget back on track after kicking it to the curb while studying. I’ll need to do some strategizing, and I’ll need to try and figure out a substitute for some of the calorie dense…

Calorie dense…

Right, right, who am I kidding? I’ll be better off coming up with a strategy now, and sticking with it. And with getting back to regular exercise to complement the walking.

This can be done. I just need to be smart about it.