Missing My Goal Isn’t Failure

So, yeah.  Yesterday was not as successful as I’d have liked.  I only managed to walk about three and a half miles, due to a number of snowballing circumstances.  Crummy weather, things at work that made it difficult to get up and walk around, and then more crummy weather and being tired.  Oh, and I may have overeaten – I say may, because I didn’t think to weigh out the pork chop or cheesy rice dish I had for dinner (and because my son had his Easter party at kindergarten, and insisted on sharing candy with me, and I have no willpower with candy right now…).

Am I discouraged?  Meh.  I don’t know that I’ll have a lot of success in terms of weight loss when I get on the scale tomorrow, but I’m actually not overwhelmingly worried about that.  Why?  Because I succeeded (mostly) at my big goal for the week – trying to hit my walking goals.  And since I’ll be hitting that today, I’ll still have managed four out of the five days I track such things.

And next week, I’m on vacation!  Yaaaayyy!!!!

Treadmills? Bah.

Man, treadmills are boring.

So yesterday, I found myself with half a mile to go for my walking goal.  Not a big deal, right?  I mean, the weather had been beautiful all day, so I figured I’d just grab the dog and any family members who wanted to go with me and I’d knock out that last short distance.  Except that, as I was making those plans, a storm started to roll in.  And while I don’t mind the rain, I don’t want to be out and strolling about in heavy rain and lightning (and, as it turned out, hail).  So, I went and hit the treadmill.

I got my mileage in, too.  5.36 miles in total for the day.  But wow, that last half mile was tedious.  I like actually moving, and seeing things change, and that just doesn’t happen on a treadmill.  Even with my headphones and my podcasts, it was slow and boring.

Needless to say, I’m still going to keep the treadmill in mind as an option.  It’s jut going to have to be an option of last resort.


Always, always, always check the calorie count before eating.

It was my wife’s birthday yesterday (happy birthday!), and she wanted to go out for dinner.  So, after some discussion, we ended up at Carrabba’s Italian Grill – she wanted Italian food, and it was close.  Sadly, we weren’t particularly enthused by the meal.  The service was good, but the food was lacking – “greasy” was the word I used, while my wife described it as “bland” and my son described it as “can we go to IHOP?”

I figured it would be a bit of a hit on the old calorie budget when I ordered, but… well, I got something called Fettuccine Weese, which is fettuccine in alfredo sauce with shrimp and mushrooms.  Alfredo sauce is harsh on the calories, yes, but I like it.  Sadly, I didn’t check the calorie cost until after I ate.


Let that sink in.

Maybe I would have been all right with that if I’d liked the food, but I didn’t.  Oh, it tasted all right (except for an odd oily aftertaste), but it did not like me back.  I had a roiling stomach for a good few hours after dinner, and kept belching up garlic and shrimp.  Not the sort of result I want from my food.

On the up side, I walked 5.89 miles yesterday!  Not enough to take care of that fettuccine, I suspect, but more than enough to hit my walking goal!

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.


Been A Few Days, Hasn’t It?

Sorry about missing the past few days.  My schedule got changed around thanks to some training at work, putting me on an 8-5 schedule that completely messed with my head.  How do those of you who work that shift on a regular basis manage to cope?  I mean, there was this burning orb in the sky as I drove to work, and it was dinner time by the time I left the office!


The weekend was not productive in terms of my goals.  However, things are starting to look up, thanks to meeting with my new personal trainer for the first time yesterday (nothing against my last personal trainer, mind – it’s just that this one is only a five minute drive from my house).  The first thing we did was sit down and talk about what I was trying to achieve, and why I was trying to achieve it, and who I was trying to achieve it for.  So, because it’s useful to remind myself of these things, here’s what I said.

I’m trying to get myself back on track.  Nearly two years ago, I set out to lose two hundred pounds.  At one point I was down 120 of those pounds, but then things happened and I stalled out.  Those things were, specifically, various health issues combined with getting burnt out.  But I’m in no mood to give up, and recognize that I need help getting back on track.

I’m trying to achieve this goal because I got scared.  I was morbidly obese, I needed three different blood pressure medications, and my doctor was concerned I was diabetic.  At the time I was 43, and I had a 4 year old and a wife, and the odds were good that I wasn’t going to make it to see him graduate or to retire with my wife.  Also, I was disgusted with myself and the way I looked and felt, and I wanted to change.  But, let’s be honest here (because you can always go back and read my first posts), it was the fear that got me started.

My “anchor” – the reason I have for doing all this – is my family.  Me, and my wife, and my son.  I want to be able to keep up with my son.  I’m 45 now, after all, and he’s 6.  Occasionally, people think I’m his grandfather (which is within the realms of mechanical possibility, but would have required both me and my hypothetical son to have had kids between ages 18 and 20).  I don’t want him to miss out on having an active father because I’m older or because I’m unable to do things with him.  Oh, and I want to be around to see my (obviously hypothetical at this point) grandchildren when they come along.  People in my family live into their late 80s on average, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do so.

I also want to be able to be there for my wife, both now and in retirement.  We have plans.  We want to travel, and go see things, and spend more time hiking and exploring.  I clearly can’t do that, if I can barely walk.  Or if I’m bedridden or housebound because of my health.

And I want to feel better.  The way I feel now, with only a little over half of my ultimate goal achieved, is a vast improvement from how I used to feel.  I’m more active.  I sleep better.  I’m happier with the way I look.  And I want that to continue.

So, that’s what I came up with, answering my trainer’s questions.  Then we spent a good amount of time checking my balance, and the way I move, and my initial workout was something I didn’t expect.  For this week, my exercise is primarily to pay attention to my posture.  Shoulders back, head up, butt in, and walk standing up straight.  And sit, standing up straight.  Also, there’s this exercise I need to do each day, where I clench a ball between my knees and try to press my lower back against the floor, and I’m having a hard time describing it better than that.

It sounded… ridiculous.  That’s all?  But, after just half a day of trying to mindfully stand up straight and walk as prescribed, I’m feeling it in my back and shoulders.  So, clearly, there’s something to this.

I’m excited!  Can you tell?

A State Approximating Health

Well, I’m feeling better.  Not perfect, mind, but better.  The allergy medication my doctor prescribed has finally kicked in, and so the drainage and coughing that kept me up all night for three days running has finally subsided to an annoying wet tickle at the back of my throat.  And I can breathe without trying to cough!  Oh, the luxury!

What does this mean for my efforts to exercise?

I actually asked my doctor that.  He told me there was no specific medical or medication-based reason why I couldn’t, but that I needed to pay attention to myself.  If I start struggling for breath and coughing, then stop.  If it doesn’t, then exercise and walking are back on the menu.  So I’ll be taking a crack at that today, and I’ll let you know how it works out.

Sadly, I don’t know how successful I’ll be at the whole weight loss thing this week.  And not just because I didn’t exercise (or hardly even move) for four days.  I also discovered that, when I don’t feel well (but aren’t nauseous), I tend to eat.  So I spent the past four days grazing and not bothering to track anything, and I suspect this means I’ll break even for this week.  But, then again, I was sick.

Oh, strangely enough that reminds me of the reason why I don’t use Weight Watchers (other than being too cheap to pay for it).  Something like ten years ago, I joined.  A week later, I was knocked out by the flu.  I spent four days in bed eating the occasional slice of toast and drinking juice, and it was two more days before I got my appetite back completely.  The next week I weighed in, and I’d lost five pounds.  So when they asked how we did on our goals, I stood up and told them that I’d lost the five pounds because I’d been terribly sick and hadn’t eaten anything.

The group cheered and clapped at my success.

I never went back.

Hopefully, that group wasn’t typical.  But it left a bad taste in my mouth.  So, there you have it.  My Weight Watchers experience.

The Dubious Joys of Allergy Season

So, yeah, it’s been a miserable few days. Coughing and runny nose and more coughing and more drainage, to the point that I got myself back to my doctor yesterday. And walking or other forms of exercise?


Oh, you know what’s really fun?  I have sleep apnea, and use a C-PAP to deal with it. Full face masks and a runny nose are a delightful combo.

Hopefully, the medication helps. Soon.