Browsing Date

January 2012

Challenge

Reaching milestones

January 25, 2012 • By

I was going to give another simple status on where I am but, instead, I feel compelled to talk about something related but, probably, more important: goals.

Often, I have had some long-off goal to reach my goal weight by some date off the the future, typically 12-18 months from the day I was “starting” (actually, I should call it “re-starting” based on all my stops and starts).  However, what I’ve failed to do in the past is develop short-term goals.  In other words, I never set milestones to say “to make sure that I am on-track, I need to be at x-weight by this date.”  Honestly, I would let the handy on-line calorie calculator set the big goal date for me.  You know the one — it tells you if your current weight is this and you eat this many calories per day and work out this many calories per week, you should hit your goal weight by this date.  That sounds good but, how do you know if you’re on track to reach that goal?

It not the fault of the tool, it does just what it is supposed to do: give you a rough idea of where you can be in a certain amount of time but, it can’t control your motivation or your need to do the monitoring necessary to track your progress.

This is where milestones come into play.  I shared that my latest milestone is to lose 30 pounds in 8 weeks.  I am not recommending that everyone do this but, for me, I believe this is doable.  I am not starving or dehydrating myself.  In fact, I am drinking a gallon of water daily and eating sensibly.  What I have done, however, is to lay off the fast food, sodas, cakes, cookies, candy bars, etc.  In other words, cut out the junk food.  I was already going to the gym pretty regularly but, my eating was atrocious.  Now, the two are lining up and I am seeing positive results.  For example, I hit a smaller goal: I am finally just under 280 pounds (279.6 according to my digital scale).  It’s been a while since I hit that number.  My next mini-goal is to get below 270, a number I haven’t seen since my late 20’s.  My final goal for this sprint to get below 260, putting me at 30 pounds lost.

This is going to require focus and discipline.  However, milestones should help with this.  I’ve noticed that when I give myself a goal date off in the distant future, I tend to behave like I have all the time in the world and slack off.  At times, this has put in a worse predicament than I was before I set the goal.  However, working on milestones builds in some accountability on my part.

So, here I am with less than 7 weeks to go. Here’s to milestones.  May they be a tool that helps me to stay on track.


Challenge

Progress Report: Jan. 21, 2012

January 21, 2012 • By

Okay, here’s my progress report.  I’ve finally started matching my diet and exercise and, so far, the results are favorable.  I chose Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, coincidentally) to begin my change.  I made it to the gym 3 times this week and got in some kick-butt workouts but, more importantly, my eating was a bigger victory for me.  I only had two cups of soda this week (diet ginger ale.  Note: I’ll drink water next time.  I hate diet soda!).  But every day I have been drinking a gallon of water.  This has curbed my appetite immensely.  I am eating sensible meals.  I get good protein in at breakfast (turkey bacon and egg whites, most days) and for lunch I’ve been getting in a protein shake, fruit, and yogurt (or peanut butter with my apples, if I want to mix it up).  For dinner, I eat sensibly, but well.  In other words, I am not starving myself. Nothing breaks me quicker than feeling food-deprived.

So, I say all that to say this: since Monday, I am down 7 pounds.  This is to be expected.  I started the week at 288 pounds (I did say I am a BIG man) so, it’s not hard to think that kicking it into gear would yield a weight loss like this.  So, to get on a scale and have it say 281 feels pretty good. This is not the lowest I’ve been recently.  I kind of slacked off and regained 13 pounds so, I am working my way back to that weight.  I am hoping to get there in the next two weeks.  Like I said in a previous post, I am doing this on an 8-week sprint in which I hope to lose at least 30 pounds.  So, I’d like to be under 260 at the end of this 2-month period.

It’s only been 6 days, really.  Because of that, I make no pretense that all will be smooth sailing.  But, here’s my hope for the best!


Challenge

When actions and words meet up

January 17, 2012 • By

Okay, it’s time to be real.  I started out with every intention of making this blog about my progress on weight loss.  Somewhere along the line, I lost this and just made it about what I am not getting done.  That was then.

From this point, my goal is to make my actions match my expressed desires.  Therefore, I am back in gear.

Yesterday, I started an 8-week sprint, if you will.  My goal is to focus for 8 weeks on healthier eating, more exercise and proper rest.  Right now, I am hoping the be 30 pounds lighter by then.  I believe this will help me really give my weight loss and much-needed kick in the rear to get going.  Furthermore, this would put me at around my halfway mark for my goal weight.

I am looking forward to taking on this challenge because I am, for the first time in a while, truly excited about losing weight.  Lately, I’ve been doing the gym thing, sort of doing the eating thing and failing miserably on the rest thing.  I realize that shortcuts in any (and sometimes, all) of these things didn’t allow me to have any real progress and contributed to my lack of motivation.  However, if I knock off 5  pounds and continue to lose more weight, I’m sure it will do wonders for my general attitude.

Finally, I feel like I’m back in the saddle.  In the immortal words of Ice Cube, “once again, it on!”


Challenge

Goals Reset

January 10, 2012 • By

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  For the most part, I think people break them and, possibly, make the same ones over and over.  However, I do think that a new year is a good time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work in hopes of making better progress on a goal.  This is where I stand with my weight loss.  In the last year, I feel like I’d lost a lot of the momentum from the previous year.  I let a hand injury stop my from working out (never mind that my legs worked perfectly fine so, I could have walked, hit a treadmill or elliptical, etc).  So, my year was sort of a mixed bag in this area.

But, like I stated, I’m in a period of reevaluation.  So far, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

  1. Set several small goals leading to the big goal:  I want to lose another 80 pounds.  This is a big goal but, if I break it down to 5 pound goals and repeat it 16 times, I believe I can do it.
  2. Don’t sabotage myself: Don’t let workouts be my excuse for bad eating.  Exercise alone won’t get me to my weight loss goals.
  3. It takes work: I earned every pound that I put on through my dedication to overeating and inactivity.  Now, I have to go in the opposite direction.  There is work to be done and there’s no getting around it.
  4. Be honest: I don’t always like to admit that I am overweight (despite the obviousness of it all).  However, that self-delusion has been the reason that I have been negligent in the are of diet and exercise.

If you would have spoken to me in 2009, I might have told you that I am just going to be a “big man” and that was that.  However, the 2012 me doesn’t believe that any longer.  I have goals and now I need a plan but, I do know one thing, I can change.


Challenge

What Time Is it?

January 9, 2012 • By

I’ve shared with you before my penchant for staying up entirely too late and how it leads to me making poor eating decisions at all hours of the night.  It’s funny how appetizing fried chicken can sound at 10pm.

Well, starting last week, I began a “new” way of addressing this (okay, it’s nothing new at all and I used to do it but, I guess it’s “new” because it’s the first time in 2012 I’m doing it).  I’ve stopped eating and drinking (with the exception of water) after 8pm.  Wow, incredible…I know.  But, it’s really easy to get away from the basics.  For example, I work out and can get back from the gym after 9pm.  I get hungry and grab something to eat, then something else, then something else.  In the end, I’ve eaten all the calories I just worked off, almost making the workout moot.  What I have turned to doing is eating a good dinner (even with a small dessert) and calling it a night on the eating.

It’s just be a few days, really, but I have noticed a few things.

  • I’m sleeping better because I don’t have all this food weighing me down right before bed.
  • I’m waking up better.  I am assuming because my body’s not utilizing energy just to burn calories from all the food I’ve had that night.
  • I’m getting in more water, since I’m using it to curb the cravings.

It’s probably better on my wife, also.  She’s been trying to be good and not eat after 8pm for quite a while, now.  So, my bringing snacks into the bedroom was not helping her cause at all.  So, my reducing my late-night binges might help preserve a happy home, also.

I’ve heard it said before and I researched it enough to know it to be true.  All the exercise in the world, particularly when you’re my age and in my shape, is not going to help if your eating is not under control.  So


Challenge

I hate winter!

January 4, 2012 • By

I am truly a child of the sun.  I cannot stand snow and ice.  I suspect that, because I have to drive in it versus just playing in it, my appreciation of it has waned terribly.  Sadly, this also tends to affect my eating and activity levels.  So, sitting in a nice warm house eating something spicy and watching something mindless sounds more appealing than making a sensible meal and braving the elements to get to the gym.

The other day, I was put to the test.  I had the day off and had taken my son over to a friend’s house to hang out for the day.  This was the day for the first big snow in Cincinnati and the streets had yet to be plowed.  I got my son to his friend’s house just fine but, when I started on my normal route to the gym, I slipped and slid down the road.  Finally, I was on my way only to encounter the spot where an accident had occurred and the road was block.  So, I had to backtrack the same slippery way I had come before.  At this point, I was closer to home than they gym and temptation was calling.  Bed was sounding better and better.  But, I sucked it up and slowly made my way to the gym.  Fifteen minutes later, I was there and hit the treadmill.  I actually burned more calories than I ever had before on it.  Then, I hit the weights for another 45 minutes.  I was whipped but, I did it! Also, I still had most of my day left to do what I wanted.

The winter blues is very real to me. But, losing this weight is important to me so, it’s time to shake it off and quit whining.  I’m sure that dropping 10 pounds or so would do wonders to combat them.


Challenge

Get up, get out and get it done

January 2, 2012 • By

Oh, I’ve indulged this Christmas season.  I’ve enjoyed the festivities and the food.  But, now, it’s time to get back on the ball.  As I write this, it’s a balmy 29 degrees farenheit here in Ohio (which will be the high, by the way) and I have the day off work.  So, I am going to take advantage of this by getting to the gym.  Believe me, I would enjoy going back to bed or lounging around but, I am working on an attitude reset.  It’s get up, get out and get it done.

  1. Get up: Few people lose weight just sitting on the couch or at the desk.  For sure, I know I don’t so, the first step is just getting vertical.
  2. Get out:  I like to work out at home sometimes but, for me, being at the gym seems to motivate me to work harder.  Perhaps, it’s the mentality I have that says, “since I’m here, I might as well put in the work.”
  3. Get it done: Excuses never shed a pound or dropped a pants size.  I don’t like excuses anyway — they never sound anything but lame.  So, why would I think I’d get away with them?

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but, I do like resets.  This is my reset for the year.

Now, it’s time to get up from this comfortable chair behind my computer and work on steps 1, 2 and 3.


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