Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Again, Off Again, On Again

Consistency is so important!  I know this by observing its lack in myself.  I've broken a record, but not the good kind.  My max weight had creeped up to 255 lbs., 13 pounds higher than my previous all-time high.  But that's not what has me writing today.

A few days ago, I decided that I wanted to cut back on caffeine and sugar.  I drink a lot of Coke.  I typically go through 5-6 of cans of Coke at work, and follow that by a 32 oz. Coke from McDonald's after work.  I decided to quit "cold turkey."  By the end of that first day (and after doing some reading on caffeine withdrawal), I thought better of my "cold turkey" plans.  I am now tapering back.

Last night, it occurred to me that perhaps this one goal will help with my weight and fitness, as well.  Which lead me to recording my current weight (248 lbs.).  Which in turn led me to my old blog.

Now to see if I'll be able to follow through on any of that so-called consistency.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Have Been Weighed, Measured, and Found Wanting

My new scale has arrived!  I have my starting weight: 236.2.

My Body Mass Index (BMI) is 31.2, which puts me in the obese category.  BMI has its problems, but it is a good rough estimate.

I want to get my BMI into the normal range (around 24ish).  But I'm flexible about how to reach this goal.  The most obvious means for lowering my BMI into the normal range is to lose weight.  Losing 56 pounds would get me there (I would weigh 180).

But I'm a flexible sort of fellow.  Perhaps I am overweight.  Or maybe I am just under-tall.  I am totally open to growing a little taller, as my weight would be more appropriate on a taller body.  Given my current weight, I will need to grow to 6' 10" to fall within the "normal" BMI range.  That's 9 inches taller.

... Anyone know how to safely and painlessly grow 9 inches?  Lemme know...

Monday, January 16, 2012

No Baseline Weigh-In... Yet

Our bathroom scale has vanished.  It's possible that it suffered an untimely death after someone killed the "messenger."

Or it may have just flaked out.  I was having some issues with it before I stopped weighing myself.

But, I have another one on order from Amazon that should be in by tomorrow, so after many months of scale avoidance, I will finally know what I weigh.  For better or for worse, I suppose that even discouraging knowledge is power.

In the meantime, I also now have some refillable water bottles, and that will help me keep hydrated with water, lest I reach for my more preferred and less healthy drink, Coke!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fast Food is King - All Hail the Conquering Menu

Our family has been eating a lot of fast food, especially after the kids went back to school in the fall.  All the kids' activities mean that something is going on almost every evening.  It is so seductive (not to mention quick!) to hit the drive through, order off of the value menu, and viola, instant dinner, at an affordable price!  And, there's no dishes to clean.  No prowling through the refrigerator or pantry looking for something to eat.  No need for frequent trips to the grocery store.  Why, we have a McDonald's just up the street from us, so it's just a quick drive for a quickie meal at a reasonable price.

In Our House, McDonald's is King
How often do we go to the local McDonald's?  I keep track of the places I go using Foursquare.  The person that goes to a venue the most is the 'mayor' of that venue.  Any thoughts on who that might be?  Anyone?  Okay, yes, just call me "Your Honor.".  13 check ins in the last 60 days!  And, my wife is probably there more often than me, since she will bring food on her way home.

No, I don't have any shares in McDonald's.  I can't help that Every Bite is Pure Joy.  It says so right on the bag!

There are undeniable advantages of fast food.  Quick, convenient, and relatively inexpensive.  What's not to like?

Actually, I'll let Admiral Ackbar tell you:

It's a trap!

I guess it's just human nature that bad habits tend to take hold more quickly and insidiously than healthy habits.  When January came, my wife declared that we would be doing no more fast food.  I was hooked on fast food, but I didn't fret.  Sure enough, half way into the month, and that bad habit is coming back around for a return engagement, just as powerful as before.

You will end up doing what you reinforce.  For my family, fast food has become the norm.  It is a challenge breaking that cycle.  But perseverance is the key.  And now that I'm back on board on healthier eating, we will present a more united front against the convenience of unhealthy meals from a paper bag.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Plea to Fitness Bloggers

So yes, it had been a year and a half since I posted.  And I assumed that I wasn't the only one that might have taken some time off to recharge his batteries completely abandon everything he had been working for to go crazy, gain weight, and lose fitness.  So, I wasn't surprised when I saw that some of the fitness/weight loss blogs I had been following hadn't been updated for a while.

What was a little discouraging was the number of blogs that had been deleted outright.  Why does it matter?  Because those blogs I was following (and others like them) contained insights that may help others struggling with the same problems, and fighting to achieve similar goals.

It's one thing if the blog is costing you money, but if you are using a free blogging service, why not leave the blog?  Perhaps you have decided that you're done with it forever.  But then again, you might change your mind down the road.  And who knows?  Your words might help motivate someone else.

But that will only happen if you leave your words for others to enjoy.  Even if you are "done" with your fitness blog, please consider leaving it intact.  And if you want to be really nice, some sort of goodbye or status message is helpful, as well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy

So, my last post was in April 2010.  The optimist might interpret that I quit posting because I made my goal weight, am eating and exercising as I should.

But the realists would win the day: I haven't just fallen off the wagon.  I fell off the wagon.  Then it backed over me.  And ran over me again.

How bad has my avoidance of of All Things Healthy and Right been?  I can't remember when I was last on a scale.  Even now, I don't know how much I weigh.  But I'm going to put that on my "to do" list.

Some basic facts:

  • I am much more likely to watch what I eat (and more importantly, how much I eat) if I track what I'm eating.
  • I am much more likely to keep exercising if I exercise regularly, track my progress,  and it becomes a habit.
  • I am much more likely to stay motivated if I track my weight, and can see improvement.
  • I am much more likely to keep the above in mind if I post my progress and interact with those that will help me stay focused, both online and in life.
Finally, I would like to apologize to those that have left me comments asking if I'm still alive and well.  I'm alive, and have not fallen into a well, despite appearances.  I had comment moderation set for comments left on posts more than 30 days old... but I didn't have notifications set to tell me about them.  I think I stumbled across them well after the above mentioned wagon had run me over.  Please forgive the silence.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Inquiring Minds Wanna Know!

Another Phoenix Suns game was on last night.  I skipped the push-ups I had planned, however, since my triceps are still quite sore.  Body-For-Life emphasized that you should not work out muscles that are still sore from the previous workout, even if it means you have to skip a day.  Paraphrasing what I remember from the book, your body is already trying to rebuild the muscles damaged during the previous workout, and damaging those muscles again short circuits the healing process, and actually slows the muscle building process.

And then there's CrossFit.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were doing it, and invited me.  You are supposed to work out every day, and you may work the same set of muscles two days in a row, sore or not.

So, which concept is "better" in reality?  It seems like one would work better than the other, but I don't know enough about muscles and weight training to know.

Does anyone else out there know, or have any good guesses?  What has worked out better for you?

And next time, if I can't do push-ups, I'll do sit-ups, or some other muscle building exercise.  I gave up too easily last night.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Every Day!

I've been putting effort into daily exercise.  I'd like to see how long I can keep going.  I played racquetball on Sunday evening.   Evidently, even regular walks improves my cardio fitness enough that I was able to run around the court without being totally winded and wiped out.  That said, there wasn't a ton of running; my friend and I have cancelled our standing racquetball appointment for several weeks now.  Frankly, it was a victory just making it to the court.  The fun and exercise was something of a bonus.

I walked and ran for almost 3 1/2 miles on Monday, at a pace of 4.3 miles per hour.  My middle son has joined me on most of my walks (he rides his scooter), and it's been enjoyable.  He is really excited about it, too.  He keeps asking if I'm going for a walk soon.  That might help provide that extra push to get out there.  For this walk, my oldest boy came with us, too.  He evidently doesn't like my walks as much as his brother, and I doubt he'll come with me in the future.  I did throw in some running during this little stroll, just because I like being out of breath, I suppose.

I had to watch the Phoenix Suns basketball game last night, which is obviously a higher priority than walking.  But I wasn't as lazy as it might sound.  I did 3 sets of push-ups during commercial breaks.  I went almost to exhaustion on the first set, and slightly less so for the other two.  I wanted to have use of my arms this morning.  If I went all out, after not having done them for a while, I doubt I could move my arms the next day.  I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but my arms this morning.... they weren't working right.  My brain would tell them to do something, and they would kind of do it, but not move quite right.  It's a little disconcerting.  It took me a moment to remember that it was the push-ups.  My triceps are complaining this evening, but complaining in a good way, not in a PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE IT STOP sort of way.  So, it's good.

I did walk yesterday, but I did it in the morning.  I had to work late last night, so I walked before work.  It was a 2 mile walk, at a 4.4 mile per hour average pace.  There was some running thrown in there, too.

And then there was tonight.  When I got home, my wife was outside.  It was a cool, breezy day today.  There aren't going to be many more of those here in Phoenix.  I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk with me.  She declined.  What I failed to take into account was that my younger two children were right there, and they were very enthusiastic about going on a walk with us.  So, I went with my two younger children.  At first, I thought I'd have to walk really slow, but it was okay.  We managed close two miles at a 3.5 mile per hour average pace.

My walking streak may be in jeopardy tomorrow.  There's a Suns game tomorrow night.  Maybe if I get home early enough, and it's not too hot, I'll walk before the game.... decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ramblin' Man

Another Rambler

I am having more trouble than usual figuring out what to say this evening.  This writing thing doesn't come naturally to me, and I am humbled by those that are able to write humorous or insightful posts, day in and day out.  I don't know how they do it.

When I re-engaged into getting more fit, I decided I was going to try to find some sort of picture that relates in some way to what I'm writing, if only tangentially.  I took this picture myself, and I'm rather proud of it, for some reason.  It look longer than you might think to actually get photos that showed both sides of that same coin!  I was up way past bedtime.  I know the photos aren't a big deal, but it's an opportunity to be creative.

Thanks for reading, and commenting.  It's nice to know who is out there, and some of the feedback gets me to thinking... not always deep thoughts, but thoughts, nonetheless.

Helen got me to thinking about the .2 on digital scales.  I get caught up on the technicality of gaining 0.2 pounds.  0.2 pounds is 3.2 ounces.  It is really useful to know that I gained 3.2 ounces?  Perhaps .2 too precise to be useful... besides as a motivational tool, of course! 

Kyle has also given me some things to think about.  Quoting parts of the two comments:
When I was losing the bulk of my weight, I didn't step foot into a restaurant without prior researching the calorie content of theirs or similar offerings and already knew what I'd eat.
 Didn't want all that to sound too harsh Paul, but family events didn't stop me from being absolutely strict with my intake and maintaining my shouldn't as well. Tough love!
 ... since it isn't a race, you can decide what kinds of habits can be ingrained into your lifestyle over what length of time. Of course, that means that you need to stay motivated by other means besides scale victories.
 It didn't sound too harsh, and I'm not going to get my feelings hurt.  Back in January 2007, my employer sponsored Body for Life.  I was fully engaged with that program for a time, and adhered to it strictly.  I lasted 9 weeks.  There were several factors that contributed to my fall.  There were the 4:30am workouts, because that seemed to be the only time I could find to consistently do them.  I remember going to dinner with the extended family to a place that was rumored to have the best burgers.  I say "rumored" because I went with something healthy.  My mother-in-law tried to talk me into relaxing for the night and getting a burger, but I refused.  I should have felt good about that decision, happy that I had the willpower to make the "right" choice.  Instead, I felt food remorse... for the food I denied myself.  While my wife tried to be supportive, she asked me more than once when this whole Body for Life thing ended.  I was asking for whole grain foods, lean meat, and other food that wasn't part of our normal shopping trip and menu.  It was a 16 week program, but the underlying idea is that you would keep with the program the rest of your life.  It was apparent that this sort of program was not going to work for me.

Instead, I compromise.  Progress isn't as great as it would be if I followed a strict meal and exercise plan, but I weather the storms a little better.  I'm looking for a habit that I could continue indefinitely.  If I lose an average of 2 pounds a week, I'm pretty happy.  Later on, I'll be doing well to lose 1 pound a week.

The comments hit on something else that I've been thinking about: motivation.  As Kyle said, motivation must come from sources other than scale victories.  This is true for everyone.  The scale is finite.  You eventually reach goal weight (barring distraction).  Then what?

I've been within 20 pounds of goal twice.  There were many contributing factors to why I lost my way, but scale motivation was one of them.  The first 20 pounds is easier to lose than the last 20 (once you get started).  The calories you can have and still lose weight shrink.  You've gained some level of fitness, and subsequent fitness gains become more difficult.  When I hit 200 pounds each time, I hit a weight plateau, and got stuck.  I did all the "right" things, yet I'd bounce around on both sides of 200.  Ultimately, the last 20 pounds was more stubborn than I was.

I'm looking for a re-match.

But finding the will and motivation, especially later on, will be the battle, and the war.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Week In Review

There are weeks when you work hard, give every effort, do every bloomin' thing right, and still gain weight.

This was not one of those weeks.  In fact, I feel fortunate, like I got away with something.  Despite that feeling, I know I haven't really gotten away with anything.

From an exercise standpoint, I came unhinged.  I put in one good walk earlier in the week, and I played racquetball last night.  That not good enough.  I'll need to redouble my efforts next week.

I did okay with my meals until Saturday, when I had a couple of calorie-rich meals.  I expected the scale to punish me on Sunday morning.  Instead, I gained just 0.2 pounds between Saturday and Sunday mornings.  That suggests to me that I was on my way to a loss prior to those "calorie-fest" meals.

I got myself righted again with eating on Sunday.  My ability to get myself back on track is key.  Not every day or every meal will be a good one.  The bad meal days can disrupt my momentum and could mess with my motivation, so I need to be wary.

My end of week (averaged) weight was 231.8 pounds, down 4.0 pounds from the previous week.  Woo hoo!  I have lost 8.2 pounds in the last 4 weeks.

My end of week (averaged) body fat percentage was 30.3%, down 0.7% from the previous week.  That's great!  It would have probably been even more impressive had I exercised as planned, but I digress.  I have lost 1.8% body fat in the last 4 weeks.

I need to do at least 3 cardio workouts next week.  I'll also do push-ups two days this week.