Fitness Roller Coaster

Fitness Roller Coaster

Fitness, or lack there of, has been a reoccurring topic on this blog and my life. Like many people who struggle with weight things have been a roller coaster. A few years back I thought I had finally broken that and had built all the good habits I needed to stay fit and healthy, but something came a long and I slowly fell back into my old ways.

Fast forward to now and I am at another point of working to get into better habits again. This isn’t new either. I’ve ended up doing well for a couple or few weeks and then slipping again. Right now I’m about two weeks into trying hard to get with it consistently. I’m trying to take a bit of a different approach this time though.

Each time previously I would find essentially one thing and go with it as my go to means of exercise. Julia Michaels fitness videos went a long way to getting me in shape in the past. Now between all the times I’ve started and stopped I’ve done these videos a lot and find it hard to stay interested. For a long time running kept me going. I was able to push myself and I ran a lot. Since March of 2016 I haven’t really run very much except a couple attempts. Back then I hurt myself by pushing too far running and taking the time to get better never really got back into the habit.

This time I’m trying to mix it up and have a number of different things I can do. Things I enjoy. Things I’m not just doing for the sake of getting into shape but for other reasons as well.

There is of course basketball. From helping out coaching and playing with Noah I always end up in a sweat. Basketball is something I really enjoy and it is mine and Noahs thing. We get to spend time together doing it.

I’ve added in biking again. Last year I bought a bike but haven’t used it much yet this year until recently. This is something I’ve always enjoyed doing since a teenager. There are lots of good trails around to explore and I’ve done a few good rides over the past few weeks. I have a good friend who has been coming with me as well. This keeps me motivated and someone to help push me to go out, and push me to go further and harder when we do. It’s also something I can do on my own and am setting a goal for myself around it. Before the end of the season I need to be able to bike up my road with out stopping.

We live at the top of a good hill so it takes a lot to get up. It is about 120m in elevation over 1.5km road. That is almost 400″ over a mile. It’s not a big deal for some and I see people biking up it, but it is a work out for me to even walk up it. I’ve made it up once so far peddling the whole way but it involved a number of stops. Most of the time I have to walk some of the way and take breaks. If I can make it up without stopping I figure that will be a good indicator I’ve made really solid progress.

In the middle of June after a random conversation with my Brother in Law I’ve started playing a bit of tennis. He previously played a lot but hasn’t in years. So I went out and bought a racquet and he is teaching me how to play. I’m terrible so far but he is patient and helping me a long. It’s a fun sport and I’m enjoying learning. This is also another person who invites me out to play. Peer pressure and learning a new sport are both good motivators to get a workout in.

To add another alternative I’ve recently started running a bit again. This might be the hardest one for me. Because I did it a lot in the past and was getting fairly good at it. My brain things it wasn’t that long ago, but my body tells me differently.

Back in February 2016 I ran 10k at a pace of 5:15 min/km. Today I went for a run and could only go 3k and my pace was 6:48 min/km. I’m trying my best not to get discouraged because of where I was a few years ago and use it for motivation to make progress back to that place. I’ve also signed up for a 5k race at the Valley Harvest Marathon. In the past I’ve done the 10k at this event twice. My goal is to be able to run the 5k in 30 minutes. It is in October so I have some time to get there, but need some training.

Now
Then

With all these different items, each with their own motivations, and different people to support and push me I think I’m on a good track.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve managed to have fun and drop about 10 lbs. There is still a lot more to get to my goal, again, but I’m determined to do it.

FFF Final Update

February is over which means this will be the final update for my Fight Fat February challenge. This week  was rough my knee had been bothering me some, I lapsed in my eating habits, and my weight actually started to go up!

Food

Really I was good over the whole month for eating. I had a couple days where I lapsed but I don’t think with the level of working out I was doing that shouldn’t have been enough to cause my weight to go up. That was my thought process, but I was obviously wrong. I don’t really think it was the little bit of extra snacking I did though. I made the black bean chili I made in the first week and had it for my lunches this week. My guess is that because I was at the end and pretty much at my goal weight I was eating to much of the chili. Portions were the same as the first week, but it was probably too much.

Five Fitness Workouts

For the last week I was able to get in all five of the workouts I wanted to. About mid week though I switched it up from doing the Ripped in 30 to doing cardio workouts from Jillian Michaels Body Revolution.

Forty Kilometers

My running went awesome this week. Was able to get in a total of 45km even with the sore knee. I also had some really fast runs, for me anyway. On Sunday I did a personal best on 10k with a pace of 5:15 min/km which is awesome. There were also another two 10k runs that were in my top four fastest and my fastest 5k since back in 2014 as well.

fast-runs

Fifteen Pounds

Around midweek I was actually up a couple pounds and was really worried. On Friday even it was showing 185lbs which was up two from the beginning of the week. After switching up lunches, and switching to the cardio workouts instead, along with keeping up the running I managed to hit my goal. This morning on the scale I was 182lbs which means I dropped 15lbs exactly in February!

goal-weight

FFF Week Three Update

For week three of my Fight Fat February I had a couple slight setbacks. Nothing super major, but a little disappointed about one day in particular. Thursday this week had me off my game.

Food

For the most part food was still pretty good. There was one day I planned for that Jen and I went out for lunch and I ended up ordering a club sandwich. I did opt for the salad instead of fries but there were still quite a few more calories involved then my typical lunches.

Thursday night, which was my off day, I ended up having my usual night snack of a yogurt. When that was done I added a helping of nacho dip and chips. Because that obviously wasn’t enough I finished off the night with a blueberry bagel. Not good choices and even with Jen reminding me I would not be happy with myself I kept going.

Five Fitness Workouts

Reading back over week one and two I realized I’ve been saying I’m working out with Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. It is in fact her Ripped in 30 program I’ve been doing. This is week three now and I don’t believe I made it this far with this series before. This one I missed my goal on this week. On Wednesday I was pretty sore and tired so I decided I was going to take the day off and do Saturday instead. That would still give me my five workouts and would have been fine. But then Thursday happened and I flaked on my workout as well as stuffed my face.

I despise the fact that I’m still letting my emotions dictate my eating and activity levels.

Forty Kilometers

This is the one area that I really kept up with this week. In fact after taking both Wednesday and Thursday off from working out on Friday I was able to do my fastest 10k run since late 2014. If I hadn’t ran through a busy area at dinner time causing me to get stuck at red lights and crosswalks I would have creamed my personal 10k record from back then. That Friday run also put me to 40k for the week.

Fifteen Pounds

Even though I messed up on eating and only completed four workouts during the week the weight loss still turned out OK. From 187lbs I am down to 183lbs. That four pounds puts me at 14lbs all together. So close to the fifteen goal and I still have one last week to go! If I could pull another 5lbs in this last week it will put me at 178lbs which puts my BMI in the normal zone. No longer would I be classified as overweight. Not sure I can do another week of 5lbs lost and I won’t be disappointed if that doesn’t happen.

FFF Week Two Update

This is my second week update for my Fight Fat February month and things are still on the right track.

Food

Food went again this week. My usual breakfast, but switched up lunch. Most of the week I had a spinach salad. Stuck with the same snacks, carrots, apples, and yogurts. Again had the same dinners as the rest of the family, we even had cheese burgers one night!

Five Fitness Workouts

Moved on to week two of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. This week is a lot tougher than the first. I had to take a break one night during the week so I did Saturday night as well to get my five in for the week.

Forty Kilometers

We had some rough weather the beginning of the week that kept me from getting out running so it made the rest of the week tougher between the sidewalks and running so many days in a row. However with a 9km run on Saturday it took me to 40km even.

Fifteen Pounds

This week ended up being a surprise to me that this goal went as well as it did. I’m down another five pounds. That’s down to 187lbs and 10lbs total in the two weeks. Only 5lbs to go in the next two weeks.

FFF Week One Update

This is my first week update for my Fight Fat February month and so far so good.

Food

All week I ate very well. Breakfast and lunch were pretty standard. I typically have granola and yogurt for breakfast. For lunches this week I made a black bean chilli and ate it a bunch this week. I had a few small snacks throughout most days. Usually something like an apple or carrot sticks. For dinner I just ate what ever the family was eating, making sure to have proper servings.

Five Fitness Workouts

Monday through Friday each night I did the first week of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. It was rough at first but by Friday it was getting better.

Forty Kilometers

This week I ran 45km! Five days of 9km each. One day was really rainy and I was drenched by the end but it was still fun.

Fifteen Pounds

So far so good on this front too. I’m down five pounds so far. That’s down to 192lbs. The first week of pushing always seems to be the easiest for weight to come off, but if I keep pushing it I’m in good shape to hit the 15lbs lost.

Fight Fat February

For the past little while I’ve been doing pretty good health wise. I’m been running quite a bit and usually eating well. There have been some setbacks in eating though where I for about a week recently regressed and ate way to many snacks especially at night. So far though the scale has been going in the right direction, even though if it has been slower than I like.

In the spirit of 30 challenges I’m going to make February my Fight Fat month. There is still some weight to before I’m happy so I want to set out a series of goals for this month which will hopefully end me up where I want to be. They are going to be ambitious goals and there are some especially that I’m scared already I won’t be able to do, but we’ll see how it goes.

Food

The first thing is food. I’m going to do my best to eat healthy for the whole month, with no snacking on junk. Also make sure my serving sizes are proper portions. This should be one of the easier ones for me to hit. As long as I stick my mind to it I can usually do good at eating well.

Five Fitness Workouts

Starting a workout program again and aim to do it at least five days a week. Jillian Michaels has always served me well so I’m starting with her Ripped in 30 series. I like it because I can do it in my house and all I need are some hand held dumbbells and my own body.

Forty Kilometers

This is the one I’m most scared for. My goal is to run forty kilometers each week for the month. I have done it a couple weeks, but my legs get sore and tie it in with the other work outs, not sure I can keep up this distance each week for the whole time. I’m going to try though.

Fifteen Pounds

By sticking to these other goals, I’m hoping the end results will see me down the last 15 lbs that I want to lose. That will put me basically at the healthy BMI for my height. Even though I know that isn’t a perfect indicator I felt very good the last time I was there and want to get back to it.

So far, one full day in and I’m on track to hit my targets 🙂 Even though February is a short month there is still a long way to go. I haven’t done well at hitting these goals I’ve set for my self the past little bit so I’m going to work especially hard this time to make it happen. Wish me luck!

Fitbit Observations

So far I’ve been wearing my Fitbit for almost three weeks and have come up with a few interesting observations about it. For the most part I really enjoy tracking everything and having a record, but at the same time there have been parts which have been depressing.

My water intake is really good, I drink plenty each day without even trying. I get more sleep than I thought I did, but I’m not confident in the awake restless times it tracks. It could be something that is built into me from all those years of pretending I was still asleep in the morning so I could get five more minutes before school. Now I’m so good at it Fitbit can’t tell I’m really awake.

There have been a few instances where the GPS when tracking runs has been off by a bit, but nothing enough or frequently enough that will stop me from going to it only for tracking my runs soon.

The biggest observation which I’ve make that is depressing is the lack of movement I do in the run of a day if I don’t specifically force myself to do something extra. Most days I’ll go for a run. A 5k run typically takes me about 30 minutes and I get about 5000 steps in during that time. The rest of the day combined, especially on days I’m working, I struggle to get that other half by the end of the day. If I don’t run it is almost impossible.  The other thing is it is far to easy for me to go grab something extra to eat that I don’t really need.

If I don’t watch myself every single day and be extra vigilant it is now very easy to see why my weight can go up so quickly. Since starting to track I haven’t really lost any weight, but I haven’t gone up either. To get down to where I want to be I’m going to have to cut out the snacks all together and focus on moving even more. It’s probably about time Jillian Michaels and I get reacquainted again.

First Real Snow Fall

First Real Snow Fall

It was forecasted for a few days now, so we knew it was coming, but we were still hoping things would change. Unfortunately it finaly hit and we now have a fair amount of snow on the ground.

It’s still falling as I write this, but it slowing down and I think most of the accumulation is done. I’ll have to go clear the driveway soon.

We took advantage though and have been using this time to get our house back in order after a mad Christmas. I even went through all my closet and storage container to get rid of clothes that are too big for me. In the past I’ve always held on in case I went back up in weight. That’s like giving my self an excuse that it’s OK to do that. Not anymore they are all going. Part of my motivation for this was when I posted a comparison family picture from six years ago to this Christmas. I still had the same sweater I was wearing and I wore it a few days ago, even though it floated on me. Time for it to go.

Once all that was done it felt like a good time to make the most of the snow and get out for at least a short walk to enjoy it. I could only convince Noah to come with me, but he and I went for a little trek into a little wooded path. As much as I could do without it, the snow really is beautiful.

snow-storm

Week Eight Summary

The end has come of my eight week session. The results weren’t as good as I wanted when it came to the weight loss part, but I can live with the results. In mid July I started at 225lbs, which is very disappointing because last summer I was basically where I wanted to be for weight but then fell back into old habits and gained a bunch of it back.

July was when I decided to get back on track and lose the weight again. I made it down to 216lbs on August 16th, and that’s when I decided to start this eight week plan. There were a couple weeks where even though I worked hard I saw no results and that caused me to get discouraged and slip, but in the end I kept going.

This week I didn’t expect to see huge weight loss as I held back the running so that I could have a couple of rest days before the 10k race I ran today. There were also birthday celebrations again as well as two thanksgiving day dinners. Didn’t always do well with eating right.

The week started off with a few fast 5k runs and I was worried because early on into each of the runs I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish. My energy level was very low and they took a lot out of me. Luckily after a couple of rest days I was ready for the race today.

It was pretty cold this morning, but it was mostly my hands that were bothered. After a bit into it though I warmed up and in all reality I probably didn’t push it hard enough. The pace I had in my head was faster than any 10k I had done in training, but I don’t think I set the goal high enough. Most of the race felt really comfortable and like a relaxing run. When 7k came around I pushed it harder and speed it up for the last 3k. I ended with an official time of 58:14 and a pace of 5:50 min/km. Both not as good as last year, but I’m happy with it.

Tomorrow I jump on a plane to go to a company meetup. A big part of my motivation for this was to be in decent shape so that I looked good again when I meet these people and so I can participate in some of the fitness activities without killing myself. Feeling good about how I look will help me to be less self conscious and therefore be able to get concentrate on making relationships more fully. I feel good about meeting them with where I am today.

Running not only help get me to this point of better self confidence it has also helped me clear my head when the stress for planning for this trip was getting a little much. The two rest days I took, even though they were good for the race, didn’t do well for my head. I wanted to go run so much those days to help relieve the stress. The run today made me feel much better though and I’m all set to jump on the plane.

Results:

Last week: 195lbs
Now: 194lbs
Lost: 1lb

While I didn’t make it to my goal of 185lbs in this time frame, I’m still doing well and I know I’ll get there. As of right now I have basically 20 more pounds that I want to lose to be my end goal weight. If I can make it to 175 and stay there I’ll be a happy guy.

running

Welcome Back Old Friends

It’s almost the end of summer, but today I welcome back some old friends. They had been packed away in a tote under my bed for a while now.

After my successful weigh in yesterday I decided to see if they were ready to come back. Today I’m wearing a pair of size 34 shorts again!

Still have a good ways to go just to get back to where I was last year, but I’m getting stronger, lighter, and faster, every day.