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. 

Week Two Summary

It is a good thing that I started out with a good week because this past week didn’t see the results I was hoping for. I still did pretty well, but if I keep having weeks like this I won’t hit my goal when I want to.

My workouts and running have been on track, I ran five mornings out of the week. Three of them were shorter runs but I went at a faster pace than I had been going. Just this morning I came very close to hitting my goal of a 5k run in under 30 minutes. Not quite there, but very close. For my evening workouts I put in six, so just the one rest day.

Even for my eating I’ve been making healthy choices. We had a family BBQ this week and instead of the hamburgers and sausages others were eating, I made myself some pork kabobs instead. Last night we had hamburgers here at the house and I made myself a chicken breast instead. The only thing that I figure is I’m still snacking to much. My snacks are now fruit or vegetables but I really if I’m eating to many it’s still to many calories. I didn’t want to get into counting calories this time but maybe I’m going to need to.

Now for the results:

Last week: 209lbs
Now: 206lbs
Lost: 3lbs

Although I’m not overly happy with the weight loss I’ve seen, my running is progressing well and yesterday when we were spending time in the water I was able to wear a pair of swimming shorts we bought last summer. I wasn’t able to fit into them at the beginning of the summer, but now they are good!

running

Week One Summary

It always seems easiest to take off weight in the very beginning when you start working I find. This week seems to be no exception. I’ve been working hard and making sure I eat right, except for a couple small lapses, but even those were minor really.

This week I put in five 5k morning runs. I’m finally starting to feel like I can do it again. The majority of these were without taking any walking breaks just going for it. Yesterday morning I did take some walking breaks though as I tried to push it early on and did really good for the first 2.5k but after that I  was pretty much done. The way back was slow and painful. The humidity we’ve been having doesn’t help either. It’s been so warm even first thing in the morning when I go out.

During this week I’ve also done five evening workouts. These are tough and wear me out, but they’re getting better for sure. I’m already feeling stronger and that I can put more into them.

Now for the results:

Last week: 216lbs
Now: 209lbs
Lost: 7lbs

This has me very excited. It’s nice to see results when you were working hard. I know weeks won’t continue like this, but it will give me a little bit of wiggle room over the next few weeks in case there is a time where I don’t hit the 3.8lbs per week that I’ve set out. Hopefully I still do though.

runs

Rest Day and a Good Article

Yesterday was a rest day for me. I had just done six days of evening workouts and for the last four of those I did 5k runs in the morning. In my brain I know rest days are good things and that your body needs them too, but for some reason I always feel guilty. Especially in the beginning while I know I’ve just had a whole bunch of rest days which is why I now need to work.

While I was searching for articles to help me feel better about taking a rest day I came across this article I hadn’t seen before The 6 Weight-Loss Tips That Science Actually Knows Work. Although it doesn’t have anything to do with rest days it’s a really good article, yet depressing for someone like me at the same time. Knowing that I’ll always have to work harder than some people to even just keep my weight once I reach my goal is a little defeating but it really makes sense to me to.

Last time I went through this I stopped too soon, realistically I’ll never be able to stop being careful. This time I won’t make that same mistake and I’ll keep going. Not as hard as I’m going right now but I’ll make sure I keep eating well and exercising and not let me guard down when I get feeling pleased about where I am. I’ve seen how fast I can throw away the hard work.

At least I did get a little big of exercise in though mowing my field of weeds I sometimes refer to as my lawn. Being a hot, humid day that pretty much did me in. Probably as much sweating as when I run.

Back to Basics

About a month ago I finally started doing something about my gaining a bunch of weight back and poor eating habits. Things started off well but a cold slowed me down for a while. Still I had pretty good progress I lost close to 10 lbs during the past month. I’m very happy about this, but I’m impatient and last time I worked hard I was able to do better than that.

What worked for me last time. What got me started was a competition. Up front I had to put in money, there was a chance for a cash prize at the end, and there was healthy competition and motivation from the rest of the group. There was more than that too though, a big part was making the decision to do something, setting a goal, making that goal public, then working to meet that goal with frequent measurement and check ins. For me I think that is a good recipe to meet most goals in life.

If that worked before, I don’t need the competition part. I’ve always been good at competing with myself and that’s what I’m doing here. So what are my goals. Long term I want to get back to my healthy weight of being below 180 lbs. For not I’m going to look at where I want to be for October 11th, that’s the day I’m signed up to run a 10k race. Obviously part of my goal is to be able to run 10k again. Weight wise I want to be at least 185 lbs.

On July 13th I was right about 225 lbs. I’m very ashamed that I let myself get back to this point. Roughly a week ago I was somewhere around 220 lbs, today I’m at about 216 lbs. For my goal of 185 lbs that means about 30 lbs I have to lose in 8 weeks. That averages out to about 3.8 lbs per week to lose. Looking back at my last time this ambitious but achievable.

To keep myself accountable I’m going to start doing weekly weigh-ins again here on the blog.

 

A New Person, New Attitude, and New Goals

A New Person, New Attitude, and New Goals

Seven and a half months of hard work and change have finally paid off. This morning when I weighed myself I’ve finally hit my goal.

My weight is now 178 lbs which means two things, I’ve lost a total of 80 lbs and my BMI is now in the healthy range.

See where I was and where I am now.

We all know the physical benefits of losing weight, so I’m not going to talk about them here, I’m going to talk about the way this has changed me mentally.

Over the years I’ve accomplished a number of thing which weren’t easy to do. Things I had to set my mind to and work hard at to achieve. A couple of big difficult ones were quitting smoking and going back to school with a large family to take Computer Science. Neither of those tasks were as difficult as this. Yes the degree took four years of work to get, but it’s over now, no one can take my degree away from me. At any point I could put this weight back on if I’m not careful.

There is something about setting a goal like this for your self and then having to battle to get it. Besides the self confidence I’ve gained just by looking better and being in better health, the act of reaching the goal brings a lot of that as well. It’s reaffirmed for me the fact that if I put my mind to something, and work for it, I can get there.

Of course none of the accomplishments I’ve mentioned can I take full credit for. My wife and family have been with me through all of them. They’ve put up with me when I’ve been cranky and tired, and helped motivate me to keep going. That will be the same in any goal I set. Knowing I have their support, no matter what, makes chasing my dreams that much easier.

With my new self esteem I’ve realized something else, I’m not done yet. Not just health wise, that is going to be a life long goal I work at now. My weight is where I want it but I can still be a lot more fit in general. Now I can look at the other aspects of my life and set goals for them to make them even better.

The most important part of my life is my family so what I really want to do is improve my family life. I believe I’ve identified four key areas I need to focus on to do this.

Health: Was/is part of that. I wanted to make sure that I would live a long healthy life in which I can play and help my family.

Time: Making the time to be there for them, to support them like they have me. Time to play with them, talk with them, just to be there with them.

Finances: I want to be able to ensure we always have everything we need and not need to worry and fret about money. That just takes energy away from enjoying my family.

Happiness: This is something else I’ve learned during this. I am responsible for my own happiness. I wasn’t happy with the way I was, now I am. I need to continue to make sure I’m happy so that the time I do spend with my family is positive. To do this I will be making sure I spend my time doing things I truly enjoy, staying challenged, and helping others. These are all examples of things keep me happy which in return I can pass it on to my family.

These are the areas I’ll be working on for the foreseeable future. They are all intermingled. As I’m working at some, the others will fall into place. I’m determined and I have a renewed self confidence that I can attain my goals.

Just because I’ve reached one of my big goals doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back, now is the time for me to keep pushing and make more progress in these other areas of life. Lets Go!

 

Disappointed but more Determined

Since January 1st, 2014 I’ve been on a journey to change my health. For at least the last 15 years of my life I’ve been obese and have never been in really good shape or had healthy eating habits. I’ve been keeping sort of a journal for myself at My Health Journey if you’re interested in seeing how the journey has been up to this point. This post is going to focus on my right now.

We left for vacation on the 26th of July. On that day I was three pounds away from my goal of 178 lbs for my weight. Why that random seeming number? Two reasons. On New Years 2014 I started a weight loss challenge on Facebook. At that time I weighed 258 lbs. 178 lbs would mean a total loss, since starting that competition, of 80 lbs. The other, and more important to me, reason is that weight will put me at a BMI (Body Mass Index) of under 25. That means that I will no longer be classified as over weight. Realizing that BMI is just a simple calculation based on height and weight I’m not holding it as my Bible, but it seemed like a great goal to have.

While we were away on vacation I had a setback. I started out really well eating wise, but as the vacation went on I ended up moving away from all the good habits I had built for myself over the past number of months. We also led a fairly hectic schedule while we were away so I didn’t get as much running in as I wanted to while we were gone.

Running has become a favourite exercise of mine. I usually go early in the morning before anyone else in the house is awake. It seems to start my day on a positive note and I get to enjoy nature at a peaceful point with no other thoughts in my head except what is going on around me.

Based on where I was when we left and the average weight loss I had been having each week, I really should have come home from vacation at my goal. What a great way that would have been to start back into everyday life. Wednesdays are my personal weigh in day, so when I weighed myself this morning I am at 184 lbs. Three pounds higher than when I last weighed in two weeks ago. I’ve been receiving lots of encouragement from friends and family that three pounds gained over vacation is nothing to worry about which is great, and really I know it’s not that big a deal. But when I was that close to my goal, and I’ve gone so long with my good habits, I was disappointed in myself for not sticking through while away.

Obviously I’m not going to let this setback really get me down. I did have a couple weeks during these last seven months where I went up in weight, but I really thought I was past that. This vacation has really made me aware that this is going to be a life long battle that I’m on. It’s way to easy to slip back into bad eating and exercise habits. But with this behind me I’m back on track. I’ve ran three of the last four mornings and my eating is mostly back on track.

Starting today I’m more determined than ever to see this through. I’m going to hit my goal in the very near future and be ever aware that I can’t go back to where I was last year.