the first step and weekly reflections: 7/28 – 8/3

Change in weight (7/28/20 – 8/3/20):  -1.2 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben. Like and share!

Sometimes you just need to take the first step and trust your body. There were multiple times this week where we reached the end of the day and I wanted to do nothing. Thankfully, the discipline and commitment over the past months has started to create habits. Because of this, I have gotten better about simply taking the first step.

What does taking the first step mean? Well early this week I had a day with low movement. It was 8pm and I knew I needed to move in some way. I said I would do a short 1 mile walk since it was late. Just that small commitment to a short walk allowed my body to wake up and take over. It turned into a 3 mile walk with some sprint intervals just because I felt good. I got outside and after 5 minutes realized, this walk is great and my body just wanted to move.

The biggest barrier for us is often the first step. This can be an actual step or metaphorical. When I started my health journey, I needed to take the the first step of admitting my problems and starting to fix it. I was in denial and needed to just get going. Our bodies are miraculous and our human sprit and power is incredible. We often just need to allow ourselves the opportunity to prove that we can. This past week, I just needed to step out the door and I just needed to get on the bike. After that, I can do it. And after that, I did it.

A 1-2 pound per week loss is exactly where I want to be. This summer has been hard and I have effectively lost around 15 pound since the start of March when I lost 25 from December – March. I am trying not to dwell on that. I do not do well with the heat. Since working full time from home, it is harder to move and I sit more. I am really focussing on the big picture and where I have come. Between how I feel, my energy, my strength, and my stamina, I am growing each and every week. I know that I will need new work clothes for whenever we actually go back to the office. That is incredible. I am so excited that ill-fitting clothes is my problem.

This past week saw great, consistent movement and a really pragmatic approach to eating. I finished 2 straight months of completing all circles on my apple watch, and felt great about it. Overall I felt that I was not trying to do anything drastic, but simply be cognizant and smart. There was still a cookout, beer, and other foods to be had throughout the week but I was smart about it all. There are those who lose multiple pounds per week and I applaud them! I have learned enough about my own body to know I cannot sustain such changes. I will continue on slow and steady. I will celebrate my improvements while I celebrate others improving their lives in the best way for them.

This morning I put on my go-to work shirt from before Covid. I put it on because it can be difficult to feel certain changes when you deal with small incremental advancements. Well the pictures say it all. 🙂

Leave a like or a comment. Let me know how everybody is doing! Do you feel you could be better at taking that first step? How do you go about motivating yourself for that first step?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Attained
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Partially attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs
7/13+2.4 lbs
7/20-1.6 lbs
7/27-0.4 lbs
8/3-1.2 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

knowing yourself and weekly reflections: 7/21 – 7/27

Some natural therapy in the form of sun and water

Change in weight (7/21/20 – 7/27/20):  -0.4 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben.

How well do you know yourself? I’m talking about knowing yourself and how you deal with adversity, how you deal with challenges, and how you deal with disappointment. I don’t know about you, but I find that I learn new things about myself every day. Because I constantly learn more and more about myself, I recognize that I do not know myself as well as I may have thought.

I had a pretty solid week with one big emotional curveball thrown in. So check out the goals at the bottom to see how I did.

I want to spend this post speaking on the importance of taking the time to know ourselves. This is very important, especially when working towards goals. For me, I have weight loss goals and overall wellbeing goals (mental health, reduced stress, reduced feelings of depression, etc.). Do you have any personal goals? Think about them now, and we can move on.

What keeps us on track with our goals? Discipline, commitment, focus, accountability partners, motivation, fear, etc. Many of these are internal. They dwell within our being and require our own abilities to let them flourish (or with fear, control them) and help us to succeed. What are some of the things that can derail us and help us get off track with our goals? I could put ‘lack of’ in front of many of those first things that keep us on. I could also say stress, time constraints, distractions, or others. Outside influences hurt our ability to work towards our goals.

It seems that the outside factors, the exogenous factors of life, will always have an ability to derail our goals, especially if we do not have command over the internal aspects of our being that keep up on track. I could be moving in the right direction, but something could happen that totally distracts my focus and I can lose it. So learning about ourselves is knowing our own strengths and our own weaknesses. What am I consistently good at? Do any parts of me easily falter under the pressure of outside variables?

Some outside, emotional events happened recently which have forced me to take a good look at myself. Which of my personal attributes are at the most risk of faltering? Can I rely on some of my attributes to help gain control? I learned this week that my commitment to my goals and my discipline has grown greatly. When my emotions are blindsided, I easily lose focus and can step back from my goals to retreat to a place of ‘comfort’. I noticed that I did not retreat as far back as I could have before, so my discipline and months of effort helped me. It helped carry me to a week with weight loss, even though I did not feel like caring for the effort. It also helped me realize that I need to take care of myself and spend more time learning myself

Another area is simply having those people in your life to help you. It is okay to not know what to do. It is okay to be self-aware enough to know you may not have the best handle on how you deal with some of these random events. It is good to recognize that and allow yourself to then rely on some of the support you have outside of yourself.

We escaped to New Hampshire this weekend. This afforded me the opportunity to reflect… to slow down my brain and really think about myself and how my being deals with adversity. It was an important step and one that is helping me. I still have goals and I still have dreams. Once you understand how your personality and mind responds to adversity, you can prescribe the actions needed to help you overcome it. I am trying to do that now. Getting to this takes a little humility, seeking, and realization that you may not know yourself as well as you think you do. I wish I knew Ben better, but I am aware that I still have much to learn. I can accept that.

Take the time for yourself. I am trying to and need to take more for me. You probably have things that require some time as well. Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Do you need to get to know yourself better? Do you know how you might respond to life’s curveballs? You don’t have to give me details, but let me know if you plan on working on this.

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Attained
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs
7/13+2.4 lbs
7/20-1.6 lbs
7/27-0.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

old fads and weekly reflections: 7/14 – 7/20

Change in weight (7/14/20 – 7/20/20):  -1.6 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben.

I want to start by thanking everybody who reads, likes, and comments (personally or on here). You all are tremendously helpful and it means so much to me.

I started this week knowing that I needed to reign in my eating. We planned our meals, with no takeout, and stuck to it. We also knew that Saturday would be a socially distant dinner with friends, and I planned that I would have greater food consumption on that day. Well I did it! Part of me wanted to lose the full 2.6 pound back, but I also want to keep my loss at a sustainable pace. With that said, I am very happy with my weight loss.

As my old advisor, who still follows my posts (Thank you, Jane! It means so much), said to me: “I exercise to maintain”. This was something I kind of knew, but needed to hear again. It takes so much to exercise off food intake. One Panera bread chocolate chip cookie is over 400 calories. That is a 30 minute ride ride for me with heavy exertion. It starts with committing to how you take in food and then you start thinking about exercise.

So I stuck to my meal plan, had a bit of a splurge on Saturday, and here I am. I feel good.

Weight loss can be so mental, and it can be a difficult subject. Not everybody needs to keep losing weight or should focus on weight in general. Such a goal can be bad for some. I try to balance my need to get healthier, while paying attention to my mental health. And ultimately, I want to encourage reaching for your goals, whatever they are. Hitting my goals this week and taking better care of myself has made me feel great! I feel satisfied, proud, and fulfilled. It is amazing how just doing what you set out to do can have such an impact on your being.

I have been dealing for some time with the negative, after-effects, of some fad diets I have done in the past. I plan on speaking to some of these, whole 30, paleo, keto, and so forth in a later post, but I must mention how they can have negative effects going forward.

Let’s talk about pasta. I have it in my head that pasta is the worst thing in the world for you. Paleo rails on it, keto and the whole 30 rail on it. The Atkins diet told me to steer clear. Because of this history of hearing this, I never have it in the house and I also don’t have a lot of backup meals. But is pasta really that bad in moderation? Or how much better is a pasta dish than staring at the kitchen, realizing you don’t have much, and just ordering takeout? When we have these carry-over mentalities, and don’t put them in a wholistic context of our goals, they can be quite destructive. Last night I almost ordered takeout, but I had some leftover chicken, some frozen veggies, and pasta in the house. I made a meal from that. Is pasta worse than just eating veggies, yes. Is it better than takeout pizza, yes! I was able to have a satisfying and modest meal that stuck to my goals for the week.

I am working on a calories in/calories out approach to my weight loss. I need to take things in moderation, but remember, this is the long haul and I want to live a way that I can sustain forever. That starts now. I can have cheese, I can have pasta, and I can have legumes. I just need to track, be conscious, and stick to my goals. With this, I won’t have major cravings and I can live enjoying not just life, but life that includes food. I need to get these lingering themes from other fads out of my head so I can plan pragmatically and effectively.

The only other thing I want to note is you all should get outside when you can. The therapy of nature is real. I took and early morning walk through the woods with my daughter on Saturday and man, did it do wonders.

Do you have any lingering ‘rules’ that may be holding you back from pragmatic and effective betterment? Do these actually help you? Let me know your thoughts.

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Attained
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs
7/13+2.4 lbs
7/20-1.6 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

staying the course – weekly reflections: 7/7 – 7/13

the path to a better ben can have bumps, trips, and stumbles. it is definitely not paved

Change in weight (7/7/20 – 7/13/20):  +2.4 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben.

So with one simple week I have erased the gains of my previous week. I lost it and then found it again. This damn weight… I am feeling all of the feelings right now. I am about to launch into a long discussion of staying the course and keeping with your goals. This is more for me to remind myself than anything as I know I have written it to you all many times already.

Too often we can feel like we have made progress and then with the flip of a switch, surprise! It can feel like we were living a dream and what we experienced was never “real”. That is how I felt getting off the scale this morning. I straight up said “What the f***…” What’s the point of doing 5 days of bike rides, a super good hike, and a bunch of walks? Why do I try so hard if my body is just going to give me the finger and say “Better luck next time”?

What I need to remember is that this was a snapshot. One moment in time on the Monday morning after a week of choices. This was my body waking up after 7 days of decisions. Not only decisions to work out, but decisions on what I should eat, how will I take care of myself, and what words will I tell myself. When I take control of my prior actions, I can take control of my future actions. My body was not taking my effort and throwing it away to give me the finger, my body was responding to the care with which I gave it. And I did not take care of myself this past week. I was lazy, didn’t want to cook, and just wanted to eat. Mindless eating, thoughtless eating, eating with no plan. There was, again, too much takeout because I have been tired and sick of cooking. Every dish makes me cringe. I don’t want anything, but would rather have something meh delivered to me than take the time to cook something meh.

I know exactly why I gained weight this week. I do not want to admit it, but I do. I was not committed to my intake and I am living the consequences of that. What I am also realizing more and more is I am upping my exercise to allow more eating. This is also contributing to me being tired all the time. I’m eating food which steals energy and motivation and when I do work out, I tire myself more.

The 300 pound mark has been elusive. With my 2.4 lbs lost last Monday, I felt in striking distance with only 3 pounds to go. Today, I feel lots of feelings and none are that I am within reach of that threshold. I need to button down and focus on my intake. I say that every damn week and I need to stop lying to myself and actually do it. The first step I’ve taken is to plan out 2-3 weeks of meals. I need to spend the time getting them prepped so that I do not give myself the opportunity to skip out on cooking. Now that there is a real sturdy meal plan, with some guilty pleasures built in (because I need to be real and smart), I can eye the prize.

I will continue with my workout plan, but I need to recognize that I should put as much time into meal prepping and investing in that side of my health as I do with working out. I will continue to stay the course. It has been successful so far, and I need to remember that this is just a bump in the long path to a better ben.

Tell me I can do this. Any tips for when you are sick of everything cooking and food related? Somebody let me know I’m not alone in this one.

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Attained
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Not Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Not Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs
7/13+2.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

the power of routine and weekly reflections: 6/30 – 7/6

Change in weight (6/30/20 – 7/6/20):  -2.4 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben.

This week is a testament to the routine of my betterment journey. It has been around seven months and the weeks are melting together. The best part of this melting together is that the effort and the commitment is turning into a lifestyle. This lifestyle isn’t easy, and it is fraught with frustration and difficulty, but it is becoming more natural. I crossed another milestone this week and have lost over 40 pounds since December 1. 40.2 to be exact. It has take a month to lose 4 pounds since I posted 36 in 6, but despite that slow struggle, I am thankful for every ounce of the change. I feel a hell of a lot different than when I posted my first blog post months ago and I am in such a better emotional place from December 1, 2019.

So what happened over this past week that helped launch me over the 40 pounds lost mark? I think it is a little of everything. I actually didn’t have a week with as much exercise as usual, but I did have more movement. I took Wednesday PM through today off from work for some family time and a mental vacation. This did very good things for me. I got outside with my daughter, did more walks, and had a much lower stress level. Most days my intake was good, though we did have some celebrations with the holiday weekend.

I am not trying to cop out of coming up with a real detailed analysis of my success, but I am not 100% sure if any main action was the driving force in the successful week. I think much of it is because many of the changes I need to make have become internalized. I still can eat too much, but I am better about controlling it than I have been. I find my walks more therapeutic than a “necessary workout”. I also think the lack of stress did great things for me. I didn’t want to stress eat or get snacks out of boredom. So again, it was a little bit of everything.

I did fail at getting my run in this week. I have been trying to stay consistent with one per week, but between heat and time, it didn’t happen. I did feel great with one of my workouts this week where I absolutely crushed my PR in a 45 minute ride on the Peloton. What made it even better was I didn’t want to workout and figured I would just calmly work through an easy one. It shows the power of showing up. Sometimes all it takes is lacing up the shoes or getting yourself to the starting line. That is when your commitment and routine can carry you. I did both All for One Rides that Peloton offered this week. These were 2-45 minute rides that had sections with every instructor. Doing 2-45 minute rides this week was a step up for me and although my number of rides were not as high as usual, my minutes were. Last night also saw my 250th ride on the bike. We have had it for a little over a year and 2/3 of those rides have come since December 1. It is hard to put into words how thankful you can be for something that has become so central to your betterment journey, but I am that thankful.

This week we are trying to do better about our meal planning. Life has been very hectic and we have gotten away from it. We are starting off with some turkey meatballs with veggies and then some grilled chicken later on. I think a week of clean eating will do me good.

I cannot speak enough about the power of this routine. I have been sticking with the key strategies I talked about a couple months ago, and they are helping me continue on. Like I said earlier, it is not necessarily easier, but more manageable to try and impact the change I am seeking. I still have days where I want to sit on the couch and need to build up the will to exercise, but the months of effort make that easier knowing how great I will feel after and knowing the results of my commitment. Where I have noticed so much change is my awareness of what goes into my body. I still have times where I want and do eat too much, but I am acutely aware of those ramifications and cannot lie to myself. I know that this chocolate chip cookie has far more calories than I want to think it does. I know having 3 will equate to an average meal. These voices and understandings in my head carry a great deal of weight as I continue to make changes and good decisions.

How are you doing with your goals? Have you been needing some extra motivation? Do you find the difference by just ‘showing up’?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Partially attained . 4 rides and no run
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Not Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

exercise and weekly reflections: 6/23 – 6/29

Change in weight (6/23/20 –6/29/20):  -1.4 LBS

If you haven’t yet, check out my instagram @a_better_ben. I’d love if you followed.

I worked my butt of this week, I had some back sliding, and then I worked even harder to overcome those back slides and I am super pumped to have gotten my weight back in the right direction. I feel that I really focussed this week on the reality of my intake and exercise, and didn’t make excuses for myself. I responded to and took responsibility for my decisions.

I am guilty. I moved our celebratory father’s day meal to Monday night so I could have it after my Monday weigh-in… So the week started with a bigger meal. My wife was awesome and surprised me with a Ninja Foodi as a gift. I have been getting sick of cooking lately and she was hoping this would make it easier on a nightly basis, but also inspire some other recipes that can be cooked in it. It worked. The problem is one of the first meals I made was a Mac and Cheese recipe with all the fat and all the calories. Let’s just say it was delicious and I was worthless for the rest of that night.

I continue to have around 5 great days and 2 bad days in the week. And it seems that those 2 bad days are enough to limit my success with my weight loss goals. I am still happy with 1.4 pounds lost, don’t get me wrong, but it could have been better. I had to work out a lot this week to earn that change because I am still struggling with those couple days of weakness.

So let’s talk about my exercise successes this week. I have slowed my runs to 1 per week. I don’t want to hurt myself, especially because I want to sign up for a couple of fall races. On Friday I did the next run on my app. I know I am slow and am not a natural runner, but I am proud of this. The last run intervals were a warmup, 5 min run, 2 min walk, 8 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run, cool down. This one increased to warm up, 10 min run, 3 min walk, 10 min run, cool down. I design my runs to be around 3 miles. This usually means that when I am done with my app’s running segments, I have .75-1 mile left which I interval with some different speeds.

To be honest, the 10 min segments scared me. I am in my head about my ankle pain and just my general ability. So I am really proud of myself that I did it! And I am even more proud because I was not feeling it. I didn’t hurt, but my body was just tired, uncomfortable, and all around not wanting a run. You know how somedays you are just on it? Like, you feel like you woke up to kick ass? I love working out on those days. Friday was the exact opposite, and yet I still pushed through.

I also pushed myself on the bike this week. I did 2-45 min rides, 2-30 min, and a 20 min climb paired with a 15 min Low impact. This rewarded me with faster recoveries, and a lower heart rate during less intensive rides. I have been exercising in the past few weeks, but have not exercised to the point of making me proud of myself. This week, I was proud of myself. Not for the volume, per say, but I felt like I was treating myself right. On top of this I continue to feel stronger and my thighs… damn.

There were definitely some days where I did not get my walks in. It was ridiculously hot and humid, so that made getting outside for them a tougher. This week should be a bit more reasonable for temps, so hopefully I can get out and stop making excuses.

On a different note, I am currently reading two very different books, but both are perfect for my betterment journey. First I am reading Grit but Angela Duckworth. My sister sent me this one and I am slowly getting through it (Toddlers don’t want me to read). But it is perfect reading for me when I think and talk about consistency and perseverance. I am also reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This I just started the other day, but was recommended to me as I am trying to better understand how I can be an ally to POC and become more anti-racist. So far, seeing through the eyes of the author has been enlightening, humbling, and saddening. I can say the life I have grown into is remarkably different, for few reasons of my own. I hope to speak on both of them more in the future when I have gotten farther along.

Did you have any victories this week? Please tell me! Also, is there a good book that is speaking to you right now?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Exceeded. 6 rides and 1 run
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Partially Attained. 1 Session
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Not Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Not Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

the no glamour key to improving health

…walking…

I have noticed that there is a consistent theme to my weeks. Those where I walk a lot are better than those where I don’t. This goes beyond my weight loss goals and also includes my mental health. Walking has many benefits but is often overlooked for the more ‘glamorous’ exercises. Nobody brags to their friends about this killer walk they did that day. No. We like to talk about our squat PR, our run split, or our workout on our trendy bike subscription (shots fired… at myself). I also never hear people say how at peace they feel from a walk. It is always a hike, meditation, or yoga. I feel people think of walking as the stereotype of our grandparents power-walking down the retirement neighborhood in their track jackets and wearing those sweet wrap around sunglasses (you get the picture). Well I am here to say walking is awesome… maybe someday I will also have a sweet track jacket and wrap around sunglasses.

Why is walking awesome? Let’s start with reputable sources as opposed to my anecdotal blabbing. The Mayo clinic talks about walking as an effective way to manage weight, improve mood, and combat common health conditions. Harvard Health also says it can improve immune function and tame your sweat tooth, among others. It just takes a quick google source to find all the information from people far smarter than me. So it seems the experts are aligned on it, and I agree with the experts. I am sure they have been waiting for my approval.

I often fall into this trap of thinking that the general movement has less impact than if I get a good workout in. I may think its okay if I don’t walk at all, as long as I get a ride in. I may be okay with this, but I am missing out on real opportunity. The biggest thing about walking is it is low impact. I don’t feel like I have truly strained myself and I am not sore after a walk. And the kicker is, if you make the walk active, faster than a stroll, it can give you real tangible benefits.

Let’s compare my most recent run and walk, as recorded on my apple watch. Before you judge, this is me. I am a slow runner who has been doing interval training to get myself to be able to run a 5k straight. Others do it faster and can have more calorie burn, but this is me and my journey.

The left image shows my evening walk last night and the right is my run this morning. The benefit of the walking route I take is that it starts off with an uphill, so if I initially start walking at a good pace then my heart rate can stay a bit more elevated throughout the duration of the walk.

I clearly burned more calories on my run, but I did not burn a crazy amount more. The walk, because I made it active and more than a stroll, had an awesome end result. There are clear and documented benefits to higher heart rates that higher intensity workouts can give you, but a walk with a lower heart rate, but still elevated, can still be a key. The biggest difference is how I felt. During my run this morning, I felt like crap. My whole body was achy and was just not feeling it. I also, because of my size, have had to scale back to 1-2 runs per week or else the impact starts taking a negative toll. I still do it because I like it, I have goals, and the feeling of accomplishment after you finish is amazing.

But walking. After that walk the most discomfort I had was sweat. No aches and pains. No angry hip or knees. Walking is a sneaky, silent health booster. I felt great. I took an evening walk, got to see the evening light, and it helped me decompress after my day. Think of the cumulative impact of a 20-30 min walk every day, that goes along with your more intense exercise routines! If I do it with enough movement, I can add 300+ calories burned to my day, every day, and not feel like I worked out. This translates to better attitude and crushing health goals.

This becomes all the more important having a sedentary job. The weeks where I get a morning walk in and an afternoon/evening workout are the ones where I achieve the most success and feel the best.

Do you have a sneaky activity that gives you these benefits? How do you fit subtle movement into your day?

comfort and weekly reflections: 6/16 – 6/22

Got on the water this weekend. It was a nice escape.

Change in weight (6/16/20 –6/22/20):  +0.8 LBS

I experienced a pretty special thing after my last blog post, I got a lot of feedback. It was not online but through personal reach-outs and it was people checking to make sure I was okay. That was really something.

I talked about being angry and frustrated. I was maybe a bit more honest than I normally am. I am trying to tow this balance between being real and honest with you, but not to cross a line. In hindsight, I may have flirted with that line and did not make it clear I was expressing feelings, but am okay. But the outcome of that last post was awesome. It helped remind me of the loved ones in my life who may have read into it deeper than I meant. It made me realize that there are those who don’t just look, but also think. They think about what I say and how that my words compare to the Ben they know. That really shows how much people care even when you just are stuck in your own head. It provided a lot of comfort and really turned my mood around for the week.

I had a good week!

Sometimes all we need is a reminder that there are those who care about us. Sometimes we need a reminder that those who care for us, pay attention to us. I would encourage us all to make sure we let those we care for know we pay attention and want to know how they are. Especially today with all going on, let someone know they are known.

As you can see I gained back my progress from the week prior. I had an up and down week and am a bit frustrated by this result, but I know what I need to do to get back. The 300 pound goal by July 4th I set a few weeks ago may seem unattainable, if keeping with a sustainable pace, but I want to get as close as I can. It is worth noting that my workouts continue to improve. My interval run trainings are getting better, I have PR’d numerous peloton rides recently, and I am feeling stronger. I will not let this hiccup of a week distract me from the fact that I am still improving.

Father’s day weekend brought much fun, family, laughter, and food. This was a part of the week I knew was coming, but did not adjust my full week’s intake to account for the over-indulgences that happened. Despite this, I feel it is worth taking a moment to share some feelings and thankfulness that the weekend showed me. I am thankful that I have the privilege of being a dad. I am thankful for my dad, his dad, and the dads around me for helping to mold me into the father I am. I am not without fault, but am full of a desire to be better. It still feels weird that father’s day applies to me now. I still do not feel ‘adult’ enough, but here we are. I am humbled. I wish a late happy father’s day to all the dads out there. If you have a child or act as a father figure to somebody, you are deserving of praise. It is not easy, but still you do it.

Do you need to check in with anybody? How are you doing with your goals right now? Anything worth noting that you are thankful for?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Partially attained. 4 rides and 1 run
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Partially Attained. 1 Session
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Not Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

anger and weekly reflections: 6/9 – 6/15

Change in weight (6/9/20 –6/15/20):  -0.8 LBS

My Monday weigh-in this morning brought a smile to my face. I have failed to reign in my eating the way I would like, so seeing that I lost almost a pound this week made me happy that my commitment to the process, even if not perfect, is still paying off. But I am not going to talk about my weight loss in this post, I need to talk about a different form of health; mental health.

I have no experience in the field of mental health so am speaking only as an observer of myself. I have been angry lately. When I say angry, I mean angry. I’ve been bitter, irritable, pissy, cranky, frustrated, and any other word that can meet the definition. I am not only feeling it, but acting it. My wife and daughter have unfortunately had to witness this. I spend my whole day putting a facade on for work or other people, then I just give in and act like a turd to the ones who love and support me the most. Thank God they love me. Thank God I recognize how lucky I am.

I feel like i’m waking up with the fuze already cut in half. My tolerance for things is depleted by noon, sometimes earlier. I have been spending some time trying to figure out why, but usually am distracted and don’t actually get to the bottom of it. Writing the post is the most I have thought about it so far. What is contributing to such anger? Well there are a multitude of things, but why can I not deal with them as I normally would?

Starting with the selfish, I am frustrated with work. I don’t like it when I cannot see apparent solutions to problems. There is also an element of just feeling overwhelmed. Having the rest of life bleed into you work-life. Emotions are not respecting the line in the sand of work versus non-work. But I have historically been resilient to these types of things, why now is this pushing me over the edge? And on top of it all, my daughter is also acting like a toddler, which comes with its own set of stresses, but that’s parenthood and I can handle that. I am also sick of being home 24/7 and desperately miss loved ones and friends, but that is no excuse either.

Externally, the US is tearing at the seems. We seem to have a government and a populous that has decided to politicize a pandemic, rather than just try to take a pragmatic, smart, and scientific approach to it. We also have populations of POC who are begging us to address our Country’s systematic and historical oppression, and most won’t even take a minute to reflect and ask more. What happened to the humans with a heart who try to feel for others, and try to understand the root causes of issues? This reactionary environment is so damn toxic. I do feel that these are enough to warrant anger, but not enough for me to treat my family the way I have and let it influence my ability to be a good person.

So what am I doing and what should I do to address this? I have been feeling a need to act and to be an ally for POC and minorities. I ordered two books to start reading, to educate myself, and to help remove some of the ignorance I have. Beyond this, I have been listening and considering different ways that I can help. These steps, although most likely not nearly enough, can help me address some of the emotions around the civil unrest. I know it may not remove some anger, but it can help me find a path forward.

On a personal side, I need to take some time off from work. Plain and simple. I need to separate myself from those responsibilities and take a few days to solely focus on my family and the needs surrounding us. I need to get some rest, for my body and for my brain. I need to remember what is good in this world and count my blessings. I need to do some good for people, because giving and loving is medicine for the soul. One thing that has helped a little is working out. It is a set aside time to just sweat, work my butt off, and be alone.

I feel like I am more rambling than anything with this post, but I feel I am not the only one in this boat. I want to say it is okay to be overwhelmed but it is not okay to let it manifest with such negativity in me. I want to give myself a break but also feel that with the world where it is, why should I take a break if others cannot? I am hoping to work on the things above a bit this coming week and will check back in next week on how it is going.

Is anybody else just off? Angry, tired, overworked, feeling helpless? Do you feel you are taking it out on others? What are you doing to work on it? Does it help to talk through it or to be quiet and think on it?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Partially attained. 5 rides and 1 run
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not Attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained. Too much takeout
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

a serious note on current events and weekly reflections: 6/2/20 – 6/8/20

This morning’s ‘Leave me alone’ look

Starting with a serious note:

I have been emotionally struggling with what is going on in the US right now. I grew up in a bubble of suburban and rural New England. The types of racial tensions that exist here can pale in comparison to what people experience in other parts of the country and that can give me, as a white male, a sense that I am not part of the problem. What I am grappling with, is that you can be a good, even great person, yet that doesn’t mean that we do not fail at ‘not being racist’. This is because racism goes far beyond (and can be far more subtle) than the evil and drama of the KKK or open hatred of other skin tones. I have walked down the street in Boston and without consciously meaning to, assumed different precautions based on the dress or color of somebody near me. That right there suggests that deep inside of me I am using race as a primary determinant of a trait of an individual… which is part of the textbook definition of racism! “WHAT, ME!?!?!” I am realizing that the classic Ben has been a good person, but has also allowed these issues to continue. So how do I better myself through this betterment journey and how do I change so that new Ben is more aware and more of a force for good?

I am starting to get it. I can, despite my faults, be anti-racist and do my best to get better. Part of this involves educating myself more on what is happening today and what has happened historically to bring us to this point. How can I change to be a better ally to those who need allies? How can I raise my daughter to be the same? How can I support such a necessary cause, and not just let this continue on? I do not have all the answers to all of these, but I am trying and I am listening to the voices that need to be heard. Can I try to start with simple loving conversations with those I know? Maybe a new avenue will open up from there. I am confident that although initial education of myself may not change what is happening on the street, it will inform and influence my decision-making far into the future.

Please do not mistake this for me looking for praise or forgiveness, or for talking politics. I am talking about humanity. I am talking about how I do not want to live in a country where we accept such overt abuse of our fellow citizens. This is me starting another part of my betterment journey, to be a better neighbor, dad, and citizen. To be a better ally for my brothers and sisters who were created in the image and likeness of God, just like me. I would like us all to consider that the movement going on right now in this country is not to personally attack you, but to get us all to take a moment and reconsider what progress we think we have made, and act to continue towards progress. The Civil War was not enough. Ending Jim Crow was not enough. MLK Jr. and Malcom X were not enough. The Civil Rights movement was not enough. Ending credit and geographic redlining is not enough. And sitting on the sidelines is not enough.

Thank you for listening to me. Just because below is a classic weekly update, does not mean that the above hasn’t consumed my mind and thoughts. I broke them out because I do not have the literary skills to give each the proper gravity if talking about both together.

Now reflecting on my week:

Change in weight (6/2/20 –6/8/20):  -0.4 LBS

I woke up this morning in a mood. I felt like crap, I was in a fog, and I looked horrible. I sat down in my chair to log into work (I usually boot up before I do my morning weigh-in) and had a moment where I did not know if I could function today and if I should just call in ‘sick’. Well I stepped on the scale and saw that I have lost another 0.4 pounds. This didn’t even please me. I was muttering about how it should have been more and “why didn’t you do this?” or “why didn’t you do that?” I was a mess. I realized I just need to take a shower, shave, and maybe getting cleaned up will help.

You can talk to me now

Sometimes you just need to clean up. I left the shower feeling great and the shave made me feel like a new man. Now I can say I’m happy with my continued weight loss. Even though this week’s drop was small, it was still a drop. I need to remember to celebrate my effort and cherish the victories, not matter how trivial they may seem.

I listened to my body this week. I have been doing 3 runs per week for about 3-4 weeks now and until this week I have been feeling pretty good. But during my last run, I had to stop because the pain in my ankle was significant. I need to remember that it is one thing to push through fatigue to get stronger, but pushing through pain risks hurting yourself and setting you back on your goals. My plan is decrease to 2 runs per week, allowing at least two days in between, and I will continue the low impact Peloton rides to keep my cardio progress going.

I did hit another PR on the Peloton the other night! I again did the Greatest Showman ride by Robin, which I have coined my PR ride, and I kicked ass. It also helped that my good friend just got a bike so we did the ride together. My calves started cramping with about 90 seconds left and I am screaming “noooo” in my head because my daughter was asleep in the room next to me, so I had to be quiet! But I was able to get through and felt super happy,.. and breathless.

Sorry for the image quality, I haven’t been working on my food photography skills

My favorite (and healthy) meal of the week was a last minute, throw it together meal. We had Tempeh, sweet peppers, and broccoli. I ended up tossing together a stir fry with some Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce and boom! It was fantastic. I must admit, this meat lover does dig himself some tempeh. I will say that one struggle I need to fix is my giving up on cooking when I am sick of it. I just say “screw it” and order food. This continues to be a struggle of mine.

I am 6.8 pounds away from 300. I want to drop below 300 by July 4th. This would be a huge step for me when looking at the lifelong struggle I have had with weight.

What is your favorite ‘quick hits meal?’ I need more ideas. My sister sent me a few the other day, but I need a treasure trove of quick, easy meals. Do you have any advice for me with running?

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 6 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 3 runs (Mon/Wed/Fri). Partially attained. Only did 2 runs
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat). Not Attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partial – Too much take out
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri) Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days Attained
  7. Track every bite Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs (Mon/Wed/Fri).
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/1*
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben