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?

36 in 6: weekly reflections: 5/26 – 6/1

Sure this run was from this morning, but it felt good.

My change from last week –

Change in weight (5/26/20 –6/1/20):  -1.2 LBS

Today marks 6 months since I began this journey. I am still here and I am still motivated. There is some real pride that comes along with accomplishments like this and I have stuck with it and continue to try. I dropped another 1.2 pounds this week and that brought me to 36 total pounds lost since I began!

Stay tuned for my 6-month recap post to come soon. In that post I will also map out my changes and actually start to share some numbers. I feel I have come to a place where I am comfortable sharing my weight and some of my statistics. It will be good for me, but hopefully it can bring comfort or motivation to somebody else.

Much of this week was punctuated by my body informing me that I need to rest. For the past few weeks, I have kept up a very high pace of exercise and movement. I jumped back into running while trying to keep up my rides and I think that caught up with me. 6 days with 30-60 minutes of intense exercise can require some build up, especially if including the high impact sport of running (and with this body, it is high impact). With this understood, I listened to my body. I still did 2 runs and 2 rides, but I tried to focus a little more on getting my calorie deficit from my intake, less from my exercise. Even last night, I was going through this mental struggle about whether to ride or not and I finally just realized that I would do 30 minutes of stretching and give my body some love. I am thankful for that decision.

I feel that my exercises this week were nothing to write home about. They were good, I accomplished all the running intervals designed in the program and the same with the bike intervals. But no best splits or PRs, which is fine. I also helped my brother-in-law move on Saturday, which I guess could count as an exercise. I did take my tracker off so it wouldn’t get broken with all the heavy garage tools and such, so I guess if it didn’t track… it never happened (just kidding). There were also some good walks with my daughter in the mix. These good walks are the subtle secret to success. You burn more calories than you realize and it doesn’t hurt like running.

This week I am hoping to up my exercise again and continue doing my stretching. We are also trying out some healthy recipes to try and keep the daily meals new and interesting. All this staying at home is making cooking pretty boring. Anyway, thanks for checking in and stay tuned for my 6-month update coming later this week!

Do you have any good recipes you want to share? How are you doing with your current goals?

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). Not attained. 2 rides and 2 runs
  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

This week’s action plan:

  1. 6 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 3 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 (no change)
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs

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

-Ben

weekly reflections: 5/18 – 5/25

Got to spend a little time on the water yesterday. That was good for the soul.

My change from last week –

Change in weight (5/18/20 –5/25/20):  -1.0 LBS

First of all, I received a tremendous response to my last post about how I have lost 30+ pounds so far. Thank you to everybody. That support helped carry me through the later part of my week, where I usually struggle the most. My drive in the early part of the week stems from the motivation and good feelings from my last weekly update and the end of the week is where work, life, and a lack of desire to cook usually derails me a bit.

I had a really good week with my workouts and fitness goals (outside of again missing my strength workouts). I did my interval run trainings and they felt great. My third of the week had the least ankle pain and the best splits. The weather for running was also perfect, 50s and 60s for most of the week. I also got my rides in and also did an extra ‘recovery’ ride. I have been doing a lot of exercise. This is contributing to both a very tired body and an increased appetite.

This increased appetite, combined with a lack of desire to cook, is what limited my weight loss this week. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy I lost a pound, but I feel I could have lost more had I been more disciplined with my food consumption. There were a couple days of takeout, which included pizza and chinese. These two are where I have trouble limiting how much I eat. There was also some ice cream mixed in…

I am not mad at myself, as I know what I did and was okay with it at the time. I understood these decisions and what they would do to my week when I made them. I do wish I was better at limiting the amount I ate, but we can continue to work on this. I will also note that, unlike when I posted about rage baking and cooking therapy, I have lost my creative drive again and am sick of cooking. I need help finding it again because home cooking is almost always healthier than takeout.

We did have these killer flatbreads for lunch this week.

For the next week I am planning on keeping consistent with my exercise as I did this past week. I know that my body will continue to get stronger and I am very excited for that. My wife and I planned some good looking meals for this week so I hope to lower my caloric intake a bit.

What do you do to maintain your motivation through the whole week? Do you find work and the weekend to throw off your discipline? How do you keep yourself excited with cooking?

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!

Check out the lists below for the full breakdown and let me know if you have any suggestions, feedback, inspiration, or thoughts. Stay safe out there and stay home if you can! I am thankful for all of you.

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). Attained
  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). Attainged
  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. 6 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 3 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 (no change)
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs

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

-Ben

7 things that helped me lose my first 30 pounds

I see weight loss stories of people who lose 50, 100, 150+ pounds and it can make 30+ pounds seem relatively insignificant. We need to remember that it is all relative and depending on your goals, anything is an accomplishment.

When I started my weight loss and betterment journey on December 1st, I had a lot of hopes, fears, and emotions. I still do. My initial thought was to lose 30 pounds by June. I figured that was something I could accomplish in 6 months but to be honest, in the back of my head, I really didn’t know what to expect. I have gone through ups and downs with weight loss for my entire life. Whenever I get back to really wanting to change, I have that doubting voice in my head saying “you can try, but you won’t succeed.” Fast forward to May and I have done what that voice told me I could not do. I lost 30 pounds and am going for more.

I am trying to celebrate this success in the best ways I can. I deserve to give myself credit for this accomplishment and I deserve to be optimistic that I can continue on. As I have been reflecting on this, I wanted to document some of the key steps that helped me get to this point, and will drive me farther as I continue to work.

  1. Track everything you eat

This one step might have had the most significant impact for me, when I actually started to do it right. I have used MyFitnessPal for a long time to track, but I only began to see changes when I really disciplined myself to track every bite. That includes the random grapes, or the bite of food that my daughter didn’t eat. It also includes the ketchup or condiments I used to not log.

When you track every bite, mindless eating becomes mindful. It becomes part of how you think and how you plan. It also becomes a wakeup call when you track the three pieces of pizza you had and realize they are 800 calories… damn. That didn’t just happen tonight, or maybe it did. But I found this required more strength than I thought. I couldn’t stay in denial and trick myself. I knew if I wasn’t being honest with myself and isn’t it the truth that sometimes it is the hardest to be honest with ourselves? It can be so difficult to truly look in the mirror or at the tracker and admit that this, this is actually what I ate.

Once I got over the fear of being honest and tracking everything, it became my strength. Knowledge is power. I took the knowledge of my intake to power me to working those calorie deficits. I still am not perfect, but this has been a key step in my weight loss journey.

2. Increase activity of any kind

When I think about losing weight and being ‘active’, I can fall into the trap of thinking activity has to be big workouts with tons of sweat and sore legs. This is not the case. Sometimes, it just means moving more than you did before. This can be exercise, walks or at home workouts. I have found that the weeks where I struggled most keeping my weight loss goals, I not only had less working out or increased intake, but I had fewer steps and less movement. I was more sedentary. I make it a point to get my 10,000 steps just to make sure I am moving. Even if the walks are not strenuous, you burn more calories walking and moving than you do sitting!

I have tried to incorporate more movement and exercise in my daily routine. The 4-6 exercises a week I attempt works for me and my goals, but everybody should find what works for them. You can use baby steps with this as well. The amount of movement and exercise you can do on day 3 of your journey will not be the same as week 9. Be real with yourself and listen to your body.

3. Drink more water

There is endless data and studies that preach the benefits of drinking water (https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water#1). I have found that it has helped me tremendously. Not only does the proper hydration help your body in many ways and aids things like workout performance and metabolism, but I also have found it helps to decrease mindless calorie consumption. Instead of drinking a beer with dinner, or orange juice with breakfast, I drink water. I can still have those other beverages, but my water intake can displace potential other intake.

I have always been bad about hydration and get thirsty easily. Because of this I will drink almost any liquid as if it were water. Juice, tea, milk, beer, soda, you name it. If I feel thirsty, I will drink more. By drinking more water, I drink less calorie filled beverages. And plus, I would rather eat my calories than drink them.

4. Calories in / Calories out

There are many strategies and plans for weight loss out there. I myself have done many of them (I will discuss these experiences another time). I have found that focussing on the difference between my consumed calories and my burned calories is the method working the best for me. This point connects directly to my tracking and movement points. If I am burning more calories than I consume, I will lose weight. This method relies heavily on the honest tracking and measuring of our workouts and food intake.

I like this method because there is nothing weird or hard to understand. It also leaves very little else to blame. I ate too much. I guess that is my fault. It has truly helped me to view my intake as a budget, allowing me to eat what I would like, in moderation, and to balance it with my movement and other meals. This has allowed me to plan for a special event, a holiday, or to simply know why my body is reacting the way it is. I don’t have carbs to blame or a type of food, I have my commitment and discipline.

It was not easy to get in the rhythm. I found that I still struggled to properly track and to get a true handle on how many calories my body burned. For burned calories I use MyFitnessPal, which has a calculator for how many target calories you should burn in a day based off of some body metrics. This then has an exercise adjustment the is informed by my apple watch (but any fitness tracker can do this). I have designed it to have a slow weight-loss progression, as I really want this to be a forever change. Losing weight too quickly scares me.

5. Weekly weigh-ins

With tracking, exercising, and watching my calorie deficit, I realized I needed to check if I was actually accomplishing my goals. I realized I had to weigh myself. I hate the scale and I hate the effect it can have on people, but I understand the need to know where you stand and how you are doing. I have written about my methods for how not to let the scale rule you here.

The first step was to figure out how often to weigh myself. I know people who weigh in daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. I believe the answer to this question has more to do with you and your personality than anything else. I chose weekly. I did not choose daily because I know myself and I would start to become obsessive. The daily ups and downs would control my emotions. I also knew that monthly would not be enough feedback to keep me going. And 5 months in, the weekly weigh-ins have been perfect. It is enough of a gap to keep the daily ups and downs from controlling me and frequent enough for me to understand my body, what is happening, and to correct where needed.

That is really what the weigh-ins are all about. Get the feedback about your performance so you can make adjustments where necessary. Please remember, the scale does not reflect your effort!. It only gives you a snapshot of your weight in a singular place in time. It does not show your drive, your motivation, your effort, or reflect who you are. Only you can show that. I will forever cheer you on your effort regardless of what the inanimate object called a scale, says your weight is.

6. Long Term Perspective

If you want your weight loss to be a quick fix, this is not the post for you. If you are looking for lasting change, then you need a long term perspective. We didn’t get into our careers and jobs overnight (unless you did, then kudos to you!). Many of us had years of education and/or training and developed positions to get where we are. If we want to attain a goal, it sometimes takes time and effort if it is going to last. I am using that approach to weight loss.

I have lost weight quickly before, and every time I gain it back. When I began this new, and hopefully permanent journey, I recognized I didn’t want to rush anything, but wanted the process to be slow enough to make it a new norm. I have been averaging about 6.75 pounds lost per month since I started this journey. This has definitely fluctuated, but it is not a fast loss. I have found it to be a sustainable weight loss pace. I continue to shoot for 1-2 pounds per week, and know that I can still maintain a lifestyle that I enjoy while doing that.

I have lost 20-30 pounds before in 2 months. That is when I gained it back. Understanding I am in this for the long haul lets me recognize that 7 pounds a month, although it leads to slow changes, means 42 pounds in 6 months and possibly 84 pounds in a year. That is a lot of weight and something you can be incredibly proud of. But regardless of the weight, recognize how you are helping yourself for the long run. Weight loss or not, you are working to get your body healthier for you now, tomorrow, and in years to come.

7. Communicate Your Goals

I started this blog because I wanted to communicate my goals to others. I have incredible support in my wife and broader family, but when I am communicating to others, it almost fills my efforts with more responsibility. I owe it to those I am sharing with to continue on. I owe it to myself. By communicating with others, I am allowing myself to recognize that although I am, and you are, strong enough, there is no shame in accepting help and support from others. It can be a game changer.

It doesn’t have to be a blog and it doesn’t have to be public, but do you have people in your life who support you? It may be worth sharing your goals with them and asking them for that support. It can have such a positive impact. It may take some humility on our part, especially if we really want them to support us and give us feedback, but we have goals! As one of my favorite Peloton instructors, Robin Arzon, says, “Do you want it more than you fear it?”

I am here for myself, for my goals, and for my positive change. I am also here for you. I may know you or not know you, but I will support your effort and champion your goals. I will be a positive voice if you need it. Just tell me. To those who have supported me thus far, thank you. Your help has been incredible!

-Ben

weekly reflections: 5/12 – 5/18

My change from last week –

Change in weight (5/12/20 –5/18/20):  0 LBS

No change in weight. Zero, nada, nuthin’, zilch. That must mean nothing happened this past week, right? Wrong. A lot happened this last week. A lot of good things and some things that I should work on.

I really am not upset about a lack of weight loss. I have been able to put the scale in its place and look at this journey holistically. See how I think about weigh-ins from an older post.

We had salads for dinner last night. I am naive. We had salads from the Cheesecake Factory last night. It was delicious and it was too delicious. How could a bowl full of leafy greens and other tasty bits be so good? Well, because it is a 1200 calorie salad. I will say again, I am naive. It is all good. The salad was delicious and it made me happy. I got a good amount of veggies in and a good amount of other things too, lol.

The salad is almost a metaphor for my past week’s food consumption. A little too much disguised as something just right. My uptick in activity, which I will elaborate on below, has also caused and uptick in my hunger (or perception of hunger). I also may have celebrated my success last Monday by eating too much early in the week. This is a common issue for me, food becomes the prize or award for good behavior. Is this the same for anybody else? I feel it is a big one that needs work. Despite that, overall I had an okay week, but definitely was not as on point as I have been.

As I mentioned last week, adjusting to the more conservative caloric tracking of the Apple watch has been hard, but good. It has made this feel like more of an effort, especially on days where I have cravings, but I do like that it is forcing more discipline from me. This renewed focus on my intake has shown that I still eat too much (or reward myself too much 😩). You can exercise your butt off for 500 calories and one takeout appetizer can blow that out of the water. I have fallen a little too much into the mindset of, if I want to eat more, I will just workout more. But I need to be in the mindset that I cannot solve all cravings by working out more. I still need to step up and be more strict with my intake, along with my increased exercise, if I want to see real and lasting change.

I got back into running this past week. Wow. I forgot how much I actually enjoy running and also noticed how I have gotten used to the zero impact cardio that is my Peloton. My legs were sore but I am practicing the art of discipline and am making sure to give my body the ample time it needs to rest. This means 3 runs a week right now and low impact cardio on the days I do not run. I am setting a couple race goals for the end of the year as milestones. I think these will help continue to push me and also to help things stay mixed up enough so I do not struggle with the occasional monotony of working out.

I again failed to do my full body workouts this week but I did hit my cardio goals, getting all my rides in and my runs. I also finally got all my stretching in!!!! I am very proud of myself for this and it only took how many weeks? The other big thing I am very happy about is I have been making sure to get my general movement in. I have gotten my 10,000 steps every day this week and have made the time for my mid-day walks when working. It may not currently be reflected on my weight loss this week, but it really helps to make me feel better. I feel like I am treating my body right when I commit to moving it.

I have amended my goals for next week to include my new running plan. 3 runs per week and 3 bike sessions per week. I am still setting a goal of 2 strength workouts per week because these only help the running and biking, but have broken that goal out. I hope this might make me more aware of it.

I am feeling good right now. Although the scale did not reflect weight change, I am feeling healthier every day. My resting heart rate has now dipped into the 40s when it used to be in the high 60s/low 70s. My recovery times from workouts are faster and I am constantly feeling like I am in a better physical and emotional place. I tried an old dress shirt on that hasn’t fit in 3+ years and guess what, it fits with room to spare (now if only there was an occasion to wear a dress shirt…). I also keep noticing how strong my legs are… don’t tell me you’ve never admired your own muscles!!!!

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.

Check out the lists below for the full breakdown and let me know if you have any suggestions, feedback, inspiration, or thoughts. Stay safe out there and stay home if you can! I am thankful for all of you.

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 6 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 2 full body strength (Wednesday evening and Saturday evening), 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice. Partially Attained
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Monday/Wed/Fri). Attained
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  6. Track every bite. Attained
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  8. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 6 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 3 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 (no change)
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs

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

-Ben

weekly reflections: 5/5 – 5/11

When the ride makes you yell…

My change from last week –

Change in weight (5/5/20 –5/11/20):  -5.2 LBS

Last week I talked about my check-in being a wake-up call. Well I answered it. I am super pumped this morning because I have been feeling really good the past couple of days and when I stepped on the scale this morning, it confirmed those good feelings. I love it when the feelings match reality!

I was pretty nervous about stepping on the scale this morning. Okay, I actually was downright afraid. I was going through my head thinking “I could just say work got busy and I lost track” or “will my blog really be upset if I miss one checkin.” The truth is, it is not about everybody else, but the commitment I made to myself… and cheers to myself for sticking with it. Bonus, I’m stoked for the scale showing me the fruits of my labor! One of my favorite Peloton instructors, Robin, loves to say “Do you want it more than you fear it.” This one is one of those motivational sayings that some might call cheesy, that I until recently would have written off as another filler for a pinterest board, but now it speaks to me when I need it to. I realized that this journey to better is full of fear and constant uncertainty. Is there anything that brings more comfort and less fear than staying with what you know and what is familiar? But branching out to work towards a new goal, well I don’t know how that might go. Fear is an incredible motivator that can keep people from moving and push them in the wrong direction. So do I want this more than I fear it? I keep telling myself yes. Last Monday I told myself yes when I was livid how far I back slid. I told myself yes this weekend when I had numerous opportunities to eat more and wanted to eat more, but I didn’t. I told myself yes when I just got up and got on the scale this morning. Does fear hold any of you back? How do you overcome it?

I have been trying to lock in the drivers of this weeks positive change. I can list a few things that I know contributed. My overall movement increased as I tried to hit my step goal every day, regardless of the weather. I was also more consistent with my workouts and I was drinking more water. I think one of the largest contributors was my intake decreased. I have felt that as I track calories, the calorie adjustments for exercise sometimes seemed large. My wife and I also just got Apple watches as the were $100 off online last week (win!). I have noticed that the Apple watch is more conservative in its allocation of burned calories due to walking. This means that the amount of calories MyFitnessPal tells me I can eat has gone down with similar activity, just by switching my tracking device. I think this is a good thing. As long as I am giving my body what it needs, some more strict calorie control can only help me.

This past week saw a lot of biking, walking, and getting outside. I am trying to stay moving. I was pleased with my performance on the bike, doing a 45 minute HIIT and Hills ride that hurt but felt great to accomplish, along with a few others. I also am pleased with the little things. Trying to take a 15 minute walk here and there or choosing water instead of a beer. The little things add up.

As per usual, I am failing at stretching and getting the amount of full body workouts in I want, so I am still struggling to hone in on why I can be so disciplined with some things, but not with others.

My thought is to leave my goals the same for next week. I did pretty well with them last week and the outcome was great! I would like to log 2-3 weeks with some managable, consistent weight loss. Here we go!

Check out the lists below for the full breakdown and let me know if you have any suggestions, feedback, inspiration, or thoughts. Stay safe out there and stay home if you can! I am thankful for all of you.

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 6 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 2 full body strength (Wednesday evening and Saturday evening), 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice. Partially attained. I did 6 rides and 1 strength.
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Monday/Wed/Fri). Not Attained.
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  6. Track every bite. Attained
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  8. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 6 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 2 full body strength (Wednesday evening and Saturday evening), 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Monday/Wed/Fri)
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  6. Track every bite
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  8. 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 (no change)
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs

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

-Ben

weekly reflections: 4/14-4/20

My change from last week –

Change in weight (4/14/20 –4/20/20):  -1.8 LBS

I chose the picture above because it makes me calm. It makes me think of fond memories and the feeling of a breeze on the ridge of a mountain.

The weight is moving back in the right direction. I had another morning where I did not think the scale would say I lost weight. The best thing about mornings where I think I have stayed the same or gained weight is being pleasantly surprised is the best kind of surprise.

This post is brought to you by inner reflections. My dear friend Sara texted me the other day about a Peloton ride she did with Ally Love (yes, we’ve established I drank the Peloton kool aide). I have mentioned these rides before, but they are ‘Sundays with Love’. They are meant to be a more spiritual ride. As the pandemic is making it harder to seek my faith spaces in ways I am accustomed, this ride helped my spirt. BUT…, Ally brought up this question, “What is the difference between faith and confidence?” It is one of those things where you know there is a difference, but how do you you explain it. Sara and I texted about this a little and I really spent some time thinking. I would also like you to as well. I don’t necessarily mean a faith in a higher power, but faith in something.

I am bringing this up because lately I have not been having confidence in my betterment journey. Not just the weight loss, but all facets. I have been angrier, I have been more stressed, I have felt like a worst dad and a worse employee. I also have felt that weight loss is becoming a lost cause. These feelings become the strongest the day before my Monday posts when I start reflecting. Then I get to Monday and realize these head games are not based in reality. I lost weight. My daughter and wife still love me. The odd thing is, I still have faith that I can do it, even when the confidence goes. I still have faith that if I remain committed, it can happen. I have faith in the process and faith in my support structure. I do not always have confidence in myself… Does that make sense or ring true?

My initial feelings about the distinction is I always consider confidence a brain/mind thing. It is something that we develop in our head with practice and repetition, but because it is our brain, it is still susceptible to the thoughts and doubts that can float around. On the other hand, faith is a heart/spirit thing. It almost touches at a deeper part of our being, or a deeper part of our soul. For me, digging in and having faith, and trusting in my faith is paramount to my success. For me, I feel my faith carries me when my confidence is weak. We can all get through when our confidence is riding high, but what about when it is not!? This is when you have to have hope in the things unseen. This is where I need to push through and have faith that the end will justify the means I am struggling with.

I needed that ride, that topic, and that conversation. Please let me know if you have anything to add to this, I think it can be good for all of us to think about.

Coming out from the deep, let’s look at my week. I did not quite get the activity I hoped for, but better discipline with my food/drink intake did help me go the right direction with my health. I, again, was tired this week. My body has been dragging. I have been treating it pretty well with food and exercise, but I am not giving it the proper rest and stretching it needs.

I tracked better than I have in previous weeks and did better at controlling mindless snacking. I also got a couple nice long walks in with my daughter. These helped clear my head. Looking at the list, I hit and missed some. I think that I have room to grow and to get back on track with some things, but overall I am pleased. I need to continue working on my mental state. I am adding a task for me to try and find some quiet time. If it is deep breathing, meditation, or just some alone time listening to the wind and the birds, I need to decompress.

Anyway, check out the lists below for the full breakdown and let me know if you have any suggestions, feedback, inspiration, or thoughts. Stay safe out there and stay home if you can! I am thankful for all of you.

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice. Partially attained. I did 4 rides and no full body workout
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body. Failed miserably. I did none and my muscles are tighter to shame me.
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Not Attained. I blame the crappy rain
  6. Track every bite. Attained
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  6. Track every bite
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  8. 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
* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning

-Ben

weekly reflections: 4/7 – 4/13

My “I’m running and smiling” look.

My change from last week –

Change in weight (4/7/20 –4/13/20):  +0.8 LBS

It is gloomy out this morning. We are supposed to have thunder storms today and potentially wind gusts of 40-50 mph! It is a gray day and I would prefer to be in bed. I find this morning to be kind of representative of my fitness week; sleepy and blahh.

I fell back just shy of a pound this week. Truthfully, I am not super upset about this. I am still feeling good and am proud of myself for where I am and how I am doing. This week was a hard one for me. I was tired, our toddler is going through another sleep regression, and work has been overwhelmingly busy. So simply looking at my goals below, and what I attained, it makes sense that I gained a little back. I find that this is okay if I don’t let it set me back further. I recognize the fatigue hit me hard and I needed a few days to calm down. I also recognize that stress played a huge role in my cooking/consumption this week, but that same cooking also helped my mind (see future post on rage baking… hint: rage baking is a way I calm down by making delicious buttery treats). Simply put, I barely moved this week and I still gained back less than a pound.

Despite the lack of fitness gains, this week had some wonderful moments. My little girl is so quickly growing and we spent much time in the backyard letting her explore. It is therapeutic watching a toddler explore, learn, and process. She was so helpful in moving mulch from the garden beds to the grass and was quick to help pick up all the sticks and put them right back to where they came from. She also climbed and went down her little slide by herself for the first time. Those smiles and giggles are the type that stick with you. Along with that, Easter was the oddest I have ever experienced. We watched our church service online (which experienced technical difficulties), we saw no family, and we ate carnitas instead of Easter brunch. But it was the three of us, making the best of our time and that was special. We need to recognize these special moments and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I have also rediscovered some of my inspiration with cooking. I have always loved to cook, but have recently found it to be nothing more than a necessary utility with all joy removed. I think my new obsession with the Bon Appetit youtube channel has assisted with this reset. I baked and made a killer carnitas this week. Coming soon, scones and a homemade vodka sauce.

Let’s look at my action plan. I only worked out three times this week with a run, and 2 rides. I did get my first 60 minute ride in! This was one of those things that had scared me, for no good reason, but felt so great to conquer for the first time. My legs felt sore, my butt was numb, and I burned a crap ton of calories. Hell yea. I don’t know how frequent I will do those long rides before I get padded bike shorts, but I am proud of the win. My lack of walks was directly correlated to the amount of rain we had midweek. It was gross and it wasn’t even the type where I could put a jacket on and push through.

Loved this. Also, Rage Against the Machine is clutch workout music

I did pretty well with food when I wasn’t eating Easter candy and some of our rage-baked goods. I still plan on getting a little cleaner with the meals this week and upping my veggie intake. My water intake needs to improve, so there is that. For the first time since I started this, I slacked at tracking my intake. There were a few days where it just escaped my mind. Those are the days where I am sure I ate too much but couldn’t actually tell you, because I do not remember everything I ate. This so perfectly shows why tracking throughout the day is so important. Last night I tried to remember all I ate through the day and I could barely remember breakfast, let alone the little snacks and bites throughout the day.

Anyway, I could use a little feedback on how people are dealing lately. Have you all found, if you are, working from home to be a bit overwhelming? Do you find you can bounce back from weeks like this easily? I feel I can, but right now I want to sleep for the whole day.

Anyway, check out below for the action plan and my goals for next week. I am going to keep my goals the same as last. I feel I need to get these back on track before I change them.

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 workouts. 1 60 min ride (will be my first) 1 HIIT Ride, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice. Not attained. 3 workouts – 1 HIIT, 1 60 min ride, and 1 run.
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partially Attained
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Not attained. 1 walk
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body. Not attained
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Not attained.
  6. Track every bite. Not Attained
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Partially attained – did for 5 days

Action Plan

  1. 5 workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  6. Track every bite
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day

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

-Ben

weekly reflections: 3/31 – 4/6

Mat workouts are more fun with a toddler. Photo credit: Benjamin L Crosby

My change from last week –

Change in weight (3/17/20 –3/23/20):  -1.6 LBS

I feel very upbeat this Monday morning. The sun finally has returned for a couple days, it is nice out, and I am losing weight again. Not only did I lose 1.6 lbs this past week, but I hit a benchmark that was starting to feel unattainable. I have now lost 30 lbs since December 1! The weight loss feels great and hitting 30 pounds down feels extra great after a couple weeks of leapfrogging. I do not feel like I am succeeding every day, but the commitment and the discipline to the little things is seeing me through.

Where to start? Well I am sore. I did a good bodyweight workout this week that torched my legs and my daughter did her best to make it harder by hanging out between my legs or climbing on my back during planks. I also had a couple rides that smoked me. I looked silly hobbling around yesterday but it was a hobble of success. I did one 20 minute HIIT ride that I did not expect to whoop me quite the way it did. My heart rate jumped and I could have collapsed on the floor if I was feeling more dramatic (Thanks Jess King). The rain made it hard to get out and walk, but I did my best. I definitely threw my rain coat on a couple times and went because I needed it. For me, the frustration that work sometimes gives me can be all the motivation I need to move.

I think part of my success with this weight loss has also been what is making it long and drawn out. I am allowing myself the periodic cravings and indulgences that spring up periodically. This week we had thai take-out and another takeout a different night. I have also had some Easter candy. But again, I am trying to consume it with the understanding of where it fits in a calorie budget. I also am finding that I like the slow nature of this weight loss. It decreases the pressure of weekly weigh-ins and it makes this feel like a more long-term and sustainable reality.

This week I am hoping to get a little cleaner with our food. I have been a little fat heavy and a little low on protein lately. We are making a healthy tuscan shrimp dish for Monday and Tuesday night, and then some sheet pan chicken and veggie dinners for the rest of the week. I find these to be easy, clean, and healthy. I also found this delicious looking sweet potato and arugula salad (and other fixins) for some lunches. For health and budget reasons, my wife and I are shooting to not have any takeout until next weekend, when we will try to support a local restaurant during this difficult time.

I have been starting to get more inspiration from individuals around me and on the internet. A lot of people have been making great points about our goals, especially during this current reality. I am not just trying to focus on my weight. I am soaking in the time with my daughter. I am focussing on taking care of my emotional side and also trying to temper my expectations with what is going on. I have also been getting back into my hobbies. I love working with wood and am currently building a desk. This all works together to help me feel like I am growing and advancing in the right direction. Weight loss plays into this, but it is not all of it. Have any of you gotten back in touch with a part of you that was lost in the rat race of adulthood?

With all that said, I am forging ahead. My next major goal is 50 pounds lost. I hope I can reach that this summer. I have come to the conclusion that I will publish my weight and progress at my 6-month mark from starting this. I am at four months now. I am still shy about the reality of my weight. I even struggled to talk to my wife about it the other day. Talking through my journey here has helped dramatically, but I am not there yet. When I get to 6 months, if I continue on my trajectory, I could be down 45 pounds. Fingers crossed. Stay tuned for more and see below for my weekly goals and how I did on last week’s!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 workouts. 2 HIIT Rides, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice. Attained. I did 4 rides, including the above mentioned and a full body strength class
  2. Plan out my meals and stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained.
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body. Not Attained. I only did one lower body stretch session
  5. Track every bite. Attained
  6. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 workouts. 1 60 min ride (will be my first) 1 HIIT Ride, 1 full body strength, 1 low impact ride, and 1 other of my choice
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  3. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  4. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  6. Track every bite
  7. Drink 10 glasses of water per day

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

-Ben