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

my 6 month health recap

June 1st marked six months since I began this journey. I have said from the start that my journey is not a weight loss journey, but a betterment journey. I still believe that and want to emphasize that, but the majority of my content thus far has been on my health and weight loss progress. Because of this, I want to recap what I have seen over the past 6 months.

On December 1, 2019, I had a moment. My shirts were not fitting well, I hated pictures of myself (confession, still do), playing with my daughter on the floor was uncomfortable, and getting off the floor was more difficult than I should admit. In addition, this lifelong skier put his winter jacket on only to discover how snug it was. On top to the physical, I did not feel good about myself. I was more self-conscious than ever, struggling with anxiety, and I lacked drive. I then stepped on the scale for the first time in years.

Let me preface my weight by noting that everybody should take pride in who they are, however they are. You are beautiful people with attributes that impact yourself and those around you than you may ever comprehend. Your potential in this world has little to do with your physical and almost everything to do with your mental. I encourage you to seek to be who and what you want to be and the best you can be, regardless of me, my numbers, or how I express the emotions that I feel and have felt.

I stepped on the scale and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. 343.2 pounds. I still am having trouble typing this right now. I still worry far too much about what others think, despite my preface above. I have always been big. I have been +300 since high school with some brief stints below depending on the fad diet or outlier circumstances. But this number seemed beyond real. I was expecting in the 320s, still much higher than I want to be, but not in the 340s. “But I have a lot of muscle.” True, but not 343.2 pounds of it. This put me in a rotten mood and was incredibly mad at myself. I was mad at myself because the Ben I want to be does not let himself eat his emotions to a weight so dangerous for his health. What I want to be is a person, husband, dad, friend who will be around for a long time and can get the most out of life. That life I want include sports, exercise, skiing, outdoors, activity, and longevity. So as I mentioned in my first post, I made a promise to myself to crack down and get better. I told myself I need to get better in my body and mind, and I need to do it in a long lasting and forever way.

So here we are 6 months later and I weighed 307.2 pounds on Monday morning. That is a 36 pound decrease, averaging 6 pounds a month and I feel so proud of myself. I still weigh much more than I want, but damn does it feel good to find that consistency that I have never had. It has not been easy every step of the way. The first few months I made far faster progress and these past few months have been much slower. The key is I am still trying every week to get better.

I laid out the 7 steps I have used to lose the weight i’ve lost in a previous post. Just because they are easy to list, doesn’t mean the process has been easy. I still struggle to track and control my eating. I at times just want to devour everything in sight and working from home due to COVID-19 makes that even harder. But with those difficulties come opportunities that I am trying to take advantage of. The same working from home which makes eating harder, allows me to do workouts at lunch or when I would normally be commuting. I also don’t have a cafeteria full of food to try and ignore.

The key to this all is I recognize that I need to treat myself with the respect it deserves. In every day life we expect people to treat us with kindness and respect, why can’t I treat myself that way? Why do I insist on investing in a shorter and harder life with the health choices I was making?

Does anybody else feel they need to respect themselves more? What do you do to show yourself you are great and deserving of the world?

This journey has seen exercise, cooking, eating, tracking, and everything in between. I have not denied myself cravings, but have fit them in to my broader calorie budget. I have found communities of people in the blogosphere, through my Peloton, and through my own friends network that have shown me support I could never anticipate or dream of. I have found frustration and elation. I have found sweat and soreness. I may have even found a couple yoga classes… who knew????? The best thing that I have found is a faith in myself that I can do it and continue doing it. By December 1, 2020, I hope to lose another 36 pounds. That will bring me 271.2 pounds.

Check out some of my photos along the way and leave a like or a comment! I am taking everybody on this journey with me and hopefully it continues to be one full of smiles and high fives!

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

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

dusting off the running shoes

Please note the quarantine hair, it is majestic. Please ignore the goober smile.

In my first post, constantly inconsistent, I talked about running the Heady Trotter 4 mile road race a couple years ago. This was a really proud moment for me. I ran 2 straight miles, at 30, for the first time in my life. I was not my lightest by a long shot, but I was in the best running shape I have ever been in. After that, fatherhood and being a new dad took charge and did not sustain that success. I have ran very little since.

I think it is time to dust off the running shoes. I think it is time to get myself outside a bit more. 90% of my fitness routine has been my Peloton bike. I love it. It has help transformed my reality and has been a catalyst for my betterment journey. I also miss being outside. I try to get out for hikes and walks in the woods, but that is just a bit harder than running out my front door. I would like to get back into running and supplement it with my bike routine. This can only help me, right?

I do think I need to update the running shoes.

I thrive on competition. My wife and I avoid many games because we both recognize how competitive the two of us are. Apparently we are wise enough to understand what we should and should not do when it comes to things like that. But although it’s not always constructive for a relationship, this competitive nature is awesome for motivating me in more personal pursuits, like fitness. Running my first race was incredible for me. I specifically remember looking at one individual in front of me after a few minutes and saying, “I can tag along with this guy… do it.” This competitiveness helped push me through many moments where I wanted to stop and walk. It pushed me past seeing others slow to a walk. It eventually pushed me past the individual I was tailing as they slowed to a walk. At that point I picked the next goalpost and pushed myself towards it.

I want to get back into the game to beat my old time. I want to get back into the game to beat my old distance. I also want to get back into the game because I know I weigh less than I did when I ran that race and I want to accelerate my success. I also want to run a longer race.

I have done some reading of other runners and realized some misconceptions I have at what running success is. I have seen that runners, using a planned interval style, can have a faster time than somebody who runs as far as they can and then intervals the last bit. Others run the whole thing and crush it. What is success in running? I think it definitely depends on the individual and what they are going for. I have a dream to finally run a 5k start to finish, regardless of time. I also want to run a 10k, but care less about how far I can run straight and care more about finishing with a time that makes me feel accomplished.

I am going to try and sign up for 2 races this year. Who knows if they will actually be able to happen. With COVID, I won’t even try to guess. But I would like to shoot for a 5k in the late summer/early fall and a 10k in late fall. The 5k would be just for me and my personal pride. This is a race for Ben to prove to Ben. I have some other plans for the 10k that I will address in a new post when I find the race and date. I would like the 10k to be about others. The 5k is for helping myself, the 10k is for helping others. I plan on running in honor of a different cause. So stay tuned in the next couple months for me to write about that.

With this new drive I am setting up a plan to go along with my regular routine. I am going to start training for a 5k and a 10k. I ran twice this week and will shoot for 3-4 runs per week. At this point I am doing interval training. As I build back up my running abilities, I will probably shoot to make one of the runs a more distance oriented run.

This week’s runs felt great. It is such a different feeling compared to the bike and it felt so nice to be outside with the breeze. I do need to be disciplined and remember to pace myself. The impact of running is real on your body and if I am not careful, I can just push too hard and hurt myself. My speed is definitely slow, but I feel good about this and feel good about this trajectory. Let me know if you re going to run with me!

More to come!

-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: 4/28 – 5/4

My change from last week –

Change in weight (4/21/20 –4/27/20):  +2.4 LBS

This weigh-in is a wake-up call. I have gotten fairly complacent and have taken for granted the relative consistency of my weight decrease. I really thought I had stayed around the same or lost a little weight before I stepped on the scale. I was wrong. I guess you can pull multiple things from that. On one hand it must be good that I am feeling that positive about myself, but on the other hand, it shows that I didn’t really have a good handle on my week if I had a 2-3 pound discrepancy between what I thought and what is actually.

I could write some excuses here and reason out the recent weight gain. The more I think about it, the more I understand where it comes from. My activity, though my walking still needs to increase, is fine. I need to dial in and control my intake. I am eating too much and am eating too much crap. There is too much takeout, too much over eating, too much eating for comfort, and too much eating to manage stress. I could blame the fact that we are in the midst of some home projects, so it is torn apart and cooking is harder. I could blame working full time and taking care of a toddler. I could blame a host of things, but ultimately it comes down to how much I want this and how much I am willing to discipline myself. I need to do better. I need to expect more from myself because I am capable of far better.

Looking back at the week, I did not quite attain the full level of activity I planned, but still did pretty well. I was 1 full body workout short and did not get my 45 minute ride in, but did have some really successful rides this week, with two PRs. I also got out for a hike yesterday, which felt great. It was a real beauty on the South Shore.

I did better about stretching this week too, though I still did not do all I planned… and I did find some quiet time. My mental state this morning is definitely improved from prior weeks. I also have been pounding water lately. I can be super bad about this so I am proud of myself for working to stay hydrated.

I am going to leave my plan for next week the same. I would like to hit it and check off all points. I would like to do a better job about checking in daily on how I am progressing with my weekly plans as I have not been very good at that. I am not writing a super long post this morning because I am annoyed and a bit bummed. I do not want this setback to hamper my motivation and progress, but I definitely am upset today. I would love some encouragement and some reminders to stop being so dramatic.

Anyway, how much do I want this? Do I want it more than the inconvenience of pushing myself, yes. Okay, now I have to do it.

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. 4 rides and 1 full body
  2. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Not 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). Partially Attained. 2 Stretches
  5. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Partially Attained
  6. Track every bite. Not 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

* 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