I recently took a look at my weight numbers and came to the realization that since August 2014, I have gained at least 40 pounds. This, after having lost about that same amount in a period of 15 months from 2013 to 2014.
That kind of number should be shocking, and it is. But I’m not reacting negatively to it. Instead I’m using the shock as a motivator. For the last year+ I’ve been trying to lose weight, but haven’t really been getting anywhere (and in fact, have gained weight – just look at the chart for the last year!). Seeing that I’ve gained so much weight back is an eye opener.
Clearly, I’m not “doing it right”. If I’m being honest, I know also I haven’t been recording my calorie intake (using MyFitnessPal) properly – at least, until last week. If I were to think about any change I could possibly make, this is the first place to start.
Sure, even in the last week, I still have had a couple of days where I was lazy and didn’t log things properly. But what’s important to me here is that these days are 1 or 2 in 10, rather than 7 or 8 in 10. So I have started here, with logging.
Looking back before my hard restart, I can see that I just gave up completely on days where I know I blew my calorie goal. I’d stop logging and not worry about it. This is where I went wrong. Today, I’ll keep logging the calories even if I’m going over my daily budget. It’s the only way I’ll keep accountable.
It really boils down to accountability. For the longest time, I’ve been entering all of this fitness data and not doing anything with it. Not only am I fixing what was broken, I’m going to have to do a regular review of my progress. I won’t do that here, but this blog post is basically just as much for people reading it as it is for me to say, “I have to do this.”
And I will do this. I did it before. My first goal post is 20 pounds by March 5, 2019. I’ve only been at this in full force for about a week, and I’m at about the same weight as when I started. I’m going to do a meaningful review next week (at the two week mark) and see where I am.
I’ve got a ton of posts about media coming up, so I thought I’d break things up a little bit with something a bit more personal and leave a little bit of a fitness update. So far, I’m doing fairly well. My original title for this post was “fitness update” but I thought I would expand and talk about my overall ‘wellness’, in general.
The chart to the right is from December 2017; I’m honestly not sure if I shared this on the blog already, but it’s my blog, so too bad! I’m sharing it now. I finished December on a high note; my goal was to lose four pounds and while I didn’t get to that goal exactly, I did make some seriously great progress. As I type this I do remember talking about this a while back so I won’t pound away too long on December, but suffice it to say – I have continued that progress through January, so far.
I started my number tracking on January 2nd, I think mainly because I might not have weight myself for a few days after December 31st. Which is fine. Anyway, I started the month at 261.2; with 4 weeks in the month for tracking I set a goal of losing 1 pound per week, or 257.2 by January 31st. As of today (January 23rd), I’m sitting at 258.2! So about a pound off my goal, with a week still to spare. I’m really proud of that accomplishment. I had some periods this past month with my weight going up, but that was in direct response to A) not tracking my meals, and B) there was one night when I had at least 5 beers, so to expect my weight to NOT go up is just silly.
Apart from weight, I’m also pretty satisfied with how I’m doing. I’d like to be getting out to bootcamp (twice weekly) but I don’t feel terrible if I don’t go. I’m still curling twice a week, and I don’t often drink while I’m there. The club I’m at isn’t very big on the ‘buy for the losing team, then the losing team returns the favour’ that my old club was. Actually, my team doesn’t seem to stick around after games anyway (they live a bit out of town so I understand). So the side effect is I’m not drinking very much beer, which I find is usually the bigger obstacle when it comes to losing weight.
Oh, and also we just got a ton of snow in the last 24 hours – so I did some shoveling that I feel makes up for any missed gym time.
I’m trying to maximize my use of my FitBit Charge 2 (I’ve got a fun post about that coming up in February), and challenged myself to match Vanessa’s own goals on her Apple Watch. It’s no longer about just meeting my daily step goal (though that is still a priority for me), but I turned on my “reminders to move”. Every hour between 10am and 3pm FitBit wants me to get 250 steps. If I haven’t reached my goal with ten minutes to go in the hour, it buzzes at me to remind me to move. Still a work in progress. Days when I work from home are harder to get 250 steps per hour, over 5 hours, than if I were to work in the office.
I don’t focus on this a lot – in general I feel like I am pretty healthy mentally. At the same time, I feel like I shouldn’t ignore it, and when I think about it, a lot of things I do to in my day-to-day life fall under this category of ensuring I stay mentally fit. All of this is over and above simply talking with my wife, which does wonders on its own.
The thing I do most often is listen to Podcasts. And I listen to a lot of podcasts. My work environment right now is somewhat isolated, especially when I work from home (I try to work in the office as much as I can, but weather often dictates this reality). Having podcasts to listen to and interact with provides a sense of community helps keep my mind working, while I’m working. Also fun to listen to while in the car on the hour-long commute.
One podcast I’ve just started listening to is one that started up local to me – it’s a couple of guys from Manitoulin Island that have a show called “Raise The Bar“. It’s essentially an outlet for them to share their own weight loss journey but they also talk about other things in their life. I haven’t reached out to them yet, but I’m thinking about it. What I find interesting is that their podcast style is quite close to another one I listen to – The Benchcast. I am thinking that they base their show off the same influences (I think both are a fan of Joe Rogan’s show…maybe I should check it out as well).
I also try to read as much as I can. I posted my reading list earlier this month – I’m slowly making my way through it. I’m trying to set daily targets and make sure I reach them, but so far it’s not going like I wanted. There are so many other easier distractions out there that make it hard to choose reading. I used to be a voracious reader, and I still have the ability to tear through a book in a matter of days…depending on the book. I’m still working on this one – I think I’m probably going to be marking January as a “fail” in terms of how much reading I’ve done, but I’m not quitting on it and I plan on improving this in February.
I maintain a daily journal (specifically, I use the “Bullet Journal” method) too. Mostly, its purpose is to make sure I don’t forget anything and it’s mainly a to-do list. But I also write down stray observations, other notes etc. of what happened during a day. I find it more useful than dumping things into an electronic database.
I thought maybe I’d have more categories to write in, but I guess those are the two major categories. I think I’m doing great overall. I could be doing better, but so could everyone; no one is perfect 100% of the time. I know what I’d like to focus on to be better, so I’m not going to worry too much about what’s already working. It’s still important to me to recognize what I’m doing right, so that stuff doesn’t start to slide.
Any suggestions on finding time to read? What do you do to carve out reading time?
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