Time Will Tell

If I have learned anything in my fifty-five years of existence, it is that little steps are the deciding factor in any endeavor.

We all know and ackowledge that concept. Small steps forward, consistently, make the difference.

In the short run, small steps are criticized, maybe condemned. The short term demands major changes, sweeping broad reaching changes that prove your commitment and enthusiasm.

In weight loss, the short terms requires hard core exercising and diet restrictions to see the fat melt away quickly. After all, the harder the effort the greater the result that can be observed and felt.

The long term allows for forward progress and slips backwards. Progress can be slow, unseen, painfully slow, but is progress nonetheless.

In my rollercoaster weight loss-gain past, I deemed the short term to be sixteen weeks. At least the sixteen week time span seemed to be my limit to the calorie restriction and exercise mania. After sixteen weeks, I usually succumb to the lure of beer and carbs, falling off the wagon, regaining weight and losing fitness.

During the sixteen weeks, I restrict calories to the max, deny myself much of what I like, obsess over miles, times, splits believing doing so proves my commitment. During those sixteen weeks, my motto is “going further while eating less”.

So, actually, what I thought were short steps for the long term were actually very long steps that cover a short distance in a short amount of time. I was in the effort for the short term.

Maybe this time, I will take shorter steps with a sight for the long term. Maybe I should :

  • Limit the Beer Intake … maybe playing the “how long can I go without a beer” game
  • Swapping the normal breakfast and lunch for a Slim Fast shake four days a week
  • Start walking … at least a mile a day

So, instead of short steps of eliminating all beer for all time and only drinking Slim Fast at every breakfast and lunch and limiting calories to 1,200 – 1,500 and walking at least five miles daily for a short time, I will try these short steps for a longer time.

And as usual, time will tell.

 

Back On the Max Trainer

I believe I had a successful eating day on January 3, 2017. I kept the calories to about 1,745, although my goal is 1,600 calories a day. I know I was over the goal so I probably didn’t lose much, if any, weight yesterday. But at least I made a commitment to keeping the calories on the down and low and actually was able to stick to it.

On the plus side, I was able to exercise. Can anyone believe that? I spent 5 minutes on the Max Trainer and I walked 1 mile outside around the neighborhood. It doesn’t sound like enough exercise for someone trying to lose weight but it was enough for me, especially since I am just starting out and don’t want to over do it or burn out too quickly.

This morning my blood was 128/94 with a resting pulse of 77. Wow. I haven’t seen a number like that in a very long time. Hopefully the few days of eating better and the one day of exercise is having an immediate and positive effect.

The Max Trainer

As I was on the Max Trainer, I became aware that I really like the climbing aspect to the Trainer. That thought prompted a memory of my 2015 summer trip to Colorado. During that trip, I hiked along the Gore Creek and Cross Creek. Those hikes were pretty much level and at the time I was not in the best of fitness but I was able to enjoy those hikes. I attempted the 2.5 mile Whitney Lake trail but it kicked my ass. I only made it about ¾ of the way to the lake before I turned around. I like to blame the deep snow pack for my inability to make it to the lake but in reality it was due to my lack of fitness.

When I returned home I determined to reverse my lack of fitness. I started to eat better and move more and I was faithful until early 2016.

I bought the Max Trainer in October 2014, shortly after the divorce was final. It was my first ‘big’ purchase after the divorce.

Although the divorce was amiable it did shatter much of my hope for the future. I believed the Max Trainer became a symbol of renewal and new life for me.

However, due to other events that occurred shortly after the divorce, I lost much, if not all interest in life and living life to its fullest. By early 2016, I lost all interest in every aspect of fitness and cared more about craft beer and drinking into oblivion than I did about life or fitness.

Hopefully that is in the past now. My renewed hope in eating better, losing weight and gaining fitness is strong right now and hopefully it will stay strong for a long time. And, hopefully, the Max Trainer will be a solid part of this renewal.

Bow Flex Max Trainer

Bow Flex Max Trainer. Bought in October 2015. Great workout device.

Hello 2014!

I am glad to see 2013 end. It was not my best year. Even so, I’m happy for a fresh start in 2014. Maybe 2014 will be a great year. So, this is the time of year where it’s expected to set new goals and resolutions for the next year. So here goes …

I started 2013 on a roll with a weight loss/calorie counting effort and eventually got down to a goal weight of 155 pounds. But, shortly afterwards I fell off the wagon and lost my focus and by the end of the year I had regained much of the weight. Geez. How hopeless.

My domestic life has taken a tailspin that I’m not sure how to come out of. Not that the details are necessary but I can say that I need to redefine my vision and expectation of marriage (again). This item has been the hardest to deal with and I deal with it by drinking too much beer! Maybe I’ll blog more about it later.

I lost about two months of running time in July and August because I was having chest pains and couldn’t breathe. After several trips to the hospital and doctor offices and several thousands of dollars later … they don’t know what happened to me.

The Positive Highlights of 2013 are :

  • I finished a half marathon. It wasn’t a great finish at 2:40 but at least I limped along and finished!
  • My son graduated from college.
  • My daughter graduated from high school.

So, what’s in store for 2014?

Of course, I want to lose weight. I always want to lose weight and control my eating. I know I can do it as I’ve proven it many times in the past. This time, I want to CHANGE what happens after I achieve a goal weight and maintain the weight loss instead of regaining it again.

I plan on running and racing more … or at least showing up for a “race” and participating. I’m not a bona fide contender. I’m a mid-to-back runner. I just enjoy being involved although I’m always run solo as I don’t have any family or friends who enjoy running as I do. Running is my one true athletic passion.

I plan on being more creative (again). If there is any highlight of 2013 is that I finally broke out of this artist funk that’s held me captive for years. I decided to stop listening to the voices in my head that said I couldn’t draw or paint good enough to be worth the effort to draw or paint. So, I said “screw you” (forgive my language) to those voices and bought paint and canvas and painted my first abstract drip painting. I’ve finished about a dozen paintings in 2013 and I plan to continue in 2014. In addition, I would like to develop my skill at short story writing. Believe it or not, way back in high school (late 70’s) I wanted to be a novelist. I would like to rediscover that passion.

So, here are my goals in 2014 …

  • lose weight keep it off so that on December 31, 2014 I weigh in at 155.
  • continue to run and exercise … run at least 4-6 times a week and race at least once a month. At least two mini Marathons in 2014.
  • continue to be creative … with my abstract drip paintings but also write at least one short story.

There are other things that I would like to do in 2014 related to my three resolutions. For example, I’m trying to plan a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park to climb Long’s Peak. To do that adventure, I really need to lose some weight and get into better shape. And, if I can pull off that adventure, it will be my first time to climb a Colorado 14er. I would like to run across the Golden Gate Bridge too.

I also would like to develop my “professional” skill set and learn the jQuery and JavaScript languages. Believe it or not, maintaining a skill set in front-end and back-end web development is hard work. I’m a 50-year-old developer and there are thousands of young graduates that would love to over take me. So, I need to work hard to stay ahead or stay with the curve. Otherwise, I’ll be left in their dust on the side of the road.

So, that’s it for me and my review of 2013 and outlook for 2014. I hope that everyone has a great end to 2013 and a fresh start to 2014. God Bless and stay running.