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.

My Current Mile

My current mile hasn’t been all that great. Maybe downright hard. Such a struggle. I’m pathetic.

To put things in perspective … I’m not homeless, nor am I starving. The furnace is working. The car has started in the cold. The government is not repressing my political, social or religious beliefs. I have a job. I’m relatively healthy.

So, in all reality, I’m doing better than a lot of people in the world.

But why are things so hard. Why am I depressed? Why such a struggle?

It’s an interesting question. The narcissist office mates would say to ‘just’ get over it. Move on. Overcome.

Certainly wise counsel. Could apply to most if not all circumstances for most if not all people.

But, still, it’s a struggle for me.

What Have I been Doing?

Nothing much. Being depressed. Can’t seem to shake it off. I’ve gain so much weight. I stopped running. My blood pressure is too high (140/99 on average). Did I say I was depressed. My resting pulse was in the 80s this morning.

What Can I Do?

With the advent of the new year, I have decided to take some kind of action. I need to change something. I want to lose some weight. I want to get back to running, walking, exercising. Cut back on the food intake and stop the drinking. Use the Planet Fitness membership.

Any Bright Spots in the Last Year?

There has been one or two bright moments in otherwise a dull and bleek 2016.

The first moment came in early December as I finished a true round of paintings. Maybe my first actual artistic creation. Other than weaving the canvas, growing the pine or manufacturing the paint, I drip painted a set of ‘real’ paintings. I call it the “November Collection 2016”. I hung a few in the house and gave a few away. It was quite the sense of accomplishment as I stretched the canvas I painted over the frames I built.

The second … well, I can’t really remember.

What Am I Going to Do?

I need to shake off this depression. Probably need to change the self talk. Should ignore the narcissist rants from a few raging narcissists in the office. Track an exercise goal, lose weight, paint more.

Take a few small steps. Lose a pound a week for 2017 to get back to my goal weight. Maybe sign up for Weight Watchers as that was successful when I was on the program. Exercise more. Eat less. Read more. Blog more. Pray more.

image_novembercollection2016

The November Collection 2016

First Week

176.5

At least I’m down a few pounds from last week. Although this is most likely a stabilization weight than actual weight loss. As, my eating hasn’t been great and my excess drinking is starting to take a hold again. So, I expected to gain some weight this week but happy that there was a small loss.

My running for the week totaled at 22.91 miles. That is the most I’ve run in one week for a very long time. Maybe the miles are balancing out the weight because my eating is out of control.

I’ve had a hard time dealing with some aspects of the ownership change at work. I can’t seem to shake it off. The ownership change is something I had no control or influence over. So, why do I beat myself up over it? It’s odd that I do that and I need to stop. I’ve given it a solid effort to stop obsessing over it this week because it’s starting to affect things at home and work. Thankfully, the running is helping me cope but I need to be stronger overall.

I need a new pair of running shoes. My Brooks Addiction 11 are quickly breaking down to the point where there is absolutely no cushioning left. Even with the insoles, there is no cushioning.  Last night’s 5 mile run was awfully hard on the feet and legs. My average pace for the 5 miles was 10:39. That is almost a minute slower than my faster pace. And, I know it was because I was going slow just to avoid the hard impact per stride.

I’m buying a new pair today!

Welcome Twenty Sixteen

Welcome to 2016. Happy New Year.

When I awoke this morning the sun was bright and I felt a glimpse of hope and assurance and warmth. However, the grey overcast has rolled in and everything is cast of shadows of grey and cold.

Hopefully the sun and warmth will come back.

I ran 6.2 miles yesterday, on New Years Eve. My goal was to go for 5 miles but my ego wanted to finish out the year and month with a 10K. My total time was 1:01:00 for an average pace of 9:49. Not too bad for an overweight old man on a cold blustery New Years eve.

And, it is hard to image that on June 22, 2015, just over six months ago, I could hardly run for 90 seconds at a time. At that time, I couldn’t image running a 10K.

I was asked what are my resolutions for Twenty Sixteen. I thought I would list them here. Maybe on December 31, 2016 we can look back and see how successful I am in following through.

  • Write a short story.
  • Lose weight to the 155 pound goal
  • Run 2 mini marathons and maybe a third
  • Run in a staged event every month
  • Continue working on new drip paintings

That would pretty much conclude the list. I know it isn’t extensive but it’s good enough for me. Of course, I will continue to work on other things that could be put on the list.

  • Pay down the debt load … I paid off two loans this year (the boat and Jacob’s dental work but still have much more debt.
  • Keep a better attitude at work … I can’t pay down the debt if I don’t have a job so I better start watching my attitude and mouth before they show me the door.
  • Stay out of the crippling depression … which mingles its tentacles throughout my bad attitude at work.
  • Keep running and exercising, maybe going back to the gym for resistance training … exercise certainly does help the bad attitudes.
  • Maybe jump into a Zumba or Cross Fit class … that would be fun!
  • Brush my teeth every day (I do that anyways but just wanted to mention it)
  • Buy new running shoes.

Hopefully I will start Twenty Sixteen with a run. But, last night’s celebration is still with me. I suppose if I was a real runner I wouldn’t have indulged in last night’s celebration and would be reporting a new PR in a New Year’s Resolution Run and posting swag photos. I suppose that is why I’m not a real runner.

But, anyways, I sending new year wishes to everyone for a blessed, improving and progressing Twenty Sixteen.

 

Christmas Eve Weigh In and Run

177.4

Good grief. Up 4.2 pounds! Holy Cow. Four point two pounds in one week. How does this happen?

Brief pause … realization …

Of course. It’s all the Holiday food and drink I’ve been consuming. I shouldn’t be surprised. I should have expected it. I have been too liberal in my eating. Too many office cookies, too many Little Debbie snacks, too much craft beer. I’m calling this weight gain an example of Holiday Bloat. But, I need a way to ignore or overlook or skip over or overcome the temptations to eat all those available goodies.

My running has been good this week. Although I only ran 3 days, my total miles was 18.83. I would have run last night Wednesday (12/23), however, a major thunderstorm passed overhead when I got off from work and sort of drowned out my opportunity to run outside. So, I jumped on the Bowflex for 22 minutes. If I had a treadmill, I would have run on the treadmill.

Running for this week :

  • Friday 12/18 : 7.51
  • Sunday 12/20 : 6.01
  • Tuesday : 12/22 : 5.31

A Morning Run …

Thursday mornings are my weigh in day. And, today is Christmas Eve and I have the day off. So, once I slept in till 7:30 am, I got out of bed and weighed in to see what the frustrating number would be, as reported above.

There seems to be so much to do before Christmas day and that adds to the stress of the holiday season. So, I thought I would get in a morning run since I have the day off. I’m thankful that I was able to get in a run this morning before I get busy with the holiday responsibilities.

I ran 5.31 miles for a total time of 50:34 with an average pace of 9:31. Wow !!!! I guess maybe the holiday bloat gave me some extra energy for a fast run. At least fast for me. In fact, I believe this is fastest run to date. The splits were :

  • 1 Mile : 9:26
  • 2 Mile : 9:30
  • 3 Mile : 9:30
  • 4 Mile : 9:25
  • 5 Mile : 9:36

This run was encouraging. Especially after such a dismal weigh in. And, it was warm and sunny this morning too. It was like a Spring day. And, it’s late December. Incredibly warm weather. I saw several other runners taking advantage of the warmth and sun while I was doing the same.

Merry Christmas Everyone !!

 

 

 

Friday Night Long Run

I was anxious to get home after work. It was the last full work week of 2015. The week ended on a good note and so I was pumped to get home and get in my long run for the week.

It was about 6:00pm when I started. I was already dark and cold. My goal was to run 5.25 miles straight without walking for those miles. After than, I would do 3 sets of 2 minute walking and 5 minute running intervals.

So, the 5.25 miles went quickly. I averaged a 10:00 minute pace for those miles. I felt strong enough so I thought I would squeeze in another .25 miles to make an even 5.5 miles.

The walk-run intervals went ok. Although I was growing fatigued by the end of the final interval and was happy to complete my long run for the week!

  • Total Distance : 7.51 miles
  • Total Time : 1:17:28
  • Average Pace : 10:18

Splits

  • 1 mile : 10:05
  • 2 mile : 9:59
  • 3 mile : 10:08
  • 4 mile : 9:46
  • 5 mile : 9:59
  • 6 mile : 10:38
  • 7 mile : 11:32

I wasn’t really hurting when I finished. However, my right Achilles tendon was talking to me later in the evening. So, maybe, I went too long. But, now (the day after), the tendon is peaceful and quiet.

I’m still feeling ‘thinner’ in spite of my weight gain from Thursday (12/17). I wrestled with some slight depression over the weight gain and so found some solace in slight over eating. But, the 7.5 mile run knocked in my depression out and I found a runner’s high. So cool.

Happy weekend !!

 

Gaining Weight Again

173.2

Bummer. I’m up 1.1 pounds from last week. Bummer. I was looking forward to a weight loss, as it would have been 3 weeks in a row, had I lost weight this week.

But, I didn’t. I gained. Geez.

I shouldn’t be surprised. My eating was a bit liberal. My roommates have cooked almost every evening. They cook big meals. Not the canned soup I would cook if I was cooking for myself. There’s more food in the house now and more food to snack on. They bring home Dunkin Donuts. And, donuts are one of my top weaknesses.

And, I’ve had more beer than normal. Which, I’m certain added to the weight gain. Beer is another weakness.

The odd thing about this week’s weight gain is … that I feel thinner. I’m flirting with the 4th belt notch and almost there. I really need to buy a new pair of pants. I’ve noticed a loss in my belly fat. Even my forearms seem thinner. And, I can see a rib. I know my six-pack is still lurking beneath my belly fat. Just a matter of time and effort before it comes to light.

So, there is evidence that I’m thinning down, even though I gained weight this week.

I had a doctor’s appointment this week and there was a blood test. While my total cholesterol was good at 142, my triglycerides are elevated at 186 and my HDL cholesterol is low at 37. Apparently, that is not too good. The doctor wants my HDL to be over 60 and the triglycerides to be under 150.

To reduce the triglycerides, I need to exercise, lose weight, cut sugar, eat the right kind of fat and add omega 3 fatty acids to my diet somehow. To increase the HDL, I need to exercise, lose weight, eat the right kind of fats.

I’ve kind of been doing that for the last 25 weeks. I would have thought the triglycerides and HDL would be ok by now. Unless, of course, they were so far out of whack to begin with. Maybe last week’s liberal eating and drinking has cause this and it was just timing on my part. I don’t have a baseline in the blood chemistry so I can see how my weight loss and exercise efforts are paying off.

The Doctor also said I am anemic. Which, according to the internet, is a low red blood cell count. She says that I may be bleeding out my ass. What?! I haven’t noticed anything like that. Seriously? The internet says that being anemic can cause fatigue, headaches, brain fog and strange cravings, which I’ve always had. According to this web page, chewing ice could indicate anemia. I like to chew ice. Always have. I thought it was just a strange thing about me but maybe I’ve been anemic since childhood. I probably should increase my iron intake.

I had a great week in the running department. I ran four days for a total of 20.19 miles. Of course, 2 running sessions included walking intervals, but still, I covered 20.19 miles last week. Wow!

Last night (12/16) I ran 4.12 miles in 40:07 for an average pace of 9:44. Wow. One of my fastest run to date. Yay!

  • Mile 1 : 9:43
  • Mile 2 : 9:51
  • Mile 3 : 9:38
  • Mile 4 : 9:42

I have 41.0 miles for December. The average pace for those 41 miles is 10:10. Not too bad. If I extrude December’s average pace to a marathon, my finish time would be 4:30. I guess isn’t too bad. Maybe a little below average.

Well, I guess I have some work to do this week. Cheers.

 

Continued …

172.1

Yay. I am down 1.4 pounds from last week.

Usually, for me, after a weight loss from the previous week there is a gain the next week. This week, however, there is a loss. Yay. Double Yay.

It feels great to lose some weight. My BMI is 27.8. I’m in the middle of the overweight range. I still have 2.9 points to go before I’m at the top edge of the normal range. I still have 17.1 pounds to lose before I get to my goal weight of 155.

My eating was a little heavy. My daughter works at Dunkin Donuts between classes and so she brings home left over donuts. I ate several over the weekend. And, I had a few beers over the weekend too. But, I’ve continued with the protein shakes for lunch. And, my daughter cooked up some chicken one night this week. Maybe the added protein is working on the fat loss. Maybe? My usual thinking that is the less calories eaten the more weight was lost. But, I’ve eaten more calories in the past two weeks and lost weight. Strange.

I’m flirting with the 4th belt notch. Not quite there but can comfortably squeeze to the 4th. Maybe by the New Year’s I’ll it will be the ‘standard’ notch.

My running was great this week. I ran 17.5 miles over the week. It was four episodes of running. My longest run was on Friday 12/4 at 6.72 miles. In that session I ran 5 miles straight with no walking and added a few walk-run intervals after the 5 miles to total 6.72 miles. One of my unspoken goals was to run 5 miles straight without walking at least once during December.

I can keep my 25 pound trophy on display this week. Every time I look at it I am encouraged to continue exercising, eating better and losing weight. I know it’s silly but it works for me. Since it’s a 25 iron dumbbell (I’ll post a photo soon), when I pick it up I’m amazed at how heavy 25 pounds actually is. And, I had that weight on my body. Wow!

I’ve been at this effort was 24 weeks now. It’s starting to become normal. That is to watch what I eat, try to eat less and exercise. My average weight loss is about 1.2 pounds a week. That is on the lower end of my 1 – 2 pounds a week goal. But, I’m happy with this average.

Last Saturday (15/5) my parents assembled the entire family for portrait photos. I’ve always dreaded the family portrait because I’m never at a good weight and always look fat and bloated. However, this time, I felt comfortable in my weight. Even though I wished I was thinner this family portrait experience wasn’t that bad. (Although, I did miss my ex-wife).

Hope everyone has a great week! Cheers.

Progress

173.5

Yay! Double Yay. Down 2.7 pounds from last week. And, I’m below the 25 pound mark so I can roll out the 25 Pound Trophy.

I’m surprised at the weight loss this week as my eating wasn’t the best. On Thanksgiving night, I indulged in a milk shake from Steak N Shake to soothe some frayed emotions. On Saturday night (11/28) I baked an Angel Food cake and ate the entire cake. And finally, last night (12/2) I ate two Dunkin cream filled donuts. It’s probably my worst eating week of the  23 weeks that I’ve been on this weight loss effort.

However, I did introduced these protein shakes in my diet. I thought I would try these shakes for lunch instead of going to Subway. I just go to Walgreens and pick one from the refrigerator. It’s $1 cheaper than the Subway. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the weight loss.

My running was good for the week. Last Thursday was the 5K Turkey Trot. I couldn’t exercise Friday but spent the day helping my older brother move into his new house. Saturday was a wash out too. On Sunday, I ran 4.25 miles with straight running and walked an extra mile. And, I covered 3.85 miles on Monday and 3.25 miles on Tuesday and hit the Bowflex on Wednesday.

I was expecting a weight gain this morning due to the poor eating. But, refreshingly surprise and completely stunned to see 173.5.

My BMI is 28.0. So, I’m still overweight. I have 3.1 points to work through to get to 24.9 where I will be considered ‘normal’.

I’ve lost 27.2 pounds to date. My average weekly weight loss is 1.18 pounds. My original intent was to average between 1 – 2 pounds a week. So, I’m at the lower end of the range. I would like to increase the average. In the past, my average has always been on the higher end of the range and so the weight has come off faster. This time, however, it’s been slower. Don’t understand why. Maybe it’s my age. IDK.

 

A Low and a High

176.2

Can you believe it. Up 1.5 pounds. Geez. After last week’s mega loss I’m up again. And the most bummer is that I’m back above the 25 pound mark and had to hide the 25 pound trophy.

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Last week my running was great. But, I’m sure my eating was too much. There was two nights of pizza. I had two beers over last weekend. My eating was never over whelming and never felt stuff or full. In fact, was a little hungry for most of the week.

The current 176.2 isn’t the highest I’ve been in this recent trend. At least it’s lower than my most recent high of 178.5 from November 12.

I’m a bit discouraged but still committed to getting to my goal of 155.

Over exposed photo the the Turkey Trot shirt and the bib.

Over exposed photo the the Turkey Trot shirt and the bib.

Race Report : Henry County YMCA Turkey Trot 5K

I was excited about this race. I felt trained and ready for it. No injuries. No illness. It was staged at the YMCA in Henry County Indiana. It was about an hour drive from the house so it was an early morning for me on a holiday. I arrived in time to pick up the bid and timing chip. There were about two hundred people lined up to run in the 5K or 10K. I ran in the 5K as I didn’t feel up for the 10K.

It was an out and back course on the Wilbur Wright fitness trail. It was great to run with other people, even though I didn’t know anyone there. And, it was great to run in the daylight.

For the 5K runners, it was one loop on the out and back course. For the 10K runners, it was two loops on the course. So, as I was finishing up my first mile the elite runners had already passed through the turn-around and were into their second mile. It was great to watch them as they flew by. Their form and stride were confident and fluid and fast. Unlike mine!

My first mile went really quick for me even though my split was 10:33. I was in the midst of the pack so my split was slower. Once the pack thinned out I was able to run faster. My second mile was 9:43 and my third was a 8:51. Wow! Since I was feeling really good I decided to see how fast I could go. So after the turn around I sped up. I can’t up the pressure until the finish. My total time was 30:08 for an average pace of 9:43! Wow. How great is this!

My time and average pace is what the Nike+ app recorded. I don’t know what the American Multi Sport timed my race. The results were not posted online immediately after the race.

After the weigh in this morning and gaining 1.5 pounds, this race time and average pace was a real sweet gift.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone … be thankful for someone.