Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gaining Weight

Whenever one of my blogger friends, particularly those coming from the "formerly fat" club, stops posting for an extended period, I start to wonder the worst. Are they gaining weight, not exercising, or is there some terrible life event that has stopped them from detailing their every day life? Deb pointed out to me that I'm now one of those delinquent bloggers, both writing and reading. It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted and I'm way overdue.

The good news is, it's all good news. I've been diligent in keeping up the exercise and watching everything I eat. After a week or so of keeping the food journal it got to be too much work. This week I was out of town and tracking food is tough when you don't have a label for everything, just a lot of guesswork. I was still down about 2 pounds through last Monday.

I've been on a roll on exercise, too, with a long ride of almost 41 miles last weekend in the 90+ heat and getting in two Body Pumps a week.

This week with travel on tap, I found a gym in MA that had a reciprocal deal with my gym at home. (Fifteen bucks for a week pass. Not bad.) Was able to hit the gym for two Group Power (eerily similar to Body Pump) classes and one of the best spins I've had. As for the Group Power, Monday's class was taught by Tom, a local fireman. Okay, that's cool. Tom showed up and it was kinda like Rodney Dangerfield teaching the class. Not the humor part, but the body part. Usually these classes are taught by some pretty well defined ladies and gentlemen. Tom was not, but he got it done. It was surreal watching him move (slowly) around the gym and yelling out instructions in his very thick Boston drawl.

So it's all good for me on that end. Still struggling through the foot pains and I need to make some decisions on the fall schedule pretty soon.

More travel on tap this week, so I don't know when I'll get in another post.

Thanks for checking in.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 732 (+1) and Counting

What's the significance of 732 days? Is it just an anonymous number, picked out of thin air? Sure, that works. Or, it could be day one of year three of my march toward health and fitness. (The plus one? Oh, that's because today is really 733 but I didn't get this post finished on day 732, so let's just pretend it's yesterday, okay?) Just two short years ago I got off my formerly very fat ass and got on the treadmill for the first time. It's really hard to believe I've been on this path to health and wellness for that long.

Not to say that it gets easier, but every day I find it more difficult to believe that I used to live the way that I did. By the same token, I don't think I'll ever feel like I can't go back. Today, I just have a much different relationship with food. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I could care less what I eat, but I think of most food as just a means to an end.

In these past two years, I've run/walked more than 1000 miles and biked more than 500 miles. I've run 5k's, 10k's, 10 milers, 2 half marathons and a full marathon. Buying a bike last fall saved my progress from going south after the first of now three ankle and foot injuries. I look forward to getting on the bike more than just about anything exercise and enjoyment wise.

I think back to that first day when I stepped on the treadmill and recall how difficult that first mile was. I was so ready to hang it all up. In comparison, in the 24 hours period between last night and today (again, pretending that it's now Saturday, even thought we all know it's a total farce,) I biked to the gym 7 miles, took a one hour Body Pump class, biked to the pool, swam with the kids, threw in 10 laps, and then biked home. This (Saturday) morning, I rode 31 miles with a local bicycling club, the HoCo Cyclists.

As I got on the scale this (Saturday) morning, I was looking forward to breaking new ground, and that I did. The number staring back at me was 226. A loss of 188 pounds in two years and 40 pounds from this time a year ago. I've lost 22 inches on my waist, from a 58 to a 36. Those numbers all seems so normal.

It's truly impossible to understate the importance of my biggest fan and cheerleader, Deb. She has kicked my ass more times than I'd like to admit for getting out of a routine, eating too much crap, not doing the right kinds of exercise and any other general ass kicking that I surely needed and deserved. On top of it all, she's held down the fort particularly through the tough marathon training period. I could not have asked for a better partner. Thank you, my love!

Okay, enough sappiness, so what's in store for year 3? Well, I've already set my weight goal for the end of the year -- 199 is the number. As for events, hard to tell. We'll see how this foot/ankle thing does. Who knows, with the swimming, maybe a future triathlete in the making. For sure, I'll be looking for my first century bike ride by the end of 2009. Other than that, we'll see how things go.

Thanks, all, for reading and encouraging.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The "D" Plan

I'm tired of looking at the scale and seeing the same range of numbers. In the last three months, I've gravitated between 229 and 233. Just really holding steady. It's time for a jump start, so here's the plan:

  • Diary: Yesterday, I started keeping a diary of my food intake. I've tried it before, but have never been able to keep it up for more than a couple of weeks, if that. Usually, I'll hit a bad patch and stop recording, but I know that this will get me to be more conscious of what I'm eating. I'm using Fit Day and you can see my progress here.
  • Intake: Plan is to keep to under 2,000 calories per day. After one day, I quickly realized how many calories I had been consuming -- 3,000 or more per day, I'm sure. Ideally, the ratio will be 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat. The fat will be the tough part, I fear.
  • Exercise: 5 hours per week is the goal. The idea is 2 hours of Body Pump and three hours of cardio -- biking, swimming, etc. This is totally doable.

The goal is to break 199 by year's end. That's just 1 1/4 pounds a week. At 2000 calories a day, I should generate enough of a calorie deficit to lose as much as 2-3 pounds per week, but I'm not gonna get crazy -- heavy activity days will require more fuel, and that I'll take in.

So that's the plan. Not too complicated. Just need to stick to it.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Full Week Ahead

Looks like this will be a full week at the office this week with vacation and the holiday week now behind.

This weekend wasn't really what the doctor ordered. Plans were in place for rides every day, but the weatherman was completely uncooperative. Friday was blah. I was set for a group ride on Saturday, bike loaded up on the back of the car and ready to go, but then the rain came, just a as I was set to leave. Yesterday, despite the threat of a total washout, I got out with a friend for 26 miles west of home. It was a totally enjoyable ride and we were far from alone. There were cyclists out everywhere, obviously making up for the lost weekend.

Friday, I was able to squeeze in a couple of hours at the pool with the kids before the Independence Day festivities kicked off. There I did something new -- swam 10 laps. I don't think its a reach to say that these were the first laps I've ever swam. It was painful and it was ugly, I'm sure, but it felt good to add in a new activity. I'll be back to the lap pool.

Then there is the scale. Not so much cooperation here. I've been slowly ticking upward over the past weeks. It's been more than 5 weeks since I broke new ground and I'm sitting a few pounds over that average. As of today, I'm at 231.4, up 0.6 since last week. Still, I'm down 182.6 but this year, I'm down just about 10 pounds. To get a bit of recharge here, I'll begin journaling my food intake today. Although I know what's pushing me in the wrong direction, seeing it in writing will help get me back on track.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Walk as Little As Possible"

I seem to be spending far more time in doctors' offices now at about 230 pounds and arguably in the best shape of my life than I did for the many years I teetered between 414 and the mid-300's. (Actually, no argument about it, I am in the best shape of my life.)

Yesterday's visit to the chiropractor yielded some relief for the foot pain I've been having, but this morning, I awoke to the same old thing again, so it was off to the podiatrist.

As you might have divined, the title of today's post is what the podiatrist said when I went to see him this morning.

Seems I have a case of plantar fasciitis that I aggravated about a month ago. (I'm sure you remember this post -- that was the actual last day I ran. It was later that day that the pain started.) It hurts most when I get up in the morning and try to walk on it. I usually have to turn my left foot upwards and walk just on the outer edge to manage the pain which often subsides throughout the day, but not completely. Some days I limp, some days not. It's unpleasant.

So the doc said it would probably take at least three months of rest, stretching, not ever walking on flat surfaces without shoes with arch support. He went as far as to include walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

As for exercise -- biking is the best -- no pressure whatsoever on the plantar. Swimming itself is good, but the walking around the pool is troublesome. Running? Well, maybe when I feel 100% I can try walking for exercise and build up to running. OY!

I wasn't quite prepared for this, but it's certainly not as devastating as last summer's ankle injury. I'll have to wait and see how the rehab goes to figure out the fall schedule. Annapolis in August (next month?) is going to be out. October events -- just wait and see and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, I couldn't talk the doc into writing a prescription for something like this:


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back from Vaca . . . So Sad

We got back Sunday from our trip west. Hard to believe we were gone for 10 days.

Some lights (high and low):
  • Yellowstone was amazing. Almost a freak of nature with all of the geysers, springs, fumaroles and pools.

  • "Bear Jam" -- term for what happens on the road when a bear is within 200 yards -- every car just stops and people start taking pictures. The bear jam is almost as interesting to watch as the bear itself. (Yes, we partook as well! Two bears: one black, one grizzly.)
  • Kids whine but they absorb. Was quite impressed when my kids spewed out all kinds of info that they picked up from the mile and a half ranger led hike a couple of days earlier.
  • After 4 days at Yellowstone, we headed south to the Grand Tetons. Deb and I got out at one point to look at the Tetons as they overlooked Jackson Lake. I must say that this may be the most beautiful natural site that I have ever seen. It was magnificent and breathtaking. I got chills and a bit choked up even. Pictures to come.
  • Bikers everywhere. I was amazed at the number of people there were on bikes of all kinds. My eldest and I had a nice 2 hour ride into the park through a trail down to the Madison River. He said it was his favorite part of the trip. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy! I rented a comfort bike in Jackson Hole and got in a couple of long rides -- 17 miles on a flat trail and 16 early one morning into Teton park.

  • My left foot continues to bother me. In fact, it can be downright painful. It all started about a month ago and I thought it would get better on his own, but it hasn't. Didn't run at all on the trip, including the trail race I had planned to run (but I did pick up the t-shirt since I had paid for it.) Did go out to cheer on the runners. Some were struggling after completing 2-1000 foot climbs over the last half of the 8k. Really sorry I missed those climbs.

  • On Friday we had a no car day. Just bought passes for the Snowbird activities. A full day of zip lines, alpine slide, trampolining and the gondola ride to 11,000 feet. What a blast!

  • Tons of bikers in and around Salt Lake City. Probably more bikers than I've ever seen anywhere. At one point, Deb said to me: "you wish you were biking don't you?" Yes, I did!

  • Deb took more than 2,000 pictures. Will post some as soon as we figure out how to download them!

All in all, it was a great trip. The kids did great considering we did 1500 road miles and four hotels.

Time to start planning our next adventure.