Tuesday, November 03, 2015
...and, I'm sick of it! I'm TIRED if being "good", and "doing the right thing."
Jesus, that's exhausting...
I want the occasional slice of pizza, glass of Bourbon, or (God forbid!), popcorn!!!
My willpower is worn down. A year ago when I was losing 10lbs a month, it was EASY to keep up the motivation. These days? When it takes twelve weeks to lose five pounds, the motivation is MUCH harder to summon.
...and I want popcorn.
...and when I read about the powerful benefits of 85% dark chocolate, I want that, too.
...and after doing 200 miles on my bike in September, I barely did 25 in October.
...and after fourteen MONTHS of doing Aqua Fit two to three times a week like clockwork, in October I only went three or four times.
...and you know what? I did not gain a single damn pound!
Now it suddenly feels ok to skip working out while cruising grocery stores for premium chocolate & organic non-gmo popcorn.
This, my friends, is the entry way to Crazy Town, and the path of The Devil...
I cannot give up, and I cannot allow myself to cave-in.
I'm only halfway done, and going forward this shit is going to be harder than it's ever been, by a WIDE margin - it'll be a damn tough fight, every step of the way...
So, what do I do?
We just passed Halloween, and while thinking I was totally cool these days to have just one baby Snickers, I lost my shit & ate about six of those damn things. In one month, I ate my way through two large jars of popcorn. I've had more 'healthy' premium 85% chocolate bars than I can count.
...and when my weight stays the same, my food-addicted brain tells me it's ok. I get the warm comforting hug of happy brain chemicals. (Wheee!) All while wondering why I suddenly have skin break-outs, poor energy, and a lethargic attitude.
We are now in 'The Red Zone' for the Holidays - the absolute toughest time of the year for us food addicts. And we are overdue for our first snow flurries, when our bicycles typically get put away.
So, being the crazy-person I tend to be...
I hereby commit to re-commit! I am setting three goals:
1. Eat totally clean Nov 3rd through Dec 29
2. Hit the usual exercise (walk 10k daily, 2x Aqua Fit & 2x weights / week)
3. 200 miles on the bike by New Year's (even in the snow!)
That gives me eight solid weeks. If I do this well, I should be able to get under 300lbs for New Year's - and wouldn't THAT be a kick-ass way to start 2016?
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Have you heard that old saying, "We manage what we measure?"
It's trite, but true. If we can't (or won't) measure something, how could we possibly manage it to a better outcome?
In my professional life, I just happen to be working on a project dealing with "reporting metrics". We are developing KPI's, or, "Key Performance Indicators." These metrics will tell us how specific functions in our department are measuring up.
Wouldn't it be interesting to apply the same principle to our personal lives? What would YOUR personal "KPI Dashboard" show you?
How much you have in your bank accounts, 401k, credit cards, and mortgage debt? Does it give you a gauge on how long you'll have to work before you can retire? These metrics are easily defined & can be measured, reported, and "trended" fairly easily - but how many of us actually do it?
The same is true of our health - our PHYSICAL health, instead of our FISCAL health. After all, what good is our cash savings if we won't live to spend it???
Now, I know that measuring our personal health statistics won't always give an accurate gauge of how long we'll live - but how many of us even know the most basic health info about ourselves?
What's your blood pressure? What was it 5 or 10 years ago? Are you trending well? What about the same trend analysis for your resting heart rate, or how quickly your heart rate returns to resting level after being elevated to 70% capacity? How many of us even know what a heart rate of 70% capacity means - or what our heart rate is at that level?
That level, and more importantly, the time it takes to RECOVER (back down to resting) is a great indicator of general health, which correlates to lower mortality.
Now, I know it's not fun to talk about mortality rates, and where each of us score on that curve - but sticking our heads in the sand won't help either.
I'm fat. Fat enough to be called "Morbidly Obese." I may be down 120lbs, but I'm also still 100lbs from the magical weight where I'll still be considered "Obese". That's a tough road to continue traveling, but I also know that it's a number that paints an incomplete picture.
For instance, I rode my bike 70 miles this week, with 50 of that in the last THREE days! And this morning I don't feel wrecked, sore, or damaged. THAT is an indicator of GREATLY improved health - especially when you look at me a year ago. When I couldn't even jog up a flight of stairs!
How do I measure that? What's my trending? How do I show this on a dashboard???
I know I'm pushing a boulder uphill, and some days are better than others, but I truly feel it's important to measure where we are, know what that means, and to celebrate our 'wins'. Maybe, disappointingly, not everything is an easy number to graph - but we all know when we have a big "win".
So - what are YOU winning at?
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
...and just two days earlier I did 20 miles, which was a significant achievement over my previous record of 14 from 8 weeks ago!
The best part? Being fit enough to ride 50 miles in three days, and NOT feel wrecked the day after!
Under this protective layer of remaining blubber, I have an ass of STEEL!!!
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Of course, my eating is still solid! I'm still doing the strict Paleo thing, eating 'clean', high quality, well sourced, 'real' food. To me, 'Paleo' isn't about historical re-enactment or any such nonsense - it's simply a framework to encapsulate my eating in way that is healthful for body AND mind!
However, I still have to watch my cravings, trigger foods, and old habits around emotional eating.
I've come to the painful conclusion that I haven't actually 'figured anything out', rather, it's a process; and as my body changes, so must my habits continually change. What a damn pain THAT is, right? At least I recognize it, hard as it is...
I'm also evolving on the other end of the spectrum, with my physical activity. After a year of Aqua Fit & walking, in the last six months I've added bike riding & bodyweight exercises into the mix. I thought I was doing GREAT, and was getting seriously STRONG, until I met with my trainer...and I realized that no matter how far I've come - I'm a weak & fragile shell of my former self! Torture via Yoga Ball is a terribly effective way to humiliate any sense of self esteem I'd built back in the last year - but it's an absolutely essential reality check to keep me from doing stuff that may cause serious injury.
I have a lot of work to do - and before I can start with the super-awesome barbell weight lifting, I have to be able to balance my fat ass on a yoga ball, while being able to lift individual limbs.
Core strength & balance ... that's what it all comes down to!
(With a terrible leavening of foam roller use!)
So - here I am, eating well while trying to be better, exercising well while trying to be smarter, and still evolving the whole package.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Take a good look at that picture. The bottom left is my starting point. In that picture, note the tip of my belt just barely touching the first belt loop. In the picture just to the right, I'm holding the tip of the exact same belt in my fingers.
In the top row of pictures, look at the one where I'm in a white t-shirt. You'll notice I'm standing inside ONE LEG of those short!!!
I wonder where I'll be a year from now?
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Monday, August 24, 2015
…but of course the story doesn't end there…
It's a lot more complicated than one would think. Assembly was just the first step. Figuring out tire pressures, seat height, and seat angle were all time consuming. Learning the gear shifts, the brake temperament, and pro/cons of water bottle placement all took more time. Then I noticed frame flex & creaking. Then I had two pinch-flats. After realizing I needed a different front handlebar configuration, I realized this awesome bike was rated for a max weight 75lbs less than what I currently weight. I realized I was going to tear this bike apart if I kept riding it.
So, then came Bike #2.
HEAVY DUTY! And by "heavy", I assure you, not only can this bike handle my weight, it actually weighs a ton itself! This bike has special Kevlar tires, special heavy duty wheel rims, special heavy duty spokes, and a reinforced frame. However, this bike also took some getting used to. The original saddle was freaking enormous, and I managed to bend the aluminum seatpost, which couldn't even go high enough. Special ordered a Chromalloy post, which came in a week later, and which bent within 3 miles.
I always knew I was fat, but DAMN, I was too fat for a bike designed for FAT people!
A good friend offered to help fix the seatpost (we were going to straighten it & put a piece of rebar inside it), when he discovered a steel pipe with a super thick sidewall in his scrap pile that fit perfectly! The pipe was quite heavy, but this bike already weighs a ton, so no biggie, right? My new, smaller, comfy seat fits on it, and I was able to adjust the height for the proper 'straight leg' geometry at the bottom of the pedal cycle. I also added better handle grips, and a water bottle holder, and a selection of lights. Wanting to hit some trails in other areas, I got a bike rack for the car. After crossing a few busy intersections, I also got my first ever bike helmet.
The bike, as-is, now has a pretty solid set up. I need to have an easy way of topping up the tires, and I need to raise the handlebars, but these are fine-tuning issues. I've figured out which shorts are best for my bike rides, and I found a bright "safety" orange shirt to help keep me from getting run over. I've tried several pairs of sneakers, and I figured out my fancy new heart rate monitor.
All this shit actually works!
Now I'm looking to ride 200 miles in the next five weeks, and I'm already 20% of the way to my goal! I have three routes I've mapped out, two of which I can access from my neighborhood. Once we hit the beginning of October, I figure the snow will hit, and then I'm hold until next March…but in the meantime, I'm riding my damn bike!