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Where I think about my weight
It seems that, every few months, I need to write one of these posts — but here I go again, because, well, I haven’t posted in awhile and I just need to organize the crazy in my head. But I have a ton of thoughts running through my head, so here I am to try to organize them.
Last year saw me choosing to make bad decisions for my health. I was drinking, a lot. I was eating, mostly, “healthy” food – but I was seldom concentrating on how much of that food I was putting into my body. I was getting to the gym 2-3 times a week, but I wasn’t all that active when I wasn’t there. I wasn’t running regularly. I wasn’t cycling regularly. I have a hard time saying that I was “in a rut,” but that’s precisely where I was. Things were not good.
Now, I’m not a big believer in new years resolutions — I think, if you want to change something in your life, that day you recognize that is the day you should start. But, I was screwing around on Twitter one night when I noticed that two of my friends were talking about starting a weight-loss competition amongst themselves . . . and I wanted in. This was just prior to Christmas, and I knew I was going to cheat, and cheat badly, if I imposed any kind of restrictions on myself until the holiday was over… so January 2 saw me turn over a new leaf.
I know how miserable I can be with any diet — when hungry, I am a monster, so I didn’t want to make things impossible for me. I started with two basic rules:
- Log every bite of food that I eat
- Log every minute of exercise I perform1
From there, I also decided that I would limit to alcohol intake for the month of January — only drinking (and drinking in moderation) for special events. A family party might allow me a glass or two of wine, but no more. Band practice means two beers, and only two beers. A band gig would limit me to whatever my cheering fanbase chooses to buy me2.
I would try to work out before work every day which I could (I have a 6am videoconference on Mondays which means that I need to wake up at an ungodly hour, so Mondays make morning workouts damn-near-impossible), and I’d continue making it to the gym, over lunch, on any workday that allowed.
As these all played out, I realized that I needed a few more goals — first, just how far was I going to run (see, I do better when I have a “big picture” goal ahead of me)? While I did have pipe dreams of running a marathon a month, that’s just not feasible at this moment — I can’t guarantee a five hour block every month (I’d need four for the running, and then an hour to get myself to a point where I’m no longer useless) . . . and, even if I rearrange things to ensure that I have a big block of time set aside one weekend a month, there’s no telling what the weather might be. It’s one thing to run through a downpour if you paid an admission & someone is going to give you a
motherfucking medal at the end . . . it’s quite another to make loops around the neighborhood as everyone questions what you might be doing.
Through simple arithmetic, if I run for 45 minutes, 3 times a week, plus a 2 hour run every-other-weekend . . . and run 10 minute miles, at the end of the year, I will have run 1,040 miles. Allowing for inclement weather and illness and injury, 1000 seems a nice, round number (especially if I budget myself 60 or 75 minutes for many of my pre-work runs).
Next, I wanted to determine how much I could cycle. If I can cycle for 45 minutes, 2 times a week, plus a 3 hour ride every-other-weekend, and I cycle at 15 miles per hour, that puts me at 2,340 miles . . . and since I like round numbers, I think I can make that to 2500 for the year.
Of course, this has me working out every day before work, and every day during the weekend. . . but I’ve done that before in my life (mind you, I wasn’t a father at the time, but this is my pipe dream I’m living), so I’m going to insist that I can keep to it.
The last little bit that I gets me through this all is that I’m no longer treating the scale as my enemy. I was, and am, a firm believer that the scale, merely, reports a number — and that number is indicative of, only, the influence of the Earth’s gravity upon your personage — but, in all honesty, I didn’t like the number that was reported.
I started this adventure at 256.6 pounds, which is the heaviest I’ve been in a long time . . . but I don’t exactly think of myself as un-attractive, either. I just put a lot of stock that muscle weighs more than fat, and that my recent gym visits have seen me doing a lot more weight-lifting than cardio.
Early on, I got smacked by the flu, and that sidelined some of the workouts . . . but I made allowances for illness, so I’m not truly off-track. But my weight has dropped over 12 pounds at the time of this writing, and, honestly, I’m feeling really good. Though I do miss wine.
But, well, I need some help with motivation . . . two goals of 1,000 and 2,500 miles is a lot to wrap your mind around – so tell me, what events are you training for (I’m always looking to race with people)? Are you on My Fitness Pal or Runkeeper, where I can use all of the support I can get?
Lastly, I’m setting a goal weight for myself . . . it’s 220. There was a time in my life where I was south of 200 pounds, and I can, honestly, say it was amongst the least-healthy times in my life. I would weigh myself, daily, and, if I didn’t like the number that I read one day, I’d practically starve myself until the scale started looking better. I don’t ever want to get to that level of obsession. But, at the same time, I know there’s a fair bit around my middle that’s not doing me any good, and I’m certain that I’m listing a weight that I’ll be able to maintain without going crazy.
And sanity — well, sanity, for me, is a prized treat. Like wine.