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Where I check in during a weight-loss challenge

by John on February 21st, 2013

Again, I’m a “weight is just a number” guy, but that doesn’t change the fact that my body was growing in all of the wrong ways toward the end of last year. Part of that might have just been holiday madness, but mostly it was that I was getting into bad habits: I’d skip breakfast, I’d allow myself a glass or two (or three or seven) of wine with dinner most every night, I’d “sleep in1” most mornings (skipping workouts).

So, come January 2, I joined a weight-loss-challenge with a bunch of friends from the Twitterverse. While I absolutely do not care about my actual weight, weight-tracking is the easiest measure in a group setting . . . though I’d love to see a VO2Max challenge (if only because if you think I look goofy now, imagine me with an oxygen mask on while walking on the treadmill). And, quite frankly, while I don’t care about my weight, there was far too much fat for me to not lose weight if I was serious about concentrating on my health.

Today marks 50 days into a 90 day challenge . . . and I would have posted this at the 45 day mark, but, well, I didn’t think of that post, so you’ll get 50 days in.

The challenge started when two friends were talking about getting their asses in gear in the new year . . . and I chimed in that, if they were to create some kind of way to motivate each other, that I wanted in. Then another person chimed in, and then another. Before-long, we had a pretty significant number, a Google group was created, and the ground rules were set: weigh-ins on Wednesdays, the “winner” would be determined by overall percentage of weight lost (though this is, somewhat, unfair to some members of the group who, simply didn’t have a whole lot of weight to lose), be consistent & honest with your weight-ins.

As we started, I set my own rules: religiously journal my food intake to My Fitness Pal, work out as much as feasibly possible, and pack breakfasts & lunches as often as possible (for the financial benefit as well as the waistline benefit). With the workouts, I did set two goals: run 1000 miles and bike 2500 . . . and I’m falling behind, a bit, with those – but I have good reason. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t stand not being able to feel my toes. So, I’m staying inside – and I hate running on a treadmill. With a brutally cold winter, I have barely been running — but, if I extrapolate my elliptical times to 10:00/miles (and I’m closer to a 9:00/mile runner when I’m going for distance), I’m actually ahead of my target, so I’ll just hope that the temperatures warm up soon and that I don’t lose my focus.

Oh, and I took before pictures. Because this was a 90 day challenge and I knew I wouldn’t be completely happy with the result in the mirror after 90 days. In fact, I might not be happy with the result in the mirror, ever. But, I needed something to keep me from getting discouraged — instead of looking in the mirror & getting stuck with “this is not where I want to be,” I can look in the mirror, compare it to my before shots, and realize “this is how far I’ve come”.

50 days in, the weight is coming off – but, more than that, my self-confidence is up. I have more energy (most of the time – the day after a day with a significant amount of time in the gym, I drag a bit — and perhaps it’s that I declared today a “recovery day” that I’m writing this post). My clothes are fitting better, though I need to buy new jeans and a new belt.

Before 50 Days In
256.6 pounds 233.8 pounds
13 consecutive push-ups 37 consecutive push-ups
Before - Front 50 Days In - Front
Before - Side 50 Days In - Side

1 I’m still me – so “sleeping in” still had me out of bed shortly after 6 – but this meant that the dogs didn’t get walked.
  1. I’m glad to see you still chiming the “weight is only a number” and the key is that you do feel more energy and more confidence, all signs that you’re on the right track!

    Go John, go!

  2. You’re making great progress! I took before pictures, too, in January. Not feeling even close to taking afters.

    • Well, I’m looking at taking the “for real” afters next month – I’ll post the three sets side-by-side before choosing what I want to do next, after this challenge is over. It looks like I’m on-pace to hit my goal.

  3. Awesome job! You should be very proud of yourself. I need to get back to it. I lost my steam a month ago when I was going through some personal issues. You’re a great example of what hard work can do and how you can actually balance working out with parenting (much to many’s disbelief). Keep it up!

    • Thanks, Brandi – I miss seeing your updates every day on My Fitness Pal . . . you’ll get back, and then you’ll be kicking all of our asses (because, when push comes to shove, you’re kick-ass)

  4. Rock on Daddy! This is awesome. Yes, working out in the winter sucks. And yet you’ve found a way to get it done.
    Now drop and give me 40.

    • I’m up to 42 from a dead-vacuum. If I do pushups at the beginning of my workout, that’s what I have. This damn core challenge, though – well, I do a 30 minute circuit, and then a series of crunches, planks, push-ups, and bridges. There are “only” two sets of 15 push-ups, but after a full-body circuit, and a bunch of ab/core exercises, well, that second set means getting to 15 is pretty diddly-damn difficult.

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