100 in 31

100 Mile walking challenge – final thoughts for August

Good morning. To those of you in the US, I hope that this is a safe and happy Labor Day for you all. Yesterday marked the last day of the 100 miles in 31 day challenge. I wanted to post my final chart for the month, and reflect on a few interesting notes and statistics.

100 in 31 - final

For the month I ended up walking 117.04 miles As you can see, in the final days of the month my totals dropped off some. On the 31st I went for a 4 mile walk with my wife to help her reach the 100 mile mark as well, and she did!

Here are some other interesting notes and observations (well, interesting to me anyway):

  • I peeked at the scale today (a non weigh-in day), and am at 268. That means that in the month of August I lost 10.2 pounds
  • For one of our walks, my wife and I hiked the entire length of a Michigan State route when we hiked around Mackinac Island
  • That trip around Mackinac Island was also my greatest one-day total at 8.25
  • While on that same vacation, we walked 38.26 miles including a hike to Chapel Rock and beach in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • I took intentional walks on 26 of the 31 days. Had I walked on those days at the same average pace as the rest of the month, I’d have added another 18.8 miles
  • I ended up with only one blister, and it came on August 31. I bought some new socks for casual wear, and wondered if they would also be good for walking. They aren’t.

My wife and I were walking inside Target the other night to buy those socks. We’d been working around the house all day, and had just gone to the movies. I was a bit tired. While we were in the store I talked to her about how effortless walking is for me now. I used to dread walking anywhere that was unnecessary, but since starting down this journey to better health I have been walking more. In August I stepped that up greatly. Now walking is not something I dread, but something I look forward to.

Going forward I plan to continue taking walks every day, and tracking them on my phone.

To all of you who joined in the challenge, congratulations. Whatever level you reached in the month represents success.

Onward to the September Affirmation Challenge!

Cleaning out my closet with mixed emotions

As I am writing this post, it is the last day of the 100 Mile Walking Challenge, and the eve of the 30 day Affirmation Challenge. I will write about both of those tomorrow. On this, the last day of the second third of 2014, I want to write about my mixed emotions.

My wife and I have decided to take on the project of remodeling our bedroom in the month of September. Yesterday we moved out bed into the spare room, and began the process of going through our clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I can’t wear anymore because they are too big, and this change to our room is a perfect excuse to do something about that.

So, there I was, going through polo shirts, T-Shirts, blue jeans, shorts, sweat pants and suits. For many of them the choice was easy. I no longer fit into 3X shirts any more, nor do blue jeans with a 56 inch waist make any sense to keep (except for one pair for a really fun progress picture someday). The process was really sailing along. I had filled two huge plastic bags of donations, and was working on a third when it suddenly hit me.

Last year around this time I went through all of my summer clothes. At that time I got rid of anything that was Extra Large or smaller, or that didn’t fit my then huge ass. My son came to visit during all of this and sat on the bed talking to me. When talking about the gigantic, but comfortable underwear I had just bought, I lamented that they weren’t very attractive looking. His now-famous answer was “who are you trying to impress?”. He was right, of course. At that size I wasn’t impressing anyone, with the lone exception of my always supportive wife. That day I donated 4 or 5 large bags of clothes that no longer fit.

Flash forward to yesterday, and I was doing the same thing all over again. Granted, this time it was for a better reason, but still, I was donating hundreds of dollars worth of clothes. The emotions were stating to run hot for me.

  • Look at all this waist! Some of these things were just given to me at Christmas last year.
  • Here I am again getting rid of clothes that don’t fit.
  • What if this isn’t the last time I do this?

That last one stopped me in my tracks. The truth is that I have been through this cycle before. I have purged non-fitting clothes that were too big, and that were too small. Each time with the resolution that I would be doing it for the last time. But, what if 2 or 3 or 5 years from now I am in that same bedroom, with those same big bags, in front of that same closet and dresser purging all these “tiny” clothes? I sat motionless, lost in my thoughts for a good five minutes. My wife asked what was wrong, and nearly-tearfully I told her what I was thinking. She was encouraging (as she always is), and told me that this time she thought it would be different for me. She thought that all of my fearless and public writing on Facebook and the blog would help keep me accountable. In my ever sarcastic way, I reminded her that I knew where the delete button is.

After all that I didn’t get much else done. There are still a fair amount of clothes to go through, and I’ll be diving in again tomorrow morning (thankfully it is a Holiday weekend). But, my emotions are most definitely mixed.

On the one hand I am thrilled to be down over 75 pounds. I know that I feel far better physically and emotionally than I have in many years. I haven’t stopped, and still intend to lose upwards of another 75 pounds before reaching my goal weight. All those things are positives.

On the other hand, I am thinking about all of the waste that went to my waist. I am thinking about the money spent on giant clothes, but honestly that isn’t the issue. Sure, I’d love to have that money back, but it is just money. More importantly I am emotional about all of the lost opportunity in my life. In far too many ways I have wasted time. Much too often I have allowed my size and my health status to govern the activities of my life. I have let my love affair with food eclipse other things in my life. Yes, I am on a better path now, but what of the future?

I am fearful that I am one setback away from spiraling out of control again. I am truly afraid of being in front of that closet pulling out my small clothes to make room for my new, larger ones. Not because of the cost of the clothes, but because of the cost in my life.

I want this to be the last time that I have to lose an enormous amount of weight. When my BMI finally drops below 30, or even below 25, for it to be the last time I ever see it that high. But for all of my resolve, for all of my best intentions on this sunny Sunday morning, I know that I cannot truly predict myself in the future. I write often in my other blog about being intentional in life, and about making my own destiny. I truly believe that those things are true, and I have proof in my own history to show it. But I also have proof in my history that when I choose – explicitly or implicitly – to go off the path, that I can do so with a reckless abandon that would make the most daring stuntman wince.

I sat to write this because I think I needed to say it. To my friends and family, don’t worry. I am not spinning out, and I am not off the rails. I am just reflective on where I am, and how badly I don’t ever want to go backwards.



Week 26 Weigh-in

On Sunday it will be officially 6 months since I started this journey to better health. This morning for week 26, I weighed-in at 268.8 pounds. That represents a 1.6 pound loss from last week. My total weight loss since the start is now 76.2 pounds or 22.1% of my original weight. I have updated my Progress Chart with this week’s results

I have now lost more weight on this journey than from any previous attempt to lose weight in my life. In 2000 to 2001 I lost 72 pounds in 16 months. I think the difference this time that has made me lose weight faster is my dramatic increase in exercise. I am being very careful about the food side of the equation, and that gets the train running down the track. Walking every day, and mixing in the stationary bike has stoked the fire of my weight loss burn.

This past week I also went over 100 miles walked in August. On Monday I will give a more full report on how that went, with some interesting facts and numbers. On Monday I will also be starting the 30 day Affirmation Challenge.

One of my fellow bloggers, Quitting is Never and Option, pointed out that there are 18 weeks left until the New Year begins. She encouraged her readers to take time now to make the commitment to eating healthy so that when the inevitable Holiday snacking opportunities come along we will all have the self-discipline to say “no thank you”, and stay on track. It’s a good read, with great advice.

For those of you in the US, have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.


100 Mile challenge – Reaching the goal

I did it! I have reached 100 miles walked for the month of August. With my 2.37 miles earlier today I am now at 100.27. It will be fun to see how high I go. I am on pace for just under 120 miles, which sounds nice!

mile challengeWhen I reached 100 miles, I stopped and took this selfie. I was at 100.00 miles for the month at this time.

mile challenge selfie

On September 1 I will post some interesting facts and stats about this challenge.

How are you doing on your challenge?

100 Mile Challenge Update – Day 25

We camped this weekend, so Friday and Sunday were not walking days (travel days). I did get 4+miles in on Saturday.

Today I walked before work, at lunch time, and at the end of the day. My wife was ill last week, so she needed extra miles. I walked with her tonight, and that’s how I got such a big number

100 in 31 day 25

I am now at 97.90 miles. Barring the unforeseen, I will go over 100 tomorrow!

Week 25 weigh-in, walking update and a fun progress picture

Good morning all! Today is Friday, and that means it’s time for my weekly weigh-in. This morning the tale of the scale said I weighed in at 270.4. That is a 4.2 pound loss over the past two weeks.

Last week I didn’t get to weigh in because we were on vacation. During that vacation we hiked over 38 miles, I stayed on my Weight Watchers points, and felt great about my choices. I even indulged one dessert along the way. All in all, it was a successful vacation.

Yesterday I got back into the swing of things with walking for the 100 mile challenge. I had done something to my hip on Tuesday and it slowed my walking for Wednesday, when I only got in a 2.06 mile walk. Yesterday I felt great and totaled up to a 4.87 mile day.

100 in 31 day 21

Through 21 days I have walked over 85 miles.

While we were on vacation we had dinner at Legs Inn in Cross Village, Michigan. Last year when we were there I was in a playful mood and my wife took a picture of me with a carved bear in the lobby. This year I thought it would be fun to take another picture with the bear for comparison. Here is my fun progress picture:

progress pic

This is a dramatic change, and I can really see it. One detail to note. In 2013 I was wearing knee braces because my knees hurt so much. On that trip I avoided most walking and hikes. This year there were no knee braces, and as I said above, over 38 miles of hiking. Not too shabby

100 Mile Challenge Update – Day 19

Yesterday was that most dreaded of sad days on any vacation, the day you come home. Ours included a 6+ hour drive (including stops), and I was pretty exhausted at the end of it all. So, no walking yesterday.

Today I was back to work, and to the routine that I’d started before vacation. I did 2 laps of my building before work started, a long walk at lunch, and one in mid afternoon. My total for today was 4.28 miles.

100 in 31 - day 19

Through 19 days I am at 78.60 miles. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I did something to my back or hip on the last walk. After that walk I worked at my desk for about 2 hours. When I got up to leave, I could barely walk. All evening I have been limping around. Hopefully it will pass with a night of rest, if not, some additional rest may be needed.

How are you doing on your challenge?

100 Mile challenge update – day 17

Today was our last full day in camp. Tomorrow we pack up and go home. We decided to hike the trail to Mount Nebo in Wilderness State Park. Including hiking to the trail head it ended up being about a 4 mile hike.  I took one more walk later for a total of 4.57 for the day.

My allergies are really kicking my butt, so no after-dinner walk is planned.

For this vacation I walked 38.26 miles. My total for the month is 74.32. My next walk will be in my neigh or hood tomorrow night.

What a difference a year makes. Last year I avoided most of the hikes my wife went on. The ones we did take were all on flat paths. This year we did all the 38 miles together, and I had no problems with the climbing for those that weren’t flat. I feel great being 70+ pounds down from last year. I can’t even imagine how great it will be when I reach my goal weight.