Daytona 500 Challenge

Week 51 weigh-in and reaching 500km

Today is weigh-in day. The scale shows me at 231.6 pounds. That is a 0.8 pound GAIN since last week. My total weight loss is now 113.4 pounds or 32.9% of my weight.

This morning I crossed the 500km goal for my Daytona 500km challenge. Here is my updated chart

daytonaThere are still 2 days to go on the challenge, and I do intend to get walks in on both days. That should put me at just under 515km for the challenge. I will write more about the challenge on Sunday.

I am disappointed this morning. I know that 0.8 pounds is not much to gain, but I was hoping that it would be in the other direction. With my lenten elimination of snacking, and my renewed emphasis on tracking my food, I am confident that things will continue to go well. But, that doesn’t change the disappointment I feel today.

The good news is that I won’t be EATING my disappointment. 🙂

Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent for Christians. The season is a time of atonement and self-denial that precedes the celebration of Easter. Traditionally Christians will “give things up” for Lent as a way to increase their self-discipline and make some kind of improvement in their lives.

Some years ago I stopped giving things up for Lent. Instead, I decided to focus on doing something positive, something that would benefit myself in terms of improvement, and things that would make the lives of those around me better. For this season of Lent I plan to do some of that, but also I am going to give something up.

I have decided that I am giving up snacking between meals for Lent. Ideally all of my between meal snacking is fruit or fresh vegetables, but lately some things like nuts and granola bars have snuck into my routine. For the next 46 days, I am going to stick to 3 meals a day, without snaking. There will be two days of exception to this – the day of the Daytona 500, and St. Patrick’s Day. Other than those 2 days, I won’t be snacking.

During this season I also plan to do some positive things. I have a boat load of blog posts that are floating in my head, and I plan to get many of them written, polished and published.

My Daytona 500km challenge ends this Sunday, and I intend to keep on walking. During Lent there are 46 days. Including Easter that is 47. During this time I am going to walk 250km (about 155 miles). Also, I am going to set myself to walking 6,000 steps each day that are not part of the 250km.

I have some other things I’ll be doing, but I don’t want to talk about them here.

I am excited and nervous about these goals. The hardest for me will be to keep from snacking. But, I know that if I set my mind to it, and I have this blog and the public commitment that goes along with it, that I can prevail.

What are you doing for Lent? Are you giving anything up? Are you adding something healthy to your routine? Are you making the world a little better for those around you?

Week 50, and updates on challenges

I am 2 weeks away from the first anniversary of the start of my Journey toward better health. i am already working on a couple of blog posts to commemorate that day, so stay tuned. Today I am posting my weigh-in for week 50, the close out of the 1,000 step challenge and an updated on the Daytona 500km challenge.

Weigh-in

This morning I weighed in at 230.8 pounds. That is a 1.6 pound drop from last week. My total weight loss is now 114.2 pounds, or 33.1% of my original body weight.

This past week we traveled to New Orleans. While there I walked, and walked, then walked some more. I also did a fair amount of eating and drinking. With the beignets at Cafe Dumonde, the chocolate dessert at the restaurant on Bourbon Street, and the Hurricanes at several watering holes, I might have lost more. But it was so worth it!

For the week ahead there is Valentine’s day. My wife and I do not go out on that day, and because she’s been away I have decided to make dinner here at home. I’ll tell you all about it afterward.

Also in the past week I didn’t track my food in Weight Watchers, so I will be back on that train starting today.

The 1,000 Step Challenge

Fellow blogger, Rachael, put out a challenge to walk 1,000 steps per day more than my usual for a month. That challenge ended yesterday. For the 31 days, my goal was to walk 5,000 steps a day, up from my average of 3,350 for the weeks before the challenge began. Here is my final chart for that challenge:

stepsI was very successful in this challenge! My average was definitely boosted by the 31,236 steps last Sunday (that isn’t a typo, I walked over 3 miles between lighthouses before 10:00am, then walked all day long in New Orleans). I also added multiple laps each day at work, as my schedule permitted. During the 31 days of the challenge I lost 10.6 pounds! As you can see from the chart above I walked over 238,000 steps, and more than doubled my daily steps. And, with the exception of one day, all of that walking was in addition to the Daytona 500km challenge below. (Last Friday in New Orleans, I used Runkeeper to track some of my walking in the French Quarter. Because my phone is also my pedometer, approximately 9.800 were double counted for that day only).

Daytona 500km challenge

After today there are only 9 days until the green flag for the Daytona 500. My goal was to walk 500km between the end of last season, and the start of this season. Here is my recent progress:

daytonaLately I have been walking 6.0km / day at the gym. If I keep that up for the remaining 9 days, my total will end up being 520km for the challenge. I will say more about all the things that happened to me, and that I accomplished during this challenge when it ends next Sunday.

That’s it for me today. How are you doing on your challenges? Where are you on your fitness goals? It’s never too late to start, and it is never a bad day to rededicate yourself to success.

Week 48 – A modest loss

It’s weigh-in day!

Today I tipped the scale at 234.0 pounds. That is a 0.4 pound loss for the week. My total weight loss is now an even, 111.0 pound, or 32.2% of my original weight.

For the month of January I lost 8.8 pounds, and updated my monthly weight loss bar graph on my progress page.

This past week I was very diligent on my measuring and tracking. And, with the exception of Sedentary Saturday, I hit the gym hard as well as keeping up on my challenges (update is below). If anything held me back from losing more it would probably be the homemade pizza that my wife made for my birthday, and the 3 (small) pieces of cake I had over the course of the weekend and early week. All that is behind me now, and I still lost weight for the week, so I have no complaint.

The Daytona 500km Challenge

After today there are 23 days left in this challenge. To date I have walked 392.6km, which leaves 107.4 to go. I have a short trip coming up next weekend, which might make me miss one day of walking, but I am confident that I’ll still make the goal.Here is my recent chart

daytonaThe extra 1,000 Step Challenge

Fellow blogger Rachael, has challenged her readers to walk an additional 1,000 steps per day. Here is my latest chart for that challenge

stepsNone of the walking I do for the Daytona 500 challenge counts towards this challenge. When I started, my goal was 5,000 steps per day. Further, I set a goal to have not more than 3 days where I missed the mark. I’ve already used those up, so now I have to stay on top of things for the remaining days of the challenge. It is a 31 day challenge, and ends on February 12.

Challenge updates

I wanted to take a few minutes to update you all on the two challenges I am presently on, and to fess up about what I am now calling Sedentary Saturday.

First, the Daytona 500km challenge. Here is my latest chart:

daytonaI am on pace to end up with 508km by the end. I have a weekend trip coming up next week, and I might miss a day, so I am sticking to my 6.0km per day. As some of you know, I am watching Dexter episodes while I am on the treadmill. This morning I finished season 7, so I have only 12 episodes left. After that I’ll be on to another series to keep me occupied.

You will note that on Saturday, January 24th, I didn’t go to the gym. I wrote about that being a day of rest. Well, you haven’t seen the fullness of my resting until you see my step challenge:

stepsThat isn’t a typo. In addition to not going to the gym on Saturday, my total walking for the day was only 592 steps. Honestly, I think some of that was my phone giving me step credits when I picked it up to send a text message, because I honestly don’t think I walked 592 steps. It was a very lazy day indeed. Sunday I got to the gym, but fell short on the extra 5,000 steps

With the new work week I am back on track for both challenges. Today I had a smattering of meetings, so I didn’t get my afternoon laps in, but I still did manage 5,900 steps.

How are you doing on your challenges?

Week 47 Weigh-in, and updates on my challenges

It is Friday, and that means it is time to get on the scale for the weekly weigh-in. With working on two walking challenges, and knowing that I was diligent on my tracking, I expected to have a good week. The tale of the scale did not disappoint me.

This morning I weighed in at 234.4 pounds. That is a loss of 2.2 pounds since last week. My total weight loss to date is 110.6 pounds, or 32.1% of my original weight.

This is a great number. I am really happy to have crossed another decade threshold for weight loss. I had been in the 100s since November 14. Because of the 5 pound gain over the holidays, it took me 11 weeks to go from 100 to 110.

You can see on my progress chart here, that I am very much back on track after shedding the gains of the holidays.

Daytona 500km Challenge update

This morning I did 6.3km on the treadmill. My total to date is 356.6km. Since last weekend I have increased my pace to 3.8mph when I walk. I have noticed a huge difference in the intensity from that extra 0.1mph. My workouts are a lot better now. Here is my chart for the last 10 days

daytonaOne interesting thing I want to point out. This morning marked the 10th day in a row that I have gone to the gym. I am really proud of that number. I haven’t gone this many days in a row ever during this journey. It felt great to walk in this morning and knock out a great workout.

Extra 1,000 step challenge

This challenge is indeed challenging. Because I only count the excess steps above the Daytona 500km challenge, it is easy for me to want to slow down in the day. I have really had to be diligent to make sure I get in my steps. Yesterday I was very close to not making it, and got in by the skin of my teeth.

stepsSo far I have only had one day where I missed my target of 5,000 steps. My goal was to miss no more than 10% of the days, so I am on track there as well.

The week ahead

January and early February are very busy times in my family for birthdays. Tonight we are celebrating for 4 different people, myself included. My wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, and I told her I wanted her home made pizza. Since starting this challenge I have had pizza only a few times, and with one exception it was her home made, deep dish pizza. I am in for a treat tonight!

For the rest of the week it will be business as usual. I will be tracking points, going to the gym, and doing extra walking at work.

What is new with you? How are you progressing on your goals? If you aren’t where you want to be, that’s ok, don’t beat yourself up. Remember that every day, every meal, every urge gives us the next, best opportunity to make a good choice. Make the next thing you eat the best thing you eat all day!

Back on track! Week 46 weigh-in

With the Holidays over I found myself back in familiar routines this week. Although I wasn’t at 100% for tracking food, I was much closer. My hydration improved, and I went to the gym 6 times for a total of 7 hours. I made progress on the Daytona 500km challenge, I even added the 1,000 extra step challenge. All that will be updated below.

First, though, this week’s numbers. Today I weighed in at 236.6 pounds that is a 4.8 pound loss since last week. My total weight loss is now at 108.4 pounds, or 31.4% of my original weight. I feel great this week, and I am getting excited to soon cross another decade of loss. I have been in the 100s since November 14th. With a good week this week I could finally cross 110 pounds lost.

The Daytona 500km challenge is going well. The challenge is to walk 500km between the end of the 2014 NASCAR season, and the beginning of the 2015 season. Here is my chart for the last 10 days:

daytonaYesterday I crossed past the 300km mark. I am now down to 189 to go with 38 days remaining. I need to average about 5km per day. I have been trying to do at least 6km on ever gym visit in case I miss a day.

This week I also started a challenge that was put up by a fellow blogger. Rachael challenged all of her readers to walk an extra 1,000 steps every day for a month.  I am not counting the steps I do for the Daytona 500km challenge in my totals below, so they are only the steps I take during the rest of my day. I have been consciously taking extra laps around the inside of my building at least twice a day. Here are my numbers so far:

stepsMy daily goal for this challenge is 5,000 steps. I have exceeded it every day so far. We will see how I do on the weekend. Two things that could slow me on weekend days are:

1. I don’t walk as much as I do when I am at work

2. I don’t always carry my phone with me.

To stay on track I will need to address both of those. But then, that’s why it is a challenge, right?

Yesterday my boss took our team out for a post-holiday lunch. We went to a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. I chose two soft, chicken tacos (no cheese). It came with rice and beans. During lunch I sat across from a woman who I found out is not only a fellow Weight Watcher, but also uses laps in the building for extra walking. I told her to let me know anytime she is taking laps and I will join her if I can. It will be nice to have a walking buddy from time to time. Who knows, maybe I will start up a walking challenge at work.

Weigh-in day – Week 45

Brrr… It’s a mighty cold Friday as the first work week of 2015 comes to a close. This morning I really didn’t want to go to the gym, I wanted to get back under the warm covers and avoid the new fallen snow outside. The wind was howling just a bit. When the alarm went off I went and checked my phone. Current temperature was 17 degrees F. That actually was 17 degrees warmer than yesterday! Woo hooo!

I got up, dressed, and worked out.Then I came home for a weigh-in. When I got on the scale it said I weighed 241.4 pounds. That is a 1.4 pound drp from last week, and puts me at a total of 103.6 pounds lost, or 30.0% of my original body weight! I am pleased.

As I said, I did do my 6k this morning. Here is what the last 10 days look like on my Daytona 500km challenge.

daytonaI need to average 5.0km per day for the rest of the challenge to reach 500. There are only 44 days left until the green flag at the Daytona 500! Awesome! (The 45th day is the actual race day).

I am feeling good today. I had a good week at the gym, and although I didn’t track every single bite of food, I managed to stay within my goals. For this week I plan to continue the momentum at the gym, and increase my level of food tracking. Also, I am concerned that I didn’t hit my hydration goals every day, so I will be tracking that more closely as well.

How did you do with the first week of 2015?

An update as the year comes to a close

As 2014 comes to a close tomorrow, it seems like a good time to reflect on this past year in terms of my health. Over the past few weeks, one phrase keeps ringing in my head… “what a difference a year makes.”

That difference has been evident in so many ways. There are the obvious, and easily measured ways.

  • Since this time last year I am down 100 pounds
  • My A1C went down nearly 2 full points from 7.1 to 5.3
  • My BMI went from nearly 47, to just over 32

Then there are the differences that show up in pictures. Here is a series of pictures of me. They go chronologically from top left to bottom right. The top left was a Christmas party last year, the bottom right was at that same party this year:

me progression-3

Then there are the other things, those things that don’t show up in pictures or in measurements.

  • I don’t get winded going up and down one flight of stairs
  • My knees don’t constantly hurt
  • I look forward to activities, like going for a walk
  • It’s easier to hold a child on my lap (because there’s actually a lap there now)
  • I don’t fear breaking furniture
  • I sleep better at night, and wake up more refreshed

I could go on, but the point is that I feel enormously better today than I did a year ago today. It seems that every day I come across another way in which that is true, and another way to make me say “what a difference a year makes”.

I still have a ways to go to my goal weight, and I want to tone up other muscle groups. Those who follow me know that I always consider myself a work in progress.

Here is an update on my Daytona 500km challenge:

daytona

I haven’t been to the gym yet today, but I should get there this afternoon. Through yesterday, even with some days missed while I was out of town, I am still on pace to walk over 500km by February 22.

On Friday I will weigh in again. I have no idea what tale the scale will tell. Whatever it is, I will accept it, and set my sights on the next goal on the road knowing that I am in a far better place than at this time last year, and that I will be in a better place still for many years to come.

An NSV, and NSF, an update on my walking challenge, and an executive decision

From the headline, this promises to be an action packed post! So much I want to say on the day before Christmas Eve. So, here goes.

An NSV

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling myself. I was home alone as my wife was battling the grocery stores. My son, who is staying with us for the Holidays, was working from a coffee shop. I had a few little things to do, but no car to get out and about. So, I did a few things in the house, and then waited patiently for people to get home. And by patiently, I mean very impatiently. By the time they got back I was antsy and restless. I hadn’t eaten dinner, because I was waiting for them, and once they came home there didn’t seem to be a plan. I went to run an errand, and when I got back I walked in on my wife wrapping a present for me (I didn’t see it, she is pretty quick).

Anyway, I was really on edge. Then I made a decision. I put on my gym clothes and headed out for a work out. I didn’t do anything intense, just 2km, but when I was done I felt better. That was my NSV for the day. I conquered my anxiety with a trip to the gym.

An NSF

Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. I came home at about 8:30, still having not had dinner. I had plenty of WW points to give, so I decided to have a sandwich. It was a nice ham and cheese on whole wheat. I added some lettuce, and a pickle on the side, then finished it off with a juicy orange. It was wonderful. By 9:00pm I was done eating. Something told me I was still hungry. Did I remember what I’ve learned and wait 20 minutes to decide whether to eat more? No! I made another sandwich. In the greater scheme of things, that 10 point sandwich isn’t the end of the world. I ended up still on points for the day because I’d eaten so little earlier. But here I was at 9:00pm eating way too much. I paid! I had indigestion all night, and when I stepped on the scale today (more on that later), I was appalled.

I would call my late night ham sandwich a non-scale fail.

Updated on the Daytona 500km Walking Challenge

With the 2km I did last night, it brought my total for the day to 12km. Here is my chart to date:

daytona

I have cracked the 200km mark with 63 days to go. I am on pace to walk 539km. In the 10 days since recovering from my cold, I have averaged 7.9km/day. I am feeling quite good. I am not sure if I am going to the gym today. If I do, it will likely be a 7km trip.

An Executive Decision

After last night’s little eating extravaganza, I stepped on the scale this morning and was up several pounds since my weigh in. Now, I know that I haven’t ..ummm.. gone potty yet, and that I haven’t worked out today. I also know that ham is salty and it’s likely I am retaining some water. Yes, yes, I know all those things. But here is the problem. While I am planning to be good through the holiday parties starting tonight, and going every night until Saturday, I also know there won’t be a good morning to weigh in. I could just say that whatever it is on Christmas morning is my weight. That was my plan when last I wrote about weigh-ins. But, if I am up that morning, then I will be depressed and food obsessed all weekend. It’s freaking Christmas for crying out loud! I don’t want that to be what I am thinking about as I am surrounded by my closest friends and family. NO!

I have made the executive decision that there will be no official weigh-in this week. My next weigh-in will be on January 2. Whatever is my weight that day I will own. Up, down or the same, and I will remember that this season is not about food, it’s about family and friends!

What’s your plan for the next week?