NASCAR challenge

Final thoughts on the Daytona 500KM challenge, and an adjustment on my Lenten commitment

In just a few minutes, the green flag will drop for the Great American Race, the Daytona 500. Way back in November, before the winter winds blew, I set a goal for myself to walk 500km between the end of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, and the start of the 2015 season. Here is the final look at my grid

.daytonaAs you can see, it is a good thing I forced myself to get up on Friday morning and go to the gym. I was feeling low that morning, and ended up taking a sick day from work, but it did put me over 500km. I decided to shut it down for the weekend, but I hope to be back and better than ever at the gym tomorrow.

Since starting the challenge, I lost a total of 12.6 pounds. That included the time over the holidays, when I used my challenge as a way to keep myself going to the gym. I used my nephew’s basement treadmill over Christmas, and visited the fitness center in my hotel in New Orleans. I had some days were I went to the gym multiple times to keep pace. I increased my walking pace to 3.8 miles per hour, from the 3.5 where I started. I feel better than I have in years.

Lenten Update

For lent I had said that I would avoid all snacking, or all eating between meals. My wife noticed that I have been eating more at dinner than I usually would, and she thinks I may be over compensating for how hungry I am as a result of not spreading my eating out during the day. So, I am altering that commitment. Instead of not eating between meals at all, I am going to just eliminate 3 snacks from my list: nuts, popcorn and granola bars.

I am not doing this to alter my diet. This is about self-sacrifice for the season, and self-denial. I will instead only eat fresh vegetables or fruit for snacks (all other snacks I have already essentially eliminated from my diet anyway).

Well, it is about 11 minutes to the drop of the green flag, so I am off. Hope you all have a great race day

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Let’s go racin’

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. 🙂

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.


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.

Update on my challenges, and a few thoughts

My next weigh-in is still a couple of days off, but I thought I’d give an update on my current challenges, and my thoughts on my activity level of late.

For the Daytona 500km challenge, here is my recent chart:

daytonaLately I have been doing 6.0km on each visit to the gym. The snow storm here over the weekend kept me away for a day, so I spent the next two doing some extra work. Then I realized that was unnecessary. On my current pace I need only to average 4.6km / day for the rest of the 18 days (after today). This weekend my wife and I are traveling and we plan to do plenty of walking so I should have no problem keeping that pace. This morning I was back to my 59 minute, 6.0km workout

The snow storm kept me from the gym for a day, but look what it did to my steps!

stepsThe storm hit on February 1, so that day and the day after I was digging out. We ended up with almost 17 inches of snow, so part of my strategy was to go out and run the snow blower multiple times over the two days. Because I was feeling good, I also ran it on the side walks of my two neighbors, and a few houses across the street. By the time I made the 6 or 7 passes up and down my driveway, and then repeated that whole process 6 or 7 times, I ended up with over 8,700 steps.

Monday (February 2), was more of the same. Because I was mostly dug out, I also went to the gym that day and did some extra walking in the parking lot after my workout.

I know I’ve used these words here before, but I will again… What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time I hadn’t started my journey yet.  We had a few significant snow storms, and running my snow blower took all the effort I had. And, I only did exactly what was required for my driveway and sidewalk. The effort to wrestle the machine through larger snow piles left me with a sore back for weeks. This year I look forward to being out and handling the snow, I go the extra mile to do neighbors’ walks, and my back doesn’t hurt. All that in one year.

Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like snow. But my hatred of large snow falls is mitigated some by my renewed spirit of fitness.

Both challenges will be coming to an end soon. I have a few ideas floating around on what to do next. I really like being up every morning at the gym, and doing the treadmill gets my metabolism working hard. I am thinking of also working in some upper body stuff, possibly with weights. I will keep you posted on that.

How are you doing on your fitness goals? It’s never too late to renew them, and to get back to work. After you read this, get up and take a walk for 10 minutes. Then come back and tell me how you are feeling!

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?

And on the 11th day…

When I made my weekly weigh-in update on Friday, I mentioned that I had been to the gym to work out on 10 consecutive days. Well, yesterday I broke that streak. I decided to sleep in a bit yesterday morning, and never really got going. In fact, not only did I not work out, but I also didn’t get in the 5,000 steps needed for my step challenge.

My wife and I talked about it and we agreed, I had earned a bit of a break. I basically gave myself 24 hours off from the exercise side of things.

This morning I was back and better than ever at the gym. I put in 6.0km in 59.0 minutes on the treadmill. I haven’t hit 5,000 additional steps yet, but the day is young and I plan to get out and take a neighborhood walk in a little bit.

That’s it, just wanted to stay true to my accountability. I won’t be posting the charts today, I will save that for Tuesday.

Here is quick preview of things to come.

Last week I did a review of the menu at Applebee’s. You can read it here. In that blog post I said that I would start a series on restaurants, having a look at their menus. I have decided to call this series “Bobby-C’s Restaurant Survival Guide”. It will appear under the menu item “Restaurants” on my site. I plan to review one chain per week, starting with those which I frequent. Don’t forget to stop by and have a look.

Update on the Daytona 500km Challenge, and the 1,000 extra step challenge

It’s hard to believe, but there are only 33 days until the Daytona 500. Speed weeks and preliminary races will start even sooner, so it won’t be long before I’ll be back to watching what has become one of my favorite sports.

As many of you know, I have been challenging myself to walk 500km between the end of the last NASCAR season, and the drop of the green flag at Daytona. That is a total of 99 days. Here is what my progress chart looks like for the last 10 days:

daytonaI am not up to 344km, wit 156 to go. This past weekend my wife worked out at the same time as me, she wanted to hold the workout to an hour, and I was running a bit behind, so I increased my walking pace to 3.8mph from 3.7. As a result, I can now knock out 6.0km in 59 minutes. You wouldn’t think that 0.1mph would matter so much, but it really has stepped up the workout. As I am writing this I can definitely feel it in my legs.

The 1.000 extra step challenge

Fellow blogger, Rachael, challenged her readers to walk 1,000 extra steps a day for a month. This challenge runs from January 12 to February 12. Here is my progress chart to date:

stepsWith the exception of last Friday, I’ve hit my goal of 5,000 steps a day on every day. One thing to note, none of the steps I take for the Daytona 500km challenge count toward this goal. This is all purely incremental to the other challenge.

That’s my update, how are you doing? How is your progress toward your goals? If you aren’t quite making it, don’t give up. Remember, all of these challenges and goals are just to get us moving. If you have missed a day, or two, or many, don’t give up. Start now! Get moving on your goals today. You can thank me later. 😉

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.

Adding a Challenge… want to join me?

One of the blogs I follow on Word Press is called My Journey One Day at a Time. Rachael is also working to be a healthier version of herself, just as I am. Recently she put out a challenge to her followers, and I am going to take her up on it.

The challenge is to increase your daily steps by 1,000 over whatever is your average today, and to do so for one Month. The challenge starts tomorrow (12-January), and runs until 12-February.

I thought about how I would do this. I am already on a challenge that involves a lot of walking. The Daytona 500km challenge involves me walking 500km between the race at Homestead in November, and the Daytona 500.

The good news is that when I am walking for that challenge, I am not using the pedometer app on my phone, so it has been logging my walking other than the Daytona 500 Challenge. Today I had a look and learned that since December 1, I have been walking an average of 3,350 steps per day that are not part of my Daytona 500 challenge.

For the sake of roundness of numbers, I am going to set my level for this challenge to 5,000 steps per day. This will all be on top of the walking for the Daytona 500 challenge. Also, I am not only going to shoot for this as an average, but I am also going to try to make sure that 90% of my days have 5,000 steps or more in them. That means there can only be 3 days in the 31 where I have fewer.

Most smart phones either have an app to be a pedometer, or you can download one. If you have a fitness tracker, you can use that to look back at your recent average and step it up by 1,000 per day for the next 31 days.

Please join Rachael and I in this challenge. I think it will be fun, and it will be a nice addition to the walking I am already doing.

Who’s in?

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?