Tracker update and pre-race planning

This morning I did something that I have been avoiding in recent weeks. I stepped on the scale on a non-weigh-in day. for a long time now, when I have weighed myself on a Monday, I’ve been disappointed with the outcome (my weigh-in day is Friday). Today I was curious to see what my pre-Eldora weight would be, and I Was pleasantly surprised to see that I was BELOW 220. That is the first time I have been below 220 on a non-weigh-in day!!! I was up about 0.6 pounds, but I attribute that to not working out this morning which usually sweats off a good pound or so.

This week I’d really like to make my next goal weight of 218.0. It is going to be difficult with the trip to Ohio for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora, but I think I may be able to do it. I have planned a healthy menu for the week, and I intend to stay away from drinking a lot of beer. I’ll probably allow myself 1 or 2 at the track each night, but that will be it. The rest of the time I will be focusing on water and maybe a cocktail.

I also plan to complete my tracker each day. Here is what it looks like after the weekend:

trackerI have a good plan going into this trip, which starts after work today. I also know that this trip is very important to me in that I get to spend good time with my son and a good friend. While I will be vigilant, I will not be obsessive. I will still have fun, and if I come back up a pound or two, I will smile, look at the pictures, recount the memories, and know that I was living my life.

Some might say it is making excuses. I believe that if this journey I am on is about a lifestyle change, then it has to incorporate living my life in a healthy way while still enjoying the people around me. Not everyone is on the same food plan I follow. Sometimes I will eat a bit more while enjoying my time with family and friends…and that is OK!

I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to post updates while I’m away. If I do, they will be brief and will likely not include the tracker, at least not looking like above.

Have a great week! I will be back and better than ever no later than my weigh-in day on Friday!

Is this NSV TMI?

About 6 or 8 months before I decided to get control of my life, I did a clothing purge. I got rid of all the clothes that didn’t fit. Any shirts that were XL, underwear that was XL, and so on. At that time I replaced all my briefs with pairs of 4XL boxer briefs that were extra long. The idea was to prevent the effects of chafing.

As I was doing this, my youngest came to visit. He sat on the bed to talk to me while I was going through the drawers of clothing, and I showed him these giant under pants, and asked him what he thought. His famous response when I asked how they looked was “who are you trying to impress anyway?” Yeah, love you son. 😉

When I had lost about 50 pounds last June, I went on a camping trip. I forgot to pack underwear, so we went to Walmart to get a pack. While there I bought a pair of 3XL boxer briefs that were of a more normal size. Later in the year I bought a pack of 2XL. And then early this year I bought some size L. Yesterday I went to Target and bought two packs of size L boxer briefs, and purged all of the 2XL and 3XL from my drawer. I now only wear size L underwear.

Some might say that this NSV (Non-Scale Victory), is TMI (Too Much Information), if you are among them I sincerely apologize. To me it is significant. My underwear drawer, which also holds my T-Shirts, has more pairs of boxer briefs, and more t-shirts than before this Journey toward better health. But, because they take up less space, the drawer is no longer bursting at the seams and comfortably has extra space.

Here is the progress report through yesterday for this week:

trackerI realized last night that this week is going to be a challenge for me to keep on track. Somehow I forgot that this is the week my son, one of his friends and I go to Eldora race track in Ohio to watch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. It is a 3 day camping trip with a bunch of NASCAR people. There will be a lot of eating, and a fair amount of imbibing going on. Maintaining or even losing weight this week is going to be a huge challenge.

I look forward to this race all year for the fun and camaraderie of the experience. I plan to enjoy it. If I come back and have gained a bit, then I will own it and move on. I get to plan the menu, so I will have some measure of control. Maybe I will surprise even myself!

I hadn’t planned for this…update on the Daytona 500km challenge

When I started the Daytona 500km walking challenge, I didn’t plan on catching a cold. This past weekend I came down with a bit of a head cold. I worked out and did 5km of walking on Sunday, but have not felt well enough to go to the gym since. On Monday I telecommuted to work, and am doing so again today. I am feeling better this morning and hopeful of getting back to the gym no later than tomorrow. Here is my updated chart:

daytonaAs you can see my pace has dropped below 500km. But I only need to average a slight bit more than 5km per day to get back on track. Hopefully by this weekend I’ll be back to having days of greater than 5km. First order of business, though, is to get healthy.

With very little gym time, and being mostly sedentary this week, it will also be interesting to see how my weigh in goes on Friday. I am purposely not looking at the scale until that morning, so time will tell.

How are you all doing?

“You don’t need me anymore.” – Best words I’ve heard in a long time

Good morning. It is Friday, and that means it is time for my weekly weigh-in. I will be updating my progress on the Daytona 500km walking challenge.  I also had a visit with my doctor today, so I’ll include all the news from that visit including an explanation of my headline.

First the weigh-in. This week I was up .4 pounds.  I am now at 240.6 pounds. I am down 104.4 from the start of my weight loss, or 30.3% of my weight as of March 1 of this year. Iam a little disappointed with being up a bit. I wrote about the struggle earlier this week. It is possible that I might be slowing down on my weight loss, or even that I could be reaching a plateau. Time will tell. I am certainly not in a panic over this number, and I intend to continue with my plan to do Weight Watchers, and work out.

On the challenge front, here is my chart as of yesterday:


As you can see I have now cracked 100km, and am at 108.7 total. I am on a pace to do 566.4km during the challenge, which would be well above the 500km goal. Yesterday my afternoon meetings ended and I was able to get out on time, so I made two trips to the gym. In between I did 5 laps inside my building for the other 2km. I am feeling very good about this challenge and have high confidence that I will reach and exceed my goal.

This morning I mad a visit to my doctor’s office. I had previously stopped in for a blood draw, so we had all of the numbers there for a good discussion. Here is a chart of my main numbers:

key numbersAs you can see, A1C went down even farther from back in June. It is now at 5.3. Additionally, my cholesterol numbers came down 11 points overall, with a 9 point drop in my LDL. She was quite pleased. I had a few other questions for her, and at the end of the visit I asked when she needed to see me again. Her answer was at least 6 months, and then she added, with a smile “You don’t need me anymore.”

I left the office with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I am feeling very good indeed. Going forward she’d like to see me lose weight a little slower, which I think will happen naturally. Other than that, she just wants me to stick to the plan.

She asked me the question. You know THE question. “Why this time are you so successful and disciplined.” I told her that I’d been asking myself that question for months now, and that I don’t hae a firm grasp on the answer. I know my initial trigger was that I was inspired by my son. That explains my enthusiastic beginning, but it doesn’t account for how sustained I have been. I know that part of how I have stayed the course has been that I have been so public with my journey. I have told all my friends,  and I have this blog (where I have made many new friends). Over the course of the coming weeks I am going to do some soul searching on why I am successful this time around. Maybe there is something I am doing which could be of benefit to others. Maybe I will need that knowledge should I ever stumble on the road.

For today, I am healthy and happy!

Daytona 500 Challenge day 1, and a fun progress picture

The Sprint Cup season ended today for NASCAR racing. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick on a magnificent season. With that last race, the Daytona 500km walking challenge begins. I started my day with a 10km walk on the treadmill, so 1 day into the challenge here is my chart:


I still have a very long way to go, but I wanted to get off on a good start and get ahead. I walked at a faster pace than usual (3.5mph), and when I was done I had a hot spot on my foot. Didn’t develop into a blister yet, so I am probably ok. But, I will be watching that closely.

Yesterday my family made a trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan. There we visited a Christmas store called Bronner’s, and it gave me an opportunity to recreate a picture from a visit a year ago. here is that comparison:

frankenmuth comparison

The writing on the picture tells the tale. As it turns out, my wife was able to buy me a polo shirt that was nearly the same color as the one I had on last year, only 2 sizes smaller. The jeans were bought on Friday night. I was apprehensive about buying 42″ waist pants because they fit me a bit snug, but I decided to go for it. Here is the best part, they weren’t from the big and tall section of the store!

How are you doing on your journey? Are you joining me in the walking challenge?

Reminder on the new walking challenge. It starts tomorrow!

Earlier this week I announced the new Daytona 500 Walking Challenge. The last race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season takes place tomorrow (November 16). The first race for the Sprint Cup in 2015 is the Daytona 500, scheduled for February 22, 2015. There are 99 days between those two dates. The Challenge is to walk a total of 500km between those two events. That works out to averaging a 5km (3.1 mile), walk every day, with an extra one thrown in somewhere.

Some people have asked me questions about this challenge, so I thought I would answer them here.

Can I count bicycle miles? The basic challenge is for walking. If you prefer bike riding, and adding extra miles to your routine is a challenge, then definitely count them. I am thinking that you might want to make it a 500 MILE challenge if you are going to be biking, but set the bar where it works for you.

What about running? I am not a runner, the cartilage (or lack thereof), in my knees won’t allow it. So, for me running just isn’t a reasonable option. If you are a runner, then yes, you can use running or jogging to fulfill the challenge. Again, decide whether you are counting miles or kilometers.

How can I stay warm when walking outside in the winter? Honestly, I don’t have a definite answer for this one. My plan is to layer my clothes, use my silk long underwear as a base layer and some wool socks. I will probably develop this strategy over time to take into account foot comfort and overall warmth. Stay tuned on this one and we’ll learn together.

The bottom line…

The bottom line to this is that it is a challenge designed to keep me active during the months of the year when I’d usually become quite sedentary. My goal is to reach February 22 and weigh less than I do today, and be in better shape than I am today. If you are taking up a challenge to stay fit in the winter, and this one appeals to you, come join me. If you want to adjust it to your own circumstances, then please do. Any challenge of this kind should stretch you a bit, but not be such a heavy burden as to be impossible.

Come join me! This will be fun.

Back from a short trip, and feeling optimistic

This week I went to a NASCAR race with my two sons and another friend. The 4 of us had a fantastic time. The racing was great, the company was even better, and the memories will last a lifetime.

I stepped on the scale when I got home, it was the middle of the afternoon, and I have eaten today. Not at all the best time to look. To my amazement, the number was down from last week. I am quite optimistic that it will be down even more tomorrow morning for the official weigh-in.

As with many camping opportunities, a trip to a race provides many delectable treats. We had some leftover, high carb snacks from a previous trip, and brought them along as well. As it turns out, we basically never ate any of those snacks. My son commented this morning how proud he was of all of us that those snacks were there, but we chose instead to eat cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, and the other fine foods we brought. At the track I opted for one sandwich each day, and nothing else. I even limited the beer I drank to only 2 to 3 per day.

All in all, I think this was an amazing trip. I thought I would show pics from last year’s race and this to give you an idea of how I looked then and now.

With my son and a friend at Eldora in 2013

With my son and a friend at Eldora in 2013



Same spot one year later. This time with both my sons and another friend.