Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jan 17: Thoughts on the Scale and Other Things

We are now seventeen days into 2018 and things are progressing in the healthy living lifestyle category. I have managed to stay active every day and am growing my daily routine through a few different exercise challenges.

The indoor part uses two 30 day challenges -- one is squats and push-ups, the other is an ab challenge that includes sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts and a daily plank. I don't always set aside a workout time and sometimes accumulate the daily goal by breaking it into a few sets throughout the day.
For example -- I finished today's 120 squats while drinking my morning coffee. I broke it into 3 sets of 40 squats; did a set while the water was heating and a couple of more sets between cups.
I may or may not do any of the other exercises before evening.

The outdoor part is walking -- just and average of 2.5 miles per day. It's really nothing more than trying to get back into the habit of walking every day. I'm certain that the daily mileage will increase as the weather warms and my body becomes acclimated to the routine.

I've long been a believer in exercise for fitness; eat for weight control.
Both are essential good health.

We are eating at home more often this year (we seem to cycle back and forth) and that tends to direct us to healthier choices. We rarely buy anything processed or boxed as a quick meal prep. We eat more veggies and fewer starches (potatoes, pasta, rice, bread). I rarely have seconds.
As I begin the mindset change of eating to fuel the body rather than indulging in the less healthy options that satisfy the lusts for convenience and sweetness, the scale is starting to move.

Right now, I know that much of the weight I carry is not healthy weight and needs to come off. And although the scale helps to measure that progress, I don't want to become scale obsessed or forget about the good health part. A fitness accountability Facebook group helps to keep me motivated to do something every day (I'm probably the least active and least fit person in the group). For now, I'm going to be happy with doing a little more each day. I can't compete with their levels of fitness anyway, so I'll just compete with what I did yesterday.

Eat well.
Get some exercise.
Enjoy life.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Jan 12

Today is the 12th and so I get a rest day for the 30 Day Ab Challenge and the 3000 Squat/1000 Push-up Challenge. I'm thinking about doing tomorrow's challenge today and taking my rest day tomorrow just because of scheduling.

I'm still up to date with my walking. I did miss a day when it rained all day last Sunday but have made up the miles on other days. Also, I have a built in miss day with 31 days in January and basing my goal distance on 30 days of walking. I have done a little bit of light running while on my walks, but it is hard on the fat guy's knees. It might be better if I lose a few pounds before making running a regular part of my exercise.
I've managed my 10,000 steps everyday except last Sunday. Since I missed the walking outside, I did 30 minutes on the Nordic Track skier and 30 minutes on the indoor cycle. It wasn't a bad day; I just fell short of the step goal.

After twelve consecutive days, I can report that daily exercise still is not a habit. Today's walk will require some serious will power since the high will be around 28f (-2c) with a wind chill of 14f (-10c). Three winters ago that wouldn't have been an issue. I guess I've become more of a wimp in my retirement.

It's not much, but it's a start.

John <><

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Jan 6

I'm calling today the end of the first week of 2018.
Yeah, sure -- keeping a resolution for 6 days is no big accomplishment,  but one has to start somewhere.

To make my modest walking goal of 75 miles, I need to average 2.5 miles per day for 30 days. I'm a little ahead of that at 13.85 miles for the first 5 days.

On my other two challenges -- 3000 squats/1000 push-ups and 30 day ab challenge --
Dang, my upper body strength sucks! Hopefully, I'll gain a little strength and lose a little weight as time goes on. For now, the sit-ups and push-ups are killers. I guess that's what I get for being a 57 year old fat, lazy bum.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Just thought I'd share my latest experiment. I call them Zucchini Pizza Boats.
We had some frozen cooked sausage and ground beef so I decided to use them for a quick meal. We also had about half a jar of pizza sauce left from a New Year's Eve pizza and a few slices of pepperoni.

I chopped up some onion and a poblano pepper and cooked them in a cast iron skillet with a little coconut oil. Then I added the meat and some garlic powder and Italian seasoning. While stuff was cooking, I cut a couple of zucchinis in half lengthwise and scooped out the middle.

In hind sight, I should have brushed them with olive oil and garlic and baked them for a little bit before adding the meat mixture.

I covered them with the meat mixture, added pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella and baked it for 15 minutes at 400f.

A few minor tweaks in seasoning and process and I think it will be better next time.
I'm thinking about leaving out the ground beef and adding some mushrooms and spinach leaves. I would have liked the 'shrooms and spinach this time but it was kind of a last minute idea and experiment.
It would be easy to go meatless if you want or even vegan, if that's your thing.

John <><

Monday, January 1, 2018

January 1, 2018

New year.
New plan.

Short term
Day by day
Baby steps

Intermediate term
Under 200 pounds by June 13

Long term
Reprogram mind, body, spirit to a better way of living.

*****     *****     *****

I didn't weigh first thing this morning. I had already eaten something and had my morning coffee before I though about it. I know it's right around the 250 mark. Twenty-three weeks to lose fifty pounds isn't crazy, but will require constant focus on the goal. In the end the weight itself isn't that important to me. Rather it is the indicator that I am doing the right things for my overall health.

Daily for January will be the combined 30 Day Ab Challenge and 3000 Squat, 1000 Push-up Challenge, along with daily walking to a 75 mile monthly goal.
In the beginning, I'll probably be doing a little more than the daily requirements and gradually letting the calendar catch up to me. Depending on the weather, I may slip in something like indoor cycling or Nordic Track, but I still want to hit the 75 mile walking goal.

Naturally, a healthy diet is a part of the overall adaptation to a better way of living. We have been eating at home more often (and will continue to do so) and making better dietary choices. I really need to be more purposeful about everything I consume by asking myself ,"How will my body use this?" every time I am about to eat or drink something.

That's it for now.
I know it's not much, but I'm old and fat and it's a start.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017


In an effort to get back to some regular exercise, I've managed to talk Chris into doing yoga with me on a regular basis. We've both use yoga as exercise in the past, but never really done it together. I went to a couple of classes with her, but preferred to do it at home with a video or book for instruction.

The yoga studio she was using has moved and no longer has class times that meet with her schedule.

We are using the Yoga with Adriene 30 Days of Yoga that I've used in the past. The You Tube videos came out in January of 2015 as a way to make yoga a habit for the year. Rather than using them for 30 consecutive days, we'll be using them 3 days per week for 10 weeks. We'll use them on the days that Chris doesn't work and then use her Yoga for Bedtime on the other 3 nights and take Sundays off.

I have used a little yoga on and off for a few years,  but never really developed into a regular practitioner of the craft. I'm hoping to become more regular and to continue to practice well beyond the 10 weeks. I also expect to add some sessions on days when Chris is working.

Even though I realize that Adriene is an accomplished yogi, it is a little frustrating at how easily she flows from one position to the next while this fat, old guy struggles just to maintain my balance! One of the advantages of video instruction is there is only Chris to see me struggle. It is interesting that we have difficulties in different areas.

For many, yoga is a lifetime practice. I hope that it will become that for us, as well. There is something about the daily practice that keeps your mind centered on well being and that covers areas off the yoga mat such as diet and environment. Although I follow several yogis on social media, I mostly admire their strength and flexibility and wish that I could do those things. As a beginner, I know that it will be a while and that they have put in years of practice to get to their current place. I guess the key is to make sure that my current place is not where I stay and that I make progress towards making the transitions flow more easily as the strength and flexibility improve.

Be well,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Catching up...

It has been a busy week and so I have missed posting for a few days.
I have managed to keep active in spite of spending several hours on the road for the past couple of days. Diet wise has been a challenge.

I am still watching protein intake, but to need to focus more on some real exercise rather than just walking. I'm guessing that my 4 hour motorcycle ride yesterday burned a few more calories than usual as the head wind was pretty strong and I don't have a windscreen. I feel okay today but won't be surprised if my neck and shoulders aren't a little stiff later this evening.

I did have a bit of a binge late last night because there is ice cream in the house...
just need to keep things in moderation.

Be well,

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Yesterday's lake day was pretty much as expected. It was an exceptional day on the protein intake, but the cold fried chicken lunch and the pork tenderloin sandwich for dinner also made it an exceptional day for fat intake. I had a few hard boiled eggs during the day so that added to the fat count. I managed to skip the chips and cookies on the boat and substituted beans for the fries with the sandwich, so carbs were pretty limited except for the breading on the fried stuff (I peeled some of the breading off of the chicken) and the Texas toast the tenderloin was served on.

All-in-all, not a bad day.

Today will be an easy day for the food management and an okay day for activity. Sunday is the last day of my diet week as Monday morning is my weigh-in day. I should probably make Friday my weigh in day so I have the week to recover from the weekend splurges, but life has a way of working out no matter when I choose to use the scale.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lake Day!

Last weekend I was at a kids' camp while family and friends were enjoying a day on the lake.
Today, I'll be on the lake with them!

Typically, I'd say this is going to be a cheat day, but since my focus is on protein intake and junk restriction more than on counting calories, I think I'll be okay. For a day on the lake and in the sun, the main thing is to stay properly hydrated. I'll need to watch how much I snack on the available junk food and I think I'll bring a few healthier snacks along for good measure.

I'll be leaving my cell phone behind so my activity tracker will show me at near zero for the day but no worries. The day is about relaxing and enjoying time with friends and time in the sun.

Day 6.
Here I come!