Thursday, March 1, 2018

Starting over

Well, February was a bit of a bust.
I started out well but fell out of the practice of daily exercise while on vacation. I managed to eat well while traveling and didn't really over indulge until the past few days. Weight wise, I ended up pretty much where I started the month. Exercise wise, not so much.

And now it's March.

Since I've been finding walking less attractive than it used to be, I think I'll ride down to Busiek State Forest a couple of days a week for a nice hike. It's less than ten miles from the house and maybe I could get familiar enough with the trails so that I won't get lost like I have in the past. The Springfield Nature Center is also a walking/hiking option. Its trails are more level (some are actually paved) and walker friendly. I'll try to get a walk in around the neighborhood on other days.

I have been doing a little yoga and will start with some indoor cycle time now that baseball is back to televising games. Even though I haven't stressed over it much, the subtle lifestyle changes are paying off. Little can be much when it is given enough time.

Be well,
John <><

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Goals

It's February and time to set some goals for the month.
I managed my mileage goal of walking 75 miles in January and will keep that for February, even with its three fewer days.

I backed off on the Squat/push-up challenge in January, but think I'll re-work the numbers and do it again in February. I'll utilize the gains I made in early January and decrease the end of the month demands that I think caused some of my physical discomfort.
3000 squats and 1000 push-ups breaks down to only 150/50 per day for 20 days (that allows for rest days, although they're not as necessary with the lower numbers).

I'm going to add some yoga back into my routine. I was surprised at the strength increases I found the last time yoga was a regular part of my fitness plan. I'm also going to use some weights, both dumbbells and the weight machine. I may have to find some alternative to the weights while on our trip to beaches of Mexico, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I'll continue to be mindful of what I eat (and when) as I work towards being a healthier person in 2018. I hope that February still finds your New Year's resolutions intact.

Be well,

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jan 28; The Old Man is Rebelling

We are almost at the end of January and the old man inside of me is beginning to rebel.
A number of years ago, I had an impinging bone growth removed from the end of my collar bone and the rotator cuff (that it damaged) repaired. It would appear that the impingement has regrown and is greatly aggravated by certain motions such as push-ups.

I cut short my push-up goal for yesterday and am going to give it a rest for a few days. I've found that push-ups with the hands closer together are less painful than a wider placement. They're also harder to do. In fact, I probably couldn't have done them at the beginning of the month. After a short rest, I'll go back to doing push-ups, but I'll also try to keep from irritating the shoulder too much. I'm not really interested in another shoulder surgery.

I'm also suffering some knee discomfort, but I was expecting that to happen. I'm actually pleased that I made it this far. I think the attempts to add some running to my walking did more to aggravate my knee than the walking and buildup of daily squats. With only a couple of days left in the month, I'll go ahead and finish out the squat challenge and then give the knee a rest, as well.

I have walked nearly every day this month. I've only missed two days. One, when it rained all day and the other when it was just a busy day. I have enough extra miles to cover those days and still make my monthly goal. The main reason for the monthly goal was to get into the habit of walking every day. I've even missed some good motorcycle riding weather in order to get my hour of walking in.

The short-term goal setter in me should probably be more upset about not pushing through to the end. The wiser, more philosophical part of me (notice how I left out the word older) realizes that the ultimate goal is better health and is okay with it. I'm not the first person to lament that aging sort of sucks. I'm trying to work out an agreement with my body to postpone it for a short time or to age more gracefully rather than just falling apart. I'm sure it would have been easier if I would have come to this understanding with my body a couple of decades ago rather than giving the old body the upper hand in these negotiations.

On the weight part of healthy living --
I'm re-reading the book that I read at the beginning of my last weight loss journey and re-establishing patterns that were successful in the past and are a sustainable lifestyle. I've realized that the key to making it sustainable is to realize that the goal isn't weight loss -- it's living and eating healthy. A more suitable weight is the byproduct of healthy eating.
Having said that -- I did lose ten pounds in the first four weeks of the year. It's nothing too notable, but it is a significant shift.

Most importantly, I feel better.

I'm not going to get into a heated argument with the Old Man living inside of me. I'm just going to back off for a bit and then continue to appeal to the reasonable benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise.
Like I said, it would have been easier a couple of decades ago. You know how unreasonable and curmudgeonly old men can be!


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,