Friday, December 27, 2013

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge 2014

Christmas is over. Whew! Santa's arrival sure takes a lot of preparation on the part of the parents. Still, it was all worth it, the kids shaking with anticipation, the squeals of excitement, the joy of a dream realized. Even if that dream only involves Star Wars Legos. So, a job well done. But a job that left me a bit on the grouchy side. I hadn't exercised for five days.

Christmas made things difficult I didn't prioritize exercise - I hadn't been to the gym since last Friday - and when I tried, it just didn't fall into place. But now? I. feel. good. Isn't it amazing how exercise can turn a frown upside down?

The streak was broken last night when I got myself to the gym despite feeling tired and not in the mood to exercise. I started with a 3 mile run on the treadmill, in 29:29, and then did legs/shoulders/PT exercises. I could feel my body working, and it wasn't easy. I reviewed my workout log and saw I hadn't done legs/shoulders in 10 days (the last time I tried to jump-start my exercise routine before getting sidetracked by Christmas).

I knew that meant I'd be sore today (and tomorrow) for sure. I could avoid being sore by cutting back, scaling things down so as not to tax my muscles but I don't feel like doing that, I'm fine with being sore. It's a good kind of sore anyway, right?

I made it to the gym again today and the trip was powered by my two legs. I rode my bike, starting with a 50 minute loop around town that ended at the gym, followed by back/biceps/PT exercises, and then the 15 minute bike trip back home. It felt so good to be doing what I love. On the way to the gym I opted to ride up this super steep hill, one I avoided for years. As I was riding up I wondered how many people could get up that hill on a bike. Not many I bet, and more importantly, not me for most of my life. It was a good reminder that despite being off my best mark, I'm still way ahead of the fitness game.

But yes, I'm off my mark. And I have an uncharacteristic plan as to how to deal with it. I'm enrolling in a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, a 28-day challenge through my gym. I know, I'm generally against this sort of thing but I've decided to give it a try for a variety of reasons.

First, I feel like I could use some serious focus in the eating department. This challenge involves journaling my food and exercise daily for 28 days. That's attention, alright. Second, I've been curious about the whole gluten-free thing. I don't think my body has a problem with gluten but I'm constantly hearing how much better people feel when they don't eat it so yeah, I'm curious. Third, I'm carrying a good 5 pounds of pure fat that I gained over these past few months and I wouldn't mind a jump-start to help them mosey along and off my body.

So, clean up the food intake, check out the gluten free things and lose a bit of extra fat. What's not to love? Well, I have an answer for that too. What's not to love is it may be a way of eating that I can't maintain for the long-term. And normally I am against any eating plan that is not sustainable. But I'm going into this with the knowledge that I may not keep this up past 28 days, but I have no doubt that I'll pick up some new, healthy knowledge, re-build some of my healthy habits that have weakened over the past few months and I'm planning to segue the motivation and positive energy I'll feel by having completed this into my ongoing normal maintenance routine.

Ok, so I mentioned gluten-free and you might be wondering what else this challenge involves. It's based on the Paleo Diet but it's not a strict observance of that. I know the challenge includes no alcohol and no caffeine. Wait, what? No caffeine? I can give up alcohol, but coffee? The jury is still out on that one. Yep, I'm planning to make this challenge fit my reality. And why not? It's my challenge, for me, not for anyone else, so I will tweak it as I see fit knowing my results may be impacted as a result. The biggest problem I have is I think I'll have to drink my coffee black. Ouch!

Ok, here's the rest of the deal:
  • Weigh in prior to January 5th (Can be emailed or a weigh in can be scheduled).
  • Keep a food and exercise log daily. This log will be part of a shared Google Doc and should include all food and drink with approximate amounts as well as workouts completed. Keeping a detailed journal keeps you accountable and will assist you in understanding your body’s needs.
  • Each participant will agree to do at least 3 workouts per week (either with a coach or on your own).
  • Final weigh-in must be documented by February 8th
So, want to join me? Since it's all done online you don't have to be a member at my gym or live locally to enroll. I'll be posting every day in January (I started that last January and really liked it) and I'm sure I'll post plenty of what I'm eating pictures. Since I have to log my food anyway I'll probably post that here too. If you want to join the challenge with me you can call the gym at (415) 883-9353 to register.

By the way, I don't have an investment in you doing this, it's not like I get a cut of your enrollment fee, but I thought there might be someone out there that would want to do this with me. You can share your progress/struggles/etc here or on my FB page and we can support and encourage one another. And, most importantly, make transitioning after the program a big part of the discussion. I won't be coaching you or running the program, I'll be a participant just like you.

Mark - Before/After, 65 pounds lost
Who will be running the program? None other than Mark, the owner of my gym. Yep, the same guy who featured me in one of his ads. I told you about his being inspired, at least in part, by me, to lose the weight (and who even blogged about it) and did it - he's lost 65 pounds and is keeping it off! Obviously I'm a fan.

Ok, that's all I have on this for now. Feel free to email me if you have any thoughts, questions, etc. I'm happy to kick the idea around with you if you like,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry One & All!

From our family to wishes for a wonderful Holiday and a bright and festive new year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rolling Toward 2014

Happy Winter Holidays!! I am very excited for my children to experience the wonders of the holidays like no one else but children can.

I am continuing to do what I can, baby steps here and there. The scale has reflected this by inching back under 145 to 144.8 pounds as of this morning. To give you an idea of how I've been eating lately - I had macadamia nuts for dinner last night. Yep, 100% macadamia nuts. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Exercise was rolling, and kind of slowed with the big day drawing near. I admit, I've drifted off to January in my exercise/eating well mind. Not my normal style but this is not my normal life so I'll just roll with it for now. Maybe I'll get a run in after work today. Or maybe I won't.

In any case, I'll be preparing for Santa's big arrival, likely staying up until the wee hours making sure his cookies don't get stale and his milk stays cold.

Enjoy the day, and remember, when it comes to celebrating, it's really only 1 day, maybe 2 depending on how your family celebrates, but it's not two weeks, that I know for sure. Indulge, enjoy, stay present, and then get back to your routine. That's my plan. Kind of.

I'll close with a bit of the good: On Friday I got to the gym MUCH later than planned. I almost skipped it and went shopping instead. But then I realized, how much shopping can I get done in an hour? Hardly any. But in an hour I can run 2 miles and then shower and get ready for the party (that I was going to that evening). Yep, good stuff.

And the not-so-good: Yes, that's a picture of no less than SEVEN empty Lindt mint chocolate truffles, eaten yesterday while driving around from client to client. And yes, I am responsible, solely responsible, for all seven of them. I promptly gave the rest of the bag away to the very next person I encountered. He was happy to receive them and I was happy to unload them. Win-win. Well, more like Lose-Win-Win. But a win in the end so it's not all bad.