It’s time for a whole new #Hashtag

You know what they say… “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work!”  In 2016 I coined my hashtag “#FiftyNotFat” with a goal of not being fat on my birthday – when I turned 50.  That went great!  I lost a metric ton of weight (or about 80 pounds).  I felt good about myself and I got into INCREDIBLE SHAPE!  I would say to myself “Will eating this help me meet my goal?  Nope – didn’t eat it.  I was SUPER focused.  Perhaps even too focused – but I did it!  I was happy.

As I turned 50 – and got busy doing other stuff, had a bunch of stress at work, did all kinds of things differently – I kind of got away from my focus, my workouts, my #keto and my diligence.  I gained back some of the weight (25 pounds, give or take) and got out of shape.  This situation came to a head last night, as I was watching TV uncomfortable in my shorts and just feeling fat.  I realized I was headed back towards my 285 pound self.  I decided – at that moment – to make another commitment to myself.

Last time – people would mention my hashtag, they would say it to me, etc… it was fun.  It worked great.   So – this time, i’m biting off a little more.  #FiftiesNotFat – with a goal of not being fat during my 50s.  I’ve got some work to do to get back below the line – and then some ongoing work to keep it going.  I quite honestly think the key is not going completely obsessed about any one thing.  The 2400 miles in 3 months REALLY wore me out.  It’s hard to do that stuff and have a job and be 50.

Anyway – let’s welcome in the new #FiftiesNotFat hashtag!  I kicked it off with about a 5k run.  Plan to do something tomorrow morning as well!

Let’s get this party started

Let’s get this party started RIGHT!

You have all heard it before, I hope, pray, dream of not typing this post again.  I’m not going to make any predictions – I’m just going to tell you what’s up.

The other day I got this crazy idea that I would start video blogging – sure, why not!  I’ve done blogs, micro-blogging, facebook, Google+, Myspace… why not try out this video option.  I have a phone that can do it, I have the idea – lets roll.  Well, then I got this other idea that I talked about in a video blog …. It’s about 2 months until Labor day, I need to get focused, let’s pull together some folks and get going.  Call it a challenge, encourage others to join in.  Check up on each other – call me out if I don’t log my food – point it out to me!  Tell me wassup…. so here is what I came up with that *I* am going to do.

  • I’m going to use Google+ for most of my discussion.  Of course, my G+ public posts go to Facebook and Twitter, so it will end up there.
  • I’ve created a hashtag (#LaborDayChallenge) and I will post that in all posts related to the challenge.
  • Not all of my post will be posts will be public.  I’ve got a Circle for this.  I will add those I am comfortable sharing my inner feelings and stuff!  Those posts will be locked – those who it was shared with can reply, but they will be mine to control!
  • I will share lots publicly, but not all.
  • I will probably vlog about some of it, but not ALL of my vlogs will be related to working out or eating right!

That’s the challenge…. here are my personal goals for the challenge!

  1. Consistency!
  2. Form several positive habits!
  3. Maintain accountability
  4. Consistently log my food
  5. Eat healthy
  6. Consistently log my workouts
  7. Continue to work the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery

Last year, I was winning or placing in bicycle races.  I weighed 20-30 pounds less than I do today.  4 months ago, I ran a half marathon in 10:30 pace – I could not do 6.2 at that pace on Sunday.  Yes – I’ve gone backwards but I have not quit, so I have not lost!

So there you have it!  If you see me screwing up – you can call me out on it!  If you see me doing something right – compliments are appreciate but not necessary.  As Dave Chapel would say…. “But I didn’t get arrested!  You’re not SUPPOSED to get arrested!”  … I’m SUPPOSED to do the right thing!

I am going to kick this thing off with a bike ride tomorrow!  Hope to see you on the comet!

Week Three – what to do?

A couple of quick updates…

The weekend went quite well.  I believe I actually came out about 2 pounds lighter than I went into it!  YES!  I lost about 7 pounds last week which some will say is too much, but I know my body, it won’t continue at that rate.  That was my first week “excitement”.  Now comes the second week slump.  I had ‘grown’ to an embarrassing 245 pounds.  I weighed in this morning at about 238.  Feels good to be doing the right thing again.

On the One-a-Week plan:

o  Drink More Water – EVERY day this week, I drank at least 2 full Nalgeen (32 oz) water.  In many cases, 3 or 4.  Mission accomplished.
o  Work out 5 days:  Rode Monday, twice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday for a total of 151 miles.  (Second longest week of the year).
o  Won a bike race!  A race where weight matters – and I still won!

This week – I am going to give up ‘plate cleaning’.  I can make a ‘happy plate’ myself, but the rule is simple – if it didn’t start on my plate, I aint eating it.  This may not sound significant, but I finish off Max’s dinner a lot of times.  A lot of calories there.  The *ONLY* exception – vegetables.

I know – its really only a week since I have been tracking weight loss but the small added focus on fitness and health has helped me to make smart choices and this doesn’t feel like its the “total overnight change” that you often feel in a diet.  Let’s see if we can keep this train rolling!

My Unsolicited Review of the Body Bugg #bodybuggtweet

As some of you may know, I’ve been using the BodyBugg for just over 4 weeks.  Many have asked me “Do you like it?”, “Does it work?” – well – here’ my story.  I’m sticking to it!

First – if you don’t know, the bugg is a small device you wear on the back of your left arm.  It’s light, comfortable and you really get used to it quickly.  All day long, as you go through the paces of your every day life – it keeps track of your motion, your skin temperature and your core heat release or something like that.  You can go read all about it – but in short – it keeps track of how many calories you burned through the day.  At the end of the day, you can view a graph that looks something like this:

Daily Activity Log

It gives you a standard time (mine is 5:00 am to 11:00) as that’s my typical day.  If you aren’t wearing the unit, you can tell it what you did and it will calculate all of your stuff based on your weight and the activity you did.  Form 12-5:30 ish, I was asleep.  I didn’t wear it so it says I burn 1.5 calories per minutes sleeping.  If I wear it, I get a little more credit for sleeping (1.8-2.1 calories per minute) but your arm can and will get itchy from wearing this thing 24×7.  They actually recommend NOT wearing it one hour a day (at least).  As you can see, I don’t burn many calories at work, but you can also see that during my lunch break – I did a nice eliptical workout.  The numbers on the bugg differ (greatly) from the fitness equipment – but more on accuracy later.   All of this data is transmitted to the computer by a little online java app (the provide).  It’s a pain on the Mac, but I can get it to work.  They also have a wireless uploader – but I have no experience with that.

One of the neat things – which can be done with any inexpensive pedometer as well – is your step count.  “Fitness experts often use the number of steps a person takes as an indication of their daily activity level.  The software set my goal at 10,000 – which is a lot, but at the same time – very achievable.  The bugg keeps track of this for you and you get a daily graph like this:

How Many Steps?

On any given day, if I don’t work out – I’m in the 7-8,000 range.  I’m trying to change that through simple lifestyle changes like parking in the back of the parking lot – much like the gangstas with their fancy hondas.

As you progress through the day, you REALLY have to keep your food log if you want this to work.  It’s tedious but it works much better if you do keep track of EVERYTHING.  Portions are key.  I’ve started to measure and weigh things and my weight loss is coming in pretty close to what the bodybugg would predict.  When I loosely guestimated everything – it wasn’t so close at all.

All of this comes together on a common section of the page that looks like this:

Core Screen

You will learn to hate that woman in her pink jacket – I don’t know why… but you will.  You can see my calories burned, how much I consumed and my deficit.  I can tell you – it may have been that I was making too big of a deficit or it may have been that I didn’t log my food correctly last week, but this week I kept the deficit right around 1000 calories and the math worked out.  (3500 caloris = 1 pound – my weight loss was VERY close to that equation).  How do I know this? when you look at the week – you get a graph like this:

Measurement Based Details
Measurement Based Details

Based on the amount of weight I lost last week – over a 7 day period, I had an average deficit of 1500 calories a day.  In a week where I FOUGHT to be accurate in my food log – I came up with this as my “food log based deficit”.

From the Food Log
From the Food Log

As you can see – I was really pretty close.  Honesty – measuring – and some self control helped out a lot!  Being honest with your food diary will also help you show things to other people as you can do a complete download of your food diary.  Here you go – this is what I ate!  Food Report

They provide a food plan and everything, but I have not used that yet so I really cant comment.  I do like the nutrional analysis that it comes with each day.

Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional Analysis

I could have picked a day I ate better to post this – but well – I’m being honest here.  I ate it it happens!  (check out the calcium… 1234 – that’s kinda funny!)  I realize I need to work on more protein.  I plan on discussing the protein/carb ratio with some people who have a clue – something I generally lack when it comes to that stuff.

You can also keep track of your overall progress.  I find this a little “lacking” but gets the point across – so I guess it’s not all bad!

Progress Information

Just a lot of space to show this information and the graph is weak at best!  Free applications like Calorie King and Calorie Count will blow this away:

Weight Loss Graph

So – what is all of this about?  Weight loss.  Why is this of ANY benefit?  I mean – weight loss is theoretically FREE!  Eat less, do more – lose weight.  Poppycock!  (I always wanted to use that in my blog).  As any of you who have ever battled with weight loss know,  it is a total mind game.  It sucks.  You want to eat as “comfort food” makes you feel comfortable but then you hate yourself for eating it.  You try to workout and think “Wow, I worked out, I can eat anything I want!” but really – you can’t, as you only burned a fraction of the calories the fitness equipment told you you burned.  It’s not easy – but the Body Bugg DOES HELP!   At least it helped me to understand things.  They claim it’s at least 90% accurate and I’m leaning towards believing them.

The downfall of the system would be a combined factor of cost and the work you have to do.  I got mind for $179 with a year subscription (a $99 value).  The standard one will set you back $199 – with 6 months.  You have to use their website which costs money.  I don’t have to worry about that for 49 weeks – but it is a cost.  The work – you have to log the food.  It’s a pain in the ass sometimes.  Then again, so is being fat.

So – let me break it down for you:

Pros:

  • Reasonably accurate monitor of your calorie burn
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Almost invisible for me, women with sleeveless… well?
  • Fun to use

Cons:

  • Cost
  • Tied to their software
  • Finicky on the Mac
  • Food diary is not as robust as others
  • No instant feedback w/out $80 wrist unit
  • It’s not water proof, only water resistant.  That scares me when the rain potential goes up.

Worthy of comment:

  • You HAVE to keep a food log or it’s worthless – but accountability is key
  • The software is hooked into Twitter, which helps find others using it if you have questions
  • You “get” a training session which I hear is “more useful than expected” – but mine is not until next week.  It’s a 1 hour phone call.
  • I’ve HEARD it can be flakey on a bicycle – I don’t have experience yet, but look to change that soon.

If you are willing to commit some time and focus to your food log.  If you want to know what your body is doing, this is a good tool.  If you aren’t going to keep your log up to date, you are probably better off getting a pedometer and counting steps (at least that’s what I think).

As Forest would say – That’s all I have to say about that!

Questions? comments? concerns?  You know where to find me.  I’d be happy to reply!

A good day

Today has gone better than yesterday.  I’ve had my ups, I’ve had my downs – but you know what, it’s ok.  I’m sure tonight will be interesting.  Trying to guide Max and Derek though their grieving should be different, but we can handle it.

Saturday – we will have a memorial service for Tiger.  It’s a small service planned for our back 40… (behind the fence).  We will bury his collar and remember him a little bit.  All are invited… we will not be providing seating or anything fancy, dress is as you are 😉  You know – come to think of it … Tiger was always happiest IN the backyard – I’m going to do it inside the fence.  There was nothing as funny as seeing a 20 pound cat with his belly swinging side to side running through tall grass thinking his clawless self was some sort of jungle cat!  Yes – Saturday, we will remember our favorite fat cat!

I was reminded, internally, how good a “drug” working out can be.  I don’t know all the exact details – but I know that when you work out, specifically when you work out hard, you release a lot of chemicals into your brain.  Endorphins are part of that chemical cocktail.  All of the stuff releases into your mellon and makes your brain work better, which makes you feel better!  I had a good workout today.  Not my hardest, fastest, longest… just a good session on the Eliptical machine.

Tomorrow will be running – most likely.  I’m enjoying the running as long as I do it every other day.  I’m just too big to slam down on my body over and over again.  I need a break.  I’m pondering trying to re-start MaxFit on Monday.  I really like that program, I just found the doctor to be pretty much a loser.  He may be the greatest in the world, but if you wont reply to emails sent directly to you – you are a loser.

Tomorrow – I weigh in.  Things are going well on that front – I’ve got a long way to go – but I’m ahead of the past couple of years (by a good margin).  I’d like to be a lot lighter for the PeachTree… That will help me pull my extra 5 minutes off the top!