Friday, April 29, 2016

My Month Long Goal Is A Bust...Yet Succeeded!

     Well it is time for my challenge wrap up. I have had a rather interesting month as far as my challenge is concerned and in my personal life. I essentially ended my challenge in the middle of the month, but not by choice and not completely

     For the a little bit better than a month I have been battling an infection that has occurred in one of my toes. It is a type of staph infection and it has been rather persistent. I am currently on my third round of antibiotics. With each new prescription the antibiotics have become stronger and stronger, the procedures on my foot are becoming more and more invasive.

     With that said my goal of 125+ beats per minute for 40 minutes has done rather well and I believe that my exercise plan can be labeled a success. This  can be verified by looking at my weight loss for this time period. On April  1st my weight was 218. During the first two weeks while still working out I was able to loose 10 pounds, bringing my weight down to 208. That is where it stayed for the rest of the month. This correlates directly with my exercise to no exercise month. With the exercise I lost 10 pounds and then leveled right off when the exercise ended.

     I have not completely abandoned all exercise though and have still maintained a consistent calorie intake to allow for weight loss ans maintenance. I have managed in the last two day to drop and additional two pounds bringing my weight down to 206 pounds and a total weight loss of 12 pounds. I believe that this is because of watching calories and walking. I make sure to walk everyday and am getting in between 4 - 5 miles in per day. This does not end my quest. Instead it is strengthened and I hope to very soon be able to rigorously exercise soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Set Back still result in Success

     So I have had some setbacks this week, and yet I seem to be succeeding. My setback is that I managed to have a foot infection resurface this last week. I ended up returning to urgent care to have it dealt with. After a minor procedure things seem to be improving but the foot is a little soar. So that means there was no biking this week. I would like to continue and I hope to do that starting on this coming Monday.

     Even with all of that said I have managed to drop even more weight. I weighed in at 208. That means I have dropped ten pounds since April 1st. What is more exciting is that I have managed to start using a Fitbit and I have been able to manage my calorie and water intake much better. Not only that I have set my goals to allow for less calories than my body is consuming. Thus allowing for weight loss. Since I started using the Fitbit I dropped four pounds. That is four pounds since last Sunday. Feeling great!

     I have a desk job so I do not move around a lot during the day. That is why I manage to carve out some time during the day to go for a walk. I walk around the medical center that I work for which encompasses several blocks. I will do this twice. I am not sure how far it is and will be using my gps to measure out the distance. Also, several times during the day I will get up and just walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows for some calorie burn and to get the blood flowing which helps keep me awake.

     I am really liking the Fitbit. We had it laying around the house for awhile because my wife received it from her former employer but we never set it up. I was looking for something better to track my healthy life style. What I did not realize is that we already had a great health tracker available. My wife let me use it and I have not looked back. Pairing the Fitbit with its app there is nothing, so far, that I have not been able to do.

     When I finally start exercising this next week I plan on changing it up by using the rowing machine instead of the bike. I have always wanted to add a rowing routine because of the total body workout that I cannot get on the bike. I am anticipating that I will loose some more weight during the upcoming week. With just one week to go for my challenge I am really happy with the results. Now it comes down to pushing for the finish line. I cannot wait!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Race Is On To Loose Loose The Pounds

     This is the half way point in the month and I am making great progress. The hardest part of the progress is the hungry feeling that comes over me about half way through the day and yet I keep pushing. I will be pushing through the finish line. Not to the finish line but through it. I do not plan on stopping when I get there.

     If I can push through and double what I have lost so far I will be well on my way and can consider this project a success. Then I suppose that no matter what happens I have already succeeded because of the weight that I have already taken off. As of my weigh in last night I was down to 209 pounds. That is down 9 pounds from the 218 pounds that I started with.

     That's right. If by the end of the month I double the weight I have lost so far I will have lost 18 pounds. Not bad for a plan that I have put together myself. Most people would say that I am very successful with having already lost 9 pounds. I am not most people. I will push to the end for even more.

     Remember that I have not just done this on exercise alone. In order to loose this much weight I really had to watch what I am putting into my body. That means closely watching my calorie intake. I have been watching this very closely. In fact I have only been on this plan for 15 days and I can tell that I feel as if I have over eaten if I eat two pieces of pizza (which I ate last night). Yes, pizza. I really have not changed what I eat, just how much I eat.

     I have carefully calculated my diet. I take in what I need to, not what I want to. On any diet a person must also be careful to not consume to few calories. I really do not want to make that body think that it is starving so that it starts conserving calories and starts to shut down. Once it decides to conserve calories it can actually put on fat for use later. Not only will fat be added to the body but it will not keep the muscle in healthy condition.

     So this is my ongoing challenge for the month of April. Once I have completed this I plan to continue on with my exercising. I will be moving from just a fat burn to muscle building and working on my flexibility. Yes, I will get my heart rate up to the required speed for the appropriate amount of time. I just am working out the final plans on how to do that while building muscle.

    There you have it, 9 pounds lost in 15 days! 15 days left and 9 pounds to go! Cannot wait to see where I am at on April 30th!

Friday, April 8, 2016

125+ Beats Per Minute Challenge...The Update.

     This little project is looking great now. I had a little set back in the beginning with my start date. I was originally going to start my challenge on the 28th of March...that did not happen. Instead I started on the first of April. That means the end date for this challenge is the last day of April, which is the 30th.

     I have been enjoying my little evening indoor bike rides. I have been biking for 40 minutes everyday. Actually slightly more than 40 minute because of the 5 minute warm up in the beginning and the 5 minute cool down at the end.

     I have been doing this now for one week. I am feeling great! I started out with a weight of 218 pounds. I have been closely monitoring my calorie intake and getting the biking done. As of today, I am down 6 pounds weighing in at 212. It is an excellent feeling to see the progress.

     I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal. Keeping on this pace though I am going to get there. Just think, if I can loose 6 pounds every week this month that will be 24 pounds for the month. With 24 pounds missing I should feel much better and will be tracking toward the ultimate goal of 183 pounds. I will have 11 pounds to go in the month of May if I keep on this course. I am going to do it. I desire to do it. I will do it.

     As I said, this is a combined effort from exercise and watching the calories that I am taking in. If I pig out and eat to much then the exercise will not be enough. You cannot take in more calories than you are burning from exercise and expect to accomplish any weight loss goal. Is it tough? Yes! You must have the determination to overcome the difficulties and crush the weight.

     I am doing this challenge on my own. I have the drive for success. I have a drive that will not allow me to fail and if I fail I get right back up and keep going. I do not let things get in my way and have the determination . Not everyone has this type of drive. The best thing that can be done is to create a team for yourself. Whether it is one person of 100, build a team to keep you honest and driven.

Remember every successful person has also been a failure.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time to Move Up by Going Down...with My Weight

     Unfortunately I was unable to start my month long challenge on the 28th of March, I did manage to begin on April 1st.

     My challenge is to do 40 minute cardio workouts for the next month, from April 1st to April 30. The goal of this challenge is to maximize weight loss. My preferred method of exercise is the use of an exercise bike. This way I can set my target heart rate and the bike does the thinking for me.

     I am looking for my average heart rate to be at 125 beats per minute. It takes approximately 20 minutes of exercise at 125 beats per minute (approximately) before your metabolism kicks in and starts to burn the body fat.The next 20 minutes, in theory is to burn the fat.

    On April 1st my weight was 218 pounds. My goal starting out is to burn off 18 pounds just to get down to 200 pounds or less in the next month. Ultimately I am looking for a weight between 180 and 190. The final weight can be at 180 - 183 I will have accomplished my ultimate goal.

     Just remember though, weight loss is not accomplished by one single thing though. I must strictly maintain the correct diet in order to make this really effective. If I end up eating more calories than my body can burn during the day I will get no where. That is one thing that I have really been working on since last May.

     I had a very eye opening experience when it came to my calorie intake. I watched my diet like a hawk...until I broke my foot and all there seemed for me to do was sit on my butt watching Netflix and...eating. Yes, I did back slide and gained back the weight that I lost just by adjusting the diet. Now I am back and ready to take on this beast once and for all.

The challenge has begun and the weight will be melting. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, March 28, 2016

125+ Beats Per Minute Challenge.

Today's quickie...a Monday thought.

     Want to loose the extra body fat?  I will be trying to take off a few pounds this next couple of weeks...heck let's make it a month. From March 28th though April 28th will be my testing period. I have been doing great with my diet. I have really watched the calories that I am consuming. Now it is time to add just a little more exercise.

     I have not researched the validity of this challenge, but it sounds logical with my level of knowledge of physiology that I have. I by no means am an expert, but I will try new things that fit into what I want to achieve. The challenge is as follows.

     For the next month do a 40 minute workout where your heart rate gets to 125+ beats per minute. The theory behind this is that your body takes 20 minutes of heightened heart rate before it starts to burn body fat. So the goal is 20 minute startup and a 20 minute fat burning session.

     I will be doing this for the next month and posting my weight report each week. This will hopefully show a improvement in my weight. With less weight I will have more room to grow physically. It will be a fun challenge and I want to know how it is going.

Time to shred the extra weight and feel great!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Body Weight Training

     Body weight is not just something that we try to maintain but it is also something that can assist us. True, the more that you work out the less body weight you have but it provides us with at great resistance for helping produce and/or tone the muscles.

     I don't make it to the gym because of the lack of time. Now there are those that say if it really means something I will make the time to get to the gym. That theory does not work for me though. I am a busy person who works 50 hours per week, I am a full time student, I volunteer with a local Naval Sea Cadets Unit, and I have a wonderful wife and 3 wonderful kids that I want to spend time with. I use body weight training so that I am not traveling to the gym or spending money on expensive weight equipment.

     I also use body weight training when I have just a few minutes to do an exercise. One of my favorite places to train is actually at the office. I spend most of the 50 hours each week sitting in a chair staring at a computer. I love my job but know that the longer I sit here without some extra work I will blow up like a balloon. To help break up the day and give my eyes a rest I will do several exercises here in my office or somewhere in the building.

     To give myself a break from the computer screen I will take push-up and squats breaks. I decided to keep a yoga mat hanging on the back of my door. This way I will not be laying on the floor and can feel confident that I will not get overly dirty while exercising, plus I do not know or even want to know what has been on this carpeting. So I put out the yoga mat. I will crank out about 10 to 20 push-ups and 20 to 40 standing squats every hour or two. When you look at a 10 hour shift that adds up to a lot of reps. For example if I just do push-ups every two hours with 10 push-ups that comes to 50 push-ups ... and 100 squats at a minimum.

     When I want a break from the office I will walk over to the tallest building on campus and walk the stairs. I do not walk every set of stairs but I typically will start on the second floor and climb to the 12th floor. If I really wanted to I could go from the ground floor and go up to the 14th. For now I am happy doing the ones that I do since getting back into exercising after my broken foot. I am hoping to add sit-ups to my routine starting next week. 

     For me I tend to push myself but usually not to the point of getting sweaty. It usually takes much more for me to get to that point. If you are worried about a little stink my suggestion is keep and hand deodorant on hand. 

None of these exercises take a lot of time, just a few minutes here and there. The benefits of doing office exercises are the extra strength that you are building, not sitting too long which can allow for weight gain, and finally it relieves fatigue. It has become a refreshing break that my body is starting to crave during the day. Helps get the blood flowing which gives you more energy to make it through the day.

No excuses. Get up and take care of yourself. It is the only body that you will have.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Overcoming The Diet Failures (My observations, experiments, failures and successes)

The biggest reasons for failure in a diet is the lack of trying, the lack commitment, the lack of will power. This is an extremely difficult process and the difficulty is compounded when you are attempting this journey alone. You both then have someone to encourage you and to be there when you are at your weakest.

Now I am not claiming any scientific break through or even highly researched data. I know what I know through using logic and things that I have learned along the way.

I am not where I should be ideally. I have about 18 lbs to go before I get to the upper limits of the weight that I am striving for. I know what my target weight is but I am not focusing on that. What I am focusing on is taking it piece by piece.

The first ten pounds came off really easy the first time I tried my dieting. I simply eliminated a whole ton of sugary foods from my diet. Specifically sodas. I severely limited my consumption of candy and deserts. Anyone that knows me understands that I am a big Oreo addict. I could go though tray of Oreo's in 1 to 2 days. I simply cut that habit out cold turkey.

Do I get sugar withdrawals? Yes! I do what ever it takes to overcome the urges. Aside from the Oreo's I could pack away a minimum of two cans of sodas a day. That too, I quit cold turkey.

I manage my portion control extensively. Until I started this, I did not even consider how little food my body needed to be healthy. For the longest time I would watch calories. I figured out how many calories that I was eating and how many calories I should be eating. I took my current calories and subtracted 100 calories form that and did this calculation everyday. It was time consuming but well worth it. Now I know without calculations what I should be doing and I just do it. As you can see from the picture above, I eat what I want. The biggest thing is portion control and the weight will come off.

Now diet alone will not get me to where I want to go. I figured this out the last time I dieted. At first I just did the diet to figure out just how far I could go on diet alone. The first 18 lbs came off and then I just hovered at that weight until I ended up breaking my foot and my diet went out the window.

Now that I am back I am dieting and getting plenty of exercise. I am continuing my karate (with two of my children) which will help. But even before my accident the tow days of karate a week was not enough. Now I have incorporated push-ups and small amounts of running into my routine. I have also decided to practice my strength training from karate everyday. I am burning more calories and feeling great doing it.

Most of this journey I am taking alone, that's why I have taken to blogging this journey and other things that I feel are important. I am making my success public so that I feel that I cannot just quit or let up. In fact I gain strength and encouragement from my readers. Weather any comments are left I know that there are people reading this and hopefully are encouraged by this journey.

Have the most wonderful day and enjoy the life that you have been given.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Never Give Up!

I have come to the realization that loosing the weight like I had in the past is going to be a little more difficult. I have nearly two weeks down and am seeing very little progress, Though I am seeing progress. I just feel that there was more weight loss the first time around. This will not discourage me though. I was prepared for this situation. I have known that it is harder to loose the weight the more times that you try.

The biggest sources of weight gain for me are portions that are to large and way to many sodas. I have begun to watch the portions quit extensively. I am hoping that this will start to pay of sooner than later. I think that having a desk job is not helping burn off the calories that I am consuming even though I have cut back. What I will have to do now is bring in more exercise, though this will be somewhat more difficult.

Aside from working 50 hours a week I have taken up more activities outside of the workplace. One of my ongoing activities is that I am a full time student though Western Governors University. I am going to obtain my bachelors degree in business management. I currently have 3 terms left.

I have also recently taken up volunteering at my kids high school with the US Naval Sea Cadet Program. This is a new program at this school so we are building it to hopefully stand on its own in the near future. For now we are training under a neighboring unit. I am one of the officers/instructors in the unit. This new venture appears to be taking up more time than I first expected, but yet I did know that the adventure would be difficult and yet fun. It is definitely for a good cause...the kids.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to another test in karate. My son and I have been invited to the main dojo in Georgia to test for our next belt. We are both excited and are looking forward to testing.

With all of this said there still appears to be a lack of proper exercise in my life. Karate is good but that is only two days a week...normally. What I have to do is figure out how to squeeze in some time to do exercising around this tough schedule.

What I have started to do is while in my office I will do push-ups. I have been doing sets of 10 several times a day. This helps get the blood flowing and has increase the number of push-ups that I can do. Another thing that I have started to do is walking stairs. I have tried to limit how much I use the elevator. I have taken a preference to the stairs. I have even started making an effort to walking over to the the tallest building on campus and walking the stairs. There I have been able to walk up the stairs for 10 stories.

This all might sound impressive but I am also not doing this everyday. Some days I just get so busy that I forget or do not have time to do anything extra. My goal now is to force myself to take that time that I need for my well-being. Other things that I would like to work into my schedule are running, sit-ups and jump roping. I also am looking forward to biking again.

These are some goal and so let the journey begin. I hope that the next time I post a new entry I can have set some of these goals into practice. Oh, one last comment. I mentioned that I was drinking to much soda. Well I would like to announce that since I posted last (I believe on the 15th of February) I have completely gotten rid of all sodas from my diet. I did it once before then broke my foot. Now I am back!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Starting from Ground Zero...Again!

I was doing a great job last year of loosing weight and getting things going in the right direction. Then, I broke my foot. That was a major setback. The pounds came back on as I sat around the house not exercising and going crazy with the eating.

 For a couple of months I was eating what ever I could convince someone to bring me and usually it was not very healthy food. I knew the pounds were going back on but I really did not care. I was bore and food seemed to be the thing I could do. That combined with the lack of exercise quickly chipped away at my motivation.

But I now want to announce that I am back. I believe that I am back stronger then before. I may have back tracked on the weight but that is over. Just in the past week I have noticed that I have lost a few pounds.

I managed to have dumped my soda problem ... again. I have been without a soda (or caffeine of any kind) for the last week and a half. It feels good and I know that I will be loosing some weight just because of the lost calorie and sugar that is in the soda.The last time I quit I managed to loose about 10 pounds.

What I have added to the mix is a nightly "tea". I have made my own blend of spices and  have been drinking that nightly. My goal was to lessen or even eliminate my asthma. My exercise induced asthma kept me from running. I tried once in a while to run but life was just easier without it. I would be wheezing so hard just after a few feet that I feel the people in the next neighborhood over could hear me coming.

I believe that this tea is helping. I have been drinking it for the last couple of months and I seem to be not as worn out. In fact I was able to go out and run a week ago and managed to get myself about a half mile and a trial run. The best part was that I was not that out of breath when I finished.

The tea I came up with consists of the following ingredients.

     1/2 teaspoon - Cinnamon
     1/2 teaspoon - Turmeric
     1/2 teaspoon - Ginger

I put the dry ingredients in the bottom of the cup. I then cover the dry ingredients with honey to fit my taste. I am considering other ingredients but still am working on the right blend. I then boil water and fill the cup.

This is what seems to be working for me. I feel that I have more energy and am ready to tackle the decade or so battle with asthma. As of today I have just under 2 weeks to prepare for a karate test. I will have to be able to run in a small room with several other individuals in it for about 20 minutes, in full karate uniform (gi) and with the heat turned up to what seems to be about 90 degrees. The whole test will take 3-4 hours. I cannot wait.

I am ready to take on the challenges and look forward to loosing weight and becoming a better me. Stick around and follow my journey. Better yet start your own journey. Let me know how and what you are doing to better yourself.