Heavy Duty – Week Five Report

Whew! Another week done. It was as far as gym-going was concerned. I was also more sore than in weeks previously. The good news, for those who don’t want to read the whole post, is that I am down three pounds this week. The sober assessment is that the success of this week is A) no cause to go super crazy with calories and B) no promise that I will see a similar decrease next week.

What have I been doing differently?

The first few weeks of my Heavy Duty personal improvement plan were over the top. I was running intervals four days a week and being SUPER active on the weekends. I was also not getting as much sleep as my body needed. As such, the┬ástored fat my body had, didn’t want to be given up easily. The wonderful biology of the human body when confronted with such high intensity is at first to conserve stored energy while repairing muscles (and building them up in the process). There is truth in the phrase “muscle weighs more than fat,” but when the goal is the loss of fat, putting too much muscle on in the beginning CAN be counterproductive.

Last week I decided to slow things down a bit. Instead of the treadmill, I opted for the elliptical. Instead of workouts with near-peak heart rates for 30 minutes, I did the math and found the “fat-burn” heart rate sweet spot and stuck with that for 30 to 40 minutes. I also instituted the “nothing after nine” rule and really cut back on drinking calories. I also tried harder to get a decent night’s sleep (which, thanks to our amazing sleeper of a baby, is not too hard to do).

I do want to run again…this week I did one day of intervals but my body wasn’t ready.

The beautiful thing about wearing minimalist shoes (which I have done for years) is that one can listen to the needs of the body more easily. My calves are a little too stressed for the impact of my, now, 287 pound mass of man. I am working on walking and some jogging, but I’ll know when the time is right to begin again down the road of running.

We also were gifted an AWESOME elliptical machine for our home from my (follow me) sister-in-law’s parent-in-laws. Their generous gift has made a world of difference for both Kristin and me. It helps on days when it’s either too nasty for a walk OR I can’t make it to the gym for one reason or the other.

On a final note…last week I was reflecting on what it really meant to lose ONE pound. The best image I could come up with was a package of butter from the store. Those four sticks are one pound. That much is OFF of me. Even if I were to lose a half a pound, TWO sticks are gone. Slowly the boxes of butter will add up and, if you are like me, you can look back and say, “Wow, I have lost 8 boxes of butter from my body, not too bad.”

Good luck with your personal journeys of improvement. I would love to hear some of your stories and tips to how you keep yourself motivated on the long road of this heavy duty.

Heavy Duty – Week Four Report

Down again. 1 pound this week. I made an effort to make some good decisions this week and they paid off. I only made it to the gym ONCE but the long walks I have been taking with Kristin and Oliver have made me more active than I once was. I also decided to not touch a beer this week AND to follow the “no food after 9PM” rule.

I hope that this is the beginning of a slow and steady decline in weight, but one can never count on it. I just need to focus on making better and better habits and trying my best to be active and get good sleep.

This week has been a rough one related to work and my emotions. I have also been busier with other things keeping me from getting the gym time in I wanted. However, the fact that the scale was in my favor, shows that I am on the right track.

I’ve come to the mindset that this will be a long journey. But I am committed to it. Some dad’s have building projects for their homes, for me my first project is myself.

Heavy Duty – Week Three Report

Well, today wasn’t a surprise. I gained a little over half a pound. However, this isn’t putting me down. There are a lot of reasons why I am not seeing a down-tick this week.

1. I only purposefully “worked out” twice this week.
2. Labor Day weekend was fun, and I did a lot of walking…BUT I didn’t make very smart food and beverage choices.
3. I haven’t been drinking enough water.
4. I had a few too many sweets in the evenings (S’mores around the campfire)…

BUT I am feeling good and I can tell my muscles are continuing to “wake up” as I get more and more into a running routine. I do need to remember that my heart rate when I train for running is too high for fat burning and promotes muscle growth (which will eventually help increase my metabolism).

I also need to remind myself that I am healthy. Every time I have blood work and get my pressure checked, it comes back healthy. I have a struggle with excessive body fat, but I am not pre-diabetic, have bad cholesterol, nor hypertension.

Weeks when the scale isn’t in my favor are bummers, but I can’t let them bring me down. If I do… more bummers will follow.

Heavy Duty – Week Two Report

It has been a tough week. Second weeks can be like that. I increased my running my ten minutes a day and I have taken care to run a deficit of calories everyday, some more than others. I stepped on the scale today expecting to see at least 1.5 pounds lost. I didn’t.

I lost .70 of a pound. It’s something. BUT there are other indicators that I am moving in the right direction. The running is getting easier. My legs feel less flabby. I was able to use an extra notch on my belt today and my overall energy is doing better. Also, I am wearing an extra large shirt today and it’s not clinging to me, which is a small victory.

My journey won’t be an overnight story. I know I am in for the long haul. Even though I didn’t break a pound this week…if I have this small rate of loss, I will get where I am going, just not super fast. It took me 13 years to go from 218 to 295. The journey back may take as much time, though I hope not.

Heavy Duty – Pushing Through

I didn’t want to work out yesterday. I was sore. I was tired. I felt defeated by how I looked in the mirror. My brain started to go in circles of doubt. It found new ways to try to convince me to not workout. It was day two of the next level in my running program and I just didn’t feel like it.

BUT… I told myself to try. To get in the gym, get on a treadmill and try. This week has been run/walk intervals of 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking on an incline. I could feel my legs and core remembering what they were once able to do so easily. Just one more interval, I told myself. Just one more. I remembered how I had taken four months to get ready for my first 5K…how I would run up mountains in Vermont…how good it felt to be able to throw down an “easy” 4 mile run on a Saturday…I did it before. I am doing it again. One more interval.

I finished my training and had gone 2.5 miles. My legs felt strong and my heart wasn’t beating out of control. Sure, I was a sweaty mess, but I did it.

Today is my rest day. I am walking my goal of 10K steps, but no heavy cardio. A day to prepare for the next round of intervals, tomorrow.