Happy 10-year blogging anniversary to me! I started this website in September 2010, and in the past 10 years, I’ve shared my story in 1,568 posts. I’ve had 1.2 million page views. (Whoa!)
I’m incredibly proud that I’ve stuck by this website, and have now reached a solid decade of focusing on my health. But the truth is that I’m not in a very good place right now, health-wise, and I don’t feel like celebrating.
My actual blog anniversary has already passed – it was on September 13th. I’ve struggled for two weeks on how to actually write this post. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I just need to be honest.
I’ve been gaining weight. I don’t know how much, but I can tell, in the mirror, and with how my clothes fit. I’m scared to weigh myself, because I’m afraid the number will be too hard to see.
I’ve also been slacking on some of the very things that have been foundational with my success. I’ve lived in my new house for almost three months now, and I still haven’t put up my weight loss chart. I’ve been logging my workouts, but I haven’t done any progress reports or calculated my Cardio Miles. And while I start my days off really well, in terms of my eating, the evenings are another matter. I feel like I’m failing, and it’s an awful feeling.
When I think back on the past 10 years, one of my favorite memories is the feeling that weight loss success brought: the shrinking number on the scale was excellent, but the momentum felt even better: I was losing weight – or keeping it off – the right way (through diet, exercise, and discipline), and when everything was clicking, it really felt like a lifestyle that I’d be able to sustain for the rest of my life.
Right now, it feels like most things aren’t clicking, and this feeling, unfortunately, has momentum too. More often than not, I feel like I’m destined to return to 400 pounds. It’s only a matter of time, no matter what I eat or don’t eat, or how much I sweat. I’m never going to be able to get back on track. That’s a pretty shitty feeling, too.
One of the reasons why I waited a couple weeks to share all this is because I didn’t want to be the guest of honor at my own pity party. I wanted a PLAN. Seeing the 10-year anniversary on my calendar was a wake-up call, and I needed to wake the hell up. And coming up with an actual plan took a bit of time.
But now I’m feeling good about that plan, and I’ve already set a few things in motion:
I hung up my weight loss chart. One of my spare bedrooms in the new house barely has any furniture, and I use it to store clothes and shoes, so I’m in there every day when I’m getting dressed. It’s the perfect spot for the chart. So I finally hung it up.
When I was hanging it up, I realized that I hadn’t updated it since January of this year. Geez.
By the way, there’s no chance I’m 277 pounds right now. I bet I’m hovering around 300. I haven’t updated the chart yet. Hanging it was Phase 1, and updating is Phase 2 – I need a solid week of great eating behind me before I step on the scale. Perhaps that’s silly, but I want more wheels in motion before I confront that cold, hard truth.
I caught up with my Progress Reports and Cardio Miles. I never stopped jotting down my workouts, but I usually take a few minutes at the end of every month to count up my workouts and number crunch the Cardio Miles, and I hadn’t done that since May. Now I’m caught up, and here’s the abridged version:
- In June, I exercised 25 out of 30 days and logged 60.1 Cardio Miles.
- In July, I exercised 26 out of 31 days and logged 77.7 Cardio Miles.
- In August, I exercised 25 out of 31 days and logged 80.8 Cardio Miles.
- In September, I exercised 23 out of 27 days and logged 79.9 Cardio Miles (so far; there’s still 3 days left in the month).
Altogether, during this period, I logged 298.5 Cardio Miles, bringing my total up to 6,560.2 miles since 2013!
I set new goals. This was actually thanks to a wellness program at work that I’m participating in, which required us to set three goals, to be accomplished in different time frames. These are the goals I set:
- In the next 30 days, I’m going to complete FIVE stair workouts. I set this goal because I love stairs, and I haven’t set foot on any since February, when I competed in my most recent stair race. I think, thanks to the pandemic, it’ll still be a while before I’m racing again in a stairwell, but that doesn’t mean I can’t utilize the stairs for awesome workouts. I blogged last week about my first of these workouts, which was an incredible success, and earlier today I did my second workout, at the local high school football stadium bleachers.
- In the next six months, I’m going to register for FIVE races. I miss racing, and although I don’t love 5Ks and 10Ks as much as stair racing, they are coming back, with virtual events and even some socially distant, safe, live events. Racing gives me something to look forward to, and work towards, and they’re fun reminders of my abilities. I’m actually signed up for a race that’s happening in two weekends, but I can’t count that towards this goal, because I signed up before I established this goal. I also added the caveat that I only need to register for the races in the next six months, and that’s because winter will be here soon, and actual races may be limited. This goal requires me to register, even if the actual event isn’t held until later next spring.
- In the next twelve months, I want to lose 50 pounds. This is the big one. I know I can do it. And I’ve set this goal to be achievable. In order to reach it, I only need to lose a little more than four pounds every month – roughly one a week.
I’m tackling my eating shortfalls head on by doing more meal prep. I’ve settled into really great breakfast and lunch routines since I’ve moved into my new house. In the mornings, I drink a protein shake and have a piece of fruit, and bring raw veggies into the car every day to munch on during my commute to work. I bring my lunch 80% of the time, packing a big salad, some fruit, and a protein source (sometimes yogurt, but more frequently fish, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs to put on the salad).
My downfall, nearly every day, is dinner – and what comes after. I stock my house with healthy dinner options, but I often come home too tired to cook, or I didn’t do any planning or put any thought into dinner, so I didn’t thaw anything from the freezer or clean and prep vegetables, and it all seems like such a hassle. When I don’t plan, I make poor choices, whether it’s getting unhealthy food delivered, or healthy food delivered, but in unhealthy quantities, or hitting a drive-thru on my drive home, or swinging by 7-11 and buying junk food to snack on while watching TV. I’ve done all of the above, way too many times, and I need to quit it.
I spent three hours today meal prepping all my dinners for the week. It’s super exciting to look in the fridge and see everything, in containers, ready to go! I used a mix of what I have in the house, with a few things I picked up from the store. The biggest store-bought contribution was a Coconut Curry Chicken meal kit, which serves two, and I cooked and separated into two containers.
I also steamed green beans, sautéed Brussel sprouts, cooked a steak and two plant-based meatless burgers, and poached some fish. I have plenty of reusable storage containers, although there was a tragic accident today when I filled one with steamed green beans and put it on a hot burner on the stove, promptly melting it, coating all those green beans with melted plastic. Yuck. And a pain in the ass to clean up.
Apart from that mess, everything turned out magnificently! Since I couldn’t use those green beans, I had to improvise and instead will be eating poached fish one night this week with tomato slices.
Oh, and wait! I want to circle back to those Brussels sprouts for a quick minute. I hadn’t bought Brussels sprouts in over a year. My dad hates them, so I never bought any when I was living with my folks, and I have no good reason why I haven’t eaten them in my new house yet. So when I saw Brussels sprouts being sold on the stalk at the local farm stand, I couldn’t resist.
Buying them this way means you’ll be spending more time prepping them, but I didn’t mind. First I cut all the individual sprouts off the stalk…
…and then I sautéed a third of them as part of the meal prep. I took a third of them and shredded them in my favorite hand-crank food processor, so add to my lunch salads. The final third is in my fridge, to be used another day!
I also made all my lunches for the week: three salads (two of which have the plant-based burgers on them, cut-up), and one store-bought, veggie-centric lunch kit.
As for the fifth lunch, I’ll buy that at my company’s cafeteria. They have a chicken and veggies entree that’s pretty good – just chicken and steamed veggies, and a little sauce. I’ve been buying it once a week as a little treat.
Lastly, I need to focus on my mindset. I tend to be hard on myself, and I need to do better about cutting myself some slack. I tend to focus and fixate on the one poor choice I make during the day, instead of the ten good choices, and it should be the other way around. I need to be better about patting myself on the back when I push myself with a challenging workout. I need to continue doing the little things, like updating my Cardio Miles, acknowledging my weight loss chart and the incredible journey it represents on a daily basis, and reminding myself of all the awesome things I’m doing right now:
- I’m attending, on Monday evenings after work, a boot camp fitness class that kicks my butt every single time. It’s outdoors, and socially distant, and I’m the only person at my company that’s attended every single class since they began offering them two months ago.
- Right now there are probably 6 or 7 different kinds of vegetables in my fridge, and I’m eating them every day. No veggies go bad in my house!
- I consider my weekly hike with JJ to be an easy day, intensity-wise, but those hikes average 5-8 miles and actually wipe me out.
There are so many things I’m doing right. I may have things to improve upon, but the voices in my head are wrong: I’m not failing. I’m not destined to go back to my old weight. I’m capable of so much more.
Keep it up, David!
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