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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall Back - Part 2

September/ October Update

[Part 2]

In Part 1 of this month's update, I just made some observations about what types of things get me off track.  At this point of my life, I'm not sure why this seems to happen at the same time every year but now it's something I'm looking for and hoping to turn around before I'm back up to 312 lbs again.

As mentioned before, my mileage for the months of September and October are down.  Since I use walking and jogging as my primary vehicle for weightloss, this lower mileage trend helps to explain the upward trend in weight.  Even if I eat poorly, the running will keep my weight in check but without the running and the poor eating is compounded.

I spoke on this a little last month.  I've tracked my weight for long enough now that I can see a yearly trend that occurs.  The 2013/2014 drastic dip was the marathon training (and when I started TMinus110).  After marathon training, I've been on a regular cycle.  260 lbs appears to be the typical floor.  Another striking observation is how fast I gain weight.  I typically lose weight at a rate of 2 lbs a week but it only takes me a couple of months to go from 260 lbs to 312 lbs. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of this but I've got to do something to break the cycle on this year around.  We're entering into the holiday season so we'll just have to see how things go on the backside.  I just know that I don't want to be 312 lbs in January. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fall Back - Autumn's Lament - Part 1

September/ October Update

[Part 1]

Back in August, I prepared myself for the possibility of gaining weight after vacation.  Thankfully, I prepared, vacationed with some restraint and finished off the month with some weight-loss.  Some of the success was due to the 5K Donut Dash goal.  Having a race coming up definitely helped me stay on track.

I plateaued in September and ended October with an upward trend. Since I'm now on the lookout for these negative cycles, I'm able to see what causes them and then respond.  Here's my observation this go around.

First, there was hurricane Irma. For a week in September, we hosted some good friends from south Florida who evacuated from the storm.  We had a total of 10 adults, 4 dogs, 4 cats and a partridge in a pear tree. I got some runs in but both my eating and exercise schedule got off track.

Tragically, I lost my aunt Donna (my Mom's sister) and I was asked to conduct the funeral in Florida.  While we tried to get some exercise in, the activities related to the funeral consumed much of my time; including a late night/early morning stretch.  Add to this visits with family in restaurants, coffee shops, and Dunkin Donuts, there was little hope for staying on track. I'm not being harsh on myself but recognizing that this type of thing does contribute to getting out of routine. 

Next, about a week later, Mom and Dad visited for their annual Autumn visit to Georgia.  We celebrated their time with visits to the apple orchard for apple picking, the fair and a late birthday celebration for me.  Along with all of that came a ton of delicious cooking, and less exercise.  Mom taught Alexis how to cook our traditional family pierogies, Mom made my traditional birthday lasagna and apple deserts were aplenty.  I denied myself nothing and thoroughly enjoy it! 

Finally, I started a part-time job with Pizza Hut.  Pizza, chicken wings and breadsticks.  Need I say more?

[continues to part 2]

Friday, October 13, 2017

Runs for doughnuts

The Labor Day - Doughnut Dash 5K - September 4, 2017

My buddy Joshua and I decided to do a 5K together.  What better type of fitness run than one involving doughnuts? (or is it 'donut' ?)  I had a great time joking with him about our competition.  Joshua was picking out the guys just as big as me and egging me on to beat them.  It worked.  During the race, I took personal pleasure in passing these guys in my same physical shape (round is a shape, right?).

I'm still impressed with the times that Joshua is laying down.  He's got some fierce competition in this age group (his age group was in the top 5 of the entire race) but he still laid down an impressive M/M pace time.  

I was also proud of myself.  My practice runs have been 14MM and I finished the race at an impressive (for me) 11'53.  I typically slow down with each mile and I gained in each mile for this race.  

To top it all off, the end of the race had a serious hill (upper right) that I concurred.  All of this added up to the most pleasurable race experience in recent memory. I'm a big guy, and I take pride in my ability to move this mass along a race course towards a weight-loss goal and other personal achievements.

More race day photos:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Facing the giant

I have repeated a consistent trend over the last four years that involves losing a copious amount of weight and then regaining it back.  There's something that happens after vacation in August that gets me back into old habits.  Last year is no exception.  This year, I am determined to lean on my staff, gather smooth stones and a slick sling and face this giant.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Old Soldiers Day 8K - 2017

TMinus110 is not only about my personal journey but also includes those in my family improving themselves in a similar fashion.  I'm fortunate to have a family that embraces together these activities. With that said, I'm thoroughly impressed with Debra and Joshua taking on the 39th Annual Old Soldiers Day 8K in such short time to our return to running. 

It warms my heart to see mother and son together enjoying an activity like this.  I'm not used to being on the side lines but I also enjoyed sharing this moment with Gabrielle in support of Joshua and Debra.  

Being a runner myself, I shared an empathetic amount of support for Joshua and Debra as I cheered them on at the half way point.  I could see the effort on their faces.  One particular spectator benefited included the race course looping around a block twice, so I got to support them at the start and halfway point of the race; and then again at the finish line. 

I am so proud of these 8K finishers! This is Debra first race in over a year and Joshua's first 8K.

Joshua pulled a third place age group finish which was a pleasant surprise.  I'm continually impressed with Joshua's athletism.  This past summer for a couple of months he played as a catcher in All-stars Baseball.  Given this context, to see him getting a podium or even completing an 8K is most impressive... for a catcher.

Way to go Joshua and Debra!

Race results...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

[Weeks 11 - 13] Pressure relief valve

While weight-loss is a major focus of my exercise and diet, the primary goal is to improve my vitals.  Of all of my achievements this month, my blood pressure numbers are the most surprising. I have consistently stayed in the "safe zone" for the past couple of weeks.  My joy is off the charts. My resting heart rate is also impressive.  It's a good feeling that I will need to book a visit to my cardiologist to have my blood pressure meds adjusted once again (66 is getting low).

Stats for the Month of July:
Another successful month.  My running mileage is up for the second month in a row,  my weight is down another 11 lbs, and I feel great about my progress.  One last 3-week push before our annual Sanibel vacation. 
  • Current weight: 281 lbs
  • 1-Month weight-loss: -11 lbs
  • Total weight-loss to date: 30 lbs 
  • Total Miles: 76

Monday, July 10, 2017

[Week 10] Muscle fitness incorporated...

Running is my primary avenue for weight-loss but I find that layering muscle fitness into the mix not only helps me feel stronger for the run but also adds lean muscle mass for increased metabolism and calorie burn. I rotate two different muscle groups so that I don't rest between sets and get an added cardio bonus from this method.  It also helps me to finish my workout with 15 to 20 minutes.  My daughter Gabrielle has been my training partner for the past couple of weeks.

I should also mention that I was able to get in three non-stop 5K runs this week and my time is already improving from almost 16 mm to just under 15mm.  This time around, I'm not suffering from shin splints or other early running injuries.  I'm also impressed that my cardio fitness is doing just fine with this increased workout.  I think walking for a month (almost daily) has given me a stamina foundation for running.

As always, Debra is quite impressive.  She really is a good runner.  She's already doing 5K non-stop runs at 13mm (and faster by the end).

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

[Week 9] Starting the month with a bang...

We camped in East Georgia the weekend of the 4th of July, and better fitness not only allowed me to find fulfillment in camping but it encouraged me to venture out and have a good time. We visited a local dam and hiked up to the visitors center about a mile away.

As a family, we also enjoyed Geocaching that included a bunch of hiking and my son and I also ventured off into the forest to find a hidden treasure (ammo can cache).  If it were not for better fitness, I'm not sure I would have been up for this challenge.

I enjoy getting those special achievements from Nike+, so we all went out and earned a badge for July 4th.  Debra, Gabrielle, Joshua and I all ran for the 4-miles on the 4th.  My pace isn't real great but it's nice to be able to finally get to running again.  Even better, my run felt great and I look forward to adding the miles and signing up for races again.

Monday, June 26, 2017

[Weeks 5 - 8] The every day...

Being healthier and more in shape makes the every day go about a lot easier.  Without walking and other fitness activities, a simple trip to the ballpark would be burdensome. Instead, I had a good time, added some helpful steps to my day, and thoroughly enjoyed a day out with my pal.  The same would be true for any other activities.

Stats for the Month of June:
Another successful month.  My mileage keeps increasing my weight is down another 8 lbs, and I'm feeling healthy in my core.  We've got one last push before vacation hits.
  • Current weight: 294 lbs
  • 1-Month weight-loss: -8 lbs
  • Total weight-loss to date: 18 lbs 
  • Total Miles: 48

Monday, May 29, 2017

[Week 4] Peanut butter mocha...

I ordered my favorite cup of joe (throwing the calorie count to the wind), sat back in the easy chair and settled into a feel good moment about the month that I have had.  I've been solid in most endeavors and met a reasonable pace with my fitness and dietary goals

Stats for the Month of May:
Overall, this was a successful month.  My walking mileage is back up, my weight is down by 10 lbs, and I'm feeling healthy in my core.  
  • Current weight: 302 lbs
  • 1-Month weight-loss: -10 lbs
  • Total weight-loss to date: 10 lbs 
  • Total Miles: 38

Monday, May 22, 2017

[Week 3] The Synergy of flight...

Four weeks ago, I set off on a flight with the goal of losing 10 lbs. before my trip to Orlando for the trade-show.  I hit some turbulence but met the weight requirement without additional carry-on.

The last three weeks included some daily walks of 3 to 4 miles while completing 30+ before my trip.  This improved fitness became a benefit as I ended up walking each day 1.5 miles one way to the convention center and then had a bunch of walking at the trade-show during the day.  To cap it off, we went to Islands of Adventure and had a bunch of walking there.  It was nice to walk with my colleagues without losing breath.  I think I did fairly well for a hot week in Orlando.

Current Weight: 302 lbs.

Monday, May 8, 2017

[Week 1 & 2] One month goal... Orlando!

So, here's the thing,  I have a trade show to attend in Orlando on May 22nd.  I have set a one month goal to lose 10 lbs. by this date.  I know when I get this big, the seats on the plane are hard to settle into and I require an extension for the belts.  Ten less pounds would not only help for this inconvenience but I think improved fitness would also help for the event.

Current weight: 312 lbs

Monday, May 1, 2017

[Week 0] This familiar place... again

In my adult life, I have been to this place on several occasions. It's a routine, a cycle, a point of return.  And while I make the same promises to myself, I have often returned to this place for one reason or another.  In 2016, the reason was vacation.  Don't get me wrong, we managed to exercise every day but the net result was still a 10 lbs. gain and the start of the uphill climb to Mount Corpulence.

Well, I've set out new goals and new opportunities to succeed.  The scale at this moment states 312 lbs.