Down the home stretch

So we enter the last full week of this 100 day challenge. I’m debating living in the gym this week or spend the time looking for the best massage place in the valley.

As we come to the end of this amazing journey, I have a few thoughts I wanted to record for me at least and for anyone else who wants to know:

A few years ago, a group of us at my office decided that we needed to improve our health. With the amazing results one of our assistants was experiencing with a exercise and nutrition specialist, we signed up to do the same thing. I found some initial success with someone regulating my diet and telling me what exercises to do and when. I really didn’t have to think or learn anything other than knowing what line to read at what time of day. I was able to drop a good number of pounds and body fat % points, as well as a good amount of money for the help. I appreciated the help to reach what I wanted to achieve and the motivation and accountability at the time was worth it.

Shortly after that, my work sponsored a biggest loser contest with the same group. It was fun to participate in that challenge, doing the same thing as before. I was lucky enough to have some very competitive co-workers who pushed me to do as well as I could. I was lucky enough to squeeze out a decent prize in the contest. Between the two different “programs” with this group over about a year and a half, I was able to lose over forty pounds and definitely look and feel better.

Time went on, and I was tired of eating chicken, rice, and green beans for every meal except breakfast (oatmeal and whey protein), so I gradually put some of that weight back on. Along with it, I ended up having a surgery which limited my ability to continue work out as I had been. So I fell back to what I thought was a comfortable weight that I was able to reasonably maintain, but that was gaining back half of what I had already lost. The biggest problem I had was that I had become so used to having someone prepare a meal plan form me that I didn’t learn any principles that I could regularly apply in my every day life with meal planning.

I was still at this mid-range weight when this challenge began and feeling pretty good about it. When I got my initial numbers back, it was better than I had expected. But as I got into the exercise groove for the first time since my surgery, I felt the smaller me wanting to come back out. The exercise is great and Shalese has really pushed Christy and I. Keeping up with my amazing dynamo wife as been my motivation and challenge.

However, the biggest take away from this challenge for me has been the knowledge I have gained through the nutrition classes. I’ll admit that I went begrudgingly on more than one morning during the challenge - sorry Mindy! BUT, I have finally started to learn how to really take control of my own food and meal planning, understanding calorie counts, nutrition information, and what the proper amount to eat is. I finally feel like I have control over this constant battle by knowing what to do, because “knowing is half the battle.”

I will take this control to continue my relearned healthy habits (and to continue to keep up with my wife). This has been an experience that I will use everyday after this challenge is over. Until that day, I guess I will make the final push down the home stretch trying to push out every last ounce of sweat I can. It’s been fun to meet and work along side all of the participants and to see their progress as well. It is amazing how we can all help each other by being encouraging and trying to motivate each with positive comments and a few laughs (generally at our trainers expense).

Thanks for the ride everyone. Let’s finish strong.

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Stress Test

I know that we are busy in our lives and sometimes, just sometimes, we feel like we don’t have the time to work out or find a better meal option.  Some days, I feel like that is the norm for how we as humans operate.

As my stress level builds with deadlines and an ever increase workload (thank you IRS for your deadlines and even smaller window than normal to meet those deadlines!), I have felt the desire to say I’ll do my workout tomorrow (extra hard to make up for today of course).

However, I have learned what is a very valuable lesson in my life at least by being persistent and not to cave to the “norm.”  That lesson is that the are great mental health benefits from consistently working out.  Even if I only take 30 minutes on the elliptical or the treadmill, there is a great intrinsic reward for me and how I feel about myself, my day, and how I approach the challenges before me.

My choice has been to exercise at night, at the end of the day.  The stress of the day and the pressures that have already built for the next day melt away with each minute I push myself a little further (and it is a push late at night).  By the time I’m done, my head has cleared and I find myself in a what I call a normal shut-down period for the day.  It makes going to bed really easy with a tired body and a stress free mind.

I love the physical changes from pushing myself in the gym, but I really crave the stress release I get from the exercise.  So thank you Huey Lewis, the new drug I want has been found!

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Progress (Finally!)

For the last 8 days, every scale I have stepped on has said the same exact number, EVERY TIME!

It didn’t matter what time of day, what scale, how many layers of clothing, what I did (or didn’t eat), nor how much I worked out.

Today, I am happy to report a change in the right direction … or a broken scale!

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Battle of the Bands

Product Details

Last Saturday, Shalese brought some special workout equipment to torture us.  I didn’t think that it would be too bad, but what do I know - I felt it for two more days.  Great work out tools, but prepared to be sore!

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Happy Heart Day

So Christy and I have been at this challenge for almost 2 weeks now. I thought I’d get around to blogging some struggles, I mean progress!

What did you do on Valentine’s Day? Instead of trying to find the least occupied restaurant or the most amazing dessert, we went to the gym to make our hearts stronger. You’d be surprised at how much room there was in the parking lot. I probably shouldn’t say that we were able to park right by the door. (It was the back door at least!)

I didn’t love the hour on the elliptical, but I did love being there with Christy.

So far I’ve found that the biggest struggle I have had is making sure to make the time each day to exercise. This is my busiest time of year for work, so it is easy to say I will do it later or tomorrow. I owe into myself (and my partner of course) to take the time for me. So watch out elliptical and treadmill, you will see more (I mean less) of me real soon!

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