40 in 40 – After Week 9

Okay guys, I know I haven’t been keeping up my end of the bargain. I promised to post every Sunday, and I missed last week. And I’ve missed a few midweek update. No excuses, right? It has been a rough few weeks, but I promise to try and do better.

Stats are largely unchanged; I haven’t been working as hard as I could, but I also haven’t been slacking off as bad as I could. That translates to being static on the scale. This week, I will do better, and I will post on Thursday.

Thanks all of you for your support. It means more than I can express.

40 in 40 – After Week 7 (And a Half)

Ok, I know I missed my Sunday update this week. I had a lot going on – kiddo had a cold, fiancée had been working out of town and was back home for only 6 days, other messy/stressful personal stuff, plus my back was still a bit sore.

Full disclosure: The stress of that other messy/personal stuff has led me astray a bit with my eating. Nothing completely crazy; no binges involving me + a pint of ice cream + an entire pie; but I have been indulging a little in things like cheese and cupcakes. As a result, still no loss this week – but no major gains either (at one point on the back pain medication I got up to 208 lbs last week), so I’m calling this one a win!

Big shout out to all of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Your support and kind words are a BIG part of why, despite slipping a little the past couple of weeks, I haven’t thrown this whole idea out the window.

 

Stats:

Starting weight: 204.0

Current weight: 204.8

No comment on weight loss this week. Still down over 16 lbs in total though!

40 in 40 – After Week 6

I’ve had a major setback this weekend in the form of a back injury that occurred last summer making a comeback. I’ve had to take several medications this weekend which have resulted in high water retention (this also happened last summer; the difference being, that time I compounded it by eating all manner of unwise crap). So it’s no surprise that my weight is actually UP this weekend. However, I’m hoping that a few days of being very careful with my back will prevent the pain from getting to the point that it got to last summer.

So my challenge this week will be to keep it up despite the pain and being unable to work out.

Starting weight: 203.2 lbs
Current weight: 204.0 lbs

Weight loss this week: GAIN of 0.8 lbs
Weight loss total: 17.6 lbs

Mid-Week Update – Sometimes This Sucks

It’s been a crummy week.

The scale hasn’t budged all week, and I know why – I’ve made unwise eating decisions a couple of times (and every time, I regret it a couple of hours later, I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself when it upsets my stomach so badly…), and I’ve REALLY lost momentum with my workouts. I could make excuses, because I’m good at that – but I’m not going to. The only thing holding me back is me.

Having said that, sometimes taking a break is a good idea. (This is not one of those times, by the way, but it’s still a valid point.) Taking breaks means you can come back refreshed, with a new perspective. The tough thing about taking a break in this case is, how do you take a break from good health? What I need to find again is my determination and drive. That’s why it’s so important for me to make this about more than just my wedding (not that my wedding is JUST anything, but it’s still a finite event). In order to be able to take a break while still staying on track, I need to get – and stay! – in the mindset that what I’m doing will have implications for the rest of my life, in all aspects of my life: as a partner, a parent, an employee, a friend, a colleague, and so on and so on. A healthy break from the admittedly hardcore pace I’ve been setting should still mean keeping at least 80% of my daily caloric intake coming from healthy, whole-food sources, and engaging in daily fitness activities, like walking or strength training. So I guess that’s part of my goals too (remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned wanting to add goals) – find the balance so that when I DO need a break, I can have one without backsliding into bad habits.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you on Sunday for new stats!

 

40 in 40 – After Week 5

(Stats are from yesterday; crazy hectic day prevented posting this entry yesterday)

Honestly, as far as notes go, I don’t have much to say – which in itself is something. This routine is no longer novel or exciting – which means it’s probably time to change something up. On the plus side, it also means that eating properly is becoming less of a challenge and more of a habit – although I still aim to hold myself accountable by recording what I’m eating, how much and when.

This week I’m going to look into ways to change things up, keep myself challenged, motivated, and engaged. Losing interest often translates to going off-track. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

Stats:

Starting weight: 207.4 lbs

Current weight: 203.2 lbs

 

Weight loss this week: 4.2 lbs

Weight loss total: 18.4 lbs

Mid-Week Update – You Guys Are Making Me Blush

Today, I’m going to talk about you.

Lifestyle changes don’t happen in a vacuum. There are always a thousand other things going on in our lives; kids, school, work, relationships, finances, vacation plans, special events, holidays, and so on and so on and so on. And when it comes to events, there is almost ALWAYS a food component. Usually not a super healthy food either! When we are stressed and busy, it’s easiest to reach for whatever is convenient and fast. And that’s where you have come in.

The overwhelmingly positive response I’ve had since starting this journey (for the second time) has been both inspiring and humbling. I know that there are cases out there – I’ve heard of them from other people who have done this – where “friends” have tried their darnedest to tempt someone back to the “dark side” (we have cookies!). It seems like there are some people out there who just can’t bear to witness the fact that hard work, dedication, and willpower really can create change.

I can’t express how much I appreciate that this hasn’t happened to me. In fact, I’ve had nothing but encouragement throughout my journey so far, and have been told repeatedly that I’m inspiring others to change too.

So thanks, you guys, for following me through this and all of the kind words, facebook likes, Instragram hearts, and Twitter favourites!

40 in 40 – After Week 4

Yeah, I know, posting 2 days late…. let’s just pretend that it’s Sunday. (In all fairness, I DID go to the gym, clean my house, and do eleventy six loads of laundry on Sunday, so it was a little busy.) I hope to be back on a regular posting schedule this week, so look for another update Tuesday!

So I mentioned a little while back that I needed to come up with some new goals, because “just” the weightloss goal is going to start to wear thin pretty soon. There’s a few reasons for that, and the imminent plateau is a big one; if you have a goal and you don’t feel like you’re ever going to reach it, it’s hard to stay motivated. Another reason is that it gets pretty easy to backslide if you get overconfident, and it’s easy to get overconfident if you’ve, say, met 33% of your goal in only 10% of the allotted time, resulting in going crazy and eating 4 pieces of delicious homemade pizza. Just as a completely random, in-no-way-based-in-real-life example.

 

As such, I have decided that I have the following, additional, non-weight-loss-related goals:

Cardio:

By July 31, 2014, I want to be able to go 60 minutes on my elliptical

Upper Body (Free weight goals):

By July 31, 2014 – 20 lb bicep curl, 17.5 lb tricep kickback, 12.5 lb dumbbell front raise, 12.5 lb dumbbell lateral raise

Lower Body (Free weight and machine):

By July 31, 2014 – 150 lb squat, 200 lb leg press machine, 200 lb machine calf raises, 80 lb lying leg curl machine.

I’ll add to this list as time goes on.

Now for the stats! (weight stats are from Sunday)

Starting weight: 210.6 lbs

Current weight: 207.4 lbs

 

Weight loss this week: 3.2 lbs

Weight loss total: 14.2 lbs

Mid-week Update – Staying the Course

So about this time (after three weeks of reasonable success) is when most “diet” plans start to fail. Excessively restricting your caloric intake isn’t a recipe for success. Eventually, most people give in (because – news flash – we need to eat), and it’s usually not a healthy choice. That’s the big difference between “dieting” and changing your diet.

The word “diet” has been sadly corrupted by the weightloss industry. If you look up “diet” in the dictionary, you will find that its definition is “the type of food a person, animal, or community typically eats”. The use of “diet” as a verb to describe a restrictive eating plan is secondary. If you think of dieting that way – as an action you are doing – then if (when) you break down and eat an entire tray of cookies (not that I am speaking from recent, personal experience), your brain perceives failure: you have failed in dieting. The law of inertia applies to your frame of mind just as surely as it applies to anything else; once you perceive yourself as having failed, it’s much easier to keep on failing. That, in a nutshell, is why dieting doesn’t work – a fact the weightloss industry relies on.

On the other hand, if you change your diet, you can also change how you perceive food. I mentioned in a previous entry that it’s important to think of food as fuel, not as entertainment. The quality of fuel you put into your body will have a direct effect on the quality of performance you get out of it. That’s why, when I ate an entire tray of cookies (ok I’m exaggerating but I did eat five), I didn’t leap immediately into the “Well, I’ve already messed up, might as well break out the chips and chocolate bars” mentality. Instead, I noticed the fact that my body reacted immediately to the intake of processed sugar with increased thirst, reduced concentration, and a migraine that I would much prefer never to have experienced. I came to the conclusion that I’d rather not feel that way, and continued on with my healthy eating plan – my changed diet.

It sure doesn’t hurt that I’ve had several comments in the last couple of days from people who say they’re starting to see the difference in my appearance. I don’t see it yet, but if you do, I must be doing something right!

See you on Sunday with a stats update!

40 in 40 – After Week 3

I’m out of town at the moment, enjoying family day long weekend with my fiancée and kids up at my mom’s place, so my usual thoughts on the week will have to wait – but here’s the stats!

Starting weight: 212.2 lbs
Current weight: 210.6 lbs

Weight loss this week: 1.6 lbs
Weight loss total: 11 lbs

I’m over 25% of the way there! Look for some new goals in this week’s mid-week update.

Thanks for reading! See you next week!

On Stress and “Cheating”

I know I’m a day and a half late with my mid-week update, but it’s been a heck of a week. I’ve got some major personal-life stress going on (and my fiancée has been incredible throughout it all), and as a result of that I haven’t been eating properly – by which I mean both that I’ve been eating things I shouldn’t (specifically an entire box of chocolate covered almonds – the kind kids sell for fundraisers), and that I haven’t been eating what I should or when I should.

Retraining your body in how it processes food requires a number of things. First, you have to change how you think about food – one of my best friends, who is also my “gym sponsor”, frequently reminds me of this. “Food is fuel,” she says, “not entertainment. Don’t use crappy fuel or you won’t get good results.” What she means by that is – as little processing as possible; whole foods; a lot of lean protein every day; and understanding how different types of food serve different processes in your body. Eating as much fresh vegetables as we are “supposed” to, based on the food guide, is actually really challenging!

But another side to this is eating regularly. Now, some studies show that three large properly proportioned meals are fine for blood sugar levels, and we don’t really need to eat five or six smaller meals a day to improve metabolism. However, I’m also trying to accomplish an entirely separate but still related goal, which is to feel full with less food.

Eating North American sized portions for most of my adult life means that my stomach (the actual organ) is much larger than it needs to be. This can be surgically corrected for about $10k with gastric banding – or you can fix it for free by just eating smaller amounts. It takes months of eating less volume more frequently to actually shrink your stomach back down to sheer a reasonable sized meal is satisfying though. And when I’m stressed out, even if I am eating the right stuff, I tend to just starve all day while I’m busy at work and then eat a ridiculously big supper – not conducive to a better lifestyle at all!

Ok I was actually going somewhere with that, but the battery in my phone is dying and it’s time to put my kiddo to bed. Happy valentines day everyone!

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