22 October, 2011

-1.0/-1.2: That's More Like It

It's strange that unsuccessful or semi-successful weeks are so easy to reflect on and write about while a successful week like this one leaves my mind so blank.  I guess I'll just have to reflect on what made this week successful and how it could have been more successful.

The thing that had the greatest influence on my loss this week is greater diligence in accurately tracking my points.  In the previous week, I tracked everything but I was a little loose on how accurate my tracking was.  This week I tried to err on the side of over-estimating points values when I was uncertain.

In terms of how I could have been more successful this week, I think I could have made some more nutritionally sound choices in how I spent my points.  Not all points are created equally, and a decrease in the amount of greasy or fatty foods that I eat in a week wouldn't go amiss.  Sticking to my points will absolutely lead to weight loss, but it's important to remember that the real goal is not to lose weight but to be a healthier and fitter individual.

Goal time.  In the coming week I will continue to track everything and drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water.  My new goal is to have at least two 30 minute workouts.  At this point I won't worry about the intensity, just that I get out there two times during the week and do something.

Again only one goal.  I think these easy to achieve, small goals are really the key to my success so far.

16 October, 2011

Post Weekend Report

The good news is that tracking this weekend was a complete success.  As usual I ate more than I intended, but at least I'm still within my points.  There's a good chance I'll be able to maintain my goal of tracking everything during the week.

The bad news is that drinking 64 oz of water per day was a complete failure.  Weekends are difficult for things like that.  Back to it tomorrow though and hopefully at the end of the week I'll be able to say I hit 4/7 days for water.

14 October, 2011

-0.4/-0.2: On Track?

Amazingly, I was able to stick to my two goals for the week.  Everything was tracked, and I got 32 oz of water down every day.  It's not as much of a loss as I would have liked, but I can probably chalk that up to not working out and ingesting too many of my flex points.

Overall, I'm finally back to losing again.  I'm only down 0.2 pounds, but I'll take it.  At some point I'd like to get  my average up to losing a pound per week, but any loss is a good loss!

Since I was able to stick to both of my goals last week, time to create at least one for this week.

Goal: Drink More Water
This week, 64 oz of water per day (which is the most popular recommendation regarding the amount of water/fluid that a person should drink per day).

Only one goal for this week, I'm already failing at it so I guess 64 oz of water per day starting tomorrow.

Pain in the Deck

For the first time in four years I'm finally cleaning and re-sealing my deck.  It turns out, you shouldn't wait that long.

Apparently I forgot the fiasco from the first time I stripped, washed, sanded, and stained the deck.  I figured this time should be no problem right?  I mean, I just did all that other crap four years ago.  WRONG!

As bits of wood and stain were blasted free by 1400 psi the realization came that I was back where I was when we first moved into the house.  On top of that, it was starting to get "fuzzy" (if you've every washed a deck you know exactly what I'm talking about).  At this point I knew that the whole damn thing would need to be sanded so I began to power wash with reckless abandon.  And I have to say that with reckless abandon is the only way one should power wash.

Great, I have a newly washed deck.  The gray is mostly gone, the lose stain and wood is gone, nothing left to do but sand it and stain it.  Then it rained for a month.  Seriously, the deck wasn't dry enough to sand for a month.  I'm not just talking little showers here and there, I'm talking torrential wrath of God rain.  The kind that makes you start to wonder if you don't need to start gathering animals.  The good news is that I already have the cats covered.  The bad news is that neither one of them is capable of reproducing and I'm not entirely convinced it would be a good thing if they could.

But this isn't about the cats is it?  Finally, a beautiful weekend came.  I pulled out the sander, clamped the sheet in, and started sanding.  Slowly, PAINFULLY slowly, I began to make progress sanding the rails smooth.  After going through about 8 sheets and barely even putting a dent in this task I finally admitted that it wasn't working.  A quick check online and I was able to find out that most people are using random orbit sanders with 80 grit sandpaper.  Somehow, I figured out to use 80 grit on my own.

Off to the store for a new sander.  After some research online and some good, old-fashioned in-store hemming and hawing I chose the Milwaukee 6021-21 5 in. Random Orbit Sander (yeah, that's my new toy in the picture).   The difference was evident immediately.  As I settled into a groove of faster, more effective sanding I contemplated how many different metaphors could be drawn between this project and the projects that I work on as a software developer.

Lesson 1: Do Your Research
Had I done just a few minutes of poking around online I would have saved myself wasted time using an ineffective tool.

Lesson 2: Update Your Tools
Even though the tool that I already owned would do the job eventually, by simply spending a little money and updating to the proper tool I was accomplish the task more quickly and with better results.

Although these are very common sense lessons that you can find pretty much anywhere you look, I feel like it's worth remembering and pointing out to myself not only as I attempt to accomplish a myriad of projects around the home but also day-by-day at work.

09 October, 2011

Go Me!

I'm really happy with myself this weekend. With any nutritional goal, the weekend is the place I'm most likely to slip up. Once I've slipped on the weekend, it becomes much more likely that I won't bother as much with it during the week. Conversely, if I make it through e weekend without failing miserably I feel more confident that I can have that same success during the week.

I proud to report that I was able to stick to both of my goals over the weekend. I drank at least 32 oz. Of water each day, and I tracked everything that I ate. I definitely ate more than I intended to, but at least I know what my intake was and I can remain focused on a successful week ahead.

07 October, 2011

-1.6/+0.2: Success In Spite of My Best Efforts

Blogging? Check.  Tracking? Not so much.  Somehow, despite the fact that I didn't track what I ate for most of this week I was able to lose.  I think I can attribute the loss to the fact that I intended to track every day.  So while I never wrote it down, I was continually seeing in my mind what it would look like if I did.

The anticipation of this blog post is also a big motivator.  When I know that I'm going to hold myself publicly accountable on weigh-in day I'm less inclined to allow myself to slip as much during the week.

A 50% achievement rate on my two goals from last week is something I can live with when I have a 95% good weigh in.  A loss of 1.6 pounds for the week is right in line with healthy weight loss, though a loss of 1.8 pounds so that I didn't still have an overall gain would have been better.

For the coming week I have set two goals, one old and one new:
Goal 1: Track Everything
I don't believe for a second that I will achieve continued success by "tracking in my head".  This goal goes back on the list every week until it happens, and after any week that it doesn't.

Goal 2: Drink More Water
For a little background on why this is a goal:

In addition to attempting to achieve my tracking goal from last week, I'm adding a goal to drink a minimum of 32oz of water per day.  I'm aware that this is well below the recommendation, but I have to start somewhere right?  The water bottle I have at work is 32oz, so I expect that convincing me to fill and drink it once a day won't be too terribly difficult.  

This goal is important to me for three reasons.  The number one reason is that water is a requirement for a healthy body.  The second is that it aids in weight loss.  And the final reason is that water is essential for successful workouts and workout recoveries.

Two small goals in one week is plenty.  Small, achievable changes are key for a father who works 40+ hours per week and has a home to keep up with.

One last thing.  You may have noticed that I'm now tracking two numbers in the title.  The first number is the result for the week; the second is the result since the inception of this blog.  This\ is extremely helpful because the first number tells me the direction and distance I have traveled this week and the second number tells me the direction and distance of my journey so far.  It's incredibly motivating for me to see a loss like 1.6 pounds, but it’s also a kick in the backside to see that overall I'm still up by 0.2.

That's all for now.  I'm looking forward to another week of continued success!

05 October, 2011

Can't Always Trust Myself

Against my better judgement I went out for my 30 minute run/walk tonight.  For a number of reasons (excuses) I didn't think it would be a good idea.  I was tired from a 3:30am discussion with my son about why he should go back to bed, I had a mentally exhausting day at work, I ate dinner late, and I really just wanted to kick back and relax for the evening.  To top it off, my body was telling me that it just wasn't going to happen.

Instead of listening to all of that, I headed out telling myself that I'd just stop whenever I felt like I was done.  Shortly into my walk my left calf started to cramp up, but when RunKeeper told me it was time to run I ran.  And the cramp got worse.  Then my right leg started to cramp.  Clearly, my body was telling me to stop.  My body was saying "you can't do this tonight, give up!".  Against my better judgement, I stopped and stretched my calf to break the cramping and kept going.

By the time I hit my second run I had convinced my body to stop protesting and get with the program.  In the end, by going against my better judgement and ignoring my body's protests I was able to have a fairly successful run/walk (more walk than run, by the way).

I haven't yet figured out how to know when my body is really telling me it needs to stop and when it's just whining.  In the end I got 2 miles in tonight and I'm pretty happy with myself.  It would seem that sometimes it's best to go against my better judgement and tell my body to quit whining if I'm going to stay active and enjoy success in my journey to a fitter me.