I was listening to one of my favorite Pandora workout stations on the treadmill the other day and Power by Kanye West came on. There is one line in the song that really resonates with me and it really is the theme for this week in my journey
At the end of the day goddamn it I’m killin’ this shit
Sometimes the daily ups and downs and all of the other noise in life makes me lose sight of the bigger picture in my journey. It is easy to encounter a minor setback and let it be discouraging. But, just when that happens, there are new wins that make me step back and say “wow!”.
This is one of those weeks that started a little discouraging and then something just clicked. The second half of this week was amazing, it was successful and it reminded me of how far I am come.
Crushed the 85 pounds lost mark
Over the past week plus, I was flirting with hitting the 85 pounds lost mark, but suddenly had a big upward weight fluctuation and missed hitting that milestone. That happens and, while frustrating, is a part of the journey to which I have become accustomed.
Next thing you know, pretty much overnight, I not only got to the 85-pound loss mark, but I blew right past it to 86, then 87 and then 88 in the span of 4 days. It was amazing! It is like something clicked in my metabolism and I am a weight burning machine! Even today, after drinking a few beers yesterday which usually cause a temporary weight gain, I was down another .2 pounds – I expected to be up.
If my current trend continues, I should achieve the 90-pound mark early this week. I am very excited about that!
Numbers just tell part of the story
As you have concluded by reading this blog, I am a numbers-driven guy in this journey. I like measuring things, predicting where I will be, comparing my forecast to actuals to identify variances, and so forth. The numbers are something that I can measure and can easily see progress. Visually seeing your own progress, when you see yourself every day, is a lot hard than the numbers.
Through this journey so far, it has been hard to really tell a difference in my appearance. I know I look different, people say I look different, but it isn’t a stunning difference to me. That all changed this week as Liz and I have tried recreating some old pictures to show a before and after.
The following pictures, while not exact recreations, are directionally the same pose in the same place. Both sets of picture are at two of our favorite local restaurants: Barcelona (which remodeled) and CBC. After looking at these pictures, yes I see a difference! And, there are more pictures to come when we get back to Indian Lake in a couple of months.
Inconsistent gym visits, but they are happening
I am still very inconsistent in my visits to the gym. I want to go every day or at least every 2 days, but I am still finding it too easy and comfortable to hit the snooze button instead. It is particularly hard to go back to the gym a day after a good workout where I am sore. But, pain is part of growth and I just need to be aware of what I am doing so I don’t injure myself by over-working one area.
That said, I did get to the gym a few times this week and I even got to go outside for a run to enjoy an unexpected 60-degree day in January. As has become a bit of a trend, my Saturday workout this week was a rock-solid one and I killed it. I burnt over 1000 calories in the workout and was able to target lots of different areas of my body.
I have noticed myself getting stronger too. On many of the machines I have been using for months, I have moved the weight up 1 or 2 plates. Plus, I started doing arm curls with a 30 pound barbell, then had moved up to a 40 pound and today I moved up to 50 pounds. The 50 pound barbell is important because I feel like that is a respectable amount of weight to be using when other people (other guys really) see you working out. That is probably just in my head really.
Another sign of progress is my treadmill approach over the past week. I have started a routine where I warm up for 2 minutes of increasing speed walking just to stretch. Then, I set the speed to 5.5 mph which is a 10:54 mile and I run a mile! It isn’t comfortable, I often want to stop and walk part way through, but I do it. Just 3 or 4 months ago, I couldn’t even imagine running a mile and now it is part of my standard routine.
Something I learned this week is that I am not good at controlling my pace when I am not on a treadmill. On Friday, I went out for a run outdoors for the first time in a long time. I set out with the goal of running at a pace of 11 or 12 minutes per mile. This is a good, semi-comfortable pace and I thought it would let me complete my first full running lap around Schiller Park – a goal I have had.
Turns out, including my .25 mile warm up walk to the park and a brief slow down during my lap, my pace was 11:26. This means that I must have been running at a 10-minute mile and that is a little too fast for me right now. No wonder my heart rate stayed in the “Peak” zone almost the whole time! Oops.
Clothes are a struggle… a good problem
All of the new pants I bought a while back when I did my first round of wardrobe replacement are now unwearable for me. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a couple of pairs of new jeans that were 10 inches smaller than when I started. So, this week, I decided I needed to buy some more and went shopping.
My first stop was Target where they didn’t have my size at all. They had bigger, which isn’t helpful. They also had smaller, which I tried on and they are just a little bit too small. So, with a bit of anxiety, I decided to take a trip to Old Navy.
Old Navy pants shopping gives me anxiety because I tried to buy pants at Old Navy a while back. In August, when I first started needing new clothes, I tried Old Navy and it was a very discouraging moment because they had nothing big enough to fit me. I wrote about this in my 8/26/2017 post.
What a difference a few months can make! I grabbed a few pairs of jeans in my size (yes, they had it) and headed to the fitting rooms. I tried them on and had to abandon them all. They were WAY too big on me and I couldn’t wear them. I ended up going down one more size (which is 12 inches less than when I started) and those were even a bit big on me, but comfortable. Plus, they were on sale for $25 a pair, so score!
Unfortunately, I have reached a point where pretty much my entire closet has to be purged. This leaves me with like 10 shirts and 5 pairs of jeans that fit me and nothing else. So, I am going to have to keep buying clothes that I am just going to get rid of in a couple of months. This part of the journey is annoying and expensive. However, it is also pretty rewarding!
My goal is in sight… then what?
My final thought (who am I, Jerry Springer?!) in this long post is about my goal. When I started this journey on 6/15/2017, I set a goal of losing over 100 pounds in under a year. I thought it was an aggressive goal and I would likely not achieve it in that timeframe.
The reality is, I am on-pace to hit 90 pounds by the end of January. So, I think my 100-pound mark will be here before St Patty’s day. While it is exciting that my goal is really in sight now, it also leaves me with a question that I am struggling to answer.
I am going to need to make some choices about what I want to do after I hit my goal. Option 1 is to switch into “maintain” mode and just hold at that weight. That doesn’t sound exciting to me. Option 2 is to just keep going and figure out a new goal. That sounds like a recipe for aimlessness.
So, I think I am going to just keep going until I hit the 1 year mark in June and see where I am then. It would be awesome to be under the 200 pound mark – I cannot believe that is even a possibility! But, I am also going to start focusing on bodybuilding, targeting certain areas of my body that I want to continue to refine. Plus, I will start focusing on other related goals like running a 5K.
But, I cannot take my eyes off the prize. I need to get to the 100 pound mark first before I can figure out what to do next.
Check back next week for more!
Last week’s stats (1/15 – 1/21):
Distance walked/run: 25.4 miles
Total calories burnt: 24,571
Total calories consumed: 10,970
Weight change: 0.7 pounds lost