I’m not afraid to admit my age, I’m 48 years old (almost 49). For most of my life, I’ve enjoyed good health. Like many people, I’ve gained weight as I’ve aged. And for me, losing weight has been a bitch.
A week prior to my writing this post, I weighed in at 200 pounds. That’s the heaviest I’ve been in my life. In many ways, I wish I could attribute this to eating junk, or processed foods or having a thyroid condition. If that were the case, I could cut out those foods, or take some medication that helps my thyroid and I could watch at least some of the weight melt off. But that isn’t the case for me. I’m pretty sure that my metabolism has slowed down, and that I need to try to rev it up again.
I’ve watched the show the Biggest Loser before. If you haven’t seen it, it features insanely overweight people who eat tons of junk food, who are started on diets consisting of non-processed foods and have to exercise an insane amount of hours per day. Well I’m pretty sure I have the eating part down correctly, but the exercise part?
I’ll admit that this year, hasn’t been the easiest for me. I haven’t felt 100% most of the year (I’d say I was pretty much in the 70% range of feeling well for most of the year). I believe that most of this came from eating gluten for the first month of 2011 (a gluten challenge for medical testing) and then battling the effects of that until May. Then came a series of accidental glutenings and other small illnesses, like the flu and a coughing fit that started in September and lasted into November. Right after the coughing finally died down, I broke a toe.
The toe I broke seems so inconsequential most of the time, it was the little toe on my left foot. Let me tell you that I will never consider that toe inconsequential again. For the next 4 weeks, I had a hard time walking and balancing. I never knew how much I depended on that small toe. So exercise had to wait until I healed (6 weeks total) which was this past week.
I have a goal, which is challenging, and I hope doable. I want to execute 1 chin up by May 1st. I have a chin up bar at home and so far I can pull myself up to the balls of my feet. The goal seems simple, but incorporates a lot. It incorporates losing weight, incorporating strength training and just generally getting in shape.
Exercise, at least for me, is a chore. Its something I “should” do. But I can always figure out other things that I “need” to do. So for me, the biggest challenge is how to incorporate exercise in my daily life. My long-term goal is vague, deliberately so. So I need a SMART short-term goal.
A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measureable, Attainable and Realistic. I know what I want in the long run, to lose approximately 60 pounds, to be fit and healthy and active. None of those are SMART however.
So (drum roll….) my SMART goal is to exercise and burn 3,500 calories each week. How I schedule this and what I do to achieve it is within my reasonable expectations for a week.
I’m also going to incorporate rewards into this. At 10 pounds, I’m going to treat myself to either a facial or a massage, some sort of pampering. Having interim rewards for doing well is always helpful. These interim rewards don’t include food rewards, but do include things I don’t normally do for myself. At 20 pounds, if I’m so motivated, I’ll join a gym or some other class that will help me continue to work toward my goal. At 30 pounds, I might hire a personal trainer.
I have enough tools at home to get me started. If the weather is nice on the days I either work at home or am off, I can work on a Couch to 5K schedule outside. I have an old Nordic Trac Cross Country Skier, I have hand weights, steps and I have my Wii, with a variety of fitness programs that I have found work for me. (Cardio Boxing, EA Sports Active 2, Yoga/Pilates, Zumba, and Biggest Loser Challenge). I need to find this motivation within myself, if I have to go anywhere to get it done (pool, gym, etc), I simply will make excuses.
I’ve found that a heart rate monitor is indispensable. I have a Polar which not only monitors my heart rate, but monitors my calorie burn as well. I’m also tracking my weight and exercise on a spreadsheet, which helps a great deal in keeping me honest.
3500 calories requires that I work out at least 5 days a week, (800 calories for 4 days and 300 for 1). I’ve noticed that when I set an amount of time for exercising that I’m simply trying to make the time pass. When I set a goal of burning calories, I’m more motivated to burn them fast. Right now 800 calories is taking me about 2 hours to burn.
I have some friends that I am working with to encourage our fitness goals, helping other people seems to motivate me. I also have this blog. I’ll probably post once a month on my fitness activity. To help in that end, I’m making my starting measurements public and I will update this table each time with the current measurements and how much I have lost.
I’m serious about making this change in my life. Any encouragement will help.
Fitness Report Series
- Report 1: Eating Healthy Food isn’t Enough
- Report 2: Fitness Report – Month 1
- Report 3: Fitness Report – Month 2
- Report 4: Fitness Report – Month 3
- Report 5: Fitness Report – Month 4
- Report 6: Fitness Report – Month 5
- Report 7: Fitness Report – Month 6
- Report 8: Fitness Report – Month 7
- Best health and fitness apps for iPhone (digitaltrends.com)