05 October 2010

Motivation and self-reflection

It's been now ninety days since I started my current weight loss project, and I can report several useful things about my latest experience.

First, the good news. I have lost 22 pounds (down to 230 from 252), and can fit into shorts that I haven't been able to wear in several years. My uniforms are not stretched to their limits anymore; in fact, the pants are pretty well bunched up in the back now because they're a little bit too big in the waist. I feel better. I feel fitter. I have more energy most of the time, and I have been sleeping better at night.

Second, the bad news. As always happens, there's a lull. The most basic issue right now is the fact that I don't have a road bike, so I am stuck either running (with the concomitant knee problems that entails) or getting on the trainer, which is not a really good idea for long stretches of time, and is boring as heck most of the time. Good DVDs can alleviate that, and I do intend to pick up a couple more, but I do not have them right now. I have gotten into a lull also partly because of my working at the football games; where during a "normal" week I only work the two 24-hour shifts per week (which wipe out Wed and Fri completely), when I pick up the football game standbys it makes Saturday and Sunday workouts very tough to get done, sometimes wiping them both out completely as well, which is really just an excuse. So, I need to just get it done!

Between the two, I've only been getting in about two or three workouts per week, though the ones I am getting are high-quality interval workouts. How to fix? One: get over the boredom of the trainer, however that needs to be done. Two: get a bike, and start riding on the roads. Three: Consider reverting to the Wii Fit for days like Sat/Sun during game weeks, to at least get in some aerobic activity and not let both of those days become wiped out totally.

Third, the rest of the story. Food in particular has not yet been a focus, though I have been subtly changing my eating habits without regard to specific intake goals. I don't do fast food hardly at all anymore, I do occasionally allow myself to grab In-N-Out or Sonic, and a Bruegger's bagel here and again. I eat whole-grain food at nearly every meal all week. I take fish oil supplements, which was recommended by my PCP a couple of years ago (I finally found a supplement that I can tolerate). I've increased my daily vegetable intake from near-zero to three-to-four servings a day (still room to improve), my water intake is about 100 oz daily (more during workouts), and I rarely snack. I rarely eat candy, and most of my caffeine intake now is a cup of coffee or two in the morning, though I do occasionally quaff a monster here and there.

After three months, I feel successful with room for improvement. I can certainly do better in terms of weekly workout minutes and type (I do still need to add some kind of resistance training). My food plan can be improved, and I need to start tracking daily calories. Creating a weekly food menu, with daily calories and a week-long overview of micro- and macronutrients, is a good place to start. I am in the process of reading Endurance Sports Nutrition and will have both a review of this book and a workable menu plan afterward.

So. I have more work to do, but am pleased with my performance so far.

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