Preparing to confront the villain of the week is getting easier. Eating well, not so much. I’m not sure how Bat man does it.
The gym is a set part of my routine. The instructor for my boxing class and the people at the front desk know me by name. There are a couple people who make a point of saying high. It’s much like riding the bus—after a while you form a location specific bond if you see people often enough. Sunday I hit upper body and cardio. I’m finally getting full use from my left knee—so it looks like it’s back to full power again. Squish and I have been working off joint and back issues for the last two months. It was nice to finally feel whole. I’ve got enough practice in that I can hit the boxing room twice a week—once on Tuesdays with class and once on Thursdays after my clubs. It’s taken a while to get my hands and shoulders to a point where I can box regularly. Even with one pound training gloves and heavy padded bags, the repetitive impacts take their toll. I know longer have pain in my right hand if I box more than an hour a week. My knuckles are slightly flattened. They align so that I can get my weight into hooks and punches. I always thought people were talking figuratively when they said boxers got sunken knuckles. Apparently those stories were more literal than I realized.
Yesterday I had my best bag session in recent memory. I paced myself with short breaks throughout the class and ended up working with more overall intensity and endurance than I’ve had in a while. I spend the class at a single heavy bag that is lowered to touch the floor in order to keep it from moving around too much. The rest of the class moves with partners from station to station. It’s easier for me just to stay in one place than to try and figure out where the next station is and what the next exercise will be. Of course that means I don’t have a partner to switch off with. I started off trying to go 100% on my own for the entire hour. Half way through I was mostly done unable to really push myself. By pacing my efforts I managed to actually do more. I like the earthy simplicity of the boxing room. It is very no-frills, just moving weights and punching things and cardio. The atmosphere reminds me of my high school wrestling room. The people there aren’t there for show; they’re in there to do serious work.
My employer is sponsoring an 8 week fitness challenge where we track our steps and exercise. It motivated me to finally get the fit bit zip I earned last year up and running. I’m not sold on these pedometers—especially since the new iWatch is coming out soon. It seems to me that this dedicated technology is going to be quickly superseded by phones and other wearable tech. Also, I’ve seen some strong arguments that their measurements are unreliable. That being said, I figure it’s a place to start. If the zip is unreliable at least I can get a consistent measurement to compare day to day. I’d rather upgrade to the fit bit flex. The flex is a bracelet that you never have to remove. The zip is a little key-fob-like device that you carry around with you. If you forget to put it in your pocket you lose that time. I’m going to use the bit I already have and see how I like the tiny master before I drop cash on its replacement. Next on my list is grabbing the aria wireless scale so that my phone can keep me honest re-weight. It’s like having a bunch of secret agent tech monitoring your every move. I linked my fit bit account and my work tracking group. Now there’s no need for me to do the annoying tracking of steps and exercise—the unit does it for me.
Sooooooo, weight. Yeh…so I’ve been holding steady just under 300. This is good in that I haven’t gained weight during my injury recovery. This is bad in that while I’m stronger, I haven’t seen any progress on weight in about 8 months—which was when I stopped gaining and just flattened out under 300. I am seeing steady strength gains—I am benching 175 and military 105 in three sets of ten which is up from last cycle. My endurance and speed are up. I’m noticeably stronger on the heavy bag. I’m down to a size 48 jeans—which was one of those long ago goals to start wearing normal sizes again. Granted, it’s almost the biggest size rangler makes, but it’s a good start.
The catch is that my diet hasn’t done so well. I’m still not ordering or eating at the café much. We cook often. However, I’ve gotten out of the habit of morning health shakes. I snack more than I’d like when I’m at home. Worst of all, the meals that were interesting back when I started training have become dull. It’s much easier to fudge the diet when you’re not interested in the available options…or maybe it would be more accurate to say that my preferences have begun to run to the options that used to be the treats and exceptions. The brunette recently gifted me with two spicy cookbooks which are going to serve as the fulcrum for moving the diet along in this regard. I have new cooking gear from the pampered chef…I need new dishes to keep things spicy.
Monday I grilled marinated steak strips, made Mexican rice, diced veggies, and assembled a dressing from light sour cream and salsa. The marinade was a head of cilantro, a couple table spoons of minced garlic, black pepper, and half a cup of sweet bourbon sauce. I could have made this healthier by cutting out the cheese (which didn’t really do that much for the flavor anyway.) I could have used brown or basmati rice instead of the boxed mix and just added my tomatoes and chilies. I want to start thinking along these lines more often—not how can I eat something different that’s healthier, but how can I make the dish that I want to eat better for me? I’ve already done that with burgers a couple times mixing lean ground beef and lean ground turkey for a burger which my father says is better than beef anyway. I don’t want to find a better way to eat junk food. I do want to find a healthy way to expand our menu that keeps life interesting. Offhand that’ll mean reducing pre-packaged elements I use as much as is cost effective. I’ll start adding these recipes to my entries going forward. Hopefully others can add to and offer suggestions about these ideas.