Monday, January 11, 2016

Personal Invintory PT1

I hate “resolutions.” They result in a month of furious good intentions followed by 11 months of disappointment. However, writing my expectations down keeps me honest. So these are not resolutions. They are “expectations.”

I got a lot done in 2015. Some of this came down to going to the gym, some of it came down to using the fitbit, and some of it came down to finding a routine that works. I cannot stress this enough, if you want to improve your health you have to find a sustainable set of changes that will give you the ability to make the required improvements. The basics for 2015 follow:

• Went to the gym regularly—usually 3 days a week for a total of 6 hours.

• Lost 40 pounds—ending at about 255 pounds.

• Reduced ordering out and eating out to a minimum.

• Brought all my biometrics and blood work out of red line to acceptable levels.

• Set myself up with my sleep study and machine with our current insurance.

• Got my foot issues definitively diagnosed and documented as gout with my doctor and insurance.

• Improved overall health to the point where I am visiting the dentist and doctor only for regular checkups.

• Took care of digestive problems with a probiotic supplement.

I am happy with those results. I accomplished what I set out to do—establishing a behavioral, documentation, medical, and physical foundation for future efforts. However, as per standard operating procedure I am not satisfied with those benchmarks. There are several things I need to correct—bad behaviors that have crept in during moments of weakness:

• Squish, MX, and I have taken to ordering at Taco Bell after each week day gym trip. I usually limit myself to a border freeze, but the trend is troubling none the less. I need to get out of the habit. So, until further notice, I do not get to order anything from the bell—no matter how much I want to.

• While my wait went down 40 pounds in total, at one point that number was closer to 60 pounds. I don’t mind the extra 10 pound gain between July and December, most of which was muscle. I mind the extra 10 pounds between December and January. To correct this I will get our scale fixed, stop stocking snacks when company comes over, and get my appetite back under control. Some slippage during the holiday is reasonable. Losing control is not.

• Towards the end, I went to the work café once every week and a half. My goal for this year is not to go to the café at all—never—not once—no matter how hungry I get. I will stock my desk with healthy snacks, tea, and other consumables so that eating junk food is no longer a necessity if I forget to bring my lunch.

• My former trainer told me that I should eat something before coming to the gym to boost my metabolism. I followed his advice and now I crave snackage when I walk in the door—gym or not. Some high protein, fruits, vegetables, and low calorie snacks are reasonable—going alpha hungry on the fridge is no bueno. I will stock a single P3 snack for gym days and cut up some cheese and jerky for the other days.

• While I was establishing good habits I tried to avoid getting hung up on “weight.” This year I need to focus on cutting fat. Strength is important; however I am at the point where I have the foundational basis for the work to come. My goal is to be back under 250 pounds by the end of February and under 200 pounds by the end of December—about 10 pounds a month. Those are aggressive goals but well within past performance levels provided I control myself.

• While I have committed to the gym and exercise in the abstract, I have let my conditioning go in the name of strength training. I can attribute some of this to a different trainer with less stringent goals. The holidays played hell with my schedule—closing twice in December, leaving social functions to block exercise time, as well as various external challenges for Squish bidding to pull him away from our routine. I will step up to a regular routine again. I will work with my trainer or find a new trainer—either way I will find someone who will drive me for better results.

• I have some basic goals re-physical training. Losing weight will help me get there. So will just keeping in shape. Mainly I need to lose enough of my gut that I can start doing sit-ups instead of crunches—35 in a sitting at least. My goal is 25 pushups by the end of 2016 at one time.

• Accountability keeps me motivated and honest. I have let reporting slack—probably the most unforgivable of my fitness sins. I will give monthly updates starting in the beginning of February.

• I have gotten into the habit of using the liquor store as my personal ATM. Especially on Friday, when I can try all the free samples, it is tempting to stop by for cash. The grocery store now lets us take up to $200 at a time so that is no longer an issue. So I will now only go to the liquor store when the brunette wants something. Additionally, I will not buy anything new for myself until I have significantly depleted my private stocks. I like alcohol—especially the high end whiskeys. Unfortunately it is becoming something of a collection at monetary and calorie costs I need to better manage.

When I started this process in 2013 I had this idea that I needed to find “my plan.” What worked for some people might not work for me—but there was a plan out there that would do it—I just had to find it. The truth is plans change because people change. I am not satisfied with my progress. I am confident that I can adapt though. It is time to get cracking.

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