Weekly Digest 40 5/3/19 -5/09/19

Hey everyone!  It’s the 40th time I have written a weekly digest and talked about my pursuit of healthy living. By this point, I am sure most of you are familiar with how this goes. It’s difficult to put into words, or to capture the value of doing this column. It’s been really cathartic for me to sit down, once a week, pull apart what I’ve done and look at it under a cold, retrospective light.   That process helps highlight what I am doing right, or wrong.  I encounter innumerable hurdles that I never anticipated and then I have to figure out a way around them.  Writing this article helps me do that, and it shares with you what I am going through.  Many of you that are trying to lose weight will also encounter similar things.  Perhaps what I do here can help in some small way.    

Cover Image: Outdoor baseball is a sign that summer is here. Johnny Hoy and I are enjoying the Twins vs. the Blue Jays! It’s great to have an outdoor stadium here again!

This Week: 

healthy living
Chicken, roasted veggies, rice and a small red potato. Balanced and clean!

This week was actually a really great week.  I worked hard by biking 40 miles, spending time on the elliptical and doing some free weights, and best of all, my diet was pretty good all week.  I just had one day where I splurged a little but the rest of my days were all between 1400 and 1600 calories.  I call that a success!  I’m very happy with how hard I worked and my dietary success.  Strangely the scale completely disagreed.  It said I gained 3 pounds putting me back to 202 pounds lost.  After last week, in which I neither lost nor gained, and in consideration of how hard as I worked, I was VERY surprised to see a GAIN.  That was not expected and I have to admit, very discouraging.  

However, many of my friends have suggested it is likely muscle gain considering how much I have been biking.  That’s possible, I guess, it’s just very hard to grasp that when you are so tied to numbers on a scale.  Which is perhaps a lesson for us all.  I feel good. I am enjoying being active.  That’s important!  So in light of all that, of course, my focus needs to stay fixed on my plan and stick to it.  Some weeks I might be building muscle and that may counteract fat loss.  Muscle DOES weight more than fat!   

Risk Management:

I’ve always been a big proponent of risk management practices in planning of all kinds.  So much so, that when I put together my dieting plan, I also developed a risk management plan to handle scenarios that might undermine my progress.  Even today, on a purely instinctive level, I find myself doing that daily.  One would think that it might be pessimistic or discouraging to think “what could go wrong, and how will I handle that?”  Surprisingly, it has just the opposite effect.  By spending the time pre-identifying potential hurdles or pitfalls, you also help yourself avoid them in the moment.  In the case that you can’t, or don’t see it happening, or something new happens, then you have action plans already in your head with how to handle it.  In the end, you walk away feeling like you narrowly missed a huge diet faux pas or completely avoided a problem!  It’s reinforcement of your own abilities to cope! 

Not Perfect:

While Risk Management has helped me develop a strong plan, nothing is perfect.  What’s the saying?  “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”?  Quite true.  In my case, a momentary transgression of my diet philosophy often leads to severe results.  I just think that’s my body getting back at me for years of “morbid obesity”.   That’s a whole other topic…”morbid obesity”?? Seriously, medical industry?  That’s the BEST you have? Surely you can do better than some term that carries the taint of extreme judgement and prejudice.  But back to my point …that mistakes or dietary transgressions happen and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean we give up – we just have to deal with it and get back to work. We can’t always be perfect. You’re human, I’m human …but

Injury report: 

Salming greyhounds
Salming Greyhounds

The back has healed up.  Things feel pretty good there, and I think I am ready to engage in full activities there.   The Achilles issues are also on the mend.  I am about 90% healed.  The regular biking and trying to keep things reasonable in terms of distance has helped me be active without having my feet displacing a full load.  Biking is great for the low impact.  Each time I returned my Achilles felt a little better from being loosened up.  A little more of the same and I should be in a good place with that. 

On that subject, I also want to report that my new Salming Greyhounds are the bomb.  Seriously, THE BOMB.  Yes, I know that’s a little colloquial …relax my uptight editor friends.  Just reach for another cocktail and realize that we’re only talking about shoes here.  It’s all good!  So anyhow, the drop of the Greyhound feels really good and the shoes are very supportive.  I hesitated to pop for this model but now that I have them I am VERY glad I did.  Never skimp on shoes and make sure you have the right shoes for you.  That’s what I am taking from all of this. 

Intake:

Healthy living through margaritas
Another sign summer has arrived: margaritas

As I mentioned earlier I had one day which was probably a bit over the top.  Dad and I went over to Pam Hargrove’s place for Quattro de Mayo (yeah, we were early with Cinco de Mayo).  We had some really, really great chicken fajitas.  They were very delicious, and really quite calorie conscious!  A shout-out needs to go to Sara for her wonderful homemade Cowboy Caviar!  I couldn’t stay away from it.  The culprit for this day was the tortilla chips and the margaritas!  However, no regrets!  It was fun and my day was STILL not over 2000 calories. For the rest of my week I was in line with my program.  Tuesday was my high at 1600 calories, everything else was either 1400 or 1500.  I had a couple happy hour drinks on Friday that brought my totals up a bit, but other than that, we were in good shape.  I would say a better week would have a couple less drinks, and a few less tortilla chips!  But overall I can’t berate myself too much here. 

Exercise: 

Knocked it out of the park.   I am thrilled with how I did this week.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – each day I got on my bike and did 10 miles.  That’s not bad considering I am still letting my Achilles tendon heal.  So that’s 40 miles on the bike.  I also did 30 minutes of cross training on the elliptical …and it was a hard 30 minutes.  I really went after it.  I covered 2.86 miles in 30 minutes – and that is with switching to a push-pull on the machine with just my arms for 15 seconds after a minute of cardio.  I also put in about 40 mins doing a deliberate free weight session. 

My free weight workout is good without being insane.  I do a combination of upper body and lower body exercises.  I pick 3 exercises, do each one for a minute, and repeat 3 times.  Then I pick a new set of 3 exercises and move on.  I do 3-4 sets generally, for one workout.  That’s anywhere from 27 mins to 36 mins of actual exercise time.  It works well for me.  So overall I am quite pleased with my exercise this week.  Going forward, I hope to come close to replicating this. 

My Take Away:

It was a strange week – great exercise levels, good diet levels, but strangely gaining three pounds.  I find that really weird, but yet also explainable as my friends have suggested.  I can’t let it concern me too much however.  Going forward I need to keep up my commitment to exercise, but also focus on eating as clean as I can.  I’m not sure next week will look that much better than this week – but each week is a new chance to start afresh and try to set a new standard for yourself.  That’s the way I look at it.  This week, I have the opportunity to do amazing things in my pursuit of healthy living.  I feel great from last week, so regardless of what the scale says, I know I am moving in the right direction.  As my friend Wahbon advised me once, I will “just keep moving.” 

Healthy living through art history
A parting shot: My college education encapsulated on a coffee mug.

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