Weekly Digest 52 and 53
Summer is here in full force. Sometimes it sneaks up on us and we don’t realize it until we are in the midst of experiencing a spate of good weather. We look up and it dawns on us … “Hey it’s summer!!” Well now that it is here, I fully intend to enjoy it as much as possible. That’s one thing about living in Minnesota, you become accustomed to looking over your shoulder at winter. We fanatically enjoy our summers as we wait for winter to catch up and eventually overtake us as the fall season winds down. We’re in August so I can’t hear the closing footsteps of winter just yet, but I know by late September I will hear them loud and clear. Yes, winter may be imminent but not, I think, today.
By The Numbers:
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. In week 1, I did great and lost four pounds. Everything came together and my body got with the game plan and I lost the weight! I was so happy with that! That brought me to 213 pounds lost. What a great number!
In week two of this two week stretch, I actually gained a pound despite all the exercise. My exercise levels were great but my intake was a tiny bit sub-par. Could it have been my snacking choices? Or perhaps did I gain some lean muscle? Could be either, muscle weights more than fat by volume after all. But again, I did such great work these last two weeks I am undeterred. My body wants to fluctuate up and down with an overall downward trend. I am ok with that. It’s about sustainability, repeatability, and sticking to a proven and successful plan. We will all have ups and downs. But I am happy to be at 212 lbs lost right now, and more will come.
Well both weeks featured some struggles with snacking choices again. The usual suspects were all present: peanut butter, crackers, salsa and tortilla chips. It certainly could be worse, and I do continue to count my calories, so its not the total calories I am worried about, it’s the health value of the specific snacks. They aren’t very filling, they are calorie intensive per volume, and we all know that weight is lost in the kitchen, so I need to be making cleaner choices. Sure, it’s ok to have a yummy snack once in a while, but when I see myself hitting one of the other almost every day, even if it is just a little bit, that establishes a bad trend that I need to buck.
Intake – It’s Not All About Finding Problems:
So let’s not entirely focus on the negative here. I tend to be pretty critical of my choices when it comes to these little snacks, and that also loses sight of a larger picture. I am doing a lot that is right. For starters, regardless of snacking choices, I am controlling the calories pretty well. I continue to log in every day to MyFitnessPal and tabulate my daily calories. That has served to keep me on track and from going overboard on calories. So that’s a great victory! Also my choices of food for meals has been really good! I haven’t had a pizza in probably 2 years now!
Over the last two weeks I have had only two days where I went over 1500 calories. One of those was Dad’s bday, so I am calling a mulligan on that one, the second was just over 1600 and I was simply ravenously hungry. No excuses, it is what it is and I am ok with it. Alcohol intake was relatively low – except dad’s bday which featured margaritas and raisin spice cake. (Soooo sooo delicious! In case you missed that recipe you can find it HERE)
Find The Victories Where You Can:
Between tracking my calories and choosing healthy meals, I have a lot to be happy about. Nobody is perfect so don’t expect that of yourself, but by the same token set goals and exercise self control to meet those goals. Just throwing up your hands and saying “oh I have no self control” then reaching for appetite suppressants is not a sustainable strategy. So don’t go down that road. Buckle down and do the hard work to get yourself through the tough times. If you do that …just do the hard work, the rewards will roll in. The small victories will begin cropping up all over your life. You will be pleasantly surprised by them each and every day if you remember to look for them. Before you know it, the large victories will be right in front of you.
This summer, if there is one area where I am kicking ass it is in the exercise category. My biking mania continues with two outstanding weeks back to back. Usually I am happy with a 55-65 mile week …but these last two weeks have been 78 miles and 105 miles!! You saw that correctly, it’s not a typo. ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE MILES! That is a LOT for me! I claim victory!
I am sure many of you veteran bikers out there are scoffing and saying “oh that’s not a big deal…”. You could be right …for you! Or, alternatively, you could trade bikes with me for a week and see what you think after you put in 105 miles on my heavy tractor of a bike! If you are a bike person, it is probably not quite as heavy as a Surly Long Haul Trucker, but it’s up there! Additionally, the only person I compete with is me – and I am really happy with my record-setting 105 miles! It’s liberating and yet another example of a non-scale victory. There is no way I would have envisioned doing this 2 years ago.
My Take Away:
It’s been an up and down year, but the trend is going in the right direction. Never forget to take the long view. Envision where you want to be and acknowledge that getting there is a balancing act that consists of making choices that are both healthy and designed to keep you sane. Surround yourself with positive people to help keep you balanced. The results will be a system that works for you and is something you can manage. So for me, I am sticking to the plan, I am putting in the work, and I am doing my best to make responsible and smart choices on a daily, hourly, momentary basis. Onward.