Maybe it’s not the greatest balance ever, I think my wife wants to strangle me at times because fitness is about the only thing I talk about.  The point of this particular entry is to put perspective to all of the healthy stuff.  Add a little philosophy, get into some tech, and acknowledge those cheat meals!

Look, I’m not perfect.  No one is.  But I’m better.  I’m MUCH better than I was.  I have read this a million times, and now I believe it.  Be the best YOU.  I LOVE bad food.  However, I realized I can’t eat it….all the time.  More on that below.  I wanted to have a bit of a summary close to 2 months in.

In my 8th week…

  • I’m down about 16 pounds.
    • Completely, fully hydrated – where I may have been at a state of slight dehydration
    • I’ve been lifting heavily for 7 weeks…perhaps I put on 1-3 pounds of muscle
    • I’ve been taking creatine, which has stated it can put on 1-3% of your body weight in water – further hydrates your muscles.
  • My clothing is a LOT looser
  • I am sleeping extremely well.
  • My fitness levels are insane as opposed to 2 months ago
  • Water weight has fluctuated a lot based on exercise, sodium, etc.  So…16 pounds is my closest estimate at this point given the ups and downs.
  • I’ve trimmed over 4 minutes off of my 1 mile run time
  • cheat meals
    • 5 weeks I had 1 cheat meal
    • 2 weeks I had two cheat meals
  • 1 day I went over my calories set on myfitnesspal for 2 pound loss.  It was still 500 calories less than my “stay the same” weight.

So, here’s what my cheat meal looked like a few days ago.  Cheese steak!!

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However, this is what my meals look like most evenings.  I sometimes have a tendency to eat a little more for dinner some nights when I’m WAYYYYY under calories.  Take a look at most nights.

The last picture there might look strange.  Sometimes after a brutal workout, I don’t feel like having a big plate of hot food.  Occasionally, I’ll get my banana and 2 TBSP of peanut butter in me immediately for recovery, and add my yogurt bowl I talked about in a previous post.  Here’s a closer look at the banana and peanut butter.

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Reflections…balance

Sometimes when I’m walking, biking, running…etc…I get a real feeling at peace with myself feeling.

In the picture on the left, I was halfway through my 14 mile ride and wanted to stop and take in the trees around me.  The picture is not panoramic, but it’s this wide open valley without a soul around.  Dead quiet, with the exception of nature.  It’s sort of the same feeling I’d get when camping, when you are at one with nature.  The picture on the right is when I was on a long walk around my development.  You know when fall happens, and you get this cool, crisp air hitting you?  I just really felt relaxed, and had a moment of contemplating work, life, etc.

“Work to live, don’t live to work”

It’s a bit easier to say that now, as I feel a lot of my career challenges are in the rearview mirror.  I had 12+ years of 1-1.75 hour commutes, 50-80 hour weeks, and 6 years of graduate school.  Now on the other end of a lot of that and have a more manageable commute, I’m wanting to reclaim more of MY time back for ME.  The nature pictures above were after I put in my 8 hours for the day.  Over the years, I used to stay late all the time, or get home and plug in more to work for hours.  I felt a big part of getting my health in order was to be more respectful of MY time and reclaim it.  I felt the stress of things around me were slowly killing me, and it probably was.

Find your inner peace, even if it means drastic changes to your life.

Tech update…

So I got my fitbit a few days ago, and I LOVE it.  It’s been tracking my sleep pretty accurately, but it’s also really good with tracking my running/biking with heart rate.   I went into the 5 heart rate zones a little in my last post, and the interval training I’m using with running now is helping me push further in my cardio training.  The one downside is my biking item was overwritten by a walk I did later…so I went back in and manually put in the times I started and ended, and it found the data that corresponded to it.

One thing I wanted to track with this was my resting heart rate over time.  I have read that seasoned runners might have a heart rate somewhere in the 30’s or 40’s per minute.  I’m tracking in the low 60’s now, and it’s something I want to watch over 18-24 months to try and track my fitness.

Additionally, with interval training and the 5 zones, I’d like to make better use of the time I have.  While the literature I’m reading talks about those of us who are more portly staying in the “fat burning zone” longer, but I’m not sure that’s right for me.  It might be on paper, but I would rather do a 25 min run with intervals and bust ass and feel the burn for a few hours than do a 40 minute light run.  I also feel the less time I’m pounding on the treadmill with these bones and weight on me, the less risk of injury.

Lastly – I’ve increased the number of resistance exercises I’m doing.  I started out with two different exercises for 3 sets each, and after 6 weeks I felt I can add more because I had been sticking with it.  I then went to my bowflex website and downloaded the manual on what exercises I can do – and interestingly enough, on another vlog, I had been discouraged from doing chest flys.  Anyway, I think I’m up to 6 exercises each on two days, third off.  I can definitely feel the muscles getting bigger and trimming some fat in the process.  What’s interesting is my fitbit is showing a decent heart rate when I’m working out.

So there it is – quick update, but still going strong!

P.S. It’s amazing how much time I got back for writing when I decided “I abstain” from politics this fall.

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