Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Year's Challenge

As I mentioned in my New Year's post, last year I was able to successfully quit smoking. However, it did come at a price - I gained 30 pounds. Since coming back from Japan and prior to quitting smoking I had already put on 20-30 pounds. So that's about 60 pounds in 5 or 6 years. That's pretty bad.

Now, the reality of it is that the last 30 pounds is what really made it bad. That gain in weight was a direct result of quitting something that is even more dangerous and damaging to my health - smoking. Last year, I knew I was gaining weight and eating more "snacks". I made a conscious decision to not worry about it until this year, or rather after a full year of not smoking. I completed that full year so it is time for this year's challenge.

To be clear, I will have some goals specifically for this year, 2012, but this year's challenge is really a multi-year challenge.

My Goal Is:
Lose 50 Pounds in less than two years
Finish one 5K in 2012
Get in better shape
Improve my "numbers" (bmi, cholesterol, etc)

So as you see, I have one goal specific to 2012 and I believe the last 5Ks are in September so I need to be in good enough shape to finish one by then. I don't expect much difficulty on that particular goal as I am not committing to running a 5k just finishing one - which I can do walking even now I'd bet.

As you can see though, the 50 pounds in less than two years is a fairly aggressive goal I think. Aggressive in the sense that my goal is to not go on a "diet" but make more of a lifestyle change. Change to diet, getting more vegetables and generally more healthy meals, less of the junk. Also change that makes exercise a natural part of my day, every day, and not something to do sporadically and really intensely when done. Rather a slower approach that is manageable, doable, and "not in the way" of the other things I need to do.

Even more nebulous are the last two goals. What's "get in shape" mean. And how do you measure it? What does improve my "numbers" mean? Specifically, I mean.

There really is no good way to answer the first one. But I can show you some pictures that will be my "before" pictures. By the end of this year and then again at the end of next year I'll put up comparison pictures. And if they are successively less ugly then I will have achieved my goal. When you see the pictures it'll be pretty obvious - and I warn you in advance you really don't want to see these. To avoid go here. you really want to see these pictures?

Okay, so that was ugly. As ugly as it is now the pictures will make it possible to see what progress I am making over the next year or two. At least I hope it'll be easy to tell - if not, I may have to re-think the "no diet" method. Again, though, I'll take pictures throughout this year and we should be able to get a sense of how I am doing just by comparing the pictures.

Needless to say though numbers are always better. Therefore, I also included the last goal. This goal, actually, is multifaceted. The first thing I was thinking when I said "numbers" were things like hdl, ldl, triglycerides, bmi. You know the stuff the doctors use to tell you that you are about to become diabetic if you don't get exercise and eat better. I have those numbers from last year, May or so, so I'll use those to start with.

But I also got some numbers from my "evaluation" at Fitworks. Here are some of the numbers:

BicepsRight13"Left13 1/4"
MeasurementsNeck16Chest43 1/2"
MeasurementsShoulder48 1/2"Waist43
MeasurementsHips44 1/2"Thigh (left)23
MeasurementsCalf15"Body Fat:MassIndex31.1%:31.8%
MeasurementsBPM168@15 sec.42
Muscular Strength Upper BodyWeight150 poundsReps7
Muscular Strength Lower BodyWeight180 poundsReps6
Muscular Endurance and FlexibilityCrunches per minute35Inches-5 1/2"

So in addition to improving my medical numbers, I'd like to "improve" these numbers. Note I am not making any specific number goals other than to "improve" them. Like I said earlier in the post, my real goal is to change my lifestyle so that exercise simply one of the things I do daily rather then something that I have to put time aside for.

I'll also need to start watching my diet again. I have watched it on and off. It's less about what I eat for a given meal but rather plopping down in front of the TV and stuffing my faces mindlessly as I watch a show - even if it is Biggest Loser! The irony kills me.

So there you have it. My 2012 challenge

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