Getting Healthier #3: Stagnation + Regression

Good afternoon reader,

I decided to take a little break from blogging for a handful of days. I’m not sure the amount of days but it feels like a good two weeks. Today, I am going to type one of my stream of consciousness blogs, where I type out what comes to my mind. Today, we are going to center around the topic of stagnation plus regression, because it is the current state of my healthy journey.

A month ago, I reported that I made some good changes and got some good insight on some strategies to keep getting healthier. I only lost one pound but at that point I was only going at half-measure. In the South, we call that half-assing something.

Today was my monthly weigh-in. I went from 329.4 pounds to 333 pounds even.

I went a good month without drinking any alcohol, my sugary intake was at the lowest it has been, due to making the transition to sparking water in order to curb the soda cravings. Ironically, this blog was initially called The War with Soda and I was in a good battle with it when I had this draft typed up earlier this month. Not to mention, I got a little more active, swapped some of my foods around. It was a good start but again, it was merely a half-measure.

So I had this little goal of mine to where we were going to be booze free until the Fourth of July. Then, we get a case of beer, celebrate America, and get back to it. In those terms, the party was still going on strong up until this weekend. I was back to my case of beer each weekend habit.

In terms of the food, it started strong. As the middle of the month arrived, we suffered a major heatwave. My wife and I did not want to heat up the house any more than it already was, so we used that as a convenient excuse into eating out. We’re taking restaurant food and fast food. It seems like that was the majority of our intake toward the latter half of the month, all the way up to Monday. For breakfast, I would eat a sweet snack. During lunch, I would eat my wife’s junk food leftovers. For dinner, we would pick something up. I’m sure many young couples can relate to this. Work gets busy and it’s really tough trying to find time to keep stocked up and cooking. Not to mention, you have the chores afterward.

The reason I mentioned food first, is because it makes the perfect transition to my drinks. When I finally got in a groove of having sparkling water, Bubly and Ozarka are my two favorite choices in that regard, I would only drink one soda a day. I did that to counter-act the caffeine headaches that would hit mid-afternoon during the work day. The only other time I would drink soda is, you guessed it, when we got fast food or went to a restaurant. So, with the same logic regarding the increased fast food and restaurant food intake, my soda intake grew once more.

In terms of fitness, my incline rowing machine was perched against the wall, collecting dust. I noticed that when I could get my Fitbit to actually sync up with my phone and connect properly, I had an increased interest in doing exercise. I liked watching the telemetry and data, since I come from a Computer and Data Science background. Around the middle of July, my wife decided to get an Apple Watch. She spent a week learning how to use it and she showed me how Apple tracks fitness.

Apple’s fitness app centers around this concept of “closing your rings” each day. There are three different rings. One is a movement ring, where you burn calories throughout the day to a certain threshold. The middle ring is active exercise. You can let the watch determine it, but it cheats you. Instead, my wife selected her workouts manually. The last ring is standing. The idea is that you stand up for a minute straight during a 60 minute segment. However many segments you accomplish this, is how many you need.

Also, the app has varying levels of goals and difficulties. She was on beginner and I just knew my obsessive personality would just enjoy this whole concept. Its the accountability that I really need when others such as my wife aren’t around and I’m at the house for most of the day.

Needless to say, I got an Apple Watch as well and I am starting to shift my activity toward the goal of closing my rings each day. 30 minutes of active exercise isn’t bad at all. Half of it can be achieved through my rowing machine. The other half can be accomplished by doing yard work or going for a walk.

So far, I’m on a two day streak but it’s only the beginning.

I know some of the more tenured readers are thinking, “Shane, I thought you said goals are bullshit. Systems are the way to go.” That’s still correct. I am trying the concept of having a miniature daily goal of “closing the rings” to help enhance this system.

I’ll tell you that I did have a goal and it snake-bit me hard. During early June, I said “Let’s drop the alcohol til the Fourth of July. Then we’ll have a big luau and go from there.” Guess what? Those thirty packs of Busch Light were a major factor in my regression.

So back to the whole concept of stagnation and regression. How in the world am I going to get back on track for this month?

Well, I think a major part is admitting to everything that I did. I’ll tell ya, I was disappointed in myself for the weight gain, more so than usual. I think this time it was because I already know what to do in order to shift this the other direction, I’m not holding myself to it.

In order to keep improving, I have chose two things I want to establish this month. I would like to establish a better support system and then I would like to establish some more dietary changes.

I have a friend that dropped over 100 pounds, being in my similar situation. He has offered to help me shift some of my meal choices and habits and make them more nutritious. He wants me to handle the being active portion of getting healthy. He thinks closing the rings should do the trick, just to get started.

As for food, he’s composing a meal plan since he’s been training other people in a similar fashion. He’s not doing this for money or any gain, he’s doing this as a friend and on good will. I cannot thank him enough for believing in me.

I want to have a talk with my wife and see if she would like to join me in this endeavor. She’s in much better shape than I am, but her intake is just as junk as mine. She doesn’t drink alcohol so that part will be easier!

I think learning more about healthy eating and the science behind it, in combination with establishing a better support system will actually help tilt the scales in the opposite way.

With that being said, I probably will not blog so often, perhaps once a week at varying times. We’re getting busy again at work so I can’t write some of the gaming pieces I’ve been wanting to. Too much of a time investment that I do not have.

Personally, I enjoy sharing this journey with you all. The ups and downs! Everyone seems to enjoy these posts and I’m looking forward to more of it. Here’s to a more-active August and let’s get those scales tipping the opposite way!

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