Tuesday, July 02, 2013
It would almost be easier to lose weight if I wasn't a social animal. I'm finding that the real area I need to ensure I have my defenses up for, is when I'm out with friends and family. This past weekend was a holiday weekend up here in Canada, and my in-laws have a massive trailer-house up north in our cottage-country. My wife and the kids went up on Friday, and I joined them on the Saturday. I went up pretty stoked, having done a weigh in and seeing that I was down from 250 lbs to 245 lbs. Another five pounds of fat that I'll never have to see again. It was super nice to get away for a few days, but I instantly came face to face with the inherent difficulties of a holiday weekend, and eating meals with a group like that. I was really more a passenger during mealtimes, as I had no say in what was being made. It was either tasty foods where there was ample amount of extra food that was constantly being pushed around for seconds and thirds, or it was simply fatty foods, loaded with calories for really nothing that would fill my tummy up. It was strange to suddenly find myself extremely aware of what was on the table, and even more strange to find how naturally I turned to my spark people calorie counter to find out rough numbers for what was before me. Using these numbers, I would always try to maximize the lower calorie items, and just have a small taste of the high calorie items. This would allow me to feel full, but also enjoy what was on the table. I'm pretty proud of myself, to be honest, that although my calorie count was above-average compared to the last month, it was still well within my recommended range. Highly fatty foods are the serious killer I'm learning. Things even as simple as a delicious butter croissant. It's practically nothing in terms of size and it's ability to fill me up, but it takes up so many calories. Anyways, I'm glad I was able to say "no thanks, I'm full" when seconds and thirds were being enjoyed. I've got goals, and I aim to achieve them. Giving into temptation will only serve to slow my progress, and I plan to keep momentum in my favor.
Upon coming home last night, I was excited to hit the gym and put in a good workout. I take the weekends off, doing Mon/Wed/Fri workouts, so it's really important that I not miss my Monday workout. So I was saddened yesterday, but not surprised after pulling into the parking lot, to find the YMCA closed for Canada Day. Instantly my mind came up with a thousand excuses that all sounded alot like "Oh well, you tried, you're doing really good, so one day off is no big deal". I instantly replied to my weaker self (who for a long time I had let run things), I said "I'll have none of that, we'll simply improvise!" In my late teens, when I first lost all my weight, I had no gym membership, just my room for sit-ups and push-ups, and the open road for running. At my current weight, the thought of running out in the open, for all to see, has been a discouraging one, so this was actually a big moment for me. I put on my runners, mapped out a 2.5 mile route, checked my clock for a starting time, and off I went! I ran it in about 40 minutes, compared to 30 minutes on the treadmill, but my route was relatively hilly, which posed a good workout for my legs. I had to stop about 12 minutes in, but I think it was because I was running at too fast a pace compared to the even 5.3mph I've been running on the treadmill. My heart pounded so hard that it felt like it was going to jump out of my throat, so I chose caution - seeing as I hadn't had that kind of a feeling while at the gym this past month. I walked for about five or six minutes, but once the feeling was gone, I quickened my pace, and managed to do the rest of the run without stopping once. I always finish my runs with a thirty-second sprint - something I've done since highschool - and it was a sweet feeling to arrive home at full strength, feeling pretty great. Exhausted, but great. Once inside, I marked the time and got down for my sit-ups and push-ups. At my peak, around 19 years old, I was doing 300 crunches each night, and close on 50 push-ups. I didn't do that last night, lol. But I was happy to feel strength in my muscles as I did my 50 sit-ups and 15 push-ups, and that was encouragement enough. As a side note, my abs feel shredded today, which tells me perhaps I should forgo my knee lifts on the captains chair at the gym, and hit the floor instead.
So, a pretty successful weekend by my measures. Did good in regards to my calories, and managed to stay dedicated to my health by running outdoors for the first time in maybe six years. Once upon a time I might have reasoned that I should reward myself with a chocolate eclair, or something along those lines, but now I reason with myself that the real reward is by NOT eating that garbage. If we put our health first, and derive real tangible joy from losing weight and looking healthy, then the real rewards we can give ourselves (as strange as it seems) are nice long workouts, and eating well. Or, as in the case of my ten pounds lost, a new pair of shoes! :-D