Friday, February 7, 2014

10,000 Steps

Maybe I'm a bit late to the party, but I purchased a FitBit "Zip" pedometer about a month ago.  And one for my wife.   It seems so lame to measure only walking, or realistically, just steps throughout my day.   As usual, I recall measuring my running miles or cycling miles per week...not steps.

But here's my thinking:  my long-term health is dependent on consistent, long-term behavior.   Cycling daily or even several times per week means sacrificing other areas of my life that I don't really have a desire to sacrifice.  Running is just no longer a good idea for a lifelong exercise.   But walking, just walking, requires no equipment, special shoes, etc.   Obviously.  

Though not nearly as aggressive as cycling or other workouts, it is excuse-free for nearly all of us.   The goal from FitBit is to log 10,000 steps per day.   That equates to about 5 miles per day.   Without any extra walking, it looks like my normal steps per day only totals about 3,500 steps.  So, now when I am out and about, I check my little screen and find that I am parking further away, taking a few short walks and even a few hour-long walks just to get the steps in.   Not aggressive, but perhaps more consistent than my previous bursts of effort toward cycling or running.

Do any of you track your steps or walking miles?

Big Clyde

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Slowly Turning The Big Ship

Wow...my last post was in August, but I didn't expect to stay away for so long.   So, here's a brief re-cap of what's going on with me:

Family - All is well.  I'm married with three kids and all of us are healthy, working, studying, involved with some light extra-curricular stuff and church.  We are happy and blessed.

Work - Also, doing fine here.  Though the economy showed signs of improvement this year, things have still be challenging in my industry and I had a major year-long project to complete, which required extra hours and attention this year.   Goal was achieved and I am looking forward to 2014.

Health/Weight - No changes here, which is not a good sign.   I am still overweight and have not been working on eating better over the past few months.  My focus has been elsewhere and when I am not focused on eating healthy, I eat fast food, snacks, etc.  Otherwise, my health is fine.

Exercise - Can't recall my last run or decent bike ride.

So, why would I blog about any of that?   There's been nothing to say of any substance over the past few months, so I've stayed away from the blogging world.

I'm not certain that I will continue this blog because I feel like I've learned what I needed to learn by reading about nutrition, cycling, running, weight loss, etc.   The knowledge is easy.  The change in lifestyle is more difficult.   It takes a while to turn a big ship, but it DEFINITELY requires a skipper who is at that steering wheel.

My efforts began with cycling, then nutrition (really, counting calories) and eventually, running.   All were productive and fun.   But with each new effort, I put tremedous time and focus into them for short-term goals and results.  

I like cycling and will ride for the rest of my life, but I intend to ride for light exercise, fun, and errands...not as a goal-focused cyclist with my eyes focused on the next race or milestone.  It requires too much time in the saddle and away from other parts of my life that I enjoy more.

I enjoyed running, but accept that my knees only have so many miles in them and I don't want to be limping in my sixties, so I think I will never do another 10k.   Maybe a slow 5k now and then or a simple neighborhood jog.

As for nutrition, that is where I have learned the most (but again, have not consistently put that knowledge toward permanent changes in my life).   I'll write more about that in a post within the next few days.

I'm aware that this post might seem a bit depressing or disappointing to some of you and that's fine.   I guess I realized about a year ago that I could continue to do short-term goals, then fall back, then repeat...for the rest of my life.   But that was not the goal.   My goal was to make a sustainable change in my weight (whether it was through exercise or nutrition).   The patterns of exercise and nutrition that "work" are HIGHLY individualized in my opinion and we all have to figure out what patterns suit our individual lifestyles the best.   I haven't figured out how I will do that yet, but I think I am getting close to figuring out what will work for my lifestyle.  Many of you have already figured it out for yours.  Well done.

Finally, I wanted to say a very genuine "thank-you" to the few of you that somehow care enough about me to be reading this now.   I have not been as diligent on following other blogs recently and I feel badly about that.   But when I have checked in to see how my blogging friends are doing, I am always inspired that so many of you are still working out changes in your lifestyle, or riding your bikes, or signing up for new races.   I hope to someday soon be back at that type of activity, whether I blog about it or not.

Sincerely,

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

This will be a short post but I wanted to note that I lost 1 pound this week.  My friend Tig, went insane and joined some local "Boot Camp" and starting eating baked fish and fresh veggies and lost 5.8 pounds last week.   We are on one of those "let's-challenge-each-other-but-really-encourage-each-other", but I swear I hope that he goes to the Pizza Hut buffet a few times this week.

I can't compete with baked fish and boot camp.

But I am motivated nonetheless to continue in my very reasonable plan of better eating, more moving and steady progress.

Because I have been breaking bad on my food choices a bit lately, I am doing another 3-day juice fast, beginning this morning.  I like them for a few reasons:
1.  I think it psychologically gets me back on track.
2.  I would guess it chemically breaks off any recent sugar-addiction build-up, or at least weakens the sugar-cravings.
3.  It is useful for all of us to have some hurdles that we have to jump over.   Small personal challenges make life a bit more interesting and can give our confidence a boost, especially in areas of our lives that have been challenging for us in the past.

I'll post again throughout the juice fast on the recipes, some do's-and-don'ts and the results.

Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Another solid week of good choices, but only one exercise session...a short 2.7 mile jog, which went better than I expected.

Loss of 3 pounds.  Very happy with that.   I continue to drink my homemade veggie juice for at least one meal per dayand one snack.  Otherwise, I just am trying to eat smaller portions and avoid unnecessary carbs like bread. 

For example, we went to an italian restaurant last week.  I split some pasta and a small pizza with my son.  Carbs + carbs.  But, of course, they served a small loaf of bread before we received "our meal".  I avoided that bread appetizer.  This was a small thing, but this journey is made up of the little steps, right?

I'm nearly one week into this month, with a goal of 100 miles (by foot or bike) by the end of the month.   Better get in gear, Clyde.

Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Down 4 pounds since last Monday!  The first week on a diet is always good for an impressive loss.   I'll be very happy with a 2 pound loss next week...that's the goal.

I was pretty disciplined with drinking healthy vegetable juices at least once a day (sometimes two meals) and otherwise just tried to make those boring "good choices" of salad vs. burger, turkey vs. beef, etc. 

Since I haven't been on an actual run in many months, I started slow with two 2-3 mile walks this past weekend.   I will steadily increase that to about 3 walk/jogs this week and at least one bike ride.

Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Rest of 2013

On January 2nd, I wrote this post about my desire to find a "reasonable plan".  Not an aggressive, short-term blitz to drop a lot of weight or mileage quickly (which I am fond of), but an intentional plan that could be maintained for a lifetime.

I have learned certain things about myself thanks to this blogging world.  I know that I am very good at short-term challenges (up to six months) and that I am really encouraged by comments from fellow bloggers on the same journey.  But I've also learned that telling the same story of short-term success with eventual setbacks means that I have not really made great strides in a lifestyle change, which is the entire point.

So, I wrote about my desire to live out a reasonable plan and I think I am starting to live it now.

I have a good friend named Tig that is pretty much a real-life action hero:  career military, friendly, capable in nearly all fields and a very decent guy.  He will take the lead or be your wingman.  But he ages like the rest of us and wants to get in better shape.   Recently, we challenged each other to a few upcoming events:  ride 100 miles during Le Tour de France, run a 5k in September, ride a metric century in December.

Since we both accomplished the recent 100 miles, he wrote to me and suggested the following:
*  Weekly Monday weigh-in and then report out the loss/gain
*  100 miles per month throughout 2013 (whether by bike, walk or run)
*  Weight loss goal for remainder of 2013.   He chose 25 pounds, I chose 40.

Simple, practical, achievable.  Most of us can ride 8 miles in 45 minutes.   3x per week gets you over 100 miles per month.  A 2,200 calorie-per-day diet will result in approximately 1.75 pounds lost per week or 7 pounds per month.  A highly nutritous diet of more vegetables will result in even greater loss and is better for body chemistry.

So, the 2013 plan finally begins in late July. 
Healthy, lighter eating
Regular, moderate exercise
Weekly reporting on short and mid-range goals
Accountability through a friend and this blog

It's not dramatic, but it might be my most realistic attempt at finally changing my lifestyle forever.

Big Clyde

P.S.  I know myself and may still do some short-term challenges for fun, but they will not deter from the plan. 

P.S.S.  If any of you sense that I am falling away, please feel free to scold me harshly.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Le Tour Challenge: Completed!

I'm happy to report that I completed the challenge of riding 100 miles during the last two weeks.  Ultimately, due to some procrastination and a busy work schedule, I had to ride 25 miles per day on Friday, Saturday, and today.  I wondered how I would hold up and I was surprised to have done quite well.

My next event will be a simple 5k race in late September.   Not a big deal, but I have not been in a timed race since 2010 and not run that distance since last September, so you know, it is kinda like starting over.

What's coming up next for you?

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Le Tour Challenge - Final two days

It's Saturday night and I just finished a 25.9 mile ride on a stationary bike at the gym.   It feels weird that I haven't actually ridden my bike on an actual road for this challenge, but I have a busy work schedule with some recent travel and it is hot in the summer in Arizona!  I'm just glad that I have stuck with this.

Tomorrow is the final day of Le Tour de France (which is of no interest to me), but it is also the last day of my challenge to ride 100 miles during the race.  I have 24 miles to complete tomorrow to meet my goal.

Then on to my next challenge...  :)

Have a good Sunday, my friends!

Big Clyde

Friday, July 19, 2013

Le Tour de France Challenge - Update Friday NIGHT!

No time to chat, but I just finished a quick 13 mile ride.  Of the 100 miles to be completed by the end of the Tour de France (Sunday), I still have just under 62 miles to ride.  

Back to work now, several commitments tomorrow for a friend's wedding, then church on Sunday.   Otherwise, I am still striving to complete this challenge.   I'll keep posting my progress.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

BC

UPDATE:  I went back to the gym late tonight and did another 12 miles.   50 miles left!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Juice Fast - Day 3 and Done!

Well that was interesting.

It was only three days, but after some inspiration from the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", I just completed a 3-Day Juice Fast.   Check out the plan here.

There was no cheating.  Not a bite of fruit (or any other food).   The juice was made from 80% veggies and 20% fruit.  The 32 oz. of "Green Juice"  was the worst part of my day, but as I wrote yesterday, that is about two 5-minute periods of disgusting.  The other juices were tasty (enough).

I don't know if I lost any weight, but for a three day period that wasn't really my goal.  I really just wanted to see how I would handle it, how I would feel, how much time would it take, etc.  I'll jump on the scale tomorrow morning just to see if anything changed.

Here's what I learned:

  • I resisted the temptation of eating horribly by eating intentionally.  If I did not have a plan, my "normal" food choices would have been pretty bad, considering that my wife and kids are out of town.  I would have eaten junk food, snacks and desserts.  This juice plan kept me healthy.
  • I had plenty of energy, despite a lower amount of calories.  We could all stuff ourselves simply by eating instant oatmeal throughout the day and barely exceed 1,000 calories...but we would have no nutrients, etc.  Drinking the juice from tons of dark, leafy greens, carrots and a few fruits adds energy.  
  • It was cheaper than my regular food choices.  The veggies and fruit were definitely cheaper than my regular food.  (I bought the juicer about a month ago for $130).
  • It took about 60 minutes per night to prepare all juices for the next day.   That may seem like a lot of time, but it was quick to eat throughout the day and I just had to reach into the fridge to get my "meal".
  • I was reminded how much healthier veggies are compared to fruit (and everything else).
Over the next three days, I will be going to Temecula, CA for a business trip.  I know that I will eat solid food in the next few days, but since I am driving, I already stopped at the store to get some prepared veggie juices, a lot of carrots and some apples.   My normal pattern for a long drive would be to bring candy, chips, diet soda, candy and chocolate and jerky.  

Though I am 47 years old, I still want to eat like a 10-year-old with a paycheck.   

Maybe the 3-Day Juice Fast (found at http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/) did exactly what it claims to do...re-boot my life.   

Big Clyde

P.S.  Did another 9.5 miles on the stationary bike at the gym tonight with Crazy Jim.  25 miles down and 75 miles remaining in my Tour de France Challenge.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Juice Fast - Day 2: Drinking Kryptonite

I completed Day 2 of the juice fast and I am doing pretty well, except for about 10 minutes of the day. 

Twice a day, I force myself to drink Green Juice...it is like drinking kryptonite.

I don't own a white suit, but otherwise, this is me.
Now, we see from this image that Lex Luthor feels energized from drinking the powerful green kryptonite.  I get it.   I have more energy than I would have if I were feasting on my beloved pizza.

However, before and during my consumption of Green Juice, it weakens me like I am Kal-El, the Last Son of Krypton.  It is an assault to my taste buds.  It laughs at me when I add ice to make it more palatable.  It mocks me when I drink it through a straw...would battery acid taste better through a straw?!?

Good news?  Given my hatred of the Green Juice, it may (finally) be proof that I am actually Superman or something like him.  (I've just been dressing like Clark all of these years, or his fatter brother Warren).

Bad news?  I'm soft and have trained my taste buds to only like sweet and fatty foods and I have an uphill climb to get back to a normal healthy diet of lots of veggies, fruit and less fat.

My friend Jared (who got me into this juicing thing in the first place) told me to try Red Kale instead.  Yeah, sure, EVERYONE loves Red Kale, right?   Have any of you ever ordered red kale in a restaurant?  Ever see one of those tv commercials where the kids scream to their mom from the dinner table "More red kale, please!".   Me either.

But that is what I will be choking down drinking tomorrow for lunch and dinner.  Jealous?

Stay tuned.

Big Clyde

Monday, July 8, 2013

Juice Fast - Day 1 of 3

Day 1 went pretty well, considering I went the entire day drinking mostly vegetable juice out of mason jars.
  • Did I mention that my wife and kids are out of town for several days?  This is normally the time when I would buy an enormous pizza to use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a day or two?  Phad Thai?  Nachos?  They all sound good and I wouldn't even have to share.   But instead, I bought SIX BUNCHES OF KALE and will go through each one of them in the next three days.
  • Did I mention that my church is somewhat known for featuring a Waffle Bar during the fellowship time after worship?  A WAFFLE BAR...with toppings (because waffles and syrup aren't always sweet enough)!   Instead, I drank carrot juice with lemon added in.
  • Did I mention that I am still in this self-inflicted challenge of cycling 100 miles during the Tour de France?   Not that big of a deal for a three week period, except I blew off the first week.   I am just now getting after it.   My sweat smells like celery. 
  • Tour de France mileage update:  16 miles down, 84 to go by 7/21.
I didn't hate it, didn't like it and didn't cheat.   That's good enough for me.

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Juice Fast

Some of you may have heard of the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead".   I won't recap it, but it is on NetFlix and www.imdb.com.   You can find it.

Basically, in a pretty entertaining movie, we see a few people transform their lives through temporary juice fasts.   These are not smoothies with yogurt, berries and protein powder (not that there's anything wrong with that!).   These tend to be hardcore juices made mostly from leafy green veggies, some citrus, some apples.

Though I generally resist any fad diets, I do see that there are great benefits here.  I got interested, bought a juicer and have been doing it for about 7-10 meals per week for the past month or so.   When I am pretty consistent, I feel a great energy boost and know that I am getting far more vitamins from all of the veggies.  I am used to a "full" or bloated feeling from junk food and it feels great when I choose the juice instead.

On the downside, you go through a ton of veggies (because you are only drinking the juice, not eating the pulp), it can seem to take more time, and the taste of the Mean Green juice is honestly, nasty.

But is it worth it?  

If a wizard came to you with a magic pill and said that you would lose a lot of weight, you would totally grab it.  What if the wizard said it's not really a pill, but instead a recipe that you would have to make each day which would take some extra time and the recipe would taste nasty but could be consumed in a few minutes...then would you want it?   Oh, and it would be totally healthy for you and would quickly reduce your dangerous bmi score.

Yeah, I'd do it.   In the documentary, the guy does a doctor-guided 60-day juice fast.   They don't recommend most people do that, but instead suggest plans between 3 days to 15 days.

So, I'm going to do the juice fast for the next three days and will let you know how it goes.  I won't be totally hardcore, because I will still have some coffee (with a small amount of cream) and may have a Sunday afternoon beer.   I'm not trying to do this perfectly...I just want to make some changes on the food I eat.

Big Clyde

P.S.  I also did this thing called "exercise" today.  I did about 6.8 miles on a stationary bike (only 93 miles to go by 7/21) and walked 1.5 miles.  More tomorrow.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Big Clyde Rides Le Tour de France

As I crawl out of my comfort zone (such a procrastinator!), I challenged myself and my friend Tig to a cycling challenge, sponsored by mapmyride.com. 

The general idea is that you register on mapmyride.com and commit to ride your bike during the days of the Tour de France.  The minimum suggested distance was 100 miles,which is going to be a challenge in our desert heat and my lack of exercise lately.  I like a challenge and this is certainly attainable for even a casual cyclist on a steel commuter bike.

If this sounds like fun to you, join in!   Here's the link:  http://www.mapmyride.com/challenges/tdf/.   The dates to do your mileage are from 6/29 to 7/21.

See you out there.

Big Clyde

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Commit. Train. Results? 2013 edition

Since my last post, I have been much more careful about what I eat.   I am juicing pretty regularly now (not smoothies with berries and yogurt...I'm talking the pure nasty juice of kale, spinach, celery, and lemons).    I've cut back on my caffeine intake and downsized my portions.    Good stuff.

Now, it's time to get moving.

My buddy, Tig, and I were talking the other night.   Okay, we were drinking and talking...and we challenged ourselves to do something big before the end of the year.   We agreed to ride a metric century in December.   My longest distance has been about 40 miles.   This will be 63 miles.   To do it decently, I'll need to build up my mileage and fitness levels in the coming months.

Our first step, will be to run a simple 5k in mid-September.   I'll need to train for that too.

When I was really active on this blog in previous years, someone once summarized my strategy as
1.  Commit (to a big event)
2.  Train (so that I can complete the event or do it decently)
3.  See the Results (usually in weight loss, but also overall fitness)

I guess I am back on that train again.   My friend has been fit his entire life (unlike me), but we are both guys between 45-48 who keep seeing the yearly decrease in exercise and increase in pounds.   Knowing that we will train and do these events together will definitely inspire me to get in gear.

And if I keep my nutrition in line, I'll see those results I've been looking for these past two years.

Big Clyde

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What To Do, What To Do...



Every overweight person has looked for the magic answer that would help them drop weight quickly and easily.   Me too.

By now, we all know that the obvious answer to long-term health is to eat healthy, eat less and move more.  But motivation, psychology and current life situations can make that so challenging, which is why so many of us are obese.

When I read recently about Gov. Chris Christie's weight loss surgery, he said something like:  "I've dealt with this all of my life, I am older now, with kids and am running out of time to drop the weight slowly and naturally, so I am taking action to get healthy through this surgery".   His view of the surgery seemed so reasonable to me.   I considered it very briefly for myself.  But after the surgery is performed, it is up to the patient to change their eating habits.  And begin exercising.

Once again, I found myself back to the same dilemma...at some point, I will have to change my eating habits or die early.   Here's how it plays out:

  1. Continue eating like I always have and get diabetes.   Action?  Change my eating habits.   If you have diabetes, you have to eat healthy or they will start cutting parts off of you.
  2. Get weight loss surgery and lose tons of weight.  Action?  Change my eating habits.  Spend tons of money on surgery.  And pray that I don't go back to my old habits and gain it back (I've seen it happen to others!).
  3. Go back to calorie counting and lose weight.  Action?   Change my eating habits.   I've done this before and it is certainly a reasonable approach.   But a slow and measured approach.  It is a bit like trying to quit drinking beer, but still keeping your job at the tavern.   Temptations are always close at hand. 
  4. Die early.
So, to avoid #4, I will have to change my eating habits so I'd better get back to it. 

If I am going to change my eating habits at some point in my life regardless, I'd be dumb to wait for diabetes to be the reason.   That elminates option #1.

And if I know that weight loss surgery will require a change in eating habits in the near future, I'd rather save the money and try again to do it on my own.  That eliminates option #2 for now.

So, option #3 is left.   I've done that before, but I still have kids that would like to celebrate with ice cream sometimes.   And making waffles for breakfast is fun at times.  These can be sparingly worked in to a low-cal diet, which is the key to truly changing eating habits with moderation as the end goal.  

But at my weight, I understand why people like Gov. Chris Christie wanted to get this going on a faster pace. 

I am now focused on doing something at that faster pace.   Healthy, but a major change for me.   More on that in a future post.

For now, I am trying to break my caffeine addiction.   I drink way too much coffee every day and have done that for the past 15 years.   I am reducing the amount each day now to try to break free of it for awhile.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Happening Again...

Please stay with me for a little while on this one.

I'll start this one boldly...I believe in God.   Not The Force or some great spirit in the sky that is within all of us or a god of many forms that permeates all religions.  No.  I believe in the God that put himself into the human form of a baby on a rescue mission to reunite us with God, the Father.   Once we humans killed that man on a cross, he went up to Heaven to be with his Father and sent back down a Holy Spirit to guide all of us, if we simply accept him. 

When we feel something leading us one way or another, some may call it coincidence, or intuition or the dreaded "...things happen for a reason...".  I think that is the Holy Spirit guiding us.   God's subtle messenger.

I hope I haven't lost anyone yet.  

My point is that I am receiving the signs again that I have to get serious about improving my health and fitness.   I don't think it is coincidental.  I think it is a whisper from God and I'd be an idiot to ignore it.  It's happened before and it's happening again.
  • Some of you have checked in on me, making sure I was okay.   Much appreciated.  The family is great, work is good and all is well.   Just busy with family life, so less time for blogging.  Also, I don't blog when I am inactive.
  • Two friends asked me simply if I was riding my bike much.  Enough said.
  • My friend Chris has three kids and a wife (like me), is in my industry and is my age.  Next month, he'll run 100 miles in the Zion 100 Trail Run.  He's done it several times before.  I've been advised to not even pursue another 10k with my long-term back injury, but I can certainly do anything on a bike if I train for it.
  • My weight has crept up a little bit and I am shaping my kids' behavior.  I need to show them that we can all overcome bad habits.
  • Thank you Deb for the hello!
  • To GRB, who commented yesterday:  Nice to hear from you.  I have never been athletic and rarely saw the point of it.   I am reasonably active, but who would want to run for miles unless they were being chased?  For us non-athletes out there, we may find that we run, bike or swim simply so that we can stave off the 5-pound per year gain that happens in many North Americans over the age of 40.  10 minutes a day is the least any of us should do, including me.   I'll commit to 20 minutes minimum x 5 days per week.  I'll update regularly.  Feel free to e-mail me at bigclydesdale@gmail.com if you want to communicate that way.
Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

Big Clyde

P.S.  All Christians are not the kind you see on tv and we do not watch Pat Robertson or listen to Rush Limbaugh.  I drink, I sometimes swear, I eat too much, I loved Django Unchained, I have gay friends, I go to church every Sunday and I am a very sinful Christian man.  That is why I am so glad that God sent his Son to remove my sins whenever I ask.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Here Comes the Sun!

It's been a long winter.  Granted, I live in the desert and have a warmer climate than most, but we all get used to our areas...and it has been pretty cold here with snowmen being built in my backyard about two weeks ago!  The colder weather makes it easier to stay inside and stay sedentary.

My reasonable approach has produced reasonable results.   I am exercising very little, but eating better than I used to.  The result is not helping me on the scale and likely not helping my fitness either.   Certainly, the scale shouldn't be the only scoreboard, but it is shameful how little I've exercised.  I need to be more intentional about changing my lifelong behavior of eating what I want and exercising as little as possible.

So, I'll be returning to the blog for some accountability and inspiration.  Back to you soon, after my next exercise session.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Forming a "Reasonable" Plan

Hello friends and bloggers.   Remember me?

I've been away and am coming back to check in and describe my thoughts on a reasonable plan for 2013.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?   A reasonable plan?  No one usually cheers for "reasonable"...they cheer for aggressive, challenging, "all or nothing" (a ridiculous phrase), and even the "scary milestone event" (I've used that one in the past).

But a "reasonable" goal has always sounded very wimpy and tame to me..as if I am settling for mediocrity.

Here are some of those mediocre or wimpy examples that I have heard in the past:

  • Make some better food choices
  • Exercise 3 times per week
  • Get a good amount of sleep
  • Lose 1-2 pounds per week
Instead, I have rejected those guidelines and have been focused on AGGRESSIVE results!   3-5 pound weight loss per week!  Exercise plans of 6 days per week.   1,300 calorie per day nutrition plan.

I have proven that I can be aggressive and achieve those results...for awhile.   I can train for specific races, hit aggressive weight loss goals by a specific date, and maintain my focus with that finish line in my sights.  I become a superhero for awhile.

But I now believe that this type of deadline-based goal planning is not helping me make sustainable lifestyle changes (now that's a boring phrase for you!).

So, I am going to make some adjustments to my plan for 2013.   I may still have some short-term deadlines for fun, but the over-riding theme is going to be one of moderate and steady progress, realistic goals...reasonable.

In my next post, I will share some input that I received from my physical therapist and my new favorite author.

Big Clyde



Monday, October 15, 2012

Weigh In - More good news

I missed my weigh-in post last week, but weighed in this morning and am down 4 pounds from my last weigh-in about 10 days ago.   I have also had some tummy trouble, so that could be a part of it.  Regardless, I am happy and feeling good.  

Since my last post, my daughter left us in sunny Arizona and visited Washington DC and New York for a week.   We missed her tremendously, but were grateful that she could have this great experience.   She visited the monuments, museums, a large publishing house and much more.  She returned home last weekend and we played all weekend.

The two of us are planning on doing El Tour de Tucson's 42-mile route in late November.   We haven't begun to train, so we'd better get on that soon.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weigh In ...and the birthday boy!

No loss or gain for me this week.  I shouldn't compare myself to several weeks of consecutive 3-pound losses, but I know that I have been deviating from my plan which has greatly slowed my progress.  But I am back on track this week and doing well again.

But today is an exciting day for me and my family!  14 years ago, our son Sam (aka Samson) was born. 

Such a happy boy!

...and patriotic too!

Sam is the Genie and his brother is the Sultan at a local production of Aladdin!
 
Happy Birthday!!
 Hug your loved ones, everyone!

Big Clyde


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Late Weigh In

I get anxious every Tuesday, because Wednesday is Weigh-In Day for me.  Though I choose to weigh-in several days a week, Wednesday is the official day and affects my confidence for a few days.

Last Wednesday, I was pleased to see a 2 pound loss for the week.  That is 26 pounds down since August 9th.

Since I began eating better in August, this was my first period of going above my normal calorie target of 1,300.  I had certainly gone above (up to 2,200) on rare days, but in the last week, I had some pizza, chips, candy, nachos, ice cream, etc.   Never in a binge situation...just careless junk food eating mixed in with other low-calorie meals.

I also did not exercise this week.   I had been so pleased with some recent runs, but I know that I far surpassed that rule that you shouldn't increase your mileage more than 10% in a week.   I tend to think that those rules are overly cautious, but after 5 runs in 8 days, my right knee was constantly sore and I just backed off.   I should have jumped on the bike.

Anyway, I think I was lucky to have still dropped two.  I have not lost any weight since then, so today I did a short run/walk and will likely get on the bike this afternoon.  Also, I'm returning to healthy, hardcore eating today.  Low-fat, lots of broccoli and protein and back to drnking rivers of water.

What do you all have planned for this weekend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Here it goes again

I lost another 3 pounds this week at the end of Week 6.  Total loss since August 9th is now 24 pounds.

(can you see the smile on my face?)

I may do a post or two on what I am doing, just so I can refer back to it if I ever de-rail.   But it is basically the following:

  • low-calorie of healthy food (real food, not pre-packaged weight loss stuff)
  • about 4 quarts of water
  • heavy cardio (running about 3 days per week over the last two weeks)
My body adjusted to lower-calories pretty quickly and I am not craving sweets, snacks, etc.  I guess my willpower has increased as my appetite has decreased.


Anyway, good times and I am feeling great.  More importantly, I feel like I can keep this up.

Enjoy your week my friends!

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Sudden 5K

So, in solidarity with The Jogging Clydesdale, I agreed to do a 5K this weekend, eventhough we live far apart from each other.   Though I used to be somewhat comfortable with this distance, I haven't run 3.1 miles since early April and was not planning on doing this distance until I had built up to it a bit.

But several "tough love" mentors like Patrick Mahoney, RockStar Tri, Super Kate, SusieTri, Caratunk Girl and Kovas have passed on some wisdom that it is better to be aggressive when it comes to these personal challenges.  I tend to be more cautious, which has no doubt limited me in my past when it comes to athletics.

Nonetheless, I went for it and was able to run the entire time and was very pleased with my time.

And at the end, I enjoyed a great local brown ale from Nimbus Brewery.  Smooth and frothy!

What's on your weekend schedule?

Big Clyde

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and the Sudden 5K

At the end of Week 5, I am down another 3 pounds!  This was a more challenging week because I had a business trip that could have derailed me with good food, low exercise, etc.  That is a total of 21 pounds down in the last five weeks.

A blogging friend is going to be doing a 5K this weekend, though he is not excited about it.   He is concerned about finishing slower than previous races, finishing at the end of the pack, etc.  I understand completely.   

It has been months and months since I last ran 3.1 miles.  I am out a few nights a week now, but doing shorter distances and only running half the time.   Lame.

But I received an e-mail from a local running store that is having a "Run for Beer" event this Friday.  You show up at 6pm, run their 5K route and get a ticket for a nearby microbrewery.   
Since I haven't had a beer or a 3-mile run in quite awhile, and my friend is going to be slugging it out in his race across the country, I figured I should join in!  

I may not post my time, but this clydesdale will be trotting his way to a frosty beverage this Friday.  Even if I finish in last place.

Big Clyde

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Jump Start

I've received a couple of e-mails from blogging friends who are in a plateau or dark space.   I get it...I just returned from several months of "don't care" and had to get back on plan.  Clearly, I am no expert given that I have been inconsistent.   But I will offer up the best ideas that seem to work for me.

Here is a link to the original post that I still use to help me climb out of the hole.  http://clydesdaleproject.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-slump-try-my-lowered-expectations.html

At one time, I called it my "Lowered Expectations Plan".  But if you are a glass is half-full person, I suppose it is a "Jump Start Plan".  Also, I know that some of the tough people out there just double-down on their exercise plan and go hardcore.  Pick whatever plan will get you back in the groove.

Finally, I was asked about my goal weight and calorie levels.   I'm 6'4" and weighed 217 when I was 22 years old and living in Japan.  I rode a bicycle everywhere and basically consumed only noodles, chicken, fish and beer.   I was broke and starving.  I think I will never see that number again.  Fine with me.

I was 235 on my wedding day in 1990.  I may never see that number again.

I'll be very pleased with 250.  That is my current goal weight.

I intend to stay at approx 1200-1300 calories per day for another few weeks.  As I increase my walking/jogging and cycling, I will allow myself to go up to 1,500.   I know that these will be weekly averages.  On occasion, I may slip or indulge and get around 2,000 cals in a day.   That means I will be firm at 1200 for the next two days.     I also choose NOT to off-set my exercise-burned calories into this equation.   I only count what I eat.   Any exercise, is just going to be a bonus.  My goal is a 3 pound loss per week.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and the Danger Zone

I am doing well and remain very consistent in my healthy eating campaign.  I just finished my 4th week of eating well and I am down another 3 pounds.  Total loss since 8/9 is 18 pounds.

Week 1 was 7 pounds
Week 2 was 5 pounds
Week 3 was 3 pounds
Week 4 was 3 pounds

I log EVERYTHING into sparkpeople.com and about every 10 days when I "cheat", it means that I have gone to about 2,000 calories (one time up to 2,200).  My average tends to be around 1,400 calories.  Lots of veggies, light amount of daily exercise.   It is very likely that I was consuming 4,000 calories per day before this with no exercise.

I feel confident that I will keep going...it feels different this time.  It feels like I am finally learning some balance.  Eating an occassional heavy meal means that I better have some light meals ahead of me, lots of water and some exercise.

Four weeks is a nice stretch, but I need to maintain this for four months.   Gradually, I will bring the daily goal up to 1,500, then 1,700, etc.   Once I hit a goal weight, I'll have to determine what my daily caloric goal should be.  But for awhile, I need to keep focused on reducing the weight quickly to get me out of the danger zone.

I've said this before, but here it comes again (more strongly this time).  It is ridiculous to think that a balanced diet of veggies, proteins, few fats and carbs at 1,200 or 1,300 calories is DANGEROUS for a 300+ lb pound man.  Dangerous compared to what?!?  

Let me put it another way...When you are in a danger zone, is it better to walk slowly away from the danger zone or is it better to RUN from that danger zone as fast as you can?

I hit on this because I am in that danger zone and am happy to be losing some weight now.  But I started this latest effort simply because my clothing was too tight, ignoring the much greater dangers! 

Michael Clarke Duncan was between 6'4"-6'5", near my age and weighed somewhere between 315-325 pounds.  He had a massive heart attack and never recovered.   Oh, and he had far more muscle mass and athletic history than I've ever had.  If we stood next to each other wearing suits, we would look pretty similar. 

Which one of us would be in the Danger Zone?  Both of us.

I liked this actor, but even more so, feel very sympathetic to all of the big guys and gals out there because we are all on the same path.  Every journey out of a danger zone begins with one step or one leap. 

If you're not AGGRESSIVELY getting out of that danger zone, please get moving.

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clydesdale Season!


It's Clydesdale Season.  I'm walking (with a few bits of trotting) and pulled the bike out of the garage.

It feels good to be back on the bike.  I have a great bike path near my house and many hills to keep me busy.   I just need to build back my legs and endurance after months of inactivity.

A slow bike ride does nothing for me...it is just fun.   Instead, I'll be pushing myself to go harder to get the heart-rate up and strengthen the legs.   It will still be fun because I remember how satisfying a 20-30 mile ride feels.  This year, it looks like I'll be doing El Tour with my friend Henry.  It will be his first time.   Even if he decides not to do it, I will do it solo and push myself for a record time (which shouldn't be too hard).

And if I achieve my other goals, I will weigh about 25 pounds less on race day than I do now.  

Life is good.  I hope all of you are doing well and have a great long weekend.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fast Fifteen - DONE!

Week three of my Fast Fifteen Challenge was great.  This past week, I lost another 3 pounds.  That makes a total of 15 pounds since 8/9. 

I've also been exercising a bit with a 2.75 mile walk/run two nights ago, a bike ride and some evening walks.  More to come.

The reduced weight feels great.  Clothes already fit better, I'm more energetic and still very motivated to stay on track.  I am still very heavy, but less than I was last week, and the week before and the week before.

This is exactly the jump-start that I wanted.  Sparkpeople.com often has articles about the benefits of a fast-start to keep us motivated during the challenging first few days or weeks of any change.

So, if you happen to feel stuck in a rut, or embarrassed because you have lost some strength or gained back some weight, then give yourself a challenge...a TOUGH challenge.

A fellow blogger, the Great Patrick Mahoney, used to kick my tail when I would blog about a bad week.  He'd challenge me to put in "50 mile weekend".  It could be a run, walk, or bike ride...just as long as I got it done (or at least tried hard to get it done).   I don't remember if I ever actually hit that number, but I got the point.

When we set the short-term bar pretty high, we usually stretch to hit it.

So, I need to set some new goals for September.  Here are some thoughts:
  • Lose another 15 pounds by September 30th.  That is a slower pace than what I've been doing, but I knew that I would gradually increase some calories.
  • I've agreed to Alan's challenge at the Pounds Off Playoff, which is doing simply 26 minutes of fitness every day until U.S. Veteran's Day (Nov. 12th, 2012).  Seems easy, but how many people are really that consistent?!
  • ...but my cycling legs stink and our Arizona temps are going to actually become reasonable soon.   Maybe I'll do some cycling mileage challenges.   Hmm.
Do any of you have some big challenges ahead for the month of September?

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chicken, Waffles and Choices

For some reason, I have been able to stay very focused on a low-calorie diet for the past two weeks and I feel great.   I've had business lunches, eaten many meals away from home and yet continue to lose the pounds.

This morning, I met a friend for breakfast.   We met down by the University of Arizona and I had heard about a "chicken and waffles" place.   That made me smile because I remember this scene from the movie "Tapeheads" in 1988:


The place is called May's Counter and it was awesome.   My buddy Mike had the chicken and waffles.  I had a large egg-white omelette with diced ham, swiss cheese and jalapenos.   I also had half a piece of toast with jelly on it.  That totalled 359 calories.

My usual breakfast out on the road would be two McDonald's Sausage McMuffin w/Egg at 450 calories each, so 900 total for the meal. 

Making those choices is how I will continue to lose in the weeks and months ahead.

I also took a short 20-minute bike ride today (when it was 100 degrees) and my legs felt like cement.  Need to work on that too.

See you all on the way down, my friends!

Big Clyde