May 232016
 

My Weight Loss Story – Part 1

by Michael

 

Every year, I set personal fitness related goals for myself. In the past, my goals have been around cycling a certain amount of miles. I have a back injury that rears its ugly head from time to time and this has lead me to conclude that if I keep doing the same things, I’ll keep getting the same results. As a result, I’ve decided not to ride my bike everyday or do any of the same exercises on consecutive days.

Last year, I pedaled 2,100 miles over several commutes from my home to work and back. For all of my efforts, I lost zero pounds last year. Losing weight wasn’t the focus of riding all those miles but you’d think that I’d be able to shed weight without thinking about it due to the biking but that just wasn’t the case. I concluded that while I enjoyed exercising, the reason I hadn’t lost any weight was because of my diet.

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My goals this year are to be able to do 100 push-ups in one set and do 10 pull-ups in one set. When I say things like, “I’m going to do more push-ups this year” it holds no water because there’s nothing holding me accountable. I need an amount and a time frame in order to be successful. At the start of this year, I was able to do 15 push-ups and zero pull-ups. My goals seemed lofty for sure but I’m a numbers guy and measurables like this are what drive me to success. I just needed to figure out how I was going to be able to accomplish it.

My first goal was to work my way up to being able to do 100 push-ups in a day. On the day of the Super Bowl, I was able to do 100 push-ups in a single day for the first time in my life. I did them in 5 sets of 20 over about a half hour period. This was a major achievement for me and it was the first time I believed that I would be able to accomplish the push-up goal this year.

Then I was able to do them in 4 sets of 25 push-ups. Shortly after that, 30, 30, 30, 10. Last month, I was able to do them in just 3 sets – 35, 35, 30. The next step from this point is challenging and I’ve concluded that in order to be able to do 100 push-ups in just 2 sets, I will need to do 2 things. 1 – I will have to do more than 100 push-ups in a day and 2 – I will have to lose weight. For every 10 lbs I lose, that’s 1000 fewer pounds that I will have to push-up over the set of 100. Tipping the power to weight ratio in my favor was obviously going to be necessary in order to be successful.

Just like I said earlier about exercising, I need a weight loss goal. I cannot just say to myself that I want to lose weight and have it stick. I just don’t operate like that. At the start of every month, I assess my progress and set a new monthly goal for myself and I get on a scale weekly to monitor my progress. I don’t know how much weight in total I want to lose, I just assume that I’ll know it when I get there. I know that I’m looking for an optimal power-to-weight ratio that allows me to accomplish my push-up and pull-up goals.

What I don’t do is count my calories. I don’t do this because it constantly makes me feel bad. It makes me feel oppressed, like I’m doing something bad that needs constant monitoring when in reality, I’m eating food and I don’t want to beat myself up for doing that. I know what’s good for me to eat and what isn’t. I don’t need to quantify all of the calories I’m consuming.

The other piece to this is that I exercise. A lot. But this isn’t the reason why I’ve lost weight. I’ve lost weight because of the diet. My exercise looks like this – M/W/F, I bike about 21 miles to/from work. T/Th/Sa, I run in my neighborhood. I created a running goal for myself this year of being able to run 6 miles in under an hour. I’m currently up to 4.7 miles in about 45 minutes. All of this is in addition to my push-up and pull-up goals, which I’m working on each twice a week. I wear a heart rate monitor to track this data and on average, I’m burning 6000 calories a week while exercising. Unlike tracking the calories that I consume, tracking the calories that I burn is empowering. It’s proof that I’m working hard and that I’m getting better as I’m able to run further and my per-mile pace drops. This also allows me to not feel any guilt when I want to drink a glass of wine with dinner because I’ve earned it.

So where am I at now with my push-up goal? I’m up to doing 160 (8 x 20) or 150 (6 x 25) twice a week. For the pull-up goal, I’m just doing as many as I can with the assistance of resistance bands over a few sets. The best part about these goals is that I’m not concerned about failure at all. If I do fail, I will have done thousands of push-ups and pull-ups this year and that itself is a huge personal victory for me. I’ll post an update in January and will let you know if I was successful or not in achieving my goals.

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and will detail the food part of how I lost the weight.
May 182016
 

 

Mr. Giggles is now 2 months old!

He’s gotten so big! In some ways he’s still teeny tiny but he’s starting to fill out a little bit and get a little baby chunk. He’s about 12 pounds now.

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He’s grown out of so many outfits! Most of his 3 month old onesies don’t fit. He’s now in the 3-6 month sized onesies. I think the biggest growth is length. I’m not sure how long he is right now but he’s too long for many of his outfits! And he grew out of his swaddle sack overnight (literally).

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Logan is more active and more awake these days. He recently discovered his hands and his new thing is shoving his fist into his mouth. It’s pretty cool to watch him discover things and I get to see the world through his eyes as he explores.

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He likes to talk and babble and coo. He also recently discovered his OTHER voice…the crying voice! Instead of those “I’m sort of unhappy but not really complaining about it yet” cries he’s had this whole time he’s now “I am MAD! Fix it mom!” Thankfully this doesn’t happen too often but if he’s in a particular mood and hungry or needs a diaper change and I’m taking a teeny bit too long he lets me know! The good thing is that he gets over it pretty quickly and gets back to his happy baby self!

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He’s trying to figure out how to roll. He’s rolled onto his side a few times in his crib when he’s playing but I don’t think it was on purpose and he hasn’t quite figured out what he’s doing. There’s a lot of flailing and kicking.

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He’s such a happy baby. He has days here and there where he is extra needy and just wants to be cuddled and held. I’m ok with that. I feel like these times will be short lived and soon he won’t want to be held and I’ll miss it.

It’s a clique to say “he’s growing so fast!” but he really is. Part of me is excited for the next thing he’s going to learn– sitting up, rolling, crawling, etc–and excited for that to happen. But part of me is already sad that he’s going to grow up and not be a teeny baby anymore! So for now I just marvel at the changes he makes almost every day and give him lots of hugs and kisses because at some point he won’t want hugs and kisses from his mama. 😉

How’s mom?

Last week I went back to the pool for the first time in 8 weeks! I was a little nervous about going swimming after such a long break but it was great. It didn’t feel like I had taken two months off and I was able to get right back into it. I swam a little over a mile in 45 minutes (which was about what I was doing when I was pregnant) without having to take a break. I could have gone longer but I stopped, not because I was tired, but because I was getting REALLY hungry!

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Also, it felt amazing to be able to relax in the hot tub and sauna again!  Boy oh boy was I starving after my swim, though.

Physically I’m doing pretty good 2 months postpartum. Still mildly sleep deprived but I don’t imagine that will improve any time soon. I go back to work soon and I’m slightly worried about how the sleep deprivation will effect that…but what am I going to do about that? I think this is going to be our norm for awhile.

Weight wise I’m the same. I gained 33 pounds pregnant and lost 18 that first week or so being home. Most of that was just giving birth but some of it was losing fluids I think. I haven’t lost any weight since then. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed that the weight isn’t “melting off” like so many people say it does when you’re breastfeeding. But I’ve also read that a lot of women don’t have that experience and their body holds onto the weight while they are breastfeeding and it isn’t until they start to wean that the weight loss happens.

Sure, I wish I was one of those lucky people that have the weight melt off. But, I’m ok with just maintaining where I am at right now. My priority is breastfeeding and making sure Logan gets enough. I don’t want to see my milk supply get effected and I am routinely pretty hungry as a result of breastfeeding so I eat. I’m counting my calories, staying within a reasonable number, and I’m back to working out on a regular basis (about 4 days a week) and I’m not willing to drop my calories to a restrictive number just to see if I can lose some weight. It’s been 2 months, I have plenty of time for that later.

Other than that, things are going really well. I feel good. We’ve got a decent routine going– which will change here soon when I go back to work. But things are good and I’m really happy. Logan brings so much joy into our lives. Sometimes we just look at each other and marvel at how lucky we are to have a sweet, happy, good-natured little cutie as our baby. I suppose this means he’ll be a hellion when he’s a teenager, huh?? 😉