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.

IMG_4427

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 092016
 

I figured it was fitting to share a few photos from our newborn photo shoot with you guys for mother’s day. Our friend Christi, who did our engagement photos and pregnancy photos, came by when Logan was about 2 weeks old to take his newborn pictures and she did an amazing job.

It’s funny, that day Logan was particularly fussy and had been crying and fussing all day long so when Christi came by to take his pictures I was feeling a bit frazzled and like we wouldn’t get anything cute because he’d just cry the whole time. Thankfully we got lucky and he apparently loves having his picture taken. 🙂

13177241_10154039882047527_7471374713105229142_n

We did get a few fussy photos, though, and I definitely wanted prints of those, too, not just the “perfect” ones because he was so expressive!

13177253_10154039883742527_3636000916387494341_n

13164352_10154039877687527_8495055718758795604_n

I mean seriously, how can you not melt at that fussy face? LOL! This is my favorite photo of the day:

13087354_10154039883347527_6050968181702347596_n

It just cracks me up.

13118922_10154039880537527_3915162423101090011_n

Baby feet!

13087013_10154039877837527_1953082713739675184_o

And we got some family photos:

13151853_10154039885757527_7419946491637880319_n

13133119_10154039884787527_7466492757397273235_n

I’m so glad we got the photos done when we did because he already looks different at 6 weeks old now. And at two weeks he looked different than his squishy newborn photos too! They really do grow so fast. You blink and they look different. One day I went to dress him and all of a sudden half of the clothes he’d been wearing didn’t fit anymore and we moved up to the 3 month old sizes! Crazy!

First Mother’s Day

My day started with (sort of) sleeping in! And then breakfast in bed (two eggs, sweet potato hash, avocado and bacon). Then we went to Mount Tabor for a little family urban hike (second time in a week!)

IMG_1390

It was bit overcast and cool but still nice out. We got to the park and it was actually closed to car traffic for a mother’s day run apparently.

So we changed our route a bit to avoid the race route and got to see a different part of the park. It was a nice little hike through the hills.

IMG_1389

Despite the race (or maybe because of it) the park was pretty empty. We got some nice fitness in and then headed home.

 

Then we went home and Michael’s mom came over for lunch. Michael made us blackened salmon, Brussels sprouts with bacon and salad. It was a delicious lunch.

IMG_1395

Logan got me a cute card 🙂 and a gift (a really nice new camera bag for all my camera gear–which I need for all the baby pictures!) and we just hung out for the rest of the afternoon. I worked on Logan’s baby book and we took some pictures. 🙂

IMG_5845

IMG_5851

It’s hard to believe I’m a mom! Hasn’t quite sunk in yet. But I can’t imagine my life without Logan in it!