I’m Joining a Weight Loss Challenge!

Yesterday’s post It’s a New Year! Weight Loss Goal for 2014 was randomly linked to by a friendly-sounding blogger named Carolina who is starting a challenge called Sprint to May Challenge. Since I can use all the help I can get I decided to sign up.

The Challenge

The Sprint to May Challenge doesn’t have to be about weight loss, but it will be for me. Here is Carolina’s description:

Welcome to the new year! It’s a time for renewal and regained hopes. A few of us have personal goals we want to achieve this year and in the ones to come. This is not a new year’s resolution challenge, nor do we expect you to reach your ultimate goal(s) within the time frame of this challenge. We just know how hard it is to stay on track. We want to invite you to join us on this challenge and stay on course to reach any goal(s) you may have.

Read the full description for more, there looks to be a bunch of challenges and mini-challenges that I will have to learn about.

My Bio

To enter the contest you need to provide a bio, so here is mine. My name is John and I turn 48 this year. I started this blog last year as a tool to help achieve my goal of Getting Fit by Fifty. As usual, I started off well and ended poorly. It didn’t help that I was unemployed for the last 8 months or so (wouldn’t you think it would be easier to lose weight when not working?!?). I start this year at 306 pounds with about 2 1/2 years left to hit my ultimate goal of 200 pounds. My goal for 2014 is what should be a very attainable goal of getting to 269. It’s been about 6 years since I’ve been at that weight and it would mean a lot to me to get there.

Losing 37 pounds in 12 months is only a smidgen more than 3 pounds a month. The first pounds are the easiest, so I am shooting to lose 5 pounds a month, a total of 20 pounds, between now and the end of April. If I somehow manage to kick butt and take names I reserve the right to change my goal to even more weight loss!

Let the challenge begin!

It’s a New Year! Weight Loss Goal for 2014

Well here I am joining the millions of people setting New Year’s resolutions that include losing weight.  Most of us will do well for a few weeks and then everything will fall apart.  Hate to be a Negative Ned, but the data bear this out as fact.

306 PoundsHere’s where I am starting the year out.  Just a pound less than when I started this weight loss blog last year.  My goal for the year is to get to 269 pounds, a loss of just a little over 10%, but a weight that would be a good milestone for me.  There is absolutely no reason why I can’t get this done, and I’m starting off the year steeled to make it so.

One thing that will be helpful to my efforts is that I start a new job next week.  You would think being unemployed would make it easier to exercise and eat well but I found the opposite to be true.  If I am ever in that position again, I will know how important it is to push yourself to exercise and eat well while not working because it truly was a missed opportunity.  But hopefully I won’t have that opportunity again.

I have an early challenge to my plan, a nice celebration dinner out tonight on New Year’s Day at a very nice restaurant that will have all sorts of fatty foods to eat.  I’m going to have a little of this and a little of that, and in doing so won’t deprive myself, but I am not going to pig out.

That would be a good start to the year, a year in which I plan to see the 260s for the first time in 6 years or so.

Good luck on your resolutions!


Weekly Weigh-in (2013-11-10)

Weigh-in – 304.4 PoundsI’m on the road again on my journey to getting fit by fifty. Certainly a 1 pound loss is nothing to get excited about, but the key thing for me is that I’m once again documenting my journey, and I know from experience that if I can keep that going then this weigh-in will be the first of many losses. Getting started is one thing though, and sustaining it is quite another.

There isn’t much I did this week to deserve a loss, so let’s recap a few things:

  • Did pretty well most mornings with protein laden rocket fuel breakfasts like 3-egg omelets with cheese and a side of avocado.
  • Did pretty well throughout most of the days with reasonable lunches and minimal snacking.
  • Did 30 minutes on the eliptical one day.

Not much on the positive side of the ledger. Negatives?

  • Overate at many dinners and then snacked into the nights after.
  • Didn’t drink much water.
  • Didn’t do any walking.

Clearly, this is not a long-term formula for losing weight. I’m going to try very hard this week to make a push to lose at least 3 pounds. My plan for doing so? I plan to get up early every day and start the day with a 4 mile walk with my dog. With winter approaching Minnesota this can get a little chilly but it is always an invigorating start to the day. I’m also going to try to add some strength training and more elypitical, plus focus on drinking lots of water. I should be able to maintain solid breakfasts, and I’m going to focus on smaller portion sizes at dinner and no nightime snacking.

If I am able to pull all of this off I think a 3 pound loss is very doable. Hopefully I’ll be able to be honest with myself (and my readers) if I have the inevtiable slip-up.

On the road again, and I feel fine.

Commitment is Tough

CommitmentSo what’s worse than a weight loss blogger going on hiatus for 7 months? Maybe one like me who calls out a bunch of other weight loss bloggers who fall down and still haven’t got up!

No, I’m not going to call anyone out. But one of the more disappointing things I discovered yesterday when I wrote a blog entry for the first time since April was that most of the new weight loss bloggers I had started to follow have had similar stalls, if not complete failures. Commitment is tough!

I started this weight loss blog at the beginning of the New Year as I imagine a lot of others did as well. I started linking out to other guys I found, some of whom have been around for awhile but others who were new this year as well.

Here is the tally for how things went out of the 14 guys’ weight loss blogs I linked to in my sidebar (there are 15 now as I just added GratefulRick):

One didn’t post from February – July, and has only posted a couple of times in August. But in fairness, he did write “You’re not welcome here. Fuck off.” in his first August post, so I shouldn’t be surprised!

One was doing great until June, then dropped off the planet. Hope you are OK.

Two deleted their websites entirely.

One hasn’t posted since January.

One skipped March and April, got it going again in May and then stopped.

One made it through most of January, then wrote failure posts in July and October. I have hope he’ll keep it going this time. Admitting failure is a great sign.

One has been posting every couple of months, so still there and recognizing they need to do more.

Six have been pretty consistent with posting throughout the year.

Keeping any blog going is tough and when it’s tied to something as difficult as weight loss, all the more difficult. I hope everyone figures out what they need to do to be happy and healthy.

Good luck!


Weekly Weigh-in (2013-03-17)

Weigh-in – 290.6 PoundsI managed to log my 11th consecutive week of losing weight this weigh-in despite being on vacation for a week in beautiful Oahu, Hawaii. Now I’m not that proud of a .1 pound loss, especially considering it was really a .2 pound loss over two weeks, which is just not a number I can average if I expect to lose the pounds I need to lose. Still, a loss is a loss and I’ll take it! (side note – full disclosure, when I first weighed myself I was about a half pound heavier, which would have meant a gain for each of the last two weeks. Unacceptable! So I did “game” the system a bit in that I didn’t eat for a couple of hours before I weighed myself again.)

According to my weight tracker where I log my weigh-ins this means that I’ve lost less than a pound in 4 of the last 5 weeks. Again, no way to lose a hundred pounds or so, I’ve really got to pick it up. The good news is that I am on the cusp of a nice milestone for me in getting into the 280s for the first time in a few years. And I would like to bust through it and not just inch my way in so instead of the goal for the week being 289.9 pounds (a loss of .7 pounds) I am going to shoot for 288.9 pounds. This would mean the 3rd biggest weekly loss since I started, so it’s certainly doable.

islandsHawaii was great. How did I manage to not gain a bunch of weight? A little exercise like walking (walking on the sandy beaches is tough slogging!), snorkeling and climbing up Diamond Head. Didn’t eat too much, protein for breakfast and usually a meal that was a salad or fresh fish. I did partake in a bunch of shared desserts though.

How am I going to book a loss for next week’s weigh-in? I’ve got to continue with the good habits I have been doing like drinking a lot of water, bringing vegetables to work for snacks and taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. But I’m going to have to back that up by eating better at night and adding some real exercise like the elliptical.

Looking forward to seeing the 280s!

Weekly Weigh-in (2013-02-17)

Weigh-in – 293.0 PoundsWell this post is probably going to be a short one because I somehow just managed to lose a 400 word post I was just working on.  I hate that!

Anyway, another loss in this weeks weighin, albeit a small one of .8 pounds.  I started 2013 off at 307.4 pounds and am now down to 293.0 pounds for a total weight loss of 14.4 pounds.

I’ll never be overly disappointed with any loss but I am a little bit today because yesterday in my unofficial weighin I was 292.8 pounds, and yesterday I was so busy taking pictures at my daughter’s volleyball tournament that I hardly had a chance to eat anything.  A slice of cold pizza, a yogurt and a V8 for breakfast, some leftover jambalya for lunch and some sliced turkey and pickles for a late night dinner.  Nothing.

But I’ll tell you what else I didn’t have time to do yesterday and that was drink water.  So most of the food I ate had high sodium content and I didn’t drink much water.  The body is a funny thing but it sure knows when it needs to retain water.  When there is a lot of salt coming in but no water!  So, I’m pretty sure this weighin could have been a lot better and I need to remember that today when I’ll be there even longer than yesterday.  Stay hydrated!

This week I plan to do the same things that have been working so far:

  • Stay away from fast food (although I have been getting the occasional Egg McMuffin they really aren’t too bad at 300 calories)
  • Climb the steps at work
  • Bring veggies to work for snacks
  • Drink lots of water
  • Don’t graze at night (I haven’t been good at this yet but I know I need to be if I want to keep these good weekly weighins going!)

So far a sucessful start to the year although I know this is “easy” weight loss time and things will get much harder as I lose more weight.  But I can’t worry about that, all I can do now is celebrate that so far I have put my mind to losing weight and it is working.

How are you getting along on your plan?


Weekly Weigh-in (2013-02-010)

Weigh-in – 293.8 PoundsSomehow, magically, the weight just fell off this week with a loss of 2.4 pounds – a total of 13.6 pounds down since the start of the year.  I wish I could claim a ton of hard work, but I didn’t do much differently this week other than take the stairs at work most every day, and be sick since about Wednesday.

Ah yes, being sick probably did it. I started feeling my nose run on Wednesday and by Friday I was in a bad way.  The last couple of days of been sitting on the coach not doing much.  But also not eating much other than soup, so I would have to say that when I get better (hopefully soon!) it’s gonna be hard to keep a little bit of that weight from coming back.  This week marked the 6th straight week with a loss but I may be hard pressed to keep that going once I get back on my feet.

My plan for the week went well, I did take the stairs every day other than Friday when I really didn’t feel well, I had protein for breakfast every day, had good vegetable snacks and didn’t eat late at night.  My plan is for more of the same this week.

Hope you are all staying the course!


Weekly Weigh-in (2013-02-03)

Weigh-in – 296.2 PoundsI’m pleased to report another solid weigh-in with a loss of 1.6 pounds for the week, a total of 11.2 pounds lost since the start of the year.  As you can see by my weight loss progress this week’s weigh-in shows the biggest loss since the first week.

I’ve been done this path many times and I know how easy these first pounds really are – and how much harder it will soon get.  But as long as I stay focused and continue to challenge myself I should be able to stay on this path to a new, healthier me.

So what am I going to do this week to stay on the side of good and lock in another loss for the week at the weigh-in next week?  Here are some of what I have planned:

  • As I mentioned before, I have started to take the stairs at work.  I plan to do that every day this week, and I’ll be in this office for 4 days.  Assuming I go out to lunch each day, which I am planning to do, then by my estimates I will navigate 112 flights of stairs for the week (32 at the parking garage and 80 at the office).  (UPDATE – my match was bad, since I live in America and the ground floor is 1, I’m only going up four flights of stairs to get to the fifth floor.  So 96 flights of stairs for the week!)  So Glad I don’t need to do that all at once!
  • Protein for breakfast every day.  Vegetable snacks to work every day.  So far my problems have not been breakfast, snacks or lunch.  It’s been dinner and snacking at home after work.  But I can’t lose sight of what I am doing well at either, so need to stay focused on a good start to the day.
  • I did 30 minutes on the elliptical this morning, I’d like to do that another few times this week.  Also some free weights.
  • Stay focused at night.  I’m going to start by not eating after 9:00pm.  How hard can that be?

I am feeling good about the week behind me and am already anticipating a good week to come.  How was your weigh-in?  Link to your results in the comments!

Stay strong.