Monday, 1 February 2016

Goal posts

I set my goal weight to the top end of normal. This is a weight that I have not been at for probably at least 16 years. It's a good goal and I will feel and look a lot better for it. As of now I have about 14kg to lose to get there. But to be in the middle of the healthy range I might be taking losing over 10kg more than that. This was a shock considering I have lost 16kg to get where I am. I had not realised just how much weight I am carrying around. It is more than my dumbbells with all the weights on (powerblock 2.4, I recommend).

But now I feel like I am becoming a different person, a fit person. I think I can do it. As more positive feedback comes in I'm hoping to use my new fitness, more mountain biking and adventures, snowboarding without so much pain, maybe surfing ... it's all positive feedback.

The magic numbers

Every day? Once a week?

How often to weigh one's self? What I have found is that my weight fluctuates massively, this means weighing yourself every day can prove frustrating, "wow I lost 1.1kg" to "what the hell I am up by 1kg" all in the space of a couple of days. Two causes, hydration and contents of the digestive system. Drink a bottle of water and you have put on a pound, go to the loo and you might lose the same. Similarly weekly weighing can cause the same frustrating results for some.

So what to do? Well I am weighing myself once a day more or less, I'm using a wifi scale by Withings to do this for convenience and I consider the trend in my weight but also my "new minimum". The trend is basically what your weight does on average in the week, the withings app and website show this nicely actually. The "new minimum" is just that when I see a weight lower than one I have seen in recent history I know that previously no amount of dehydration or bowel movements could have achieved it, that means something even if I am heavier the next day!

Positive feedback

I was a slow starter at school, being at the bottom of the class meant it took me a long time before I connected my efforts with results, it really helps when you see the fruits of your labour.

Towards the end of my 8 week FB program I started to notice a few of these fruits and not just the number on the scale. Some trousers I bought but found too tight that had been sat in my car waiting for their return to the shop now fitted. And the fold up bed I used at my sister's place over Christmas did not cause my thighs to go numb when I slept on my side. I also found that even when my legs or arms ached after the previous days workout that after a warm up I could still use them and now 5 continuous days of exercise are (almost) not a problem. This positive feedback is motivating, it is a virtuous circle and it's really important to try and notice the changes. I think for example I am generally more energetic and mobile but to be honest it is hard to remember, my back has had no trouble and feels very strong, any niggles I get through knowing they are most likely muscular caused by the exercise, I relax, stretch and in a day or so they go like the pain in my legs.

Keeping on

So I got around half way through the 8 week fitness blender plan, I was finding it hard often having to take days off to let myself recover but overall it was excellent. I then injured my back and for over a month didn't do very much. However I did keep losing weight because the addition of a new local supermarket  made it much easier for me to choose healthy options. I also tended to buy food for several evening meals at once to avoid going near the shops when I was hungry in the evening.

After a while my back was not getting better, I was going for walks at lunch time but even these could be uncomfortable and I listened to audio books to pass the time. One audio book on mindfulness talked about chronic back pain and how it can be caused and prolonged by fear of movement and muscle tension (tensing the muscles to hold a certain posture). I immediately relaxed and tried to get moving, it was obvious this was going to help and soon I was back to my fitnessblender. Only now I found after a month away I was really struggling. So I rebooted and this time was more careful about choosing my start date, I made the sessions run Sunday to Thursday with the optional stretch day on Friday and the day off on Saturday. Of all the days I might do something in the evening, Friday and saturday are the most likely so it was more convenient and it gave me something to look forward to, some nice relaxing days off.

I made it through the whole 8 weeks without missing a session, actually I missed one but did it on the Friday instead. My last session was on newyears eve, like the first session it was a fitness test and although my performance is still poor I improved a lot. I am now halfway through my second run through.