Fitness Report — April 2015

In some ways March may well have been my most successful “getting fit at last” month to date. Every aspect of my fitness program showed substantial progress. I have even passed a couple of milestones that mean a lot to me.

So far I have not decided on a way to celebrate reaching these progress points. Surely something will pop into mind soon—something other than going out to eat!

Weight Loss Progress

During March I reduced my weight more than in any other month since beginning my fitness program just one year ago. A couple of times I managed to lose 6 pounds but this is the first time to lose as much as 7 pounds.

April 2015 weight loss chart

The month began with my weight at 206 pounds. It ended at 199 pounds. These numbers are remarkable in that they reached two milestones. First, I passed the 50 pounds of overall weight loss, and second, I got below that unwelcome 200 pound mark.

There are a number of factors at play in this improvement in the number of pounds lost in one month. Two are notable and will significantly affect my long term thinking and overall progress.

First, about a month ago I did some…


Exercise Goal Motivation


In my monthly report for March I acknowledged my failure during February to adequately exercise, or at least to follow my own intentions to exercise six days a week.

At the same time I noted that when we fail at anything it is almost always due to a lack of proper goal setting. For this post I decided to share the basics of my plan for improving my exercise regimen by adopting proper goal setting methods.

The First Step in Goal Setting: Statement

The first and most important step in goal setting is to clearly define the goal. Losing some weight is not an effective goal. Losing 80 pounds is better. Getting my weight down to 175 pounds by Christmas, 2015, is a better one. It is specific (can be measured) and it has a time of completion.

Applying this principle to my exercise program is relatively simple because I do not want to set a long term exercise goal for specific levels or types of exercise at this time. Instead, I want to set only a basic goal for consistently exercising, general types (aerobic and strength), and time devoted to it.

Because I do not want to draw too much of my focus away from my weight loss effort and some other aspects of my health planning which are priorities now, I want my current goal to relate only to establishing an exercise base line with the idea of adding to it later.

That said, my new, current exercise goal is this:…


Fitness Report — March 2015

snow on mugo pine

It may not be Spring, but March is a month of expectation. We could have some cold days and lots of new snow (where I live in Minnesota, USA), but we all know that by the last part of the month the snow will be melting and days will begin to get warmer.

This kind of thinking pretty well describes my weight loss progress as well. Right now I am trying to stay the course, get through the grind of the middle ground and look for the light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t quite see it yet, but I know a light is just around the corner so I am fortifying my determination and looking forward to my weight loss “Spring.”

February Weight Loss Progress

Last month I observed that my steady weight loss has been continuing for long enough now that I am beginning to feel really good about the plan I am following. That confidence is getting stronger all the time.


Count Calories by Ingredients

Popped Popcorn

This week I have been working on a article about calorie counting focusing on two of the essential practices that make calorie counting practical for long term success. Check out About Counting Calories to learn more.

In the process I have been made aware of a secondary but important fact that is often overlooked in discussions about calories, the value of thinking about ingredients rather than average results for dishes we prepare.

Why Ingredient Calories Count More

This may seem like a technical clarification that adds more confusion and makes calorie counting more difficult than ever. However, it is in fact useful information enabling you make adjustments in some cases that can make a real difference.


Fitness Report — February 2015

two aprins in hand

Like much of America, our area was hit hard by the flu in January. Several in our household caught the bug. Personally, although I never experienced full blown flu symptoms, I was definitely under the weather for a couple of weeks.

For that reason I look at this last month as being somewhat on hold regarding my overall health goals. But because it remained a period of steady progress as far as my weight loss program in concerned (which is my primary focus for now) I count it as another good month.

January Weight Loss Progress

My steady weight loss has been continuing for long enough now that I am beginning to feel really good about the plan I am following. While I have never had (or attempted to achieve) dramatic weight loss in any month, I have consistently lost a few pounds every month. That has been my goal and I am happy to know I am finding success in achieving it.


Fitness Report — January 2015

December proved to be a good month overall in my personal getting fit at last project. As the year came to a close I could only be thankful for the positive change in the direction of my health brought about by my getting fit at last project. I am really looking forward to 2015 and to the goals I have in mind for the next twelve months.

December Weight Loss

While getting fit means more than just losing weight, there is no question that losing excess weight remains as my number one objective at this time. It has been over the course of the last year and will remain so for most if not all of 2015.

Weight loss chart through Jan 2015

As the graph indicates, my weight loss for December was modest, as it has been over the course of the year, but still steadily moving down which is most important. On a personal level reaching the 215 mark has been a cause for celebration. While I am still considerably overweight, this marks the half-way mark in my overall quest to lose eighty pounds.


The Third Best Christmas Gift

When I got up on Christmas morning I received an unexpected gift. I was so excited about it I thought immediately about making a blog post celebrating it as the best Christmas gift.

Decorated Christmas tree

But before I could even put a single finger to the keyboard I realized that it was at best second to what I received the day before, and by the time I could start writing I realized it was at best third to another!

The Best Christmas Gift

When we write online, our audience comes from all over the world. My primary website is Success With Money. It has readers from countries all around the globe, so certainly not all are Christians—even in America which is primarily Christian there are many other faiths as well.

But even if people come from very different backgrounds, there is one thing about the life of Jesus that is worth considering for all mankind…


Dr. David B. Samadi Nails It!

Portrait of Dr. David Samadi

When interviewed on a network news show today (December 20, 2014), Dr. David B. Samadi, Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and contributor to the weekly Sunday Housecall program, was asked to comment on safe eating over the holidays and how to lose weight in the long term for those who were overweight.

He managed to state in a matter of just a few sentences just about everything a person needs to know to lose weight and establish healthy eating habits….


Fitness Report — December 2014

November marks the beginning of the holiday season when lots of eating is customary but even on Thanksgiving Day this year I was able to enjoy turkey and even pie while still making progress on my weight loss plan. The end of the month marks another good step toward fitness and another notch taken up on my belt.

November Weight Loss

Last month I ended up a few tenths of a pound short of my target of 225 but this month I succeeded in getting under my target of 220, just barely, but under at 219 pounds, so I feel better. Even if by a hair it is much more pleasant to barely succeed than to just miss a goal!

Weight loss chart through December 2014

Getting under that 220 pound mark was a big achievement for me personally psychologically in that it marked my moving technically from being obese to being overweight. Looking at the graph, while it is very slight so takes a close look, the trajectory for November is slightly better than it was in October. So all in all, it has been a good month.

How did I handle Thanksgiving Day? Interestingly, I mentally prepared to just eat what I wanted and accept a small setback in order to enjoy the holiday. However, I have gotten used to eating more moderately and when it came time to fill my plate I just did not want to overeat, so I only ate a relatively modest amount of food.

In addition to that…


I Want to Be Overweight!

Yes, I want to be overweight. How can that make sense? Well, in a strange, perhaps slightly perverse way, it does.

How Can Being Overweight Be Good?

Scale with word help

When I began my fitness journey I weighed 255 pounds. This morning I weighed 224.8 pounds. During these initial months there has only been one word to accurately describe my condition: obese. An ugly sounding word isn’t it!

Now I am zeroing in on a different word, overweight. Naturally I do not like the idea of being overweight either, but it is oh so much better than obese.

With my height, I need to get down to 220 pounds to reach the top of the overweight category. That means I need to lose another five pounds to make it. At that point I will still be a long way from even the top of the normal weight range, but it will be a step in the right direction.

To be successful tomorrow it is essential to feel good about what we are doing today so we will be able to make the effort to keep moving ahead. This has a really important impact on our effort to get fit.