Fitness Report β€” 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. Once again I am happy to report that I have steadily lost about a pound a week through the past month.

March 2015 Weight Loss Chart

Last month began with the scale showing 210 and ended with 206 pounds. Again, nothing spectacular but clearly showing steady progress. Since that has been my goal all along, I have nothing to complain about. I admit to feeling a little impatient at times, but it is encouraging to watch the steady progress.

One of the most dramatic experiences I had this month was when I began to examine the details of my popcorn snacks—when I had difficult evenings I had been fairly often making popcorn as a low calorie snack to stave off snacking on junk food. It was a shock to me when I discovered how I was actually consuming 600 or more calories when I was estimating about half that.

After getting real about the process, I was able to accurately change the situation around to where I now get essentially the same snack but with only 225 calories. What a difference! You can read all about it in a new article I published under the Weight Loss tab called Counting Calories.

This one change should help me move ahead a lot easier. If nothing else it will help me keep up my progress as I move along. One of the challenges I know lies ahead is that as my weight gets down to a more reasonable level, losing weight will be more difficult because fewer calories will be needed to maintain my lower weight.

On the other hand, as I get lighter, exercise and just general activity levels can increase which will burn off more calories. For the last few years I have not been as active in the summer with my gardening and other activities because of my weight and the inertia that comes with it. This year should be quite different.

Talking About Exercise

Man with dumbbell

Unfortunately I cannot make an entirely positive report on my exercise program since I have to admit that it is still a bit sporadic. In February I exercised, but still not consistently. As a result I have not really lost any gains made previously but I have not made any real progress either.

It should come as no surprise. I followed a pattern of thinking that most of us do commonly. My goal for the month was to re-establish some consistency in my exercise program. But all I did was to identify the goal.

In my dreams I might look like this fellow in the picture (I do have more hair although sadly it is now all gray). But achievable goals must be realistic. And we must set out on a clear path to achieve them.

As a long time student of personal achievement I know that a goal is not really a goal at all until it is precisely defined and a plan (best a written one) for achieving it spelled out in detail. So in this case, what I did was to dream about getting consistent, not set it as a serious goal.

So for March I will rethink my commitment to this goal and take some steps to see that it gets done. I will tell you how I do next month, and perhaps write an article or post about the process.

Other Health and Fitness Goals

Last month I reported that I had my eye exam coming up in just a few days. Honestly, my eyesight had become bad enough that I expected some serious problems were very possible, even probable. Fortunately, that proved not to be so. Unfortunately, my problems are common for those of us reaching a mature age—in other words the doctor just told me to get used to the idea that I was getting old! And start wearing some real glasses, not the readers I had been getting by with.

pair of glasses

For a long time I had been using reading glasses, buying stronger and stronger ones as the years passed. The real issue I had developed was in not seeing distant objects so clearly, a particular problem for driving but increasingly so for viewing relatively closer objects such as a television set.

Getting prescription glasses fixed this problem nicely as far as driving and watching TV, and it was a relief to know I had no serious eye health issues. At the same time I am frustrated that while my bi-focals work great for very close up distances (like eight inches) and for longer distances, they do not work well for ten to eighteen inches which is what I need most of the time for office work and viewing my computer screen, or even my cell telephone.

This afternoon I stopped by the eye clinic to discuss this problem. They have ordered replacement lenses which I hope will do better. We will see (no pun intended).

Moving On

February, in my view, was only a so so month in my quest for better health. Overall there was progress in each area to be fair so perhaps I should feel better about it. After all, good health requires only three or four days of exercise a week to do well, but I have decided I want to exercise six days and I did not reach my self-determined goal.

There are some great milestones just ahead for me. At 205 pounds (very near) I will have lost a full fifty pounds. Getting under that 200 mark is also going to feel especially satisfying for me.

Meanwhile, if you are also on your way toward losing weight and improving your health, I wish you great success!