Day 46: Challenges

One of the many challenges of trying to walk 15,000 steps a day is the initial streak hurdle. When you’ve only hit your step goal for one, two, or three consecutive days, it’s easy to blow it off and start over again if you’re too tired or cranky. You haven’t gotten very far just yet, so no big deal right?

That’s the challenge I’m facing right now. I’m exhausted and I want to go to bed. My step goal seems out of reach since I’m only at 5,842 steps for the day. Hitting 15,000 would require over an hour and a half’s worth of living room laps, and frankly, it just doesn’t seem worth it right at this moment.  I’m so tired! Isn’t getting a good night’s rest more important?

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter what excuse I come up with or how I justify it. What matters is what I choose to do or not do, and the only person it really matters to is me, right? Why all the drama? Sometimes going to sleep is the right answer. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself tonight.

Day 45: Walking the walk

I committed to avoiding gluten and dairy in my last post with the hopes of improving my overall health, but truthfully, I didn’t start avoiding it right away. Although I said I would do it, and I truly believe I should, I just don’t think I was ready to pull the trigger yet. So, I didn’t; but, I did take some small baby steps to prepare for it.

For example, on Friday after my metabolic assessment appointment, I spoke to the wellness counselor about scheduling a few weekly coaching sessions. Although I understand the value of coaching, I’ve never given it a try. I guess I just didn’t think it could help me or maybe I didn’t know how to make the most of it? Regardless, I decided that with the changes I want to make, now would be an ideal time to give it a try. Food tends to be the area in which I struggle the most, so I’ll take any help I can get. What’s the worst that could happen anyway?

After that was all done and scheduled, I swung by the library and happened to notice they had cookbooks. No duh, right? A library with cookbooks, who would have thought? Anywho, after browsing their selection, I decided to borrow two: Nom Nom Paleo (the yellow one) and The Science of Cooking. I skimmed both books, did a little meal planning, and made my first meal from the Nom Nom Paleo book tonight. I have to say, it was really good. Even my family liked it. I’ll be buying a copy of it for myself.

On Sunday, I decided to make some bone broth – specifically seolleongtang, a Korean bone broth soup my husband really likes. I’ve read on a bunch of blogs and in magazines that bone broth is good for gut health, so I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon and see if drinking a cup of broth daily has any benefits for me. This is another one of those, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” things.

Finally, on Tuesday, I took some new progress photos and body measurements. Although I’m making these changes for overall health instead of weight or fat loss, I can’t help but feel curious about what changes might occur if I stick with it. I had my first coaching appointment that day as well, so I decided to consider it my “day 1” of avoiding dairy and gluten.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing great at avoiding it since then, but truthfully, it’s been a bit harder than I expected it to be. I’m not craving breads or cheeses, but I’ve struggled with the “hidden” gluten and dairy in stuff. Especially in a bunch of the common ingredients I use when cooking, like gochujang and soy sauce. So disappointing.

I don’t feel discouraged though. It’s challenging, but in a good way; and I’m really looking forward to seeing how creative I can get with this. Hopefully I can share some fun finds on this blog in future posts. Wish me luck!

Day 33: Tracking things

When I committed to giving this challenge another try, I told myself that I would stick to one goal or habit at a time. Once I was able to successfully keep that goal/habit for at least seven days straight, then I could consider adding another one.

But me being me, I created a new tracking sheet after my most recent Bod Pod and put a whole bunch of stuff on it. I didn’t set any new goals and I didn’t commit to religiously tracking everything, but I did tell myself that I would at the very least try to track these things. And I have for the most part.

Maybe it’s my inner nerd, but I love spreadsheets. I like having the data to analyze afterward and see how the different things I do affect how I feel, how I look, and what I am able to do. It makes this process seem less like hard work and more like some science experiment – kind of how I approached my other goals the first time around. That change in viewpoint has really made a difference for me when I’ve struggling to overcome a challenge and stick with a goal in the past. I’m hoping it’ll day the same this time around too.

My spreadsheet also serves as a great visual reminder to stay on track towards making these positive changes. I hung it up on the pantry door in my kitchen. There’s nothing else hanging there, so it doesn’t get lost among other papers like the stuff I hang on the fridge does. I see it everyday. And although I guess it could make me feel bad by showcasing my “failures,” so far I’ve found it to be motivating instead – to a certain extent. It doesn’t seem to motivate me to hit my step goal every day. But, it doesn’t take away my motivation either, so no harm no foul?

How to motivate myself to stick with my step goal seems to be like something I need to think about more. I mean, that is the whole point of this challenge, right?

Days 2, 3, & 4: Fail so soon?

I managed to push through and hit my goal on Tuesday, but yesterday was a fail. I lost track of time and ended the day almost 2,000 steps short. I can’t say I’m doing much better today either. It’s already past 8:00 pm and I’m not even at 5,000 steps yet.

I’m finding it a lot harder to hit my step goal this time around. I’m not as motivated as a I was the first time. I’m not sure if that’s because I haven’t slept much this week, or if I’ve just lost my “why.”

I know why I want to do this. I can still remember how much better I felt a month into this challenge. It got me to my lowest weigh in years and helped me continue to lose inches off my jiggly bits. But knowing why you should do something, and why you want to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually do it. At least, that’s how it is for me.

I need to find something else; something that’ll really get my motivation fire going. And, although I should probably feel embarrassed to admit this, in the past, my most successful motivators have been pretty shallow, and not always so nice. You know, like showing off to a guy I liked, making an ex feel regretful, making a girl I didn’t like feel jealous, and most recently (during my first attempt at the challenge), buying some cute new clothes I feel pretty in.

Dumb and shallow? Sure. But effective; at least in the short term. The problem I’m facing now is that getting older sometimes means you care a lot less about, or don’t have any real use for, the first three motivators I listed. Which is a good thing right? I mean, I’m happily married and I don’t really have time to dislike people, or at least, give them any thought. And the fourth motivator, well, I sort of splurged on Black Friday, so I really can’t do any more shopping for myself for a while.

There was a time when I found running a race or doing an obstacle course thingy motivating; but I’m not really feeling those lately either. I’m out of ideas.

I can’t wait on finding the motivation to do this though. There’s no guarantee that I’ll ever really find it, so I just sort of have to do it right? Take it one day at a time? One foot in front of the other? Focus on each step and hope that at the end of the day, it adds up to 15,000 of them?

There’s this book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I may have mentioned it in a previous post. Anywho, that’s sort of the whole premise behind it: where you end up in life is the result of all the little choices you made each and every day. You may not notice the results right away, but that nightly dessert you choose to eat could turn into a 5 lbs weight gain over the course of a couple of years. The morning walk you start taking could have the opposite effect over a long enough time. So, motivation or not, I just need to focus on doing those little things every day – consistently.

Day 1: Here we go again

Yesterday was challenging. I’ve been off the wagon for so long, I’ve lost the habit of checking my Garmin to see how many steps I’ve taken. I’ve also gotten into the bad habit of reflexively dismissing all of the alerts I set up in my phone to remind myself to walk more. It’s funny how easy it is to fall out of good habits and develop bad ones.

Despite those challenges though, I managed to hit my step goal. I cut it close; it was almost midnight by the time I reached 15,000 steps. It also took a lot of living room laps I wasn’t really very motivated to do; but somehow, I pushed through and did it.

I’m behind on my steps yet again today, but I’m feeling up to the challenge after yesterday’s win. Hopefully, it’s the first of many to come.

Day 85: ???

Day 84

After I got my Bod Pod results yesterday morning, I spent the next hour or so staring at them with what must have looked like a perplexed look upon my face. I pulled out my charts from the past two months and stared at those too. Almost a day later, I’m still unsure how this happened.

As you’ll see below, the Bod Pod claims I lost 3% body fat and 5 lbs of fat. My fat free mass increased by a 1/2 lb.

If you read my post from yesterday morning, you know these aren’t the results I was expecting.

Granted, Bod Pods have a margin of error of +/- 1 to 2.7%, so maybe it’s a mistake?

Rationally, I feel like I should be celebrating, but I can’t help but feel like the Bod Pod is wrong. I didn’t track my protein intake the first month, so I don’t know if I averaged more protein or not, but I do know I failed to hit my 100 grams a day goal. Then again, I averaged about 92 calories less per day this month (which would add up to at least one pound of weight loss) and I did exercise a little more, so maybe it is right?

I took a look at my measurements to see if they might tell me anything about my results. These were my previous stats:

And here are yesterday’s:

Weight: 122.2 lbs

Measurements (in inches) (change from last measurements):

Bicep 10.5 (-0.25)

Chest 33.5 (-1.0)

Waist 28.5 (-0.5)

Hips 35.5 (-0.25)

Thigh 21.5 (-0.25)

Calf 13.5 (-0.25)

A total loss of 2.5 inches; with the most significant loss coming from my chest (which is basically all fat). The month prior I lost 1.5 inches. So I guess the results could be a little more accurate than I think they are?

Who knows? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the next month brings.

Final step count: 15,055

Day 85

Although it’s technically already Friday, it’s basically Thursday night since I still haven’t gone to bed. I need to figure out what my plan for this new month will be, but that’ll have to wait until the morning.

Happy Friday!

Current step total: 62

Days 73 and 74: Back at it

Day 73

We left Fiji yesterday and arrived back in Japan late last night. Despite how tired I was, the first thing I did after I got the kids to bed was to rest my husband’s old Garmin, so I could start using it ASAP. I charged it, synced it to my app, and went to bed with it on my wrist. I felt pretty darned determined to get back on track first thing this morning.

I realized that without the Garmin and a step goal, I’m much less motivated to stay active. After I drowned my Garmin, I didn’t look for ways to move more like I have been since I started this challenge. I didn’t like that feeling. I need the goal to shoot for. I guess it just gives me a sense of purpose? Is that weird?

Day 74

I sort of slept through my alarm this morning and almost skipped my workout, but I really wanted to start the day off on the right foot, so I just switched my workouts around and did tomorrow’s much shorter high intensity interval training (HIIT) instead of the weight training previously scheduled for today. Despite not really wanting to workout this morning, I was motivated by the fear that I would fall into a multi-week rut where I fail on a daily basis to get back on track. I’m notorious for that sort of thing, especially after getting back from a vacation.

I was also motivated by the number on the scale this morning. I was expecting some water weight gain, but it still sucked to see the number displayed in real life.

My current weight: 127 lbs.

I’m hoping I can drop those extra lbs of water and get back to actually losing weight by the end of this week. Especially since I finally got around to scheduling my next Bod Pod – it’ll be next Thursday, October 25th.

I’m not really sure what I should expect at my next appointment in terms of results. I feel like this week of vacation really threw a wrench into things, but I can’t change that now.

Final step count: 18,335