Day 15: On a roll

I’ve had to walk a lot of living room laps this week, but I’ve managed to get a step streak going: 3 days and counting! I also started working out again on Monday. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen the inside of a gym, a fact that I’m well aware of thanks to the muscle soreness I’m currently experiencing.

I hadn’t planned on going back to the gym this week. I’m trying to focus on making one small change at a time, since I have a not-so-great tendency to want to change everything all at once. It always becomes this all-or-nothing situation, causing me to give up altogether the minute I trip up on even the smallest of things.

Work has been slow this week though, and I found myself with some unplanned free time, so off to the gym I went. I decided to try a new program. This is another tendency I have – I am constantly searching for new workout programs, instead of just picking one and sticking with it. But, it’s fun to try something new, so yeah, I’m doing a new program: Erin Stern’s 90-Day Challenge. I like it so far, but we’ll see if I make it the whole way through.

 

Day 1: Third time’s a charm

We’re back in Japan after two weeks in the U.S. visiting family. It was a nice trip, but not devoid of stress. Families can be messy and traveling 18+ hours each way with two small children can make even the most simplest of tasks just a bit more complicated. Now that it’s over though, it’s time to get back to our daily routine.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of using my bullet journal every day to keep track of my daily tasks, goals, and projects. If you’ve never heard of a bullet journal, it’s basically just a notebook you use to keep track of everything. You can read more about it and the method behind it here. As I pulled opened my bullet journal this morning to make a quick list of my day’s to dos, I found myself thinking about this blog and the challenge that inspired it.

It isn’t the first time I’ve thought about them since last December – they’veĀ been haunting me since I wrote my last post. My abandoned challenge has been a source of low-key guilt and fleeting motivation over the past two months. There have been moments where I’ve thought of giving it another go, but just haven’t been able to get past that hurdle between wanting to do it and actually doing it.

There have been since obstacles. Emotionally, I’ve felt burdened by the idea of forcing myself to write daily posts again. Physically, I’ve faced an emergency surgery at the beginning of the year that kept me from doing much of anything for several weeks. Toss in a long trip back to the U.S., and well, the excuses have been plentiful.

Today though, I feel like it’s time to give them up – the excuses I mean. I want to complete this challenge. Actually, I NEED to complete this challenge. There were so many positive changes that came from it the first time around. I could really use some of those right now.

I’ve read that the best time to create new habits or to change old ones is when there’s a change in your routine. After being away for a couple of weeks, coming back home is that best time for me.

As I did previously, I’m going to start with one goal: walk 15,000 steps a day. That’s it.

I have other goals I’m working on (I always have new goals I’m trying to accomplish, it’s just who I am as a person), but my steps will by primary focus; and I’m starting today, right now, NOT tomorrow. I am not committing to writing a daily post this time around, but I will post at least once a week to share my progress, stats, and spreadsheet. I do love keeping track of stats on spreadsheets.

For those of you who’ve followed me so far, and for anyone who stumbles across this post in the future, I’d like to say thank you for reading y posts. I’d also like to ask you for a favor: can you help hold my feet to the fire? It was the occasional notification of a new follower or of a comment on an old post that reminded me of this blog and challenge whenever it was starting to fade from my thoughts and memory. Without them, I’m not sure I would be sitting here writing this post today. The thought that there might be someone out there reading this became a significant source of accountability for me in the past and I think it can continue to be that way going forward this time around.

With that said, wish me luck! I’ve got another 365 days to go!

 

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.

Days 86 & 87: Uncertainty

Day 85

Friday was a lazy evening of sorts. It’d been a while since I’d just vegged out and did some binge TV watching, so after the kids were put to bed and the dog was walked, I parked myself in the couch to watch back-to-back episodes of a Korean drama I found on Netflix.

At around 10pm, I remembered my steps and checked my watch. I was about 50 steps short of my daily goal. I should have stood up at that moment and did a quick lap or two, but I figured I’d walk those steps when I went back to the kitchen to refill my drink or something.

Unfortunately, that moment never came. I got distracted and went to bed 32 steps short of my goal. I also overrate, because hey, at that time of night, snacking just seems like the thing to do.

Final step count: 14,968

Day 86

I wrote a post yesterday. It’s still sitting in my drafts. It was about my new plan for these next few weeks. There was nothing special about it, just my new goals and what I think I might do, but when I reread it before clicking on publish, I had one of those, “why am I writing this?” moments.

I am self-conscious about my writing. It’s one thing to write assuming no one else but me will read it; it’s another to write knowing that someone else just might come across it and read it as well.

I’m generally an open book. I overshare at times, and I’m ok with that. Or so I tell myself. I’m not ashamed to be who I am. But when it comes to expressing myself in the written form, my confidence at times escapes me.

None of that really matters now though because here I am, typing up another post. That’s what matters right? That despite how I may feel, I haven’t given up.

Final step count: 9,383

Just because I haven’t given up though, doesn’t mean I’m doing all that great. I woke up sick today. Needless to say, I didn’t eat very well and I’m way behind on my step goal. I honestly don’t think I’ll hit it today.

But, tomorrow is a new day and it’s a Monday. What better day for a fresh start than a Monday? Hopefully I’ll wake up feeling much better and I’ll be able to hit the gym and share my plans for the coming four weeks. I’ve still got a ways to go to hit my goals, and I’ve got a lot of steps to take to finally get on track to successfully complete this challenge.

Current step total: 7,801

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

Day 84

Day 83

I was tempted to blow off my step goal again last night. I was laying in bed and I just didn’t feel like getting up to walk around. But, I made myself do it, begrudgingly.

I also had some serious cravings last night. I was tempted to head back into the kitchen and grab a snack, but I wasn’t too far over my calorie range and I managed to convince myself to just go to bed.

Final step count: 15,090

Day 84

I should feel proud of myself for pushing through last night, hitting my step goal, and not caving into my late-night cravings, but I can’t help but feel disappointed about how I did this month. As I finished completing my sheet this morning, I felt like I failed. Sure, I lost some weight, but I’m afraid today’s Bod Pod will show a lot of that loss was fat free mass.

Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Current step total: 4,204

Days 82 & 83: Where am I and where did my motivation go?

Day 82

I went to bed last night without hitting my step goal. I knew I was short steps, but I just didn’t seem to care enough to get up and walk laps. I am still struggling with getting back into the swing of things after vacation. It’s frustrating because I’d hoped that the progress I’ve made since I began this challenge would make it easier for me to bounce back from vacation mode. But it hasn’t, at least not yet. I’m still that person who struggles for weeks to get back into the whole “working out and eating better” thing after indulging and being lazy for a week on vacation.

Final step count: 10,379

And struggle this week I have. Yesterday was the first day I stayed within my calorie range since last Wednesday. I haven’t even tried to make it to the gym this week. I basically resigned myself to not working out until after my Bod Pod for no good reason.

Even worse, I feel like I subconsciously blew off my step goal. As I updated my tracking sheet this morning, I realized that I missed my step goal on Monday by less than 1,000 steps. I hadn’t even noticed.

I need to snap out of this funk and get motivated again. I’ve made too much progress to start slipping back into old habits and start regaining the weight. I just don’t know how to. All of my old “tricks,” like finding a new workout plan, just aren’t working this time around.

Any tips, tricks, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Current step total: 13,022