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?

Day 9: Not today

8:49 pm: 5,362 steps

Dejavú.

Here I am, two days later, in the same predicament. It’s almost bedtime and I’m short almost 10,000 steps from my step goal. The difference today is that I’m writing this post while walking laps around my living room. I’m determined to break this cycle of “two steps forward, one step back.”

Not only am I walking laps though, I’m doing it while my normally lazy dog tries to walk them with me. That may not seem like a big deal, but he’s wearing a donut around his neck to prevent him from chewing at his paws and zig zagging between my feet as I walk. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve tripped over him.

9:38 pm: 10,202 steps

It’s taken me almost an hour to take 5,000 steps. The dog’s gone to sleep and I’m on my second Kdrama episode. Make that my third.

I’m tired, I guess, but proud of myself for sticking with it.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder if this is normal behavior.

10:28 pm: 15,062 steps

Another 50 minutes to take another 5,000 steps. If I wasn’t tired before, I’m definitely tired now. I should have paced faster. Regardless, I’ve done it. I’ve hit my step goal for the day. Win!

Day 63: Dissapointed

Day 62

I went to bed last night feeling pretty disappointed in myself, not because I didn’t hit my protein goal, but because of my attitude about not reaching it. I just didn’t care.

I set this protein goal for a reason, and yet for the last two weeks, I haven’t made any effort to reach it. I’ve whined about not hitting it. I’ve written that I need to try harder. I’ve stated I would do better… but I haven’t. I’ve done nothing to eat more protein, unless my attempts at baking count?

I tried to figure out why I’ve been feeling this way about this particular goal. The only thing I could come up with is that it just doesn’t seem as important as staying within my daily calorie range. Nutrition is where I struggle the most. Although I’m doing a lot better at staying within my target calorie range, it’s still really hard for me to do. I guess trying to eat protein on top of that just feels like a bridge too far?

Whether or not that’s true, I can’t just give up. There are things I can do, like start drinking my morning protein shake again. Earlier this year, I was drinking a protein shake every morning for breakfast. I stopped drinking it over the summer because it just wasn’t filling, so it felt like a waste of calories. It’s an easy way to get a head start on hitting my daily protein goal though, so I need to get back to drinking it.

I also think it would be helpful if I stopped thinking of my daily meals in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In order to eat 100 grams of protein each day, I need to try and break it down into servings. I can eat 15-20 grams of protein if I eat one serving of a lean meat; that means I need to eat 5-6 servings a day in order to hit my goal. I need to change the way I eat from three meals with snacks, to five to six smaller meals a day.

These changes shouldn’t be difficult. They’re not rocket science or some revolutionary new way of eating. They’re the same, basic things tons of other people do. If they can do it, I can do it. I just need to get out of my own way.

Final step count: 16,003

Day 63

Today is the first day of week three. I averaged 1,782 calories a day last week, and lost a little under one lb. I’ve been struggling with water weight fluctuations this past week, so I’m not too concerned about the less-than-1-lb weight loss.

I also took some updated measurements yesterday. In the last two weeks, I’ve lost 1/4 inch from my bicep, waist, thigh, and calf; and 3/4 of an inch from my hips.

Since Day 1 of this challenge, I’ve lost 7-8 lbs, 1/4 inch from my bicep, waist, thigh, 1/2 an inch from my chest, thigh, and calf, 2 and 1/4 inches from my waist, and 2 inches from my hips. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

                           8/4/18     8/20/18     9/20/18     10/03/18
Weight:                    131.2 lbs  131 lbs     126.4 lbs   123.6 lbs
Measurements (in inches): 
Bicep                      10.75      10.75       10.75       10.5
Chest                      35         35          34.5        34.5
Waist                      31         30          29          28.75
Hips                       37         37          35.75       35
Thigh                      22         22          21.75       21.5
Calf                       14         14          13.75       13.5

I’m really happy with my progress so far. Although I’d rather not keep losing inches from hips, I’m happy to see my thighs finally start slimming a bit. They just weren’t budging. Now, I just need to get my next Bod Pod scheduled and hopefully see some real progress in terms of losing body fat.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Current step total: 1,724

Day 53: On writing

Day 52

I was concerned I’d end the day close to the top of my calorie range yesterday. I ate quite a bit in the morning. But, I focused on staying active throughout the day to prevent any unnecessary cravings and I drank a whole lot of water. Usually, if I stay hydrated I tend to eat a lot better and crave less, but I haven’t been drinking much of that clear stuff the last couple of days.

The rain finally took a breather and the sun was out, so I spent as much time as possible outside. I took the dog for a couple of extra long walks and did some weeding in the garden. I even took little kid for a bike ride.

The best parts of yesterday though? I didn’t have to walk any living room laps to meet my step goal, I increased my weights during my workout, and I felt really great all day. I felt energetic, motivated, and happy. I also weighed myself in the morning again, right after filling it out my sheet. I’d originally weighed myself while wearing some pretty heavy PJs, heavier than what I normally wear to weigh myself; so I figured it might not be the most accurate weight for today. My updated weight: 124.8 lbs! Not bad for a Sunday.

Final step count: 19,220

Day 53

I’ve been thinking a lot about these daily posts I write. I started this blog to keep my goals fresh on my mind every day and to help me stay accountable. I didn’t start it with the intention of it necessarily being read by others, so the style they’re written in tends to be a sort of edited verbal diarrhea, with no real beginning or end.

Although I’m writing for myself, I did assume there might be someone out there who’ll read what I’ve written, so I think I’ve held back my “authentic voice” a bit. The unedited me is a lot more volatile, to say the least. And a lot more verbose. I talk a lot “in real life,” and that means I tend to write a lot too. Plus, I love to write, so I can easily do it for hours. It may not be good writing, but I can do a ton of it.

Since I’ve started this blog though, I’ve been followed by a few people, which is really cool and super motivating. Knowing there might be at least one person out there reading my posts and hopefully getting something out of them has really helped me stick to this challenge. If it weren’t for this blog and the people who’ve chosen to read it and like and comment on my posts, I’m pretty sure I would have given up already. I wouldn’t be seeing the changes I’ve made so far by sticking with it.

The thing with having readers is that it’s made me wonder if I should change my writing style? Should I write assuming my posts will be read by at least one other person? Should I add more details and make the things I have to say a lot more engaging? If I’m just writing for myself, I can limit my daily post to, “I hit all my goals yesterday,” because well, I was there. But if I write for a reader, I can include a lot more detail about how I got there, what challenges I faced, how I overcame them or why I failed.

I’ve never been confident about my writing ability, so I guess I’m afraid that writing for others will highlight my flaws and open me up to judgment. But, If I’m writing for myself, it doesn’t really matter if the posts are bad or whatnot, they’re not being written for “public consumption,” so to speak.

For me, life is about growth, and you can’t grow unless you take risks and try for more than you’ve done before; so going forward, I think I’ll start writing for others and I may even start to share my “true” self. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Current step total: 91

Day 26: Updated stats

Day 25

Yesterday, I was able to get my 15,000 steps in without having to walk any living room laps. Yay for me! I’m not sure what exactly made a difference yesterday. I ran a lot of errands, but I didn’t think I had walked all that much. Then again, we did walk the big kid to school, I walked to the grocery store, and I also gave the dog a long walk; so I guess it all just added up?

Final step count: 15,594

Day 26

In anticipation of my Bod Pod appointment this morning, I decided to update my stats. They’re listed further below.

I was surprised that despite this weekend’s binging, my weight was still under 130 lbs this morning. I know there’s no way I could have gained any actual fat overnight, but I should have seen a water weight increase of a couple of pounds at least.

I’d like to say I ate significantly better yesterday, but that would be untrue. My total calories at the end of the day were 2,469. I know better than to think I can continue to eat that way and not gain weight, regardless of how many steps I’m taking, but I think that means I can finally claim I’ve lost some weight since starting this challenge. I pulled up my weight history from my tracking app and my monthly average weight this month is 129.9 lbs – down 2 lbs from last month’s average.

Win!

I also seem to have lost an inch or so in some key areas. I’m always hesitant to claim the changes in my measurements as an increase or loss, unless they’re significant, because I tend to second guess how I took those measurements. Did I really lose a half-inch around my waist, or did I just pull the tape a little tighter this time? I try to be consistent in how I measure, but I’m only human. I make mistakes.

                 8/4/18     8/20/18     8/28/18
Weight:          131.2 lbs  131 lbs     128.6 lbs
Measurements (in inches): 
Bicep            10.75      10.75       10.75
Chest            35         35          35
Waist            31         30          29.5
Hips             37         37          36
Thigh            22         22          22
Calf             14         14          13.75

Regardless, I’m happy with my progress thus far. I started this challenge after gaining about 5 lbs while on vacation. My weight was continuing to creep up, and I just couldn’t seem to shake off the bad habits I’d relapsed into. Almost four weeks later, despite some initial rough patches, I finally moving forward in a positive way and starting to see changes.

In about an hour, I’ll get my body fat tested for the first time since June. I’m excited for it. While I’m sure it’ll likely show I’ve gained some fat, I’m confident it’ll be the next step in continuing to progress and make positive changes.

Current step count: 1,837

Current step goal streak: 13 days 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day 
Longest step goal streak: 6 days

Day 6: Shake it off.

Day 6

I took the path that led to a 6:00 am wake-up, but no morning workout. The truth is, I wasn’t feeling so great when I got up. It’s still very early in the morning here though, so there’s no reason why I couldn’t try to get a workout in later today; but even if I don’t, it’s ok. I told myself at the beginning of this challenge that my goal was to walk 15,000 steps a day, not log my food, or eat healthier, or workout every day. I’m hoping I’ll begin to do those things consistently as a result of this challenge, but I’m not there just yet.

Rome was not built in a day.

Since I’m feeling a tad blah as a result of my choices last night, I thought I would remind myself of the small wins I’ve had since starting this challenge late last week. Hopefully, it’ll motivate me to get back up and moving. It’s raining outside, so in order to hit my step goal today I’ll need to get creative, or wet; which means I’ll need all the motivation and willpower I can get.

My small wins:

  1. I’ve managed to hit my step goal every day. This alone is a huge accomplishment for me; especially considering how easily I get distracted. In the past, whenever I’ve tried to set a step goal like this, I’ve failed because I tend to forget to check how many steps I’m at until it’s too late.
  2. I’ve made a conscious effort to walk to places I would normally drive to. Instead of picking the little one up at daycare on the way home yesterday, I drove home first, then walked to the daycare to pick him up. On Sunday I walked to the grocery store a couple of times, and since Friday I’ve taken the kids to the park way more often than I normally do. It’s pretty hot and muggy outside, so I usually avoid going out there. I prefer the comfort of air conditioning.
  3. I’ve become more active at home. I’m doing a much better job of moving around more and sitting way less. I try to get up every so often and just take a quick lap up and down the stairs, or pace around for a bit to get a few steps in. I’ve noticed that the extra activity has decreased the intensity of my usual afternoon slump feeling.
  4. The scale has started to move. I’m sure it’s water weight, but my weight has dropped 2 lbs since Friday.

Overall, it’s going pretty well, right? I can’t give up now – I’ve got a streak going. I may still not feel 100%, but I’m finally ready to do some walking. Happy Wednesday!

Current step total: 870