Saturday, August 22, 2015

178.8 - a new 20 year low

In March this year, I was bouncing between 215 and 213 lbs.  I set a goal for myself to drop to 180 lbs.  I went to work by developing two habits.

First, I developed the habit of waking up between 4 and 4:30am every weekday and going on a 4 mile walk (1 hour).  I had been developing this habit for the last two to three years.  This year, I simply didn't let myself off the hook.  I'm at a point now where I simply can't live without going on my 4 mile week day walk.  It's like sleep - I just do it.  As a side tip, I leveraged the "Alarm Clock Xtreme Free" app to ensure I get up and stay up in the morning.  In order to turn the alarm off, I have to solve 6 complex math problems, which require me to get up, sit at my computer, open the calculator and punch in the numbers.  By the time I'm done solving the problems, I'm too awake to go back to bed.

Second, I developed the habit of weighing myself before and after my 4 mile walk.  I have a "weight record template" I print out and hang on my closet wall, right above the scale.  I love recording my weight and seeing how it drops.  It's basically positive reinforcement for walking and eating well.

Along with those two habits, I developed a system that works quite well for me.  This system allows me to enjoy eating the foods I love while still losing weight.  The system goes like this: Monday through Friday are "work days."  It helps to have a very busy life and work schedule to keep your mind occupied.  Sitting around being bored at home causes boredom eating.  During the week days, the only food I eat (and the only food my mind and body really need) is as follows:

1. Isagenix Cleanse mix + Crystal Light (caffeinated) + 90oz of ice water.  I drink this on my commute to work.

2. Isagenix Refresh (like Gatorade) + Crystal Light (caffeinated) + 90oz of ice water.  I drink this during my first two hours at work.  I also take an Isagenix metabolisim boost pill.

3. 90 oz of ice water. I drink this during the latter part of the morning.

4. Depending on the day, I may eat lunch with co-workers.  But on those days when I don't eat lunch, I eat a 30 calorie Isagenix wafer.

Now, at this point, you're probably freaking out about the lack of food that I'm eating.  And you're probably wondering how this is even possible.  Believe me, I've tried lots of different systems (eating breakfast, lunch and dinner; eating six small meals, snacking on veggies ... I've tried a lot of different systems).  But, for many different reasons, those systems just didn't work for me.  The weight would stay on; I would get tripped up on trying to keep track of calories; my mind would be fuzzy, I'd be sleepy ... there are many reasons why those systems didn't work.  The bottom line is, this system works for me on many different levels.  I have energy.  I have focus.  My mind is clear.  I'm not so sleepy.  It is sustainable.

5. After commuting home, if I didn't eat lunch, I will have a small, healthy snack and then make myself an Isagenix protein shake.  One scoop of ionix and two scoops of the strawberry protein mix with iced water.

6. After the shake for dinner, I drink 90 oz of water.  And then I'm pretty much done ... I feel full and I don't think of food or eating.

That is my routine during the week.

Then on the weekends, if I feel so inclined, I will allow myself to indulge a little - go out to dinner.  I also allow myself to eat my favorite indulgence: frozen greek yogurt (usually blueberry or peach).  I also double my miles on Saturday and Sunday.  I will walk 8 miles each morning.  So, 4 miles each weekday, 8 on Saturday and Sunday equates to about 36 miles a week along with normal walking.  Per my FitBit, I average about 13,000 steps a day.

And that is pretty much it - that is my system that works so well for me.  I love it!  It's sustainable!  And I don't anticipate any changes to my system anytime soon.  I think the weight will stay off for a long time.

So what has this system accomplished for me?  I weighed in at 178.8 this morning.  According my my records and estimates, that is the lowest I've weighed in about 20 years.  That is even lower than when I did the Shangri-La diet 9 years ago (see this post).

The next habit I want to develop is getting into sit-ups and push-ups and bi-cep curls.  I'd love to be able to do 100 push-ups and 200 sit-ups in one session.

But for now, I'm basking in my achievement!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

br: obstacle - the discipline of perception

over the course of my career, i've heard so many managers call a bad situation an 'opportunity' that it drove me nuts.  why could they not simply call it what it was - a menace, an annoyance, misfortune or whatever.  by why all this spin and political correctness?  for years this bothered me, then it simply became amusing and finally it became an attitude after learning of stoicism.

in the chapter entitled 'the discipline of perception' we learn of john d rockefeller and his secret to building an empire.  in the course of his life, through multiple obstacles, rockefeller developed an ability to keep a cool head in the face of adversity.  while his competitors would become fearful and anxious, and only see doom, and would cut and run, rockefeller would see opportunity and figure out a way to turn it to his advantage.

another phrase that has bothered me over the years is a phrase i often heard in the last couple of presidential elections: 'never let a crisis go to waste'  i guess it bothered me because the politicians who often used the phrase would exacerbate the social problems the crisis created.  however, i don't think the phrase only applies to one political party.  no matter the situation or crisis, we can choose to have an attitude that works t our advantage.

in summary, those who are overcome with fear and anxiety should heed the example of rockefeller.  seize the initiative; own the bad situation and train your attitude to figure out a way to make things work for you instead of against you.

let me wrap up with some advice from the author.

you will come across obstacles in life—fair and unfair. and you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure. you will learn that this reaction determines how successful we will be in overcoming—or possibly thriving because of—them.

there are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

we must try:
to be objective
to control emotions and keep an even keel
to choose to see the good in a situation
to steady our nerves
to ignore what disturbs or limits others
to place things in perspective
to revert to the present moment
to focus on what can be controlled

Sunday, August 2, 2015

br: "the obstacle is the way"

over the next several weeks, i will be sharing my thoughts and opinions about ryan holiday's book "the obstacle is the way"

i've been reading it for several weeks, mostly reading and re-reading several chapters.  this book is one of those books that is suited to be read at any point and at any time.  it is almost like a daily reader type book.

as i read it, i'd like to summarize the chapters, opine and discuss how it applies to my own life.

if you come across any of these posts, feel free to comment or raise discussion points.