#SpringThawChallenge: The Weigh In

Ah, so here we are at the threshold. Did the weigh-in this morning.

Was a time in my young younger days when I was skinny as a whip and ate whatever I wanted. Then in the younger days, I discovered beer and the couch. Got married and tried – and sorta succeeded – to sort myself out a bit. Then, kids.

I’m a relatively big guy – least that’s what people tell me. Broad shoulders they say. I don’t feel all that big, depending on the company I’m in. I’m right smack at 6’0″ tall, if I’m using my good boy posture that day. At my heaviest (think hating life at a miserable job, not riding any bike and trying eat and drink all the things to forget about it) I was pushing 250 lbs. I was out of shape and puffy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back at photos now, eeesh. I think most ‘guidelines’ will tell you that for my height/age I’m supposed to be around 190. I think that would be great, but I think it might also be a fairy tale. Personally, I’d be happy if I could get to the 200 mark. End of 2013, I’d done a lot of work on eating and exercise and managed to get down to 215. This year I’ve fallen off the wagon a little.

So the moment of truth – this morning I tipped the scales at… 223. I did have my bike riding kit on (no shoes) ’cause I forgot to get on the scale before I got dressed, so there’s that, but I’m not gonna worry about +/- one or two pounds for clothes. So that’s where I stand going into this challenge. Try and maintain that over the winter and hopefully lose some while improving fitness and muscle tone. Before all you start chiming in with but muscle weighs more than fat – yeah, yeah, I know that. The real point of this whole challenge is to change habits, not micromanage pounds. If I come out weighing the same (or even possibly more due to increased muscle mass), but feel better, have lost some fat, have more energy and have been consistent with my workouts and habits, I’ll know I’m headed in the right direction.

Let the games begin, time to crack open a cold one.

My #SpringThawChallenge

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time browsing over at darebee.com. It’s a great site that offers simple workouts, tips, motivation and meal ideas to help you achieve your fitness goals and it’s all presented in a clean, clear, easy to understand way. And it’s free. You can donate a buck to help keep the site up, but really, they aren’t selling anything. I like the fact that there’s a large variety of workouts and they’re mostly non-equipment based and there’s new content all the time to keep interest up.

Up here in my neck of the woods, winters are hard. Weather, an abundance of holidays and good cheer (food and drink) all conspire to set you on hibernate mode for the winter. You emerge on the other side groggy, slow, and theres more of you. I’ve set myself a simple goal: come the #springthaw I want to weigh at least the same, if not less, than I do now and have some better fitness habits in place. The idea being that I maintain my fitness or even improve it over the winter. I’ll also be working on changing my diet for the better – mostly 86ing the refined sugars and processed foods (I’m a total pop/junk food junkie) and eating more whole foods.

I plan to try and incorporate 3 or more Darebee workouts a week, interspersed with things like running, cycling, snowshoeing and elliptical workouts. All my life I’ve participated in sports (cycling, hockey, soccer) that for the most part developed my legs. I feel I’m pretty good in that department. I’d like to combine some core and upper body/arm workouts to round things out.

More to the point I hope to change my habits from bad ones to good ones – this is always the hardest part, isn’t it? 43 years of doing things one way is hard to change on a dime. It will take time, I know, but my goal is to try and do something – a run, a workout, a session on the elliptical – every day. Regardless of how dark or cold it is or what kind of headspace I’m in. Fitting a workout into the schedule and getting going are always the hardest part. Once I’m doing it and after I always feel great and know I made the right choice. I’m also hoping to get the kids more involved in workouts and activities so hopefully they develop better habits at the onset, making things easier for them to maintain in the long run.

Last night, I did something I’ve done quite often over the past year. With 4 kids in the house, schedule is a nightmare and with activities on the go, finding the time to exercise is exceedingly difficult. If possible, when one of my kids is at an activity, instead of sitting around waiting – I go for a run. Last night, Emma was at swimming, so I brought the running kicks and got 9k in around the outside of the pool facility. There’s even a nice trail there. So now I know what I’m doing days she’s at swimming.

Today I’ve managed to get an abbreviated bike commute in (4k, but there’s going home too) and I’m shooting to get an Darebee workout in somewhere this evening. I printed out the workout cards (link) cut them up and I keep them in a ziploc. When I want one, I go pull a random one out. Keeps things interesting. I think there’s also a random workout generator on the site now.

I think I’ll use my long neglected blog here to post updates since it’s the easiest way to cross-post to all the internets. Feeling good about this winter!