Saturday, February 1, 2014

Getting On - With the Exuberance and the Effort

Post Number: 119
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 3546
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Recumbent Elliptical Machine
               15 minutes & 1.0 miles @ 2.0 resistance
          Swam Laps (7 laps, 350 yards)
     M-W's Daily Word: Pusillanimous

I pulled it off and there was nothing pusillanimous about it - Five days of swimming laps with four days of using the recumbent elliptical machine, both exercises in the same session at the YMCA, all by getting up at 5 am. Now I need to review to see if the effort was worth the expense to my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. That review will be tomorrow. Today, we are grocery shopping before heading to Weight Watchers. We are timing the events for today this way for two reasons. First, because it's the first of the month, WinCo's busiest shopping day of the month. And second, because I want to rush home to use my own scale as soon after my meeting as possible.

While reviewing my Excel spreadsheet before heading into today's Weight Watcher's meetings, there are several numbers that caught my attention. 
  1. 380.4 pounds (Weight at last weigh in) - I was able to lose enough weight come within a hair breadth of being able to use my own bathroom scale. I find that exciting. I will weigh in at Weight Watchers, attend the meeting, and then come straight home. I want to weigh in on my scale as soon as possible so I can compare their values. I'm even debating taking the scale with me for a comparison. I'm already planning on taking my scale to the Y to compare their scale to my scale.
  2. 2.2 pounds (Distance to next big milestone) - That is how far I need to make it this week to reach 378.2 pounds and the milestone of 75 pounds lost. I am unsure how well I am doing this week. I have been getting quite a few strange signals from my body. The least amount of weight I've lost in the past 12 weeks is 2.6 pounds, so I am hopeful. I am quite sure that I've lost the 0.4 pounds to be able to use my scale, which is the other reason I want to rush home to use the scale.
  3. 4.4 pounds average / 4.7 pounds average (Weight loss for the last 4 weeks / 10 weeks) - This is both exciting, because it is a large amount to be losing, but it also means that I am somewhat consistent between the 4 week and 10 week stretches.
  4. 72.8 pounds lost = 15.6 pounds gained + 88.4 pounds lost (Aggregate and separate weight changes) - While 453.2 pounds is my official first weigh in, my weight bounced back and forth near the beginning. This weight loss has come from a combination of 5 weeks of weight gain and 18 weeks of weight loss. The weight loss feels so much better. But it's important for me to recognize how far I've come on this journey, not only in the balance of the weight loss, but the stresses and trails life put in my way. The weight loss quantity and direction have stayed wonderful when I stayed focused.
I head off to my meeting with exuberance. But that exuberance is slightly tempered. I have been thinking about something I read in the Start Strong. Finish Strong. book. Praise the Heavens for the power of OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
This personal fitness revolution starts in your head, Before anything else, you must learn to want—really want—to improve your health and well-being. And that means discovering an inner switch deep inside that will turn you on regularly to achieve your maximum levels of good health and well-being. Your underlying objective will be to find what works for you personally—because, of course, not everyone is motivated the same way.
So now, let's explore the answer to a basic motivational question that will enable you to jump-start even the most stubborn body. "What's my personal hot button—my inner motivational ignition switch that will make me want to put this book down, get off the couch, and begin to revolutionize my life?"
Start Strong. Finish Strong., pages 24-25 
This excerpt at the end of Chapter 2 leads into Chapter 3: What Is Your Hot Button? I haven't read Chapter 3, but I am looking forward to it. I understand quite well that need to have motivation. And currently, I have it. But I have had it before. And that motivation failed at some point after losing some large amount of weight. That motivation failed badly enough for me to regain my weight. My concern here is that I want to locate things that are different this time versus any of the other times I lost weight that will carry my through long-term weight maintenance. That is what tempers my exuberance. These are the characteristics that are distinct to this current excursion into health improvement:
  1. Keeping this online journal including reports of activities
  2. Reviewing the simpler goals I have set consistently every week
  3. Reviewing the grander goals I have set consistently every month
  4. Tracking food for more than a couple months
  5. As a part of those reviews, updating, adding, adapting, adjusting, and pushing beyond those goals
  6. Overeaters Anonymous
  7. Weight Watchers
  8. Exercising at the YMCA
At this point, my meditations are focused on three key thoughts.
  1. Which of these distinctions, individually or in combination, will motivate me through weight loss and into weight maintenance?
  2. How much importance do I place on the paid distinctions (#7 & #8) with money running shorter and shorter?
  3. When employment returns, how do I prioritize these distinctions with the increase in time constraints?
And with that list mental efforts, my time will have to be spent heading off to Weight Watchers.

Yours in the exploration of the self, mastery of the selfish, and elevation of the selfless,


P.S.: Since I was already working from the book, here are  two other portions of it from Chapter 1 that explains the benefits of their program and their promise -

A Bounty of Benefits

There's something for everyone in the Start Strong, Finish Strong program, depending on your personal preferences for foods, exercise, and lifestyle practices. For example, different scientific studies have revealed that by following the simple guidelines in these pages you will open the door to at least ten major benefits

#1: The longevity benefit

  • You'll be 65 percent less likely to die prematurely than those you are unfit.
  • You'll add at least three years to your life-if you exercise briskly.
  • You could add ten years to your life if you a man, and six-plus years if you're a woman-if you're a vegetarian, exercise, and don't smoke.

#2: The mental-health benefit

  • You'll improve your mental health, with less likelihood of depression-if you exercise more.
  • You'll slow age-related mental decline by 10 percent annually-by eating only one fish meal per week.
  • You'll enjoy better mental functioning and less cognitive decline-if you're a woman engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking.

#3: The physical-function benefit

  • You'll delay by at least seven years the age at which you develop even minimal disability-if you establish superior health habits.

#4: The cardiovascular benefit

  • You'll be 33 percent less likely to die from coronary heart disease, and 24 percent less likely to die from cancer-if you're on a Mediterranean diet, which features foods rich in olive oil, vegetables, legumes, fish, chicken, fruit, and pasta, with infrequent consumption of red meat.
  • You'll lower your risk by 20 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of developing two major new markers of heart disease-elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine-again, if you eat a Mediterranean diet.
  • You'll lower your risk of irregular heartbeats, a major risk factor in heart disease-with a smart supplement program.
  • You'll lower your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease-if you are a man who is optimistic rather than lacking in hope.

#5: The cancer-protection benefit

  • You'll significantly reduce your risk of colorectal cancer-if you take regular small doses of aspirin.
  • You'll reduce your risk of death from colon cancer by 90 percent-if you observe proper cancer-screening procedures and treatment.
  • You'll lower your risk for any cancer-if you make such lifestyle changes as not smoking, avoiding the sun, eating well, and exercising.

#6: The strong-bone benefit

  • Whether you're a man or woman, you'll lower your risk of excessive bone loss after age fifty-if you do regular weight-bearing exercise and consume a bone-healthy diet.

#7: The pain-relief benefit

  • You'll suffer 25 percent less musculoskeletal pain-if you're a runner who is fifty or older.
  • You may ease physical pain when you lose weight-because obese people are more sensitive to pain than nonobese people.

#8: The healing benefit

  • You'll experience faster healing of skin wounds-if you're an older adult who exercises regularly.

#9: The fatal-accident benefit

  • You'll lower your risk of being killed in a car accident-if you avoid obesity and maintain normal weight.

#10: The wealth benefit

  • You'll increase your wealth assets by nearly $12,000 on average-if you're a woman who reduces her BMI (body mass index) by 10 points.
  • You'll increase your wealth assets by almost $13,000 on average-if you're a man who reduces his BMI (body mass index) by 10 points.

Start Strong. Finish Strong., pages 10 - 13

Looking to #10, this means that since I started at a BMI of 71 and want to get down to 21, I will increase my wealth assets by $65,000. Woo Hoo!!!

Before the benefits they listed, they shared their promise.

The Start Strong, Finish Strong Promise

The basic promise of our program can be summarized like this: If you take seven simple start-up steps, namely . . .
Step #1: Quit putting off that gold-standard physical exam;
Step #2: Launch a realistic fitness plan;
Step #3: Begin eating a longevity diet;
Step #4: Follow a wise supplement strategy;
Step #5: Do serious smoke control;
Step #6: Counteract creeping substance abuse; and
Step #7: Engage in effective mind-spirit practices . . .
. . . you'll blast off to a strong start in a new life.

And if you stick with these steps so that they become ingrained health and fitness habits, you will greatly increase your chances of maintaining superior physical and mental function, maximizing your life span, and finishing strong.

Start Strong. Finish Strong., pages 7 - 8

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