A Minor Setback

Is it me or does it seem to others that just when you get a good thing going there seem to be forces working against you and the goal you are trying to attain. Today would have been day 1 of the third week of running at least 4 days a week for 3 weeks… but I am sick. I have the same respiratory crap going on that I did just before Christmas. It’s very disheartening.

This got me thinking about setbacks. I look back at the setbacks that I have had in my life and I realize that often times when I experience one, instead of looking at the setback as a challenge and rising to it, I see it is a destroyer of dreams (sorry couldn’t really think of anything else.) Basically, I give up.

Its funny how my mind works. I’m sure there are others out there who can relate to this scenario:

I wake up in the morning and make a wise decision to eat a bowl of oatmeal. I say to myself, “This is a pretty healthy decision, and I’m full from eating this bowl of oatmeal. I really can do this. I can eat healthy all of the time.” I have a pretty good morning and then proceed to drink about 3 or 4 cups of coffee. I’m on top of the world.

Lunch time. Well, I packed my lunch today so I pretty much have to eat whatever my mind thought at 7:00 AM would be good to eat at lunch. Because of the success with eating a good breakfast I usually pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not too bad), carrot sticks, an apple (or some other fruit), and maybe a container of yogurt. Again another meal time success. Oh and I will also pack an apple for a snack to have between lunch and dinner.

The next place we stop is dinner. This is usually where I get into trouble. I realize the pattern. I have done well all day eating pretty healthy. But as soon as I come home it is time to wind down. After a full day of work food becomes my comfort. I might do well at dinner but then I eat again later on in the night. Once I eat more than my allowed calories I then go overboard. I eat whatever I feel like… and I keep eating. Even past the point of fullness. Eating after dinner is the setback but the setback becomes more than a setback and I just give up.

Repeat the process the next day.

So after that entire story you can see that I really don’t do well with setbacks. This carries over into many other areas of my life where I have set goals for myself but fall short and then once I have fallen short I give up.

What am I going to do?

Well, I think I have read that it is good to not look at things with an all or nothing attitude. Setbacks are just a reversal in the goal. You can be setback a step but then jump forward two more steps by overcoming it. Just because I eat a little more dinner than planned doesn’t mean the rest of the night is ruined. It means that I can take a look at what I did. Ask myself why I ate more than I wanted? Come up with a plan for what to do next time I want to eat more than planned. And continue the rest of the night with my ultimate goal in mind.

Of course this is easier said then done. But I will try.

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Well… It’s been a while!

It has definitely been a while since I last posted and obviously the reason why I haven’t posted anything is because I haven’t done anything. I just looked and the last time I posted was on December 1st which was over a month ago. It just seemed like the holidays were a little crazy and to be honest I didn’t feel like running.

Though, I can go on about how much I suck because I haven’t run for the past month I do have some good news. I have actually been running since January 1st. Last week I ran Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On the days I didn’t run I walked. This week I have so far ran Monday, and today (Wednesday.) I took a break on Sunday and I didn’t walk yesterday (Tuesday) because I couldn’t get motivated. It feels good to have a little bit of this streak going.

I partially read a book called The Spark by sparkpeople.com website founder Chris Downie. In his book he talks about the value of “Streaks”. Streaks are described on the sparkpeople website as, “Streaks (doing something every day or week or month) are a great way to stay motivated and to reach some amazing goals.” In the book he goes into more detail about how we essentially get excited and encouraged by our own success. I definitely agree with this. Even though I have only had a week and a half streak going, I’m encouraged by what I have accomplished so far. Each day that I keep going it becomes harder and harder to quit.

So to end this post I want to encourage everyone out there to keep going. Even when your body doesn’t feel like exercising. You will never regret exercising but you will regret not. Once you have done it you will also be encouraged and motivated.

I am hoping to start updating this blog more and more so keep your eyes out for pictures of what I look like now and more posts about my experiences in health, running, and just life in general.

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Caffeine and Me

It has been a couple of days since I have posted the progress on how the no caffeine diet is going and I am sad to say that I have failed. My shame may have kept me from posting yesterday but I also had a busy day too which didn’t help.

Basically the reason why I failed is because I was at work and I was tired. I couldn’t wake up and there was already coffee made. When coffee is made at work the smell fills every room of my floor in my office building. Once the smell hit my nostrils I was already imagining the hot coffee hitting my taste buds and giving me that energetic buzz I always crave. So I gave in and drank a cup… and then another.

I’m not proud of failing. I have actually tried to quit numerous times before but with no luck. It seems I’m all about quitting at night but as soon as the morning hits and I have to take on my withdrawal face to face I give in because I don’t want to even try. In short I think my willpower is not very strong. I intend on reading a book on willpower called The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal. I will be reading it soon and hopefully I will be able to post what my thoughts are of it.

I may attempt the no caffeine goal another time but I feel as though I need to have some more time and have a week or so where I am not at work so I can experience the withdrawal symptoms without scaring my fellow colleagues with my bursts of anger.

Now to talk about running. I have not been running either (I know this is sounding like a fail blog). I have still been sick and I do not want to risk causing my bronchitis (or whatever it is) to get worse but tonight I actually feel like I am well enough to where I’ll be able to run tomorrow. So tomorrow I’ll head out to the streets and see how it goes. I’ll update tomorrow to let you know.

By the way I want to get some pictures up so you can see where I am at now and also so I can see some actual results.

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My First Post

The blog you are about to read is a blog about a couch potato who is finally saying enough is enough to a life of sedentary confinement. It is a story about a couch potato who has decided to run.

When I went to college I was unhappy with my weight, even though I weighed approximately 130lbs lighter than what I do right now. I weighed about 170lbs just after graduating out of high school. Ever since then I have slowly started to pack on the weight. I started to put on the weight because everyday I was becoming more and more inactive and on top of this I was eating a lot more (I am a firm believer in the calories in and calories out idea of weight loss though I do believe there is a nutritional aspect to what we eat). Stress became a major player in the game too. It seemed as though I was constantly stressed and I believe that I was eating because of my stress.

Flash forward about six years. I’m married to my beautiful wife Hope with one son who’s name is Isaac, and another child on the way (very excited). I now weigh 300lbs and I have high blood pressure. I seem to be depressed all of the time and a lot of things I once enjoyed I can longer enjoy either because of my weight or because of my depression. For my wife, son (and soon to be child), church, and friends I need to lose weight. I want to be able to help them and see them grow old.

So here is where I am at today. I am actually sick with bronchitis or something else along those lines. Which is funny because the week before the last I was all about starting to run again… and I did run that week. But only twice. I did log 2 miles each time I ran though. The next week Thanksgiving came and it was very difficult to get out and run. I thought that I would run on my days off of work which was Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That didn’t happen. So I ended up not running at all and getting sick Sunday.

I probably won’t have any running stories to share with you for at least another couple of days but there is one goal that I wanted to share. I’ve set this goal in my head I don’t know how many times… and failed to complete it. I firmly believe though, that if I actually complete this goal that I will have success in my weight loss and also have less anxiety and depression. The goal is that I want to quit caffeine.

Right now I think that I drink way too much caffeine. It is not unusual for me to have two 12oz cups of coffee in the morning (sometimes 3) and then maybe another one in the afternoon. If I don’t have another coffee in the afternoon I will have a soda or an energy drink. If my caffeine intake calculations are correct this adds up to be 600-700mg or more. That’s a lot compared to the recommended daily dose which is 200-300mg (there are a lot of different ways that scientists measure caffeine intake. A lot of times when they refer to a cup of coffee they are referring to a 6oz mug which is quite small actually. Most coffee drinkers will drink out of a 10-12oz mug. Measure yours to find out!)

I’m so dependent. I want to be free. So tomorrow I’m going to only water. Nothing else. No milk, soda (even caffeine free), tea, orange juice…anything. I am going to try this for six weeks because it sounds like from what I have read this is how long it takes for caffeine to be completely out of your system and for our bodies to get back to normal.

Hopefully I’ll be able to run very soon but here is tomorrow’s goal of quitting caffeine. I will post to keep you updated.

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