Thursday, July 31, 2008

(Another) Wake Up Call

I've lost a considerable amount of weight. I've kept it off for over a year. I'm in the middle of a program that will culminate in me being able to perform one hundred continuous push ups. All good things, things that I never envisioned for myself at the beginning of 2006 before I started down this path.

None of that means a thing when I get cocky and start to get lazy with the good habits that brought me that success in the first place. Unfortunately I've been playing fast and loose with those habits again and I need to tighten things up a bit. I could trot out a whole bunch of excuses, many a few of them valid ones, but the bottom line is that I need to get my rear in gear and do the things that I know I need to do.

I realized this last month when I began the Back To Basics Boot Camp. I realized it again last night when I sat down with a cup of coffee and two different bags of Oreo cookies. I don't even like Oreos.

This isn't even about my weight. I'm still within the weight range I want to be. It's about being mindful, being aware and not falling back into my old destructive eating habits. I want to eat healthy foods and be active. I just need to remember that the things that I want to happen won't happen unless I actually do something about them.

I'm not ready to continue the Boot Camp right now, but I am ready to start making better choices by making today a day free of processed foods. That should get me started in the right direction.

Push Up Update

I've also been forgetting to update my progress on the Hundred Push Up Challenge. I've completed the first two days of Week Two, completing sets of 12, 12, 9, 7 and 22 on Day One and sets of 16, 13, 11, 11 and 30 push ups on Day Two. Day Three is tomorrow, then I do an exhaustion test to determine what level I'll start with in Week Three.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good Vibrations, Vega-Table Style

I've been a casual fan of the Beach Boys for about as long as I've been listening to music. Between the car songs, the surf songs and the girl songs, it pretty much covers all the important topics.

I recently came across Smile, Beach Boy Brian Wilson's legendary project that was shelved in 1966 and finally released in 2004. While listening to Smile, I came across the song Vega-Tables, which cause a great big grin to spread across my face:

I'm gonna be 'round my vegetables.
I'm gonna chow down my vegetables.
I love you most of all, my favorite vegetable

If you brought a big brown bag of them home,
I'd jump up and down and hope you'd toss me a carrot-

With lyrics like that, I'm sure many of you reading this feel the same way. Incidentally, if you'd like to hear the entire song, the MP3 store has it available for download for just 99 cents.

The song ends with an invitation for the listener to share the name of their favorite vegetable:
I know that you'll feel better when you send us in your letter.
And tell us the name of your...Your favorite vegetable.

So I invite you to do the same! Leave a comment with the name of you favorite, and how you like to prepare it.

My favorite is a big, ripe Jersey tomato. I have two favorite ways to enjoy them. I'll either just cut one up into nice thick slices sprinkled with some black pepper, or I'll whip up a tomato, cucumber and onion salad with a little bit of black pepper, oregano and basil drizzled with some olive oil and red wine vinegar.

How about you?

Before I forget, I also completed Week One of the Hundred Pushup Challenge (again). My results for this week are below. For more information about the Challenge, click here.

My Hundred Pushup Challenge:

Week 1Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4Set 5
Day 11010867+
Day 21212101010+
Day 31513101015+

Monday, July 21, 2008

Remembering How To Breathe

I think the universe is in the process of trying to teach me a few things lately. The biggest lessons that have been making themselves known all seem to share a common theme. As I've been slowly absorbing these lessons, the one theme that has emerged is simply to remember how to breathe. Real breaths, slow and deep. Breaths that take time to complete because you can't fill your lungs when you're in a hurry; the kind that start from your toes and end when your lungs feel like a stretched-out balloon.

When you breathe like that, you can't help but slow down. When you slow down, you can't help but start thinking. That is when the universe does its magic, because when you start thinking, you can't help but realize that everything isn't as bad as it seems. Sure, you still have to deal with the stuff that happens in your life, but when you remember how to breathe, you also remember how much more there is to life than the things that you tend to worry about.

Push Up Challenge, Week One, Day One:
Yesterday I started fresh with an initial test of 28 push ups, clearly showing that I held on to some of the conditioning from my previous attempt at the challenge. That started me at column 3, which required 5 sets of 10,10,8,6 and 7+ push ups each. I handled them without a problem and hit reps in the last set.

My next attempt will be Wednesday, so stay tuned.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well Howdy!

Looks like I'll be able to get back into my blogging habit now that things have lightened up a bit on the home front.

I'm not going to be able to pick up right where I left off, although I do eventually want to get around to finishing the Back to Basics Boot Camp. Also, the same things that kept me from blogging left me unable to participate in the 5K I had signed up for. I was disappointed to say the least, but there will always be another 5K out there somewhere.

My hiatus also interrupted my participation in the Hundred Push Up Challenge, so now that I'm back, I decided to restart that today with my initial test. Tomorrow I will begin Week One, and this time I intend to finish!

Thanks to everyone who kept an eye on the place while I was gone. I'll be making the rounds and visiting your blogs as the week progresses. There's a lot of catching up to do!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On Hiatus

Sometimes life just throws stuff at you so fast that you feel like you're in a never-ending game of dodge ball. Sometimes it's little stuff, sometimes it's not.

Since this past weekend, I've been playing professional dodge ball, and something had to give. Unfortunately, this blog is one of the things that had to give.

I am not abandoning the blog or my healthy habits. When I feel as though I'm able to come back, I will. I do not know how long it will take, but once the things I need to take care of have been put where they belong, you can bet that I'll be back.

In the mean time, I may pop in for an occasional look-see, just to make sure no one's rearranging the furniture in my absence, so no one better get any ideas!

Until I get back, just remember: No matter how bad things get, the chances are pretty good that there are least a billion people on this planet that are probably having a worse day than you are...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We Have A Winner!

Today's the big day, where I finally get to select the winner in the Gotta Keep It Off! Birthday Contest. Qualifying entrants submitted a comment on the original contest post here, telling me about their favorite post on this blog so far.

I listed the seven qualifying entries in the order they were posted, then surfed over to to select as random a number as possible. The qualifying entrants, in order, were:

  1. AndrewE, from Andrew Is Getting Fit
  2. Kathy, from Kathy Calculates: Weight Loss
  3. PastaQueen (Jennette), from Half Of Me
  4. John, from John Is Fit
  5. TB, from TB's Journey~
  6. IAAdmin (Lisa), from Iowa Avenue
  7. Robin, from CR - Getting and staying skinny the healthy way

And the winner is...

Number 5! And that is TB, from TB's Journey~. TB selected my first post to the blog, and I've quoted his comment below:
I'll put a vote in for your "First Post"
Without it we wouldn't be having the pleasure of being inspired by you.
Thanks TB! And trust me, I'm inspired by your success as well. Drop me an email (the address is in my profile) with your contact info and I'll start those books on their way!

And thanks to everyone else who entered the contest. I'm happy and fortunate to have such great readers and fellow bloggers visit me here. You're all a great bunch of people!