Monday, April 28, 2014

This week's goal - Scheduling Time for Activity

During my weekly Weight Watcher's meeting last Saturday, our WW leader had a slide on her clipboard that read:

Last week was                          
so I'm going to                            

She asked each of us to fill in the blanks and I decided to share mine.  Here is what I filled in:

Last week was  really busy with work, so I didn't get much activity
because  I didn't have a lot of extra time and I made work a priority 
so I'm going to  make 'me' a priority and pre-schedule blocks of time for me to get activity 

This dovetailed nicely with my idea of setting weekly goals that I can achieve.  So, this week, I'm going to set my goal based on this exercise.  My goal this week will be to schedule time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time.

I have scheduled the following blocks of time to get activity:

Monday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Wednesday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Friday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Sunday - All day - Setting up for the Baby Shower

I'll report back next week on how successful I was.

Tracking Goal Recap

Last week, I set a goal that I would track what I ate for the next week based on the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  I am pleased to announce that I successfully completed this goal, having tracked all my food from last Monday to today.

This goal has helped me get back on track with watching what I eat and I plan on continuing it for the foreseeable future.

At my weekly Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, I talked about this goal and the WW leader gave me a bravo sticker.  These bravo stickers are good motivators for rewarding non-scale victories, such as setting a goal and achieving it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Inspirational people in my life - My wife Illa

I have several people in my life that have faced their own weight loss challenges and have been quite successful.  There will be reoccurring posts on this blog called "Inspirational people in my life", where I will highlight a different person and talk about their successes.  I hope that their example will serve as my own personal inspiration.  Here is my first such post:

My wife, Illa is my most important weight loss inspiration.  Both she and I, gained some significant weight while we were finishing up our undergraduate degrees due to the long hours, high stress and bad eating habits.  In 2009, I joined Weight Watchers and shortly thereafter she did as well.

Over the next year or so, she lost about sixty pounds and kept it off.  In addition to doing extremely well with program, she joined Weight Watchers as a receptionist (note:  All Weight Watcher's employees have gone through the program and have been successful).

She is a constant inspiration in my life and reminds me that I can do better and be successful, not only in weight loss, but in all elements of my life.  She also assists me directly in making better decisions with my food choices, encourages me to get more activity, and reminds/pokes me to attend my weekly Weight Watchers meeting.  Illa is totally awesome and I'm very lucky to have her around.

Illa is one of my inspirations!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gramin Velothon Berlin

In my Facebook news feed, I am subscribed to several Berlin-focused blogs and websites, which allows me to see several cool events, activities and new locations as they appear on these sites.

Recently on Visit Berlin, I saw the Gramin Velothon Berlin, a 60 km Bike race throughout Berlin.  It looks like a really awesome course to see a fair amount of Berlin.

Here are the details about the event:
The Garmin Velothon Berlin - that is Cycling for everyone at the highest level. Since its premiere in May 2008, the event has established itself as the second largest cycle race of its kind in Europe. The attractive route along major attractions and the concept of a city cycling race attract over 13,000 participants who create a cycling festival in the German capital.
  • Completely closed roads for traffic
  • Participation in a team or as solo-driver
  • Race-Highlights: "Brandenburger Tor", "Potsdamer Platz", "Tempelhof Airport", "Eastside-Gallery", "Regierungsbezirk", "Siegessäule","Straße des 17. Juni"
  • Two distances: 60-km distance for beginners and hobby drivers, 120 km distance for ambitious cyclists
  • Attractive fair program on 7,000 sqm
  • "Kid's Velothon" for children and young people
  • "Straße des 17. Juni" as finishing line
  • 250.000 spectators along the route
Here is a map of the course:

Taking a long bike ride through Berlin sounds like a great trip.  Berlin is fairly flat and is not overly congested.  It's filled with large spaces filled with trees and shade, and just outside of central Berlin are lakeside areas.

I don't think I'll make it there on May 18th of this year, but perhaps I'll have a chance to ride the same path next year.  Although I will most likely not participate in a large biking event like this (I hate crowds), this is a good way to plan for an extended biking trek.  Plus with Deutsche Bahn's Call-a-Bike program, it's easy for tourists like me to rent a bike.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tracking - My goal for this week

I've been a Weight Watchers member for about five years now.  It's a great program and when I focused on it, it really worked for me.

My first year at Weight Watchers I lost 64 lbs.  Unfortunately, because of this success, I thought I was "cured" and I didn't need to focus on the techniques I learned.  I was totally wrong.  The weight quickly came back when I stopped tracking, reduced my meeting attendance and didn't get as much activity.  Because of this, I've had a bit of a roller-coaster ride the past few years.

The most important tools that I learned at Weight Watchers was tracking.  The simple action of writing down what you eat really helped me.  Tracking forced me to reflect on what I was eating, which helped me make better choices.  Combining this with the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system, helps to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Screenshot of my Tracker on the Weight Watchers website

With this in mind, the goal that I'm setting for this week is simply to track.  I'll use the iPhone Weight Watchers app to track my food.  Next Monday, I'll report back on the blog and see how many days I was able to track in the past week.

100 Pounds to Berlin

Hi, my name is Charles and I'm a big guy.  I have been since I was a young boy and it's been a constant struggle over the years.

Below is a photo with my wife, Illa and my mother.  Illa and I are expecting our first child in July.  Although I have many reasons to get healthy and lose weight, my primary reason is for my unborn child.  I want to be able to live to see it (we're waiting on finding out the sex) grow up and I want to be able to actively participate in its upbringing.

I'm starting this blog out of a conversation that Illa and I had recently.  We were discussing positive reinforcement and I was trying to coming up with a longer term weight goal and methods to help me attain it.  After some discussion, we came up with the goal of "100 lbs to Berlin", where if I lose a total of 100 lbs from my highest weight, we'll start planning our next trip to Berlin, Germany.

We went to Berlin in 2011 and I fell in love with the city.  I was enamored by its history, life and cosmopolitan atmosphere.  Having studied German history and language for several years, I found visiting Berlin to be a life-changing experience.

This blog is going to be become my personal repository of thoughts, ideas, items of inspiration and updates on my progress.  I will also use it as a sort of virtual travel blog about Berlin to help me keep my eye on my goal.

So, my first update is setting my goal.  Here's a chart of my weight loss history starting in June of 2009 when I first joined Weight Watchers (a great program that I'll talk more about later):

My highest weight was 351 lbs in June of 2012 and I'm currently at 312 lbs.  Therefore, my goal is 251 lbs.  This isn't my ultimate healthy goal, but it is my long term goal that I'm setting as my benchmark for my "100 lbs to Berlin" challenge.  Stay tuned for more updates!