Friday, May 23, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Friday, May 23

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity...."
 My daily positive thought today is about my brothers.  Not my brothers of blood, but my brothers of spirit.  Fourteen years ago, I became part of a worldwide brotherhood of men dedicated to the ideals of brotherly love, relief and truth.  As Freemasons, we understand that we are imperfect men, but that it is our quest for an unobtainable moral perfection which makes us good.

I can walk into an country or city on earth and find a brother who will greet me as family and in whom I can trust.  From these men, I gain incalculable strength and to these men, I dedicate my energies.  I am truly blessed to have joined in this fellowship.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Thursday, May 22

My daily positive thought today is about my great family.  I've been blessed with a wonderful and supportive family.  They are always there when I need them for support.

Within the next two months, my family is going to grow by one.  I'm looking forward to welcoming this new person into our family!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Wednesday, May 21

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela"
My daily positive thought is to remind myself of the many times that I have had setbacks in life, but was able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and kept going.  I didn't let these failures stop me and I learned from them.

My character isn't measured by my successes, it's measured by how I faced my failures.

This week's goal - Recording Daily Positive Thoughts

I am not a positive person.  At best, I could be considered a realist, at worst, a pessimist.  I focus on the negative elements in life.  I've never been one to look on the sunny-side and just simply enjoy myself.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a focused personality and I work hard to change the negativity around me.  My pessimism is masked by dedication, which leads a lot of people to think that I'm actually a positive person.  I do believe that with hard work, a person has a chance to change their situation, but overall I agree with Thomas Hobbes when he said, "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Unfortunately, I've learned that this isn't the best outlook on life and doesn't help with my weight loss struggle.  Focusing on the negative can wear down your resolve and make your challenges difficult to overcome.

This week, I'd like to try to focus on the bright side of life by setting the following goal.  Each day, I'll write a short blog post that relates some positive element of my life that I am thankful for.

Like last week, I plan on keeping up with my past weekly goals in addition to this new goal:
  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday.
  • 7000 steps per day

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In - Saturday, May 17th

I had another good week at the scale this week on Saturday!  I weighed-in at 3.6 lbs down for a total of 45.4 lbs.  It looks like my focus is continuing to pay off :)

"7000 Steps a Day" - Weekly Goal Wrapup

Last week, I set the goal of walking 7000 steps per day and recording it via my Pedometer.  I was not strictly successful in meeting this goal.  The main problem I had was that mid-week I became ill due to side effects with my new diabetes medication, Victoza (I'll write about that soon), which left me resting for a few days.

Although I did not meet my per day goal of walking 7000 steps, I did manage to average 8828 steps per day, which was over my daily goal.  This was mainly due to having a very active day on Sunday, when Illa, some friends and I went down to New York City and did a lot of walking.

Here's a breakdown of my daily progress:

Day Steps PointsPlus
Monday 10041 6
Tuesday 12195 7
Wednesday 222 0
Thursday 4994 2
Friday 3682 1
Saturday 6433 3
Sunday 24231 17
Total 61798 36
Average 8828 5

I also set the goal of sticking with my previous weekly goals.  Here's a recap on how they went.
  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day. - I tracked every day except for Wednesday when I was feeling very ill.  (Partial Pass)
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.  - I set and kept activity on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday.  Unfortunately, being sick also made this difficult.  (Partial Pass)
  • No cigar smoking during the workday. - I didn't have a single cigar during the workday all week (Pass)
Although I had a few bumps in the road this week, I tried to stick to my goals as well as I could.  I'm not going to let these hurdles stop my continued progress.  I found this quote today that should help me keep focused:

"The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can't let yourself be beat because of lack of effort."  -  Michael Jordan

Monday, May 12, 2014

This week's goal - 7000 Steps a Day!

I've been wearing a pedometer for the past two months and it's been really interesting to see my daily number of steps, distance walked and Weight Watchers PointsPlus earned.  However, I haven't really used it to push my daily activity.  Until now.

I'm setting my weekly goal to help me increase my exercise using my pedometer.  I'm committing myself to hit 7000 steps per day and to report on each day at the end of the week.  At the moment, I usually average about 5000 steps, so this increase won't be very much, but it will structure my activity.

In addition to this goal, I'm keeping up with my past three weekly goals:

  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday.

See you next week with my progress!

"No cigars during the workday" Weekly Goal Recap

Last week, I set the goal of limiting my cigar smoking by attempting to not have cigars during the workdays.  This would change my normal routine of taking a mid day break and going to have a cigar at the Owl Shop.

I'm happy to report that I met this goal and avoided having a cigar during the workday Monday through Friday.  This was no small feat for me, since I typically use cigar smoking as a means to relax and last week was extremely stressful.

Not only did I limit my during the workday smoking, I didn't lapse into having them in the evening instead.  Altogether, I only had a single cigar all week!  This is a significant improvement.

Because of this, I am breathing better and feeling more energetic.  It also saves me some money.  I plan on sticking to this new goal this week and continuing to improve!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In - Saturday, May 10th

I had another good week at the scale on Saturday.  My efforts continue to pay off and I lost 1.6 lbs!  Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to stay for the full meeting again, because of a Masonic commitment.

Note: My starting weight is actually 350.6 lbs.  The 341 lbs was my original starting weight, but this was reset at my highest in June of 2012.

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories

One great element of the Weight Watchers program is their celebration of non-scale victories.  These are victories that are not connected to the scale and are very helpful when you work hard but don't see a change at the scale.  Examples of non-scale victories are going down a notch on your belt, being able to run further than before or sticking with a new routine.  Although last week was a successful week at the scale, I also had a nice non-scale victory as well.

I am an active Freemason and am a proud member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.  A significant aspect of the Scottish Rite is the portrayal of ceremonial plays, where our members act  as characters from many periods in history.  Last monday, we conducted a ceremony where I portrayed a knight.  I have acted in this role many times over the past few years, but this time was different.

Normally, the costume that I use for the ceremony does not fit quite right because I was too large.  It wouldn't close in back and I would be forced to tie or pin it closed and hide the impromptu fixes with my cape.

However, much to my surprise this past Monday, the costume fit extremely well and closed without any further assistance.  My efforts since last December, when I last wore the costume, have paid off quite nicely and fitting into the costume was a great non-scale victory!

Monday, May 5, 2014

This week's goal - No cigars during the workday

One extremely bad habit that I have for my health is cigar smoking.  I used to be a cigarette smoker about a decade ago, but I quit cigarette's about seven years ago and haven't had one since.  Unfortunately, when I was extremely stressed and depressed after my father passed away two years ago, I took up cigars.

During my medical physical last week, my doctor performed a lung capacity test on me and the results were not good.  The cigar smoking has dramatically affected me.  Luckily, she said it was reversible, if I cut out the cigars.

Now, giving them up cold turkey is an option, but that is extremely difficult and may ultimately backfire on me.  So, I'm going to try it one step at a time.  This week, I'm setting the goal of not having a cigar during the workday.  Typically, I will take a lunch or a midday break to have a cigar, but this week I will attempt to pass on those.  If this is successful, I can then attempt to scale back more.

As with all my weekly goals, I'll check back in next Monday with an update.  Wish me luck!

"Scheduling Time for Activity" Weekly Goal Recap

Last week, I set the weekly goal of scheduling time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time.

I'm pleased to announce that I met this weekly goal last week with a slight adjustment.  I used my Google Calendar to schedule these times and used the event invite feature to invite my wife and keep me accountable.

To quantify this goal a bit, the added exercise amounted to about 26 Activity Points on the Weight Watchers plan.  This was based on averaging 3 Activity Points during each walk (M, Th, F) and a whopping 17 Activity Points on Sunday due to our baby shower, its preparation and cleanup (I used my WW pedometer to track my points).

I'm going to continue this behavior this week and schedule out my activity again.

Weekly Weight-In - Down 1.6 lbs!

I stopped by Weight Watchers on Saturday and did my weekly weight-in.  Although normally I stay for the full meeting, I wasn't able this past weekend because my family and I were extremely busy preparing for our Baby Shower.

It looks like my latest efforts are starting to pay off.  I was down 1.6 lbs from the week before.  I believe that this is a direct result of my consistent tracking and regular activity!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Making adjustments, but staying with my weekly goal

Sometimes, life (and the weather) gets in the way of our best laid plans.  Yesterday was one of those times.

Previously, I set the goal of "scheduling time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time."  So, I set the following events up on my calendar:

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
Yesterday, it rained heavily in the evening, so we couldn't walk around outside.  At this point I had two options, find another activity to do inside or reschedule.  Unfortunately, the cottage is not ideal for any real sort of inside exercise, so I moved the event on my calendar to tonight.  The weather should be clear tonight and we'll definitely be able to walk.

The take-home message here is that making adjustments shouldn't be an exception to your plan, it should be part of it.  I could have simply became frustrated and cancelled it all together.  Instead, I consciously adjusted my plan while still keeping with it.