Goal #1: Weigh at or under 180 lbs.
At time of writing, just before Christmas 2020, I weighed in at 220 pounds. To lose forty pounds in twelve months is healthy: it breaks down to three or four pounds a month, on average. I had success in 2020 in going from 240 to 220, and I lost my groove in about August. Here’s how I’m getting back on the wagon, and the steps I’m taking S.M.A.R.T.ly:
- Stay hydrated–drink two full Nalgenes every day.
This is not challenging, except to keep the water in front of me. Hydration is key–I’m great at drinking coffee. This is just a matter of adding “water bottle” to my “phone, keys, wallet” routine.
- Hit ten thousand steps every day.
It is absolutely an arbitrary number, developed as a marketing gimmick by a Japanese company that started the pedometer trend. (Thanks for ruining it, Atlantic!) However, the point is that a person should be active to a certain degree each day, and ten thousand steps is an appropriate target for baseline activity.
- Weigh in weekly, track monthly progress.
I did a certain weight loss program that mandated a daily weigh-in, and it was a good reminder that weight loss is not a straight line in either direction; there are days where one can do everything right and gain weight, and one can do everything wrong and lose weight. The way I am understanding weight loss is that it is a sign of transformation, not a number randomly chosen.
- Meet benchmarks.
I figure it’s three then four pounds, every other month. So April 4 (Easter) I’m aiming for 210 pounds. It means under 200 by July 4 (Independence Day). And then 188 pounds by October 4 (Feast of Saint Francis). This is an estimation, a target. In my Blue Book, I have 200 (4/4), 190 (7/4) and 180 (10/4)–we will see as time goes on.
Goal #2: Exercise >20 minutes, 6 times a week
I hate exercising, but I do it, because I can put my socks on more easily. In May 2020, I started building towards a thousand-rep workout, and, in December 2020, I finally hit one thousand reps. I have more energy. I am not winded going up two flights of stairs. I sleep better. And, I do not have to pull my leg in while sitting down to cram a sock onto my foot. I balance on one foot–I put on socks standing up. It’s such a little thing, but it’s something I noticed, and on my best days, I remember little things like this and work out at the crack of dawn.
- Do bodyweight sessions four times a week.
I like the thousand-rep workout, but I don’t want it to become neither easy nor mundane. So I plan to do the thousand-rep twice a week (maybe bump it up to 1,200, who knows!) and a different, more specialized workout the other two sessions. I will be exploring more with Darebee, which I absolutely love and recommend.
- I will do cardio four times a week.
I have fallen out in doing cardio, and it has had an effect! Walking twenty minutes is simple, and doable, every single day. There are other means and methods. I will also add, I might take up running.
- I will attempt a 5K in 2021.
I begin Couch to 5K on January 27, 2021–it’s a birthday present to my sister. I will follow the program as prescribed, and complete the program by April 1, 2021. This lines up well with other parts of life, too. Once I complete C25K, I will run twice a week. I will, at some point, run an actual 5K, be it at social distance or, God willing, in general proximity to other runners.
Goal #3: Eat Responsibly
Ah, what does this even mean, Arthur?! How is this measurable, or time-specific? Well, I’m working on that.
- Eat balanced meals with reasonable portions.
I’m happy to share my “Working Dad Who Hates Night Carbs” meals with you, dear readers. Be prepared for recipes and methodologies–I will figure out how to make cauliflower like mashed potatoes, dangit. But also, if I cook a healthy meal, and have three servings, it’s not healthy anymore! This is a matter of simple accountability, of conscious eating.
- Have a cheat day once a week.
Have I mentioned I’m also a baker? I make pies and ice cream for the experience and practice, and because desserts are delicious. So once a week, if I meet my first standard, I’ll relax them for the sake of not going insane or feeling like I’m stuck in chicken breasts and steamed broccoli forever.
- Watch calories, particularly after dinner.
I like to graze after dinner, and stop paying attention to what I’m doing. I can’t imagine that it’s helpful to metabolism, or digestion. So I’m going to allow myself like, a popsicle at night, and call it good.