Thursday, April 9, 2015

A FitBit is powerful

Psychologically, at least. Yesterday sowed me just how powerful a FitBit is.  I had unfortunately forgotten my FitBit Ultra at home, having left it in my shorts I wore the night before.  I meant to grab it when I was getting dressed, and honestly thought I had.  When I got to work, I was doing a few extra trips around, to get some extra steps in when I went for coffee, or to use the restroom. you know, I wanted to increase my total for the day.

At lunchtime I decided to see where my total was for the day. I reached into my pocket to retrieve it and lo and behold it wasn't there.  After a momentary panic that I had lost it, I realized that it must still be in my shorts at home. At that point I lost all motivation to do any extra steps.  My mind said, "what's the point, they won't be recorded and so don't count."

That mentality lasted all of about 10 minutes.  Just until I got back to my desk with my Atkins meal for lunch and I read a couple of posts on Facebook from FitBit users who were posting their Transformation Tuesday pictures.  I realized that while the steps didn't count towards my FitBit step total for the week, they did count as far as my health was concerned.  So I still did the extra steps whenever I got up from my desk, but my total for the week won't reflect that.

I think the extra motivation from having that little piece of technology is invaluable as it is a tangible result, showing what I have accomplished.  I don't have to wait to see any results on the scale or in my body, its almost immediate satisfaction showing that I am doing something.

If you are on the fence about getting a FitBit, I heartily endorse doing so as it will help motivate you to do more than you normally would.  Not to mention there is a great community of other FitBit users out there who support and and encourage each other on a daily basis.

Friday, April 3, 2015

My FitBit is back online

I have been waiting to buy a new FitBit Charge HR since it was announced in December. Unfortunately they STILL do not have it available in size XL. So I finally decided that I needed to bite the bullet and buy a charger/dock for my FitBit Ultra.  I have had it for 3 years, but its been down the last 7 months or so because the base, which allows it to Synh with the computer and charges it up, broke. To be honest, I've felt a bit lost without its prodding to do a little more, more a little more, get some more steps/floors/active minutes.

So I ordered a new one for $19.95 from FitBit and it arrived in the mail today.  I just finihsed charging up my Ultra and already have measured over 100 steps just letting the dogs out and in.  Tomorrow I hope to put a good deal of steps in. Grocery shopping in the morning and Arena Football at the Thomas and Mack in the evening.

Time to get some steps and start pushing my getting healthy and losing weight.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Motivation is a funny thing. At times it is easy to find, usually when it is needed the least. Other times it is nowhere to be found and this is when you usually need it the most. Let's look at a couple of prime examples.

Example #1

It's 3:00 pm and you are taking a break from your work on the computer, where you've been sitting for the last 2 1/2 hours.  You look out the window and see that it is a nice, sunny day with almost no wind and temperatures in the low 70's. You are motivated to get out and ride, but know you can't because you have another 3 hours of work to do at the computer. For a slight diversion you read a popular cycling blog about an awesome MTB race and you know that if you get out there and ride, you could do that.

You are highly motivated at that point in time.  You start making plans in your head about how you are going to get out there and ride, primarily before work as your schedule makes that about the only time available. You have visions of getting stronger and faster on the bike, of losing weight and feeling good.

Example #2
It's 4:02 AM. our alarm went off 2 minutes ago and you are still in bed, trying to get yourself up to go ride your bike. You know you should. You know you'll feel better if you do, but it was a late night and the dogs were up barking at 1:17 when the party next door broke up. You can't keep your eyes open or truly focus. You have absolutely no motivation.

You tell yourself, missing just one day won't hurt, there is always tomorrow. You tell yourself you forgot to check your lights last night in the middle of the chaos of homework and dinner and late night company so you just know they are dead. You hear the siren song of your pillow and quietly succumb to it.

There is truly only one way to overcome example #2. That is to be so excited and amped up with motivation in example #1 that it carries over to the following morning when you actually get up and execute the start of the plan you laid out for yourself. Unless you can manage this, or have some other external factor, like someone who is counting on doing it with you, it is neigh on impossible to overcome the lack of motivation.

I hope you are motivated and get on your bikes and ride!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Week three is in the books

The good news is that as a team we have a net loss of 11 lbs. this week. The bad news is that a couple of our team members struggled and gained a pound each this week. As a team we have already surpassed our total team weight loss for the team in last year's competition.  Personally I lost 4 lbs. This week for a total of 15 lbs. so far. I am very happy with my loss and feel very positive that we will all continue to lose weight.

I heard the news this week that once again the Viva Bike Vegas event has been cancelled.  Apparently the negotiations between the organizer and the various municipalities and regional transportation commission stalled and there is no funding for the safety teams for the event.  That is a shame.  I thought that this was an awesome event.  I'm starting to feel like my participating in an event is a curse for the event.  3 major events I have participated in have all been cancelled:  Viva Bike Vegas, The Tour De Cure and Ride: MS. Its getting to the point where there are very few large, charity rides available in the area.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another week gone already

I can't believe another week is already gone in the Biggest Winner challenge.  Our team results still remain positive and I couldn't be happier!  Personally, I am down another 5 lbs. this week to 437 which is awesome.  As a team we are down an additional 13 lbs. this week which brings our total to 36 lbs or 2.6%.  This is a great start and we have good momentum going for the challenge.

I am pleased with our results overall, but this is a long competition and there are 7 more weeks to stay focused and on track.  I know I can actually do better by increasing my activity and am planning on more bike riding as I get ready for the National Bike Challenge which will be running again this year from May through September.  I plan on surpassing last year's totals by riding every single day from May 1 through September 30.

What are you doing to get stay fit and healthy?

I have a suggestion:

Get on your bike and ride!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A great start

Today, I gathered the first week's weigh in results from my Biggest Winner team and I am blown away by how well we are doing as this competition gets rolling.  As a team we have lost a total of 1.67% of our body weight in 6 days.  That is outstanding progress.  Sure I realize that the first week of any weight loss program tends to be a higher level of loss than will be achieved on an ongoing basis, but it is still a great start.  As a group we have lost 23 lbs.  By my calculations, if we can maintain an ongoing rate of loss of just half of the first week's for the next 8 weeks, we should lose about 111 pounds by the end of the competition. This would equal a loss of 8.04%.  Last year's winning team lost 7.02%.

To keep myself on the right track and losing weight I actually got out for a nice bike ride over the weekend.  There really is no excuse not to ride with our beautiful weather of late.  I went 5.85 miles which was a good distance and I certainly felt my lack of riding over the past several months.  Its time to make it more of a habit.  I need to in order to hit my goals for the year.

So, my plan is to get on my bike in the evenings and put in at least some miles every other day, at a minimum.  I also will continue to eat a healthy, low-carb diet and drink lots of water.  I'm hoping my doctor notices an improvement in my BP and blood work next week when I go see him.

Until then,

Get on your bike and ride!!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

And the games begin - 2015 edition!

Once again this year I will be participating in the Corporate Challenge games through my place of employment.  I have previously written about participating in or even captaining teams in several of the events:  Biggest Winner (2013, 2014), Bike Race (2011 2012), Track and Field, Tug O War and Laser Tag.  This year will be slightly different.

I am captain of the team for the Biggest Winner competition again this year and I feel like i have a strong, motivated team. Yesterday was the initial weigh in and to prepare, I ate just about anything and everything to "bulk up" before hand.  It seemed to work in that my initial weight for the competition came in at 448 lbs.  Now its time to put in the work, watch what I'm eating and lose a significant amount of weight. the final weigh in for this event is on May 11.  Just over 9 weeks away.

I am also captain of the bowling team this year.  The gentleman who had been captain for several years retired, leaving an opening which I decided to see if I could fill.  It will be interesting to see how we do this year as there have been some strong teams in the past. I'll be posting more on this over the next few weeks as the competition isn't until May 3rd.

Track and field is on the agenda as well as I participate in both the softball throw and the shot put again this year. I really need to get out and get some practice time in as this event is coming in less than 3 weeks.  I hope to better my mark from last year so I need to get out there and throw the ball!

So, with these events I have to get active and get healthy.  My biggest secret will be to...

get on my bike and ride!


I just looked at my calendar and realized that the track and field event conflicts with a previous engagement so I won't be doing the shot put or the softball throw this year.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Proud Grandpa!!!!

I'm proud of all 3 of my grandsons.  They just finished up the winter season basketball league.  I'm still working on a bit of video editing (and learning the tools) but had to share this quick video I put together from my oldest grandson's last game of the season.  He hits a 3 pointer, stops an offiensive rush and then steals the ball for a game ending lay-up.

Here it is (watch #14 in the gray):

Well Done Jacob!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So much has changed

I had started a post about my first ride back on the bike in 3 months.  It was to commemorate the start of the Ride with GPS challenge I accepted.  I actually got in a nice 5+ mile ride last Friday and a 3+ mile ride on Saturday. The problem is I haven't ridden since Saturday.  Life has gotten in the way.  Not physically but more mentally.

I was going to talk about how little pressure was left in my tires after sitting for 3 months and about how terribly slow and out of shape I felt while at the same time feeling exhilirated about riding again.  I had even planned on riding again Sunday evening.  But then Life happened.

To make a long story short there was a stolen and then recovered car, lots of waiting for dealers and appraisers and others.  There is the inconvenience of being down a vehicle.  Really these are all nothing more than excuses.

I certainly acknowledge that I am using these events as excuses not to ride, but frankly riding has been the last thing on my mind lately. Sure I've had the fleeting thought that I should ride, but never at an opportune time to actually do it. It would probably have helped lower my stress level, but I just didn't have the attitude nor willingness to get on the bike.  I need to change that and integrate the bike more into my daily routine.  I just may need to start getting up at 4:00 am again on work days to get my riding in.

The good news is, even through all the stress, I didn't turn to food for comfort.  That is a big deal.  I have continued the progress in the weight loss and am happy to report I am down 20 lbs. in a month. So at least I am still doing something right.

Time to take my own advice and...

Get on my bike and ride!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Challenge Accepted

Dave Wright challenged me in the comments yesterday to join a challenge on Ride with GPS.  The challenge is designed to help you keep your Resolutions.  The challenge is to ride so many miles per day starting Febreuary 6 through March 2nd. There are different levels to the challenge, depending on your cycling ability.  The lowest level is to ride five miles per day.  I have accepted the challenge.

To put this in perspective, I haven't been on my bike since I ended my 180 personal challenge on 11/11 last year.  On top of that my last ride of 5 miles or greater was on 10/3 when I rode 5.7 miles.  So, I have my work cut out for me, but it is a good thing!

Anyone else want to join the challenge?

Get on your bikes and ride!