Better, Stronger, Faster – Phase 2
I’ve been at this weight loss thing for about a year now. Here’s a bullet-list of what I’ve gotten done, and where I need to go next.
So Far I…
- Dropped 25 pounds. Now the interesting bit here is that I dropped that weight almost all in 2009, and I’ve been maintaining since then. Sort of a bummer, but at the same time, I’ve always, in previous weight loss efforts, gained back what I’ve lost. So dropping 25 and keeping it off is, for me, a real accomplishment.
- Dropped my resting heart rate from 75 to around 55 beats per minute. This speaks to my cardiovascular health. Specifically, it’s better. I don’t know what’s ideal, but I suspect I’m closer to it.
- Dropped my body fat percentage from 33% down to 20%. My perception is that my extremities (limbs, fingers) are leaner than my core. I still carry most of my excess weight in my torso. I would like to get into the 10% to 15% range.
- Can run for a few miles and maintain roughly a 10’00″ pace. I’m working on distance, where I’ve done just over 6.0 miles on my longest run. I’m also working on speed in a 5K, where I’d like to get through a 5K in a total time of 25:00. I have a long way to go to be able to sustain that pace without my heart exploding, but I’m working on it.
- Have excellent mental well-being. I don’t know how much exercise has to do with it, but I can say that my fluctuations in mood have dropped quite a lot. To be fair, I have also changed to a lower-stress job; I’m sure that’s somewhat related.
I Still Need To…
- Eat better. Binge eating on junk still happens from time to time, although that’s been cut way, way back. I’ve been working yet again on consistently eating smaller portions of higher quality food.
- Exercise more consistently. I’m trying to scale up to 5 times a week, whereas now I do 3-4 times usually.
- Push harder when running. Running is about my favorite thing to do in the whole world right now. I wish I was out running right now, in fact. The 10’00″ pace is easy and enjoyable, but in order to improve my 5K performance when competing, I need to push harder. The treadmill at my gym offers 5K training “levels”. Right now I’m at level 2 out of, I think, 9. Level 2 gives you a short warm-up, sustained run @ 6.6mph (9’05″ pace), and cool down. I did that this morning with good success, although there was mental toughness required to avoid dropping the speed. I’ll stick with level 2 for a couple of weeks, then “level up”. I’m shooting to level up every 2-3 weeks. To be able to beat a 25:00 5K time in the spring, I need to get to a sustained 8.0mph on a treadmill over the winter. Mix that in with some long-distance hiking in the White mountains and some distance runs on the occasional warm winter day, and I think I can get there.
- Drop more weight. I need to drop another 25 pounds, and have for several months (this blog is “Losing Fifty” after all). To meet my running goals and get the healthy physical appearance I’m going for, I think the weight just has to come off. 25 pounds is a LOT of extra pounding on my feet and knees when I run. I have good running shoes now, and that’s made a huge difference, but running at 180 pounds instead of 205 would be awfully nice.
I posted this now because I’ve turned another corner mentally. Running is a very big deal for me at the moment. I think about it often. I also went through a mild weight gain at my new job, where I picked up 5-6 pounds, but have taken it all back off again with just a little self-discipline. My brain goes through phases of caring and not caring, and of turning to excessively food for the pleasure it brings. It’s a fight, but I’ve been back in the zone for the last month where I’m focused again. I believe I am poised to push through this wall and make some more progress.