Health life

3-Month Check In

On 4/20/15, I walked into DC Fitness for the first time in my workout gear.  Ready to have my newly acquired trainer put me through my first workout.  One of the exercises that day was push-ups.  I was able to do 4 standard pushups, a weak 5th one, then dropped to my knees to finish the set of ten. I was able to do even fewer “real” pushups on the next 2 sets. (More on this later.) I was fat, out of shape and looking to improve those conditions.

Today is the 3-month anniversary of that fateful day.  I checked in on Facebook, one month into my journey, and have not updated since.  I had such a huge outpouring of support and kind comments of encouragement that I thought I should check in.  Besides all the kind words, I had several people that told me they were inspired by me.  THAT, is truly humbling.  If I can encourage only one person to make a healthy change, I will have successfully paid it forward.

While it’s not Biggest Loser material.  Here’s me 30lbs lighter:

2015-04-20 08.48.54

I put together some of my thoughts 90-days into this journey.

Forget the scale, it’s just a number.

We seem to measure every successful diet by the pounds lost.  I’m not here to throw stones at anyone who does this. Hell, I do it.  However, I have found that I’m finding much more joy in the “little things”.  Like:

  • cinching up your belt until you are out of holes (maybe you should buy a new belt or add more holes)
  • wearing shirts that used to look like a sausage casing on you, now hang loose (see above photo)
  • not getting winded walking up a flight of stairs
  • walking the same route, but cutting 5 minutes off your time (because you were able to run some of it)
  • buying jeans in April, because none of yours fit, but now you can’t wear them because they are too big
  • getting compliments from random people about your weight loss
  • being assigned 3 sets of 15 pushups and being able to do all 45 with perfect form 3 months later when you could barely do 4 on that first day
  • THAT’S the fun stuff.  You get enough of these “small things”, you end up realizing the big number on the scale.

Log it, log it, log it.

I had a compliance person once tell me, “If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen.”  I carried that into my exercise life.  I log everything that I consume.  I log every exercise I do.  I use the MyFitnessPal (MFP) app on my iPhone.  I use a heart rate monitor that syncs back to MFP so I don’t have to enter all my exercises.  (If you are interested in the details of what tech I stuff I use, see the bottom of this.)

Get Started

My advice to anyone looking to get healthy;  get started.  You don’t have to set a grand master plan, tell everyone to stay away from you while you diet, just make some changes to start.  Eat more fruit, drink more water, take the stairs, park at the end of the parking lot so you walk further, get a FitBit, log your food (paper & pencil is cool if you don’t want to be a geek like me).

The best advice my trainer has given me: “Don’t ever be hungry, don’t ever be full.”  If you eat out of boredom, like I always did, stop before you go into the kitchen to graze.  Get a glass of water instead and after drinking it, wait 15 minutes and see if you feel the same cravings.

Folks, I’m not where I want to be, but you know what I am?  Happier and more energetic.  I look for ways to be more active because I know it will pay off more than the Lay’s potato chips will.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I’m not an expert, just a dude on a healthier lifestyle journey.

Tech Stuff I use  (You can skip this if you are not interested in geeky stuff.)

MyFitnessPal (click for link to the site, it’s free)

Since MFP is one of the most popular sites for food tracking, almost every food is already there for you to add to your list.  They also have a bar code scanner that you can scan something you just ate, enter the quantity and its added.  Very cool, if you are so technically inclined.  

Scosche Armband heart rate monitor.  I have never been a fan of chest strap monitors.  This fits nice and from my tests gives an accurate reading.

The fitness tracking app I use is Endomondo  Although, there are several.  (MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Nike Running) Endomondo links with MFP, so my exercises show automatically.

My newest addition is my Apple Watch.  I have become absolutely obsessed with getting all three of the daily activity rings. Move – calories burned, exercise & stand.  (I was shocked to find how many times in a day I have not stood up for over an hour.  The Apple Watch reminds you to stand at the 50 minute mark of the hour if you have not stood for over a minute.)  Here’s what my streak since getting my watch look like:

Apple Watch streak


Weight-loss check in.

Thought I should give an update on how things are going. On my Monday weigh-in, I came in at 248. So, that marks a 7 pound loss the first week.

The Good

Water – I did drink a gallon (2 on some days) each day. Whenever you start drinking that much water, you pee like 40 times a day until your bladder starts to stretch. Now I only have to go about 12 times a day.
Walking – I walked 5 days last week for about 25 minutes each time. I was out the door by 6am. It felt good to have it done first thing in the morning.

The Not-so-good

Food – I did clean up my breakfast from McDonalds to cereal and toast or yogurt. I did snack on apples. Dinner, however, was not as healthy as I would have liked. That’s something to work on.

So, overall, I’m very happy with week one. Well into week two, I’m still on the water and walking trail. I have gotten several emails from other people starting a diet/work-out plan. Congrats on getting started and keep up the work. See you soon.

P.S. Check out the Nike+ graphic on the right side of my page. I have started the Keith 500. I plan to walk/run 500 miles by my goal date of July 18, 2009. (11.85 down, 488.15 to go.)


When did I get so fat?

I’m a pretty tolerable guy and usually content to “let things be”. But sooner or later that nagging voice tells you that you can’t let it go any longer and a change needs to happen. Ooops, hold on, my phone is ringing, “Hello?” “This is that little voice, just calling to tell you that you got fat. Hope all else is well, talk to you soon.” So, with that, the voice has spoken and changes need to be made.

My Belly, A Short History

For anyone that has known me more than 20 years, you know that I did not own a belly until sophomore year in college. When I graduated high school, I weighed in at a slim 143 pounds. At 5’11”, I was skinny by anyones measure. Ate what I wanted and didn’t gain a pound. Then came college.

I was first introduced to my belly at SIU. During college, we became pretty close and I managed to find 50 more pounds during my 3-year stint in Carbondale. I graduated weighing 193 pounds.

The summer after graduation, I decided that I had let my self go and that voice made itself be known. Here was my diet plan:

1. Drink a gallon of water a day.
2. Work out about 3 times a week (if you get around to it.)
3. Continue to eat whatever I want.

How did that plan work out? Well, I lost 25 pounds that summer. This weight-loss thing is a snap.

Fast forward to my 30th birthday. My belly and I had rekindled our friendship and shared chicken wings, burgers, fries, large cokes, and packages of cookie dough. We got pretty close, my belly and I. On my 30th birthday, I weighed about 220 pounds.

It’s September 1st, my belly and I have become one. I officially weigh 255.6 pounds. They say that if you don’t eat right and work out, that you will add an additional 5 pounds a year. The math goes like this 255 – 168 (summer of 1992) = 87. 87/16 (years) = 5.44 pounds per year. Hey, there might just be something to this whole science thing!!

I have decided to sever my friendship with Mr. Belly. You need to know when a relationship has gone south and it’s time to say goodbye. I have come to face that reality. So, goodbye belly, we had a good run.

September 2, 2008 – A New Beginning

So, 9/2/08 is my go date. I don’t plan to make this too complicated. I’m going to drink my gallon of water everyday, eat 5 small & healthy meals, and start a walking/running program. The ultimate goal is to lose enough weight that I feel comfortable. I know that every year I wait to do this, it’s going to get harder and harder to do. I want to wake up on my 39th birthday (next July) and be at my goal weight.

Why blog about this? Well, I have run into several friends over the summer that have made the same comments about their weight. I am throwing this out there and see if anyone else wants to come along the weight-loss ride with me. If you are as tired of your weight as I am, get a plan and start it this week.

In the past, I always just started a diet and never told anyone. Since that hasn’t worked out too well, I thought that by going public would give a little more accountability to this plan. I will be posting updates here and on my Facebook page. So, goodbye fast-food, pop and sleeping in, hello to walking, water and chicken breast. Good luck to anyone else starting on their plan.