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I refuse to weigh myself…

I have been debating if I should weight myself and get an update on my progress. I have goals and should have progress reports on those goals to measure the success – or lack of…

My workouts have been very consistently better for the start of the year. I am working out at least 40 minutes each day and some days twice. On two occasions this year, I had three workouts with each being a minimum of 30 minutes (before work, at lunch and after work). This past week most workouts being over an hour for a minimum of 6 days a week this year. Today I did 90 minutes of hard elliptical and lifted upper body weights routine and feel fine. I do not feel much lighter but stronger, so I do not want to weigh myself yet.

So how often should I weigh myself is the open question? It depends who answers the question. Many respected experts on weight loss do not recommend daily weighing, but researchers at the University of Minnesota studied 1,800 people who were dieting and found the people who weighed themselves daily lost more weight over a two year period than the people who only weighed themselves once a week. So maybe this is a mistake not weighing myself.

I have monitored my diet with exact detail using three different programs (FitDay, Spark People and Livestrong’s Daily Plate) and I have had a calorie deficit of about 900-1,500 calories per day (including the workouts). So I should be down 4-5 pounds? I use the three programs as each has their benefit for monitoring calories, nutrition and and etc… All three are never the exact same but close enough. But, the biggest reason for not weighing is that it can lead to an unhealthy obsession with the scale and I had been there before and want to avoid that obsession.

I had found my weight can also fluctuate during the time of day so if I get on the scale in the morning one day and then in the afternoon the next day, I may see a “false” weight gain. Either way, I am going to wait on the weight until I feel like I have lost weight. Then I will probability be upset that is is less than I thought…

A battle I will never win, so I need to live with it. Hope those who attempted the Winter Carnival 1/2 today succeeded. Not ideal weather.

Life has been busy and my next post will probably be after I finally step on the scale, unless I break everything in the house?

Carry on…


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The lost art of letter writing

Been a while since I have posted. Does not seem to be much to say. I have been working out regular, did 40 minutes at a 15 percent incline at 17 minutes per mile and felt good. The Plantar Fascia on the left foot has been an issue, but I have been there before and will get through it. I have not stepped on a scale since the last post, I am going to wait at least four (4) weeks and continue to focus on balanced eating and working out consistently. But tonight, I decided to post this brief update and tell you of another interesting situation I discovered.

Recently, I watched a few old movies. I love old movies. Well, depends on what we think is old. I am talking about those from the 40’s and 50’s. Recently, I watched “love letters” – made me think of the many movies that contained letters to those fighting a war to and from friends and family. Made me think of the letters Gump wrote Jenny in that movie…

Although Love Letters was about much more than writing letters, it got me to thinking about what has become a lost art, letter writing, with a pen and paper. I think the art of letter writing has become an extinct part of communication.

There was a time when writing letters was the only means of communicating over long distances. In today’s world, we can pick up a phone and speak to anyone anywhere in a second or two. I even thought about my diary. It went electronic over a decade ago? I went to get an old diary. My clarity in the words on paper changes with my emotions. My little drawings and emphasis that only can come from a pen showed.

So tonight, I decided to try to see if I even had that long lost skill. I failed! Spelling, grammar, and readability went out the window. So I picked up my laptop and started to type a letter I would them write. But that is stupid is all I thought…

I thought… What is it about a letter that once had so much appeal? I think about the letters that were such a part of my favorite sitcoms (M.A.S.H.) I saw an episode where Trapper talked to his wife on the phone. They finished with “I Love You” and it was short lived. Then there was another episode where she sent him a letter about the love she had for him. It lasted the entire show. Not only that, I remembered it in the next episode…

Yes, reading something in a letter, knowing someone took the time to write it, makes it much more meaningful. It is permanent. And even if, at some time in the future, they take those words back, you still have a permanent record of it.

I know that is true with an e-mail or text, but there is a flare to the curves in the letters on the paper are part of an individual uniqueness as a person. It is unique in appearance and memorable when you see it again and again. It is just hard to explain but there is so much more a precious meaning to a well written (with a pen) letter… I think of the days I got Christmas letters; you could see the joy in the style. In as much, you could see tear drops on those sad letters. Get that in a text or e-mail, never…

My failed effort to write a letter (with a pen) struck me in a strange way. I began to wonder if I know me sometimes. It reminded me of many others times when I thought I had no clue who I am or where is my place in this world. Then it reminds me of what my Political Science said to me when I was struggling academically and personally. He said:

“All we do in life is a journey and taking the next step is the most important part of any journey.”

What is exciting about taking those steps over the past 48 years is I met people who are in the same place, at the same time in their lives yet we got there in completely different ways. Then we take another step in perfect sync with one another yet it seems like it never fails, we go on to a completely different place.

Strange… So I will close with me taking a second effort to write a letter… before I just quit… Give it a try… It sure made me think about me, my past and some of the simple things I cherish!

Carry on…


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&^$*#(@ and Vitamin D again…

I decided not to weight myself after I had lost 2 pounds in three weeks which included Thanksgiving. I felt good about that. I had not stepped on the scale for the past three weeks and I did today. Well, I am up 8 pounds in the three weeks since I last weighed for a 6 pound gain since November 1… OUCH. I have gained 75% of the weight I lost in 2005/2006. I have no clue what is up with that as I try but it just seems to be issue after issue…

I am not going to get to caught up on it as I have felt bloated and think it may be a sodium/water thing or just that I have been working out more and in the past I found I would go up and then shoot down more then up a little and plateau and then drop quick and so on. I also find it so much easier to do over 30 minutes at 15% incline or a hard 40 minutes on the elliptical. This was not the case in November, so I know I am stronger.

My son had a check-up last week. We got blood test results back today and they say he has a Vitamin D deficientcy. I am beginning to wonder if this is just a medical fad, if there had been a change in blood tests lately or there is something strange going on. Now he is in Colorado and gets outside often. More sun than most. That is now over 20 people I know who have been told they have a Vitamin D deficiency. Puzzling…

In closing, I am preparing myself for Biggest Loser season which starts tomorrow night. There is a father daughter from Minneapolis on the show. O’Neal Hampton Jr. (U.S. Postal Service station manager) age 51 weighed in at 359 pounds at 5 foot 11 inches. His daughter, SunShine Hampton (a waitress), 24 weighed in at 275 pounds at 5 foot 6 inches. They are stated to be from Minneapolis. They had some segments filmed in Moir Park in Bloomington as well as the Mall of America. In October, O’Neal dines at Rudolfs BBQ as a “last supper”. Some of you readers hate this show, but it is one of few I watch and usually enjoy. I have a DVR and I actually turn it on at 7 PM and then rewind it at 8 PM and watch fast forwarding through the commercials and I am normally back to live TV by 9. They have so many ad’s.

Carry on!


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Every Minute things happen…

As we near the end of this decade, I came across a picture which shows 20 things that happen each minute of each day. So these happened 3 times while I did this post… These include:

1) Average American household makes $0.096 whereas Oprah makes $523
2) 250 babies are born, 113 into poverty and 15 with birth defects
3) Someone working in a Nike Factory in Vietnam makes $0.0014 and Nike makes $36,505
4) 55,757 barrels of oil are used

WOW. There are many more startling statistics out there, but I ran into this and quickly shared it. Click on the photo for better resolution.

On running ( or should I say walking and workout) update, did 40 minutes at 15% incline and 3.3 MPH and felt OK. Will keep doing what I can as life is busy, which is good. We had another leave our office to other employment and in these times, we are not replacing the positions so we are not down from 6 to 4 in my position. Fortunately, with the economy, it is not horrible but we are now busy.

In closing, it was with sadness that the running community lost a good friend to many. Cynthia Brockman passed after battling cancer. Having only met her once, I never really got to know her. Although I followed her cancer battle in her Caring Bridge site. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cynthiabrochman. As I have written before blogs let us know a person and feel their trials and tribulations without ever meeting them and spending time in person with them. I wrote about this a while back: http://runlondell.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-is-blog-and-why-blog.html . There is also a great post about her at: http://runningminnesota.blogspot.com/2009/05/cynthia-brochman.html as well a a story at: http://www.snowshoemagazine.com/viewContent.cfm?content_id=582.

Death of a loved one is always hard to accept. I have had many friends pass on in the past including two great high school friends in an auto accident in 1980, a suicide of a college friend in 1990, and many others over the years. Most recently, in 2006, I lost a great friend and I wrote about her a few times. Most recently when I explained she was one of the reasons I finish my post with Carry On. http://runlondell.blogspot.com/2008/08/carry-on-all-you-quiet-dreamers-carry.html

In times like these when we lose ones we cherish, there is little we can do but remember their energy, smiles, zest for life and carry on. I remember the one time I met Cynthia and she had a one in a million smile and loved life. Something I need to remember more often, life is precious and I need cherish the time I have more often… I wish you all a great 2010 and beyond!

Carry on!


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Vitamin D is in the news again…

“Vitamin D may be tied to weight loss.” This was a headline that caught my eye today.

When I read things like this, I think of the millions of Americans who will flock to the drug store and take large doses of Vitamin D thinking they will lose weight. But as little as 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine, at least three times a week, is enough to manufacture your body’s vitamin D requirement, so the professionals say…

But what is funny about this for me is when I was diagnosed with low Vitamin D in April of this year. I thought how could that be as I was in the sun for hours each day! I soon discovered extended aerobic exercise depletes Vitamin D… I was very tired with muscular weakness, fatigue, nervousness, irritability, excessive thirst, headache, and itchy skin. The Doctor found my blood test shows dangerously low Vitamin D levels. Then I went on intensive therapy and took lots of vitamin D, 50,000 units once a week.

By the second week, the symptoms went away and I started to workout out again and have energy after eating. After 5 weeks, the symptoms started coming back. I learned that the symptoms for a deficiency are not much different than an excessive amount. So I had to balance.

What is true is I lost weight. About 2.5 pounds a week for 4 weeks. Then I started feeling fatigued and unable to workout. I was looking toward food to get my body feeling good again. I gained 4 pounds in one week. Looking back I saw that once I was balanced in Vitamin D (an other nutrients), I could workout more and eat less. This is not part of this research, but from my personal experience, vitamin D did not lose more weight for me, but feeling better, working out comfortably lost the weight. All that was a result of proper balanced nutrition, not sucking down Vitamin D.

Of course, my findings are not scientific, but I found an overall nutritional balance is what is important for success… not just one vitamin or mineral. Just something to think about.

Been working out regular and no dropping weight quickly, but it is down 2 pounds since I last wrote, December 3. I am getting comfortable with 2-a-day workouts three times a week and one a day other days. Workouts are 30-45 minutes cardio and weights afterward for a total workout of an hour each time. I have no tennis for two weeks and I have been able to get other things done which help to reduce stress during the Holiday’s.

My son got here last Thursday and it is sure nice to have him here for a while. The place is much smaller than we had before he went to college but it is workable. He will be here for a few weeks then back to Colorado. So much in life takes second fiddle while I have him here and I can enjoy his company. If I do not post until 2010, wishing you all health and wellness during the Holidays… Oh yes, and World Peace…

(Inside Joke for Miss Congeniality lovers!)

Carry on…


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Update, thoughts

For the first time in a long time, I looked at my junk e-mail box. I have a great spam filter but I am beginning to think I must be on the worlds list of under-endowed men. I have more junk mail on male issues that I would expect. Maybe once you reach 45 you go on some list? Either way, I deleted 631 e-mails tonight and I did not read any, just skimmed them… And that was just from the last 6 weeks!

Weight is down 3 pounds in the two weeks since I started this new goal. I was hoping for a 2 pounds per week average. I am not going to cry over 1.5 when we have holiday’s upon us… Been working out on average of about 45 minutes a day. Stationary bike, elliptical, and 15% grade treadmill at 2.5 to 2.0 MPH. Heart rate is not even up in these and not sure if that is a concern. Still trying to shake the chest congestion that has been there for months.

There has been some recent posts about one of my favorite running spots. I have ran the Minnesota River bottoms on the Bloomington side for years. The area from Lyndale to Highway 169 is flat and if you go to the end of Cedar Avenue and go towards Lyndale there is actually some hills. Not Murphy or Lebabnon type hills, but at least a change in elevation that is note-worthy.

I am hoping by March I am back on that trail at least 4 to 5 times a week. Could be a great time for organized Wednesday night runs! Such a nice trail and I guess I am biased as I live less than a mile from it!

So as with many, goals get shifted and changed due to things outside of our control. Races cancelled and races questionable. I have been getting pressure to do Grandma’s again. But that is a hard thing to get excited about. I made the 25 year goal, and that was it. I just do not care to have the crowds and over-charging for everything event once again. Who knows, one thing at a time!

In closing, in case if forget, on December 26 there will be a stub brothers reunion at Bunkers. If you need reminder, Mick Sterling and the Stud Brother are great!!! I am planning on being there! I thought I may put this in here now as with many of us, we are busy in the Holiday’s and posting less and less… Hibernation is common.

Carry on…

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