Sunday, February 10, 2013

17 lbs in 35 Days! My 2013 Goals in Getting Fit

September 2012, weighing over 225 pounds.
My co-workers noticed that I am getting thinner (and tinkering on my phone after every lunch). My family is not only commenting on my looking thinner, they have been surprised at how less often I suggest we eat fast food for dinner, especially my favorite Mexican food restaurant. Of course, more recently, I was so excited to share the news of what I’m doing that I shared it on Facebook, and now I’m asked what I’m doing for my weight-loss journey.

In this post, I will share my 5-year goals (from 2010), my milestones and what I am doing right now to reach those goals.

My intent is NOT to become some sort of fitness guru, or promote some exotic fad diet, but to simply make a lifestyle change that will increase my chances of being around to know my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I wanted to get into shape in a way that makes sense for me and my life. For example, I don’t have enough time in the day to go to a gym, but I need to exercise.

My starting stats
Age = 37
Height = 5’4”
Weight = over 225 lbs. (Ideal weight for my height is 150 lbs.)
Waist = Classified. (Just kidding, I started somewhere over 42”.)

My 5-Year Goals (December 2015)
May 2003, 150 lbs.

  • 32”-inch waist
  • Washboard abs (I’ve never had them, so why not get them for once.)
  • Able to do 10 pullups
  • Weigh 150 lbs or less, but no less than 140 lbs. (while still within ideal height weight, this would just freak people out including myself.)

My adjusted milestone for December 2014

  • Weigh 165 lbs. with 35” waist

My adjusted milestones for December 2013

  • Weight 175 lbs. with 36”-37” waist
  • By end of June 2013, weight 185 lbs. with 38” waist

Plan of action to get to my first milestone. This is what I’m doing right now.
Diet & Nutrition
Thanks to Jason Curlee, I learned about and began using it to track my calorie intake in the first week of January. I plugged in a goal of 165 lbs. by the end of the year once I realized that I didn’t have to starve myself to reach my goals. I learned very quickly how to reduce portion sizes (mostly to the actual serving size or even smaller). It’s forced me to find alternative condiments even, such as using honey mustard (10-15 cal/tablespoon) instead of mayonnaise (100 cal/tablespoon) on my sandwiches.

I also made a commitment to stop drinking sodas and replace it with a healthy intake of water. The rule of thumb I learned from Jason Curlee was half my body weight in ounces, and I would track this in MyFitnessPal. I did allow for one cup of coffee a day. Before this change, I would drink 2-4 cups of coffee and have 1-2 12 oz. cans of Coca-Cola.

We saw in our finances that we were spending $350-$400 per month dining out, mostly fast food. Liv and I decided to budget ourselves to $200 per month. This decision was actually made before my get fit journey because we wanted to find a way to free up money in our household budget. In January, because of our budget goal AND my diet goal to keep within the calorie count from MyFitnessPal, we actually spent quite a bit less than $200 on dining out.

Getting to know MyFitnessPal has led me to using the app on my Android phone to proactively plan my meals rather than input after-the-fact regrets. I have busted the calorie allowance about 1-2 times a week for the past five weeks, but I am also taking in more fruits and vegetables while eating less fatty or processed foods. Now, I’m considering more veggies and fruits to eat and reducing the meat portions I take.


My original first milestone goal was simply to walk/hike and do an abdominal workout three times a week. This has been changing, and I am most cautious in this area, too, since it’s where I typically throw in the towel by starting out the gates too aggressively with a run I’m not ready to do.

I wanted an app that would help me track my progress and plan my workouts, so I found and decided to use VirtuaGym.

I started with the 7-minute Morning Workout three times a week for the first week, then realized I could do this workout Monday through Friday as wake-up routine. After 35 days, I am now working out every morning for about 20 minutes alternating between the 30-minute Home Workout (do it as a circuit routine and you’ll finish around 20-23 minutes) and a 15-minute abdominal routine that is preceded by that 7-minute Morning Workout as a warm-up.

When I’m done with the workout, I pull the calories burned from VirtuaGym and input the information into MyFitnessPal so they are included in my daily calorie intake. Now, I’m considering what it would take to train for a 5K coming in May. I have an 8-week training plan from United Way, so I have until the end of this month to decide if I want to do that.

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