Marching back to a routine

The Chilly half-marathon last month was very humbling. I can’t remember the last time I felt like such a failure, an impostor. I was ending the race surrounded by old people, who were race-walking faster than I could run! I felt I was unfit to be doing that race. I had not taken proper care of myself. I was wasting time and wasting away.

I mean, I did finish, but it’s my slowest chilly half ever!

The feeling reminded me of a quote from a TV show I watched a long time ago, “The Legend of Korra.” The quote goes:

“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”

So, I decided and committed to some drastic changes. I need to get in better shape, which means gym, and I need to sleep more.

I had been wasting time with games on my phone. I immediately deleted two that were taking the most time: “Horus Heresy: Drop Assault” and “Big Farm: Mobile Harvest.” It turns out, I didn’t miss them much at all. After a couple of days I didn’t even miss them.

I applied for an Ontario Weight Loss Grant and got conditional funding. If I make my weight-loss target, they will pay back part of my weight-loss related expenses. When my Goodlife Fitness personal training contract and membership expired, I made the excuse that I didn’t have the time or money anymore. Well, if I make my goal, the money part is taken care of! So, mark my words: I will be 195 pounds by March 13, 2019.




I was quite concerned that going back to the gym and sleeping well is going to take a lot of time. It was almost depressing and distressing looking at while I’ll have to sacrifice and rigorously schedule to get everything in. And with summer coming I know my schedule would have been even tighter with more yardwork.

Begrudgingly, I’ve decided I need to stop spending time on my hobby of painting miniatures and using them in the Warhammer 40k tabletop game. I quite enjoy it, and find the painting and hobby quite energizing, but there just isn’t time for such self-frivolity. I’m packing it away bit by bit. I don’t need my unpainted models and paint brushes reminding me of what I used to have time to enjoy. I have already unsubscribed and unfollowed everything in my social media feeds that has to do with the hobby. I have a lot of unpainted models. Maybe I’m better off selling them or giving them away so they don’t remind me of what I’m giving up.


Beginning Is Hard

Starting was really hard. Establishing routines, making plans, and sacrificing to fit stuff in made me feel stressed, compressed and sad. I am glad I started though.

Starting about March 8, I started feeling the effects of the lifestyle change. It’s amazing how much better I feel after just a few days of 8 hours of sleep. Like, incredible improvement in energy and mood.


Back to the Gym!

The next challenge was getting back into a gym. I was tempted to go back to Goodlife, but the Ontario Weight Loss grant specified that it had to be something new. So, I got a “guest pass” to an LA Fitness near my new home. The Manager of the store set up a time for me and my wife to come and have a tour. I was so tired coming home from work that day and I would have skipped it had it not been scheduled.

I was glad I got into the gym. Literally a couple of reps into the machines I got a rush of memories, and maybe hormones and endorphins. It felt good, and familiar. The DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) in the days to come were familiar too; I didn’t miss that!

Exercising with my wife! Thumbs up for new fitness routine!

I’m starting with a personal trainer, once a week. During my initial consultation, their fitness consultant recommended a pretty good plan: Put on 10 pounds of muscle. Now, I want to lose, weight, but this made a lot of sense: Each additional pound of muscle burns about 50 calories per day. 10 pounds of muscle will be 500 extra calories per day. In a week, that’s 3500 calories, or one pound. And that’s without any other lifestyle changes!


Not Running Away

And, I’m back to the road with a vengeance! I whipped up a training plan for 8 weeks leading to the Mississauga Half-Marathon. Doing these runs it with my friend Iva. There are some very early mornings in there, but it’s worth it! I’m already feeling stronger and more confident running!

I’ve also retired my dailymile account and am tracking just on Strava. It’s easier, and syncs automatically with my Garmin.

I’m not using Facebook much anymore, but I did join Instagram, originally to follow my Personal Trainer, but I have connected with a lot of friends too.

So, let’s see where this March to success takes me!


Chews to Succeed!

It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again: Get fit in the gym; lose weight in the kitchen.

I love to eat, but I’d also love to live to be 100! This month we’ve made a radical change in eating.

I am being very diligent about loading up on vegetables. I’m making good use of my Costco membership! Huge packages of pre-washed kale, and pre-cut veggies come on home! I think I’ve realized I really like eating, but I can satisfy that by just eating copious amounts of vegetables. On Thursday the 22nd I cooked way too much broccoli, and I think I spent about 10 minutes just munching boiled broccoli stems at the end of my dinner. And, that was satisfying. No flavour, but it kind of helped me end the meal without thinking about having more carbs or dessert.

I am also really diligent about supplements. I was previously taking a Centrum Multivitamin and Omega-3 capsule. Now I’m also having a protein shake with Vega and chia seeds every morning, even on weekends! And I’m also taking a Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 supplement. I don’t know how much it’s helping yet, but I don’t think it’s hurting.

I’ve also revived the Glutamine Experiment that I abandoned about 2 years ago. I want to fix this “leaky guy thing” and be better able to digest foods, so I’m taking 5g of L-glutamine powder every night on an empty stomach before bed. I got a “membership” for GNC, so I’ll keep going back when they have sales and getting the stuff. Let’s see if there’s any progress on that front by summer.

Return of Monthly Reviews

So, I’ve stated that I want to get my weight down to 195 pounds by March 13, 2019.

Sleep really is the magic cure for everything, but getting to bed is hard. It requires sacrifice and willpower. But, as this neat “Strategy Guide” to life states, Willpower is replenished a little by eating, but completely by a good night’s sleep. I will be aiming for the elusive average 8 hours of sleep per night.

I also need to get a lot PDU’s to continue my Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. I need to get 53 PDU’s by February 19, 2020. So, about 2.5 per month.


March 2018 at a glance
Starting Current Change Target To Go
Weight (lbs.) 235 229 -6 195  34
Fat (lbs.) 77.0 75.0 -2 33 42
Goal This Month Annual Average
Hours Sleep 8.00 7.17 7.32
Starting Current Change Target To Go
PMP PDUs 7 7 0 60 53
This Month Year to Date
Running KM’s 84 km 262 km


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