LlamaRun

12.14.19 | Dec. 08-14

Sunday: Stretched > AB Ball > Elliptical/15 > StairStepper/15

Tuesday:

1. Asics Gel-Kayano 24 Mileage: 47 mi (As of 12.07.19)

2. Asics Gel-Kayano 25 Mileage: 43 mi (As of 12.07.19)

WEIGHT: 212.2

12.07.19 | Dec. 01-07

Sunday: Stretched > AB Ball > Indoor Cycle

Tuesday: Stretched > Machine I > Indoor Cycle

Wednesday: Stretched > Core Training > Indoor Cycle

Thursday: Stretched > Machine II > Indoor Cycle

Saturday: Stretched > Free Weights > Treadmill

WEIGHT: 214.4

09.07.19 | Back At It

Week 19 > September 01-07

Sunday: Stretched > AB Ball > Indoor Cycle/30:00

Tuesday: Machine I > Indoor Cycle/30:01

WEIGHT: 215

08.31.19 | Come Together

Week 18 > August 25-31

Tuesday: Total Steps: 12,229 = 5.49 mi

Thursday: 1.0 mi Walk/22:41

NOTES: I have a couple things at play currently. I’m over the music festival fun and games. But suddenly my family needs to find a home to buy, and fast. When factoring in specific geographic location required and strict price constraints, finding a place is easier said than done. Hence, much of my free time is being consumed by researching and looking at properties. Compounding this issue is a new internal health concern for myself that is requiring medical testing that likely will span two months before it’s known for sure whether everything is serviceable without anything but minor lifestyle/diet changes. Needless to say stress is a constant companion these days.

Weight: 208

08.24.19 | Recovery Continued

Week 17 > August 18-24

NOTES: No workouts.

WEIGHT: 209

08.17.19 | Recovery

Week 16 > August 11-17

Sunday: Total Steps: 20,212 = 8.92 mi

Wednesday: 1.47 mi Walk/32:32

Thursday: 1.60 mi Walk/42:03 > Total Steps: 10,031 = 4.31 mi

NOTES: It’s safe I’ve yet to return to feeling human again. I didn’t even try to fight the damage. I took the week off from workouts to recover. I did not hit all my days on the final week of my 90-Day Walking Challenge, but technically I had already completed the course, and points were awarded to me through Go365, due to my having already walked well over the necessary minutes required to complete the course. The walking goal for this final week was 245 minutes. I knocked out 175 minutes of walking on Sunday alone, cruising about the RailBird festival in Lexington at the Keeneland horse track. I did another 75 minutes of walking during the week, bringing my weekly walking total to 250 minutes.

WEIGHT: 210

08.10.19 | Trying To Hold Steady

Week 15 > August 04-10

Sunday: AB Ball > 1.75 mi Walk/35:00 > Total Steps: 13,586 = 6.10 mi

Monday: 1.75 mi Walk/38:02 > .52 mi Walk/11;31 > Total Steps: 12,216 = 5.38 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > 1.80 mi Walk/36:43 > Total Steps: 13,769 = 6.23 mi

Wednesday: Core Training > 2.0 mi Walk/38:44 > Indoor Cycle/32:02 > Total Steps: 15,394 = 7.07 mi

Friday: Machine II > 2.02 mi Walk/40:02 > Total Steps: 13,974 = 6.39 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > 1.50 mi Walk/44:01 > Total Steps: 23,217 = 10.22 mi

NOTES: The RailBird music festival in Lexington kicked off a two night run starting Saturday the 11th and going through Sunday. I did hit my workout marks this week, barely. But ramp-up for the festival started Thursday – hard. I could not handle exercise as usual on Thursday, but made it up on Friday, which is usually an off day. RailBird ramp-up continued Friday straight into Saturday, no sleep. This week was also Week 11 of 12 in my 90-Day Walking Challenge. I managed to get my final timed walk of the week in at RailBird across the rolling hills of Keeneland race course, before things got too blurry. This week’s goal was 210 minutes of walking – I did 245 minutes, or 11.32 miles. Between workouts, partying, not eating, and not sleeping, I was able to wipe away the weight gain from a couple weeks prior, and set a new low for 2019 at 204 pounds. That is 13.5 pounds I’ve dropped in 15 weeks. That being said I barely made it through the week’s exercise program with all the music festival anticipation. I held off the downslide until Sunday.

WEIGHT: 204

08.03.19 | Feeling Strong

Week 14 > July 28-August 03

Sunday: Free Weights > AB Ball > 2.12 mi Walk/36:00 > Total Steps: 12,679 = 5.92 mi

Monday: 1.73 mi Walk/36:00 > Total Steps: 11,431 = 5.13 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > Indoor Cycle/30:11 > 1.80 mi Walk/36:00 > Total Steps: 20,429 = 9.25 mi

Wednesday: Core Training > 1.89 mi Walk/41:11 > Total Steps: 11,382 = 5.13 mi

Thursday: Machine II > Total Steps: 10,601 = 4.78 mi

Friday: 1.75 mi Walk/40:04 > Total Steps: 11,041 = 4.90 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > Indoor Cycle/30:00

NOTES: Better week. Stabilized the bleeding of excessive food intake. Dropped 3.5 pounds. This was week 10 of my 90-Day Walking Challenge. Same as last week, 175 minutes of walking were required and completed.

WEIGHT: 207.5

JULY RINGS CLOSED: 27

07.27.19 | Feeling the Pressure

Week 13 > July 21-27

Sunday: AB Ball > Indoor Cycle/35:00 > Total Steps: 10,427 = 4.56 mi

Monday: 1.64 mi Walk/35:02 > Total Steps: 12,755 = 5.76 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > Indoor Cycle/30:00 > Total Steps: 10,119 = 4.44 mi

Wednesday: Core Training > 1.79 mi Walk/36:01 > Total Steps: 10,608 = 4.74 mi

Thursday: Machine II > Indoor Cycle/35:00 > 1.73 mi Walk/37:24 > Total Steps: 13,574 = 5.94 mi

Friday: 1.91 mi Walk/40:00 > Total Steps = 5.56 mi

Saturday: 1.79 mi Walk/38:00

NOTES: My eating sins of the previous week continued to pollute this new week. My workouts were there, but I couldn’t offset the damage already done and allowed junk food cravings to get the better of me. This led to a 1.5 pound weight gain. Rededication is coming. Week 9 of 90-Day Walking Challenge saw 175 minutes of walking required.

WEIGHT: 211

07.20.19 | Sweet Tooth

Week 12 > July 14-20

Sunday: AB Ball > Indoor Cycle/36:00 > Total Steps: 11,410 = 5.09 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > 1.73 mi Walk/31:00 > Total Steps: 16,205 = 7.51 mi

Wednesday: Core Training

Thursday: Machine II > 1.5 mi Walk/31:27 > Total Steps: 11,195 = 5.03 mi

Friday: 1.73 mi Walk/31:15 > Total Steps: 10,323 = 4.95 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > 1.76 mi Walk/31:00 > 1.61 mi Walk/31:00 > Total Steps: 18,616 = 8.58 mi

NOTES: The munchies got me bad this week. This resulted in my weight growing from 205 the week prior, to 209.5. Boo! Totally my fault for letting my sweet tooth get the better of me. My workouts were all solid. Week 8 of my Walking Challenge saw the total minutes required to walk increase to 150 over five walks. I had to double up on Saturday to reach that goal and was successful.

WEIGHT: 209.5

07.13.19 | Moving with Purpose

Week 11 > July 07-13

Sunday: AB Ball > Indoor Cycle/31:13 > 1.5 mi Walk/34:44 > Total Steps:  15,986=7.09 mi

Monday: 3.01 mi Walk/54:07 > Total Steps: 13,000 = 6.15 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > 1.66 mi Walk/36:07 > Indoor Cycle/35 > Total Steps: 11,880 = 5.43 mi

Wednesday: Core Training > .60 mi Walk/17:45 > Total Steps: 10,701 = 4.82 mi

Thursday: Machine II > 1.56 mi Walk/35:52 > Indoor Cycle/35 mi > Total Steps: 13,353 = 5.93 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > Indoor Cycle/30 mins

NOTES: Felt solid in workouts. Some tired muscles, but moved through it. Watched food consumption and dropped 1.5 pounds for week.

WEIGHT: 205

07.06.19 | Back on Target

Week 10 > June 30-July 06

Sunday: AB Ball > Indoor Cycle/30:00 > Total Steps: 10,257 = 4.49 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > Indoor Cycle/30:00 > 1.50 mi Walk/30:39 > Total Steps: 10,440 = 4.70 mi

Wednesday: Core Training > 1.76 mi Walk/33:04 > Total Steps: 11,282 = 5.15 mi

Thursday: 1.58 mi Walk/40:00 min > Total Steps: 16,876 = 7.51 mi

Friday: Machine II > 1.65 mi Walk/30:00 > Total Steps: 12,207 = 5.76 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > Elliptical/15:00 > Indoor Cycle/15:00 > 2.50 mi Walk/1:09:22 > 1 mi Walk/29:21 > Total Steps: 20,626 = 9.07 mi

NOTES: Got back on my regular schedule after taking a week off. Definitely felt stronger once back in the gym. As an additional cardio, I joined a 4th of July walking challenge that goes through July 9, to go with the 12 week program I’m already enrolled in, adding active minutes to my day. This added cardio and watching my eating better resulted in a two pound weight drop. Ten weeks in, 11 pounds lost.

WEIGHT: 206.5

JUNE RINGS CLOSED: 21

06.29.19 | Take A Rest

Week 9 > June 23-29

Sunday: Total Steps: 12,186 = 5.34 mi

Monday: Total Steps: 12,753 = 5.69 mi

Wednesday: 1.52 mi Walk/30:18 > Total Steps: 10,532 = 4.82 mi

Thursday: 1.50 mi Walk/30:12 > Total Steps: 10,710 = 4.81 mi

Friday: 1.48 mi Walk/30:02

Saturday: Free Weights > 1.55 mi Walk/30:00 > Total Steps: 10,828 = 4.89 mi

NOTES: Gave myself most of the week off, particularly from the gym. I needed a week to let the previous eight weeks of work absorb. It has been a long pull from week one. I did make the necessary walks required in my 12-week walking challenge. Five weeks are completed. My weight held relatively steady. I jumped back into my routine Saturday.

WEIGHT: 208.5

06.22.19 | Baby Steps

Week 8 > June 16-22

Sunday: AB Ball > Elliptical/15:00 > Indoor Cycle/15:00 > Total Steps: 13,362 = 5.91 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > 1.34 mi Walk/18:33 > Total Steps: 12,759 = 5.63 mi

Wednesday: Cardio Core

Thursday: Machine II > 1.48 mi AM Walk/32:00 > 1.50 mi PM Walk/30:00 > Total Steps: 15,303 = 6.86 mi

Friday: Total Steps: 12,175 = 5.48 mi

NOTES: Not a bad week, but my body was feeling a tad fatigued. I had social events Friday, Hamilton in Louisville, and Monday, Gov’t Mule, also in Louisville. This caused a disruption in my force. Too much fun and adventure. I opted to give my body a rest. Nice weight drop this week, from 211 to 208.

WEIGHT: 208

06.15.19 | And We’re Walking…

Week 7 > June 09-15

Sunday: AB Ball > Elliptical/30:00 > Total Steps: 10,658 = 4.59 mi

Monday: 1.50 mi Walk/36:28 > Total Steps: 11,166 = 4.86 mi

Tuesday: 1.07 mi AM Walk/20:23 > 1.07 mi PM Walk/22:37

Wednesday: Machine I > Cardio Core > 1.01 mi Walk/20:39 > Total Steps: 12,537 = 5.61 mi

Thursday: Machine II > 1.0 mi AM walk/20:19 >1.0 mi PM Walk > Total Steps: 12,552 = 5.66 mi

Friday: AM Walk/21:53 > PM Walk/20:22 > Total Steps: 11,446 = 5.14 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > Stair Climber/15:00 > Elliptical/15:00 > Total Steps: 16,839 = 7.42 mi

NOTES: Body is lightly sore. Seeing benefits as body mass takes more defined appearance. This was the first week where my body consciously sought healthier food options. Also, my appetite shrank. Got to keep momentum going. Thinking I need to come up with an alternative week of exercises, to rest the parts I’m constantly hitting, and shake things up before returning to my regularly scheduled program. Entering fourth week of 12-week LivingFit Walking Challenge. Soon the assigned walking amounts will become my cardio for the remainder of the class, as distances exceed what I can complete during lunch.

WEIGHT: 211

06.08.19 | Out of Sorts

Week 6 > June 02-08

Sunday: AB Ball > StairStepper/10:09 > Elliptical/10:00 > Bike/10:01 > Total Steps: 10,668 = 4.62 mi

Monday: 1.0 mile walk/21:47 > 0.5 mi walk/10:40 > Total Steps: 11,114 = 4.89 mi

Tuesday: Machine I > 1.0 mi walk/17:29 > Stair Stepper/15:13 > Indoor Cycle/17:51 > Total Steps: 15,000 = 6.72 mi

Wednesday: 1.0 mi walk/17:39 > Cardio Core > Total Steps: 12,238 = 5.59 mi

Thursday: 1.0 mi walk/18:48 > Machine II > Total Steps: 11,835 = 5.48 mi

Saturday: Free Weights > Stair Climber/Elliptical/Indoor Bike

NOTES: Graduations, family birthdays and new job offers made this a strange feeling week. I hit all my workouts and feel a bit stronger, but distracted most of the week. My body is looking leaner. It is shifting to reflect the greater muscle tone, and transfer of goo to muscle. I’m still not getting that attitude, or ferocity to attack my cardio workouts.

WEIGHT: 211.5

06.01.19 | Staying on Course

Week 5 > May 26-June 01

Sunday: Stretched > AB Ball > Elliptical/33:38 > Total Steps: 10,021 = 4.30 mi

Monday: Swimming/52:17 > 0.34 mi walk/10:32 > Total Steps: 12,575 = 5.47 mi

Tuesday: Stretched > Machine I > 1.0 mi walk/30:38 > Total Steps: 10,441 = 4.45 mi

Thursday: Stretched > AM Cardio Core > Machine II > 1.0 mi walk/17:12 > PM Mixed Cardio/22:35 > Total Steps: 14,615 = 6.95 mi

Friday: 1.0 mi walk/20:28

Saturday: Free Weights > Stair Climber/10 min > Bike/20 min

NOTES: Kind of a tweener week, coming off Memorial Day festivities. I hit my workouts but went easy on my legs. I subbed in different cardio exercises instead of only running – just wasn’t feeling it. I’ve decided to stop doing the Total Body workout at the gym. It makes my legs too tight.

WEIGHT: 212.5

MAY RINGS CLOSED: 20

05.25.19 | Less Than Stellar

Week 4 > May 19-25

Sunday: Stretched > AB Ball Core > Total Body > Total Steps: 10,852 = 4.82 mi

Monday: 1.08 mi walk/26:28 > 0.03 mi walk/6:52 > Total Steps: 10,423 = 4.68 mi

Tuesday: AM-Machine I > Total Body > PM-Stretch > 2.67 mi run/31:58 > Total Steps: 20,226 = 9.62 mi

Wednesday: Cardio Core > Total Body > 1.0 mi walk/22:28 > Total Steps: 12,694 = 5.66 mi

Thursday: AM Mixed Cardio >Total Body > PM Stretched > 2.67 mi run/30:55 > Total Steps: 14,680 = 7.21 mi

Friday: 1.0 mi walk/20:48 > 104 yd Pool Swim > Total Steps: 10,122 = 4.47 mi

Saturday: Stretched > Free Weights > Arc Trainer/10 min > Stair Trainer 10 min > 1.23 mi Run /10 min > Total Body > Total Steps: 17,168 = 7.69 mi

NOTES: Tough week. On this fourth week of implementing a new workout program, the excitement dimmed, and an overall fatigue, especially in my legs, became ever-present. I took it easier on the runs, but think adding in the Total Body machine hit my legs hard. My weight went from 212 last week to 214. I gave my food intake more notice, but this is an area requiring greater discipline and awareness. On the plus side, each day this week I closed my Move-Exercise-Stand Circles and hit 10,000 steps walked.

WEIGHT: 214

05.18.19 | Implementation

Week 3 > May 12-18

Sunday: Total Steps: 10,519 = 4.53 mi

Monday: 1.25 mi walk/25:51 > 0.15 mi walk/03:53 > Total Steps: 12,176 = 5.41

Tuesday: Stretched > AM-Strength Training > PM-2.51 mi run/30:54 > Total Steps: 16,351 = 8.0 mi

Wednesday: Stretched > AM-Cardio Strength > PM-2.63 mi run/30:22 > Total Steps: 17,024 = 8.33 mi

Thursday: Mixed Cardio Strength > Total Steps: 10,878 = 4.59 mi

Saturday: Stretched > Free Weights > 2.74 mi run/35;00 > Total Steps 15,324 = 7.4 mi

NOTES: I may have something here with this workout program. Body is accepting of the demands thus far, and I am keeping the intensity modest as a precaution. Just adhering to the schedule, the weight training + running is plenty to start. One last day of exercise to phase in, on Sunday, for this coming week.

WEIGHT: 212

05.11.19 | Established Fitness Program

Week 2 > May 5-11

Sunday: Stretched > Strength Training > 2.50 mi run/30:10 > Total Steps: 12,141 = 6.13 m

Monday: Total Steps: 10,205 = 4.53 mi

Tuesday: Stretched > AM-Strength Training > PM-2.24 mi run/35:58 > Total Steps: 16,916 = 8.09 mi

Thursday: Total Steps: 12,812 = 5.67 mi

Friday: Stretched > 3.84 mi run/1:09:28 > Total Steps: 20,633 = 9.76 mi

Saturday: Stretched > Strength Training > Total Steps: 4,423 = 1.86 mi

NOTES: I’ve gotten pretty consistent on draining 10+ cups of water per day at the office. Still sifting through the different machines, free weights and exercise opportunities at Planet Fitness. Got a plan drafted out by week’s end. Participated in a pathetic 5k race Friday evening with my 7-year old daughter. I walked most of it with her, but it did offer solid time on feet. Tweeked the small of my back in the process. Now I’m sporting the old man aroma of Icy Hot, Tiger Baum or the old school favorite, Absorbine Jr. Plus. “It’s the Old Spice of pain relievers. Hydro-massage chair @ Planet Fitness are my new best friend.

WEIGHT: 214.8

05.04.19 | And So It Begins…

Week 1 > April 28 – May 04

Wednesday: Stretched > AM-Strength Training > PM-3 mi run/32:41 > Total Steps: 15,372 = 7.85 mi

Thursday: Total Steps: 14,594 = 6.54 mi

NOTES: Finally dragged my butt back into an exercise frame of mind. It was an indulgent last few months, dark, that involved a move-in with mother-in-law after her husband passed away unexpectedly, some minor health issues of my own, a lengthy trial and error process of getting my meds right, and my own misadventures with self medication. But what could no longer be overlooked was I became a pudgy bastard – 217.5, Jesus! I’ve gone from the size of an NFL safety to a defensive back. I can’t carry that kind of weight.

Two positives from this four month layoff were I’ve gotten rested after stopping in December working two jobs seven days a week, and it let my legs and feet rest, so running is back on the menu. I switched back to wearing Asics running shoes exclusively. I think purchasing some well-regarded discount shoes was not favorable to my feet, ankles and knees. It’s going to be a long slog back to fitness, and another year older doesn’t make it any easier. Slow and steady, balanced workouts, with lots of stretching and post/pre-workout maintenance is my plan. My new home is not hospitable to exercise like my previous one, so I joined Planet Fitness this week.

WEIGHT: 217.5

01.05.19 | Shut It Down

Week 50 > December 30-January 5

Sunday: (Total Steps: 13,021 = 5.64 mi)

Monday: (Total Steps: 10,389 = 4.53 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 10,651 = 4.48 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 10,767 = 4.79 mi)

DECEMBER RINGS CLOSED: 6

12.29.18 | Christmas Week

Week 49 > December 23-29

Sunday: (Total Steps: 22,679 = 9.67 mi)

Monday: (Total Steps: 26,381 = 11.33 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 13,783 = 6.13 mi)

Thursday: (Total Steps: 14,595 = 6.55 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 11,347 = 5.0 mi)

12.22.18 | Coming To A Close

Week 48 > December 16-22

Monday: (Total Steps: 12,611 = 5.56 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 11,120 = 4.85 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 10,738 = 4.69 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 17,634 = 7.63 mi)

12.15.18 | Walking, Walking

Week 47 > December 9-15

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 10,873 = 4.79 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 10,574 = 4.71 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 11,923 = 5.44 mi)

12.08.18 | Down To One Job

Week 46 > December 2-8

Sunday: (2.53 mi/1:39:18; Total Steps: 16,061 = 7.08 mi)

Saturday: (3.0 mi indoor walk/1:49:11; Total Steps: 20,635 = 9.15 mi)

Notes: Last day of second job.

12.01.18 | Wrapping It Up

Week 45 > November 25-December 1

Sunday: (1.13 mi indoor walk/36:11; Total Steps: 11,212 = 4.99 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 16,445 = 7.27 mi)

NOVEMBER CIRCLES CLOSED: 4

11.24.18 | Trying

Week 44 > November 18-24

Sunday: (1.00 mi indoor walk/30:30; Total Steps: 14,225 = 6.29 mi)

Monday (Total Steps: 10,449 = 4.72 mi)

Saturday (2.36 mi indoor walk/1:33:14; 1.00 mi indoor walk/31:43; Total Steps: 14,533 = 6.35 mi)

11.17.18 | Beat Up

Week 43 > November 11-17

Sunday: (Total Steps: 11,910 = 5.34 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 14,959 = 6.68 mi)

Notes: The working two jobs, with no days off is unsustainable. My body is too beat up for exercise nor can I get sufficient rest.

11.10.18 | Tapering Off

Week 42 > November 4-10

Sunday: (Total Steps: 16,232 = 7.59 mi)

Saturday: (2.01 mi indoor walk/1:13; 1.0 mi indoor walk/35:54; Total Steps: 17,816 = 7.93 mi)

11.03.18 | Feeling Good, Feeling Right

Week 41 > October 28 – November 3:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 16,085 = 7.23 mi)

Tuesday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/21:23; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/20:53; Total Steps: (10,910 = 4.98 mi)

Wednesday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/35:29; Total Steps: 10,637 = 4.81 mi)

Thursday: (Total Steps: 14,183 = 6.59 mi)

OCTOBER CIRCLES CLOSED: 7

10.27.18 | Feeling Normal

Week 40 > October 21-27:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 5.19 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 11,547 = 5.20 mi)

Saturday: (1.0 mi indoor walk/34:22; 1.0 mi indoor walk/40:05; Total Steps: 17,384 = 7.47 mi)

10.20.18 | Starting to Rebound

Week 39 > October 14-20:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 15,813 = 6.83 mi)

Monday: (Total Steps: 10,031 = 4.36 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 11,029 = 4.94 mi)

NOTES: More medical appointment, physical, orthopedist. Took both days off on the weekend gig. Thinking it’s about time to quit that job.

10.13.18 | Ouch

Week 38 > October 7-13: No Bueno

Sunday: (Total Steps: 12,278 = 5.30 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 11,087 = 4.87 mi)

NOTES: Took M-Th off work, x-rays, medical appointments, etc. Still messed up. Worked only on Saturday.

10.06.18 | Health Issues in Feet

Week 37 > September 30 – October 6:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 10,217 = 4.53 mi)

Monday: (Total Steps: 13,704 = 6.0 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 12,421 =5.45 mi)

NOTES: Around this time I had an unfortunate bout with gout in my left foot, mid-range, across the top. This was particularly painful for walking on. I tried self-medication to work weekends and made it through this weekend working both days, but was wrecked come Monday.

SEPTEMBER CIRCLES CLOSED: 8

09.29.18 | Less Than Impressed

Week 36 > September 23-29:

Sunday: (2.0 mi indoor walk/1:01:02; Total Steps: 10,830 = 4.74 mi)

Saturday: (3.29 mi indoor walk/2:12:26; Total Steps: 19,095 = 8.31 mi)

09.16.18 | Steps Are Better Than Nothing

Week 35 > September 16-22:

Sunday: (2.47 mi indoor walk/2:31:13; Total Steps: 12,768 = 5.69 mi)

Monday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/23:31; Total Steps: 10,704 = 4.74 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps = 4.68 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps = 6.50 mi)

Thursday: (Total Steps = 10,122 = 4.38 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 13,787 = 6.19 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 23,858 = 10.44 mi)

08.15.18 | Monsters on My Six

Week 34 > September 9-15:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 15,478 = 6.89 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 12,561 = 5.52 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 10,120 = 4.39 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 11,135 = 4.90 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 24,996 = 10.90 mi)

09.08.18 | Jacked & Whacked

Week 33 > September 2-8:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 16,008 = 6.79 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 11,928 = 5.05 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 10,898 = 4.72 mi)

Saturday: (3.0 mi indoor walk/2:01:12; Total Steps: 19,724 = 8.70 mi)

09.01.18 | Faded

Week 32 > August 26 – September 1:

Sunday: (3.72 mi indoor walk/4:07:15; Total Steps: 17,893 = 7.77)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 13,339 = 5.72 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 11,186 = 5.01 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 11,400 = 4.90 mi)

AUGUST CIRCLES CLOSED: 3

08.25.18 | Can’t Find My Way Home

Week 31 > August 19-25:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 14,664 – 6.42 mi)

Tuesday: (Total Steps: 10,474 = 4.65 mi)

Wednesday: (Total Steps: 10,365 = 4.68 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 17,750 = 7.72 mi)

08.18.18 | Let’s Take A Break

Week 30 > August 12-18:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 14,297 = 6.16 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 11,879 = 5.16 mi)

08.11.18 | Lost in the Woods

Week 29 > August 5-11:

Sunday: (Total Steps: 17,370 = 7.50 mi)

Thursday: (Total Steps: 10,320 = 4.58 mi)

Friday: (Total Steps: 12,680 = 5.73 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 21,203 = 9.14 mi)

08.04.18 | Wondering Off the Beaten Path

Week 28 > July 29 – August 4:

Sunday: (4.0 mi indoor walk/3:34:20; Weights II; Total Steps: 22,489 = 10.0 mi)

Monday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/23:18; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/23:28; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/22:48; Total Steps = 15,471 = 6.86 mi)

Tuesday: (1.03 mi outdoor walk/25:38; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/22:35; Total Steps: 10,582 = 4.58 mi)

Wednesday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/22:23; 1.37 mi outdoor walk/3:01:05; Total Steps: 13,588 = 5.99 mi)

Saturday: (Total Steps: 25,267 = 10.74 mi)

JULY CIRCLES CLOSED: 22

07.28.18 | The Wave Crests (and then recedes)

Week 27 > July 22-28:

Sunday: (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 6.02 mi walk/5:00:24; 1 mi walk/33:08; Total Steps = 23,805 = 10.62 mi)

Monday: (FreeWeights-I; Total Steps: 16,078 = 7.14 mi)

Tuesday: (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Hands; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; 1.0 mile outdoor walk/21:58; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/22:25; Total Steps: 15,878 = 7.38 mi)

Wednesday: (Stretched > AB-III; Total Steps: 14,187 = 6.47 mi)

Thursday: (Total Steps: 13,343 = 5.75 mi)

Friday: (1.0 mi outdoor walk/23:06; 1.0 mi outdoor walk/24:08; Total Steps: 10,399 = 4.53 mi)

Saturday: (3.27 mi indoor walk/3:39:05; Total Steps: 14,302 = 6.17 mi)

NOTES: Radiohead show in Cincinnati on 07.25.18 took a lasting toll.

WEIGHT: 188.7

07.21.18 | Closing Circles

Week 26 > July 15-21:

Sunday: (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 4.0 mi walk/3:37:40; Total Steps: 20,445 = 9.12 mi)

Monday: (D/O; 1.0 nu walk x 3 + 0.5 mi walk; Total Steps = 16,447 = 7.40 mi)

Tuesday: ((Stretched > FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Total Steps: 16,129 = 7.26 mi)

Wednesday: (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; 1.o mi walk; Biked 6.70 mi/36:00; Total Steps: 13,218 = 6.14 mi)

Thursday: (Stretched > AB-III; 1.0 mi walk; Total Steps: 11,023 = 4.98 mi)

Friday: (D/O; 1.0 mi walk; 1.o mi walk; Total Steps: 14,301 = 6.46)

Saturday: (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 8.42 mi/35:00; At Work > 2.0 mi walk/1:27:34; Total Steps: 16,208 = 7.31 mi)

NOTES: This week was all about closing circles, like the exercise circles featured on the Apple watch exercise app. Included are daily Move, Exercise and Stand goals, that narrow toward closure as one goes through their day. I’ve shifted perspective from casually paying attention to those, to instead making it a priority to close each daily. I figure if I hit all three in a day, I must have done something right. It certainly can’t hurt. I’ve closed out my circles 15 days in a row as of Saturday. On the job front, I’m tired. I’ve worked three weeks straight, and the weekend work at the hospital is physical in nature, lots of walking and sometimes hands on with removing people. I’m trying to get sleep but it’s not rejuvenating me. I’m hitting my workouts, which helps burn off stress, but more fatigue. On the plus side my weigh-in Saturday was a new low for this year. My goal is an additional weight drop of 7.2 pounds, to reach 185 pounds.

WEIGHT: 192.2

07.14.18 | Making It Happen

Week 25 > July 8-14:

Sunday: (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 6.5 mi walk/4:19:34; Total Steps: 22,304 = 10.26 mi)

Monday: (D/O; 3.41 mi walk; Total Steps: 19,909 = 9.02 mi)

Tuesday: (Stretched > FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 8.32 mi/44:05; Total Steps: 12,597 = 5.88 mi)

Wednesday: (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; 3.o mi walk; Total Steps: 18,510 = 8.4 mi)

Thursday: (Stretched > AB-III; 1.0 mi walk; Biked 7.0 mi/35:44; Total Steps: 10,891 = 4.79 mi)

Friday: (D/O; 3.0 mi walk; Total Steps: 14,577 = 6.47 mi)

Saturday: (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; At Work > 3.02 mi walk/1:48:38; Total Steps: 20,786 = 9.09 mi)

NOTES: Took a lot of convincing and shaming to get me up Sunday to come back from a week off and hit my scheduled workout, but did it. The stretching definitely helped with my stiffness from working second job Saturday night. Once I hit my first workout the rest of the week fell into place, and I hit all scheduled workouts. I didn’t loose too much ground on my weight from my recent low of two weeks ago. I’m monitoring closely how my body is handling a full 40-hour work week, with workouts, plus a second job on weekends.

WEIGHT: 196.4

07.07.18 | A Break in the Routine

Week 24 > July 1-7:

Sunday (At Work > 5.0 mi walk/3:03:51; Total Steps: 22,101 = 10.71 mi)

Monday (Total Steps: 11,698 = 5.67 mi)

Tuesday (2.13 mi walk; Total Steps: 13,457 = 6.30 mi)

Wednesday (Total Steps: 13,089 = 6.07 mi)

Thursday (D/O)

Friday (2 mi walk; Total Steps: 14,264 = 6.65 mi)

Saturday (At Work > 1.50 mi walk/57:20; 2.61 mi walk/1:48:19; Total Steps: 24,163 = 11.o mi)

NOTES: Started new job in state government, and I am keeping the hospital security gig part-time on weekends. Doing the simple math, this means I’m working seven days a week. Not sure about the sustainability, but we are giving it a go. With this in mind, I gave myself an adjustment week-off from workouts to correspond with the July 4 festivities.

WEIGHT: 198.5

06.30.18 | Monster Week

Week 23 > June 24-30:

Sunday: (At Work > FreeWeights-I; 3.50 mi walk/2:16:30; Total Steps: 20,667 = 9.96 mi)

Monday: (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 3.65 mi walk/2:16:04; Total Steps: 21,503 = 10.68 mi)

Tuesday: (D/O)

Wednesday: (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 3.25 mi walk/1:42:36; Total Steps: 20,430 = 10.13 mi)

Thursday: (D/O; At Work Overnight in Berea > Total Steps; 17,388 = 8.26 mi)

Friday: (D/O; At Work Overnight in Berea > Total Steps: 13,747 = 6.52 mi)

Saturday: (Stretched > AB-III; 6-rounds w/Heavy Hands; At Work > FreeWeights-II; 3.0 mi walk/1:54:07; Total Steps: 19,558 = 9.64 mi)

NOTES: Worked overnight shift in Berea, 10PM-7AM on Thursday, got home and slept seven hours, woke up to eat and fell back asleep for 16-hours. Total exhaustion. I had to cobble together getting 40 hours of work this week, which resulted in my having to patchwork my workouts together. Certain exercises, boxing or cardio got piggybacked on different days from where they were originally scheduled, but everything got done, plus plenty of extra walking at work.

Hitting my workouts, eating cleaner and managing the physical demands at work has resulted in a 9.2 pound weight reduction over the past four weeks.

JUNE CIRCLES CLOSED: 26

WEIGHT: 194.6

06.23.18 | Keep on Walking

Week 22 > June 17-23:

Sunday: (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 3.18 mi walk/2:15:25; Total Steps: 21,106 = 10.46 mi)

Monday: (D/O; At Work > Total Steps: 14,682 = 7.22 mi)

Tuesday: (FreeWeights-I; At Work > 4.0 mi walk/2:05:35; Total Steps: 22,492 = 11.04 mi)

Wednesday: (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 2.94 mi walk/1:48:05; Total Steps: 24,375 = 11.98 mi)

Thursday: (Stretched > AB-III; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; At Work > 3.26 mi walk/2:25:34; Total Steps: 26,848 = 13.13 mi)

Friday: (D/O; At Work > 3.64 mi walk/2:03:38; Total Steps: 19,918 = 9.57 mi)

Saturday (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 7.78 miles/38:00; Total Steps: 15,491 = 7.52 mi)

NOTES: Hit all my workouts, and continued to average around 10 miles of walking per shift at work. Had a 4.4 pound weight drop between last week and this week.

Weight: 198

06.16.18 | Walking the Beat

Week 21 > June 10-16:

Sunday (Stretched > Core AB-routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Biked 9.13 mi/45:44)

Monday (D/O; At Work > 4.88 mi walk/2:39:02; Total Steps: 19,812 = 9.61 mi)

Tuesday (At Work > 4.10 mi walk/3:49:06; Stretched > FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Total Steps: 25,071 = 12.15 mi)

Wednesday (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; At Work > 4.30 mi walk/3:25:27; Total Steps: 19,272 = 9.62 mi)

Thursday (Stretched > AB-III)

Friday (D/O; At Work >3.33 mi walk/1:48:47; Total steps 22,149 = 10.65 mi)

Saturday (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; At Work >3.01 mi walk/2:06:41; 2.43 mi walk/1:15:17; 2.65 mi walk/1:39:49; Total Steps 30,978 = 15.03 mi)

NOTES: Started my new hospital security job. There is an insane amount of walking. On average about 10 miles per shift. I do at least one scheduled patrol each shift, which is generally 3-miles round trip, so I’ve subbed out biking as cardio, and instead taken to using all the walking I do at work. Even on off-workout days I’m hitting all my daily exercise, move and stand goals.

Weight: 202.4

06.09.18 | Back to Normal

Week 20 > June 3-9: Sunday (Stretched > Core AB-I routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Biked 10.98 miles/1:00:03); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (Stretched > FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 8.36 miles/45:37); Wednesday (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Walked 0.60/16:03); Thursday (Stretched > AB-III; Biked 7.5 miles/1:03:38); Friday (D/O); Saturday (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 9.82 miles/50:01)

NOTES: Solid week, definitely a little sore, but in a good way. This week I hit all exercises exactly on schedule. I’m having fluctuations in my weight. I’ve been drinking this GNC protein drink, mixed with a banana and blueberries, almost daily, which aids recovery for my upper body from weight lifting and cardio strength training, but also adds weight. On the positive side, my weight fluctuation is now occurring between 200-205 pounds, instead of between 205-210. Once this container of protein supplement is gone I’m going to cycle off it for a bit and see if I can push through to an additional weight drop.

WEIGHT: 203.8

06.02.18 | Big Week

Week 19 > May 27 – June 2: Sunday (Stretched > Core AB-I routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Biked 7.94 miles/46:10 mins); Monday (Stretched > FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 6.16 miles/35:38 mins); Tuesday (D/O); Wednesday (Stretched > AB-II; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Walked 1.13 miles/32:52); Thursday (D/O); Friday (Stretched > AB-III; Biked 7.35 miles/48:48); Saturday (Stretched > FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 9.09 miles/45:19)

NOTES: Feeling good, feeling right! This was a big week of workouts. I hit all scheduled routines. Definitely felt the impact by mid-week, but shuffled around my workout/day-off schedule to catch a break when most needed and made it through. No serious tweaks or strains.

MAY CIRCLES CLOSED: 14 (Exercise circles featured on Apple watch)

05.26.18 | Coming Back Online

Week 18 > May 20 – May 26: Sunday (AB-II; 3-rds Heavy Bag); Tuesday (AB-III); Thursday (Biked 5.11 miles/37 mins); Saturday (FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: After two weeks of re-introducing exercise one time each week, I was able to cajole my body and psyche into exercising four days this week. I kept one day off in-between each exercise day to allow by body to acclimate and not go too fast too soon. This coming week I’m looking to re-install my standard five day workout routine, including core body sculpting, weight lifting and biking.

I went dormant on March 26, when my father was transported by ambulance to the hospital. He remained out of the house for over a month. That spiraled me off my routine for six weeks, and led to a divergence from my path on several levels. He is now home and continuing to improve. Now with some effort, guilt, and considerable chastising of myself, I have steered my body and focus back onto a more righteous passage.

05.19.18 | It’s A Start

Week 17 > May 13 – May 19: Wednesday (FreeWeights-I)

NOTES: All I could force was the free weight workout. I aspired to slide in a workout behind that to reach two for the week, but when it came down to actually going in the room to do it – that didn’t happen. I’m getting closer. I want the routine back. I want the fitness. I want the sense of accomplishment to return.

05.12.18 | A Pulse Has Returned

Week 16 > May 6 – May 12: Friday (ProActive 5k race – 3.1 miles)

NOTES: It took my 6-year-old Isabella to motivate me to get up and actually do some physical exercise. Her school provided training to all who planned to participate in the yearly ProActive 5k race through downtown Frankfort. Trust me it wasn’t pretty, but Bella did awesome considering it was her first race and temperatures were well into the 80s. Now I need to build upon this start going into next week.

05.05.18 | Kentucky Derby Week

Week 15 > April 29 – May 5: No workouts.

NOTES: Between some seriously stressful job searching and Derby week festivities, it’s remarkably easy not to exercise. I’m working on a return, slowly working toward it.

APRIL CIRCLES CLOSED: 3

04.28.18 | The Gravity of Inactivity is Strong

Week 14 > April 22 – April 28: No workouts.

NOTES: My father has finally returned home from his hospital stay and in-residence physical rehab facility stint. Now if I can get my butt back on its exercise track.

04.21.18 | The Funk Continues

Week 13 > April 15 – April 21: No workouts.

04.14.18 | Unforeseen Circumstances Part III

Week 12 > April 8 – April 14: No workouts.

NOTES: Still driving back and forth to Lexington most days to hang out with my dad in residential rehab. Sounds like he may get cut loose next week. Regardless, internally, my body is ready to begin working out again. I’ve absorbed this change in schedule and it is time to factor back in exercise. I also want to detox from too much fast food grabbed out of convenience in my travels. Here’s hoping this week brings a return to diet, exercise and both my parents back in their home.

04.07.18 | Unforeseen Circumstances Part II

Week 11 > April 1 – April 7: No workouts.

NOTES: My father has been unexpectedly ill and is spending three weeks at a residential rehab facility in Lexington, which is 30-some miles south from my home. It’s not far, but add to that keeping him company for several hours after arriving and it becomes a chunk of each day’s discretionary hours.

I’ll mention three things that come to mind as I contemplate my father’s health in relation to discussing my exercise schedule. One, moments like this make you appreciate what is really important in life. All the new technology and entertainment options are great, but pale in comparison next to interpersonal relationships with loved ones.

Second, being healthy and having the ability to exercise is a blessing. People casually toss around the sentiment “at least you have your health,” but when that suddenly is not the case it really brings into clarity how being ill or injured can impact a person’s life and those around them. It’s impossible to appreciate what good health means when you are younger. It requires reaching a certain age, where one can have some perspective on how a disability or illness can impact a person. It changes everything. Sitting around hospitals and rehab facilities will make you take notice of how much is involved in simply getting up out of a chair and having the ability to walk down a hallway without assistance.

Third, real exercise is hard. It’s not easy even when a person is fully healthy. But when something unexpected happens, at least for me, exercising is one of the first things that gets put on hold. Like right now, my schedule is not the same as it was before my father became ill. I’m having to travel most days out of town, it messes with my sleep and I just don’t have the same amount of time to get in my workouts. I’m striving to pull it back together but it is awful easy to postpone exercise.

03.31.18 | Unforeseen Circumstances

Week 10 > March 25 – March 31: Sunday (Core AB-I routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag)

NOTES: That was it for this week as my father became suddenly ill and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. He took a turn for the worse at midweek, before his health improved going into the weekend. He was discharged, then transferred to a residential rehab facility in Lexington for a 20 day stay.

Needless to say there has been frequent and long hours spent with him in these facilities, and no shortage of hand-wringing about his condition. Certainly working out would help in alleviating some of my stress, but that isn’t in the cards yet.

MARCH CIRCLES CLOSED: 15

03.24.18 | Fluctuating Weather

Week 9 > March 18 – March 24: Sunday (Stretched; Core AB-I routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Biked 10.21 miles/59:00 mins); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (D/O); Wednesday (FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Thursday (AB-II; 3-rds Heavy Bag); Friday  (AB-III; Biked 6.67 miles/38:09 mins); Saturday (FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: So much for better weather this week. Cold, rain and snow was the theme most days this week. An unscheduled day/off Tuesday put me in a position to need five workouts in a row. I got that. But was only able to hit two bike rides due to snow and rainy conditions. Getting better back motion on my jabs in boxing.

ADDED NOTE: Started consuming a new protein drink to supplement my workouts and as meal replacement. I’m using GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein (Creamy Strawberry). It provides 24-grams of protein in 130 calories.

WEIGHT: 208.4

03.17.18 | Hitting My Marks

Week 8 > March 11 – March 17: Sunday (Core AB-I routine; 3-rounds Heavy Bag; Biked 9.10 miles/56:37 mins); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (AB-II; 3-rds Heavy Bag); Thursday (Biked 7.11 miles/39:38 mins; AB-III); Friday (D/O); Saturday (FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; Biked 8.31 miles/50:02 mins)

NOTES: Solid week. I was amped to hit my workouts. I did see some improvement in my free weight lifts. Static in my mixed cardio routines. My body was definitely feeling the hard hitting workouts from the previous week. I was digging my days off for sure.

Weight is becoming a creeping anxiety for me. This was not a great food week. I was rewarded with pizza for helping to remove debris from my parent’s basement; lots of pasta late as the NCAA basketball games kicked off; My 14-year old turned 15, and we had a birthday dinner out of gourmet hamburgers with all the trimmings; and there was the Nerf gun birthday party Isabella attended Saturday morning that provided pizza to all for the two-hour event. Pasta, rice and bread were all offenders this week. I’m trying to distance myself from those heavy items and get comfortable with the cravings from decreased food intake, but I’m not strong enough, at least not yet, to turn down free pizza.

I finished the last of Syntha-6 Edge (Strawberry Milkshake Flavor) protein mix. I’m wondering if the protein is too much for me to work off considering my age and slowed metabolism. With the bad foods I consumed this week it’s hard to accurately know the culprit for sure, but would have thought some pounds would melt away with this much activity. Instead I put on 1.7 pounds this week. I hit three bikes this week, and with slightly warmer weather and dry climates, I’m down with adding another bike ride into this week.

WEIGHT: 210.4

03.10.18 | I Got My Mojo Working

Week 7 > March 4 – March 10: Sunday (Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds; biked 6.84 miles/44:05 mins); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (FreeWeights-I; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (AB-II; 3-rds heavy bag); Thursday (AB-III; biked 5.07 miles/30:11 mins); Friday (D/O); Saturday (FreeWeights-II; 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands; biked 8.32 miles/53:22 mins)

NOTES: The first workout of this week piggy-backed on last week’s five in a row, to make six workouts total in a row. It’s not that big of an accomplishment, but it is for me right now, because I hit all my marks and got back on schedule. Very happy for a day/off Monday.

That being said, killer workouts all week. I added weights and reps on my free-weight sets; added reps to those wicked ab crushers; and added time to planks, 6″, extremes and teasers.

Very pleased with the added movement I’m gaining in my boxing. Head movement and combinations are coming much more naturally, and footwork is starting to move without so much effort.

Super-psyched the rain stopped this week and I hit three bike rides. Considering my gearing is not fully functional, it was interesting to go up a variety of South Frankfort’s nastiest hills.

WEIGHT: 208.7

03.03.18 | The Sweet Science is Starting to Hit Home

Week 6 > Feb. 25 – March 3: Sunday (D/O); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Wednesday (FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Thursday (AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Friday (AB-III routine); Saturday (FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 4-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: Rough start to the week. I couldn’t force myself into doing my Sunday workout after a mimosa-infused family brunch, and again failed to talk myself into making it up on my scheduled day/off Monday. No problem, I regrouped and knocked out all five routines in the following five consecutive days.

I must say this exercise is really helping me cope mentally. I’m a month and a half into an intense find-a-job search mode that is super stressful and fairly depressing, but having this workout schedule set, and available downstairs in my basement is straight cash money in terms of keeping me grounded and offering a daily stress release.

In particular this week – I finally began to turn some punches over in my sparring. It’s hard to explain to those not familiar with boxing, but when you throw a hook the correct way, with your legs, hips and back propelling the punch, delivering it with proper form – it pops that special way, like hitting the sweet spot.

My sparring four days a week is constituted by each round lasting three minutes, with one minute off in between. Two of those days are shadow boxing with Heavy Hands. I rotate my Heavy Hands, between one or two pound weights. Those two-pounders really get hefty toward the end. The other two days I hit a heavy bag and that is where form pays off. With all the job-search stress, I put a beating on that bag.

Sadly, no biking to follow up my debut from last week. It was nasty out all week, rain and more rain.

ADDED NOTE: I’m now taking full advantage of my Apple Watch for these workouts and tracking each session per exercise.

FEBRUARY CIRCLES CLOSED: 5

02.24.18 | Biking Re-enters the Picture

Week 5 > Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Sunday (Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds; biked 6.82 miles/37 mins); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Thursday (AB-III routine); Friday (D/O); Saturday (FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: Okay, this week I began to feel some control over my AB Ball routine instead of a straight fight to the death. Both free weight routines were smoother and that helped with push-ups and planks.

The aerobic/cardio strength training and weight lifting has been great, but that isn’t taking pounds off. Since running is a no go thus far, I opted to dust off my reliable Gary Fisher mountain bike. It’s an urban assault vehicle and has traversed terrain in Washington, DC, New Orleans, Iowa and Kentucky. The gearing needs some attention but I knocked out a solid ride that got me sweating.

ADDED NOTE: Started consuming a protein drink to supplement my workouts and as meal replacement. I’m using Syntha-6 Edge (Strawberry Milkshake Flavor) available at GNC. It provides 24-grams of protein, with 11-grams of amino acids in 150 calories. I add one scoop of Syntha-6 Edge into a blender with a banana, some assorted frozen blueberries, and 1 cup water and liquified for a refreshing fruit protein smoothy.

02.17.18 | The Weak Week

Week 4 > Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Sunday (Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Thursday (AB-III routine); Friday (D/O); Saturday (FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: This was the week where my head started playing tricks on me, and wanted to convince me I’m tired, and don’t go too hard to fast, etc. That little voice tried to tell me to “take a week off, to recover and absorb the supposed work I’ve already accomplished.” I stayed strong and kept to my routine, though I didn’t force anything. If I felt like doing it easy I went with that. If eight leg lifts felt hard enough I let it slide, and kept moving on with my routine.

Stretching fell by wayside this week since I’m not running. That doesn’t mean it’s not important. I’ll get it going again, but I offered “no stretching” as a mental concession to myself, in return for hitting my workouts as scheduled. I have to build up my mental strength first, to ingrain the workouts back into a part of my everyday life, to the point where if I miss a workout my day isn’t complete. Stretching shall return. Baby steps my friends, baby steps…

Any of that is better than giving in to the little voice. Because the reality is that taking the week off might feel better, but it isn’t going to help and chances are one week off becomes two, or at the very least it’s that much easier to take an unscheduled break next time. By staying on schedule progress builds as the fatigue is pushed through. I hit my marks, check the workout off my “to-do list” for the day and keep moving forward.

02.10.18 | Push-ups Give A Reality Check

Week 3 > Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Sunday (Stretched; Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (Stretched; FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (Stretched; AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Thursday (Stretched; AB-III routine); Friday (D/O); Saturday (Stretched; FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: This all feels clunky just yet and it’s a reality check for how far some of my fitness has slid. Push-ups are a great check for an overall fitness level. Not as obvious as pull-ups, but a more pedestrian gauge, and I’m not looking great. Same with my AB routines. These are time-tested and assembled from decades of trial and error exercise sets, where I’ve cobbled together a mixed set of actions that will hit low, mid and high ABs, and happen to not be exercise motions I hate. That being said, I am far from ready for prime-time.

Likewise my boxing skills are vastly out of practice. Right now I’m trying to focus on stance and hand placement. I’m throwing consciously slow to get the motion down smoother, and allow my shoulder, body and hips to start adjusting to the dimensions needed to throw a proper punch with follow through to drive the power. Footwork and feet placement are similarly horrid.

02.03.18 | The Workout Schedule Begins to Solidify

Week 2 > Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Sunday (Stretched; Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds; ran 1.5 miles); Monday (D/O); Tuesday (Stretched; FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (Stretched; AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Thursday (Stretched; AB-III routine); Friday (D/O); Saturday (Stretched; FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

NOTES: To start the week I took a stab at running and almost immediately from the start my ankle was unhappy at a pain level not conducive to inspire much distance – 1.5 miles of hobbling/walking. Not sure what has it so agitated at suddenly running. I’ve had no trigger event to cause injury. It’s more like an arthritic-type pain, with inflammation in specific region, regardless of having taken nearly six months off running and using new sets of running shoes. Crazy! Maybe age and mileage on my body are taking hold. Regardless, this will require professional medical attention to take a look and that’s not possible currently.

What I’m not doing this time around is getting discouraged and shutting down my other workouts just because I can’t do all the things I want to do at the same time. I am remaining “flexible” to the circumstances, and proceeding forward with my other cardio-aerobic-strength/weight training endeavors. Activities are scheduled for five times a week. All things being equal, I would do some stretching, aerobic strength work, and then head out for a run. The run ins’t possible yet but the train is moving on other fronts.

JANUARY CIRCLES CLOSED: 1 (Exercise Circles featured on Apple watch)

01.27.18 | The 2018 Workouts Begin

Week 1 > Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Sunday (D/O); Monday (Core workout with AB-I routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Tuesday (FreeWeights-I workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands); Wednesday (Stretched; AB-II routine; hit heavy bag for 3-rounds); Thursday (Stretched; AB-III routine); Friday (D/O); Saturday (Stretched; FreeWeights-II workout; sparred 3-rounds w/Heavy Hands)

Working to modify, clean up and decrease food intake – harder than it would seem…

12.12.17 | Tough Sledding

The Llama is on the far left, sporting our Wild Turkey team gear, after surviving the Bourbon Chase 2-day overnight relay run.

From May through October, on multiple occasions I attempted to get my usual strength and cardio routine off the ground to move it forward into a week-to-week, sustainable presence in my life. That became an impossibility. Something with my feet have become a constant presence. I rotated in three new sets of shoes and added extra cushioning, but I could never sustain more than two weeks of activity before one foot or the other would put me on the shelf. I’m trying to work through this new wrinkle that has showed up at age 50. Sometimes I need a moment to digest a change such as this, and then can take a step back to modify my intensity and types of exercise. Here’s hoping for a better 2018.

04.26.17 | Back At It

It has been a long, inactive winter. Too much stressful work stuff and overcompensating with comfort food. Today I finally ran out of excuses and jumped back out on the pavement. It was a leisurely 3-mile trot from the house, up a couple hills by the state capitol, and the rest was even road. I consciously kept my pace slow and even. I didn’t want this to hurt at all. No need to, I have all summer to hurt. At 33:13 it shouldn’t hurt, but by the end my legs could feel the inactivity. It’s nothing spectacular. Still, we have to start this up somewhere.

09-03-16 | Slow and Long

What a difference a week makes. Gone was the humidity and high temps from the week before. The change to a milder climate allowed my training partner and myself to hold off on running until 10AM. I had 12 miles to knock out, and the drop in temperature was much appreciated.

I never felt great on this run. This was a two mile increase from the week before, and I knew it would be a big run. I wanted to get a 10-plus mile run in the books, and this was my weekend. I kept it slow and easy, but by 7 miles I was feeling the stress. While my mileage has increased, my weight has not dropped like I’d hoped, so dragging 207 pounds around for 12 miles is not ideal.

I wanted to hit my distance mark. This would require patience, wherewithal and a solid pain threshold. I started getting twinges at 10 miles of things wanting to cramp and seize. I couldn’t have that, it would lock my body up. Thankfully it held off. I did 12 miles in 146 minutes, or basically a 12-minute mile. My calfs on both legs were tripping, but not as bad as the previous week. Even though I went two miles longer this Saturday than last, by body wasn’t as wrecked due to the decrease in heat and humidity.

08-27-16 | The Dog Days of Summer

Saturday had arrived and a 10 mile run was on the schedule. It was going to be 90-plus degrees later that day, so I needed to get out on the pavement in the morning. About the best my training partner, Matt, and I could muster was 8AM. It had been a long week and neither of us was interested in getting up as early as we do on a work day. In hindsight we should have gone at 6AM. The humidity was brutal by 8:00 and the sunlight became searing once it crested the hills surrounding South Frankfort, lighting up the pavement.

This was only a training run and I took it nice and slow, but by 6 miles it was getting ugly. I had Gatorade and a Clif-shot to keep me moving. By 8 miles it was a trudge to the finish. I ended up being out there 115 minutes, or 11:30 minute miles. Those last couple miles added considerable time to my overall mile-per-minute average.

I’ve had plenty of runs that are 5 miles and under, but above that distance not so much, as I continue to build my base and endurance. That makes these longer runs a real treat each time out, especially in the heat. This 10 miles directly impacted the rest of my Saturday, putting me in bed for a couple hours to recover. After cooling off, hydrating and some rest I moved to the couch. That amount of time exposed to the elements had my calves tripping. Both were undulating and twitching from spasms for most of the night. I recovered fine, but bring on the fall temps.

08-21-16 | Long Run Recovery

The important thing here is I ran almost 9 miles Saturday morning. I’ve been on near radio silence since May due to the start of a new job in Louisville and the daily commute required.

I’ve done no writing and struggled to keep my workouts consistent. There was a multi-week break at the beginning of June, where I couldn’t get my head around much of anything but coping with job training. It’s still ugly but I’m starting to normalize. My four weekly runs have returned and I’ve instituted a 1-mile per week mileage increase, taking me from 4-miles to near 9.

Each of these long weekend runs are the most miles I’ve run since last October, so towards the end they get ugly. I’m relatively strong into 5 and 6 miles, but beyond I don’t have enough touches yet to be competent. I’m working hills as well in the heat, and those are like body blows early in a fight. Toward the end my legs are rocked from the distance and elevation.

It’s a process, and I’m just getting to where I can actually train. The plan is to still run a 10-miler in September and maybe three half-marathons in the fall.

Stay thirsty my friends.

05-07-16 | Kentucky Derby Day

It was a beautiful morning in Kentucky Saturday. The Derby would be run around 6PM, and this was just the kind of morning that lends itself to inspiration, breakfast drinks and putting on finery to attend the biggest and most prestigious horse race in the world.

I was not doing that. My task was to deliver kids to the Governor’s Downtown Derby Celebration in Frankfort. It’s the Capital City’s celebration of all things Derby.

There is food, plenty of bourbon flowing through the streets, bouncy castles, pony rides and all sorts of kid-friendly activities. There’s even the Peddle for the Posies, a midget bike race for adults.

I probably should have gotten up early and done my workout, but after dealing with my dad taking a fall yesterday afternoon and hospital visits, when I did get to sleep, getting up early wasn’t happening.

Against my instincts, I declined any alcoholic refreshments at this event, even with children running about everywhere. I knew I needed to get a workout done later and a Mint Julep would not help make that happen.

I did fill up on some of the fine cuisine but walked a bunch of that off.

By 3PM I was clear to exercise. The YMCA was open for business and I did a challenging free weight workout, then hit the pavement. This was a mileage step-up day. I went from 3 miles to 4.5 miles.

Thankfully clouds had offered some coverage from the sun. I took water with me and decided to go slow and easy. I never got really tired, but I was only doing 10 minute miles, finishing in 45 minutes.

With the weight training and it being the end of a full week of strength training, with four runs included, the sauna and steam room were welcomed to soothe my aching body.

I’m at a Derby party now in Louisville, having some light beers and relaxing. Time to ease up on the alcohol though, I have a 3 mile run tomorrow.

Happy Kentucky Derby to all!

05-05-16 | Rough Night

This just wasn’t my night. I was supposed to do some cardio strength training Wednesday but my schedule prevented that, so I doubled my cardio workout Thursday on a day when I was only supposed to run.

I got all the crunches, 6-inches, reverse crunches and such done in like 45 minutes, stretched, and it was time to hit the pavement. I needed to switch the inserts out from my shoes worn on my last run to the ones I was using tonight. As I grabbed my shoes they felt damp. I ran in the rain some this weekend but they shouldn’t still be wet, at least not this wet.

Then I saw the empty bottle of bubble juice. I hoped it wasn’t true, but it made sense. After questioning my 4 year old daughter, indeed she dumped the whole bottle into my shoes as a “joke.” You gotta love kids.

I already wasn’t having a great day and wet shoes did not help matters. The rest of my family had gone to soccer practice. I could sit on the couch in peace and watch MSNBC to observe the early demise of the Donald Trump presidential candidacy, and that would have made me happy, but I needed to get the run in.

This was one of those days where gravity felt heavy the entire way. The whole run was work, stride by stride. It was only 3 miles, and that’s how I talked my way through it. I know every inch of this path well and took it one segment at a time.

I completed the run in 27:58. That’s 9:20 miles. It could have been worse, but at least it’s done. Friday is supposed to be an off day. Not sure, but with the Kentucky Derby Saturday, and the YMCA closed, I may have to make Friday a “Go-Day” to knock that out and simply go and enjoy the Derby festivities free of a workout responsibility.

Keep on running!

05-03-16 | Positive Results

I ran my best time of the year tonight, 26:59 over 3 miles. Basically flat 9 minute miles. There still is plenty of work to be done but it was a positive sign.

Having taken the better part of three weeks off unintentionally, there was the positive impact of allowing my early training to take hold and be fully absorbed, and that has felt evident in my runs over the weekend into today. Monday was an off day. I almost talked myself into doing some cardio strength training, but held off. I needed the off day and took it.

That brought me to today. I did a set of machine-based weight workouts at the YMCA while the kids were at swim practice; three sets each of: Weighted Sit-Ups > Chest Flyes > Chest Press > Machine Assisted Pull-Ups > Machine Assisted Rows > Pulley Biceps Curls > and Triceps Pushdowns.

I can knock that out in 30 minutes if I only take 30 seconds of rest between each set. I returned from the Y, stretched and hit the pavement. I held my pace naturally for 2 1/4 miles, then it became consciously more difficult to keep chugging. Without looking at my watch during the run, I finished strong and got under 27 minutes by one second.

Next up is my first mileage increase this year, going from 3 miles to 4.

My plan is to add one mile a week leading up to the Capital City Stampede 10k on June 11. There is some debate whether that race will actually take place, but either way I should have 8 miles under my belt by then. If the 10k race is held I’m looking to hold 9-minute miles over a 6.2 mile course. Regardless I will have a good base under my belt to train for half marathons taking place in the fall.

Let’s get back out there tomorrow.

05-01-16 | Weather Be Damned

I’m done worrying about weather and having to miss runs due to inclement weather, in particular rain. It was overcast all day Sunday, but had only rained off and on. Right as I was getting my strength training completed the seriously dark clouds covered the sky.

The next segment of my exercise routine was of course to go out for a run. I had knocked out three sets of Teasers > V-Ups > Straight-Leg Twisting Crunches > Seated Criss/Crosses > and Weighted Reverse Crunches. I was ready to get up and go.

The plan was to drive down to the YMCA and run from there, then hit the sauna/steam room upon completion. The boys were going to go down to the Y with me to take advantage of the free swim time, but after calling the front desk, they had already pulled everyone out of the pool due to thunder/lightening.

Time was of the essence since they closed at 6PM and it was after 4:30PM. The boys stayed home, I stretched, grabbed a rain poncho and headed downtown. It ended up not even raining that much, but this is a prime example of a day when it would have been easy to call off the run portion of a workout because of threatening weather, and then it ends up not being all that threatening.

That makes me miss workouts and I’m sick of missing them, because they stack-up quickly and it throws off my routine and progress. I ended up doing a faster 3+ mile run today than yesterday and made it back to the Y for some quality time in the sauna and steam room. Now I get a rest day on Monday before kicking it back into gear.

Mother Nature can throw whatever at me now. I’m getting my runs done when my schedule permits, Weather Be Damned! I’ll see her back out there Tuesday for more of the same. Come get some girl!

Happy trails.

04-30-16 | Keep on Trucking

Funny how life goes. Shortly after writing my previous post, my body reached an obvious fatigue point. I had been rocking along since early March with four runs of 3-miles each weekly, plus cardio strength training on another day, along with weightlifting and other torture on some run days as well.

It wasn’t anything crazy, but after a month-plus my body was tired and I realized I couldn’t keep putting myself through that just to keep a schedule up. Eventually it would either get too arduous or I would break, so I took my own advice from my previous posting.

“Remember, it’s okay to take a couple days off, or have a step-back week, where you let the training absorb and the muscles can get some needed rest – just make sure to get back out there soon. But it is better to take a rest and heal up than run on an injury that becomes worse.”

It wasn’t like I was attempting some kind of ridiculous training program. A 3-mile run is a basic starter distance, but as my speed increased and the reps of crunches and the weight I was lifting went up it taxed my system. Usually I would tell myself to suck it up and keep going, but I’m trying to be nicer to myself as I approach 50 years of age.

I listened to my body after completing my Sunday workout on April 10, which was the first of a new week for me, and took the remainder of that week off as a step-back, to let the training I had completed absorb, give my muscles and mental outlook a rest.

Then the weather got nasty. It started raining frequently and the temperature dropped. Corresponding with that was an urgent need to get some stories edited I wanted to submit as writing samples for a job I was seeking. Between not wanting to pull out cold weather gear again for a run and the legitimate excuse that I needed to find work, one week off suddenly stretched to two.

Then kid stuff interfered. Soccer practice, games, swim practice and other obligations conspired to keep me out for about another week. Finally on Thursday, April 28, I shoehorned my way back out on the pavement for 3-miles.

Friday I did strength training in the morning and hit the YMCA that night for machine weights and some swimming with the kids. Today I was motivated to get in a solid free weight lifting day, then went for a run.

A good sign I took away from my Saturday workout was I went out there for 3-miles and ran it in the rain. For anyone new to running or getting back into it, or just trying to get in shape – it’s very easy to persuade yourself not to go for a run. Getting out the door is hard enough. Having to go out into the elements and take the beating that comes with running can be humbling. Throw in inclement weather and that is often an easy “Hells No” for the casual exercise enthusiast.

I embraced it today. In fact it made me mad. I ran even harder through the rain to let it know I was not intimidated. It’s a baby step, but I got back out there within the month and look to build upon that motivation.

Sunday is the start of a new week and I’m looking forward to some abdominal work and a run to get it started right. That will have me back on my regular schedule. If all goes well I plan to increase my distance one mile this week, adding a 4-mile run into the mix.

My short-term goal is to keep adding one mile per week, along with some modest speed and hill work, to be ready for the Capital City Stampede 10k race on June 11 in Frankfort. I’m throwing the gauntlet down and setting a time goal of 54 minutes to get the 6.2 miles covered. That is basically 9-minute miles.

I did that same race in 2015 in slightly under an hour, so this is a challenging goal, considering I’m still only running 3-miles at the moment, but achievable if my training goes well.

Big thank you to the downtown Frankfort YMCA for getting the steam room finally finished and reopened. That is a big plus to be able to sit in wet heat after abusing my body.

Keep on trucking everybody!

04-08-16 | It Only Gets Harder with Age

Nearly five years has past since I returned to semi-serious running, and an obvious pattern has emerged.

I get overweight > become disgusted with myself > begin running again > get in decent enough shape to handle a 13.1 mile race > then stop exercising in November until the cycle begins anew.

It’s not hard coming up with reasons to overlook exercising: traffic on the commute to work, busy schedule, kids, need time to write, dinner has to be fixed or vegetative television watching.

Coming into the end of February 2016 I wasn’t critically overweight yet, but I was on my way. Anytime I’m purchasing Hostess fruit pies or HoHo’s, something is going in the wrong direction.

We all have certain pressure buttons in life that trigger a need to chill. Some folks smoke, maybe a cocktail helps, I personally reach more often for comfort food when stressed. There is something peaceful and easy about a pizza or jambalaya.

But there are certain realities to getting older. My metabolism has slowed. I can’t consume a diet primarily filled with comfort food and expect it not to impact my waistline.

Nor at 49 can I just hop back out on the pavement and snap into shape. I’m carrying more weight, and it doesn’t drop off as quickly either.

Every extra pound is weight that must be carried for each mile and contributes to added wear-and-tear on knees, ankles and my lower back.

The other hitch is injuries. I think anyone who has attempted to get back in shape has likely become impatient and overly ambitious in whatever routine they pursued. I certainly have been guilty of increasing miles too quickly or exercising on too many days.

Getting hurt in your 40s and above is no joke. It can put one on the disabled list for a month or more. Simple ankle and muscle strains if not listened to properly can become nagging injuries that morph into something more serious.

Running is humbling, especially if you have done it well at some point. I don’t have any visions of grandeur that I will return to my 1996 form. That has me loosing 60 pounds.

But dropping 25 pounds sounds doable. And instead of looking at my running times as a sign of improvement, I’m more using running as a tool to see a drop in weight. This also helps improve the numbers on my blood work whenever I’m at the doctor’s office.

As an added bonus, consistent training and weight loss will also lead to better run times. The idea is all the goodness conspires together to improve several aspects of a healthy life.

What I’m working on this year is changing my mental outlook to exercise from viewing it like a chore, to instead looking upon it as an escape to ease stressful situations. I want to welcome my time to exercise, not dread it.

Picking up my gym bag for the first time this year found a crumpled bib number inside from the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon held in Louisville last October, and my crusty running clothes from that race. It was like a time capsule in there, untouched for four months.

Thankfully I hadn’t been off so long that running again seemed like such an arduous ordeal. I stepped back out in early March and haven’t stopped.

It’s not pretty, it’s not easy, but I’m running 3-miles four times a week and have some extra cardio-strength training built in to work my mid-section and tone my build.

My times are down from running 12:30 minute miles when I first started back to 9:30 and below.

What I’ll advise is don’t overdo it. Slow and easy is a much better recipe for success. Stretch either before or after exercise, and listen to your body. If there is even a minor injury, address it. Take an anti-inflammatory and apply heat or cold depending upon the injury.

There is way more generic maintenance involved these days in order to have my body ready to go back out there for even moderately consistent exercise. It takes time and patience.

Remember, it’s okay to take a couple days off, or have a step-back week, where you let the training absorb and the muscles can get some needed rest – just make sure to get back out there soon. But it is better to take a rest and heal up than run on an injury that becomes worse.

The biggest thing, and I can’t emphasize this enough, is diet. Unless you have runs that are 10 miles long or above, once you reach your 40s I find it hard to drop weight unless my diet is reasonably clean.

Fast food and soda are the first things that need to go. Yes, even diet soda.

As a starter it’s okay to buy some treats like cookies and chips. It’s considered a victory if those are being substituted for fast food. Really, the more items that can be prepared at home, that are not processed, the better – and get right with drinking water.

Sadly, rice, bread and pasta are big offenders when trying to drop weight. My problem is these are staples in my house, where there are five mouths to feed. Here is where portion control comes into play. Eat anything you like if the portion is small enough.

Red meat is another item that isn’t the best choice to consume when trying to drop weight. Try a week of no red meat, and then re-introduce it for a day or two a week.

As previously mentioned I like my comfort foods. I’m not silly enough to think I can instantly drop them all from my diet and adhere to any regimen for the rest of life.

I believe in having the weekends be cheat days. If I’m working out five days a week I’ll eat what I like at times. I do also limit the alcohol/liquor intake. Those are hollow calories and usually the more you drink the easier it is to skip the next workout. A great compromise is Michelob Ultra. Those are decent enough and I can drink several with little damage.

Everybody is different and it’s important each person find the exercise routine and diet that works best. I will just add that if you try to make too much happen at once, often that will become a difficult burden to maintain in the long haul.

Relax, be flexible in missing exercise days and remember there is the rest of your life to slowly get in shape and drop weight. Take it a day at a time, and if you fall off the schedule, don’t try to make it all up – there’s always tomorrow to begin a new slate.

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