Friday, January 1, 2010

The Envelope, Please?

Well, it's January 1, 2010, the first New Year's Day of a new decade (at least as popularly measured), and this morning I hopped on the scale to see where I stand. The envelope, please? I'm starting the Tens (or whatever we'll end up calling it) at 241 lbs.

This number is not spectacular, I'll be the first to admit, and I'd actually hoped to kick off the year in the 230's rather than the 240's, just because it would feel like more of an accomplishment. There's also been a bit of backsliding beginning with my birthday in late October and extending through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's - I'd gotten down into the mid-220's but hit a plateau and then lost some ground.

But on the other hand, 241 still shows real progress. A year ago, on January 1, 2009, I weighed in at 276, so I'm exactly 35 pounds lighter today. A month after that, on the day I started my latest diet campaign as well as this blog, I weighed 280.5, so I'm nearly 40 lbs. thinner than that now. And my heaviest weight in 2009 was 284, so I've lost 43 pounds from that worst point last year: 15% of that peak weight. All of these numbers are good.

Also, a look at my exercise logs - okay, that's a fancy way of saying my kitchen calendar, which is where I scribble down how far I run or how long I do the elliptical machine - tells me that I've doubled my workout duration in the past year. Last January I was doing around 25 minutes on the elliptical, but now I'm doing 50-60 minutes every time I use it. That suggests I'm significantly more fit in the cardiovascular area than I was a year ago, and that's probably even more important in terms of my overall health, given that I'm at the age when guys start having their first heart attacks. Not only that, this fall I ran two charity 5k races - I wasn't fast, but I finished them both and wasn't either the oldest or the slowest guy running. They provided me with good motivation (and t-shirts!), so I'd like to do a few more of those this year.

So where do I go from here? What are my plans for 2010? Obviously, I need to start moving the number on the scale downward again, so I want to go back to the Atkins Induction Phase for a jump-start. I have to cut the carbs way back again to try for measurable results. I want to keep upping my workout length and/or intensity, and this may require a visit to a sports medicine specialist, to find out why I still sometimes get leg pains and cramps when I run. And by this time next year, I'd like to be able to fit into some clothes hanging in my closet that I'm close, but not close enough, to wearing again!

Happy 2010 to all!

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