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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gearing up for the second half

When I first started writing this it was really about getting in shape during my 45th year but in reality it was a weight loss thing. Over the course of time I lost 100 lbs . Since then I've put a few pounds back on but have been way less active than feels good. The lethargy leads to bad eating, more drinking and some really unpleasant moods! So enough of that! My real long term concern is not a number on the scale but about being a good role model for my kids,  the kind of guy my wife thinks I can be see ( and of course to get ready for an awesome second half; the second 45 years give or take a few! As a leisure professor (yeah it is a real thing!) I know how important it is not just to be activity but to have activities we care about, activities that allow us to be part of a community and activities that are not only fun and engaging but also meaningful. As a starting point I'm out to get more involved in cycling and to work toward a more Paleo diet and approach to life. Less processed crap and much much more time outside!  So some small first steps.  I've been out on the bike 3 days in row, found out where to get some amazing grass feed beef right here on Vancouver Island and am planning on doing a randonneuring event in March. More on all of these in the coming weeks. Hopefully I will post at least weekly. So we will see how this caveman biking thing works for me as a life long way to live!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A much needed return

As I haven't posted for 10 months or so I'm guessing this is more of a reflective journal for myself but regardless here goes! A quick recap of the past 10 months; I managed to get in some pretty decent shape by the beginning of summer, got pretty strong, flexible and cardio was awesome. Rode the Tour of Victoria and survived cramps and all. Then it started to fall apart a bit! Injuries, beer and BBQ, a busy fall term and now in December the clothes are tight again and I need to get moving. Running has fallen off and the injuries mounted leading to drastically reduced exercise and slowly devolving eating. So back to evolving both diet and eating. I plan to ride enough this year to feel comfortable calling myself a cyclist (more on that as we move forward) and really commit to an eating plan that will be strongly based on the Paleo Diet but refined for the modern man (details will follow)! One often reads the weight loss stories or fitness "miracles" but as is often the case there really is no finish line just continued effort. In the next few days I'll post the downside of not keeping up with it and then onto more progressive and positive posts. So back to it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back to the cave!

Been a while but all is good. Weight is back to before holiday hell numbers and the current focus is on strength training. Wow my body loves the weights. Eating wise I'm doing a kind of paleo thing lots of veggies and lean meat, reduced fruit and dairy/grains are all but gone. We will see! I have a 121 days left of the "45th year" really interested to see how far I can take getting lean and getting fit. The rest of the month and the first weeks of March will focus on dropping another 15 lbs and continuing to get stronger. Cardio will focus on intervals and speed and the occasional longer ride. The spring will return my focus to running and biking. As it currently stands looking to focus on getting faster at the 5 km time rather than to move on to marathon. The longer stuff will be on the bike with a couple of Gran Fondos on the horizon and a few tennis events here and there. Will post regularly on the paleo experiment, may use cave drawings if need be. Love to hear from anyone who has or is doing the Paleo type eating plan.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Failing to learn...again

We all know it is no fun to accomplish something unless there is some challenge. It is over coming those hurdles we have created that makes the goals we set worthwhile, but sometimes not achieving a goal, not pushing through may just be the smartest thing to do. As you likely have guessed by now I didn't quite succeed in my first goal this year. My goal was to workout for 45 straight days to start 2011(45 being the number of years I've been around). For the record I completed 20 straight days of working out (defined as sweating, breathing heavy for 30 minutes or more). Injury started to creep in - knee locking up, back hurting/spasming, I was feeling much more than 45 and a long way from the fittest I've ever been. So lesson learned, recovery is key, no two hard days in a row and I need to careful to stay active even when taking time off. I really lost a lot of fitness over the holidays and it will take some time to come back. So we are back still a little sore but on the bike today and looking forward to a rest day at least once a week. Lesson learned!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Guess what I'm doing?

I'm not telling!

It is that time when we wake up to renewed energy, big hairy audacious goals and then proceed to often flounder in a matter of a few short days. This year no resolutions, but I do have some goals - some pretty big ones, but for a change I'm not sharing.

WHAT? isn't telling people your goals, writing them down, having them be SMART (Google it if SMART goals are new to you!). Yes and no. I do have goals but this year only a few. Having too many goals, as many of us do at this time of year, does not lead to focus, and focus is key. I do write them down, but only for me. And I have no more than seven goals as I want to be able to remember them off the top of my head. They need to drive my behaviour, not be in a book somewhere where I find them as a reminder in November 2011 (I actually did that this year!).

No this year I have a few big outcome goals and a couple of critical process goals that will keep me on track. Come on we all know achieving our goals is simple - (eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight and improve your fitness level) but it is not EASY! Doing these key things is what leads to success, and you can't have 100 key things. 

BUT... I'm not sharing, well not yet anyway.  There is some very interesting research on telling people about your goals. What happens when you tell people about a great big goal? Well, you get support, pats on the back, lots of "you are amazing" and, well, those rewards are for just saying you will do something - not actually doing it, and many of us are never actually following through. This changes our social reality, and there is lots of good social science research in this area (almost a hundred years worth!).  For a simple but very well done piece on this see Derek Silver's TED talk on goals (short version here -well worth the 3 minutes!) 

So yes I do have goals and yes I will report back, but only after I've succeeded or failed.  So stay tuned! Happy new year, go set some big goals, a few that you really care about, commit and then shut up and get to work. And then let me know about your success!

Friday, December 24, 2010

172 days

  So if you are new to my blog my goal was to see if I get as fit as possible during the year I'm 45. From my 45th birthday to my 46th on June 21st, 2011.  This Jan 1st no resolutions but a continued focus on getting fit, 172 days in 2011 until I'm 46! When I first started this I think that really I was talking about getting thinner but that’s no longer the only goal. Nor is getting healthier, lets be honest here so many of us say its about health but the genetic gods have a lot more control over whether I'll have a 80th year project than do my fitness efforts. What I do control though is the quality of my life regardless of how long that may be. So I need a little help here. How do you define fitness? What should my measures be this summer, let me know! Comment, tweet or dm me, love to know what you think?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Anyone who has lost a substantial amount of weight, see ( knows that the fat suit is never far away. That former self lurks just around the corner, usually sitting on the couch eating holiday baking or having "just one more drink." We all know or have seen someone get in shape for some event, a wedding, birthday or run or ride only to achieve the goal and then slip. Not unusual at all, unfortunately many of the things that allow some of us to lose the weight in the first place, like obsession (sometimes we call it discipline!) have both a positive and a destructive side. One good thing you do gain though is awareness and I am all of sudden all too aware of some very negative stuff creeping back in. The occasional treat has turned to regular holiday treats, a beer or wine to several, daily!! and the reasons to miss workouts seem so much more rationale than they did when I was pushing for the 100 lb loss and then to run a half marathon. I need to realize that the guy who gained 100 plus pounds in the first place is still with me and that's OK I like him, but I don't like the way his habits made me feel. So to slip up is human, to do nothing about it, well at least for me is unforgivable. No waiting, no elaborate planning, no start on Monday or the new year, next week..fill in your favorite! I know what to do... move and eat well and just enough, hydrate often: end of story. So good day lots of water, lots of greens, lots of vegetables and lean protein and a good 45 minute trail run. Feel better already, even the fat guy seems to like this feeling!