11.03.2016

100 Day Goals as Inverse New Year's Resolutions

This morning when I weighed myself, I had dropped below 220 pounds. Granted, I was very little below it, at 219.8 pounds, still within the margin of error, but that being said, Deborah's scale does tend to run a little high and I can't remember the last time I weighed less than this (probably in 2008). In any case, this means I am 50% of the way to my 100 day fitness goal of losing 20 pounds by the end of the year, and a little ahead of schedule (today is day 43/100).

I attribute my success to three main things.

1. Having an achievable weight loss goal (to lose one pound every five days on average). Having a goal to strive for gives me direction and a metric for achieving success. It should be noted that weight loss is not a linear function of time and I am aware that it will be harder to lose pounds as my weight asymptotically approaches my goal of 210 lbs. So being ahead of the game at the moment, while positive, is really par for the course (note the effective use of that metaphor...).

2. Consuming fewer calories (I have been skipping breakfast, eating slightly healthier and smaller portions, and limiting myself to two drinks or less when I have beer or wine). I have heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and maybe it is for some people, but I suspect this notion was probably promulgated by the cereal manufacturers' lobby. Using simple common sense, skipping breakfast means I go for about a third of my day before consuming any calories. Since weight is a function of calories in/out, I am decreasing the numerator of that fraction, decreasing the weight gain result. When I do eat, at lunchtime, I don't exceed my normal portion sizes, that way I don't overcompensate for the calories avoided in the morning. Sometimes my stomach grumbles at me for denying it gratification before noon, but I ignore it. I've been giving away excess Halloween candy to my Uber passengers.

3. Going to the gym (another of my 100 day goals is to hit the gym 5/7 days per week, and 80% (4/7 days) adherence is considered a passing grade for this weekly metric). I have never been a gym person, but now I have embraced it. Our gym has three indoor pools, two of which are minimally infested with annoying children. There is a fourth outdoor pool, though it is now closed for winter. In the summer, I can sit by said pool and mentally go to my happy place, a tropical island resort. I'll probably bring an inflatable palm tree to enhance the illusion, but I digress. The point is that I am now swimming more. A lot more, and getting quite strong as a swimmer. I do a few laps in the pool after any aerobic or weight lifting workout to cool off a bit, and then I relax in the hot tub there for a few minutes to let my muscles relax. Our gym also has pantloads of free classes, including spinning, that I've been taking great advantage of. I probably spin about three times per week and I occasionally do a free weight lifting class with Deborah as well. Deborah is not a big fan of the spinning classes, but she's feeling more compelled to do them after seeing my success in achieving my fitness goals. We recently discussed trying to go to the gym first thing early in the morning most days to increase our chances of weekly success and compliance. We managed to do this once this week. It's not easy getting up at the butt crack of dawn, and in fact it is literally impossible when I have late music gigs or band practices the night before. But there are some huge perks to the pre-dawn workouts. The obvious one is that the daily fitness goal gets completed and checked off before any of the day's clutter and nonsense gets in the way. Second, there are no effing kids at the gym at 5:30 AM. I have nothing against kids, I just don't like them anywhere near my space. Third, the staff at the gym clean everything between 11 PM and 2 AM, so the locker rooms and showers are still pretty clean in the early morning hours before there has been time for the day's human detritus to accumulate. No piss and pubes on the floor of the men's bathroom. No pools of disgusting standing water near the showers. The only downside of morning workouts seems to be that a lot of the adult members of the gym appear to share in the above sentiments with me, because the classes are close to capacity.

It was the idea of my Mastermind accountability group teammate Wendy to do this 100 Day Goals challenge in the remaining 100 days of the year. It's almost like inverse New Year's resolutions. We fully plan to do another 100 day challenge starting in the new year.

The 100 days are broken up into ten 10-day blocks, which can be further broken up into two 5-day blocks, depending on the tasks. Only my weight loss goal of a pound every five days adheres to this timeline. Many of my goals are open ended, such as practicing piano for an hour five times per week and meditating daily. I suppose I could conform the piano practice goal to the block size by committing to practice 4/5 or 8/10 days per block. Maybe I will. I've also been learning Spanish and Welsh as part of my goals. I do exercises in Duolingo on my tablet in between passengers whilst I am Uber driving.

Things are pretty awesome right now.

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