Thursday, April 7, 2016

April Weights and Measures

               So I forgot to weigh and measure myself on both the first and the second of the month. But I finally remembered on the third, and well, the results were less than desirable. I gained a pound of weight and a half inch on my belly. Not a huge deal in the long run to be honest, but it represents a possible trend that I can't allow to happen.

               I've recently decided that long distance walking is what I want to do when I grow up. For those that are wandering, that's usually thought of in the 20+ mile range of distance. So the way I see it, the smaller I am and the better shape I'm in the better I'll be able to work toward that goal. Gaining weight isn't a bad thing in and of it's self, it's very likely that most of that pound was due to lean muscle gain. But the thing that really hit me was the belly gain. A half inch isn't that big of a deal, but it is when it's a consistent gain over several months or the next year. And I can't let that happen.

               Long distance walking has struck a cord deep within my soul. With everything in me it's what I want to do. It's what I WILL be doing this year as I go from a 5k walk this weekend to a 10k walk in May to a half marathon in December. 2016 is just my primer for LDW, 2017 is when I'm gonna really hit it. But if I don't lock down my lifestyle now then I won't accomplish my goals moving forward. And I really really want these distances!

               So that's why, as of this week, I'm taking what I've learned over the past 7 months and tweaking my dietstyle and workout regimen for the next three weeks as an experiment to see if I can buckle down and get my ass into gear. It's not going to be fun, but I need to stop bullshitting myself and quit pretending and start doing!

I. Am. Lazy. I know this about myself. But I'm not going to get what I want by being that way and I'm tired of riding the fence. I'm ready to head into the next phase of this journey I started way back on September 1st, so Phase 2 is officially week. ;)

               Be well my friends and remember; Keep doing what you can now until you can do what you couldn't before. I love you all and I'll talk to you soonly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The March Tale Of the Tape

               First thing this morning before heading out the door was to weigh and measure myself; and I'm happy to say that I saw losses in both areas. For the month of February I lost another three pounds of body weight and another half inch off of my waist. Today marks six months of me actively trying to lose weight through a better diet and better physical activity. So for the six months I've lost a total of 15 pounds and 5 inches off of my waist. I am EXTREMELY happy with that!

               Not only have I lost weight and inches but I've also gained distance. On October 17th of last year I walked my first full mile, post-wheelchair. This past weekend I doubled that distance with a trail hike with my girls. And I'll be honest, trail miles are a lot longer than track miles. lol

               I feel great! I'm loving the direction my life is going right now with my mobility, my becoming a Community Captain for Active Southern West Virginia and an Ambassador for the Move It Monday organization. I'm also getting my daughter more active with archery, strength training and self defense as well as challenging others to walk 31 miles with me this month in the "31 Miles In March" walking challenge.

               This has definitely been a learning experience both in nutrition and exercise and it continues to be. As I see what works best for me and what doesn't I'm better able to tailor my diet and activity to what best suites ME instead of trying a cookie cutter approach and constantly failing. This way I learn and grow as I need to, not as someone else tells me I need to, and That has made this experience 100 times more enjoyable for me.

               Well me friends, that's it for now, as I've mentioned I'd still like to update this blog more regularly than once a month and so that will be something else I will strive for in the next six months of this journey.

               Until then I wish you peace, happiness, success, hope and light. Namaste.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Weigh In & Measure

               It's the first of the month and for me that means Weigh & Measure Day. I'd reminded my wife last night, as she ensures an accurate waist measure, that today was the day and to not forget in the morning. She said she wouldn't and to not worry. This morning I was the one that had forgotten all about it but she was awesome enough to set the scale out for me so I wouldn't eat or drink anything before I weighed myself. So thanks to her I was able to get accurate numbers first thing this morning.

               So here they are. I lost nothing from my waist, but I lost another 3 pounds of weight. So for the 3rd month in a row my waistline has stayed the same while some pounds have come off. I'm not exactly sure what that means, I guess that I'm losing fat in other parts of my body but just not my waist? I'm not really sure. What I do know is that three months of seeing no change in the waistline means I've hit a plateau of some sort. I also know that I need to up my cardio game and take in less liquid calories. And that's exactly what I'm going to be changing this month and moving forward with; More cardio and less liquid calories.

               I guess a lot of people might get a little discouraged or frustrated at this point, but I'm not. I've been right here the entire time so I know what I've done and not done. I'm 100% responsible for my physical outcome up to this point. And while I may not have seen a loss in one area, I have seen a loss in another. But more important than that, to me at least, is how I feel physically, spiritually and emotionally. And that's "Good!" 

               I feel good. I feel stronger, I feel more alive, I feel good about myself for being active and losing weight, I feel good about connecting with other like minded people who also want to be active, I feel good that I'm physically able to become a Community Captain for Active Southern West Virginia and help lead and encourage other people to become more active in their own lives and I feel good that my daughter is also becoming more active, taking up regular exercise and strength training and moving forward into something that she can very realistically make her own, because of my example.

               Sure, I lost absolutely 0 from my waist this past 3 months, but that doesn't mean that I wont from this point forward. And it's in no way a representation of everything I've gained these past months. And at the end of the day, I'm more satisfied with what I've already gained than with what I haven't lost yet. :)

               Alright, that's it for today. But before I go I want to remind you of something Arthur Ashe said, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." Pretty powerful stuff from just 3 short sentences, huh. But Oh-So true.

               Have a meaningful Today everyone and I will talk to you soonly. Namaste.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Two Weeks In

               So here we are, two weeks into the new year already. How are you doing? Did you make and resolutions for 2016? I didn't make any resolutions myself, not that there's anything wrong with those who did, but I did set a goal for this year. To walk a collective 100 miles. Well, there's a bit more to it than that.

               You see, last year I found a walking challenge set up by the Chief of the West Virginia State Park System called "The Chief's challenge( I know, original) and decided that that would be a perfect motivator to get myself and my family outdoors more this year. Specifically, out into our state parks. So, my wife and I both signed up and awaited the new year. Ah, but there's still more yet.

               In waiting for the new year to dawn so we could start racking up miles, I found a second walking challenge. The U.S. National Park Service is turning 100 this year, 2016, and so they issued a (very) similar challenge to the Chief's. Their challenge, at least it is for National Parks in West Virginia, was to walk 100 miles on their trails within three specific parks. Now, this isn't very difficult to do as these parks have miles and miles of trail. But, a second 100 mile challenged? Yup!

               You see, I told my wife that when I was able to walk again that I would never take it for granted, EVER! So what good is working my ass off and going through everything I did to reach the goal of being a "walker" again if I'm not going to use it? Answer: No good. That's where 200 miles of trail walks spit evenly between West Virginia's state parks and national parks comes in. It's a fun, exciting, ehhhh plausible goal for me and my family to shoot for during the entire year.

               "But Levi," some may ask "can you walk that far? What if you don't complete one or either of the challenges? Won't you feel as though you've failed?" HA! Hell no I won't feel like I failed. I'll feel like I got outside more than I have in years. I'll feel like I've walked more miles in our state's wild places than I have in years. And I'll feel like I walked further than I have in years. How in the world can I feel like a failure when I'll have accomplished so much?

               So there you have it folks, my goal is to walk 100 miles this year...twice. If nothing else, it'll be exciting.

Have a great day and remember; Keep doing what you can, until you can do what you couldn't before.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year, New First Of the Month, New Weigh and Measure

               Wow, what a crazy last few weeks. Between Christmas, New Years, the amazing success of #walkwithlevi and another first of the month weigh in, it has been exhausting. But it's been a good exhausting.

               So let me just jump right to the weigh and measure first. I forgot to do it on the first until I was halfway through breakfast. We stopped eating and did it anyway but decided to do it again the next day. So the results I'm going with are from the 2nd of January; I lost 6 pounds of weight but my waistline didn't change. No increase, no decrease. Looking at me it doesn't seem to be from lean muscle mass and the wifey says she can see a decrease in body fat so I figure that's where the 6 pounds came from, just not from the belly. Is that normal? I have no idea. lol I'm still new to this weight loss thing. But hey, I'll take it.

               Also to report is that I walked a mile on the first of the year with Dozens of people all around the world to bring in the new year well, to celebrate my walking again and to commemorate my first video for my journey to leave the wheelchair behind. I can't tell you what an amazing day that was or how wonderful I felt knowing that I was walking with so any people by my side. Hell, my dust allergies are starting to act up again just remembering it. But I do want to say, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH, you all freaking rock!

               And in case you were interested, the wife and I have signed up for TWO 100 mile walking challenges, I'm doing a 4000 push up challenge, I have a goal set to walk a 5k on or before the last day of spring, I'll be starting a 52 week photography challenge aaaaand I'll be getting my driver's license back this year too. :) So yeah, it's going to be an epic new year.

I hope you all have a great night/day and remember, YOU can accomplish great things. I believe in you, now go get started.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Feeling Good

               I haven't written anything since the first of the month so I figured I'd do that today. Today is a rest day for me, which means no exercise and no cardio. For the month of December I started a 30 day yoga challenge so I'll do today's session along with a ten minute walk, but other than that it's just rest and recover.

               I'm still on track with what, when and how I eat and it's constantly exciting because we're trying so many new things. From spices to specific foods to whole dishes, our weeks always have something new in them culinarily speaking.

               As for my walking, yesterday I did my second 6000 foot walk. It was great! I did it about 8 minutes faster than last week and I was way less tired than the last time as well. I think next week or the week after I may bump it up to 6500 feet. I'm still planning on completing a 5k walk on or before the last day of Spring 2016 and it feels like I'm well on track for that.

               Overall things are going well, I'm feeling so much better than I have in years and we're getting out more and exploring places we've not been to. We've signed up for a 100 mile state park challenge where we walk a cumulative 100 miles in West Virginia's state parks. We're already making plans for new parks, more camping and hiking trips and just more general outdoors stuff. 100 miles is a lofty goal but we want to see how many miles we can clock in the parks over the course of a year.

               Ok, I think that's enough torture with my mundanery(is that even a real word?). I will release you of this turmoil and wish you a happy, meaningful and accomplished Today.

               Keep doing what you can until you can do what you couldn't before.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Numbers Don't Lie

               As I am with every weigh-in and measure, I was apprehensive about this one. I didn't physically feel different, and to me I didn't look any different either. I also know what I did, or rather didn't do, this past month diet and exercise related. However, any feelings of doubt or reservation seems to have been in vain because the numbers tell a different story.

               I measured my waist 3 times to make sure the numbers were correct, because as I mentioned above I didn't feel as though I'd made any progress. But the "tale of the tape" had a different story. I lost another 2 1/4 inches from my belly and I dropped an additional 2 pounds of overall weight. Again, I don't believe this weight loss is muscle due to things still getting tighter on me, (that I CAN see and feel) more defined and even bigger in some cases. So I can only assume that the weight loss is in fat. I mean, obviously I dropped fat as the belly is smaller, but the weight shows a drop as well.

So over all I'm extremely happy with today's numbers and honestly a little surprised. But hey, I'll take them and gladly not complain about them. lol

Ok, that's it for this weigh and measure. I hope you have a meaningful Today and I want you to remember something throughout your day and week; You CAN do what you set your mind to do. But you need to start before you can finish.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's Not "Cheating", It's Eating!

               I really dislike the use of the word "cheat" in reference to eating something. You're not deceiving by trickery, you're not depriving by trickery, you're not misleading anyone, you're not eluding anything, you're not acting dishonestly, you're not deliberately violating any game's rules and you're not being sexually unfaithful. That food, that meal, that day, that weekend, that snack, that drink are not cheats. They are only exactly what they are, a snack, a drink, a meal etc. You are doing nothing wrong. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You have no reason to hide that behavior. You have no need to berate yourself or beat yourself up over eating anything. You have not failed. What you did was simply consume something. Your dietstyle is a long term endeavor, things will even themselves out in the long run with all of the other healthy things you're already doing in your life or will be doing in the future. Remember, moderation.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Still Going Strong

               So I'm 67 days into this dietstyle change and I'm still feeling good; physically and emotionally. How much, if any, weight and waist I'll have lost by next weigh in seems to always be in the back of my mind. But I don't think it's a worry or concern so much as it feels like it's just a constant reminder of why I'm eating the way I am and why I'm putting myself through things that make me sore the next day. It's like climbing a mountain and looking up every so often, not to punish yourself or to cause yourself any pain but to remind yourself where you're going and why.

               I've also been very fortunate in that I have a great support team here at home. My wife and daughter have really put up with a lot and dealt well with the shift in their diets. I told my wife that she and my daughter didn't have to eat the same way I was going to be, but seeing that it was going to be healthier for them they've decided to adapt to it...mostly. Which is fine because I don't expect them to be on this journey for the same thing as I, weight loss. This was a personal endeavor and one I wasn't going to force on either of them. But it is nice to see that, for the most part, they're walking the walk right beside me.

An additional bonus to the new dietstyle was that my wife has lost a total of 13 pounds simply from changing what she eats. And probably from her new job, but mostly from changing what she eats, I'm sure of it. ;) It's not easy to make an overhaul of what you eat, food can be VERY habit forming, but she did it without one word of complaint. I'm both grateful for her and proud of her for sticking to it and losing the weight she has so far.

Alright folks, that's it for this week's installment. I will talk to you all again next week.

Have a good Today and remember, being happy with who you are happens at any weight.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

60 Days Later

               So the first thing I did after my morning ablutions was weigh and measure myself. My habit is to have a glass of water by my bedside for when I'm thirsty at night or in the morning, that way when I get up first thing in the morning I can start working on rehydrating myself for the coming day. I couldn't do that today because I didn't want that to affect my numbers, and I had a powerful thirst today. HAHA

               Let's get to the numbers. I gained 2 pounds of weight. But I lost another full inch off my waist. So what I'm thinking is that I've lost more fat in the past 30 days but gained more muscle, 2 pounds worth. This is why I weigh AND measure myself. If I were going off of the scale alone I may be a little discouraged. But with that other number added into the equation, my waist size, it offers a better picture of my journey. That's why I feel a scale should never be the solitary means of determining your "success" in weight loss.

               There you have it, success and progress at the 60 day mark. I'm encouraged and excited for the next weigh in. I'm cutting back even more on the vodka(I know, it sounds like I drink all day long. But I really don't) and increasing my cardio a bit more each day, so my 90 day weigh in and measure should show even more progress.

               Have a great Today everyone and remember, just keep doing what you know is healthy and you'll see results along the way and in the end.