Monday, May 25, 2015

A First Time for Everything

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!  Remember that today is truly about recognizing those that have given their life to protect our freedoms.  Say thank you to a veteran or service member if you see one today.

As for Re-Dan-imation, I have quite a bit to share this week.  I have had a couple of first this week.  I have enjoyed some good food.  And I have progressed in my weight loss.  Let's get to 'em huh?

My first first this week was running 2 miles without the interruption of a walking break.  I decided that I was going to take my Garmin watch out for a spin because it is significantly less distracting than my phone swinging back and forth in my pocket.  Turns out it was a pretty good idea.  I went out to school and started my laps. After a decent warm up I started running and didn't stop until I had actually jogged for 2 miles.  I was so proud of myself.  I was able to keep a decent pace at just under 15 minutes per mile (the pace in the watch picture includes all my walking time).  That's definitely not breathtaking speed, but it is consistent.  I was happy with it as well as being happy with my first outdoor running in quite some time.  I kept walking to cool down and all said and done completed just under 3.5 miles.

This week we had a pitch-in lunch for a coworkers birthday and I decided I was going to bring something healthy.  I found a recipe for avocado chicken salad and decided this was going to be the dish.  I already had 4 chicken breasts that needed cooked so I baked them in the oven with a little butter, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Those turned out good enough, but I then chopped up two of them and doubled the recipe from above to make enough to go around.  The best part about the recipe was that I already had everything at the house except the avocado because I was just out after using the rest of them up last week.  I felt a lot better about the recipe using my own fresh cooked chicken breast than that from a can as well.  It felt like I had more input and effort Read love and hard work) included in it.  When I took it to school the next day it got great reviews...however many people asked if my wife made it so I had to defend my abilities ;).
Before the Ride

The second first of the week happened on Saturday.  For many years, I have wanted to take a ride on the Monon Trail.  Well, when we woke up on Saturday morning my wife suggested that we take that ride.  I was super surprised because I never thought she would suggest it.  I figured I was going to have to guilt her into it sometime.  I loaded up the bikes on our Thule T2 XTR bike rack (pronounced Toolie by the way) and then "SNAP" one of the rear tire straps broke.  I came in and said we would have to make an extra trip to REI to get the situation handled as this is the first time the outer slot on the rack had even been used.  Well, after about an hour at REI we had a completely new rack.  Thank you to all of the great employees there that helped me even though I was about 2 months past their one year worry free guarantee.  Well worth being a part of their membership.

After the Ride
We then grabbed a quick bite at Hardee's (don't worry, I got the grilled chicken sandwich) and headed towards the 146th street junction of the Monon.  I have to be honest, I was a little excited to finally be riding on the trail considering the closest I had been was the opposite of healthy when I tried the Bub's Burgers challenge.  Probably not one of my finest moments.  We had decided before leaving that a 10 mile round trip would be good for us on our first outing.  We found the appropriate parking lot on Rohrer Road, unloaded, took a selfie and started our trek.  It was GREAT!!  The weather was perfect, the shade was welcomed, and the people on the trail were all friendly.  It took us just over an hour to complete the round trip, but we both ended with smiles on our faces.  I guarantee we will be back to do it again.  Hopefully for a longer ride.  I just have to get my bike shoes figured out so my feet stop trying to go numb on me.

Although my Fitbit doesn't capture steps while I am riding my bike, I can start an activity to track my heart rate and then sync it with MapMyFitness on my phone that mapped the biking route.  Everything eventually comes together in harmony.  I have also decided that my next piece of equipment with be a Quadlock Bike Mount for my phone so I don't have to take it out of my pocket to pause it or restart it and I will also be able to see my progress simply by looking down.  It even comes with a "poncho" in case it starts to rain while you are out.

Finally, to the part you have all been waiting for.  My Weight loss progress.  Well, I wasn't as consistent this week.  Actually, I had a GREAT week.  I am officially out of the 280s as I weighed in this week at 279.8 lbs.  That a weight loss for the week of 2.6 lbs. which puts me at a total of 14.5 lbs lost.  I am so excited about my progress.  My ideal plan would be to double that weight loss or possibly lose a little more than that in the next 7 weeks.

For those of you wondering about the shirt ordering progress...I have only had about 6 people so far that are interested.  That is the minimum order size for CustomInk but that puts the price for them at a little over $30 and I know nobody wants to pay that much for a random shirt.  So, I am again going to post that if you are interest please post on this actual blog so people may see how many others are interested as not all of the traffic on here comes from Facebook.  Hopefully we can get the number a little higher.  Again, here is the design. And yes, this is the color I would like to keep.  I think it is different and it stands out a little :)  Thanks for all of your support Everyone!!!! Don't forget to subscribe with your e-mail above!!!  Until next week... Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Dime a Dozen

Welcome to the latest installment!  Previously on Re-Dan-imation...I mentioned consistency...a favorite breakfast was found, and I hit double digits in my weight loss journey.  In this week's episode we discuss a new recipe attempt, a technological upgrade, and the inclusion of one or two certain types of dozen.

Let's begin by talking about the new recipe attempt.  Last week while grocery shopping at Fresh Thyme in Lafayette we were able to pick up some salmon so, I decided to try a recipe I had found in a post by another blog named Fit Foodie Finds.  Clicking on that link will take you to a recipe for Maple Dijon Baked Salmon Skewers.  The recipe included Salmon, brussel spouts, and quinoa.  After we tried it were were definitely honest with each other about our thoughts.  Neither of us enjoyed the brussel sprouts (this is the second time we have tried the vegetable and neither time have we liked them).  We did enjoy the salmon and the quinoa and think that we will try these again in the future with a different vegetable.  Check out how they looked when they were done cooking.

Now for the reason I was lacking in my actual running progress this week.  The story behind this is actually quite ironic.  As my Fitbit has recently started to disintegrate on the wrist side, I decided it was time to take the company up on their recall of my device and get an upgrade.  So, I packed up my coupons and headed to Dicks Sporting Goods to purchase my new Fitbit Charge HR.  I already needed to head to the store to exchange some shorts for my wife (one of these days she will learn that I know what size clothes she wears better than she does) so I didn't even think about calling ahead.  Well, after finding the right size shorts, I found that the stock of Charge HRs was completely depleted.

So, on Wednesday, I called another DSG store and found that they did in fact have a Charge HR and they put it on hold for me.  I drove to this store, made my purchase and headed home.  Finally, I was able to try on my new technology and check out my heart rate.  The ironic part is that I spent two evenings hunting for my new device by riding around in my car rather than increasing my step count for the week as Fitbit would have hoped I would do.  It's ok though...When I got home I was able to monitor my heart rate while I mowed the lawn and I stayed in a fat burn heart rate zone almost the entire time.  It's really pretty cool to see the graph.  On Saturday night, during my "last chance workout" I can see where I was running at a constant speed, when I walked, and when I sprinted simply by looking at the change in my heart rate.  It is also pretty cool that it calculates my resting heart rate by wearing it to bed along with the fact that I no longer have to press the button to start the sleep monitoring because it detects when I am asleep instead.

Last, but not least, we move on to the dozens.  Before we talk about those dozens we must finish up the week.  Saturday was #FitbitGoalDay and I pledged to participate on my Twitter and Facebook feeds.  However, my brother-in-law asked me to join him on a trip to Lafayette which resulted with me buying the most amount of fruit I have bought in quite some time (definitely not a bad thing).  However, this trip cut down considerably the amount of steps I had planned on gaining by doing some much needed yard work.  So, I decided that I had made a pledge and needed to follow through. So, I completed my "last chance workout" on the treadmill late Saturday night.  Good thing I did.  The scale Sunday morning showed a 1.7 lb weight loss.  I TOLD YOU I WAS CONSISTENT!!!  There is the first dozen.  Those 1.7 lbs put me at a total weight loss of 11.9 lbs. (I'm calling it 12).  The second dozen came in after weigh in on Sunday morning.  We were watching some friends' children that day and their aunt provided us with a dozen scrumptious donuts to share among the family.  I will admit that I broke and had 2 donuts, but went on a walk with the children and the in-laws Sunday afternoon to work them off.

One more cool thing happened this week.  If you remember from this earlier post, I had left a comment on an article called A Weight Loss Manifesto about wanting to create a shirt with permission from the Author Amby Burfoot.  I received a message that a response had been written to my comment and when I went to look I was surprised to see the author had written me back.  Check out the screenshot below to see what he wrote.
Needless to say, I have been working on a design.  However unless a large number of these shirts are ordered, say 20 or more, they are pretty expensive for a simple shirt.  So I have attached the shirt idea below.  If you are interested, please leave a comment on here.  If there is enough interest, I will open their online ordering process so you can pay on your own and it will get shipped to you.  If you don't like it let me know too.  I am ok with a little constructive criticism.  The design is below.  Front followed by the bottom.  Until next week's episode.  FOOD. FEET. WATER. REPEAT.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Double Digits!!

Welcome back to another week of Re-Dan-imation!  I have officially surpassed 1 month since I started this journey. It's been a little more like 6 weeks since my first post, but who's counting?  This is quite a bit of dedication for me.  I often find myself starting things strong and with enthusiasm only to gradually pull back on the reigns after a short period.  The accountability of writing to all of you has kept me on track.  So....Thank you for reading.  Subscribe on the right and stay up to date with every post (nothing wrong with a little shameless self promotion).

On Monday afternoon this past week, after completing my last blog post, we had a fundraiser at our school for the Girls on the Run program.  These girls decided to put on a free blood sugar testing and asked for a freewill donation to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  The cause is close to our hearts as a a student in our school was recently diagnosed with diabetes.   I realized I am a TERRIBLE blogger after I left the building and it occurred to me that I missed some photo opportunities while getting my blood sugar checked.  It was 76 by the way and I am completely normal!!  I know you all would have appreciated seeing me bleed on here.  I will get better at this.  I promise!

Speaking of...Picture time!  I have seen in many different blogs where people are preparing for runs and have a breakfast in the morning consisting of pancakes or a bagel topped with banana and honey.  I decided to switch this up a little and I have found my new favorite breakfast.  I use a 100% whole wheat English muffin, peanut butter, banana, and honey.  It is relatively quick.  It tastes wonderful.  And I feel full until lunch with plenty of energy.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation even tried it and said it tasted pretty good.

As for the rest of the week, I was able to mow the grass a couple times due to the nice weather.  I also went to the brother-in-law's house and ran on the treadmill.  I have started to pick up my pace.  My mile run is still quite slow, but I have started doing some "sprints" as well to help with increasing my speed and my fat burn.  I think it is working.  Plus, my form is forced to improve when I am running at that quicker speed.

On Wednesday, it was national bike to school day.  I decided to take part since I live a short enough distance to school that I shouldn't be pouring sweat before I get in the building (and because my wife didn't think I would).  I actually decided to keep the biking theme for the day and rode to the Jaycees meeting that night.  I might not have gotten in a run that day, but my legs wouldn't tell you any different.

This week we also finished up our healthy challenge at school.  I won't find out how our team did until tomorrow, but I will make sure to let you know how we fared next week.  I think this challenge helped me to kick pop out of my diet and include a lot more fruits, vegetables, and water.  Take a look at the picture to see how you think I did this week.  

Saturday, I helped my little brother move out of his dorm room.  I expected a much harder workout during this, but I got to park too close and he only lives up one flight of stairs.  I know, what a disappointment, haha.  We also celebrated Mother's Day with my mom and got to give her the Fitbit she has been asking for.  I can't wait to see how she does!!  Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Now to the nitty gritty.  How did I fare this week?  Well, you can't say I am not consistent.  This week I again lost 1.8 lbs. bringing me to a total loss of 10.2 lbs.  That right folks, DOUBLE DIGITS!!  I won't get to add another digit to that for QUITE a while, if ever, so I will celebrate it while it lasts. Now on to the next 10 pounds with vigor.

Thank you everybody for reading.  I will see all of you again next week.  Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dan vs. In-laws! Fight of the Century-ish

Mayweather vs Pacquiao.  Ali vs. Frazier.  Dan vs. In-Laws? The big fight took place Saturday night, but the real fight happened last week in Frankfort.  After some of my colleagues and friends noticed that there is a competition section in the Fitbit app, I ended up in 3 separate challenges.  Basically, these challenges pit you against your friends as your new rivals.  I ended up in a challenge with my in-laws, co-workers, and friends/their co-workers.  Monday was a struggle for me as I think I was still recovering from my weekend exploits and I fell behind quickly.  I didn't give up but the number of steps my in-laws were adding up was astronomical.  After one day I was roughly 10,000 steps behind and by mid week I was down by over 30,000.  Basically my mother-in-law threw the hammer down and watched TV while walking in place.  As she is included in 2 of the competitions, there was basically no chance in me earning the top spot.  However, I didn't give up and I think I did admirably, considering my step count has gone up from the previous week.I still had a relatively high total of 67,458 steps between Monday and Friday, but you can see my Father-in-law destroyed me by doubling my goal and achieving 135,351 steps in an effort to beat my mother-in-law.  Just like the fight, he pretty much threw 2 punches to each of mine.  An AMAZING feat!  Kudos to him.

For a new meal this week, my wife and I tried the Mashed Avocado Egg Salad from the MyFitnessPal Blog.  I found it quite tasty.  The dijon mustard and the avocado provide enough smoothness to make it creamy and the lemon and lime juice (we used both) give it a little zing.  I took this for lunch two days this week.  The first day I used celery as a cracker and the celery seemed to overpower the salad.  Not that it wasn't good.  The second day I used Triscuits: Hint of Salt crackers and it was just as good the second time.  Give it a shot!  Avocado is a great brain food, so I'm hoping it will help with my memory which is lacking most days.

I have not had any sort of pop in over a week.  I don't count the tonic water in the drinks from last weekend as they were the healthiest drinks I could come across.  I honestly don't miss it.  I think I might still have one once in a while at a restaurant with dinner, but I have mostly been sticking to water and unsweet tea with some Sweet 'n' Low.  I think this has helped considerably with staying up on my step count as I am almost always close to what I would consider fully hydrated.  For my next trick!  I mean what I think I need to work on more is sleep.  I have been sleeping much more soundly according to the sleep tracking on my Fitbit. I just don't think I have been getting enough sleep to recover from my increase in steps.  I have been feeling tired in the mornings, but I am managing to make it through.  After the morning rush I am usually awake enough to feel just fine.  My plan is to try to get to bed about 30 minutes before I do currently and see if that helps.

As for my workouts, I have been mainly walking this week, but have fit in a couple shorter runs.  I also mowed the grass twice (mandatory bonus steps).  I have decided that my trusty Brooks Pure Flows are ready for the recycle bin.  I have been using them off and on for workouts and as an everyday tennis shoe for over the past year and I can now feel each of the little pods on the bottom of the shoe during every step.  I have decided to purchase a new pair of lightweight Brooks.  This time I went with the Brooks Launch 2 (I really like the Boston Marathon Edition).  I love buying new shoes, but this time I am vowing to only wear them when I am walking or running so they don't wear out any quicker than they should.  And I should be able to calculate how many miles I use them for before they are completely worn.

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for.  How did I do in the weight loss department this week?  Well, I went back to my official weigh-in day of Sunday.  When I stepped on the scale it showed 285.9 lbs.  That's a loss of 1.8 lbs. giving me a total of 8.5 lbs lost.  My goal is somewhere between 2 and 5 pounds a week, so I will take this as a very close to 2 pound loss.  Any success is success and it is much better than that first week when I only lost a tenth of a pound.  Thank you to everyone that is reading my blog.  You can follow along by using the links at the right or can subscribe via e-mail to make sure you don't miss my updates.

Until Next Time....FOOD. FEET. WATER. REPEAT!!