I bought an Apple Watch. It's pretty cool.
I'm not one for buying expensive new gadgets. Like most geeks, I buy my share of technology, but my upgrade cycles tend to be long, and if I do get something bright and shiny, it's because it satisfies a specific need. My original iPod, for example, let me stop renting audio books from BooksOnTape.com, replacing a $45 monthly fee and snail mailed boxes of audio tapes with one small device and an $15 Audible subscription.
I went into the fall with the informal goal of losing some weight. Over the last two years or so my weight's been bouncing around 223 lbs. I've had a few stop-and-start exercise regimes but this summer I got into a solid routine of walking/running with my dog Indiana in the mornings, and I got my weight down to 218. That's a consistent 218, which felt like a step back from the brink of 223.
I've started running. Not well. Not quickly. Not for long. But I am running ... and slowly making progress (where "progress" is defined as no longer feeling like I'm going to collapse after running for three blocks).
Running was never my thing. My sister's thing, yes, but never mine. I was more about cycling -- I was happy to go on on a meandering 20-mile ride and have fun trying to find my way back home.
I've been back on my exercise regime for about three weeks (never mind the timestamp on my blog post kicking things off; I actually started writing that two weeks ago...). I spent the first week jogging, and then spent the next week walking (in an attempt recover from the previous week of walking). This week I'm going for a mixed approach: jog one day, walk the next, and try and get a few afternoon trips to the gym in to round things out.
Seven years ago, around the time my son was born, I was badly out of shape. At 6'1", I weighted 223 lbs. The extra pounds were spread out over my frame, so I didn't look particularly fat, but it was clear that I could stand to lose 20 or so pounds.
Summer is here and that means it's time to get serious about a new routine. Oh it's not quite summer -- the calendar says that begins on June 20, and my kids are still in school -- but the college's spring semester ended a week ago and The Avengers proved that the first big summer movie is here.
The big thing is getting back to the gym. Longtime readers know this refrain: get back to the gym, get back into a routine, and keep it for as long as possible before something derails it. I've been particularly bad about getting the gym over the last year -- too much work, too little sleep, too many excuses.
Back in March I decided to make a concerted effort to get back on the geek fitness band wagon after trying (and mostly failing) in February. My goal was to shift to a morning work out and to get my weight down to 210 lbs.
It went much better than in February. I got to the gym 4 out of 5 work days each week, and most of those were in the morning. In the second half of the month I found my new routine under assault by the college ritual known as "spring break", which caused the gym to open two hours later each morning.
Rather than give up, I decided to take advantage of the college's quieter schedule and go into work early, then work out, then go back to work. I also mixed things up with a few lunch time workouts. The lunch workouts are a big deal; in the past, when I missed my regular workout time I'd shrug and try again the next day. This month I juggled my schedule instead.
I fought off a short-but-nasty little cold at the end of the month, and I'm happy to say it didn't derail my exercise regime -- I think I only missed one day of it.
It's mid-March, which makes it a good time for an update on my March fitness initiative. So far it's going considerably better than February - I've been to the gym almost every week day, and have made a nice dent in my Alias Season 2 and Firefly viewing schedule. On the weight front, I'm at 213 lbs, which is down from 215, but still within my personal margin of error (though it is nice to be back at 213; I had been bouncing the other direction, to 217, on far too regular a basis).
Foodwise I've been drinking less soda, but I had far, far too much pizza last weekend chased down by a goodly amount of Mountain Dew but I haven't been overdoing it on a daily basis, so it all balanced out in the end.
Or at least, that's the theory.
My plan for the or the rest of the much is more of the same: working out at the gym for 30-40 minutes each day, walking to work as much as I can, keeping the soda in check, and avoiding those second helpings at dinner. I don't know if it's enough to get me to my goal of 210 lbs by the end of the month, but its a good routine nonetheless.
Spring's in the air, or it would be if only there weren't still a half-foot of snow sitting in my backyard. Baseballs are flying in Florida and somewhere in Easton, Pa. there undoubtedly a few brave daffodil shoots fighting their way to the surface.
The last two months have been hard on my geek fitness efforts; I got of to decent starts in January and February, only to have family colds, home improvement projects, and snow storms sidetrack my plans.
With March upon us, it's time to try and get back into a routine. My immediate goal is to pick up where I left off in February, and continue my morning workouts. These are exceedingly hard for me -- I'm just not a morning person -- but it's the one surefire way I have of making sure my exercise for the day gets done. As I've demonstrated time and again, it's all too easy to let exercise slide when a meeting runs late, I get caught up in a project, or a family emergency breaks out.
It's January. I'm tired, sore, and feeling like I need to pack 36 hours worth of work into every 24 hour day. Yeah, it's time to go back to the gym.
This may seem counter-intuitive -- why go to the gm when every cell in your body is screaming you don't have time? -- but in my experience, that's when it's most essential. The reason why is simple: perspective. Exercising for 30-60 minutes causes you to downshift and all but forces you to think about something else.