Today, I hit the 25 pound lost mark. Here’s what I’ve learned.

25 pounds.  A sack or taters.  Or a medium sized dog.  Or a really big cat, but that’s what I’ve lost so far.

2014-04-25-Walking_JR_604

I’ve learned a few things.  I surprised myself by really enjoying lifting/weight training at the gym…BUT…the treadmill or stationary bike?  They are just torture to me.  I’ve given them a good, hard, try, but I just can’t do it.  Luckily, the weather has been pretty decent for me to do outdoor activities.  When the weather has been crappy, I’ve been walking at the mall.  Yep, I’ve turned into a senior citizen mall walker.  It just makes me feel like I’m going somewhere, even if it is just around and around the mall.  I suspect when winter gets here, I’ll do a LOT of walking at the mall.

I’ve learned I’m not drinking NEARLY enough water.  And, honestly, it’s a struggle for me.  I gave up diet pop some time ago, but replacing it with water is proving more difficult than I thought it might.  I’ll keep trying, but it’s a struggle.

And, I’ve learned just how much time I spent setting.  I’ve made it my goal to get up and DO something every hour…walk around the block, pull some weeds, SOMETHING to keep active.

So, just a few random thoughts about my first 25 pounds.  Here’s to the next 25!

Central Park, Carmel, Indiana.

In my quest to become more healthy, I’m doing a lot of walking.  It’s a great, low impact exercise for those of us with joint issues, and, it’s fun.  You don’t cover as much ground as you do with bicycling, of course, but it’s a great way to slow down and enjoy the scenery while enjoying the exercise.

Central Park in Carmel, Indiana, is less than a mile from my house.  It’s a huge complex, with a large lake, a wetlands, wonderful hiking trails through the woods, a bicycling trail, and more.

When I walk there, I usually walk the trails in the woods,   but yesterday we got quite a bit of rain, so I chose to walk the paved path that goes around the lake.  One loop around the lake is just over a mile.

The lake covers a few acres, and is a birdwatchers paradise.  While walking, I’ve seen the common birds…mallard ducks, Canada geese, robins, sparrows, and the like.  A little rarer, but still common, I’ve seen red wing blackbirds,  several kinds of hawks, grebes, bluebirds, and more.  Shorebirds are fairly common, with the great blue heron being the most commonly spotted.

If you’ve not visited Central Park, give it a try.  A great place for outdoor activity.  I’ll leave you with just a couple of pictures.

 

Two weeks in with the FitBit

 

As with any piece of technology, there is a bit of a learning curve, and it takes some getting used to.  There are a number of tweaks one can do to make it most useful to you personally.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite useful right out of the box, but I’ve been tweaking and have been pretty happy with it.

There are, or course, somethings that work VERY well, and some that either I’ve not tweaked enough, or just aren’t going to be that useful for me.

The useful:  Step Tracker, although it’s a mixed bag.  I’ve been counting steps and comparing it to the FItBit, and it’s dead on accurate.  I really like that because it allows me to keep track of how much I’m moving.  The downside to that is, when I do other types of exercise  (Weights, etc) it doesn’t track steps, so there’s a temptation to neglect those and go for the steps, as I’m a little bit competitive so I want to at least equal my friends.  Nevertheless, I’m finding it quite useful for step tracking.

Exercise tracking I’m also finding quite useful.  When I do weights, it keeps track of time, calories, and heart rate.  Again, after doing some cross checking, it seems to be dead on accurate.  That’s a good thing for an analytics geek like me.

Sleep tracking:  I’m not finding that to be very accurate at all.  If I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom  (something I do at my age) it just stops tracking sleep, even if I go back to bed.  I’m pretty disappointed  in the sleep tracking feature of it.

The Smartphone/Crossover features…the ability to read text messages, caller ID, etc.  It’s somewhat useful.  It’s nice to be able to just look at my wrist and see who’s calling or texting, but I don’t use that feature as much as I thought I might.

All in all, it’s been a VERY positive experience.  I’m still tweaking and learning, but it’s playing an integral role in helping me keep active and be more healthy.

Run through the jungle 5k, May, 2016

I did a 5k yesterday.  That might not be a big deal to some people, but it’s a pretty big deal to me.

Some of you  may know, many likely do not know, that from a bad accident years ago, my left leg, ankle, and foot is held together by pins, screws, and plates.  Walking is pretty darn painful for me, and that’s why I avoid it as much as I can.  Riding a bicycle isn’t as much of an issue because the motion is different, and I really enjoy biking, but this 5k supported one of our pet projects, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Indiana, home to a couple hundred lions, tigers, panthers, and more.

We drove over (about 90 minutes from home) in a steady rain, and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.  Then when we got there, we found out that the parking area is about 1/2 mile from the event, so I was going to be adding another mile of walking to a 5K I already wasn’t sure I’d be able to do or not.

But, as the start time drew near, the skies cleared, and off we went.

My wife walks a LOT, so we decided we’d both go at our own pace.  I didn’t want to slow her down,  so I lost track of her as we crossed the start line.  I started near the end of the pack because I didn’t want to get in the way of faster walkers and runners.

I finished in about 1.5 hours.  I’ve not seen the final results, but I believe I finished dead last out of about 500 walkers.

And that’s OK with me.  I finished.  I’m glad I did it, but, in the future, I think I’ll stick to my bike. 🙂

Here are a few photos of the event.

A couple in the starting area.

 

A couple from the starting line.

 

And the finish line, as I was approaching it.  I’ve never been so happy to see anything in my life!

 

Finish LIne