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My Game Plan (Goals) for Jan-Mar 2021


Sometimes it just clicks into place

Game Plan to meet your goalI’ve been aware since mid-summer that the “good habits” and “routines” that I put into place over the past year or so were slipping away.  Why is pretty obvious: a little thing called a Global Pandemic!

If you are like most of us you’ve gained weight during the pandemic.  I certainly have.

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of “thinking” about how to restart, revitalize, and revamp my fitness routines to get me headed toward my ultimate goal of between 190-199 lbs and 12-14% body fat.

And I kept drawing a blank. Zero. Goose Egg. Nada. Nothing. I felt “blah.” No energy. No motivation. then a couple days ago, something “clicked” and a path forward materialized in my brain.  BAM! There it was.

I’m self-aware enough to know that all this time my brain was working on the problem even when I wasn’t consciously working on the problem and eventually it all came together.

The problem I was facing was that everything is connected to everything else!

Anyone who has ever moved furniture around a living room to only have everything end right back where it started knows what I was dealing with.

I’d plan on making one change “Item A” only to realize that affected “Items 1, 2, and 3”  Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhh!

Here’s my Game Plan:

Overview (Stretch, Lift, & Move)

  • Normalize my stretch and lifting routines.
    • In other words, what I need to do is get those to the point where they are habitual.  I do them pretty much without having to look at my “how to do it” books and get myself to a point where SKIPPING a day feels WEIRD!
      ….
  • Increase my aerobic activity.
    • I hate exercise for exercise sake. It has to be fun. Something like Dancing or Cycling.
    • Right now, given the unpredictiable weather an “inside” activity like dancing is the better choice.
    • Also, increasing my dancing will start to get me ready for later in 2021 when hopefully the competition season will start back up.

Stretch & Lift

  • Use the stetching and lifting routines laid out in the book “Getting Back in Shape (3rd edition) / by Bob Anderson, Bill Pearl, Ed Burke and Jeff Galloway”
    • Jan – Program Before the Program #1
    • Feb – Program Before the Program #2
    • Mar – Program Before the Program #3
           ….
  • Each program has a stretching component as well as a lifting component.  My plan is to:
    • Stretch six days a week Mon-Sat (Sunday will be a rest day)
    • Lift 3 days a week: Mon, Wed, & Friday.  Recovery days will be Tue, Thu, and Sat. (Sunday will be a rest day)

Move!

Right now I’m going into the dance studio to practice/exercise twice a week for a total of 6-7 hours.  Here’s my gameplan:

  • Jan – Add two hours of practice per week, bringing the total to 8-9 and spread it across three days instead of two.
  • Feb – Add another two hours bringing the total per week of practice up to 9-11 hrs.
  • Mar – By March I anticipate that the number of people who have been vaccinated will be sufficient that I’ll be able to re-start my Dance Team.  This might happen in Feb…who knows.

But the bottom line is that even if I just go into the studio and practice on my own on the competition line dances or work the syllabus patterns, that movement will burn calories and increase my aerobic capacity as well as improve my dance skills.

Weight Loss / Body Fat Loss

I have a spreadsheet where I input my daily weight and body fat numbers. IF all goes as planned here are the targets for the next three months.  These numbers are well below the recommended max loss rate of 2% of body weight.  I’m aiming at under 1% — .6% to be precise.  Later on that can be adjusted but for the first 3 months, I’m setting my goals on the conservative side.

  • Now (end of Dec): 295 lbs / 41.4% BF
  • End of Jan: 287.31 lbs / 38.9% BF (loss of 7.69 lbs & 1.76% BF)
  • End of Feb: 279.82 lbs / 37.13% BF (loss of 7.49 lbs & 1.76% BF)
  • End of Mar: 272.52 lbs / 35.37% BF (loss of 7.30 lbs & 1.76% BF)

Diet…NOT “dieting”

Just because something is “simple” does not mean it is EASY! Loosing weight / body fat is a simple equation burn more calories than you consume. Tah DAH!

Yeah…right!

After reading up on the latest info (not much has changed) I calculated that for my weight and for my goals, I should be consuming 2,200 calories per day if I want to loose weight.

To track my food intake and to make sure that I maintain a nutritionally balanced diet, I am using a desktop app called “Perfect Diet Tracker”

Screen shoot of "Perfect Diet Tracker"

I really like it for several reasons:

  • The interface is straight forward and intuitive.
  • You can input your own goals / targets.
  • It connects to a shared database of food products.
  • If something isn’t there, you can add in the product info and create your own products / foods.
  • You can combine several things and create “Favorites” to make data entry easier.  e.g. My “Morning Coffee” is actually THREE food products: coffee, half & half, and stevia.  But I created a “group” that combines all three things so when I want to record a cup of coffee I just choose “Morning Coffee” instead of entering each of the three ingredients each time.
  • As you go through your day, it shows you how many calories you have left and what ratios of Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates you’ve already consumed side by side with the recommended daily ratio so you can adjust on the fly.

Check out the program for yourself: https://perfectdiettracker.com/  And no, I don’t get any kick back by referring folks to them.  I just think it is a well made program.

So…now I have goals and a plan to get there!

See ya on the dance floor!

Small steps to start? LOL! We’re talking MICRO-Steps!


3 Months from now you will Thank YourselfI’m starting… …again.

I’m not going to lie, I’m not “into this” or “excited” about working out.  I’m depressed.  I’m pissed off at myself for letting my body get out of shape and gaining back 20 lbs of the 70 lbs that I had lost.

Back in March when Covid-19 hit and the whole country shut down I was at my half-way point: 70 lbs gone / 70 lbs left to loose.

Now that number is 50 lbs lost / 90 lbs left to loose.

Now,  just walking to the kitchen to get coffee feels like I’m working out.  SIGH

But, the first dance competition of 2021 is in 107 days, in mid-March, and that is a little over three months, assuming that the Covid Pandemic is on the wane and the event is ACTUALLY HELD!

Which means that if I want to dance with my students in a weekend competition, then I have to get moving NOW!  Because frankly if the event were this weekend instead of three and a half months from now, I would not be able to physically do it.  No way, no how.

The sucky part of this is that getting OUT OF SHAPE is so frigging easy.  That is what the body wants to do!  Getting into shape and staying in shape is hard. Just doing that first teeny tiny step, then taking the next teeny tiny step…SIGH

But both mentally and physically I feel AWFUL right now.  I want to feel better.  So…today  I will do some “easy wall pushups”  I will do one lap of the “stairs” (I’ll explain what I mean by that in my next post) and I will do some stretching.

And it will be a start…again.

Heads up…

For those of you who are still on the mailing list, or see this on Facebook and/or Twitter etc, I am going to keep posts short, VERY SHORT.   For the most part.  LOL  We’ll see how that plan works…  I’m not known among my friends for my ability to “keep things short.”  I do tend to ramble on…  Tell the long tale…  oh!  Ooops!  LOL

Wish me luck.

Tony’s Tip No.9 — Do One Thing


When you feel overwhelmed…do ONE thing!

health-and-fitness-tips

It is easy to set goals.

It is easy to picture where you want to be in six months or a year.

Saying “I am going to get fit and healthy” is a simple easy thing to do.

ACTUALLY getting there is NOT!

So, when you feel overwhelmed; when the number on the scale seems stuck; when you’re down, blue, not motivated and everything seems impossible…

Do ONE Thing…

Just one.  One POSITIVE thing.

It doesn’t matter what “thing” you do.  Bend over a pick up a sock and put it in the hamper.

Look at that unmade bed and straighten out the pillows.  Or pull the comforter or bedspread out flat to cover the mess.

Wash your face.

Empty the wastebasket in your office, bedroom, or bathroom.

Feed the kitty a few treats.  (And no, you can’t have any of the treats!)

Because when you do ONE Thing…

DO-ONE-THING

Doing the SECOND thing is easier…

I am not a neat person.

After 53 years of life, I accept that, even though I actually a “place for everything” — “everything” will NEVER be in its place.

At least not all at the same time.

My life is filled with clutter.  My outward living space often reflects my inner thoughts where I bound from one thing to another to another to another, leaving a trail of creative chaos in my wake.

Some would argue that the chaos is not so creative; don’t listen to them.

Few would deny, however, that it is entertaining!

Squirrel!

Therefore, my “One Thing” often is something to do with cleaning…

Given that my home is usually a mess, for me, the “one thing” is usually a bit of neatening or straightening or cleaning.

Everyone is different.  Your “one thing” might be putting on a piece of music.  Or entering ONE check into your check register.  Or it might be filling up your 7-day pill organizer with this week’s medications.

Or…taking the dog for a walk.

Or…mailing a birthday card to a loved one.

Or…adding an item to the “shopping list” on the refrigerator door.  Or…

It doesn’t really matter WHAT you do as long as you do SOMETHING!

Minion and Money - Just one step awayIt has got to be a “positive” thing.  Take a step. Any Step.  It is that first step that is the most important one.  And it does NOT have to be a big step.

Step #1 is always the hardest, so make it a teeeeeeennnny tiny thing!  Make sure that you can succeed when you take that tiny step.  Do that tiny “one thing.”

Do something that you KNOW you can do….because who knows, when taking a step, just where any step might lead?

One thing I can promise you is that doing that one thing, WILL lead to doing another, which will lead to another.  IF…

…after you pick up that sock and toss it in the dirty clothes hamper, you do a mini-celebration.  After all you DESERVE IT!

You just girded your loins!  You mustered your gumption! You fought against the feeling of battling an overwhelming MOUNTAIN of things yet to be done and you STARTED!  You took a step FORWARD!  You just did SOMETHING good!

Woo Hoo! Yay! YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!

You, my friend, my dearest readers, DESERVE to celebrate! Because…

Depression and other “negative”
feelings are no laughing matter…

Depression (CC)When I am feeling “depressed” it usually manifests in one of two ways:

  1. A feeling of futility or hopelessness
    ..
    OR less frequently as:
    ..
  2. Anger. — Which according to the articles I’ve read is VERY typical for men battling depression.For some reason that scientists can’t quite figure out yet, men suffering from depression often are more on edge, stressed, likely to explode over minor things.

Do a quick Google Search on “Depression in Men.”  The information is easy to find.

Doing SOMETHING positive for myself…

…no matter how small.  How “tiny” in the grand scheme of things.  Makes me feel better.

Upward SpiralThere is actual real science behind this simple idea.  Google “Feedback Loops” — they can be either negative or positive.

By doing one “good / positive” thing you are halting a negative feedback loop and turning it into a positive feedback loop!

And that’s the key.  With that teeeeeeeeeeny tiny step.  With one SMALL action. You are breaking a negative cycle.

Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!  AAaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Yes, dearest readers, from your sounds of approval, I see that you are now amazed at my clever insights. 😉

Seriously, it really is that simple.  Not easy, no, but simple!

HOWEVER… you have to do the “celebration” part

Make a game of it.

And if you get silly and start laughing at yourself or if your kids or grand kids are present, then don’t worry they will start laughing right along with you! And you’ll be firmly on that positive feedback loop, putting negativity behind you.

Picture this:

Me.  Gloomy.  Not motivated.  Overwhelmed.  Hopeless.  Feeling like that it is all pointless.  Why even bother?  Who cares if I’ve lost over 40 lbs!  I still have over a 100 lbs to go!  It is impossible.  I’ve set my sights too high.  I’ll never get there.  sigh

There are too many hurdles. It is hopeless.  Then, bored, I scroll through Facebook, looking at all my friends living wonderful lives filled with fun, love, and skinny-ness.  SIGH

HUGE heavy friggin’ SIGH….

Then.

[ insert the theme music from Jaws — dum dum dum dum dum DUM DUM DUM DUM! ]

dirty-sockThere. On the floor.  I spot my enemy!  A foul sock!  Out of place!  Dirty.  Used.  And offending my latent OCD!

I leap out of my chair!

[ Ok, ok, I painfully push myself up out of my chair with a groan. ]

I spear the sock with my steely gaze and speak “Ah foul sock, enemy of tidiness and cleanliness and all things that my Mom said I should do…

Your. Days. Are. Numbered!!!!”

And I imagine a tiny fearful squeaky sock voice whimpering and quivering in abject fear of my rightful wrath!

And I bend over and carefully pick the sock up while dramatically holding my nose with one hand and pinching the smallest amount of sock between two fingers of the other hand.

I turn my head away in a dramatic swoop of the neck worthy of an Oscar and in my best Diva Voice say “I have you now!”

And off to the bathroom we go.  [Where we studiously ignore the mess in the bathroom] and deposit the foul beast into captivity with its brethren in the dirty clothes hamper.

Notice we are using the Royal “We!”?  snort giggle ROFL @ myself  This is FUN!

Now we celebrate…

Happy Dance SMALLWe start doing that circle in the air thing with our fists as we dance back to the bedroom chanting “Uh-huh!  Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

Then with a couple of fist pumps we chant

“We did it!  We picked up a sock! 

We did it!  WHOSE da man?!?  WhoseYerDaddy!?!

Then I collapse in a fit of giggles back into the desk chair in the bedroom.

And TAH DAH!  I feel better…

Even if you drop all the dramatics.  The simple act of doing one “positive” or “good for you” or “improving yourself or your environment” thing can trigger a cascade of more positive things.

And, in complete seriousness, when you are down in the dumps, fighting against that awful feeling of hopelessness…

…sometimes picking up a single sock and putting it away is a monumental achievement.

It deserves to be celebrated.

So…do…one…thing.  And celebrate.  You can do this!

See ya on the dance floor!

 

Looking Back and Looking Ahead – Good things are happening!


My Journey So far…

My journey so far...The way we humans envision time is a funny thing.

When I start looking back I am often surprised at how much, or how little time has actually passed.

And, if you will pardon a wee bit of bluntness, I’m often surprised by the huge amount of CRAP that I’ve been through!

No wonder my face has some tread marks on it because life done run me over! Several times!

In the colorful vernacular of present times: Life be like — “Boy you done been Bitch Slapped!”

Life is getting Better! Way Better!

2016 is going to be a FABULOUS yearIf things keep going on their current trajectory, then 2016 is going to be an amazing, stupendous, exciting, fabulous year!

It may, indeed turn out to be the best year of my entire life.

Wow!

The truly amazing thing is that my focus has shifted.

I’m no longer focused on the “here and now” locked permanently into “survival mode;” I find that I am only looking “back” to measure how far I’ve come and/or to explain to friends when they ask me “where have you been hiding?”

My focus is firmly pointed toward the future.  A quick rundown of the exciting things that are happening:

  • I’m loosing weight! Yay!
    ..
  • As of this morning I weigh 294.6 — that is a total of 40.4 lbs lost from my highest weight of 335 lbs.
    ..
  • My health is improving on almost a daily basis. My stamina is up. I’m moving more.
    ..
  • I’ve started dancing again!
    • I am back in the studio practicing.
    • I’ve started teaching line dance again — lots of stuff happening there; more on that later in this post.
    • I’ve started an Instructor Training program at a local studio and as soon as I finish that program I’ll be put on staff teaching couples dancing, both Ballroom and Country — THIS IS FRIGGIN’ HUGE!
    • I’ve been put on staff at one dance event already for the coming dance year, 2016, and I’m likely to be put on staff at several others!
    • I’m planning on competing this year in Line Dance!
    • I’m beginning to choreograph line dances and will be competing in Line Dance Choreography this year.

Things are turning around.  But to understand just how wonderful and much of a positive change these and other events and happenings in my life are, I have to go back in time and fill you in on how awful things were… 

Long time readers of my blog will recognize bits and pieces of the story but you’ve probably not seen it laid out so concisely in one spot.

For my new readers, new “dance friends” I just made at Dallas Dance and at Worlds, and for my friends with whom I only recently reconnected…

…in the words of Bette Davis “Fasten your seat belts...”

And, uhmmm… you might want to hit “pause” and go grab a cup of coffee or soda and some snacks.

I never intend for my blog posts to be long. Stop laughing!  It is true!  I really do try to make them short, but somehow…  sigh

Oh, well, it may be long, but it is without a doubt entertaining…and informative… Now git…go grab that beverage…

…back?  Got your soda?  Cool… here we go:

The date my life changed…for the worse

Looking back on one’s life, even on recent events, is much like using a crystal ball to peer into the future: the images are very VERY foggy!

Some events are Read the rest of this entry

Tony’s Tip No.8 — Do Life! not “exercise”!


Incorporate “movement” into your life…

health-and-fitness-tips

Some of my “tips” are ones that I actually come up with myself.

Some of the “tips” I share here are ones that come to me from various “Health & Ftness motivational” lists that I’ve signed up with at Walgreens, WebMD, my health insurance company, a website called “RealAge” and a few others.

The tips come to me as tweets or emails.

I got this one a couple days ago. . .

Do at least one active lifestyle activity this week.  Try working in the yard, washing the car. Walking to do an errand or cleaning.

. . .and my reaction was:

“DUH!”

Hey, I realize that Read the rest of this entry

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