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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!

Getting fit is like watching a Glacier Melt…


Stay with me…the metaphor makes sense!

If you’ve not been hiding under a rock, then you’re aware that scientists are concerned about the high number of melting glaciers. When you’re standing next to one, you think it isn’t changing that much, but when you video over time and then speed it up…BAM, it becomes obvious that it is changing and shrinking!

Think of when you dump some ice into your sink.  If you stand there and watch it…nothing much seems to be happening, but if you go away and come back in an hour, then the ice is either completely gone or mostly gone.

Getting fit, healthy, and in better shape is a lot like that. Seeing the day to day changes is a lot like watching an ice cube melt.  It is hard to see, but if you keep at it, keep doing a little bit at a time and take teeny tiny steps, eventually you’ll see progress.  Eventually you’ll see the fat shrink away, kinda like those melting glaciers.

My “Results” for last week / My “Goals” for this week:

Here were my very modest goals for last week:

  • Mixed Bag - Some good Some not so goodDo the morning numbers at least 5 days – seven would be better
    — I did.  Exactly 5.  I missed two days.

    • Goal for this week: do all morning measurements for all 7 days!
  • Take my daily meds both am & pm all seven days
    — I missed 2 pm doses and 1 am does

    • Goal for this week: do ALL AM & PM does – no misses.  This a big deal because I’m a diabetic and I have high blood pressure!
  • Lift 3 days
    — Yeah right!  Didn’t do a single day. Ugh.

    • Goal for this week: Lift for 3 days
  • Move 2 days
    — YAY!!!!  I actually met my goal and more.  I “moved” FOUR DAYS!!!

    • Goal for this week: Move 3 days
  • Stretch 6 days
    — Uhmmm…. failed horribly on this one… only ONE day did I do any stretching

    • Goal for this week: Stretch 6 days
  • Use Slim-Fast for breakfast & lunch at least 5 days – seven would be better.
    — I did this, I think, kinda, sorta, mostly, more than not…I started off tracking this and then stopped, but my somewhat faulty memory of the week tells me that even if I didn’t do this exactly as planned, I did it MOST of the time! 

    • Goal for this week: Use Slim-Fast for breakfast & lunch at least 5 days 

It’s always going to be a mixed bag

That last goal up above pretty much sums things up.  The best laid plans of mice and men and all that.  Life gets complicated very fast and plans go astray.  But as long as you’re doing SOMETHING, you will make progress.

Glaciers are built up one snow flake at a time.  They melt one drop of water at a time.

Getting fit is like that, it requires dedication and quite a bit of patience.

Now for the numbers:

Slow Progress is still ProgressI started my newest “fitness effort”  about two weeks ago when I got on the scale and freaked out at how much I had gained during the Pandemic.

I started recording my weight on Nov 28th — on that date my numbers were:

  • Weight 299.8 lbs
  • Body Fat: 42.65%
  • Muscle: 25%
  • Visceral Fat: 30%

Now, as of yesterday, Dec 7th, my numbers are:

  • Weight 292 lbs — Loss of 7.8 lbs
  • Body Fat: 42.25% — Loss of .4 %
  • Muscle: 23.6% — Loss of 1.4% — Not good!  I need to loose Fat, not muscle
  • Visceral Fat: 30% — same.  No change

See ya on the dance floor! 🙂

 

Quick update…


Holy Tilt-a-scale Batman!

I weighed in for the first time this morning.  And the number is NOT good.

I know from past experience that for me to stay on track I have to weigh in daily.  Twice a day actually and average the two sets of numbers.

I haven’t “tracked” my fitness numbers in quite some time:

  • Morning Blood Glucose Level
  • Morning Blood Pressure Level and Heart Rate
  • Weight
  • Body Fat, Muscle Fat, Visceral Fat

Last week, last post, I “guesstimated” my weight and boy was I off.  During Covid Shutdown/Slowdown, from March 1st to now, I’ve gained almost THIRTY FRIGGING POUNDS!

No wonder going up and down stairs seems harder…because it IS harder!

Looking on the bright side…

Start small but start

I’ve started. Bit by bit I’m RE-starting all the things that I used to do when I was loosing weight.

Also, way back in 2012 when I lost my job, was stuck at home and eventually ballooned up to 335 lbs, I was in HORRIBLE shape from a fitness standpoint.  Comparing my “mental memory” of my “muscle memory” I’m moving better now than I did then even though my weight has shot up.

Another way to say it is that even though my weight has shot up since March, my fitness level has not dropped into the sub-basement. I still have some of the fitness gains that I worked so hard to make.

So, bit by bit, I’m throwing another sandbag on the dike.

How I did last week & Plans for this week…

I didn’t do all the “exercising” that I had planned last week, but I did do MORE exercise last week than I did the week before which was pretty much ZERO!  Not to hard to do more than zero!

So, this week (week #2), I plan on actually meeting my very LOW level goals.

  • Do the morning numbers at least 5 days – seven would be better
  • Take my daily meds both am & pm all seven days
  • Lift 3 days
  • Move 2 days
  • Stretch 6 days
  • Use Slim-Fast for breakfast & lunch at least 5 days – seven would be better.

Wish me luck — scratch that!  Wish me success!

Want to help?

During this pandemic, my dance business has been drastically affected.  And the unemployment benefits I’ve been getting are about to expire in two weeks.  So if you want to lend a hand to help me meet my fitness goals here is how:

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.

Life is good…lots of dancing and getting healthy…and VERY BUSY!


I really need to do a dozen different posts…

…but this quick update is all I have time for!

This blog, for those who need the reminder is about ME!  Moí! And the stuff going on as I continue on my journey, dancing my way to Health and Fitness.

The short version is that finally after several awful years, things seem to be turning around, finally coming together for me.  Yay!

Not to create any false impressions…I’ve got a long way to go on many fronts: fitness, health, dancing, and financial, but for now things are progressing in the right direction.

So, in a completely random order here are some brief updates on what’s going on in Tony-Land:

I updated my event calendar:

There is LOTS of info about Moí embedded in the calendar as I yack about the events, classes, and workshops that I’m planning on attending or working so check it out:

https://txcowboydancer.com/event-calendar/

Next big event: IGRA Dance Round Up 2017

I am one of the invited instructors.   Yay! —> click the poster to the right to embiggen so you can read it and get more info about the event.  Here is the link to the full schedule of workshops and the registration form.

Here are the workshops that I will be teaching:

FRIDAY, June 8th
— 2:15 – 3:15 pm at the Roundup Saloon – Couples – “West Coast Swing”
4:45 – 5:45 pm at the Roundup Saloon – My Brand New Line Dance:
Dirty New Boots” 32 count, 4 wall, Improver Level
danced to “Dirt on my Boots / by Jon Pardi”

SATURDAY, June 9th
— 9:15 – 10:15 am at the Roundup Saloon – Couples – “Cha-Cha”
— 2:45 – 3:45 pm at Sue Ellens – Line dance – “Sunday Finest / choreographed by Jose’ Miguel Belloque Vane and Roy Verdonk” 32 count, 4 wall, Low Intermediate
danced to “Sunday Finest / by Sir Rosevelt
— 4:00 – 5:00 pm at Sue Ellens – Couples – “Night Club 2-Step”

Now accepting new ProAm Students!!!!

2011 UCWDC Country Dance World Championships XIXIf you have ever wanted to compete in dance, then give me a shout.

I have over 20 years of experience in Country Western and Line Dance competitions. Ballroom is also a possibility.

My rates are VERY reasonable and you can save money by buying packages of 5 or 10 lessons.

New Competitor Special

I offer a “new competitor” special — $70 for two private lessons (including floor fees).  You get an introduction to your choice of  eight county competition dances, six ballroom competition dances, and/or line dance competition info.

At the end of the second lesson you’ll have the information you need to make a sound decision about whether competition is right for you or if you just want to continue at the social dance level.  What are you waiting for?  Sign up now!

I hate to put in the disclaimer stuff, but if I don’t do it then people get upset…my special offer is not open to current DanceMakers students; I am a staff instructor there, so if you are already a student at DanceMakers, the normal DanceMaker rates apply. On the bright side, you are already part of an AWESOME studio family!!!!

On the Fitness Front:

My current weight is [drum roll please] 270.9 lbs !!!!

Total lost to date: 64.10 lbs, approximate left to loose: 75.9 lbs.

The exact amount left depends on my final body fat percentage.  My target range is 7% – 17% which, according to the information from the American Council on Exercise, at 7% would put me in the middle of the “Athletes” range for men on the low end.

On the high end of that target range, at 17%, I would be at the top of the “Fitness” level which is below the “acceptable level.”

Other progress indicators:

                    What 18 months of progress looks like

Yes, the weight loss is great but the MAIN indicator of my increasing fitness and health is my ability to move my body.  At my worst climbing a flight of stairs was a painful ordeal requiring a 20 minute nap to recover.  Yes, I’m prone to drama, but that is a cold hard fact with no exaggeration.

Now, I am dancing…a lot!

In Jan 2016, when I first became a “full pro” a single hour of dance class or a lesson was a HUGE achievement.  And one that required that I pretty much rest most of the next day.  Now, I can do 5-6 hours of dancing.  My feet hurt and I’m beat at the end of it, but after a full night’s sleep, I can do the same the following day.

I still have a way to go to be where I want to be, but I am sure I will get there.  This coming week will be a true test of my current fitness level.  very single day this week I have lessons with students, rehearsals, and then this coming weekend, I have the IGRA Dance Round Up.  My lightest day is 4 hours of dancing.  My heaviest day will be 6 hours (as of now), but when you toss in the commuting time…eeeeeeeeekkkk!

Other stuff in a random off the top of my head order…

  • I am now an Award Winning Choreographer!!!  Woot!  I competed in Choreography for the first time at the Texas Classic a couple weeks ago.  I entered my very first line dance that I’ve ever choreographed:  Dirty New Boots” — The judges gave me very high marks and I took 1st place!  Yay! A big shout out to my “back up dancers” friends who learned my dance and danced it with me at the competition.  THANK YOU!  Check out the photo to the right — click to “embiggen”
  • I danced for the first time in the Superstar Division at the Texas Hoedown in March — It is the highest level of competition.  Yay!
  • I danced for the first time as a “Professional” dancing with two of my students who competed in Newcomer ProAm at the Texas Hoedown in March.
  • I am on track to compete in Line Dance at UCWDC Worlds in San Francisco and ACDA Nationals here in Dallas.  Lots of rehearsing left to do and still have create my “Showcase” dances.  Eeeeeeekkkkk… But I’m on track.
  • The number of students I have is steadily increasing.  Which is way cool.
  • I am continuing to learn more dance steps, more technique, more Ballroom, more Country, more Line, more Swing…. Whew!  Bottom line: I am becoming a better dancer every single day.
  • My Diabetes is under control.  My doc says that I should be able to start reducing the meds early next year.  Eventually I will NOT be a diabetic.  Yay!
  • My physical therapy is complete and I now have 99% functionality in my left shoulder which was injured a couple years ago.
  • The treatments to manage the tingling in my left arm have mostly succeeded.  This will be an ongoing issue for me but at least I know there is a treatment.  I have no idea what’s gonna happen with my health insurance…  Grrrrrrrrr…. but for now, and as long as I have coverage, I can do the 3 treatments a year and manage the condition.
  • Finally almost done with fixing some dental issues that cropped up during the period when “my life exploded” and I had no health insurance.
  • Financially…well because I am teaching more students, all bills are being covered and I am eating better foods because I have more money for food.BUT I am still not making enough money to pay rent.  If not for the kindness of my best friend, I would be on the street.  He is letting me stay rent free in his spare bedroom.  Anyone want to make a donation
    Seriously…
    There is a back log of “things that had to wait til money got better that I’m working through.  Nothing that can’t wait a bit longer but it would be nice to have them now rather than later.  Check out my full list of “Things to help Tony on his Journey to Health and Fitness” at Amazon.com if you are feeling generous.
  • My truck is now paid off!  Yay!  That helped a lot on the financial front…but just when I was contemplating my influx new found wealth [tongue firmly placed in cheek]…my health insurance premiums for 2017 went up. Arrrrgggghhh Which pretty much wiped out the the “gain” I got from no car payments.  *SIGH*  Don’t get me wrong…I am happy to have insurance and it has saved my life, but this cycle of ever increasing health care costs is not sustainable.

Well I think that is the highlights…and the clock is ticking…I have to start getting ready for bed.  Tomorrow morning kicks off a non-stop whirlwind of activity for the next SIX DAYS!

I tell ya now…if I don’t drop a full percentage point of body fat and do not drop AT LEAST 5 lbs this week there is no justice in this world. Jus’ sayin’

See ya on the dance floor!

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