After years of struggling with early mornings I’m going to try something a bit drastic. For 30 days I’m going to wake up at 6:30. I haven’t decided yet if this will include weekends. My initial thought is to allow for moderate sleeping in but not my usual 11am/noon hibernation that often happens.
Today was day 1, and I woke up at 6:45 then snoozed to 6:50 before getting up. Not bad, but I’ve realized I need to be up by 6:30 to make the morning routine not feel rushed.
In this blog’s inaugural post, I gave myself some goals. Here’s what they were:
Goals for January 2010:
Drop the holiday weight
Increase my lifts
Squat – 245
Bench – 200
Overhead – 135
Deadlift – 250
Be able to run 8 miles again
Move into my new home
Meditate three times a week
I’m tracking well against these goals, but I’m definitely a little concerned with only 11 days left in January. My most important goal, which was to drop the weight, has been going great though. I’m down to 212 from 219. I imagine within the next week I’ll drop to 210, and hopefully more weight will come off as I continue. As for the lifting, well, I’m getting there, but the goals I set were big. On squats, I managed to do 5 sets of 5 reps of 225 pounds. Given that I feel that I could squat 245 for 1 rep, but I won’t make that attempt until closer to the end of the month. For bench, I’m comfortably benching 175 also 5×5, and made my first attempt at 185 pounds. Next week, I’ll try for a full 5 sets at 185. Again, I think I’ll be very close to doing 1 rep of 200.
This all sounds like it’s going great, so why the concern? Well my overheads are pretty much stalled around 110 and I haven’t deadlifted since catching the flu in November. To top it off, between being sick and travel, I’m not going to get any lifting in this week. I’m confident that I’ll be able to get close to these goals, but I’m uncertain if I can meet them at this point. We’ll see.
Well then, “How’s the running going?”, you ask. I went for my first run in months last weekend and managed a nice two miles. My next run, I’ll shoot for 4, and then go for 8. However, given the torrential rain fall and my big move happening this Sunday, I’m dubious about my chances of getting two runs in before the month ends. I did, however, sign up for the Bay to Breakers in May. I also put myself in the 9-minute mile corral. It’ll be my third year running the Bay to Breakers. The first year I did it was my first experience with actually running, and the experience jump-started me into running two half-marathons. This year, my goal is to run 7.62 mile race in 75 minutes or less, essentially under 10 minute miles. I’ve never been able to maintain a sub-10-minute mile pace for more than 4 miles, so this will be a big jump, but something I believe to be within my reach.
My move is also going well. I’ve got the keys to my new home, which is a mere two blocks from my old one. I’m about one third through packing, and the movers are coming on Sunday. Saturday will most assuredly be spent packing, but I’m comfortable with the impending move. All the other pieces of the move are in place as well.
So out of these, the only goal I’ve really flubbed is to meditate three days a week. I haven’t meditated at all in 2010. I still believe in the value of meditation, so I will keep this on my list and hope that I can pick it up again. Maybe in February or after my move I will make progress towards this goal.
Overall, I’m pleased with my progress here, and think that monthly, public goal setting is a viable technique for achieving a goal. Tomorrow, I’m heading off to Seattle where I’ll be speaking at Avvocating, a technology conference for lawyers. It’s my first speaking engagement of the year. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll talk about it when I get back.
Until then, enjoy a picture of a rainbow from yesterday’s storm
Today was my first day in the office of the year. My last day being December 18th. I’ve spent the last two weeks with my family in various parts of the country. First a week in Bronxville, NY with my brother and his family for Christmas, and then a week in New Orleans with my parents.
Coming into this trip I knew I wouldn’t have much of a chance to exercise. I also knew that I would be eating very well and, as is the case in my family, drinking a lot. Gaining weight over the holiday would pretty much be unavoidable so I gave myself a threshold. I allotted myself 10 pounds of holiday weight gain.
Well between baking cookies with the kids, po’boys at Parkway (who by the way has the most unnecessarily long domain name ever), beignets in the quarter, and *cough* two bottles of wine a night, I almost achieved my goal. I ended the trip at 219 pounds, 9 pounds more than when I left.
Returning to California I have given myself the goal to remove that weight by the end of January. I suppose it’s more of a deadline.
Since I first started going to the gym in November 2006 (losing 35 pounds), I’ve held onto the workout habit. Over the years, I’ve noticed patterns amongst my fellow gym-goers. One of my personal favorites is the onslaught people trying to “start the year right.” These “resolutionaries” descend on the gym, mostly taking up the ellipticals and treadmills.
During the first few weeks of January, especially Mondays, the gym is slammed. But it doesn’t take long for that resolute determination to fade. Beginning a workout regimen is a great tax on the body and most people don’t realize, or remember as the case might be, how long the body needs to adapt to the new stress. Whether it be by over-training, injury, or the simple, “I don’t feel like it,” these folks burn out and within weeks the gym is again left to the dedicated. It’s fascinating to watch, but also a bit sad to see so few people carry on with the exercise habit. I’m a firm believer that you can’t be at your best mentally if you don’t take care of yourself physically.
How I’ll drop 10 pounds
Really the key to weight loss for me has been consistent workouts and watching what I eat. So I’ll be shooting for 3 strength training workouts a week (with a minimum of 2 unless I’m travelling). Running, which I took a break from in the late part of last year, will again become part of my week. I like to run 5-11 miles on Sundays.
Lastly I’ll be working on my diet. The last time I had lunch with Tim Ferriss he strongly encouraged me to try the slow carb diet that he detailed on his blog. It’s a very manageable diet, so I’ll try to continue with it through January. An added benefit of this diet is that you can enjoy your favorite carby foods (burritos, pasta, pizza) after a workout. In a way, it’s more incentive to hit the gym hard.
I’ll be detailing my progress throughout the month. There’s a couple other habits (one of which is writing on this site) I’m trying to pick up as the year starts and I’ll talk about those in future posts.