Take A Hike…

As time goes by and life moves along, most of us often unintentionally end up in place we did not expect, nor really ever wished to be.  Did you want to be overweight?  The more so unhappy and depressed for it?

I know I did not… And yet there I was.  So overweight that I had to roll out of bed in the morning.  Getting up was an effort.  Getting up one flight of stairs was hard work and left me breathless. Run?.. I literally could not run if my life depended on it.

In reality I am also not even that sure how it happened.  I was an active and somewhat sporty teenager.  During my early adulthood I did all kinds of fun things like scuba dive and whatever took my fancy.  Physical activity was not particularly difficult and mostly enjoyable.

As time went by it got harder and I did less of it.  I would look in the mirror (knowing how over weight I had become) and in total denial say to myself that I still looked good.  I did not.  Not even by my very low standard at the time.  I stopped physically being able to do the things that I used to love so much.  And when I realised that, it was already way past the point of no return.  At least so it felt.

The reality is that it is never to late.  Never.  Sometimes it just requires you to make a choice, and then actually follow through.  One choice.  And if you like hiking (or used to),  why not do what you need to, so you can do that again.

I did and it has paid of in ways that I could never have imagined.  Just in the past two months I was able to do 4 hikes, 8km, 10km, 13.5km and an 11km.  I live in a coastal city with lots of magnificent hiking trails.  I have so fallen in love with doing those that I try to get to one at least every 2-3 weeks in summer.  And the best part.  It is not even hard.  10km hike, no problem.  I can honestly say that I love it, love it, love it.  And the best part is that I am willing to do almost anything to keep that ability.  Anything, because it is just awesome.

The point.  Whatever is your hike, go take it.  If you can not, do what you have to, then go take it.  It is worth it….

Tracking Your Weight Loss Journey

In order to ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss goals, there are several things that are worth tracking. By keeping an ongoing record you can trend your results and determine whether you are succeeding or not easily.

Here are the ones that have been particularly useful to me.

Weight : If weight loss is your purpose. (or gain)

Muscle Mass : Tracking muscle mass in relation to body fat percentage and weight is very helpful especially as you get closer to your goals.

Body Fat Percentage : It is a universally accepted measure for how much of your body mass is fat.  Ideal numbers are different for men and woman.  Irrespective, this will prove an overall indicator of your success, and will be very helpful when making decisions about exercise and diet.

Basal Metabolic Rate :  This tracks the amount of calories your body burns in a resting state. It is helpful for working out the correct diet / exercise combination to ensure that you maintain just the right sustainable caloric deficit.  If you know what your base metabolic rate is and you know what you caloric burn is for the exercise you do, you can easily adjust your diet to the right level, to create the right balance.

Physical measurements :  Fairly simple if you are just focused on loosing weight.  Use a measuring tape.  Getting closer to goals, I have found measuring tapes rather unreliable and not very helpful.  I like taking photos (selfies) at regular intervals (every 6-8 weeks.)  Easy enough to compare, and see your results.

Food : Knowing what and how much you eat is useful for making sure you maintain the right balance between food and exercise.  Since results tend to develop over time, I have found it particularly useful to keep track of my meals.  When I make dietary adjustments, for whatever reason, it is easy to see whether a change actually has an affect or not, especially when done in correlation with the other factors tracked.

Training :  Knowing how many calories you burn from which training sets, and which training sets you do, historically tracked, will make it possible for you to trend results as well as determine whether changes have had an affect, and what that affect was. Positive of negative.

You cannot track what you do not measure, and if you do not measure, how do you know if you are successful or not?

Measure. Track. Adjust. Succeed….