Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Competition Finale And Update

My company's weight loss competition has finished and the numbers are in. Everyone was stressing and worrying waiting for the final tally but unfortunately we only came in second place. The team we were neck and neck with the whole competition finished hard and shocked us all with their numbers. A lot of our members were disappointed with the results and grudgingly congratulated the other team for their hard work but I was happy to see that there were a lot of smiles on our members. The end of the competition caused us all to step back and realize all the physical as well as mental changes we were making and we were all happy with the results. Also, after a week of freedom, we decided to continue helping each other, losing weight, and getting healthier all year long!

Now before we finish talking about the competition there's something I'd like to address. A lot of people were making suggestions to me on ways I could make a few extra pounds for the sake of the competition. Most of these tips were super helpful and I want to thank each one of you but a few people suggested some pretty drastic ideas. Crash diets and no water might seem like a great way to shed a few pounds in a short time but they're very unhealthy. While it's true that some of these practices will work they can damage your body and cause only short term weight loss. Most of the time you will struggle with this new practice and your weight will snap back to what it was originally and then some. Weight loss should be a slow gradual process that you stick to for a long time. There's no cheat code that will fix it all in a week. With that said I wanted to say thanks again to the people who offered suggestions and encouragement to me over the past few months. You guys rock!

Surrounding yourself with positive people with similar goals can only help your weight loss so I'm so proud of my team and their continued resolve to lose weight. We've even started doing our own weigh ins and continued our little weight loss program of our own. Having a weekly check in is such a great help to keep you on track and losing. It's important to keep it in the forefront of your mind with any tricks you can use. I myself have been updating my computer's background with a checklist of items I need to do each week as well as a new funny picture to keep things fresh!

Here's this week's "The Rules" background.

I did learn one new thing recently though. Now that I've been keeping track of my weight loss through use of my awesome excel document, I've learned a bit more about the effects of weight lifting and aerobic exercises on my body.

During the competition I was focused wholely on aerobic exercise since I knew that would have the biggest effect on my weight and it was a competition after all. I promised myself that I could switch back to weight lifting when the competition was done. During the competition I was maintaing my goal of at least 2 lbs each week but once it finished I swapped half of my aerobics for weight lifting. It felt good to lift weights again but when I did my weekly weigh in I found that I had lost only 1.4 lbs falling short of my goal. Thinking I had just had a bad week I switched my routine to entirely weight lifting to cheer myself up. The next weigh in I found out that I only lost .1 lbs.

I've spoken about weight lifting in the past and mentioned how I know it's easy to slack when you have to take breaks between those heavy lifts but I felt that I had been staying pretty honest and doing a similar amount of work. After a bit of research and discussions I came to the consensus that I was indeed losing fat, but replacing it with muscle. I could lift more in every exercise in my routine and felt healthier but body fat is much harder to track than weight. Realizing that I would best accomplish my goals by sticking with aerobic exercises I have all but sworn off weight lifting until I have gotten my weight down to a more manageable level. I know that weight lifting is still good for me if I'm honest and work the whole time I'm there but it's better for me motivation wise to see those numbers every week in an easy to track way. Once I committed to these changes I saw my weight loss go back to it's original numbers and I'm happy with the change.

Not wanting to be too stagnant I also added a few more things to my checklist. Now in addition to counting calories, using the stairs, and going to the gym, I also have to drink one large bottle of water at work, and lift weights when I'm home. This may sound like I'm going back on what I've said but the gym is aerobic only, while my free weights at home are just for fun. That way I can fully commit to my new plan and still get a small bit of weight lifting done!

I am now 302.4 down almost 34 lbs this year and within range of my first goal of breaking that 300lbs mark!

Question of the day: What are your healthy life goals?