Don’t worry, I have already started thinking about how I should title these monthly health update posts on my blog 🙂 I know it does not make sense to count months and weight loss progress anymore. Weight loss is not my priority anymore, and my journey transformed into more of a healthy living one. Maybe I should wait till I can use a flashy title like “a year of fat loss” and do the change after the 12th month. What do you think?
An interesting side effect of these monthly updates is the positive morale it brings in with the fresh view of what I have been doing/accomplishing for a full past month. I was not expecting this to happen 🙂 but somehow these updates make me happier and more satisfied with the time I have spent on planet earth. A nice piece of self-awareness I guess.
Here is what I have been through this month.
As you see it has been a busy month. After switching to my new plan of four days of weight training, three days of a total of 160 minutes of cardio and one rest day per week I’m still alive 🙂 In case you are curious here is last months post where I explained my plan for June. I executed the plan flawlessly. Here is where I flexed it a little bit.
June 1 – I didn’t want to start the plan on a Saturday and decided to give myself an additional day off considering I would be switching to a more challenging workout routine.
June 8, 9 – I had to do my 10K on Saturday but had a race to join scheduled for Sunday. I simply moved the day from Saturday to Sunday.
June 21, 22 – I had a race scheduled for Friday. According to my plan, Fridays are weight training, Saturdays are running. Switching it for the week.
June 25 – See that 18 minutes run? That was a total surprise run just to hit the Brave like Gabe challenge on Strava.
Let’s talk about running a little bit. This month I ran at three different races. When I call these “races” don’t get me wrong. I’m not racing 🙂 This is about just being a finisher. I even rarely compete with my shadow. I just don’t like to push myself unless I feel like it during a run. It is more about the feeling of running for me. If I want to breathe and enjoy the scenery that’s what I’m going to do without giving a cent about my pace 🙂 It took me some “getting old” to get to this point. Though that’s a whole different subject for another post.
Friends of Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail Fun Run – What a scenery! I loved the trail on the seafront. I’m really jealous of people living in Sandpoint 🙂 They have a lovely running trail full of nature and very accessible. The run was to support the community funding the trail. Just awesome! For the record, this was a 10K run that I got in just 30 seconds short of an hour. Not bad.
Stache Run – This is a run organized by/for The Children’s Therapy Resource Foundation Elevations. There was a 5K and 10K option. I signed up for the 10K route going through downtown Spokane and Riverfront Park. Mustaches were distributed to wear during the run 🙂 I opted for the natural version and simply didn’t shave for a couple of days before the run. What should I say, looks better on me 😛
Summer Solstice – As the name suggests this is a race to finish the longest day of the year. At least for the northerns between us 🙂 10K at 6PM was definitely out of my routine. My workouts are usually very early morning. The track was in downtown Spokane, but a little further on following Spokane river this time.
Strava Game ON
As mentioned in last months update 🙂 I moved over to Strava. Besides all the reasons pushing me to Strava, I discovered something that wasn’t in my initial list. Gamification and Virtual Races. There is the concept of “challenges” in Strava that you can join and chase to complete. They have some standard challenges like “Run 10K in June” that repeats every month, and that makes me feel like a rabbit 🙂 I don’t like repeating problems. I want them to be gone once accomplished 😀 What I found myself joining are challenges that are somehow unique and have good looking trophies 🙂 Oh yeah, once you complete a challenge you get a trophy to show off on your profile page (gamification there is). I joined some other challenges that were simply representing virtual races organized by 3rd parties. Wow! Love it!
Doesn’t this look beautiful? To be honest, none of these challenges forced me into additional running except “Brave like Gabe” which didn’t align with my running schedule. But hey! It feels good! Who knows, maybe there will be another one next month that will push me out of my comfort zone. For those thinking, “hey these are just PNG files you, idiot! Not even real trophies!” So is bitcoin my friend 🙂 Jokes aside, it’s been years I moved all my books to digital, even my library, why not trophies? I wish Strava had more reach/been more open, and every organizer out there could use it as a digital platform to issue digital trophies. Two of the three races I ran this month were for non-profit, or to fund a cause.
CPR, AED and Basic First Health
In other news, I got my CPR, AED and Basic First Health certificate. Another small accomplishment for the month. I always wanted to get a CPR / AED training to be able to react and help in urgency, instead of getting stuck not knowing what to do, or how to do. I strongly suggest everyone take this training. It’s simply a four-hour long hands-on training that can help you save a loved one or anyone! Do it! I have no clue why this training is not part of our regular high school education. It should be!
I know, I know. You have been waiting for this part and afraid it wouldn’t show up right? Here we go!
The month of fluctuations! First off, keep in mind that this is the first month of my weight lifting plan, and I was expecting to store more muscle glycogen and water, creating a little spike on this chart. I’m not sure that’s the reason for the jump above though. For the last three months, I’m strictly using MyFitnessPal to record all I eat and track calories. First, I wasn’t crazy about macronutrients and simply focused on 2000 calories/day and trying to stick with Fat + Protein as much as I can. This month I swapped to a 2200 cal/day 40-40-20 macronutrient ratio where 40% of calories are from protein, 40% from carbs and 20% from fat. The increase in calories was simply because I was increasing activity days from 4 to 6 a week. As always I kept some flexibility there and for some days let my protein or fat intake increase compared to lower carb intake. The 40-40-20 plan isn’t something new. I’m just lucky enough to know that it is the best plan for me based on my past experience, tests, and trials on my own body. With that said, the spike isn’t about any of this. Between 7th and 16th of the month, I took the majority of my carbs from barley instead of oats. That’s it! Go figure! Once I switched back to oats, I started losing weight like crazy. To be honest, there is no way either the weight gain from barley or weight loss from oat can be fat. You can’t loos or gain fat that fast! That should be water! Right? I have no clue. I didn’t have the guts to keep the test going once I saw so much gain from barley. I had to report some weight loss on my monthly update! 🙂
The last part of the graph still scares me with the upward trend. Next month it is 🙂
I will not change my diet. I will stick with my 40-40-20 ratio and 2200 cal/day and keep tracking with MyFitnessPal. My weight training and cardio plan will stay the same. So, essentially, all the same goals as the previous month.
- 4 days of weight training with at least 1 day off, or cardio after every 2 consecutive days of weights.
- Total of 160 minutes of cardio with no shorter than 30 minutes long sessions.
- One full rest day a week.
My day-to-day plan will be slight different tough;
- Monday > Weight Training
- Tuesday > Weight Training + 40 minutes cardio
- Wednesday > 40 minutes cardio
- Thursday > Weight Training
- Friday > Weight Training + 40 minutes cardio
- Saturday > 40 minutes cardio
- Sunday > Rest
The change here is about my cardio days. In June I had three cardio days with 40+60+60 minutes long sessions. That left some of my weight training days pretty sedentary from a cardio perspective. I decided to spread the minutes across four days and hit my minimum 40 minutes cardio limit in four days instead of three. That’s all 🙂 My runs will be a little shorter, but I will enjoy the benefits of cardio in more days of the week. Here is a TED video that might influence you to do the same. 🙂
That’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed reading this long post 🙂 See you next month!