Hiking Into 2017

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On November 5th, 2016, I hiked my first 4,000 foot mountain in New Hampshire. I only have 47 more to go before I complete them all!

It was a really challenging hike for me, even though roundtrip it was only about 6 miles. My friends and I go on one or two hikes a year, often during the colder months, almost always in the Franconia Notch area of New Hampshire. We’ve traveled to a few of the Appalachian Mount Club’s huts, and I am a huge fan of the AMC’s huts. They’re run by dedicated staff, but some are closed or have limited availability during the winter.  I am partial to the Lonesome Lake Hut, as the hike in the winter is well worn, and you shave off some the hike length when you walk across the lake(when and if it’s safe!).

When we hiked up to Cannon Mountain, we took the Hi-Cannon Trail, which is less traveled than the trail to the Lonesome Lake Hut. At 4,100 feet, Cannon Mountain is the 12th lowest mountain of the 48. However, the weather still changes drastically as you get to the higher elevation. There’s also a ladder that you need to crawl up at one point.


At the top of this ladder there is a cliff. You need to stand, turn, and continue on the hike. There’s no railing, so you might feel a little vertigo as you turn to keep hiking.

I’m telling this story because I’m hoping to hike more in 2017 than I have in any recent year. As a teenager, I hiked more often with the boy scouts. I’m hoping that 2017 proves to be the kickstarter to a true attempt at reaching the peaks of all 48 4,000 foot peaks in New Hampshire. If I can reach 3 in 2017, that would be a huge accomplishment.

I may go back to this hike again, to talk about preparing for it, and the challenges I’ll face physically.


I may post again this year, but I’m not sure. If not, happy holidays!

2016 Goals

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Here I am, again.

2012 2014 2015 2016
Run 2 miles without stopping.
Run 5 miles without stopping.
Sign up and compete in a 5K/10K or something similar.
Bike 50 miles in a single day.
Bike 100 miles in a single day.
Bike to City Island, NY, from home.
Become a semi-regular bicycle commuter.


2 Weeks In Sweden

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In about 30 minutes I’ll be boarding a plane bound for Stockholm, Sweden. I’ll be there for the next 2 weeks, and I suspect I won’t have access to a scale during that time. I will definitely have access to a gym, though, and my goal is to establish a habit while I’m over there….by using the gym.

I think it’s an achievable goal, which means I should continue my weight loss without a problem.

The thing is, I’ve heard so many people who stay in hotels for a few weeks end up eating poorly and doing everything except hitting up the hotel gym.

I’m banking on the fact that it’s cold as hell in Stockholm, it’s the only thing I’ll want to do!

I’ll see about posting some pics of my adventures. I plan on walking quite a bit on Saturday and Sunday, so that should be fun.

Sorry for the brief post, I hope to have more soon!

Finding The Spark

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I’ve used SparkPeople.com periodically over the last 6-7 years. Sometimes it was every single day, tracking every single morsel of food. Other times, it was once a week or a bit of both every few months. I logged in for the first time in over 3 years, and noticed that my last weigh in wasn’t much lower than my current weight. I added my current weight and might check back in with it.

The thing is, the Spark People app is $3.99! Not $1.99 or $0.99, but 4 bucks!

I’ve been down the road where I track all of my food, but I’ve graduated from figuring out what my caloric intake is. I continue to make bad decisions, but it’s not because I’m not aware of the calories. A lot of Spark is about tracking the food you’re eating and learning about calories and how fat, carbs, and protein work. I think it’s a great tool for those who are just starting out.

I tweeted to SparkPeople last week to see if they’d refund an app purchase after a month if I wasn’t satisfied. They said they couldn’t, but that there’s a mobile site option. I didn’t check it out, because there are plenty of health-related apps that could be used that are free. The mobile web option just isn’t that user friendly when I’ve used it for any other site. I can’t check a website with ease, when compared to an app.

So I’m still searching for the best apps to consider, and finding ways to stay on task. I have come to realize, though, that there really isn’t an app that can keep you on task more than self discipline.

Also, I didn’t weigh in this weekend because I was away and didn’t want to use a scale that wasn’t mine.

Let’s see what this week brings!

Whole Life Reboot

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I haven’t had a chance to look back at all of my posts from this blog, but I am fairly confident that I didn’t factor in every aspect of life being involved when dedicating myself to losing weight. I might’ve associated other areas, but I had compartmentalized a lot of things.

When I disappeared from blogging, it was mainly because my career took a lot of focus. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t thinking about weight loss. Weight loss has been on my mind every day since roughly 2004. Waking up at 630AM and working until 7PM some nights simply left me with little desire to blog. Heck, it left me with little desire to do a lot of things that required effort. Then I bounced around a few jobs, but my focus wasn’t on anything except work, and improving that lot in life.

Around April of this year I found myself in a fast paced role that continues today. My days can be 10 hours long and really draining, but truthfully I enjoy it. Enjoying my current job has given me the ability to look at other areas of my life a bit more closely. Instead of worrying about the next paycheck or if I even liked what I was doing, I’ve been energized to look at how I can make myself happier in other areas.

About two months ago I took stock in myself, and began looking at what makes me happy. What makes me feel good? The first thing I noticed is maintaining the same attitude all day is key. Choosing to be cognizant of everything and how I react to things has been huge. It takes some effort to stay on the happy side of life. It’s much easier to complain, to see the negative in something, and to harp on the bad stuff that crops up every day.

I’m a happy go lucky guy, but I noticed I had slipped a bit with the energy level of that good feeling. So I’ve been working on changing it. Just because something annoying has interrupted my day, why should that derail anything?

So, I’m looking to bring that to my weight loss as well. I was easily derailed when I tried to be so, so, so rigid in my diet and exercise regiment. When I slipped off, I’d essentially quit. I found myself ignoring the whole blogging idea because I didn’t want to fake it if I wasn’t making it.

Over the last few months I’ve thought about my situation with food, and I’ve begun to make changes mentally. Asking if I really need the extra snacks, or if the fast food joint is really my best option. On top of that, I think about the prospect of having kids, and how I don’t want to be a fat dad. A fat dad would be a dead dad soon enough. I’m not going to be a father for a while, but now seems to be the time to make the changes.

My weight is on the sidebar. It’s about 20 pounds less than my highest weight. My goal is to dabble at 199 for at least a few days. I see myself comfortably at 220, but man, 199 would be amazing. I know saying 220 is defeatist, but I’ve been talking this up for so long, it seems like a pipedream. It’s just a matter of changing the course.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m not sure if I’ll blog daily or weekly, but I’ll pick one sooner than later. I’ll be using Twitter regularly for random thoughts and discussions.

Thanks for reading.

Bringing It Down

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I fell back down to 261.5 this morning. I’m curious how tomorrow will look. I’ve really had an excellent week eating. Though, my diet sucks ass. There’s a reason I haven’t talked about my every day diet, and it’s really a matter of backing off crap and adjusting my diet to include fresh, home cooked food, and prepared lunches.

I see so many great daily food logs. I can’t find anything that is easy to use…and that something being something I really want to update every day. My mind is a Rolodex of diets. I know what I eat, I know the damage, I know why something isn’t working. So, I’m starting really slow. Preparing my own food is a gigantic step. Getting sleep is a gigantic step. I think that’s why I’m not posting my daily diet as well. I just don’t need to share it, for myself. I know what it is. That’s where I am right now with that.

I will either go running or biking this weekend. Perhaps both.

Weigh In Musings

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Start date: 1/4
Start Weight: 265
Current weight: 261.5
Lost this week: 4.5
First Goal: 250

Technically the scale said 261.5 this morning, but it has fluctuated up & down all week,..but trending downward, which is the mission. I’m sure tomorrow’s weigh in will be 262.5 or 262, Sunday’s may be 261.5 again, Monday could be 260.5 or 261. During my last weight loss, the fluctuations were similar until I had gotten myself into a better schedule of eating. Late dinners are not uncommon for me, so it’s a matter of pushing those up earlier in the evening. I attribute this initial weight loss to simply cutting out trips to the candy machine, making breakfast at home, & bagging my lunch every day since 1/4. In my head, bagged lunch = portion control = less caloric intake than ordering lunch or stopping by the deli.

I’m also aware that 4.5 is more than double the recommended healthy weight loss per week, but I think that can be attributed to the initial change of diet. The bagged lunches I eat are maybe 500 calories, and the lunches I’d order out probably exceeded 1,000 when you factor in the soda and whatnot.

I’ve biked 40 miles or so since 1/4, and hope to bust out another long(20+ miles,or 2 10+ miles) ride this weekend to keep my body moving. I’ve also read about a bunch of home workouts with dumb bells that I’d like to give a whirl. One that seemed right up my alley was the dumb bell push up row(?), but I think I have the wrong name for it. It was in the most recent Men’s Health. A gym is opening near by workplace in mid February, offering $10/month deals, which I may take up on its offer. By then, construction in the office should be done, and the shower should be available..thus biking to work would be available.

Between maintaining the newly establish eating habits and getting on my bike, I’m hoping for a continued loss into next week.

First Bike Ride of 2012! With Pics!

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I biked 25.44 miles today, since the temperatures were approaching the 60’s today. I decided the nice weather was a great chance to do a dry run on what my commute might be, by bicycle. It’s roughly 13 miles one way, and I arrived in about one hour and 15 minutes. I think that is the absolute best case scenario, and expect a ride could take up to one hour and 45 minutes. My commute by train takes roughly an hour door to door, so it’s not the craziest idea to bike to work.

I’m going to see about biking again tomorrow,just to get my body used to the idea of biking on back to back days, like the summer.

Great day for a ride, and it gave me a lot to think about!

Quit Now! Taking Over A Non-Smoker’s App

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Last night I was having a beer with a friend who is 45 days into his new life as a non-smoker. He decided that smoking really wasn’t worth it to him, and he made the commitment to change.He showed me an app he has on his phone, and it blew me away. Every time he thinks about smoking, he pulls up the app to see how much he’s saved to date. It’s so simple, it’s amazing. Being that the app is free hammered the point home.

The app has the last day smoked, days without smoking, cigarettes not smoked, money saved, and time saved. The app allows you to set preferences such as daily amount of cigarettes, cigarettes per pack, and pack price. It also includes a section with health benefits according to those numbers you set. So, the longer you go without cigarettes, the more your body appreciates it.

I didn’t mention it at the time, but this app gave me an amazing idea.

Why isn’t there an app like this for people with poor eating habits? I downloaded the Quit Now app, and punched in 1 cigarette, 1 cigarette per pack, and the amount of money I typically spend on a given day on food that’s crappy. I’m a creature of habit, so it wasn’t very difficult to know what that number is. It might be harder for people who simply overeat everything or don’t have a specific fast food joint they frequent. However, I’m willing to bet money most people with eating problems know exactly where they’d go every single time when they’re going to eat poorly. That’s a topic for another day.

I don’t really know if this will work, but come Monday when I’m at work thinking about that lunch distraction, I’m going to use this app to fight the good fight. I think it might actually help!

Telling The Truth

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This week I hopped on the scale for the first time in probably four months, and it immediately brought me back to when I first started checking my weight. When I first weighed in, it was almost like a scientific experiment. I’d weigh in in the morning, evening,just before bed, and after workouts. All to see what the difference might be.

Then I started to consider other aspects such as water weight, and heavy meals that might linger(intestinal-ly). Weighing in became a ritual and a guessing game as to why my weight fluctuated the way it did. Then it became a point of frustration, because I wasn’t seeing results. In hindsight, it’s interesting how my feelings toward the scale evolved.

During the initial weighing, I looked at the scale as something that was in the range of where my weight was. If it was a few pounds up or down, I could attribute it to something after a while. When I was relying on the scale to confirm my belief that I lost weight, I was becoming dejected when it would go up or remain the same. It started to be a lot like hoping my lottery numbers came up.

Scales don’t necessarily lie(crappy ones do), but there’s so many factors to consider when finding the truth within their numbers. I became frustrated with the numbers game and ditched weighing in altogether.

This was dumb. Weighing in is the easiest reminder of how your day should go. I think the trick is not to think about it beyond the fact I know what I weighed at 7:32AM. Disconnecting it from the rest of my feelings toward weight loss isn’t easy. I don’t expect it to get any easier…but I also thinking weighing myself is critical to stay on track.

So that’s where my thought was this morning, when I pulled the scale out from behind the sink.  I’ll update my weight every day, though I think a lot of things will dictate where the number rests truly. My guess is the occasional day will be missed, but more or less it should be there for all to see.


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