Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall 2012: A Retrospective

Well, here it is almost four months since my last post. Time flies when you're having fun. I've been having a lot of fun: one day at a time.

As I reread my last post, I'm elated that my apprehension regarding carrying over good summer habits into fall were misguided. (Or at least unwarranted.)

Credit the fact that my new habits were well instilled by summer's end, or credit my pigheadedness. Either way, my lifestyle has been upgraded to include much better habits of exercise and nutrition.

As August ended, school began. I've begun my fifth year teaching at the elementary level, after having completed 10 years at the 7th/8th grade level. Last year I was involved in completing a Preliminary Administrative Service Credential Program. This year, I'm involved in providing some on-campus support for a new district-provided software program called Illuminate. What I'm mostly involved in at school is being a part of a team that aims to provide a positive educational experience for all students. We make a difference in the lives of our students, and often, in the lives of the families. It's very rewarding work.

I was concerned that work responsibilities would interfere with my running and eating. My work schedule did provide some challenges, but the challenges have been met. I'm still eating five or six meals a day, with a good dose of protein and good fat in each. I'm still limiting my carbs to post-workout meals. I'm still running three or four days a week, including a longer weekend run.

As a result of my lifestyle changes, I've continued to get more fit. The book Younger Next Year has helped me to become younger this year. I've had many comments about my summer transformation into youth. I think it mostly had to do with losing enough overall fat, so that my face thinned out. I also grew my hair out: no longer a buzz. One of the best birthday gifts I got in November was a reading on my scale that put me five pounds under what my driver's license read. One hundred and ninety put me just outside the high end of the healthy range for my age and height. Where I used to have a gut, I now have a waist! Who knew that my goal of running three times a week for 30 minutes would provide such side benefits? I. am. pleasantly. surprised!

I've continued to follow the rules of the Precision Nutrition program, which mostly means I eat well and often. I also get enough sleep. I have a blender at work, and I take a giant salad for lunch each day, with a good slab of meat thrown in (4 to 6 ounces). My main shortcoming has been on my water intake. But if good hydration is my biggest health challenge, then life is good. And it is.

I completed my 10 week running program, and I've begun my next phase: continuing to build endurance without injury. I traded in the annual school pancake breakfast for the school's annual 5K: a Turkey Trot. That was back in early November. I ran a personal best over that distance, and now I've returned to running 3 miles every other day. Because I run various hilly routes, that distance and pace continues to provide the needed stress to trigger positive adaptations: I'm getting fitter. Woo hoo!

All-in-all it's been a great start to the school year. That's how I mark time: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Summer vacation, Thanksgiving vacation, Christmas vacation, and Easter vacation, punctuated with school quarters and on-going responsibilities. A good mix of being productive, being engaged in work and play, plus enjoying family, friends, and projects. Perhaps next I'll write about some Winter goals? (Mostly, I'm hoping to do more of the same! Plus, I'm enjoying the football season on TV.)

I hope you all had a good fall, and I hope that  the winter finds you navigating your journey with a good mix of on-going improvement and good fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Sorry, no pictures. I'm away from my camera and my store of pictures.)


  1. Glad to know you are keeping to your regime and that all is well. Fortunately the autumn has been very mild so far in the UK. And a Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

    1. @Scriptor: Thanks for comment. Glad to hear you're having mild weather, and good wishes back at ya! ;-)

  2. My doctor told me to lose some weight. Right now I am down to about 165, but without running muscles or whatever other workout/athletics muscles you have acquired. Winter will be a challenge, because it is dispiriting to walk when the temps in the 40's or much lower, and there is rain, or ice, or snow, and it is dark from 4:00 pm to 7:30 am.

    1. Dennis, I'm sure your doctor is pleased. Most patients ignore the advice of their doctors. 165 is great (healthy) for your height, etc. It sounds like you did a lot of the loss via walking (calorie burning)? Indoor walking via a treadmill? (Some like it, not me.) I once used Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Miles" DVDs to "walk" 3 to 5 miles a day. I just upgraded from video tape to DVD on her program with a purchase at Target. Winter is a challenge... but... YOU will find a way! ;-)

  3. I have no idea where the nearest treadmill might be; probably the nursing home in Ritzville and that's a half hour away. My "exercise" is primarily walking and some yardwork. So it is outdoors and the yard work is stopping with the weather. So I need some discipline to walk outside. I will do some, but I wonder how much. And sunrise is about 7 am and sunset is about 4 pm so there is not much sunlight. I really like the light.