Despite that I am a graduate of Michigan State University and that I will always consider myself a Spartan, this post has (almost) nothing to do with that university, the famous 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae, the movie of the same name, nor any of the extreme workouts by that name which promise to make you look like the actors but instead just caused injuries in many who attempted them.
This post is about 2 fitness accomplishments reached today related to the number 300.
I have stepped up my cycling game since committing to the Trotternish Trek, but especially since the beginning of this month. Not only have I logged 21 rides in the past 25 days, but have done so consistently for the past 13 consecutive days (including today). I may have even done better than that if I hadn’t opted for “recovery days” where I took a day or two off after my longer 25 and 30 mile rides. I now realize that I don’t really need a recovery day as I haven’t taken one since my 32.5 mile ride last Saturday.
So where does 300 come in? In the spreadsheet where I track my rides I keep track of a lot of my numbers, and one of these is the total distance ridden in the current month. After this morning’s ride, my total for May is now 303.07 miles! This excites me because it is more than the total distance I logged from December 2017 to the End of April. If I hadn’t been tracking it, I would have guessed that I had ridden much further than actual prior to May, so I’m happy that I did track it to see how sporadic my early riding was.
I am learning that consistency is the key.
Weight (Fat) Loss
Although our true goal is fat loss, we typically measure the raw weight as the indicator of our fitness success, because it is a much easier measurement to take. Simply hop on the scale, and it will give you your weight in pounds, kilos, or some other measurement like stones. Your weight fluctuates from day to day, and even throughout the day depending on your hydration level, when and what you last ate, when you last went to the bathroom (or how much you left there), and a whole host of other factors. Even though most fitness experts do not recommend daily monitoring, I have recorded my morning weigh-in daily for several months. This can be frustrating at times, but so long as you keep the factors consistent (time of day, etc.) and focus on the trends than any one specific gain or loss, your weight will indicate how you are doing with your fat loss.
So where does 300 come in? Today I have logged my 7th consecutive day weighing in under 300 pounds! There were two other times earlier this month I weighed in under 300, but it was back up the next day. But the significant milestone is the 7 consecutive days under 300 which indicate a trend in action.
To some, 300 pounds seems like an insanely high weight. When I was up around 350, many people I knew wouldn’t have guessed that I was above 300. Maybe it was because they had never seen a verified weight that high – many of us who are overweight or obese don’t like to discuss our actual weight, so for those who are fit, they simply have no concept of what an extra 50 or 100 pounds looks like on a person. Also, height makes a big factor in weight, and when you’re tall like me, there’s more frame to spread that extra weight around on, so it doesn’t add up as fast visually.
So here I am, having hit my first weight milestone since I started last year: weighing less than 300 pounds for the first time in at least 5 years (and maybe as much as 10). But I’m not happy yet. I’m not happy that my weight is in the 290’s Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with the progress, and for the first time I can see the progress in my appearance. But in the long run, this is only a trend. I haven’t reached my goal. I’ll be happier when I in the 270’s. Even happier than that when I break 250. Beyond that I can’t say, because I don’t know how far I need to get down, and I won’t know until I fit in that original kilt again.
For now, I can be pleased about it, but I won’t rest on the milestone. I need to push past it and keep going.
I can weigh less, and I will weigh less!