Fitness First is my monthly fitness update and the first post I publish each month. There’s no other way to say it but November 2018 was a disappointing month. A lack of goals led to a lack of activity which in turn led to a regression in the stats and a net weight gain.
By the Numbers
Here is my summary of where I ended the past month in several key fitness-related measurements compared with where I ended the previous month.
Unfortunately, every measurement is either the same as or worse than last month. Since returning from Scotland, I have been able to get back into a fitness or diet regime and it shows.
Where I was cycling daily prior to leaving for Scotland, it has been sporadic at best since my return and I have several reasons and excuses for that drop in activity level.
Reason #1 – Due to the lack of a bike for the two weeks following the Trotternish Trek, I was unable to continue my routine of cycling at least 20 miles per day. Aside from renting a bike at every stop, there really wasn’t anything I could do about this.
Reason #2 – I took what I felt was a well-deserved rest upon returning home from Scotland and didn’t start back up riding right away. I skipped the first two mornings back home before going out, and then I only rode 10 miles (which felt like the first time doing a 10-mile ride). Then I skipped 5 more days before riding another 10 miles. And for the month since then, I have not ridden more than 2 consecutive days.
Excuse #1 – Halloween was a week after my return so within days of getting home, we bought our Halloween candy. And because we are in a new neighborhood and weren’t here for Halloween last year, we had no idea how many Trick-or-Treaters to expect. Translation: we had way too much candy left over, and we ate it ourselves throughout November. This is an excuse because I did not have to eat any of the candy.
Excuse #2 – The weather in North Florida finally started to make a turn for the colder and many mornings I easily justified skipping the ride when the temperature was in the 30s and 40s. Furthermore, they have been many days with morning rains which held me back from going out for my ride. This is an excuse because there is a full range of cold weather cycling gear which I could buy and use – or barring that, I could wear bulkier winter clothing not specifically designed for cycling.
I considered putting the weather under the reasons as well since I think the warmer temperatures aid in the weight loss. In other words, when it gets cold like it is now, I just can’t sweat as much while exercising.
Excuse #3 – I had a big editorial project which dominated a lot of my time throughout November. Even though I could have made time to ride, I justified the work load as an excuse to skip most of my morning rides.
I had set 4 goals for November – let’s see how I did:
Goal #1 – Cycling. I was planning to get back to a regular 20-mile daily ride in November but that didn’t happen. As outlined above, I let several excuses get in the way.
Goal #2 – Weights. I was also planning to begin a weight training routine, but that has not happened yet either – for most of the same excuses as cycling.
Goal #3 – Nutrition. I signed up for a couple of online nutrition courses, but have not completed them yet, mainly due to the work excuse outlined above.
Goal #4 – Goal Setting. It’s probably too soon to set up for a long-term goal as discussed last month since I don’t know for certain where I will be going on my next trip (unless I plan a vacation around a cycling trip). But that shouldn’t have gotten in the way of setting goals for the next 3 or 6 months.
Goals for November
Given everything I have already discussed for November, I think it’s a good idea to basically just carry my November goals forward for December.
Goal #1 – Cycling. By the end of December, I need to be cycling daily, with a goal of getting back to 20-mile daily rides. It would be ideal to push for another 50-miler before the end of the month but that may be a little ambitious. So at the least, I should commit to riding daily riding by the middle of the month and 20 miles each day by the end of the month.
Goal #2 – Weights. Here again, I should probably tone it down and make sure I have an achievable goal. It’s time to get the weight bench active again. The Christmas break will be a good time to make this happen since the whole family will be home and we can plan a weightlifting routine together.
Goal #3 – Nutrition. It’s time to finish the online courses I signed up for. We’ll also need to do some more advanced menu planning with a heavier focus on the inclusion of vegetables which, although included in our meals, are more of an afterthought than a part of the meal itself.
Goal #4 – Goals. It’s time for a couple short term goals. I need a solid set of 3-month and 6-month goals to get me into next year and ready for summer. The idea will be to drive goals that will begin producing results like I had over the summer, so I have a chance of getting down below 250 before summer.
More updates coming soon! And be sure to let me know if there is anything else specific you want to know about in these posts.