One Year KILTED!

It’s hard to believe that its been over a year since I launched the Kilted Dad Blog. And what a year it’s been. On the fitness side, some things went much better than expected when I started with the KILTED! Principle. Others, shall we say, fizzled in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible. So after a brief review, I’ll go over the highs and lows from the past year.

The KILTED! Principle

KILTED! is a philosophy that I developed to help guide my quest for better health. KILTED! Can be summarized by 7 simple principles that are crucial if you want to make a transformational change in your life.

Principle #1 – Kill Excuses: It’s easy to want to make a change. The tough part is getting started and the biggest hinderance to getting started is the excuse. For any one thing you want to do, you can easily come up with a dozen excuses to not do that thing. Only when you can kill the excuses are you free to move forward and begin with the task.

Principle #2 – Improve Diet: The fundamental step in getting healthy is regulating and improving the food you take into your body. Whether it’s improving the quality (eating better foods), or the quantity (eating less of them), improving your diet is fundamental to any fat loss program. A healthy diet is also the perfect tool to fuel any workout program you choose to begin.

Principle #3 – Lift Weights: Even if its not the first thing you think about as the best way to lose fat, weightlifting can be fundamental to weight loss. The main reason is because muscle burns food energy (or stored food energy known as fat) and the more muscle you have, the more energy you burn and the more you use your muscles, the more energy they burn.

Principle #4 – Trek Out: When starting a fitness routine, most people are thinking about doing some form of cardio – usually walking or running. I recommend that your cardio be something that you do in the outdoors for several reasons. Exercising outdoors is more stimulating than indoors so your brain gets a better workout, plus you have access to fresh air and vitamin D which are both essential to long-term health.

Principle #5 – Expand Knowledge: The more you learn about fitness, the better you will get at it and the more able you will be to optimize your fitness efforts. But beyond learning about fitness, the simple act of learning is rejuvenating for a brain which may be locked into a routine. Furthermore, recurring mental stimulation has been shown to prevent memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Principle #6 – Don’t Quit: Not quitting once you get started is just as critical for success as getting started in the first place. When the going gets tough, or when new excuses resurface, the temptation to quit will be great – but you must fight it and keep going. Quitting is just like throwing away the progress you have made.

Principle #7 – ! (Get Excited): It probably won’t happen right away, but when you start to see the results of your efforts, you have earned the right to be excited. Best of all, your excitement can be harnessed to keep fueling you forward. If you’re excited to see that you’ve lost 10 pounds, imagine how excited you’ll be when you lose 20, or 30, or 50!

Hindsight is Always 20/20

I’m very open about the fact this my fitness quest started when I reached 354 pounds. When I began, I didn’t have any grand visions in mind, and thoughts of starting this blog were still months away. I lost my first 30 pounds on diet alone with very little planning other than regulating my diet. There was one thing I should have done back then, and again should have done right when I started the blog was to take starting measurements and a set of “Before” pictures.

Although not critical for the success of my efforts, a sett of “Before” measurements and pictures would give a clearer vision of the total journey thus far and the “fundamental transformation” resulting from my efforts.

The Awesomely Unexpected

When I started blogging, I knew that I would be cycling for my cardio, but I had no idea how much I would be able to accomplish once I set a good stretch goal. When I started riding again, I was going for a few miles and taking my time of it. But as my abilities grew, I went farther and faster. But when I set a goal of a 50-mile ride in Scotland, the progress really started. By setting that lofty goal and devising a series of checkpoints to increase my ride distance and endurance over the intervening months, I made great progress. Not only was I riding practically every day in the months before the trip, I was riding at least 20 miles each day. Once I got to Scotland, I was able to not only manage the planned 50-mile ride, but to complete just over 57 miles across roads more mountainous than I had ever ridden before.

The Sadly Fizzled

With as much momentum as I had going into my trip to Scotland and leading up to the Trotternish Trek, I was surprised how much that momentum fizzled after the trip. Now granted, as I continued my trip, I didn’t have access to a bike for almost 2 weeks after the ride. And after I returned home it was easy to justify a couple days to recover from my travels (my return trip was 36 hours with a long layover). Once I felt I had recovered from the trip and was ready to go, my riding wasn’t as strong as I had been. Then it was raining. Then the temperatures hit the 40’s (which is a bit too cold to ride without cold-weather gear. In short, I had failed at two of the KILTED Principles: Kill Excuses and Don’t Quit. While not riding for the bulk of 4 months, I regained about 20 pounds, thus negating months of work. The cycle of habit was at work, but this time it was bad habits rather than good habits.

Going Forward

Every day is a new day. Every day is the day you can say “Enough!” Every day is a day which you can choose to start – or restart. Every day is a day you can choose to change the tide and begin making positive progress. Will today be your day?