Sunday, February 06, 2011

2011 Fitness Challenge

Talk about hanging it out in front of everyone. I have volunteered, along with two of my colleagues - Sarah Kickler Kelber and Kevin Richardson - to participate in a Fitness Challenge on the Exercists blog.

All three of us have, shall we say, let down our guard and packed on a few extra pounds in recent months and years, as you can see above from the recent self-portrait of yours truly. So beginning at the first of this year, we took baseline weights and measurements and are each working to drop pounds and get back in shape. And we're each pursuing this with a different approach.

Sarah is doing the 100 Days Challenge program that's geared to get runners in shape. Kevin is doing the P90X extreme home workout program. And me? I'm doing what I've termed the "behave yourself" program. Nothing official, just cutting out junk food (particularly sugary stuff, salty-starchy snacks, fast food), limiting portions, not eating after 8 at night, limiting carbs (not eliminating, but cutting back and making sure the ones I eat are healthy), eating more raw fruits and veggies, more fish and fowl than red meat, drinking lots of water, and exercising 20 minutes at least five days a week. Basically doing everything a doctor would tell you you're supposed to do anyway.

My reasons for doing it the way I am is that I'm trying to change my behavior in positive and easy ways that I can maintain. Having dieted in the past, I was able to lose weight, but the problem was that the programs were so extreme that I eventually fell off and regained the weight. Or behaviors didn't change because all I did was substitute an Oreo with a diet snack. When the diet snacks weren't around, I simply went back to the cookie. My goal now is to eliminate the urge to grab a snack in the first place.

So far, so good. A little more than a month in and I've dropped 10 pounds. You can follow our progress via the link at the top of this post. We put up our weekly reports every Wednesday.

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