A Healthier Mike

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: August 2019 Check-In

Another falling wave
Upon this crumbling beach
How many more
Until we meet?
— Geographer "Summer of My Discontentment"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 351,954

Average daily steps: 11,353

Highest daily steps: 36,077

Lowest daily steps: 4,201

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 63.61

Total miles hiked: 21.09

Sleep stats: 1 day over 7hrs, 12 days in between 6-7hrs, and 18 days under 6hrs

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 19 minutes


Little Backyard Adventure trail race”
Olympia, WA

The Good

  • Plenty of good behaviors developed over the month

  • More activity than July

  • Spent more time on the trails

  • It’s almost fall?

  • Ran a trail race and didn’t come in dead fucking last. Lots of work ahead on that front.

  • Hiked some good hikes in excellent places and with good friends


The Not-So-Good

  • Only 30% of my meals were vegetarian

  • Sleep did not improve but 1 minute

  • Need to fully evaluate my relationship with alcohol and health

  • Ate a bunch of shitty foods on repeat

  • Had some vacations with shitty days related to food and fitness goals

  • Gave up after those trips and on those trips, thus making it hard to start September

  • I am not on course to lose 35 by 35

  • I did not kayak, was too busy

  • Barely rode my bike, too busy


Off the grid in Northern Minnesota

Off the grid in Northern Minnesota

Mental Health

  • Work was mentally draining the entire month of August

  • Stopped reading my Daily Awakening and it shows

  • Disconnected for 5 days and it was GLORIOUS - wrote a lot on that trip too

  • I am a sad boy at the end of August, hoping that exercising more will help again


A glorious hike at Mount Saint Helens Volcanic National Monument

A glorious hike at Mount Saint Helens Volcanic National Monument

Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • I am currently NOT on track. I gave up and need to find my strength and motivation again.

  • I am tracking my food. I am working on doing this with more care.

  • My coworkers are working out and trying too. Having some support, is helpful.


Goals for September

More big trees, please!

More big trees, please!

  • Read/Listen to at least 3 books
    (I read one in August)

  • Working on drinking less booze, and more water. I need to adhere to this.

  • Take 4-7 days off from social media (I will do another weekend off the grid)

  • More jogging (I will continue to strive to do a 5k run, still working on a single mile)

  • Working on increasing my daily average for activity It feels good, both mentally and physically.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind.
    I’m headed to New Mexico and Washington with lots of potential

  • Continued daily mindful breaks and reading The Awakening (at least 2 reflective hikes)

  • There’s no reason I can’t hit 100 miles for September. (Daily walks and jogs + hikes = c’mon man - still trying for that hundo)

  • I am continuing 50%+ vegetarian. For the planet, for my body, I’m reducing overall meat intake. I’m not going vegan or cutting all meats out, just less overall. It’s been quite easy so far, and cheaper. (I’m trying, really)

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: July 2019 Check-In

I like myself most of the time
This ain’t a crime, this ain’t a crime
I like myself most of the time
Is that a crime? Is that a crime?
— K. Flay "I Like Myself (Most Of The Time)"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 335.996

Average daily steps: 10,838

Highest daily steps: 21,013

Lowest daily steps: 3,958

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 81.15

Total miles hiked: 9.33 (back on the wagon, thankfully)

Sleep stats: 4 days over 7 hours, 4 days between 6-7, and 23 days under 6 hours

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 18 minutes


Outside Experience with one of the best!

The Good

  • Joined the gym, through my insurance for next to nothing and NO contract

  • Total activity is greater than June, daily activity average is higher as well

  • Back into the hiking mode! I missed it and it was an instant high.

  • I’ve increased my workouts and added lunch time routines as well - more physical activity feels SO GOOD.

  • I did not kayak, but I did bike! Oh yeah, I bought a bike! It’s nothing expensive or special but it serves the purpose of biking around on paved paths or gravel stuff. I’m not ready for the real trails….yet.

  • I am working out twice a day at least 5 days per week

  • I’m down 12 lbs since January, it’s been up and down. July was a good month, 6 lbs down overall.

  • Made more food at home

  • I pushed through my bad weekends

  • My meals were 61% vegetarian in nature. It’s so easy, and delicious.


The Not-So-Good

  • I didn’t find time to kayak, which is more sad than bad

  • I did not really increase my sleep. I plan to make a real effort in August

  • Had some bender weekends for food/drinking - speed bumps

  • Dined out too much, but mostly on trips

  • I still have days when I give up or eat too much, but tracking it makes me aware


An excerpt from The Awakening

An excerpt from The Awakening

Mental Health

  • Work was mentally draining the entire month of July

  • Have not been writing as much as I would like, but I have plans for August

  • My phone is a constant source of anxiety and so use of my phone is continuously being reduced

  • I am in a good place, overall, but there’s always work to be done.


A night of swimming at Lake Granbury w/ friends and family. Good for physical and mental wellness.

A night of swimming at Lake Granbury w/ friends and family. Good for physical and mental wellness.

Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • I am on track. Slow and steady wins the race. Realizing excess happens is a big step and exercising no matter what is important.

  • I am tracking my food. It helps, but it isn’t perfect.

  • My coworkers are working out and trying too. Having some support, even if it isn’t for the same goals. It’s nice to have friends on the Apple Watch or to go to the gym with at lunch time.

  • Epiphany of the month: If I’m trying, working on it, and making strides to be better in all aspects of life then I’m fine. Even if I’m not doing my best some days, I’m still moving forward and still trying overall. I feel better, mentally and physically, and that’s what I’m after.


Goals for August

More hiking, please!

More hiking, please!

  • Read/Listen to at least 3 books
    (A constant goal is 8, I’m always coming up short… so I’m making it more realistic)

  • Working on drinking less booze, and more water. I have a lot of cabin time and weekends away, so it will be a real challenge.

  • Take 4-7 days off from social media (I’m heading to the cabin for 5 nights, which is off the grid—-can’t wait!)

  • More jogging (I will continue to strive to do a 5k run, still working on a single mile)

  • Working on increasing my daily average for activity It feels good, both mentally and physically.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind.
    (This is loaded because I’m headed to the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota)

  • Continued daily mindful breaks and reading The Awakening (at least 2 reflective hikes)

  • There’s no reason I can’t hit 100 miles for August. (Daily walks and jogs + hikes = c’mon man)

  • I am continuing 50%+ vegetarian. For the planet, for my body, I’m reducing overall meat intake. I’m not going vegan or cutting all meats out, just less overall. It’s been quite easy so far, and cheaper.

And more meetups with friends, please.

And more meetups with friends, please.

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: June 2019 Check-In

There’s something in the air
I sense it
Like the wind, change direction
I can hear the storm is rumbling
Sounds like a freight train coming
— The National Parks "I Can Feel It"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 309,712

Average daily steps: 10,324

Highest daily steps: 15,096 (June 22)

Lowest daily steps: 5,347 (June 15)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 72.35

Total miles hiked: 0 (holy shit, not cool)

Sleep stats: 1 day at 7+ hours, 7 at 6-7 hours, and the rest below 6

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 19 minutes


Visiting fantastic places was a highlight of June.
Tahquamenon Falls

The Good

  • Had a great spurt of activity when in Michigan with gorgeous daily walks and kayak paddles

  • Total activity was 16.2% greater than June 2018

  • I closed my Apple Watch rings 21/30 days

  • I kayaked often for two weeks

  • I increased total activity

  • I’ve been increasing my speed to increase heart rate

  • I have new Texas State Park & NPS quests to help keep me motivated

  • I signed up for a year of membership at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge for kayaks and hikes - access was $5/entry and it would add up and it’s just the nicest place to kayak within the metro.


The Not-So-Good

  • I was straight up lazy when it came to hiking - as I’m trying to keep it fresh and non-repetitive and that’s requiring a bit more work with distance from home

  • I did not sleep well in June - road trips did not help

  • Absolute flop for hiking

  • As a household, we dined out too often

  • I stopped trying for any real results at the first sign of failure


One of the many sunsets over Grand Lake in Presque Isle, Michigan

One of the many sunsets over Grand Lake in Presque Isle, Michigan

Mental Health

  • Work was mentally draining the last three weeks of June

  • Had a lot of time in the car and a lot of time with my thoughts - finding a lot of clarity

  • I’ve stepped back from phone use quite a bit and I’ve noticed a difference

  • I don’t believe there was a single day I didn’t want to get out of bed.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • I needed an end goal. Big goals are great, but this month proved they don’t matter. I’m working on smaller, more attainable goals with steps towards the big goal. Common sense, right?

  • I signed up for support. I overeat. I can’t hold myself accountable. I literally lied or omitted things on MyFitnessPal because I was embarrassed. No more.

  • July is going to be my month. I hope.


Goals for July

More kayaking, please!

More kayaking, please!

  • Read/Listen to at least 3 books
    (A constant goal is 8, I’m always coming up short… so I’m making it more realistic)

  • Working on drinking less booze, and more water. Balancing out the booze is key - it got a little much throughout June. Everything in moderation.

  • Take a weekend off of social media (I’ve been taking an hour a day of no phone, which is cool, but I will take a whole weekend - hopefully in the mountains)

  • Add more jogging and more trails (I will continue to strive to do a 5k run, still working on a single mile)

  • Working on increasing my daily average for activity It feels good, both mentally and physically.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind.
    (My state park quest should help)

  • Continued daily mindful breaks and reading The Awakening (also, maybe yoga or some reflective hikes)

  • There’s no reason I can’t hit 100 miles for July. (Daily walks and jogs + hikes = c’mon man)

  • I signed up for support related to diet and exercise to help keep me on track. I’m now on a plan to shift my life to healthier eating and increased ACTUAL activity. It is not an expensive ordeal, but more than I’d like to spend so that’s motivation alone.

  • I am going 50%+ vegetarian. For the planet, for my body, I’m reducing overall meat intake. I’m not going vegan or cutting all meats out, just less overall. It’s been quite easy so far, and cheaper.

And more treats with friends please.

And more treats with friends please.

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: May 2019 Check-In

Hey
I wanted everything I never had
Like the love that comes with light
I wore envy and I hated that
But I survived
I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived
— SIA "Alive"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 343,004

Average daily steps: 11,065

Highest daily steps: 27,649 (May 11)

Lowest daily steps: 4,366 (May 18)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 70.14

Total miles hiked: ~13.5

Sleep stats: 2 days of 7+ hours, 3 days of 6-7 hours, 26 days under 6 hours

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 18 minutes


Hiking in the Tonto National Forest - Superstition Wilderness area w/ Scott Jones.

The Good

  • Stayed active all but four days

  • Total activity was higher than May 2018

  • I closed my Apple Watch rings 27/31 days

  • I kayaked for the first time and fell instantly in love with the activity

  • I hiked in a different state (Arizona)

  • I’ve been adding in more running to my daily exercises

  • I bought a kayak so I’ll be doing more of that on weekend mornings before it gets gross outside

  • I signed up for the Little Backyard Adventure trail run in Olympia, WA on August 10. I can’t wait to see how it goes - my only goal is to avoid being dead fucking last.


The Not-So-Good

  • I got a bad sinus infection that took me down for 3-4 days. I tried, but it just sucked. Eventually, I pushed through the snot and got back out there.

  • I did not sleep for shit in May

  • While I may have a few extra miles on April, it was still a flop for hiking

  • It’s getting hot and the dog is even slower, so I will just have to increase everything by adding a second exercise to the day

  • I ate fast food WAY too often

  • I bored eat WAY too much


Full moon pontoon cruise!

Full moon pontoon cruise!

Mental Health

  • I probably had 91% good days in May

  • Overcame big obstacles in the “I can’t do that” mindset - and I fucking did the thing.

  • I’ve stepped back from phone use quite a bit and I’ve noticed a difference

  • I don’t believe there was a single day I didn’t want to get out of bed - probably because I didn’t sleep much anyway.

  • I’ve stopped the daily tracking of everything except my fitness and it’s helped greatly. My desire for statistics and order had been causing me anxiety. I have developed a better way for me to handle daily and weekly goals.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • When I stay busy, I don’t bored eat. Duh, right? Well, I guess I don’t stay busy enough so I plan to start attending local environmental meetings, exercising more, and kayaking as often as possible.

  • The majority of why I’m lazy AF is that I don’t want to drive through this metro area to do things. Once on the road, I’m fine, but it’s the getting through that internal battle that takes the most energy.

  • Summer is just the worst in Texas. Here’s to hoping my new State Park and NPS Quests keep pushing me to see new things and beat the heat.

  • I’m going to exercise more in June. No doubt about it.

  • I want to continue to get better, stronger, more experienced. It has always been my goal, and I know I’m better than I was a year ago or even more than that. I may not have lost the fat, but my legs are stronger than before and my endurance and will to keep trying are higher too.


Goals for June

Photo Credit: Adam Nutting

Photo Credit: Adam Nutting

  • Read/Listen to at least 2 books
    (A constant goal is 8, I’m always coming up short… so I’m making it more realistic. I think I had 1.5 in May?)

  • Working on eating better food, drinking less booze, and more water. (I really just need to eat less, and stop the eating out)

  • Take a weekend off of social media (I’ve been taking an hour a day of no phone, which is cool)

  • Add more jogging and more trails (like, actually hitting a trail on my way home from work or something)

  • Working on a 5+ mile daily average for activity (May was under 3, which is less than April which is annoying)

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind.
    (My state park quest and two weeks in Michigan should help)

  • Continued daily mindful breaks and reading The Awakening (also, maybe yoga?)

  • Read and write daily. (Focus on working shit out)

  • Dog walks daily, and a second walk just for me that includes jogging. (No more blaming the dog and his slow ass pace for my lack of running)

  • There’s no reason I can’t hit 100+ miles for June. (Daily walks and jogs + hikes = c’mon man)

IMG_5616.JPG

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: April 2019 Check-In

Northern lights in our skies
Plants that grow and open your mind
Things that swim with a neon glow
How we all got here, nobody knows
These are real things
These are real things
Oh, what a world, don’t wanna leave
All kinds of magic all around us, it’s hard to believe
— Kacey Musgraves "Oh, What A World"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 363,053

Average daily steps: 12,102

Highest daily steps: 22,851 (April 19)

Lowest daily steps: 7,302 (April 20)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 91.22

Total miles hiked: 10.75

Sleep stats: 6 days over 7hrs, 5 days between 6-7hrs, the rest closer to 4hrs

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 9 minutes


Trash Cleanup w/ my friend Jen from Illinois Park Project/Jennythetrailhead.com

The Good

  • Increased total mileage for walks/hikes/jogs from March

  • Daily step average is much higher

  • I exercised EVERY day this month

  • I closed the Apple Watch rings EVERY day this month

  • Hiking mileage is low, but overall mileage is up so I’m okay with this.

  • I managed to exceed April 2018 totals too


The Not-So-Good

  • I didn’t track food for most of the month

  • I likely gained weight

  • I did not sleep well or choose to sleep well at all

  • I haven’t hiked as much as I wanted to

  • I did not commit to jogging or running as much as I wanted to in April

  • Eating out is out of control - budget and body are not happy with my choices


In my happy place on a trail, by a waterfall, in the sunshine.

In my happy place on a trail, by a waterfall, in the sunshine.

Mental Health

  • Improved mental health overall - more happy days than not

  • Still quite insecure about everything

  • I want to take more time to relieve stress

  • I want to sleep more, which will help everything

  • The hikes I did this month, though not many, really helped me love life even more and restored my faith that there are wonderful people and places out there

  • I did not write as much as I could have, but it wasn’t because I avoided it or didn’t need it - I just got caught up in living life.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • Pizza just needs to be off limits because I have ZERO self control (this hasn’t changed since February)

  • When I’m feeling drained, I still went for a walk at the very least and it really helped.

  • I need to give up the convenience of eating out and make it convenient to eat at home.

  • I’m going to exercise even more in May.

  • I plan to eat frugally and more healthy in May.

  • Daily mindfulness is great for really centering my stress. The time I set aside for my book really helps me realize it could be worse and it could be better but it doesn’t matter. I need to be here, let shit go, focus on current shit, and be present in life.


April Wins & Goals for May

Winter time at the cabin, off the grid, with my ass in the snow. Good views, good vibes, good beer, good times ahead. #annualtrip
  • Read/Listen to at least 8 books
    (Got 2 listened to, so still going to aim for this again in May)

  • Working on eating better food, drinking less booze, and more water.

  • Take a weekend off of social media
    (didn’t quite get this done, so I’ll aim for this in May)

  • Going to start running more often

  • I increased my days over 10,000 steps from 61% to 83% of the month and thus want to reach that 100% mark in May.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind out in west Texas
    (Still working on this, need to hike more in May)

  • I want to incorporate longer daily walks and lunch walks.

  • I need to take a mindful break daily with my “Daily Awakening”

  • Read and write daily - more than April

  • Daily walks at least 7 days a week - even if it’s just a mile

  • Hit 100+ miles for hiking, walking, and jogging

  • Jog outside at least twice (obviously the more the better, but the treadmill is fine too)

  • Sign up for the LBA and train for it

  • Eat at home over 50% of the time

  • Start before work walks, jogs, or workouts.

#MondayMotivation - A Healthier Mike: March 2019 Check-In

It’s not enough just to live a life
Simple measures to survive
It’s like living should be easy right?
But there’s always something
Heavy on heart
Heavy on my mind
Falling on me all the time
There’s always something
— Said the Whale "Moonlight"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 340,702

Average daily steps: 10,990

Highest daily steps: 22,180 (March 23)

Lowest daily steps: 3,563 (March 18)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 80.83

Total miles hiked: 17.48

Days with over 7 hours of sleep: 9 days over 7, 7 days between 6-7

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 46 minutes


Standing up top the Lost Mine Trail
@ Big Bend National Park

The Good

  • Number of miles of hiking, walking, or running is way up from February

  • Daily step average is up from February

  • My commitment to daily activity is more of a second nature than before

  • Days of activity and days with closed Apple Watch rings are up from February

  • Hiking mileage is up from February as is my desire and willingness to hike

  • My average length of sleep per night is up a few minutes and my days over 7 hours is much higher than before


The Not-So-Good

  • I didn’t track food for most of the month

  • I likely gained weight

  • I ate my feelings and stress daily

  • I haven’t hiked as much as I should have

  • I had to stop couch 2 5k after week one because work had consumed me

  • My eating is out of control and I drank more often than I would have liked


IMG_3531.JPG

Mental Health

  • It’s been a long month filled with stress from a project at work. It’s over and so my stress should move back down to normal levels in regards to work.

  • I’ve been insecure about everything.

  • I found a book called “The Book of Awakening” and it’s sort of a daily dose of meditation and mindfulness that I’ve really enjoyed.

  • I’ve left the disappointment behind in regards to calories and food - I’ll get there, and I’ll keep trying so there is no need to get so upset over it.

  • Exercise is helping me clear my mind, find some calm, and take deep breaths.

  • I plan to read more actual books in April. I listened to a few in March, but want to actually read a few in April.

  • I’m journaling daily now, which is a big help also. It really helps to get shit out on a page.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • Pizza just needs to be off limits because I have ZERO self control (this hasn’t changed since February)

  • When I’m feeling drained, I don’t want to be good. I shall try harder.

  • I need to give up the convenience of eating out and make it convenient to eat at home.

  • I’m going to exercise even more in April.

  • I plan to eat frugally and more healthy in April.

  • Daily mindfulness is great for really centering my stress. The time I set aside for my book really helps me realize it could be worse and it could be better but it doesn’t matter. I need to be here, let shit go, focus on current shit, and be present in life.


March Wins & Goals for April

Winter time at the cabin, off the grid, with my ass in the snow. Good views, good vibes, good beer, good times ahead. #annualtrip
  • Read/Listen to at least 8 books

  • I’m going to continue to try to drink less alcohol - to make it more of a special occasion instead.

  • Take a weekend off of social media

  • Going to restart Couch 2 5K on April 1

  • I increased my days over 10,000 steps from 57% to 61% of the month and thus want to reach that 75% mark in April.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind out in west Texas

  • I want to incorporate longer daily walks and lunch walks.

  • I need to take a mindful break daily.

  • Read and write daily

  • Daily walks at least 6 times per week, regardless of Couch 2 5K workouts or hikes

A Healthier Mike - February 2019 Check-In

Don’t stop
When it all drops
Saying maybe something good is coming
Maybe something good is coming my way
— Dear Rouge "Little By Little"

Quick Stats

Total steps: 292,001

Average daily steps: 10,429

Highest daily steps: 19,013 (February 3)

Lowest daily steps: 4,050 (February 9)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 56.76

Total miles hiked: 14.82

Days with over 7 hours of sleep: 2, with 6 days at 6-7 hours

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 35 minutes


IMG_3348.JPG

The Good

  • Number of days with activity is up from January!

  • Daily step average is up from January.

  • My willingness to get out and do some activity is up from January

  • I closed the rings on my Apple Watch more days than January, with better days and higher goals.

  • More active days than January!

  • My jeans are too big now, which is both nice and really annoying

  • The dog is forcing me to walk on days I don’t want to because he basically expects his miles now


The Not-So-Good

  • My average sleep is down 11 minutes per night and that’s kind of depressing.

  • I broke even on weight, which isn’t bad or good, just a bummer. I know I did not try as hard as I could have to eat better, but I certainly walked more. Here’s to pushing it a bit further in March.

  • I have been so depressed this month and thus have been eating to comfort myself and that’s not always the most productive way to handle it. Exercise has helped and I plan to increase the frequency and difficulty.

  • I didn’t really take any “super” long hikes, and I’d like to do something a little more intense. Plans for March.

  • I lost a snowshoe in February, not really health related, but it needed to be said.


IMG_20190228_145208_2.jpg

Mental Health

  • It’s been kind of a shitty month.

  • I’ve been insecure about work because I’m learning how to do things, despite having wonderful coworkers who really do take the time to help and guide.

  • I’ve been grumpy because of the rain keeping me indoors.

  • I’ve been upset that I can’t stay on track with a moderate amount of calories.

  • Exercise is helping me clear my mind, find some calm, and take deep breaths.

  • I plan to read more in March, that should help too.

  • I’m journaling daily now, which is a big help also. It really helps to get shit out on a page.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • Pizza just needs to be off limits because I have ZERO self control

  • When I’m feeling drained, I don’t want to grocery shop or make dinner or clean up the kitchen afterwards. I need to work out a system for these days so I don’t fall so far off the wagon of trying to be healthy.

  • I honestly don’t recall the last time I went out of my way to order a pop.

  • Kombucha is still my favorite drink.

  • My body isn’t REALLY craving anything bad - I never desire candy or cookies. I want cheese and bread. All is good in moderation, but…ya know.

  • I think I’m truly lactose intolerant. I’m on a mission to avoid all dairy with the exception of hard/aged cheeses, Greek yogurt, butter, sour cream, and the occasional splash of heavy whipping cream. The real bummer is giving up ice cream, but it is for the best. (I know non-dairy ice cream exists, but what’s the point?)


February Wins & Goals for March

Winter time at the cabin, off the grid, with my ass in the snow. Good views, good vibes, good beer, good times ahead. #annualtrip
  • Read/Listen to at least 8 books

  • I’m going to continue to try to drink less alcohol - to make it more of a special occasion instead.

  • Take a weekend off of social media

  • Going to restart Couch 2 5K on March 3

  • I increased my days over 10,000 steps from 41% to 57% of the month and thus want to reach that 75% mark in March.

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind out in west Texas

  • Found new routes in February and want to incorporate them more often in March.

  • Work on getting the household and friends on board with my life goals, so it’s easier to interact and live day to day together

  • Read and write daily

  • Daily walks at least 6 times per week, regardless of Couch 2 5K workouts or hikes

A Healthier Mike - January 2019 Check-In


Quick Stats

Total steps: 299,801

Average daily steps: 9,671

Highest daily steps: 23,594 (January 19)

Lowest daily steps: 4,187 (January 2)

Total miles walked/ran/hiked: 57.67

Total miles hiked: 25.53

Days with over 7 hours of sleep: 5, with 8 days above 6 hours

Average daily sleep: 5 hours 44 minutes


The Good

  • I lost 11.6 lbs this month - it’s not about the numbers, but it sure is encouraging since I’m doing this more as a lifestyle change than a diet or quick change

  • I tracked my food every day since setting out to do so, and it’s now second nature. Tracking my food keeps me in check when it comes to portions and balance.

  • I no longer grab candy or M&Ms at work. I’ve replaced my morning snack of Peanut M&Ms with an apple or a yogurt. I’m not eliminating candy completely, but I sure didn’t earn them by sitting around the office all day.

  • Overall, I’m not nearly as hungry as I thought I’d be by reigning in portion sizes.

  • I’ve been cooking more at home and almost always avoiding dining out. This is good for our budgets and even better for my health.

  • As a lifestyle change/adjustment it’s much easier to take this all in and adapt. Knowing I can have a beer or knowing I can eat poorly and not throw off a whole system makes it easier to stay on track and get back on track.

  • Increased daily exercise and hiked consistently throughout the month. There were some days I didn’t want to go for my evening walk or wake up and hike, but I did. I have to remember the benefits are worth the time.

  • My daily breakfast is oatmeal with a sliced banana and some sliced almonds for crunch. This breakfast is supreme and works to keep me full all morning.

  • When possible, I’m taking lunch or afternoon walks around my office building with plans to expand after the busy season to the nearby park.

  • I had 13 days over 10,000 steps and 19 days with closed rings on my Apple Watch


The Not-So-Good

  • I’ve had a few days that I’ll call binge-sessions. I went way over my daily caloric intake goals. These days were mostly caused by eating out, celebrations, or alcohol.

  • Some days, I can be lazy (depressed) and I’ve noticed those are also the days I eat too much. Those days are directly related to not sleeping enough, insecurities in my life, and general anxiety about everything.

  • I give in to peer pressure too easily and that leads to exceeding my goals. I didn’t need that Taco Bell after the four beers; I could have had 2 beers and no food and been FINE.

  • When I don’t plan ahead, I eat too much or am stuck making poor choices. Planning ahead is my best advantage in this whole shift.

  • I still have trouble saying no things I want, even when I don’t have room or deserve them that day. I don’t mean humanly deserve them, I mean in the realm of a balanced nutrition kind of way. If I’m already overeating, say goodbye to any chance at keeping it in check. I need to work on saying no and reserving the things I love for more of a reward scenario.


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Mental Health

  • Most days were good, but I’ve had several “cloudy days” that are usually the same days where I overeat thus directly relating my mental and physical health. Also, those days where I eat too much are also the days when I avoid any exercise.

  • I’m working very hard to avoid my 2018 scenario of falling victim to my “cloudy days” where I stayed in bed/indoors instead of getting out and getting exercise.

  • When I exercise, it’s almost an instant relief for my brain. I “talk” things out with myself, contemplate alternatives, or just completely turn off my completely.

  • I was on one of my evening walks and just kind of thinking to myself on how this walk really turned my day around and for that I am grateful. Evening walks are saving the day one mile at a time.

  • I listened to “Reasons to Stay Alive” on my flights back from Alaska early in January and it was beautiful and quick and just the inspiration I wanted. I’m reading through the book now, just to reabsorb it and would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with their thoughts.


Thoughts, Notes, Conclusions

  • Beets really make your life colorful - poop, pee, hands, kitchen… but they’re so good.

  • A bottle of prosecco can fit into daily caloric goals, though is completely unnecessary.

  • Loving a vinegar dressing on a salad - shredded carrots, chopped greens, feta, ham, tomato

  • Kombucha may be my new favorite thing. It’s a great fizzy, fermented alternative to pop (soda, coke, whatever). It’s a low calorie game changer.

  • Sometimes, I can close my Apple Watch rings without doing too much out of the ordinary and that’s misleading and not great so I have to be conscious of what I need to make time for during the day/evening.

  • My coworker recommended reducing my caffeine intake and I think he’s onto something. I’m going to reduce my coffee intake to one large cup per day instead of a half of a pot.

  • This is a slow and steady thing. Little by little. Life is good, this is easy and it allows for growth along the way.

  • When you first begin something like this, with yet another fresh start, you don’t know exactly how much progress you’ve made but it always feels good to see activity increase throughout the month.

  • I don’t want to cut anything out of my life. I did the low carb thing for a while, it didn’t work that well once I hit a point where I was bored or thought I could “maintain” my weight. I want to eat whatever I want, but in moderation. This is my first real attempt at doing this, in my entire life, with the exception of doing Weight Watchers for a few months and giving up on it. I’m finding it easier and easier to balance the food I want and the food that is good for me, but I’m still struggling with saying no when my mind takes over.


Goals for February

Winter time at the cabin, off the grid, with my ass in the snow. Good views, good vibes, good beer, good times ahead. #annualtrip

Winter time at the cabin, off the grid, with my ass in the snow. Good views, good vibes, good beer, good times ahead. #annualtrip

  • Sleep more - work on getting to bed before 10 pm which can be a challenge but is totally worth it when I wake up refreshed and ready for the next day

  • Drink less alcohol, though I didn’t drink too much. I found myself making the worst food decisions when I was drinking, so reducing or eliminating that situation is better for everything. Also, my sleep quality is poor post alcohol consumption so this plays into the first goal.

  • I will be at the cabin for a few days off the grid, so I’ll do my best but I will not be worried about it overall. We may drink a little more, but we don’t overeat plus there will be snowshoeing and the whole trekking a mile across the lake things to get to and from the cabin. I’m looking forward to the exercise but also the mental break from society.

  • More exercise - including restarting couch 2 5K from the beginning because I felt really good while doing that or maybe just using NIke Run Club on my phone/watch. Either way, more activity or longer dog walks at the very minimum.

  • I’d like to increase my days over 10,000 steps from about 41% to over 50%

  • More adventurous hikes - I have a few spots in mind out in west Texas

  • Longer neighborhood walks - will achieve this by incorporating another loop or park loop adjacent to the area I already walk.

  • Weekly meal prepping so I can have things prepped and ready to cut down on overall time consumed.

  • Read or listen to at least two books and finish the re-read through of “Reasons to Stay Alive”

A Healthier Mike - January 2019

Another month is upon us and my health goals from December are carrying forward into January. I didn’t quite make the mark last month with fitness and health, so we’ll keep pushing through striving for greatness this month. I don’t do resolutions at the new year, but I do have ongoing goals through the year that I edit as necessary. These goals range from financial goals to hiking goals, with everything in between. I plan to write every month, probably at the beginning, about the previous month and where I am with my goals. These posts will be specifically related to a healthier mind and body. Last year, I attempted to write about these things weekly and I didn’t see it necessary. Most people don’t care, and I don’t want to take the time as I’m already writing and recording about my goals in a journal and spreadsheet.

Ongoing General Goals

  • Eat less food (overall)

  • Move my body more (overall)

  • Eat more fresh and whole foods

  • Sleep more

  • Read more

  • Hike more often

Specific Goals

  • Lose 35 pounds by my 35th birthday

  • Run a 5K by summer

  • Hike 52 times in 2019

  • Run a trail (or several, but at least one)

The Plan

  • Meal plan for each week (rough or detailed, just a plan)

  • Cut out processed sugars

  • Walk, run, workout, or hike 30 minutes at least 5 times per week

  • Limit eating out to 2 lunches per month, dinners TBD

  • Eat more vegetables with every meal

  • Track food intake in My Fitness Pal app

  • Get to bed before 10pm

  • Track fitness with Apple Watch

Things I’m not doing

  • Weighing myself daily

  • Beating myself up for missteps

  • Comparing myself to anyone else and their journey (though, I do look up to people and their abilities when it comes to certain things like hiking and running)

Generally, I have issues with eating the correct portions of food. I overeat, regularly. It’s something I struggle with and work on every day of every year. Being conscious of what I eat and tracking every item is the only way for me to grasp just how much is going into my body. When I track my food, I feel better and often maintain a better heads space about food and fitness.

I’m not doing this with weight loss as a main goal; I want weight loss to be a side effect. I am working on my health and fitness to ensure I’m around to enjoy life. I want to hike, kayak, and backpack without having to slow down all the time. I want to feel confident in group settings and get out with people a little more advanced than myself. I want to feel less smashed on an airplane and I want to be even more comfortable with myself just about everywhere. I want to run some trails and actually run an entire 5K. I want to do so much and I am going to keep trying.

The vanity of it all is that I want to look down and not see a giant belly. I want to look nice in my puffy coat and vest. I want to feel comfortable with fitted clothing on my body. So, all of the health things aside, I want to look good too. I don’t want to be some ripped guy and I know I’ll never have a skinny body, but I just want to be a little less fluffy.

Follow along, or don’t, I’ll be here the first week of every month recapping and rerouting the plan as necessary. I wish you a healthy month ahead.