Week 2 – Yes it is actually 2021!

Week 2 J240 Title Image

26th Dec – 3rd Jan 2021

For the eagle eyed you will notice the dates above are actually 9 days, not a week.

I wanted to align my posts with the end of the week. So going forward I will either post my end of week update on Sunday, or on Monday.

Happy New Year Everyone

Well looks like the world in 2020 has spilled over into 2021.

Here in the UK our Covid-19 cases are dramatically increasing. The government have imposed big restrictions in many parts of the country, similar to those of the originally full lock-down we saw in March 2020.

Luckily for me and my family this didn’t change our festive plans.

We took the very hard decision to have Christmas at home, just us and the children, months before the event. We just had this feeling that with restrictions being lifted in the run up to Christmas, and people free to shop and mingle, the worst was going to happen.

It did. They put us into tiered lockdown in November to curb the increase in cases. They said we would be able to spend 5 days mixing as families at Christmas, only to pull the rug at the last minute and only Christmas day was allowed for mixing. But only those not in our highest tier.

Now you can see why making the decision months earlier was just so much easier in the end. Telling your parents you were not going to see them on Xmas day was hard, but everyone understood. It allowed us and them to plan, regardless of any rule changes.

Enough of the doom and gloom. Let’s get into the what this post is really about.

The background

If you have landed on this blog and wondering what this is all about, check out my ‘Journey to 40: I don’t want to get old’ post.

In short, the thought of reaching 40 scares the hell out of me. This is all about my two year journey to 40 years old, and making some pretty big changes in my life along the way. I have put these changes into 4 big journey goals with the aim of reporting progress each week. These are:

Weight

Something I have struggled with for over a decade. A pretty big goal that I will break down into manageable chunks.
 

Fitness

I'm not looking for perfection but really want to be fitter than my children. I wouldn't say no to a more defined body.
 

Professional development

I feel a little lost and need something to strive for in my work life.
 

Engage in social media

I have started and would really like to dedicate some time to growing. Documenting this journey will help keep me on track as I reach that scary age milestone.

Come with me on my journey and I hope to inspire yours.

What has been going on this week?

I know. Bloody hell. Where has the time gone.

I have to go back to work tomorrow. Children have to go back to work. But let’s not dwell on that right now.

It hasn’t really been a busy week. With restrictions in place we haven’t been anywhere. The children have lots of time playing with their new Christmas toys. We have played lots of family games. Even though we get a big groan from them, as soon as they start playing everyone enjoys it. Until they lose.

Have we really brought up our children to throw a wobbly when they lose? Or is this just hard wired into the human psyche?

Is that how you spell psyche? Such a strange English word.

The wife and I are not big New Year celebration people. We do like to host with another family or two. But not this year.

However the children are obsessed with wanting to stay up. To be honest it could be any day of the year and they would want to stay up. At least on this day they know there is a reason and mum and dad are not likely to say no.

We thought New Year’s Eve would drag on for ages. We actually had some fun activities to keep the children entertained. We thought it might last for an hour or so and then they would lose interest. Little did we know that after 3 hours we were all still playing our game and it was 23:30.

A quick tidy up before the clock strikes midnight. Watch a light show over London on the TV. Then bed!

Where has the last two week gone? I have to work tomorrow. Not back to the office though. Up to my bedroom!

Right let’s get into some goal progress shall we.

weight

First the stats

 

Stats
Last Week
This week
Weight109.2kg / 17st 2lb109.2kg / 17st 2 lb
Waist48in / 122cm48in / 122cm
Chest48in / 122cm48in / 122cm
Leg (thigh)24in / 61cm24in / 61cm
Arm (upper)15.7in / 40cm15.7in / 40cm

Bugger!!

That didn’t quite go to plan.

There was just too much yummy food to get through before the new year. We had Boxing Day left overs. Always a really good food day. Then new year. What can I say.

However the good news is that I didn’t put on any weight, which is a bonus.

Thinking about it, I was actually more aware of what I was eating. In previous years I would have stuffed myself silly across the whole festive period. I was making that conscious decision not to take too much food. I could have had 3 or 4 portions of yummy deserts. I only had two!

That’s probably the reason my stats above remained the same week on week. Well ok, I put on 0.2kg (just under a pound) overall.

Let’s just put the last two weeks behind us and focus on the new year. Yes what everyone else seems to do. But these are not New Year Resolutions. They are my journey goals.

Weight and healthy eating target

Thinking about all of my goals, I think I need to make them more descriptive of what I am actually trying to achieve. Losing weight would be better, but that is just a bi-product of eating more healthily. Let me have a think about that and all 4 of my journey goals to make sure they are right.

Going into the first full week of 2021, I would be crazy not to use this opportunity to set a bigger weight loss target.

Now I know I want to put on some muscle gain and tone up this year too, but with that said I would love to get back to under 16 stone in weight and currently I am between UK size 38/40 men’s trouser measurement. Getting to 36 would be great. I have so many older clothes that just don’t fit anymore.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The big targets are good but I want to track my weekly progress too.

So, where do I start?

I have downloaded a 12 week NHS calorie counter/tracker app on my phone. Other apps are available. I have used this in the past and it kept losing my data each day. So if you use this, you have been warned.

It’s simple but a good way to track breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day.

There are a few things to get going with it:

  • Enter your starting weight
  • Enter your waist measurement (I think this is optional)
  • It will work out your current BMI based on other stats
  • From there it will say you are overweight, or Obese in my case!
  • It will then set a daily calorie intake you should aim for

My daily calorie intake has been set above the recommended male intake, but I am going to leave it as it is for now. It is almost 350 calories higher than the recommended. I will actually aim for less than that each day and might even adjust the settings at a later date.

Here are a few screenshots of what the daily, weekly and rolled up views of the weeks looks like in the app.

There is a section to add in how much of your 5-a-day you have managed to eat. As well as recording your daily exercise. Although this part is very basic so you might want to look for an alternative if you are going to get serious on the activity tracking side of things.

If you click into a particular meal for a given day, again, don’t expect too much. It is just a total calorie count for that meal. You will need to do the hard work and find out based on what you have eaten, what your total count was.

There is a section on the UK NHS website that you can access through the app to search up the food and it will give you the calories. This is not too much of a admin burden so I am going to track on this app for a while. Alternatively look on the back of food packaging. I am not sure if it is a UK food requirement, but 99% seems to have either a portion or per 100g calorie amount.

Did you know how many calories are in a mince pie!!!!

So my mini goal for this coming week is to get into a routine of eating within my calorie limits. I am not going to change what I eat. But I will be mindful of the impact to calories, so might have to make some choices around how much and when. 

Another one for me is to actually have breakfast each day. I am really bad at this. Having breakfast will hopefully help with NOT snacking mid-morning. 

So a couple of big goals for next week. 

fitness

It’s been a bit of a ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ week this week.

Yes, I actually managed a couple of 1 mile runs.

  • 27th Dec 2020 | 1 mile | Time: 10:44
    On my own this time. The run felt good. I listened to some beat music to try and keep a steady rhythm. Not sure that worked though. The recovery time was pretty good too. None of the same 3 day aches after the run.
  • 3rd Jan | 1 mile | Time: 10:59
    My eldest daughter cam with me today. It was her first proper run and I have to admit, I had to leave her trailing behind. She started walking around ½ mile into the run. I was feeling pretty good so carried on. My time was 15 seconds slower that previously but I put this down to slowing down for my daughter.

My medium term running target is to get my 1 mile runs down consistently on the 10 min/mile mark. Once I have done this for a good few runs in a row I am going to increase the distance.

I am not sure on how much to extend the run by. Do I just do ½ mile more, or a whole mile?

NO, was because I didn’t do any of those reps I talked about in my last post. Something I really need to start doing in Week 3.

So what fitness targets shall I set for next week?

I did a little research and actually found, a series of 10 minute home workouts. To complement my running I want to do some toning exercises. I think I am going to see if I can follow this one for a while.

Let me know what you think?

I am going to purchase a resistance band and while I wait for that I will do the toning workout with what I have around the house.

I will also get in at least 2 runs this week. Let’s see if I can stretch this to 3 runs. I am still going to stick with the 1 mile, but need to push myself on the time to raise the heart rate a little more. I think I am also going to look into the best warm up stretches for running.

Professional development

As planned, I didn’t set any goals in this area for this week. The focus was on the family.

But….

I am going back to work tomorrow so want to put a few things in place. I am going to set up the following:

  • Set up 1 hour per day in my diary for professional development tasks
  • Start with some e-learning modules on the new platform I found before the Christmas break

Over the coming weeks I will look at other aspect of my growth within the company and what I need to focus on.

If anyone else has any more generic suggestions do comment below.

Building an online presence

Well I managed to complete my target in submitting my next blog post for my journey. 

But I really need to think about the what next? 

I have lots of ideas floating around in my head. I guess as a first stab I should really get these down on paper and start making a bit of a plan as to what I would like to try and do next.  

I am very aware that if I spread myself too thinly I just won’t get anything done and likely to lose interest. Like the weight loss/fitness. It’s got to be little steps to build up to my ultimate goal. 

So my mini-goal for this coming week to start mapping out where I want this mega goal to take me. What really is that end state, and why? 

What are my week 3 tasks/mini-goals?

So the 2nd week is complete. I must admit this is a little more difficult than I had anticipated. I am hoping that the new year will just add that extra drive forward.

So my next week looks a little like this:

  • Eating within my calorie limits
  • Have breakfast everyday
  • Do the toning exercises I can
  • At least 2 runs
  • Set up 1 hour per day in my diary for professional development tasks
  • Start with some e-learning modules in those hours
  • Start mapping out what ‘building an online presence looks like’

See you on the next one.

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