Week 3 – Back to work/Back to school

J240 - Ep5 - Week 3 Title Image

4th Jan – 10th Jan 2021

3 weeks down already.

It’s been a bit of a strange week this week. First week back to work (at home) after the Xmas break. Children back at school for 1 day, then off again due to tighter Covid-19 restrictions. Now the wife is back in home schooling mode (again). She does love it!

A rather annoying DIY issue has taken up too much of my time this week. The flush on our toilet broke and the cistern kept filling up with water and flowing down the overflow pipe. I had isolate the water to that toilet and figure out the issue.

The actual issue and fix is relatively easy. I needed to fit a new valve in the cistern. I am not going to go into details, but trying to get the cistern off the toilet base to get to the value nut took hours and hours. To the point that I was on the verge of just smashing the cistern to pieces.

Short version, I got there in the end (without the hammer), replaced the bits in the cistern and all is working perfectly again. It might even be a good DIY post. If only I had taken some video/pics along the way.

Part two is replacing the toilet lid. While leaning my weight on it to get to the back of the toilet I broke the lid!!! See I am too heavy and really need to drop that weight.

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.
 

Build an online presence

I have started this and would really like to dedicate some time to growing an online brand. Documenting my 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?

(Apart from my DIY issues)

I have slipping back into a couple of habits that I was intent on squashing this year. Mainly watching crap on YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is a fantastic resource, but not when you are watching videos that take you down the rabbit hole of more videos and before you know it, it is 1am and you are not asleep yet.

Finally before we get into the Big 4, as I am calling them now, we have had a strange week with my son that I want to share with you.

In the past he has woken up shortly after going to sleep, crying, saying that everything looks far away. It’s taken up to 1 hour for him to settle back down and actually go to sleep. It’s happened again, but actually started with some night terrors earlier in the week. He has woken up saying something is scary, but not being able to articulate exactly what.

It’s actually really weird because he seems awake, but must be in a sleep walking type state. We ask him in the morning and he cannot recall coming into our room or why. The night terrors are not great to see. He genuinely looks very frightening and comes in shaking. There was a couple of night like that last week.

This was followed by the ‘seeing things far away’ issue. My wife seems to remember this from her childhood. It would be interesting to hear in the comments if anyone else remembers experiencing this in their childhood, or has a child that has these episodes.

We had a little read last night and found several people on a forum saying the same thing. It looks like children will grow out of this. Given it is not all of the time and we had something similar with another child, I don’t think we are too worried. It’s just frustrating when you can’t really fix it for them.

Right, let’s get onto progress with the big 4.

Re-branding the big 4 goals

I touched on this in my previous post. The names of my big 4 goals are not really inspiring, or don’t really tell you (or me) what I am aiming for. I have already changed one of them for the better so let’s look at the others.

  • Weight – so this is the result of what I am doing, so I am actually going to change this to ‘Healthy Eating’
  • Fitness – This is pretty much it, but I am going to add a couple of words – (Vastly) ‘Improve my fitness’
  • Professional Development – Again, I need a bit of an action word with this. So I am thinking ‘Drive my professional development’
  • Engage in social media – I have already changed the last to ‘Build an online presence’

I think these better reflect what I am trying to achieve. And will help focus the mind a little more. 

I will update my background section for next weeks blog post.

Healthy eating

Week 3 Calorie Tracker Results
This shows my latest calorie intake each day during Week 3 of my journey

So I think I am making some progress. Now I have got over the traditional festive period and all the food that comes with it, and I can use the new year as a renewed focus.

Just setting the scene again for those that haven’t read my first post. The intention here is to slowly bring down my weight to something sensible. The important word here is ‘slowly’. I have read enough to know that starving myself or suddenly switching to a new eating regime might allow me to lop off a lot of weight over a short period of time.

I’ve done that before and it’s great to start with. Then you only end up dropping a pound of weight one week and the motivation goes.

This first phase of my healthy eating journey is about monitoring my calorie intake through the app I mentioned last week.

With my details entered, it has started me off on a daily in-take of 2,287 calories. I know the official calorie intake for a man should be around 1900, but I guess the app is trying to be realistic about targets. Which is good.

As you can see I have stuck within that in-take each day. I have also had breakfast each morning. I didn’t used to do this, which meant I would be hungry around 10am at work. That is where the snacking would start.

Lets look at my stats

Stats
Last Week
This week
Weight 109.2kg / 17st 2lb 108.4kg / 17st 1lb
Waist 48in / 122cm 47.5in / 120.5cm
Chest 48in / 122cm 47in / 119.5cm
Leg (thigh) 24in / 61cm 24in / 61cm
Arm (upper) 15.7in / 40cm 15.8in / 40cm

Yes, 0.8kg lost in my first tracked week!!

I am really pleased with losing 0.8kg of weight. It might not seem like much but to lose 0.6 to 1kg for a number of weeks/months is going to get me on the right path at the right pace.

Looking at the stats, I think I do need to be better at measuring myself (or get someone to do it for me). Losing ½ an inch off my waist I can kind of see, but 1 inches from my chest. Not likely!

So what does next week bring?

It is more of the same on the healthy eating side of things. Keep up the recording calories and staying well within the max calories intake each day.

improve my fitness

So I am just recalling what I said I would like to do this week.

  • Get at least 2 runs in this week, keeping up with the 1 mile and driving down the times
  • Try the NHS 10 minute toning workout

The good news is I have managed 3 runs this week.

The first two runs, Tuesday and Thursday were the usual 1 mile. The time was still well into the 10 minutes mark but at least I am running.

  • Tuesday – 10:32 minutes – a good run today and felt like I could have pushed a little harder
  • Thursday – 10:39 minutes – slightly different route today, but still 1 mile. It did feel harder today and I really had to force myself out the door.

Yes, I did mention a 3rd run.

I said in my previous post that I would stick with 1 mile distance and try to drive down the time. I was actually reading the 9 week ‘Couch to 5K’ plan last week and thinking hard on whether to follow that. Reading some of the information, it was all around making sure I was getting in a good 25+ of exercise. This was starting with walking, and then interval walking/running. But overall, it was still a good 25+ minutes exercising.

Me doing just a 1 mile run is really not going to burn the calories and get my heart rate up.

So…

I downloaded a running app that would track my time and route. I wasn’t sure how far it would be but set about a longer run on the Sunday. Although it was hard work, it actually felt really good having done it.

So it was not 25 minutes of running, but I think that is a really good start. Although my legs do hurt today I think it was the right decision to up the mileage a little.

My aim next week will be 3 runs of the same distance. I hope to bring the overall time down and with that the min/mile average pace. I still have a target of under 10 minute miles in the next 4 to 5 weeks. Regardless of the distance.

I am not sure how accurate the calories burned is but, I will take that 😊.

Toning exercises

I didn’t actually do any toning exercises from the toning workout during the working week. I did purchase these resistance bands (if these are no longer available scroll down to see other related items) that are used for a good chunk of the exercises and they were delivered on Friday.

Now I did give the toning workout a go on the Sunday. After my run!

That was the big mistake I think.

I wanted to get the children doing something on Sunday as they were just moping around. They seemed pretty keen when I said they could use my new resistance bands if they did it.

It was actually pretty hard work. A couple of the children were mucking around a bit but they still did most of the exercises with me. I was really tired from the run so adding a toning exercise on top of that really took its toll on my unfit body, and am exhausted.

I have decided that on my non-run days I will do this toning workout and leave it on my run days. Over time I can increase the resistance weights through different resistance bands and the number of reps in a set.

If anyone is interested on exactly what exercises, how many reps, etc, let me know in the comments and I will think about adding this into my updates.

My fitness schedule for week 4

So here is my proposed fitness schedule for the next week. Well for the next few weeks at least.

MondayToning Exercises
TuesdayRun
WednesdayToning Exercises
ThursdayRun
FridayToning Exercises
SaturdayRun or Toning Exercises (Depends on what we are doing as family on that day)
SundayRun or Toning Exercises (Depends on what we are doing as family on that day)

 

I haven’t got a rest day in there at the moment. Not sure if that is ok because I am alternating between toning and cardio exercise. Although the toning does include the legs, so I will see if it feels like I am pushing my luck.

Professional development

Well this was my first week back at work. Albeit working in my bedroom at home. I was really used to all this working from home in 2020, but really starting to miss that interaction that you get from working in an office. Although this is not likely to change in the next couple of months.

So, as per my tasks for this week, I have given myself a little time each day for some professional development. First tick in the box.

This has helped me progress some of the online learning I talked about in my previous posts. I will continue with this as it is quite interesting, but I probably need to put together a bit of a weekly schedule of things I should work on and mix it up a bit.

While the online learning platform is good, I think it could also be a distraction.

I also had a good 1-to-1 meeting with my manager this week gone. We talked about some of the tasks/targets that I need to focus on in Q1 this year. This will go towards an assessment of whether I could take on a new role within the company. On top of this, but still related to the goal of a new role, I have taken on some additional work to support another project. Let’s see how this goes.

I am still finding it a little difficult to really hone in on what I want from a role and where I would be most happy. I guess I should be very grateful I have a job.

My wife’s job has been affected by the pandemic so I really cannot afford to lose this job, and give the company any reasons not to keep me.

As they say, ‘Keep up the day job’. Actually I am not sure that is what they say, but you get what I mean.

So some more e-learning next week, then I really need to start mixing it up a little.

Building an online presence

Urm…

Not done anything this week.

I did say that I needed to start mapping out what building an online presence looks like. This is a perfect example of that thing I mentioned at the start of this journey.

Discipline!

I could have used some of that wasted YouTube or Prime Video watching time and actually done something that is helping towards this goal.

As you can see, I am still keeping up with the blog posts for this journey. I know this is a good thing and needs to continue to keep me on the right path. I just have to change these little things.

I probably could do more on getting my blog out there, and promoting it through social media. I think the thing holding me back is knowing I am not sharing this personal journey with my own family. I don’t know why this is such an issue for me. I just think if they read my blog, or eventually watch a video about my journey they will think I am just being silly.

I do really want to turn these posts into weekly progress videos. I was looking at 1) how I can video myself without showing my face, and people still want to watch it, and 2) how I do this with everyone in the house because of lockdown.

Although, if you know me, you would think I am one of those people who doesn’t care what others think. Truth is, I do. I want to be accepted. I don’t want to be rejected. Whether that’s personally or professionally. Maybe that is the real reason I am choosing to stay anonymous for now.

What are my week 4 tasks/mini-goals?

So let’s pull out what I am going to be focusing on next week

  • Continue tracking my calorie intake and stay below the target
  • Try and complete 3 runs of about 1.6 miles long
  • Try to keep to my new fitness schedule of run/toning workout
  • Keep up with some of the e-learning I have been doing in my allocated 1 hour blocks during the week
  • Map out more formally, some of the things I should look at to build my online presence

Anyways, that is all for this week. I hope your journey is going well and catch you next week.

Copyright
Title image: Creative commons licensed images
Data images – screenshots from apps I am using to track my progress. App include MapMyRun / Weight Loss from NHS

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