And What a Walk!

Speaking with Leslie today (and over the last little while) I have started to fully understand that I need exercise for a few reasons. It crucial for my weight loss strategy, there is no question that exercise is a critical component to losing weight and getting back into shape. That is an obvious and direct benefit.

There is a less obvious (if equally critical) benefit to exercising. I know that food is an addiction, and I have to break that unhealthy relationship with food. Leslie reminded me (several times) that if I have been turning to food (and mostly unhealthy foods) to deal with stress, anxiety, sadness, and depression then I need a different go-to that I can use to replace food in those moments of despair and desperation.

I have known my friends Rick and Isolina (The Beard and The Munchkin) nearly twenty-five years. He has been for many years the most faithful and constant reader of my main blog (www.garvis.ca) and has watched trends in my life. He pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago (yet again) that he can tell when I am back at my Taekwondo training from my tone… not only when we talk, but in my writing on my blogs and on Facebook. I know that he is right… although I am going to put in one slight amendment to that statement. I am more upbeat when I am in training… whether that be walking, running, weight training, or of course my primary sport, Taekwondo.

(Rick is going to read that and within a day I am going to get a phone call from him saying ‘You know, you are probably right… but it is even more clear when you are in Taekwondo; I know that you love it and it shows.’ I love you, Rick!)

Okay… so if working out in general and Taekwondo in particular are activities that lift my spirits, then why shouldn’t I turn to them as a crutch? ‘Hey, I am having a really terrible day today… I’ll go for a long walk and maybe I’ll feel better.’ Or: ‘Wow, what a crappy day. Fortunately, I can go to a Taekwondo class or two this evening, and that will help me work out my aggressions.’

It is a question of shifting my go-to from eating bad foods to making healthy choices.

By the way, if I do that, there will be another added benefit to my general mood. I am always in a better mood when my weight is down. Yes, this morning was the exception to that rule, but sometimes things really do get that bad. Okay, so if I am in a better mood when my weight is trending down, then exercising instead of eating will prevent weight gain and usually cause weight loss. As I wrote in my article ‘One Pound Lost is Three Pounds of Progress’ (republished on my blog March 30, 2022), every pound that I lose not only means that pound, but it also represents the pound that I could have stayed the same, and the pound that I could have gained. Lower weight equals happier Mitch. It really is that simple.

I started today, and as the title of this entry alludes to, I had one hell of a walk. I don’t know if it was because of the motivation, because I weigh less than I have in years, or if it that I spent ten hours in the car yesterday, or that I have not walked in eleven days. I do know that I am wearing a new pair of running shoes (thanks Leslie!) and that my feet were feeling fine from beginning to end, and that I have a lot of crap in my head that I am trying to sort out. I also know that today’s walk broke a few records. Here are the numbers:

  • Distance: 9.03 km (7. 5 km)
  • Duration: 1:33:28 (1:22:42 minutes)
  • Average Pace (Min/km): 10:21 (11:01)
  • Steps: 10.8k (9.3k)
  • Calories burned: 524 (429)
  • Elevation gain: 34.1m (28m)
  • Average cadence (steps per minute): 116 (112)

There is a lot of bold text there because yes, each one of those is a record. I beat my previous best distance by 1.5km, which of course means that it was 16m25s longer in duration. My previous best pace was 10m37s per kilometre. Today it was a full 16s per kilometre better. In fact, each of my first seven kilometres was well faster than that, and had I stopped after five kilometres, my pace was actually 10m05s per kilometre!

Yes, I kicked butt out there on my walk, and I am proud of it.

I do not know if I will walk tomorrow because it is a Taekwondo day (as are all Tuesdays and Thursdays). What I might do is go for a lighter 5km walk… I won’t push myself; I will just do it to get a little more exercise than just the classes. I have to decide how I am going to do that, but we will see.

I suppose there is another ulterior motive for an extra workout tomorrow… the following day is my fortnightly weigh-in, and it would be good to show progress. As it is, this morning I weighed 2/10ths of a pound more than I did on my previous weigh-in.

That is another attitude I have to be cognizant of. I cannot act ‘business as usual’ for ten days, and then in the days leading up to my doctor’s visit push myself to get back on track. While weight loss is indeed a marathon and not a sprint, I do not know a lot of marathon runners who slack off for any amount of time during a race. I cannot either. Yes, there will be moments of weakness; what is most important is recognizing them and recovering from them as quickly as possible. All important lessons.

I would love to push for a huge weight loss between now and the end of the summer, and so I am going to stay close to home. By that I mean I am going to avoid social situations where I am tempted to take peanuts or hamburgers or whatever else. Happily, I have a month-long teaching contract starting next Monday, which will also keep me focused and disciplined. It would be wonderful if Leslie were to come for a visit or if I were to go to visit her during that month, but unlike so many of my friends, Leslie encourages me to stay on track and to eat healthy. After all, I hope she wants to have me around for many years to come.

As I write this, I realize the following:

  1. I have not showered since coming in from my walk. Yuck.
  2. I have ingested precisely one meal replacement shake today, which means that with the 524 calories that I burned on my walk, I am in a deficit of 299 calories.
  3. I have to get my butt in gear and go pick up Princess Sophie.

Have a great afternoon folks!

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