Here we go again. Again.

Almost a year ago I decided to start tracking my fitness efforts in an attempt to gain some accountability and create some new habits. I failed. Miserably. Instead of losing 40 pounds I damn near gained 40 pounds. While I did take up mountain biking during this time, my diet hasn’t improved in the slightest. My legs are stronger but my gut is larger. Various forms of stress have continued to affect me and my self-medication has been, unfortunately, caloric.  I refuse to buy larger clothing. I must act now.

Previous bright points.

I’ve lost roughly 40 pounds at two different points in my lifetime. It felt great. I’m not sure what went wrong in the meantime and I hate to point fingers, however, suffering a brutal pay cut followed by a period of unemployment didn’t do me any favors. I’ve got some steady footing with my current job, and after almost a year of taking it easy, I’m ready to make some progress and create some new habits.

What worked in the past?

Avoid bread in general. No meat during the week (Monday through Thursday). Avoid red meat on the weekends (Friday through Sunday) by sticking mostly to chicken and fish, but whatever happens is OK. No alcohol during the week… for the most part. Weekdays breakfast was usually a banana and a granola bar. Weekdays lunch was usually rice and diced tomatoes with a veggie burger patty and maybe a little parmesan cheese or hot sauce. Dinner was soy “chicken” nuggets with an assortment of condiments and a pound of steamed vegetables, either okra or broccoli. Fitness was an hour of cardio (recumbent bike or running) 4-6 times a week with some intermittent haphazard weight training. Oh, and I drank a gallon of water every day.

Will it work again?

I don’t think this previous plan will work in the long term. Sure I lost 40 pounds doing it, on two occasions, but each time I crashed back into my old beer and burrito ways. It was usually an injury or some other stress inducing divergence from the norm that sparked a break from my regiment and next thing you know I’m struggling to button my pants. I need a more long-term plan, with a more diverse diet, and a more refined exercise routine.

Going forward.

Now what? Well, I know what I don’t want to do. No eating soy based meat wannabe products. No eating practically the same exact thing every day for months. No unvaried cardio. No weight lifting without a plan. No gimmick diets or work outs. No paleo. No crossfit. No veganism. No shakes. No juicing. Just balanced healthful dieting with consistent cardio and safe weight training. Progressive overload. Interval training. Plenty of water. And as much off-road biking as possible.

Here we go again.

It’s time to get fit and healthy and burn off this beer/burger/burrito belly. This will be the third time in my life that I’ve lost 40 pounds or more so I’m confident in my ability to do it but still daunted by the idea. Hopefully tracking my journey through this documentation will create some accountability and motivation. Here goes nothing!