Tag: fitness goals

KETO UPDATE: Three Months In

Well, here I am.

It’s been three months since I started my keto diet. And, I reached my goal of losing 30lbs. — which I truly excited and grateful to meet. It was a weird about way getting here, but I am here.

When I made the initial goal, I didn’t expect the initial weight loss. I reached my goal pretty much within about six weeks of me starting the diet. This got me excited because this got my brain thinking that I could lose 40lbs or more with that kind of start.

Yeah, no.

I stalled out — for way too long. Nearly 5-6 weeks of going nowhere on the scale. I won’t lie, it was frustrating and a bit concerning. But, after consulting friends, message boards, Facebook groups, etc. — what I was experiencing was pretty normal. If not expected.

So, I just buckled down and made sure I did what I needed to do. I kept to my diet, kept running, kept exercising and remaining hopeful that the scale would begin moving again.

And, it has.

About a week, week and a half ago the scale started going down again. and I am now in the 240s. A place I haven’t been for a while. It feels good to be here, because I am less than 15lbs. away from my goal weight — or the weight I feel comfortable at with my running. That’s exciting.

Through the ups and down with the number of the scale, I’ve been measuring my success in other ways — I’ve lost inches around the waist. I feel and see that nearly every morning. To me that feels better than any number on the scale.

But, besides the clothes, my energy levels are so much better than they were back in August. It took a while for my running stamina to get where I wanted it with the diet, but a couple weeks ago I felt a breakthrough with a couple awesome midweek runs.

I feel like I am in a good groove with the diet, my fitness and running.

And, now I’m off to Europe for two weeks.

I won’t lie, I am a bit nervous about the next two weeks. I know I am going to gain weight. I already made the decision that I am not following keto while in Europe for obvious reasons. This will be a once in a lifetime trip to Paris, Rome and Greece for me — I’m experiencing it.

Now, will that give me free reign to eating like a gluttonous king? Of course not. I am going to control what I can, namely most breakfasts and my snacking. But, I am going to have pizza in Italy, french pastries in Paris and authentic spanakopita, tiropita and everything in between. Especially considering that I grew up on Greek recipes that weren’t hand me downs to my Grandma — but, from a 1960s cookbook (that’s a very long story).

I want the real stuff.

I don’t know how much to anticipate myself gaining. Internally I tell myself 10-15lbs., but it will probably be lower. Especially considering that I’ll be doing a lot of walking during the two weeks.

Either way, I’m going to remain with the keto diet after my return. I love the way I feel on it. It works. And, coupled with the needed miles I need to do in preparation for the Jackpot Running Festival and my 100 miles in February — this will help me prepare for the race better than any other diet.

I don’t see a reason to stop doing what I’ve been doing the past three months. I just hope the next couple of weeks don’t set me back too much. I’ve really loved the groove I’ve been in lately.

But, that’s something to worry about come December 1st. Right now it’s all about Europe!


START: 282.2 lbs. (8/16/17)
CURRENT: 247.2 lbs (11/15/17)
OVERALL LOST: -35.0 lbs.

MONTH #1 START: 282.2 lbs.
MONTH #1 LOST: -23.8 lbs.

MONTH #2 START: 258.4 lbs.
MONTH #2 LOST: -5.6 lbs.

MONTH #3 START: 252.8 lbs.
MONTH #3 LOST: -5.6 lbs.


It’s time to bet big … on myself

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

Beyoncé

When I started running, I had no idea where I was going. I started because I wanted to lose weight and I knew it would help me in that goal. But, beyond that, I had no idea where it was taking me?

Less than a year into my weight-loss journey my trainer, Kevin, challenged me to run a 5K in the midst of a plateau. He gave it to me as a challenge to work towards. So, I put in the work and ran my first 5K. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fast. But, I did it.

But, then something happened. I looked at my results and said — “I can do better.” So, I set out to train for another 5K. One that I could run that would be faster and much, much prettier. And, I did.

So, I just kept running trying to improve. This lead not just in the desire to run faster, but longer. Soon, I had my eye on a 10K which naturally lead to a half marathon.

Training for my first half marathon — I thought THIS would be it. This is the crowning achievement of my running career. The thought of running any further — especially a marathon — was unfathomable. I wasn’t a REAL runner, so I couldn’t possibly do that.

Well, after I ran my first half marathon in July 2011, I ran another and another and another. I got faster and actually enjoyed running 13.1 miles — then I started entertaining the thought of doubling that mileage.

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And, before I knew it I was registered for a marathon. A FREAKING MARATHON! That race distance that only REAL runners run.

Once again, I thought this would be my crowning achievement in running. When I crossed the finish line I could cross off the accomplishment on my bucket list and go back running half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. But, then something happened — I signed up for more marathons. And, before I knew it, I had run a total of three marathons by the end of the year.

By this time I had a goal to reach 180 races by age 40. So, I kept training and running. Along the way, not only did I enjoy the accomplishment of racing, but I made countless friends and created many enduring friendships. Running was changing my life in nearly every faucet of my life.

But, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. It’s been quite tough at times, actually. Whether it was dealing with my Mom’s breast cancer, the death of close family members or battling my own health issues — the common denominator has always been — running.

Running wasn’t a way to escape reality, but a time I could deal with reality. Running gave me time to process the challenges. It gave me moments of reflection, motivation and inspiration. It was leading me where I wanted to go.

Nearly three years ago I started having problems with my thyroid once again. The health issues took me through a roller coaster of emotions. It was frustration being as active as I was — and feeling fatigued and slower. Not only that but I was slowly gaining weight after a years of maintenance.

But, I didn’t let (or want) those issues to stop me. They couldn’t stop me. I had a goal at hand. Plus, I knew if I stopped I would signaling the white flag of defeat — which I could never do.

So, I just kept running.

I was much slower. And, it took a harder toll on my body, especially in regards to my stamina. But, I was now one of the last runners to finish, but I kept going.

Around this time I looked for ways to keep me motivated. I knew just running wasn’t enough. I had to do something new — something that scare and motivate me all in one.

And, since I knew I wasn’t getting faster, I started looking at longer distances — ultra races. I knew a number of ultra runners who spent their weekends in Utah’s backyard and it always appealed to me. But, running anything longer than a marathon didn’t.

That lack of appeal eventually subsided and I found myself registered and committed to running a 50K. So, despite everything going on with my health — I trained for the 50K around a schedule of marathons and long runs. It wasn’t easy, but I did what I needed to do to prepare myself for the race.

When race day came I was lucky enough to run with some great friends that helped me get through those 30-something miles on Antelope Island. The last half of the race was spent trying to meet cut-off times, dodging stubborn bison and battling the dark after my headlamp died.

But, I made it. And, I earned the title of ultra runner.

The accomplishment felt like crowning accomplishment of my running journey. After spending over 10 hours running 30 miles of dirt trails — I couldn’t think of any reason why any sane person would do anything longer.

Then I remembered — I wasn’t sane.

Within a few months I got talked into running a 50 miler. I wish I could say it took a lot of convincing, but it didn’t. It was the first time I formally met Blu Robinson and Jed Jensen from Addict II Athlete and they casually talked about the 50 miler like a novice runner would about a 5K.

And, like any long distance race I’ve run, I found myself registered and committed to running the Pony Express Trail 50 Miler. The biggest selling point was that each runner was required to be assisted throughout the race. Meaning, I had a car stalking me — stocked full of fuel, water and food throughout the whole race. This basically translated to me that I wouldn’t die.

My training for the 50 miler was no joke. It was tough. I did a number of 20 milers, including one on a treadmill in the middle of the night. Not to mention a number of marathons specifically laid out to help prepare me for my 50 miler.

Once race day came I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I relied on my training and just focused on the goal at hand — getting to the finish line.

There were a lot of ups and downs — physically, emotionally and even spiritually. But, after nearly 17 and a half hours — I got to the finish line. I reached my goal — I ran a 50 mile race. I did something I felt at times nearly impossible, even just days before the race.

But, I made it.


“If you think you can — you can!”

Ronald Reagan

I really fell in love with the longer distances — for a number of reasons. Not only did I love the physical challenge, but I really learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about pain. Because that happens a lot during an ultra race.

I never cried as freely and openly as I did at mile 45 of my 50 miler. But, I learned how to process the pain I was feeling — and control it. Being able to manage and control pain is a remarkable feat and I believe a true test of one’s character. Ultra races were becoming great teachers to me.

Since that 50 miler, I have run a couple more ultra races. A couple weeks after that 50 miler I ran the Antelope Island 50K once again (cutting off nearly an hour on my time — mind you!), in February I ran 40 miles in 12 hours at the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival in Las Vegas and then there was my ill-fated Salt Flats 50K that I DNF’d last weekend. But, if I didn’t fall ill with the flu I would have tackled that beast!

My favorite ultra race so far has been the Jackpot Running Festival, I like the idea of a timed race on a looped course with the goal to see how many laps you can do within that time. Not only do you get an aid station every two miles or so, but you’re literally competing with no one else — but, yourself.

Jackpot has a number of timed races — a 6, 12, 24 and 48 hour race. They also had a 100 miler, marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K, but most of the runners did one of the four timed courses. The winner of the 48 hour race managed over 210 miles.

Yeah, you read that right.

In fact there were nearly 30 runners who ran over 100 miles, including six runners who ran over 150 miles. Mind boggling numbers if you ask me.

I read all of these results as my legs were still recovering from my 40 mile run — and I couldn’t shake the feeling that “I could do this” from my conscience. Every time I dismissed the thought — it just came back stronger. Even when I reminded myself of the pain I experienced at mile 45 of my 50 miler — the feeling remained.

So, I did the only logical thing that came to mind — I signed up for the 48 hour race in 2018.

Yup.

I signed up to run my first 100 mile race.

Typing this makes it feel very surreal to me, even a couple months after doing so. I am running a 100 miles. The thought makes me want to pee my pants out of sheer terror and excitement all in one emotion.

I’ve kept my registration relatively private since February. I’ve told a couple of close friends and family members. Heck, this is the first that my parents are hearing of this news. It’s just been a lot to process and this is a HUGE goal and milestone for me.

I still have my doubts about my ability. And, I am sure others do too. Heck, my parents definitely do, because their fear of my running is that one day my legs will fall off.

But, I have to at least try. I have too.

I have to try.

I have to try.

I have to try.

I’ve journied so far from my first 5K — heck, from the couch itself — that I can’t stop myself now without trying. To borrow a phrase from a favorite song of mine, “If you never try you’ll never know, just what you’re worth.” (Fix You, Coldplay).

When I stepped on the scale back in 2009 to start my weight-loss journey, I started the journey accepting failure — and success. I didn’t know where my decision that day would lead me. I accepted the consequences to my decision to LIVE my life. And, it’s lead me here.

I don’t see this decision any different. I am accepting the possibility of failure with the determination of success. I don’t know what lays ahead for me in the next nine months — but I’m going to find out. I’ve got a training plan in the works that I fill will give me the chance of success come February.

The motto for the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival is “BET BIG. RUN LONGER” — it’s something that’s on their shirts and medals. And, it’s something that I took to heart during my run this past February — especially since I signed up for the 48 hour race.

I feel like I am betting big with this goal. I am betting big on myself. Because, this is a gamble. There’s no guarantee of success, but there’s also no guarantee of failure either. So, I’ve got to place my bet.

But, unlike casino gambling, I can control more variables to my advantage. I can control my effort. I can control my training. I can control my preparations — both physically and mentally. And, I can control the odds come race day. But, with a goal like this, it’s going to take much more than this — in essence, I am not just betting big on myself — I’m going all in.

So, all in it is!

As a reminder of this goal and the needed commitment and dedication I’ve been running with a poker chip on me since I registered for the race. Every run — training and race — I run with it on me. I’ve tucked it in my pocket, but I really should make a necklace out of it to keep it on me better.

But, it’s just this little $100 souvenir poker chip that reminds me of not just the 100 mile goal at hand, but the bet I’ve placed upon myself. I might be a cheesy little emblem, but in the three months that I’ve been running with it — it’s been my reminder to keep going, keep pushing and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I don’t dare say that this will be my one and only 100 miler. I’ve learned from my past that’s just a temporary lie I tell myself on occasion. But, I don’t know? And, I’m not worried about. My focus is simply on the journey in front of me.

This is a journey of a thousand miles. I know it will get daunting at times and there will be doubts. There will always be doubts. But, I know if I just focus on that footstep in front of me, it will take closer to my goal and a place I once dreamt possible.

It’s just up to me to take that next step.


“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

Stephen King

Day #1: Hashimoto’s 33 Elimination Diet

Well, it’s been a whole day without eating a banana. I won’t lie — I’m a little sad. But, I survived.

As noted last week, I am doing an elimination diet of sorts for my Hashimoto’s Disease. It’s not straight from a doctor, specialist or dietitian. It’s a system I came up with myself.

The foods on the list are all from Hashimoto’s Disease plans. I based it off a number of diet plans I read online. I then cross-referenced those lists with the elimination diet my sister and Mom are doing for their Hashimoto’s and made my own elimination diet.

One thing that annoys me about specific diet plans is the plethora of specific foods one should and shouldn’t eat. To me it makes the food lists rather overwhelming. Not to mention the grocery list — longer.

The 33 Diet is created to simplify the diet. I make a list of 33 food items and stick to those foods for 33 days. It sounds rather limiting, but when you combine it with fruits, veggies, meats, oils and seasonings — you’re also creating a list of ingredients for a number of other dishes.

My 33 Diet list is specific to my needs on this elimination diet. But, after a month I am going to swap out some foods with bananas and probably eggs to see how my body reacts to them. If they agree with me — they’ll probably stay on the list.

Going gluten and dairy free can be expensive — and by focusing on 33 food items I am narrowing down my grocery list. There’s really no need to stand in the aisles reading every label when you know exactly what’s on that list.

Plus, this challenges me to cook more — and be creative with it as well.

Sure, it will be a challenge, but I am up for it.

And, as the graph in this post says — this diet can be applied to any diet need or restriction. This is a guinea pig run for it, but I’ll for sure keep you posted as carry along the next 33 days or so.

But, I’m still alive — so that’s a good start, right?

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Aligning my intentions with action

A couple years ago I kinda stopped doing New Year’s resolutions. Some stuck — I mean, heck, I went nearly four years without a drop of soda and I’ve counted my consumed bananas the past couple of years — but, for the most part, most New Year’s resolutions just don’t stick with me.

Why?

I think part of it is the desire to be what or who I believe I am. So, I make goals that just aren’t realistic or defined enough. I know I am not alone in this — I think we all do that. How many more people do we see at the gym in January compared to February — let alone December?

I think it’s human nature to do that. It’s a January “thing,” because January is the beginning of a new year and we all love new beginnings. How often do we begin our “new” diets in January? Or the start of the upcoming month? Or the next Monday?

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that — we all love a clean slate — but, it’s easy to get trapped into that thinking. There will always be another Monday, month or year to get back on track or follow through with your goals and resolutions.

When I started my weight-loss journey I started on a Thursday. I basically came to the realization that I had to make changes now. Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not next month or year, but — NOW. So, now, when I make new goals — fitness, spiritual, personally, etc. — I start today. Why wait?

A good friend of mine — for the sake anonymity, we’ll call him George — added to this belief of mine a couple years ago. On a road trip to St. George (to run the St. George Marathon — naturally) we talked about goals, plans and aspirations. And, I fell in love with the simplicity of his mentality and approach to his goals.

Instead of making new goals every January — he would keep his long term goals and instead focus on aligning his actions with his intentions. Sitting there in the car listening to this, it just MADE sense. My mind was officially blown.

Why make new goals — that for the most part — will be brushed aside in a couple of months, when I should be focusing on my long-term core goals. When all I have to do is take the time in January — and throughout the year — to assess whether or not my intentions are being aligned with my actions.

In the couple years of our friendship George has stressed this a lot — and it’s a great reminder to me to start taking monthly inventories of ‘where I’m at’ — instead of just in January. It becomes a mentality — a way of life.

A good example of this, is my recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease. If I don’t line up my actions with my intentions to get healthy, lose more weight and run faster — I won’t get there. Specifically, I need to line those actions up with eating foods that will help me get there and getting the needed exercise best suited for someone in my boat. Otherwise, I’ll still feel like crap and struggle to lose the weight and run stronger.

That’s the reality of it.

And, there’s no need for me to make a list of resolutions to get me there. I know what I need to do. I think we all do with our goals and resolutions — especially when it comes to eating and being healthier. But, if we simply align our actions — we’ll get there. I have no doubt about it.

We’re four days into the new year — and I am sure we all have our goals and resolutions written down for 2017. But, I would encourage you to brush them aside now (don’t wait until February or March) and write down long term goals. Write down the goals to reach the very core of who you are or want to be. Whether it’s becoming a faster runner, kinder person or more spiritually in tune. Whatever they are — make them.

And, then focus on aligning your actions with your intentions. Renew them often. Write them down on a small index card and carry it around with you. Whatever will help you be reminded to align yourself — do it.

You’ll be surprised where it will take you. Action will always be action, but if we double that with a purpose and drive or where we want to go — we’ll get there in due time. It’s a matter of work that comes with lots of ups and downs. But, if we’re true to the goals we’ve made and personalized they will be a part of who we are.

But, it takes action.

So what are your intentions for 2017 — and how are you going to get there?


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Don’t call it a comeback …

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I have the next 11 days off from work — and I am kind of excited for the time off. I am planning (or wanting) to get away for a day or two,  do some car shopping, spend copious amounts of time with family — and just spending some “me time” working on my book and my fitness.

This morning I “officially” went back to Ignite Fitness — well, what you used to be Firehouse Fitness — and Trainer Jason — and I couldn’t be happier. I first started going to Jason back in 2011. So almost 6 years ago! Wowzers. Of the trainers I have had, I haven’t gotten sizable results better than with Jason.

His gym is a cross between circuit training, lifting and CrossFit. But, it’s definitely NOT CrossFit (as he would always interject). When I am diligent and faithful to my workouts and effort — I do really well. Not just in the gym, but in my running as well.

I stopped going about a year – year and a half ago. It was partly due to my health and my attempt at TRYING something new. But, also out of situation. It was difficult for me to make his classes at his old location before or after work since I had a catch a bus.

A year ago I bought a lifetime pass KNOWING I’d use it. For $1000 it was well worth the investment because monthly fees hover around or above $100. I couldn’t bypass the opportunity.

But, after I bought the pass — I sat on it. Literally. And, for the past year — really did nothing with it. I focused on home workouts, my classes at work and of course my running. But, more importantly than that I also got results.

And, now that I also know what’s going on with my thyroid and body I really feel the need to “take it up a notch.” I am ready to get back into consistency of working out at Ignite (it will always be Firehouse to me). But, more than that — I am ready to challenge myself physically and go for the results I want/need to make me a better runner.

It’s true that everyone loves a comeback — but, honestly, I hate calling this a comeback. Sure, it’s coming back to an old habit and system, but comebacks also come with the notion that you’re going back to something you once had, but want.

In life — there is no going back.

Sure, you might be able to achieve old results, but the focus should always be looking and moving forward. That’s why I don’t look at this as a comeback, because I am moving forward — I am progressing.

And, because of what knowledge and experience I’ve gained in right and wrong steps in the past — I know where I want to specifically go forward. That’s progress.

I am really trying to hold true to this mentality, because it is easy for me to look back and get discouraged KNOWING where I’ve been and what I’m not. That’s such an unfair and damaging mentality to hold of oneself. And, I’ve had to teach myself to hold to that mentality.

I am excited to be moving forward. I am excited to getting into a familiar rhythm. And, I am excited to see what 2017 as in hold for me.

Come back sometime next week — I will probably do one more post before the turn on the calendar. It probably won’t be a New Year’s resolution post — I think I am done with those. But, it will probably be more like a “focus” for 2017.

We’ll see.

Anyways — have a VERY Merry Christmas and I’ll blog ‘ya later!

Tis’ be Christmastime …

It’s been a while since I’ve consistently written here on the bloggy blog, but I am starting to get back to it. Well, not fully until the first of the year. But, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage updates. So, this is more of a report on mileage than anything else.

This past week I’ve focused on ramping up my miles. Not dramatically, but I’ve been doing a couple miles each day on the treadmill. And, it’s made a big difference in my energy levels.

Everything has gone well, except on Thursday I threw my back out which made working out tough. I still did my miles, but I walked them instead of running them. I’ve been having back problems lately and I hate it. More of a sign of my age than anything. So I have been focusing on stretching and pain pads.

I should be fine.

My focus is just building up the miles and preparing myself for my ultras in February and April. Not to mention my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March.

Plus, I need to focus on my diet. Not just keeping on track diet wise during the holidays, but more so focusing on my thyroid diet. Meaning, cutting out the gluten, dairy and added sugar. Basically, back to a paleo strict diet.

But, I am going in for a few tests next week for my thyroid, because there is speculation I might have Hashimoto’s disease. And, if that’s the case — cutting out gluten and dairy would be crucial to diet success. Success I found with the Whole 30 this past summer.

I’ll be blogging a bit more about that later this week or in the hear future. Especially once I find out what’s going on with my body.

But, this being the week of Christmas — MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll blog more later!


A movie so nice, I ended up seeing it twice. #rogueone #classicmovieticketphoto

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

276.45 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1473.1 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2149.6 miles

MILES TO GOAL

517.4 miles


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InstaReplay: St. George Marathon

I’ll get a whole St. George Marathon recap up here on the bloggy blog within the next couple of days. I’m going to first let it process for a bit. I had a blast and I hit the goals I wanted to hit during the race. Well, most of them.

Anyways — here are a few snaps from the weekend … and by a few, I mean a lot …

ST. GEEZY OR BUST, BABY! #race132 #stgeorgemarathon #running

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on