Monday, September 3, 2012

Mindful eating, swimming and hiking in Palm Springs

I recently re-located to Palm Springs, CA, from Albuquerque, NM, in large part to jump-start my fit-life journey, which had become a bit stalled. I mean, I've been getting lots of exercise, so that's good. But I've been lax in my food mindfulness and my weight has gone up a bit since my low of 255 pounds last year. In fact, recently I weighed in at nearly 285. I quickly pulled in the reigns on my eating habits and am once again below 280. But I need to be more pro-active, and that's what I'm doing here in the low desert at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Sitting on top of the world - San Jacinto Peak at 10,388 ft.
Obviously I love hiking. Yesterday I went on an 11-mile out-and-back hike from the upper tram terminal here in Palm Springs to the peak of San Jacinto. It was a wonderful excursion, and my body is thanking me for such a strenuous workout. But I need to do more than just hiking if I want to reach my goal of losing more than 60 pounds over the next 6 months. Once I hit that goal, I will have lost the 200 pounds I set out to lose when I first began this blog under the name The Fitness 400 Project in 2008.

So this means big changes to my routine. I'm back on a restricted calorie diet of no more than 2,000 calories (except on big hiking days when my body needs the calories for mere survival). And I'm also back to doing my medicine ball workouts and plank exercises daily. On top of this, just today I have added freestyle swimming to the mix. I did five laps (125 meters) in the pool in the community where I live. I will do another five laps tonight. For this week, I will continue to do 125 meters both in the morning and evening until I'm ready to increase the amount to seven or eight next week and then 10 within two week's time.

How can I NOT take up swimming with this practically in my back yard?

The hard part of swimming for me is that my lungs are not used to the staggered breathing required when freestyle swimming. This morning I had to rest and catch my breath after each lap. I wasn't bothered by this, but my goal is to improve so I can do all of my laps without resting between them.

Well, that's about it for now. I will post my new diet soon, so stay tuned for that. And don't forget to check out my other blogs - Man of Merit and HikeyHikey! - for more on hiking and other outdoors fitness activities. Fifteen pictures from the San Jacinto Peak hike can be found here.


  1. Lovely Brian! New hiking ground is always great! Keep up your great healthy eating! You are truly my inspiration!


  2. Thanks, Laina, you inspire me as well!!!