Sunday, April 4, 2021

One Month of Diet and Exercise

On March 1st of this year, I weighed 252.6 pounds. This is close to the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life. On April 1st, I was down to 239.4 pounds. Over the month, I realized I was less effective by focusing on work and not myself. To get back to a healthy lifestyle, I cut down on sugar and began training with kettlebells and heavy clubs six days each week. The changes were simple and this time they seem to be sticking.

The main motivation to work on my health was simple: an unhealthy me is an unproductive me. I started to get tired while doing basic chores around the house. I wasn't dog tired after folding the laundry, but cleaning out clutter for an hour would require me to sit for fifteen minutes. In addition to basic living, we are planning a trip to Alaska this summer. (Immunizations willing!) This will involve more physical activity than previous vacations. Also, I like the way I look and feel now. My clothes fit better and I have more mobility and strength.

Reducing sugar has been the most effective diet I've tried. It is easier than counting calories and leads to better decisions of what to eat. I'm eating salads for lunch instead of hunting-and-gathering at the college vending machines. I've cut out my two-bowl-a-night cereal habit. The downside is that I don't eat fruit or drink milk, but a daily multivitamin takes care of that.

Just like cutting sugar, I've tried kettelbell training before. I stopped because the workouts were too demanding. The YouTube channel I followed for kettlebell training posted more videos between my first attempt and the second. Those additional videos filled in large gaps in my knowledge. I've learned the principles of program design, to start easy, and to increase the work capacity steadily. Additionally, I've started to exercise at a realistic time. No more attempts at 5:30 AM workouts. Seeing results keeps me motivated too, even if they are just in my mind.

The health and fitness plane has achieved flight. Now that it's in the air, I can keep following the program and focus on getting other productivity planes off the runway.

Saturday, April 3, 2021


Let me start with an introduction and confession. My name is Chris Sears. I teach math at a community college. I have been teaching since 1999 and I once considered myself a pretty good teacher. Sometime in the past five years, I feel I've lost my way as an educator. It happened gradually, but is now clear to me how far off the trail I am. Two semesters of pandemic induced remote teaching will do that.

The purpose of starting a new blog in April of 2021 is simple: to focus on what is important as an educator, stripping away any source of distraction. I have spent time trying to: build a YouTube following, planning an educational TikTok account, developing JavaScript applications for mathematics, and other frivolous activities. These activities feel like the types of things good educators do, but they are worthless when they come at the expense of student learning.

It may seem counter-intuitive to add blogging to my activities when my goal is simplification. However, writing is a good mechanism for focusing my attention and forcing me to see things from the perspective of others. Often, I find the heart of a subject in the writing process. Further, committing my plans publicly will hold me accountable for when I go off on an unproductive tangent.

I will be posting on Sunday mornings. Saturday nights are the time of the week when I am the most distracted. Having to write something will hopefully keep me from developing "grand" plans that lead nowhere.

One Month of Diet and Exercise

On March 1st of this year, I weighed 252.6 pounds. This is close to the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life. On April 1st, I was down to...