First Week by Karl Olson

What an exciting and busy first official week for Project Purpose. Now that the initial meetings, emails, photos, and paperwork have been completed, the actual hard work has begun, and with it the realization that this is actually happening.

Earlier this week we had our kick-off party where we enjoyed getting together with all the incredible people behind this journey. The guest speaker at the party was Jaron Tate from Biggest Loser 3 who spoke about his experiences on the show including some fascinating behind-the-scenes details, but more importantly for me, his advice to the teams and to anyone else looking for change. It was good to hear his message of consistency in diet and exercise, about making physical activity a prioritized and regular part of your life, his own personal and familiar struggles, and his unique opportunity to see first-hand the unrealistic expectations and results depicted on “reality” TV.

We also had a chance this week to meet with the nutritionist. Not surprisingly we will be using MyFitnessPal to track our daily nutrition. Since I began using MyFitnessPal back in January I have been impressed with how powerful, easy, and widespread this tool is. For me, tracking food is no longer the laborious process from the pre-smart-phone years and gives me (and the nutritionist) an enormous amount of useful, real-time data.

Our personal trainer for this journey, Michelle, met with both of us this week for our first training sessions. For my session, we spent the half hour using nothing but two gym towels on the slick gym floor where we did various lunges, inchworms, and mountain-climbers. It was a clear demonstration of how to get an effective workout without even a single piece of equipment.

I capped off the week running the Human Race in Old Town, my second 10k this year. It is hard to believe that just six months ago, when I started changing my diet and lifestyle, I was barely able to run more than a few minutes on the treadmill. I’m excited to see what the next six months, under the umbrella of Project Purpose, will bring, not just for me, but for Amy too.

– Karl

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