Weekly Weight: 216.8 lbs

The Scale: April 30th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to Friday morning. It has been a rough week for me. I apologize if I have been off all week. In addition to starting the new workout schedule I had the dentist this week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have a slight phobia about the dentist. It isn’t rational. He is a lovely man. In fact all of my dentists have been lovely people. the phobia is entirely irrational.

As soon as I make a dental appointment, the nightmares start. I alternate between two actually. There is one where the dentist slips and plunges one of the dental tools into my eye by mistake blinding me. And yes in the dream he usuallty slips on a banana peel just for that extra ludacris effect. although the second one is worse as far as logic goes. In that dream the dentist pulls out a tooth, finds it is deeply attached and keeps tugging, finally pulling my brain out of the tooth’s roots as though it was some sort of bizarre imitation of the Egyptian’s mummification ritual. I know that given the shape of the human skull and how things are actually connected that is beyond ridiculous but still, the dream haunts me.

It means the days leading up to the dentist I don’t get a lot of sleep, and then i am cranky due to lack of sleep and my own annoyance with myself at the dreams. Add in the new work out and I am just kind of toasted.

But things turned out okay yesterday. I wasn’t blinded and my brains weren’t ripped out in a pseudo mummification process. I had a fairly good night’s sleep last night so I am starting to feel more like me again. which is always nice. And despite everything I managed to shave off a little weight this week and I think I might have a pretty good handle on my schedule so i won’t get backed up next week. At least that is the plan.

To the stats!

Weekly Weight

Last week: To the Stats!

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight 217.2 lbs

This week’s weight:   216.8

Change this week:  lost 0.4 lbs

Lost over all thus far: 29.2 lbs

Okay slowly but surely moving forward. I know the new routine isn’t mgic but I did hope for a little bit more weight lost. I think stress may have thrown me a bit. But progress is still progress. And when I actually get to 30 lbs lost I will be doing the happy dance. It will be long and it will probably have no rhythm as my brain tries to mash up several different songs, but I will dance.

In other updates: The shoes.

A little more wear on the toes As you can see, it is not a comparison photo. I went into my folder this morning and realized in my grand purge I erased the photos. However I think i still have them on my i-pod. I’ll be going in this weekend and seeing if I can track them down. I haven’t cleaned that file out yet and as I deleted several of my before and after photos for skin care I am really hoping they are still tucked away. So fingers crossed that i will have the before and after photos when the shoes are finally word though. At the moment though they are perfectly worn in and not worn out so i have time. I believe we are coming up on the three month mark for the shoes and their use so so far, so good.

Weekly Weight: ?

Several of you may notice there is no photo accompanying this post at the top.  Look at you smarty pants. And now everyone is wondering why there is no scale.

I too am wondering why there is no scale. 

In fact I have been wondering it for quite a while this morning.  You see I woke up, went to the bathroom and low and behold there was an empty square of time where the scale usually resides. Now in general scales do not just get up and walk about on their own. 

At least I hope not.

I do not live alone so the thing to do would be to ask about to see if anyone else knows the location of the scale. 

However my baby doll had to head out to work a bit early this morning (they are preparing for some sort of furniture delivery) and so by the time I went looking to ask him about the scales disappearance, he was already gone.  I sent a text but have yet to hear a response.

In the past he has used it when they needed to weigh packages and estimate shipping charges.  That is the only reason I can think of that he would actually abscond with the scale.  I’m sure I’ll find out the details later. 

So there is no official weigh in this week.

This week was a strange one.  Monday went off without a hitch, everything proceeding as planned. Tuesday involved a trip to the dentist and wondering if art thieves had developed a penchant for dental themed art work.  Wednesday started off normal and then turned into a neighborhood flood, and power outage extravaganza. And while Thursday returned to normal I escaped to the gym to use the treadmill instead of wading through the flooded park. How today turns out is anyone’s guess.

We have a nice quiet weekend planned so that could end up interesting as well. In general ,this week relied mostly on my portion control.  I think I did pretty good.  I don’t think I lost much of any weight, but I don’t think there was any gain.  Without the scale I have no way of proving that though.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I can check it and see. But my pants aren’t any tighter which is always a good sign. Admittedly they aren’t any looser either.

As for my shoes, I have pictured them below. 

Brand new shoes on the left and the same shoes with one month’s worth of wear

There isn’t much more wear than there was last week, however you might notice that they are cleaner.  I attempted a walk in the park when the water retreated and squelched down deep in the mud.  The air holes in the side of the sneakers meant to let your feet breath acted as mud sucking vacuums and when I got home the shoes needed to be chucked into the washer if I ever planned to wear them again.  I ended up drying them in a no heat dryer with a bunch of towels to keep it from banging up the dryer drum too much. 

They came out clean and no longer saturated with mud.  My feet are happy and the shoes took no damage. It’s a win-win. Thus far I have to say I am really liking these sneakers for walking.  They are light weight and they breathe well.  They are sturdy and while there is some wear the soles aren’t wearing down too fast. They are New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi (if they have a number I didn’t see it) in case you are wondering.  And no I am not an affiliate of any sort.  These just happened to be the sneakers I picked up to try out. They looked like they would be good for walking and thus far, they have been. Now I just have to wear them until they can’t be worn anymore and evaluate whether or not I want to get another pair just like it or try something new. Since they are comfortable, I am just waiting on the wear factor to figure that out. Hopefully it will take a while as they have just reached the comfortable stage of worn in.

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The shoe Review #5: The Final Breakdown

we’ve reached the end. Surprisingly the tops show little wear while the insides and soles are beaten down. well maybe not so surprisingly as I don’t walk on the tps of my feet…

Technically speaking, this post should have been posted earlier in the month because that’s when I switched out my walking shoes for a new pair. In case you had forgotten the shoes in question were the above pictured New Balance #574.

The reason I held off posting is that I was trying to find more official information on the length of time a pair of sneakers should last. Figuring companies would best know about their own product, I sent New Balance an e-mail. I never heard back. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was sent a form e-mail thanking me for my interest and telling me that my opinion was important to them. Then I heard nothing.

So I branched out.

I currently have several e-mail inquiries asking about the duration of time a pair of sneakers should be worn (or milage as that sounds more like something they would test for). Thus far, no responses. But I remain hopeful that someone will get back to me with somewhat of an answer. To be honest, if they do, I will probably buy their shoes next just out of respect for the fact that they bothered to answer my question. Or at least attempted to do so.

So without any official information I am left with the tidbit I found in a fitness article that stated sneakers should be replaced every 300-500 miles of wear. As you know I was doubtful my sneakers were going to make it that long. They were shy of the 300 mile mark when they started showing really worn spots on the soles of the shoes. But they didn’t hurt my feet so I kept wearing them. The worn spots gradually got more and more worn.

But again, my feet showed no signs of discomfort. And the soles retained their integrity. So I kept wearing them.

Finally, I felt a sore spot on my pinky toe that usually heralds the beginning of a blister if I don’t stop what I am doing. I decided this was a good point to stop wearing the sneakers instead of wearing them until I actually got the blister.

Surprisingly, the part hurting my toe was not due to the sole wearing away, but the the interior foam of the insole breaking up in little chunks. There was a small chunk of the interior foam missing under the spot where my pinky toe hit. For about a week prior I was seeing little bits of stuff attach to my socks and thought nothing of it. Apparently this was the insole giving up the ghost. While I couldn’t get a decent picture of it, the worn spot where the foam is missing on the heel looks much the same as the spot under my pinky toe.

So I watched the slowly melting away sole only to be undone by the insole.

I’m sure there is a metaphorical lesson in that, but we’ll leave it and move on to mileage.

On the day I decided I was not going to wear the shoes any more, I checked my charts and added up the mileage. The final total of usage clocked in at 538.6 miles. This was calculated using both the treadmill and a pedometer so there may be a little bit of wiggle room in the numbers but I am confident it is pretty close to accurate.

If the 300-500 mile gage is also accurate it means that my New Balance exceeded expectations. As I didn’t expect them to even meet the 300 mile mark, I am both pleased and astounded. Time wise I am a little put out as the shoes only lasted three and a half months and I was hoping it would be more, but I can’t really blame the shoes for that. I’m the one who walked that many miles in that short a time span. Of course, I am kind of proud of that as well so its not really a complaint. I was just hoping I would only have to buy new sneakers every six months instead of every three.

But I’ll live.

Expecting a longer life though meant that I didn’t look up a new pair of sneakers to try for the next round. I simply re-ordered another pair of New Balance #574s. I will be looking into trying out a new pair afterwards though and I have three months in which to find them. Perhaps someone from one of the companies will get back to me and I will have an idea what to choose.

At the moment I have none.

Although I think it might be interesting to see how my weight affects the duration of my shoe usage. Perhaps as I get lighter, the shoes will last longer. Who knows? I certainly don’t, but I think it will be fun to find out.

If any of you out there have any recommendations for sneakers used primarily for walking, let me know in the comments. I’d like to have multiple options to look into trying. After all, if I am doing the walking I might as well see how different shoes hold up during my not so scientific tests.

The Shoe Review #4

Wear at end of month three: 347 miles

I can admit when I am wrong. And in all fairness, I was wrong. On my last shoe review, I predicted that my sneakers would not last another month. The only article I could find estimated the length of a sneaker’s life was between 300 -500 miles and I lamented that my sneakers would not last to reach 300 miles. I was wrong.

A quick recap, for those who missed earlier reviews. Noticing that my increase in exercise was causing my shoes to wear out (kind of an obvious outcome honestly), I was curious to see just how long my shoes were lasting. Also I actually walked a hole in the bottom of my last pair and ended up with a bad raw spot on my toe so I figured monitoring the shoes and their life span might not be a bad thing in general.

So the shoes I bought were the New Balance classic 574s and I have been wearing them ever since. The first month they spent on my feet I took them 118 miles. This was predominantly over an asphalt paved walking trail near my house. At the end of this time some of the treads were wearing down a little ,but they obviously still had a lot of life in them.

Month two of wearing these shoes added 115 more miles onto the wear and to my dismay, I noticed that where the balls of my feet pressed into the shoe, the black rubberized sole was beginning to show spots of the white undersole. I realized I didn’t know how long sneakers were designated to last (and two months of wear seemed really short) so I went looking and after wading through scads of information about wearing the right sneakers for you (ie. running vs. walking and so on) I finally found an article that plainly stated sneakers should last between 300-500 miles.

While I was determined to wear the shoes to the end of their useful life, I did not think that they would make it another entire month. I thought my final post would be this month, a review in memoriam if you will. As my sneakers saw 233 miles worth of use at that point I was ready for a gone too soon style review. I was prepared. Black veil and mourners at the ready. Okay, it was more black eyeliner and a beagle next door who wails when the UPS van drives by each afternoon, but still I was prepared to relinquish the shoes into the great beyond. And professional mourners are both expensive and prone to be insulted at mourning a pair of sneakers.

But no, lo and behold the mourners were not needed (although the beagle wail is a daily inevitability).

We have reached the end of three months of active use. I have added 114 more miles to the sneakers and my feet are still fine. There is more white showing, but there is no discomfort and no blisters of any sort in evidence on my feet. I will say though that as the temperatures are still soaring in defiance of the calendar, most of this month’s walking has been done on a treadmill rather than on the walking trail.

I’m not sure if the rubberized human hamster track is kinder to sneakers than asphalt or not, but I do know that I will be using them on the treadmill rather than on the walking trail for the remainder of their lives. I am still committed to wearing them until they can not be worn without injury (aka blisters) but as my last pair failed catastrophically when I was on the walking trail at the furthest point from my house and the damage occurred because I had to then walk home, finishing them out where I can just stop immediately is my plan. So treadmill only from here on out.

Currently I am sitting on three full months of use and 347 miles worth of walking in my New Balance sneakers. I don’t think I’ll get another full month out of them, but as you can plainly see, I’ve been wrong before. These shoes may just have one more surprise left in them before the final breakdown. Or they could be unwearable tomorrow. Stay tuned for either one more month, or the final review and ending evaluation.

The Shoe Review Part 2

The Walking trail by my house and my most consistent exercise space

Good morning and welcome to The Shoe Review Part two.  For those who missed the first part, One month ago, I got a new pair of sneakers. New Balance 574 sneakers to be exact. As my exercise and weight loss plan relies heavily on walking, I decided to review my sneakers as I went along, seeing how well they lasted as well as how long they managed to survive. Also I wanted to pay more attention to them so I didn’t just realize I needed a new pair once I’d walked a hole in the old pair.

I’d rather avoid that in the future.

According to the New Balance Website:

Our women’s 574 sneaker is a street style favorite with plenty of personality. Brights, neutrals and even touches of shimmer — this is the shoe you plan your look around. And the sport meets chic styling pairs perfectly with everything from skirts to dresses to jeans. ($79.99)

PRODUCT DETAILS

The signature ‘80s silhouette lends your look classic style and instantly elevates your style.

ENCAP® midsole technology provides support and maximum durability

(Encap is defined as ‘a core of soft cushioning EVA in the midsole with a tough polyurethane rim for more support and durability.’)

EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) foam midsole and heel for cushioning

Rubber outsole

Width sizing

So I spent $79.99 plus tax and shipping and this is the shoe I went with, although in all fairness I must admit style was not my main drive.  While I do where them on the treadmill at the gym, my most consistent use is on the walking trail near my house.  (Pictured above)  It has an asphalt pathway, occasionally flooded over and periodically shaded by trees. 

The city decided to put flood plains to use as walking trails.  The good news is no one is trying to build in the flood plains, the bad news is that the walking trails tend to flood after rains. But I love my trail so I am glad they went this route. While there are other walkers on the trail, I doubt any of them are looking at the style and personality of my footwear so I am more in it for the durability factor.

So on to the first impressions.

As you saw from the first posting, I did not buy the shoes just because I wanted a new pair.  I bought them because I managed to walk a hole in my old pair.  I did not realize how bad my old shoes had gotten until then.  I knew they were worn in, but had not looked at the bottom in a while.

As a consequence, when I put on the new shoes my feet felt like they were floating on clouds.  While it was soft and cushy, it is an unfair comparison as my previous shoes had no sole left. I will say though that I did not get any blisters with the first use which is unusual for me.  Most sneakers I get tend to rub the back of my heel raw for the first week.  These did not so I was impressed right off the bat even if the soles weren’t a good indicator.

New and unworn shoe soles

Speaking of soles, I took a picture of the brand new ones and a second showing how they look after one month of use for comparisons sake.  While they have been worn down, they are not out and still have a lot of use in them. As you can tell from the photo, many of the nubs on the sole, especially in the toe area have been worn to a nearly smooth base and have either disappeared or are reduced to outlines, shadows of their former selves. You can probably also tell I tend to walk with my weight on my toes as the heels are significantly less worn.

One month of use

This month I have kept track of miles so I know (and you know) how many miles it took to wear them to this point.  Its kind of like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lolly, but with feet. 

And no licking. 

On the treadmill I trust the read out and on the walking trail I consulted a pedometer. I then put everything in a chart. In the month since I purchased these shoes I have walked a total of 115.2 miles in them. Personally, I did not think I walked that much in a month and am kind of impressed with myself.

So to sum up, the shoes are good, have so far lasted over a hundred miles and begin their month two journey. I will post at the end of month two, hopefully after another hundred or so miles and we will see how they are standing up to the wear and tear. Once they have reached the end of their useful lives, I will do a final review and decide if it is worth replacing with a new version of the same product or going with some other brand, make or model. Stay tuned.

The Shoe Review: The beginning…

Brand new shoes right out of the box, and yes, they are on my desk.

As a large part of my exercise plan includes walking, shoes, or more specifically sneakers, have become an integral part of my world. They are the shoes I choose not because they are pretty or match my outfit or my mood. These are the workhorses of the footwear division. The infantry in my own battle of the bulge. Last week I had to bury a pair. I not only walked the sole off of them but managed to walk my pinkie toe right through the bottom.

sadly worn out

A new pair was duly ordered and a slight hitch was put in my schedule while I waited. Luckily delivery was swift and today we break in the new sneakers. As I waited though, I realized that I did not remember exactly how long my shoes lasted. I knew it was less than a year though, well pretty certain anyway. I also didn’t know how many miles it took to wear the sole down far enough to expose my toe to the harsh reality of the asphalt covered walking trail at the edge of my neighborhood. While it may be similar to finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop, I decided that with this pair, I wanted to find out.

Fresh new soles

So our contender: The Nike New Balance #574. Starting out Monday June 10th with factory fresh soles. They will be put into use today and I will record the mileage and wear, reporting back in one month and every month thereafter until they need to be replaced. It’s time to find out exactly how long my sneakers last and what exactly I am putting them through.