July 19, 2011
That's all. Just sayin', 50 lb. Oh, and I can curl that one-handed now, so yeah.
June 23, 2010
Anyhow, I didn't hit my original goal (140), and I didn't hit my revised goal (160), but I ultimately didn't do too badly, either. My legs are made of iron these days, my arms and shoulders are a lot stronger than they were, I can at least see the hint of some abs with my shirt off, and what little is left of my gut doesn't have dunlap disease any more.
My motivation has changed a lot, too. Training for strength these past 4 weeks and counting has really made me start to shift my priority to that, to just getting stronger. My weight loss or lack thereof has become a lot less important to me than how much iron I can push, pull, and press. I suspect that's a good thing. If I lose more weight while I pursue that goal, great. If I get stronger, that's even better.
June 16, 2010
Or just keep looking in the mirror and pinching.
June 09, 2010
June 02, 2010
May 26, 2010
I've switched gym protocols from my normal 3-way bodybuilding split (chest/tris/delts, back/bis/traps, quads/calves) to StrongLifts 5x5, which is a strength training routine rather than bodybuilding. That means full-body workouts, 3x a week, adding 5 lb per big lift every workout. It also means you start pretty light so you can adapt to the volume before the weights get very large, which means this first week I look pretty silly in the gym with my 100 lb squats. But hey, I'm doing them 3x this week, and next week, and the week after that...
We'll see how it goes, but there are plenty of folks lifting this way, and the eBook was free.
May 19, 2010
I went off plan. Saturday my temporary crown was hurting, so I drank a lot of milk blended with peanut butter and blueberries rather than try to eat solid food. This of course came after my once-per-week "treat meal" of biscuits and gravy that caused my tooth to hurt in the first place. Sunday, my wife and I celebrated her promotion with friends, and there was plenty of junk food to which I didn't bother to say no. Leftovers from that same party still linger in the house (mmm, brownies), so I've not been much better since then.
Part of the problem is surely psychological. I made such significant progress early on that I've become somewhat careless. I have a cheat meal once a week or so, I'm not as strict about getting enough sleep, I still don't watch my calories well, etc. The end result of which is zero movement on the scale for three months, even with the body recomposition progressing somewhat, and pretty good strength gains. This is now the end of month 7, and start of month 8, and while I'm pretty sure my original goals were much less reasonable than I'd thought at the time, I'm still no closer to my revised goals than I was in February. The inevitable question I have to ask myself is whether or not I have the heart to really finish this, or if this is "good enough" and I can just languish here in perpetuity. I'm not going to lose the "last 30 lb" in the next 30 days, I can't. But I could lose 10, if I wanted it badly enough and I made a sincere effort. If I can't make that sincere effort, clearly, I don't want it badly enough.
Enough writing. Time to head to the gym.
May 12, 2010
As to the title, last week was week 6 of my lifting cycle, so this is my off week between cycles.
May 05, 2010
I'm trying to keep my eating to an 8 hour window, meaning a 16 hour daily fast, as per Martin Beckham's recommendation. So far, I've managed to stay consistent on that since last Thursday. I've had a few cheats in that period, and that probably set me back a bit. Martin's pretty loose on carbs on work days, he has more of a cyclic ketogenic approach (to the point of eating entire cheesecakes occasionally), and in transitioning to his version of an intermittent fasting protocol, I found myself craving sugar like I haven't in months. I'm not sold on the notion that that much sugar could possibly be good for me (or anyone, really). If I'm going to go higher on carbs, I'll stick with natural starches like yams or sweet potatoes, which at least bring some nutrition with their saccharides. Luckily, my sugar cravings appear to have abated for now.
*I really don't buy this number any more, and may stop recording it. I'm listening to Robb Wolf's podcasts, and he remarked in one of them about the wild inaccuracy of these measurements. Specifically, he tests at 30% on them while he's 13% according to immersion testing. He also noted that a nice hot shower and some salty food can drop your "bf%" by several whole points, and I'd rather not have my number dictated by the warmth of my feet or how salty Tuesday's dinner was.
April 28, 2010
It looks like the experimental question of "can I have BBQ sauce off the shelf?" has been answered with a resounding "no". I'll have to stick to homemade curries and other sauces from now on, if for no other reason than to avoid digestive pain.
April 21, 2010
I guess I just have to keep the calories down, maintain my protein intake, and keep going.
April 14, 2010
April 07, 2010
March 31, 2010
My plan is to finish this week with the same split, then switch routines next week. The intention will be to preserve muscle while I do some serious cutting of calories. I haven't seriously tracked my calories, though I have been trying to make sure I get between 150 and 200g of protein a day, which is remarkably easy to do when you eat 2lb of meat. I've tried to keep carbohydrates to less than 30g a day, and I do quite well at that. Other than that, though, I've paid zero attention to calories.
It's worth noting that I've paid no attention to calories since starting this process, and that worked for the first 30lb. Near as I can figure based on my usual intake, I'm consuming somewhere between 2200 and 3000 kilocalories a day. 2200 is probably okay, but my 3000 kc days (which, unsurprisingly, correlate strongly with the days I lift) might be slowing me down. Caloric restriction, though, is hard. Your mind resists it, your body resists it. There is some evidence suggesting that it's easier to do on a low carbohydrate diet than it would be on a standard one, but I'm not looking forward to it. I may go with intermittent fasting as a way to cut calories instead, taking 3 days a week off from eating, which is a lot less crazy than it sounds. That would allow me to eat comfortably on lifting days, and "rest" on non-lifting days. It'll take some experimentation to determine which method of restriction will work better for me.
March 24, 2010
*Monday "Chest": pectorals, serratus, anterior and lateral deltoids, triceps.
Wednesday "Back": latissimus, trapezius, posterior deltoid, biceps, brachialis
Friday "Leg": quadriceps, biceps femoris (hamstring), soleus and gastrocnemius
March 17, 2010
Last week: 140.79 lb
This week: 143.67 lb
Net change: 2.88 lb
Which seems like -- and is -- a very big muscle gain for one week. Every real-number measurement's got error bars around it, though, even if you don't know what they are. If last week's measurement was a little low and this week's is a little high, that might be enough.
I like the trend, though, and the trend looks real.
March 10, 2010
Last week: 140.79 lb
This week: 141.57 lb
Net change: 0.78 lb
So I've gained about 3/4 of a pound of muscle and lost an equal amount of body fat. My pants feel pretty loose these days even on my tightest belt hole, so it's progress, even if it wouldn't show up on a normal, weight-only scale. I've been lifting heavily and regularly, and eating plenty of protein, so an increase in muscle is welcome and expected.
Also, I've added a few things back into the diet. I'm eating vegetables again, some nuts, and very low-sugar fruits (i.e. blueberries), along with small amounts of dairy (mostly full-fat Greek yogurt). Primarily, I worried about micronutrient deficiences, and I wanted a bit more variety. I'm still not touching any grain-based food whatsoever, no starches of any kind. Basically, Neanderthin with a little bit of dairy.
March 03, 2010
195 lb, 27.8% fat according to the health-o-meter. I'll buy that I've lost a pound, but the fat % change is in the noise, and I don't have a clue what the ± for that measure is. The Mrs tells me that it depends strongly on how hydrated you are, and if you aren't consistently hydrated measure-to-measure, the body fat measure will be less reliable. My hydration % is nearly always about 51, but I honestly haven't paid that close of attention to it, and I really don't want to track another number.
Waist measurement to be added to this post tomorrow. Book post coming soon.
Update 3-4-2010: Waist measurement of 36" the following day. I've been eating cheese here and there, and I suspect it's slowing me down through inflammation or water retention (salty stuff, cheese). I'll take it back off the menu as soon as I finish the block of cheddar I have left. I'm considering adding vegetables, nuts, and possibly small amounts of low-sugar fruits (e.g. blueberries) back to the menu, but that won't be for a little while yet.
February 24, 2010
It's not awesome, but I'll take it. I was seriously worried this was going to be a stall week.
February 17, 2010
The question is how to treat those numbers. Do I assume a linear variation, where the home scale gives what the gym's scale would -2.4%? Since I only have two data points, even though they were at least some time apart, a linear approximation is all I can really do. So, without further data, I'll have to shoot for about 11.7% body fat on the home scale, which still means I need to lose just over 32 more lb in the absence of any muscle gains.
In case the reader thinks I might be putting too much emphasis on numbers, well, you might be right. I'm human though, and as prone to cognitive bias as anyone, and raw data is the only objective thing I can track that will help keep me (almost) fully honest with myself. I have to know if what I'm doing is actually working or if I just feel like it is.
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