For as long as I can remember, I have been doing my best to shed the fat. I have really busted my behind in the gym. Endless cardio sessions and going 110% with weights. Now while my diet hasn't been "Prep to step on stage" worthy, it hasn't been "cakes and pies" either so I've come to the conclusion that it has to be my diet!
So I've finally decided to increase my calories. For as long as I can remember, I've eaten around 2000 calories using Katch-McKardle (assuming no exercise and then adding in my exercise calories as I go). I'm bumping it up to 2700 calories (using Katch-McKardle and using an activity factor for working out 3-5 days per week) in hopes of jump starting my metabolism. I weighed in last Friday and won't step on the scale for two weeks. While I am curious to see when the changes occur by checking my weight daily, I tend to fall off the wagon when I don't get the results I want.
I've read so many times of people who have lost by eating more. I plan to either prove or disprove that logic. The way I see it, if I continue to workout 3-5 days a week and utilize good nutritional sense for 80% of my 42 meals each week, I should see, if nothing else, an increase in muscle. To be sure, I'll re-check my measurements and re-calculate my body fat before I check my weight.
I am my own guinea pig!
Got my leg workout in today. I was able to get to the gym before the 5 pm rush and get out just as everyone was settling in to the treadmills. For some strange reason, lower body (hams, glutes, calves) have become my favorite parts to train. I typically feel it after I finish squats and leg presses and today was no different...
Squat: 135x5x2, 185x12, 225x12, 255x10
Leg Press: 485x12, 575x12, 665x10
BB Lunge: 60x12, 70x12, 70x8
DB SLDL: 65x10, 70x8, 80x9
Seated Leg Curl: 175x12, 190x12, 205x8
Calf Press (on leg press machine): 215x20x3
Smith Calf Raise: 135x30, x20, x18
On the way home, DOMS called and said they'd be here tomorrow. I welcome it because I know something is working!
Diet ended up good today. I got all of my meals in today. One time I even set my alarm to go off at the 3 hour mark. I was in a working meeting with a peer and she couldn't believe I set my timer to eat. Hey, can't let the fire in the furnace die out.
Stopped for a plain grilled chicken sandwich post workout before picking up the girls. Carbs were a little higher today but I don't think I could have pushed the weights I did today without them. They're aren't always the enemy.
My last meal will probably end up being only an hour before bed.... one cup of cottage cheese mixed with half a cup of strawberry banana yogurt. Tasty!!! Tomorrow, it's back to minimal carbs.
Ideally, I would have gotten up at 5:30, gone to the gym, run 30 minutes on the treadmill and come home to get ready for work. Again, I say IDEALLY! However, since I worked out late Monday night, I decided it was too much to get up at 5 AM for cardio.
So instead, I slept an extra hour or two with the expectation of doing cardio after work but before making a family outing to get ice cream. As luck would have it, the phone ran at my desk right before I left (I know Al, this is the reason to workout in the early morning). A long conversation from a peer about who knows what (all I heard was blah blah blah). After rambling for what seemed like hours (it was really 10 minutes), he let me off the phone. I was able to change clothes and get to the gym within 25 minutes but it only left me about 20 minutes to do cardio (I told my family I'd be home by 6:30).
So what did I do? I took what I could get! I did 2 miles on the treadmill at steady state in 23:30. Not lightning speed but I'm proud. I only stopped for about 15 seconds. From time to time, I'll do steady state for 2 miles and see if I can trim a few seconds.
Diet was good but not good. I kept carbs low but got busy at work and missed my window for a meal. Didn't want to consume a meal and then go jostling it around only to see again.
But you know what? I didn't eat the ice cream. I had an unsweet tea while the rest of the family had cool, creamy treats. Even when my oldest decided she had enough, I quickly put it in the trash to prevent the temptation.
Today is a different story. I'm working legs tonight so I've had a few more carbs than the last few days so I can have enough fuel for the workout.
Only consumed 150 grams of carbs yesterday. Two hundred grams of protein. Goal achieved. I missed on meal because I didn't eat my first meal until 9 AM. I did get a good chest and back workout in though:
(Each exercise is 3 sets of 10-12 unless noted)
Flat bench press: 5 sets X 10-12 reps (plus two warmup sets)
Incline bench press
Incline DB Flye
Rev Lat Pulldown
Then I jumped rope. Alternating 30 seconds of jumping with 30 seconds of rest.
Finished up with 11 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. Alternated 1 minute of walking with 1 minute of running at 7, 7.2, 7.4, 7.6, 7.8, and 8 min.
On the way home, I had a plain turkey burger with a large unsweet tea (at this point, I only use sugar in my coffee and it's 2-3 teaspoons). That was at 10:15 pm. Went to bed around midnight and woke up at 2:30 craving food! Tried to satisfy my hunger with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a cup of water. Back to bed I went!
You know what? I slept another 4 hours. When I woke up this morning, I was hungry. I think that was the way it is supposed to be.
One day of low-carb is in the books. Let's see how day two goes....
Well week 4 has come to a close. This is day 28 of the 98 day challenge. Within the last 28 days, I've dropped 4 lbs. I would like to be further along but I am going to take the results I have and be happy especially when I spent a week on vacation in Florida only gained 1/2 a lb! Hopefully, at day 56, I can say, I've dropped a total of 12 lbs.
Last week, I didn't get as much cardio in as I wanted nor did I complete all three weight workouts for the week but I still lost. I'm not going to rest on the fact that I lost weight despite missing a workout though. I'm shooting for the 3 weight workouts this week and at least 3-4 cardio sessions.
From a diet perspective, I'm curious how much fat I can lose if I minimize the carbs. I'm going to limit myself to about 150 grams. I'll have a piece of toast or 1/4 cup of oatmeal at breakfast and maybe a 1/2 c of brown rice or a baked yam with lunch but the rest will come from vegetables. Right now, I've barely consumed 100 g of carbs but I'm up to 170 g of protein. Must have been that Asian Grilled Chicken salad at McDonalds plus the extra chicken breast!!!
I'm going to be my own guinea pig. I read so many books and articles about what works best that I think it's time to find out for myself what works and what doesn't.
Up 1/2 lb this week but I am not complaining. We spent a week in sunny Fort Lauderdale. While we were there, we also took day trips to Miami and Key West as well. There were certain "local indulgences" that I allowed myself to have like the REAL Key Lime pie, conch fritters (just one), the tacos and fresh guacamole, and other tasty treats but I balanced it out with healthy eating in our room and working out everyday.
Prior to the trip, I checked the resort out online and found they had a fitness center. It wasn't the gym I am used to but I knew I could make it work. Funny thing is, before I even packed underwear, I packed 6 days of workout clothes! I might forget a lot of things but gym clothes would not be one of them.
We shared a villa with another couple and between the two rooms was a full sized kitchen. Ok, then I was excited! Luckily, the couple that went with us is also trying to do the right thing so it wasn't a hard sell to get them to go the grocery to buy eggs, egg whites, greek yogurt, fruit, etc. We even stopped at GNC to buy protein (didn't think TSA would understand why I had a large amount of a powdery substance in my carry-on).
So my days pretty much involved sleeping until 7 or 8 (afterall, it was a vacation), having a small pre-workout meal and then working out followed by a healthy breakfast. I even bought a couple of cans of tuna and some brown rice and broccoli for lunch. Some of the days though, we actually left the resort before noon so we had lunch out. But even then, I'd split a burger with my wife or order a sandwich and put all the meat on one half of the bread.
This week, it is back to the grind. It's certainly hard coming back from a week of vacation but I've got a body to improve and I'm the only one that is to blame if it doesn't get done!
(I am catching up since I was on vacation and could only update my Fit Status)
Week 2 saw a loss of 1.5 lbs. Down a total of 2.5 lbs. Of that, 1.8 lbs is fat. I lost a little muscle the first week but I'm gaining it back.
I deputized my two daughters to be the "goal patrol." One asks me daily if I have had all my water and the other asks if I've had my midnight snack. Somehow she managed to find that out. Still don't know how.
Overall, nutrition was good. Kept my protein intake up and tried not to eat within 2-3 hours of bed.
Got 3 days of weights and at least 3 thirty minute sessions of cardio in. One session was running around the neighborhood first thing in the morning. Will likely add 1-2 more sessions in first thing in the morning.
One week has come to a close and I am down 1 lb. Not really sure if it is fat or muscle because I am still having trouble reading the calipers. Might have to enlist the help of my wife to measure me because it may be that I am trying to hold skin in one hand and measure with the other that I get inconsistent results.
Overall, I took in an average of 2,946 calories per day. The goal was 2,910 per day. The plan was to zig zag my calories by eating about 2,700 calories (maintenance less 30%) for 5 days a week and 3,700 calories (maintenance) for 2 days. I opted for Wednesday and Saturday as those days. I also incorporate cheat meals on those days. There were other days that my diet wasn't the best but I will work on those this week.
Highlight of the week: Saturday, my wife and I went out for the evening to a dance. I knew we'd be out during one of my times to eat so I threw brown rice, corn, and tuna (and breath mints) in a tupperware dish and ducked out to the car to eat.
From the perspective of calories burned, I burned a total of 3,213 calories. (three days of lifting weights with minimal rest between sets immediately followed by cardio, 1 day of cardio, and 1 day of roller skating).
As I reflect on the week, there are several things I need to focus on (listed in order of importance):
1) Drink more water. Sixty-four ounces is the goal!
2) No eating 2-3 hours before bed. Some days I worked out late at night, came home, ate, and went to bed. Other days, I just ate too late and went to bed. Don't burn many calories sleeping so need to eat early enough to minimize fat storage!
3) BCOD (But Crack O'Dawn) workouts! That will stop me from eating 2-3 hours before bed. It will also make sure I get my workout in for the day. I can do 5 days a week without impacting family time if I go at 5 AM!
4) Eat at 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, and 8 (in bed by 10). That will help me meet item 2 above. If I adhere to number 3, this schedule should adhere to my workouts.
5) No midnight snacking. The schedule above doesn't say, 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 8 and 2 AM! It wouldn't be so bad if I got up in the middle of the night and ate a grilled chicken breast!!!
5) Consistently prepare meals for the next day the night before. It doesn't take but 10 minutes to figure out what I am doing the next day and then pack the meals.
With these 5 things in mind along with my goal of being leaner, I am prepared to make this week even better than the last!
Another weekend has come to a close. Day 5 was an evening without kids. They had a sleepover. I dropped them off about 5. Earlier in the day, I actually (at the prompting of credible counsel on here who should remain nameless) considered going for a run. But somewhere around 2 in the afternoon, my left foot started hurting. It got progressively worse as the day went on. It was so bad that I had to swing my whole body out and put my right foot down first when getting out of the car. But alas, a few Naproxen and it eventually felt better. I figured I'd just let it rest completely so I didn't do more damage. Weird...
Friday night, my wife and I went to a movie. Only thing is, it started at 11:50. So you know it was 2 am before we got out! I know I should have gotten up at early to go to the gym but there was something about not having kids in the house to come running into our room at BCOD (butt crack o' dawn) that made me just want to lay there for a minute, or two, or 90. Before I knew it, it was 8:30 and at that point, there was no opportunity to go to the gym since the kids had to be picked up at 10. But I did get some rest. No opportunity anywhere in the day to get a workout in.
Today has been busy too! Sunday school at 10. Church at 11. Meeting at 1:30. Lunch with my mother and daughters at 3. Rare afternoon service at 4 and back home at 7:30... Whew. Where did the weekend go???
I did take some time last night though to plan my diet for the week. I started by planning my main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and then filling in between the meals with quality fueling meals. I also planned my workouts for the week. I am gonna try to get my cardio done in the morning and then weights early in the evening and be home by dinner.
We'll see how this goes....
Day 3 didn't see much action. I went to bed around midnight Tuesday and somehow knew I wouldn't be making it to the gym Wednesday at 5. But there was still hope, I could go after work and before I picked up the girls!!! That was negated by a conference call that took 1 1/2 hours! At this point, I pretty much knew there was no chance of me making it to the gym. My wife has resumed going in the evenings after she gets off work and I have been really trying to not go after 7 pm so that I can a) be there to say prayers with my girls and b) get to bed before midnight (how ironic).
Somehow between picking the girls up from school and feeding them dinner, I lost all power! I mean I was completely drained. I nodded off while my 6 year old was reading to me (luckily she was engrossed in her book and didn't notice). When my wife came home from the gym, she made the comment, "You look horrible!" (She has such a way with words!)
I forced myself to eat dinner (actually it was breakfast - eggs, turkey sausage and a piece of toast) just because I knew I hadn't eaten. I went up just to lay across the bed and the last thing I remember saying to myself is, "It's still daylight out...." Next thing I knew it was 11 pm and I only woke up because I had had a gallon of water throughout the day.
I slept until 7 this morning and it was only because my wife woke me up that I got up at 7. Hoping to squeeze out of here today to get to the gym before I pick the girls up. No conference calls today so I should be ok.
I was off work today but that didn't mean a leisurely day around the house. I did sleep in until 7 (somehow my alarm didn't go off at 4... Wait, let me go set it now........Ok, I'm back). My wife and I got the girls ready before she had to go to work and then it was just the three of us. While they finished up, I packed my gym bag with the anticipation I wouldn't make it back home before going to have lunch with them. I managed to fix their breakfast and then fix mine (egg whites, 1 egg, turkey sausage, and one piece of wheat toast with orange juice). Once they were on the bus, it was time for me to hit the gym. Today was arms...
Preacher curls ss w/ tri pushdowns (3 x 20)
One are preacher curls ss w/ one arm tri pushdowns (3 X 20)
Incline DB curls ss w/ lying DB tri extensions (3 X 20)
Jump rope for 1 minute (7 sets) and then finish up with 20 minutes on elliptical
A couple of things I've noticed since starting this new program.
1) I am not bored
2) I am exhausted after weights. So much so that cardio is definitely a challenge. Considering doing cardio early in the morning and then going to work and doing weights after work but before I pick up my daughters.
3) My triceps burn when I do sets of 20!
As far as diet, it's been a pretty good day. Another 20/40/40 day with respect to macros. I did have a few of my wife's french fries and a part of her slider when we took the girls to Applebee's for their birthday dinner (we celebrated both girls at once since their birthdays are a week apart). Me??? I had the asiago peppercorn sirlon (8-6 the asiago) with steamed potatoes and veggies. It's one of the "under 550 calories" entrees. It was even less without the cheese.
I've planned out my meals for tomorrow but as always, it's subject to change!
Today was a good day with respect to both diet and exercise. I managed to get in about 2600 calories with about 20/40/40. Water was good. Today worked so well because I planned my day last night. I looked at my schedule to see where I would be at the times I needed to eat and planned accordingly. Of course, with my life, change is inevitable. I had planned oatmeal and protein for breakfast but woke up late. Grabbed everything for the day including oatmeal and protein and headed to work. But I realized that if I waited until I got to work, my schedule would be thrown off so grabbed two egg mcmuffins without cheese or butter. Had a good chest and back workout this afternoon...
3 sets of jumping rope for 1.5 minutes with 3 sets of crunches (30 per set)
BB Bench press (3 X 20) supersetted with reverse lat pull down (3 X 20)
Incline Bench press (3 X 20) supersetted with seated rows (3 X 20)
Pec flyes (3 X 20) supersetted with bent over DB rows (3 X 20)
3 sets of 30 v-ups
Finished with about 20 minutes on the treadmill (some running, some hills, some intervals)
It was a good burn overall.
I'm off tomorrow so I'll hit some cardio in the morning and go back and hit arms after I put the girls on the bus and eat some breakfast. My youngest daughter turns 6 tomorrow so I am going to have lunch with her and her sister at their school (the reason I took the day off). Then I've gotta go back in 2 hours and pick the oldest up for a doctor's appt. After the doctor's appt, I'll have to shuttle her to dance class. With all of these things on my calendar, I have planned my meals accordingly.
I'm off work but not off my plan!
It's been a great week. The kids are with my in-laws so I've had the opportunity to spend time with my wife without interruption and have the "ideal" workouts (workouts that you don't have to cut short because you have to pick them up).
Workout-wise: Monday, I worked arms and shoulders. Tuesday, I worked chest and back. Yesterday, I worked my heart and abs. It was a cardio day. I didn't feel like spending endless minutes on the treadmill so I shook it up and just went with what came to me:
11 minutes of jump rope intervals (jump for a minute/rest for a minute/repeat)
1 mile on the treadmill.
11 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill with a 4 minute cool down. (After the mile, I decided to do elliptical for about 15 minutes but they were all full so I did more treadmill work.) 1 minute walk alternated with 1 minute at 7 mph. Each time I ran, I bumped it up another 0.2 mph until I got to 8 mph.
Today, I am going south. I am going to hit glutes, hams, quads, and calves. This is always a good workout because my HR seems to stay elevated the whole workout. May even finish up with a 15 minute ride on the bike... and EASY ride that is!!!
Somewhere in the next three days, I am going to have to take a rest day. I hate to take a rest day but I know I need to. Maybe I'll just go walk on the treadmill at a brisk pace for a while.
My diet has been great too! On a scale of 1-10:
Eating clean (no junk or processed): 9 (I've had a few pieces of "wheat" bread that was "enriched"
Macros: 10 (I've averaged 2,600 calories consumed. I'm about 20/50/30)
Water: 5 - I drink almost a gallon of liquid but only about half is water. The rest is diet soda.
I'm working on finishing the week strong. Tempted to get on the scale but I'm gonna wait until my deadline of 4/23. I feel that my diet and workout regimen are moving me in the right directions. It just feels right!
Been out for a few days. Daughter developed stomach flu and I managed to pick it up Sunday night. Spent Monday and most half of Tuesday in bed. Diet consisted of Gatorade and Jello. Upgraded to toast for lunch and chicken noodle soup for dinner yesterday.
Meeting out of town on Wednesday. Didn't pack workout clothes because I figured I'd rest after work and dinner. Enjoyed a great dinner. Ate two forks of appetizer, skipped bread, and had asparagus as a side along with fish. But the restaurant had great key lime pie so I indulged!
I didn't beat myself up about dinner since I hadn't eaten much the last two days and only have these meetings twice per year. But on the way back, I figured, "Hey, if you can enjoy a good dinner, you can get back to working out." I almost managed to talk myself out of it saying, "You really do need to rest" but when I realized the hotel had a workout room with dumbbells (5-50 lbs and matching) and a bench, I couldn't contain the excitement (how far I've come). Now keep in mind I didn't pack workout clothes. So I drive to a local discount store and buy a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I did have a pair of socks in my suitcase and a pair of flip flops (yes, I would have gone with my dress shoes if I didn't have flip flops) so I figured that was enough.
I got a good 30 minute workout in. Heart was pumping and I was definitely feeling the reps!
Flat bench press/DB curl/Lat raise - 3 sets of 20 with zero rest btwn exercises and about a minute between sets
One leg squats (one foot on bench behind me)/ BO DB rows - 3 sets of 20 with zero rest btwn exercises and about a minute between sets
I worked up a good sweat and I'd imagine my HR was in the mid 140's most of the time (I didn't even feel lost without my workout partner, the Heart Rate Monitor).
Rest of the week, I'll continue the circuit type training with low weight/high reps. I'll get back to going heavy next week when I am sure I'm back up to 100%