Archive for the ‘fat’ Category

In addition to a good workout I also had the personal trainers run my body-fat and blood pressure numbers.  The BP numbers turned out so good I am sure the machine was broken.  I was so sure they couldn’t be true that I insisted on three measurements (2 from the right arm and 1 from the left).  The end result averaged out to 95/65 with a resting pulse of 67 beats per minute.  The body fat measurements were a bit on the high-end.  I had my BF measure with body electronic calipers and the handheld machine.  The electronic calipers gave a reading of 28.95% (60.5 lbs of fat on my frame) and the handheld gave a reading of 22.1% (46 pounds of fat on my frame).  Either way I have plenty of fat to shed during my fitness journey.

I had a good early morning walk (which I started doing last week) and a decent reintroduction to Tabata Training.  I say decent because I ended up not being able to do the full 10/10 program, but I did make it halfway through.  I will have to focus on rebuilding some of my basic strength before I venture back into Tabata training. Maybe next month I will try again?

A picture says a 1,000 words (or in this case 40+ extra pounds).  Other than my obvious state of half-sleep (the picture was taken at 7 a.m.) my well-rounded cheeks and less-than-subtle second chin aren’t camera-shy.  It appears much of what used to be known as “my chin” is now lost in a round, full face.   A face that sits upon a neck that sits upon a slow, lethargic, weak body.  Wow, this sounds even worse typed out than it sounded as part of my internal monologue.  So as far as changing this less than flattering look it is important to begin with an adequate assessment of my current (not-so-)well-being.   Let’s just say that most categories leave plenty of room for improvement.  Some will be updated on Wednesday with more accurate numbers, but this is what I’ve got thus far. (more…)

Has it really been almost five months since I last posted an update?  Is it true that since that update I’ve had several failed attempts to get back into my fitness journey?  Unfortunately the answer to both is yes.   The last five months I have done a much better job procrastinating and indulging than getting motivated and active.  Of course I could blame the many tentacled octopus that is my dissertation; the beast that devours my time, energy, and life.  Or I could blame my darn cavity riddled teeth I can’t afford to fix that bring me so much continual pain– especially in the cold weather.   But I won’t (although since I mentioned them I guess that is sort of a not-so-subtle way of gaining your sympathy; and by your I am probably speaking mostly to the comment-bots)!  Instead I will let you know where I am in my fitness reboot.

The honest (and painful) truth, I look like this guy again.  And no matter how hard I try I can’t help but return to this point over and over again.   Where am I now?  I weigh in at about 207 lbs and my waist measures 41.25 inches (disturbing those measurements are almost exactly the same as back in 2007 when I started this blog).   And what of my goal of competing on Ninja Warrior?  Well, it shouldn’t be hard to guess I never quite got to that.  I am not one to give up on dreams though.  The Ninja Warrior folks have been helpful by creating tryout out in California– so my goal will be a bit easier to achieve given it won’t require a passport or flying across an ocean.  So why not begin again?  Why not take what I have learned from all my failed attempts and let the wisdom of time (and accumulated error) benefit my present out of shape self?  I don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t.

So I am throwing my hat back in the ring (is that even a real saying?).  I am throwing it in knowing the first couple of weeks of workouts are never easy.  I am throwing it in knowing that the first two months of running feels more like balancing jello on two taped together chopsticks than something elegant you could call “running.”  I am throwing it in knowing I will be stressed out writing a dissertation chapter that is due on January 20th, 2012.  I am throwing it in knowing my teeth will undoubtedly hurt.  I am throwing it in knowing that this might not even be a real idiom I have used to structure this paragraph.   (more…)

Well this is how I look now.  A long way from where I was three years ago.  I’ve been stuck somewhere between 185 and 195 for about a year now.  I took these pictures on Monday morning when I weighed 195 lbs and my waist measure 39 inches.  Here are the side and front shot as well.

Here is a screen capture of my MedHelp account; a very helpful website with lots of useful trackers.  Since December 26th, 2010, I’ve dropped 7.6 pounds, 1.5 inches from my waist, and about 3% off my body fat percentage.    I feel better, I am not hungry all the time, and I have much more control over my nutritional choices.

My day-to-day nutrition now involves a lot more fruits and vegetables.  I especially enjoy a nice fruit salad of pears, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.   About 80% of the meat and dairy I (and my family) consume are now from local organic farms that don’t use hormones.  The beef and lamb are grass-fed too.  The chicken, turkey, and eggs are all local and free range.  I’ve also switched over to whole milk (instead of 2% or skim).  The basic calorie math doesn’t make up for the filling effects and better nutritional balance of whole milk.  I will also, once I invest in a better cooler, start purchasing kefir from our local (read 40 minutes away) Whole Food’s as a sometimes replacement for Whole Milk.    Our fridge is also stocked with plenty of cow and goat cheeses from local farms.

I’ve also upped my intake of salads and various vegetables.  While I am not enamored with the idea of raw diets (Especially 100% raw diets) I have increased my consumption of raw foods from a very low-level to more around 50%.

It goes without saying that many of the processed foods have vanished from my pantry and fridge.  And to be honest, I can’t complain.  I am enjoying my food more, and my stomach is definitely happier about my change in diet.     I am looking forward to seeing where I am by Feb. 1, 2011.  No goals, no stress, I plan on just sticking with healthy eating and exercise and seeing where it gets me.

Well it was bound to happen, I got frustrated with my scale.  So I decided to just pitch it  and ignore the scale for the next 30-days. Really, I would have loved to do to my scale what Peter and the guys from Office Space did to that obnoxious printer/fax machine, but my wife would be angry since we paid for the scale and she likes to use it- so I am stuck with metaphorical retaliation.  No more weigh-ins until May 20th.  I am stuck at around 194 or so lbs.  Where will I be in  30 days?  No clue.  Hopefully nowhere near 194 lbs since that weight is most definitely an unhealthy weight for my body- plus at that weight only 20% of my pants fit 😦

Since we had a beautiful 65 degree day here in NC, I decided to take advantage of it with an outdoor workout.  This was a tough one.  Coming on the heels of a tough indoor workout yesterday my body wasn’t very happy about this.  To make matters worse, my outdoor workouts are faster paced (with rest breaks kept down to 10-30 second between exercises….if that).  So they give me really good feed back on how good, or in this case poor, my aerobic conditioning is.

Exercise 1. Agility ladder,  Cycle 1- 3 Minutes/cycle 2- 2 minutes

Exercise 2. Sandbag Press, Cycle 1 – 2 minutes/Cycle 2 – 90 seconds

Exercise 3. Backward Tire Toss, Cycle 1 – 3 minutes/Cycle 2 – 3 minutes

 See minute mark 1:22

Exercise 4. Sprints with Cones, Cycle 1 – 90 seconds/Cycle 2 – 90 seconds

Exercise 5. Bear Crawl, Cycle 1 – 2 minutes/ Cycle 2 – NONE

I felt exhausted after this workout and my lower back was begging me not to do a third cycle.  In total I did about 20 minutes of exercise with 4 minutes rest between cycles.

(1) I’m back to 6 meals a day.  For an idea of my average day check out my meals from yesterday:

  • B/Fast: 3 eggs, 4 slices center cut low-fat bacon, 100% whole wheat toast
  • Snack: Apple (sliced up) with 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • Lunch: London broil slices with mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, cooked in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Snack: 12-hour protein shake
  • Dinner: Curry chicken breast with carrots, rice, corn, cucumbers
  • Snack: Pistachios

*NOTE: all the above foods contained no added sugars or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

(2) My Workouts are up and running again.   I am sticking with a simple formula of 30 minute workouts based around three two exercise supersets of ten minutes each with a rest of 3 minutes between each.  I go all out for ten minutes, from one exercise to the next and back again until time runs out.  For example, Wednesday’s workout:

  • Superset 1: Goblet Squats (reps descending from 10 to 1)/Push Press (reps descending from 10 to 1)
  • Superset 2: Push-ups (10 reps per set/7 sets)/ Side-to-side knee movement (8 reps per side/7 sets)
  • Superset 3: Chin-ups (1 set as many reps as possible, remaining 6 sets 10-30 second negatives)/ Skull crushers on kitchen bench (seven sets of 5 reps).

(3) I’ve scheduled more “fun exercise” into my daily routine.  30 minutes on the trampoline with my daughter.

(4) I’ve instituted a level of financial discipline which should carry over to my nutritional intake and exercise routines.  Our new grocery budget of $65/week (a considerable drop) has done wonders to cut the excess snacks from my cart.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish before the first day of class on January 19th.

I ache ALL over.  My legs hurt (especially thanks to those one-legged squats), my shoulders hurt (thanks to push presses), and my core huts thanks to pretty much every exercises I did yesterday.  Oddly enough, otherwise I feel great.   I have plenty of energy, my guts doesn’t quite feel as annoying (even though its only slightly less noticeable visually), and even when I wince with pain when I stand up or shift in my seat it is a good reminder of a workout that went better than expected.

I am not going to push myself too hard as I get back into the swing of things.  For the next three weeks I will stick to about 3 days of heavy training per week with one day off between workouts (and one day day off period each week).

But today is anything but a “day off.”  I almost titled this post something like “first day off,” but i deleted that title.  I deleted it for a reason.  There are no day offs in fitness.  While I won’t be lifting any weights today (with the possible exception of tossing my daughter around) I am working very hard on my nutritional intake.     Today’s meals include:

  • Breakfast: 12-hour Elite Protein Shake
  • Snack: Protein Bar with an Apple
  • Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard, and spinach.
  • Snack: walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and dark chocolate.
  • Dinner:  Function at church, so I have no clue what will be offered.   This will be my first real challenge.
  • Before Bed: 12-hour elite protein shake with milled flax seed
  • ***NOTE: Water is consumed in large quantities throughout the day with and between meals.

I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s meals.  I bought a bunch of turkey drumsticks and I will be putting them in the rotisserie with some herbs and spices.

It has come to this.  The metaphorical tornado that is my life swept through over the last couple of months and now I have to assess the damage caused by stress, apathy, inactivity, distraction, and gluttony.  I hate doing this, always have, but it is essential to starting over.  It’s hard to climb out of the hole when you don’t know how far down you are (not to mention which way is up).   It would be far easier to sulk and stew where I am, ignore the depths to which I’ve descended, and find comfort in a blissful ignorance of my current condition.  After all, if I am unaware of how much I weigh now or how many inches I’ve added to my waist then I can’t have any depressing thoughts about how much ground I’ve lost over the last few months.  Well, I can have those thoughts, but as long as they aren’t confirmed by the scale and the tape, I can push them to the side and ignore them with much more ease.

No longer though.  This morning I braved the tape and the scale.  The knowledge I gained wasn’t pretty, but it was essential.  I have returned to a 37 inch waist and about 188.5 lbs.  This is still far better than the 209 or so lbs I started out at, but a far cry from my best weight of 166 lbs.  I did some chin-ups only to find I lost some, but luckily not a lot, of my upper body strength (down from 7 chin-ups to about 4).

But my workout for today isn’t going to be fun, nor will it be easy.  I designed it to be part fitness assessment, part penance for my previous apathy.  Perhaps it will be a cathartic exercise (pun intended).   (more…)