Friday, November 30, 2007


Today's Weigh-In: 223.0 lbs.
5-day Average: 224.84 lbs.

Just a check-in today. I've been doing well lately, hitting the gym consistently and with exuberance, and eating well. All my hard work in the gym seems to be paying off, as I feel strong (and sore) today.

The one thing that is plaguing me is my cardio. When I go to the gym I usually do 30-40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine before I do my 45 minutes of lifting, but for some reason I just don't feel like the elliptical machine is really increasing my endurance for real-world activities. I get sweaty and my heart rate goes to the correct level, but it doesn't tax my lungs like running does. Walking up stairs still makes me just as winded as it used to, and I just don't feel like my cardio is at the same level as my weight-training. I think I'm going to change it up a bit in the next few days and run on the track at the gym, just to see how it feels (and how far I can go without passing out). I have never been a fast (or durable) runner, but I really want to change that. We'll see how it goes.

On a side note: if you want to be sore after a workout, incorporate weighted squats and deadlifts into your workout. I guarantee you will feel the burn (they're also the most metabolically impactful exercises you can do, since they incorporate the largest muscles). Ugh my butt hurts :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yay progress!

Today's Weigh-In: 226.2 lbs.
5-day Average: 224.76 lbs.

I was in the bathroom, getting ready to take a shower, and I noticed my Myotape sitting there, so I figured I would measure myself and compare to the last set. All I can say is dang, that's pretty gnarly. Check it out:

Bicep: 15"
Waist: 43.5" Unflexed, 42" Flexed
Neck: 17.5"
Wrist: 7.5"
Hips: 42.5"
Thighs: 25.5"
Calf: 17"
Chest: 42" Relaxed, 45" Flexed

Bicep: 16" (+1")
Waist: 42.5" Unflexed (-1"), 41" Flexed (-1")
Neck: 17.5" (no change)
Wrist: 7.75" (+.25")
Hips: 41" (-1.5")
Thighs: 25" (-.5")
Calf: 16.5" (-.5")
Chest: 43" Relaxed (+1"), 45.5" Flexed (+.5")

I've put inches where I want them, and lost them where I need to. It's amazing to think I put a full inch onto my biceps in less than 2 weeks (I did start supplementing with creatine as of yesterday, so that may have added a little due to intracellular volume). I never really felt that measurements could be a good indicator of progress, as it's so ingrained in our minds that the scale is what matters, but call me a believer. This also means that I've gained muscle while losing fat, even in a caloric deficit. Now I'm not going to fool myself and believe I'm going to continue to make progress in these kinds of strides, but it's a nice little boost to my motivation.

If you're feeling down about the scale, break out the measuring tape and see what happens :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Today's Weigh-In: 225.4
5-day Average: 224.88

Well I seem to be squarely in the 225 range, which is okay. I was kind of discouraged at this, until I looked at my 5 day average a week ago, which was 227.07, so I'm actually down 2 pounds. I'm trying to shake the need for instant gratification, but it's so ingrained in us through media and culture that it's very hard to drown completely. That's the reason the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar venture, and America is still getting fatter. Everyone wants it now, but they don't want to work for it, which is like asking for all your groceries in one bag, but demanding that the bag not be heavy :-)

I've found that the people who have been successful, not only in losing weight, but in other ventures, are the people who are willing to put in the hard work and take the time to see the results. America used to be the land of hard work, industry, and pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. Now that sense of enterprise and pride in a job well done has been replaced with one of entitlement, laziness, and vanity. Scientists and social commentators bemoan the state of Americans with regards to obesity, and politicians and advocacy groups attempt to make policy changes to reduce the obesity rate, but it's done little good, because the sense of entitlement dooms it to failure. We need a cultural shift that will instill work ethic and determination in individuals, not this post-modern claptrap we've all grown up with. Unfortunately, I don't know how this will be accomplished, and we may be doomed to our fate already. The American dream may be dead to most, but not to me. I will live my life with my head held high, doing what I know must be done even though it is difficult.

Sorry for the rant, but it's something I wanted to get off my chest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-Turkey Day update

Today's Weigh-in: 225.0 lbs
5-day average: 224.84 lbs.

Hello everyone, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Having 4 days off was awesome, as I finally got a chance to rest my body and mind, and simply do nothing for at least one day (Saturday). My weight fluctuated like crazy over the weekend (on one day I actually weighed in at 222 lbs.) but I'm back at exactly 225 today. I might actually be able to hit my goal of 215 by the end of the year if I keep at it.

The good new is that I ate very well over the weekend; I don't think I went over my calories on any day. Bad news is I missed two workouts (Friday and Saturday). Friday I woke up early to drive out to the desert to go skeet shooting with my friends, and when I got home I was dead tired and fell asleep. Saturday was just me being lazy, though.

But no worries, I woke up early today and got my workout done before work. I think I'm going to make a habit of this, so I can get it out of the way and not have to worry about it all day. The nice thing about my job is that I don't have to come in at any particular time, as long as I put in my hours, so I don't have to get up at 4:30AM or anything :).

My body is feeling much stronger today than it did last week, so I think the time off actually helped. But no more missed workouts for me, I'm back on the motivation bus.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving update

Today's Weigh-In: 225.2 lbs. (new low)
5-day Average: 226.46
Weight lost: 3.54 lbs.

Well I hit a new low on the scale today. Dunno if it's a fluke or if it'll stay off, but it feels nice. Anyway, I've been eating below my calorie limit for the past two days, which is good. I moved yesterday's workout to today and Thursday's workout to Friday (due to Turkey Day and whatnot). Having not been in the gym since Saturday I'm starting to miss the soreness in my muscles, so I'll try to hit it hard today.

Other than that, not much to say. I seem to be steadily losing, and I hope I can keep up the progress. I know many people are worried about the holidays and all the food that comes with family get-togethers, but I'm not really too concerned. I'm not big on pies or sweets, so there won't be any temptation there. Thanksgiving I will most likely just eat some turkey and mashed potatoes, and I will make sure not to stuff myself. I will most likely use Thanksgiving as my cheat meal and then eat clean on Friday, just to keep myself on track.

Happy Thanksgiving to the F.A.T. Coalition!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekend in review

Today's Weigh-in: 227.4 lbs.
5-day Average: 226.85 lbs.
Weight lost so far: 3.15 lbs.

Well, the weekend's over. How did I do? Half bad, half okay.

Saturday I woke up and did not feel well. I was dizzy, tired, and felt all-around crummy. I had not been getting enough sleep the 3 days before, and I think I was dehydrated as well. I went to the gym anyway, hoping it would make me feel better. It didn't. It made me feel way worse. I actually had to cut my gym session short as I started to get extremely dizzy and nauseous. So that sucked.

Since I didn't feel well I did not eat very much, which is a big no-no. I came home and started drinking a bunch of water and took a nap, which made me feel much better. I went out to the Tiger Army show and had some beers, and then we went to a bar afterwards and I had a few more beers (not enough to get me drunk though, as this was over a 7-hour period). So I didn't go over on my calories, but I did not get nearly enough nutrition for the day.

Sunday I felt much better. I woke up pretty late (as we didn't get home 'til 4:00 the night before) and made a baked salmon fillet with some rice and broccoli. This was around 1:00. At 5:00 I went to my parents' house and ate dinner with them. I ate half a Cornish game hen with some rice and a salad, and one of my dad's homemade beers. Later in the evening I had some peanut butter and crackers. So Sunday was pretty good, I could have maybe eaten a little less at dinner, but it was all high quality stuff and I don't feel too bad about it.

I'm supposed to work out today, but I'm going to give my body a rest. I haven't missed a workout for a month, and I think my body is trying to say it needs a rest, as I'm very fatigued and tired. I need to switch the days of my workouts as well; it's usually easier to get a bench-press session in on Saturdays as opposed to Mondays and Thursdays. So I will take today off and do my Chest/Tricep/Shoulder workout tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Today's Weigh-in: 226.8 lbs.
5-day average: 227.5 lbs.
Official weight lost: 2.5 lbs.

Alrighty, finally got some pictures. I haven't quite figured out this camera yet, so the quality is not great, but it's good enough :-)

Here's the front, relaxed:

And the side (ugh, I hate side shots. My beard doesn't hide my turkey neck like it does in the front):

Flexed (sad, I know :)

And back, flexed:

Finally, one for the ladies :-)

I also have measurements. Yay!

Bicep: 15"
Waist: 43.5" Unflexed, 42" Flexed
Neck: 17.5" (yes I have a huge neck, and it's a pain to find nice shirts)
Wrist: 7.5"
Hips: 42.5" (around where my butt meets my legs)
Thighs: 25.5"
Calf: 17"
Chest: 42" Relaxed, 45" Flexed

So there you go. I've put myself out there for your scrutiny :-)

Actually, I just want to be able to look back at this post a year from now and see how much more awesome I look ^_^

Friday, November 16, 2007

Here comes temptation

Today's Weigh-in: 227.0 lbs.
5-day average: 228.45
Weight lost: 1.5 lbs.

Well it seems like I'm safely under 230 territory now. Today's weigh-in was actually after I ate breakfast (I forgot to do it before) so it's more likely in the 226 range. That's good times.

No pictures, as the UPS guy left my camera in the manager's office so I couldn't get it until this morning.

So... the weekend. My dreaded foe. Foiler of diet plans, crusher of dreams. I'm going to try to keep my eating scheduled on both days, and track my calories (which I sadly had not been doing on previous weekends). I'm going to see Tiger Army at the Wiltern tomorrow, which should be awesome. I sure love me some Tiger Army.

I know I will be tempted to drink a lot, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand I enjoy going out and having some drinks, but on the other hand I know alcohol is nothing but empty calories. I'll probably follow Billy's example of drinking straight whiskey (which I normally do anyway, but usually with lots of beer as well) and water to pace myself and keep me from drinking *too* much. We'll see how it goes :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today's Weigh-in: 226.2 (new low!)
5-day average: 228.9

It looks like I'm finally starting to see some pounds drop. 2 weeks ago I was fluctuating pretty steadily between 230 and 234 lbs. Now I seem to be going between 226 and 230, so that tells me that at least the range of weight is going down.

I have a new workout routine that I'm going to do through the end of the year. Previously I was doing weight training 4 times a week and working each body part once per week, but hit it hard with at least 4 different lifts in each session. I now realize that this was a bit too ambitious for my current fitness level. I have been reading Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (which is a great book by the way, very informative), and he recommends that you have at least a year of solid weight training experience before doing the 3 or 4 day split that I was doing. Thankfully the book has templates for beginning, intermediate, and advanced lifting routines, so I borrowed one of the intermediate level routines that should help me build good muscle without stressing my body too much (or injuring myself). My new workout is as follows:

3 sets of each exercise, 8-12 repetitions (excluding abs and calves, do 15-25 reps each set).
2 different lifts per muscle group.

Mon, Thurs:
Chest: Flat bench, incline flys
Shoulders: DB shoulder press, DB side lateral raise
Triceps: Tricep pushdowns, overhead tricep extensions
Abs: Crunches, Reverse Crunches (or weighted crunches)

Tues, Sat:
Legs: Leg Press machine, Leg extension machine, Lying Leg Curl
Back: Low back extension/hyperextension, Pull-ups or lat pulldowns, Seated Cable Rows (or Bent-over Barbell Rows)
Biceps: Barbell curl, Seated alternating dumbbell curl
Calves: Standing Calf Machine, Seated Calf Machine

I think this is a more reasonable approach than the one I was taking. I'm going to follow this through January 1st (I may substitute different types of lifts for the same body parts, but the basic routine will stay the same) and judge whether I need to adjust to a new program or continue with the current one.

I got my myotape the other day, but I left the measurements at home. I should be getting my camera today, so I hope to post pictures and measurements by tomorrow. Also, it turns out I don't have pink eye, it was just irritated (why, I'm not sure). Seems to be all better today, thank God.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Today's Weigh-in: 230.0 lbs.
5-day Average: 229.05

I've started using the 5-day average as my official weight, so I'm down a pound :-)

Bad news is, I seem to have developed pink-eye. My right eye is all swollen and gross, and I think it's spreading to my left eye as well. I'm going to go to the urgent care center tonight and get some antibiotics, so I'm hoping it won't interfere with my workout schedule (although I may have to workout at home, since I don't think it would be very nice of me to spread it all around the gym). I actually think the gym is probably where I got it from, by wiping my face with my workout towel after it touched the equipment. I'll have to be more careful about that.

I know I said I would have pictures up yesterday, but I still have not received my new camera in the mail. The UPS estimate says I should get it on Thursday, so hopefully Thursday night or Friday I will have pictures (and measurements) up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekends are killing me

Today's weigh-in: 230.8 lbs.

I think the weekends are what's keeping me from making progress on the scale. During the week it's relatively easy for me to eat correctly, since I make my food in the morning, take it to work, and eat only what I've brought. I also tally my calories using Spark People's calorie database, so I'm usually fairly confident as to how much I've eaten. On the weekends, however, my schedule is inconsistent, I sort of eat whenever I'm hungry (which usually means I'm not eating smaller, more frequent meals). We also tend to have a lot of barbecues and parties at my apartment, which don't provide the most nutritious things in the world. Alcohol is always involved as well, which is something I need to cut back on if I want to drop the pounds. My goal for this next weekend is to not fall into these nutritional traps, and to keep myself on a sane schedule (this past Friday night I didn't go to sleep until 6:30 AM) so I get enough rest and have plenty of time to plan my meals and my workouts.

One good thing about the weekends is that I'm not too pressed for time, and I can put in a really good workout on Saturdays. This Saturday was great, and I'm still sore in my chest and triceps. I will be doing cardio today, along with some light resistance training. Tomorrow is my leg day, which includes squats, deadlifts, and power cleans. Fun :-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Feeling better

Today's weigh-in: 229.2 lbs.

Weight seems to be back in the normal area today. I think I might stop doing daily weigh-ins, as they seem to discourage me, even though I know daily fluctuations are to be expected. But on the other hand, the daily weigh-in keeps me accountable to myself. So I don't know what I will do.

I didn't get to workout yesterday because I had a meeting, so that sucks, and I won't be able to get to the gym today either. Oh well, I'll just go tomorrow and Sunday to make up for it (I usually only go on Saturday).

My eating has been really good today, even though I did have a big breakfast. Still on track to stay within my calories. I ordered a MyoTape so I can take consistent measurements of my body, that should arrive next week, as should my camera, so I can get a decent "before" picture up. I hope to have the picture and measurements up Monday night.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This sucks

Today's weigh-in: 232.8 lbs.

This sucks. I've been eating well and exercising for a month now, and I have not lost a single pound. It's incredibly frustrating to bust your butt at the gym only to see no (measurable) benefit. I feel stronger and have more energy, but I want to be less fat, dangit! I'm trying to hit 215 by the end of the year, but at the rate things are moving I don't see how that's going to happen. Maybe my body will reach its muscle-gaining limit and will just start burning up the fat. Not that I don't want to gain muscle, but I would rather lose fat, and then worry about the muscle later (I know more muscle=more metabolism=more fat loss, but I'm venting).

Usually at the beginning most people lose a bunch of weight, but me? Nada. Well I'm gonna keep at it and hopefully kickstart my body. What I've decided to do is get a tape measure, and do a weekly measurement and picture session. Then I will put my weight, measurements, and picture either up on the blog or in a binder (probably both, actually) so I can visually see my results. That should help me to not feel down (or to motivate me to kick it into gear if I'm not getting the results I want).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hello world

Hello everyone. My name is Geoff, and I've created this blog so that I can keep track of my fitness goals and share my progress with the world. I have my own web site, but the hosting I have is terrible and blogger is more integrated anyway.

To tell you a bit about myself, I am a 24 year old software engineer from southern California. I am also overweight, to the point where my doctor has warned me that I need to lose weight or be placed on blood-pressure medication. Let me reiterate: I'm only 24 years old. So it's time for me to lose some of this fat. I am 5'10" tall, and am currently 230 pounds, 27.3% body fat (as calculated by a BIA machine). My goal is 175 lbs. My ultimate goal is 10-12% body fat, at whatever weight I need to be.

I have been working out and eating clean for about a month now, so I'm not starting from the very beginning here, but pretty close to it. Unfortunately I don't have a starting photo, as I'm waiting for my new camera to be delivered, but I will have one up as soon as I get that. I will also take some measurements tonight (the most recent ones I have are about a month old, so I can compare those as well).

Currently I go to the gym 4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). I do 30 minutes of cardio, and then 30-45 minutes of weight training. I like to hit a different body part set each day, with 3-4 different exercises per part, and 2-3 sets for each exercise. I track my calories daily, and try to keep them under 2200, with a 50/30/20 macronutrient split (50% of calories from carbs, 30% from protein, 20% from fats). I'm tweaking my diet to hit this, since as of late I've been high on the fats and low on the carbs.

I'm learning as I go, and hopefully I will learn enough and stay diligent to accomplish this task I have set before me.