Wednesday, January 30, 2008

February goals

If you haven't already, read the post below this for my weight and workout stuff. I wanted to post a list of goals for the coming month, seeing as I haven't done very well this month. I feel like I haven't been as motivated recently, and I don't know why. As far as exercising goes I've been doing awesome, having a great time with CrossFit, getting stronger and feeling better. But my diet has definitely been sub-optimal. I mean, it hasn't gone off the rails or anything; I still make my lunch every day, avoid fast food if at all possible, cook dinner almost every night, and limit myself to whole grains, eggs, nuts, meats, and a little dairy. But I have had a few too many cheat meals, and a few too many beers and cocktails. But February is a new month, with new goals, and a new drive.

1) Weigh 210 lbs. by March 1st - This involves losing 8 pounds this month. It's a stretch for me, since I don't lose weight all that fast, but I want a goal that I will have to push myself to achieve.

2) No alcohol - This means none. I did this in the last 2 weeks of 2007 and the weight came off quicker than ever. This is also going to be one of my harder goals to stick with, because there's so much temptation around me. When you're hanging out on a Saturday night, you just want a couple of cold ones, but I need to stick to my guns here, and find other things to do.

3) Be in the gym 5 days a week - This is actually not that hard. I've been doing this pretty decently, but I want to keep it up. Going in the mornings has made it much easier, and I feel so much better as a result, and I want that to stick.

4) Be fully aware of what I put in my mouth, and also of what triggers cravings - This one delves into the mental rather than the physical. I haven't touched on this very much, except for changing my habits from "terrible" to "decent." I still don't have a handle on weekend eating, and when I get home after work I always have cravings for crap food. I need to figure out the root of these issues, and how to alleviate them. One thing I've already noticed is that if I sit down to watch TV, I will get cravings instantly, so I'm going to cut my TV time down considerably. Maybe next month I'll cut it out completely to see if that helps.

That's what I've come up with for this month. I will attempt to be as honest as possible on this blog with regards to how well I am sticking to these goals, and I would like if you guys could help me out with encouragement (or beratement) if I screw up. Without this blog I would not be where I am now, and I owe it to you guys to at least be honest.

Geoff out.

The Total

Today's Weigh-In: 218.2 lbs.
5-Day Average: 218.15 lbs.

My weight is staying pretty stable between 217 and 218. While this is discouraging, looking at my average I'm down a pound and a half from a week ago, so I guess it's moving in the right direction. I've been eating extremely well, always within my 2200 calories, and I've been exercising pretty hard, so all I can do is see what happens.

Yesterday's workout was the CrossFit Total, which consists of 3 lifts: Deadlift, Shoulder press, and Back Squat. You get 3 attempts to get a one-rep max on each lift (after a warm up, of course). Then you add the weights together and get your total score. It was designed by Mark Rippetoe and Coach Glassman as a decent gauge of absolute strength.

Back Squat: 230
Shoulder Press: 145
Deadlift: 295
Total: 670

So roughly 3x bodyweight. Not all that great, to be honest, but it's a baseline. Now I know what I need to work on, and what I should be shooting for next time. I also will be able to see how much I improve my strength empirically, which is awesome. That's one of the things I love about CrossFit, you can see your scores from previous workouts, and see how much you improve each time, so you know for a fact that you're getting stronger/faster/more powerful, and you're not wasting your time in the gym. Good stuff.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Still kickin'

Today's Weigh-In: 218.0 lbs.
5-Day Average: 218.13 lbs.

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days, I've been really busy lately. I'm still at 218. I'm not surprised, though. My weekend eating was not great. Friday night I went out with some of my buddies and had some beers, and then had some Del Taco afterwards. It was only a veggie burrito, but I didn't need it. Saturday was better, and I ate much less than I normally do. Sunday I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, then my girlfriend and I went to a Mexican place that I like a lot and I got some taquitos with guacamole, beans, and rice. It was greasy, but tasty. I didn't really eat anything after that though, so although the food choices were not the healthiest, the amount of calories was still within bounds.

I didn't end up going snowboarding because the road conditions were terrible, and I don't have chains for my truck (I live in southern California, near the beach, so that's not an investment I've ever needed to make). And I missed a few workouts last week, so that sucks.

This week will be better. Last night I made a big batch of brown rice and grilled up a whole bunch of chicken, so I have lunches for most of the week already in the bag. I did my workout today, and it was great (and effing hard). My right shoulder is starting to bother me a lot, which sucks, but it only bothers me while I'm working out, and not really afterwards. I'm going to ice it tonight and hope it gets stronger as I progress in my workouts. I've got 3 days to reach my goal of 215, so it doesn't look like I'll hit it. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try like heck anyway :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 217.4 lbs.
5-Day Average: 219.0 lbs.

Well, the last 2 days I've weighed in under 218, so I'm going back in the right direction. Still hoping to hit a 215 weigh in (if not a 215 average) by the end of the month. I've been making the right food decisions and tracking my caloric intake religiously, so that's awesome.

I didn't work out this morning because we had a gnarly hailstorm with crazy gusts of wind, and I really didn't want to go out in it at all. So I slept in, which I think I needed because it felt great. I'm not going to work out tomorrow either, but Saturday I'll be snowboarding all day which should make up for it.

I'm going to see Social Distortion tonight at the House of Blues Anaheim, which should be sick. I've never seen them live even though they play around here pretty often. I'm not going to drink because I'm the DD for the evening, which is fine by me. My only concern is getting home too late and not getting enough sleep, but since the show starts at 8:30 and my roommate also wakes up early we should be home before midnight.

That's it for now folks, talk to you later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Right on target

Today's Weigh-In: 219.8 lbs.
5-Day Average: 219.6 lbs.

I'm about to lose a 218.0 lb weigh in from my average, so unless I can get 218 or below tomorrow my average will continue to go up. Oh well. My eating was great yesterday and will be great today as well. I fully expect to be 215 by the end of the month. I know that when I get my diet dialed in, along with the exercise, the weight comes off quick. It's just hard to maintain that level of commitment for an extended period of time. I'm still trying to figure out what permanent changes I can make to make it easier for me to stick to a perfect diet 99% of the time, but I haven't come up with anything yet.

February I'm going to do an alcohol free month. When I did it last month I lost weight faster than I ever have, so I know it's affecting me negatively. I've cut back on the amount I drink by a vast amount since I started this whole thing, but I do tend to have a beer with dinner, and a few beers on Saturday nights with my girlfriend and buddies.

The workout of the day for me was doing max effort deadlifting. I got 270 lbs. up, which is a 35 pound personal record for me. Denise, the CF trainer, helped me to perfect my deadlift form, which helped tremendously, as it allowed me to lift the weight without putting a strain on my lower back. I think I could have done 275 or 280, but I kinda ran out of time. I'm going for at least 300 lbs. the next time deadlifting comes up, which will probably be in 2 months or so. I also am getting unassisted dips, and I've almost got the kipping pullups down. I have the motion to do one perfectly, but I need to work on transitioning from one to the next, so I can chain them together more effectively for maximum power output.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 221.2 lbs.
5-Day Average: 219.5 lbs.

Grrr. My average is 1 pound heavier than it was 2 weeks ago. But I know what's wrong, and I know how to fix it. My diet, while not being terrible, has not been keyed in lately. I've been allowing some not-so-great foods to slip in, and I've been eating a bit more than I should. But that's done. This week is 100% clean, 100% of the time. No cheat meals, no fatty meats, just good lean protein, lots of veggies and fruit, and some good dairy. I want to get 2 pounds off my average by next Monday, and I think I can do it. Like they say, you can't out-exercise your intake, but you can always out-eat your output.

I didn't get to the gym this morning as I had a bit of a late night last night. This week I'll be hitting the gym Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and taking Friday and Saturday off because I'm going snowboarding on Saturday (and I don't want to be all sore on the slopes). So only 3 days in the gym, but a whole day of snowboarding should make up for it.

I can feel myself starting to become complacent. A lot of people have been noticing the changes I've been making, so I feel good about that, but I can also feel the "good enough" syndrome creeping in. I don't really look fat like I used to, now I just look big (with clothes on, without them I still look fat) but much more healthy (I used to look somewhat bloated, especially in pictures). I know I need to lose a good 30 more pounds before I can even consider myself being good enough. My original goal weight was 175, but that was assuming I would lose some muscle, which I haven't done, so I'm going to adjust my goal weight to 185 lbs. and then reassess myself once I get there. If my body fat measurements are somewhat accurate, and I don't lose any muscle mass, I would be at around 10% body fat at 185 lbs. I guess we'll see how I look when I get there.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New measurements

Didn't get a chance to weigh in this morning before my workout. But I got some new measurements to show some of the progress I'm making. The last time I measured, my average weight was 224.76 lbs., and today my average is 219.64 lbs. So these are with only a 5 pound change in total weight. The measurements were taken about a month and a half apart.

Bicep: 14.75" (-1.25")
Waist (flexed): 39.5" (-1.5")
Waist (relaxed): 41.25" (-1")
Neck: 17" (-.5")
Hips: 41" (same)
Wrist: 7.5" (-.25")
Thigh: 26" (+1")
Calf: 16.5" (same)
Chest (flexed): 45" (-.5")
Chest (relaxed): 42.5" (-.5")

I'm pretty happy with those numbers. It looks like my biceps got bigger from re-introducing them to weights (started out at 15"), then they got smaller as I starting burning the fat on top of them. I'm very happy with my waist measurement, and I'm really glad my neck is smaller as well (it's always been a hassle finding shirts to fit my neck).

My thighs have gotten bigger, but they were already pretty lean (I don't tend to put on much fat around my thighs or butt). All the squats I've been doing must be beefing them up a bit. They feel like steel girders now.

It seems like the reason my weight is dropping so slowly is that I'm not losing any muscle, only pure body fat. This is great news, because I want to stay muscular as I drop down, but it's also a little frustrating from a psychological standpoint as I don't lose actual weight as quickly as many others.

I wanted to take some new pictures, but I need to buy some new rechargeable batteries for my camera as the ones I was using won't hold a charge any more. Hopefully I can have something up soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 218.0 lbs.
5-Day Average: 219.64 lbs.

My weight is finally going down somewhat consistently. This is actually somewhat surprising to me, because the last couple of days my eating has not been perfect. I mean, I ate good, healthy foods, but I simply ate too much. Ever since starting CrossFit I'm always hungry, so I need to learn to curb my cravings. But as long as the weight goes down I'll be happy.

Today's workout killed me.
21/18/15/12/9 reps of:
Front squat, 95 lbs.
Knees to elbows (hang on a pull-up bar, pull your knees up to your elbows)
For time
Then rest for a bit and do an 800 meter row.

I got something like 22:30 but holy crap I was done afterwards. As I was driving home from the CF gym I started feeling really nauseous, and when I got home I had to race into the house to keep from puking on the grass. Yep, I worked out so hard I puked. Good thing the only thing I consume before a workout is water. After that I felt much better, but I know I'm going to be hurting tomorrow. In a good way, of course. I hope tomorrow is a bit easier on me. Gnarly.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ah bench press, my old friend

Today's Weigh-In: 219.4 lbs.
5-Day Average: 220.2 lbs.

My average went up, but my weight itself went down (by over 2 lbs). I did my body fat measurement today and it was between 21% and 22%. That makes me happy to know, because I haven't lost any weight for a while now, but the last time I measured it (at the same weight) it was between 24% and 25%, so I'm still losing fat, just not weight. I'm almost out of the "danger zone" of body fat percentage (anything over 20% is considered unhealthy/dangerous).

I feel like I'm leaning out quite a bit as well. My arms and pecs especially, as I can now see definition when I flex, and I can move my pecs using only my mind :-)

Today's workout was fun. It's called Lynne, and it consists of:
Body-weight bench press and pullups, 5 sets each for maximum reps
Basically you do a set of as many bench presses as you can do of your body weight, then as many pullups as you can, for 5 rounds. It's not for time, so you can take lots of rest. I had to scale down the weight because I can't bench press 220 pounds more than once or twice at most, so I went with 185 lbs. (a more realistic body-weight for me). I also used the assistance band for pullups, but I used the smallest one, so I'm almost at the point where I will be able to do the exercises with unassisted pullups. Here are my rounds/reps:

1: 10/5
2: 8/5
3: 6/6
4: 7/6
5: 5/6

The bench press was hard, but I pushed it and did my best. I felt great afterwards, good and strong. I love the variance of the CrossFit workouts, and I really liked the break from intense cardio as well. Can't wait to see what they've hatched up for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 221.8 lbs.
5-Day Average: 219.96 lbs.

Well crap. I seem to have gained 3 and a half pounds since yesterday morning. I ate really well yesterday up until dinner, when me and my girlfriend Eryn went to dinner. I had a Reuben sandwich with onion rings. I only ate half the sandwich, but polished off the rings. Oh well, it's been a while since I've had a real cheat meal, so I'm not going to fret. I was probably only (at most) 300-400 calories above my normal calorie limit, so I'm pretty sure the 3 pounds won't stick. I didn't get a workout today because I am *sore*. My calves are so tight if you took a violin bow to them you could play Vivaldi.

I've been noticing something on the internet called the "Fat Acceptance" movement. It seems their goal is to have overweight people accept themselves as fat people (that is, having a "fat identity"), and that diets don't work, and they can't be thinner without having an eating disorder. This sounds like the biggest cop-out and pity-party I've ever seen or heard of. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that fat people should be treated any differently because of their weight (barring physical constraints), and everyone has the right to do what they wish with their bodies. But promoting the idea that they should just accept the "fact" that they can't lose weight permanently seems very dangerous and foolhardy.

I was reading some of the FA blogs, and it seems that they use the fact that 95-98% of people who lose weight dieting tend to gain it back. This, they say, proves that most fat people are just inherently fat, and they don't believe that they eat any differently or are any less healthy than thin people. While I agree that there are many thin people who eat poorly (and are unhealthy), and that genetics do play a part in how easy or difficult it is to lose/gain weight, I think the 95-98% figure says something else. To me, it says that these people are unwilling to make a permanent change in their lives. They are unwilling to put in the hard work day in and day out so that they can achieve the body and the level of fitness they desire. I even saw one blogger complaining "I don't want to have to worry about every little thing I put in my mouth; that's equivalent to having an eating disorder" (paraphrasing). I think that's just called being conscious of the fuel you are putting in your body, and optimizing your health. Obviously there are extremes, and I think that some people do legitimately have eating disorders, but not every person who watches what they eat does.

It's obviously hard to lose weight, and harder to keep it off. But (and I think Billy would agree here) if you're not willing to put in the effort then shut the F up and quit making excuses. Admit that you're not strong enough, or that you have other priorities that are more important to you. If you are healthy and happy being overweight, good for you. But don't go crying that just because you can't lose weight that means it's impossible for everyone. It's not, you're a liar and a fraud if you say so.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 218.2 lbs.
5-day average: 219.76 lbs.

Finally got my average under 220. I guess that's what eating right and exercising will do. This CrossFit stuff has got my metabolism burning like crazy, which is great and not so great at the same time. It's great because it burns calories like crazy, but it also makes me really hot all day and really hungry (like, ravenously hungry), so I have to be extra careful not to go over on my calories.

Today's workout was brutal. They call it the Filthy Fifty:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box (I did box step-ups)
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood (I did a 12 kg kettlebell)
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball (I used a 6-lb. ball)
50 Burpees (these are terrible)
50 Double unders (jump rope, I did 3 singles for each prescribed double unders).

I had to scale it to 30 reps of each exercise, because I wouldn't have made it to 50. I almost didn't make it to 30, the burpess just destroyed me, but I finished. 25 minutes and change. Next time I hope to be in good enough shape to tackle it as prescribed (hopefully it won't come up again any time soon lol).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rock and Roll

Today's Weigh-In: 220.8 lbs.
5-day Average: 220.15 lbs.

This weekend was nice. On Saturday I went clothes shopping with my girlfriend, then we went out and saw a show by Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers. I'm a huge Supersuckers fan and Eddie played all the good country tunes from the Supersuckers and his solo stuff, and even did some country versions of some of the Supersuckers' rock songs (for those who don't know, the Supersuckers started out as a punk rock/rock and roll band, but they've delved into good old-school country music as well, and Eddie's solo stuff tends more towards the country end). A good time was had by all. I had a couple of delicious draught beers, but only a couple.

Eating was pretty good this weekend. I tend not to eat very much when I'm at home for some reason. I guess it's because I'm usually busy doing chores or running errands, so I don't set aside time for food. I missed my Saturday morning workout because I was really tired, and my right rotator cuff was bothering me a lot. I've had a problem with it my whole life, and it was just screaming at me, so I took a little extra rest time to let it get better. Feels fine today, and I'm glad I did that.

Here's to an awesome week (where I get under 220 pounds).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Stupid rope

Today's Weigh-In: 220.8 lbs.
5-day Average: 221.46 lbs. :(

Still over 220, but just barely. Should be under 220 again by Monday. Don't know what the deal is, but I've been doing everything right so I'm just gonna keep doing that.

No workout yesterday, but got in a fun one today. 3 rounds, for time of:
1000 meter row
20 push press (with 45 lbs.)
6 rope pulls (pull yourself up from the ground, then lower yourself back down with a climbing rope)

I got a time of 27:42 (I believe). Not too bad. The rope pulls were definitely the hardest for me, since I have really small hands and my grip is weak. Oh well, I'm sure my grip strength will keep improving if I keep doing stuff like this. I like doing CrossFit because the whole workout, from warmup to finish, never takes more than an hour, and it includes cardio and resistance training (along with skill training) and high intensity to get the fire burning all day. I feel great when I'm done (although sometimes I want to die when I'm actually doing it).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ooh boy was I right

Today's Weigh-In: 222.22 lbs.
5-day Average: 219.75 lbs.

Well, I'm still over 220. Even higher today. It's gotta have something to do with my body retaining water for muscle recovery, because I ate just fine yesterday, and did not go over my calories at all. I'm going to continue to make sure my diet is perfect, and I'm not going to worry about these fluctuations.

Well, I was right about being sore. My quads and calves are screaming at me today, but it feels good. I know I worked hard and earned the soreness. I'm taking tomorrow off to rest, so that will be a big help.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm going to be so sore

Today's Weigh-In: 221.4 lbs. (ugh)
5-day Average: 219.1 lbs.

Ugh, my weight today is horrible, and my average went up. I haven't been eating bad food, but I've been eating too much. I was so hungry yesterday, which is weird because I don't usually have hunger problems. I'm watching it today, and hopefully today's weigh in is just a fluke.

Well, I've gotten up at 7:30 the past two days and got into my CrossFit gym. Today was brutal for me. It's a workout called Cindy, and it calls for as many sets in 20 minutes of:
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 air squats

I had to substitute 2 jumping pullups for each pullup, so I did 10 jumping pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats for a set. I think I got 8 rounds in 20 minutes (which is pretty sad, compared to a lot of other people). When I was done, and laying on the ground, I actually noticed steam coming off my skin due to how hot I was compared to the cool morning air. That was awesome. I can barely walk now and I am dreading the soreness I'm going to feel tomorrow, but I feel great. It's 100 times better to wake up, do my workout, and go to work. I feel better all day, work goes by quicker, I'm more sociable and friendly, it's just awesome.

Tomorrow I hope to post a sub-220 weigh in. Wish me luck :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

It doesn't have to be fun to be fun

I was in a hurry this morning and my roommate was taking up the bathroom so I didn't get to weigh myself this morning.

Did another CrossFit workout today. 10 sets of 1-rep front squats. I love doing power lifts. I'm a pretty strong guy, so that's really where I shine. I got 195 lbs. but I think I could have gotten 205, but I ran out of sets. What's great is that they really force me to do them with perfect form. And what's crazy is that when you do it with perfect form, you are actually able to lift more weight (and you don't risk injury). I'm really digging CF so far, it's just fun. I really like pushing myself to the limit and addressing weak spots (like my cardio). I think I'm going to do really well with it.

Eating has been good, I haven't been calorie counting as much lately but I'm gonna get back into it today. I ate my one cheat meal on Friday and it made my stomach hurt so badly I couldn't get to sleep. So much for greasy food. Good riddance.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hooray for CrossFit

Today's Weigh-In: 219.0 lbs.
5-Day Average: 218.33 lbs.

Well, I did my first CrossFit workout yesterday. It was awesome. I talked to Steve, who runs my local CrossFit affiliate, and he told me to come down at 9:45 for a beginner's session they run every Saturday. I brought my mom and my brother, and Steve showed us all the basic movements and correct forms, had us do a warmup, and then gave us a full workout. It was Run 400 meters, do 15 box steps on a plyometric box, then do 15 thrusters (basically a squat plus a shoulder press) with dumbbells. Then do another 2 sets, only lowering the reps from 15 to 12 and 9 for the 2nd and 3rd sets, respectively. And it was for time. I did it in 13:45, while my brother did it in 9:45 and my mom did it in 11 something minutes. My whole body is sore today. It was intense. At the end my heart rate was over 190, but I felt great. Everybody there was super cool and welcoming to us, and I'm definitely going to start going there on a regular basis, starting this week. I think it will be a much better program for me than the standard weight training + cardio routine I've been doing. I need the push that I get from working out with others, and competing with myself. And it's not boring like the gym. I absolutely *hate* doing cardio in the gym. I just need to watch my diet and I know I'll see the pounds dropping like never before.

My brother, who has been really encouraging to me, is leaving today to go back to Sacramento for school (UC Davis). So that sucks, because he's helped push me, but it's cool too because when he comes back for Spring break I should be 15+ pounds lighter, so I can show off :)

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's Weigh-In: 216.4 lbs. (new low)
5-Day Average: 218 lbs.

Looks like I'm safely out of the 220s. So long, hope to never see you again.

The new year makes the gym a hellish place to be. It was so packed yesterday that I could barely get a locker in the locker room. Ugh. Thankfully a lot of the n00bs will be gone soon.

I'm going to do a training session with my local CrossFit affiliate tomorrow morning, and hopefully I will start going all the time. They look to have an awesome program and they seem really cool too. I'll let you guys know how that goes.

That's it for me, happy new year everyone!