Friday, September 26, 2008

Death of seasons

Today's Weigh-In: 198.8 lbs.
5-Day Average: 198.8 lbs.

I'm still here, and feeling much better overall since my last post. I still have some sniffles but nothing that will prevent me from working out. I've worked out 3 days this week so far, with one more scheduled for tomorrow. I had hoped to get a total of 5 workouts this week, but I had to come into work early yesterday and was busy all night afterwards. But 4 is better than the 2 I've been getting the past few weeks. I feel good, too. Healthy, no injuries (knock on wood), not too sore, and really just enjoying my workouts. The weather is amazing right now (not too hot, not cold), which brings my spirits up. The smell of fall is in the air, and I love it. Granted, we don't really get the full autumn experience here, but there's definitely a difference that I enjoy a lot.

My eating has been really good, but for some reason I'm just not dropping much weight. I'm hoping that the added activity will start to chip away at the pounds. I know it will, as long as I can stay consistent both in the gym and in the kitchen. Being spotty with either one will derail any success I might enjoy, especially now that I have less weight to lose.

I'm going to be honest: I've been lazy this summer. But I'm coming up on one year in this journey, so it's time to put my nose to the grindstone. I want to be at my goal by the end of the year, but that's not going to happen by being lackadaisical about my eating or my fitness. It's going to take focus and sweat, and some blood too (I ripped my hand this morning doing 120 pull-ups, so there's already blood involved). Let's go get some.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sick and tired

Today's Weigh-In: 198.6 lbs.
5-Day Average: 199.12 lbs.

Sorry for the long gap in between posts. I got the flu that's been going around last Wednesday, and I'm still feeling a bit under the weather. Needless to say I didn't get to work out much, unfortunately. I didn't lose any weight this week, but I didn't gain any either. I'm feeling much better today, all I have now is a sore throat and messed up sinuses, but no aches or fever. I did work out this morning, and it wasn't too bad. I'm pretty sick and tired of being unable to maintain a consistent workout schedule. I want to be able to maintain a good physical capacity, but it seems that for a while now something always happens to me when I get motivated that takes me out of the game. I'm hoping that this sickness is the last thing for a while, because it's just driving me crazy.

We have a new employee at my work, so my boss is taking us all out to lunch to get acquainted. I'll need to make good choices and make sure my calories are in line with my goals.

I still haven't had any alcohol in over 2 weeks, and I can definitely feel the benefits on my body. I feel less groggy, and I sleep better, although I do miss being able to go and have a couple of beers with dinner to just relax and hang out. Oh well, only a week and a half left of my alcohol fast.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today's Weigh-In: 198.4 lbs.
5-Day Average: 199.2 lbs.

Woohoo! I actually lost weight on a weekend. Not that my eating was particularly great, but I just didn't eat a lot. I also didn't drink any alcohol, which I'm sure helps out. According to my 5-day average I'm down 2 pounds from last Monday, so I'm pretty stoked. If this keeps up I may extend my alcohol fast past the end of the month. We'll see how it goes.

My knee looks to be pretty much healed up; I'd say about 95%, as it still hurts a little bit if I do a lunge motion or stretch. I did a full Crossfit workout this morning that included power cleans and squats without any issue. I'm really happy about that, because it means I can finally get back to a solid routine and be consistent with it. Consistency is absolutely key for me (and for most other people, I would imagine).

I've got an awesome day of eating lined up: lots of fruit, veggies, and meat. I stocked the fridge with massive quantities of meat over the weekend, so I'll be trying out some new recipes. Pulled pork with homemade peach barbecue sauce is the first one I'll be testing out. Should be tasty.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting better

Today's Weigh-In: 200.6 lbs.
5-Day Average: 199.65 lbs.

Bah. I screwed up big-time in the food department yesterday. I got a massive sugar craving (which I usually don't get) and I caved to it. Then I ate fast food for dinner, way too many calories and carbs (you can check my fitday log for details, I've put a link in the sidebar). Came in at 3100 calories for the day. To make up for it I will be eating less today, and also skipping my scheduled cheat meal tomorrow.

My knee is feeling about 80% better now, so I'll be in the gym tonight and tomorrow to see how it goes. One the one hand I really want to get back to working out hard, but on the other hand I don't want to put too much stress on it until it's ready. I'll attempt some light weighted squats and see how that feels, and probably some deadlifts too. If that goes well then I'll do a Crossfit workout tomorrow morning, and then if I still feel good I'll finish out the week with a Crossfit workout on Saturday. That will put me at 4 workouts this week, which, although 1 short of my goal, isn't too bad considering the circumstances.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good times

Today's Weigh-In: 199.6 lbs.
5-Day Average: 199.88 lbs.

So far, I've got 2 days of perfect eating behind me. Less than 2200 calories a day, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, very little starch/grains, and no sugar. And since I'm not drinking, I don't have to worry about those bonus calories coming back to bite me. I've even been consistent in taking my vitamins and supplements, which is rare for me. You could say my nutrition has been absolutely perfect.

My knee still hurts, but it's starting to feel better. I've been doing stretches meant to loosen it up, and I've also been foam rolling my thigh, which helps a lot (but hurts a lot when I'm doing it). I've been taking 6 grams of fish oil per day, which I also think is helping reduce inflammation. I did get a chance to work out yesterday, and I noticed that when I get a good warm-up that my knee doesn't hurt so severely that I can't use it. That's good news, as it means I can go back to my regular workouts (although I'll make sure to take it a bit easy and watch for any pain).

My average is moving down, so I know that this is working. Slowly but surely I will reach my goal.

P.S. I've started using FitDay (instead of SparkPeople) to track my food intake. You can check out my daily diet at

Monday, September 8, 2008

Long one

Today's Weigh-In: 200.4 lbs.
5-Day Average: 200.9 lbs.

Hi everybody. I've been meaning to make a new post for the last few days but just haven't found the time. A few people asked about the Zone diet, so I would like to give some information about it.

The Zone Diet boils down to this: 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein, in this ratio at each meal. It uses a counting system called blocks: 1 block of carbs is 9g, 1 block of protein is 7g, and 1 block of fat is 1.5g (3g if the protein source is fat-free). You get a certain number of blocks to eat per day based on your lean body mass. For me, this is 17 blocks. At each meal you need to eat the same number of blocks from each macronutrient group. So, a 4 block meal would include 36g carbs, 28g protein, and 6g fat (in addition to the fat in the protein source).

The whole reasoning behind this is to maintain a balance between your insulin and glucagon to help maintain a healthy blood sugar level without ever spiking your insulin (which leads to hyperinsulinemia and, ultimately, metabolic syndrome) but while still providing a constant source of energy throughout the day. It's the diet recommended by Crossfit to maximize athletic performance and body fat, and for good reason: there is a lot of good science behind it, and also for those who have been able to stick with it, there is a huge quantity of anecdotal evidence that it just plain works (see the Crossfit forums, in particular).

That being said, it's a pain to implement correctly. You have to weigh and measure everything, and it's pretty low calorie, so you tend to be just a bit hungry. I had forgotten about these facts since the last time I used it, and now that I'm used to a higher fat, lower carb style of eating (much closer to paleo) I'm having a hard time sticking to it as prescribed. What I've found works well for me is using it as a general guideline instead of a hard-and-fast system. What I mean by that is I try to balance my meals by eating a sensible portion of meat or eggs, and add as much vegetables as I can into that (or fruit, if I'm at work, although I limit the quantity a bit more). I find that I just don't have the time to weigh and measure every portion of food that goes into my body.

Is that me being lazy? Maybe. But I want a sustainable diet, and for me, strict Zone is not it. I recommend everyone read Enter the Zone by Barry Sears, as it has a wealth of good information about hormones, and the effect that diet has on them. If anyone is interested in trying it, you should probably read Mastering the Zone as it is more practical in nature, and less theoretical.

Wow, that was more information than I had planned on writing. Let me update you guys on my status, and then I'll be done.

Bad news: I've injured my knee. And not even from exercising; I was literally walking across a room and it popped or twisted or something, and sent screaming pain through my leg. I had hoped it was just a fluke or that it would pop back in, but it hasn't and I can't even do unweighted squats without severe pain. This has caused me to have to rethink my training, as a lot of the exercises that I do involve using my legs. I'll have to come up with something else I can do while I rehab this.

Diet-wise, I've been doing well. Eating home-made meals with lots of vegetables and fruit, and some nuts. I've decided to cut out alcohol completely for a while (at least until the end of this month) as well. It's started affecting me very negatively, so it has to go.

Phew! That's it for now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One day in the bag

Today's Weigh-In: 200.4 lbs.

Well, I've got one day of solid fitness in the bag. I ate very well yesterday, although it's taking some effort to get used to the weighing and measuring of food that the Zone diet prescribes. I went way over on my fats, and while I'm a big proponent of a high-fat diet, I'm really trying to do the Zone as prescribed for a few weeks and see how it affects me, so I've had to ratchet the fats down a bit. I'm also trying to get rid of any unfavorable carbs, such as bread, tortillas, and the like. Today's carbs include lots of spinach, cantaloupe, tangerines, carrots, onions, beans, and peppers. I'll probably have a little brown rice tonight with my salmon as well.

I've got 2 workouts in the bag so far this week. I'm taking tomorrow as a rest day, and then I'll finish out the week with a workout on Friday and Saturday. I've started up my supplement regime again, and I hope it will allow me to recover better from my workouts. Currently I'm taking 5g creatine, 6g fish oil (3 at breakfast, 3 in the afternoon), Tribulus Terrestris and ZMA (to increase testosterone production), a regular multi-vitamin, and a teaspoon of psyllium fiber. This collection of supps has done me right in the past, so I'm sticking with them. I won't be surprised if I gain a pound or two in the next few days due to the creatine uptake, but no biggie. It's just water.

That's it for me. Hopefully I can keep this up long enough to start seeing results, because once the results come the motivation becomes easy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Plan

No weigh-in today (I forgot).

As you can see from my last, oh, seventeen posts, I haven't lost any weight for a while now. This is my 118th post, and I still weigh about 200 pounds, which is what I weighed on my 100th post. This is not good.

So it's time to bring out the big guns again. Time to get fired up, and time to destroy my weigh-ins. There are 4 months left in the year. That's plenty of time to get to my goals if I really want it. And after laying off the workouts and diet for a while, I'm ready. Today is the beginning. I'm going to do what it takes.

What does this entail? Here's the plan:

1) Stick to a strict Zone diet prescription. For me that's 17 blocks per day (with a bit of added fat to round out the calories and allow for increased activity). The Zone diet works, plain and simple, I just have to stick to it religiously for a while.

2) Consistent workouts. I will be sticking with Crossfit, because it's the best way I've found to really get fit. I will get in 4 workouts this week, ramping up to 5 workouts a week for the next 4 weeks (Mon-Tues-Wed-Fri-Sat). Then a low-intensity week, in which I will work out 5 days, but will only do half the workload. After 9 weeks I'll take a week off from doing the Crossfit WODs, but will try to stay active with walking/jogging/swimming/gymnastics movements. Then I will repeat this cycle. I want to maximize my capacity, but also minimize my risk of overtraining and injury.

3) Minimize cheats. I've been letting *way* too much crap food sneak in to my diet, and that stops now. One cheat meal per week, on Friday night, is what I will be allowing myself, if I feel that I need it.

4) Maximize recovery. This means that I need to take the time to listen to my body and take care of it as much as possible. This includes foam rolling, soaking in the jacuzzi, and trips to the chiropractor if my back starts having trouble. I don't want to get sidelined due to a lack of recovery that could be avoided.

5) Reduce alcohol intake. The amount of alcohol I've been drinking lately has definitely taken a toll on my fitness. I've gotten into the habit of having a few drinks almost every night, as a stress reliever. That must stop. I'll need to replace that habit with healthier stress relief.

That's pretty much it. I had hoped I would be at my goal by my 25th birthday, but that didn't happen (Saturday was my birthday), so that's lit a bit of a fire under me. If I can stick to these 5 bullets for the next 4 months I will be at my goal before the end of the year, guaranteed. No more putzing around, it's time to get it done.