Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Change of goals and reflection

Hey everyone. It's been pretty quiet up in the FAT coalition, myself included. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I just haven't felt like blogging at all. It's not that I'm falling off the wagon or anything, I just haven't had a lot to say. But I do have some new things going on that I'd like to share.

I've shifted my focus from weight-loss into strength-gain. My body was being stubborn with my previous workout and eating programs, so I figure it's time to change it up. I'm currently doing Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength program. I will continue doing it until I stop making progress. On this program (and any real strength program) progress is defined simply by adding weight each session. I want to get my back squat up to at least 300 pounds, and my deadlift up to 400, which I think is doable by year's end. I'm not too concerned about losing weight right now, as I will need additional calories in order to continue to get stronger. Once I reach the limits of this program I will change up my approach, as deemed necessary.

I'm also doing a form of intermittent fasting during the week. Basically, I don't eat anything from midnight to 4PM, and then I do eat from 4PM to midnight. So I have an 8 hour eating window, which allows me to have larger, more satisfying meals, while also keeping calories in check. There's also a host of other benefits that fasting provides (better nutrient partitioning, reduced inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity). I've done it for 2 days thus far (on my 3rd day today) and it's been pretty nice. I thought it would be hard, but it's not really, as long as I stay busy and don't mistake boredom for hunger.

October 18th is officially my one-year anniversary of attempting to get fit. At least, it was my very first weigh-in that I have recorded in my spreadsheet. In one year, I've lost over 30 pounds, reduced my blood pressure from stage-1 hypertensive to normal, eliminated pain in my legs and acid reflux, and have gotten way stronger. Not too bad of a result, seeing as though all I did was fix my diet and add exercise to my lifestyle. I've learned an immense amount of information throughout this journey. Maybe I'll do a post later for anyone interested in starting out, but unsure of how to proceed.

That's it for me. Everyone who's slacking off out there, post a blog and let us know what's up, even if it's bad.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thoughts on carb cravings

Hey all. Sorry for not posting more frequently. I just haven't had a whole lot to say. I've been eating pretty well lately, but I've been having some nasty sugar cravings lately. I've fought off most of them, but there have been a few times where I broke down. I'm not really sure where these are coming from, since 90% of the time I eat only healthy stuff (meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some milk and whole grains). So I'm not really causing myself to have the "sugar rollercoaster" like I used to, and all the fat I eat keeps me very satiated. It's almost like a drug craving. I used to smoke, and I've noticed that the sugar cravings are almost precisely the same feeling as the urge to smoke. My body and brain are still not free from their physical addiction to sugar. What probably needs to happen is for me to remove any refined carbohydrates from my diet, and increase my fibrous carb sources so that my body will get reacquainted with a lower carb way of life. I think the few times that I've given in are only serving to increase the cravings rather than to actually satiate them.

This weekend was great. I worked out on Saturday and Sunday, although Sunday was just playing basketball and handball with my buddy. My hands are pretty much healed up now from the damage I did last week, so I can do pull-ups again. I haven't had a chance to workout yet this week due to work, but I plan on getting a workout in tonight. 5x5 back squats for the win. I didn't get an accurate weigh-in this morning (I forgot to weigh myself before I ate breakfast) but I'm averaging about 197.5, so it's coming down slowly. I need to simply reign in my calories a tiny bit, and increase my activity a tiny bit, and I'll be fine.