Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Hard Routine

Beginning June 1st I will be attempting something called a Hard Routine. What this means is that I have a certain list of goals and restrictions that I will follow for the entire month with no cheating. It's basically a "trial by fire" experience designed to strengthen one's willpower and to get them used to doing things that they are not currently doing (or to break some bad habits). I think this is something that I really need to get the fire going again in my fitness life, as right now it's just a pile of smoldering embers. If I can get back in the routine of consistently getting into the gym, eating clean, and blogging then I know I can get back on track and keep that momentum for a while. So here are my goals for the month of June:

  • No Alcohol - This one is very important, because I know I consume a lot of empty calories in alcohol.
  • At least 4 workouts per week - This is the optimal amount of training for me to allow for weight-loss and recovery. If I can manage an additional workout it will probably be something I come up with that's both fun and challenging.
  • Weigh-in every day and record - Just to get back in the habit.
  • Take body measurements before and after - To have an objective measurement of progress.
  • Record all workouts on - So I can compare my results when I repeat them in the future as another empirical measurement.
  • Get under 200 pounds - Totally doable with this plan.
  • Take weekly progress pictures each Sunday - It's been a while since I've done this, and I want some visual evidence to help keep me motivated.
  • Strict Zone diet @ 16 blocks - This has worked well for me in the past, and it's not terribly difficult. It just takes a few extra seconds of weighing and measuring everything I put in my mouth.
  • Practice pull-ups daily - Goal is to get 5 dead-hangs by the end of the month (currently at around 3).
  • 1 cheat meal per week - This allows a little bit of something to look forward to each week so I don't completely burn out mentally. This has also worked well for me in the past.
So there it is. At the end of the month I will look at my progress and decide how to adjust for the next month. The goal is not to do one month and then go back to doing whatever I want, but it's to gradually reduce negative habits while (re-)introducing positive ones, with measurable progress at each interval. My girlfriend will be joining me on the no-alcohol goal, and she's coming up with some other goals of her own as well, so we'll be keeping each other accountable. I'll post my initial pictures and measurements on Monday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back from vacation

No weigh-in today, but I weighed in at 204.9 on Tuesday and 204.2 yesterday, so I'm finally headed in the right direction again. I've been pretty good with tracking my food and not mindlessly snacking like I am wont to do at night. Even healthy snacks can put you over on your daily calorie needs.

My fishing trip was a lot of fun. I only caught one fish, but it was great to get away from civilization with all the congestion, pollution, and stress that it brings. The weather was amazing, in the low 80s every day with a nice breeze, extremely blue skies, and it was nice and dry so it didn't even feel as hot as it was. The creek water was about 45 degrees, and I was using some thin hip-waders, so that kept me nice and cool.

My dad loves to cook, so he cooked all the food we had during those 4 days. We actually ate very healthy, except for the many, many beers consumed. They were light beers, though, and we were extremely active, so we burned those off pretty easily. All in all it was a good time.

I found a new Crossfit gym which is pretty close to my work and my girlfriend's house, and their prices are very reasonable (with a couples discount to boot) so I'm going to go check them out next week and see if it's a good fit for us. The globo-gym scene is really starting to bother both of us, so it will be nice to start working out in a real CF gym again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm still alive!

5-day average: 207.1 lbs.

Hey everyone! I know it's been a while since my last post, so I'll try to bring you up to date on where I am.

The new routine has been a bit spotty so far. I've been getting 2-3 workouts in a week, but my girlfriend got sick for almost 2 weeks so she hasn't been in the gym since then. I've been playing with my gymnastics rings quite a bit, and they're really fun. Just doing simple things like skin-the-cats and attempting back levers really works the shoulders and core muscles, and my abs are killing me today from working out with them on Saturday.

My eating has been pretty crappy. It's the whole weekend thing, still. I eat fine Monday through Thursday and then blow it Friday through Sunday, even though I'm home more and could just take the time to cook. I think there are a couple of reason why I choose the easy route of convenience foods. First, I'm usually running low on food in my fridge and cupboards by about Friday or Saturday, since I usually go shopping on the weekend. Second, I'm tired by the end of the week and just want to relax. Third, my focus on eating well tends to wane when I'm not on a fixed schedule like I am throughout the week.

I can fix the first issue by going shopping in the middle of the week to restock essentials so I don't run out of anything. I can also try to prepare some food in bulk in the middle of the week as well so I will already have something healthy pre-made for when I don't feel like cooking. The third issue is not an easy one to overcome, so I'll have to think of some tricks for motivating myself a bit better.

My weight is fluctuating between 204 and 208 right now. I want to stabilize it on the lower end of this range and work towards getting under 200 again, so I'm weighing in every day again and keeping the 5-day running average. I'm also doing some intermittent fasting again to help give me a bit of a metabolic advantage (and to keep calories lower).

I am going camping and fishing this Thursday and will be gone all weekend. I plan on bringing my rings with me and creating some fun outdoor workouts. I foresee lots of burpees, ring pull-ups, and lifting of logs in my future :) I'm going shopping for the trip with my dad, so I will try to make sure that we don't get a bunch of garbage food. My dad has been focused on eating healthier lately, and cutting out a lot of bad carbs, so this shouldn't be too much of a problem. And, if we catch anything, we'll have some delicious rainbow trout to feast on. I'm definitely looking forward to that.