Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick post

Weigh-In: 204.4

Just wanted to pop in and post something this week. I'm doing pretty well this week, eating clean and back in the gym. It's rough coming back to a consistent workout regimen when you've been out almost a month, but it feels good to be sore again, and my body feels strong. My lung capacity is reduced, but strength stuff feels good, no loss there. My weight has been stable at around 204 for the past week or so, and now that I'm being strict I expect to see that start to drop soon. All in all things are looking good.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time to get back to being healthy

Alright, I've let this blog languish for too long. Time to get back into the swing of things.

I've had bronchitis for the past few weeks, and am only now feeling better to the point where I can work out again. It's been almost 3 weeks since my last workout, so I'm going to have to work hard to make up ground. My gym is starting their 8-week Paleo nutrition challenge today, so we'll all be getting weighed and measured tonight. I weighed myself a few days ago and I was right around 202-203, so I'm pretty close to seeing sub-200s again very soon.

Even though I am participating in this nutrition challenge I'm not going to be as worried about being 100% strict as I have been in the past. Of course, the vast majority of my meals will be high quality, natural foods. But I've got a business trip this week, and holiday parties coming up, so it'd be silly to think I won't touch anything of questionable nutrition. So the goal here is 90%+ compliance, and if I do indulge it will be in reasonable quantities, such that I know it won't affect my health, performance, or well-being to any appreciable extent.

So what are my goals now? First goal is to get back to 100% health, and if that means I can't train quite as hard as I would like for a little while that's okay. But I will train, and I will listen to my body. Second goal is to be 195 pounds be the end of the 8-week challenge. That's a pound a week, roughly, totally doable. I'm anxious to get back in the gym and see where I'm at, strength- and endurance-wise. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November wrap-up

Hey everyone. I know I said I would be posting more often last time, but that obviously hasn't happened. It's a combination of being sick, a lack of motivation, and pride. I didn't make it through the whole month like I planned, and for that I feel like I've failed. That's not true, of course, but it's how it feels. What I want to do today is outline what worked and what didn't, along with some causes and (maybe) some solutions.

What did work

Eating super clean allowed me to recover really well from my workouts, and to do more workouts in general. My sleep was great, I didn't feel tired throughout the day, and I felt more alert mentally. I definitely think this is the way we should eat, ideally, and I plan to continue to model my eating on the Paleo principles.

I did lean out quite noticeably during the first 2 weeks as well, which was a nice boost in confidence and motivation.

Removing grains, dairy, and legumes from my diet helped my digestion immensely, and I experience no heartburn or digestive issues, whereas when I reintroduced these things I was instantly hit hard by indigestion, heartburn, and poop problems (sorry).

What didn't work

Eating super-strict is very taxing, mentally. I seem to be an all-or-nothing kind of guy, and, even though I hate to admit it, I am still enticed by crappy foods. Once I cheat a little bit the flood gates are open, and it's hard for me to close them. With Thanksgiving this helped the wheels to fall off completely. As a result I'm starting to think that a strict adherence to any kind of diet is going to be ultimately self-defeating.

So what now?

I'm going back to what I know works for me: calorie counting and eating mostly Paleo foods, but with the occasional (weekly) cheat meal. I need the accountability that tracking my intake provides, as well as the data I can go back and analyze. My nutritional aims are to keep wheat/rice/gluten/vegetable oils/seed oils to an absolute minimum because I know for a fact that these things cause a lot of havoc in my system. I will also be keeping my dairy intake low, with grass-fed butter, heavy cream, and whey protein being the only things I use on a regular basis. I'm also not going to freak out if I'm out with friends or family and something delicious shows up. I will enjoy it in moderation, and not get neurotic about it.

I will keep intermittent fasting in the mix, since it helps me eat less without feeling deprived. I will limit my booze intake to wine and tequila, with beer being rare, and I will also limit my daily intake to fit within my caloric goals (2200-2500 calories/day). As I mentioned before, my gym is doing another Paleo challenge starting this month and going until February. I'm going to participate, but I'll be using the rules I've outlined here, along with the accountability provided by others working toward the same goal, to optimize my chances of success.

Even though this experiment didn't work out as planned, it did provide a lot of useful information as to where I am weakest, and what to do about minimizing occasional slip-ups. That's good enough for me. I'll weigh in sometime this week and let you know where I'm at.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Wow, I hadn't realized it's been a week since my last post. It gets pretty boring just posting the same old food and exercise stuff, so it was just a matter of laziness on my part. Everything is still going well, though. My gym is starting a Paleo challenge next month as well, so that will help me to continue on this path until I get to my goal.

My workouts have been pretty good lately, but some of the more aerobic stuff still gets me. I'm wondering if maybe I need to add some more quality carbs to fuel my longer workouts. I'll try adding in some yams and banana and see if they help in this regard. Other than that I'm feeling pretty good. My strength numbers keep going up, and I'm injury free, which is really nice. I'll try to limit the gap between posts this time, just to keep myself accountable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11

Day 10 food:

Beef barbacoa
Clam chowder
Cabbage salad
Eggs & Bacon
Shrimp and chicken soup

Pretty good eating yesterday, with the addition of some wine. I was pretty stressed when I got home yesterday so I decided to indulge a little bit and had a couple glasses of wine. It's amazing how fast the body reduces its tolerance, as this morning I had a bit of a headache (nothing severe, just minor) when usually that quantity wouldn't have affected me in the least. It just reinforces the fact that alcohol needs to be a (very) sometimes thing.

Didn't get a workout in, but that's alright, I needed to give myself a little break and just an evening to relax. Ended up getting a good 9 hours of sleep as well.

I might get a chance to work out today, but I'm not sure yet, so we'll see. My body is feeling good. I got my back fixed up by my chiropractor over a few sessions and it's feeling great. I'm not dealing with any nagging aches or injuries at the moment, which is awesome. I'm just going to keep on doing what I've been doing as it's working well right now. That's it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

Day 9 food:

Shrimp and chicken soup
Cabbage salad
Clam chowder
Filet mignon
Small bit of 85% cocoa chocolate

Man, today was hard with cravings for junk. I had a really bad sugar/starch craving during the middle of the day, and was gobbling up fruit in the evening. I know I need to limit my fruit and nut intake, but right now they're helping me through the transition. Next week I'll start trying to rein those in to optimize my fat loss.

I got a really good workout, and I hit a new PR for overhead squat (only 5 pounds, but still a PR). I hit my old PR in the front squat, and went down a lot in the back squat, unfortunately. I guess doing all the other squats beforehand kind of sapped me of my strength toward the end. That's okay though, I'm working my back squats on Mondays now and trying to get back up to where I was 6 months ago, and I'll be there soon.

I've come to somewhat accept the fact that some of my lifts are going to decrease as I cut weight, but it's still hard to deal with mentally. I've decided, though, that once I get down to the level of leanness that I am aiming for (hopefully around 185-190 pounds) I'm going to switch my training to a more strength/power approach with less conditioning and more real strength work. I've found that I can pretty much keep my conditioning up using shorter interval workouts (8-12 minutes at high intensity), so I'm not too worried about that. I'll probably attempt to slowly gain weight during this time, which I'm looking to be either 2 or 3 months (haven't decided yet). I would like to be at a solid 200 pounds at 10% body-fat ultimately, and I'm shooting for a 500 pound deadlift and a 400 pound back squat. This is just a general idea I have right now, I'll re-visit and re-evaluate it as I get closer to my leanness goal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9

Day 8 food:

Clam chowder
Chicken stir-fry
Cabbage salad
Shrimp and chicken soup

My workout was good, but I can still feel some inflammation and pain in my lungs when I get my heart rate up, and as a result I can't go as fast as I would like. Once I start breathing heavily my lungs bring up a bunch of clear phlegm and my chest starts to hurt. I used to get this feeling when I was a smoker, but I've been clean of that for well over a year now, so it's most likely just related to inflammation from bad food and lack of rest over the past month. It's definitely getting better, though, so I'm not worried at all.

Food choices have been good, but was extra hungry for some reason, so I broke my fast early and had a bowl of soup late in the evening as well. It doesn't seem to be psychological hunger, so I don't feel bad about feeding myself quality food when I'm actually hungry. I'm eating quite a bit of fruit, which doesn't seem to be affecting me negatively, but I know to get really lean I'll probably need to curtail that a bit at some point.

Mentally I feel really good. I'm more sociable, have much reduced anxiety, and I can focus at work a lot better. I've also decided that I'm going to continue being fairly strict beyond just this month. I realized that when I give myself leeway to cheat I go off the deep end and end up back where I started, and I don't want that to happen again. The only thing I'm considering adding back in after this month is over is a little bit of high-quality dairy once in a while, and a little alcohol. What I've realized about alcohol is that if I have beer or liquor in the house, I will drink it. Wine seems to be okay to keep around as I don't go crazy with it. So what's the solution? Only drink beer or liquor outside of the house, and never alone. What that means is that if I want to have a few drinks I will need to go out with either my girlfriend or my buddies, which will improve my social life (which is a bit stagnant right now) and also keep me from going off the deep end. When I go out I almost never drink too much, especially because it costs a lot more, and I'm usually driving. I think this will also allow me to enjoy the times that I do drink more, as it will coincide with conversation and comradery instead of just being something "that you do."

But again, this month is strict, so I won't initiate that plan until December. So I'm going to keep on eating good food and getting good workouts, and keep on posting.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clean weekend

Days 5&6:

Over the weekend I didn't really keep track of my individual meals, as I tend to eat in a more unordered fashion. That said I still only ate the good stuff, no cheats this month. I spent most of the weekend cooking a ton of stuff for the rest of the week, including:

Chili (beer and corn free)
Beef Barbacoa
Cabbage salad with bell peppers, cucumber, and cashews
Manhattan-style clam chowder
Mexican shrimp and chicken soup with fresh tomatoes, onions, and chilis
Barbecued beef heart

I also stocked up on fresh vegetables and fruits, although after I cooked everything I found I had gone through a large segment of my vegetable stores, so I'll probably go shopping again this week. Doing all of my cooking for the week on one day during the weekend makes it so much easier to stick to eating clean. In the morning I simply go to the fridge, look at my options, pick 2 entrees, and load them into tupperware. Then I grab some fresh fruit (an apple, some strawberries, melon, etc.) and some salad (or some frozen veggies if I don't have any made) and I'm all set for the day. In my desk I keep some nuts and canned fish just in case I need any extra calories, so I have absolutely no excuse to cheat.

We did a really tough workout on Friday night, but what's funny is that I wasn't even sore from it at all. The clean eating and good sleeping are really boosting my recovery ability, and my body is re-adapting to the intense workouts. I didn't get any workouts in over the weekend due to the gym being closed, but I stayed active and I'll be hitting the gym tonight.

So far, so good.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 5

Day 4 food:
Pulled pork
El Pollo Loco chicken
Dried apricots

Another good day in the eating department. I had planned on a workout, but the gym was packed yesterday so I spent the time training others. Usually I just teach a 1-on-1 during one class on Thursdays and work out during the other class (we have 2 on Thursday nights) but I ended up doing a 1-on-1 and helping out with the group class, since it was pretty packed. No big deal, we've got a doozy of a workout this afternoon, so having an extra recovery day probably can't hurt.

Mentally I'm feeling clear, I'm getting my work done, and my mood is really good. The only issue I'm having is craving sweets once in a while, or at night. The urge usually passes pretty quickly, though, and I haven't succumbed to it (nor will I), so it's more of an annoyance than anything. The more days of super-clean eating I put behind me the easier it will be to deal with those mental cravings.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4

Day 3:
Eggs and turkey breast
Deviled eggs
Pork rinds (not a great choice, I know)
Sunflower seeds
Pulled pork with homemade peach bbq sauce (more tangy than sweet)
Carrots, celery, and bell peppers

Wednesday I attended a memorial service, and ate what I could from what was available. I think I did pretty well, all things considered. I did break my fast earlier than normal because I wanted to eat something before the memorial get-together, and I think it paid off well since I didn't have any crazy cravings for junk and just ate a modest meal of sausage, salad, deviled eggs, and veggies, and felt good about it. Mentally I felt a bit spacey early in the day, and it seems that caffeine hits me a lot harder now, but everything started leveling out as the day went on, and I felt pretty good.

I wasn't planning on working out but my brother wanted to go for a run and didn't want to go alone, so I joined him. We just ran around the park across the street from my parents' house for a half-hour, at a pace where we could have a conversation, and it was really good. I've always gotten injuries from running, but since we were on grass and moderating the intensity I didn't have any issues, I'm not even sore today.

Day 3

Sorry for the late post. I was busy all day yesterday, so you'll get two posts from me today.

Day 2:
El Pollo Loco chicken

Did a workout but hit a wall hard after about 15 minutes, so I stopped. I always forget that there's a pretty gnarly adaptation period after eating crap food. My brain was foggy, didn't have any energy to push through the workout, and felt pretty crappy in general. Thankfully, since I've done this before, I know it will pass. My body is flushing water like crazy due to the lower carbs and lack of grains, so I feel lighter and look leaner. I just can't push the intensity on my workouts yet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

Today's Weigh-In: 210.6

Okay, that's the last weigh in for a month. Let's see what I can do by focusing solely on diet and performance and not the scale. Here's what I ate yesterday:

Spicy Chicken & Shrimp soup
Red apple
Baked Tilapia with toasted almonds
Eggs with bacon, sauteed mushrooms, and spinach
Handful of cashews

I didn't break it down into breakfast/lunch/dinner since I don't really eat that way, but that's the basic order in which I consumed the foods. Last night I cooked up some pork loin chops with a homemade peach barbecue sauce so I'll have some good food for the next few days.

Cravings aren't too bad, once in a while I'll see some Halloween candy around the office and get a sugar pang, but other than that I feel good so far. I've been doing some mobility work with my bad shoulder and it's feeling a lot better, so I'll hit the gym tonight and see how it feels in a workout.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1

I know I said I'd do my initial weigh-in and measurements yesterday, but I just flat-out forgot. I'll try to do measurements tonight, and get a weigh-in tomorrow morning.

The first day of a total diet clean-up is always tough, and today's no exception, especially with all the candy that's flying around the office post-Halloween. But my resolve is strong right now, and I'm drinking lots of water, taking my fish oil, and eating my clean, home-made food. I made a bit of an oversight mistake in that I forgot that the chili I had made last week contains some beer and some corn meal (as a thickening agent), but I'm not wasting good quality food just because of a few not-perfect adulterants, so I'll finish it this week and my next batch will be Whole30 approved.

Other than that I'm going for 100% adherence. I realized this morning while I was putting my lunch together that I didn't stock up on enough fruits and vegetables this past weekend, so I'll have to go shopping to restock the fridge. Also, I forgot to bring some nuts with me to work to have with my afternoon meal. If it sounds like I may have been a bit lax in the planning department, it's because it's true. I'll remedy all those things within the next few days, and I'm not going to let any little crap like that cause me to get derailed. What matters is my mental state, and to be honest I'm really, really ready to clean up my diet and start feeling, sleeping, and performing better again.

Tomorrow I'll post what I ate today, and will continue to do that for this month to have a nice little record for posterity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Whole30 challenge

No weigh-in today, sorry. So, this month has been pretty sub-par. I'm basically in maintenance mode, allowing a lot of not-so-good foods to slip in. Time to clean it up.

I'll be participating in the Whole30 challenge during the month of November. This means no sugar, dairy, grains, peanuts, liquor, beer, or wine for the whole month. After last month's alcohol fast, and the subsequent re-introduction into my life, I find I'm better without it for the most part. I've been eating more and more things with sugar in them, and as a result I've been craving sugar more and more often. The sugar cycle is an endless one, unless pains are made to break it. I'm going to go 100% strict this time, not even allowing any of my little vices like pastured butter or heavy cream in my coffee. Just gotta go whole-hog and see what happens. One of the rules is no weighing yourself or taking measurements during the challenge, so I'll take my last weigh-in for a while on October 31st, along with some measurements, which I'll repeat after November is over so I can have some data (I'm a computer programmer, I live and die by data).

My training will stay the same, doing Crossfit workouts 4-5 times a week along with additional strength work 3-4 times per week. I'm not going to be counting calories, and I'm going to just eat as much as I desire. I'll also continue to do my intermittent fasting protocol, so as to not mess with too many variables all at once. I think I'll probably do a couple of Crossfit benchmarks this coming week so I can compare before/after numbers and see if/how my fitness improves. I'm also interested to see if cleaning up my diet will help with my nagging shoulder injury (which I suspect is partially being aggravated by inflammation due to bad food sources).

This blog might end up being used as a meal and workout log for a while, just to keep on track and give myself some perspective. I'll try to update it more frequently than I have in the past month, for sure.

That's my plan, wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October goals

Today's Weigh-In: 206.8
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 204.41

Sorry for the long gap in between posts. I just haven't had a lot to say. As expected my low weigh-ins were not to last, but that's okay. I'm still closer to my goal than I was, and today's weigh-in was exceptionally high for some reason. It should stabilize around 204-205 within the next few days.

Well, we're 5 days into October and I haven't posted my goals yet. Here we go:

* Weigh 200 pounds by November 1st
* Continue doing Crossfit 5 days a week.
* Continue working ring muscle-ups
* Snatch 165 pounds

Now that I can do muscle-ups I have to work on doing them more efficiently and with less rest in between repetitions. Last week I did 5 in one day, but I needed a good 10-15 minutes in between attempts to be successful. I also want to focus on my Olympic weightlifting total, and my snatch is currently much worse than my clean and jerk. I'm going to be using Saturday mornings as skill work, so I'll practice both of these movements every Saturday this month.

I tweaked my shoulder (again) last week, so it's a bit tender, but I've been taking care of it and it should be 100% by the end of the week. On Saturday my Crossfit affiliate is hosting the Barbells for Boobs fundraiser, and the workout associated with it is called "Grace", which is 30 reps of Clean and Jerk at 135 pounds. I need my shoulder to be solid for that one, so if I have to baby it a bit this week then that's what I'll do.

Here's to a good month.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another bout of sickness, but the clouds are parting.

Today's Weigh-In: 201.6 lbs.
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 205.56 lbs.

So, yeah, I've lost a lost of weight the past few weeks. Unfortunately this was partially helped along by a vicious attack of stomach flu on Saturday night, which ultimately kept me from consuming any real amount of food until Tuesday. Add to that the fact that I was sick most of last week, and we're not talking about a good weight-loss scheme. But I'm feeling pretty much 100% today, and I've got my appetite back, so I'm trying to get some extra calories for the next few days to build my strength up.

I did still manage to get my Crossfit Level 1 certification on Sunday, even without the benefit of any sleep the night before (and with a very strong desire to curl up into the fetal position throughout the day), so I'm super happy about that. I learned a lot, and aced the written test, only missing one question (out of 45 scored). We're having a trainers' meeting next week to figure out how best to apply the new trainers in the gym, so we'll see where it takes me.

I did get one easy workout this week, on Monday. I felt wobbly and weak, but it was good to get moving again after being sick for so long. It's going to take me a week or two to ramp up to my previous levels of intensity and consistency, so I have to be patient there, but all in all things are looking up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Doing awesome

Today's Weigh-In: 204 lbs.
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 207.15 lbs.

Well this week has turned out great for weight loss. On Tuesday I hit 205.6, Wednesday I was 204.6, and today I was 204.0. These little spurts of weight loss are a nice mental boost for someone who's been trying to lean out for so long. I think the combo of intermittent fasting along with alcohol restriction has really done most of the work, because I haven't gotten to work out a day this week. I'm finally feeling good enough to get a workout in, but I had minor oral surgery this morning and they said I can't exert myself today because of the risk of bleeding. So I have to wait until tomorrow to get a workout, but that's okay, cuz I know I'll be getting at least a good workout or two at the Crossfit Level 1 certification this weekend, being held at Crossfit 714 (my gym). I'm super excited about finally attending a cert, and I'm glad I got this flu thing out of the way. I'm already under my goal weight for the month, so now I'm going to just make sure I keep it that way and not regain. All in all everything is going great, and I finally have some good momentum in the right direction.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Out sick

Today's Weigh-In: 207 lbs.

Ugh. The throat issue I mentioned in my last post turned into a full on fever/flu deal, and I was stuck in bed for most of the weekend. In addition to that I seem to have developed an infection on my gums which hurts tremendously. I'm feeling better today, and I've got an appointment with a gum specialist tomorrow, but it made this weekend not a lot of fun.

Weight is down mainly because it's hard to eat, but I've made sure to get enough food to sustain me without issue. Hopefully I'll get these issues resolved in the next few days and get back in the gym.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don't blow it!

Today's Weigh-In: 207.6 lbs.
Average: 208.52 lbs.

My morning weigh-ins have started to come down, as expected. My workouts have been intense this week, and my eating has been spot on. I've been just about perfect with my calories every day, and the intermittent fasting is going well too. I got a good 9 hours of sleep last night, so I'm feeling pretty good today. I thought I would be really sore from the past couple of workouts I've done, but the good rest and quality food seems to have taken care of that for the most part. My performance in the gym this week has also been markedly improved. The only bad thing in my life health-wise is I woke up at 4:30 this morning with a sore throat, which I handled by gargling some Listerine. I went back to bed, and when I woke up again at 8:30 it was feeling a lot better, so I'm hoping it's just from being irritated (the other night I hung out with one of my buddies who was smoking) and not from any kind of infection. I'm taking the day off from the gym to rest up a bit more, and hopefully I'll be alright tomorrow. All in all everything is going really well right now. All I have to do is not blow it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Current status and monthly goal

Today's Weigh-In: 209.8 lbs.

Weight is still high, although it should begin a downward trend pretty soon. I've been eating super clean (most of the time, had a big calorie blast on Saturday), so it doesn't have a say in the matter. As of September 1st I haven't had any alcohol, nor will I for (at least) the rest of the month. This always helps a lot with weight loss for me, and it's been really easy this time for some reason. I've been sleeping great, training hard 4-5 days a week, and I'm injury free, so it's time for a hard push in the right direction.

The goal for this month is to be under 205 pounds by October 1st. My weight has been fluctuating between 208 and 210 for the past few days, so I don't think it's unreasonable. I'm still doing 16 hour fasts on weekdays, although on the weekends I usually only go about 14 hours, which is still fine. That's why it's called "intermittent" fasting, it doesn't have to be perfect every day to work. I tracked my calories a couple of times last week, and on an average weekday I've been getting around 2200, perfect for me to lean out.

I know I've been a bit lax on updating the blog and commenting on others' posts, so I'll try to be more active on here this week. That's it for now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Current plan

Today's Weigh-In: 207.8
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 208.8

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I've kind of been treading water, to be honest. It's the same thing that's happened so many times in the past: get some momentum, start doing really well, start building good habits, and then get derailed a few times due to life stuff. But I'm past that now, and I'm ready to get another good streak of fat loss going.

I've been consistent with my exercise, so that's not an issue at all. To be honest, that's the easiest part of fitness for me. I love going to the gym, and I love hitting new PRs and tackling workouts that I've never done before. Eating/drinking is the problem area, as always. A few weeks ago a bunch of the members of the gym went up to Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite national park for a camping trip, which was amazing, but when you're camping it's really easy to let your diet slip. And slip it did. Lots of beer, marshmallows, cookies, etc. We were super active (I even did downhill mountain-biking down Mammoth mountain) so I didn't gain anything, but it did take me off the rails on the mental side a little bit, and it's taken me a few weeks to get my bearings and get rid of any left-over garbage food that was in my house.

So heres my current regimen. 16 hour daily fasts on the weekdays, which gives me an 8 hour eating window, between 1PM and 9PM. I usually work out around 6:30PM so that allows me 2 meals prior to working out, and 1 big meal after. Then, I just stop eating at 9. This helps me in that it prevents me from consuming calories not because I'm hungry but because I'm bored or just used to having a little something extra in the evening. It prevents me from having that extra glass or two of wine, or those couple extra handfuls of nuts that I really just don't need. There are also other physiological benefits to fasting, such as improved nutrient partitioning and increased insulin sensitivity, but for me the main thing is calorie restriction. I'm also still sticking to mostly Paleo foods, with a little dairy added in. This ensures I'm not hungry, and that I'm also getting good nutrition for the amount of calories I am taking in. I'm not counting calories, but I'll probably be getting around 2000/day, which is perfect. I'll update my goals in a later post.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quick update

Today's Weigh-In: 208

Well, it looks like physicsdiet crapped all over itself and lost my data for the past 2 months. Hopefully they can get it back, but for now I don't have an average, although it was close to 208 yesterday. My weigh-ins have been pretty level all week, which means I need to tighten the belt a bit more and cut a few more calories if I want to continue on the downward slope. Obviously I'm not going to hit my goal of sub 204 in 2 days, which is a bummer, but to be honest I'm just happy I haven't gained weight with all the stress in my life this month.

I'm almost settled into my new place, and I've got all my cooking and kitchen supplies out of their boxes. I've been eating really healthy stuff all week, except for a couple beers each night (and probably too many peanuts). I'll be more careful tonight.

My workout on Tuesday didn't go very well. It was a Crossfit Hero workout, which are always brutal (they're named for fallen military, fire, and law enforcement officers). It was supposed to be 5 rounds, but I stopped myself after 3 due to lack of energy. I don't know what the deal was, but I just wasn't feeling it. I took Wednesday as a rest day, and I'm hoping today's workout goes better.

That's about it for me. I just wanted to update with some news to keep myself accountable.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Achievement Unlocked!

Today's Weigh-In: 207.4
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 208.31

So far everything is going well this week. I've been super busy packing up my apartment and getting ready to move, but I've still done 3 workouts this week. Last night I also achieved one of my long-term goals:

I've been able to do muscle-ups on a pull-up bar for a while now, but the rings add an additional level of difficulty. Getting lighter has definitely helped me to get to this point, and I can only imagine how much easier it'll be when I weigh 15 pounds less than I do now.

Anyhoo, diet has been good. I haven't been watching what I eat as closely as I should, but it's more of a quantity issue over quality. The quality is good, as I really only eat what I make, and I make good stuff, I just haven't been super strict with controlling how much of it I put in my face. And that's the way it's going to be until I get settled in to my new place. Once the move is done and the stress from that is gone I can worry about it, but for now I just need good fuel. And, to be honest, my weight is still going down, so I'm obviously not overeating. If the weight-loss slows or stops then it'll be necessary to tighten the old belt, but for now I'm in a good place.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

200th Post

Today's Weigh-In: 207.6
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 208.59

Yay 200 posts! Anyway, I had a lot of fun this weekend at the Crossfit Games. I ate like crap, though, so I was really surprised when I weighed in at 209 yesterday, and even more surprised at today's weigh-in. I guess all the activity made up for the caloric excess.

Also, it's official: I'm going to be getting my Crossfit Level 1 Certification. My gym is hosting a cert in September, and I'll be able to go for half price, which is awesome. Also, once I get that, I'll be able to actually train people on my own, although I probably won't initially. I've committed to helping out one day a week at the gym, and in return I don't have to pay gym dues any more, so that will save me a nice bit of cash as well as allow me to learn all the aspects of training other people.

In weight-loss land I've got 11 days to lose 3.6 pounds. Oh, and I'm moving this weekend. So, yeah, probably not going to happen, but I'll keep eating clean as much as possible and try to get in at least 3 good workouts this week, and hope for the best.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crossfit Games 2010

Just one post shy of 200, but that's not important. I just wanted to post a quick update to let everyone know about the 2010 Crossfit Games that are going on this weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. I'll be there live (hell yeah!), but you can check it out in free, streaming HD at live.crossfit.com. Watch the fittest athletes in the world compete for the title of "World's Fittest Man/Woman," along with CF Affiliate teams, and Masters (50+) athletes. Lisa, one of the athletes at our gym, is competing in the Master's division, so I'm super psyched to cheer her on, as well as all the awesome athletes I see every day on crossfit.com.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with my weight loss, but it's awesome and you should check it out and be inspired by these amazing athletes. Because I say so :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Slow and steady

Today's Weigh-In: 208.4
PhysicsDiet.com average: 209.43

This weekend was a pretty good one, nutrition-wise. I ate out for lunch on Sunday with my girlfriend and cousin, but I made sure to eat a smaller lunch portion of food, and only about half of the french fries. I had a few beers as well, but only a few. The rest of the weekend was spot-on, although I didn't really get any exercise.

We're almost half-way through the month, and I'm still weighing in at 208, so that's kind of a bummer, but looking at my physicsdiet.com chart I'm weighing in more below the trend-line than above, which is really good. My average loss is slower than I would like, but to be honest that doesn't matter in the long run. I'm still going to shoot for 204 by the end of the month, regardless. It's just nice to see that I am making progress even though sometimes it feels like I'm spinning my wheels. It says my daily deficit is only 315 calories, so it looks like it's time for me to get a little bit stricter with tracking what goes in my mouth. I would like to have a 500-600 calorie daily deficit, so I'll be more watchful about snacks or other things sneaking in that are keeping me from losing fat faster.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Doing better

Today's Weigh-In: 208.4
PhysicsDiet Average: 209.77

Good weigh-in today. My shoulder is also starting to feel better. I've been making sure to take the time to stretch it a few times a day, along with icing it at night. I did a workout with 70+ pull-ups yesterday and, while it didn't feel 100%, it didn't flare up either. Comparing this to last week, I did a workout with 50 pull-ups and had to stop because of the inflammation and pain, so there's definitely some good progress in the right direction.

My diet has been perfect since Tuesday. 98% paleo foods (small amount of cream in my coffee today), 15 hour fasts daily, a small amount of wine, and making sure I eat enough to fuel my workouts but still lose weight. This weekend should be good, since there's nothing really going on and I can make sure to cook my own food.

With 22 days left in the month I feel that my goal of a 204 weigh-in by August is still doable. I'm moving out of my apartment at the end of the month, so that's really the only life event that might get in the way, but it definitely doesn't have to if I don't let it. So I won't let it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back on track, again :-)

Today's Weigh-In: 210.6
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 209.89

My weigh-ins have been a bit high for the past few days, but it's totally my fault. Fourth of July weekend will tend to have that effect on all but the most stalwart dieters, and I'm no exception. The good news is that I'm totally back on track as of yesterday, with a day of perfect eating, which I plan to continue throughout this week and weekend. If it takes losing the weight via fits and spurts then so be it. Who knows how this will affect my monthly goal, but it's still early enough in the month to make up any lost ground.

My nagging shoulder injury is still taking it's toll, unfortunately. I worked out yesterday, but that aggravated it pretty bad, so I'll have to stick to exercises that don't rely on any pressing or ballistic motions (which means pull-ups, kettlebells, and push-ups are out). I'm taking good care of it, making sure not to sleep on it, and massaging it a lot, so I'm hoping it will start feeling better soon. Other than that I'm feeling pretty good, so there's no reason I can't improvise some shoulder-less workouts in the meantime.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July goal

Today's Weigh-In: 209.4
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 209.98

Weight spiked a bit due to having a nice big cheat meal last night, lots of carbs and salt. My body definitely needed the calories, though. Now that we're starting a new month I guess it's time for a new goal. Looking back on my previous successful weight loss I find that on average I lose 5 pounds a month. So I'm going to shoot for 204 pounds by August 1st. That should put me right around 14-15% bodyfat, which is a level of leanness I've never had before, and it's also the point where I should be able to see more drastic changes in my body, which might be nice.

I tweaked my shoulder and upper back a bit in my workouts this week, so I'm taking today off from working out, and I'm also going to hit up the chiropractor. Recovery is definitely reduced on the smaller amount of calories I'm taking in, so I have to be careful not to overtrain or push my body past it's limits. I know my athletic gains will be limited during this weight-loss phase, but that's okay. There will be plenty of time to get fitter after I'm lean.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goal achieved

Today's Weigh-In: 207.6
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 210.04

I'm just going to call it a day early: I reached my goal for this month! While the average I'm using doesn't reflect it, I have weighed in at or below 208.4 for the past 3 days, so that's good enough for me. Now, I won't be surprised if I see an uptick within the next day or two, because I've been consistently weighing less and less for the past few days, and it's bound to fluctuate back up at some point. Just gotta keep eating the way I have been and everything should even out nicely.

I took yesterday off from Crossfit due to my shoulder being a little tight and tender from bench press on Monday, so instead I went to the beach by my house and went for a jog. I jogged half of the distance no problem, but had an issue with shin splints and had to walk back, unfortunately. Still, I covered over 3 miles, and my shins are feeling okay today, so no harm done. I'm hoping that losing 20 pounds will help me to overcome the shin splints (which have always plagued me when running) simply by not putting such a pounding on my body. I'm back in the gym today for some Olympic weightlifting, which I love, so it's looking to be a good day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Going strong

Today's Weigh-In: 208.2
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 210.31

I'm pretty happy with my current pace and progress since I recommitted myself to losing these last 20 pounds. I'm down 5 pounds in 2 weeks currently, which is probably the fastest I've lost weight, ever. I know it's healthy, though, because I'm eating a ton of quality food, and my workouts haven't suffered at all. In fact I just hit 4 new personal records yesterday. I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing until it stops working, basically, and hopefully that won't be for a while.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Intermittent fasting for the win

Today's Weigh-In: 212.2
PhysicsDiet.com average: 211.14

Got a pretty big uptick in weight today, but I'm sure it's not a problem, because I'm still eating great. Yesterday's food choices included eggs and bacon, pot roast, strawberries and cantaloupe, zucchini and onions, and steak with spinach and grilled onions and garlic. No alcohol either. Limiting my alcohol intake to 1-2 glasses of wine max per day is helping out a ton with keeping calories lower and improving my sleep. The intermittent fasting has helped a lot too, at least from a mental standpoint. Johnny from The Lean Saloon noted in this post that IFing is basically just turning off the food valve for a while. So late-night snacks and alcohol are out of the question after my feeding window is closed (usually about 9PM), and for some reason it's not difficult. I don't understand all the physiology and psychology around it, but it seems to be working pretty well for me, so I'm going to continue with it as long as I'm getting positive results.

I did end up taking yesterday as a rest day, so I'll be back in the gym today, tomorrow, and hopefully Saturday. My body is recovering really well from workouts with all the good sleep and clean eating, and I'm feeling really good overall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Really quick one

Today's Weigh-In: 209.0
PhysicsDiet.com Average: 211.02

Everything is going pretty well so far. I definitely think my goal of 208 by July 1st is doable. The last 2 days of workouts have been pretty brutal, so I'm going to take a rest day today instead of tomorrow to let my body recover. Other than that not much to report, just wanted to post an update.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good weekend

Today's Weigh-In: 210.6
Average: 211.4

A new week, and good news to report. I didn't fall off the wagon this weekend. I mentioned on Thursday that I would be going out that night, which could have started the weekend off badly, but I didn't let it. I had some beers, then got right back on track the next day with perfect eating. Ate perfectly all weekend as well, even forgoing my dad's homebrewed beer on Sunday. Now I officially have a full week of good eating behind me, and the momentum is building. I've been using physicsdiet.com (almost wanted to write Science Diet, but that's pet food) to track my weight on a daily basis. It uses a weighted average to compute a more realistic average weight without the huge fluctuations that a 5-day average can have.

I'm down almost 3 pounds since last Monday, which is great. I don't expect that kind of loss to continue but it's a good mental boost. I'm doing a bit of intermittent fasting today, so I'll only be eating between 1pm and 9pm, which works out well for my schedule. Workouts are planned for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday this week. Everything is on track to finally get rid of this last 20 pounds and finally be lean.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doing great

Today's Weigh-In: 212.6

Weight is down a bit, though not as much as I expected seeing as my carb intake has drastically been reduced. I've continued to be spot-on with my diet and exercise. Today is a rest day from workouts, and I need it bad. I'm going out with an old friend tonight, so I'll have a few beers with him, but I've planned it so that I can get right back into strict eating tomorrow without falling off the wagon. I can feel myself building some good momentum in the right direction so I've gotta ride this all the way.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick post

Today's Weigh-In: 213.4 lbs.

Okay, so the weight's a bit high, but not too bad. I ate really clean yesterday, got a good workout, and I can feel my body recovering from the lack of nutrition, so I feel like I'm on the right path. I've got all good foods lined up for today, and another hard workout this evening. I'm still a bit bloated from the bad stuff, so I'll probably drop a few pounds in the next few days simply by cutting out starches and alcohol. We'll see.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crap food, good fun, going clean

Hey there. So I come in here and make a big deal about being back in the game, then I'm gone for two weeks. Sorry about that! I've just been really busy at work and traveling, but I'll try to give a little more focus to this now that I'm back and not overly taxed.

I don't have a lot of time today, but I just wanted to post something. I went to Davis this past weekend for my brother's graduation, which was really fun, but man, I did not eat right. We stayed in a hotel without a fridge, so pretty much all of our meals were eaten out. I had pizza, pasta, ice cream, cinnamon rolls, granola, crepes, basically all the crap I don't eat in my every day life. Not a whole lot of other options were available, unfortunately, but I definitely could have tried to make some better decisions. But what's done is done.

The 4-day crapfest also made me feel like crap, and I (once again) understand how my food quality affects my quality of life and energy levels. I'm all crapped out, so to speak. Eating badly for that long caused my body to crave healthy foods like fruit and healthy meat, so that's what I'm giving it now. And I'm going to keep giving it those things because I know that's what my body and mind need. I don't have any crap food in my house, and I made a 4-pound grassfed beef pot-roast last night, so I don't even have any excuses. Just gotta get momentum going.

I got 1 workout in over the weekend, which was less than I would have liked but we were still pretty active, with lots of walking and swimming. My brother (who is going to Physical Therapy school in the Fall) helped me out with a shoulder issue that I didn't even know I had, but was limiting my ability and range of motion, which is awesome. He fixed it up with some stretches and I banged out my first muscle-ups (on a pull-up bar) in over a year. I mentioned in my last post that my goal is to get a ring muscle-up, so now I'm one step closer, and I hope to get one this week. Woo-hoo.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

First weigh-in of summer

Today's Weigh-in: 212.4 lbs.

Looks like my estimate for my weight from yesterday was accurate. Which means by July 1st I need to weigh in at less than 208.4 lbs. to reach my goal.

If anyone is interested in what my workouts look like you can check out the twitter feed on the right-hand side of the blog. It's linked to my beyondthewhiteboard account, so whenever I post a workout on there it gets tweeted. I'm pretty much just doing the workouts from the crossfit.com main-site, with a few other workouts on main-site rest days.

I skipped breakfast this morning as I wasn't particularly hungry, but I've got some homemade carnitas and guacamole for lunch, along with fresh strawberries and a cabbage/cucumber/bell pepper salad. I've also made sure I have healthy snacks (nuts and jerky) in my truck for after workouts so I won't be tempted to stop at any fast food places on the way home.

I think I've got my bases covered, so hopefully I can crush this goal and build some nice momentum.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time to get back on track

In response to Kevin's call for former FATties to get back to business, I'm back. It's been six weeks since my last post, and I've been doing alright. I haven't weighed myself in the past few days but I think I'm somewhere between 211 and 213. I went to Chicago a couple weeks ago and ate out every day, so I did gain a pound or two there. However I am still very active with my Crossfit workouts, and I'm setting new personal records almost every time I do a workout. For me, focusing on performance goals has allowed me to increase my strength and endurance while allowing me to eat a bit more and still maintain my weight. But that's the problem. I don't want to maintain my weight. I want to continue to lean out, but my head has not been in it from a diet perspective.

I've started using Sparkpeople again to track my daily intake. Yesterday I had 2600 calories, which is just a few hundred too high to lose weight at a steady pace. I can maintain weight on around 3000 calories without much trouble, so I want to be around 2400 per day to maintain a nice 1 lb./week loss. Just cutting out one serving of almonds or a glass of wine should get me there pretty easily, I've just gotta watch out for temptations at work, where there is a constant influx of crap food available for free. I'm pretty good at resisting those temptations, simply from doing it so much the past few years, so I definitely think it's doable.

I've been a little lax on the Paleo front recently, but I've begun tightening that up as well. I've found that some things, like rice, don't seem to bother me or affect my performance, but any sugar or refined grains send me into a gnarly sugar-craving cycle. That means that if I cheat with those things I'm much more likely to continue cheating, rather than just having one serving and being done. So my cheats need to be smart, and infrequent.

So what are my goals? Lose 4 pounds by July 1st, for starters. Simple, concise, doable. I'm going to take this in small steps. My ultimate goal is to weigh 190, but if I focus on "lose 2 pounds here, 3 pounds there" I think I'll get there a lot faster than thinking over a longer term. Looking back on my older posts it seems that's what has worked for me in the past. Other goals include entering everything I eat into Sparkpeople, even if it's bad. As far as my fitness goals, right now my main goal is to finally get a muscle-up on the gymnastics rings. It's the only basic Crossfit skill that I still cannot do (not counting one-legged squats, which don't come up too often). I'm currently in training to become a part-time trainer at my Crossfit gym, and one of the requirements is to be able to demonstrate the basic movements, so that's the one I'm gonna focus on.

I'll post a weigh-in tomorrow, and shoot for at least 3 new posts a week. Anyone else out there who wants to join in on the summer fun please feel free.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paleo challenge wrap-up

Today's Weigh-In: 210 lbs.

So we finished up our 6 week Paleo challenge on Monday, and I officially lost 4 pounds, but I was weighing heavy on Monday and have since dropped another 3 pounds (water, food, etc.), so I'm pretty happy with the results. My average weight (using physicsdiet.com now) is 211, so I'm legitimately down 5 pounds since late February. My body fat was calipered at 18.1% as well.

I thought that once the challenge was over I would be really tempted to eat non-Paleo stuff, but it turns out that I'm really not. I did cheat a couple of times during the challenge, and it always made me feel awful. I don't like feeling awful, so that keeps me from cheating. I'm just going to keep eating as Paleo as I can as much as I can, and splurge a little here and there as needed. I'm definitely avoiding low-quality crap such as fast food and baked goods, because they just make me feel terrible, but other things like good ice cream or quality beer are not off the table.

I also have a new goal: 205 pounds and 15% body-fat by June 1st. I have 6 weeks to get there, which is doable. I've been monitoring my calories for the past few days, making sure I get enough to fuel my workouts but not slow down the fat loss.

In performance news, we did a workout on the first day of the Paleo challenge, which we then repeated after we were done, to compare how eating real food affects performance. I dropped my time by over 2 minutes from the initial assessment, and this was after having a terrible cold during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the challenge which cost me a lot of cardiovascular capacity. If anyone is skeptical about Paleo eating, I can tell you that it works very, very well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quick update

Hey there everyone. I'm back in action on the weight-loss front. I've been sticking to the Paleo diet pretty religiously, and I've been rewarded with some more weight loss. Today I was 206.6 lbs., closing in on the 100s again. Not that I mind being 200+, but for my current level of lean mass 190 is going to be the sweet spot I think. I've been eating a ton of good food too. Last night I made a big grass-fed tri-tip roast in the Mexican barbacoa style, and it's delicious, so I've got lunch for the next few days. I also made a really good dessert with dates (which I hate), walnuts, and cocoa. Check out the recipe here, and try them, they're amazing. I added dried coconut as well, which made them extra good, but they're great on their own too.

That's about it for me, and I hope everyone else that reads this is doing well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So, I felt like I should post an update here to let everyone know what's going on in my life. On Monday, March 8th, my grandma passed away. She was 83 years old. She helped raise my brother and I, and was like a second mother to us. She'd been dealing with advanced Alzheimer's for the past few years, but she never forgot us. I will miss her tremendously.

On the day she passed I didn't worry about staying on my diet, so I had some non-paleo foods, but I got back on the wagon immediately the next day. I drove up to Sacramento with my brother on Tuesday because he goes to school up there and my mom didn't want him to have to drive by himself after everything that happened. I stayed with him for a day and flew back down yesterday. I'd never been up there before, so it was nice to get away, at least for a little bit.

I weighed myself this morning, and was surprised to see 207.8 show up on the scale. I've dropped close to 9 pounds since the first of the month. Not sure if it's healthy weight loss, but I've been eating enough food, so I don't know. I was really sick for a few days last week, and I could only eat fruit during those days as everything else tasted repulsive to me. I also haven't been able to take my creatine for a week, so I'm sure some of the loss is water. But it's encouraging to see the number on the scale move again. I haven't worked out in a week, and won't be able to get back into the gym until tomorrow, but it goes to show that eating right trumps working out every time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I'm up to

I resurrected my workout log thread on the Crossfit message board, and there's a ton of info there that I don't feel like re-writing for this blog, so just check it out here.

I'm not going to be weighing myself daily during the 6-week paleo challenge that I'm participating in. The goal isn't how much weight I can lose, but how much I can improve my performance. The weight will take care of itself if I focus on good food and hard work. I'll keep you posted as the challenge gets going.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quick update

Today's Weigh-In: 215.2
5-day Average: 216.3

Not a ton to say today, just wanted to check in. The weight is coming down nicely, but I haven't had a chance to work out since Monday due to an upper-back injury that's keeping me down. I'm rehabbing it but it feels like I'll still be out until next week. As long as I keep a close eye on my eating it shouldn't prevent me from losing weight, it just bugs me to not be able to train.

See you next week.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New month, new goals

Today's Weigh-In: 216.6 lbs.

Since it's February I've started reducing my alcohol intake even more, as I said I would in my new year's post. I've actually decided to go a tiny bit stricter than I laid out then. Instead of allowing 3 days a week with alcohol, I'm only allowing two: Friday and Saturday. And I'm still sticking with a 3-drink max. That reduces my alcohol intake from ~40 drinks a week (prior to January), to 21 a week (during January), down to 6. That should put a decent dent in my empty calorie intake.

I took shipment of another batch of grass-fed beef, this time 15 pounds of just ground beef. I find myself using the ground beef much faster than the other cuts, so I needed to restock. I've find a chili recipe that is amazing, and I eat it every day for lunch. I've done so for the past month and I still look forward to it every day. I've got the chest freezer up and running, but it's looking a little empty with only 25 pounds of meat in it, so I'm thinking of finding a good source of pastured chicken and possibly some organ meats. I love beef heart, so that's the first thing I'll be looking for.

Everything has been looking good on the diet and exercise front this week. I've been trying to listen to my body more, and I think that's working out pretty well. I work out pretty hard, so sometimes when my I'm super hungry, I know I should just eat a big-ass meal. It's my body's way of telling me that it needs food to run efficiently and to recover for the next workout. It also works the other way. Sometimes I just won't be hungry in the afternoon, so I'll skip lunch and then eat a regular dinner. It all balances out, and I know that as long as I'm eating quality food 90% of the time there's no way I can fail.

I've adjusted my goals to hit a 215 average by Valentine's day, which should be easy. I've also adjusted my weight training goals a bit. I hit one of my goals, which was a 225# clean, so I increased that to a new, loftier goal. I also added the snatch as one of my targeted lifts, because I'm so bad at it it's not even funny. That's all for now, hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Number crunching

Today's Weigh-In: 217.2 lbs.
5-Day Average: 217.2 lbs.

Looking at my weigh-in this morning, I was a bit disappointed. I've been eating clean, working out hard, and sleeping well. Taking my fish oil and creatine. So why isn't the weight going anywhere?

So I busted out my tape measure, and took some measurements to compare to those I took at the beginning of the month. Turns out I've lost an inch off my hips and 2 inches off my waist, without changing my other measurements significantly. This means that I have indeed lost fat, just not weight, which also means that I've increased my lean body mass. This makes me very happy. There's nothing worse than working hard and not seeing any results, and sometimes it's easy to get lost in what the scale tells you. But you've always gotta remember that the scale is not the only way of measuring progress.

Looking back on some older measurements, from when I was at my lowest weight, and I'm only an inch bigger in the waist and hips than I was then, but I'm almost 20 pounds heavier. This means that in the past year I've probably gained 12-15 pounds of muscle, and between 5-8 pounds of fat. Thinking of the weight gain in that sense makes it much easier to swallow.

Another way of measuring muscle gain was to compare body fat percentages. At my lightest I was about 18% body fat, and now I'm at about 20%. 18% @ 196lbs. means 161 lbs. of lean mass. 20% @ 215lbs. means 172 lbs. of lean mass. So that's in line with my estimate above.

I find it fun to play around with numbers, and it helps to see everything from a different perspective than just the scale weight.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weird weigh-ins, beef review, and goal check

Today's Weigh-In: 214.8
5-Day Average: 217.8

Good weigh-in today, but the past few days were really bad for some reason. I stayed within my calories every day but one, but my weight shot up and stayed up from Thursday until Monday. Hmm. Hopefully today's wasn't a fluke, but I doubt it was since I ate great yesterday and worked out hard. We basically did 3 workouts: a 2000m timed row for warm-up (did it in 8:11), 5x3 deadlifts for the main workout (got up to 365# for 3 reps), and finished with as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes of 10 lunges, 10 sit-ups, and 10 kettlebell swings (using 53# kettlebell, got 4 and a half rounds). I like this set-up since it lets me get a decent cardio workout, a good strength workout, and a nice anaerobic burner at the end.

I received my grass-fed beef last Thursday, and I've been putting it to good use. The first thing I made was a big crockpot of Texas-style chili (no beans). My girlfriend said that it was the best chili I've ever made, and she loves the flavor of the grass-fed meat. I have to say I agree. It actually has much more beef flavor than the store-bought grain-fed meat. I also used some sirloin in a stir-fry which was pretty good, although I should have marinated the meat for longer. All in all I'm quite happy with the quality of this meat, and I think I'll be making this a regular part of my life.

I've got 11 days to bring my average down to 215, which still looks doable. Looks like small changes can make a big difference. Just gotta stay consistent.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grass-fed beef and crushing goals

Today's Weigh-In: 215.2 lbs.
5-Day Average: 216.3 lbs.

The weight is continuing to trend downward. I guess this whole "eating clean" thing works pretty well. I also got a great workout yesterday, which pushed me to my limits and allowed me to tap into those strength reserves that you don't really know about until you need them.

On the food front I bought a share of a cow. That might sound a bit strange, but it's true. I paid for 1/11th of a grass-fed steer from a farm in South Dakota. The basic idea is that 11 people buy a share each, and once all the shares are paid for the steer is slaughtered (humanely, I might add) and shipped to your door in dry ice. I've been looking for a good source of grass-fed beef for a while now, and this fit the bill nicely. I should be receiving roughly 25 pounds of beef sometime this week, according to the email I received today. I purchased a chest freezer last month for just such a thing, so now I have to actually set it up and make sure it works! I'll let you guys know how the meat tastes when I get a chance to try it. If you're interested in something like this, visit the site. Total price for me was about $190, not bad for beef raised in its natural environment and fed the food it was designed to eat.

It looks like I'm well on my way to crushing my February weight goal of a 215 lb. 5-day average, so let's just hope nothing funky happens with my body to cause it to stall.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Doing pretty dang good

Today's Weigh-In: 216.2 lbs.
5-Day Average: 216.8 lbs.

It looks like my plan of conservative weight loss seems to be working so far. I'm averaging about a pound less than I was at the start of the year (I don't have any numbers from 12/31 to 1/4 so I can't really analyze my averages during that time). I've been counting calories online during the week, and trying to keep a running tally of calories during the weekend. I ended up having 2 cheat meals on Saturday due to unforeseen circumstances, but everything else has been really good.

On Friday I hit a new PR (personal record) with a 215# power clean, which was 20# more than the last time I attempted a max. I went and ran 400m sprints at the track on Saturday, but was only able to do 2 before my calves and hamstrings got too tight to function well. I did get another PR of 1:31 on my first sprint (down from 1:45 the last time, which was probably over a year ago), even though it's still terribly slow. My brother used to run the 400 in 51 seconds, if my memory serves, so I'm definitely not going to be winning any track meets in the near future.

Today my body feels good, and I'm ready to hit today's workout after I get off work. All in all I really have nothing to complain about right now. Let's just hope it lasts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obligatory new year goals

Today's Weigh-In: 215.4 lbs. (no 5-day average since I kind of slacked on weighing myself)

Happy New Year to all the fitness and weight-loss bloggers out there. Since it is a new year I would like to start by laying out some goals, both short and long term, that will get me to where I want to be. I took the time to reflect on the past year, and came up with a few things. First, I gained about 20 pounds; actually, looking back on my post from exactly 1 year ago I gained 17.2 pounds. This has some good and bad sides: I'm much stronger now than I was a year ago, but I'm also a bit fatter. The upside, though, is that I think I can lose the fat without losing strength through my Crossfit training.

I thought also about the habits that I used to have when I was successfully losing weight, versus what I've been doing lately, and came up with a few things. First was that I drink more, and more often, now than I did then. Also I have not been good with calorie counting. Gym attendance has been roughly equivalent, so my weight gain is close to 100% food/drink related. So then I thought "What can I do to remedy this?" and came up with a few simple daily goals that will allow me to lose at least 1 pound a week, but don't put a ton of stress on my mind.

So here they are:
1) Limit drinking to 3 drinks per day through January. 1 drink is one 12oz. beer, 1 shot of 80 proof alcohol, or 5 oz. of wine.
2) Starting February, limit drinking only to 3 days per week, and maintain goal #1 on these days.
3) Count all calories, get no more than 2500/day including alcohol.
4) Take fiber, creatine, fish oil, and vitamin D supplements every day.
5) Workout every day except Thursday and Sunday.

Now, let me explain that I have a very high alcohol tolerance, and 3 drinks does not even begin to affect me. But I averaged my recent intake to be about 6-7 drinks per day, and this has prevented me from dropping weight. Plus, it's just not a good habit to have. The ultimate goal is to take drinking from a habit to an occasional splurge, and I want to do it slowly so as not to cause myself undue stress, and also to allow new, healthy habits to form in the meantime.

Counting calories has been a great tool in the past, and I think it's crucial for me to lose weight. It's not that hard either; once I do it on a daily basis for a week or two it just becomes second nature.

My exercise goal is just to get 5 workouts a week. I can move my rest day from Thursday to Wednesday, so long as I get my 5. I just want to be consistent here.

I have some other goals as well. I know for me that the most motivating success stories are the ones with pictures in them. So I've made plans to take pictures of myself every Saturday morning and post them to the blog so I can see my changes over time. I've also made a goal of adding at least 1 run per week into my workout routine. I feel that running is a weak area of mine, and I would like to shore up that weakness a bit. I might do a 5k, or I might do sprint repeats. I just need to run more.

I think that's it for now. None of these goals are very hard for me, to be honest, and that's the way I like it because that means I can actually achieve them. I like having daily goals as well, because it's really the day-to-day stuff that gives us the results we want, and completing daily goals allows me to feel like I'm actually moving forward. I'm on day 3 right now, and feeling good. I'll keep you posted.