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.