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
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
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.