Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting Geared Up

It's been a few weeks, so I'll bring you up to speed. Life's been pretty hectic lately, what with the new job, moving out of my apartment and into my parents' house (to save up for a condo/house of my own in the near future), changing to working out in the mornings, and a severe lack of free time in general. In my last post I noted that I was doing pretty good with eating right. Well, the last few weeks have made that statement incorrect. I've kinda been in "don't give a crap" mode in the weeks leading up to my move (which occurred this past weekend) and I hate it. My workouts have been minimal, although I've maintained/gained on my strength numbers. Right now I'm focusing on my powerlifting meet on the 28th, so just trying to get at least 3 workouts a week (mostly strength) and eat as well as I can.

What I am getting geared up for, though, is to very seriously start making a push for some serious fat loss. I've gone between 235 and 196 over the years, never really being happy with my body composition, even though I'm so much stronger, capable, and athletic than I was 4 years ago. I've been pretty waffly about my goals, switching between fat loss and strength/fitness gains without a whole lot of rhyme or reason, and that's (I feel) the biggest reason I haven't achieved my body comp goals. The best gains I ever made were in the early days when I was totally focused on fat loss and nothing else. Now, today I'm much better informed about how food and exercise affect me, and I have much better tools at my disposal, but I'm still lacking that one, singular focus to really drive me.

May 1st that changes.

I'm making a 3-month commitment to lose 20 pounds of fat.

I'm not doing any challenges, not going to worry about being strict anything; just going to watch my calories, choose quality foods, get lots of protein, and hit my workouts hard. I'll focus on Paleo foods, but I'm not going to flip out if I have to eat something outside of that or have a beer on a cheat day. The goal will be 6 days a week of solid eating and one cheat day, most likely from Friday dinner to Saturday lunch (sun-down to sun-down, like Passover). I'll probably throw in some intermittent fasting as a tool to reduce calorie intake, but not going to worry too much about it. Going to stay low-ish carb but not to the point where my workouts or mood are suffering. I'm finally going to use all these tools that I have and put them all together in a way that will (hopefully) allow me to really get to a place where I'm happy with my body, and improve my health at the same time.

I'm not going to focus on any specific athletic or strength goals during this time, although I do hope to see some improved numbers on my bodyweight and gymnastics movements. One goal at a time; if my strength numbers drop a little bit, so be it. I'll still be hitting the weights hard, and I'll be improving my relative strength regardless.

Another tool I'll be employing is simply increasing daily physical activity. I now have access to a Concept 2 rower in my home, and I have both a road bike and mountain bike. I plan on using these to increase my physical activity (and thus calories burned) while still keeping exercise fun. It's spring in southern California; I should definitely make the most of it!

I'll do my first weigh-in on May 1st and we'll go from there.

P.S. in case you're interested in the results from the Paleo challenge I mentioned in the last few posts: I lost 7 pounds and dropped 3% body fat. Right now I'm sitting around 215-217 at roughly 20% bodyfat.

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