Monday, April 20, 2015

Week one done

Today's weigh-in: 242.0 lbs.

Not a whole lot of movement on the scale compared to last week's weigh-in, but I have seen a few days of 240 flat. Maybe weighing in on Monday after the weekend isn't the best plan.

My proposed workout routine has had to be put on hold, sadly, due to the advice of my doctor. I went and saw him for a check-up last Tuesday and my blood pressure was really high (like 170/110), so he advised me to avoid heavy weight training until we can get it under control. He prescribed me an ACE inhibitor, and I've been making lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure naturally. These include reducing alcohol intake, cutting out caffeine, drinking hibiscus flower tea, and getting my sleep and exercise dialed in. With just a few days of these interventions my blood pressure is pretty stable at 130/80 or so in the evenings, and lower in the mornings. Still higher than I would like, but great change for the first week.

Ideally by losing weight and getting my cardiovascular system into good shape the blood pressure issue will resolve itself and I can get off the ACE inhibitor sooner rather than later. Not that it has any real side effects that I can notice, but I'd just rather not have to rely on it.

So with all that in mind I've been doing some moderate-intensity workouts focusing on getting sweaty and moving well for a longer period than I normally would program for myself. Bodyweight circuits, rowing, running, kettlebell swings, and jumping rope have all made appearances. Coming back from being sick over the past month is rough, as my conditioning is pretty bad, but even just doing those 3 workouts last week has made a positive difference in my body and mental health. I'm going to try to fit in 4 workouts this week, along with daily walks and calorie counting. I have a follow-up with the doctor next week, so hopefully he'll see the positive changes and clear me to do more of the barbell training I enjoy so much. Until then I'll just work on building my base back up, and keep working on dialing in my diet.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Here we go

Today's weigh-in: 242.8 lbs.

The weigh-in was a little bit higher than I was expecting, but no big deal ultimately. I was finally able to work out on Friday evening, still coughing a bit but was able to move some light weight around and get sweaty. Now I'm sore, even though the weights I was lifting were extremely light for me (less than 50% of my 1RM for sets of 5 in front squat, deadlift, and shoulder press). Oh well, that's the way of the road, bubs.

This week I have workouts planned for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. My food choices today have not been great but I'm still in line with my calorie goals, at least. Baby steps.

Nothing much else to say today, just wanted to get in the habit of writing and keeping my goals in the front of my mind.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Goal setting time

Right after my last post I got sick with a bad cold, which turned into bronchitis, so that's put a damper on my fitness goals. I'm still sniffling and coughing a bit, but I'm feeling good enough to start getting back in the gym, and with that I thought about goal setting. Looking back on the times I've been successful with regards to my health and fitness it was always when I had a clear, measurable goal in mind. I've heard Arnold Schwarzenegger speak at length about setting goals and then visualizing yourself achieving them, and that's made a big impact on me. I need something concrete to strive for, otherwise I'll just dick around and accomplish very little.

What kind of goals should I set? I thought about it, and honestly I don't have any concrete fitness goals in mind at the moment. I'm so deconditioned from not working out consistently over the past year that I really don't have any good reference point. Sure I still want to squat 400 pounds, but right now that's not in the realm of possibility. So until I get some semblance of strength and cardiovascular fitness going I don't want to commit to something like that, not quite yet.

Honestly, the simplest goal for me to visualize and keep in my mind is simply my weight. I would like to lose about 40 pounds, in total, but to do that I've gotta take off the first 5, then the next 5, etc. So that's my goal: drop 5 pounds in 6 weeks. Simple, achievable, and necessary to get me to the next stage. Sure, I could probably do it faster than that, but 6 weeks sets the bar low enough to ensure success. I really like what Tim Ferriss has written about setting very simple goals, at least in the beginning, to help build momentum and avoid disappointment, which just sets the stage for continued failure. So, low-hanging fruit it is.

I will begin my 6 weeks on Monday, April 13th, and I'll go through May 18th. I'll weigh myself on Monday and that will be the baseline weight. I'm guessing around 240, honestly I haven't stepped on a scale since my last post. And I will attempt to post updates each week to keep myself focused.

My plans for the gym are to just get my body used to moving and lifting again, so I'll focus on the fundamentals. Powerlifting movements, mobility, some Olympic lifting, and really simple conditioning (kettlebells, rowing machines, bodyweight circuits). 3 times a week for at least an hour. Diet-wise it's all about keeping track, so I'll keep doing that and try to limit my calories to about 2800/day.

Once this 6 week re-introduction period is over I will re-evaluate where I'm at and where I want to go from there.