Day 58, Fitocracy, Anyman Fitness and a new 12 week program!

A few days ago I received an annoying piece of spam in my inbox (annoying spam… is that redundant?) from Fitocracy. They have my email address because I signed in to the app I downloaded and used for a few days for its macro tracking abilities.

The spam was advertising Anyman Fitness  and its “12 week no-cardio fat shredding plan” which (after I researched it a bit is basically the same plan I’m on: Linear Progression Barbell Training and LeanGains). After a few back and forth emails with the coach I decided to join. The cost is $60/month, which is really not an extra expense I’d like to incur, but having someone else in charge of my diet and evaluating my progress is a very liberating idea. Fitocracy has a 2 week guarantee, so if I’m not seeing any progress I can always get a refund. I’m also not committed to the full 3 months either. So it seemed low risk enough for me to push the button.

The major difference between what I’m doing now and what I will be doing on this program is the diet. While I have some experience in IF, this program takes carb cycling to a new level by limiting you to only eat fat and protein on rest days. This sounds really scary especially when you consider that rest days for me include 2 weekend days. Now that summer is starting, those 2 weekend days will be filled with carb distractions and temptations, not to mention my full week of vacation down at the Jersey shore!

But here’s the thing. When I start to think about things logically I realize that I’ve associated “having a good time” with eating carbs. And this is the emotional food association that I HAVE to break if I’m truly going to get lean. Clearly this plan of carb cycling works if you follow it. And if I do follow it, does that mean that I won’t have any fun this summer? Of course not! There will still be picnics and parties and pool days and theme parks and beach visits. And if I want to have a beer I’ll have one! And if I want to get ice cream with the kids I will!

This gloomy feeling I have that committing to this program will ruin my summer is mentally unhealthy (although its probably normal for most people), and stems all the way back to childhood where my connection between junk food and special occasions originated. It’s not going to be easy, but I think it’s doable with the right mindset and some encouragement. Most importantly if I start to see progress, I will stick to it.

With the holiday weekend coming up, I’m not exactly sure how/when I will start adhering to the new program. I’ve decided to take 2 rest days in a row so that I will feel rested and strong on Friday when I attempt squat 225 x 5 x 3. I think I will eat normally for these two days and then switch to my new macros on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will be my first attempt at no carb rest days. And for memorial day, I might just say screw it, give me a beer and a burger!

Finally, I think it might be time for me to inspire myself with some progress photos. When you look at yourself every day you don’t see the changes. But after comparing these two photos side by side, it’s clear that I AM making progress, albeit a bit slower than I’d like. The photo on the left was taken on February 2nd 2015. The photo on the right was taken 12 weeks later on May 13th 2015. It’s also important to note that I didn’t really start getting serious about the program until March 23.

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Also, I’m not stupid, I know that part of my “transformation” is low lights, shadows and the angle of the lens. But it’s still a noticeable change. On Friday (officially day 60) I will take a photo in the same position and same clothes as the before photo. Then we’ll see what’s what!

*UPDATE*

Even as I’m writing this post I’ve been invited to a memorial day picnic on Saturday. I guess this will be the first true opportunity to look at food and fun differently.

Day 32, Why can’t I eat like this every day?

Clearly this is the question that plagues the modern human race. As evidenced by the abundance of diet books, supplements, nutritional counselors, drugs, surgical procedures and research, everyone is trying to figure out how to get the human race to eat in such a way that they can maintain a healthy weight.

31 macrosLook at these macros from yesterday. They’re almost perfect. A few too many carbs, but nothing that would sabotage any progress. Proper fiber levels were attained and sugar was kept pretty low. If I ate like this every single day I would eventually achieve all of my weight loss goals.

So why can’t I? That’s the question everyone asks. Partly it’s about variety. It’s hard to eat the exact same thing every day. But it’s also about emotional triggers. Modern society (myself included) has been conditioned to think that every meal needs to be a party. So if we’re dieting there are a lot less parties happening. Having a “party” meal 2 or 3 times a month or even as frequently as once a week isn’t really that bad. But if we could just condition ourselves to not expect this sort of emotional gratification from our food it would be so much easier to maintain our weight.

I would also submit that modern society is too obsessed with nutrition, calories and macro nutrients. These are terms that were only familiar to scientists 60 years ago. Back then the average person didn’t think about calories, protein, reading ingredients or nutritional labels. And guess what? The majority of these people were not even overweight (let alone clinically obese).

Now of course food has changed a lot in 60 years. Everything is processed which makes it easier and cheaper to produce and consume.  And this leads to a tendency to overeat. So it’s very difficult NOT to be obsessed with nutrition if you’re trying to be healthy.

And so now that I’m done “foodlosophizing” it’s time for lunch! I hope it’s a party!!