Day 63, Holiday Diet Regrets.

From a dieting standpoint I’d like to try and put this weekend behind me and just move on.

peanut-butter-marshmallow-krispie-brownieSaturday was my first attempt at a no carb (read: “low carb”) day. This first attempt coincided with the first of 3 days of picnics and get-togethers where the carbs flow fast and free! For the most part, I did very well on Saturday. I allowed myself a beer but ate raw veggies instead of chips and my dogs and burgers had no buns. Then dessert came. My wife decided to make what I have now dubbed “Devil Brownies”, which are cocoa rice crispy treats on top of a fudge brownie held together with marshmallow fluff. I call them “Devil Brownies” because once you eat one the devil rises up from hell and laughs at your feeble attempts to control yourself and not eat any more. I had 3. But despite my best efforts prior to this dessert debacle, it was 9pm and I was still short about 80 grams of protein for the day.

Devil 1, Diet 0

Sunday, I awoke to find the devil had slept over and got me started on eating more of his brownies as early as 10 in the morning. By 2pm the remaining brownies were locked in Tupperware inside a bag tied very tightly on the highest shelf of the kitchen. I had eaten somewhere around 6 more. With my diet considered ruined for the day I surrendered to a dinner of pizza, fries and mojitos.

Devil 2, Diet 0

Monday, memorial day proper and a picnic at my mom’s pool. I decided to put my best foot forward and eat according to my training day macros (175p/200c/30f). Let me tell ya, that big 200 number next to the carbs really gives you some breathing room at a picnic. After a sensible breakfast and a bag of protein chips to squash the mid day snacking urge, I kept myself busy with the kids and the pool and only snacked a little before dinner. By the end of the day I was just under on calories and carbs (even considering the 2 mojitos… damn they’re delicious when it’s hot out!) but once again, very lacking in protein.

Devil 2, Diet 0 (I consider Monday to be a push. The devil didn’t win, but neither did I…)

So now here I am on a Tuesday morning, armed with renewed motivation and a shit-ton of high protein foods. All my meals are planned out and I should be able to stay under 50 grams of carbs today. But it’s a lot of freaking work! I feel the need to plan better.

2015-05-25 11.50.09But I try to never end a blog post on the negative. And yesterday I can honestly say that I felt a little better about having my shirt off. The various pictures of me by the pool didn’t invoke my normal “Yuch!” reaction, which surprised me a little bit. Seeing these photos makes me regret that I didn’t try harder for the past 6 weeks. But there is progress and a good foundation of strength to build on. Now the real challenge is not to lose focus despite all of temptations that come with the summertime mindset…

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.

ba

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.