Day 50, Eating

Yesterday was my first day attempting a significant calorie reduction. Here are the results:

Capture

Now if I could get to the end of May and *HONESTLY* hit these numbers every day, I can pretty much guarantee that I would be down to 200 pounds and all the clothes I tried on Sunday would surely fit!

The question is, why can’t I? I have the tools and resources at my disposal. I’m not a road warrior who eats 90% of his meals from restaurants. I can plan and prepare down to the exact calorie if I want to and I have plenty of time to do it.

So just do it!

This is the 2nd half of the 12 weeks. It’s time to move from creating the foundation to fine tuning the results. Time to write some new goals…

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!!

Day 28, Disappointed. Clearly I need to step it up!

Today officially marks 4 weeks since I started this program and I’m not happy. The scale has not budged (although it went down and up and down and up a few times). My measurements have dropped a bit, but not enough for me to be excited. The only thing that has really changed is my strength stats. My deadlift is higher than ever and I’m in a position to hit 200 on my squats by the end of the month.

To make matters worse, I decided to go clothes shopping today for new jeans which was a horrible experience of depression and self loathing. In suburban America when the marjority of people I see in the clothing stores are either as overweight as I am or worse (or much worse!) I need to know who the fuck is buying slim fit 32 inch waist jeans? I’ll tell you who… NOBODY! And this is why out of the 15 pairs of pants I tried on I could only find one brand/size that fit and only 2 pairs in the whole store.

So tonight I’m wallowing in self-pity, guilt and a bag of sweet tarts. Tomorrow starts my 24 hour vacation and I would have been much happier to have seen some weight loss progress before going. But I’m not giving up, that would just be silly. The real challenge now is to try to figure out what I’m doing wrong and step it up over the next 4 weeks. The two things I can change immediately are:

1. Reduce my calories slightly. Not by a lot. The really problem is that I cheat too much. If I had actually stuck to my macros religiously over the past 4 weeks I’m sure I would have seen some weight loss. But the reality is that I haven’t been super strict.

2. Adding some steady state cardio on off days is a no brainer. The weather is nice and I work in a major city where there is no shortage of interesting places to walk through.

I will be pondering this more over the next 48 hours, but I think this is a good start.

Day 15, Lots of Thoughts… Little Time

A busy Monday morning has creeped into the afternoon and I still haven’t blogged about my day until now. I have a lot going on in my head with regard to the 2 weeks that are behind me and the 10 that follow. But mostly I’m still a little hung up on the 3 pound weight gain over the weekend.

Thinking about it logically, 3 pounds = 10,500 calories. Now, I did relax my diet restrictions a bit this weekend, but there’s no way I ate an EXTRA 10k calories since Friday morning. In fact, my total calories from Friday morning until this morning didn’t TOTAL 10K. Of course this logic also applies to weight loss. Going from 208 to 205 in 3 days does not necessarily mean that I’ve burned an extra 10K calories either.

The scale is not the final word on weight loss, and yes muscle weight more than fat and takes up less space. But the bottom line is that I still want to be 20 pounds down at the end of 12 weeks and only being down 2 pounds after 2 weeks has a bit of a negative affect on my motivation.

Am I doing something wrong? Am I eating too much or not enough? Should I change something? These are the questions I constantly ask myself when I don’t see progress. But this time I’m not going to change anything (other than being a bit stricter with my diet adherence).

I’m not big on cliches, especially ones that are supposed to inspire your fitness program, but the one I heard the other day that really hit home with me is:

  • It takes 4 weeks for you to see progress
  • It takes 8 weeks for your friends/family to see progress
  • It takes 12 weeks for the world to see progress

So I’m going to keep my head down for the next two weeks and then come up for air and see if anything needs tweaking.

2015-04-06 07.32.07
New PR – 205!

In other news, my workout was great this morning!

  • Squat: 150 x 5 x 3
  • OP: 75 x 5 x 3
  • Deadlift 205 x 5 x 1 (New PR!)

I was really happy with my squats. I found some momentum during the 3rd workset which helped me push up out of the bottom with a little more power. I think I’ll need to keep working on that as the weight gets heavier.

2015-04-06 12.24.44Today was the first day of legitimately nice weather in Philly. I’m looking forward to doing some steady state cardio on my non-lifting days once the weather stays consistent.

Day 11, Thoughts on Weight Loss and Goals

The scale read 207 this morning. And this got me thinking…

It’s a safe bet that I might see 205 (a 5 pound drop) by the end of 2 weeks. Which means that if my weight loss continues to be consistent (1-2 pounds/week), it’s not too far out of the realm of possibilities that I could hit 200 by the half-way point (6 weeks). Which in turn means that shooting for a goal of 190 by the end of 12 weeks might be realistic. That would be a 20 pound weight loss and the lowest I’ve been in the past 10 years.

As it stands now, my 3 month goal is to simply complete 12 weeks of LeanGains and strength training. But once I hit the half way point, I may decide to update my 3 month goal with a specific weight loss target.

I could (and maybe should) set goals on the strength training side of things as well. But I wonder if having too many specifics in my 3 month goal might dilute the effect. At the very least, I’d like to get my squat up to 225 pounds by the end of 12 weeks. That equates to adding 5 pounds to my squat each session for the next 17 sessions. Since I’m now squatting 3x/week I think I should get there easily. I could also set goals for the other 3 lifts, but I think they’re progressing nicely and squats are really my weak spot.

So my new 3 month goal might read like this:

12 Week Goal:

By June 8th, 2015, I AM so happy and thankful now that I HAVE completed 12 weeks of Intermittent Fasting and Barbell Strength Training. I dropped 20 pounds and I can now squat 225. I am leaner, stronger and ready for summer!

It certainly has a nice ring to it! But I think I’ll wait until I reach the 4 week mark to make this change. Until then, I’ll just keep working the plan, avoid Easter Candy (yeah right!) and think about interesting things to blog about!