graindart - Sunday Apr 15, 2018
(low carb - one meal a day)
Took the week off and gained 16 lbs on the scale (should drop back off quickly).
Started a new 4-week plan today. Eating plan is to drink water and eat one huge low-carb meal per day around dinner time (approximately 2000 calories). Today went fine. I wasn't hungry during the day, but really missed snacking and diet drinks.
Workouts will be on Thursday and Sunday nights, mostly upper body strength stuff. Tuesdays are for dirt biking and if I don't go, I'll substitute some time on the treadmill.
Started the food portion of the 4-week plan today. Will start the exercise on Thursday.
Progress as of today: 88.2 lbs lost so far, only 35.8 lbs to go!
Been taking a break from exercise the past few days, will startup with a new 4-week plan of attack on Monday.
Yesterday we had friends over for dinner and they brought dessert. I over-ate for dinner and kept snacking for the rest of the night. Sugar is addicting. We've pretty much banished sugary stuff from the house over the past month or two and that's made it a lot easier to avoid. Now we just have an occasional ice cream run, when my calorie allotment allowed it. However with the friends bringing pie and candy last night, once I started eating it, I really didn't want to stop. Now that it's a new day and the stuff is gone from the house, I feel much more in control again.
The new 4-week plan is taking shape. I've got the exercise days planned out, but just need to decide on individual exercises that I'm going to focus on. Some that I know will be included are: pullups, chinups, dips, pushups, planking. Have decided I need some free-weights to incorporate for overhead press and / or bench press. Can't decide which way to go. One option is to join a local gym, which would obviously have everything ready to go. The thing I don't like about that is the added time commitment of driving to/from. The other option is to buy some pieces. That would be convenient, but takes up space, initially costs more, and would be very limited on number / type of pieces. I've been watching Craigslist / FB, but haven't found any good deals on used equipment yet. I'm kind of surprised, since I figure by this time of year a bunch of people that purchased new equipment at the start of the new year should be giving up and looking to sell lightly used stuff.......
Food plans I haven't made a final decision yet, but am leaning towards eating one meal per day, but still consuming 2000 calories per day. Also leaning towards low-carb. Carbs just really seem to make me crave more and more carbs. Although the same can be said for eating cheese and that's mostly fat / protein. It's just another 4-week experiment, so won't really matter too much in the grand scheme of things. In the past I've given half-hearted attempts to low-carb / high-fat diets, but have never stuck with them for more than a few days. This has been mainly due to lack of planning on my account. Without pre-planning I'd just end up eating meat, cheese, some vegetables and would feel like crap. If I decide to go the low-carb route for this round, I'll need to plan out a menu ahead of time to follow.
Progress as of today: 101 lbs lost so far, only 23 lbs to go!
I'm not seeing the progress I'd like to, so it's time to change things up again.
I just finished 4 weeks straight of staying below 2000 calories daily and exercising 6 days per week. I measured and recorded all food intake daily. I never went over my calorie limit and never skipped a single scheduled exercise day. I was eating cleaner than I've ever eaten before. I switched to eating more protein, healthy mix of good fats, and less carbs. I switched away from processed foods and most of my carbs were from fruit and low-cal popcorn. I know technically I could've gotten rid of the popcorn, but it kept me sane after getting rid of white bread / pasta / etc. During that 4 weeks I did approximately the following exercise totals:
72 miles walked with some jogging 600 assisted pullups 600 assisted chinups 600 assisted dips 600 pushups 66 minutes of planking 400 flights of stairs
I saw some positive weight and body fat % change in the first week, but that's normal for me any time I change from a lazy pace to a fully committed phase. And the last 3 weeks of being 100% "on plan" has resulted in pretty much no measureable progress that I can see. Weight remained almost exactly the same. Body fat % remained almost exactly the same. Clothes fit the same. Belt in the same exact loop. No appreciable increase in lifting strength. Look the same when I see myself in the mirror. Basically all of that work and healthier measured eating.........with no noticeable positive results.
Yesterday was the last day of the 4 weeks and my morning weigh-in was actually up 1 lb on the scale. The scale showed a body fat % actually up 1%. I tested number of unassisted pullups and could get 3-1/2, where I was able to do 4 the week prior. I know that all of these things fluctuate on a daily / weekly basis, but they all happened on the same day which put me into a less than happy mood. I ended up on the phone with my sister and best friend throughout the day complaining about the diet / exercise I was doing with no results. (They're both working on diet / exercise themselves presently.)
I also spent a decent amount of time on the internet researching alternate plans that I was willing to attempt. Of course the internet has millions of different points of view and you can always find someone touting some new plan that seems to contridict most others plans. There are probably 10-15 different major types of diet paths and another 10-15 major types of exercise philosophies. Each claims to be the best and says the others are ineffective. In my research, my mood and thought process swung throughout a wide range of emotions / thoughts. For a little bit, I decided that I was exercising too much and not allowing enough recovery time. Twenty minutes later, I decided that I wasn't pushing myself enough during my exercise times and that was the reason the muscles weren't growing. Twenty minutes later, I decided that 6 days of cardio (walking) was the reason for not seeing muscle growth. Twenty minutes after that, I decided that I should just stop eating until I was at goal body fat %. Twenty minutes later, I decided that I was going to have a cheat night and ordered a pizza.
After eating pizza for the first time in approximately 6 weeks (ate the whole small pizza myself), I decided to have a full cheat night. So I went and bought everything I was craving and continued to eat for the rest of the night. I did actually log it all in my calorie counting app to see what type of totals I'd end up with. After staying below 2000 calories daily for the past 4 weeks, yesterday ended at 4700 calories. I felt like crap at the end and most of the food didn't taste all that good. Except for the pizza.....it tasted great. The only positives to the binge-fest, were that I shared half of the small box of cookies and only ate 2 of the 3 zingers in the package. I was in a frame of mind where I considered throwing much of the other food away after taking a couple bites and realizing that it didn't taste all that wonderful. I decided not to because I knew that I was going to be back on plan today and just figured I'd try to get the desires out of my system.
So last night I sat down and penned out a new 4-week plan of attack. The remainder of this week is just going to be a bit more relaxed, while staying under my daily 2000 calorie limit. I'll start the new 4-week plan on Monday. The plan may change before then, but tentatively it's going to involve intermittent fasting and only 3 days of exercise. The intermittent fasting portion is going to be eating all of my calories for the day at one time. I'll still be eating somewhere around 2000 calories, but it will be in a couple hour window on most days. Planning on it being dinner time, so that I continue to eat with the family. Skipping breakfast has never been an issue for me and skipping lunch shouldn't pose a huge deal since I'm just home working on stuff by myself anyway. Skipping snacks will probably be the toughest change, as I've grown accustomed to eating bags of 100 calorie popcorn at different times throughout the day. I'm also thinking about going even lower-carb in the meals. Thinking about dropping all of the diet pop I drink and just go to regular tap water for the 4 weeks.
The plans for the 3 day per week exercise will probably be some cardio on Tuesdays. That's the day we normally ride dirt bikes for a few hours, but the snow has shut us down for the past 5 or 6 months. Thinking we'll be able to get out starting next week. On the Tuesdays I don't ride, I'll go walk/jog on the treadmill. Thursdays and Sundays will be mostly upper body workouts, but I'm planning on stepping up the intensity. My current exercising hasn't been leaving me sore much at all. Sometimes I can feel a little stiff the next day, but not much at all. I've decided that I'm going to try pushing myself to failure on more of the exercises to try to stimulate muscle growth.
Basically the last 4 week plan appears to have been good for maintaining. That's not my present goal, so the plan needs to change. Yesterday I was feeling discouraged, frustrated, and didn't know what way to go. Today I have a fresh new plan to look forward to and am feeling optimistic that it will produce positive results. At the end of that 4 week plan, I'll stop and re-evaluate how effective it was. I think I'll also just plan on having another cheat night after that 4 weeks as long as I stick to the plan successfully.
Progress as of today: 101 lbs lost so far, only 23 lbs to go!
Yesterday was successful. 26 day streak without a screwup. 60 days until the cruise.
Every morning I hop on the scale hoping to see some drop in weight or some drop in bodyfat %. Because I want to be that one magic person that can gain muscle, gain strength, have tons of energy, eat whatever I want, lose bodyfat, and lose weight all at the same time. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.....
Took my daughters to a church youth group party on Saturday night which I helped with. Played a lot of four-square, which I don't think I've played since I was in elementary school. Woke up the next morning and had sore muscles. I don't usually wakeup sore from my regular exercises or walking, but playing 4-square must've made me use muscles that I don't normally use or in a way that I don't normally use them. It was a fun night and my younger daughter enjoyed knocking me out of the game numerous times.
Progress as of today: 105.2 lbs lost so far, only 18.8 lbs to go!
Sunday, church, no exercise, but still on 1 gallon of water / 2000 calorie max for the day.
After finishing yesterday's entry, I put off the walk by doing some other tasks. Finally started my 3 mile walk for the day mid-morning. Decided to try stepping it up a notch and jogged for the first couple minutes at a 10 minute mile pace, which is what it'd take to get my daily 3 miles down below 30 minutes per day. Slowed down when side started to hurt. Walked another couple minutes, then jogged until side started hurting again (about 30 seconds). Continued that pattern throughout the rest of the 3 miles. Completed the 3 miles in 40:52 today. Prior to today I was averaging 3.7mph, so 3 miles was taking approximately 48-49 minutes. Near the end the side pain wasn't coming back as quickly and I actually jogged for a minute or two straight near the end. Felt good about myself for stepping it up some. Decided to tape a table / chart to the treadmill so that I can record my daily times for the 3 miles in an attempt to motivate myself to progress.
Today I can finally take a deep breath again. All of both daughters sports seasons are finally over. Most other of their extended commitments have also ended. Prom was yesterday. Other than end of school year stuff, we should have some spare family time at a more relaxed pace. It started last August with daily volleyball practice and games for the youngest. September brought daily commitment for the older daughter in the form of Driver's Ed. Those both led directly into daily basketball practice and games for the older daughter. That bball season lasted a few months and just ended 1 month ago, but was directly followed by the younger daughter's basketball season. Final tournaments ended Friday. Next year will be easier without Driver's Ed and also because both girls will be on the same basketball team if they decide to play.
Progress as of today: 105.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!
Another successful day. This entry is more of a weekly recap for myself.
One other "CON" I've noticed from my weightloss over the past year is that my tailbone hurts due to the loss of some of that cushion from the "cheeks". I broke my tailbone years ago while skiing and it took about 6 months to mostly heal. There after it never really caused any real pain. But now that I have less natural padding it can get very uncomfortable at times depending on the seating surface. I've tried various pads and they all work to some extent, but none have been 100% comfortable.
Daily 1 gallon of water is now easily accomplished each day. Staying under 2000 calories per day has been straight forward and I'm on a 24 day streak of not going over. I haven't been losing weight and the scale has been showing the body fat % as being pretty much the same too.
I think I'm building strength / muscle. But if I am gaining muscle and the weight is staying the same, then the body fat % should be dropping. Since the numbers on the scale have been pretty stagnant as of late, I've been thinking about dropping the calorie allowance lower. But then I think that if I drop the daily calories it might hamper the strength / muscle building. I guess I'll just wait and see what another couple weeks at 2000 calories ends up producing.
Exercise has been successful.
WALKING - 6x per week I've been doing the daily 3 mile walk, but lately they've become monotonous. I watch stuff on my tablet while walking, but have run out of stuff to watch that I'm interested in. It's done at a brisk walking pace and takes approximately 50 minutes right now. I know that if I would just progress to jogging it would be done and over with in less time. While I would love to someday get it down to only taking 30 minutes for 3 miles, I really don't have any desire to transition from walking to jogging at present. I'm sitting here writing up this post in part because I'm stalling. I know I'll get my 3 mile walk in today, but really don't feel like it........
PUSHUPS - 3x per week - 5 sets of 10 with feet on chair - Not really straining the chest muscles as much as I'd like. Thinking about adding weight or possible higher incline for the feet. Might have to change to doing bench presses, but have always really hated that exercise and don't really feel like buying equipment that I've bought and sold several times over the past decades.
PULLUPS / CHINUPS - 3x per week - 5 sets of 10 with assistance bands - Was at the same assistance band for the past 6 weeks slowly building up to the full 5 sets of 10. Just switched this week to a lower assistance band and things have gotten much more difficult. I also have started testing my unassisted pullups / chinups each Tuesday before regular workout. This week saw new records of 4 unassisted pullups in a row and later 7 unassisted chinups in a row.
PLANKING - 3x per week - have been doing 5 minutes total - 2.5 minutes of normal with 2.5 minutes split between left and right side planks - It's still a challenge, but have been thinking that I'm getting more used to it now. So decided to up the normal plank to 3 minutes and split an additional 3 minutes between left / right side planks. Did it successfully this morning, so the new plan is 6 minutes 3x per week.
DIPS - 3x per week - have only been doing them for a couple weeks. The assistance band I started with allowed me to progress to the 5 sets of 10 pretty quickly, so I dropped to a lower assistance band and it became more difficult again. It might be that it's the newest exercise added, but I actually kind of enjoy doing them right now. Maybe it brings back good memories from my younger years where they were one of my favorite strength exercises.
STAIRS - Monday through Friday 8am-5pm - I'm often times sitting at my desk working for extended periods of time. I've now got a smartwatch app that gives me an hourly warning if I haven't done at least 100 steps during that hour. If it goes off, I stop what I'm doing and go up and down the 1 flight of stairs a total of 10 times as quickly as possible (10 up / 10 down). It does work my legs, but is mainly just there to make sure that I'm not sitting in one position for extended periods of time.
KNEELING CHAIR - The kneeling chair has really helped with me remembering to keep better posture when sitting at the desk. It's not magic and you can still have bad posture with it. However it doesn't have arms or a back, so it requires you to balance yourself instead of just leaning on the back and / or armrests of a chair. That requires some small amount of additional core / ab / back work. Because of that, when I have bad posture I notice that the muscles tire quicker and it reminds me to correct. Again, it's not a magic cure, but is a tool that's working for me at present at not sitting with bad posture for hours upon hours.
Progress as of today: 105.1 lbs lost so far, only 18.9 lbs to go!
I started on a new diet exactly one year ago. I had just stepped on the scale and saw a much higher than expected weight number of "283". That was with very little clothing and was about 15 lbs heavier than I anticipated seeing. The diet, weightloss, bodyfat loss, fitness levels, etc have all been mostly successful over the past 365 days.
I wish I would've taken photos of my "before" weight, but at the time I was embarrassed and honestly didn't know that I was going to be able to stick with it. Why take photos if you're reasonably sure the diet isn't going to work anyway? The first month was going well and I lost approximately 15 lbs. While I was happy to record the loss, it was only to the weight that I already thought I was at. Each month after that saw a loss somewhere around 10 lbs. The only thing I changed about my life was I started recording every bit of food that I ate everyday and kept at a daily calorie budget that was around 1000 calories below my daily break-even calories. At 283 lbs, the breakeven was around 3300 daily calories, so initial daily calorie budget was around 2300 calories. As I lost weight, the number of course worked itself lower. At any time during the journey I could've taken photos, but didn't for whatever reasons.
The first 9 months all I did was stick to my daily allotted calories. Three months ago I slowly started introducing exercise to the mix. I've built up the daily exercise a decent amount with mostly body-weight strength exercises that take about 15 minutes per day. I've also started walking 3 miles per day on the treadmill, 6 days per week.
PROS Now 1 year later I'm down from 283 lbs to 177 lbs. Down from 45% bodyfat to 19% bodyfat. Went from a size 46 waist jeans to a size 34 waist. Went from having to pre-stretch a size 2XL shirt to being able to fit comfortably into a large shirt and sometimes a medium. Went from not able to do a single pullup over the past 44 years of my existence to being able to do 4 in a row as of yesterday. Now able to go on extended walks without being the first one tired out. Now not having to check the weight rating of ladders / furniture before using them. Now able to go on any amusement park rides without worrying if I'm over a weight limit or going to be able to fit. Now able to fly on an airplane without "spilling" over into the adjacent seat area.
CONS Shaving my face isn't as easy since my neck is less full of fat and now has additional creases. I'm always cold now. I went from wearing shorts and a t-shirt many days in winter to wearing long pants, a couple of shirts, hoodie, and jacket all at the same time. The wife and kids don't enjoy the new temperature I prefer in the car when driving around. I don't know how the weightloss is going to affect my summer, but am looking forward to getting out of winter. Drinking boatloads of water means that I wake up at least once in the middle of the night, but I do usually fall back to sleep almost immediately.
OTHER My back pain didn't completely disappear. It does appear to have decreased and I'm now able to sleep through the night without waking up due to back pain. Everyone wants to know your secret to weightloss and how you did it, especially if they haven't seen you in awhile.
I'm sure there are other pros, cons, and other stuff that I'm forgetting and may go back and edit this entry as I remember them.
I did whip out the camera today to mark the 1 year progress even though I don't have official starting photos. I'm not at the finish line yet, but am making good progress and am still continuing to work towards various fitness goals that I'd like to attain.
I'm going to attach another post hopefully below this one with my 1 year progress photos and maybe some older photos if I can find some at various weights.
Progress as of today: 106 lbs lost so far, only 18 lbs to go!
Water intake used to be hard to accomplish, but is now routine to drink a gallon of water daily. I've got 2 water jugs that are 64oz each and I fill them each morning. First one is usually gone by mid-morning. Second one is gone by end of dinner. The morning one tends to go faster because I don't get to drink diet pop until I've finished it.
It's been 3 weeks since I switched to a higher daily calorie intake and I'm liking it. The progress is much slower, but things are still moving in the right direction. I'm not obsessing on food as much, so day to day life is more tolerable.
Saw a pizza delivery vehicle driving along last night and wondered how they were still in business now that I hardly ever eat it. It's probably my favorite food in the world and I used to eat it a couple times per week for decades. When I was younger I worked at a pizza place for years and ate it 5 times per week or more. Now it seems like I eat it once every couple months. I still love it, but it just doesn't fit into my current calorie budget plans. At the start of this diet a year ago, I thought about it all the time. I tried several low-cal or low-carb versions, frozen weight watchers version, and other substitutes. While they weren't bad, they just weren't the same. It became easier to just drop it from my routine. Seeing the delivery vehicle made me realize that I haven't craved or even thought about pizza much over the past few months.
In fact I don't really have any food cravings at present. I'm ok with the food choices we have in the house, portion control is the only thing I have to keep an eye on.
Note to self - the reason why today's post is more positive probably has to do with a slightly lower number on the scale this morning.
Progress as of today: 106.1 lbs lost so far, only 17.9 lbs to go!