Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hmmm...nothing clever for a headline today, but I'm still at it!

Yes, I made it to the end of Day 2 of my return to the healthy eating and weight loss.

But it's late, I'm tired, so I don't have a lot to say today, other than I'm on my way to 199!

Now, for my day:

Exercise
Cardio
Stationary bike
47 minutes
16 miles
575 calories

Food for the day

Breakfast
Coffee
Eggs -- 1 whole, 2 whites
Lean ham -- 1.5 ounces

Lunch
Ground Turkey -- 3.5. ounces
Rice -- 1/4 cup (nothing magic about a quarter-cup, other than that's all that was left)
Mixed veggies -- 1/2 cup
Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Snack
Blueberries -- 1/2. cup
Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Dinner
Ground Turkey -- 4 ounces
Mixed veggies -- 1/2 cup

Chicken -- 3 ounces (just a little snack)

Lean turkey patty
Sweet potato -- 5.5. ounces
Diet butter

Totals for the day
1,420 calories
55 grams fat
128 grams protein

Water -- 70 ounces
Diet soda -- 24 ounces

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Lost Month? Maybe...

Well folks, it's been a while since I wrote, and things haven't been going nearly as well as when I was writing every day.

I don't mean to suggest I've dropped off this fitness plan entirely, but I've been far from consistent over the past month, especially with the eating.

For a quick recap, on May 11 I weighed 238.2 pounds. Now, for a guy my height -- 5'10" -- with a generally medium-sized build, that's way, way, way overweight. However, it represented a 41-pound loss in just 9 weeks (well, okay, 9 weeks and 2 days). I recently went to see my doctor and she was amazed (my normal disclaimer goes here: for my family, who believe every time I mention the word "doctor" I must be suffering from a dozen different diseases and be on the list for a quadruple organ transplant, this was a regularly scheduled check-up).

Heck, the nurse kept asking me question after question after question about my eating, my exercise -- not out of professional curiosity either, she simply said whatever I was doing, she needed to do as well.

Over these past four weeks, though, I've not been eating terribly healthy, at least not with any consistency. I've fallen back into my old habits of eating badly for a few days, or eating healthy at work then eating bad at night. I went two weeks between cardio sessions at one point.

The long and short of it is I've gained back a bit of weight. I stepped on the scales this morning and was surprised at how much I'd put back on -- I weight 250.2 pounds. Yep, I've gained 12 pounds in four-and-a-half weeks.

Remember all those times I said I was the king of yo-yo dieting? THIS is what I was talking about. It's just so easy to fall back into old habits, and those old habits don't take long to wreck everything.

What frustrates me most is not just the fact that I'm 12 pounds heavier, but I'm 20 pounds heavier than I could have been at this point. Maybe more.

If I had just stayed the course, even with an off day every week, at the rate I was going I think it's safe to assume I would have continued losing 2 pounds a week or so, maybe more. It's not unreasonable to think I could be sitting here talking about being 230, 228, even 226 pounds at this point, That's still a fair bit off my goal of 199, but at that point it's within sight -- almost within reach.

Instead, I've still got 51 pounds to go. Heck, I'm closer to where I started (279 pounds) than my goal.

The news isn't all dire. I did get back in the gym last week for three full weight workouts, and two cardio sessions on Thursday and Friday. I played a little basketball yesterday and felt pretty good. Heck, I even managed a nice little acrobatic lawnmower maneuver yesterday that would put some Cirque Du Soleil performers to shame (and I discovered my mower turns a lot faster on sharp corners than I had anticipated). None of which I could have done three months ago.

So it's not as if I've fallen all the way back to where I started.

But I could, easily enough, I suppose, though that might be harder this time. I've said before one of the things that inspired me to do this blog as I make another attempt at losing weight and getting in shape was the Dude Who Ate Like The Rock for a month, Mark Webster. I thought it would be kind of fun to chronicle my successes -- and failures -- along the way.

I also thought that if I put this out there, writing most every day, it would be more difficult to fail because people would know who I am, know what I was doing, and know if I fell short. You know, it's not the failure that bothers us sometimes, but the idea that everyone knows we failed is most troublesome.

And guess what? It's kind of worked. Over the past week I think I've had about a dozen people who asked me what was up, what was happening, why haven't I been blogging. Even Mark, The Dude, sent me a tweet to check on how I was doing. The director of our gym, who follows my blog, ran into me the other day and asked. One of my sisters called me to see what was up with the missing blog. Several others, most of whom only know me from this blog, have done the same.

So, you know, if I'm not going to have to look down in shame every time I see these people, it's time to get back to it, which I started today. I've finally made it all the way through a whole day on my healthy eating plan, and I think one good, solid day will get me back on track. Now my goal is to see how fast I can get back to where I was at 238, and then charge on back toward my original goal.

Can I get back to that 238 in a week? Two?

We'll see.

But for now, here's what I did today.

Workout
(No cardio -- back's still a little sore from the lawnmower acrobatics)

Chest/shoulders/triceps

Chest
Dumbbell Bench Press
60 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps
85 pounds -- 2 sets, 8 reps each

Flat Bench Barbell Bench Press
185 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps
195 pounds -- 1 set, 8 reps (If we'd known the bench was going to be open so soon, we wouldn't have done the dumbbells).

Incline Barbell Bench Press
105 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps
115 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps

Flat bench dumbbell flys
40 pounds, 1 set, 10 reps

Shoulders
Seated Barbell Shoulder Press
95 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps
105 pounds -- 1 set, 10 reps

Machine rear delt flyes
125 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Machine seated side raises
110 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Triceps
Tricep cable pressdown
150 pounds -- 1 set, 12 reps
140 pounds -- 1 set, 12 reps

Seated Tricep Machine Dips
255 pounds -- 1 set, 15 reps

Machine Crunches
110 pounds -- 1 set, 20 reps

Eating for the day

Breakfast
Eggs -- 1 whole jumbo, 2 regular whites
Lean ham -- 1 ounce
1/2 cup blueberries

Lunch
Boiled chicken breast -- 4.5 ounces
Rice -- 1/2 cup
Mixed Veggies -- 1/2 cup
Sesame Seed Oil -- 1 teaspoon
Reduced Sodium Soy -- 1 tablespoon
Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Snack
1 cup red grapes

First dinner
Boiled chicken breast -- 4 ounces
Rice -- 1./2 cup
Mixed Veggies -- 1/2 cup
Sesame Seed Oil -- 1 teaspoon
Reduced Sodium Soy -- 1 tablespoon

Second Dinner
Lean ground turkey -- 4 ounces
Mixed veggies -- 1 cup

Snack
Raisin Bran -- 1 cup
Almond Milk (unsweetened) -- 3/4 cup

Totals for the day
1,380 calories
40 grams fat
132 grams protein

Water -- 74 ounces
Diet soda -- 24 ounces

That's it for the day! Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be back to this every day for a while now, so come on back!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I'm Still Around, Working Harder Than Ever...

Okay, that headline might be a slight exaggeration, but I AM still around, and still pursuing my weight loss and fitness goals.

I just took a little detour over the past week or so.

Of course, some of it was planned. I workout at the Carroll Wellness Center, and they were closed last week because of some rather significant upgrades the facility folks were making there. Virtually all of the cardio equipment has been replaced with nice, new, sleek-looking machines; the broken dumbbells and weights have been replaced, and we even have some new benches and other material.

Along the way, the folks there put in new flooring and painted the walls -- it's actually looking pretty slick looking in there, almost like being at a whole new gym.

Of course, that mean no working out last week. I did take a couple of shortish walks (20 minutes) and did a little bit of stationary biking one night with an old bike I had set up on a stand to keep it from taking off, but mostly last week was simply no exercise.

And since I wasn't working out, I might not have eaten as healthy as I should have.

I don't want anything to think I just lost it and ate a dozen tacos and a pound of hot wings every night. Most days last week I actually ate like I was still on the weight-loss plan during the day, and went off at night. Still, as much as I hate to admit it, I believe I picked up a few pounds last week. I was actually afraid to step on the scale this morning when I went back to the fitness plan fulltime.

Maybe I'll weigh myself tomorrow, I don't know.

Anyway, I'm back, full force, ready to spend the next 10 to 12 weeks seeing how close I can come to finishing off my goal of dropping 80 pounds. Even a week off isn't going to derail this -- I've come too far, and worked too hard, to fall completely off the wagon.

So today I was back, fully, and other than a birthday dinner coming up on Friday, I don't know that I'll be off the eating plan more than a couple or three times over the next couple of months.

So, here's the school on my day today -- because I haven't worked out in more than a week, I did take it easy, doing lighter weight and, in some cases, fewer sets. I'll be back to the my previous levels within a week or so.

Workout -- Chest, shoulders and triceps

Chest
Barbell bench press
135 pounds -- 10 reps
185 pounds -- 8 reps
205 pounds -- 8 reps
195 pounds -- 8 reps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
60 pound dumbbells -- 2 sets, 1 at 12 reps, 1 at 10 reps

Shoulders
Seated Barbell Overhead press
95 pounds -- 2 sets, 8 reps each

Seated machine side raises
95 pounds -- 2 sets, 12 reps each

Seated machine rear delt flyes
125 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Triceps
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Extension
60 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Machine Triceps Dip
255 pounds -- 1 set, 15 reps

Abs
Seated Machine Crunch
110 pounds -- 2 sets, 15 reps each

Food for the day
Coffee
Breakfast
Eggs -- 1 whole, 2 whites
Lean ham -- 1 ounce

Lunch
Whole Wheat Noodles -- 3.2 ounces
Boiled Chicken Breast -- 4 ounces
Mixed veggies -- 2/3 cup
Sesame Oil -- 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce -- 1 tablespoon

Snack
Seasoned Chicken Breast -- 4 ounces
Mixed greens salad
Fat Free Greek Yogurt

Dinner
Chicken breast -- 4 ounces
Sandwich bun
Cheddar Cheese -- 3/4 serving

Totals for the day
1,085 calories
27 grams fat
119 grams protein

Water -- 68 ounces
Diet soda -- 34 ounces

Wow, I haven't eaten much today, and I'm still hungry. I might have a little late-night snack before bed. If I do, I'll update everything.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bit of a Struggle Right Now

Okay, I didn't post my longish blog Sunday, the one were I said I was going to talk about a study that seemed to indicate fat people, like me, might be destined to be fat (which I refuse to accept). I didn't blog Monday, either.

The reason?

Well, truthfully, I haven't been doing so well.

Regular readers will recall about two weeks ago I completed 30 days of eating clean. I had intended to simply continue that, at least until the weekend, if not beyond, but my wife and youngest child showed up at the house with THREE LARGE Pizza Hut pizzas, I was starving, didn't have anything prepared, so at the end of Day 31 I broke the consecutive day clean eating streak.

No biggie, right?

That was a Thursday night. Friday was good, but that weekend I went off the diet both days. Then last week I was fine Monday through Friday, but ended up taking both Saturday and Sunday off the diet. Yesterday, Monday, I was doing okay -- probably even under-eating a little -- until I got home and, well, I didn't do so well last night either.

I've still been working out. Last week I did miss a couple of planned cardio sessions, but I did an extra one on Saturday, which is normally my off-day, and yesterday morning I was at the gym on the bike. And I definitely haven't been slacking with the weight training.

That's the way so many of my previous weight-loss efforts have gone, though. I'll do great for a few weeks, drop 15 or 20 pounds, then a bad weekend sends me going the other way, gaining weight, eventually ending up heavier than I was at the start.

I really don't want to do that again.

Truth is, I could quit now, if I could hold my weight where it is, and be much better off than I was when I starting this. Even after these past few days, I'm 42 pounds lighter than when I began. I'm healthier, stronger, smaller, and I feel much better. I've been amazed at how fast the weight dropped off, how much my strength and conditioning have improved in such a short time.

But when I started this, I said my goal was to lose at least 80 pounds. Bad stretch of days or not, I'm still chasing that 80-pound loss.

That's not the only reason I started this. When I'm done with the weight loss, I want to run a 5K (3.1 miles) in less than 30 minutes. That might be laughable to some, but back on March 9, when I started this, it would have taken me 15 to 20 minutes just to walk a half-mile, and I couldn't have walked a 5K. Even now, it would take me forever to finish a 5K course.

I want to hike to the top of the Peaks of Otter. For those of you not from around this area of Virginia, the Peaks is on the Blue Ridge Parkway, in Bedford County. There are two peaks there, one that's quite popular called Sharp Top that's about 3,800 feet. or so elevation, and the other is Flat Top, which is around 4,000 feet elevation. Both have hiking trails, with Sharp Top's trail listed at around 1.5 miles (though some say 1.3 miles). However long it is, it's one tough climb.

Not to overstate the case, it's not like you're climbing Mount Everest, but it's a continual upward climb, over a well-worn yet rough-terrain trail. One guide I found simply gives this warning: This is a steep and strenuous route and should be attempted only by those in good health.

I can recall climbing that trail a number of times when I was a kid and teen-ager. At the top are these huge house-sized boulders. I can recall once a friend of mine and I climbed atop those boulders and watched a thunder storm roll in below us, at lower elevations. Cloudy or clear, it has some incredible views, and I'd like to think I could climb back to the top again, probably some 25 or 30 years since the last time I did it.

Beyond that? I don't know. We'll see. But for now, I know I'm not going to do any of that by letting myself get derailed on this little weight loss effort.

For now, my immediate goals are to get back on the regular, every day healthy eating and working out (including cardio!). Later, we'll see about pursuing some of those longer-term goals.

Now, I'm not going to write down what all I've eaten over the past three days, but I do want to keep you updated on the workouts.

Sunday, May 22.
Legs
Squats
135 pounds -- 10 reps
185 pounds -- 8 reps
225 pounds -- 8 reps
275 pounds -- 6 reps
225 pounds -- 10 reps
205 pounds -- 10 reps

Leg press
400 pounds
2 sets, 10 reps each

Lying Leg curl
90 pounds
3 sets of 10 reps each

Standing Calf Press
500 pounds -- 2 sets of 10 reps each

Machine weighted crunch
125 pounds -- 25 reps

Monday, May 23
Cardio
Stationary Bike
45 minutes 16.25 miles
600 calories

And, that's about it for today. I'll be back on later tonight with a separate blog updating you on today's eating and working out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I'm Such A Slacker...

Two days without blogging...three days without cardioing (didn't know that was a verb, did you?)...yep, I'm slacking bad.

So that stops today.

I haven't fallen off the weight loss wagon, I'm still working out pretty hard with the weights, eating healthy, but I've fallen off a bit on the cardio and the blogging.

Part of that is something I've mentioned before -- planning. I cannot emphasize enough how important planning and preparation is, and doing things today with tomorrow in mind.

This may be a simplistic example, but here's what's tripped me up on my cardio this week. First, if you've been reading my blog, you know I did do some pretty long, hard cardio sessions Monday and Tuesday, so it's not as if I just stopped doing it. And Wednesday was a planned day of no cardio, so I guess missing two days isn't all that bad. Still, you can't make up for missing a workout.

Anyway, my problem was as simple as not going to bed early enough. I'm a natural night owl, and am definitely NOT a morning person. That was compounded a bit by working a lot of late-night editing shifts a few years ago, often working from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. (which meant getting to bed around 3 a.m.) It's been a few years since I worked that shift, but I've never gotten over it entirely, in that I'm still on that internal clock that doesn't want to go to bed until 1 or so in the morning. Heck, I've always been like that. My sisters tell me stories of when I was a little tiny kid, and I would stand up in my crib and bang my head on the wall until it would bruise (and then keep banging) just to keep myself awake.

So that's what's in my genes, folks. I just don't like going to sleep until late, late, late. My problem is, I need to do cardio in the early morning, before work. Since I started this I've mostly been able to force myself to hit the sack by midnight, maybe 12:30 at the latest, and I can crawl out of bed and go to the gym the next morning. But when I go to bed at 1, 1:30, or even later, it's pretty tough to get up early and go to the gym.

I know, I know, it all comes down to discipline, something I've handled pretty well since starting this back in March. But every once in a while, those old habits sneak back in. That was the case this week, at least Wednesday night and Thursday night, so no Thursday morning or Friday morning cardio (though I did do weight training both nights).

And today, Saturday, is usually an off day, but I went ahead and did a cardio workout this morning. So all-in-all it's not like I've missed a lot.

As for the blogging? Hmmm...I just ran out of time. We've had a couple of long days at work, stories that needed a little more attention in the editing process, other things coming along. Couple that with the fact I'm doing more writing in the world of fiction, and I've just been running short on time. Those nights I stayed up late I wasn't watching Netflix -- I was working.

For now I'll try to keep up the daily blogging-- it's a great way to keep track of my workouts and eating, and I get notes from people when I don't blog, so it's a good way to keep myself accountable.

Now, for the past couple of days...I'm going in reverse order here, so I'll start with today and work back to Thursday.

Today (Saturday)

Workout
Cardio -- stationary bike
46 minutes (25 on level 6, rest on level 5)
16.5 miles
600 calories

Eating -- well, I am taking today off on the eating, which doesn't actually mean I'm overeating. As of 1 p.m. I actually hadn't eaten anything yet, though as I write this I have two pieces of pizza next to me, so that's changing...

Friday
Workout
Back and biceps, minus the biceps because I've still been having more issues with the forearm.

Seated row -- regular grip
130 pounds -- 10 reps
200 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Wide-grip
160 pounds -- 3 sets, 10 reps each

Lat pulldowns
100 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Seated machine crunch
125 pounds -- 1 set, 20 reps

Eating for Friday
Breakfast
Coffee
Eggs -- 1 whole, 2 whites
Lean ham -- 1 ounc

Lunch
Low-fat ground beef -- 3 ounces
Frozen veggies -- 1/2 cup
Fat free Greek yogurt

Snack
Boiled chicken breast -- 4 ounces
Frozen veggies -- 1/2 cup

Dinner
Fish -- 4 ounces (I have had Salmon or Talipia every day this week, twice one day. I don't want any more fish!)
Rice -- 1/2 cup
Veggies -- 1/2 cup

Totals for the day
Calories -- 1,100
31 grams fat
118 grams protein
60 ounces of water
32 ounces diet soda

Thursday
Workout -- legs
Well, okay, it was an abbreviated leg workout, between the two main Sunday leg workouts.

Squats
135 pounds -- 10 reps
185 pounds -- 10 reps
225 pounds -- 2 sets, 10 reps each

Supersquat machine
180 pounds -- 10 reps
270 pounds -- 8 reps
360 pounds -- 8 reps

Standing calf press
450 pounds
2 sets, 12 reps each

Abs
Seated machine crunch
125 pounds -- 2 sets, 20 reps each

Food for Thursday
Breakfast
Coffee
Eggs -- 1 whole, 1 white
Lean ham -- 1 ounc

Lunch
Lean ground turkey -- 2 ounces
Veggies -- 1/2 cup
Rice -- 3/4 cup
Mozzarella cheese -- 1/4 cup

Snack
Chicken breast -- 3 ounces
Mixed lettuce and spinach -- 1 1/4 cup
Fat free Thousand Island dressing

First Dinner
Chicken breast -- 4 ounces
Veggies -- 1/2 cup
Rice -- 3/4 cup
Teriyaki Sauce -- 1 tablespoon
Sesame Seed Oil -- teaspoon

Second Dinner
Tilapia -- 4 ounces
Veggies -- 1/2 cup
Teriyaki Sauce -- 1 tablespoon
Sesame Seed Oil -- teaspoon

Totals
1,245 calories
35 grams fat
109 grams protein

Water -- 65 ounces
Diet soda -- 20 ounces

Okay, that's it for the Long, SuperDuper Thursday-Friday-Saturday blog! I'll have more tomorrow, including (if I get the time) some thoughts on a recent study that suggests fatness is...well, it's inevitable for some of us (though I refuse to accept that).

More on that tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

And the Wednesday Blog moves to Thursday...

Yep, in keeping with the week's theme of blogging a day late (and being far more than a dollar short), I bring to you the special Thursday edition of my Wednesday blog.

Same story -- busy with work, with writing, with working out, and next thing I know the clock's on the upward swing toward 1 a.m., so I didn't manage to get back online for my blog last night. I do PLAN to blog again tonight, but here's the quick scoop on how Wednesday went.

The workout today was particularly challenging. You know how some days you just have it, and some days you don't? Well, this felt like a "don't" day. I did increase my weight and reps some during the chest workout, but really seemed to run out of gas about the time I hit shoulders, so the rest of the night was a struggle, and I even fell off a bit on the weight or reps.

Workout
Chest, shoulders, triceps

Chest
Flat bench press
135 pounds -- 10 reps
185 pounds -- 8 reps
225 pounds -- 6 reps (yeah! My first time back to 225 pounds in a good, long time!)
210 pounds -- 8 reps
200 pounds -- 8 reps

Incline barbell press
135 pounds -- 8 reps
145 pounds -- 6 reps

Flat bench dumbbell chest flys
40 pounds, 2 sets, 10 reps first, 12 reps second

Shoulders
Seated Barbell Overhead press
95 pounds -- 8 reps
105 pounds -- 8 reps

Seated machine side raises
110 pounds -- 10 reps 1 set, 8 reps second set

Seated Rear Deltoid Flys
125 pounds -- 2 set, 10 reps each

Triceps
Tricep pressdown
160 pounds -- 10 reps
150 pounds -- 10 reps

Seated machine tricep dips
255 pounds -- 15 reps

And that's about it for Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by, and check back in later for the actual Thursday blog on Thursday. I'll get it done...really...I think...most likely...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Tuesday Blog on...Wednesday?

Okay, I know I said in my early "Miss Me?" blog yesterday I said I'd be back on later Tuesday to update that day's eating, exercise, and maybe say a thing or two about the rest of May. You know how it is, I got busy (doing some writing), and the next thing I knew it was late and I was simply too tired to stay up and blog.

So you get a short little Wednesday-only version of my Tuesday blog, to let you know what I ate yesterday and what workout I did. Nothing big.

For the workout on Tuesday:

Cardio -- stationary bike
60 minutes (known in some parts of the world as an hour).
21.75 miles (that's an odd figure to stop in, but remember, the gym bike is now measuring in kilometers, and I stopped at 35K).
800 calories burned

Eating for the day
Breakfast
Coffee
Eggs (1 whole, 2 whites)
Lean Ham -- 1 ounce

Lunch
Lean ground turkey -- 3 ounces
Bakes potato -- 4.5 ounces
Kidney beans -- 1/2 cup

Snack
Salad (1/2 cup kidney beans, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons salsa, on a lettuce/spinach mix)
Fat Free Greek Yogurt

First Dinner
Tilapia -- 4 ounces
Rice -- 1/2 cup cooked
Mixed veggies -- 1/2 cup

Second Dinner
Eggs -- 2 whole
Lean Ham -- 1 ounce
Whole Wheat Tortilla
1/2 tablespoon spicy mustard

Total for the day
1,340 calories
37 grams fat
118 grams protein

Water -- 60 ounces
Diet soda -- 28 ounces

And that's about it for the day, folks. Well, for yesterday. Back later with the Wednesday Blog on Wednesday.