February going by fast, almost Spring!

February 17, 2009

If you have been following along, I’m still around 180 pounds at 6 feet 2 inches. Normal BMI.  Exercising three times per week with weights, and doing steady-state cardio 1-3 times as time permits. Work has gotten busier, and I have been eating a little more than usual. Probably some combination of winter blahs, job related stress, and increased muscle driving my metabolism to burn a little hotter than in past months.

I’m following a program from Tom Baechle & Roger Earle’s fantastic Fitness Weight Training.  Except for an editor naming the programs “Body Sculpting” and the like, the information is solid and conservative. It isn’t single set to failure, which is an effective and sensible way to train. However, I decided to add volume to my workout, and periodize variables, to see how I respond. If you are thinking about starting to exercise, that book is written by two highly respected exercise scientists, who have held leadership positions in national organizations. They have program descriptions that allow you to use a variety of equipment, and nothing exotic that you won’t feel comfortable doing at your local fitness center.  If you are heading north of 50 years old, you might find that latest edition of Wayne Westcott’s Strength Training Past 50 to be useful instead.

So, the above program, plus a somewhat low calorie maintenance diet of mostly healthy foods (whole grains, 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables, nuts, making some attempt to reduce saturated fats  in meat and dairy) along with sensible lifestyle habits.  It’s working well.  I’m still going to try to tear it up and get down to around 170 lbs. by summertime just for the experience of having a near six-pack, but I am certain that will be a hungry ordeal.  Full details to follow, as they become available.

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Still here…

January 16, 2009

I’m still around, and doing well. Weight is around 178. I’m entering it into “Weight Bot” a cool iPhone tracking app.  I’ve started to add more volume to my workouts, in the form of some low-intensity cardio and a second set of strength training exercises.  I’m not sure where that will go, it’s an experiment.  Eating has been mostly on track. I’m eating much more in terms of vegetables now, but also more “cheat” meals.  That’s a wiggle word isn’t it? I’ll rephrase- I’ve had more frequent high-calorie indulgences, like pizza and BBQ than when I was trying to shed 50 pounds. For the most part, I can handle these without weight gain. Consistency with exercise seems to help with that. But mainly, not going on tilt after a single big meal. It’s important to get back to sensible eating right away.

I’m going to get back to regular posting. For some reason I get a fair number of visitors per day even when not writing, so it will be motivating to record what I’m doing and the results.  As you know, the “six pack” didn’t happen by January ’09.  I can see the top row of abdominal muscles, and when I was at my leanest (173 pounds) I could see a “four pack” with flexion.  I did get to a normal weight and a 32″ waist, and I’m happy with that. I’m trying to put on a little muscle and build up a track record of consistent exercise before I try to shed down visible abs.


Merry christmas!

December 25, 2008

Happy holidays everyone!

175 pounds this am before Christmas dinner. Writing from my iPhone – which I have had for a week. I’m loving it so far.


Update Sun 12/7

December 7, 2008

For those who have been stopping by, sorry about the lack of updates.

This morning, 173 pounds. The (worthless) Tanita scale has had me in single digit bodyfat for a while now, but I am guessing I am around 10%, looking fairly athletic with visible musculature.

Progress has not been too brisk, since I have been enjoying holiday food and dining out 1-2x per week.  I seem to have a little outpost of adipose tissue over my mid-abdominal region which is dissapointing. I can see the upper set of abs now, but I think I would have to get to a crazy level of lean to get rid of that little “pooching” over the mid-trunk.

I’m reading Sharkey’s Fitness and Health right now, which is basically an Exercise Physiology 101 text. I’m not sure how it will shape my training in the new year yet. Dr. Dan asked a while back what I thought of In Defense of Food and I have to say that it was just OK.   I’m still a fan of Willett for a 200 page overview of what is known via science and epidemiology about what it means to eat healthy. He’s an honest writer, and you can read between the lines on carb intake, but he doesn’t run off into speculation. Marion Nestle’s What to Eat was better than IDoF because it delves just enough into food marketing and politics while still touching on the health aspects. It’s written (like IDoF) from a U.S. middle/upper-middle class urban perspective. Take that as you will, but it sure gets entertaining at times.

I’ve read all the usual: Protein Power, New Diet Revolution, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and more.  I’ve followed Art DeVaney for years, and I’ve read lots on Crossfit and paleo eating. It all makes a lot of sense, and maybe it’s ideal. That doesn’t make it practical or even possible for most people. Most people’s access to food resources don’t allow a good simulation of ancestral foods. Most people also live in the real world of going out with friends and eating with non-orthorexic family members. In my opinion, getting active and controlling one’s propensity for overweight do not at all require experimental or fringe methods, or withdrawal from mainstream living. If someone eats right (avoiding chronic calorie poisioning and indulging in calorie bombs too often) and lives an active life, and wants to experiment with paleo, and has the money and time to track down grass fed meats and a cornucopia of local vegetation, I think it’s great.

Apologies for the ranting, just some thoughts this morning. I’m heading out for Dim Sum!


Sun Nov 23

November 23, 2008

175 pounds this AM.  I must have been a little dehydrated. I had some BBQ today, and some Mexican yesterday, and I’m drinking a ton of water now. I’m sure I’ll be up a little by the morning.  I have Thanksgiving holiday plans with family, which, as for many, involve consuming tasty foods in large quantities.  Stay tuned for the outcome.


Update 11/18 (Tues)

November 18, 2008

179.4 today.  I enjoyed some of the local culinary culture over the weekend, korean BBQ and a new bakery-cafe with delicious goods and the best coffee I have had in a long time.  Didn’t take me too far off track, I was back to my usual the next day.


Sun Nov 9 Update

November 9, 2008

Weight: 180.6 pounds

Still on track.  Recently read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  Before that it was: Eat Drink and Be Healthy, What to Eat, The CR Way, and The Longevity Diet. They primed the intuition pump a bit better about what healthy eating means.  I’m making some small changes already, I’ll update the plan when I see what works.

I’ve started a new 6 week exercise cycle:  leg extension, leg curl, seated chest flyes, seated row, seated overhead press, dumbell hammer curls, triceps pushdown, crunch machine.  Not making fast progress, probably due to low calories. I thought about doing more exercises 2x/week, but since I just took out leg press for this cycle, it is less taxing systemically.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m probably not going to go below 170 lbs., so it will be time to increase the calories soon enough.  I’m thinking I’ll start that in the New Year, after the holiday splurges.