Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slow-Carb Diet Weekly Update: January 31, 2012

I had every intention of sitting down and writing this update weeks ago, but I had nothing positive to say. Being completely honest, I haven't followed my plan very well. As a result, my weight and measurements either remained the same or increased. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed by my lack of improvement, but not surprised. I expected it.

On a positive note, I wasn't scarfing down tons of rotten food over the past few weeks, but I still made some poor choices. Instead of eating chicken, legumes, and veggies, I had a pretty consistent diet of Subway and Quizno's with my favorite bag of jalapeno chips on the side. I'm not proud of myself for giving in to the temptress of soft warm bread, but I have to tell you that it was GOOD!

Slowly, I weaned myself off the bread and made certain I had a few bags of chicken in the office freezer. That's an important step in my recovery. Arm thyself with the proper resources and feed the hunger before it's hungry. I'll go into more detail on that in a moment. First, let's take a look at my measurements.

Measurements
  • Weight: 258 lbs [-8 lbs]
  • Height: 6' 2"
  • Age: 37 
  • Body Fat: 18.6% [-3.2%
  • Chest: 44.25" [+0.25"]
  • Waist: 43.5" [+0.75"]
  • Arms: 16.5" [-0.25"]
  • Shoulders: 52.0" [-0.50"]
  • Forearms: 14" [0.0"]
  • Neck: 16.0" [-0.50"]
  • Hips: 46.0" [0.0"]
  • Thighs: 26.0" [-0.50"]
  • Calves: 17.5" [-0.50"]
  • Stomach: 46.0" [-0.50"]
After reviewing my numbers this week, I'm pretty happy with the results. Losing 8 pounds is encouraging, although I'm not putting all my eggs into that basket alone. To me, it tells me that I'm doing something right and that I should continue. 

Making it back into the 250 pound range feels much better than living in the 260's. I anticipate losing another significant amount of weight over the coming weeks, which should put me back in the upper 240's. Once I'm back there, I anticipate the weight loss will slow down and plateau. To break that issue, I'll need to increase my cardiovascular activity.

Another observation, after looking at the numbers, I see my upper body appears to lose inches before my mid-section. This seems like the natural order of things for me. Along with gaining weight during the first weeks of working out, the rest of my body loses inches before my stomach and waist. Thankfully, my stomach wasn't holding up the process this week. Although, I'd really like to see my waist fall in line soon.   

Physical Activities
As of last week, my son and I stopped at 3 exercises per muscle group. I did that because we're running out of time at night and the lack of resources in the gym.

My local gym closes at 8 pm, which leaves us about 45 minutes to weight train and do cardio. That's not enough time to push 5 exercises right now.

Additionally, our gym doesn't store the numerous machines, benches, and heavy weight I typically use in the other location. For now I'm ok with that, but soon I'll have to go back to the big boy toys.

One other thought I've been rolling around in my noggin' is to consider moving my weight training to the morning and using the evening for cardio (or vice versa). This could potentially give me the time I need to fit 2-3 more exercises into my day while also avoiding evening distractions (i.e. meetings, Boy Scouts, etc.).

Without further ado, here are my latest numbers in the gym. Essentially, my muscles are getting stronger and I'm able to lift more. I'm not where I was last year, but all of that will change soon enough.

Tuesday (Chest) 
  • Bench Press: 135x12, 145x10, 155x8, 165x6, 175x3
  • Incline Bench Press: 105x12, 115x10, 125x8, 135x6, 145x3
  • Machine Fly: 96x12, 108x10, 120x8, 132x6, 144x4
Wednesday (Legs)
  • Barbell Squat: 145x12, 165x10, 185x8, 205x6, 225x4
  • Leg Curl: 72x12, 96x10, 120x8, 144x6, 156x4
  • Leg Extensions: 72x12, 84x10, 108x9, 120x7, 144x4
Thursday (Back)
  • Barbell Bent Over Row: 160x12, 170x10, 180x7, 180x5, 180x4
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 130x12, 140x10, 150x8, 160x6, 170x4
  • Machine Row: 72x12, 96x10, 120x8, 132x6, 144x4
Saturday (Shoulders)
  • Barbell Shoulder Press: 65x12, 75x10, 85x8, 95x4, 105x4
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 5x12, 7x10, 10x8, 15x6, 17x4
  • Bent Over Raises:
Sunday (Arms)
  • Barbell Curl: 60x12, 70x8, 70x7, 70x4, 70x3
  • Barbell Triceps Extension: 40x12, 50x10, 60x8, 70x4, 70x3
  • Dumbbell Curl:
Meals
As I shared earlier, my meals have been a mixture of Subway and Quizno's with a side of jalapeno chips. However, when I do follow the rules I eat the good stuff below.

Meat
  • Chicken breast: I eat Tyson's grilled chicken because it's convenient and tasty. More recently, I fell in love with their breast chunks, which are perfectly suited for my busy lifestyle. Overall, I find that I'm most successful in losing weight when I have bags of Tyson's grilled chicken handy.
  • Eggs: At least once per day, typically for breakfast or dinner, I eat between 6-10 scrambled eggs per meal. For color and flavor, I leave two egg yolks in the mix.
Legumes 
  • Red Beans: I cook from a can.
  • Black Beans: I cook from a can.
Vegetables
  • Broccoli: I'm eating a lot of broccoli.
  • Cauliflower: When I'm not eating broccoli, I'm eating frozen cauliflower. 
Beverages
  • Water: I haven't measured my water intake but I'll do better this week.
  • Red wine: I'm drinking around 2 glasses per day.
  • Coffee: Pulled out the coffee maker and returned to my daily mug.  
Observations & Recommended Changes
Overall, I'm pleased with my most current measurements. Although, I know that I can do better.

Consistent Workouts
My workouts have been sporadic and I'm not working every muscle each week. Trying to do a week's worth of exercises during the weekend isn't going to work, so I need to find a time that will allow me to do what I need to do. Right now, it looks like the morning time is my best bet. Unfortunately, this will affect my son's participation because he leaves for school early in the morning.

Keep Food Reserves Stocked
One of my weakest moments of the day is after work. I can skip breakfast (not advised) and make it through lunch without eating, but that leaves me ravenous and vulnerable to bad choices in the evening. To avoid this temptation, I just need to keep my freezer filled with bags of chicken and vegetables. Also, I need to make time in the morning to eat breakfast and do lunch before going home.

Report Often
Regardless of my progress, I need to share my weekly report. This means that during both good and bad times, I must report my numbers and related activities. While I've tried writing on Friday and then Monday, I think Wednesday is probably my sweet spot because I'm far enough removed from my cheat day (Friday or Saturday). Additionally, knowing that you're watching my progress means I'll make better choices. I need to be accountable to someone, ya know?

Closing Thought
Well, I think that just about covers everything. It's not a perfect couple of weeks, but it is what it is. With my next doctor appointment scheduled for mid-March, I have to buckle down and make some significant improvements in my health before he puts me on blood pressure medicine. I'm not trying to go that route.

Finally, thanks for reading and hanging out with me during this awkward transformation. Until next week...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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