Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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Once upon a time there was a kid, he was your average kid growing up in your average not so great neighborhood but for the life of him he didn't know it. Every day he would play outside, ride his bicycle around the neighborhood and get into his share of kid trouble but it was just what it was and nothing out of the ordinary as far as he was concerned. Somewhere around 5th grade some of the other kids noticed that he was bigger than they were and when I say bigger I mean slightly, sure he was a good deal taller than most of them and a little bit chubby but not really what one would call a fat kid yet its the tag that was applied. Years went by and the neighborhood stayed the same for the most part, it was getting worse but since it was gradual he didn't notice really, it was just the neighborhood and this was much like the boy. Being called the fat kid was just how it was, like that bad neighborhood its how we see things that make them what they are because to that kid it was his playground yet looking back I know the neighborhood for what it really is and was now.
That kid grew up knowing not some of the things that were not so good about his neighborhood because it was normal to him, its where he grew up and its where he lived so he never really knew anything else. That kid grew up with the tag "fat" attached to him and because of that it is and was just normal day to day that he was the fat kid of the group. Imagine that, knowing nothing other than being the fat kid, even when that kid wasn't really fat he had that title embroidered into his persona for better or worse. Sometimes I think about that kid and about how things may have been a little different if not for that, if that stigma of being the fat kid hadn't been attached perhaps he wouldn't have walked the path of the more rotund. I know that that kid never knew anything but being "the fat kid" of the group because that kid was me, I don't have a memory of not being the biggest one in the group, I mean sure I have a cousin that was also big but since I had him by a few pounds I got to wear the badge.
Right now I am as small as I have been in 20 or more years, I am healthier right now than I have ever been and I still have that tag of being fat. This doesn't bother me like it use to, It doesn't bother me because I know that I am doing what I need to do to get down to a healthy weight and get rid of that "fat" tag. This afternoon in the gym I was lifting weights and caught a glimpse of myself in one of the full length mirrors and thought "I need to get there and I will feel like I am getting somewhere" and almost as fast as the thought popped into my head I realized that I was there because it was my image staring back at me. After realizing that it was me in the mirror I immediately started seeing the flaws instead of the "I need to get there..." that was just floating in my head, its like a tennis match for me, I go from feeling like I have completely changed but have I? if I keep falling back to that "fat guy" feeling?
With all of that said I know that physically I am a different person than I was at 500 plus pounds, I say physically but mentally I am different too because the current mindset that I carry around would never let that kind of weight return to my bones..ever. I suppose its all about perspective because catching a glimpse in a mirror and thinking that I need to get to that and then realizing that I am there causes nit picking and finding faults it would seem that there is still some soul searching to do within myself and I bet that a lot of people that have worn these shoes feel the same way about it.
My workout at the gym was good, 45 minutes on a stationary bike and about an hour and fifteen minutes with the weights and that is a far stretch from a one third of a mile walk around a block which is what made for a hard workout in the beginning, I am leaps and bounds away from that former version of myself and its time that I start giving myself full credit for the effort.
That's all I got for today and it is what it is.
Monday, October 25, 2010
When I began down this road to better health back in 2008 I was a 500 plus pound guy that was in pain from the second he woke up to the second that he fell asleep, I couldn't walk a quarter of a mile and was unsure how long that pace could be kept, In a word I was scared. The way that I ate on a daily basis was as I see it today disgusting, sacks full of processed greasy food one after the other while I attempted to fool myself that it wasn't that bad. That person was me, I wore those shoes and walked them daily, When I think back to then and who I was compared to who I am today it is unbelievable that I allowed it. Over the weekend I how do you say? Busted ass with my workouts and stuck to my calorie allowance stricter than a boarding school teacher having a bad day. Saturday I did 45 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym averaging 99RPM's which was awesome and I was so close to getting that 100 RPM average that I have been hunting, after the bike I did an hour weight lifting routine and as I type this am still feeling my chest. Sunday I was feeling it and was deciding on whether I would go to the gym or take a bike ride and Wify came up with the idea of a hike, We ended up hiking part of the bike trail that I ride and ended at 5 miles total for the day.
The guy that struggled to walk a quarter mile now hikes 5 miles for fun, an old stationary bike bought off of craigslist that kick started some extra movement has turned into mid to high 90's RPM rides on gym stationary bikes and being held back by weight isn't something that I get down with any more. I can't tell you what exactly it was that did it, and what worked for me was simply sticking to the plan that I made for myself and I know that this sounds like I am simplifying things but eat less move more is pretty much what I did. I set a goal for myself and tried to stick to that plan, The things that I do these days that come naturally to me are the things that I had to train myself to do back when I was a couple hundred pounds heavier. Reaching for a piece of fruit instead of a grip full of cookies or potato chips is what I do now, I rarely miss a day where I do at least something physical for exercise verses back then it was rare for me to miss a day with the PS2 controller in my hand, I much prefer the trails and the gym to killing Notorious Monsters in Final fantasy 11 online.
My intake limits are now 2000 calories per day and I am still struggling to get there on some days, Saturday I was ok but on Sunday I only made it to 1885 total and somewhat forced calories for the day. Last night we made turkey sandwiches for dinner last night and half way through my second sammie which were made on Deli slims I was very full, I finished the sandwich and looked at my excel sheet only to find out that at 6:30 pm I had nearly 500 calories left for the day. Adjusting to the new 2000 calorie limit that I have now is odd to me because I have been eating 1700 for the last couple years and that number is whats sort of ingrained into my head and its just natural for me to feel when I have reached that limit. I changed my excel sheet to reflect the 2000 calorie budget now and am still taking double takes when I input numbers because the remaining balance of calories always looks high to me now.
Ounce upon a time 2000 calories stuffed into a brown bag with greasy corners and cellophane wrapped processed meats was a single meal, perhaps even a before meal snack in some instances and here I am struggling to get myself up to 2000 for an entire day because of habit. My life has changed in so many ways that I couldn't even begin to tell you all of them because I am sure even I don't know how completely different things are for myself. However it's cut I am glad that I am here and not there right now in my life, I have no clue who said this but even though I am not quite there I have to agree with it these days "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" I guarantee that it was someone who was formerly fat that created that gem. Being able to remember how 500 plus pounds felt compared to where I am now is night and day and I can only imagine what 275 pounds will feel like because the last time I was there I was not even a teenager. What does thin feel like? that question will go unanswered by me for now but I can tell you that "thinner" is more than an amazing feeling when 500 is the number that you started at and I honestly appreciate everything that I am able to do now because of the hard work.
With that the end will come to this episode of as the fat guy turns, I'm off to see the wizard or at least the stationary bike and some weights so for today? That's all I got.
Friday, October 22, 2010
It has come once again, the time to step onto the scale for the blog again so lets get to that straight away and then we shall talk about my weight lifting from yesterday. Upon stepping on the scale I saw something that was not unexpected yet at the same time was bleh, the display flashed a 330.2 and that was that a .2 gain this week but in all honesty I am not too worried about it as it is in fact down from when I started the 2000 calories per day. No worries and I am pretty confident that next weeks weigh in number will be a good one, I upped my calories this week to 2000 per day and if that is added to the fact that I lifted yesterday I am sure the number is padded this morning if only slightly. My calories for the day were higher than expected by 100 because of a miscalculation and a spontaneous idea from the Wife lady to get a small cone from Dairy queen as a treat after dinner, i for whatever reason remembered that a small cone was 120 calories but when I checked after getting home it turns out that it is actually 230. Grand total for the day was 2100 which isn't too bad but I will be shooting to hit 2000 on the button all weekend, here is a look at yesterdays menu.
2 cups honey combs 220
1 cup 1% milk 110
1 banana 105
1 Dark chocolate & Strawberry Zone bar 180
5 whites 1 whole 145
4 turkey sausages 140
4oz potato 100
smart balance 25
olive oil 25
1 T peanut butter 95
1 banana 105
Turkey subway 580
small DQ cone 230
My trip to the gym was a good one and I tried out the 5x6 program a bit just to see how it felt and I wanted to see what weight range I would need to use and I feel it today. I did the 5x6 on the seated row machine, preacher curl machine, triceps push downs and leg press machine and found out that I need to add weight to the seated rows and preacher curls and need to lessen the weight on my leg press and triceps push downs. I sort of did an all over workout yesterday hitting my back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and legs and I like to do that kind of workout on Fridays because I have two days off between my next weight training day so adding push and pull exercises feels ok to me. Before I lifted I rode the stationary bike for 25 minutes at a 96 RPM average pace which always gets me warmed up nice, after the lifting I did a brisk walk on the treadmill with a 5.0% incline @ 3.5 MPH for 15 minutes to finish up the day, I was going for 20 but after leg pressing 410 pounds I was feeling it in the ol legs. Over all it was a good solid workout and I got to test out my capabilities with the 5x6 plan that I am implementing and come Monday I will have fine tuned the workout on paper even further and will start working muscle groups together.
Even though the scale showed a .2 gain this week I am feeling good about how things are progressing and with the new lifting plan being tossed into the mix I am expecting some decent losses to come in the next few weeks. There is always the possibility that I will stall here at this weight for a week or two and I am prepared for that but at the same time I couldn't imagine the stall lasting for too long because doing the math I am at a deficit with my calories in vs out and remain very active. I for the most part eat a lot of whole foods with the random treat of an ice cream cone tossed in and that should equate to losses in weight and gains in strength, of course I am not a doctor so I could be wrong but I have a hunch that I'm right on track. My weight has come down daily from Monday until this morning and I am expecting to show a loss tomorrow morning when some of the swelling from yesterdays weight lifting session goes down. The plan is to hit the gym both days this weekend as I have been skipping the weekends for gym workouts and they will both be cardio days, Monday will be weights and cardio and the perpetuation of my drive will go from there.
What the week to come will bring me I am unsure but I will make the best decisions where my intake is involved, I will workout with the weights as well as getting in cardio each and every day and my fate will be decided on those terms, my terms.
That's all I got.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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Yesterday I mentioned that I am going to raise my calories to 2000 per day and after adding that 300 calories to my allotment I have to say that it feels like a lot of food to me! I have been eating 1700 calories per day for the last two and a half years and changing it isn't easy for me, I feel like I am over eating even though my menu was awesome for the day, I still feel like its too much but I suppose that's the mental side of it. My day ended with a grand total of 2065 calories and I drank a whey protein shake to make up that balance and I am unsure if it is in my head but I felt really good yesterday over all, Here is a look at yesterdays menu.
2 cups honey combs 220
1 cup 1% milk 110
1 mango 120
pecan zone bar 190
1/2 T Miracle whip 25
2.5oz deli turkey 75
1 deli slim 100
1 can Progresso clam chowder 220
sesame candy 45
1 apple 100
5 egg whites 1 whole egg 145
6 turkey sausages 220
6.5oz potato 165
smart balance 25
olive oil 25
8oz 1% milk 110
1 scoop whey protein 130
The gym was good yesterday as well, I did 25 minutes on the stationary bike with an average RPM of 96 and then 25 minutes on the treadmill at 5% incline and 3.6mph pace. Today is a weight lifting day for me and I may change that because of the fact that I weigh in for the week on Fridays and though it should all even out in the end I did mean to lift on Wednesday this week but because of my hike on Monday it got switched. With my weight lifting I need to finish writing myself a solid program and start strictly following it because right now I am just working muscle groups together but its different every time and I am using a weight that feels comfortable depending on where in the program an exercise falls. Back more than a few years ago when I was in my early 20's I had a handle on things like writing workout programs and had myself all set up, I even wrote workout plans for other people from time to time but this time around I am finding it a bit difficult to get something together that I like.
I use a pyramid style workout program which means that I do 5 sets of 6 reps, sometimes 7 depending on the movement and at the end I throw in a light set to failure just to finish myself off. I haven't been following the pyramid style program lately but starting Monday it is what I will go to because its how I have always seen results, an example of how it works is this. I will use preacher curls as an example.
Warm up 12 reps with a light weight
1st set - 75 pounds x 6 reps
2nd set - 90 pounds x 6 reps
3rd set - 105 pounds x 6 reps
4th set - 90 pounds x 6 reps
5th set - 75 pounds x 6 reps
Failure set - 50 pounds to failure.
You would of course use a weight that you can handle, I used roughly what I estimate that I will be using for the example. Normally I choose a weight range that makes the 4th set a struggle to complete and you should be able to do the max weight or third set to completion without too much issue, If the final set is a real struggle or you need a hand to finish the 6th rep that's probably the weight you will want to use. In the past I have had great results using this pyramid style workout and it will be the back bone of my lifting starting on Monday, I wanted to condition my muscles a bit before I got back into more serious lifting but now that I am not overly sore after my weight training workouts its time to implement whats worked in the past for me. I generally use this method as long as I am seeing gains in strength and when it slows down I go to a more traditional three to four sets of ten reps for a couple weeks and go back to the 5x6 plan when that feels easy with whatever weight I was using.
Something else that I am going to be adding to my workouts is going to be a daily core exercise because in all honesty it is one of the places that I don't work out specifically on any kind of regular basis. Riding a bike out in the trails works my core for sure, some of the weight lifting works the core secondarily or even thirdly but I rarely ever do what I would call a "core workout" and that will change beginning Monday along with the more serious strength training routine. My core training workouts will be a lot of calisthenic movements along with a personal challenge to complete as many crunches as I can and I will create goal numbers to reach each month that will hopefully grow every month as I get stronger.
I still have a good amount of weight that I want to lose but because of the success that I have had so far I have some skin that I am not diggin' on too, I believe that I can enlarge my muscles to take care of a lot of the "sag" in certain places so that will become my secondary goal for my health. Eventually I hope to make the weight training my main goal as the weight issues become more of a maintenance thing and we shall see if I can get myself back into some kind of a muscular build to offset some of the collateral damage that the 500 pound version of me left behind.
Now that you used your entire morning reading my longer than usual post you deserve a big ol glass of H2O so grab that and I will be on my way as I have to get to the gym and show my body that it has no choice in what happens. Thanks for following along with this fat dude getting slimmer and healthier and for today, That's all I got.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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Changing things up just slightly enough to mess me up or to kick start something into working again, I am going to try upping my calories to 2000 per day which is 300 more than I am currently eating. The reason for the change is that I am weight lifting more than I was in the past and am finding myself hungry, "so what fat man? we all get hungry and that's why we're fat! because we give in!" well...sort of. I have not felt hungry for most of my weight loss, meaning that I have not struggled to not eat something because of that grumbling in my gut, that is until recently since I've started weight lifting more seriously and I am in the belief that I may be starving my muscles calories that they need to do what I want them to. I have been on 1700 calories just about from day one and am down more than 200 pounds because of that but I am now changing what I am doing because of the taking weight training more serious so I think that its time to switch it up goals be damned.
"Goals be damned? what are you talking about man??" By changing my calories I run the risk of actually gaining a little weight but in the interest of the long term I gotsta try it just so that I know. My wife proposed that I do the 2000 calories per day for a whole month before I give up on the idea so that will be the plan for me, I am going to attempt to stay with this higher calorie allowance for the whole 30 days and if it works it shall be adopted as my new allowance, if not? back to 1700. Something that I attribute to my success with losing and keeping off 200 plus pounds is the way that I have never over analyzed the weight loss, I look at it very simple move more, eat less and drink my green tea and that's it! I don't ever want to over complicate my health or eating plan because then it becomes a chore and eating/exercising/health should not be a chore no matter which direction we take it.
Loving the colors.
Part of the hiking trail that we took Monday uses the bike trail to connect the more wooded parts of the hike, this is one of the bike trails that I ride on.
Found this carved into a tree on the trail.
I enjoy eating the way that I do, I enjoy my workouts and I especially take pleasure in that post workout high that I get each and every time that get my ass moving. Figuring out the balance between how many calories will fuel my body as to build and keep muscle yet burn fat feels like a single colored, no patterned jigsaw puzzle to me but at least for the next month I will be at 2000 calories per day in an attempt to get things going full steam again. Switching up my exercise plan is on the menu as well, Monday Wify took the day off of work and came up with the idea of going on a hike together so that's what we did, we walked about a 4 mile loop with lots of uphill sections. My bike riding is always a favorite for me and then of course I have the gym but I am thinking about maybe a few times per week hitting the gym a second time later in the day for a second dose of cardio.
I am driven to get this last 50-60 pounds off to get down to my goal weight and will do whatever it takes to get there, If beating myself up at the gym and on the trails is whats going to do it then so be it. If I need to do this counter intuitive move and add 300 calories per day to my menu than I will give it a shot because the math makes sense because of the weight lifting and all of the biking I can probably afford the extra intake as long as it is healthy and not a "Hey! I have 300 extra calories give me that cake!" kind of thing.
In 30 days we will find out if this adding calories thang is going to work, I will continue to post the weigh in each Friday regardless of the new 2000 calorie menu and hopefully it continues to show losses throughout. Now that all of that is out there, the time has come for me to get some things around the house done so that I can get out to the gym or on a bike ride, so with that the end has come to todays broadcast of the emergency weight loss system, if this had been an actual emergency.......
Won't you join me in sweat on this fine October day?
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