Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Well, well, well Sparkfriends, hard to believe it has almost been 2 weeks since my last blog. But it has been an incredibly busy, incredibly relaxing, and incredibly surprising 2 weeks. I was all over the continental United States the first 2 weeks of the month, then this past week, we ventured out of the lower 48 for an Alaska cruise adventure.
It was just what we (I) needed, especially since the weather was freaking amazing (cool, dry, 60 degree temps, clear skies...icebergs in summer....WOW!)
(Day 2 morning view from our balcony)
(ice in the Tracy Arm fjord)
(woke up to this first thing in the morning in Skagway, AL)
And here's the amazing part....I ate like some medieval knight in a banquet hall....every single day....
....yet this morning, I weighed in 1.5 lbs less than when we embarked on the high seas!
Sheer madness I tell you....how can this be!?!?! Every morning I had 3 eggs, 8-10 slices of bacon, 3-4 sausage links, and smoked salmon with cream cheese. Lunches, dinners, snacks....I told myself I was on vacation dammit, no food logging, no worries, eat like the other 2000+ slobs on board. Eat everything, except....
No breads, no sugars, no pastries, no ice cream, no pizza, no desserts (well there was that one night I had a cup of chocolate, peanut butter pudding), but to everything else, a big YES!
And I felt great, certainly quite a bit fitter than 99% of my fellow passengers. As a matter of damn fact, I really enjoyed walking through the ship and seeing my rather flat belly and wide shoulders in those plentiful mirrors. When #2 son and I explored all the pools on the Lido deck, I felt wonderfully conscious of being a fairly fit 52-year old dad.....especially when I saw how so many of my younger (and older) peers lugged around some very uncomfortable looking bellies.
SWMBO was still recovering from her recent surgery, so we didn't take many adventurous treks (I wanted to fly a helicopter on to the glacier and go swimming in a glacial pool), so we made due with some canned tours and a whale watching boat ride (where we saw a dozen or so humpbacks doing what they called "bubble net feeding")
But mostly we just relaxed....my bodymedia fit armband tells me I slept a solid 8 hours a night, I read a bunch of books on the balcony as we cruised along the Tongass National Forest (I am surprisingly enjoying the "Game of Thrones" series), SWMBO & I went on a few dates to the campy shows and movies they had on board (we thought the "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was pretty funny though), and I hit their gym 5 days out of 7, even managing to get in 3 spin classes....which is pretty sporty when you're spinning a 30-lb flywheel as the floor beneath you lists 5-10 degrees in any given direction.
Today I'm off (we got home after midnight yesterday), tomorrow back to the office, where, from the e-mails on the berry, I can tell we've got a busy week coming up.
It did feel pretty good being totally unplugged from the net for a few days at a time.
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Alright folks, it's GO TIME!
This is the week our family has been revving up towards for a while. Here's the plan;
- Monday I fly to Vegas for some early morning meetings on Tuesday
- Tuesday afternoon, I fly back to FL, getting back around midnight.
- Wednesday, full up workday (and hopefully some ST Wed night)
- Thursday, early morning meetings here in FL, fly back to Vegas in the PM
- Friday, full day of meeting in Vegas (meanwhile SWMBO and #2 son fly to Seattle...more below)
- Saturday, I fly to Seattle, hook-up with SWMBO and #2 son
- Sunday, depart Seattle for a 7-day Alaska cruise!
We were all set to start our vacation together on Friday, I had booked tickets months ago, then my boss called and said, "Yeah, sorry dude, but you really need to be here in Vegas on the 20th"
Curses! I broke the news to SWMBO, she said, "Just go, we can handle it. Just make sure to give me the name & address of our hotel, and we're good to go!"
I love her!
Luckily Delta was sympathetic and didn't gouge me on the airfare as I changed my flight (it helps being a Diamond member!)
So today we're doing a family packing session, laying out the major things we think we'll need for the cruise; I'm going to be too tight on time and won't have much time to mess around with this, plus I have to pack business clothes for Thurs/Fri and take these on the cruise with me....that's what pisses me off most!
But we persevere and conquer!
I'm hoping I can work out on this cruise too....it's the Star Princess, and what I can gauge from the website and some personal testimony (my secretary was on this same ship 2 months ago) they have a pretty decent gym layout, although as with most resorts, it's skimpy on the free weights and heavy on treadmills & cardio)
Nonetheless, we sail the high Alaska seas for enjoyment, so I give myself plenty of leeway (I think that's a nautical term too) to adjust my schedule. The only thing I'm torn about is the food!
Tom Naughton (of Fathead, the movie fame) blogged recently about doing a Low Carb cruise in the Caribbean.....he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and didn't feel deprived at all (eg, eating double cheeseburgers at midnight), yet didn't gain a pound the whole time. Yes he did avoid the dessert bars & buffets, but sated himself quite nicely as a Low Carber (even enjoying a drunken karaoke session one night!)
So more to follow....I'll try to stay connected and post a couple of blogs from our trip as we gorge on King Salmon and Alaskan Crab every night!
Oh and I almost forgot the coolest part
SWMBO (though she will never admit that it was my influence) has expressed an interest in cutting down her sugar intake. She started reading this book called "Cut Sugar Addiction Now!' and began hinting that she may try to cut out at least this one offending variant of carbohydrate.
Of course, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME CUTTING DOWN MY CARBS (at least nothing she will admit to, the insolent wench!), but that's OK, at least we have a point of mutual and intersecting interest that will provide for many a leisurely conversation as we sit outside our stateroom balcony, admiring the glacier-filled landscapes of Canada and Alaska!
Have a great day Spark friends!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Well 3 weeks after my low carb transition, I think my body has finally acclimated to it and I can rev up my workouts as usual!
I was plagued with fatigue my first few workouts. I'd start sweating 30 seconds in to my warmup. Mentally, I had no mojo and I would have to dial down my accustomed intensity a notch or 2. For ST, I had trouble starting with the second rep.
But during yesterday's ST session for legs & back, I set records (30 lbs over my bodyweight!) on the squats, not just on the weight, but in depth, form, sets and effort. Same with the deadlifts....same with the pullups.
What was even better is that this was the first session since I started low carbing where I felt strong for the whole time in the gym....none of the fatigue that plagued me those first few weeks of low carbing.
This afternoon I ducked out for a quick lunchtime spin class. I decided to pull out all the stops and just go for it.
No problemo! Curvilicious instructor just kept upping the cadence, putting in hill climbs, intervals, and speed work. I worked up a great sweat, got the heart rate up past 90% of max, and still felt like I could have ridden for another hour easy.
I think I'm over the transition hump!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, July 08, 2012
So in my 30s, I gave up drinking.
In my 40s I gave up smoking.
In my 50s I'm giving up.....carbs?
I don't know. After 3 weeks of keeping carbs below 50gm/day, it's certainly too early to tell what affect its had on me. I don't have many of the Cumbaya sing-song successes that other can point to very soon after going low carb. I've lost about a pound or two on any given day. But my blood pressure has gone from the 140s over the 80s to the 120s over the 70s, which is certainly a good sign.
Subjectively, I "feel thinner" and I have been getting significantly more compliments on weight loss. I took a few measurements with my Myotape this AM, and I am bigger in the chest, biceps, & thigh, and a little thinner in the waist and neck, so I've added some muscle and lost some belly fat. I also "feel looser"; bending & twisting at the waist, neck, and shoulders seems smoother....fewer minor aches.
I also "feel full" at some point in my meal and stop eating. On those occasions I have overeaten, I don't feel bloated. 20-30 minutes after the meal, I feel kind of normal (I have too many memories walking out of restaurants eating the same number of calories and just wanting to curl up and sleep for 20 years). In the TMI category, I am less "gassy".
And I am eating in the most amazing way! As I mentioned in my last blog, I am averaging 2800-3000 calories a day, most of it oils to cook and to put in salads, but still, when I have consistently eaten above 2200 calories in the past, the scales have crept relentlessly upward on me. I'm eating so much because I have worked real hard at ST these past 3 years, so I don't want to lose lean muscle. But I am eating A LOT and not gaining weight either, which is pretty amazing.
It's really not that hard to do either. We've gone out to eat a few times, and when they bring out the bread I can easily decline. I say no to the fries and have them pass me the butter to put on my veggies (or steak!) I make a 3-egg omelet, cooked in butter for breakfast every morning. I spoon coconut oil onto my salads and lick the spoon afterwards because it tastes so good! Today I had an awesome Prime Rib Burger with extra sharp cheddar cheese, no bun.....WOW was it good!
I also don't feel compelled to snack. I feel pretty good between meals, and don't feel the need to eat. (What's interesting though is I THINK about having a snack, but I don't feel hungry so it's much easier to say no......it's kind of like when I stopped smoking....once I was over the craving, I often thought about having a smoke out of habit for weeks and months afterward, but I just told myself, "You're not a smoker anymore")
When I stopped smoking & drinking, it took a while to fully realize the benefits and many, many months before I fully acknowledged that I was a non-smoker and a non-drinker. I don't think it will be any different for this lifestyle change either (I am pissed that everything I read about low carb lifestyle changes has people getting instant gratification though!)
Unlike cigarettes and booze though, carbs aren't as easily identifiable, are fairly ubiquitous, and they are not ALL bad....I don't need to be over 18 or 21 to buy carbs. I don't think I'll ever identify myself as a "non-carber"
Likewise, there isn't any real strong science to tell me definitively either way that carbs are either good or bad for you.....I am trying my case study of N=1 based on a few books I've read, some witness testimony, and my own indicators & family history that tell me I could succumb to Type-2 diabetes in the future....so I'm willing to give it a try, but it's a leap of faith unlike anything I have done in the past. I am trying to calibrate my body to gauge my own tolerance for them.
The good news is I'm starting from a reasonably good baseline. I'm a fairly fit and active 52-year old male and I only want to slim down by about 10-15 lbs, so maybe my progress will just be slower.
The first real test is in 2 weeks when we go to Alaska for a 7-day cruise......it could be a sugary dessert heaven.
In August, I've scheduled another BodPod session, so I hope to get an accurate bodyfat percentage. Then in October, I'll have my annual physical and will have all my indicators measured.....till then, I'm all in keeping carbs low!
The only real problem will be trying to figure out what the hell I'll have to give up in my 60s!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
So get this; I go into Starbucks this morning for my usual Grande Americano and my favorite barista perks up over the espresso machine and chimes out with a loud, "Hey you are really slimming down!"
I chucked an extra 2 bucks into the tip jar!
But I have been hearing this quite a bit these past 2 weeks even though the scales have barely moved down by 2 lbs. (see blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Could I actually be achieving my low carb lifestyle goal of losing fat and adding muscle? I don't know....I'm not equipped to say....not even my Tanita bodyfat measuring scale is budging from its 24-27% bodyfat reading (never really sure how accurate this bad boy is).
I'm going to jump back in to the Bod Pod in August ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4750201 ) to see if my bodyfat % is down significantly. SWMBO shares my love of data gathering, so we started taking blood pressure readings (we really are geeks!) with a cool home BP monitor:
Last night I was at 128/72....smack in the middle of normal!
Here's the amazing part....I have been averaging about 2800-3000 calories a day!! Now a lot of this is due to the liberal use of olive oil, coconut oil, & butter in cooking and salads. I have kept my carbs below 50 gms every day for about 3 weeks.
But I am eating cheeses, eggs, ribeye steaks, chicken with the skin, spareribs, and salmon. I put heavy cream over blueberries at night. I'm even eating Smucker's natural peanut butter and NOT pouring off the oil like I used to!
Today I did a spin class, the first hard cardio I've done since going low carb and I felt friggin' fantastic (even though one of the "Sister's of Pain was howling in the class ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4827773 ). Yesterday I powered through squats & deadlifts (medium weight - 15 reps) and felt not only strong, but more flexible, getting really deep on the squats.
Next week, I'll give a more in-depth assessment of what I think. I'm still reading tons of books on keto-adaptation (just started "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" yesterday). I'm not seeing dramatic "lose 5 pounds a week!" type testimonials as many others that have started low carb lifestyles, but I was in pretty decent shape when I started, so I'm at a different point on the performance curve and so may progress slower (obviously this does nothing for my desire for instant gratification, but apparently low carb living can't cure everything....I'm still bald too by the way!)
But seriously, I'm eating almost 3000 calories/day and not gaining weight!!! What the hell is up with that!
I have a theory that I'm researching about how keto-adaptation keeps you from gaining weight, but that if you want to lose weight, you need to restrict calories. Until then, I am eating well and working out as always!
More to follow next time.....I'll try to give a 3-week assessment on Sunday
Have a great night Spark friends!
Get An Email Alert Each Time GETSTRONGRRR Posts