Today’s entry will be a bit of a quickie as I wait for my coffee protein mix + 800 ml of water with BCAA mix to run through my body before I walk to the metro. Even with getting up at 4:30 am I don’t feel like I have enough time in the morning to ever make it to the office at a “normal” time. Thankfully it hasn’t been an issue in a long time, but I still feel a little guilty about it.
Diet still needs some retooling. I hate to do it but I think I need to simplify things a bit and keep my lean meat servings to 125-150 grams. Maybe 125. Twice a day, + the morning protein mix. I’m clearly doing the workouts regularly. I’m even going above and beyond with the extra cardio. Yet my weight/body fat keeps right around 208. I can’t reasonably sustain 2 a day workouts. Hell, even 6-7 days a week is a bit much considering the writing goals I have. While my current diet is fine for when I’m more focused on strength training (seems to be roughly maintenance at this rate), I really want to drop the body fat by ren faire season. As they say, can’t outrun your diet. So I’ll keep it simple during the week
Morning protein (coffee or smoothie mix).
Lunch is 125g lean chicken + ~150-200g veggie mix + some light sauce.
Afternoon fruit at the office (they seem to be packing these regularly now, which I appreciate)
Dinner is 125g lean chicken + 150-200g veggie mix + some light sauce + carbs (beans or sweet potato) at 150g
It’ll be boring but I don’t really care about that. Resisting the unexpected temptations is the real trick. Let’s do this.
Doing okay today. I didn’t do the extra bike cardio like I had planned (it was raining outside). I thought I could do it after work but I’m just too mentally tired to do it. Now that I think on it, this is like a variation of the idea of “Your body is only as strong as your mind”. That’s a motto I picked up a long time ago at an internship that stuck with me. It was one of those phrases I held onto the first time I lost a lot of weight. I remember watching a Big Think video by Penn (of Penn and Teller) and he was talking about how he lost weight, and how much he had disagreed with the mind-body connection…until he lost the weight. The more surprising revelation to me was anyone believing that the mind could operate independently of the body. I suppose you could try to argue for Stephen Hawking as an example for this, but that is the rare exception and TBH, imagine how much more he could have done if he didn’t have that health struggle. Anyway, all this to say is that I’m not a big fan of how corrupt the “health at any size” movement has gotten. Yes, it is absolutely possible to be at a higher BMI or even body fat % and still be able to do a lot with your body. The fact I can still do clean pushups at my current weight (something I could not do the last time I was at this weight) is testament to that. However, joints and tendons longevity are a function of the amount of force you put on them over time. I’m certain my foot bone spur issue is only exacerbated by the amount of weight I’m dealing with. You don’t get to be obese or morbidly obese and not expect to suffer quality of life consequences for it. I’m not a fan of that magical thinking. You shouldn’t get judged for that, I’ll agree strongly with that. On the flip side, I do strongly agree that a person’s social worth should not be tied to their weight/fat. Just don’t complain about your inevitable physical and mental pain that’s tied to that. I don’t have enough emotional labor pool to handle that.
Anyway, after that digression. The diet’s been mostly on point. I did have some mission BBQ yesterday instead of the planned chicken thighs/rice/beans/veggies. I went with their normal sized salad, took some lean brisket, some honey mustard and some of their smoky mountain bbq sauce and mixed it all together. I also had a small cornbread. I was still within my cico goals. My protein might have been higher than I planned though. I’m going to try capping my protein to 160g for now. I might not be measuring cooked food correctly. I know calorie stats for my meat-based proteins are based on their raw weight. When you cook anything, some of that total mass is burned away (especially with the air fryer or oven). That makes the food more energy dense. So I might be taking in significantly more calories than I thought I was. Rather than try to figure out the stats post cooking, which is hard, I’ll just lower the values a bit and observe the data. As long as I keep doing everything else I’m doing. The running has been helpful when I do it. I’m going to add post strength training cardio (30 min) for Sunday as well. I’m hoping to make quicker progress through all of that. Hell, not even quicker, positive at this point is good. Anyway, here are the stats:
This past weekend wasn’t super great, but it wasn’t horrible either? I stayed over at my partner’s friday night. I manually weighed myself that morning and I was at ~206. Then there was a birthday party that afternoon and I had more carbs than normal. A couple burgers, some chips/popcorn, and cake stuff. I also didn’t workout that day. I went up about 2 lbs the next morning. I did do a full body strength training session (sumo deadlifts, DB bench presses with alternating rows, then skullcrushers/incline curls). I ended up faltering towards the later afternoon when I went couch shopping with the wife and we stopped at mod pizza. I did try to be reasonable as I could and thought I could get away with a “jasper pizza” at mod pizza with a little extra grilled chicken for ~800 cal according to fitbit. It’s hard to trust anything online though. I ended up pushing 211 the next day.
I kept up with my workouts. I’m also changing my remote work schedule to have 3 days at home. I’m going to use this to add in those wind sprints again. Nothing gets more effective than that for a sustained elevated heart rate. Fitbit is way too generous on the calorie value of steps. I’m consistently burning around 3000-3500 calories and taking in around 1600-1900. Going strictly by that you’d think I’d be dropping like a stone…but months of data shows that is not the case. Strength training has been good for overall functionality and pain management (or rather prevention). Bootcamps have been good for similar reasons and get some cardio benefits…but they can be inconsistent in intensity depending on the trainer. My average heart rate BPM ranges from ~120 to ~140 depending on who is running a class and the workouts we do. From what I’ve seen, there is a much tighter correlation between BPM and calorie burn than anything else. Wind sprints get the best bang for buck. I started a set yesterday during my lunch hour. With my new schedule next week, I plan to do that Wednesday/Friday/Sunday on my str training days. Just today alone showed some interesting stats.
I don’t normally do a post workout weight in but I had a strange fluctuation this morning. My carbs were on the low side yesterday (I had ~175g of beans total that day, then some spinach and tomatoes, netting to around 53g of carbs). Then a lot of chicken thighs (boneless, skinless). I was surprised to see my weight go up; however, my bodyfat (According to aria) went down signficantly. Then I remembered the spices I used had a lot of salt. I added some more salt via that MD blend [the name escapes me, but you marylanders know what I’m talking about]. Then I remembered the research I did a few days ago in regard to how much water weight you hold on to per g of carbs. In that research I also found approximation for salt as well. I had quite a bit of salt (I remember the taste). I also remembered back to that inbody weighin I did for the SF challenge and how high my Skeletal Muscle Mass (SMM) was, and how that dropped at the end (and yet somehow fat went up). I noticed the ECW/TBW (ExtraCellular Water over Total Body Water) had gone down. I might play with this idea to see if I can exploit the inbody machine to read the higher SMM again. Mainly out of curiosity.
In any case, my overall body fat has gone down. I’m going to keep with the run schedule as best I can. At least for this cutting portion. When I get back to the 180s (or even 170s) I’m going to need to figure out another strategy for long term maintenance. I’m obviously working out a lot. I do like working out but I worry that as I get older, something in my body will start to give. I also plan to start dedicating more time to actually writing books. Keeping a lower weight will definitely help (and I like my leaner look).
Not a whole lot of progress this week. The body fat percent might mean something but hard to say. I am planning on starting up my wind sprints again. Nothing beats the consistently high heart rate I get when doing it. In the past those runs have always resulted in weight loss. I remember my pt discouraged it for a bit since we were focusing on muscle build. My remote work schedule should be changing next week so hopefully, I’ll have more opportunities too.
I’ll be remote w-friday. I’m thinking bootcamps m/t. Upper str wed with either sprint back home or run after work. Th bootcamp. Friday legs. Saturday bootcamp or rest. Sunday full body str + run.
I feel like I’m stagnating this week. Or maybe it is just this morning throwing me off? I did my push/pull workout yesterday and got everything in. The diet was on point. Instead of walking I did some yard work (trimming and hauling some branches). My diet went well too. Only thing I didn’t include in my log was having about 30g of that cheese sauce stuff, which seems to be relatively low cal. They were a couple bites of yuca, maybe 25g total. I should still have been under as far as my incoming calories. I might also be bothered by the inbody I did yesterday. Even though I am about 6 lbs lighter than when I did the jan 16th one, it thinks I gained fat and lost muscle. Yet my clothes fit a bit better and I don’t feel weak. Of course I’ve worked with that machine long enough to know it has some accuracy issues. The only other thing I could think throwing me off was my water level. It suggested I was on the low side, which does typically correlate with the skeletal muscle mass reading (SMM). And anytime SMM goes up, it inevitably reports a drop in fat. Something I should try to give more credit though is the fat% report on my fitbit. That piece has been going down consistently.
I’m also just tired this morning. My sleep wasn’t super great monday either. At least yesterday I had a good reason to be up late. Well, no, Monday I had a good reason to be up on the late side too. I’m taking a GM workshop course and I’m learning some good stuff as far as quick story generation. This just made me think that I should apply the location + creature + treasure template to all the side quest scenes I have planned for my players.
Back to the fitness train of thought. Now that this challenge is over, I’m going to start using the gold gym thursday morning for my leg workout. I’m going to keep the same timing. It’s going to be tuesday: SF upper; Thursday: GG, lower; Saturday/Sunday full body (Primaries Deadlift, Bench, Rows; isolation Skullcrush/Incline bicep curl). As the weather is getting warmer I should be able to put in more walking time. Maybe even some wind sprints? I’ve always had good success with those wind sprints. I just *hate* doing it in any kind of cold weather. It hurts my throat to breathe in cold air at the rate I do. Maybe I can set aside masks for this. Point is I need to have a good amount of cardio mixed in with my Strength training sessions. I don’t have the setup to do 2 strength training sessions in a day.
Sat morning weigh-in was a little confusing. I worked out hard, hydrated, walked, and my diet was reasonable. The biggest deviation was having 100g of tostones in an air fryer for my carbs. Maybe they are just more carb dense than i expected. Sunday went better than expected given i didn’t workout Friday and ate quite a bit of beans and even had some chicken pizza at night. I did try to keep everything else on the small side so maybe it just all panned out. I was more focused on the diet sunday. Plus the beans evacuated my body in a rough way lol.
I just noticed I put the wrong date for my last entry (should have been the 23rd). I guess I was a little distracted. I’m even more distracted now, for good poly reasons. Those NRE feels are kicking in and I’m being a little cautious now. Sometimes working out isn’t just about taking down the bad emotions but also keeping the big happy ones from getting out of control (the risk there is I become vulnerable to the loss and other stuff). Anyhow, diet went well yesterday and so did the bootcamp workout. I also did a fair amount of walking in the house just trying to get prepared for the movie date I had.
On to the stats:
I should note, the screencap here is for the past 30 days. Almost 10 lbs in 30 days isn’t too bad. I think the max recommended weight loss ratio is about 2 lbs a week? I don’t know where the science for that claim comes from. If someone knows please feel free to comment them science gains. Also, surprise bonus cat photo below.
Something I’ve had a challenge with is how low my calories seem when I feel like I’m on point with my diet. I don’t feel like I’m starving at all. Dieticians, nutritionists, and trainers would take one look at my Fitbit log and blow a gasket probably though. I weigh what I eat so you would think it would be accurate…but I suppose all that depends on the label information being accurate, which I’m aware there is a pretty large margin of error. Perhaps it’d be better if there was a way (heh) to just track the overall weight of foods i put in my body rather than just going by the nutrition labels. I seem to be feeling fine at 1400 cals. Though to be fair, I’ve still got a good amount of fat to use. When I get leaner and have less fat to use and want to focus on muscle again that could be an issue.
That was the one counterintuitive thing i learned back in my lowest weight. I had to eat more for those gains back then. Different strats for different weights/goals.
Not doing super great right now. Which is okay. Celebrating victory is easy. Recognizing failures without turning them into shame events but rather information to adjust to is hard. This is also why I need to weigh myself daily. I know there are plenty of people out there that swear against that but in my experience, it just works as a feedback system on my behavior with respect to diet and movement. Every time I’ve gone long periods without, I inevitably gain a lot of weight.
I did have significantly more carbs yesterday so I’m aware some of this might be water. But still, gotta check myself. I haven’t been on top of my food logging into fitbit…though lately, it has been acting sluggish. I wonder if it is Fitbit or the fact my account has so many saved items. Anyway, gonna post the pics of what I ate instead as a sort of way to be accountable to myself.
I’m a little higher than expected. Saturday ended up being a rest day and i didn’t log. I did take pics though, except for the last meal of the day which were some teriyaki chickens on sticks (2 orders) and a couple shrimp egg rolls. I went up slightly in weight the next day which was kind of a pleasant surprise.
Sunday I did a strength workout. Good mornings, 6 squat sets, and 5 weighted hip thrusts. My diet was better controlled, though i still tipped over 1800 and i had more overall fat than normal. That does make me consider dropping a bit more fat for protein. Something closer to 220g of protein and 60ish for fat. I seemed to have more success with that, assuming I keep cal intake around 1600. Anyhow, here are the stats and some photos.