Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 6 - Leveling Up!

Last week about this time, I did squats for the first time in a few years. I have a tremendously horrible back that includes a bunch of doctor jargon for 3 of my disks in my lower back. I've had to get epidural injections in my back and have taken a whole array of different muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines for it with no relief. Well oddly enough once I went on a paleo diet and lost some weight a lot of my back pain has completely vanished. I still have instances where I will wake up and feel like and old wooden chair that creaks every time it moves, but for the most part I have been without pain Squats have always been my nemesis. Every time that I had re-injured it, it was because I did squats. Last week I did them very very lightly as I won't  be able to do heavy squats ever again, but it was painful to my legs. I haven't done those type of movements with any weights in a long time.

Fast forward to this week and I did squats again. I was able to get through 3 sets with even more weight, this time my back did twinge a bit, but it wasn't anything substantial. I felt like I had leveled up in a video where a burst of energy came through me and I was stronger. 

My workout still isn't stunning, and it's not going to be for a few weeks, but it's progress and that's all anyone can ask for.

Squats 135 x 10reps 185 x 8, 185 x 5(back was twinging)
Leg Extensions 170 x 10reps 210 x 10 reps, 245 x 8 rep
Straight leg deadlift 2 sets of 10 at 80 lbs
Lying leg curls 2 sets of 10 at 95 lbs
Back extensions 2 x 12

Also did a nice .75 mile walk with my wife and daughter around sunset.

Dinner today was something new, it was a paleo fried rice. The rice is substituted with riced cauliflower and made just the way I normally would except I used Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) instead of regular soy sauce. It turned out pretty good!

My food log doesn't look any better than it did yesterday. In fact I felt like I have eaten a ton today and in reality, I ate less? I did up my carbs for leg day, but I will probably eat one more time even after posting this and i'll update accordingly.

Day 5 - BBQ Calls my name!

Doing this post late, well, because I forgot! I laid in bed last night and thought "OH CRAP I FORGOT TO POST." Ohwell, it happens. So here it is. Better late than never. The day went very well as I got word from work that I can work from home starting Monday. I got to pack all of my stuff from my desk and come home with it. For breakfast I went old fahsioned, 4 eggs and 5 strips of bacon. Down to the basics. For my activity I did my sprints. I walk to the park, run sprints in 30 second all out sprinting, followed by walking, then walk home. All in all it was around 1.71 miles yesterday.

After doing all of the packing and moving yesterday, I did not feel like cooking. I had planned on doing a paleo fried faux rice dish, but did not have the energy nor desire to cook. So this means we went out to bbq. My favorite place to eat BBQ in our area is Johnny T's BBQ on 620. This place has real bbq and the owner Johnny, does special dishes from time to time. I almost always just get brisket with some green beans. It's awesome because it will last for a few meals and it's the best by far that I've eaten in this area.

I did my food log and realized why I was so tired, I hadn't eaten that much at all. It says my caloric intake should be around 2000 and that is for "extreme fat loss". Well I hit under that yesterday. I need to be more diligent in my calorie intake because it can be detrimental to your health if you too little.

Tomorrow(today) will be leg day, so I 'll up my carbs a bit and make sure I eat more as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 4 - Date Night

One of the many temptations that I have is date night. We go out to eat while my wife's father watches the baby. It's our night sanity and a night for us to reconnect without any hinderances in our way. We have been on a strict budget and a very special treat was handed to us tonight. Extra money for date night. This basically meant upgrade from a bbq joint to a nice restaurant lol. We decided to go to papasito's. This place in my opnion has the best fajitas ever. We get there and to my surprise they were willing to substitute the carbage of rice and beans to grilled veggies. Winner!

Today for a workout I did back and tri's. I am going to switch to a more conventional approach next week do to the fact that my bi's were still sore from monday and it left me unable to give my all during back day.

Lat Pulldowns 12 reps 120 lbs, 10 reps 120 lbs, 8 reps 140 lbs
Seated Cable rows 3 sets of 10 at 120 lbs
Iso lateral seated rows 3 sets of 8 with 90 lbs on each side
Tricep pushdowns with rope 3 sets of 10 at 60 lbs
Workout cut short due to time limits

Then i walked for 1.30 miles today after work. 

Tomorrow I am deciding if I want to do sprints or legs.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 3 - Me Vs Skirt Steak

Today was a tough day. When on a challenge or something you want to keep pressing because you want to win. However when trying to lose weight, and get healthier your body needs a rest. Today for lunch I walked around a mile with a slow pace, just walking nothing else. For lunch I ate the left overs from last night. This was around 8 oz of meat and some romaine lettuce and the other fixings. Before dinner I walked to the store and this ended up being close to 2 miles. My tracker got messed up due to walking in the store and walking out. It got confused.

For dinner I was grilling the dreaded skirt steak. I can cook anything else well on the grill. Fish, Chicken, Ribeyes, Flank steak, but me and skirt steak do not get along. I marinated it in some citrus juice,tamari and seasonings for about 6 hours today. I throw it on the grill when it got to 450. Should be perfect right? I go in to fix the mashed cauliflower and I look outside and my grill is on fire. Full on blazes. Something in the grease trap had caught on fire and spread up there. The damn skirt steak was a little charred on one side, the other side was fine. It turned out ok and had great flavor, but if it was cooked perfectly it would've rocked the house! Ohwell next time skirt steak, next time! (in a dr claw voice)

Here is my food log today. I did much better eating more, lots of protein and fats and you can see recurring things. I like to make a big meal on Sunday so that I can munch on it through out the week. The worst feeling is coming home from work and not being able to eat anything because nothing is cooked. Tomorrow is gym day. Back and Tri's. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 2 - Heat Death!

I had a great workout today, but almost made a bad judgement. Today's high reached 105 degrees. As I type this now, it is still 94 degrees outside. I decided to try to walk to the park with a 40 pound vest on, take off the vest at the park, do sprints, then put it back on and walk back home after work. Well at 5 oclock it would've been over 100. I would've tried it but I don't think it would've turned out well. I ended up doing this at 11am for lunch when it was 93 degrees. There was a slight breeze, and even though it was hot I didn't feel like heat death though.

According to endomondo I did 1.65 miles, this included the walking and running via interval training. I think I did very well for a non cardio lover.

 Todays food was very good, but I still didn't eat enough. The only time I felt real hungry was after my workout.

For dinner, I made paleo tacos! Basically hamburger meat with paleo taco seasoning. I always keep this on hand. When I run out, I immediately make more. I've used it on fajitas, tacos, even veggies.

LINDA'S TACO SEASONING - BIG BATCH 4 tablespoons chili powder 3 tablespoons paprika 4 tablespoons cumin 2 tablespoons onion powder 2 tablespoons garlic powder 3 teaspoons ground coriander (optional) 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne 2 tablespoons salt(sea salt)

I then put the meat and some raw cheese, sliced avocado, sliced onions and some arriba's hot salsa. It was delish. I ate some sauteed squash with mine, and my wife had corn on the cob.

Here is my food summary for the day. The only supplementation I had was a serving of natural calm.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 1 - I am WEAK SAUCE

Today overall was a good day. I got up this morning and was able to spend a little time with my daughter. She was very happy this morning and that leads to a good day. For breakfast I had 3 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 oz of grill pork chops and 2 TBLS of heavy cream in my coffee. Very solid breakfast if I say so myself!

Workout today I ended up doing the following:

Incline Barbell 3 sets of 12 at 135 LBS (WEAK WEAK WEAK)
Decline Barbell 3 sets of 10 at 135 LBS (DOUBLE WEAK)
Cable Flies 2 sets of 8 at 30 on each side of the freemotion machine
Standing Curl Bar Curls 3 sets of 10 at 60 lbs
Seated Alternating curls 3 sets of 6 at 30 lbs
2 sets of 25 crunches

Man how the mighty have fallen. I  could barely get through this. I was failing on each third set. When they say use it or lose it, they mean it. It was very tough to see myself so weak sauce today. I guess the only way to get better is to start somewhere.

Lunch and post workout meal was 3.75 ounces of chicken breast, 3.50 ounces of 90/10 ground meat (burger) some asparagus and 4 oz of baked sweet potato. I also took a serving of natural calm (i take this in the afternoon as it has a different effect on me) and half of a serving of orange triad multi vitamin.

After work I felt ravenous, so I ate a 5 oz burger that I had made yesterday. This was pretty dang good.

For dinner I made some "cave ketchup" which is home made ketchup without any of the BS in it along with a giant 4 pound paleo meatloaf. This is one of our favorite meals, especially because it leaves enough for lunch for a couple of days. I had 8 oz of the meatloaf,

After dinner I took my daughter on a walk in her stroller. We usually walk about a mile from what I have mapped out. I enjoy this walk daily as it relaxes me and my daughter and I can bond. It was a good first day! Tomorrow I got on my 40 lb vest walk and sprint in the park. I hope I can make it as the forecast is 300 degrees tomorrow.

Here is a summary of my caloric intake for the day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Official Weigh-in and Measurements

This morning I hit the gym for some sprints and my official weigh in.

I weighed in at 254.2. When I started on January 5th, I weighed 292.2 on this same scale in Gold's Gym in Round Rock. I lost a total of 38 pounds in 6 months just by eating right and very little activity. I'd say this was a good start.

These were my measurements:

Chest (nipple line) 46 inches

Waist (above belly button, which i have no idea why they'd call it waist....) 43.5 inches

Thighs: 27 inches

Arms: 16 inches

Hips (around the butt) 44 inches

I don't really know what to think of these measurements, as I have always had trunk legs and what not. This didn't bother me or excite me either way.

As you can see I have a LONG way to go. I don't have any sort of muscle definition although I am quite smaller.

We will weigh again on  Saturday July 7th! I hope to see some improvements. Now it's definitely go time, no excuses, nothing left on the table.

Food, Food, and Food

Today was a crazy day. It was finally time to weigh in. Also, being dedicated to a paleo diet means that you must buy groceries and cook them. This can be very tough for a family to deal with, but with everyone on board, I got through it.

I had to go to the grocery store 3 times today. Yep 3 times. First round was for some meat that I had missed from Saturday's farmer's market excursion. Basically was Fish, and some other odds and ends. The 2nd time I had to get veggies as I had written down some ingredients that I needed for sauces and other side dishes for the week. The 3rd trip was for propane as the grill would not start.

Here is what I ended up with

These pork chops were MASSIVE from the farmer's market. After 2 hours of cooking and preparing everything thing. It looked more like this:

 This was dinner, the green stuff was a spinach & walnut pesto. Was the best pork chop that I've ever eaten.

This is what food I ended up with. The red containers are post workout meals, lean protein + 4 oz of sweet potato and a few asparagus spears. The black container is breakfast for a few days which contains 12 eggs and the foil holds some back and left over pork chops that I will be using for breakfast. Lots of work, but makes the week easier when coming home from work on a time constraint. I will be doing another mass cooking on Wednesday. I try to do this two days a week for freshness. Sometimes chicken that sits in the fridge for more than a few days tastes awful.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I challenge you to a duel!

I am always interested in what people are doing for diet and fitness. For one to get new ideas and two to help out when I can. A buddy of mine posted about how he was starting a 24 day challenge. OOOO A Challenge! I love challenges. So I inquired as to what he is doing. He posted a link to a 24-day challenge supplement package by Advocare.

I took a look at it and immediately had a bad opinion of this. This stuff can be had elsewhere for a lot cheaper price. Being as opinionated as I am, I quickly wrote up a post to explain that this is basically a supplement package that is very basic and that you can achieve goals without it, but even if you felt the need to HAVE to HAVE these supplements that you could find quality supplement parallel to these and get the same results. His personal trainer/ advocare sales person quickly came to refute these claims by stating that it is the quality you're paying for. I for one think that taking these supplements only has a placebo effect on people, thus getting down to fitness basics. Getting off of your butt, and eating right. If you've ever talked to a health professional, they will tell you that diet is 80-90% of losing weight. Not magical supplements that come from the Advocare sales person.

Being a stubborn person, I was unable to just let this go. I said fine, you need supplements, and I feel that you don't. I challenge you to a duel! (well not really but it sounds awesome right?) He accepted! Here are the parameters:

We will weigh in on days 0, 12 and 24 and take pictures. (Yes they will be posted here. Hooray half naked hairy men!)

We will measure the following: Chest, waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms

We will do a post everyday that will Include meals and caloric intake, thoughts about our days and any activities.

All of our posts will be in blog form.

Now the winner wins....Well we don't know how to come up with a winner, and you know what? I think the winner might just be both of us. This may fuel both of us to give it our best when we may not have. Competition is crazy thing for males and I think at the end of this, if both of us have lost a chunk of weight, feel and look better, then the real winner is both of us (and the advocare seller who made money...I kid I kid)

Be sure to check out his blog along with mine here:

Weigh in is tomorrow along with the first round of pictures and measurements. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

There is a fork in the road and I chose Paleo

I know what you're thinking...Another fitness blog about someone trying to get healthy...Well Yeah! As many people have done in their lives is struggle with weight and being fit. I started as a fat kid in my junior high days. I was one of the largest kids in my class. I was around 250 pounds by the 8th grade. This is great for football but not great for self esteem, and general health. This continued through my life until I hit rock bottom when I was 24 years old. I moved from my hometown of Lubbock, TX to Austin, TX in 2007 and wanted to begin a new life. The changes in my life were for the better, but I didn't realize it yet. Once away from my hometown I fell into this dark hole of chicken wings and crown royal, and ended up over 300 pounds. One day when I was walking up the stairs I noticed I could barely do this. Being an athlete all my life in football, powerlifting and other things this was my absolute lowest point. I decided to buck up and get with it.

After trying to figure out what the hell I was doing with my diet, I started out with a low fat, chicken and rice, diet while cutting the sugar and everything I could think of. My base diet was Egg whites for breakfast, 2 chicken breasts with plain rice, and for dinner I would eat....More chicken breasts. This lasted about 5 days. I was hungry all of the time, I felt weak, and I couldn't stomach eating another plain chicken breast. Meanwhile my father was going through a lot of the same thing, except he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and the same list of crap that a lot of Americans have today. This scared the crap out of me. My mother had been diagnosed before this and my father as well. I felt doomed and wanted to give up. My thinking was, "if I am going to die, at least I'll die happy eating what I want." Well that thinking quickly changed for me...

I woke up one morning with a pounding headache almost like a hangover, but it wasn't exactly like a hangover. I noticed I felt more blah than usual and I couldn't breathe and I couldn't shake it. This lasted for 3 days. This ended up with a doctor appointment. I went and saw my local traditional doctor and I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Really high blood pressure. They wanted me on blood pressure medicine immediately. This was a scary moment in my life. I was 24 years old and I was on blood pressure medicine? Although now, I would NEVER advocate taking any sort of pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary, this was the best thing to happen to me.

After this happened to me, my dad was on something called the Atkins diet. He was enjoying the food he was eating, he wasn't hungry at all, and he was losing weight, but being the argumentative punk that I am, I immediately found a website that would refute all of the evidence that he had read in Dr. Atkins' book. I argued how it would cause heart disease and make his condition earlier (the same stuff I hear today). He kept with the diet and I kept eating chicken wings and Crown Royal. He was down about 20 pounds at this point and I was still over 300, eating blood pressure medicine twice a day. I finally looked into this diet and they talked to me about it. I could eat all of what I wanted, as long as it was meat fat and a minimal amount of vegetables....Wait..Really? I could really eat that way and lose weight? Well there is one catch that I read about. (Oh of course...the catch!) The catch was the first two weeks you would feel bad and you would have to cut out carbohydrates including bread, pastas, and sugar. Man, that sounds awful I didn't want to do this, but I had to do something, so I gave it a shot.

I did a  lot of research. I probably read everything I could. I went to blogs, forums and other sites on the internet to find what it was I wanted to do. I ended up going on a cyclical ketogenic diet. The basis of this was for people who wanted to lift weights and needed a carbohydrate re-feed period to supply muscle glycogen and all of that other mumbo jumbo. I had a plan and once I had something to follow, I did it to the best of my ability. Now I won't go into my everyday meal plans or anything and I'll pretty much skip ahead, but after 3 months I had lost 30 pounds. Yep 30 pounds by eating bacon, eggs, brisket, sausage, chicken etc. You can name any meat and I ate it. I was off of the blood pressure medicine, I had TONS of energy, and I felt human again...except one thing.... I had sort of depression feel to it. I would become moody and it would come in spurts. I researched on it and found that if you are in ketosis for too long it can mess with some people's moods. Well DAMNIT, I figured everything out and it still doesn't work. There has got to be a way to do this, right?

After reading about different variations of the Ketogenic diet, I ended up settling on a cyclical ketogenic diet. This is where you have a major carb intake every couple of weeks to replace muscle glycogen and other sciencey mumbo jumbo. The problem with this was, I would lose 4-5 pounds during the week and seem to gain it all back during these crazy carb days. I ended up tweaking it to where it would work for me. I did a cheat meal once every 2 weeks. This allowed me to lose weight and get some of the carbs back. The thing with this plan was, I would feel awful after the carb intake, and I would have to go through the keto flu (symptoms to get into ketosis...yeah google it) over and over. This got old in a hurry but I stuck with it. 3 months more go by and I dropped 30 more pounds. I was now down to 250, felt great, looked great, but would still go through mood swings especially with this cyclical diet. Well my life really changed after that..

With new found confidence, I was able to meet a woman, a special one. So special that I am now married and have a child with her. I am so thankful to have her and I am not sure that I would have had the confidence to meet her and have the first date with her had I not lost the weight. However, with new responsibilities and a family I fell into the american diet plan. When too tired to cook order pizza, pickup tacos or anything else quick and easy and with a kiddo, this was all of the time.  With this diet, anyone, including myself would put on weight, and put on weight I did. I ate this way for 6 months and put on 45 pounds in a hurry. It seemed like it came overnight the way that Tim Allen got it in the Santa Claus movie.
I finally said enough is a enough, and had to do something again. January 5th of this year, I would go back on the low carb diet and this time I am sticking to it.

January 5th came and I was ready to go. Lots of cheeses, meats and cream sauces. I found my old recipes that I enjoyed and started on that. Like the previous time, I got mood swings but was losing weight, and at this point that is all I cared about. My wife was enjoying the food though, which is a plus. She was very supportive of this. I then started listening to health podcasts to gear up with knowledge and keep on a diet. I listened to Livin la vida low carb podcast hosted by Jimmy Moore. He had a guest on that show by the name of Sean Croxton. He was talking about his mantra in dieting with JERFin. Just Eat Real Food. You mean to tell me if I just ate real food, I could be healthy, lose weight and feel good at the same time? This intrigued me to the point of buying books, doing some research and jumping into it from the low carb Atkins type of diet.

Thus began the Paleo movement. I was pretty strict with it and ate a lower carb diet but I felt great! I didn't work out all that much because of the whole family and work thing, but I was consistently losing. In the book that I have, by Mark Sisson, it states that the sweet spot of weight loss is to keep your carbs between 50-100. This sounds amazing because I had stayed under 20 for the Atkins diet. There is one catch...DAMN THAT CATCH AGAIN! Your carb sources are to come from fruits and veggies. Ok that is doable. I have stayed on this type of lifestyle since February, and with very little time for activity I was able to drop 40 pounds. A lot slower than the Atkins approach , but steady and healthy none the less. So here I am today, sticking with a paleo lifestyle. I have been a little loose with it, indulging in gluten free treats and even some pizza every now and then, but for the most part I am sticking to it. The last time I weighed myself I was 255 and have normal emotions. So there you have it, this is how I began my journey to being healthy, but this is only the beginning, I will look for things to take me even further and maybe to once reach that physique where I am not afraid to take off my shirt.