Doing pretty good!

Naughty me for not posting the past week  *smacks hand*

So far the effort to lose 12kg in 8 weeks is on target.  Last week I lost 1.6kg and today I recorded a 1.9kg loss.  Target is 1.5 each week, but my first week was only a 900g loss.  I’m currently at 4.4kg total loss,  so basically on target.  My gym instructor warns me that weight loss is likely to slow in the second half of the program though,  so if I want to keep losing at this rate I’m going to have to step up the intensity.

So off to a good start.  I have been feeling quite tired lately, though I’m not finding it so hard to get to sleep these days.

Food has been good.  Recently I’ve bought a lot of fresh fish and cooked it on the grill with lots of vegies to go with it.  On weekends I’m getting sushi or Pita Pit, which I don’t feel bad about.  I’ve also done a couple of curries.  They use coconut milk which probably isn’t so good but I choc fill them full of vegies too.

Stair running last week was the same as the week before- short but intense.  The best thing is my calves didn’t hurt the next day. 

I’m managing to do my gym program 2 or 3 times a week.  It’s still tough and I work up a good sweat.

I also went for a run in my neighbourhood yesterday for the first time in a while.  I’m still very unfit.  I jogged for about 20 minutes before I had to come home.  I’ll try and do it again a couple more times a week and hopefully I’ll get better at it.

So overall it’s going pretty well.

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Weigh in Day (week 1 of 8)

My glutes and lower back were very sore over the weekend.  I didn’t work on as I worked long shifts both days, but did end up walking home both days as my bike had a puncture.  Finally the tenderness and pain started to fade today in time to get back into it.

l86550923Today I walked to the gym, which was about 30 minutes there and 40 minutes back (knackered). Today I tried the workout program issued to everyone for the weight loss program.  It’s just what you’d expect – cardio, cardio, cardio.  I rowed, ran, cycled and in between did exercises like burpees, pushups, step ups, kettlebell swings, dumbbell surrenders (pictured) and ab exercises.  Basically the idea is to keep your heart rate up the whole time, which it did.  I didn’t find it  it too hard.   Actually I’m surprised how easy it has been to get back into exercise this time round.  I would have thought over winter I would have lost it all and it would be as hard/painful as it was when I first started the year before.

My weigh in shows I lost 900g this week.  Not the 1.5kg  that would put me on target for losing 12kg in 8 weeks,  but not bad a start.  Hoping for a bigger loss next week.

Have relied on Pita Pit the last couple nights for dinner.  I love their pitas so much and they’re healthy so I don’t feel bad about it.  But now I have 3 days off so no excuse not to cook Smile

Dude, where’s my weight loss?

Tuesday this week marked the end of the 8 week weight loss programme I’ve been doing, And no weight loss to show for it!  The Tuesday just gone was the final weigh in for the 8 week weight loss program I’ve been doing at the gym.  My net loss?  A whopping 900g.  I don’t know why, but EVERYBODY in the program had disappointing results.  Though there were about 15 people in the program, the total weight lost was 5kg (so I did about 20% of that!)

Though my result was unimpressive, it beats gaining weight, and I kind of feel that I had a genuine excuse.  I signed up for the program when I was unemployed, and had plenty of time to put into it.  Not long after, I found work, and going to the gym went from a 5-per-week thing to a twice a week thing, and my diet went out the window.

weight

I’m so close to my 90kg target, but I’ve been this close for a couple of months now.  90kg was a realistic target, but my ideal weight would be between 80-85kg.  So I won’t be resting any time soon, even though I’ve plateaued.  Just today at work I saw a book someone was selling called "Losing the last 5 kilos".  It motivated me a bit to keep going.

I booked in for a reassessment at the gym on Thursday.  My muscle mass has increased since February, and my percentage of body fat has also decreased (now 21%).  My visceral fat also fell from 8% to 7%.  So it was reassuring to see I’m still making progress, despite the weight plateau.  There was something else that was reassuring, too.  I had a fitness test.  I don’t really understand the science, but I was put on a bike for about 6 minutes,  and the resistance changed periodically while it monitored my heart rate.  My result was 51.9ml/kg/min which places my fitness at "Excellent"

fitness

 

It blows my mind that I’m considered fitter than most people.  Cos honestly, I still feel very big and unfit. 

The main purpose for the reassessment, though, was to refocus.  To get a new schedule to follow that will help me lose the last few kilos and get even fitter.  My trainer says the schedule he’s going to do for me will involve doing exercise 6 days a week; an hour at the gym Monday to Friday, and a jog after work one day in the weekend.  Sounds intense, but I’m motivated to do it.  I’m meeting up with him on Tuesday to go over the new programme.

This week I got to the gym 4 times, and went for a 5km run this evening.  It was reassuring to know I can still do it; I thought my fitness might have declined since I last did it.  My right foot is still going numb at the 4km mark, though.    I will see another podiatrist soon.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently.  Now that I’m on top of my new job and have re-gained my work/exercise balance, I’ll endeavour to post more.  Rock on.

Monday weigh in and PT

I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping during the weekends at the moment.   I finish work at 10pm on Friday night and have to be back there by 8am the next morning, and probably because the job is so new and exciting I’m having trouble switching off.  I don’t know how I did it but I managed to survive the weekend on about 1 hours sleep each night.

Today I caught up and slept in til 1pm!  I had a personal training session with my weight-loss partner at 2pm, and like always it was pretty intense:

We started with a circuit of:
Barbell squat and presses  x12
workouts365.com_single_arm_dumbbell_shoulder_pressBox jumps  x 10
Incline sit ups  x 12
Press ups x MAX

We did that circuit 3 times.  Our next circuit was on the mat with a dumbbell:
Lie on our back, stand up and press
Kettle bell squats (with dumbbell)
Dumbbell on the ground, pull up and press (alternating hands)

That second circuit was incremental, so one of each then two of each etc for 10 minutes.

I weighed myself afterwards and had lost another 700g  (1 pound) this week.  I was a little surprised to be honest.  I had still been eating left over chocolates from my birthday and eating a bit of take out in town after work.  Last night I even had fish and chips.  Sometimes it seems there is no connection at all between junk food I eat and my weight.

Anyway…  I’m still losing weight… still the lightest I’ve been in years, and work is going great.  I’m a pretty happy guy.

My personal trainer is trying to kill me…

…  but I lived to tell the story!

Today is Monday which means weigh in and a personal training session alongside my workout partner.  Today’s weigh in was good – 92.5kg which is a 600g (1 pound) loss from last week.  Yesterday was my birthday so I allowed myself a few treats – I pigged out actually – chocolate, crisps and hot chips.  Not sure if that weight has gone on yet, or whether it might show up in next week’s weigh in.  600g isn’t a huge loss, but I’m the lightest I’ve been in years and I accept it’s going to get harder to maintain weight loss the closer I get to my goal  (currently 90kg).

today's weight

Today’s personal training session was a killer! We warmed up with 1000 meters on the rower (on hardest level/relaxed pace).  Then the real task began:

Row 250m, 1  DB push-up burpee, 1 dumbbell curl and raise, and 1 dumbbell step up.
Row 250m, 2 DB push-up burpees, 2 dumbbell curl and raises, 2 dumbbell step ups.
Row 250m, 3 DB push-up burpees, 3 dumbbell curl and raises, 3 dumbbell step ups.

All the way up to 10 of each.

Dumbbell BurpeeIt took me exactly half an hour and nearer the end I was really struggling. My partner and I seemed to be on the same level.  It took me a good 20 minutes to recover, and then I had a dip in the pool to cool down.

Tonight’s dinner is pork and vegetable stir fry.

Feeling good 🙂

Great news (but not for diet…)

I had a really great week last week.  I got a new job which I really like, and have been training for that.  Unfortunately my diet and gym workouts have suffered a little but hopefully things will settle down with my new job and I’ll be back to normal and good habits soon.

I had 3 days off the gym in a row last week.  I went for a 5km run Saturday night, and did a high intensity resistance workout at the gym on Sunday (the lunges around the pool are a killer).  On Monday morning I had a PT session with my partner.  A rowing machine challenge (30 seconds rowing, 30 seconds rest for 10 minutes on hard/fast) and then some biking in between weights exercises. Was good – didn’t kill me as much as last week.  My weigh in was good news – back down to 93.1.

Today I was too tired to gym and worked this evening.

I’m working every day for the rest of the week but going to do my best to get to the gym when I can.  It won’t be as often as I have been, and I’m a little worried about how much bad food I’m eating (so easy to get a snack in town while I’m there).  Won’t be surprised if next week’s weigh in is a gain… but I’ll do my best to get back into good habits when I’ve adjusted to the new job.

Overall I’m quite happy at the moment.

Binge :(

shareywFeeling tired from recent workouts and a bit of disappointing news today saw me walking up to the shop to buy some junk food.  Yeah, I guess I’m weak. 😦

This is what I got:  A large packet of burger rings, a packet of mallow puffs (chocolate biscuits) and a block of chocolate.  Total calories:  2800.

D’oh.  That’s 200 more calories than my RDI and 600 more than my actual output for today (no activity). So today is the first day in quite a long time that my calories in was more than my calories out.  Oh well.  One day won’t kill me, right?

It did mean that I couldn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.

In good news, when I weighted in at the gym yesterday I was 93.1kg. Half a kg lighter than last week and the lightest I’ve been in years.  And when I was at the doctor yesterday I learned that my blood pressure had come down a bit (now 140/85).  I’m not sure if it’s the medication or the weight loss – but either way it’s good news.

At the gym I’ve just signed up for a "8 Week Weight Loss Challenge".  Will post more about it when it starts next week.  Still feeling a bit disappointed about today.  Oh well… tomorrow is another day.

Cortisol vs. endorphins

More weight loss for me recorded today :)  A few days ago I was 94.4kg and today I’m 93.7kg. That means I’m almost under 200 pounds. I just seem to love getting on the scales lately.  And I find converting the amount to pounds, or calculating my new BMI (28.6) adds to my enjoyment of the results.

Today I want to post about cortisol. My understanding is pretty basic; it’s the chemical in your body that is produced when you worry, stress or are anxious. I am usually a pretty anxious person – especially in social situations – so it’s fair to say that I would often have a lot of cortisol in my system.  And this isn’t good for the body.

When you exercise you release endorphins – the feel good chemicals that make you more relaxed and carefree.

imagesNow this is probably an incredibly lame, over-simplified analogy but let’s think about it like Pacman.  We go about our lives with anxiety (ghosts) chasing us.  So what’s the answer?  Exercise (the corner pellets).  When we do good feelings are released, we become more powerful over the anxiety (ghosts), and with our new endorphins we have the power to reduce or eliminate it (them)!

Lame analogy aside, this is what happens to me.  When I walk into the gym, I usually feel anxious.  If I have to walk past one of the trainers, I might meekly say hi but I don’t have the confidence to stay around and talk.  After my workout, though, it’s a completely different story.  I’m quite happy standing around at the desk talking with them.

I wish I could have that feeling all the time…  but I think in general I am a bit more relaxed these days because of the exercise.  They say that joining a gym improves your confidence.  Well, I don’t think it’s just because you look better.  I think it really does make you feel better;  I think it’s great for your biochemistry.  And I think people underestimate how our biochemistry affects our moods.  If you’ve never experienced depression or anxiety, I guess you haven’t needed to think about it.

My sleeping pattern sucks at the moment and I’m sleeping past noon, but tomorrow I’m determined to go to circuit training at the gym at noon.  Wish me luck (getting up!)

Catch-up of past week

I haven’t posted much recently – I guess my mood has been little low.  But I’ve maintained my exercise (4 days at the gym this week, plus Strike FX on Monday) and I’m proud to say I’m still losing weight.

Last weigh in: 95.6kg
This week:  94.4kg

I haven’t a clue when I was last this weight…. years ago I think.

Have eaten out a few times this week and have been a little bit more relaxed with food. My recommended intake, factoring in weight loss, is 2700 calories which is still quite a lot. 

imageJanuary is almost over and I’m proud to say I haven’t got fish ‘n chips once.  I did make some roast potatoes with minimal oil once, but they weren’t that great… think I have to cook them longer on a lower heat.  But to compare, I went to a friends house for dinner and took her some potatoes to roast.  I was gob-smacked with how much olive oil she put in the pan… they were basically swimming in it.  They were nice… but I think I’d prefer to do with about 10% of the oil.

Anyway… will keep on keeping on…

More weight loss & 30 Day Shred

imageIt seems I just found the answer to my own question re: rest days.

In the past five days I’ve only been to the gym twice.  I found my cardio routine on Monday really difficult because of the heat.  Apparently the trainers at the gym had forgotten to turn on the air conditioning until later in the day.  Anyway, I couldn’t finish. I just felt… spent.  The next day I felt too energy-less to go.  I did my weights day on Wednesday which was fine, but again the next day I felt too energy-less to go to the gym.  Not sure what’s up with that… maybe I’m not eating enough.  It’s hard to get the right balance of taking in enough energy to work out, but having a big enough deficit to lose weight.

But I am losing!  A week ago I weighed in at 96.2kg and this week I am 95.6kg.  I’m pretty happy with that!  Eating fresh-fruit  smoothies, and my resolution not to eat fish ‘n chips for the month of January seem to be paying off!

imageRecently my cousin told me about a DVD she got – Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I obtained it myself and tried the first workout (Level 1) today.  Phew, that thing’s tough! I managed to get through it, but my legs were like jelly afterwards and I was sweating like a pig.

There’s a reason this DVD rates so well – it’s really good!  The workouts are only 20 minutes long but they’re intense and non-stop.  It follows the 3-2-1 model which is 3 minutes of strength, 2 of cardio and 1 of ab work.  For me this is a great alternative to using EA Sports Active 2 because there’s much less hassle (less finicky) and in my opinion just as effective.  I don’t care if it’s targeted at women.  This is my new "rainy day" workout.  But whilst I don’t doubt that it’s effective doing it every day for 30 days,  I’m happy with my current gym workouts.

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