Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diet: Day 29

Ok, it's obvious that this is going to be the death march of diets. So, I'm in this for possibly 90 days.

I am pleased with being back in the 280's. My walking around weight is typically a svelte and devilishly handsome 285lbs., so I'm back in the saddle. My total weight loss to date is 13.8lbs. so I'm averaging about a pound every two days, not too bad.

I did pretty well this week. I cut a few extra calories, but still was only able to get in 3 good training sessions.

Even though I didn't meet my goal of 286 from a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but make a visit to the Chinese buffet. I ate my self sick and I've decided to make Friday night my cheat night. From 6:30 to 10:30pm I'm going to eat as much of everything bad for you as I possibly can. And going to buffet was like was like throwing a smoker gone cold turkey a carton of cigarettes, and frankly, I got the best sleep I had all week as a result... You know, because my body wasn't dying and I actually got some nourishment.

I'm also discovering that I hate vegetables. If I have to crunch something green one more time I may vomit. I can't wait until this is all a distant memory and I can go back to eating the creamy smooth processed gluten goodness I've grown to love. Peanut butter and double stuffed oreo sandwiches. Chick-fil-a sandwiches wrapped around Double Whoppers wrapped in bacon and pancakes... It's going to be heaven.

And, yes, I will be trimming my toenails very soon...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Diet: Day 22

Well Crap. That is about a 1lb. gain.

I guess week three is the new week two. I really didn't change anything this week. I ate my protein, didn't eat the carbs. The only thing I didn't get to do this week is put forth any reasonable effort into burning calories, I got only one good walk and two training sessions in this week, proving to me once again that good old fashioned exercise is the catalyst to weight loss.

There are some positives from this week. I took my blood pressure for the first time since starting the diet and it was down around 16 points (138 systolic to ~122 or so). The dizzy spells I was having when I bent over or stood up to fast have disappeared. Also, sleep is getting better.

I'm also learning ways to improve the process. For the first two meals I eat basically the same thing everyday. Diets are not about food tasting good, they are about food being easy enough to prepare that you stick with the plan. I mean, if you have a choice between spending an hour preparing an elaborate, gourmet low-carb meal or stopping off for chinese take out on your way home from work, sesame chicken will win every time. So, the meals -

  • Breakfast = 4-6 eggs scrambled/fried + turkey bacon or sausage, lots of coffee

  • Lunch = 1 can green beans, 2 small chicken breast (w/ hot sauce)

  • Afternoon snack = turkey or ham sandwich on low cal bread

  • Supper = meat, salad, veggies

  • Post workout (on training days) = whey protein w/ raw eggs (~80grams of protein)

I repeat this almost every weekday. Yes it is monotenous, yes I have to choke it down half the time, but it is convenient and fits the plan. Also, it ain't forever.

I do one cheat meal, usually on Friday night, just to keep my sanity. I'll give my current plan one more week and if no weight loss results I'll go back to the drawing board and tweak some things.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Diet: Day 15

Frankly, I am shocked by this number. I fully anticipated not losing any weight this week. Typically, week two is where you give up from not seeing any results. Anybody can drop 8-9 lbs. in week 1, it takes nerve to not lose a pound in week 2 and keep going. If you ever hear anyone say, "I've tried all the diets and none of them work" That means that they dieted until day 10, while weighing themselves everyday, stopped seeing immediate progress and then gave up and hurried to the office birthday party before all the cake was gone.

I don't weigh everyday, I might check the scale midweek just to make sure I'm not being stupid. For instance, I weighed in Wednesday morning at a 295lbs., rather than panic and assume I am doomed to live a life of obesity, I just kept on keeping on, had some fiber and a few blog worthy bowel movements, and this morning when it counted... everything was alright on the scale.

My total weight loss to date is 12.4 lbs. My cargo shorts from last summer that were obscenely tight are just a little bit less obscenely tight, and I'll have to soon take in my weightlifting belt a notch. My gym lifts haven't suffered much, but I can tell that I'm staying sore longer after a heavy session, but any calorie deficit will hurt your body's ability to recover. I'm trying to counteract this as much as possible with a high protein intake.

The thing that stands out the most about this diet, and my wife agrees, is not getting any good sleep. My sleeping has been terrible, and my energy late in the day is also terrible. Anyone who says "I feel great" on a diet is kidding themselves or not doing it right. I feel inflamed, agitated, and tired by the end of the day, then, unable to sleep well. Honestly, the days I felt on top of the world were the days I trained hard and heavy and then pounded a 32oz. whole milk and ice cream protein shake and 3 Whopper Jr.'s and slept like a grizzly bear, but this ain't forever.

I am taking a few nutritional supplements. Just FYI. The list is short, simple, and there are no magic beans on the list.

  • Fish oil, because Dan John said so

  • Flaxseed Oil, another Omega 3

  • Vitamin C

  • Multi-Vitamin

  • Naproxen / anti-inflammatory as needed

  • Whey protein powder if you can count that

No real rants or anything else to speak of. I hate dieting, that's why you do it 6-8weeks out of the year and then go enjoy your life. If I get to 286lb. next week I'm going to the Chinese Buffet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Box to Squat On

I had some old plywood and time on my hands this weekend, and managed to break out my tools and build a box for squatting.

It's 16.5 x 15.5 x 12.75" so you've got three different heights depending on how you stand it up.
I put a center support in it and used my finish nailer to tack it together. Gentlemen, if you own no other air tool, it is worth it to buy a compressor and a nail gun. I put about 50 finish nails in it in no time. Then did some extra securing with drywall screws.

Whatever number you sit on is the height you are squatting to. After I drew the numbers on the side my little girl decided she would right on it too (see the line to the left of the 12).

So to make daddy's little helper happy I let her draw on the scraps. Unfortunately I had to take the marker away after about 1 minute because permanent marker and 3 year olds don't mix. Also note the crater in my carport to the top right, that's from atlas stones, even through two rubber mats it did that... And I still suck at stones.

Before the day was over, Rebekah took all my palm sander discs and lined them up on the driveway and pretended to have a birthday party with her imaginary friends. It was a great afternoon, we ran the box up to the gym so the fellas could use it in the morning, and stopped by Burger King to pick her up a treat.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Diet: Day 8


So, yes, with the low-carb style diets there is an initial boost of weight loss from water, it works well at giving instant results. But I haven't lost almost nine pounds of water.

As mentioned in my previous post my diet has been quality protein (meat, eggs, cheese) and mostly vegetables with a diet coke or some chocolate whey protein for sweet tooth/snack control. I haven't really counted calories, and I usually just eat until I feel full (fill up on the good stuff). The key for me has been protein and fat intake. I haven't gorged on fatty foods, but I haven't avoided them either. Fat gives a sensation of satiety, one of the many reasons low-fat diets leave you starving.

In the mornings I've been trying to eat as many eggs as I can stomach. Usually about five, but after yesterday watching the Oprah episode where she and her staff went vegan for a week, and some anemic blonde woman (Kathy Freston, who isn't a nutritionist by the way) was telling the audience how much "better you feel" going vegan (with your 500$ a week grocery bill from Whole Foods) and then how our appetites should "not be more valuable than an animal's life" yadda, yadda, yadda, I really got convicted that I need to eat more eggs. They are hands down the cheapest source of valuable protein out there. My beloved and tolerant wife bought a carton of 30 medium eggs at Kroger for about a dollar (I don't know who these manager's are, but I love their specials).
You can't beat that for cheap muscle food. I've even been blending raw eggs into my protein shakes, which actually works really well (and before you Salmonella alarmist people start up, you can keep it to yourself and tell me "I told you so", when I tweet from the ER with food poisoning). In short, after seeing the light, I've decided to shoot to consume a dozen eggs per day. A lofty but worthy goal in my opinion, my motto is going to be "eat six and drink six". I'm pretty sure I can do it.

Anyway, back to Oprah... So Oprah begins to interview members of her staff who have done the vegan diet and everyone begins talking about how much weight they've lost and how much better their bowel movements are, etc (seriously, apparently everyone is constipated). All I want to do is jump through the TV and remind everyone that any period of starvation and malnutrition will cause weight loss. Nothing will make the scale go down like quality, hard earned skeletal muscle having to cannibalize itself because you are to righteous to eat a steak (or at least some fish, fish are barely even animals).

The grand finale was when the anemic girl (Kathy) shows a picture of her with her neutered, tired, sad-eyed, bag of flesh she calls a husband. He obviously has sat through one to many PETA propaganda videos and now deeply regrets his choice in trophy wife, so pray for Tom and eat a steak for him.

The diet is going just fine. Last night before bed I walked over to my sweet old dog, scratched her behind the ears, looked in her eyes and reminded her that my appetite is more important than her life....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Diet: Day 1

This is my scale this morning post "library time", and for the record, I love being big. I love that if a famine hit I would be a finalist for survival. I love that I could take a bullet, move a piano, use my stomach for a tray while sitting on the couch, and put that same power belly into a heavy deadlift. I love that XXL T-shirts are now tight (both in the shoulders and in the gut), and the buttons on jeans that I used to wear comfortably are now screaming for their life, and could become dangerous projectiles at any moment. I love that I can bear hug just about anybody, and provide adequate protection for them in dark alleys. And I LOVE being a big hairy dad (everybody needs one)

I (in agreement with the guys over at 70's Big) think that you are not an adult male until you are > 200lbs. I will make exceptions for weight class athletes (Mr. Roberts, with your fancy Olympic lifts). Also, I would like to point out that the strongest men in history, were rarely "ripped" or "cut" or "shredded" or had rippling abdominal muscles that the drove the women, and a few of the men wild. It would have given the airbrush artist carpal tunnel if they had tried to put Paul Anderson's picture on the cover of Men's Health without his shirt on in today's cosmetic climate. The classic strongmen had large bellies and man-boobs, and had all the physical attractiveness of the fry cook at Waffle House. You know, real men.
Legendary Russian Weightlifter Vasily Alexeev
this, ladies, is a real man

I the past few months I have, somewhat intentionally, been packing on the pounds and trying to make some gains with my strongman training. I've added a proud layer of winter fat around my mid-section, and when standing upright have two well endowed back rolls at the base of each lat muscle that will grab and eat a shirt like a sock puppet. I've made some good progress and the additional mass has definitely aided me in the gym. But, with a right shoulder in need of rest and therapy, and a host of other ills associated with being big I've decided to pull it back and notch, drop a few pounds, and put strongman on hold for a few weeks.

With literally hundreds of different diet plans to choose from, my weapon of choice is the oh so 2003 and outdated Atkins style diet which has actually been around for decades. (John McCallum even outlined it from a Strength and Health article in the 1960's as seen in the book The Complete Keys to Progress). It's straightforward, it works well for me, and it is what I know.

So, let's get on with the list of things I can eat.
  • Meat (delicious, yummy, bone candy - as much as I want)

  • Eggs

  • Cheese (blagh!, I hate most cheese, but we'll see)

  • Fat (omega 3's, and butter especially - butter is good for you, not sure if you knew that)

  • Whey protein (the kind I use is very low in carbs, so mixed with water this could be a lifesaver)

  • Veggies (yellow/orange veggies in moderation)

  • Sugar Free snacks (in moderation, this likely will be an afternoon Diet Coke)

Things that are NOT on the list

  • Magic Pills

  • Magic Elixirs

  • Anything from GNC
  • Anything sold on an infomercial
  • Magic Pills that really do WORK! We Promise! Or your Money Back!

  • Sugar

  • Things containing sugar

  • Things that are white in color or look like a french fry

  • Things that are handed to you through your car window

  • Magic pills that you got from your co-worker's husband's boss' best friend that contain ground up tomato root and a chinese man's toenails and made his cousin's sister lose 90lbs. in 3 weeks, but then when you see her she looks exactly the same and is eating birthday cake.
So there is the plan. It is simple, but not easy. I'm about 12hrs. in right now and the hallucinations have stopped, my sugar craving migraines are subsiding and my body is beginning to accept that I am in control. It is a good feeling. This eating plan combined with about 6-8 hrs. of vigorous training a week and my beautiful belly will begin to shrink and I'll likely not get out of breath tying my shoes, or getting in and out of the car, all things I will miss. At least until it's time to eat my way to the top. More to come....