It has been far too long…..


I have now sustained my weight loss for a long time.  I am down to about 215 lbs. give or take, and have been there for a while.

I haven’t fallen off the wagon or gained my weight back.

 

I have made several changes now, however:

  • I no longer practice Intermittent Fasting.  This is not in response to anything particular, I just wanted to see what happened.  So far nothing appreciable has changed.
  • I still lift heavy weights, but I now lift four times per week instead of three.  I also have shifted my focus to more hypertrophy, to try to fill in some of the loose skin a little better.
  • I still track my intake meticulously through myfitnesspal, but I have loosened up a bit.  I don’t have nearly as many “off limit” foods anymore.
  • I also strive to maintain a steady balance of Fats in my diet as well, equaling .45g/lb. of bodyweight.  This is essential for proper hormonal functioning.
  • I also consume ~.82g/lb. of Protein as well.

This was just a short update to let you know that I am still in the fight.  Hopefully there will be more to come soon.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Long time away…….


I think I am close to returning to the mindspace that allowed me to write in this blog before.

I am still here, plugging away at the weights and keeping the weight off.  I am eating quite a bit more calories, and slowly losing more fat while gaining muscle and strength.  It really feels great!

I need to think of a good topic for my official return post, so stay tuned!

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A great post on New Year’s resolutions by a friend of mine.

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Sorry for the long delay……


Hello readers,

I know it has been a long time since my last post, and I sincerely apologize for that!

I will be writing an article soon that may help some people achieve their upcoming weight loss resolutions.

In the meantime, jut wanted to let you know that I have been using the time since my last post to build strength, and therefore have upped my caloric intake quite a bit. I am holding steady around 223-225 pounds, but I know that my body fat percentage is still coming down, but much more slowly than before. This has tested my psyche, as I am used to a much more rapid weight loss. To be honest, it freaked me out a little. I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have to be quite as obsessive as I was in the past regarding my caloric intake, and this has come as a relief (especially during the holidays!).

I am still practicing IF, and still cycling my carbohydrates depending on whether or not it is a training day or not, but the calories have increased quite a bit.

Anyway, I will be back soon with a new article. See you soon!

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Pretty darn interesting…

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I have absolutely noticed more mental clarity after upping my fish oil intake to 2g EPA/1g DHA per day.

The Chart

People with diets short on omega-3 fatty acids – the kind found in fish oil – were more likely to experience accelerated brain aging, a new study found.

“People with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of brain aging,” said Dr. Zaldy S. Tan, a member of the UCLA Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research in the Department of Neurology.

The study was published Tuesday in the print edition of the journal Neurology.

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100 pounds lost: A retrospective (Part 2)


OK, this took me a bit longer to get back to than I realized it would!

I am so very close to my 100 lb. mark, but I just keeping losing a bit at a time.  I think it is because I am adding muscle at the same time that I am losing fat.  This is a good thing.

In this installment, I want to talk about another aspect of my journey to become lean: exercise.

I have alluded to this before, and this part of my plan is just as important as diet in getting the weight off and keeping it off.  Don’t get me wrong, diet is EXTREMELY important!  If you don’t eat right you won’t lose weight, and you won’t be able to power yourself through a workout.

I also mentioned before that you have to find an exercise that you enjoy, otherwise you might not stick with it.  This is important, but I don’t think you should box yourself in!  I know many people who LOVE running, but hate lifting.  I also know many who are the opposite, myself included.

For the first part of my weight loss plan, I started walking on a treadmill and using weight machines.  This started the ball rolling for me, but it wasn’t really giving me much noticeable change.

In what I will call my second phase, I stuck with the weight machines and switched to a stationary bike.  Once again, I was still losing weight, but not at the rate that I really wanted.  I could tell i was getting in better shape, but my body wasn’t changing too much.

In the third phase, which I began in November of last year, I actually completely (*gasp!*) quit doing cardio almost completely (besides walking to and from the bus and a little here and there)!  I switched to lifting with free weights (not machines), doing the “Big Three” (Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press) along with the Overhead Press.  I think that this moment was the best move of my fitness journey.  Since that time, I have added a LOT of strength and muscle mass.  I think that this lifting has boosted my metabolism so much that the weight began to fall off.

Here is an illustration of what that shift has accomplished for me:

From March of 2011 when I weighed my heaviest at 334.5 pounds, until November 4 of 2011 I lost a total of 31.9 pounds.  That means I was losing roughly 1 pound per week.  Pretty slow loss, huh?  Of course, any loss is good!

Now let me examine the most current period from November of 2011 until the present.  During this period (which is just about 10 months) I went from 302.6 pounds down to my current weight which is 235 pounds.  That is a total loss of 67.6 pounds.  that is a rate of about 1.69 pounds per week.  Pretty good progress!

Of course, as time has progressed, so have my diet and eating techniques.  I cannot discount those changes as well.  All I know now is that I have lost 10 inches in my waist since I started, and I can now wear a men’s Large shirt, but I still weigh over 230 pounds.  I am pretty sure that I have gained a LOT of muscle during this period as well.

Now, I am not discounting cardio completely.  In fact, I will most likely start to run when I feel like it won’t damage my joints or interfere with my lifting/weight loss.  I believe that both are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but I also believe in slowly making changes.

I actually consider most of my lifting sessions to be cardio, because of the elevation in heart rate and breathing.  You try doing 11 sets of squats or deadlifts without sweating and your heart beating super fast 😉

 

In my next installment, I will outline some of the dietary changes that have evolved over this weight loss journey as well.  They might assist you with some ideas on what to eat and what not to eat.  Specifically, I will discuss my current strategy of Leangains-style Intermittent Fasting.

Stay tuned, and feel free to contact me if you want to ask a question!

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Writing more soon, I promise!


Hello everyone!  I will be writing part 2 of my retrospective on my 100 lb. (and counting) loss VERY soon!

My training and diet are still going great, and I have a lot of things to tell you, so stay tuned! 🙂

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100 pounds lost: A retrospective (Part 1)


Well, everyone, that moment is almost here.

The moment where I can officially say that I have lost 100 pounds!  I really never thought that I would see this day.  I had imagined losing that much weight before, but never actually thought I could do it.

So, today I decided to look back over the past year and five months to see what I have done in that time.  I decided to split this up into at least two parts, for easier reading.

Here’s Part 1:

On March 9, 2011 I weighed in at a staggering 334.5 lbs.  I had never been that heavy before.  My body fat % was 44.7%.  Almost half of my body was FAT!!!

I had just started a new job, and they had a free gym, so I decided to go and check it out.  I liked it, and got a fitness consultation to see how bad it was.

It was pretty bad.  My blood pressure was high, my pulse elevated, my flexibility was horrible.  Generally, I was in REALLY bad shape.

The trainer recommended that I just start out on the treadmill with walking and some resistance training and stretching.

I started exercising, slowly at first, just doing mostly walking on the treadmill and a few machine resistance exercises here and there.  I started making progress, and by November of 2011 I had lost 30 pounds, and my body fat % was now 34.7%  that is pretty darn good progress.

At that point, I went “rogue” and decided that I was getting tired of cardio, and that I wanted to REALLY start lifting weights.  I had never really touched a barbell before, so I knew I had to start somewhere.  I began to read that lifting with free weights was so much better for you than doing it on machines.  It involves so many more stabilizer muscles, etc.

I discovered a website called “StrongLifts”, and I read the “free report” PDF that was sent to me.  It was simple, to the point and just made sense.  It basically told to learn the form of the “Big Three” (Squat, Deadlift and Bench) to start with just the 45 lb. Olympic bar.  Who cares if people look at you funny?  Then progressively add 5 lbs. every time you do that exercise.  Oh, and do squats three times a week.

So, I did just that.  I started to squat three times a week.  In no time, I was adding weight to the bar.  Sure, it was hard and first (oh, the soreness!!!).  After a bit, I got used to it, and it began to get a bit easier.

I picked up Mark Rippetoe’s book “Starting Strength” and read up on form.

I realized that I LOVE to lift weights!  I absolutely despise cardio, but I love lifting.  I started reading material that talked about losing weight exclusively through weight training.  So, that is what I have done so far.  I have been losing weight by going against popular opinion.  Since I picked up the bar back in November of 2011, I have not looked back!

Since that day, I have lost 67 pounds of my total lost almost exclusively through weight training.

My point is this:  Find an exercise that you LOVE and do it!  If something looks interesting to you, try it!  You HAVE to find something that you enjoy and that will motivate you to go to the next level!  If you don’t so that, you will most likely never lose weight!

I started with the bar on all of my lifting exercises, and I am still considered a novice (less than one year lifting), but I am already getting stronger 🙂

As of this writing, my 1RM for each exercise is below:

Bench: 185

Squat: This one is kinda up in the air at the moment.  My last cycle of lifting it was about 275.

Overhead press: 136

Deadlift: 325

In the next part of this series, I will discuss how diet plays an even bigger part in your success than your exercise!  I will also discuss a method of eating that basically doubled my amount of weight loss in the same time.  It involves caloric restriction, but other things as well.

Until next time, find something to get you moving and DO it!

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