Of course, I have no idea how accurate the equipment at the gym actually is, but even so it’s a personal record and I’m quite chuffed to hit 4 figures. I also managed to do 105 situps in 5 minutes, adding 5 to my previous total. So I’m making some progress there. 

Yesterday, I raised the weight on a few exercises. I finally graduated to the 3rd weight bench in the free weights room. There are 4 benches. The first is full of weights so light they shouldn’t really by called weights. The second, where I have been for the longest time, is full of weights everyone uses. The go from 15lb to 25lb dumbbells. I am now in the 30lb dumbbell set, which is on bench 3. Bench 4, forget about it. The top end is dumbbells that weight 105lbs! Some guys are doing flys with 105lbs on each arm, and I can’t even pick up one of those dumbbells without groaning. 

So, lots of progress. I took my body fat reading on a new scale. Not so good. About 25%. That translates as about 51lbs of pure fat that I am carrying around. My younger daughter weighs less than that! That’s a whole lot of fat, and I don’t know where exactly it all is, I feel like I have lost quite a bit from my belly. 

I also bought myself a pair of size 32 jeans. I am in a 33 now, but 32 is out there. I have not been in a 32 since I was 19. It will be a trip to fit in those again. Of course, it means that 90% of the jeans I own will need to go to Goodwill, but that’s something I can easily live with. 


So I finally reached a goal today.

Now, by most standards it’s not all that impressive. At the gym I see people knocking our sit ups like they’re reaching for the remote control. And I also didn’t do them unaided, I used a machine and had it set to 135lbs, which I think is fairly close to an actual sit up. But who knows!

Anyway, for the past few weeks, my sit ups on cardio days have been all over the place. Some days, 70, others 80. I got to 90 last week, before collapsing in a crumpled heap on the floor.

Today, I got through 5 sets of 20 in under 5 mins. Like I said, no great achievement but it did give me a smile when I finally landed the last one.

I walked away from the machine feeling chuffed and knackered, and walking like someone who’d just lost a bout with Tyson. The two girls either side of me on the other ab machines gave each other looks like “is that guy dying?” as I was grunting through them. I always hated the grunters, but sometimes, you gots to grunt. It helps.

Anyway, I hope to get the 100 done in a shorter time, maybe 3 sets of 35 at some point. And eventually, 200 in about the same time.

Measurements, I still haven’t took them. Kinda scared to, maybe I will have had little succes. I know one thing…the scale never really moves. I am hoping it’s because of the massive amounts of solid muscle I am packing on, but that’s a big hope. More likely, I am hitting a wall again. But working through it is the only way.

One day, I will be back to 185lbs, the weight I was when I came to the states in 2001. I hope it happens in 2012!

So I went shopping on Friday, at JC Penney and Ross. Because I’m cheap. And I like getting t-shirts for $4 and shorts for $18.

Anyway, the reason I went shopping is because my great, but well-worn, shorts from American Eagle are 34. And they keep sliding down, so much so that I have to tighten the belt to the point where the tops of the shorts looks like some kind of ruching material!

I tried on some 32 shorts, the next common size down. Not yet. Still tight.

But the size 33 shorts, in different brands, fit great.

So, all the working out and sweating and getting up at the crack of dawn is actually starting to payoff! Huzzah and hurrah.

And after cramming 2 hotdogs and 2 cheeseburgers down my gullet on Memorial Day, I felt like that 33 number would not last for long. So I did 45 minutes straight on the elliptical this morn at LTF, burning 760 calories. I followed that with 85 sit ups. I have yet to break 100. I usually do five sets of 20, nail the first 2 reps, and then start to get tired. But it’s a start. And I have to say, without JEFit and MyFitnessPal, I would be lost. They are getting me in great shape, and they’re free!

Still have back pain from the back/bicep/forearm workout on Wednesday. I picked the barbell up wring, and it hurt. I hope it goes away soon. I have another full day to rest (today) before my back workout tomorrow.

Need to take my measurements, it’s been a while. I am hoping I see improvement all over, even slight would be good. Bigger arms, chest, smaller waist etc.

Now…back to the grind.

Oh dear.

Friday, I finally got to see the Avengers. Jolly good it was too. But I had little time to eat before going to see the 6pm show, so I thought I’d be a bit naughty and get a burger and fries from Good Times. I had over 11 calories left, I figured that would be plenty.


It turns out that a Big Daddy burger has over 900 calories in it! And the fries, 400. That’s 1300 calories and it wasn’t even that filling, it was just grease and nastiness.

I also got candy for the movie, a British Lion bar. So I ended that day well over.

On Saturday, I had lunch with one of my girls. And she chose the venue. Jack In The Box.

After looking at the sad salad, I decided a spicy chicken burger would be better. That, with fries, took me to 900 calories. And Saturday is a non-workout day, giving me just 400 left for dinner after I counted in breakfast. Needless to say, I went over again.

Sunday, it was better. We had salads for lunch, and I had cereal for dinner. I was under. And today, lots of fruit and another salad for lunch, and I’m back on track with over 1000 calories left for dinner.

I also worked hard at the gym this morning. LTF is not too busy on Monday mornings (gee, wonder why) so I had no problem getting on any of the equipment I wanted. I also beat a few records, although most reps were the same as last time.

All in all, a good start to the week after a rotten end to the last one. Hoping for some more weight loss/muscle gain over the coming weeks, enough that it really starts to show.

I’ve been fluctuating between 205lbs and 207lbs since the 3rd week of my new healthy eating and exercise lifestyle. And it’s not easy getting up early, with bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep (new baby) to hit the gym for an hour every morning, and see NOTHING change on the scale. I mean, sometimes it goes up!

So when I got on the scale this morn, I was taken aback to see I had gone from 205.2 to 204.2. I double-checked. It was right.

Hoo – bloody – ray!

It’s not exactly monumental, and I know I’ll get on tomorrow and see 206 or 208, but it’s a new low for me (and a new high).

I also beat a few records of min in the gym today, and struggled with others. There’s a guy at the gym who looks like Thor, except with a Marine’s haircut. Working out near him is quite the ego-bruiser, as he benches the weight of a small country, and I’m struggling over 55lbs barbell curls.

Still, it’s all going in the right direction, and the cardio I can do easy now. I need to up that, but the treadmill is not good for the joints and that means I need another plan. Maybe 30 mins on the stair climber instead of the elliptical.

I usually do 10 mins on it after 30 on the elliptical. But 30 sounds tough, my legs may just buckle. Time will tell.

In other news, I’m addicted to the chili I made the other night. I do love a sweet and spicy chili. MOAR please!

…something’s clearly going on. It’s really difficult to get the hang of this, as I’m trying to lose weight at the same time as building muscle. And that means I am totally confused by the scale.

I’ve been stuck in the 205-207lb range for weeks. It’s hard to know if I’m just stuck, or if things are changing. There are subtle differences here and there though, and the main ones are clothes. They don’t fit as snugly as they used to, in some areas, and in others they’re getting a bit tight.

For instance, the arms are starting to feel snug on my tees. So maybe the old biceps are growing. Haven’t taken measurements in a few weeks, I figure it’s time soon, but I don’t want to be disappointed. After all, when you get up at 6am to go to the gym, and work your arse off for over an hour, and then you repeat that 5 days a week, it’s tough to see little to no changes.

On the other hand, my shorts and jeans are getting baggy in places. The waist bands of the jeans used to strain a bit, now they are nice and comfy. My shorts, they need a belt to stay up. So, something’s going on, even if the scale says no.

The best sign of change came from my physical last week. The nurse estimated I weighed 185lbs, she was taken back when the scale read 206. She said it was muscle throwing her off. Then, I got three blood pressure readings, all were around 110/62, and my resting heart rate was 58, down almost 20 from the same time last year. So, that’s got to be good.

All in all, change is slow, but it is happening. I am also progressing in weights at the gym. Sometimes I feel like saying sod it, sleeping until 8am, and having a big nasty fatty lunch. But I don’t. Can’t get the physique I want doing that.

It also helps to see guys like Henry Cavill in The Immortals. That guy’s six pack has a six pack!

Thanks, Bill Hicks, for that analogy. So true.

As I lay in bed, having been up a few times in the night already (new baby), the alarm kicked in at 6.45am and I slammed the snooze button like it was a mosquito sucking blood on my arm.

The weather outside was quite British. Cold, dreary, drizzly, overcast and grey. Fine, except I live in Colorado. And I’m used to waking up with sunshine in my eyes. When it’s cold outside, the frightened gym rat inside me shrinks even further away. I really didn’t want to go.

But having not dropped any real weight in a few weeks, I got my arse out of bed, put on my gym gear and drive to LifeTime Fitness for the start of another week’s painful working out. At least LTF is welcoming. I dabbled with 24 Hour Fitness a few years ago. I went once. The locker room was tiny, no fresh towels (bring your own), bring your own locks, and work out in a room full of meatheads with veins the size of dreadlocks. Oh, and the smell.

Anyway, thanks to being part of a groovy gym, I managed to pound my way through 30 mins of hard elliptical training, burning 511 calories. A little off my usual 530 for the same time.

The weight training was the same story. All of my usual weight/rep totals were proving too hard for me, and I was falling short on reps all over the place. 10 instead of 12. 55lbs instead of 60. THe only bright spot was the tricep pulldown, which I exceeded, doing 50lbs for 15 reps x 3, instead of 12. So, way to go triceps!

I drank some protein shale after, and then drove to work feeling chuffed that I had done it, but a little down that I was not on form. Maybe it’s just the Monday morning thing. Who knows. But now, work beckons.