Archive for May, 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.

Here’s something you should not do when dieting.

You should not, under any circumstances, leave the house without eating breakfast of any kind. That’s just asking for trouble, dealing with that grumbling tum.

What’s worse is driving past a wonderful greasy spoon diner and contemplating, just for a second, eating breakfast there. That’s a seed that doesn’t need to be planted. When it is, it grows. And grows. Until you have no choice but to drive back there and order a big breakfast.

Of course, I could have ordered an egg white omelette.


Instead, I went for the sampler platter. 2 over medium eggs, two sausage links, a slice of ham, hash browns, 2 bacon rashers and a side of pancakes and syrup.

Yeah, good move right?

I figured out the calories were about 1180! My daily total, without exercise, is 1600! So I did what I had to do. I hit the gym, hard, and after 45 minutes of intense elliptical work and stairclimbing, I had clawed back 730 calories. 

Oh, and I didn’t eat any lunch, except for a banana and an apple.

This is not ideal, and not balanced. I only hope I don’t pile on a bunch of weight from one massive slip up. Again. Gah!

So I asked my goodly wife to take my measurements this evening. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting really. After hitting the gym for over an hour a day, five days a week, and eating very sensibly 95% of the time, I figured I was in much better shape than before. Nope. Still a fatty. Actually, fat in all the wrong areas, and skinny in all the other wrong areas.

My measurements are as follows:

  • Weight: 207lbs
  • Height: 71″
  • Chest: 41.5″
  • Waist: 39.5″
  • Biceps: 15.25″
  • Shoulders (circumf): 50.25″
  • Forearms: 12.5″
  • Neck: 16.5″
  • Hips: 38.5″
  • Thighs: 24.5″
  • Calves: 15.75″

And after a bit of research, and inputting my wrist size, this is what I should be aiming for:

  • Weight: 180lbs
  • Height: 71″
  • Chest: 48.75″
  • Waist: 34″
  • Biceps: 17.5″
  • Shoulders (circumf): 54″
  • Forearms: 14″
  • Neck: 18″
  • Hips: 41″
  • Thighs: 26″
  • Calves: 16.5″

This is all nicely compared in a little illustration I quickly banged out here.

So, if you do the math, I need to add, or subtract, the following from my less than stellar physique:

  • Weight: LOSE 27lbs
  • Height: NO CHANGE
  • Chest: GAIN 7.25″
  • Waist: LOSE 5.5″
  • Biceps: GAIN 2.25″
  • Shoulders (circumf): GAIN 3.75″
  • Forearms: GAIN 1.5″
  • Neck: GAIN 1.5″
  • Hips: GAIN 3″
  • Thighs: GAIN 1.5″
  • Calves: GAIN 0.75″

All in all, I have a whole lot of work ahead. Oh yeah, and I just had a creme brûlée. Yes, it was within my calorie limit for the day, but what am I doing?! Still, salad for lunch and a pounding workout at the gym today helped with that detour from my fitness regime. Now, off to bed. Sleep, I miss thee.